Monday, December 21, 2015

Graphic Novel Challenge 2016

It's that time of year again. Time to sign up and throw my name in the ring for a new years worth of Comic book reading. I always have a great time do thing this because it is something I am already doing. Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a comic book nerd. I like to have an outlet other than my blog to not only get my reviews out there but to read other ones and maybe find some great books I might have missed out on. 

Like the last few years the levels haven't changed. Here they are right from the source. 

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!)

In 2015 I took the safe bet and pledged to do the Bronze age because I knew I would be able to complete 24 books in the year. The last 2 years I have been right around 40 books. If I could get another 12 comics in I would be able to complete the top tier, Silver Age. This year I am going to try and push myself to get to 52 books. There are a lot of books out there I really want to read and this could be the year I not only shrink my to-read pile but make it to complete the Silver Age challenge.

Good luck to all who enter the challenge. I can't wait to see what everyone reads this coming year and I hope we all have fun. If you are interested in checking out the  challenge yourself click the link under the picture up top to go right to the sign up page.

Friday, December 18, 2015

White Night by Jim Butcher


I really liked this installment in the Dresden Files. Someone is killing wizards that are not part of the council but under their protection. Dresden is tasked to get to the bottom of what is going on only to find that the biggest suspect in this string of murders is Harry's half brother Thomas. While Harry is doing what he does best and solve this mystery he has quite a few struggles to get through at the same time. 

Harry has taken on the responsibility of training Molly as his apprentice. She used magic and broke on of the laws of the council. Harry has risked his life to save her from sudden death. We also see a much darker side of Harry in this book. The demon that is residing in him is starting to wear on him. His temper is getting short and Harry is relying more and more on help from the demon making him one step closer to completely loosing himself. 

I have read through a bunch of reviews about this book and the one thing they mostly have in common is they are short. So many reviews talked about how much they liked the book but there is very little reason why. I understand this. I loved this book, but thinking back on it and trying to figure out exactly what I want to say is actually really hard. I am already forgetting parts of the story. What is it about this book that leaves us readers at a loss for words when it comes time to write a review.

Here is what I can say. I liked a lot of different things about this book. First and foremost I love the characters. Harry and Murphy are great but I also really like Thomas, and Molly. The brother relationship between Harry and Thomas really makes for some interesting situations. Read this book and you will know exactly what I am talking about. Molly is the oldest Daughter of Harry's friend Michael. She is new to her powers and still trying to learn how to control them. The other thing I really liked about this book was the action. There are a lot of great scenes and action throughout the book which really kept the suspense level high and me engaged in this book. 

I really liked this book and will always recommend this series. I am not a fan of this type of fiction but Jim Butcher does such a great job writing this series that I have really enjoyed these books and I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to read these. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins


There has been a lot of hype around this book and had it not been for my wife reading this for her book club I might have passed it by. I don't usually read a book because of the hype, I really need to be invested in the plot. The idea of a story along the same lines as Hitchcock's Rear Window peaked my interest. The more I read this book the more similarities I found with Gillian Flynn than with Hitchcock. 

This is a dark messed up book. Rachel has lost everything all becuase she is an alcoholic and she takes the train to a job she doesn't have so her roommate doesn't know she was fired. Each day she takes the train she looks longingly at her old house and the neighbors who live a few houses down. One day in a drunken haze she sees something but isn't sure what. Then the woman who lives there, Megan goes missing. Rachel then makes it her mission to figure out what happened. 

Here is what makes me say that Paula Hawkinns's book is very much like Gillian Flynn's. All of the characters are horrible horrible people that are not likable at all. The impressive things is that even thought the characters are horrible and I didn't like any of them, the story was so good I couldn't stop reading. There is so much mystery and suspense I couldn't wait to see what happens next. I even tried to figure the whole thing out. I got a few different things figured out but for the most part the ending was all a surprise. 

I really liked this book and I'm so glad I read it. I really could go deeper into detail but I really don't want to give anything away. All I will say is go read this book. Look past the hype unless you are reading all of the great reviews about this book. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. This was a lot of fun to read and I highly recommend it. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sherlock Holmes and the Necronomicon by Sylvain Cordurie


I was fortunate enough to be chosen by Dark Horse comics and Edelweiss to read this for an honest review. I'm going to be honest and it pains me. This book is dry, I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and no one writes a better story then Conan Doyle did but I have enjoyed plenty of Pastiches. I have also enjoyed a few Sherlock graphic novels. This was hard to get through and I ended up skipping around. 

I was excited by the title of this book because I am really enjoying Ash vs Evil Dead and that is all about the power of the Necronomicon or book of the dead. I had really high hopes for this book because there are a few characters I'd like to see back form the dead. We do get a resurrection of an old character but I was underwhelmed. I would have expected a much better story throughout this book. I struggled to get through this book and that shouldn't happen with a comic book. 

The art work for the cover was really good as you can see above but the rest of the art work in the book was plain and lacking detail. I really wanted to like this book more but I just didn't. I also wish I had more to say about this book but I have said my piece. I didn't hate this book so I give it 2 out of 5 stars. I tend to reserve my 1 star for those books that I just really couldn't stand.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Finders Keepers by Stephen King


When you think of Stephen King, most peoples first thought is of the Horror novels he writes. There are a ton of amazing novels that will scare the pants of you like IT, The Shining, and Salem's Lot. These are just a few of my favorites but something I have been pleasantly surprised by is his mystery writing. I really liked Mr Mercedes and when I heard it was part of a trilogy with the same characters I got really excited. It took me awhile to finally get to this book but it was well worth the read. 

This book is about a vengeful reader who feels his favorite author sold out and destroyed his very favorite character. Wanting to steal the rumored unpublished work takes a violent turn. Clearing the author's safe, Morris Bellamy hides the notebooks and stolen money he stole only to be arrested for a different crime leaving them behind. Flash forward to 30 years later when these are found by a young man named Pete Saubers.

Now I am going to be honest here, when you think of a trilogy with the same characters you expect to have these characters front and center. Bill Hodges was the retied detective in Mr Mercedes and who the trilogy is based around. He doesn't show up till about 200 pages into the book. The first part is all set up with Peter and Morris which would normally loose my interest because of all the back story but not with this book.

Here is the beauty of Stephen King. King is a master at writing memorable characters that you can just love from the very beginning. Morris is our villain but he has depth and is very well written so I didn't mind reading all about his story and about how we got to the present day. The other great thing about King that I really enjoy is how he ties everything together. This book directly links to the events of Mr Mercedes and these characters have little things in their history that ties everyone together in one way or another.

