Monday, January 25, 2016

Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 1

I did say that this year I wanted to review more movies and shows so here is my first of the new year. Ash Vs Evil Dead is so worthy of a review I couldn't wait to watch this show and then review it. I don't have the movie channels so I begged a very good friend to log in to the Starz app on my iPad so I didn't have to wait for it to come to iTunes. By the way it is available for pre-order and will be available in it's entirety on Feb 1st. I can't wait to binge watch this again. 

Bruce Campbell is the main man himself and reprises his role as Ash in what I would consider a reboot of some of the best B horror movies of all time. Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness are some of my favorite movies ever and I watch them all of the time. I was late to the party so to speak and didn't find these amazing gems until I was in college and my wife and I watched these together for the first time. She's a fan too. When I saw that there was going to be remake of Evil Dead I was super excited. I have been dying to see Ash return to the roll but the Remake was new characters in the same general story. A little bummed it wasn't going to have Bruce Campbell I was still really excited about it and still loved it. Check out my review for my full thoughts here. Then the rumors from all these years that Ash would return with Campbell,  Raimi, and Tappert returning to do this right became true .

Bruce Campbell is one of the most under rated actors, but at the same time he is King of the B stars. Hail to the King baby. I have really enjoyed all of his different roles. He was great in Brisco County Jr, Jack of all Trades and of course Burn Notice. Bruce Campbell can be anything he needs to be which is a great skill to have in his type of business. Having him back with the Boomstick and chainsaw was exciting. I couldn't wait to start watching this. 

In Ash Vs Evil Dead we pick up 30 years after the events of Evil Dead 2. Ash is still working in a retail store as a stock boy trying to brag about his heroism. One night to impress a girl he reads from the Necronomicon and frees the evil yet again. Of course the evil wants to take over the world but it also wants to ruin/kill Ash since this goofball is the only one to really succeed over it. In this series Ash is joined by two new characters Pablo and Kelly. They have to learn really quick about the Deadites and how dark the world has gotten with the evil unleashed. 

I loved this season and I can't wait to see what comes next. I am already anxious for season 2 to start. I will just have binge watch season 1 again over and over. I am so excited to have Evil Dead back and even though it isn't a new movie this is better. I can get so much more Deadite goodness in a TV version and it is endless as long as the wonderful people making this series want to keep doing it. Thank you Bruce for picking up the chainsaw and cheesy one liners. You have been one of my favorites for a long time. Nomatter what you do I will gladly watch but I am so glad you are back with the Evil Dead. 5 out of 5 stars without a doubt, the best show this year. February 1st can't come fast enough. I can't wait for the alert letting me know the show is now availble for download on iTunes. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King


So I am on a mission to read every Stephen King book I can. I finally got around to reading this book and I must say it was just weird. This book opens with a sweet old lady telling a story. She is under arrest and complementing the officers and saying they are fine young men who she remembers running around in soggy diapers. So it is odd that this sweet old lady is being read her rights and telling a story like it is bingo night. Then Dolores says she didn't kill that bitch but if they want to lock her up for killing her husband that's fine. I was floored and when I thought it couldn't get weirder good old Dolores asks for something to drink and says "Thanks Honey Bunch" to the officer. I had to laugh. 

That is kind of where the fun drops off. This book is exactly like talking to a Grandparent who rambles on telling a story but never really gets to the point. My Grandparents are great so I haven't really had this type of situation but everyone knows what I'm talking about. This book easily could have been a short story in a collection and it would have been a little better. The story just dragged on and on at times yet I couldn't stop myself from listening. 

You know right up front that Dolores didn't kill her boss but she did kill her bastard of a husband. We get to learn everything that leads up to why she wanted to kill her husband and why she called her boss such a bitch. I think knowing exactly how everything is made me want to find out how she killed her husband and even though we know Dolores's boss is dead and they think she killed her we have no idea what exactly happens. I had plenty of time to listen to this book so I got through it very quickly. 

I went up and down and up and down about this book and just how to review it. For most of the book I was rolling my eyes and just wanting Dolores to get to the point. However, as time passes since I finished this I tend to think more on it. When I finished the book I was thinking about a 2 star rating. Now that I have had some time to think on the book I am more middle of the road and this is a 3 out of 5 stars read. Not spectacular but I did enjoy this book. Still, I have read it and it won't be on my re-read list. Glad I read it though. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Flash Vol 7: Savage World by Robert Venditti

I need to catch up on The Flash. I started on book 5 and haven't read anything before that. I have been fortunate that DC Comics through Edelweiss to get this book for a review. I have read some less than favorable reviews of the first few books but I have enjoyed the ones I have read. The only thing I wish I would have a better grasp on is why the Blue Flash. I need to get caught up to fill in that missing piece. 

