Saturday, August 31, 2013

Batman: Arkham Unleashed Vol 2 by Derek Fridolfs


I was incredibly fortunate to win this in a Goodreads Giveaway. I usually never win those, so I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve wanted to play the Batman Arkham games since the first one was released, but I don’t have a PS3 or an XBOX. Other things are more important, so my video game days had to take a hiatus. This book is based on those games which makes the artwork unique and the story a direct tie in. This book collects issues 6-10 and apparently fills in gaps with the games’ stories.

The game stays close to the Batman mythos when it comes to characters and Gotham city. This was actually very refreshing because a lot of times people will do a tie in graphic novel and it’s nothing like what you would expect. The one thing I really liked was seeing Tim Drake back in the Robin suit. The game hasn’t kept up with changes in the Batman books fully so this was a nice surprise. I always loved Tim Drake as Robin. I always felt bad as to how they pushed him out as Robin. Tim Drake was forced to become his own hero and he took up the mantle of Red Robin. He fits very well into this hero so it worked out for the best, but since Battle for the Cowl he has been especially bitter.

I’m getting off track here, there were a lot of things I liked about this book and only a few I didn’t. The biggest thing I didn’t like about this book is how the Penguin is written. He spoke in this weird cockney accent and his English was terrible. I always knew penguin to be an educated calculating criminal and this portrays him as a man with a plan, but the dialog really bugged me. Maybe it was just how I was reading it and I’m exaggerating, but I didn’t care for it.

I did like that each issue in this collection was its own story. They do tie into the whole Arkham City story from the game, but each issue could be read individually and stand alone.  Most of the issues in this collection were amazing, and some I just thought were ok. My favorites are #6: Theater of Violence, #7: Arkham City Sirens, and #8: Crocodile Tears. Crocodile Tears was probably my favorite because of the little origin story of Killer Croc.

This book was much better than I expected. Being a video game tie in, I was afraid this would just have a lot of cool artwork and no story at all. Or worse yet, it could have changed everything there is about Batman and the characters in that series. I was wrong, and not only was the art work really well done, but the stories were great.  I also want to point out that not only was the art work amazing but the book itself was put together very well. This is a hard cover edition, and I always take the dust jackets off so I don’t damage them while reading. When I removed the dust jacket I saw these great pictures of Batman and Robin directly on the book itself. Here is what it looks like without the dust jacket.


I was really impressed by the quality of this book, and I’m so glad I was fortunate enough to win this.  I am now on the hunt for Volume 1 so I can catch up and continue to follow this series. This was well worth the read and a solid 4 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day of the Night Crawlers by Troy Cummings


In case you haven’t read my All About Me post, I am the proud father of two amazing kids. My son is 3 almost 4, and my Daughter is only 3 months old. Because of these kiddos I read a lot of children’s books. This means that from time to time I will have some reviews of those books on my blog. I love to read and write so I will be posting these reviews to possibly help other parents decide on new books for their kids.

I really enjoy reading to my son. When my daughter gets older I will read to the both of them, but for now reading is special Father/Son time, or Mother/Son time when my wife takes a turn. We both try to read to him equally because we both are avid readers and we want to teach the importance of books.

My son loves Superheroes, cars, tools, and monsters. This book was perfect to read to him. The publisher suggests this is for ages 5-7, and when it comes to reading level I would say that's about right. However, there is nothing in this book that is inappropriate for younger kids and it isn't scary. It's a fun story about three kids trying to protect their little town. It is a very good beginners adventure story.

This book starts out with a rain storm and so many night crawlers all over the ground that you couldn't walk without squishing one underfoot. Alexander and Rip are two boys who have stumbled onto a Monster notebook and they are sure that the Mega Worm is to blame. This is a small blue worm that when exposed to sunlight becomes gigantic and can eat kids. Little did they know they had bigger fish to fry.

My son did enjoy this book. I asked him a few questions about it and here are his answers.

What was your favorite monster?
                The Tunnel Fish

What did you like about the book?
                How the boys fight and save the kids.

What was the grossest part?
                The worms squishing when they stepped on them.


We had fun reading this book and I look forward to reading more in the Notebook of Doom series. 

Follow Me Friday- The One Book


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 you could have ONE- one book- for the rest of your life. What would it be?

Wow! How on earth am I going to choose? This is like asking me to pick which of my children is my favorite. The answer is both of them are. In different ways I love both of them equally, and I'm not just saying that. I would figure out a way to smuggle both of them, so my kids could stay with me forever. It is the same way for this challenge. My favorite book is The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver, and a very close second is Stephen King's IT. I had a hard enough time trying to decide which was the best of the two, but if I could only have one book for the future, logic has to come into play a little. 

