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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2014
Snow White, the Deputy Mayor of Fabletown, and her wayward sister Rose Red venture out of the city and into the country to visit the Farm. This is where all of the Fable creatures who don’t look humanoid – the various talking animals, three giants and a dragon – are kept and whose presence is masked through enchantments. However this means they’re unable to leave the land without being seen by the mundys (slang for humans – as in “mundane”, ie. “normal”). This limiting of their freedom for hundreds of years has led to widespread discontent among as the Farm Fables as Snow and Rose are about to find out – the animals are revolting!

Like the first volume which was a murder mystery, the second volume of Fables is a self-contained five-issue story arc, though less generic and unfortunately less interesting. It’s a bit like a horror mystery as Snow and Rose find out the idyllic land harbours poisonous intentions that boils over into murderous actions kind of like in The Wicker Man (NOT the Nic Cage version which was a comedy. “HOW’D IT GET BURRRRNNNNEDD?!?!??!”).

Bill Willingham references well-known literary works like Lord of the Flies and of course Orwell’s Animal Farm though they only bear a superficial resemblance to this book as Willingham’s story doesn’t explore the same themes or in quite the same level of depth and thoughtfulness. Fables remains a straightforward series.

It’s enjoyable to see well known characters playing against type like the militant Goldilocks as she leads a communist-esque revolution as the female Che Guevara and Snow fighting Shere Khan from Kipling’s Jungle Book is exceedingly good (hehe!). And Willingham continues to explore the concept of the Fables themselves by establishing that they can live hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years yet retain youthful appearances, and how the more popular Fables can’t die no matter what injuries they sustain due to their popularity with the mundys. The more who believe in you, the more powerful you are – it’s not an original idea that I remember seeing for the first time in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books years ago.

Except the second book still feels like setup. I get that this is a complex world so Willingham needs more time to lay the groundwork of who the Fables are and how they live in our world, but the whole faux-revolution thing just didn’t work for me. Mostly because we know the real enemy of the series is the mysterious Adversary and not the talking pigs/Goldilocks, so they were never going to succeed thus defusing the tension of the story, but also because a chase plot isn’t that interesting. They run, they fight, they run some more, yeah ok. And the ending itself felt anticlimactic and drawn-out.

Snow and Rose are fairly interesting characters but shouldn’t really have books centred around them as they’re just not compelling enough. Snow is a goody-two-shoes and Rose is predictably rebellious – the stereotypical good sister/bad sister combo we’ve seen a million times before. Here, the more engaging characters like Bigby, Bluebeard and Jack were supporting players at best while Snow ran around a forest. The others, like the talking animals, are barely characters at all – they’re just interactive background really.

Animal Farm isn’t a terrible book and hasn’t put me off the series but it’s not terribly compelling either. It sets out some important information, it’s got some great art, and if you like Snow then you’ll enjoy this. But it’s also pretty dull quite often and predictable too. It’s ok, not great.
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on 7 May 2014
This second volume of the Fables series moves the focus to the non-human fairy tale creatures who live in upstate New York on their own private farm. This book is even better than the first volume, the storyline flows far more smoothly and the plot is more gripping in my opinion. Their is some wonderful intertextuality within the book with obvious references to Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. The artwork is fantastic and really brings the scenes to life, that said flicking panel by panel on the iPad mini through the Kindle app is not ideal, and I tend to read these on a full size iPad, the DC and Marvel comic portals are better generally. However that is by the by and does not distract from the obvious quality of this fantastic series. Although I'd rather have hard copies the £3 saving by getting Kindle version means I can by more of them. Awesome stuff
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on 2 October 2007
Picking up directly where "Legends in Exile" finished, Snow White and Rose Red go to visit the Farm. Here are all the Fables not in human form. They are pretty much forced to live here so that the "mundys" do not discover them as it's obviosuly harder for them to blend in with society. This goes double for creatures like dragons and giants.