This isn't a book that grabs you from the very beginning and wont let up till the very last page. This is a story. This is like a ladder, the story builds slowly laying the foundation for one heck of an ending. It is always tough for me to read an actual book. I just don't have time which is why most of the books I read are audio. When I got to the end of this book I could't put it down. I must apologize to my kiddos because this past weekend I spent a lot of it on the couch reading instead of playing with them. I could go on and on about this book but I will end it here with my rating. I really liked the story and enjoyed every bit of it, but I couldn't help comparing this to Mr Mercedes. This was not as good so I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this series and I can't wait to read the final book in the trilogy which is out in June 2016. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Message

'The Message' Podcast

If you have read my blog before you have probably noticed I mention the Web site Nerdist often. I really enjoy the Podcasts that Chris Hardwick does with different celebrities. Before each podcast he has a community cork board that allows people to advertise their different endeavors and this podcast was mentioned It sounded pretty interesting and was even better to listen too. 

Here is the description from the web site:
The Message is a new Podcast following the weekly reports and interviews from Nicky Tomalin, who is covering the decoding of a message from outer space received 70 years ago. Over the course of 8 episodes we get an insider ear on how a top team of cryptologists attempt to decipher, decode, and understand the alien message.
Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in starting with episode 1.
The message is a co-production with Panoply and GE Podcast Theater, unlocking the secrets of healing with sound technology. 
This whole story is just over an hour and a half but it didn't feel that long. From the very fist episode I was hooked and loved every minute of this. The story was very well written and gave me goosebumps at the very end. I was really impressed. Now, I must tell you that this is a work of fiction. There is actually a disclaimer for the podcast on their website. The reason for this is because it is like an old fashion radio drama. Even if you weren't alive way back in the day most people have heard about H.G. Wells radio drama War of the Worlds. It was so realistic that people actually thought the Earth was being invaded by aliens. This podcast is very similar in that it felt real. It is very convincing and I had to keep reminding myself it was all fiction.

I usually stick to books and movies but I enjoyed this podcast so much I had to get the word out to get more people to listen to this. This is kind of a test run for GE Podcast Theater to see how many people they get to listen to this. If it does well it could open the doors for more like this.  I highly recommend this to anyone who has a spare hour and a half. 5 out of 5 stars all the way. This is available on several podcast subscriptions. I use iTunes so if you have an Apple product then use this link to subscribe to The Message.

Friday, December 4, 2015

M &M Mariam Books Blog Awards

I realize this post is a little late considering the voting has been going on for almost a month now, but I am proud to have been nominated for Best Comic Book blog. I have no idea who nominated my blog but I am really excited to have been noticed enough to be nominated. 

In the category for Best Comic Book blog it is myself and my friend Angie from Angela's Anxious Life. She has a great blog and is really tough competition. She deserves to win but I would love to as well. All I can say is if you like my blog please vote for me but if you haven't checked out Angie's then I highly recommend hers too. She also reviews book and video games. 

Thank you to all who have read my blog and to all who vote for me. I do appreciate the support. I do this because I think it is fun for me, but it is nice to know that someone out there actually enjoys what I post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher


I really wanted to like this book. I tried and even re-read the beginning of this book three times because I was so lost with the point of what was going on with all of the characters that are introduced very quickly. I love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and from what I have read about his he seems like a really cool guy. I also like the fact he is form Missouri.

I am not a fan of Sci-Fi and Fantasy books but I tried the Dresden Files and love the series so I was really looking forward to this book coming out. This book is kind of a cross between Firefly and Game of Thrones. I like both shows but I wouldn't want to read the, As a matter of face I tried to read Game of Thrones and couldn't stand it but that is a different review. I couldn't get into this book and I found that I was reading just to rad the book and not really retaining the information. By the end of the book I wasn't really invested in the story. It pains me to say these words about a book by an author I really like.

This is my review and my thoughts and opinions so I am not necessarily saying this is a bad book, it just wasn't something I enjoyed. I know this genre isn't something I normally read but I had hope Butcher would surprise me again. I wish I had more to say about this book but I don't. Most of this book I have already forgotten because I was barely paying attention. The characters were kind of forgettable except for a talking warrior cat that was just weird. I didn't understand the importance of his character at all. I hope if you are a fan of these kind of space fantasy novels you enjoy it more than I did. I think I will stick with Dresden and don't think I will continue with this series when the next book is released.

As I had mentioned I am really sad to have to rate this book so low but I didn't like it. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. It wasn't the worst book I have read but I struggled to get through this. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Green Lantern Vol 5: Test of Wills by Robert Venditti


I'm just going to say it. I miss Geoff Johns. The Green Lantern story has kind of petered out in the last few volumes. Nothing against Robert Venditti but I have been underwhelmed. The last book dealt with the end of the universe because the light energy that the rings us is finite and when the energy runs out the universe is destroyed to be reborn. This story could have been amazing but I couldn't get through it fast enough so I could move on to something else. 

This book deals with the aftermath of refilling the reservoir and now having to figure out how to police the universe without ending it in the long run. The Corps is rebuilding on Mogo the new headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. and a race of shape changing beings are trying to destroy the corps (shocker) and find a way to be the most powerful creatures whom ever lived. We get to meet a few new characters in this book that look like they could be some regulars in this series in the future. We also get to see a changed much more mature Hal Jordan which was both odd and nice. 

It took me forever to get through this book. I just couldn't stay interested in it and that is saying something because I usually can't put a Green Lantern book down. The art work is very well done which kind of saved this from being what I would consider a total loss. The action scenes were great and the amount of detail in each panel was impressive. I really hope the story lines gets better. We do get a nice family moment for Hal at the end of the book and some quality time with Hal's younger brother which was nice but this and the artwork are the highlights of the book. 

I have thought a lot about how to rate this and I have to say that this only ranks 2.5 stars out of 5. I was really disappointed and my interest in this series is waning a little bit. I will round up to 3 stars for the purpose of the review sites I'm on. My only hope is that Geoff Johns returns to Green Lantern at some point. The fans got him to go back to Aquaman why not another run on GL. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Batman Vol 7: Endgame by Scott Snyder


I finally got this book from the library and after all of the wait I found out I had already read this book. If you have read The Joker: Endgame then I will save you the time and tell you to skip it. If you haven't read The Joker: Endgame then I would suggest skipping that book and just reading this one. 

This story is the end all be all of Batman Joker fights. The Joker has decided he is finally ready to kill Batman. What better way to kill someone than to have the people closest to the, do it for you. The Joker has beefed up his Joker gas now instead of just killing his victims it makes them want to kill Batman more than anything in the world. It even effects the man in blue, Superman. Thankfully Batman has planned for the day the Justice League goes bonkers but it made for a great story. Watching Batman fights his best friends. All of them are super powered heroes that Batman needs to stop but he doesn't want to kill them.

This book is a great story and a fitting end for the Joker Batman line that has gone on since New 52 started. For the most part I always enjoy the collected series to make one story like in The Joker: Endgame but that one wasn't very good. In the collection there is a side story about weak minded characters that the Joker manipulated to do certain tasks for him. It slowed down the overall story Scott Snyder wrote and made the whole book feel disjointed and out of place. That is why I like this book so much better. It is very to the point and doesn't feel like the pacing is off. It is just balls to the wall suspense as Batman does whatever he can to survive and save the city he loves from the Joker. 

