Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!!! After a year filled with ups and downs I am ready to start fresh. I have big hopes for what lies ahead for me and my family in the new year. Each new year I take some time to reflect on what has happened and try to move past some of the rougher moments. This past year has had a lot of change for me, and I am usually not very good with change. The biggest change for me was the birth of my beautiful daughter. I have a son who is 4 and an absolute joy, but when I heard my wife was going to have a girl I was terrified. I don't know anything about girls. I'm still shocked I landed my wife and that she has been with me for 8 amazing years of marriage, let alone the 11 years total.

The other change for me, that took a lot of courage for me, was to become a blogger. I have followed several blogs for years such as Angela's Anxious Life and Read and Reviewed. I have always wanted to be a writer, but I have been terrified of any form of social networking. You will not find me on Twitter or Facebook. I wanted to try my hand at writing and see what people actually thought. So far all I write here is reviews, but I am slowly building up my courage to write something original to post here. This was a big step for me, and I am loving it. Blogging has become a new fun hobby that has allowed me to read more and share my opinions with a very large audience.

I really need to thank all of you who read this regularly and comment . You all have given me confidence to keep going with my blog. The only other person I need to thank is my wife for her encouragement and editing skills. She usually reads my post before I post them to make sure I didn't make a total fool of myself. What would I ever do with out my wonderful wife?

I have taken quite a break from blogging because of being so busy. I am dying to get back into it and have had some posts that I am really proud of. Doctor Sleep was one that I loved writing almost as much as I did reading the book. So as I reflect on 2013 I have had a lot to be happy about and even more to look forward to in 2014. The next few posts I have set up will be some of the reflections I've had. A friend of mine posted on her blog an end of the year survey she found so I can't wait to take the survey myself. I also want to share the best and worst books I read in 2013. Thankfully there weren't any books I just couldn't stand but a few I was disappointed in. I did read several amazing books that I can't wait to revisit down the road. For now I will just revisit my thoughts and take a moment to brag about the books and authors a little more.

Since I have rambled on long enough I want to wish everyone a New Year filled with joy and success. I hope you continue to visit my blog, and please feel free to leave comments. Good or bad I like to know people read this stuff.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I started this book right when it came out. I was waiting a long time because Doctor Sleep was originaly set to come out in January 2013, but then it was pushed back to September. I made it a little over half way through the book when I had to take quite a break from reading due to life changing events. It always bothered me not having time to pick up this book because the story was really good and I was hooked. Plus I hate leaving things unfinished. I was so glad when things calmed down, and I was able to jump back into this. I couldn't put it down. That break gave me new excitement to find out which road King would lead me down next. Once it was finished I decided I needed to take some time and really think over what I wanted to say about this book. After a few days of thinking about it I am still at a loss for words.  I loved this book, and I wasn't sure I was going to. Sequels can be a let down sometimes.

I have only been reading King for a few years now. My first King novel was The Cell and I loved that one. I was hooked instantly. When Lisey's Story came out the following year, I jumped at the chance to get it. That book killed King for me, so I didn't bother reading anymore for a long time. Three years ago a bunch of friends started telling me how great the Dark Tower series is, and I was willing to give it a try. With how many people said they loved this series I decided that I had to read it for myself. Those books made me the die hard "Constant Reader" I am today. Since reading those I have made it my mission to read all of his work and collect some select titles in hardcover. Last year  I decided to read The Shining in preparation of this book. It was also January, and I figured that was the perfect time to read The Shining while snow fell outside. I really liked The Shining but it wasn't as scary as I had expected. It didn't scare me like  IT and Salem's Lot. Still, it was a really good story. Doctor Sleep was the same for me. Not scary, but a wonderful story filled with real, likable characters that had me hooked from the very beginning.

I loved this book!!! It was a thrill to see Danny Torrence as an adult who tried so hard not to follow in his father's footsteps but ended up just like him. The other main character in this book,  Abra, was so well written that I loved every time she was featured. Abra is a teenage girl who has the shine so strong that she has powers and abilities that rival those of Danny himself. The way King writes characters is amazing. He makes you feel like each one is a close friend you have known all your life. It really allows me to get into his books.

There really is so much to love about this book. I could probably go on for pages. Some of the things I really enjoyed was reading more about the "Shine". We get to see more of what this can do in both Danny and Abra. King also introduces us to a group of travelers who call themselves the True Knot. These people feed off of the shine and are becoming a threat to Abra. This book was really fast paced, and I was hooked from the very beginning. I will say that this can be read alone if you haven't read The Shining, but it will spoil the ending of The Shining, and there are some references that you might miss out on as well. Dr. Sleep is not one of King's scarier stories, but it was amazingly written, and I actually would love to know more about Abra or even the True Knot. King could do a whole book on the True Knot, and I would be fine with that. Maybe down the road he will wonder about what Abra is up to and write a book featuring her. Like King did, Danny is one of those characters that as soon as I finished The Shining I wondered what would become of him. This book is definitely one of my favorites, and I give this an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars. I would say this is a must read for any Stephen King fan.

One last thing before I end this review. I am usually not a fan of book trailers. I think they are cheesy and a good book should speak for itself. If I am not captivated by reading the dust jacket  or the description on Goodreads then a trailer is not going to get me to read it. That being said, I really think the Doctor Sleeep trailer was pretty cool. It has some things that having read the book I picked up on. It was also rather creepy to watch. So I decided to include it here. If you haven't seen the trailer then check it out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin by Jim Butcher

A little over a year ago I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try the Dresden Files series. I am not a fan of Sci-Fi/Fantasy other than The Lord of the Rings. A bunch of my friends on Goodreads kept raving about how great this series was, and I was intrigued by the description of the first book. I love detective stories, and these are written like a noir detective novel but with magic, vampires, and faeries. The writing was great, and the one liners Harry Dresden kept throwing out where hilarious. I was hooked from book one.

When I found out there were comics based off the books, I couldn't get to my library fast enough to get them. There are more I need to read, but a little while ago I was on Netgalley and saw the new Dresden Files graphic novel available. I downloaded it and couldn't wait to loose myself in the world Jim Butcher builds. Thank you Netgalley and Dynamite publishing for allowing me to read this. There are a bunch of books in the Dresden File series that I haven't read, so I am not sure if this is based on one of them, so for me this is an individual story and very well done.