Led by Goldilocks (she choose to stay with the three bears on the Farm), the animals are about to begin a revolution and take over Fable Town in New York. Whose side will Rose Red take and will Snow White and Reynard the Fox be able to stop them. Will the cavalry ever arrive in time...

Lots more familiar faces turn up like The Three Little Pigs, Shere Khan, Brere Rabbit and Chicken Little. It's a lot more violent and disturbing than the first in the series with some great references to Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the first in the series. I will definately be reading the next one though.
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on 9 August 2013
Fables is a graphic novel series in which a host of fairy-tale characters and mythological creatures have been forced to flee their home lands because of the mysterious Adversary. They have settled in New York, where they live parallel lives to our own, hiding their powers and gifts. In the first volume, we met Snow White and followed her journey to find out what had happened to her sister, Rose Red. In this second volume, Snow and Rose have journeyed to the Farm, home to all of the creatures that can not be hidden in every-day life (think giants and talking animals). Snow is there on routine business but it soon becomes apparent that not everything is as it should be on the Farm and a violent revolution is brewing, led by the pigs.

I liked Volume One of the Fables series, it didn't set my world alight but I liked it enough to pick up this second volume whilst I was in the library. I'm a big fan of Orwell's Animal Farm, so I was interested to see how Willingham would pay homage to the novel in his story. Of course, there's no Russian Revolution in the Fables version, but there are striking parallel's to Orwell's original, including the leadership/ double dealing of the pigs. I actually felt a bit sorry for the creatures forced to live on the Farm; their every wish was catered for by the human fairytale characters but they could never leave, even though their lives are practically immortal.

On the whole, I felt that Animal Farm was stronger than the previous installment, Legends in Exile. There wasn't as much need for world-building, leaving more room for plot and adventure. I like how we're starting to see some moral ambiguity in the series, and how there are splits in the Fabletown community. I'm looking forward to picking up the next volume soon.
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on 18 October 2013
All is not well at the Fable community of The Farm. Like the Orwellian namesake there is revolution in the air - and you won't guess who is leading it.

This is another excellent volume just as good as the first. There is enough you are familiar with to feel comfortable yet things are skewed in a fresh and imaginative way. Willingham is the master of pacing and drama and this is a compelling read right up to the last page. There is life or death action here and some pretty dark and gruesome moments which contrast well with folktale characters.

The art is great and there are some terrific double page spreads. The textbook straight borders are still present but the colouring between them changes appropriately and gilded frame flashback makes another appearance.

There is a bit of a false ending with almost an epilogue feel to it. Each issue has a `story so far' prose recap at the beginning which is a little redundant too. But overall an exciting read worthy of a high Thumbs Up!
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on 8 February 2014
It was down to 'The Wolf Among Us' game that got me into these comics. I thought Volume 1 was incredibly good and well written and this continues straight after.

To be honest, this isn't my favourite volume but there are so many of them, there had to be one I didn't enjoy so much. But still, its good to see the different fairy tale creatures interacting and the drawing was just on par with the previous volume.

I would recommend this to anyone, even if you are not much a fan of the comics.
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on 6 February 2014
As a fan of both fairy tales and Animal farm this was a clever and interesting take on it all. I didn't find the characters as interesting as the human fables, but the breadth of tales mined for animals was impressive and interesting.
Overall I was impressed again with the world building and would recommend this book heartily.
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on 15 January 2013
Great read and kept me page turning. You should certainly read the first volume before this one as it leads in nicely and gives a great intro to the characters.

Look forward to reading Volume 3.
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on 14 February 2014
This is an incredible second part to the Fables series. If you are into fairytales or graphic novels in any way at all you'll love this. The story lines and art work are phenomenal.
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on 27 January 2015
Love fairy tales and especially reworkings. The artwork is beautiful the story lines are fun, fast paced and will keep you reading well after you should stopped. Cant praise it highly enough.
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