I will leave the rest of the book for you to discover on your own especially since I reviewed this all ready with the collection. Since this book feels like a more complete story and the writing and art work are wonderful. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to see where the Batman series goes from here and am anxious to get my name out there for the next volume.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day


I love Felicia Day, she is really funny and seems so down to earth. I love her story about how she went from a socially awkward child to a socially awkward internet gaming queen/celebrity. I am not one for non-fiction or memoirs but occasionally I find one that peaks my interest. My very first memoir I read was Bruce Campbell's and I loved it. The I read Jackie Chan's and hadn't picked on up for over a decade. Chris Harwick's book, The Nerdist Way is less memoir and more self help. That is the first and only self help book I think I will ever read. It was amazing because Chris Hardwick is funny and just an awesome guy but this review is about Felicia Day's book. 

When I saw this pop up as suggested reading because I had read Jenny Lawson's two books I jumped at the chance to get this. I got the audio book because these types of books are usually read by the author and that makes the audio so much better than the book. Felicia too the audio one step further and I thank her for this. Most of the memoirs I have read have included pictures which if you listen to the book you just have to hear what they look like. Felicia included a a PDF that I could download so I could see all of the pictures and follow along with the book. It was amazing. I first was introduced to her in Supernatural where she played a computer hacker. Shocker I know, but then I started to find all of these things she has done and I started to like her even more. Now I have to check out her original web series called the Guild. 

Her story starts as a kid and all of the challenges she had being home schooled up to her college years which lead to her beginnings in the gaming world. When I was younger I considered myself a gamer but I was a console junkie, I never did online gaming which I guess is sadder because at least on line gaming you talk with other people. I stayed secluded in my room killing zombies and pretending to be James Bond. Goldeneye on Nintendo 64 is still one of my favorite games ever. Felicia Day was an online gamer who played World of Warcraft. It was her obsession and passion for this game that got her to write the web series the Guild which I have yet to see but it is on my to watch list now. From that Felicia became the woman she is today. 

Wow, I'm not sure how much of this review was about the book and how much was about me. I guess I got kind of off topic. I really liked this book. It was funny and really interesting. I finished this book in a day and a half because I couldn't stop listening to it. I loved this book and it easily gets 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an interesting memoir. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling


This was the first of the Harry Potter books I read. I had seen the first two movies and figured I would just pick up where they left off.This book is my favorite of all of the books in the series which made me so angry when the movie came out. There were so many great scenes in the book that had explanations for a lot of big parts of the story left out so they could show the boys eating candy that made them make animal noises. Yes, I'm still bitter after all of these years. 

Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts and things are getting creepy this year. A vicious Killer has escaped from the highest security Wizard prison and might be after Harry to finish what is left unfinished. With a killer on the loose the guards of Azkaban called Dementors are out searching. These creatures are ghastly figures with bony fingers and cloaked in tattered cloth blacker than death itself. These creatures feed off the happiness as well as sorrow of those they trap.  Harry is effected more than anyone by these creatures due to his terrible history. 

This book is great and as I said this is my favorite book in the series. This is my second read of this book and I'm excited for several reasons. I finally get to write reviews for books I have loved because I read this long before I joined Goodreads and started my blog. I also get to live these books through the eyes of my now 6 year old son. He may roll around and fidget because he can't sit still but his eyes get so big and bright when something exciting or scary happens, and I love when he is upset when we have to stop. I the time I get with him all curled up while my wife reads to us. I usually fall asleep but it is still quality time. I'm going to trade on and off with my wife for the remaining books since they are so long.

I could go on and on about all the great things I liked about this book and all the things that really irked me that the movie left out. That could be a whole other can of worms that would turn into an odd rant. I'm sure most people have already read this book and have their own opinions so this review is really just filler for my blog and allowing me to get my feelings into the digital universe. Still If you haven't read this series it is definitely worth it. It should come as no surprise that I give this 5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher


I have no idea what to say about this book. I have been a little off the last week or two so I kind of glanced through this book and I am having a hard time remembering all the great things about this book so I'm sorry if this review is a little shorter than normal. What I can tell you is there are some parts in this that where blow my mind awesome. I will try to avoid taking about these so I don't spoil anything but they made this book really worth the read. 

I love this series and look forward to each book in the series. This book has Harry a full Warden of the White Council doing what he can to protect Chicago as well as the world during the war with the Vampires. Harry has been asked by the council to look into some black magic that has been happening in the city. some movie monsters have come off the silver screen and are attacking people so Harry has to figure out what is going on before more people get hurt. 

I will be the first to admit that this series is kind of cookie cutter. Harry has plenty of one liners and tries really hard to be a loner but has an extended family that he can't live with out. The fact that this is cookie cutter is one of the things I love about these books. I know what to expect and I can turn my mind off and enjoy the ride. There may have been a few slower parts but Jim Butcher always seems to find a way to send goosebumps rushing up my arms with excitement. 

I really liked this book but I can't give it a full 5 stars in the review. This gets 4 out of 5 stars. The reason I couldn't give this a full 5 is because I did start to forget this book right after I finished it. That is probably on me because I admitted that I wasn't in the right mind frame for reading. I will give this a year read in the future and I hope to be able to change my rating to a 5. I wish I had more interesting things to say about this book but the things I remember are what I would consider spoilers. Anyone who reads my blog knows I hate spoilers and avoid them at all cost. I will say that even thought it is brief we do get Michael back in this book and I really like his character. He and Harry are great together. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Green Lantern: Lights Out by Robert Venditti


I'm just going to say it. I miss Geoff Johns. I read recently that he is returning to Aquaman because the series is heading in a direction the fans are not happy with. I'm not saying that Green Lantern is heading in a bad direction but the story line is just meh. This could have been such an epic story and I just feel like I was reading it to get through it and see what comes next. 

This book is a collection of several series to make one story and I hate that Green Lantern splits its story among several series. Why can't each series have its own story line? I know, this way it sells more comic books. Unless you read these collections or all of the different series you only get parts of the story or their are giant plot holes. In story the creature known as Relic is trying to extinguish all of the lantern corps before they use all the light and empty the reserve. When the reserve is empty then the universe will die and a new one will be born. It sounds like a really interesting story and it could have been, but I was kind of bored with the whole thing. It reads like every other Lantern story line. Something is tearing apart the Corps and all of them have to band together to stop it. 