I would want to take Bone Collector or IT with me because they are my favorites. I could read these over and over and never get tired of them. The problem is I would need a year or two in between reads just so I'm not getting bored, because I know all the words. Either one would be great to carry with me for the rest of my days. However, if I can only have one book I might want to take Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened. 

I love this book because no matter what mood I am in this book makes me laugh. Down the road if I can only have one book and I need a pick me up, this would be good to have. I can always use a great laugh, and this is the funniest book I have ever read.

Now the other side to this thought is a suggestion my wife had, and I'm just sorry I didn't think of it first. She had suggested a choose your own adventure book. Thankfully, I have a good one in Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier.

 This is a great book because it is written for grown-ups but in the style of those choose your own adventure books I loved as a kid. This way I would never read the same story back to back. Yes at some point I would run out of possible combinations, but it would be something different each time. 

I am still torn as to what to choose. These are my options and thankfully I will never have to go through this (I hope). I would love to know what your one book would be, or even what your thoughts on what I should choose would be. Leave a comment as to your thoughts. Let's get some great discussion going. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Storm Front by Richard Castle

Let me start this review, since it is the first Castle book I've reviewed for my blog, by saying that Richard Castle is not real. Gasp!!! I know. He is a fictional character on the television show Castle on ABC. He is played by Nathan Fillion.
Richard Castle is portrayed as a real flesh and blood writer. There is even a website dedicated to him like any other author and a bio of him on the dust jacket. A very clever and well done marketing scheme, because I enjoy the ruse. In the beginning of his fictional career Richard Castle wrote a series of books that revolved around the character Derrick Storm. Getting bored with the character, he kills him off and is looking for a new muse. This is where the show begins. Castle begins to shadow an NYPD Detective named Kate Beckett, and she becomes the character Nikki Heat. Sounds like real life doesn't it. Since the show has begun there is a series of Nikki Heat books that he writes during the course of a season and then it is released around the time the next season starts. This is a lot of fun for fans of the show to read the book he talks about all season long.

A little over a year ago, Castle (or whom ever writes these) brought Derrick Storm back from the dead in a series of ebook novellas. Thismis the first full length book in the return of Derrick Storm. I could easily see this series continuing and kind of hope it gets better. I was really excited to read this since I really enjoyed all three novellas.

This book is all about the return of Derrick Storm's old enemy, Gregor Volkov. Volkov is out to crush the economy and become a powerful force. Storm is sent all over the world trying to thwart his evil plans, and as interesting as this sounds I was bored.

Derrick Storm is an agent of the CIA, so there is a lot of potential for spy games, espionage, and  other James Bond like pursuits.There is some of that but not nearly as much as I expected. A lot of this book was nothing but down time and I really felt my attention waver. I think if I wasn't listening to this in audio I wouldn't have finished it. The beginning really didn't grab me right away, and then the middle of the book just dragged. I realize the writer has to establish a character that has fictionally existed for years, but really this is the first time we the readers have ever been exposed to him.

That is really the only reason I think I kept going. It is a difficult task to describe and establish a character as the story progresses. I was interested to learn more about Derrick Storm and really wanted to give this book a chance. My hope is that since there is a full length novel out, the next book in the series (if there is a next book) focuses more on the plot and we can get some more action. The only other complaint I have with this book is the name of the female lead character. This book tried so hard to feel like a James Bond novel that they had a female agent with a ridiculous name. The constant repetition of this was tedious and really annoying.

Before I ramble on anymore, let me just sum this up by saying I wasn't impressed. With how much I liked the Storm novellas I expected a lot more from this book. I like the Nikki Heat series better than this one unless there is a future Derrick Storm book that blows me away. Worth the read if you are a die hard Castle fan, but I was mostly bored.

Since I am new to blogging I haven't added video to my blog before and I want to try it. This one is to good not to include. Here is a promo video for the show. It is funny and I laugh every time I see it. I think this is a great way to end this post, and I get to broaden my blog skills.



R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII

RIP8main300

I just found out about this reading challenge and this is perfect for me!!! R.I.P. is known as Readers Imbibing Peril, and it is a challenge to read Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural. This challenge is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings, and if you are like me and have just now found out about this, head over to his blog and check it out. This challenge officially runs from September 1st to October 31st but I am starting right now because I am so excited.

This is such a cool challenge, and since this is a category I mainly read anyway I am taking the plunge. I am going to pledge to be part of: 
 
rip8peril1st

Peril the First means I will be reading four books, any length, that I feel fit into this challenge. Since I am already reading a Sherlock Holmes collection of stories and just started Stephen King's Joyland, I am already half way to my first goal once these are finished and reviewed. I also have several other books lined up to be read that are perfect for this challenge.

