Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Me Friday- Reading Nook

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:  

Reading Nook Tour, A tour of my favorite place to read.

Well I honestly don't have a favorite place to read. My wife and I have a samll apartment with our two wonderful children, so you can imagine I have very little time to read. I read in bed when the kids are asleep (reading never lasts for long). I read on the floor and at work when it's slow. When we buy a house I plan on making the perfect reading spot in my very own library, so what am I going to share???

Well the weather is turning cool again, and we all love to spend time outside. Our apartment is on the second floor, so we have this great balcony that is covered by the roof, so I can sit outside rain or shine We have the grill, a small garden and two camping chairs set up for relaxing in the cool air. Here are a few pictures of my reading spot. 

This is our little balcony. We like it quite a bit, and we get a great breeze even though it has a roof over it. In my little pot in the upper right corner of my first picture is my garden. Impressive right? At the moment I only have a very healthy celery plant growing, but I'm proud. I will plant green onions and garlic later. 

My chair is of course the the fancy Jeep one closet to the grill. My wife has one just like it but she likes the simple blue one better. I always like to be comfortable when I sit outside to read. I'm about to start Doctor Sleep by Stephen King so I am all ready with an ice cold beer and my comfy chair. The best way for me to relax is always family time or reading with a good beer. 

This little area is for my son. He has a plastic Adirondack chair that he can sit in, but he loves playing at the table. Whether it is coloring or playing with Play-Dough, this is where he likes to take up residence. 

My 4 month old daughter usually sits in our arms or in her little bouncy seat that is currently inside. It's not much, but we like it. My wife and I still have our dreams of our own house with our own version of the perfect reading spot, but for now this is pretty nice. I only use it in the fall or while it is still cool in the spring (I don't do well in the heat. I like cold weather personally). 

I hope you enjoyed checking out my little reading spot. I can't wait to see what everyone taking part in the FF will have as theirs. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon by Leah Moore

I’m not sure what all to say except that I am really disappointed. I was fortunate enough to find this on Netgalley as an advanced reader edition. I loved the first book in the Sherlock Holmes graphic novels, so I figured this would be awesome to read. I was a bit wrong.

The story wasn’t that great. Not that the writing was terrible, but the plot was dull, and there was a lot of awkward feeling dialog. I realize that certain characters had a cockney accent, and it is really hard to write how the words sound when spoken, but at times the whole sentence just felt like it should have been something else. There was so much potential in this story line that was never met.

Sherlock Holmes just wasn’t the character I know him to be in this book. Now I do tend to get extra picky when it comes to Holmes being written by anyone who isn’t Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but if I want new Holmes stories I have to play nice and go in with an open mind. Holmes just felt flat in this book, and his amazing deductions just seemed missing. I would think that it would be hard to write a Sherlock Holmes story in comic form. You have pictures to tell the story, and that story needs to fit in a smaller medium. Volume one was just so much better.

The last thing I will say made it hard to like this book. The artwork was terrible. There were so many pages that had characters without faces. Not that they were in shadow and hidden, they just didn’t have faces. Now to be fair I have an advanced e-reader copy, and it might not have downloaded properly, but I was not impressed. For me the story can beamazing  and horrible artwork can ruin a book for me. In this case the story wasn’t that great, and the artwork was terrible. I’m not going to say I hated this book, because it could have been worse. I’m going to have to give this 2 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- The Joker: Death of the Family

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 have loved this story line so far. The Joker has returned after a year of being absent. Face in hand, he is out to find the Batman that once was. Joker feels Batman is to dependent on his family; Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, and so on. He wants the dark brooding and lonely Batman that he remembers. The story line has taken some interesting twists and turns so far. Here is the Goodreads description:

After having his face sliced off one year ago, The Joker makes his horrifying return in this new epic that features Batman's entire network of partners in crime fighting, including Batgirl, Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin, the Teen Titans and more. While The Joker threatens the very existence of Gotham City, these heroes --and villains--must find a way to survive.

