Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Last Apprentice: Slither by Joseph Delaney


I took a little break from this series but I'm ready to finish and find out what happens to Tom, Alice, and the Spook. This is listed as the 11th book in the series but really it doesn't fit in the story line. Like the 9th book, Grimalkin the Witch Assassin, this is a stand alone story. It almost seems like the this was a different project that was rolled into the series to draw it out a bit. This story has very little to do with Tom and his quest. It takes place in a different realm where they have never heard of Spooks. 

This book is about a creature who lives off the blood of others and makes a deal with a local farmer. He will leave the farmer and his family alone if he will allow Slither to feed from the animals from time to time. Something happens tot he farmer and we learn that as long as Slither gets his two youngest daughters to safety then he can have the oldest. 

There are a few references to Spooks and we have a pop in from one of the bigger characters to help move the story along. This was an ok book but I have to admit that I was glad to finish this one. I kept going because I wanted to know how this book ties in only to find it really doesn't. The story is kind of slow and most of this is a repeat of the plot line over and over. 

I'm kind of torn as to how to rate this book. There were some parts that held my attention, but overall I felt let down. I was anxious for this book to be over so I could get back to Tom and the Spook. I need to know how Tom will defeat the Fiend and if Alice can remain in control of her own powers. The prophecy that has been set in this series raises some interesting questions and this book just made me aggravated that I wasn't getting a step closer to the answers I'm looking for. 

I had trouble trying to decide just how I was going to rate this book. I kept teetering on the fence between a 3 and a 2 star rating. The more I think about this book the more aggravated I am getting by the whole thing so I have decided this only a 2 out of 5 star read. If you are not as crazy and stubborn as I am I would suggest just skipping this book in the series. At this moment I don't see the purpose for this one. Maybe something will be revealed in the final two books that will make this one seem more important but I can 't see it. I don't mean to be harsh on this because the series is great and I have really liked the writing. Delaney is a great writer and his style is very well done, I just didn't care for this book. Even the Grimalkin book which felt like a deviation from the series was enjoyable. This fell flat for me. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bout of Books 12

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 12

It's that time again and I am excited to be able to participate in this round of Bout of Books. I have had my slumps this year because of one thing or another, but this is a great opportunity to catch up. I have fallen behind on my Graphic novel challenge this year so I'm hoping to start off 2015 with a bang. In case you don’t know what Bout of Books is all about here is a little blurb:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a weeklong read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Bout of Books was the very first blogging event I participated in and I had so much fun. I have been giving my goals some thought this year and I have a few ideas. As I mentioned I want to down a few comics, I have also been struggling to get time to read my copy of Mr Mercedes so I would like to make more time and get that one finished. I also have some YA series that I would like to finish and I will be listening to those while at work. Look for my Goals and Progress post coming at the start of the event. I will try to update it daily so check back on that post to see how I am doing.

I missed out on the last round because I just didn't have the time to keep up with it but I’m ready for this one. For all my blogging friends who will be participating in this I wish you all luck and I look forward to seeing what you have as your goals and how you all are doing.  If you are thinking about participating in this for the first time I would encourage you to do it. It is a lot of fun even if you only participate a little bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!!! Now I'm not so single minded to think that everyone celebrates Christmas and for those that read my blog I really hope you all have a very Happy Holidays. I do celebrate Christmas in my family'e life it lasts a little over a week. That's a long story I won't bore you with but we try to get as much out of this holiday as possible. Our kids are getting older and we do our very best to give them the best Christmas possible. Things are a little better this year for them thanks to my great job I got back in July. So we put up the tree and the lights and our Elf on the Shelf came for a visit.

Have you heard of the Elf on the Shelf. It is a cute idea but really a pain in the butt. Every year our elf Neighbor. My Son named him, comes on Thanksgiving night with breakfast fixings. Every day he is in a new spot in the house to watch the kiddos and report back to Santa every night if they have been good or bad. This worked great last year but this year my five year old has been testing his limits. He got an official Elf Warning this year. Some of the things people do with the elf are really creative. Last year I did an homage to Stephen King's Under the Dome complete with a little Bloody ketchup hand on the clear mixing bowl we put him in. This year I built one of my Batman Legos and used the Scarecrow's Plane to fly our elf in this year. I hung it from the ceiling and the kids loved it. 

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful Holiday with their families and a very Merry Christmas. “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” 
― Clement C. Moore

Monday, December 22, 2014

Graphic Novel Challenge 2015

I love this challenge. Comics are something that I have never grown out of and since my library carries a huge catalog of graphic novels I read more of them as an adult. The Other thing I love about this challenge is that it lasts all year round. I am always working towards my goals and planning what books I want to catch up on. 

Like last year there are three levels to aim for this coming year. 


Modern Age: read and review 12 books during the year (that's only 1 book a month)

Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year (Can you handle 2 books a month.)

Silver Age: read and review 52 books during the year (Are you up to a book a week!)