I am also going to take part in:

rip8perilonscreen

How cool is it that this challenge also includes watching movies and television shows as well? I am a big fan of Horror movies, and the cheesier the better. October is the month of horror for me. All month long I watch as many of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween movies I can. My blog is for both books and movies so I really look forward to reviewing some of my favorite horror movies in October, and better yet to include them in this challenge.

I'm new at blogging and have only been around for just over a month, but this isn't my first blog challenge. I am so excited to participate in another challenge, and it sounds perfect for me. I can't wait to get into this and start reading and reviewing. I couldn't have found a more perfect event to be apart of especially as the weather will be turning into fall soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Iron Man 3


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.

So I am going to do something a little different. I know this is for booksbut I get just as anxious when it comes to movies too. I want to talk about movies from time to time on my blog and I figure this would be a great opportunity.  Here is the little blurb about this from amazon for the Blu-Ray release
The studio that brought you Marvel’s The Avengers unleashes the best Iron Man adventure yet with this must-own, global phenomenon starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow.

When Tony Stark/Iron Man finds his entire world reduced to rubble, he must use all his ingenuity to survive, destroy his enemy and somehow protect those he loves. But a soul-searching question haunts him: Does the man make the suit… or does the suit make the man? Featuring spectacular special effects, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 explodes with exclusive Blu-ray content.
I am anxiously waiting for this movie to be released. I was not able to see this in theaters for a few reasons. The first one is the fact I was a little short on funds and the movies have gotten so expensive, and the second is that my daughter was born right before this movie came out. My wife and I just couldn't pull ourselves away for even the 2 hours or whatever the running time is. 

I am a big fan of superheroes and mainly I am a DC Comics fan. Batman is by far my favorite with Superman and Green Lantern tied at the #2 spot. However, being the comic book nerd that I am I do enjoy seeing anyone of those types of movies. Iron Man is my favorite of the Marvel heroes and really I think it is partly due to how Robert Downey Jr. portrays him. I loved the first two and can't wait to see what they come up with next. One thing I really look forward to is just how Tony Stark thinks to get into the suit. In the second movie he had one that was a brief case that turned into the suit, and in the Avengers he had bracelets that called the parts to him as he fell off his building. This is some really cool special effects and I am really curious to see how they do it in this movie. This will be released to Blu-Ray on September 24th.

I promise not to make a habit of using this as an excuse to talk about movies, but there are only so many books I really look forward to at a time. Back to books next week I promise. Let me know what you think about me using this meme for books in the comments. If a lot of people feel strongly that I shouldn't use it for movies I will not do this again. I'm new to blogging and still learning so feel free to help me learn and grow as a blogger.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Follow Me Friday- Current Reads


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 week was actually an activity. Take a self portrait with your current reads. Well, here it is. 


I feel my smile is a little goofy and I just don't pose for pictures well. The important thing is what I'm reading. Yes, I am reading three different books. I'm listening to Storm Front by Richard Castle, and I've got an ARC ebook of Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D Estelman. I just got Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King, and I'm looking forward to really getting into it.  I have a lot on my plate, and I don't get to read very often, but I power through. I've also gotten pretty good at keeping all the plots straight. 

Part of me wishes I had some cooler books like a Stephen King or Jeffery Deaver book, but these are on my TBR list and it is about time I got to them. I am pretty happy to have two Sherlock Holmes pastiches  though. Please be kind if you comment about the picture, I never feel happy with pictures of me, and I don't normally put myself out there like this. 

What are you reading???

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A-Z Reading Survey


On one of the blogs I follow I saw this and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I decided to follow the link to the A-Z Meme. I also decided to check out the blog this came from and really liked it. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't give credit where it is due? This is from The Perpetual Page-Turner, and her blog is pretty cool. So here are her questions and my answers.


Author you’ve read the most books from:

Jeffery Deaver is the author that I have read the most books from. If you checked out my all about me post you would know that his books are the reason I am the avid reader I am. Michael Connelly and Steven King would be a close second. Still have a lot of King to read.

 

Best Sequel Ever:

 What a good question. Currently the only one I can think of is the Lord of the Rings Tow Towers. That is my favorite book of the series.

Currently Reading:

Currently I am listening to Storm Fron by Richard Castle, and reading Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes editied by Loren D Estelman

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I usually don't drink anything while I read for fear of spillage, but when I do it depends on the situation. Early morning reading I might have coffee with my book. The rest of the day I would say Pepsi if I am feeling brave. For those times when the weather is just perfect, I will sit out on my balcony and read with a beer. Even though it doesn't sound like it, I really don't drink while I read. 

E-reader or Physical Book?