 I love these collections that DC puts out. You get the bulk of the story by collecting the different titles in one book. At the same time, you will have questions that will make you want to rush out and pick up the Nightwing or Batgirl books. This is very clever because you are satisfied with the story having a beginning, middle and end, but then you want to know more about what is going on. 

There's not too much longer to wait on this one. This book will be released on October 22nd, but it might be longer before I can rush out and get it. I can't wait to read it though.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Justice League Vol 1: Origins by Geoff Johns

I'm a little behind on my New 52, but I finally got around to Justice League. I was blown away!!! Geoff Johns' writing with Jim Lee doing the art made this perfect. Geoff Johns is my favorite comic writer. His stories are very well written, and the plot always grabs me right away and never lets up.

Jim Lee is one of the greats when it comes to his art work. I put him in such high regard with Alex Ross. I was first introduced to Jim Lee's work when I read Batman: Hush. The way he draws Batman is better than I ever imagined him in my own imagination. These are just some examples of the artwork in this book to show just how gifted Jim Lee is.

Now on to the story. In past reboots of the Justice League the heroes already knew each other. Batman had worked with Superman and Green Lantern in other stories. Those books were just about them all coming together as a team. In this book we get to see the different heroes meet for the first time. When they do, it mostly starts with them beating the snot out of each other. This bugged me a little bit. I know Superman and Batman have traded blows in the past, but these guys fought first and asked questions while fighting. There was very little curiosity and testing each other for reactions. It was just Pow! Zap! Bang! right as they met. I figured Superman would at least try to use his X-ray vision to see behind Batman's mask first. 

Wonder Woman only cared about finding a fight, which made her seem less intelligent than she has been depicted in the past. I would say she seemed more like a Conan the barbarian instead of an Amazon warrior. To make matters just a bit weirder, Batman gets this heartwarming moment with Green Lantern at one point that just felt awkward. Batman and Hal Jordan never really got along in the past so this was really different for an initial meeting. I of course got past these little pet peeves and the story was just awesome. I couldn't put this book down.

I am really anxious to see where this story goes. It does have a resolution but still feels like there is more yet to come. I'm eagerly waiting to start Vol 2. I hope to have that read and reviewed here soon. I would definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars for the combination writing and artwork. This is one of the best DC graphic novels I have read this year.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Follow Me Friday- Picture Books

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 were some of your favorite picture books as a kid? If you have kids, what are your favorites to read to them? 

When I was a kid I really liked the Curious George books, but my favorite were the Berenstain Bears books. I loved these, and every time we would go to the book store I had to get a new one. My favorites of this series were:

My Wife and I read The Berenstain Bears' New Baby to my son when his sister was on the way this year. He is 3 and really loved the story and read it quite a bit till we had to take it back to the library. He is an amazing big brother to his 4 month old sister. 

Having kids I have read a ton of picture books. Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I love You are books I can recite in my sleep. I tried to read the Berenstain Bears books to my son since I liked them so much, but he really isn't a big fan of them. 

My son really likes the Llama Llama series. These books are affectionately know around our house as the Llama Drama series. I have to admit that I really like them too. They are funny, and like most kids books they teach a lesson. My son even has a little plush toy of Llama Llama in his red pajamas. Here are my favorites that I have read:

I love reading to my son. We have read Sherlock Holmes, The Hobbit, and the first Lord of the Rings, but most of the time it is picture books. I know he doesn't understand the books I pick but when he gets older I will re-read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I think when he can understand the story better he will love these like I did as a kid. I also can't wait to read the Harry Potter series to him. 

So what picture books do you like? Leave me a comment and we'll see if we like the same ones. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Graphic Novel Challenge 2013

I just stumbled across this challenge, and I am going to throw my name in.This sounds like a fun challenge that to be honest, I have already completed. Level 1 asks that you read 12 graphic novels this year or 1 a month. Level two is just double that so 24 Graphic novels this year. Currently I have read 26, and I have 3 more waiting to be read.

I am a huge comic book fan, and this is a perfect opportunity to track how many titles I have read this year. This way I can set a higher goal next year and challenge myself more. Since I am so late in the game here I will not be taking part of the Advanced game which requires you read certain types of Graphic novels. Since I'm starting late I will only be doing the basic challenge. Maybe next year I will get more into it when the 2014 challenge starts.