In this book Harry is approached by a small town sheriff who has some violent and strange murders on his hands. Harry is interested in finding out what is going on and makes a trip outside of Chicago fighting the flu and a recent battle with a water creature. The story was pretty good. My attention was held all the way through, and I did enjoy this. I didn't think this was as good as some of the books I have read in the past, but this was a fun read. The art work in this book isn't bad, but not as good as it has been in previous comics adaptations. This book didn't have the same feel to the Dresden character that I picture in my head and has been in other comics.

I have read so many amazing graphic novels this year that when I compare this to those I feel this book could have been better. The story could have been a bit stronger, and the art work could definitely been better. Still, I liked this book, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to read this. I can't wait for the next Dresden Files comic to come out. I am going to give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars.  This is for any fan of the Dresden Files books and comics, but if you are a fan of comics and not Jim Butcher's big series this is not where I would start.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thumbprint by Joe Hill

I love comics. If you have ever read my blog you would know that at times there are more graphic novel reviews posted than actual books. One series that I have been a big fan of is Joe Hill's Locke and Key. I really enjoyed the writing in the series. I am not a fan of his novels much, because I keep comparing him to his dad StephenKing. Every time I do, Hill comes up short, and I just can't get into the book. His graphic novel series was different for me and I really liked it. When I saw this Kindle single adapted into a graphic novel I jumped on the chance to read it.

Again I would have to admit that I was disappointed. The whole story is about soldiers behaving badly and the consequences of coming home with secrets. The idea sounded interesting. A soldier arrives home to find a mysterious thumbprint left on a card. The mystery drew me in at first, but I just couldn't get past the soldiers and their actions. I have read new articles, and this type of stuff happens. I am not in the military, so I have no idea what it is like to serve, but I like to think of our heroic men and women who do serve being honorable, and the stuff in this story bothered me. It kind of ruined the rest of it.

To add to this, the artwork wasn't very good either. There was a lack of detail to the panels that made this feel mediocre. This is a story driven book with little to no action. This makes sense that the art work isn't impressive since it is the story that is important. However, when I read a graphic novel I want to enjoy the art work just as much. This is one of those books where I've read it, and now I can move on. I will have to give this only 2 out of 5 stars. In the end I wasn't impressed with the story or the art work, and I slightly felt like I wasted the little time I have to read on this. I have a few other graphic novels I need to read and would have rather read those. I think Joe Hill is a good writer. I just think that he might not be for me. I am still looking forward to book 6 in the Locke and Key series with anticipation.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick

My wife and I took turns reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret to our son as a bedtime story. We all really liked it, and I wanted to read more by Brian Selznick. On a regular trip to the library I decided to see what they had in for Selznick. Honestly I was really hoping they had his newer one Wonderstruck, but I saw this and figured my son would love anything having to do with magic.

This is a lot shorter than it looks. Like Invention of Hugo Cabret there are words and pictures throughout the book, and I do enjoy his illustrations. The story takes up a little over half of the book. The other half of the book is a brief history of Houdini and how this book came to be published. Both were very interesting, and I enjoyed them, but my 4 year old couldn't care less.

The story is a good one. Victor is a young boy who hero worships Houdini. In a brief moment  in a train station he meets his idol and asks as many questions as he can. If I elaborate any more I will give away the whole story.  

This was a good book that my son and I enjoyed. I will give this three out of five stars for the simple fact that I wanted more. Be warned, I will not spoil anything, but the ending leaves you hanging. I turned the page expecting more and that was it. There could have been a good deal more to the story that would have made this a higher rated title in my mind.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm still here.... (Sort of)

Anyone who reads my blog fairly regularly must have noticed that it has been pretty quiet around here lately. For that I am sorry. I really miss writing these posts, and I miss reading even more. I haven't been able to pick up a book in awhile.

There is big news in my life these days!!! After years of looking for a new job I have finally landed a good one. I have hated working in a retail setting and I have been desperately trying to get a big boy job. I have been in retail for 14 years now and actively looking for something else for a little over six years now. Last Monday I started my new job, but it has taken a lot of my time. I will not have health benefits until January, so I am working my old job part time until then so I can keep my family insured. From now to January I am studying for two certification exams that I will take to keep my new job. This means I am studying like crazy and have yet to actually do what I was hired for.

I am so overwhelmed by it all, and I haven't had time to read anything other than my study materials. Currently I'm over halfway through Doctor Sleep, and it is killing me not being able to continue. It's really good at this point. I'm also close to halfway finished with Insugent which is a series I put off reading until now, and it is enjoyable. There are also a few graphic novels I have sitting in my to-read pile as well that are collecting digital dust. I'm going crazy not being able to read for fun, or blog, or participate in the memes that I look forward to every week.

All I can ask is hang in there. I hope to at least finish the books I'm reading at some point or read the graphic novels, because I can usually read those in under a half hour. Those reviews will of course be posted here. I also had a lot of fun with my Halloween Week, so I am hopeful I can do the same thing for Christmas. There are movies my wife and I watch every Christmas season that I would love to review and talk about with anyone who has seen them. I'm hopeful that studies calm down enough, or I have confidence to back off a bit to write a few reviews.

I still want to blog, and I still love doing it, so don't think this is the end. I'm not burnt out at all, and I am really missing this. I will not be like so many bloggers who get burnt out and stop writing and that's it. I hope to at least have some sort of presence here again soon, so I can keep things interesting to those of you who read me. Wish me luck with my studies, and I hope to be back soon. I'm just on a bit of a hiatus for now. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Despicable Me 2

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This day allows us to share news on upcoming releases that have us on the edge of our seats in anticipation

Well it's movie time again. Recently I have been really excited for a bunch of movies to come to Blu-Ray. This is definitely one of those. I wanted to take my son to go see this movie in the theater so bad because we all loved the first. When this movie came out we just didn't have the money to risk on a 3 year old sitting through it. We still have a dollar show here and I wanted to take him when it finally arrived there. Well it seemed like we just never had the time in our busy lives to go. My heart breaks thinking about not getting to take my son to see it at the theater. Now I 'm very excited that this is finally coming out. 

