Monday, June 27, 2016

American Vampire Vol 2 by Scott Snyder


I have no idea what to say about this book so I fear this will be brief. I really liked this book. This is just a continuation of the story which is why they really don't put titles on this. With books like Batman you get s story in each graphic novel volume but these just keep going. There isn't anything wrong with that by any means so don't think I am being down on this book I'm just stating there doesn't seem to be a singular plot in this book. 

This book picks up 10 years later than Volume 1, I think.At this point Skinner is running a brothel and has some deal with a band of Vampire Hunters who are to leave him alone so he can help them get rid of the Fat Cat ancient vampires who still run everything. Then there is Pearl. She has apparently had her fill  of the blood of these aristocratic vampires who left her for dead and has settled down with the love of her life to watch him grow old. She wants nothing to do with the outside world but just to be happy. 

The pacing is a little slow I felt in this book but the story is strong enough to hold a reader's interest. This is a testament to the solid writing of Scott Snyder. Speaking of the writing I can't rave enough about Scott Snyder and his writing. So as much as I love his work I have to admit that I miss Stephen King. Volume one had both Snyder and King. Snyder write Pearl's story and King wrote Skinner's. This worked so well and I loved the first book. It is what hooked me on this series and I am anxious to get on to the next volume. Not having King made me feel like Skinner's story was lacking. Pearl is Snyder's character so she is easier to write for him, but Skinner was the creation of King and I would have liked to have seen more from his story. Maybe in the next book. 

I liked this book and I am enjoying the series. I'm anxious to see what comes next. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Outcast Vol 2: A Vast and Unending Run by Robert Kirkman

A Vast and Unending Run

I have to admit that reading the first volume, I wasn't sure I was going to like this series. It really wasn't my cup of tea and I was instantly comparing this to the Walking Dead which is also written by Robert Kirkman. Then I had hear that this series was going to become a show on Cinemax so I decided to watch it. The show or the second exposure to this story peaked my interest so I had to get this book and give the series another chance, This book hooked me. 

This is a direct continuation from the first book. Kyle has more questions than answers but has realized there is power in his blood. Reverend Anderson is starting to have doubts that he has what it takes to exorcise those afflicted with demons. He and Kyle begin to seek out those that the reverend exorcised on his own. He now fears that the demons are just lying dormant and still remain in those people he tried to help. Only the Outcast Kyle can truly remove these things. This is the beginning of a story that really could go on forever.

There really isn't much more to this book than finding the people Reverend Anderson exorcised in the past and finding ways to help them if needed. It is a very simple plot but this time around it really held my attention. I'm glad that I gave the show a try because it renewed my interest in this series. I definitely enjoyed this book so much more than Vol 1. I'm anxious for the next volume to come out so I can see where the story goes next. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cold Days by Jim Butcher


Cold Days is right. Harry has come back from the dead to step into the shoes of the Winter Knight. He tried to have himself killed all so he could avoid being the Knight. Now he is trapped fighting urges and violent tendencies while trying to keep his sanity. After months of recovery the Winter Queen Mad has his first job ready and waiting. Harry is to kill Mab's daughter, and oh by the way, she is an immortal. How on Earth can this task get any more difficult. Oh wait, in true Jim Butcher style there is yet another twist. The island that Harry can draw power from known as Demon reach is on the verge of exploding and taking out all of Chicago and neighboring areas. 

This is the book I have been waiting for since Harry's demise. I know in the last book he was back with the gang and all but it wasn't the same. Having Harry slowly get back together with all his friends and regulars in the series was a lot of fun, Reading a Dresden book is like visiting with friends who have more issues than you do. Harry has a lot on his plate as usual which makes this easy to get into and remain interested.