The challenge can be found at Graphic Novel Challenge 2013, and it isn't to late to sign up if you want to join. I have been told that all reviews read this year will count. Here are the links to my reviews so far this year. Most of them are on since I haven't been blogging that long, but the most recent ones can be found here on my blog.

Batman Vol 1: Court of Owls
The Dresden Files: Storm Front Vol 1: The Gathering Storm
Judge Dredd Vol 1
The Dresden Files: Storm Front Vol 2: Maelstrom
R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned
The Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye
The Walking Dead Vol 2: Miles Behind Us
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Sleepy Hollow
Locke and Key Vol 3: Crown of Shadows
The Walking Dead Vol 3: Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol 4: The Hearts Desire
Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness
Locke and Key Vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes
Batman Vol 2: City of Owls
Batman: The Night of Owls
Green Lantern Corps Vol 1: Fearsome
Green Lantern Corps Vol 2: Alpha War
Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach
Arrow Volume 1
Wonder Woman Vol 3: Iron
Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army
Batman: Arkham Unleashed Vol 2
Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench
Locke and Key Vol 5: Clockworks
Richard Castle's Storm Season

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

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 have been a big fan of Michael Connelly from very early on. There are very few early books that I need to catch up on. The Harry Bosch series is one of my favorite detective series. This book is another character who has his own series named Mickey Haller. I really like the detail that this series has pertaining to legal matters. I still get the courtroom drama of a John Grisham book but with some amazing action and twists. Here is the Goodreads description:
Defense attorney Mickey Haller returns with a haunting case in the gripping new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. 

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.

When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense" (Los Angeles Times).
I am a bit behind on Connelly's books, because I have branched out and found so much more to read, but every time I see a new Connelly book coming out I have to get it as soon as budget allows. One of these days I will catch up on all of his books, but for now I still get excited at the prospect of a trip to the book store. I'm really looking forward to this book after I read the description.

This book will be released December 2, 2013 and it is the fifth book in the Mickey Haller series. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Richard Castle's Storm Season by Brian Michael Bendis

Normally I am strictly a DC Comics guy, but I am a big fan of the show Castle. These graphic novels are based off of the books Richard Castle wrote about Derrick Storm. This graphic novel follows right after the events in Deadly Storm. Derrick Storm is still a private detective, but now he is also a spy working for the CIA. After recently loosing his first CIA handler, he is trying to throw himself into his work. Helping a wealthy heiress get back the money she was conned out of, Storm comes across an African Freedom fighter.

The Freedom fighter tracks Storm down and begs him to find his sister who is trapped in a human traffic ring. I thought this was a great plot especially for a comic book. There is quite a bit of action in this book, and the artwork is really well done. Like any spy novel there are gun fights, chases and beautiful women. One in particular make Storm think he has seen a ghost.

This is the second graphic novel in the Derrick Storm series, and I think they are a lot of fun. If you are a fan of the show but not a fan of comics, I would recommend this. It is a lot of fun as a fan to read these stories that we hear about on the show. The fact it is in a comic makes it even better for me. If you are fan of comics and not the show, I would still recommend this. The story is interesting and the artwork is well done. This is definitely worth the read.

I had to add this to my post. I have said that the publisher treats Richard Castle like a real flesh and blood author when he is really a fictional character. At the end of this book there is actually an 'About the Author' page all about Richard Castle, picture and all.

This is what makes the Richard Castle books fun. The picture isn't great, but that is Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle on the show. His office in the show is much more impressive.

I decided to give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars, I really did enjoy the story and the artwork quite a bit. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Joyland by Stephen King

I really enjoyed this book. I was so excited to hear about it because I am a big Stephen King fan, and I love the old pulp or noir style detective stories. This isn't a detective story, but it still has a very intriguing mystery. Here is the description from Goodreads:
"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts," says Stephen King, who has combined these elements into a wonderful new story. Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park.