December 9th is when this will be available to own but of course you can pre-order it now. I was planning on getting this for my son for Christmas but I don't think I can wait. I will more than likely rush out after work on that Tuesday and get it so we can watch it over the weekend. Here is one of the better trailers in case you haven't seen it:

I loved the first one, Steve Carell is hilarious as Gru, and the minions are even better. We laugh so much when we watch the first movie. The first movie is one I have yet to tire of, my son loves to watch it over and over again and I am fine with that. I am really hoping this one is just as good and can't wait to sit down with the family and a bowl of popcorn to share. 

If you have seen this movie let me know what you think in the comments. I still can't wait to see it and I am sure I will love it, but I always like to hear what others think. Talking about movies is just as fun for me as talking about books. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Star Trek Vol 6: After Darkness by Mike Johnson

 I really wish I had read the earlier volumes first. I loved both of the recent Star Trek movies and recently I found that they have a comic book series based off of them. When I saw this was going to follow the movie I thought it would be a lot of fun to continue the story after Into Darkness ended. What I didn't expect was how much would be referenced from previous volumes. A little part of the story revolved around a secret army that Admiral Marcus was creating, but then there was an encounter with Gorn that I missed.

Even thought the synopsis says this is a continuation of the movie, there was very little that had to do with the Klingons and repercussions from events that happened in the movie. Instead this revolves around Spock and his delayed puberty or Pon Far as the Vulcans call it. Even though it wasn't what I expected I enjoyed this story a lot. Even though this wasn't at all what I expected the action of the story line made this a worthwhile read.

Spock is overcome by his emotions because he is half human. Pon Far is taking a much greater toll on him and his rage becomes uncontrollable. He breaks free of restraints and it is up to Krik to and the crew of the enterprise to find him and help him, otherwise he would be lost forever.

There are a few other little story lines that happen in this graphic novel, but I didn't care to much about them. It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. The art work was pretty good in this book. The characters are drawn as the actors from the movies and some were drawn better than others. It isn't the best artwork in a comic I have seen but I have seen worse.

I liked this book and I am glad I read it. I will give this book 3 stars. I might have rated it higher is the art work was better and the other story lines were interesting enough to make me want to rush out when Vol 7 is available. For now I am content having read this but not to interested in continuing the series.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Normally I am not a big fan of YA. I read the Hunger games and really liked it so I try to keep an open mind and trust in my wife's judgement when picking up a YA title. I also like Dystopian style books so I was curious as to what this one was about and figured it would be worth try. Tons of people I know have read it and loved this series so it has sat on my to-read list for a long time. Just recently the reserve my wife set up at the library came in and  we decided this was as good a time as any to read this together.

I have thought a lot about what I was going to say in this review and here it is; I liked it, but I am not really sure why. Has this ever happened to you? I really liked the book once it got to the ending and I am anxious to read the next, but other than that I am just lost as to what all I should say. Here are some thoughts I had while reading this and I hope I can get a decent review from these.

First of all, I'm surprised that I ended up liking this as much as I did. Most of the book for me was boring and slow moving. There was a lot of character development that needed to be there to set up the series and I understand that, but I felt it needed more action. It wasn't until about three quarters through the book that I finally got sucked in and couldn't put this down. I'm glad I stuck with it because if I would have just DNF this book I would have missed a great ending. My stubbornness won out on this one. The end was very fast passed but  at times felt a little rushed. The story took an interesting turn and that was enough to make me rush out to the library and pick up book two as soon as I could. I have it but still haven't started it just yet.

I did like the characters, even though the whole teen romance thing is lost on me. I was a nerd in high school and never had any dates so I skipped the whole  emotional roller coaster, for the most part. I still remember my teen years being horrible but that is neither here nor there. Tris is a very likeable character and I tended to compare her to Katniss from Hunger Games. I wanted to know what was going to happen to here next. Being from a different faction she took a lot of abuse from other initiates and I felt for her. I wasn't beat up in high school but I did take quite a bit of abuse back then so I connected with Tris in this aspect. With Tris's character there was just enough mystery about her and other characters that made me want to learn more.

Overall I liked this book once I finished. I am going to give this 3.5-4 stars. Aside from the ending feeling rushed and the bulk of the beginning being a slow read, this was still worth rating so highly and I'm glad I pressed on. Can't wait to see what is next in book two.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Hangover, and R.I.P. Wrap Up

The Halloween Hangover; this isn't because of having to much to drink the night before and now suffering from bad decisions. I mean the day after Trick-or-Treating, binge candy eating, and lack of sleep. When I was a kid I can remember trying to stay out as late as I could and fill my pillowcase with as much free candy as possible. By the end of the night my knees hurt, I was usually cold and wet (since it usually is cold and rainy here in Missouri on Halloween), and my tummy hurt from an over eating of candy.

These days the feeling is a little different. Now that I have kids of my own I am so excited to chase my son from house to house as his excitement flows out of him. Watching him run in his costume and laugh like a crazy person is intoxicating. After Trick-Or-Treating we dug through the candy to throw away any open or damaged candy, and all enjoyed a piece (or two) and then it was off to bed. Today I'm tired, my knees hurt and I really shouldn't have had that second Halloween cupcake at my Aunt's house before we went home.Even after all of that I can't wait to do this all again next year.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the weather changing to cold and the leaves turning on the trees. Carving pumpkins and my wife baking anything she can with pumpkin in it is something I look forward to every year. I also have an excuse to watch tons of horror movies and read scary stories. This year I started blogging in July and was pointed in the direction of the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. This was the perfect challenge for me and I had a blast doing it. This challenge consists of reading any type of Mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, supernatural, and fantasy books or short stories. There was a group read that I didn't have time to participate in this year but might try to next year. For this challenge you could also include your reviews for any type of spooky movies or shows. This was something that I really got excited about and I actually did quite a bit for this challenge.

Book wise I read:
Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D Estleman
Locke and Key Vol 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill
Joyland by Stephen King
The October List by Jeffery Deaver

I started Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and I am over half way finished, but I wasn't able to finish before the end of the challenge. Still it has been the perfect creepy book for this time of year and I am really enjoying it. Keep an eye out for my review here once I finish.

I love scary movies and it was a blast to be able to include my movie reviews as part of this challenge. I watched a bunch of Horror movies this year but not as many as normal. Having a little one command your attention and a very disappointing World Series to watch and cuss at took time away from my horror movie viewing.

