Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Justice League Vol 4: The Grid by Geoff Johns

I can’t believe I am going to say this. I am not a fan of the direction the New 52 Justice League is going. To make matters worse the story line is being written by one of the best comic book writers out there. I have praised the writing of Geoff Johns countless times. I know when the Justice League has gone through reboots in the past there is always bumpy roads as the heroes learn to work as a team. I expect that in Volume 1, but even in Volume 4 there still seems to be trust issues, and awkwardness. I’m also not a fan of the personality of Superman and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a diehard warrior that would rather solve a dispute with her fists and talk later, and Superman almost seems disconnected from the people of Earth. Wonder Woman has always been a strong Amazonian warrior, but she used to have empathy and cared about people. Superman has a loner sort of demeanor like Batman tends to and it just doesn't fit with the classic Superman persona. Maybe I’m wrong, I haven’t read any of the New 52 Superman yet so I have only been exposed to this version.
I skipped over Vol 3 because I am a little behind on Auquaman and didn’t want to spoil the War with Atlantis. While I was reading this I kept thinking how disjointed the whole book was. I feel better having read other reviews that have said there are parts of other books, that I haven’t read, woven into this collection. I'm getting really irritated by plot holes in these graphic novels, and DC expecting us to have read every single book they publish.

This story begins with tryouts for new members; I don’t know how I feel about this. The Justice league has always been the best of the best in the DC Universe, and this seems like they are trying to strengthen their B and C characters. I get what DC is doing, they want to draw readers to their lesser performing series and that has worked for me in the past I never would have read Hawkman if it wasn't for Blackest Night. I just felt that in this book, the tryouts took away from the story.
Then we get a little taste of Shazam’s series as (I think) one issue from Shazam gets thrown into this collection, and then we finally get to the beginning of what is supposed to tie in all of the stories that have happened in the DC Universe. I could have gone without half of this book and still gotten the same thing out of it. It pains me to give this book a less than favorable review but I wasn’t a fan. I can only hope that the big plan for the future of the Justice League becomes apparent soon.
One of the things I can say I enjoyed about this book was the art work. There are quite a few full two page action sequences that were really impressive. This aspect kind of sucks if you have the digital ARC (Thank you DC Comics) because you only get half of the picture at a time. Reading on my iPad I only get a page at a time so I don’t get to enjoy the whole scene. This is a prime example, great artwork, but there is more to this picture on the other half. Still, I think this shows how detailed the artwork was in this book pretty well.   

When thinking about what I was going to rate this book I thought for a long time before writing this post. I am only able to give this 2 out of 5 stars. I liked the art work and at the very end there was some potential to the story if it can stop bouncing around so much. I’m curious to see where volume 5 takes this, but otherwise I was a little disappointed in this book. Here is hoping Johns will bring all of this together and save the story line.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Green Lantern Vol 4: Dark Days by Robert Venditti

For years I have been a huge fan of Green Lantern and the Corps. These series have had some of the best story lines, and battles I have seen in a comic book. When Geoff Johns took over the writing on the Green Lantern series I was thrilled. He quickly became one of my favorite Comic book authors and I read every book I could get my hands on no matter who was the hero. I have followed his amazing story lines with Green Lantern until his term ended. Now the reins have been passed and Robert Venditti took over the future of Hal Jordan. I was nervous at first because I have never read his stuff and I knew I would constantly compare him to the genius of Geoff Johns. On top of that, the previous story lines for GL have been so strong I was afraid this was going to derail the whole thing.

I was pleasantly surprised. I liked this story and there was a lot of hard decisions that Hal Jordan had to make. There was more emotional depth to Hal's character in this book and I enjoyed that. Hal has been made the Leader of the Green Lantern Corps while the new Guardians are off tending to some secret mission of their own. For anyone who has ever read these books knows that Hal is not a leader or a team player. He does his own thing and doesn’t care who he runs over in the process. It was interesting to see Hal grow as a character and fit into that roll of leader throughout the story.  This starts off with a glimpse into the future and the central power battery has been put out. A being known as Relic has found his way to our universe and his goal is to find the source of the emotional spectrum and refill it since his universe was lost when the source dried up.

