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3.8 out of 5 stars
Nemo: Heart of Ice (Nemo Trilogy 1)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I found this on the shelf at my local library (the day, coincidentally that it caught fire; fortunately after I had checked out my books) and picked it up out of curiosity, having looked at the opening pages and saw that it appeared to be a sequel of sorts to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, though there is no introduction or explanatory text, not even a cover blurb. I found it vaguely interesting, but that was about it – it is 1925 and Captain Nemo the Second (daughter of the famous one) is in New York robbing the deposed African Queen of Kor of her treasures in the presence of her host, the newspaper magnate Kane. Kane hires a number of scientific adventurers (whose names I do not recognise, but assume are suitably contemporary) to pursue Nemo, who on a whim decides to emulate her late father’s trek across Antarctica. Kane’s adventurers pursue, to mostly meet unfortunate ends at the hands of the mysteries of the Last Continent; as does all but one of Nemo’s party. I recognised many of the Lovecraftian references, and the entrance to Pellucidar, though Metapatagonia, Antarctic France and the Underground Empire of the Alondsons were unfamiliar. And that was about it. If you are a follower of Messrs. Moore and O’Neill, then you will hopefully enjoy the book immensely; I merely enjoyed it moderately, as there was nothing to give the story context, and it had nothing else other than a catalogue of clever references to 1920s fiction (and possibly pseudoscience).
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2013
I couldn't not buy this spin-off having read all of the previous Extraordinary League of Gentlemen books. It's an interesting read, again combining Moore's passion for science-fiction and mysticism, and fleshes out a comparatively minor character well enough to make me hopeful that it will be the first spin-off of many. It is just a little short, but is any Alan Moore book ever long enough? The book itself is great quality too, and it's always nice to have a hardback instead of a paperback. Recommended for fans of the League!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2013
It's 1925 and Janni, the daughter of Captain Nemo, is now captain of the Nautilus and continuing her father's pirating ways. She and her crew rob an African Queen of her treasures while visiting New York and, in retaliation, a newspaper magnate called Kane sends some goons after her to reclaim it. Then Janni decides to take a trip to the Antarctic, emulating her father's journey years earlier and the goons follow. And in the Antarctic, they will see the Mountains of Madness. Gibberish ensues.

Yup, this is Alan Moore regurgitating more HP Lovecraft after his Neonomicon book a few years ago. This time he's doing the Mountains of Madness (MoM) story, incorporating it into his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) series, though if you've never read any of the other books, Heart of Ice can be read as a standalone book - that's also why it feels so pointless as it adds nothing to the overall LXG series.

Readers of LXG will remember Janni from Century: 1910 when she ran away from Nemo for a life on land and wound up in a brothel - it was a pretty terrible book, so a follow-up wasn't really necessary but here we go anyway. In Heart of Ice, Moore wants to show us how Janni became the cold-hearted person she was in later life though really a woman could become quite bitter being used as sex slave for years, so I'm not sure what the point of this book was.

The best parts of Moore's LXG series is the way he plays with famous characters and stories from culture, reimagining and twisting them in new and exciting ways. In Heart of Ice, he doesn't do anything new with Lovecraft's MoM story, he just retells it (how imaginative!), and badly at that too. Besides Janni, all of the characters look exactly the same, partly due to wearing heavy clothing due to the icy weather, and don't have distinct personalities. In LXG stories, the characters are based on a mix of famous and obscure fictional characters though, while I could recognise a few (Charles Foster Kane, Ishmael, Tom Swift), I didn't care about finding out more about the others, in contrast to previous LXG books.

MoM isn't Lovecraft's best story and in Moore's hands it manages to become even more tedious - Janni and co. wander about the ice, a big dark hole appears, a bizarre Lovecraftian monster show up, the end. It's too short and too lacking in any strong narrative to be a decent book. I get that the jumbled up sequence was supposed to illustrate why it's called the Mountains of Madness but it only further underlined how incoherent the story was up until that point and how little I cared about it or any of the characters.