So let's stack this up. Harry has to kill the Winter Lady, daughter of the woman he reports to. He has to save his island from releasing all kinds of demons and destroying a city and hundreds of lives. On top of that he has to reconnect with those he left behind when he chose to be killed to avoid being the Winter Knight. Harry has a daughter he desperately wants to see but can't put her through the pain of having a father who is a wizard. Harry has to control his urges to kill and screw anything that walks from the power of the Winter court while he loves his best friend yet can't do anything about it. A single character cannot get more downtrodden and still get back up to save a city than Harry Dresden. This poor man has everything against him and he still finds a way to be the hero.

I loved this book. I feel like there is so much I want to say about how wonderful this book is and I just can't form the right words. I have to be forgetting something and I'm only part sure that this makes sense. I feel as if I have been a little generous with the 5 star ratings this year, but the more I think and reflect on what I have read this year, so far. The more I realize I have just found some great reads for me. This is my favorite book in the series so far. I know I have said this in the past and there will probably one I like better in the future, but for now. This one is my favorite for now. 5 out of 5 stars. I can easily see why this was the Goodreads choice winner for Paranormal Fantasy in 2013.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver


Jeffery Deaver is my favorite author. It is because of him that I became the avid reader and hopeful one day author. Every time he has a new book out I can't wait to start it. Thanks to Netgalley and Mr Deaver's publisher I was able to read this as an advanced reader copy. It took me a little longer to finish it so by the time I post this the book will be out, but I was still really excited to start this one early. 

This book messed me up. The beginning of this book shattered the Lincoln Rhyme world I know and I was more interested in my favorite characters than the main story. Let me explain. Lincoln is no longer working crime scenes for the police and is now teaching. Amelia is not staying with Rhyme as often as she used to and is dealing with her mom's health issues. To complicate matters even more for Amelia her ex-boyfriend who was a cop and in prison is out and looking for her help to clear his name. At this point I was so thrown by the fact that Rhyme is not doing the one thing that gave him the will to live I didn't think things could shock me any more. Then I read about Ron Pulaski, he is the beat cop that worked closely with Rhyme and Amelia. Ron is out looking to score these designer drugs to help with his headaches caused by a head injury he got in an earlier book. This is a lot of information I know but this all happens in the first few chapters and there are so many ways this little plot line could go.  

Deaver is always great with coming up with really interesting killers and this guy is no exception. Our killer has found a way to hack into the digital controllers of household appliances or common electronics and use them as long distance weapons. The idea  that something I use every day can be used to kill me is terrifying. The book opens with a guy using an escalator and the access  panel at the top pops open and he falls into the gears. Never could I have thought about this being a possibility. The realism of the situation is really scary and that is something I love about Deaver's writing. He can terrify the reader to the bone without being overly gory. The theme of over consumerism runs deep in our killer but something feels off about this guy. I always try to figure out Deaver's books and never have succeed. I had this feeling that something was off about this guy and there was a lot more to the story than was revealed. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed.

I really could go on and on about this book and never feel like there is enough to say. I may be a bit biased because Deaver is one of my favorite authors but this is another 5 star read in my book.  I highly recommend this book. There is a novella that Deaver wrote that kind of goes along with this but at the time I am writing this I haven't read it yet. The novella comes before this book but you can read the Steel Kiss without having read that first. I did just for that reason to see if there was anything I was going to miss out on. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Preacher Book 2 by Garth Ennis


This book is all kinds of messed up. This is full of sex, violence, and language that make this clearly an adult comic. The Grail is this uber religious organization that is out looking for the entity that now resides in Jesse. I'm not 100% sure if they are looking for him to worship or to remove competition from the high father of this group. It kind of goes back and forth to be honest. 

This book picks up right where the first one leaves. off Jessie is looking for God since he has just left us all to fend for ourselves. While on this quest Jesse takes some time to catch up with Tulip and Cassidy is looking for an old girlfriend. The search for Cassidy's girlfriend leads them to a degenerate sex party which has enough sick people and gross acts to make this a little uncomfortable to read at times. Form there Jesse and the group learn about the Grail and their focus changes when Cassidy pretends to be Jesse so the Grail will take him and not Jesse. 