The creation story told by Relic states that, at least in his universe, The different colors of the emotional spectrum were harnessed by a single being for each color. These were called Lightsmiths and they controlled emotions similar to those held by the different corps of our universe. They wielded their energy through a weapon they held instead of a ring. This story tells us that the energy that the rings wield is not as limitless as we thought. There is an end to the amount of energy and it seems that that end is dangerously near.  
I liked this quite a bit but there are a few things that I am not particularly happy with how they do the collected Graphic novels. The biggest problem I have is the fact that there are so many Green lantern titles that you miss big portions of the story. If all you read if this volume you will be missing out on a lot of, what I feel is important information. There are big holes and this book was the worst offender. I won’t get into details but at one point there is a shocking reveal and I had to re-read to make sure I missed something. The story goes along fine and then there is whole events missing that we are just supposed to know about. I will read the other titles as well but with the giant gaps in this plot because it switches from one series to the next and then back again I was a little lost. To add to that since it switches back and forth I now have spoiled this event when it happens in the other series because I already know what happens next. Years ago DC had said that they wanted to stray away from the big crossover events and Infinite crisis was going to be the last that encompassed all of the DC heroes. It seems they have held true to not making big stories with all the DC Universe but they still do big stories in each individual character line. Batman has story lines that are pieced together through all of the BatFamily books and Green Lantern has a bunch of series that piece together a greater story. If I was still buying monthly comics of all of them this wouldn’t be an issue but now I am sticking with Graphic novels so I tend to miss out on things.

Now that I have ranted about what irked me about this I must say again that I liked this book. I do need and want to fill those gaps this book creates in the story. I plan to as soon as I can, I will be on the waitlist at the library soon. The art work was really good as well and I enjoyed every bit of it. I will give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounded to 4.

Friday, April 25, 2014

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

The first book I read by Kathy Reichs was Monday Mourning and I loved it. I can’t remember why I decided to read her for the first time but I'm so glad I did. After that book I started to buy every one of her books available in hardcover.  I have had so much on my to-read list that I just couldn’t wait to read that I have let the Brennan series fall to the side and I am several behind. I have decided that I want to catch up on her books and Michael Connelly’s. They are some of my favorite authors and it's time to blow the dust off these books and revisit some of my favorite characters.
Either I have grown out of Kathy Reichs’s books or this just wasn’t one of her best. I was bored with the whole thing and by the end didn’t care how it wrapped up. I was even really annoyed with Brennan as a character. The book opens up with Brennan kidnapped and in a concrete room and then we flash back to what led up to it. Towards the end it seemed like Kathy Reichs forgot about the kidnapping and realized that she needed to let us know what happens. The main plot also has so many different bodies that I was getting confused as to which set of bones she was refereeing to.
When I first started to read these books I was in college and working on my degree in Forensic Science. Little did I know that once I got into the job world, Crime Labs only wanted Chemistry or Biology majors, but I loved my classes and working towards my degree. I loved all of the technical stuff that Brennan does, and that was part of what really drew me into this series. In this book I hate to admit it, but I was bored. There was a chapter just naming all the different bones in the body. It read like a text book, dry and monotonous. I really hope that I haven’t grown out of these books because I used to look forward to each new book. I am just so disappointed in this book and I never thought I would say that about one of her books.
It actually pains me to have to do this but I am only rating this 2 out of 5 stars when really it should be 1.5 stars. It isn’t the worst book I have read but I was so bored with this book. Not only was I bored but I really didn’t like Brennan much in this book. If she wasn’t working on some bones she was whining about how much she disliked Andrew Ryan, her on again off again boyfriend. I can’t stand that whiney relationship drama, that’s mainly why I avoid a lot of YA books. I don't like a lot of relationship drama in my mysteries. Even with my strong feelings against this book I’m not writing the series off yet. I have quite a few still to read and I can only hope that this was not one of her better books. Not every book is going to wow every reader, and this one didn't wow me at all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 6: This Sorrowful Life by Robert Kirkman