Last year I decided to go all in for the Silver Age challenge. I fell short with a total of 40 Graphic novels read at the time I posted this. I might be able to get one or two more in before the end of this year. I had some great things happen this year with my new job that I love but it did cause me less time to read comics. Since I don't have as much time to read as I did last year I think I will set my goal at Bronze Age. I think 24 will be a good number to shoot for with my reduced reading time at home. If I finish my goal next year I will shoot for the Silver age but I'm definitely thinking more realistic for my goals this year. 

Last year I got close to 40 Graphic Novels and this year I hit that and will hopefully get a few more in. I am excited be joining this challenge again and I can't wait to see how many I can get in this coming year. Stay with my blog to see all of the reviews I post from my challenge entries. If you are a big fan of comics yourself there is plenty of time to join in for the 2015 challenge. It is a lot of fun and I love seeing all the different books that get reviewed for this challenge. I have found some great comics reviewed by other in this challenge that I might not have considered if I hadn't read one of the reviews. Here is to a great year of comic book reading. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Night Eternal by Guillermo Del Toro


Well, I'm finished with the trilogy and I'm glad it's over. I wanted to like this series but by the time I got about a quarter of the way through this one I wanted to pack it in and move on. My stubbornness won out and since I had already read the first two I had to know how this was going to end.  

My biggest complaint with this book other than it was just dull, was the fact that a few chapters in I hated all of the characters in this book. I like our little survivor team of Fet, and Eph, and Nora, but in this book things personalities change and I really didn't like the turn they had taken. I was amazad at how quickly Guillermo Del Toro made me hate characters I grew to like in the first two books. That kind of put me off the whole book fright from the start and I was only a few chapters in. 

Unlike book two, The Fall, this once doesn't pick up right where the previous left off. This book begins 2 years later. A lot can happen in two years and apparently it wasn't important enough to write a book about. I guess the show could fill in that gap with two seasons if it continues to be popular. 

This book was so dull and slow. We have characters who only care about themselves, constantly whine, and do nothing to advance the story what so ever. I also felt the ending was a complete cop out. I felt like they wanted to make it a big as it could possibly be and then wrap it up with a happy ending. It was just cheesy and could have been much better.

I'm not going to complain about this book anymore and just move on to the review. Now I was only half interested in this after reading the first book and not being really into it. I will give this book 1.5 stars and round up to 2 mainly because this isn't the worst book I have read this year, but all I can say is I'm glad it's over. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nightwing Vol 5: Setting Son by Kyle Higgins


I did things a little backwards. I have only read Vol 1 of the New 52 reboot, but when this became available through Edelweiss as an Advanced reader copy I jumped at the chance to put my name in the ring. I was fortunate enough to be granted a copy from DC Comics and I am very grateful. Nightwing is one of my favorite superheroes. I always loved the lighter side Dick Greyson brought as Robin to the Dynamic Duo. When he left the cave to become his own man as Nightwing I was hooked. I always enjoyed the stories that he came back into to, and then when he was rebooted the first time with the new black and blue suit I collected every single issue till Battle For the Cowl when Nightwing's series ended. 

I really liked this Vol even if I was a little lost at times. I have heard from friends what all is going on with Dick in his series so I wasn't spoiled by anything, but still a little lost. This book is a collection of stories from Dick's past. Starting out early on with him as a boy in the circus with his Mom and Dad still alive. Then we move onto modern day with a pretty good story guest staring Batgirl herself. The writing on these was great and I couldn't put this book down. I'm already heading to get Vol 2 so I can catch up on all that I missed. 

The art work on this book was also really good for the most part. There is a section with Batman that was to dark which made the characters seem to lack detail. The rest of the book was really well done and fit the stories perfectly. This is one of my favorite graphic novels I have read this year and there are a lot. I can't wait to get caught up because I am really curious to see where Nightwing's story takes him from here. There are a few series that have had a really good story line since the New 52 began. Some of my favorite heroes have had less then stellar stories and I kind of wish things would go back to the way they were. Nightwing has grown and been one of the best stry lines I have read and for now I have only read the beginning and the present. Kyle Higgins has had a great run on this series and if the books in between are as good as this I'm in for quite a ride.

I've gushed for long enough about Nightwing so let me get to the rating. In case you haven't figured it out I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars. I loved this and can't wait to catch up on all I have missed.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Fall By Guillermo Del Toro


The Show the Strain was really good this first season. It renewed my interest in this trilogy. The first book wasn't as good as the television series in my opinion but I wanted to see where the story was going. This is definitely a middle book. Nothing really happens in this book until the very end and it really feels like that was just setting up the final chapter in this story. 

So here comes the warning. I am going to mention some things that happened at the very end of the last book/show so if you don't wan't SPOILERS then I would stop here. If you have seen the show or read the first book you will be fine. If you don't care to read these and are curious to find out what O have to say then keep reading. I'd love the company.

This book picks up right where the last leaves off. The Master has escaped and looks like an over cooked turkey. The sun may have burned him but it didn't kill him like it does the underlings. The Vampires have begun to out number the humans on this planet and our little group of survivors are taking the fight to them.

