Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Green Arrow Vol 2: Island of Scars by Benjamin Percy

I'm just going to say it. I love this series. I have read Green Arrow on and off for a long time even before Arrow started on the CW. I am so fortunate to be selected to read and review these books by NetGalley and DC Comics because this is a series I don;t want to miss. Oliver Queen is back and I love the return to the classic hero I knew in Rebirth. 

So of course this book picks up right after Vol 1 ends. Oliver and company had destroyed the floating island thing of the ninth and Oliver is yet again stranded on an island. However this time it is a little less deserted. Black Canary and Diggle are both on the island as well, they just have to find each other. Let it be no surprise that Black Canary finds Oliver first so we get a little romance in the book, which I actually enjoy. I love the relationship between these two and I actually own the wedding issue when they got married before New 52 shook things up. 

While on the island and looking for Diggle Oliver and Canary stumble on to a huge opium field. Well this seems like no good can come from this and Diggle is still missing. Now they either have to find a way to destroy the field or find and stop what ever this is being used for. There is plenty of action to be had in this book and I flew right through it. 

As I mentioned I do really like the relationship between Oliver and Canary. It is just the right amount of romance for an action packed comic that I always look forward to moments between these characters. It also helps round out this suspenseful plot. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait for volume 3. This book easily gets my 5 out of 5 star approval and I am so glad this series seems to get better with each volume. Her is hoping this trend continues. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Hellblazer Vol 1: The Poison Truth by Simon Oliver

I haven't read much of Constantine.I liked the movie with Keanu Reeves, and I loved the Shoe with Matt Ryan when it was on. I think that was cancelled way to soon. Anyway, the tv show really got me interested in the darker more adult titles from Vertigo. So I started to read the Hellblazer seires but didn't get very far. When this came up on Netgalley from DC Comics I knew I had to request this book. 

This is definitely a dark book with a lot going on that seem small but I'm sure will tie into a bigger story. Not going to lie at times I had no idea what was going on and felt a little out of the loop. This may be because I wasn't reading this book before Rebirth but I don't know. This book opens up John Constantine leaving the US and heading back to his home in London. Constantine then tries to defeat a demon but unleashing a deadly curse on London which will collect all of the souls of the people and shoot them into the demon all at once. It would wipe it out but also kill a lot of people. It is a dangerous bluff. This is a nice little warm up to sort of reintroduce this character to new readers and veteran readers since Rebirth began.

Next we get a collaboration story with Swamp Thing. I have always been intrigued by Swamp Thing but never intersted enough to read his books so I really enjoyed the fact he is in this book and that the story kind of ties to him. Swamp Thing is trying to find his counterpart in the scheme of things and he needs John's help. John has his own things going on so the story bounces between the two characters but it meshed well for the most part.

I did enjoy this book quite a bit. The only issues I had with it is the fact I had moments where I didn't understand what was going on and even after a re-read of that section I still felt lost. Also, the artwork could be a little better. I know the original books had that gritty low detail kind of artwork so this kind of sticks with the formula, but I know this could be so much more. It could be creepier and darker with more detail. The covers like the one I included with this post are the best pieces of artwork in the book. I will give this 3 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

This was an amazing book!!! I have loved every instillation in the Dark Tower series more and more. This is what I wrote when I reviewed this book the first time I read it almost 6 years ago. I take pride in saying that this statement still holds up for me. I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. The biggest is we finally get back on the path of the beam. The bonus and second reason I love this book is the crossover with Salem's Lot which happens to also be one of my favorite books. I also like the western feel to this book which says something because I am not usually a fan of westerns.

Reading the reviews before and as I read I noticed a lot of people were not happy with the pace and the length of it. There might have been a few things that could have been left out to cut down on the length, but as long as this is, it didn’t feel that long. I seemed to breeze through this when I first read this in hardback and I couldn't stop listening to this in Audio form this time around.

In this book the four Gunslingers come across a town on their journey to the tower and are asked for some assistance. This town, Calla Bryn Sturgis, is having one child from there many sets of twins taken by the Wolves every 23 years or so. The children are returned to the towns people but they aren't the same. Devoid of higher brain function and they grow to massive proportions these children are what the towns people called Roont and there is no better word to describe them. This is the year the wolves return to claim these children and the town doesn’t want this to continue any longer. While in the town Roland and his Ka-Tet stay try and uncover the many mysteries these people hide while preparing for war.