Movies I watched and reviewed for this challenge were:
Evil Dead (2013)
Sinister (2012)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)

I would have watch a bunch more but these and their originals are my favorites and I make sure to watch them every year. This was one of the best Halloweens I have had and I can't wait for next year. One of these days I will be able to decorate my home outrageously scary and pass along my morbid weirdness to my kids. I'm already thinking about ideas for next years Jack-O-Lantern, and costume ideas if we are able to throw a Halloween party.

Alas, it is time to put Halloween behind me and begin gearing up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and normal life. It was wonderful to share my favorite time of year with everyone here on my blog and with the R.I.P. challenge. The last thing I will leave you with is a picture of our Jack-O- Lantern. My son was so proud to have designed this pumpkin. I would have preferred scarier, but he picked out the eyes, nose, and mouth to make the face he wanted. Hope everyone who takes part in Halloween had a great day and I look forward to having Halloween Week here next year.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)

Since today is Halloween I figured this would be the perfect movie to end Halloween week.  Last night we carved our pumpkin and today my son is anxiously waiting to put on his costume and rush out to see how much candy he can get before he tires out. He is three so he tires pretty fast, but all that matters is that he has a great time.It is a lot of fun to go out with him and see how happy he is to get candy. My son is always a little shy at first but after about two houses he is running to the next house. Come back next year when I do Halloween week again and review the original versions of the movies I did here. For those of you that celebrate Halloween, I wish you a Happy Halloween and hope you have half as much fun as I hope to today. 

I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie and when he started to make movies I was excited to see what he would come up with. I really liked House of a 1000 Corpses, and Devils Rejects. When I saw he was going to be doing the remake of one of the most iconic horror movies I couldn't wait to see it. John Carpenter is a genus and I love his original, but I wanted to see what Zombie would do with today's special effects and his dark imagination.

For the most part this is a scene for scene remake of the original and that was really cool for me. Rob Zombie definitely paid homage to Carpenter and I feel, did the movie justice. However, Rob Zombie did make this movie his own by adding to the legend that is Michael Myers with a more in depth back story. In this movie we finally get a glimpse of why Michael is the way he is. The original leaves the story at a kid killed his family and now as an adult seeks to kill the remaining member of his family. Zombie takes it further and shows us the horrible home life Michael lived with as a child. His mother is a stripper, some violently abusive man lives with him and his two sisters, and his older sister only cares about herself and her boyfriend.

Zombie shows us a much darker look to Michael's childhood as well as his slow progression from killing small animals to finally snapping and offing his family. The back story was done so well in this movie that I actually felt bad for Michael Meyers. It didn't excuse what he was doing, but I felt for the poor kid and the hand he was dealt. Only Rob Zombie could make you feel sorry for a serial killer. Another aspect of the back story was Michael's time in the asylum. While there his second personality, the one where he wears the mask takes over. He began to create different paper machete masks during his free time in his room at the asylum. These were just so creepy to see, because some of them are so child like that you would think any normal child made them. Here is a picture of Rob Zombie on the set with all the different masks Michael made hanging on the walls. It is hard to see the detail of each mask, but at least this way you can see the detail they went into for the set.

The casting was perfect for this movie, Tyler Mane is a huge guy and was, I think, the best choice to remake Michael Myers. He had this menacing feel to him and that was when he wasn't hacking up people who got in his way. Of course zombie has his friends pop up in different roles but I really enjoy seeing which one of his regulars show up and in what characters. The only regular missing from this movie was Bill Mosley and he was in a scene with the sheriffs that got cut. It was in the bonus footage, but he didn't make it to the final movie.

I loved this remake, and it was possibly because I am such a fan of Rob Zombie. I am a huge fan of the original and I still felt this was a great remake unlike a lot of fans who just didn't seem to enjoy Zombie's extra back story. I have read a lot of bad reviews, and a lot of good ones so I would say if you are interested in watching this do it. Make your own decisions as to whether you like it or not. I loved it and this is high on my list of all time favorite horror movies. Obviously I give this 5 stars.

This will be my final submission for the Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge. I had a blast doing this challenge and I am really sad to see this end. Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings put this on and I can't wait to do this again next year. I love mystery, horror, and suspense novels so the book part of this challenge was easy. I also love that I can include my movie reviews. I love movies almost as much as I do books so I liked that I can include these in that challenge as part of the Peril on the Screen.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

This movie seemed to start the big horror remake craze. Before this movie we hadn't had a remake of the big contemporary horror movie monsters like there are now. There have been plenty of continuations of Freddy, Jason, and Micheal Myers but no one had tackled redoing the movie that had started the franchise yet. I may be wrong and if I am please let me know in the comments. I might need to try to expand my rental list if I have missed a good horror movie remake.

I need to be honest and admit that I hadn't seen the original Chainsaw Massacre when my wife and I went to see this at the theaters. I had heard about Leatherface and knew what he looked like but I hadn't taken the time to watch it. Back in 2003 when my wife and I were just dating we went to the movies every week. We also loved horror movies and this was a must see. The trailer looked awesome and it was one we couldn't pass up.

I knew nothing else about this movie when we saw it and I will admit that it scared the living daylights out of me.  Not because Leatherface is so terrifying, or that it messed with my head, but because this movie relies a lot on what I like to call the pop out scare. Everything is quiet and calm and then BANG!!!! a chainsaw comes ripping through the roof of the van with sparks flying. I jumped quite a bit and so did my wife when we saw this on the big screen. Since then it doesn't scare me because I know what to expect, but when we first saw this we had a lot of fun at this movie.

Like most horror movies this starts out with a group of people on a trip. In this case the five main characters have just left Mexico and are heading home to see a big concert. On the way home they come across a girl walking along the road. She has just escaped the Hewitt residence and they offer her a ride. Once she notices that they are heading right back in the direction she came from she flips out and kills herself in the van. The group stops at a gas station to call the sheriff and all hell breaks loose.

There were a lot of things I liked about this movie. The acting was pretty good for a slasher movie, Leatherface looked amazing with how much detail they put into the mask, and I liked the little bits from the original that were in this movie. The gas station for one is something that appears in both movies. Both gas stations advertised World's best Bar-B-Q, but in the first one we learn that the meat is people. This movie stays with animals, the cannibalistic family seems to be missing from the remake. Leatherface also has an updated look and it was really creepy. If you don't know about Leatherface he is an Ed Gein type an uses the flesh of his victims to make a new face. In this movie he not only uses the full face of one of the main characters, but he has a sort of Frankenstein style mask pieced together from different victims.