I love the giant battles between the different emotional spectrum and the banding together or quarreling teams is always uplifting. It has just been done over and over with Green Lantern I am ready for something else. Needless to say I wasn't overly impressed. There is some decent set up for what might be coming in the next book which I am anxious to read and finally get caught up in this series. I wish I had more to write about this book because I don't like writing short reviews. I didn't hate this book but didn't care for it either. I would give this 2.5 stars but for the purpose of review sites I will round up to 3 stars. If I didn't have to read this to make sure I know what may be refered to in the next book. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Walking Dead Vol 24: Life and Death by Robert Kirkman


I have loved this series since the very first episode on AMC. It took a few seasons before I got into the comics that started the whole thing and now I wait on the edge of my nerves fro each new book. Since I continue to get these through my library the wait list is really long which makes the waiting even worse. I have enjoyed every book for the most part but there are some that are amazing and others that you get through just to get tot he next big part of the story. This is one of those books you just get through to find out what happens next. 

For those of you reading this post that haven't read the books up to this point and want to, stop reading now. If you don't care what happens or to read these book but still want to know my thoughts feel free to read on. There could be some spoilers ahead just FYI. At this point 24 books into the series and 144 monthly issues into the story it is pretty impossible to talk about a book and not have something be spoiled. 

In the last book it ended with Carl walking away from the community looking for his new girl who he has fallen for but is part of the group known as the whisperers. Rick, Carl's dad, has no idea he has left the community to search for a girl in the dangerous zombie filled lands. There are a few things going on in this book but it really is a character book and has very little action. Negan has an agenda it seems, whether it is just to mess with Rick's mind or some elaborate escape plan. Alexandria is planning their first ever fair between them and the community. The Whisperers want to be left alone and learn more about these groups.This is kind of a slow read but since there is very little dialogue and the story relies on the art to move the story, it goes by pretty quick. 

I read this one pretty quickly and I am itching for the next book. This one is kind of slow until the very end and my body broke out in goosebumps when I read the last 5-8 pages. The only purpose this book serves is to set up the next big story line I feel. I liked this book but it wasn't my favorite. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dresden Files: Down Town


I love these graphic novels. It is so much fun to read a new story by Jim Butcher in the Dresden series without having to wait for the next book. I'm still behind a bit in the series so currently I don't have to wait for the next one, but when I see these on Netgalley for review I always jump at the chance to review it. Thank you Netgalley and Dynamite Comics.

I'm going to try not to spoil anything because my wife reads the Dresden books too and this spoiled a few things for me. Since she also reads my blog I don't want to spoil anything for her. So Harry is a Warden of the White Council of Wizards and has taken on an apprentice. Something is killing people leaving little bits of goo behind and Harry has to figure out what is going on and stop it before more people die. 

I love these graphic novels. The art is pretty good and I love seeing my favorite characters out side of my mind. The artist in these books really nailed how I picture the characters so I have no complaints with how they are portrayed. I also like how well these tie into the other books. It really allows for a comprehensive world between the novels and these. There are also things that will have small notes as to which book they are referring to. There are also bonus material at the end of the collection which I enjoy but I geek out about bonus features and early character sketches. 

I know I really didn't give you to much about the book but all you need to know is that it is worth the read. The art work is good and very detailed. I loved seeing Undertown and the action scenes are always great. This book is a solid 4 out of 5 stars read. There were a few spots that were kind of slow which made it easy to put down and tough to pick back up at times. That's the only thing that kept this from a full 5 stars. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


I had never heard of Jenny Lawson also known as The Blogess until her first Book Let's Pretend This Never Happened won best comedy book in the Goodreads Choice award in 2012. I figured if it had that many people vote it the best I should give it a read. That book was hilarious and I was snorting out loud I laughed so hard through the whole book. I kind of expected the same thing with this one.

Jenny Lawson is so funny and there are some great stories that had me laughing my head off but this book has a much more serious tone to it. Jenny Lawson suffers from severe depression, anxiety, and ADD. She is the first one to poke fun at herself about this but she also had some very sad things that she deals with one a daily basis. I'm going to be honest with you all and say that I suffer from anxiety.  have been medicated for a little over two years now and I'm doing pretty good. I'm going to try to either scale back my medicine or get off it if I can. 

I am no where near as serious a case as some other people I know and even then I am a 16th of what Jenny Lawson deals with. This book is all about her struggle and how she deals with these issues. This is a great book for anyone who suffers from these kind of disorders because it is proof that those who suffer are not alone. There is help out there and nothing to be ashamed of. I hid the fact that I have been on medication because I was embarrassed. I felt that I couldn't handle my emotions and this was giving up. I came to terms with my issues and ever since I have grown stronger if that makes sense. Jenny Lawson does a great job making me feel better about myself and my situation, not just because she is suffering more than I am but with all of the encouragement she gives in this book.

Aside from all the take about her disorders she tosses in stories that have happened in her life and even arguments she has had with her husband. I follow her blog The Blogess so a good bit of these stories I had already read before. Now I listened to think in audio which I love. Jenny Lawson of course reads her own book and that is the best part. Being able to hear exactly how she meant the words to sound is so much fun. The one thing that I missed from having the audio book version is the pictures that she includes in the book. She explains what the pictures are so we the listener has some idea of what is going on. To make up for it Jenny did include a bonus chapter for the audio version so ha. 

This was a great book and again I will highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from Depression or anxiety or both. She is insightful, sweet, and just hilarious in this book. I have to say that after reading this book I feel pride, and concern for her  darker times and I have never met her and she has no clue who I am. The way she writes in both of her books its like she is talking with good friends and we the reader are those friends. It is an easy decision to give this 5 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher


I'm going to be so bummed when I catch up in this series. I love this series and this book was great. Unlike most of the other books there is really only one plot line here. The Queen of the Black court of Vampires has threatened to harm the people Harry cares about unless he finds her the book of one of the most powerful Necromancers. Harry not only has to find this and give it to her but also get this done before Halloween night when it is easier to raise the dead. 

I will admit that this book is a little slower getting started but the characters in this book are the best part. Slight spoiler if you haven't been reading these but I really like that Harry has a half brother. Thomas is a great addition to the story and I like the relationship that is budding between these brothers. I have really missed the character Michael so this is a good change of pace. We also get to see a lot more out of my favorite hermit medical examiner Butters. By the end of this book I loved Butters character.

The last book was starting to pull away from what I really love about the series so I was starting to worry that maybe Dresden was changing and I wasn't going to like the series as much in these newer books. The ending of this one was really good and it helped pull me right back into the series. There is one thing that I hope works itself out because I was getting irritated by it. Harry spends a few scenes talking to people that are not really there. People that have been dead are talking to him and he is either hallucinating and going crazy, or he is so powerful as a wizard that he is pulling these spirits to him and he is actually talking to the dead. In an earlier book he fell sleep and had a conversation with subconscious Harry and he does that again in this book. For some reason this doesn't bother me as when he talks to a certain character who has been dead longer than the series has gone on. I guess I either want answers or for Harry to stop going mentally unstable.

