Caroline Rose is a rocking country gal. Rose’s music is inspired by rockabilly, fast country and traveling from town to town in a van. She plays electric guitar and the rest of her band includes a bass drum and slide guitar. The slide guitar kind of dominates the songs though, so they all sound kind of samey to me.
“Yip Yip Yow” is a fast rockabilly type of song with some silly lyrics. It’s a fun song. “I’ve Got Soul” This song is bouncy and rocking although I can’t help thinking of the old adage that if you have to say it you probably don’t have it
“I Will Not Be Afraid” is a more inspirational song with a real honky-tonk feel. The guys ware wearing T-shirts that say “fuck fear” but they had to cover them up for broadcast (which is why they are wearing jackets).
Of all of the recent rocking country gals I’ve been hearing, I like her best.
[READ: March 15, 2016] The Golden Compass Graphic Novel
I loved The Golden Compass when I read it about a decade ago. I thought it was really smart, really subversive and really engaging.
What you might notice about this graphic novel is that it was translated. The Golden Compass was written in English. This graphic novel was written in French (as Les Royaumes du Nord #1) by Stephanie Melchoir and then translated back in to English by Annie Eaton, which is a weird process. The art was done by Clément Oubrerie.
The original book was quite large (about 400 pages). This graphic novel is about 8o pages. And, as you might guess, quite a large chunk of it is pictures. So it has been reduced pretty drastically.
One of the great things about the book was the subtlety and evocative descriptions. You can see where I’m going next–this condensed version is…lacking.
There’s a lot of really confusing jumps and unclear transitions. And, since the book is creating a world that is unique, a lot of it is either lost or just really confusing in this book.
What the graphic novel does is boil down the essence of the plot. So we open in Oxford and we see that Lord Adriel is coming in on a blimp. He is landing at Jordan College where the main character Lyra is hiding in a ventilation shaft, eavesdropping.
What isn’t explained is that she has a daemon with her. Her daemon is a shape-shifting animal named Pan. What is unstated is that each person has a daemon connected to them–any damage that is done to the daemon is felt by the person. Lyra believes that the Master of the School is going to poison Lord Adriel and she runs out to save him–risking that she is caught eavesdropping.
She hears him say that he will be traveling up North to find the previous mission that went north. Grumman, the leader of the expedition was killed, possibly by the panserbjørne, an army of polar bears. The scenes shifts to Limehouse, where a boy, unnamed is believed to be stolen by the gobblers ( or by a golden monkey daemon, anyhow).
Back in Jordan College Lyra is hanging around with Roger, a very frightened-looking boy. By the end of this adventure, Roger has gone missing as well.
The book shifts back to the school where they meet Mrs Coulter a strict woman who is taken with Lyra. She states that Lyra will accompany her up North (after getting extensive schooling in the necessary sciences). Before Lyra leaves, the Master seems nervous about the whole thing and gives her an alethiometer: “It tells the truth.”
While she is with Mrs Coulter, we learn a bit more about Lyra’s battleground. She is the daughter of Count Belacqua, who was lord Adriel’s brother.
After getting spooked, she flees Coulter’s place and is brought to safety by a character we met earlier. This character knows a lot about Lyra and reveals some truths about her that even she did not know.
As the book ends (it’s the first of a trilogy), we see that the ship is taking an expedition to the North and Lyra will be accompanying them after all.
By the end of the book, the pacing of the story was better–the plot really picked up then. But I felt like it was really patchy up until about half way through–so much was left unspoken that if you didn’t know the story, I’m not sure how you’d follow along.
I also didn’t love the art by Clément Oubrerie. The backgrounds were an interesting style–the opening scene with the blimps was very cool. But the people–Lyra especially, just look so amateurish. This is an intense story with all kinds of subtleties, and the perpetual startled eyes and grimace of Lyra’s face just never really works.
All in all this book was a disappointment. Although I imagine I’ll read the other two (due out in September and then next year), really it just makes me want to read the novels again–which is no bad thing.