Tag Archives: End of the World

Y – The Last Man – Volume 1: Unmanned by Brian K Vaughan and Art by Pia Guerra

Y - The Last Man - Volume 1 - Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan Title: Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Pia Guerra
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
ISBN: 978-1563899805
Genre: Comics, Graphic Novels
Pages: 128
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Yorrick Brown is the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. He does not know why and his entire world goes for a toss in this mysterious circumstance.

Interesting isn’t it? That’s what I thought as well and loved the premise. When I picked up the book and got done with the first volume, I loved it even more. The story is unique and begs to be a television series.

Image 1

The illustrations by Pia Guerra are sharp and display the post-apocalyptic world (well almost) quite interestingly. Yorrick then begins his journey with his pet monkey, a young geneticist and a government agent to go find his girlfriend halfway across the world and to figure how he happened to be the last man on earth.

Just for the premise, I would say you have to read this comic series. Brian K. Vaughan does an amazing job of this and this is before Saga was worked on. It is only a collection of ten volumes, so it does end somewhere. The narrative is so fast that there were times I had to go back and forth, just to make sense of it all. All that I can say is that the series will not disappoint me and yes I say this without having read the other volumes. I did pick up two, three and four right after. Go on and read this one.

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Y: The Last Man VOL 01: Unmanned

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 9781447268970
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 333
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

I could have easily finished this book in a day. That’s what I normally do when I start reading a book and I am totally immersed in it. That was also the case with “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. I was gripped by the prose and the beauty of the language and I could have finished it in one day. But my journey or love affair with the book lasted for five days and I also know that it does not end here. I will constantly keep thinking of the book, and will also reread my favourite parts which I have marked and will cherish for a long time to come.

On the surface of things, “Station Eleven” might seem to be just another post-apocalyptic novel, but it is way beyond that. It is a testimony to us being human and more than anything else, to the survival power art can have in our lives and to a very large extent about the role of memory and how it can be, both cruel and kind.

“Station Eleven” is more than the regular novel, well at least to me it is. Why do you ask? Because it makes you feel things on a different level. How else can I put it? It also makes you perhaps live this life a little better than you already are and if a book manages to do that, then it is supreme to me.

“Station Eleven” is not about the end of the world, as most people say it is. It is to me the beginning of a new world and new hopes and aspirations that never die, no matter what. The book is about a pandemic that wipes out almost three-quarters of the world and more. There is nothing left. The old world or the world that we knew is gone. The new world has no electricity, no cars, no Internet, you get the drift. People drift. People try and settle. Things are no longer what they used to be at all.

Twenty years have passed since. Humans are trying very hard to reconstruct life – new ways, new means and The Traveling Symphony, that travels on foot, putting up performances – musical and that of Shakespeare. Amidst this there is a prophet and his band of people which the Traveling Symphony encounter and from there things go haywire. And I cannot forget at the core of all of this, lies a comic, which you will only know more about, when you read the book.

Of course, I cannot say much because that would mean giving away the plot, which I do not want to. Memory plays a major role in the book, as I mentioned earlier. It is these memories that help people survive the new world and also for some it seems best to forget them, in order to move on. The small bits of the book make it so worthwhile a read: When newscasters say goodbye, when there is a glimmer of hope that maybe things will not be the same and someone will come to rescue the living, when people will do anything to hang on to faith of any kind because it is so needed, when you don’t realize that this might be the last cup of coffee you drink or the last orange you eat and when the most insignificant things become the most significant.

“Station Eleven” manages to evoke multiple emotions in you as a reader. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it even makes you want to believe in humanity when it is dying all around you in the book, but I think above all it makes you hope, no matter what. The idea is not about apocalypse or what happened in the new world, as much as it is about reinventing and recreating the world with memories. The book is about the connections we have with people (as the six people in this book do with each other in some or the other manner), about how the beauty of the world can never be lost, about life hangs on to the very end and how perhaps we need to give ourselves more credit for being human. I cannot stop recommending this book enough and I will not. I think everyone should read this book, just about everyone.

Here is the book trailer:

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Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) by Mira Grant

Mira Grant (a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire) has written about two of my favorite things… blogging and zombies. Put them together and you have a winner – at least with me. In Feed, Bloggers are seen almost as heroes. If it weren’t for them and their blog posts humanity would have had a lot more casualties during “The Rising”. Thanks to their posts giving pointers on how to kill a zombie humanity survived.

It’s been 20 years since the initial “Rising” and, bloggers/sister and brother team, Georgia and Shawn Mason along with their sidekick and all-knowing technological guru Buffy, have been selected to follow Senator Ryman throughout his presidential campaign. As part of the Senator’s press team, their mission is to bring the truth to the people. To those people who remain indoors most of the time (obviously as part of their survival tactics), to see and learn of the man that may one day be their President. They were hoping that their honest reporting might get them new followers and increase their blog ratings… they were definitely not thinking that their lives might be in danger – zombies being the least of their problems.

This book was excellent! At a little over 600 pages it was a little intimidating at first and although it did have a slow start (there was a lot of explaining taking place in the beginning) about 100 or so pages in when conspiracies start flying, it really picks up. I had a tough time putting it down actually. I must confess that what initially made me want to read the book were the zombies, but I found that I was more captivated by the characters – Georgia, Shawn, Buffy, their blogs, the Senator, his campaign and the iminent danger caused by humans than I was by the actual brain munchers.

Told mostly in the first person through Georgia Mason’s perspective and scattered blog entries (including Shawn and Buffy’s) you get a full scope of what’s going through each of their minds. Using these methods you are really able to connect with these characters. Ms. Grant has a sense of humor since you can see it shine brightly in her characters. You can also tell she did her research since there are a lot of pop culture references, George Romero idolizing… I’m sure many zombie flicks were watched in the making.

Now if you’re looking for a zombie book full of blood and guts… this is definitely not the one. The zombies are more like background noise. You know they are there, you are even scared of what you might find just around the next corner, but they are not at the forefront of the story. This story is about the characters, about a world that was changed by this zombie epidemic, a world left scarred but that survived nonetheless.

I loved it! There was action, adventure, betrayal, political intrigue, even weapons of mass destruction… and through it all the possibility of becoming a zombie’s main dish. Needless to say, I have no complaints about this one. I’ve been ranting and raving to anyone that will stop and listen. So yes, read it!

Feed – Newsflesh Book 1; Grant, Mira; Orbit Books; $9.99