This is an amazing story and every book has kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are so well developed I felt like part of the town. As I mentioned earlier we meet up with Father Callahan from Salem's Lot and his story of what happens to him after that book is really interesting and weaves its way through every thing the Ka-Tet has been through up to this point.  For those who have not read the Dark Tower series I would highly recommend it. This is still one of my favorite books in this series and it is still a 5 out of 5 star read. I'm looking forward to continuing my journey again and it looks like I just might finish before the movie comes out.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Deathstroke Vol 1: The Professional by Christopher Priest

I have always liked Deathstroke. He was the villainous equal to Batman in a sense of being super calculating and meticulous. That being said he does have this lighter side to him that makes him sort of an anti-hero. It makes this character very deep and interesting. I have read a few of the books Deathstroke is in but I have never really dug into the character like this book has. Since I am a fan and DC Comics and Netgalley were so kind to allow me to read this for a review I anxiously read through this. 

I usually save the art work for the end of the review but I have to share this cover. This type of detail runs through most of the book and I was really impressed. For being so evil and cold these pictures are really vibrant. There may not be a lot of colors but this cover alone is both bright and dark and gives off so much emotion. 
Now, on to the story. I will admit that I was a little lost through this book and will need a re-read in the future to get everything going on in this book. I felt that this book even though it was a Rebirth story would have been better if I had read the previous books. So here is the long and the short of the plot. Slade Wilson, like every other character in the DC Universe he is reinventing who he is and what he stands for. We get to see glimpses into Slade's past and his family life. We also find out that someone has a contract out on Slade's daughter. Now Slade has to figure out who is out to destroy every part of his life. 

Here is where I got excited. Who better for Slade to turn to for help by Batman. He doesn't really ask nicely but instead kidnaps Robin to make Batman sort of babysit Slade's teenage daughter. This part was the best part of the book, but don't get your hopes up. We don't find anything out in this volume. We get exactly the story we should have at this point because this is going to be big. I enjoyed this book. I am so glad I got to read it and I do plan on moving on to Vol 2 when it comes out. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz

The name is Bond. James Bond, and he wants his martini shaken not stirred. Not a frickin Heineken like they use in the Danniel Craig bond movies. I'n not going to get into my distaste for the recent bond films. This book is bond as we all know and love him. Anthony Horowitz is an amazing author because he can find the voice of classic characters and write it like you were reading it from Ian Fleming himself. He did an amazing job with the Sherlock Homes novels he has written so I was very excited to see him not only pen the new Bond novel, but to be able to incorporate actual material from Ian Fleming. 

This book has absolutely everything. Fast cars, espionage, action, women, and a crazy plot that is so interesting you can't help but keep reading. Bond is facing the international organization SMERSH in a race to find out what is going on between the West and the Soviets in their race to not only control the world, but to control the space race. This starts out feeling like it is a sequel to Goldfinger and I think this is where Ian Fleming's work comes into play. Horowitz does such a great job of capturing Fleming's voice that it is impossible to know what material was the original and what was Horowitz expanding this to a full story.

Horowitz explains when he was asked to write the next James Bond novel, he was given access to all kinds of Fleming  writing. It turns out there was talks of a Bond TV show and Ian Fleming had written some of the stories for them. Bond has been in all kinds of different adventure situations but a Grand Prix race wasn't one of them. While trying to get closer to SMERSH to figure out what exactly their plans are to interfere with the US launch of a new rocket.

I loved this book. I realize this review is a little disjointed and that is because I wrote this in sections. I started this book a year ago and just now finished it. The time frame had nothing to do with the book in a sense that it was dull. I just have two wonderful young kids and they don't like to let their Dad read on the weekends. It was impossible to find any time to get this book read. So I wanted to make sure that I was able to hit on the key points of the plot in my review before I forgot about them. I wish I could have read this all at once because it was great. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this to any fan of the Bond series. I really enjoyed this book and I'm so glad I was able to get some time this weekend to finish this.   

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies by Greg Rucka

I have always liked Wonder Woman. She really is this positive role model for girls to show they can be strong and confident. I didn't read Wonder Woman until Crisis on Infinite Earths and then I didn't read her through New 52 except for one of the volumes. Rebirth has brought my favorite heroes back to the greatness they once had before New 52 so when I had the chance to read this for a review from NetGalley and DC Comics I took it. Thank you to DC Comics and NetGalley. 