It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?
There isn't a lot of fast paced action right from the get go, but from the very start I loved these characters. Following Devin Jones and his new friends Erin and Tom was the best part of the book for me. King has this way of writing characters that feel like flesh and blood people. These characters felt like I could step into the pages and instantly be friends with them. This is an amazing talent, and it made the fact that there wasn't a lot of heart pounding suspense right off the bat seem meaningless.

Not only are the characters people you will enjoy reading about but the setting is just perfect for this. Carnivals can be these bright happy places where memories are made and still very creepy. With the story set around the tale of a murder that happens at Joyland, Devin begins to wonder if there really are ghosts haunting the grounds. Who is this killer that has eluded capture for so long? Devin begins to look into the events at Joyland and slowly the pieces come together with a little help from an extraordinary little boy.

King's style is clearly evident here, and he really draws you into the story. One of the things that just irks me about King is the fact that he will let you know early on what's going to happen at the end, but then the way he writes and the realness of his characters makes you wish and hope it was all a ruse. I may get upset that I know about something that will happen at the end, but it is the journey to that point that makes it all worth it. I'm not sure this is making sense, but I don't know any other way to explain it.

Even though this isn't a horror novel I still had goosebumps through most of the end. The way pieces are revealed and put together was wonderful. I couldn't put this book down. It is an easy read compared to most of King's work and one I will highly recommend to anyone who will listen. That is why I am happily giving this book a solid five star rating.

Since this is a mystery novel, this review is being included in the Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge and will be included on the host's site Stainless Steel Droppings. I chose to participate in the Peril in the first. This is the third of four books I chose to read for this challenge.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Follow me Friday- Kickstarter Campaign

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 if I was doing a Kickstarter campaign for my favorite book to be made into a movie, what would it be, and who would I cast. 

Well since both of my favorite books have been made into movies (Bone Collector, and IT) I decided to pick a different book that I would love to see made into a movie. I chose ... Joyland by Stephen King. I chose this mainly because I am reading this now, and it is fresh in my mind.

I am terrible at trying to decide who to cast in certain roles. I can't get past how I see the characters in my mind to choose a real person who could play it. Although I can be very opinionated as to who is cast for certain roles until I see the movie. 

I couldn't have done this without the help of my wife and our friend Cathy. I asked them who they thought would be good after describing the character they agreed that Nicholas Hoult would be a good fit.

 Devin Jones is a love struck college student who is going to work at a carnival for a summer job. He does fit the character well but again not how I pictured him in the book. 
The only other character that I think I have picked out pretty well would be that of Erin Cook. She is a fiery red head who becomes instant friends with Dev. She is working at Joyland as a Hollywood girl.  They run around the park taking photos of the visitors in hopes they buy them as a souvenir. For this character I picked Emma Stone

 There is another character named Mike. He is a little boy who has a debilitating illness, but there is something really special about him. He spends his time in a wheel chair because of his weak legs, but he sees more than anyone around him knows. For this character I decided to go with CJ Adams.

This is as far as I got, and remember I am not very good at picking actors to play certain roles. For those of you who have read this book tell me what you think. I may be way off the mark on this, but I would love to get your thoughts. The book is amazing, and I am really loving it. That review will be posted on my blog soon. 

Well happy Friday everyone, and I look forward to seeing what type of comments this draws. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Locke and Key Vol 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill

This is the book I have been waiting for in the Locke and Key series. The first four books were interesting but never really answered any of the questions I had. All the previous books did was introduce new keys and the magic they held. This book finally gives answers.

In this book we get to see what the clockwork key does. This gives anyone who uses it the ability to travel in the past. Finally we get to see how the keys were forged, what the metal that makes them is and why the keys exist. I loved this story mainly because I finally got some answers.
We also get to advance the story of the existing characters. Of course we have been following Dodge through the whole series, and now we get more info on his character. He was friends with Tyler’s father when they were teens. Somehow he is back as a teenager again and trying to find the Omega Key for his own personal gain. There is a little information dropped throughout the four books, but this gives us his origin story.

I don’t want to give away too much because it would spoil a lot of information if I kept going. If this intrigues you then pick up the first book in the series, Locke and Key Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft.

