Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

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This is the 12th book written in the Mitch Rapp series but actually it is the 2nd book in the time line for the series. Doesn't make a lot of sense but my guess is Vince Flynn figured he had some back story to expand on. This being said I am glad I started these books when I did. It might have irritated me to be reading this series and then have two books in a row that go back to the beginning and I am really excited to see if this book ties into the first book written and the 3rd in the series, Transfer of Power.

I am not a fan of political thrillers but I gave the first book a try and really liked it. I was excited to be able to get this from the library so I could find out if I was going to keep reading this series. So far I am definitely continuing with this series. Mitch Rapp is like John McClane from  the Die Hard movies. Where Mitch Rapp is a government assassin and not a very unlucky cop like McClane, Rapp is resourceful and will not quit. This guy is a machine and very clever in any situation. 

 This book starts out with an assassination gone wrong and Rapp is stuck in Paris with the police and a terrorist group after him. He has to find a safe house and figure out who he can trust. Is there a leak in the CIA or have the terrorists caught on to something that will get him killed? The action in this book is intense and I really enjoyed the whole thing. 

Solid book and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I feel like there is so much I could say about this book with reasons why I liked it but to be honest, I have forgotten some of the book already. Now this is great when ever I decide to re-read this book, but the fact that I forgot parts of this shortly after reading it keeps this from a full 5 star rating. On to the next book at some point, but I like this series so far. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Undone by Karin Slaughter

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I really liked this book. Right from the very beginning this story grabbed me and dragged me through some of the most violent, intense, and suspenseful mystery I have read in awhile. Big shocker this is another book with some horrible violence against women but this had an interesting twist. So much to consider in the plot and eventual ended that I kept thinking about this book whether I was reading it or not. 

The book opens with a husband and wife driving to visit their son when what they think is an animal steps out in front of their car and they run it over. Further investigation proves it to be a woman, naked and tortured the story begins. Who is this woman and why is she cut up and wandering naked dying in the woods? Will Trent happens to be in the emergency room when the woman comes in and because of his past he wants to help find the villain who did this. He is able to get on to the case while making the local police very angry and less than willing to help. 

This book is great for our regular characters. Each one gets so much more depth. We get little bits of Will Trent's back story in this book. Still not as fast as I would like to get his back story, but I will take what I get. His Partner Faith faints in the very beginning and gets some very disheartening news which causes her mind to be divided between the case and what is best for her health. We also get a guest star in this book that couldn't have made me happier to see. Sarah Linton from Karin Slaughter's earlier Grant County series is in this book. She meets Will and Faith with the arrival of the woman hit by a car and she causes Will to re-think his current arrangements. This causes Will's attention to wander between the case and Sarah. With him and Faith dividing their attention it made for some interesting situations to help liven up the slower times. 

This is one of my favorite books of Karin Slaughter's. This was a very well written story and interesting. I couldn't put this down. I am slowly catching up to where I began with Karin Slaughter's books. I love the pairing of Will and Sarah so I am really excited to finally read the book where they meet. I have given this a lot of though when it comes to my reviews. I will give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. Now rounding up or down is the question. It was a great book but have read some books that were definitely 5 star reads. However, I did really like this book and it was one that kept me thinking about it even after I finished. I am going to round up to 5 stars. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

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There are a lot of great stories with the Joker in them but this is by far my all time favorite. I bought this when it first came out but was to young to understand the depth and terror that was in the amazing story telling in this book. It has been one of the prizes of my collection and a few years ago I got it out and re-read it. I couldn't believe what I had been missing all these years reading it so young. Since I was on this Joker kick with my reviews this week I decided to bring this out again and read it all over. I love this book more and more with each read. 

This is the book that defines the Joker. This is the pinnacle of evil, insanity, and darkness that makes the Joker the worst and the best character in comic book history in my opinion. From what I have read (gossip or truth I don't know) this is the book that Heath Ledger patterned his portrayal of the Joker for The Dark Knight. This book and trying to become the best representation of the Joker is potentially what drove him crazy. Once you see darkness like this there is no going back. 

This is the closest thing we get to an origin story for how the Joker came to be. A struggling comedian with a debit problem decides to help a crime boss pull a job to make a good bit of money. He becomes the Red Hood. Trying to distract from what is really going on he takes a header into a vat of acid that bleaches his skin, turns his hair green and his lips blood read. It is also the nudge he needed to slip completely into madness. So much happens in this book I could write for pages about every little detail and how much I love this book but I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who might read this in the future. This book changes some big characters in the Batman mythos. 

For any fan of the Batman series this is a must must read. Without any hesitation I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I could read this book over and over and still enjoy this book. The art work is very well done, and Allen Moore out does himself with the writing in this book. I get chills every time I read this book.   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Harley Quinn Vol 2 by Ammanda Conner

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I think I am going to make this Joker week. I started this week with Joker: Death of the Family and now here is my review for his ex best gal Harley Quinn. I have to thank the people at Edelweiss and DC Comics. I got this as an advanced reader copy and I enjoyed this book. Ever since Harley Quinn broke away from the Joker and became part of the Suicide Squad her character has become really interesting. Of course she is goofy and crazy as she is in the Batman comics, but she has begun to get this strength about her. I really liked her in the Batman comics around the Death of the Family story. So when I was chosen to read this for a review I was really excited. 

