Monday, November 28, 2016

Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

I was expecting something completely different that what I got with this book. I had read articles on blogs and reviews that said this was what happens to Ben Solo to become Kylo Ren. I figured off the description for the book I was finding this would be awesome. I am dying to know how Ben Solo became the evil version of himself. I was so excited to put my name on the reserve list and read this. Now here is the description from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Starscomes a thrilling prequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set roughly six years before the events of the film.

So reading this it tells you absolutely nothing about this book. Great marketing, let people think what they want with the very least amount of information possible. Well guess what, The blogs I read and reviews were absolutely wrong. This book has nothing to do with Ben Solo and barely has Han Solo in it. This book is all about Leia and her journey to become the First Senator and the rise of the First Order. Now, I'm going to rant a bit here and possibly give away some spoilers so if you don't want anything ruined I would skip to the last paragraph and just read my ratting.

This book was so boring and mostly because of the false pretenses I was under when going into this book. If you love politics I would highly recommend this bit of fiction but to tell you the truth, I'm so sick of politics that if I had any idea this is what it was about I would have avoided this like my life depended on it. This book was so boring I could barely get through it. I have been in a reading slump and I was so excited when it said this book was in at the library. I had high hopes this was going to get me out of my reading funk finally. Sadly it just put me further in one. As soon as the book was over I haven't started a new one and have no idea what I'm going to be reading next.

This book focuses on Leia and how she got to where she is today in the Force Awakes. The rise of the new Republic and the beginning fires of the First Order. This could have been a novella if all of the filler boring stuff was cut out. In no way did I feel this should have been as long as it was. We do get to see a stronger side to Leia and learn more about her past to deepen her story. Ok here is the big spoiler and I'm going to talk about it. Towards the end Leia's secret that her Father is Darth Vader comes out and it destroys her. She is so worried because Ben doesn't know. He is a grown adult and they have hidden this from him for all these years. This is the only hint at what causes him to turn to the dark side and it was such a cop-out. I really hope we get this story in the movies or there is another book out there that gives this story because that was what I really wanted.

Ok, I have not made sense long enough and if you read the wwhole thing you know I am pretty pissed about this book. I need to say that I have nothing against Claudia Gray. She captured the characters perfectly and her writing was well structured and executed. She is a good author but all of the assumptions and lies I had read before I read this destroyed the book for me. It is completely my fault for not liking this book because I expected something different than what I got. I hate to do this because it isn't all that fair to the writer but I give this 2 out of 5 stars. I really want to give this 1 star but the writing was quality and it had these characters I have loved for years which just pushed this to be rounded up to barely a 2. If Leia is your favorite character then by all means read this book and I hope you enjoy it. Otherwise, go into the book knowing you will not read anything about Ben Solo except he is mentioned a few times but isn't actually in the book. This is a political fiction novel set in a science fiction world.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher

I am in such a Dresden withdrawal. When I saw this was available on Netgalley for an advanced reader copy I jumped at the chance. I couldn't wait to get a new Dresden file to visit with old friends I have missed. I feel like all of my Dresden reviews should start with "Harry has gotten himself in a heap of trouble again. 

Two women have their entire life force pulled out of them. The white court of Vampires are being blamed and Marconi is looking for any excuses to start a war. Dresden knows there is something deeper and he has a very small window of time to figure it out before everything blows up and takes the city with it. Karen Murphy is working hard on the police side while Dresden seeks out his Godmother and risks his life to get information from her. 

I loved this book. The story is very well written and the art work matches perfectly. I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series but I will happily take a graphic novel any day. It is so great to see my favorite characters on these pages. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Dresden Files. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I might be a little bias because I have missed new material since I caught up on the series. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Goodnight Batcave by Dave Croatto

I'm going to be honest. I'm not a big fan of the MAD anything really. I saw Goodnight Batcave and immediately requested this to read to my kiddos. After I requested it I realized that this was made by MAD and I thought there is no way I will be able to read this to my kid. So thanks to Edelweiss I got an advanced reader copy of this and read it really quick on my own. 