This book is a great source of character development. We get to see Tulip and Jesse sort of reconnect and have the basic couples arguments like, Tulip wants to go into the dangerous cult and kick some ass and Jesse just wants her to stay behind because he can't stand the thought of loosing her again. We get Cassidy's origin story this time which I will admit was a little slow but I was interested to see how he became a vampire.

So this Grail is a messed up religious cult who believes they have the one true savior who has been bred with the blood of God himself keeping the line pure. You might be picking up just how crazy this really is. They want Jessie so they can control the entity in him which will eventually control God himself. Jessie is going to find these guys and wipe them all out to get Cassidy back. As soon as that is finished he is back on his quest to find God and slap some sense into him and find out why he stopped being the man in charge.

I really liked this book but I didn't feel it was as good as the first one. Book one was my introduction to this character and then was followed by the show so I think I was a bigger fan boy reading the original book. There was a good bit of  down time through out the story unlike the first book. It isn't fair to compare each book toone another but when it is a series I feel you can. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to get to the next one. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

American Vampire Vol 1 by Scott Snyder and Stephen King

American Vampire, Vol. 1

I had heard about this series for a while and quite a few friends on Goodreads told me I had to check this out. I put it off for long enough. I recently found out that this is written by one of my favorite comic writers Scott Snyder, and one of my favorite Authors Stephen King. If I'm being honest I have never been over the moon about Vampires. I really liked Dracula and the spoof movie Dracula Dead and Loving it by Mel Brooks, but I feel like the Vampire has gone soft. Twilight just ruined vampires and werewolves and I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Until I found out Stephen King was a writer on this book. His Vampire in Salem's Lot was ruthless. I want Vampires who look at humans as one thing and that's cattle. I wanted the rip your throat out no mercy type. I got all of that and more. 

This series follows two characters and each one's story is written by a different author. Scot Snyder writes the story of Pearl a young actress trying to make it out of the scenery. She is asked to read with one of the biggest stars of the silver screen, and he offers her the chance to be a leading lady. Turns out she is the main course for a couple of very wealthy Socialite Vampires. This is just the beginning of her story so in no way did I give anything away. Needless to say she survives this encounter in a very interesting way leading her on a hunt for vengeance.

Stephen King writes Skinner Sweet's origin story. He is already a vampire but we get little bits here and there about him. Skinner is a different kind of vampire which gives him quite a bit of an advantage over the ones terrorizing this town. Both stories were really interesting and I couldn't wait to get the next book.

I am hooked plain and simple. I'm not a big vampire guy but this is a good read. The story is very well written and the art work is pretty good too. I haven't mentioned much about the art work because the story is just so good. Sure this is two of my favorite authors in one great comic but Rafael Albuquerque did an amazing job taking the story and putting it into pictures. Also the look of this book just fits. Sometimes you can have a style of art work that is still good but doesn't fit the tone of the story, this works on every level. Excellent graphic novel. I just hope the rest of the series out there is as good as this first volume. 5 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Journals of Eleanor Druse by Eleanor Druse (Stephen Kin)

The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident

I was looking for a book when I was at the library and as always I check the audio book section for Stephen King books I haven't read. This book was shelved and labeled as a Stephen King book. I really liked Rose Red and then the Diary of Ellen Rimbauer. This is a prequel to the TV show Kingdom Hospital and I thought why not. Now of course I know Eleanor Druse is a fictional character but it makes for a fun experience. I have heard that the real author is Richard Dooling because he co wrote the series with King. I kind of hope this was written by someone other than King because this book opens with a letter from Eleanor praising King and his talent. To write your own letter of praise is not cool. 

The book started out with so much promise. Eleanor is able to feel the presence of a young girl who has been trapped in the hospital. She makes it her mission to find out who this girl is and what happened. This brings on a near death experience and she wakes up in a Boston hospital being checked for brain injuries. While in this hospital she has a roommate that can't move speak or comprehend what is going on. There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on this roommate that she isn't allow to see or speak to and nothing even comes of this story. Or maybe something did and I just glazed over it because I just wanted to get to the end. Now Eleanor claims to be a medium so of course they find something wrong with her brain. The doctors prescribe her medications that take that ability away from her.