I really liked this book. I can't wait to see what comes next in this series but I don't want to catch up, It is nice knowing I have quiet a few books ahead of me and when that is gone I'm not sure I will be able to wait for the next book. This is a 4 out of 5 star book. More like a 4.5 star book but I can't do half stars on other review sites. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Soul Survivor by Dean Koontz


I have to say that I am not a huge Dean Koontz fan. My wife was with his earlier work but there came a point when his books just got really weird and our interest faded. I have some of his books that I really liked, Tick Tock and Life Expectancy to name a few. This was another book that kept popping up in my hunt for horro books for the R.I.P. challenge. I figured I would give it a try. Let's just say I was expecting a horror novel and this isn't.

The book is all about a man who is suffering after the loss of his wife and two daughters in a plane crash. Wanting to die he goes to visit the graves one last time. When he arrives he finds a strange woman taking pictures of the headstones and FBI types following him. This opens the book up to what could have been a really interesting suspense thriller. Sadly about half way through the book my interest tanked. I couldn't keep focused and my mind kept wandering. I was mechanically reading just to get through this. It also seemed about this point that the story was just all over the place. My lack of focus might have had something to do with this but I'm not sure. I will own up when my dislike of a book is my own doing but I really tried to like this. 

By the end of this book I was so happy to be finished with this. I felt the ending was terrible. It felt like the book started out to be one thing and Koontz forgot how he started the story so it ended as if it was a different story. I was really disappointed. This started out with so much potential and then just lost me. It's over and I can move on. I give this 2 out of 5 stars and really it was more like 1.5 stars. I also had every intention in including this in my R.I.P. challenge but I'm going to skip it. I have already had enough books to complete the challenge more than two times and this is not what I was expecting being at the top of several horror fiction lists. So I decided to save this review till after the challenge and just focus on my Halloween week posts. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Hangover and R.I.P. Wrap up

Image result for Free halloween clipart

This year was a great Halloween. We had rain for most of the day but the temperature was perfect and the rain stopped before it was time to Trick-or-Treat. This was the first year I went to my company's Trunk-or-Treat event and we all had a great time. The kids got to show off their costumes and get some practice for latter that night. Once the sun went down we took the kiddos out to hit as many houses as their little legs could handle. My 2 year old Daughter was the cutest little Mini Mouse thanks to my wife's amazing skills with a sewing machine. She even made the little ears that looked better than what you buy in the store. I'm just not ok with sharing photos of my kids otherwise I would show you all how amazing her costume was. You will just have to take my word for it. My wife is talented. 

My son, well he will be 6 next weekend and he took after my own heart. We watched the old 90's Flash TV show and now the new one. Once a week I will wake him up and we will sit together watching the show just us so it wasn't a big surprise when his favorite super hero is the Flash. He was so perfect in his little costume. As soon as he put it on I had to do whatever I could to try to keep him from running all over the place. Gosh I love that kid. I was Batman a lot when I was a kid so I'm curious if I will have to buy a new Flash costume next year.

Just like last year we carved pumpkins but my wife didn't really get to. She made pumpkin seeds which she loves but I'm not a fan. I hear they are delicious because my son says he is in Heaven every time she shares them. I always love carving pumpkins and making them as scary as possible. Last year I scared my son so much with the face I made he couldn't look at it so I scaled back a bit. This year we let him get in there and clean out the pumpkin. He also tool a turn at carving himself and did everything but the mouth. His pumpkin is the one on the left and mine is the one on the right. 

This year I got a lot read and watched for the R.I.P. Challenge. My Halloween week was a lot of fun this year and I felt I had a good selection of horror movies. This year I reviewed.

Amityville Horror (2005)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead
The Fog (2005)
Dead Silence
Evil Dead II

For Peril in the First I only had to read 4 books for the challenge and I did a lot more than that. This year I had a much better selection of books. Last year was kind of a stinker with the books I chose but this year I read.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Outcast Vol 1
The Scarlet Gospels
The Hospital
Hell House
Bellman & Black
The Box
Johannnes Cabal the Necromancer

I love the R.I.P. challenge and I look forward to it every year. I had a few stinkers in the books I read but I was really happy to finally get around to reading Carrie. Now that Halloween has passed I'm sad to see it go but on to winter. I am so ready for colder weather and shorter days. I'm lookinf forward to next year and I am always looking for suggestions for horror movies to review for Halloween Week so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. I might just review them next year.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Evil Dead 2

Happy Halloween and welcome to the last movie review of the week. Hope everyone has had fun so far and those that celebrate Halloween have a great night.This is my favorite horror movie of all time.It is super cheesy and you can see the strings for the things that fly but I love this. if you watch in some of the scenes you can actually see that the ceiling of the cabin is missing but the story is good and the one liners are even better. "Groovy!"

 So here is the story behind the movie. A normal guy decides to take his girl friend to a secluded cabin to well, spend some alone time together. when he gets there he finds this book bound in human flesh and inked in blood next to a recording. Who wouldn't be curious to see what was on the recording. The voice on the tape begins to read the translations and it wakes the evil  and it takes his girl friend. our main character is named Ash and he is played by the king of bad horror Bruce Campbell. The rest of the movie is him trying to survive the night. Everything that could go wrong does for Ash and he is not only try ing to survive but also trying to stay sane.

Evil Dead 2 is less of a sequel to Evil Dead and more of a reboot. This movie redoes the whole story from the first one with different characters and honestly a better story line. the one thing that is so separates this movie from the first one is that Ash is a stronger character, The evil tries to take him over and only succeeds in taking over his hand. Ash cuts it off with a chainsaw and then fabricates the chainsaw to fit over his stump.One hand is a chainsaw and the other wields a sawed off shot gun. What better character could take on the deadites and save the world.

The special effects are cheesy and it is funny to see how far Greg Nicotero has come since he is now doing the effects for The Walking Dead. The tag line for this movie was the Gorier the merrier so you can expect gallons and gallons of fake blood in this one. The Book of the Dead is really detailed and so is the dagger that is with the book but we honestly don't get much explanation about the dagger.

Old Nicotero
Current Nicotero
This has a huge cult following and I'm apart of it. I have two copies of these movies on dvd. One regular edition and a collectors edition. If my wife would let me I would buy these on iTunes so I have a digital HD version that I could watch  anywhere on my iPhone. Flash forward to today and the new series, Ash vs the Evil Dead airs on Starz. I am super excited to be able to continue Ash's story. The first series premieres tonight on the best night possible, Halloween. the new show picks up right where Army of Darkness left off just 30 years later. The remake of Evil Dead was amazing but this is what the fans have been waiting for. We finally get more Bruce Campbell as Ash. you can believe I will review the first season  as soon as I can watch it. I don't have Starz and usually Starz shows don't hit iTunes until after the season is over. As soon as I can my review will be up so look for it. Watch the trailer for this movie above and then check out the trailer for the new series airing tonight and hopefully you will understand why I love this series so much and this is a 5 out of 5 star movie.