If you were to draw a graph of the plot of a book it would look similar to a mountain, at least that is what my English teachers used to tell me in school. The story starts off building to a point or climax and then turns and heads down to the conclusion. Realizing this is a trilogy I still felt like this story line was nothing more than a straight line. The very end picks up a little which I had hoped would set the final book up for one hell of a climax. I got to the end and could only think to myself "Really? You are going to go that route?". Out of all the ways this book could have ended I feel like this ending was cheesy and underwhelming.

All of this aside there were some decent moments in the story so I will still give this 3 out of 5 stars. I would say I have high hopes for the final book but my excitement is faltering. I hope the show does a better job with season two but I will wait and see. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Batman/Superman Vol 2: Game Over by Greg Pak


I was fortunate enough to be granted a review copy of this from DC Comics through Netgalley. I have enjoyed this series and wished it was a little better at the same time. The thing I really like about this series is the back and forth between Batman and Superman, but not the dialog but the internal thoughts of these characters. Batman will think something like Clark is a Boy Scout, and then the next text box is Superman thinking something like "I'm sure Bruce thinks I'm a Boy Scout". This non verbal back and forth shows just how close the friendship between these characters is. 

The one thing I am not a big fan of is the cross over between our universe and the Earth 2 universe. I get confused as to which Batman I'm reading about, the younger one who has little experience or the older one that has this family and is not what Batman is about at all. The story in this was pretty interesting. It starts out with Mogul and his son which run through the whole book. The first part of this has a video game designer with some special technology creates a game that can control Batman like he is an action figure. Later in the book we get a pretty cool battle royal on another planet. 

I liked the story and it has its moments where it falls a little flat. Overall it is a pretty good story. The artwork is also really good in this book. At the very beginning there is this great page that is half Batman and half Superman but it is split right down the middle Making the two one character. 

This is my favorite panel of the whole book. If I could cut out all of the text bubbles and boxes I would blow this up and frame it for my future office. It would look great behind my desk on the wall of my dream writing office. To brag about the art work in this just a little more do you remember my mentioning a Battle Royal. This is one of the covers in that section of this book. 

I did enjoy this book and look forward to vol 3 when ever it is released. These have been great books so far and I love the combination of two of my favorite superheroes. Batman is of course my favorite but I have like Superman for a long time also. I actually really wondering where this story is going to take us in future books after finishing this one.

I am going to give this 4 out of 5 stars. This kept my attention and I looked forward to picking it up again every time I had to put it down. As always I am grateful for the opportunity to review this book from DC Comics. I may not get picked to review there books as often as I would like but when I do they usually are the best titles that will be coming out. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger


I got this email from Netgalley offering two novellas from Lisa Unger. The premise for these two books was to not judge a book by its cover so there wasn't one when these came available on Netgalley for request. I really liked this idea. I must admit that a really good cover can make me want to read a book or on the flip side make me avoid a book at all costs no matter how interesting it might sound. I threw my name in for these and was fortunate enough to be selected to review this and the other book. 

I was intrigued by the idea of a psychic who is finding out dark secrets about her past while trying to figure out the mystery behind the burning girl she keeps seeing.  I didn't realize it at the time I started this but this is the second book in the Whispers series. I read these two a little out of sequence but to be honest I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. This book reads like a single story and I didn't feel like there was stuff in this book that I would only know if I read the first one.

I will be reading the first part of this series because I was lucky enough to be granted these from the publisher for a fair review through NetGalley. I think I will stop just there. This one isn't really mu cup of tea. Still I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Short review for a short story.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan


I'm not sure I know what to say about this book that I haven't already said in my review for The Lost Hero. I still felt like I have read this book before because of the parallels between the Percy Jackson series and of course the first book of this series. I know the two books in this series are supposed to be parallels but I again felt myself letting my mind wander away from the story.

One thing I did like about this book was the fact that we are back with Percy Jackson. He is paired with new Demi Gods and in this case they are from the Roman version of Camp Half Blood. The constant bouncing between Greek and Roman references was dizzying at times. It was hard to keeo straight what gods they were talking about. It has been quite awhile since I have studied Greek and Roman Mythology in school so I was a little rusty.

I feel like these book seem to be missing the level of action that was in the previous series. There is a lot of talking and not much happening. My hope is that these two books were just setting the stage for the series to really ramp up. I am hopeful that I didn't set my expectations to high causing me to not enjoy these books. I know the last book in this series has come out a month or two ago so at least I don't have to wait to finish these.

I really am out of things to say so I guess I will get to the rating. Just like the first book, The Lost Hero I think this is a 2.5 out of 5 Start book. I will give it 3 stars to round up. I will get to the next books in the series soon but I think I need to step away from these for awhile. Maybe coming back fresh after a book or two will help me get into a better mood for the next three books in the series. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan


I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series and both my wife and a friend of mine raved about this series. They liked this series better than the Percy Jackson one so I had high hopes. Well, I wasn't all that impressed. I knew going into this that it isn't going to be all about Percy Jackson but I really didn't care for the new characters. I also felt like I had read this book already. This one was so similar to The Lightening Thief  I could predict everything that was going to happen. To top it off this book opens yet again with a class field trip where property is damaged by some evil mythological creature. 