I liked this movie a lot and prefer it over the original. Usually I like the originals the best but this was very well done. Another favorite of mine and it always brings back fond memories of when my wife and I were dating. I give this a full 5 star rating; the casting was great, visual effects were awesome, and the story held my attention. If you like the straight slasher films that are loaded with blood and gore this is for you. Enjoy it if you are looking for a good horror movie for Halloween.

As with my other horror movies for Halloween Week, I will be including this in the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge that runs till Halloween. The R.I.P. challenge is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings who also has a great blog anyway. Check it out and the other entries for this challenge if you have some time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Frdiay the 13th (2009)

When this movie came out I was a little leery about another Friday the 13th movie. Sure the original ones were cheesy and ridiculous but that was the appeal. Later movies like Jason goes to Hell and Jason X were just bad movies. Needless to say I was afraid this was going to be another stupid movie that just capitalizes on the fact Jason Voorhees was in it.

At first I had heard this was going to be a remake of the original, and then I heard this was going to be just Friday the 13th part 11. It turns out this movie is kind of both. The movie opens with a rainy night and a camp counselor running from Jason's mother. The first movie doesn't even have Jason Voorhees in it till the very end. The first movie revolves around the mother getting revenge on camp counselors because she is crazy. Flash forward to today and the legend of Camp Chrystal Lake is known by all.

The reason I would say this is partially a remake of the originals is simply because we get to see Jason find the hockey mask for the first time. When Jason enters this movie he is still wearing the burlap sack to hide his deformities. In the originals Jason doesn't become headliner till Friday the 13th Part 2, and I think he doesn't even get the mask till the third of fourth movie. I will have to re-watch those to be sure. That is pretty much where the remake part of this movie ends and I was fine with that.

The rest of this movie is centered around a classic horror movie formula. A group of College age people go out to the wood in the middle of nowhere looking for weed. After dark, nudity and sex happen and of course they are killed. Most horror movies follow the same formula, if you get naked or have sex you are doomed to die a horrible death; the virgin usually lives. Funny but true.  One of these people is captured by Jason and taken back to his little home area. A month later we get a whole new group of college age coeds heading to a cabin out in the same area that the first group visited. Along comes Jared Padalecki looking for his missing sister. His sister is one of the original group and he is determined to find her.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the story. It was still your brutal hack and slash but I liked the story of the missing sister which tied the two groups together. As I mentioned before, this is nothing but blood, and gore with nudity and sex thrown in. It held very true to the original movies and really made it feel like a part of the original story. For not expecting much out of this movie I was impressed. Overall I am feeling generous because it is Halloween Week. I am going to give this 4 stars. Not a bad movie, great production value and the special effects are pretty good. The acting bounces from decent to really bad at times but I still enjoy this movie every year. Normally I watch a lot more horror movies during this month but with a 5 month old I have been very distracted, but in a good way. So I squeezed in my favorites and this is still one even with only a 4 star review.

I will also be including this in the Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge which is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings. This challenge will go till Halloween and this is one of my Peril on the Screen entries 

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Welcome to Elm Street where the population continues to drop. I love this movie and the original because nothing is scarier than something that can get you in your dreams. When we sleep we can feel safe and relaxed, but what happens when your dreams turn against you? The concept is really cool and I have to thank Wes Craven for coming up with it. As a child his movies had me sleeping with a flashlight under my pillow. This remake was, in my opinion, very well done. It keeps a lot of the things that made the original movie great while still allowing it to stand on it's own.

The original movie was scary when I was a kid and I was watching it on late night TV when my parents thought I was sleeping. Now it has lost it's ability to scare me. As an adult I can see all the cheesy scenes and campy dialog, and I enjoy it for a whole different set of reasons. In the new movie director Samuel Bayer takes this classic and gives it his own twist. Bayer and the screen writers didn't change much and I like that. I really like watching remakes to see what carries over.

One thing that stayed the same in this movie was the two main characters Freddy Kruger, and Nancy. The other characters have been changed a little in this remake but in most cases the scenes they are in are right from the original. Similarity is that when the movie opens the original theme is played at the title screen and I really liked that. I also like when there is iconic music with a character or movie franchise. Movies like Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and Superman have these perfect themes and Nightmare on Elm St also has one.

When I go to watch a remake of one of my favorite movies I tend to be very critical. I know the new movie wont live up to the original but there are certain things I want to see. In this movie there are a lot of scenes that I wanted to be redone with today's special effects and I wasn't let down. I wanted to see the scene where Freddy tries to push through the wall in Nacy's bedroom, and the scene where Kris meets her death. These were two that stood out to me in the original movie and I was happy to see made they made the cut.

This movie is much darker and serious when compared to the original. This is evident just in Freddy himself. Robert Englund is and always will be Freddy Krueger. He was terrifying as well as funny and he made that character what it is. Jackie Earle Haley is the new Freddy Krueger in this movie and he is intense. Gone is the campy one liners, and his make up is even more realistic to a burn victim thanks to modern special effects. Haley takes this character to the edge of evil and then pushes further. I wasn't scared, but he did creep me out the first time I saw this movie. The casting was very well done for this movie and Haley did an excellent job living up to the character Robert Englund created.

I am sure there are a lot of die hard fans out there that hated this movie, but I loved it. I would easily rate this a 5 star remake. Really enjoyed re-watching this again, and can't wait to watch more this Halloween. I will also be including this in the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge which will end on Halloween. This is my Peril on the Screen 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Week

It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning and falling to the ground. Finally we got a little frost on our pumpkin, and hordes of children are obsessing over what to wear for that one night of Trick or Treating. For those of you unaware of what Halloween is, it is a night where kids get to dress up in costumes and go house to house begging for free candy. There is a lot more history of the holiday and stuff but this is the important thing to know, FREE CANDY!!!

Halloween is my favorite holiday and I look forward to it every year. Before my wife and I had our two wonderful children we used to have Halloween parties. They were always a lot of fun, and something we all looked forward to every year. We always made lots of great food and everyone would dress up. Half way through the night we would usually end up getting Guitar Hero out and we would play till our fingers hurt. This was mainly the guys of course, the ladies cheered us on or rolled their eyes. We will get back to the parties when the kids get a little older so they can have their friends over as well but for now we are happy to spend the night with our kids.