These volumes only hold six issues like most graphic novels but it almost feels like less. I fly through these very quickly and since they are just the next steps in a much bigger story the events in this book seemed short and like they went by too quickly. Usually this is a good thing because that means I was really interested in what I was reading, but I almost feel cheated because I wanted more. Good thing there are a lot of other volumes for me to read still.
These books are so difficult to review because it is so hard to write one without spoilers. These are just chapters in a much larger story so if you haven’t read up to this volume then almost everything could be taken as a spoiler. I’m going to try my best but I have a feeling these Walking Dead post will be shorter than my usual reviews.
Let’s start with the writing, Robert Kirkman does an amazing job developing his characters and every volume seems to bring more and more depth to these fictional people that we follow from book to book. In the last book we get a taste of how disturbed the Governor is but in this issue we get even more that just maked me want to cringe. The worst part about this character is that even without a Zombie apocalypse people like him exist in the world. It’s easy to say it’s just fiction and he isn’t real, but I have read to many true crime novels to know that there are people out there just like this character and worse. In volume 6 Rick, Glenn, and Michonne are being held in Woodbury and tortured, each in different ways for different reasons. I liked this book because we get to see the inner strength that grows in our heroes. It was easy to put myself in their position and think about what I would do if that were me. I really liked that about this and there was a good bit of retribution towards the end. I will say no more because I don’t want to spoil anything for future readers of this series.
The next thing I want to mention, which I haven’t really in previous reviews is the artwork.  I have to be honest, it isn’t the best that I have seen, but for this series it works. There isn’t a lot of detail to the artwork and for anyone not familiar with these books, it is in black and white. I’m not sure if the individual monthly issues are in color but in the graphic novels it is all black and white. Normally I would complain about the lack of color hindering the quality of this comic, but in this case I like it. Having the art work all in Black and White makes this feel like an old George Romero film. I couldn’t imagine reading these any other way.
I really liked this book. The story was a great chapter in this series and I can’t wait to move on to the next one. We get to see a different side to some of the characters, and at times can even scare the characters themselves. This book deals with a threat that has nothing to do with the zombies, but with the survivors. Kirkman brought a whole new view to just how unsettling life in a post-apocalyptic world can be in this book. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. These books are only getting better as they move forward in the story.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

I was really impressed with The Revenge of the Witch so I couldn’t wait for this book to come in at my library. I am hooked and looking forward to all the other books in this series. Sometimes I like coming in late on a series because, it looks like the last book in this series just came out. Now I can make my way through books 2-13 without having to wait a year to see how this ends.
I liked this book, but it wasn’t as strong as the first in the Last Apprentice series. I felt it had more down time and sections where I was just waiting for something to happen. Still I was really intrigued by the Bane.  This is a creature that has yet to be bested by a Spook (Demon Hunter). The only thing that could possibly be done is to attempt to contain it. In this case it is in the catacombs beneath Preistown. Our story opens up with the death of the Spook’s brother after a scrape with a very difficult Boggart. The Spook decides to attend his brother’s funeral and finally put an end to the Bane.
What I liked about the Bane character was the fact that little was known about it. We the reader, get to learn through trial and error just as Tom does. It really helped me get into the book and feel as if I was by Tom’s side trying to figure out what this creature really was. This creature can bend people to its will and cause them to become angry and violent all while he is trapped beneath the city. It’s power over the people is growing and it needs to be stopped sooner rather than later.
Not only do we get to learn about the Bane as we move through the story, but we get to learn more about our cast of characters. There are secrets being kept by most, and it was great to gain a little more depth and perspective of these characters that are working their way into my literary life. I think this was very well written. It just didn’t have the same intensity as the first book.  This book featured not just one enemy but two. Tom and the Spook not only had to contend with the Bane but with the Quisitor who has arrived in Preistown determined to hunt out those who deal in dark matters. Tom and the Spook are on his list, and they have to try to avoid capture while trying to pull the city from the grips of the Bane.
I am really enjoying this series, and I will be reading these to my son once he gets a bit older. The plots as well as the writing are very well put together, and I am officially hooked after this book.  I am going to give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It may have been a little slow at times but still a very good book. I look forward to posting the reviews of the other books in the future.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Keeper by John Lescroart