I spent most of this book kind of bored as I just stumbled through. There were times that I thought I would just move on but decided to stick it out. In this book we have a new Demigod wake up with no memory and he is thrown into a new life with the kids of Camp Half Blood. Jason has to adjust to Leo and Piper who have fake memories of being friends with him. Nothing brings people together better than a quest. Another God is growing to rise and take over Olympus and again I find myself overwhelmed with this feeling of deja vu.

I wasn't impressed with this book but I read through to the end and that's when things got interesting. Questions were answered very quickly and pieces of the puzzle came together. I had to move on to the next book in the series. We will see how the series goes but had the ending of this book not been enough to keep me interested this would have been the end of my journey. I will give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Really this is a 2.5 star read for me but I have to pick 2 or 3 for ratings on Goodreads or Amazon. It's not really a 2 star read so I rounded up.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: War Cry by Jim Butcher


I have been on a bit of a comic book hiatus since I binge read the Walking Dead books. I happened to get an email for new Comics from NetGalley and this was in it. I love the Dresden File books that I have read and the comics are a lot of fun. I had to grab this as soon as I could. Thank you Netgalley. 

I have missed a lot apparently since the last graphic novel I read. This book finds Dresden as a Warden of the White council. His first mission is to take a bunch of newly appointed Wardens who are young and inexperienced to the middle of nowhere and rescue a few mortals. These regular humans have been targeted by the Red Court of Vampires and it is Harry's Job to get them and keep them safe.  The story was really good and it made me want to catch up on all of the books and Graphic novels I have missed. I love the Dresden files novels but I have only read about 5 of them. I wish I had more time to sit down and read because I would be able to catch up on these.

The thing I like about these graphic novels is the art work. The way the characters are drawn is exactly how I picture them in my head when when I read the books. The art work is very well done and the cover art is some of the best in this book. The detail is really good and really helps get you interested in what will be in each issue in this collection.

These are always fun reads that allow me to step out of my comfort zone of my superhero comics and mystery novels. I look forward to seeing one of these pop up at my library or NetGalley every chance I get. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I had a lot of fun reading this and it has only further sparked my love for these characters. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teen Titans: Earth One Vol 1 by Jeff Lemire

Teen Titans: Earth One

I really like these Earth One Books. It is a little hard to adjust to the change of origin stories but at the same time I really like seeing what the writers come up with. This book has an interesting twist on the origin on the Teen Titans and it definitely raised more questions than it answered in this book. I'm hooked and anxiously awaiting Vol 2. 

In this book our heroes all start out as ordinary high school kids with a hidden past. All at once they begin to go through changes and are drawn to one place. One person is calling for help and these teens are the only ones who know she needs help. We get to see these characters grow and begin to find out who they really are. 

I don't want to give to much away because this is such a great story. A little slow to get started but the overall plot was really good. It also left me wanting even more so I am looking forward to the next volume. So many questions and so many ways this story could go. The art work was very well detailed also. I have seen better art work, but this was still perfect for the tone and feel of the book. 

This was a great book and I have to thank DC comics for allowing me to read and review this through Netgalley. I always enjoy being chosen to review one of the books I request from them and I'm really glad this was one of them. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blogging Break

For those that visit my blog regularly might have noticed my usual three post a week have been missing. At best I think I might have put out one a week. I have to admit that I really haven't felt like blogging much. I haven't really been in much of a mood to read either. The whole family has been since the last week and a half so that has been fun and left all of us pretty run down. I have also been really busy with work so when I get home I just want to chill. The computer hasn't been out all week and my iPad was pretty much used for a few games and checking email. 

With things being crazy busy at work and feeling a bit more stressed than usual I have skipped listening to books at work because I can't afford my attention to be divided and had a lot of great music playing instead. This has caused my nice stock pile of reviews to thin out to nothing. I have one or two reviews to write and one that will post Tuesday because I had to wait till release day to post it. I have enjoyed my little break to be honest with you. I still love doing this blog but I have enjoyed the little break. 

I am slowly getting back into my reading mood. I read a about 50 pages in Mr Mercedes today. This is one I am actually reading instead of listening to so I only get a little time occasionally to read it. 50 pages is a lot for me to read in one sitting. I am really enjoying the book though it has just taken me months to get almost half way.  I've got a few Audio Books that I am waiting on at the library and DC comics has graced me with two Graphic novels for me to read. Look for all of these reviews in the near future. 

Even though I have been on a break I have read some interesting posts on different blogs this week. Of course the big news it seems is the release of The Hunger Games Mockingjay part 1. Two of my favorite blogs have reviewed it and you can check out those posts on:

If you are interested in an update on the remake of Stephen King's The Stand movie check out Talk Stephen King. I also read a tech blog called Engadget and they had a cool way to cook food perfectly. Way out of my price range so I wont be buying it, but check out the Frying pan with bluetooth

I'll get back into my reading and reviews soon I think. Thanks for sticking around and I will post again soon. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro


I read this book in 2011 long before I knew this was going to be a television show. When the show started I was really curious to see how they were going to do the special effects. The trailer for it looked awesome so my wife and I decided we were going to watch this. I was hooked on the show right from the start. 