This is my very last post for the R.I.P Challenge Peril of the Screen section. I'm so sad to be at the end of this challenge. Now I get to start planning my Halloween week for next year. Check back Monday for my Halloween Week/R.I.P Challenge wrap up. Hope to see you all checking out my blog through out the year and come back for the 4th annual Halloween week in 216.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dead Silence

I'm going to be painfully honest with you my readers. I have a fear of two this that can keep me up at night. Clowns, and Ventriloquist Dummies. They are terrifyingly creepy and this movie always gets to me. I was never around ventriloquist dummies but when I was younger my grandma had this room that was where I stayed when I spent the night that had all my mom's old dolls. They were on shelves over the bed and they all looked down on me with those cold dead eyes. I had to sleep with the covers over my head. That might have lead to my irrational fear of ventriloquist dummies.

This movie is made by the geniuses who made the Saw franchise. The story behind this is all about a woman named Mary Shaw who had no children only dolls. That's part of the nursery rhyme they talk about in the movie by the way. She was very popular putting on shows for the town at her own theater. One day a little boy heckled her making her dummy very angry. After that the boy disappeared. Marry Shaw was blamed and was found dead shortly after.

Flash forward to the present and our main character Jamie has just received a mysterious package on his door step. Inside is the creepiest ventriloquist dummy ever. While Jamie goes to get dinner his wife is mysteriously killed having her tongue removed.  Jamie ventures home to the town where all of this happened looking to bury his wife and get some answers.

Here is the great thing about this movie. It is psychologically scary and not all that gory. There is some gore to it, I mean people are getting their tongues ripped out, but it isn't a slasher flick or some Eli Roth torture porn. This movie is all about what you don't see and things that crawl out of the darkness. This movie is really well done and even though I have seen this a bunch of times I still feel the clod creep up my spine as the hair on my arms and neck stands on end watching this movie. If you are looking for a reason to pull an all nighter then watch this movie. The first time I saw it I hardly slept. Lets see how tonight goes. Check out the trailer and see if you aren't creeped out from just this little taste.

I love this movie and I love the fact it still creeps me out. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. As always I will include this in the review site for R.I.P. Challenge as part of the Peril on the Screen. I encourage you to check out the site because there are some great reviews this year. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Fog (2005)

John Carpenter is an amazing director. He has produced some amazing horror movies that became instant classics. One of his lesser known horror movies was The Fog. In today's world this isn't half as terrifying as it once was due to enhancements in special effects, CGI, and film quality. This review will revolve around the remake which was done in 2005. Not many people like remakes because it tends to not do the original justice, but I like them. I like to see how a new director with new tech can give these old movies a new twist. In some cases they are amazing, and in other cases they are terrible flops. This remake follows pretty close to the original but adds more to the story behind the fog which I liked. 

Since this movie stays pretty close to the original it isn't very scary but it does do very well at giving you the creepy factor throughout. The thing that makes the Fog so scary is the fear of the unknown. What is lurking in the thick fog and what does it mean for the quiet town of Antonio Bay? This movie relied very heavily on the popular actors of the time. The biggest name is Selma Blair and she isn't one of the stronger main characters. We also have Tom Welling, Mr Clark Kent himself from the CW show Smallville.

Very little is known at the beginning of the movie which allows us the viewer to kind of learn  about this towns troubled history along our characters. Slowly we start to get this picture of the founding fathers not being as heroic as the town thought. Now I don't usually do spoilers and I don't feel what I am about to tell you is, but I want to give those who don't want to know a chance to stop reading. I am going to tell you the reason behind the fog and even though this movies is 10 years old there might be some who don't want to know that might not have seen this. So, if this is you stop reading right now. 

There was a Leper colony that just wanted to buy some land and spend their last remaining days in peace. They found a little place to call their own and brokered a deal to buy this land from the founding fathers of Antonio Bay. The founding father's steal the Leper colony's money, locks them in their ship then set it on fire killing everyone on board, Then these founders take the land they were going to sell and start their own town on it. Now the Lepers are back to enact their revenge or get justice. Here is the trailer of the movie for you to check out in case this has peaked your interest.

The special effects were really good. Even though most of it is GCI it was still very realistic and scary in its own way. The acting could be better I'm not going to lie on this piece, but I liked this movie. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I am so glad I blew the dust of my DVD and re-watched it after all of these years. This whole week of movie reviews will be part of the R.I.P. Challenge as the Peril on the Screen section. 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shaun of the Dead

Spoofs or Parodies are not always a good thing. Most of the time o enjoy them no matter how horrible they are. The combination of Simon Peg, Nick Frost, and Zombies is perfect for one of, if not the best parody movies ever. These guys can make pretty much any type of movie they want and I'd watch it. In this zombie apocalypse movie we follow Shaun (Simon Pegg) through his mediocre boring day. He is completely oblivious to the Zombies turning around there. Since Shaun is so oblivious there are a lot of clever zombie attacks in the background that if you are only focused on Shaun you will miss them too. 

Once they realize what is going on they become fearless zombie killers as long as they are only zombies in there way of them getting to their favorite Pub the Winchester. This one pub is where Shaun and his buddy spend all of there lives so of course it is where they head to. Hilarity and gore flow throughout this movies. 

This is one of my favorite horror comedies. I feel the review should be longer but there isn't much to this movie. Not a lot of plot but plenty of comedy, and really life like zombie effects. This movie is British comedy at it's finest. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and please enjoy the trailer if you haven't see this horror gem. This will also be part of my R.I.P. Challenge as part of the Peril on the Screen. 


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

George Romero father of the Zombie Horror film paved the way for some great remakes. I love this movie and I've got to say this movie is terrifying because the zombies run full speed. I know that sounds really dumb to be terrified of but in most zombie shows and movies they shamble and move slowly. A character's biggest problem is to be caught in a group of zombies where their attention is focused on something else and be attacked from behind. In this movies the zombies are vicious and fast. It was great. 

This movie is all about the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. The out break begins slowly and over night has spread like wild fire in California. We follow a group of people who have locked themselves in a mall trying to survive. It has been a really long time since I saw this movie that is was a surprise to see that not only was this directed by Zack Snyder, but it had my favorite Dumphy from Modern Family Ty Burrell. The special effects are really good in this and I was impressed with their use of amputees. There is a bonus feature on the Directors cut showing how some of the zombies that were missing arms and legs were actually handicapped people to really give a realistic feel to this movie.  No CGI here, just great make-up effects to make this look completely real. 

One thing I have to share about this movie is something my wife pointed out. This movie does have a look to it like it was filmed in the 80's. It adds to the cheese factor of this graphically violent zombie movie. I like to think that Zack Snyder was trying to pay homage to the original film having been filmed in 1978. I love this movie and not just because I'm a big fan of anything zombies. Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows on TV so I am always up for more zombies. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this to any fan of a good zombie movie. Check out the trailer if it has been so long you have forgotten all about this.