Here is where I checked out. This section of the story seemed to drag on forever and was just dull. I realize this is to set up a larger story for the television series but come on. The very begining had so much promise and sounded so interesting, but this fell flat. By the time this section was over and we started to get back to the main plot of the story I didn't care about this book anymore. It was short so I just wanted to finish it and move on. It took over half the book to start to get interesting.

I was really let down by this book. I need a new King book to read to get the bad taste of this one out of my head. Sure none of that made sense but I know what I mean. I do want to watch the show if I get the chance because I have enjoyed the stuff made from King's books. As much as it pains me to do this I have to give this book 1.5 stars and I will round up to 2. My scale to decide to round up or down on a 1.5 star book is if I have read books worst or not. I have read books worse than this one but not many. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl


My kids are just as big nerds as their Daddy. My son pretends he is the Flash and will then pretend that he is working with Jamie and Adam from the Mythbusters to find out the reason behind the Flash's powers. It is the cutest thing ever. My Daughter is 3 and she loves Batman just like me. I try to show her how amazingly cool the female heroes are like Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman. It is a great time to have a little girl because women are becoming more empowered and it shows. I want her to be proud to be a girl and she does when she wants to be a ballerina or a princes, but when it comes to picking Super Heroes, she has to be Batman. 

I was browsing the comic book section on Netgalley and came across this book. Immediately I knew this had to be something I read to my daughter at bed time. She loves to wear her older brother's old Batman Pjs so it was perfect. Thanks to Netgalley and Capstone publishing I got to surprise my Daughter and my Son with a new bedtime story. This is a really cute story. It is short with a sentence every other page but my kids enjoyed it.

This is just a story about bed time and how to get ready for it. The steps the little guy takes to get ready for bed are a lot like Batman getting ready to take on the bad guys of the night. It is clever how they do the comparisons like how the little guy gets a signal and the clock looks like a clock version of the Bat signal and the next page is Batman getting the signal. It really is self explanatory but I got a kick out of this so figured I'd share. The art work is very similar to the old Batman the Animated series from the 90's which I really enjoyed. Already my kids are asking for me to read it again. The ARC is limited so I will be buying this book.

Needless to say it shouldn't be a surprise that I give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is such a fun little read. I have one more screen shot to share because it was just so funny and all of us got a laugh out of it. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben


I have thought and thought on what I was going to say on this book and I am not sure my thoughts are all that coherent. Kind of like what I felt this book was. When the book opens we meet a woman who is drowning her sorrows in a bar. She gets kidnapped and killed and then gears shift and we start all over like this first chapter never happened. The big story in this book is all about Adam and how he is dealing after the suicide of his friend Spencer. Adam's parents are really worried about him since he is growing distant and they fear he is heading down that path of depression. Adam's parents decide to cyber spy on him and find some strange emails and chats that lead on a twisting a turning path. 

I felt like there were at least two different stories going on at once and I had to pick one. It was hard to keep focused on this story. I have really really liked Harlan Coben's books and this one was recommended by a friend on Goodreads so I was anxious to give this a read. I couldn't get into this book. About halfway through I really didn't care. Have you ever read something and as son as you finished you had no idea what you just read? This happened to me and I have never had this feeling. On top of this being a new experience for me I didn't care to go back and do this all over again. 

I feel terrible being so down on this book. I barely remember this book and I only finished it this morning (at the time I wrote this 5/31). I'm not saying this is a terrible book just that I couldn't get into this. I couldn't keep focused on the story and it felt really disjointed. At times this felt as confusing as a Game of Thrones book. I can't blame the book for my lack of interest. At least not completely blame it. Had the book had a better story and a better flow I would have been more interesting. 