The show was great, the book however was not my favorite. The idea is terrifying, a plan lands and everyone on it is dead. Later the bodies begin to get up and infect the rest of the city spreading quickly. When I read the book and reviewed it the first time I only gave it 2 stars. It was hard to keep my focus on the book and I was getting really bored. Since I love the show I decided to give this book one more try. 

I liked it a little more but it was still really boring for about half of the book. The story seemed to drag on and on before anything really interesting happened. A lot of CDC talk and bodies in cold storage. The show doesn't have the luxury of a slow build. On a re-read I did enjoy this book a bit more this time around. Between the show and my re-read I am interested in finishing out the trilogy. I have already put myself on the waiting list for the audio book at the library.

The one thing I have to say about this book is that the Vampires are different with their straw like suckers that come from their throat, but they are ruthless. These vampires are exactly how they should be, they only have one thing on their mind and that is to feed and infect everyone. I am bumping my original rating from 2 stars to 3 out of 5 stars. Still not the best book I've read but I am going to see what book two brings. I know that in trilogies the first book is really just setting the stage. My hope is that the next book blows me away.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Hero 6

I did something I haven't done in years. I saw a movie in the theaters on opening day. I haven't done anything like that since my wife and I were dating and that was a long long time ago. Friday the 7th was my son's 5th birthday. I took off work and we made a big day out of his birthday one more time before he starts next year. We have taken him to movies before but it is usually the dollar show because it stings less if we have to leave mid movie. This was the first movie in the bog theater that he has gone to and aside from getting up several times to go to the bathroom he was great. He loved it and so did I. 

Leave it to Disney to make a happy kids movie heart wrenching and sad before it picks you up. I won't go into details because I don't want to ruin anything. This movie is about a genius teenager who has this healing robot. Baymax is this squishy health robot that will heal burns and make you feel better when you are down. Check out the trailer.

This is a great family movie and I say that because everyone no matter how old you are will enjoy it. You don't need to have a family or kids to go see this. Before we had kids my wife and I would go to these movies all the time. Disney always has something for the grown ups in there even if the kids don't get it. It could be an old pop culture reference or a joke that has plenty of innuendo in it that the kids wont understand. 

This movie is apparently based off of a Marvel comic which I haven't read myself (I'm a DC Comics guy). In all of the Marvel movies the creator of Marvel comics Mr Stan Lee finds a way to cameo in it. Just because this is a kids movie did stop Stan Lee from popping up in this movie. Lets see if you can find him. 

This movie was so good and we all liked it so much that from the lobby of the theater I got on my iPhone and looked to see if this was available to pre-order yet. It is and I have already ordered my digital copy of this movie. As soon as iTunes gets it will be having a movie night at home. So if you don't want to deal with the theater's outrageous prices and crazy kids kicking the back of your seat then I would encourage you to order this right now. It was worth it. Just re-watching this trailer made me wish I could watch it again right now. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Locke and Key Vol 6: Alpha and Omega by Joe Hill


I finally got to finish this series and I am both elated and really sad that it is over. I was granted this by Netgalley as an Advanced reader copy a long time ago before it was published. I had a problem with my Bluefire Reader app and I lost everything I had downloaded. By that time this had been archived and I couldn't get it back. I have been waiting for my library to get this one as part of its stock. I loved this series but this book is my favorite out of them all. 

A few of the books were a little on the slow side but they helped build one heck of a story. Each book introduced new keys and what they did. These keys don't just open doors but they can control armies and open your mind and all sort of cool things. The house, and town have secrets that are slowly revealed through these books. Most of the time these book raise more questions than answers, but everything comes to fruition in this book. 

This book starts out a little confusing at first. When I was reading this as a digital edition I was worried I only got part of the book. Thankfully I wasn't the only one who thought this. A friend of min over at Angela's Anxious Life read this book about the same time I started it and she felt the same way. When I actually got the book from the library it was the same way. No idea what is going on at first but as things progress you catch on. So if you read this for yourself the confusion will pass after a few pages.The rest of the book is non stop action and it doesn't let up.

I really liked this book. Joe Hill does a very good job writing this story. I may not be a fan of his novels but I love this series. The art work is pretty good in this as well but I have seen better. The way Gabriel Rodriguez draws his characters is very similar to the early years on the Nightwing series. Those were done by some one else but the style is very similar. I can't end this review without mentioning the little homage that Hill did to his father. We get a funny interpretation of Carrie in this book and I really enjoyed it.