So you need a little bit of Wonder Woman history before I get into things so bare with me. Originally Wonder Woman was the creation of her mother and sand on the beach of her home. The amazons are devoid of men so there is no children running around and Hippolyta wanted a daughter. She formed a baby girl out of the sands of Themyscira and beg the gods to bring this child to life. It was always a very touching story and one I have enjoyed. New 52 changed things, Wonder Woman became the child of Zeus making her a Goddess. 

This volume we find a Wonder Woman torn apart by conflicting memories. She remembers the original story and being the child of Zeus so she is having a crisis of identity. At the very begining we see this crisis and struggle to the point that we see her change from the sit she has worn all through New 52 to the Wonder Woman suit of old which was a great moment. Part of this struggle to find herself she realizes that she cannot fine Themyscira, she can't go home. To do that she needs to find help and she finds it in the most unlikely place. Diana seeks out one of her enemies known as Cheetah. Cheetah blames Diana for the curse she is under and it becomes quite a challenge for Diana to bring her around to help her and in return find a way to help get Cheetah back to her original self.   
Once she is able to convince Cheetah to help her she finds herself in the exact same place as good old Steve Trevor. She is now trying to rescue him and his team while trying to kill a creature who has kidnapped women from the local village. This does open up one of my favorite pages in the whole book which just highlights the point aI made earlier about Wonder Woman being a symbol for women to be strong. If you can't read what Wonder Woman is saying it is "...let us share your courage" which to me showed that as strong as she is there are still women out there in the world who see through some of the most horrible conditions. I just liked this page and had to share it. I enjoyed this book so much and I can't wait for the next volume to come out because I will be continuing this series. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

I can't tell you how long it has been since I saw a movie on opening weekend. I think the last one I saw opening weekend was one of the Harry Potter Movies or Batman Begins. I always waited a week or two so I could get a good seat without having to be there 2 hours early. Now with reserved seating this isn't a problem. So I decided I was going to take my wife out for a much needed date night. To be honest, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was looking forward to seeing this movie myself. Writing that makes me feel like I need to run out and punch someone just to feel a little more manly. Think about this from a guys point of view. A beautiful brunet who loves books and doesn't mind dating a guy who looks less than handsome makes her my favorite of the Disney Princess. Thankful I found my Belle to my Beast. My wife loves books just as much as I do.

This movie was very well done. Turning a cartoon into a live action version isn't a small feat and Disney has done a very good job so far doing this. The characters are fantastic and the cast is even better. I didn't know anyone who was in this movie except for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens so I really enjoyed seeing all the different actors I knew in these perfect roles. I know Ian McKellen was Cogsworth but the rest was a surprise to me. Josh Gad did an amazing job as LeFou, and Luke Evans was perfect for the role of Gaston. To be honest I have really enjoyed Luke Evans in everything I have seen him in so he is one of those actors I will go out of my way to watch. Hea was really good in the Hobbit movies and Dracula Untold. The rest of the cast was just fantastic also and it made this movie that much better. 

You would have to be living under a rock if you don't know the story of Belle and the Beast so I wont bore you with the summary. What I will tell you is this movie brings in more backstory of what happened and why the castle is cursed. There are also all the original songs you know and love but one or two were added to this movie and they fit perfectly. The orchestra was so good that I got goose bumps from the overture and songs that while I waited for my wife to get out of the bathroom after the movie I bought the soundtrack right there in the theater. Thank you iTunes. I also to the opportunity to pre-order the movie too. 

We really enjoyed this movie and agree that if we had more disposable income we would go see this again. If you are a fan of this movie in its original form then I highly recommend you go see this. The nostalgia alone is worth it. It was also worth it to listen to my wife quietly recite the lines that are word for word right out of the cartoon. I give this movie a  5 out of 5. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

I have become a big fan of Karin Slaughter's and this book is one I was anxiously waiting to come available at the library. I have read all of her books and I have to say my favorite characters are Sarah Linton and Will Trent. I love these complex characters and the relationship they have, as messed up as that is. As much as I love these characters Karin Slaughter has written some of the characters I hate the most and this book is no exception. 