At heart I am a physical book guy and Hard Backs especially. However, funds have put a bit of a damper on that so I have bought more Kindle books. I love having access to a ton of my books on my Kindle and that it syncs with my app on my iPhone. I can read anywhere and never loose my place. I guess I am kind of divided right now because my Kindle is seeing a lot more books than my shelves these days. 

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Well to be honest, I didn't date much in high school. I am what you would call the classic nerd. I'd rather be home on a Friday night with video games than out. Being honest, all the female characters I have read about would be way out of my league.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Not a sci-fi fan but love this series)

Hidden Gem Book:

14 by Peter Clines

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Reading  this book is the reason I am the avid reader I am. Goodreads also helped. When I found Goodreads I found a ton of books I would never have given the time of day and I loved most of them.

Just Finished:

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I try to be open minded but I don't think I will ever read any Erotica. I need more substance to my reading. I also don't usually like to read books about sports or sport stats. 

Longest Book You’ve Read:

IT by Stephen King, this cam in at 1,376 pages on my Kindle.

Major book hangover because of:

This year my major book hangover was from IT. I loved that book so much that I hated to see it end. I was also the same way when I finished the Dark Tower series a few years before.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Sadly I only own 2 and then we have books piled and stacked any where we can in our tiny apartment

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

If children's books count, I have read Guess How Much I love You and Monster at the End of This Book a thousand times easy. My son loved those.

Preferred Place To Read:

I prefer to read anywhere I be comfortable. Mostly I read in bed after my kids have gone to sleep, but when the weather is cool I love to read out on my balcony.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“The Scariest moment is always just before you start" - Stephen King, On Writing

Reading Regret:

I regret reading the Book My Gun Has Bullets by Lee Goldberg. I used to like the Monk books that Lee Goldberg wrote and this was a separate series that I decided to give a read. It was horrible and terribly written. I am still sorry I wasted my time on this and I read it a few years ago. 

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I was reading the Series of Unfortunate events when it was coming out. I read up to book 10 and never finished the series. Not that I didn't like it, just that I had other things that I wanted to read more. I figure Iw ill finish it when I read the series to my son when he gets older.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver,IT by Stephen King, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Unapologetic Fanguy For:

Since Jeffery Deaver is my favorite author I tend to praise his works more than others. I also totally Geek out with any of the Batman comics as well as Green Lantern. I have read some amazing Graphic novels this year and these series stand out. 

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King! I can't wait to read this sequel to the Shining. It has already gotten some interesting press and King himself said he "Just wanted to scare the shit out of people again"

Worst Bookish Habit:

I don't really commit bookish crimes accept to push on through a terrible book. I know I shouldn't waste my time if I hate it that much but I am stubborn.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell (This might not be the case if I shelves the piles of books I have laying around, but for now.)

Your latest book purchase:

I haven't bought a book in a long time. I have been an avid Library visitor. The last book I bought was The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

I couldn't put down 14 by Peter Clines. With a new baby I'm asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and sometime before that. Before my daughter was born I read this book and it was amazing. I was up very late trying to finish it

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs


 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 I am looking forward to the release of the next chapter in the Temperance Brennan series, Bones of the Lost. Here is the Goodreads description. 

When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse police find the ID card of a prominent local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific flea market fire months earlier. Was the girl an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered?

The medical examiner has also asked Tempe to examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquitiesand the trafficking of humans?

As the case deepens, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the Army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father Pete is frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America, to Afghanistan, and right to the center of Charlotte. “A genius at building suspense” (Daily News, New York), Kathy Reichs is at her brilliant best in this thrilling novel.
I have always been a big fan of Kathy Reichs from early in her Brennan series. There are only a few I still need to read to catch up. Still, even though I am a bit behind on the series I am always excited to see what is coming next.  Each of these books could easily be read as a stand alone novel, but I do like to read them in order so I know what is going on in the relationships of the characters. I love all of the Characters that Kathy Reichs has created. They are very likeable and well put together. This is also evident in the Television versions of the characters. Bones is one of my wife and my favorite shows.

Check out the show in reruns on TNT or catch new episodes this Fall on Fox if you are interested. Both book and the show are very well written and something to look forward to.

Bones of the Lost will be out next week. August 27, 2013. Still time to preorder or get your name on a reserve list at your local library.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion



 I have been curious about this book since I fist saw the movie trailer. Finally I got some time to read this book and there was one thing that kept running through my mind the whole time. "My boyfriends back and your gonna be in trouble", the song from the Angels, just kept playing in my head. It took all my strength to A: not laugh out loud constantly as I read, and B: not go completely insane. Does anyone remember that terrible movie from the early 90's where the boyfriend dies in an accident and comes back as a zombie?