It has almost been a year since I started blogging, and when I began I made sure to join Netgalley. I have gotten a lot of great books through them and have gone outside my comfort zone and found some authors I never would have tried otherwise. John Lescroart is one of those authors that I am glad to have found. I had never read his work before but had seen his name around the bookstore. The summary of his last book, The Ophelia Cut, sounded interesting, so I got it and really enjoyed it. That book was listed as a one shot, but there was a lot of reference to something that happened in an earlier book. I spent most of the book lost and trying to figure out what Lescroart was referring to. I decided to take a shot, and I emailed John Lescroart to see which book this was from and if I could get a little clarification on some things. I was shocked when he wrote back the very next day. He was so apologetic and kind in his response. He answered all of my questions and thanked me for my comments and email. This made me really respect him, and when I saw this book was available for review I jumped at the chance to read it.

This book was really interesting. Hal Chase is the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife. Distraught and at his whit’s ends, he finally seeks a lawyer to make sure he stays in the clear since homicide has been put on the case. Dismas Hardy is just that lawyer, and he brings in his old friend Abe Glitsky to be his investigator to try and find who really kidnapped her. I have seen this kind of plot in movies and Law & Order reruns all the time, but I found as I was reading this that I was putting myself into Hal’s shoes. Would my in-laws jump to the conclusion that I must have killed her if my wife disappeared? What would I do in his situation? Could I really remain calm through the whole thing? I liked that this book really got me thinking about what I would do if I was thrown into that situation. My answers, in case you are wondering are; I would hope my in-laws don’t think me the villain right away, no way in hell would I be calm at all, and I would like to think that I would throw on my deerstalker hat, grab my magnifying glass, and go on the hunt for the true culprit myself. Reality check. I’d probably be rocking in the fetal position in the corner of my bedroom while my kids wonder how far gone I really am.

This book was really well written, and I seemed to fly through it in the limited time I had to read it. I would say this is an easy read for the fact that I was able to get into this book right away, and I didn’t care just how many chapters I read at a time. Lescroart writes some great characters, and in this book it is good to have read earlier books for those character relationships, but the story is a stand-alone. I have now read two books by him, and I wasn’t lost at all in this one. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book, but I will admit that there are a few items that were predictable. Maybe that was Lescroart’s intention, or my inner Sherlock was on fire throughout this book, but I still really liked being right. Ok, I'm finished bragging now. This is not a spoiler, but I want to say that the kidnapper was on my radar of suspects since about mid book, but I was still surprised at the reasoning so the ending was not ruined by one of my two suspects being it. Not sure I could be more cryptic there, but I hate spoilers.

This was a great book, and I am so glad I read it. Now with two of his books under my belt I am anxious to read more of his work. I could see him being added to my list of favorite authors very soon if the rests of his books are like this one. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, and I am almost leaning to 4.5. I really couldn’t stop thinking about this book when I read it or after I finished it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Reversal by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is one of my favorite authors. I have been a big fan of Harry Bosch almost from the beginning. I started a few books into his series but have since gone back and caught up. Now I am behind on his more recent books so I'm working on catching up. I hope to be all caught up by the end of this year. When the Lincoln Lawyer came out I was interested in seeing what Connelly was going to do with the character. I knew the story would be well done, because I really like Connelly’s writing and style, but I am not a fan of the courtroom dramas. I have read a Grisham or two and I find them kind of dull so I was worried I would feel the same about Mickey Haller.

I was impressed with how well Connelly writes Haller’s character and the twists and turns that are in these books keep me interested the whole time. This book was amazing for many reasons, but for me the biggest reason was that this book had Bosch and Haller as well as other characters from the two series all in one. I loved seeing the two characters work together on the same case instead of passing in the halls, or calling the other to ask a question. They tend to pop up in the other’s series from time to time, but this was great having them both in one story.

In The Reversal, Haller is asked to be a prosecutor instead of defense on a case that had the verdict reversed based on new evidence. Haller feels this is a losing case the DA doesn’t want to get his name smeared on and he is being set up as a fall guy. When he finds out that the case involves a man who abducted and murdered a little girl he begins to think about his own daughter and he takes the case. I have to admit, I really liked him as a prosecutor instead of the defense attorney. Sometimes a defense attorney can be written so sleazy and really be a character I dislike. There is one of those sleazy defense lawers in this book just FYI. The single piece of evidence that convicted this guy all those years ago was thrown out and now a murder will go free unless Haller can find new evidence and convince a jury he is guilty.