This is a pretty good book. I seems like a collection of short little stories instead of one long one. We get to see Harley in a no rules fight to the death demolition derby as well as being trapped on an island of people who worship the Joker. That was a weird story, oh yeah and did I mention that Harley rescues Power Girl and tries to convince here that the two of them are a super hero team? Overall the book was goofy and childish, but a lot of fun to read. It was nice to see a book all about Harley for a change. She has always been with someone as more of the sidekick role.

Sadly there really isn't much to say about this book which I haven't already said. I liked it and will have to go back and read Vol 1 then on to the next when it comes out. I will keep up with this series but on my priority list it is a little low. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5 but for the purpose of other review sites I decided to round up to 4. This is a fun quick read. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Joker: Death of the family by Scott Snyder

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I have said this so many times before but I love the Death of the Family story line. I am slowly making my way through all of the Bat-Family books for this story line but this one pulls from each one to collect one big comprehensive story featuring the Joker. Some of this I have already read and the Nightwing stuff I had read fairly recently so I was able to skip parts so I could focus on the parts of the story I didn't know. Whoever complied this collection did an amazing job of making all of these different books fit together seamlessly.

Aside from the Batman and Nightwing story lines I had a few that really stood out as being great reads. Oddly enough I really liked the stories with the women of the Bat-Family. Batgirl's story was amazing. Joker kidnaps her mother and sets it all up like he did in the Killing Joke where he shoots Barbara. She wants nothing more than to kill him and get justice for all the Joker has done against her and her family. I also really liked the Harley Quin story. She has come a long way from being Joker's doormat. I haven't read any of the Suicide Squad books but it is on my to-read list. Those books have really given Harley a strength that she never had before. It was also fun to see her really beat the snot out of Joker.

The art work in this was really great. There isn't a bad section in the whole book. Sometimes when you get these types of collections there is usually one artist among the bunch who's work just isn't as good. That isn't the case here. Everything was coherent and detailed. I was really impressed. The only thing better than the art work is the writing. What a story. By far one of the best comic book story lines I have ever read.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I loved this book. It was one I can't believe I put off reading. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is a must read for fans of Batman and the Joker.  

  

Friday, April 17, 2015

American Assassin by Vince Flynn

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When I was younger I used to work for a book store so I had seen Vince Flynn's name quite a bit. I know he is really popular but I am not a fan of political fiction. There is enough of that kind of stuff in the news and every for of media that when it comes to reading for fun politics is the last thing I want to read about. Give me a good murder mystery any day. 

17706522A little over a month ago I got an email from Simon & Schuster about pre-ordering a free copy of The Vince Flynn Encyclopedia. Free is free and I wanted to check this out. I went ahead and pre-ordered the book and went right to Goodreads to find out which book is the first in the Mitch Rapp series. This book is the 11th one that Vince Flynn wrote but it is the beginning of Rapp's story. Rapp lost a loved one in the tragic World Trade Center event. He wants revenge in the worst way and this book is how he began his hunt for every terrorist he could find. 

Rapp works very hard to stay in shape and hone his fighting skills. The CIA basically kidnaps him and takes him to a super secret elite training class. The whole purpose of the class is to weed out those who just can't hack the difficult missions they will be sent on. Rapp is a badass!! He is an ultimate fighter with so many different skills he can pull from, with an ability to be completely cold and focused on what his task is. 

I'm so glad I found this book. It was really interesting mostly and I flew through it. There are some spots that get into the detail of Terrorists organizations that got a little wordy and long, but for the most part the action just doesn't stop. I am definitely going to try and keep going in this series. The next book in the series is also a later title per what Goodreads has so I am looking forward to seeing what is next for Rapp. This book is easily a 4 out of 5 star book and I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave a new author a try. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Drood by Dan Simmons

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Drood

Has this ever happened to you? You read and read a book and then feel about halfway through that you just wasted days that you will never get back. This happened to me. I am new to this not finishing books thing. I have always been really stubborn and no matter what I was going to finish a book. Since I have been blogging I have realized that my time is precious and if a book is just not working for me I need to move on because my to-read pile is just to high.

I love books based off of classic authors. I have read a few books where the main character is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have enjoyed them except the last one I read. That was one of the few I have not finished as well. Dark water is the name of that book and you can check out my review here if you like as part of my worst of 2013. I have heard some great things about Dan Simmons and there are a few books I have been really wanting to read. This one was the only one available at my library and I was excited to start this. 

This book is about the famous author Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins who wrote the classic Woman in White. Dickens is the victim of a horrible train accident and one of the few survivors. While trying to help those he can Dickens encounters a man in a coat and top hat with a snake like nose and an accent he just can't place. As Dickens helps he notices this man named Drood going from suffering victim to victim. After he moves on those people he visited are dead. Dickens becomes obsessed with finding out more about this Drood character and begins a search that takes him and Wilkie to the darkest of dark places. It sounds really great right. 

It was really interesting at the very beginning but then the story just fell apart. The story was so disjointed and all over the place about a quarter of the way through that it was hard to keep up with. At one point we are with Dickens and Collins in a sewer like city of the dead not sure they will make it out alive and then all of a sudden it is weeks or moths later and Collins is talking about the whole thing with a former detective. It made no sense what so ever. also in the middle of what is going on Collins starts talking about Dickens's death and how his arthritis got so bad he was downing glasses of laudanum. Then it is right back to the story. I got so sick of the incoherent bouncing around that I had to just give up on this one.

Considering I didn't finish this book I will have to give it a 1 out of 5 star rating. I was half way through and it still couldn't hold my attention. Not a good one for this year. There always has to be at least one bad book in a readers life right.