Reviews. V for Vendetta, Issola

V for Vendetta, Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Good. Don’t get me wrong. Very good. Not quite good enough. I don’t buy the characters and plotlines the way I could the ones in Watchman. I didn’t care about the whole thing nearly as much. I wasn’t awestruck by literary genius. But don’t get me wrong. Very, very good.

In addition, it always gets under my skin when people use “enlightenment” or “illumination” as a justification for violence. And vengeance, too, is pretty low on my list of motivations. But…Watchmen pulled off the same thing, brilliantly and painfully, and made me like it. What bugs me, I guess, about the use here is that the characters who use such motives don’t pay for their actions the way they do in Watchmen. Sure (spoiler here), V bites it. He dies. Know what? Everybody dies. Mere death doesn’t count as payment for one’s actions. And the girl who takes over for him in the end…she should have died. She stands in front of the crowd at the end, makes a big speech, and disappears. But she should have died, right then and there. Some guy claiming to be Timothy McVeigh stands on a brick wall and starts talking about freedom, you don’t let him walk just because someone in authority said he was dead.

But it’s still better than anything that I’ve written, and better than most of the stuff that I’ve read.

But I can’t include Issola, by Stephen Brust, in that category.

Stephen Brust is almost a master of the craft — we’re talking one or two more books before the status is unquestionable. He was always close, and here he gets closer. I won’t put any spoilers in here, becuase bad things will happen to me if I do. If there’s anything that’ll make my in-laws come after me…

Brust has begun to pull everything together: his themes seem to be converging.. To Reign in Hell is suggested, as is The Gypsy. I didn’t like Agyar — mostly becuse I picked up the thing and identified the character as a varmpire from the first page — but I want to read it again, because it seems…important.

This isn’t the book to start with. It’s the least stand-alone of all the Vlad books so far.

More than this I shall not say. (Woman, bite your tongue!)

Go Brust!