The suspense in this book starts at the very beginning and doesn’t let up. I loved every twist and turn of this and couldn’t put it down. It's been a long time since I have read Connelly and this book reminded me why I liked his writing so much. I can’t wait to move onto the next book of his and get caught up. Bosch and Haller were at the top of their games in this book and the combination made for the perfect cast of characters. I loved this book and could go on for pages about the things I liked about this one but I think I will let you read for yourself if you are interested.

This book will be added to my favorites list and I give this 5 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of a really well written suspense novel this is the book for you. As I mentioned, I am not a fan of the courtroom drama novels but this was interesting and suspenseful to the very last page. This book can be read on its own but there is reference to some character relationships, and events from previous books that if you haven’t read them you might be a little in the dark, but it isn’t enough to ruin the book. I highly recommend this one.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Die Trying by Lee Child

This is going to be one of those reviews that is going to be hard to write. I think I will start out with my rating, and if you really want to read while I ramble then that’s your decision. I liked this book, but I wasn’t blown away by it. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Jack Reacher is a likeable character, but right now I don’t see a lot of depth to him. This is only the second book in the series, and maybe I’m missing something, but it just seems like there could be more to him. The plot was also predictable. Still, it was an entertaining read.

I have only read the first two books in this series, and maybe things change later, but I noticed a formula to these two books. Reacher is a former military man roaming from town to down doing odd jobs until he finds trouble. There is a girl whom he falls for through the whole book. No home, no job and not a care in the world, but he seems to find the one town with terrorists or something that takes up at least two hundred pages.

In this book Reacher is just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees a woman being kidnapped and steps in only to be taken himself. The beginning of the book is character development while being driven around in a van.  I do seem pretty down on this book so far, but I enjoyed this book for the most part. I found that there was a good bit that could have been cut out of this, and it might have made it better. As I read I would just start to get interested in what was going on and then run into filler. Then it would take some time for the plot to build again. I found my mind wandered, and I missed things while listening to it.

I kept hoping that the whole book was building to this big explosive ending. Well, it kind of did but I wasn't really impressed with how it ended. Once things started to move the pace of the ending was decent. I paid much more attention to the last hour or so of the audio book. Again, I have to mention that it was kind of predictable. The overall end was predictable but there were a couple twists that I didn't see coming. Nothing as amazing as something in books I have read by other authors, but I like to think that Lee Child was still young in his writting with this book.

Now the big question... Am I going to continue to read this series? I have given this a lot of thought since I finished the book and a little bit before I finished. I like the character, but not as much as other series characters I read. The writing is good. I just wish there was a little more trimmed off this book. The first two books seem to fit a formula that makes these predictable. I think I will read one more. I will give this sereies another book before I write the whole thing off. It may be awhile before I get to book three but I will at least add it to my to-read list. Thank you for reading my whole review if you stuck it out. I just hope I wasn't all over the place to much.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joeseph Delaney

For someone who is not really a fan of YA I sure have read a lot of it lately.  In my defense I had no idea that this was teen fiction, and it was the only book I had on my to-read list that I could get from the library right when I needed a book. However, I really liked this book, and I am so glad I found another series to read. My interest in this book began when I had seen a teaser for the movie Seventh Son. I’m a fan of Jeff Bridges, and the little bit I saw looked like this is going to be a great movie.