Thinking about this movie while reading this book kind of made me want to go out and rent it. Now that I have finished reading Warm Bodies I want to see the movie. I always enjoy comparing the two to see what was changed by Hollywood and if it was a good move. Who knows, I might even do a movie review for Warm Bodies as a post and see what all is different. That might be overkill, two posts about the same book. 

This book was fun to read. It didn't take itself to seriously as a genre Zombie novel, and I liked that. I also really liked that this is told from the point of view of the Zombie. As much as I love zombie movies and books, I haven't read many. None of the books that I have read have ever been from the point of view of the Zombie. It was a lot of fun to see what was running through that decomposing brain of his. I liked to read how R changed. The longer he was with Julie the more human he became. R was able to say actual sentences instead of random word grunts.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the Zombie classes. There were fresh zombies like R and there were Boneys. Boneys are the Zombies that have been around so long there is nothing left but a rotten brain and bones. This book is very much Beauty and the Beast meets Romeo and Juliet meets George Romero.

There were only a few things that bothered me, and they were very minor complaints. After about midway the book slowed down a bit. Not a big deal and it didn't hinder my enjoyment at all but my mind started to wander a bit. While this is going on R shifts between the present events and the memories of Perry, a human he ate prior to meeting Julie. The shifts happen quickly and since both aspects include Julie I had a hard time keeping what was really going on straight. Had my mind not wandered during this low in the story I think I would have been fine. This didn't last long and the ending was really good. I would say this is a strong 4 out of 5 star book.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army by Geoff Johns



I’m blown away!!! I really don’t know what to say so I guess I will ramble on about how awesome this book is and hope it makes sense. I was chosen by DC Comics through NetGalley to read this prior to release and review it. What a story. I have been catching up on the reboots from DC and just read the first 2 volumes of Green Lantern Corps. This book collects issues from every Green Lantern title out there and meshes them seamlessly.

Rise of the Third Army stretches through Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians, Red Lanterns, and two annual issues. Each section had some great story telling,  and I loved seeing what was going on with each Lantern. I hadn’t seen much of Kyle Rayner in what I have been reading so I had wondered what he was up to. This book filled me in perfectly. Kyle, the fifth of the earth Lanterns, is on a mission to master each color of the emotional spectrum. Trying to master each emotion was a difficult challenge and a great story. I got chills at times because the artwork and writing was just amazing.

So here is the main plot to all of this. The Guardians have lost their minds. After removing all emotion from the Guardian known as Ganthet, they created a race of beings called the third army. These beings absorb and infect any being they come into contact with. The Guardians' goal is to convert all of the Green Lanterns into their third army beings. All of this is going on while John Stewart is on a mission to find all the blown apart pieces of a Green Lantern Planet known as Mogo. Guy Gardner gave up his ring because of getting Lanterns and civilians killed (all part of the guardians plans), and Hal Jordan is missing with Sinestro. The ring that Sinestro and Hal shared finds its way to an accused terrorist known as Simon Baz who is trying to prove his own innocence.

This was an amazing book and when it comes out I would encourage any fans of comics to rush out and get it. The only down side I felt was the New Guardian issues were a little on the slow side when compared to the pace of the rest of the book. Also, don’t expect a resolution in this book because it ends with one of the biggest battles I have seen in a long time and it just began. I am now itching to read more and I hope volume 2 comes out shortly after the release of this. The suspense builds through the whole story and just stops leaving you wanting more at the very end. As frustrating as it was that it just ended, I will wait anxiously for the next installment. A lot of questions are answered and created in this book which helps add to the suspense and make this one of the best graphic novels I have read this year.

The Batman books and Green Lantern books are dominating the DC universe in my opinion. These have the best writing and art out of the others I have read so far and I will recommend either series to everyone who enjoys comics and a great well developed story.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Follow me Friday- Book Blogging


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: Share something you've learned about book blogging or just blogging in general in the last month.

Wow, where do I start??? I haven't had my blog up for a full month yet so I have learned a ton of stuff. The easy stuff I have learned so far is how to include a picture in my blog, or a hyper link to Amazon or Goodreads pages. I have also learned some formatting stuff. I have learned all this with the help from some great friends. Angie and Merin, you have been lifesavers with all the questions I have asked you since I started. 

Some of the harder lessons I have learned are things like: I don't need to post every day. Blogging should be fun. When it feels like a job it is time to step back. I have also learned that this whole blogging thing isn't as scary as I thought. I am not a fan of social networking at all. Goodreads is a stretch for me, and I still am avoiding Facebook like the plague. My dream is to be a writer someday, and I need to start somewhere. For me blogging is that start. It is getting me out there and making me write more often. Even though my posts are mainly reviews, any little bit of writing will help me grow. Thanks for reading my blog, even if you don't follow me or check out any other post thank you for taking the time to read it. I appreciate the page views because I work hard on every post. 

One final thing...

