Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: The Battle of Blood and Ink

The Battle of Blood and Ink

Words By:  Jared Axelrod

Pictures By:  Steve Walker

Publisher:  Tor

Publish Date:  May 2012

Format:  Hardcover

Series:  1st Print book, 3rd in series with Podcasts of Fables of the Flying City

Recommendation:  Oh yes.  Ashe and her daring in a city of secrets.  She seeks them out.

Synopsis:
If you're visiting the flying city of Amperstam without the latest printing of The Lurker's Guide, you might as well be lost.  This one-sheet is written, edited, and printed by Ashe, a girl raised on the streets of the flying city, and is dedicated to revealing its hidden treasures and deepest secrets -- including many that the over controlling government doesn't want anyone to know.  The stakes are raised when Ashe accidentally uncovers the horror of exactly how Amperstam travels among the skies and garners that attention of those who would rather that secret be kept in the hands of the city's powerful leaders.

Soon Ashe is on the run from thugs and assassins, faced with the choice of imperiling her life just to keep publishing, or giving in to the suggestion of a rich patron that she trade in her voice and identity for a quiet, comfortable life.  It's a war of confusion for Ashe, but one thing is very clear: just because you live in a flying city, you can't always keep your head in the clouds.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Ashe is riding, while Tolban flies, around the city with other airships around them.  Captain Skold is coming in, requesting permission to dock and asylum on the city after the hit his ship has taken by Vrussians getting to Apmerstam. The Provost is ignoring the request!  Even with offer of money and supplies from Captain Skold, The Provost still resists.  Captain Skold has something The Provost wants more than service and Ashe learns what it is.  Ashe smells a story, and something more and dives into the depths of the flying city to find what it is.

The Provost left me skeptical about her in the last of the podcasts, and here we pick up where I don't trust her again.  Ashe knows the Provost has done worse than what she's doing now, making slaves, and she is set on proving it and publishing it.

We do get to see the press page that Ashe publishes.  The ACTUAL press page as it's published.  This is neat to see her put things in her own words, and gives us the overall feel of what we see in the comic images and statements said by the characters.

We see the famous flying city in black and white.  At last!  It's awesome to see it after listening to the podcasts.  Now I get to see all the different areas of the city I learned of in the podcasts as we follow everyone around to these areas.  And yes, each section of town is noted so you know where you are.  We see many of the characters: Tolban and his flying, Cardor from the hotel in his dress, and many others finally have a face.

The tattoo's on Ashes arms have all ways been a curiosity for me, here we see early in the book a design, created by someone we know, that is close to that on Ashe's arms.  It brings the wonder back to the front of my mind with these similar designs and those on Ashe.  What are they doing?  How did Ashe get them too?  Now I am curious with all that we have learned about the dreadful engine and these symbols, and the hints from Hanner Gatling that Ashe's answers are here as well.  All is answered here.

The engine room!!!  If you've been following my thoughts on the podcast, you know I've become increasingly curious about this room.  What powers the engine?  What happens to people down here?  Well, it's here!  It's all put together right here.  I love seeing the secrets of the city, and how they might tie to Ashe.

Oh Ashe!  We learn more about her past.  We also learn the truth of Ashe's tattoos.  Ashe has a nose for trouble, and finds it.  Trouble and a great story.  She finds herself in many scraps, and I love her for it.  One tough lady.

We learn a little saying of kids on the flying city.  "Through thick and thin, Through blood and ink, Clouddogs rule, And coppers stink!"  The saying even has been adjusted to who they want to say stinks as well.  Such world and culture growth here threw pictures and words.

I have to say this story still surprised me with happenings to our friends.  Then in the end!  Yes, it was a shocker to me to see what happened.  I really liked that.  Didn't know a graphic novel could hold so much suspense and story to tell.  I really liked what I learned here, and the story told.

I do hope we get more adventures of Ashe in the future, and of what becomes of the flying city now.


If you are curious about the Graphic Novel, it is now available! (in both paperback and hardcover on Amazon)  The Battle of Blood and Ink by Jared Axelrod and Steve Walker.  You can view a sample of the first 20 pages on Tor's site.




If you would like to Listen to the podcast stories about Ashe, you can find Fables of the Flying City free on the site for Fables of the Flying Cityhttp://www.fablesoftheflyingcity.com/  There are links to iTunes and RSS feed.  You can also see the list of episodes in their order on Jared Axelrod's site.


I read this graphic novel for my own enjoyment.

14 comments:

  1. I am still thinking about picking up graphic novels... I don't think graphic novels is as widespread here in the UK as it is in the US because I don't see much of them around for sale... :(

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    1. Oh Cherry, I think Amazon has this on sale, in the US, at the moment. :) And bummer to hear there isn't as many in the UK.

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  2. I so want to read this one. I think I'd like it more than the podcasts. I love graphic novels and yet have read so few...

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    1. Melissa (Books&Things) - Oh do go get this one. I think you will enjoy the ending. :) Hope you get to get it one day.

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  3. Cool :) I'd like to read more graphic novels but the library does not have that many

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    1. Blodeuedd, I've just started getting into the graphic novels, and I have to say I think this one set a stage for me. :) Sorry to hear the library doesn't get many.

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  4. I get a lot of offers to review graphic novel but Jim does most of them for me. Maybe I'll have to start picking some up...

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    1. SQT, I've just started getting into the graphic novels. I'll say I'm really impressed with this one. Glad to hear you are thinking of getting into more as well. :) Thank you.

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  5. Question: What is the dif between graphic novels and comic books?

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    1. Jennifer Bielman, I'm still new at this graphic novel thing, but I'm guessing the length. Comics are shorter than the graphic novels. The graphic novels are nice sized! :D

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  6. I do like the sound of this one, and I love the cover. I think I still need to read more books like that, it's nice to have something a little different from time to time.

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    1. Oh Melliane, so glad you like the sounds and cover of this one. I was so impressed with it! Really. And I'm ready to read more graphic novels now. :)

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  7. Last year I started reading Graphic Novels & I'm loving it. The only bad thing is that they are super expensive! OMG. I wanted the Graphic Novels of the Walking Dead (and actually I still want them) but damn those thing costs a lot of money! Not cool at all. ;)

    Amperstam sounds like a fun city. Wonder how he got that name?...Amsterdam???? Anyway, sounds like a wonderful Gn!

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    1. Oh Nina, I'm new to the graphic novels as well. And really loving them. But yes, they are a bit expensive. And I got that feeling for the title of the city as well. :D Every time I wrote it before I wrote Amsterdam. :D LOL. Thank you!

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