Shortly after the mention of this book being made into a movie Goodreads had it as a giveaway. The summary seemed like it would be interesting, and free is free right? So I threw my name in for it, and didn’t win. I finally got around to reading this, and I couldn’t stop. I was so glad to have 7 hours at work to listen to this book without stopping.
The book starts a little slow because of setting the scene and characters. I have read books that have handled this in a more interesting manner, but the buildup doesn’t last too long. We get to learn what the significance of each son is in a family. The first son takes over the farm, and then each subsequent son will be found a job by the father, but the Seventh Son is special. We learn that there will be things that set Tomas Ward apart from his brothers, but don’t expect an answer in this book at least. We don’t get to see what exactly makes a Seventh Son of a Seventh Son so special. There are little things throughout the book that seem to foreshadow what is yet to come, but I won’t get into that here.
The story was very well put together and held my attention to the very end. Once I got past the opening few chapters that is. I really liked Joseph Delaney’s writing style mainly because this didn’t read like a YA book. Sometimes writers of YA can dumb down the writing or over dramatize every little thing because they think that is what teens want. Maybe it is. I don’t know. It has been a long time since I was a teen, but I hate when an author tries too hard to write for a younger audience. Delaney didn’t do that at all. He wrote the book as if it was for adults but with a younger character. If it wasn’t for my wife telling me this is teen fiction I would have never known. Getting back to the story, I liked reading how different monsters and ghouls were handled in this book. The first time I read about a Bogart was in Harry Potter, so I was curious to see just how different these were. The Ley Lines are mentioned in this book as well, and I just got finished reading the first two books in the Raven Boys series that dealt heavily with the Ley Lines. It seemed like perfect timing to have these supernatural items in this book.
I was really impressed with how the plot was put together once I finished. A little over half way through this book it seems like everything has been wrapped up, and I kept wondering how on earth Delaney was going to keep this interesting for the second half. If I had to sit through half a book of Tom just studying I was going to go nuts. Delany surprised me with how he kept this plot going after I felt it was done. I couldn’t wait to see just what was coming next. I will say it again that I really liked this book and it easily deserves 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to keep going with this series.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 5: The Best Defense by Robert Kirkman

I am a huge fan of the Show Walking Dead. I love Zombies and great characters, and the show, as well as the graphic novels has both and so much more. My wife and I were hooked from the very first episode and after two and a half seasons of the show we decided it was time we read the comics. Friends of ours who have read these said we were missing things from the story and that certain events might make a little more sense had we read the comics. We read the first 4 volumes of the Graphic novel s and then just got caught up in other things. Well I just picked up this book from the library and I’m so glad to be back with Rick and the rest of the group.

This volume starts right where Volume 4 ended. The groups had just come upon the prison and were in the process of making it safe for everyone to live.  Here we pick up with the end of the process to make things safe and Glenn decides with the help of some swat riot gear he wants to syphon gas from the cars in the prison parking lot to get the generator up and running. While in the lot he and Rick see a helicopter crash. Heading out to see if there are survivors they come across Woodbury and the most hated character in this series (so far) The Governor.

I really liked this volume. I know the characters pretty well and Kirkman moved right on to the story. Having watched the series I always think I know what is going to happen next, but the further I get into these books the more the story seems to differ. I really like that the show has become different from the books. It still allows me some surprise in reading these. I will admit that I like certain characters better in their rolls on the show. For example I prefer Carol on the show instead of the comic version of her. I’m still pretty early in the series so this might change. I also really like Daryl in the show and his character isn’t even in the graphic novels.

The story for this is very well written and I wasn’t able to put this book down. I read it cover to cover. After reading this I am still excited to see what happens next and how our characters will continue to develop.  I was happy to see them finally make their way to Woodbury, because I felt Vol 3 and 4 were just ok, this one picked up and made this much more interesting. It does leave with a little bit of a cliffhanger so I am anxious to start Vol 6 soon. I will give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, April 4, 2014


I can't lie. I really enjoy Disney movies. It is one of the many things I have never grown out of, but now I have an excuse to watch them. I have kids. I'm also secure enough in my manhood to say that I really enjoyed Tangled. At the time I was a big fan of Zachary Levi who was the lead in one of my favorite television shows Chuck. I also really like Mandy Moore, I had a crush on her way back when, so I have enjoyed most of her movies.

I had heard a lot of great things about Frozen from friends and family. I even heard a lot of great things from just random strangers. For example, on my way home from my day job I decided to stop and buy Frozen the day it came out so my wife and kids could have a special movie night while I was at job number 2. While I was standing in line to check out, this mom behind me started to gush all about how great this movie is and I was making a great choice buying it. Needless to say she was buying it also. I didn’t mind the review. This is how we get our information about what to expect from books and movies. You wouldn’t be reading this right now if it wasn’t true. The Mom did say that it was very similar to Tangled, and if I liked that I would really like Frozen.