This is another entry for the Peril on the Screen as part of the R.I.P. Challenge. 


Monday, October 26, 2015

Amityville Horror (2005)

I love this movie. This is another remake that goes deeper into the backstory than the original and I really like that. This movie opens up with the slaughter of s family giving some clues as to what is going on. Voices tell Ronald to kill and the time 3:15 Am seems to have some significance. After some brief news clips explaining the events we just saw we meet the Lutz family. A sweet family looking for more space. They find the deal of a lifetime on this house and move in. Everything is all sunshine and roses at first.

Once things start to happen the only people who see what is going on are George and the little girl. The evil in the house starts to play with George's mind.  One of the most terrifying things happens in the bathroom. I can't tell you how terrifying it would be to be attacked by a ghost while using the bathroom in the middle of the night. That part always creeps me out. There are some intense scenes in this movie that when I saw this for the first time in the theater it gave me nightmares. It was great.

Now here is the part that I describe what is going on with the house in this movie. If you wish to learn this on your own by watching the movie I would suggest stopping the review here and skipping to the last paragraph for the rating. The house is part of a hidden torture chamber. A reverend in the Puritan days was torturing and experimenting on the native Americans that lived on the land first. The victims were sliced and skinned and subjected to all kinds of other horrible violent acts. Once George's mind is completely poisoned by the evil reverend who possesses the house he tries to kill his family.

This is a movie that once it takes off with the plot you will need to hold on to your seat and not let go till the very end. It may have been awhile since I have watched this movie but it is always in my mind as one of my favorite horror movies. This is easily a 5 out of 5 star review for me. Now it is no secret that I love the R.I.P. Challenge. the best part about reading my favorite genre of book is that I can include my movie reviews for it as well. This is my first entry in the Peril on the Screen portion of the challenge.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Week 2015

Welcome to my 3rd Annual Halloween Week. I love this holiday, it is one of my favorite holidays and having kids makes it even better. My kiddos are not yet old enough to scare the living daylights out of on Halloween but I still have something to look forward to when they get older. I have had a lot of fun writing these the last few years that I am doing it again. The first year I reviewed remakes of all of my favorite horror movies, and last year I reviewed the originals. 

This year I just chose a few random favorites to review. I am going to review The Amittyville Horror (2005), The Fog (2005), Dead Silence, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Shawn of the Dead, and Evil Dead 2. I love these movies. A lot of people didn't care for the remakes of The Fog and Amittyville but I did. You will get to read all about them for Haloween week. I had to finish out the week and end on Halloween with Evil Dead two because Ash Vs the Evil Dead Season 1 begins on STARZ. I don't have STARZ so I'm really bummed I wont be able to watch it, but as soon as it comes to iTunes I will buy the season and let you all know how awesome it is in a review after I have binge watched it three or four times.

I have a lot to look forward to this Halloween. It falls on a Saturday which means I get a day to recoup before having to go back to work. This is my second year in my job and the company is doing a Trunk or Treat during the day on Halloween so I am really excited to take my family to work and let the kids get some more candy (which I will of course enjoy too). For those of you who don't know what a trunk or treat is, this is where people just park in a parking lot and decorate the trucks of there cars and the kids can go from car to car getting candy instead of house to house. It should be a lot of fun for all of us. The company is putting on games and providing free lunch, and I love my job. 

Both of my little ones are really excited for Halloween and they have their costumes all picked out. My son is 5 and he is going to be The Flash because that is his favorite superhero. My daughter was going to be super girl but then changed her mind and is now going to be Mini Mouse. She is 2 and my wife is making her costume. It is the cutest thing ever. Enjoy the week and Happy Halloween early. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Green Lantern: The Wrath of the First Lantern by Various


This book is a crossover book that includes several different Green lantern titles. This book has Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns, and Green Lantern: New Guardians. I have had an issue with the individual books because there are so many plot holes. It was driving me nuts and I even took a little break from the Green Lantern series for awhile. Reading this book was great. 

This book is the comprehensive First Lantern story. All of the plot holes are filled in and the book flows seamlessly. Even with this story being written by different writers it just works. The first lantern is the one person who took the ring formed by creation itself. He used the ring for his own gain to change and reshape reality itself. The Guardians of the Universe trapped him and threw away the key. Since the Guardians are focused on destroying the Green Lantern Corps that they don't see the attempt to free the First Lantern coming. Once he has escaped he has to absorb emotions to help him charge to his full power. We get to see a lot of big players in the different Lantern Corps face some of there biggest faults in this book and it made for a great story. 

This is a huge graphic novel because of all the different series that are smashed in here but the story is so good I couldn't put this down. The art work was really good also and was perfect for each panel. There are several covers that take up two pages which had amazing scenes in those, plus there are a couple of characters who have their different personalities shown. For example, Hal Jordan is touched by the First Lantern and he duplicates into every form he has had. Every different Lantern he has been and it was a great scene that gave me goosebumps. 

This book was great and I loved it. Easily a 5 out of 5 star book. I can't wait to see where Hal Jordan is taken in the next story line. This one wraps up pretty well and even gives the future of all of our favorite characters. I highly recommend this book to any Green Lantern fan. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Green Lantern Vol 2: Revenge of Black Hand by Geoff Johns


It has taken me forever to get this book read. This was one of the books I requested but didn't get approved to read this through Netgalley. I got the next two volumes so I kind of skipped this and moved on. I was such and idiot because this is one of the best Green Lantern books I have read. 

Hal Jordan is still being used as Sinestro's puppet. He has a ring that Sinestro created and divided his power so Hal could help him prevent the Guardians of the Universe from destroying the Green Lantern Corps. While trying to figure out what to do next Sinestro and Hal are kidnapped by the Indigo tribe whose power is compassion. They are also able to simulate the other ring powers and use them. While with the Indigo Tribe they run into Black Hand. He has been brought back to life and converted to a compassionate member of the tribe. 

There is a lot of pieces of the overall story that are revealed in this book and I spent most of it with goosebumps. The art work is fantastic because it leads the story just as much as the writing. Geoff Johns continues his run on Green Lantern with an amazing story that I couldn't put down. I flew through this book and now I am itching for more. I am going to work to get fully caught up on the books that I missed and then I think I am going to go back are read Blackest Night and Brightest Day. I read most of Blackest night as well as all of the companion issues that went with it. I gave up comics before I could finish the story line so I want to go back and finally read the whole thing. 

