Friday, November 27, 2015

Green Lantern Vol 5: Test of Wills by Robert Venditti

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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

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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

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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

5

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
Carrie
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.