This book picks up right where book 6 leaves off. The tear in the Speed force has been fixed but Blue Flash is in our world and The Barry we know is stuck inside the speed force without his powers.  Barry runs into a group of people from different times who have been pulled into the Speed Force and have been living there for no one knows just how long since time doesn't have the same rules in there. In our world the Blue Flash has decided he get a chance to stop criminals and enact his own justice before they can commit the crimes that are part of his past. This makes him a very dark character. Both characters are on personal missions through out the whole book. Even though they are different missions there is a parallel feel to this book. 

The overall story of this was pretty good. I couldn't put this book down and flew right through it. I am anxious to see where the story is going to go in the next volume because this wrapped up nicely. There was one little thing at the very end that I would like to see the next book deal with but I'm not going to say what it is so I don't ruin the surprise. On top of the story being worth the read the art work was also very well done. One of my favorite pages is a split scene that shows what both Flashes are dealing with. I trimmed the picture a little so not to reveal anything that might be taken as a spoiler but you can still see the level of detail in just this page. I also really like the variant covers at the end of the book. My favorite is a take on the original movie poster for one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movies North by Northwest.

I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to any fan of the Flash. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you again to DC Comics for letting me review this and Edelweiss for making this possible.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Small Favor by Jim Butcher


I love Harry Dresden, as a character he is funny, powerful, and someone you can kind of relate to. Harry Dresden is a wizard Detective and even though he has all these impressive powers he seems to constantly get shafted and more crap dumped on him than anyone person should have to handle. I think that is why I connect so well with this character. I tend to get dumped on by life and yet I still seem to survive anyway. This aspect of Dresden makes for some really funny smart ass comments. 

In this book Harry is being hunted (like every other book) because he has really pissed someone off. To make matters worse the evil queen of the Winter Court has come back to ask a Small Favor of Dresden since he owes her. On top of all of that one of the most powerful demons Dresden has gone up against is back and either trying to kill him or recruit him. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Mob boss Marcone had been taken also and Dresden has been asked to find him and get him back.

This book has the return of a lot of my favorite characters. Michael is back to help Harry on his mission to figure out who is trying to kill him. We also get  a little bit from Harry's Half brother Thomas as well as a visit from the sweet little archive who just blew me away in this book. I will not say any more for fear of spoiling it. There are other knights who work with Michael who come back as well as Harry's boss in the White Council Luccio, and of course Murphy. I love these characters and that is one of the biggest draws to these books for me. I love reading what is happening in these character's fictional lives sometimes more than the plot going on around them.

This book was very satisfying and I loved the ending. I had to catch myself because I listen to these at work. When I got to the last quarter of this book I found myself neglecting my work because I was so focused on this book. So many things happened that I had been waiting for and there were things that leave the door open for future books. Finally we get a long heartfelt talk with Michael that I have been waiting for for awhile. Again, I will say no more. This is one of my favorites of the series so it is easy to give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I love this series and after this book I can't wait to get to the next one. I have to pace myself thought. I'm getting caught up very quickly and it is still months before the next in the series will be published.  

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz


I loved the Millennium series when I finally got around to reading them. I read the series after the third book had already been published so I din't have to wait for the next book. Like most fans of the series I was saddened to hear that Stieg Larsson had passed and those three books were all I was going to be able to read. Then I had heard reports that his daughter had found an unfinished story and she was looking for an author to finish it and carry on her father's work. I'm not sure if this is that book or if David Lagercrantz just wrote his own book with Mr Larsson's characters to continue the series. I will be honest and I haddn't kept up with the news on this book after the initial passing of Mr Larsson. 

I have to admit that I was really disappointed in this book. I want to make it perfectly clear that I have nothing against David Lagercrantz and his writing style. My problem was the story, the plot. I had this book built up so much in my head waiting and waiting to finally get this from the library so I could continue the adventures with Lisbeth and Blomkvist. I felt that this story was trying to hard to be a Stieg Larsson novel. This is all about hackers and a ring of cyber criminals who can only be found by Lisbeth. Blomkvist wants to help her in anyway he can of course but he has his own issues. Once again Millennium is on the chopping block because print is a dead media. 