This book starts off with a murder and like most thrillers do but the situation around the killing is completely unknown to us. Flash forward and we find little clues that link Will's tortured past to this case. The biggest link is that this case looks to involve his Wife (but not really wife) Angie. I absolutely hate Angie's character. she is a horrible self involved character who only cares about her self and she doesn't care who she destroys in the process of making her happy. So a quick reason why Angie is Will's wife. They grew up together in the orphan system and have spent most of their lives together. Will married her when they were very young and she will not let him divorce her. She comes and goes as she pleases and sometimes for months at a time, but will still waited for her to return. That is until he met Sarah. No Angie does whatever she can to destroy the relationship that Will and Sarah are trying to build. 

All I can say is I was really hoping to not have to deal much with Angie in this book and that would have been great, but she does find a way to continue to drive a wedge between Sarah and Will. Now with all that I have said about the characters and their relationships, I could see that you might thing this is a romance novel with an odd love triangle. Not going to lie, there is a weird love triangle. however this is just the background story. The rest of the book is about this woman who is being controlled by her over bearing violent husband. In order to protect herself and their child she has to do what he says, even when she knows he is raping women with his buddy for fun. The suspense is consistent throughout this book. This one really does grab you from the beginning and never let you go. I have mentioned that I have been in a reading funk lately. The only thing I have been excited to read is the comics I have been reviewing. This book was the first book in a long time that I have been excited to get back to and I didn't find something else to do instead of listening. My previous books I would listen to for a couple hours and then I would listen to music or start a show on my phone and listen to it while I worked for the most part. This book was the first thing I would listen to all day. I did keep up with my Podcasts a few days but that was only an hour of my day and the rest was for this book. 

Like a lot of Karin Slaughter's books the subject matter is some pretty rough violence against women which can be hard to read so here is your warning. That being said, Slaughter has this way of writing a book so well that even though the subject matter can make you sick to your stomach, you still can't wait to turn the page and find out if the scum bag gets what's coming to him. The story is very well written and I highly recommend this read. This book does have a beginning and an end so this is one you could pick up and read through having never read the series, but I wouldn't recommend this. There is a lot about Will and Angie's history and the relationship between Will and Sarah which is good to be in the know on. You really need to at least have read the Will Trent books before this one to really get what is going on. Trust me, if you know the history of the characters you will have move goosebump moments from shock and surprise than you will if you pick this up as your first Karin Slaughter Book. Well, I guess it is time to give you my rating. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This is well worth it. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Dream Crate from Lootcrate

I have known about LootCrate for some time now. I have heard them mentioned several times on podcasts from Nerdist and I have checked them out for myself. They have different boxes with various prices you can choose from. This is a subscription service that you can cancel anytime, but here is what is so appealing to myself as a Nerd. This is a box filled with random Nerd/Geek items well worth more than the price you pay for the box. Have I done this you ask? Sadly, no. I have two wonderful little kids and the grown up in me always wins out against spending some money on myself. I highly recommend checking them out and if you have questions they are more than happy to answer them. I asked a few when I stated this project. 

I want to subscribe to this so badly and one of these days I will. Loot Crate is also running a fun project right now where any fan can put together the items and theme they'd love to have in their very own Dream Crate. Since my blog fits so well with the content in these boxes I jumped at this chance and then had a hard time deciding what I really wanted in my crate. This is a really tough decision and one I couldn't limit myself to just one crate. I came up with two that I would love. Anyone can design their dream crate and it does make for a fun post. I really enjoy taking a tep back from the reviews and do a post about me every now and then.  

My first box is DC Comics themed. With all the horrible critics out there who are clearly bias against DC and for Marvel they are kind of destroying the DCEU. Critic reviews are very low but if you look at the Fan reviews out the the majority of them are favorable so it seems the people who matter, the fans do like the movies out there. I feel like I should re-post my reviewed of Man of Steel, Batman versus Superman, and Suicide Squad just to get some more positive reviews out there for the DCEU. 

