The Evil Within #GraphicNovel

Title: The Evil Within, Volume 2: The Interlude | Author: Ryan O’Sullivan | Illustrators: Szymon Kudranski and Damien Worm | Colorists: Szymon Kudranski, Damien Worm and Guy Major | Publisher: Titan Comics | Pub. Date: 11/07/2017 | Pages: 64 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child death, murder | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from Titan for an honest review

The Evil Within, Volume 2: The Interlude

Coinciding with the release of the new game, get ready for the hotly anticipated comics sequel to Tango Gameworks’ blood-curdling survival horror series. Still shell-shocked by the horrific events that took place at the Beacon Mental Hospital, Detective Sebastian Castellanos finds himself investigating a gruesome murder in Krimson City that might be his key to understanding what happened in his terrifying encounter at Beacon. From the mind of Shinji Mikami – creator of the seminal Resident Evil series – The Evil Within represents the pinnacle of survival-horror gaming with its mind-bending environments, intricate story lines and blood-curdling scares.

I loved the video game The Evil Within so when this was offered I quickly said, “Yes, please!”. The Evil Within: The Interlude collects The Evil Within #2.1 and #2.2 into one book. Since they’re “coinciding” with the release of the second game they do a very good job of catching you up with the characters from the game.

I haven’t looked into The Evil Within 2 (most game reviewers are complete jerks about spoiling the story) so I’m not sure if these are supposed to lead into the game or not. They do feel like they’re supposed to be a lead-in. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who hasn’t played the game as you’ll most likely be very, very confused as to what’s going on. They do give you one of these “The Story So Far…” in the beginning but it’s just a paragraph telling you who Sebastian is. It also doesn’t really feel written for the casual reader. It feels like it was written specifically for people who have played the game.

While I wasn’t crazy about one of the art styles I did like how they used the two different styles to evoke two different worlds. They drab colors and cleaner lines fit the “real” world (I use quotations because if you’ve ever played The Evil Within you’ll realize that “real” is a hard concept to define in that world. I also liked the vivid oranges and reds for the other sequences. I loved the cover art. These are also included, along with a section on panels going through the steps, which was interesting.

The writing was good and didn’t stick out as being out of place for the characters. I did have one issue with the way the character of Sebastian is portrayed but I am not faulting the writer of the novel for this. I think it’s where they’re taking his character in The Evil Within 2. If it is…all I can say is The Grizzled World-Weary Alcoholic Detective has been done to death in every genre. Let him retire. 

These were made to tie into the series. There’s no way around that so someone who hasn’t played The Evil Within probably won’t enjoy it. I’m a little on the fence with this approach. The gamer half is very appreciative that books and merchandise are finally being marketed to what businesses used to think was too small of a crowd to have any financial impact. My general reader half though thinks it’s a little elitist and not likely to draw in new customers to either the games or the novels. The novels tell you just a tiny bit, hardly enough to make you think (if you generally don’t play games) “Gee, maybe I should try this”. And the side of me that has played it, it’s a little unsatisfying. There’s just not enough story to it and I sometimes wonder if they’re winging it for the sequel.

Although it piqued my interest it didn’t get me saying “Oooh, now I have to get The Evil Within 2!” which I’m pretty sure was its main objective.

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Disco Fever by Doug Savage #bookreview

Title: Disco Fever | Series: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy #2 | Author: Doug Savage | Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing | Pub. Date: 2017-24-10 | ISBN13: 9781449486877 | Pages: 144 | Genre: Kids Sci-Fi, Graphic Novel | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley for review consideration.

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Disco Fever

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy face a familiar foe, a terrifying new enemy, and the frightening possibility that lasers can’t solve everything in their biggest and most dangerous adventure yet.

An accident (involving a pine cone, a fish, and a truck delivering disco supplies) triggers a series of events that leads to the ultimate confrontation between Laser Moose and his nemesis Cyborgupine. And it’s a fight that Laser Moose can’t win with lasers. Especially when faced with a malevolent new enemy: a cute little chickadee.

Book cover for Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy Disco Fever

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Disco Fever Review

Disco Fever was listed under the middle-grade and children’s fictions section on Netgalley. I think it would be a fun read for kids, but some of the concepts are a bit outdated and might go over their heads. (Ie: Going to the disco.) The drawings are comic-strippy and very appropriate for a wide age range. There are, of course, a few valuable lessons in Disco Fever. A moose without lasers is still an awesome moose. Mirrors are evil. Appearances can be deceptive. Friends support each other.

The story flows easily. The strips are easy to understand. The action is ridiculous. The dialogue will make you chuckle. One can’t help but snicker at the ridiculousness of your basic ‘superhero must find his strength again’ put into moose and rabbit drawings.

It seems like every time I read a ridiculous line in a book, the universe sets out to send me a book that will top it. In this case, I think it’ll be quite a while before I find a line worse than:

“I don’t know if I can defeat cyborgupine and his disco suit.”

Seriously. Cyborgupine. Disco suit. (And yes, the drawings of these two things are everything you could ever dream of to accompany it.)

Also, at the end, there’s a bonus section that talks about the importance of dancing and will teach you to do a little dance if you follow it carefully. (I read it, I did not attempt it.)

Overall, while I don’t think I would have picked the book up under normal circumstances, Disco Fever was an enjoyable read. I am kind of curious to read the first book to see how everything got started. If you’re thinking about picking up this book for your kids, you may want to pre-read it yourself because mileage may seriously vary.