This is such a cute book and I loved it. It is totally a kid friendly book also. It's short and half of the artwork is in color and the other half is in black and white, but the story is cute and well worth reading to your kids. 

The artwork is goofy as only MAD does but the story is clever for a kids book. I really liked it. There isn't all that much that I ca say about this book without quoting it word for word. I will be so sad when my ARC has expired and so will my kiddos. This is going to have to be must buy for my collection. If you have little kids who love Batman even half as much as my kids do then this is a book you have to buy. 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Superman: The Final Days of Superman by Peter J. Tomasi

I have not read any of the Superman books since New 52 started. I stopped reading comics when my son was born because I couldn't afford my outlandish spending on comics so I lost touch with the world of Superman until New 52 began. Since Superman is one I enjoy but not my favorite hero I put these books on the back burner and then started hearing somethings I wasn't to keen on. There was a lot that was changed in Superman's story, most notably the fact that Lois and Clark were just friends and the man of Steel was dating Wonder Woman. No matter how many times I see this it is still weird. I figured with Rebirth having started I would just pick up with Superman here and see if it was back to the hero I knew. Then I heard that Superman was going to be killed once again. I had to find out what was going on. The Superman Doomseday story was epic and one of the best comic book stories I have ever read so I wanted desperately to find out how they were going to kill the Man of Steel this time around. Thanks to Edelweiss, and DC Comics, I was able to get an advanced copy for a review and I couldn't be more grateful. 

Ok, here is my warning, I hate spoilers and with this book I'm not sure what could be considered spoilers because I haven't read any of the Superman books that leads to this. I'm going to write my review and say what I want and if you want to remain completely in the dark as I was when I read this then skip to the last paragraph and see my rating. 

Last chance... Ok so here I wondered what villain of super villain team was going to bring down the indestructible Man of Steel and I anxiously swiped pages on my digital copy till I found out that Superman is being killed by Kryptonian Cancer. Are you Frikin kidding me?!?!? Apparently there were 3 major events in the Superman stories that made him susceptible to a Kryptonite tumor. One of the events also has Superman win a battle by letting off a solar blast. What the hell is this?!?!? Since when has superman had the ability to blast solar energy like an A-Bomb? I really have missed a lot. There were also so many similarities to the Death of Superman that kind of irritated me. In this book we have a Superman created from the solar energy from the blast giving him this energy power. Wow, this sounds really close to the Eradicator Superman from Return of Superman. Also we have a Superman who wears the black onyx suit with the Silver S logo on it just like how Superman came back from the dead the first time. 

So you have read my grievances let me tell you what I liked about this book. It opens with why Superman is dying and he gets his affairs in order. I really loved watching him go to friends and family to tell them the bad news. There is a great scene after Superman tells Batman the news that I really liked. We also get to see the trinity back in action to find this energy version of Superman which was a lot of fun to read. The artwork in this book was really good and I love the detail in every panel. This was a well written and artfully drawn book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there was a little more information at the end of this book and if I knew what was going on leading up to this book. 
Even since I haven't read anything I can say that I enjoyed this book despite my issued. I give this one a 3 out of 5 star rating. I might go back and catch up on the New 52 books but I will have to wait and see what happens ffrom the ending of this book first. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Gates by John Connolly


This was a really odd book. I have heard good things about John Connolly and I have been anxious to read one of his books. Sadly since the only time I have is for audio books at work this was the only one I could find at my library. I had no idea that this was a young adult book until I started to read it. 

This book opens with the story of creation of existence. After a lot of footnotes about the beginning of existence we jump to a young boy named Samuel Johnson who has decided days before Halloween he is going to go Trick-or Treating to beat all the other kids to the best candy. I have to give Connolly credit for this Idea because I loved it I can totally understand the was Samuel thinks to make sure he gets the best pick, but the logic is flawed because not everyone gets candy until the day of. This begins to solidify the character aspect that he is an odd duck. After a failed attempt at his neighbor's house known as the Abernathy's, Samuel finds a side window looking into the basement and spy. While Samuel and his dog peak in to the neighbors house they see a portal open and replace all the people in the basement be replaced with demons. Oh, did I forget to mention that the Abernathys and friends of theirs were participating in a devil ritual.