I was bored through most of the books. After the initial excitement of continuing the series wore off I just kept thinking, I should put this down. I was so underwhelmed with the big reveal in the last quarter of the book that I just wanted to finish and move on. As much as it pains me to say it, I think I am done with the Millennium series if David Lagercrantz decides to write more. As I had mentioned, I had really high hopes for this book so the fact I was disappointing was partly my fault. I'm glad this book is finally behind me and I can now move on. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Detective Comics vol 7: Anarky by Francis Manapul


I was fortunate enough to be granted a review copy from DC Comics and Edelweiss and I really enjoyed it. This is less of a collection of issues that tells one story but a collection of many stories. The biggest story does revolve around a new villain named Anarky who wants to free the people of Gotham and allow them to choose their own form of government and Justice. 

This main story was pretty good but I have to be honest. There was something about the whole thing that seemed very familiar to me. It's kind of hard to explain without giving something away but I will say that the ending of this particular story wasn't a big surprise. The story at the very end I also really enjoyed because Batman has to rely on The Riddler to help him get into a prison that the Riddler created in order to bee free of all his many indiscretions. This story had a good little twist to the end of it and seemed to set up events for the next volume maybe.

The Detective Comic series has always had a darker feel to it and this is very evident in the art work. Most of the comics I have read recently have a very clean feel to the art even if the detail just isn't there. The art in this book is hard to explain without saying dark and Gothic over and over again. On first glance you might think that there isn't a lot of detail in these panels but if you look again there is more than you would think unless you stop and look at them. I've given you tow of my favorite pages from this book to better prove my point.

I like the older style to the art and the writing was well done also. I was really happy to have this to read and review and I can easily say that this is worthy of 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of Batman then I highly recommend you check this out. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black


I got this weird email from Goodreads one day and it said that my favorite author Jeffery Deaver enjoyed The Killing Lessons. Now I thought this was a little odd because anytime you hear someone enjoyed the killing lessons your first thought might be to buy more locks for your door, espcially if that person is your neighbor. Turns out the email was a review of the book by my favorite author of all time Jeffery Deaver. He had some great things to say about this book and as a good fan I jumped at the chance to add this to my to-read list. Well I finally got around to reading this and I really enjoyed it. 

This book follows different characters through the whole story. The constant switching from points of view can be a bit frustrating at times but it wasn't enough to deter my enjoyment. The main plot revolves around our two serial killers, an emotionally damaged detective, and two of the most recent victims. It can get a bit confusing at times but the way these weave together was impressive. I had a hard time stopping when I was listening to this. The suspense is consistent throughout and I was happy to see that a book I felt I took a chance on turned out to be worth it.

We as readers tend to find authors we like and then we base our reading habits off of those authors. Every book we then read is stacked up against our favorite authors and rated accordingly. My favorite author said this book was great and full of suspense so I chose to read it. Still, even though I knew my favorite author, Jeffery Deaver, liked this book why did I still compare every aspect of it to the Bone Collector or Cold Moon? I worried that this book wasn't going to be as good as I had hoped because it was new and I took a chance. Am I alone in this? Do you reading this review base your book choices on your favorite authors and their style? I tend to stick with mysteries like Jeffery Deaver's style and horror novels like Stephen King's.

I got off track here and I'm sorry about that. The long and the short of this post is I really liked this book and have a hard time describing why. It was suspenseful and engaging and I couldn't wait to read more.  For fans of mysteries and suspense I would highly recommend this book. I did get confused at the shift in character perspective from time to time but over all I feel comfortable giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. I would read another book by Saul Black. I'll keep my eyes open for futre works.   

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Worst of 2015

The Worst books I read in 2015

With the good comes the bad. I had my post about the best books I read in 2015 and that was a really hard decision.The worst book I read was easy, I thankfully only read three books that rated a 1 star review.  I tend to not pick books that I know are going to be utter crap. The books that I really didn't like were do mainly to the R.I.P. challenge. I tend to be more open to trying different books because most of the great horror novels I have already read. 