I really like this book and I loved the series over all. I actually can't wait to re-read all of these again. I got them from my library but I think I will have to just buy these for myself. They really are nice hardback collections with a ribbon place holder in the spine. These would make a great addition to my book shelves. I have also seen that the Keys from these book have been made for collectors out there. This one on the left here is one of my favorites. I really like the way it looks and the power it holds in the books. Maybe one of these day I will buy it. Again, the comic nerd in me really wants to collect these keys. If you are interested in checking out all the keys yourself then click here for the site that sells these keys. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is definitely worth them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Green Mile by Stephen King


I saw the movie right after it came to video. Not usually something I would have watched when I was younger but I really liked it. It has always stuck with me and the reason is because of the characters. I have read some pretty disappointing books in the last month so I wanted something I knew would be a good one. I don't usually do this but there are so many things I want to talk about this book so there will be SPOILERS in this review. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book this is where we shall part. Beyond this point there is a change that something might get ruined for you. 

I haven't read this book until right now. It stayed very close to the book but of course there were little things that are in the book that are cut out of the movie. These little pieces help fill in gaps and keeps the story moving. The one thing I didn't care for much is after the second part we get these interludes with Boss Paul in a retirement home and we find out that this book is his very own hand written tale. I liked this piece at the end because we get to know what happens to everyone but when these interruptions started the story would stall. King I think did this on purpose because it always happened when there was a cliffhanger chapter ending. 

King has this amazing gift to write a book that can scare the pants off me and then turn around and write a book that makes my eyes teary. He is also the only author I have read who makes you sad to see a mass murderer finally end in the electric chair. I loved the scenes with Delacroix and Mr Jingles. His character was really child like at times and funny even with living out the last of his days. The other thing about reading this book was knowing the whole time that John Coffey was innocent the whole time. Knowing that he will walk the Green Mile and end his days in old sparky when he was just trying to help was heart breaking. The time period really plays the stereotypes and prejudice in a way that I feel was probably very realistic. I wasn't around in the 1930's but I can only imagine that this has to be close to what life was like back then. 

Movies can be limited in what they can do with scenes. It has been a long time since I have seen this movie but the seen with Delacroix in the Electric chair when Percy intentionally doesn't wet the sponge was so much more gruesome and realistic in the book. On top of that the very end when John Coffey takes his turn in the chair was so emotional I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes. I could sympathize with Boss Paul and the other guards. I have grown with these characters from the very beginning because of how King wrote these lifelike characters. I allowed for me to be really invested in what happens next and to feel each emotion throughout the story. 

I have talked about all of the amazing likable characters King wrote in this book but he also does villains really well. I have never hated a character more than Kings Jim Rennie in Under the Dome, but Percy comes really close in this book. Percy is just a despicable person who enjoys torturing people and throwing around his powerful relatives to get exactly what he wants. Percy is like a like a stubborn child who has never been told no. 

I think I have rambled on long enough so I will just get to the rating. I couldn't put this book down and I know I could go on about different things in this book for pages. I am going to give this the highest of honors on my shelf and rate it 5 out of 5 stars and this has been added to my favorite books. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Hangover and RIP Wrap up

Sadly another Halloween has come and gone. I had a blast this year and I really hate to have it behind me. I did feel like I needed a few days before I wrote this post so I could recoup from everything and really put thought into this post. I've got nothing. 

Where I live the weather is always against us. Last year it was raining and this yes the temp was 37 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was unforgiving. It really brought back those memories from my child hood where the only thing you could see of your costume was your mask because you were bundled under layers and coats. My son was lucky enough because he was Spider-Man we were able to put his costume on over his clothes, then a jacket and then his Spider-man hoodie over that so you still got to see his costume. He is 4 so we were only out trick-or-treating for maybe a half hour but he wanted to eat some candy right away. My poor daughter is 1 and she was going to be Bat-Girl but it was so cold we bundled her up and was Mobi wrapped to my wife for the little while we were out. She didn't get any candy but then again she doesn't need sweets just yet. 

I am beat, even though we weren't out for very long it was tiring. Lots of excitement leading up to the night. We did do more Pumpkin carving after my initial post. My wife did a fancy patterned carving and you saw my throw back to the traditional. My kids painted there's. Our pumpkins looked great all lit up.

The Readers Imbibing Peril challenge was a lot of fun this year. I of course added my movie reviews for the peril on the screen part of the challenge. These are the movies I reviewed for the challenge if you weren't around for my Halloween Week reviews.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Friday the 13th (1980)
The Evil Dead (1981)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Halloween (1978)

Also with this challenge I reviewed a few shows. Here is that llist:

Sleepy Hollow
Walking Dead season 5

I pledged again to do the Peril in the First level of this challenge. That is a whopping 4 books. I actually read a lot more than that. Here are the books I read for this challenge.

The Waling Dead Vol 16
The Walking Dead Vol 17
The Skin Collector
The Lake
Midsummer Nights Scream
Fear Nothing
The Halloween Tree

I had a lot of fun with this challenge and Halloween. I'm excited for the colder weather becuase I love the Fall and Winter. Yet I am already looking forward to next Halloween. Hope those of you who celebrated this wonderful holiday had a lot of fun. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween (1978)

There isn't a better movie to end my Halloween week than this one. Halloween Night is the night young Michael Myers snaps and kills his family. Decades later Michael is a patient at an asylum and finds breaks out. He returns home to finish the killing spree he started as a kid. Halloween night is when he returns to Haddonfield. Like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, Michael Myers is a giant hulking silent killer. Sure Leatherface does some grunting and  occasional scream he doesn't say anything. Nothing can stop Michael when he sets his mind to something. 