Ok now I need to switch gears and show you the other side of this story. We get to meet some scientists who work on a Particle Accelerator and while watching data, they noticed that a particle escaped the accelerator which should never have happened. This section of the book is the scientific explanation of how the gates of Hell have opened to allow demons to roam free of our world. Satan himself has been watching this accelerator because he feels it is the key to setting him free. Or he is a fan of The Flash TV show, who knows. 

I honestly don't know how I feel about this book. It wasn't scary but that is probably because it was written for a younger audience. It is a very lighthearted read for such heavy dark content so this doe succeed in being funny and cute in some spots. It is just not what I was expecting or really hoping for. I can't fault the writing because it was well structured and there is clearly talent there. There was an over abundance of Footnotes that interrupt the story constantly and that was really annoying. Explanations can be worked into a story so much easier than by using footnotes. I've seen it done plenty of times. 

Alright, so if I have to give this a rating I'm going to fall smack in the middle with a 3 out of 5 star rating. I could easily give this 2 stars because of the annoying footnotes and the fact that the book didn't live up to my expectations. However, to be fair this did keep me engaged for the most part and Connolly's writing was good enough that I really want to read his adult fiction but I'm not sure I will continue with this series. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Hangover and R.I.P. Wrap Up

I love Halloween and as much as I love it and hate that it is over. I need a nap. Here it a day later when I write this and I'm still tired. My feet hurt, and I haven't had enough sleep. First of all I had the roughest week last week and I was on vacation. That's a long angry story and I'm not going to get into that. Second I went back to work after a busy fun weekend and then we took the kids out to Trick-or Treat last night. The weather was so perfect it was like something out of a movie. 70 degrees, clear night with a few wispy clouds. The kids are a little older and we decided to walk a little farther and hit more houses than we have in previous years. That only worked for a bit. Half way back to my Aunt's house and the kids were done. 

This year we all went to Trunk-Or-Treat at my work for the second year and that is always a good time. We also went to a friend's house for a Halloween party on Saturday. My beautiful Wife made her own Scarecrow costume out of her own close and make up. I put name tags with different names all over me and went as Identity Theft. I have started to do some work as a Fraud Investigator for my company so it was perfect. My son drecided he wanted to be Batman this year and the costume was really cool. My daughter went through at least 30 different costume ideas until she settled on Batgirl.

This year we all got our own pumpkins to carve. What I mean by this is the kids got a pumpkin and to pick what goes on them, but the extent of what they did was clean out the pumpkin and punch in little holes to outline the patterns they picked. I alwayss have to do a traditional Jack-O-Lantern and my wife picked a pattern. The kids pumpkins are on the right and my wife's and mine are on the left. She had the shoes and my daughter had the kitty. I was pretty proud of my Bat mouth.

I read hardly anything this year. I was really in a reading funk and I kind of still am. This year the books I have submitted for the R.I.P. Challenge are:

From a Buick 8
Dawn of the Dead
Locke and Key
The Waste Lands
Outcast Vol 3: This Little Light

Last year I read 9 books for this challenge and this year I only read 5. More than I realized to be honest but not as many as I had hoped. Movie this year were huge. I had such a long time period for movies for my Halloween week. The books were kind of a disapointment for the most part, but the movies were pretty good. Here are the movies I reviewed:

The Awakening
The Lazarus Effect
Dark Skies
Would You Rather
New Nightmare

This was a fun Halloween and I am already thinking about next year's Halloween Week and what theme I'm planning on doing for my movie reviews. I'm already looking for books to read for the R.I.P Challenge so if you have some really scary recommendations, and I mean pee your pants, sleep with the light on books, let me know. Hope everyone who celebrates Halloween had a great day and now the holiday rush begins till the end of the year. Oh Goody (sarcasm).