So let's get to this shall we. I am going to put out the horrible books I read and if you like them, I am sorry if this makes you unhappy. I am honest in my reviews and try not to attack the author in anyway. My least favorite book not only of 2015 but I can safely say of all time is Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. This was the first book I have read by him and from the reviews I have read people either love this or hate it. I hated this book. I didn't care for the movie Fight Club either so I shouldn't have been surprissed when I didn't like this one. When I read this book I actually had no idea this was the author who wrote Fight Club so my dislike of that didn't have any affect on this. This book wasn't scary at all, for the most part it was just disgusting. I made it halfway through this book and had to stop. I had a list of other books I would have rather read and the time I spent on this I will never get back. I have nothing against Mr Palahniuk but I can safely say this book just wasn't for me and I don't think I will be checking out any other books by him in the future. 

3222979The second book I didn't care for this past year was Drood by Dan Simmons.  Dan Simmons has written some really popular books and I still have them on my to-read list, but this book came available at my library so I gave it a shot. I really liked the idea of a book about Charles Dickens as a fictional tale. I have as I mention in my review I have read several books with classic authors being the main character of the fictional story. Conan Doyle being the one I have read the most in these situations. I had really high hopes going into this book and the beginning was pretty good. Just over a quarter of the way through I think the story began to fall apart and I lost interest very quickly. This is one of those books that has a great premise but just didn't deliver for me. I didn't read this for my R.I.P. challenge but read it because of the fact it dealt with Charles Dickens and was sort a a Sherlock Holmes style novel. I happened to be in the mood for just this type of book at the time I read this. 

My Last book is an Audio short story. I got this free from Audible and I rad it for the R.I.P challenge. I love a good zombie story and was looking forward to giving this a try. This book, The Hospital by Keith C. Blackmore. This novella made no sense from the very beginning. I try not to complain when it is free but this was so bad I wanted some money back. I'm not going to get to into depth as to why I didn't like this book. You can read my review for that and I don't feel I need to beat a dead horse and be harsher than I need to. This is supposed to bee a prequel that sets up the series. Instead this story works on the assumption that you know what is going on. The summary doesn't even give you all the information you need to really get anything other than frustration out of it. 

I'm not sure how I feel about these Worst of Posts. I always feel like since I do a best of I need the other side of the coin. On the other hand I don't like to be negative towards other authors since I one day hope to be one that people hate for ruining the written word. On the other hand (Yes I can count and I only have two hands but roll with it) When I read a book that I dislike so much I will never get that time back I want to vent some frustration a little bit more.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Goals and Best of 2015

Well I will be honest, one of my goals for 2015 was to set aside more time to read those hardcovers I love so much. That kind of fell through this year. I didn't get all the books read that I wanted to. I also had less movie reviews on my blog this past year. We went to the movies once or twice this year but I didn't review them. The only reviews I did were for my Halloween week so I have a few goals this year.

This year I want to get caught up on the Dresden Files series. It pains me to get caught up because then I have a wait for the next book but it will have to happen at some point why not this year. I also want to try to work in a re-read at some point. I have thought about re-reading The Dark Tower series this year just in audio book form. I have also wanted to re-read all of Jeffery Deaver's books but I just keep putting it off. Maybe this year I will at least start a re-read. This year I am looking forward to a bunch of DC Comics's movies as well as maybe doing a Christmas week this year on my blog where I review Christmas movies. My second goal this year is to get more movie reviews done this year. 

Best of 2015!!!
This is one of my favorite posts I do. I love going over the books that stood out in my mind this year. I read quite a few great books so it was a tough decision to figure out which ones I wanted to feature. 

22571540I'm going to start off with a pleasant surprise. I had read one of Harlan Coben's books a few years ago and it was just ok. Then I had noticed quite a few of Harlan Coben's newer books popping up as giveaways on Goodreads. I didn't win but the summaries sounded really good. So I decided to read The Stranger. It was amazing, what if someone randomly came up to you and said, "Your wife, or Husband was cheating on you." What would you do, what would you think? That's what the stranger is all about. This man appears and tells our characters something about their life that shatters their world, and then he leaves. Leaving our characters to pick up the pieces and try to make sens out of everything. The story was so captivating and suspense full I couldn't quite reading this and when I did I couldn't stop thinking about it until I could pick this up where I left off. I highly recommend this book and would encourage you to check out my full review for more of my thoughts. You will not be disappointed. I got my wife to read this book and she loved it just as much as I did. It might even be her Book club pick next time she gets to choose.

