Monday, April 24, 2017

The Hellblazer Vol 1: The Poison Truth by Simon Oliver


I haven't read much of Constantine.I liked the movie with Keanu Reeves, and I loved the Shoe with Matt Ryan when it was on. I think that was cancelled way to soon. Anyway, the tv show really got me interested in the darker more adult titles from Vertigo. So I started to read the Hellblazer seires but didn't get very far. When this came up on Netgalley from DC Comics I knew I had to request this book. 

This is definitely a dark book with a lot going on that seem small but I'm sure will tie into a bigger story. Not going to lie at times I had no idea what was going on and felt a little out of the loop. This may be because I wasn't reading this book before Rebirth but I don't know. This book opens up John Constantine leaving the US and heading back to his home in London. Constantine then tries to defeat a demon but unleashing a deadly curse on London which will collect all of the souls of the people and shoot them into the demon all at once. It would wipe it out but also kill a lot of people. It is a dangerous bluff. This is a nice little warm up to sort of reintroduce this character to new readers and veteran readers since Rebirth began.

Next we get a collaboration story with Swamp Thing. I have always been intrigued by Swamp Thing but never intersted enough to read his books so I really enjoyed the fact he is in this book and that the story kind of ties to him. Swamp Thing is trying to find his counterpart in the scheme of things and he needs John's help. John has his own things going on so the story bounces between the two characters but it meshed well for the most part.

I did enjoy this book quite a bit. The only issues I had with it is the fact I had moments where I didn't understand what was going on and even after a re-read of that section I still felt lost. Also, the artwork could be a little better. I know the original books had that gritty low detail kind of artwork so this kind of sticks with the formula, but I know this could be so much more. It could be creepier and darker with more detail. The covers like the one I included with this post are the best pieces of artwork in the book. I will give this 3 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King



This was an amazing book!!! I have loved every instillation in the Dark Tower series more and more. This is what I wrote when I reviewed this book the first time I read it almost 6 years ago. I take pride in saying that this statement still holds up for me. I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. The biggest is we finally get back on the path of the beam. The bonus and second reason I love this book is the crossover with Salem's Lot which happens to also be one of my favorite books. I also like the western feel to this book which says something because I am not usually a fan of westerns.

Reading the reviews before and as I read I noticed a lot of people were not happy with the pace and the length of it. There might have been a few things that could have been left out to cut down on the length, but as long as this is, it didn’t feel that long. I seemed to breeze through this when I first read this in hardback and I couldn't stop listening to this in Audio form this time around.

In this book the four Gunslingers come across a town on their journey to the tower and are asked for some assistance. This town, Calla Bryn Sturgis, is having one child from there many sets of twins taken by the Wolves every 23 years or so. The children are returned to the towns people but they aren't the same. Devoid of higher brain function and they grow to massive proportions these children are what the towns people called Roont and there is no better word to describe them. This is the year the wolves return to claim these children and the town doesn’t want this to continue any longer. While in the town Roland and his Ka-Tet stay try and uncover the many mysteries these people hide while preparing for war.

This is an amazing story and every book has kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are so well developed I felt like part of the town. As I mentioned earlier we meet up with Father Callahan from Salem's Lot and his story of what happens to him after that book is really interesting and weaves its way through every thing the Ka-Tet has been through up to this point.  For those who have not read the Dark Tower series I would highly recommend it. This is still one of my favorite books in this series and it is still a 5 out of 5 star read. I'm looking forward to continuing my journey again and it looks like I just might finish before the movie comes out.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Deathstroke Vol 1: The Professional by Christopher Priest


I have always liked Deathstroke. He was the villainous equal to Batman in a sense of being super calculating and meticulous. That being said he does have this lighter side to him that makes him sort of an anti-hero. It makes this character very deep and interesting. I have read a few of the books Deathstroke is in but I have never really dug into the character like this book has. Since I am a fan and DC Comics and Netgalley were so kind to allow me to read this for a review I anxiously read through this. 

I usually save the art work for the end of the review but I have to share this cover. This type of detail runs through most of the book and I was really impressed. For being so evil and cold these pictures are really vibrant. There may not be a lot of colors but this cover alone is both bright and dark and gives off so much emotion. 
Now, on to the story. I will admit that I was a little lost through this book and will need a re-read in the future to get everything going on in this book. I felt that this book even though it was a Rebirth story would have been better if I had read the previous books. So here is the long and the short of the plot. Slade Wilson, like every other character in the DC Universe he is reinventing who he is and what he stands for. We get to see glimpses into Slade's past and his family life. We also find out that someone has a contract out on Slade's daughter. Now Slade has to figure out who is out to destroy every part of his life. 