SoWhat would I put in my dream crate? Let's start with the smaller items. I would love the rings from the Flash and the Green Lantern Comics. Sure there are replicas out there but I want the actual ring from the show and real versions right out of the Green Lantern comics. Not the plastic ones I have but an actual Green Lantern ring made from Jade or something to look as if it was actually from the central Power battery forged by pure will power. Now for what you can't buy at all in one of these boxes. I wan the Black Superman Suit that has been leaked in numerous photos from the new Justice League. I remember reading the Return od Superman and seeing the real Superman return with this black suit and Silver S that just gives me Goosebumps to this day. I can't wait to see this in the movie. I would also like the Black Flash suit from the TV show, and if I am being really greedy, for my final item in this DC Comics box, I want the Robo Batsuit from Batman Vs Superman. Not sure what I would do with either suit because I would have to loose a ton of weight to fit them myself but they would be cool to display Arrow style in their own cases. 

Ok I lied, I would love any and all of the handheld gadgets Batman uses. Grapling Gun, Bat-erang, and smoke bombs. Those would be fun.

For my second box I would be remiss if I didn't pay tribute to one of my favorite shows on TV right now The Walking Dead. These items are easily purchased and offered at but these would be cool if they showed up in a box on my door step. I have wanted the Walking Dead pop up book since the first time I heard about it. Of course I will have to wait many years until my kids are older before it can become a coffee table book, I would also have to find a way to convince my wife to let me too. Speaking of things I couldn't leave out on display I want the aquarium of Zombie heads from the Governor's room in the 3rd season. Now I'm not that morbid and creepy as it sounds, I really want the 3rd Season collectors packaging with the aquariums. 

The next item to include in my Walking Dead crate is Lucille. AMC sent out a bunch of replicas in this beautiful wooden crate and I have no idea how people got them but I am sorry I didn't do whatever I needed to to get one of my very own. I also found this really cool mug on Shop The Walking that I might just have to buy on my own or ask for for my birthday. This I'd have to take to work as to not freak out my little ones but it would be cool. I love the Zombie inside the mug. The final piece of my Walking Dead box, which would not be complete without this, is a seat on the couch on Talking Dead between Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan with Yvette Nicole Brown at the end. I also would like to hang out with Chris Hardwick because he seems like a great guy to know. 

This was such a fun post to do and I know I got a little wordy and made a huge post that I hope you took the time to read. Anyone who has made it this far in my post I commend you and hope you enjoyed it. Thank you Lootcrate for contacting me to write this post because I had a ton of fun doing this and I wouldn't have thought of this without being asked. Check out they are a cool service and I don't advertise on my site so the fact that I am doing this post has to mean they are worth the time to check out.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton

I've had this book for such a long time. Way back when this book was first published in 2013 I think Jeffery Deaver (My all time favorite author) wrote a little blurb praising this book. He had mentioned the suspense and how well this story is structured and I have to admit, he was right.

As you may or may not know I am in a bit of a reading funk. If it isn't a comics book I have not been able to focus on it nor keep my attention on the book for long. This was the first book in awhile where I found myself not working and totally focused on what was going on. As I type this I have to admit that even though I couldn't stop reading this, it was a subject matter that tore me up inside. 

This book follows Reeve who is a survivor of being kidnapped, tortured , and raped for multiple years at a time. Now she is all grown up and asked to help her therapist with a new young woman who has escaped her captor and the parents don't like the idea of a male therapist after what their 11 year old daughter (I think she is 11) has gone through. Reeve has to set aside her fears and insecurites to help this little girl cope with everything she has gone through as well as the major adjustment of coming back home after a year or more of absence. 

We meet Reeve and get to know her but we also get to meet the most horrifyingly despicable waste of human flesh out there in the kidnapper. He is clever and has this all planned out. He works with an unsuspecting person to hold the girls for when he needs them and then has a fall guy when things go south. The kidnapper is connected with law enforcement and always has a way around any situation. I'm a father and the father of a little girl and I am not good dealing with situations where girls are kidnapped and raped. I worry about my little girl every day because there ore horrible people out there that will try to prey on her as she gets older. My greatest fear is anything horrible happening to my wife or my kiddos. 