My wife and I now get to celebrate Halloween the best way possible, through the eyes of our kids. For months my son has bounced back and forth over what he wants to be for Halloween. This year he was all set on being Robin, and he wanted me to dress up as Batman with him. Then he started to see the commercials for Iron Man 3 on Disney channel and he wanted to be Iron Man. Well that lasted for a few weeks and then when we went to buy his costume he decided he would rather be Iron Patriot. He is so excited to put on his costume this Thursday and hit as many houses as his little legs will let him so he can get candy in his Iron Patriot costume.

It is so amazing to see how excited he gets to go out trick or treating. He has been practicing with us these last few days. It's cute but also really annoying when He decides this is how he is going to wake us up in the morning. Sound  asleep at 6am I hear knocking at our bedroom door and then "Trick or Treat!". The first time this happened there was a bit of panic that I didn't have any candy, but then that passed. My wife and I  laugh about this a little now. We all are looking forward to Halloween this year and my wife has finally decided to make our 5 month old a costume as well. Gabrielle will be little red riding hood, I bet it will be amazingly cute.

On by blog I am dedicating this week to my favorite holiday. I will be reviewing some of my favorite horror movies each day. I have decided that this year I will be doing the new versions or remakes of these movies. I will review Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I love the originals in all of their cheesy glory, but I think those reviews will have to wait till next year. New or old versions, I have seen these movies a ton of times but I love to re-watch them every Halloween. Evil Dead is counted among these movies every year but since I have already reviewed the new one this year I am leaving it out. 

I'd love to hear what you like to do for Halloween. Will you be attending any parties and what are you going as? Do you have a favorite horror movie you watch every year? Please feel free to leave a comment and share your Halloween traditions.

Here is a video that was too cool not to share. This person is amazing with his Halloween decorations and I hope to one day have something as cool as this when I can really decorate my house.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Follow me Friday- Funny Fav Pic

Feature Follow is the day of the week that we get to know each other and make some new friends. This is graciously put on by our hosts Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week there is one blog featured by each host and a question to help us break the ice and open discussion. Since I am new to blogging I don't currently have a preference as to how you follow me. Feel free to follow through bloglovin, email, or GFC. I'm not picky just happy to have the company.

Follow on Bloglovin 

This weeks question is: 

This week is an activity: Bookagram: Photograph your fave read in a funny place.

I have to admit that I was so lost as to what type of picture I should take. Yes, I know it was supposed to be funny but I was still at a loss. I asked my wife what I should do and she asked me if I still knew how to tie a noose. Don't judge me I was a weird teen. Anyway she said I should hang my favorite book in homage to Halloween. I decided to take this a step further. 

For this picture I wanted to make sure that I featured my two favorite books, Bone Collector and IT. I have talked about these quite a bit in previous posts so it is only fair to show them here. Here is the explanation for the pictures. Bone Collector is my favorite book and IT is a close second so I am not showing one killing the other, instead I wanted to show the Hardback hanging the Kindle. Everyone has an opinion about which is better, physical books or ebooks.  I love both physical copies and ebooks but if I had my choice I would have walls lined with hardback copies of every book I love. It is a tough decision as to which to choose and usually cost wins out. Still I figured for all of you fellow book lovers, you would get my thoughts here and maybe enjoy a chuckle or two. Both books are my favorite and if the Bone collector was going to actually kill a book it would be one of several books that I can't stand.

One last little picture, I had to include the title page of the Bone Collector. This is the prize of my collection, I have a signed first edition hard cover of this book and I still feel that I hit the jackpot with this one. Deaver has been a wonderful person and every time I write him he makes sure to answer all my questions and write back.  He has given me some wonderful tips to help my writing and I can't thank him enough. Figure I earned a little bragging rights here. 

I look forward to checking all the different Feature Follows this weekend. Hope I was able to make a few chuckle. Leave me comments if you like, I am always happy to have the visitors and talk books. 

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Zombies and Demons by Troy Brownfield

Let me put this out there first. I didn't choose this because of the cover art. This was not the cover that was on Netgalley when I requested this title. All I really wanted was a good zombie book since the Walking Dead came back on TV. I was first introduced to the Grimm Fairy Tales graphic novels with their version of Sleepy Hollow. That book was amazing, and I really liked it, so when I saw that they did a Zombies and Demons book I figured I would give it a try. I like zombies, I even like demon tales from time to time. This book for me was kind of a let down.

Since this is broken down into two separate stories I will review each section starting with the Zombies portion.  This wasn't so bad, but I wanted more than a Romeo and Juliet meet George Romero. A slave falls in love with the plantation owner's daughter, and all hell breaks loose. The plantation owner hunts them down by raising the dead to find them. I wont spoil the rest of the story, but that is about it. All three issues and that is pretty much the plot. The story was pretty good, but I wanted more depth and more Zombies.

The second part of this book is the demons part. I thought this was boring and really needed to not be so rushed. In this book one main demon, who's name I forget already, is trying to raise this mega demon by bringing together the seven deadly sins. The sword wielding heroine of this story is tasked with fighting things that go bump in the night. She is troubled through the whole story because she fell in love and wants to be with this guy but can't because he would be in harms way. This story line is as old as time and really bored me. I was expecting so much more after reading Sleepy Hollow and loving it.

The art work is pretty decent in this book and thankfully helped where the story fell short. It seems like this was drawn by different artists because the style did vary from issue to issue. I was planning on giving this three stars but the more I think about it, and the further I get in this review the more I feel it is just a 2, maybe 2.5 star kind of book. I didn't hate it, but then again it was just an ok read. This hasn't put me off the Grimm Fairy Tales presents titles, and I will continue to seek out new ones that might interest me. I must thank the publisher for allowing me to read this for an honest review. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Man of Steel

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This day allows us to share news on upcoming releases that have us on the edge of our seats in anticipation.

This week my Waiting on Wednesday is for the Blu-Ray release of Man of steel. I have already reviewed this movie so I wont bore you with how awesome it is. However, if you would like to read my review just click the second link and it will take you there.

This is the best movie I have seen this year and I can't wait to watch it again. My wife and I don'tget to see movies in the theater very often so when we do it has to be a one we both really want to see. This one we saw in 3D and it was worth the extra cost. The 3D effects on this movie were really good and I am going to get this in the 3D Blu-Ray so when I finally get my 3D TV this will be one of the first I watch on it.

