Where's the Wookiee- Ulises Farinas.
My love for Star Wars is intense. It knows no bounds (it does) and leads me into brilliance and sorrow (what do you mean the Queen Amidala Funko is unavailable?). Where's the Wookiee, it's a classic step in that love/passion direction, and such a wonderful idea! I grew up reading Where's Wally (or Waldo, as it's known in the US and Canada) and playing Star Wars, so give me some Wally figurines because then the role reversal is complete.
Basically, Where's the Wookiee has you searching the far reaches of the galaxy, from Hoth to the Death Star, the Ewok Village (probably my favourite) to Cloud City, finding the most treacherous villains known to the galaxy. Instead of Wally, Wands, Whitebeard and Odlaw, you have Chewie, Han, Gredo and Bobba Fett for starters. I did my best just to find Chewie and Han, although Gredo and Bossk were both easy to pick out, but... Chewie is hard! He blends in super well. I also enjoyed seeing R2, Leia and Yoda dotted throughout.
All in all, I enjoyed this quite a lot. I would've liked a bit more detail in regards to the art, which I didn't fel was the best representation of the detail and style of the series, but overall it was pretty wonderful and a neat introduction to the world of Star Wars.
Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy!
Image source: Hardie Grant Egmont.
The Secret of the Blue Glass- Tomiko Inui.
It's always disappointing when you get to the end of a book and realise your favourite thing about it wasn't the story, the characters, even the writing, but the cover. Unfortunately that's what happened with The Secret of the Blue Glass, a classic in Japan and originally published in the late fifties, now published in English by Pushkin Classics. To begin with I certainly did thing that by the end of it there would be a different story- I was captivated by the beauty and lyricism of the writing, the unique tone to the story. It is very similar to The Borrowers in there being this family of tiny people who live in a house and rely on the big people for their livlihood, although the relationship between families is rather different here, as the family knows their responsibility to keeping the little people alive by putting out a glass of milk every night.
It was an intensely interesting story- it takes place around the time of the second World War, starting a little before and then carrying on throughout- and that setting, plus the tone of the family and their conflicts with what Japan was doing, what they believed was right, it was just really interesting and intriguing for me, but... unfortunately it ended up moving from softly beautiful to quite boring. I couldn't hold onto my interest in the story and it felt like it turned rather dull, the story moving along simply and not really having any great pull towards me wanting to read it, find out what happened or enjoy it. I really lost grips with it and although I did finish it, I struggled and a couple chapters from the end considered DNFing because I just was not into it.
I think, in the end, I was affected by growing up with The Borrowers- this felt really similar and, although the dynamics weren't the same, there wasn't a single element that made it stand out or made me fall in love with it, after that intial phase. The cover, though, is absolutely stunning.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for this review copy!
Image source: Allen and Unwin NZ.