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God Save the Queen Hardcover – April 18, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In Romeo and Juliet Mercutio compared drugs to Queen Mab, queen of the faeries. In this new graphic novel, rebellious teenager Linda finds out how literal that comparison is. Linda's father has left, and her mother crawled into a bottle months ago and hasn't crawled out. Linda drags a friend out clubbing and plans to "say yes to everything." She meets the magnetic Verian who shows her a whole new high—mixing her blood with heroin. It's only when he takes her to "the border" that she realizes Verian and his friends are from Faerie, and she's unknowingly put herself in the middle of a civil war between Queen Mab and her usurper, Titania. Bolton's fully painted panels are vivid and alluring, at their best when showing the twisted land of Faerie. Carey's story gives equal time to human emotions and the more decadent world of magic and fantasy. Carey (Crossing Midnight, Lucifer) and Bolton (Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, The Furies) revisit territory already familiar from such series as The Books of Magic, but put enough new spins on it to make this a treat for any fan of the fantastic. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Borrowing a bit from Shakespeare, this tale is a midsummer's nightmare. While Mab and Titania duke it out in Faerie, Linda, a contemporary London teen who likes to walk on the wild side, gets herself and her best friend, Jeff, involved with apparent squatters. These rough sorts ply a dangerous pastime--Red Horse, which is heroin mixed with the blood of one of the group of those shooting it. Linda's blood seems to be their favorite. Meanwhile, Linda's mother turns out to have a surprise identity of her own, and that brings the world of Faerie and Linda's rough world together, if only after Jeff overdoses in the squat. Bolton's imagery, framing, and colors render the faerie world and London's seamy side with aplomb, thereby extending the horror and wonder of Carey's script. Linda is a changeling with a conscience, and if all doesn't end perfectly, it ends better than Linda could have expected. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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As a sandman fan, I was hoping for more of a connection tot hat cannon and history. But, this story is good even without the glitz and glam of the dreaming. Truly and excellent story about addiction and grief.
Speaking of awesome. I think Lucien makes an appearance in this. Outside of him, I don't think it's very tied to the sandman universe, frankly. But it stands on its own. One of the best books I've read. The art is pretty, and subtly mystical. It was the sleeper hit I didn't expect. Mike Carey dose an awesome job with his characters. He compares with Niel's run nicely.
The look and language instilled in this graphic novel, by Mike Carey and John Bolton, will put off many who aren't already familiar with "Books of Magic" or the "Sandman" graphic novels. That's a shame, because "Goth" is more than appropriate attire for the dangerous and duplicitous Faerie world and its denizens. Indeed, the image of Puck has barely been altered from certain "classical" depictions, giving this book a familial tie to the tradition of faerie illustration.
Even if some portions of the story seem rushed, particularly the final battle, the central conflict between Linda and her mother is the true heart of this story. This is a tale about moving from faux sophistication to compassionate adulthood, and it deserves a large readership.
The plot is a bit jumpy - a lot of things happen very quickly and with a great deal of melodrama. Perhaps if this were twice the length, Carey would have had the time to build a little more empathy. But as it is, he's forced to hit the reader with the drama bat at every turn.
The main character's angst is irritating and her inevitable redemption is entirely unearned. An attempt at crazy/beautiful/gothic/angst, she's actually self-absorbed throughout - even her moments of clarity and self-realization come across as self-pitying.
Although it tries to combine the majesty of Faerie with the grittiness of London noir, it falls short on both counts. If angsty teenagers getting involved in the Faerie civil war is really your thing, I'd recommend McKelvie's Suburban Glamour instead.
Bottom Line: this work gets 4 stars despite it's flaws because it has a lot of re-readable value.