She was right. It took me about a week to get some time to sit down and watch this once it was released, but I really liked it. This was very well written, and the little bits of humor throughout were really enjoyable. I liked the characters and the actors who played them. Olaf was really funny, and I don’t think it could have been played by anyone but Josh Gad. He just brings a personality to the character that was funny and perfect for the role. Kristen Bell blew me away with how well she can sing. I really like her as an actress, but I never would have guessed that she would have such a great singing voice. I honestly didn’t believe it at first until my wife told me she looked it up earlier. There are a few lines in the movie that when I heard Anna say them all I saw was Kristen Bell with a smirk. I could have pictured Veronica Mars saying the same thing.

I’m not a big fan of musicals if I am being honest. I tend to avoid them whenever I can, but when it’s Disney I have to at least watch it once. The music in this movie is pretty good, and I found myself humming some of the songs the next day at work. I had to stop myself and try to act cool about it as I hoped no one heard me. This was a great family movie, and there wasn’t anything too over the top that my 4 year old couldn’t handle. Brave had a scary bear that he wasn’t a fan of at first but then was fine. The abominable snowman was mean and huge but not scary or over the top. What do I want to rate this movie? Right now I will say this deserves the 5 out of 5 stars everyone told me it was. After watching it a hundred times I’m sure that will drop. My poor wife is a stay at home mom and has watched it every day since I bought it. As of now she still likes the movie; I’ll ask her again next week.

One more thing that I have to mention, why do the parents always get killed in Disney movies? When I was a kid I never thought about this, but now that I am a parent I’m shocked at home many Disney movies off the parents either right away or half way through the movie. Let me know what you think about this. I would love to really spark some conversation about Disney’s possible hatred of parents.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Firestarter by Stephen King

I'm a big fan of Stephen King and I would like to think I can be considered a "Constant Reader". It was only a few years ago that I really got into his books and now I am on a mission to read everything by him. Whenever I need a new book to read and there isn’t anything really grabbing my interest on the top of my to-read pile I can rely on a King novel to keep me company.

I was in just such a need and my library had this one ready to go. I wasn’t sure if I was going like this after reading the summary, but I want to read all of King's stuff so I felt it was time to read this one. Now that I have read it I am kind of torn on what I think about this book. King is an amazing writer and I have loved so many of his books, but occasionally there are those that just leave me feeling underwhelmed. This was one of those.

This book starts out with two very interesting characters; Andy and Charlie are on the run from a government like agency. As the book progresses from the start we get to learn that Andy took part in an experiment in college that gave him a heightened awareness and allowed him to make people do things and believe whatever he wanted them to. This “power” is kind of like the force from Star Wars. The agency that is after him and mostly his daughter Charlie is known as the Department of Scientific Intelligence or the Shop as some have come to call it. Honestly I must have missed the explanation on that one because I don’t remember why it was nicknamed the shop. If you know let me know in the comments below because I am curious, just not enough to re-read this book.

The beginning was actually really interesting and suspenseful. King was able to express the urgency of being chased while keeping that suspense building. We also get to learn more and more about the situation they are in bit by bit. I was really starting to get into the book and then it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. About midway through this book it just slowed to a crawl and I had a hard time keeping interested and focused on the book. At this point King pulls away from the suspense and starts to explain all the possible “powers” children born from those they experimented on might have. Ok, I get that he is trying to show the range of things the human mind is capable of, but then there is almost a chapter about what type of sedative the Shop is going to use to try and catch Charlie. Real snooze fest for a few chapters and I think because this falls almost smack in the middle of the book all the momentum King was building was lost. The rest of the book struggled to gain that momentum it had, and it felt like starting all over again.

I really am torn on this book because I liked the beginning of this book but the ending was just ok. I think I will divide my rating right down the middle and give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars. I will round up to 3 for the purpose of Goodreads and Amazon because of the beginning. I’m glad I got around to reading this but it will not be on a re-read list for me.