I did mention in my Friday the 13th review that it is a lot of fun seeing these big actors when they were first starting out. This wasn't Jamie Lee Curtis's first role but it was very early in her career. She has come a long way since this movie. The was the movie that gave her the moniker of Scream Queen.

The thing about Michael Myers is the mask. This is the thing that makes him stand out from other mask wearing horror movie villains. Michael's mask is very plane. It is the most human looking of all of the masks. Ok, so Leatherface's mask is actually made of human skin but it is all pieced together where Michael's mask is just a white face with hair. Another Slasher movie that is unforgiving and packed with multiple stabbings. I really like this movie but this is one franchise that I can't say I am a fan of all of the movies. The newer movies before Rob Zombie did the reboot, Halloween Resurrection, and Halloween H2O were horrible. The 3rd Halloween movie wasn't about Michael Myers at all but about witches who control a small town. 

John Carpenter did a great job with this movie. The filming was very well done and it was an interesting story not just a hack and slash. He also composed the music for this movie. His theme for Halloween has become so recognizable that you can't go anywhere this time of year without someom having it as their ring tone. Personally my Halloween ring tone is Alice Cooper's Keeping Halloween Alive. I have to be different and I love classic metal. 

Tonight I will be out with my wife and my two little ones having a great time. I'm so glad Halloween falls on a Friday this year. I'm always beat after everything and it will be nice to relax on Saturday before the craziness of the next bout of holidays begin. I will write my wrap up post this weekend but I will thank you all in advance for sticking with me this week. Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This movie has one of the scariest premises ever. As kids do you remember when you would get really scared you would jump into bed and pull the covers over you because if the scary thing can't see you you are safe. I know I did, I felt like nothing could touch me under those covers and when I would gather my courage to peak out, whatever scared me was gone. Not in Nightmare on Elm Street.

In this movie a child molester named Freddy Krueger is killed in an abandoned building by the parents of Elm Street. Burned to death his face is horribly disfigured and his evil soul has found a new life. Freddy comes after you in your dreams. The only good thing about a nightmare is that you can wake up and it is gone. What if you couldn't wake up and your nightmare could kill you and you never wake up from it. This movie terrified me as a kid. I remember watching this on my little black and white TV in my room late at night when my parents thought I was a sleep. Well guess the cat is out of the bag when my parents read this. 

If you watched the trailer did you notice a very young Johnny Depp? This was his first role. The credits actually read Introducing Johnny Depp. His acting wasn't near what it is today but it is fun to see him just starting out. 

This movie, much like the others I have reviewed this week, is really hokey and cheesy. Freddy Krueger has this creepy joking character kind of like the Joker. The iconic thing about Freddy is the glove of finger knives he wears. The sound of those knives scraping across the boiler pipes is a sound that even when done by Hollywood's effects team cuts right to the bone. 

This is the perfect Halloween movie. It has lost it's ability to terrify me to my core with the way special effects have progressed, but it does take me back to those sleepless nights of childhood. The trip down memory lane is a lot of fun for me. 

The week is rounding down and tomorrow is Halloween. I am looking forward to getting off work and getting the kiddos ready to go out trick-or-treating. Because they are little it doesn't take long for them to tire out and head back. I am looking forward to picking through their candy and sneaking a few pieces for myself. I am going to post the link to this on the RIP challenge. The Challenge ends after Halloween and I am sorry to have it end. I really love this event and I will eagerly look forward to this again next year. 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Evil Dead (1981)

This wouldn't be part of my Halloween Week if it wasn't one of my favorites, but I really love these movies. All of these including the Re-Make are ones I watch over and over again. The first of these that I saw was Evil Dead. 2. That one is my favorite and I might just have to review that  in the future or maybe for next years Halloween Week. After seeing that one I had to find this one and watch it too. I ended up finding it at my local Blockbuster (yes I am dating myself since they have been closed for I don't know how long now). My wife and I were just friends then and we would hang out sometimes. I ordered Pizza and and we watched this together. We were huge fans of all horror movies back then and saw everyone we could. I still am a big fan of horror movies but now that we have kids it is tougher and tougher to find time to watch them. 

This is the pinnacle of low budget horror movies. Again we have a group of College aged kids heading out to the middle of nowhere to spend a weekend. The Cabin in the woods looks like a skull. The windows next to the door and there is a row of rocks in front of the door like teeth. It also has a cute little porch swing that bangs up against the house even if there isn't wind blowing it around. It stops when they get to the door. Let's not forget the really creepy taxidermy shed out back. I;m sorry but this is another instance where I would turn around and find a hotel or something. 