This release has some cool special features listed and I really enjoy watching all the behind the scenes stuff as well as the movie. Some of the special features that are listed are:

Journey of Discovery: Creating the Man of Steel -Watch this movie with Zach Snyder as he shares the incredible as he shares his journey to reimagine Superman. 
All Out Action- Taking superhero action to spectacular heights of realism.
Planet Krypton- The world's first exploration of Krypton and it's lost society.

I really like the "in movie" special features. Zach Snyder did this in Watchmen and Robert Downy Jr did it with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. It is fun to hear their thoughts on different scenes as the movie progresses. It can get annoying if you are not a fan of commentary but occasionally it is worth it to hear all the different stories they have about making the movie.

If you haven't seen this movie get ready to rent it. It is definitely worth the rent and I would encourage you to pre-order it. This was an amazing take on Superman that hasn't been done in the past. Man of Steel completely makes up for how bad Superman Returns was.

This movie will also be offered in a Collectors edition. There isn't any extra features to this other than the really cool collectors tin. The tin is the storage for the movie and comes with a stand that holds this for display. I have to ask myself if the Collectors tin is really worth the extra 10$ but the inner geek in me is having a hard time not ordering it now, and the adult is thinking my baby needs diapers constantly. Here is a look at the collectors edition so you can decide for yourself.

Man of Steel will be released November 12th and I can't wait. I still have a little time to decide if I want to get the collectors tin, but right now I am on the fence. Amazing movie though so check it out when it is released.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Green Lantern Vol 3: The End by Geoff Johns

All good things must come to an end and all questions I had have been answered. When I started on the Green lantern books after the New 52 started I was hooked. I just read Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army. That book compiled all of the Green Lantern books into one story, but it ended in the midst of a huge battle. This doesn’t pick up during that battle so I’m anxious to see how that ends, but this book does bring an end to a lot of question I had. Who was the first Lantern, why are the Guardians out to destroy all they have built, and where is Hal Jordan?

The story line does come to an end, but it made me wish I knew what all happened in the background. This book revolves around Hal Jordan, Simon Baz, and Sinestro. I do hope they make a volume 2 to The Rise of the Third Army. If not I will wait anxiously for the graphic novel release of Green Lantern Corps and other books to fill in the gaps.

Simon Baz is new to being a Green Lantern. He has one task and that is to find Hal Jordan and bring him back. Forgive me if there is stuff I have said before, but this book and several others all revolve around the same story. The Guardians have cut themselves off completely from all emotions, and even purged Ganthet from his small remaining ties to his emotions. It is this complete lack of feeling that brings them to create the Third Army and make the universe into what they want.

The writing is outstanding in this book and I would expect no less from Geoff Johns. He is by far my favorite comic book writer with Scott Snyder a close second. Geoff Johns is such an amazing writer when it comes to the Green Lantern books that I never worry about a story line when he is at the helm. The artwork is also amazing with scenes that fill both pages. It makes for one amazing picture that tells a story all its own without any words.

I can’t really say all the amazing things I liked about this book because I don’t want to spoil a single panel for any potential readers. If you have been a fan of the Green Lantern series this is absolutely a must read. We get to see characters that I have loved for years and how they struggle with the current events. There is a lot of emotion in this story for long time fans and I found myself switching from goose bumps to almost tears at times.  With all of that being said, this wasn’t as enjoyable as other graphic novels but a solid 4.5 of 5 stars. This book started off a bit on the slow side but once it hit the midway point the story just took off and didn’t let up till the end. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aquaman Vol 2: The Others

 I have been very impressed with the reboot of Aquaman. Geoff Johns has made him less of a joke and more of a hero that can hold his own with the Justice League. That being said, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in this particular book. The gripes I have are just minor, but I was hoping to get more in depth with the Atlantean artifacts.

In Auquaman Vol 1: The Trench, Aquaman finds a relic from Atlantis, and we know very little about it. I was hoping to get more info on these relics and continue the story that I loved in book one. There is some story about the relics, but for the most part this is about Aquaman Vs Black Manta. Not that this was a bad story at all, but I expected something else with how Volume 1 ended.

This story is about the Others. This team is kind of like a third string Justice League. They have been looking for relics from Atlantis to protect them. Aquaman joined with them early on in his career when he was brought into the public eye. We get to see a side of Aquaman that is dark and edgy in this book. He is so driven by hate and revenge that all he cares about is killing Black Manta. Aside from the killing part, Aquaman is kind of portrayed like the Batman of the ocean.

We get a little bit of origin story in this book which I did like. We get to see Aquaman as a boy with his father and what sparked the hatred between Black Manta and Aquaman. I do like a good origin story, and it seems like Johns is adding depth to this character, and I like where he is headed.

This was a pretty good book. I was just expecting something else. As always, the writing from Johns was very well done, and Ivan Reis is an amazing artist. I really like the art work he did for this book. Overall I would give this four out of five stars. It was not my favorite but a good read anyway. I am looking forward to the third volume because I am hopeful we get into the mystery of Atlantis more.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Feature Follow- Favorite Magazines

Feature Follow is the day of the week that we get to know each other and make some new friends. This is graciously put on by our hosts Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week there is one blog featured by each host and a question to help us break the ice and open discussion. Since I am new to blogging I don't currently have a preference as to how you follow me. Feel free to follow through bloglovin, email, or GFC. I'm not picky just happy to have the company.

Follow on Bloglovin 

This weeks question is: 

What are some of your favorite magazines???

There really is only one magazine that I subscribe to and that is:

I have been a fan of mysteries since I became a young adult. Sherlock Holmes is just one of my favorites. This magazine showcases different mystery authors and their short stories. Along with these short pieces there are book reviews and all kinds of interesting articles.I have been interested in this magazine for years but never subscribed. Last year when Apple rolled out their new iOS for the iPad and it included Newsstand I decided it was time to subscribe. You can't get rid of Newsstand on your device so I figured I might as well put it to use. I love having all the new issues download automatically when they are published. It's such a nice surprise when I get that little notification saying I have a new issue. I have really enjoyed this magazine and will be renewing my subscription at the end of my year.


My Library just added digital copies of magazines to their offerings and I have really gotten a kick out of checking these out. The one magazine I check out fairly regularly from the library is:

I don't read it all that often but I used to. When I bought my first Jeep Wrangler back in 2001 I read this every month. I loved seeing what other owners have done to their jeep in the ways of customization, what lift kits were the best, and what I would need to go off roading. I took my old Jeep off roading every summer and loved driving over nature. I love "More Power."
(Insert manly grunt here!!!)