Where would I be if I didn't say that one of the things I learned about blogging is that my wife is right. She is the one who pushed me to do this because she believed I could do this. She was right, and this is the only time I will ever put that in writing. :-P

What have you learned??? Sorry for going on so long but there is a ton more I learned that didn't make it here. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dead Sleep by Greg Iles


 This is my fist experience reading Greg Iles. Dead Sleep was recommended to me by a friend who also likes mystery and suspense novels. When I read the little blurb about the book I thought this was going to be quite the ride. Here is the Goodreads description:
An intricate and emotionally resonant story from one of the most versatile thriller writers at work today. Jordan Glass, a photojournalist on a well-earned vacation, wanders into a Hong Kong art museum and is puzzled to find fellow patrons eying her with curiosity. Minutes later, she stumbles upon a gallery containing a one-artist exhibition called "The Sleeping Women," a mysterious series of paintings that has caused a sensation in the world of modern art. Collectors have come to believe that the canvases depict female nudes not in sleep but in death, and they command millions at auction. When Jordan approaches the last work in the series, she freezes. The face in the painting seems to be her own. This unsettling event hurls her back into a nightmare she has fought desperately to put behind her - for, in fact, the face in the painting belongs not to Jordan but to her twin sister, murdered one year ago. At the urging of the FBI, Jordan becomes both hunter and hunted in a duel with the anonymous artist, a gifted murderer who knows the secret history of Jordan's family, and truths that even she has never had the courage to face.
This book started off really strong. The scene at the beginning where Jordan looks up into a painting and connects with her own eyes was really well written. From that point I was hooked. Her struggle with whether or not her sister was still alive and a new determination to figure out why she disappeared was great. The book was strong until about mid way through. Then it started to really slow down for me. 
The things I didn’t care for was all the back story. I started to get bored because I couldn’t see what the point of all that information was. I didn’t need her whole childhood story to figure out there was tension between Jordan and her sister. I also didn’t need so much art talk. It’s got a lot of art jargon that just bored me. This could be an issue with just me. I’m not a fan of art. I can appreciate the skill it takes because I am a terrible artist, but outside of comic book art I just don’t seem to care. These parts in the story lost me a little and I just wanted to get back to the suspense.

What I did like about all of this was Greg Iles’s writing style. For my first book by him this was a good choice. It was suspenseful enough to make me want to keep going even through all of the slower parts. The ending did pick up so I was glad I stuck with the story to see how it turned out, even though it was rather predictable. I would give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars. If there weren’t so many slower parts this would have definitely been a 4 star book just because of how much I enjoyed the beginning of it. You might wonder if I will be reading anything else by him and the answer would be yes. This may not have been my favorite book, but it was written well enough to peak my interest, and I would like to see if his books are as suspenseful as the book blurb claims.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Talon Vol. 1: Scourge of the Owls


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 am really intrigued by this comic series. I loved the Batman: Court of Owls books and when I saw this I had to see what it is all about. Here is the Goodreads blurb:
As a young performer with Haly's Circus, young Calvin Rose was secretly being raised to be a master assassin--a killing machine called a Talon. The Talons have always served the mysterious Court of Owls, a group of wealthy individuals who will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on power in Gotham City.  When Rose defects from the Talon's ranks, he is marked for death and spends the next few years using all his training to hide from his former masters.

After years on the run, Rose finally returns to Gotham City following the horrors of "The Night of Owls."  He'll set off to investigate what remains of the Court of Owls, but will he be able to gain his freedom at long last?
Haly's circus is the very same circus that Dick Greyson (Nightwing) grew up in. I am very interested to see what secrets the circus may hold that will link to the Greysons. Should be a good read and I look forward to reading this and putting the review here for everyone to read. This book is set to be released on September 3, 20013.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Goals/Updates

Bout of Books

Well, Bout of Books is almost here so it is time I set some goals for myself. I haven't really been in much of a reading mood lately but I have been finishing graphic novels like crazy. Those short reads are just what I need to continue reading. Since this is my first time taking part in Bout of Books I am going to try to be as realistic as possible.

Goals

So for my reading goals I am going to try to listen to an audio book at work everyday, and try to work in some reading of my regular books each day. I may not finish all of the books I have listed here but this is what I am shooting for. I want to try to listen to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, and I know I wont finish it but I am hoping to start reading Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King. I also plan on reading Green Lantern Vol 3: The End by Geoff Johns.

Books to Read




I will be posting updates as I go. I will try to add them daily but if there isn't anything to report I wont. Check back to this post for my updates. I wont be doing separate posts for each update I will just post them here. 