In this movie the evil is freed through the reading of passages from the Book of the Dead. Bound in human flesh and inked in blood this has the power to posses the living. A creepy sound and the cellar door blows open. They move downstairs to find out what caused it. While down there they find the book a tape recorder, and a skeleton dagger. They listen to the recording to see what is on it and the professor who has translated the book reads the passages. It calls forth the evil lurking in the woods and well, all Hell breaks loose. 

They try to escape the evil and our main character Ash takes his sister and they try to leave. When they come to the bridge they crossed to get there it has curled up like bonny fingers. One by one the evil posses them and dismemberment and gore ensue. This is a non stop gore fest but it is so cheesy and fake you can't help but laugh. 

I could go on an don about how much I love this movie but I will leave you with one final thing. I love the goofy claymation death at the end of this movie. It was hilarious. If you like cheesy horror this is definitely to you. This is another submission for the RIP challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Friday the 13th (1980)

When you think of Friday the 13th do you immediately go to Jason Voorhees? Jason is the star of this franchise but not actually in this movie. Well, he is in a scene or two at the very end but not as the Jason we are familiar with. Jason actually doesn't start his killing spree till the second movie and it is the 3rd or 4th where he finally picks up the Hockey mask. This movie does set up the whole story of the iconic psychopath.

Jason is a deformed little boy just hanging out at the summer camp his mother works at. The kids are cruel and he gets pushed into the lake. Normally he would be rescued by a life guard but the camp counselors who should be watching are off having sex, so Jason drowns.

This movie wastes no time getting to the hack and slash. In less that five minutes the counselors who should have been watching are killed while fooling around. The difference between this scene in 1980 and the same scene now is the fact that the over the top gore is missing from the 1980's version. It also has everything a horror movie should have. Knife wielding maniac, high body count and a crazy town loon who keeps yelling about the death curse.

Much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre there is blood and gore but it isn't over run with bucks of blood. This is one of those movies that is full or stupid characters making even dumber decisions. If I walked into a cabin and found a bloody ax on my pillow I wouldn't stick around to find out why it's there. I'd either be locked in a closet with something sharp and pointy or booking my butt out of there as fast as I can. I'm not much of a runner but I'm sure even the Flash would have a hard time catching me.

86194This is goofy and cheesy and I love it. I watch this when ever I can and really try to for Halloween and any time it is Friday the 13th. One thing I also really like about these early horror movies is seeing the actors who get their start in them. In this movie we get to see a very young Kevin Bacon and his acting is pretty bad in this. Friday the 13th has such a cult following that I remember when I was younger there was a series of books all about Camp Crystal Lake and Jason's reign of terror. I was to young to read them but I had a friend who swiped them from his older sister and he would tell us all about them.

My Halloween week fits perfectly into the RIP challenge and I will be submitting this review as part of the Peril on the Screen section of the challenge. This is my favorite blogging event and I look forward to it every year.  


Monday, October 27, 2014

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Horror movies have really changed over the years. Long ago horror movies were more about what you don't see. They gave you an idea of what is going on but you had to picture it for yourself. Even the slasher movies were not overly gory. In 1974 this probably was equivalent to Hostel, but your imagination can still be much worse than what you actually see in this movie. 

Today movies Like this one are cheesy, horribly acted, and just goofy, but I love them. This is one of several Classic horror movies that I just love. Every year I watch this or the remake in the month of October. It gets me in the Halloween spirit. Just take a look at how different this is from movies today.

So here is the low down on this movie. It opens with a decomposed corpse that we are led to believe has been part of a grave robbery. The background news report voice over helps bring a creepy factor. Then the credits begin to roll with this spilled blood look that is over exposed and this sets the tone for the whole movie. Then we slide into the same basic horror movie mistake formula. First big mistake is a van full of hippie stoners take in a creepy looking hitchhiker. Not only does this hitchhiker like to cut himself but he has his very own bag of crazy. One thing that doesn't fit the traditional horror movie mistakes is when Pam see Leatherface for the first time she doesn't go running up the stairs next to her. She actually runs outside, or tries to at least. 

Now lets talk about what a horror movie should be. This movie is what it should be, low production value, iconic characters, and they show very little of what is going on. We may see Leatherface wielding a chainsaw after braless coeds but there isn't this over blown amount of chunky blood flying everywhere. The camera goes into these weird close ups so we can't see the carnage. The close ups do get a little lame from time to time. At one point the camera get so close that all you can see are blood vessels in the girls eye.  

There is a pretty interesting story behind the family but most of it is left up to us the viewer to fill in the blanks. Some of the makeup and effects in this movie are really lame. Leatherface's human skin mask is really goofy and the Grandpa looks like a decomposed version of the Old Six Flags guy from the commercials.


I love this movie and even though it has its moments of sheer goofiness it is a fun movie to watch for Halloween. Not very scary since I seem to have become desensitized with all the horror movies I have seen, but with the level of realistic violence in video games and television shows it is easy to get desensitized. 

Since the RIP challenge goes on through the end of the month so I will be including this in my peril on the screen reviews.