Other than that I don't really read many magazines. I am finding it harder and harder to find time to read, so I would rather read my books instead of magazines. I thought about adding Engadget's Distro magazine, but even though I have it on my iPad, I find I read their blog a lot more than the magazine. Their blog is awesome if you are a tech nerd like me so check it out here Engadget.

So what magazines do you enjoy? Also if you know of a good magazine that has mystery stories or even horror stories in them let me know. I would love to check them out. I do read Fangoria from time to time because I love horror movies, and this magazine has all the good info on what's coming from mainstream to B movies. 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

 I am a little late to the party with this one. I must be honest and say that I had not heard about this book until well after the movie had come out. I loved the trailer, and the idea of this mechanical man drawing a secret note once fixed seemed intriguing. I still haven't seen the movie yet, but it has been on my to watch list for along time. Here is the trailer that captured my attention so well:

It wasn't until a year or two ago that I found out Hugo was based off of this book. I had to put this on my to-read list but it sadly rested at the bottom. There were a lot of other grown up reads I wanted to get to first. The last time we all went to the library as a family my lovely wife had the idea that we should just get The Invention of Hugo Cabret and read it as a family. My son is almost 4 and my wife and I have both read books to him individually but this was the first time we read as a family. I was very excited for this to be our first family read. My wife and I traded off nights that one of us would read while the other just listened.

Don't let the page count fool you. There is actually very little to read. Most of the book is pictures drawn by Brain Selznick. The art work is pretty good, and it really does help move the story along. In some parts the story only moves forward by the pictures. My son really liked the pictures, and it was so hard for him to not spoil parts for me on the nights I wasn't home when they read it.

Since I have talked about every other aspect of this book it is time I mention the story. The story was very engaging. Even as an adult I couldn't wait to see what happened next in Hugo's life. There were times I just wanted to read ahead after we put my son to bed just so I didn't have to wait. Poor Hugo has lost so much in his life. His father goes to work one night and a fire claims him. Then Hugo is forced to live with his drunk uncle in the train station who just disappears. Left alone in the train station apartment, Hugo is left to fix the clocks in the station and fend for himself so he isn't thrown into an orphanage. The only thing that keeps Hugo going is the automaton his father was working to fix.

Hugo recovered the robot from the wreckage of the museum his father worked at and took it back with him to the train station. The mystery of what the automaton will write was a lot of fun.  I do recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story. It is a very quick read and very entertaining. I give this four out of five stars. We all enjoyed this book and now I am anxious to read the other books by Selznick.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Aquaman Vol 3: Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This day allows us to share news on upcoming releases that have us on the edge of our seats in anticipation.

I never thought I would see the day where I would be excited about an Aquaman book. Aquaman has always been the joke of the DC Universe. He has been ridiculed in tons of television shows such as Saturday Night Live and Big Bang Theory. Even when Smallville introduced Aquaman, the guy was kind of lame. Geoff Johns has changed that.

When the New 52 launched, DC looked at it as a way to redo their beloved heroes. Some of the reboots were not what I wanted to see, but others were amazing stories. Aquaman is one of those stories that has done well with a fresh relaunch. Here is the Goodreads description for this book.
  Aquaman, who long ago lost contact with his people, must watch as armies emerge from the sea to attack the surface world. The Justice League answers the call to defend the shores from the invading Atlantean horde. But whose side is Aquaman on? With his brother Orm at the head of the undersea army, will Aquaman stand with his Earth-bound superteam? Or his own people? Find out in this exciting hardcover collecting AQUAMAN #0 and 14-16 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #15-17.
I have always been fascinated with the story of Atlantis as a child. A city so technologically advanced it vanished into the sea never to be found. This book is going to (I hope) add to that classic story. I am really looking forward to the release of this book, and I already have my name on the wait list at the library.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family By Scott Snyder

 Absolutely Amazing!!!! Scott Snyder has done an amazing job with the Batman comics since the New 52 began. Several of the reboots have not lived up to my expectations, but the Batman series has been the best I have seen. DC Comics was kind enough to let me read this collection early for an honest review care of Net Galley. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this.

I have been a Batman fan all my life and he is by far my favorite superhero. My love for Batman has rubbed of on my 3 year old son and he loves running around in his mask and homemade cap shouting “I’m Batman”. It will be many years before I let him read my comics, but I still get a kick out of seeing what I must have been like as a child. It is also nice to have an excuse to watch my Batman Animated series DVDs because he loves those.

This book starts off after the Court of Owls story line, the Joker has been missing for a year and now he is back. A year ago his face was cut off by the Dollmaker, and he left it for the Gotham PD to hang in evidence as a message, “I will be back”. The book opens with Gordon and his officers caught in a black out, as the back up power returns the joker is standing in the doorway. I got chills at this whole scene. You don’t see his face because he has come to collect it, but it’s how Gordon reacts that you just know. The Joker has always been this horrifying character who kills with no remorse because to him, it is funny. But seeing the Joker wearing his cut off face, held on with a belt and staples was gruesome, horrifying, and at the same time really cool.

Batman has been waiting for this day since the Joker took off and went completely off the grid. Joker’s return was so amazing to read. Joker begins to reenact his first run-ins with Batman. Each one has a slight twist that made it harder for Batman to predict just what was coming even though he knew when and where. Through the whole book Joker is praising Batman and calling him King Bat. There always was this admiration that the Joke had for Batman, but this was over the top. Joker was even more obsessed with Batman this go round and he’s out to destroy the family. Joker feels that having help from Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even the Red Hood make him weak. He isn’t the Batman he once was and Joker is desperately trying to get that Batman back.

I can’t stress enough how much I loved this book. I thought Court of Owls was the best thing I had read this year, but this Death of the Family surpassed that. I love the Joker and his return was thrilling, action packed, and so much fun to read. I don’t usually tell people to rush out and buy a book very often, but if you are a Batman fan you need this book! Pre-order it now because it is worth the read and re-read. I loved this so much I have made it easy for you get.  The link under the cover picture will take you to amazon.com to pre-order this. There are pages of stuff I could say about this book but I don’t want to ruin even one panel for anyone looking to read this.