Updates

Monday:
So I didn't get any reading in today, but I'm ahead of my goals already. I finished Warm Bodies, and Green Lantern Vol 3: The End. Both books were pretty good. I started:

I was also hoping to start Garment of Shadows but it has yet to arrive. I am hopeful it arrives this week. I will also be reading a new Graphic novel once I figure out which one it will be.







Tuesday:
Today I actually got quite a bit of reading in. Listened to the first disk of 9 of Storm Front. I also started reading:
Read 30% of this on my Kindle today. So far I am on the third short story and I have only really liked the first. I hope the rest of the short stories get better. Garment of Shadows arrived today so I hope to start that one tomorrow.








Wednesday:
Had a busy day so not a lot of reading in. I see others have had a mid week slump and I can't think of a better term for it. I listened to all of disk 2 of Storm Front, and half of Disk 3 today. Other than that no reading. I did participate in the TBR challenge hosted by Musings of a Bookship Girl had a lot of fun thinking about what books I would buy if I could right now. Hopeful to get more reading tomorrow.

Thursday
Well I was kind of a book bum today. I hardly read at all and the only reason I listened to Storm Front was because I made myself. I listened to another disk. That puts me in the middle of Disk 4, I did have some down time at work and I read another 4% of Sons of Moriarty. For my first blog event I haven't been participating like I had hoped. Maybe things will look up for me on Friday.

Friday
I got quite a bit of Storm Front listened to. I ended on disk 7 today and only have 2 and a half disks left till the end of the book. I am hopeful to get this finished by the end of the challenge. Didn't participate in any challenges today I completely forgot about them.

Saturday
I actually got a good bit of reading in today. I listened to half of disk 7 of Storm Front so getting close to finishing this. Possibly by the end of the challenge. I also read 14% of Sons of Moriarty putting me at the 48% mark. Better short stories than at the beginning but not quite half way there yet. Not a bod read so far.  I also participated in the Bookish Wishes challenge put on by Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf. Pretty proud of myself for getting so much read today, even while I was at work. Very slow day.

Sunday
I almost made it to finishing Storm Front. Fell asleep last night with 10 min left of it. Other than that I didn't read anything else nor did I do any challenges today. 

Wrap Up
So here is the scoop. I had a blast!!! This was my first event as a blogger because I have only been blogging for just over a month. I was told about this by a friend who also blogs and I'm so glad I did this. I can't wait for the next Bout of Books. 

As to my goals I pretty much finished my initial goals when this started. I read Warm Bodies, and Green Lantern Vol 3: The End. Since I finished those at the begining of this event I added Storm Front and Sons of Moriarty to my goals. Almost finished Storm Front but just fell shy. I get sleep when I can because we have a beautiful 3 month old in the house so the reading took a back seat to sleep. 

I didn't start Garment of Shadows becuase of shopping issues and it didn't arrive till after this started. I also got Joyland by Stephen King so I had some decisions to make. I started Joyland today. I had an absolute blast. I wish I would have participated in more challenges but there is always next time. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Unseen by Karin Slaughter


I really like Karin Slaughter. I have been a fan for only a few years now and I have a good bit of her early work to catch up on, but when ever she puts out a new book I have to read it. The first book I read of hers was Fallen, and I have read each new book in order as they come out. While doing that I am also reading her books from the beginning to catch up. 

Karin Slaughter is an amazing character writer. I have been a fan of Dr Sara Linton since the very first book. I love reading all the adventures and turmoil in her fictional life. When I read Fallen I was introduced to her and Will Trent.  Will’s character has so much depth and hidden secrets I still learn something new about him with each book. I have yet to read the beginning of his series, but I am really looking forward to it. When it comes to her characters I almost enjoy what’s happening between each character more than the main plot. Sara and Will’s relationship is tested in this book and sad as it is to say, I was really afraid how things were going to turn out. Whether there is a resolution or not I leave that to you to find out yourself.

Unseen was amazing!!! I can’t believe it took me so long to get through even though it held my attention through every chapter. In this book Will is undercover as an ex con to try and get close to a drug boss called Big Whitey. While trying to get in close to the organization he gets caught in the middle of an attack on local cops. One of the cops knows him and Will has to hope she will keep his secret and his cover in tact. The story was very well done and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Reality did intervene and my time to read was limited. I was frustrated that I couldn’t keep going. As soon as I would get into the story again I had to put it down.

The only complaint I have with this book is the fact that the time frame changes from chapter to chapter. This is really just a small complaint, because I would still rate this a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I just felt as soon as the tension would build Karen Slaughter would switch to a month prior and I was left hanging waiting to read what happens next. The story shifts between the events that are happening with Will undercover in the present, and a raid that Officer Lena Adams was in charge of about a month before all of this. Normally I don’t mind interludes with back story that fills in gaps, but this didn’t seem to flow well for me. It might be due to not being able to consistently read this book, but I was so much more invested in the events with Will. I felt the story was about to take off, and then the switch would happen and everything stalled. Yes it created suspense because I had to find out what was going to happen next, but than I had to read through the next chapter to get back to that.  The best way to describe it would be if a race car was finally traveling at high speeds then stopped suddenly. Then the race car had to slowly build speed again just to stop and do it all again. It was a little irritating.