I have read some really bad books in my time and this isn't one of them, but it is hard to not give this a 1 star rating based on the fact that I really had forgotten it as soon as I finished it. I will give this a 1.5 out of 5 star rating but will round up, graciously to 2 stars for the review sites. You all know what my thoughts are.  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Preacher Vol1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis


I was never a big reader of the Vertigo comics from DC until Constantine got his own television show. When I saw AMC was making a television series out of this I had to go get this book and give it a read. I didn't know what to expect from the book or the show but if it is from DC Comincs I'm going to watch it. Check out the trailer for the show.

Much like the Walking Dead the show is going to be different than the comic but I'm anxious to see where this show goes with it. I might even do a review post about the show when the season is over. 

So Preacher is about a man Jesse Custer who is not necessarily the best person out there. He is trying to make up for past indiscretions and there is some history as to why he's a preacher. While being a giant dick to the town Jesse Custer is possessed by an entity known as Genesis. Genesis is the child of an Arc Angel and a demon and until now was chained and held in Heaven. Well it has gotten out and found Jesse. Having this entity in him allows him to be able to tell people what to do and they do it. One quick note that I found out thanks to Chris Hardwick's Talking Preacher episode, the  reason Garth Ennis chose the name Jesse Custer is because if you rearrange the letters it spells Secret Jesus.

What would you do with that kind of power? Being able to tell someone to do anything and they have to do it could easily be used for evil. I was thinking about this and what I would do and I have no idea. Maybe I'd tell my boss I need a promotion. I would just hope that I wouldn't become evil and drunk with power. Anyway, back to the book. You can imagine that with this being escaping Heaven the people in charge of keeping it locked up want it back. They get the Saint of Killers who is the saint of killing and assassinations. This is a real John Wayne character with the duster, hat and dual six guns. He is after Jesse to kill him and get Genesis back into Heaven. While all of this is going on Jesse has found out that God is missing. He just took off and now with the help of his old Girlfriend Tulip and a Vampire named Cassidy they are on the hunt looking for God.

I'll tell you what, this sounds far fetched and goofy but the more I read this book the more I liked it. I am thoroughly hooked and can't wait to try and get the next volume.  I'm so glad I read this because even though the show is different from the comics, I have a much better understanding of the characters and there are some great and really weird characters. I really liked this book and I have to give this 5 out of 5 stars. When I first read this story there is no way I would have given it a full 5 rating, but the longer I have sat after reading this the more and more it has grown on me and I like it. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Walking Dead Rise of the Governor: Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman


I love The Walking Dead and a friend of mine spoke very highly of this series. This is book to in the Rise of the Governor series. The first book was all about how the Governor we know from the comics and the show came to be. This book is mostly about our new character Lilly. She is just trying to survive out there in random encampments but inevitably something goes wrong and she has to leave. Until she makes it to Woodbury. 

Half of the book is Lilly's journey that leads her to Woodbury and her meeting with the governor. To be honest I thought her story and this part of the book was really boring. It took me awhile to get back into this book once the story picked up in Woodbury. I almost wonder if I missed somethings at times because I was only half invested in this book. Lilly is kind of a whiny character and I kind of understand why. The Zombie apocalypse is a rough world and it can be hard to cope with something like that. However, this world has toughened up a lot of characters in this series and she needs to get with the program. She will never survive if she constantly is throwing a pity party. 

Once Lilly is in Woodbury the book does get more interesting and what I did like was seeing the Governor through her eyes. By this time the Governor has completely lost his mind and is growing to be the horrible individual we know in the comics and show. It was good to see the terror in her when she was with him to help further build his character. There were some really cool things in this book that lead into a lot of what we have already seen in the comics. Just in case you haven't read the comics or watched the show here are some spoilers for those You might want to skip ahead to the rating in the next paragraph. In this book we get the beginnings of Woodbury fight club, and the fish tanks of heads in the Governor's apartment. We also get a little more quality time with Zombie Penny towards the end which is just disgusting.

I liked this book but expected more. I am anxious to start the next book and continue on in the series. I just thought this book was ok. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. I hope the next book is better and maybe takes a step back to the format of the first book.