I think he's trying to write an interesting classic adventure yarn but he's barely making any sense here, much like his later LXG books. Kevin O'Neill's artwork is just ok but he's done much better elsewhere and I found his work here to be particularly uninspired, especially when drawing Lovecraft's horrors.

Nemo: Heart of Ice is a waste of time on all levels with Moore revealing how tapped out he is at this point in his career. He may have written some classics 30 years ago but his latest stuff is forgettable and trite at best. If you want to read a great comic book adaptation of Lovecraft's story, check out INJ Culbard's At the Mountains of Madness.
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Many comic readers - you amongst them if you're reading this - will be familiar with 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' series, which tells stories set in a world where all the fictional characters we know are real. This is a fifty six page graphic novel that takes a character who featured strongly in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The: Century 1910, and gives her a story of her own.

Said character would be Janni, Captain Nemo's daughter. Who didn't want to inherit her father's mantle but ended up doing so nonetheless.

This book is something you could get into without too much difficulty if you haven't read that. But it's probably better to be more familiar with these stories before reading this in order to get a sense of what to expect.

Although you very probably have read them if you're reading this, so that may not be a problem.

Heart of Ice is written and drawn by the usual team of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. It starts with a piracy raid by the Nautilus which incurs the wrath of a certain American tycoon and a certain deposed African ruler. Who send a team of science adventurers out to get revenge.

Meantime, Janni is finding piracy is getting tiring. She craves something different. An adventure! An old log entry of her father's drives her to Antarctica in pursuit of such.

Where the Americans are awaiting. Along with other things neither of them suspected..

As with other works in this series, it does have strong and adult moments, so really isn't for children. Some of the new characters are completely obscure and you may not be familiar with them. Others are better known.

The art is as stunning and detailed as ever and really creates the setting. Especially in the Antarctic moments. There is a point in here where the narrative may confuse slightly and you may think 'what happened there did I miss something?' but stick with it because things do become apparent.

When they do, the story clicks, as you know what is going on.

It's not the most complicated or involved of stories. But as a character drama it's not bad, as it does allow Janni some development.

It does have many good moments though, particularly in the Antarctic scenes.

Not quite five star material. But not a bad read.

As usual there's also a short four page text section at the end, formatted in the style of something from the world of the story. This does serve a purpose and is worth a read. Not least if you struggled to realise who certain characters were.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2014
One corner of the hardback cover of the book was a bit damaged. The card board wrapping of the parcel hadn't protected it well enough. However, it was not enough of a damage to return the package, and this is a well known and common problem with shipping books.

However, delivery and general service has been good and positive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
I am a big fan of the 'league' series and of Alan Moore in general. I felt a little short changed by this as it is a fairly short story and does rely on a knowledge of HP Lovecrafts 'at the mountains of madness'. Still, the artwork is great as ever (thankyou Mr O'Neill) and the characters are engaging.
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on 6 November 2013
Nice spinn-off from the league series, Nemo's dauhter is a fascinating caracter and there are stuff for more novels following her. We see the last of her in Century 1969 where she transport the group to England and then return to Lincoln Island to die but there must have happened a lot inbetween.
Being a Tom Swift reader i actally enjoyed the portrayal of him in this book.

Moore in top form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2014
HP LOvecraft inspiration at it again! Mountains of MAdness this time, but who cares! iT'S ALL GOOD!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2014
Very good product. Delivery without any problems. Can't ask for more.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2013
It is by far the prettiest of the league books to date. It is a beautiful hardcover and is very much like a French comic with gorgeous illustrations and a shortish story. The story is very Lovecraftian, going to the South pole and finding only madness. Kevin O'Neill really out does himself with the graphics in this. The monsters, the cyclopean geography, the mountains of madness, all the things that are too unspeakable to describe, he manages to do and make them gorgeous. I think this was the first time that in the league book I actually preferred the art to the storytelling.

One of my favorite parts of this series though is the little short stories at the end. This was no exception. Totally hilarious piece by 1930s American woman journalist. It made me laugh lots! Brilliantly done in a gossip coloumn style of a debutante, talking about the wedding of Janni's daughter and the lord of the air pirates!

Definitely recommened even if you haven't read the other League books
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