Still I loved this book and I am so glad I was able to finally spend some time reading it. This was a great story that doesn’t need any prior knowledge to enjoy. The book also wraps up at the end so it can be read as a stand alone. However, this book does give away some big things in earlier books. Read it if you are ok with spoilers. I didn’t know this was going to be the case when I read Fallen, but I am still really enjoying the earlier books even though I know how it ends.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Wonder Woman Vol 3: Iron by Brian Azzarello




This book was graciously given to me by DC Comics through NetGalley for an honest review. I am more than happy to review DC’s books because when it comes to comic books I am clearly a DC fan. I have enjoyed quite a few books by other publishers and I don’t limit myself, DC just seems to have the best writing and art work in my opinion. All of my favorite superheroes are DC characters and I enjoy reading all the different stories and crossover events. Wonder Woman may not be on the top of my list but I have really liked reading her story in the past.

This is actually my first time reading Wonder Woman since the New 52 started, so I might be missing some information. Still this book is pretty good at telling a story and I didn’t feel left out or confused. I was able to enjoy this even though I am just starting out.  This book opens up with an old style story of Wonder Woman as a teenager. She is desperate to be the best Amazon warrior and stumbles across Ares the god of War. He then becomes her trainer determined to make Wonder Woman his greatest achievement. I liked the little history of Wonder Woman interludes. Even in Vol. 3 the writers are still trying to flesh out her character. This to me shows they want to establish Wonder Woman as strongly as other heroes like Superman, and Batman who have long detailed back stories.

This book deals heavily with Greek Mythology in a sense that it is full of different Gods and their Demi God offspring. So I never read much of Wonder Woman until Infinate Crisis struck years ago, but I don’t remember so many gods being involved in those stories. Wonder Woman is trying to return a friend’s baby who was taken by Hermes. This particular child is foretold to bring the end of time. Because of this fact one of the New Gods, Orion, from Apocalypse travels to earth to kill the child and save humanity. When he finds out the child is just a baby he then helps Wonder Woman on her search.

There is a side story going on through all of this, and here is where I might be missing some info. The first Child of Zeus is buried under the ice in the Arctic and found by explorers. He is released from his icy prison and he sets out to find his strength and armor. Could this be the child of Zeus that will end time itself? Not a bad story, but I did have a few issues with this book. The story telling was good, I like Brian Azzarello’s writing, and the art work was pretty good as well. I just wish there was more action. When I read a comic I enjoy the story, and can really appreciate the artwork, but I am also looking for some good action sequences and how well those advance the story. I just wanted more from this story.

I guess the real question here is, was this enough to make me want to read more? Yes, I will try to get a hold of Volumes 1 and 2 and try to fill in gaps I might have, and I want to see what is coming next. This book does seem to wrap up the main story quite well, but there is more that pulls you in to what’s next. This was a decent read and I am glad I requested this. I’d say a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Follow Me Friday-Back to School


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:
Back to School time! Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you'll be teaching this semester.
 This is very interesting, and I struggled a lot with what to choose. There are so many books by so many different authors that I would love to share. I would love to teach Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver or IT by Stephen King, but other than just being great books I couldn't really find an academic reason for studying these. So after a lot of thought I think I have a good idea of what I would teach. Here are the books I would teach and why.

1. Study in Scarlett by Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle- I really like this story and it is a good example of a classic detective story. This is written by the fictional character John Watson and told from his perspective. It can possibly raise some good discussion as to what Holmes's opinion or out look might have been on the same events. 

2. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - I figure by this time in the semester it would be fall and around Halloween. This is a short entertaining read for Halloween. It has a poetic style to the writing and there is an old Disney movie adaptation I could show right before fall break around Thanksgiving. This could open discussion on differences between movie and book and where they positive or negative to the story.

3.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- This gives a good portrayal of the Holocaust and has some history of Nazi Germany through out. It is a great story and one I think that would tie history and literature together.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- Doctor Sleep By Stephen King


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

For this week my pick is the long awaited Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. This book will be released on September 24, 2013. This past January I read the Shining for the first time. I really enjoyed it and when I heard that Doctor Sleep was originally going to be released in January I couldn't wait to see what Danny is up to these days. Sadly the release date got pushed and all it has done is build my excitement. Here is the description:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
Sounds like this is going to be quite a ride. I really hope it lives up to all the hype and expectations that have been building for sometime.