Here is where I got excited. Who better for Slade to turn to for help by Batman. He doesn't really ask nicely but instead kidnaps Robin to make Batman sort of babysit Slade's teenage daughter. This part was the best part of the book, but don't get your hopes up. We don't find anything out in this volume. We get exactly the story we should have at this point because this is going to be big. I enjoyed this book. I am so glad I got to read it and I do plan on moving on to Vol 2 when it comes out. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz


The name is Bond. James Bond, and he wants his martini shaken not stirred. Not a frickin Heineken like they use in the Danniel Craig bond movies. I'n not going to get into my distaste for the recent bond films. This book is bond as we all know and love him. Anthony Horowitz is an amazing author because he can find the voice of classic characters and write it like you were reading it from Ian Fleming himself. He did an amazing job with the Sherlock Homes novels he has written so I was very excited to see him not only pen the new Bond novel, but to be able to incorporate actual material from Ian Fleming. 

This book has absolutely everything. Fast cars, espionage, action, women, and a crazy plot that is so interesting you can't help but keep reading. Bond is facing the international organization SMERSH in a race to find out what is going on between the West and the Soviets in their race to not only control the world, but to control the space race. This starts out feeling like it is a sequel to Goldfinger and I think this is where Ian Fleming's work comes into play. Horowitz does such a great job of capturing Fleming's voice that it is impossible to know what material was the original and what was Horowitz expanding this to a full story.

Horowitz explains when he was asked to write the next James Bond novel, he was given access to all kinds of Fleming  writing. It turns out there was talks of a Bond TV show and Ian Fleming had written some of the stories for them. Bond has been in all kinds of different adventure situations but a Grand Prix race wasn't one of them. While trying to get closer to SMERSH to figure out what exactly their plans are to interfere with the US launch of a new rocket.

I loved this book. I realize this review is a little disjointed and that is because I wrote this in sections. I started this book a year ago and just now finished it. The time frame had nothing to do with the book in a sense that it was dull. I just have two wonderful young kids and they don't like to let their Dad read on the weekends. It was impossible to find any time to get this book read. So I wanted to make sure that I was able to hit on the key points of the plot in my review before I forgot about them. I wish I could have read this all at once because it was great. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this to any fan of the Bond series. I really enjoyed this book and I'm so glad I was able to get some time this weekend to finish this.   

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies by Greg Rucka


I have always liked Wonder Woman. She really is this positive role model for girls to show they can be strong and confident. I didn't read Wonder Woman until Crisis on Infinite Earths and then I didn't read her through New 52 except for one of the volumes. Rebirth has brought my favorite heroes back to the greatness they once had before New 52 so when I had the chance to read this for a review from NetGalley and DC Comics I took it. Thank you to DC Comics and NetGalley. 

So you need a little bit of Wonder Woman history before I get into things so bare with me. Originally Wonder Woman was the creation of her mother and sand on the beach of her home. The amazons are devoid of men so there is no children running around and Hippolyta wanted a daughter. She formed a baby girl out of the sands of Themyscira and beg the gods to bring this child to life. It was always a very touching story and one I have enjoyed. New 52 changed things, Wonder Woman became the child of Zeus making her a Goddess. 

This volume we find a Wonder Woman torn apart by conflicting memories. She remembers the original story and being the child of Zeus so she is having a crisis of identity. At the very begining we see this crisis and struggle to the point that we see her change from the sit she has worn all through New 52 to the Wonder Woman suit of old which was a great moment. Part of this struggle to find herself she realizes that she cannot fine Themyscira, she can't go home. To do that she needs to find help and she finds it in the most unlikely place. Diana seeks out one of her enemies known as Cheetah. Cheetah blames Diana for the curse she is under and it becomes quite a challenge for Diana to bring her around to help her and in return find a way to help get Cheetah back to her original self.   
Once she is able to convince Cheetah to help her she finds herself in the exact same place as good old Steve Trevor. She is now trying to rescue him and his team while trying to kill a creature who has kidnapped women from the local village. This does open up one of my favorite pages in the whole book which just highlights the point aI made earlier about Wonder Woman being a symbol for women to be strong. If you can't read what Wonder Woman is saying it is "...let us share your courage" which to me showed that as strong as she is there are still women out there in the world who see through some of the most horrible conditions. I just liked this page and had to share it. I enjoyed this book so much and I can't wait for the next volume to come out because I will be continuing this series. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. 





Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)


I can't tell you how long it has been since I saw a movie on opening weekend. I think the last one I saw opening weekend was one of the Harry Potter Movies or Batman Begins. I always waited a week or two so I could get a good seat without having to be there 2 hours early. Now with reserved seating this isn't a problem. So I decided I was going to take my wife out for a much needed date night. To be honest, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was looking forward to seeing this movie myself. Writing that makes me feel like I need to run out and punch someone just to feel a little more manly. Think about this from a guys point of view. A beautiful brunet who loves books and doesn't mind dating a guy who looks less than handsome makes her my favorite of the Disney Princess. Thankful I found my Belle to my Beast. My wife loves books just as much as I do.

This movie was very well done. Turning a cartoon into a live action version isn't a small feat and Disney has done a very good job so far doing this. The characters are fantastic and the cast is even better. I didn't know anyone who was in this movie except for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens so I really enjoyed seeing all the different actors I knew in these perfect roles. I know Ian McKellen was Cogsworth but the rest was a surprise to me. Josh Gad did an amazing job as LeFou, and Luke Evans was perfect for the role of Gaston. To be honest I have really enjoyed Luke Evans in everything I have seen him in so he is one of those actors I will go out of my way to watch. Hea was really good in the Hobbit movies and Dracula Untold. The rest of the cast was just fantastic also and it made this movie that much better. 

You would have to be living under a rock if you don't know the story of Belle and the Beast so I wont bore you with the summary. What I will tell you is this movie brings in more backstory of what happened and why the castle is cursed. There are also all the original songs you know and love but one or two were added to this movie and they fit perfectly. The orchestra was so good that I got goose bumps from the overture and songs that while I waited for my wife to get out of the bathroom after the movie I bought the soundtrack right there in the theater. Thank you iTunes. I also to the opportunity to pre-order the movie too. 

We really enjoyed this movie and agree that if we had more disposable income we would go see this again. If you are a fan of this movie in its original form then I highly recommend you go see this. The nostalgia alone is worth it. It was also worth it to listen to my wife quietly recite the lines that are word for word right out of the cartoon. I give this movie a  5 out of 5. 
     

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter


I have become a big fan of Karin Slaughter's and this book is one I was anxiously waiting to come available at the library. I have read all of her books and I have to say my favorite characters are Sarah Linton and Will Trent. I love these complex characters and the relationship they have, as messed up as that is. As much as I love these characters Karin Slaughter has written some of the characters I hate the most and this book is no exception. 

This book starts off with a murder and like most thrillers do but the situation around the killing is completely unknown to us. Flash forward and we find little clues that link Will's tortured past to this case. The biggest link is that this case looks to involve his Wife (but not really wife) Angie. I absolutely hate Angie's character. she is a horrible self involved character who only cares about her self and she doesn't care who she destroys in the process of making her happy. So a quick reason why Angie is Will's wife. They grew up together in the orphan system and have spent most of their lives together. Will married her when they were very young and she will not let him divorce her. She comes and goes as she pleases and sometimes for months at a time, but will still waited for her to return. That is until he met Sarah. No Angie does whatever she can to destroy the relationship that Will and Sarah are trying to build. 

All I can say is I was really hoping to not have to deal much with Angie in this book and that would have been great, but she does find a way to continue to drive a wedge between Sarah and Will. Now with all that I have said about the characters and their relationships, I could see that you might thing this is a romance novel with an odd love triangle. Not going to lie, there is a weird love triangle. however this is just the background story. The rest of the book is about this woman who is being controlled by her over bearing violent husband. In order to protect herself and their child she has to do what he says, even when she knows he is raping women with his buddy for fun. The suspense is consistent throughout this book. This one really does grab you from the beginning and never let you go. I have mentioned that I have been in a reading funk lately. The only thing I have been excited to read is the comics I have been reviewing. This book was the first book in a long time that I have been excited to get back to and I didn't find something else to do instead of listening. My previous books I would listen to for a couple hours and then I would listen to music or start a show on my phone and listen to it while I worked for the most part. This book was the first thing I would listen to all day. I did keep up with my Podcasts a few days but that was only an hour of my day and the rest was for this book. 

Like a lot of Karin Slaughter's books the subject matter is some pretty rough violence against women which can be hard to read so here is your warning. That being said, Slaughter has this way of writing a book so well that even though the subject matter can make you sick to your stomach, you still can't wait to turn the page and find out if the scum bag gets what's coming to him. The story is very well written and I highly recommend this read. This book does have a beginning and an end so this is one you could pick up and read through having never read the series, but I wouldn't recommend this. There is a lot about Will and Angie's history and the relationship between Will and Sarah which is good to be in the know on. You really need to at least have read the Will Trent books before this one to really get what is going on. Trust me, if you know the history of the characters you will have move goosebump moments from shock and surprise than you will if you pick this up as your first Karin Slaughter Book. Well, I guess it is time to give you my rating. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This is well worth it.