One last thing to end this review, I want to point out that Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork seemed better this round. I have not been a huge fan of his artwork in this series, but I was impressed with several of the multi page layouts. My problem is that I have read so many comic books that I feel there are other more talented artists out there. When I compare his work with that of Jim Lee or Alex Ross I just don’t care for his style. Gabriel Rodriguez did step his game I think, and I can’t wait for the final chapter to be released. Here is some examples of the art work found in this book.

This review is being included in the Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge and will be included on the host's site Stainless Steel Droppings. I chose to participate in the Peril in the first. This is the second of four books I chose to read for this challenge.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Justice League 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.

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of DC Comics. I love the different superheroes and when they are all mashed together in one book it doesn't get much better. Unless the person writing it is Geoff Johns. Of course I'm excited about a new Justice League book, but I just finished reading Aquaman Vol 1 and this is a direct tie in to that story line. I'm very excited to see what happens. Here is the Goodreads description:
When Atlantis is struck by a U.S. Naval missile gone awry, Atlantis--led by Aquaman's brother Ocean Master--attacks the East Coast of the United States flooding its major cities such as Boston, Metropolis, Gotham City and several others.

The Justice League comes together to help Aquaman turn back the tide, but they soon learn that they are woefully over matched by the Atlantean Army, and must find a way to save the world from total annihilation.

Collects Justice League issues #13-17 and Aquaman #14-16
Really looking forward to the conclusion of this story. With the writing of Geoff Johns and the art work of Ivan Reis.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sinister (2012)

Summer is coming to a close and Fall is just around the corner. This means it is time for me to watch as many Horror movies as I can before Halloween. This is may favorite time of year and Halloween is my favorite holiday. Every year I watch the same movies in preparation for Halloween. These are usually Nightmare on Elm St, Friday the 13th, Halloween (original and Rob Zombie remake), and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I also try to catch up on recent movies I haven't seen.

My wife used to be a big fan of horror movies before our son was born. Then her mom gene kicked in and she just doesn't enjoy them as much. Since going to the theaters is so expensive I can't justify it for just myself to see these Horror movies. Still, she does get in the mood to watch one every now and then and our library has a great movie section. So we watched this a few days ago and I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped. The trailer looked amazing, and this is one of those movies that relies on what you don't see to be scary. It has violence and blood in it, but not in excess or over the top just because it can be. 

When we first saw the trailer this was a movie that right away intrigued us. The idea of a demon living in pictures was a really creepy thought. I mean, how closely do we look at the photos we take. It could be very likely that if we looked close enough we might just see something we can't explain. Very creepy thought. Well after seeing the movie I would have to say that the scariest parts are in the trailer.

The movie is about a True Crime novelist who moves into the house of a family that killed themselves. Every member of the family hung themselves except their youngest daughter. She has been missing since this occurred. Ellison Oswalt moves his family into the house this happened at so he could try to uncover the truth about this event. While unpacking he comes across a box of home movies in the attic. The movies are of multiple families in different cities who have been murdered in horrible ways. While looking into these movies things begin to happen around the house. His kids are beginning to draw pictures of the deaths and the home movies are beginning to play on their own.

This wasn't a bad movie but I was expecting something much scarier. I felt like the hype for this movie was better than the actual movie itself. I also found myself not really caring about the characters. In a story like this you want to feel for them and try to put yourself in their situation. I couldn't do it, I just kept thinking "Should have left it alone." I think that once he saw the Demon in the pictures it was to late but I wouldn't have continued my search after the weird stuff started. I really felt he brought the whole thing on himself and no amount of eye rolling on my part could stop him.

I also want to point out that this review will be included in the R.I.P. Challenge put on by Stainless Steel Droppings. This will be for the Peril on the Screen part of the challenge, and can be found in the review section.


Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D.Estleman

This is a collection of short stories written by several different authors all based on one of my favorite detectives, Sherlock Holmes. Being a fan of Conan Doyle's original work, I tend to be a bit critical of other authors who write stories with Holmes and Watson in them. I have been pleasantly surprised many times by authors who have done these characters justice, and I have also been really let down. This book has both good and bad stories in it, but mostly I didn't care for the short stories. The first one, The Infernal Machine, by John Lutz was pretty good, but that was it.

The second story in this collection entitled The Adventure of the Double-bogey Man irritated me so much I almost couldn't get through it. The biggest issue I had with this was that the author, Robert L. Fish, changed the names of the characters. Instead of Sherlock and Watson it was Schlock and Watney. Also, this story has Holmes's brother Mycroft in it, but again the name was changed to Criscroft. I know this is the author's choice, but it really bothered me. Part of me hopes that since I have an ARC of this that it was just a mistake. However, with how many times these names were used I would guess this was intentional. So if you are going to read this when it comes out be forewarned, I still hope this is changed once published.

What is it with changing the character of Watson from John to Jane? CBS did this in their show Elementary, but as a long time fan of Doyle's work this really irritates me. I'm not saying that women can't be amazing detectives, but Conan Doyle wrote the character as a man, and I feel when the characters are changed to this extent they no longer are writing a Holmes story.  Right off the bat the third story, The Case of the Bloodless Sock by Anne Perry, frustrated me almost as much as the previous author who changed all the names. I guess I am a bit too critical, but if you are going to write a Sherlock Holmes story try to do the character some justice. That's just my opinion though.

The only thing I did really like about this collection is the title novella Sons of Moriarty by Loren D. Estleman. He is the only one to really capture the essence of Holmes and Watson. I could easily see this being a story that Doyle would have written himself. This story takes place much later than The Cannon, and Holmes and Watson are older men. Lestrade is even trying his hand at politics, so it is an interesting spin on what life would have been like had Doyle continued further.There is plenty of mystery to the story, and Holmes and Watson are still at their best.

I would like to give this 3 stars just because I did enjoy the title novella, Sons of Moriarty, but I disliked the other stories so much I will have to say I am being generous rating this 2 stars for the whole collection.

Also, this is my first Peril in the 'Readers Imbibing Peril challenge. I have agreed to read 4 mystery/horror novels by October 31st, and this is my first of four. I've got a lot of mystery books on my to-read pile, but I am looking forward to getting to some horror novels with Halloween approaching.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Evil Dead (2013)

I'm a big fan of horror movies. The cheesier the better. Needless to say, the original Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 are some of my very favorites. When I saw that there was going to be a remake of the original I was torn. I was elated to see a re-imaging of this cult classic and really concerned that it would be terrible. Whenever someone tries to redo a classic they tend to stray to far from the things I liked about the original.

The original Evil Dead was made in 1981, and the production value was really bad. This was the movie where the great director Sam Rami and B movie actor Bruce Campbell started. The premise is five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for a fun weekend. While there they stumble across the Book of the Dead. This book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood. The passages unleash the dead from their eternal prison.

Slowly the dead begin to posses each person driving them all crazy in the secluded cabin in the woods. What is not to like about this movie? The story is good, but the special effects are so cheesy they are funny. At one point there is a claymation scene where the bodies wither to nothing.

It is a lot of fun to watch this and try to spot the filming mistakes. You can see the wires used to move things every now and then and other little errors. Still it is one of my favorite movies.

Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell sort of did a re-make of their own with Evil Dead 2. That movie started with Ash taking his girlfriend to a remote cabin in the woods instead of five friends going. He finds the Book of the Dead and it all starts. This movie was more silly movie and the amount of fake blood was over the top. Their tag line for Evil Dead 2 was 'The Gorier the Merrier.' Both movies had little bits in the 2013 version.

The new Evil Dead starts out with five friends going to a remote cabin in the woods, but it is to help the main character detox from a drug addiction. While there, they find The Book of the Dead wrapped in trash bags and razor wire . One genius character takes it upon himself to translate the book. What else do you do in a remote cabin with no television?  You unleash terror. There were a lot of things that were similar, but of course bigger budgets and modernization made them seem more realistic.