18775247My second pick of this year is going to be Stephen King's Mr Mercedes. I picked this as one of the best of 2015 because I was really impressed with the depth and suspense in this mystery. It may have taken me a long time to get through this book but is was only because of limited reading time. When my kids would let me read for a little while I would fly through pages because the story was just that good. I would get almost itchy waiting to be able to pick up the book again because I had to know what was coming next for Bill Hodges. There have been a lot of mixed reviews about this book. A lot of them are just crazy nonsense because King didn't write a horror story and they are really upset. Others like myself can enjoy a great character driven story and suspend reality just enough to enjoy this. It does read more like a pulp mystery than a standard horror novel. It was a great start to this Bill Hodges trilogy. I recommend this book to any one looking for a good mystery.

It was really though to come up with just Three books form my best of 2015. I could go on and on about all the 5 star reads I had this year and there were quite a few. A lot of them were comics and had great story lines. I'm going to go against my own rules and for my third selection I have to highlight the comedy books I read this year. The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick,  You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day, and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson were hilarious books but also thoughtful and at times Heartwarming. Chris Hardwick writes a self help book for nerds out there and how do deal with life in this crazy judgmental world. Felicia Day writes a memoir about her life and the challenges she faced as a female gamer. Jenny Lawson is so funny. Check out her blog The Bloggess for some great stories. I check her blog out when ever I am feeling a little down and she always makes me smile and laugh. This is her second book and it really delves into her struggle with depression and anxiety. I loved all of these books and also recommend these books any chance I get.

10723227You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)23848559

I always love doing my best of post every New Year so thank you for letting me go on about these books again and if you haven't checked out my reviews then please click the links to take you to them. Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!!

party fun how i met your mother applause celebrate
Happy New Year!!!

This year is going to be Legen... Wait for it...dary!!! It might be, who knows, but I think I should stay positive. It is also fitting with the Barney Stinson Gif I chose. 2015 was Awesome in many ways but like anyone there were definitely ups and downs.  I'm not going to focus on those low points of my year and hold on to what is amazing in my life.

It may sound cheesy but the best thing in my life is my wife and kiddos. My son started Kindergarten this year and I was more scared than he was. He loves school and is doing so well I am constantly blown away with how smart he is. My beautiful daughter is 2 and the cutest, funniest little girl I know and she makes me smile with what she says. One of the best parts of my day is coming home from work and seeing her face light up when I come through the door and she comes running across the apartment to give me a hug shouting "You're home Daddy". No matter what kind of day I have had my little Angel makes me smile when she does that.  

Where would I be without my wife? She is everything to me and is what keeps our family running smooth. She takes care of our kids and keeps me sane when I start to slip back into my anxiety. She is the most supportive person I know and is always encouraging me to put myself out there and grow my talents, as few as they may be. She also puts up with a lot of my crap. I'm far from perfect and I know that. I can be neurotic, and paranoid and annoying when I don't feel well. She is always there for me and makes me always happy. I'm so lucky to have her in my life and I don't thank her enough. 

I did have a pretty good year. I feel like I am in a much better place going into 2016 all because of the small joys I had this past year. I still love my job and I can't wait to see what is in store for me this year. I feel more like myself than I have in a long time and I feel like some of the creativity I lost is coming back. I'll explain in a minute. This year I was finally able to get a grip on my anxiety and have been able to come off of my medications and I am much happier. I never had the intense crippling anxiety some of my friends do but it was more than I could handle. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers from anxiety.

One thing I really wanted to do in 2015 was get back to my writing. I dream about publishing a book with a big publishing company and get a shot at a bestseller in my life time. It's a dream so I did it up big. It could happen... if I ever got off my metaphorical butt and finished something. I had a ton of excuses as to why it didn't happen like, not enough time, lack of good ideas, writing equivalent of a brick wall etc... The truth is I just didn't try. As I mentioned I feel like my creativity is returning and I am getting little seeds of ideas. Crappy as they may be I think there is some potential in them. My goal, and I want you to hold me to it, is to put an original story on my blog to get honest feedback. If I suck as a writer I want to know so I can get better. I am going to make this happen and if I can pull it off, I have a great idea as to how to get an original story on my blog. Just wait and see. 

Wow, this was a lot longer than I expected. Well hope everyone had a good 2015 and that your new year is amazing and brings you all the happiness you deserve. If you have read this far then I thank you for sticking it out and learning a little more about who I am.