There is so much in this book that I want to talk about but I don't want to ruin the experience for anyone who has yet to read this book. I got goosebumps constantly and there were so many great reveals. It should come as no surprise that I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Cleaner by Paul Cleave


Years ago this book was offered as a giveaway on Goodreads and I was intrigued by the summary so I entered. Clearly I didn't win it or else I would have reviewed this long long ago. This is a mystery detective story but with a very interesting twist. Our main character who is a self proclaimed detective, is also a serial killer. Now where have a I read this one before? That's right, this sounds a lot like Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, only Dexter is actually a forensic blood spatter technician.  Joe is just a serial killer who is really pissed off that someone is pinning a murder Joe didn't commit on him. Oddly enough Joe feels like he has to get Justice for the girl he didn't kill so he takes it upon himself to find who this copycat killer is.

This killer is absolutely bonkers. His priorities are all screwed up but you kind of expect that from a killer. He is a clever killer and changes up his routine so it makes him harder to pin down. He does make a point in mentioning that he makes sure to leave the exact same physical evidence at every scene. Oh yeah, and he also loves his mother. Not as much as Norman Bates but more than you'd expect a serial killer to love his mother.

I thought about what I wanted to say about this book the whole time I was reading it and ever free moment I had until I wrote this post. You know what, I just don't have much else. The book is kind fo goofy and almost light hearted. It doesn't take it's self to seriously which is good because if it did I think I would have liked this book a lot less. It was enjoyable but I kept waiting for it to end so I could move on to the next book on my list. There is a second book in the series but I'm not sure I am interested enough to read the next one.

So when thinking about the review it went up and down as I read this book. It was enjoyable but not impressive so I I am going to say this barely crosses the line into 3 stars. I was very middle of the road and I'm ready to move on. I am adding this to the RIP challenge. If you haven't check out the reviews submitted by everyone participating you really should.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Aquaman Vol 5 Sea of Storms by Jeff Parker


I have loved this series since The New 52 started and Geoff Johns made Aquaman a likable character for the first time in DC history.  I am always a little nervous when a new writer takes over for one of my favorites because it is usually never as good. Geoff Johns I think laid a decent ground work for the character that this book was still good but I felt not as strong as previous volumes. 

There is so much that is going on in this book I don't know where to begin or what I can say that wont spoil some aspect of this book. I will, as always, do my best to not spoil anything but it is going to be tough and a shorter review. The book opens with the discovery of something very old and very large waking up very angry. This calls into question Arthur's right to rule Atlantis among some of the people but they already hate him anyway so this is a very small plot point. We then move on to a gate which is believed to open the gate between Atlantis and the surface world but has a far more sinister purpose. This leads to Arthur's need to call in some back up. Wonder Woman has a good size roll in this and I always enjoy a good team up. We also get another DC hero in this volume too.

The art work is very well done in this book and I wish I had some examples but I got this on in hard cover and it is difficult to get a good picture. There is so much detail in this book that I really enjoyed it. The artwork compliments the story very well. One last thing that I will mention about this book because I am just stumped what else to add before I give you my rating. It looks like in this volume we might be seeing the creation of a new villain to go up against Arthur in future books. 

I enjoyed this book even if it wasn't as good as the earlier volumes. I easily give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I am very interested to see where Arthur's story goes. I will have to get the next volume soon. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard


This is another book that I found searching various horror book lists. I really liked the cover and thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. For those of you who don't know what a Necromancer is I took the liberty of looking up the exact definition. Necromancer: a person who practices Necromancy; a Wizard or Magician. To further explain what I felt wasn't really explained all that well in the book; Necromancy is the conjuration of the spirits of the dead for the purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events. 

There, now that we have gotten the lesson portion of this review out of the way here is what this book is all about. Johannes Cabal wants to learn all he can about being a Necromancer so he strikes up a deal and walks into Hell to study and learn. One of the things I really got a kick out of in this book is that the fist torment of hell is none other than paper work. In order for Johannes to get into Hell he had to fill out mountains of paper work. One such document was 15,497 questions alone. I get it, paper work is hell and we have to deal with it every day in our own lives. Paper work on steroids is a great idea Jonathan Howard had to describe Hell. After awhile Cabal feels like he's had enough of Hell want wants his soul back so he can return to the world and continue his work here. Now, I'm not a very religious man but I would think, if you give you soul to Satan he's going to want a cookie to go with it. Wait, maybe that's if you give a mouse a cookie; anyway I'm pretty sure Satan isn't just going to hand it back and say that you for visiting we hope you return soon. 

You guessed it, Satan wasn't to happy to just hand back his soul. In exchange for one soul willingly given he wanted 100 souls to replace it. He even graciously gave Cabal a carnival/freak show to help him collect these souls. This book has a surprisingly lighthearted approach ti taking people's souls and sending them to Hell. There were a few instances that I just really had a problem with but for the most part the people they got to sign their lives away were people already on the road to Hell on their own. 

I started out very invested in this book and looked forward to every new chapter. A little over half way through I either lost that interest or things slowed down to much causing me to drift way from the story. By the time the book was over I was just happy that I could move on to something else. This is another one of those books that I didn't love or hate. I am very much in the middle of the road on this one. I see this is a series of books and I am interested in seeing what is next for Johannes Cabal but unless I can find the next book at my library I won't try all that hard to fins it. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

I'm still loving the R.I.P. challenge and I'm very happy to add this to the review site. I have to say that I have read some great reviews from others in this challenge so I would urge you to check out some of the reviews that have been submitted for this challenge. 


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Box by Richard Matheson


Thanks to the R.I.P. challenge and a little web search I have found another book I might have missed otherwise. I was able to get an audio version of this book and I learned one thing. I do not like short story collections in audio. Nothing against this book at all but there were times that the transition between stories wasn't enough of a pause that I thought the story I was just listening to was still going and then I got lost and had to go back. Short story collections on audio are just not good for me. I love them but I think I will stick with the Kindle or paper versions. 

Ok, on to the book itself. This was a fun collection. There were some stories that I really liked and others that just fell flat for me. There is always one or two stories in a collection that don't work for everyone. I have only found a few collections that have had every story be a winner. With this book there were a few stories that really stuck with me and it was the ones that had the best twist ending. My favorite is of course the most well known story in this collection "Button Button". This is the one that was made into a movie about an offer to a couple by a mysterious stranger. Press the button and you can have a huge sum of money but someone you don't know dies and you wont have to watch. What a premise. You could have a life changing sum of money but someone will die. Could you live with that thought hanging over you? Everyone could use a life changing sum of money but the thing is, I couldn't live with the guilt knowing I was the cause of someone else's death. People die all the time through war, disease, and terrible people doing terrible things but I don't want to be one of those terrible people. 

The other story I really liked was "No Such Thing as a Vampire". This is very similar to the story of Dracula but with a twist at the end I didn't see coming. That twist was what made this such a great story. I enjoyed a few others but this review would drag on way to long if I went into each one. This book is one I will read again and I will read it instead of listen to it. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

This will be included in my R.I.P. challenge and this is the 8th book I have read for this challenge. I have now completed the Peril in the First twice. I've said it before and I will say it again. I love this challenge. It is my favorite of all the blogging events I take part in and I look forward to it every year.