Here is the difference between the Book of the Dead for both movies. The old one is on the left, and the new on the right. Also check out how similar this scene is, but also how far special effects have come since the first movie.
This movie is darker and has more realistic gore to it. I felt that this was also really creepy, and even though it didn't scare me or keep me up at night, I was totally engaged in this movie. I loved spotting the parts that were right out of the original movie. I got such a thrill to see the house look exactly like the original from the outside, and I loved that the main character Mia is sitting on the car Ash drove in the original movies. The car is rusted and in disrepair, but I really loved those bits put in the movie for fans like me. Another link was the sweatshirt. Mia was wearing a Michigan state sweatshirt which is the same one worn by the main character in the original.

I loved this movie and thought it was close enough to the original to do it justice, but also it was different enough to be it's own film. This makes sense to me, but I'm not sure it comes across well in print, so sorry if you have no idea what I mean.  I will say this, my wife who is a fan of the original was not such a fan of this. She felt that they all got what they deserved because they were stupid enough to read a book that says 'Don't Read!!!!' all over the pages. She made me laugh so hard while watching this. I know I liked it way more than she did, but I still loved her reaction.

Again, Evil Dead 1981 is on the left and 2013 is on the right if you couldn't tell. 
I loved this movie, and with Halloween on the way I would at least recommend renting either the new or old Evil Dead. I would also like to mention this is my first review for the R.I.P. challenge. This is for Peril on the Screen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Follow Me Friday- Bookshelf Tour

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.

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This week is an activity; welcome to my bookshelf tour. Fitting considering my site is called Brunner's Bookshelf. Might as well see what I use to hold one of my obsessions.  Let me start by saying that I don't have a lot of space for furniture so I do with what I have.

We have two bookshelves and this is the tall skinny one. This is the top three shelves. At one point we had our shelves arranged by Author's last name alphabetically but now it is a little loose. Let me point out a few highlights of my collection. I have a few of the hard cover Illustrated editions of Stephen King's Dark Tower series and they are all first editions. I also have the very first books Jeffery Deaver ever wrote. They are out of print and impossible to find. To make them even better they are signed by Deaver when I saw him at a signing last summer. Those two books are VooDoo, and Always a Thief top right of the shelf. Yes that is a picture my son colored taped to the wall. I had to include it because I am just so proud of him. 

This would be the bottom three shelves of the skinny tall book case. This has a bunch of random paperbacks we just needed a spot for. Here is the entire Dark Tower collection. These books I read, the others I just collect and I almost have the whole set in hardback first edition. 
 This is a very special piece of furniture for me. These shelves were built by my Great Uncle Joe. He passed away over a decade ago and he died at the age of 94. He was a great guy and was an amazing carpenter. All of us in the family have at least one piece of furniture in our homes that he made and it makes this very special to me. This will one day sit in my office and hold my very best collectible pieces. There is a cabinet at the bottom of these shelves that has two shelves in it. There are paperbacks 2 rows deep on each shelve and a row of Hardback we have read and had no place for. For those of you doing the math at home that is three rows of books in this cabinet. I didn't want to clear out the cabinet for a picture so you will have to use your imagination. If I ever clean it up I'll take after pictures.
This is the top of those shelves. Yes that is a foot tall Batman action figure. I've had that since I was a kid and it is not going anywhere. The stack on the right is recent books read and purchased. It actually sits in front of my wife's Twilight box set and her stuffed snowman. It was the first stuffed animal I bought her when we started dating and it is a little sad that the books hide him now. Do you see my old Batman clock. It is really cool but needs to be repaired, again I have had that for a very very long time. 

I couldn't leave without showing you the stack on the left of the top of my book shelves. This is only an eighth of the Graphic novels I own. The ones at the top are ones I have reviewed either on Goodreads, or here on my blog. The very top of the stack has my Kindle box and the box for my kindle cover. I just can't bring myself to get rid of these because I think the Kindle is one of the best purchases I have ever made.

Well that's it, welcome to my shelves. I can't wait till we move into a house and I can build my own shelves set into the wall and have a library full of books. Sorry so wordy, but I just don't know how to paraphrase.