There si so so much I could say about this book but the only thing that matters is go find this book. This was a very good read and the suspense is very consistent through out. I was impressed with this book and when I found out Reeve is in a second book I now really want to find the next book. She is a great character and if the second book is written as well as this one, I'm sure I will enjoy it. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Superman: Action Comics Vol 1: Path of Doom by Dan Jurgens

Holy cow I have so much to say about this book and I am going to need anyone who really knows what has been going on up to this point to let me know if I am close or Far off. So I wasn't impressed with Superman leading up to New 52. Once he and Lois adopted Zod and Ursa's son I was kind of pissed off because I felt that one of the worst Superman movies ever, Superman Returns, had influenced the comics and they gave Superman a son. Now I feel the need to add to this comment that I loved Superman returns until the reveal that he had a son. Brandon Routh was wonderful as Superman and had an eerie resemblance to Christopher Reeve. I also want to put up a small warning. I don't feel that some of the things I am going to talk about are spoilers but as I wrote this I started to think that maybe someone would rather find out this stuff on their own. I'm to excited to not talk about this so if you go past this point there may be SPOILERS. `

So I stopped reading Superman so I missed the whole New Krypton story line and all of New 52 until the very last book. When DC Comics and Net Galley were kind enough to grant me early access to this book for an honest review I was very interested but didn't have high hopes. I'm being honest here. Little did I know that this book was going to start with not just a bang but with an explosion and a shock. Robbers are attacking  and a glowing Blue S comes flying through to save the day. What we do not realise at first is that glowing Blue S belongs on a mechanical super suit worn by none other than Lex Luthor. This single act brings Clark Kent out of hiding with his Wife, Lois Lane, and Son Jonathan Kent. 

New 52 Ended with Superman going super nova and dying because of a Kryptonian Cancer. During this ordeal Batman and Wonder Woman stumbled upon a Clark Kent from another Earth with the same powers who they brought in to help save the world. Where did this Clark and Lois come from and why are they here. Well this book sort of answers these questions. We find out that This version of Clark and Lois come from another Earth and they fled for some reason that I don't know . We kind of find this out because while Luthor was grand standing about saving the day wearing the S and the cape from the dead Superman of this world, Doomsday escapes. Yes, you read that right Doomsday is loose on Metropolis once more and Luthor and Superman have to work together to protect the people.

This is where some of my questions were answered. Superman has this internal monologue where he talks about how he fought Doomsday before and his death. We even get Lois reminiscing about how she felt watching as he died and she was helpless. This was amazing and I want to know why what I will consider our world's Superman is now on the world we are following. Then what happened to the Batman we were reading about since before New 52. If we were reading about one Earth up until New 52 then what exactly happened that caused us to now be reading about a new World and what is going on in the Earth we have known and loved for decades. So many questions that I can't wait to find out. Anyone who reads this that knows exactly what's going on, please leave some books in the comments I should read because now I have to figure out all of this.

Oh yeah and we get a guest  spot with Wonder Woman helping this new Superman, who I really like better than New 52 Superman, fight Doomsday. This book was phenomenal.  I know I have said that about pretty much all of the Rebirth Vol 1's I have read but DC has stepped up their game. The writing is amazing and the art work in some of these books is outstanding, and even the work that isn't a joy for the eyes is still really impressive. I love this book and this is yet a gain a 5 out of 5 star read. If you haven't started Rebirth yet I highly urge you to. I have yet to read the one shot that started this but these books are amazing all on their own.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth Vol 1 by Robert Venditti

I have been nothing but impressed with the DC Universe since Rebirth. Ever Volume 1 I have read so far has been an absolute outstanding story. I have read Green Lanterns Vol 1 and I was a little lost about what had exactly happened to Hal Jordan and The missing Corps and this book is exactly what I was needing. 

As we leave New 52 Hal Jordan has become a Renegade or Outlaw if you will. Hal is taking all of the Sins of the guardians and the corps from the Guardians trying to wipe out the corps, to the depletion of the pool of the emotional spectrum. Hal decides if corps are to survive these recent events he needs to become the villain the Corps needs him to be.  This book opens with us getting to see where Hal is and the beginning of the changes he is under. This is one of the best monologues I have read in awhile. We see the change from Dresden Files Green Lantern to the powerhouse Hal Jordan should be. Goosebumps is all I will say when I read the line "My name is Hal Jordan". Rebirth has been amazing and I love getting back to the way these heroes used to be. 

So the Green Lantern Corps has finally found there way to this universe and they need to rebuild. The Corps has been stripped to the bare bones of members and their power levels are not as strong as they need to be. If getting the Corps back up and running wasn't enough of a problem Sinestro is dying and the Yellow Lanterns have become the peace keepers of the Universe. Just as Sinestro is at his lowest he brings the energy being of fear, Parallax into his body to regenerate him and give him power beyond anything he has ever had before. Sinestro having mind bending power, control of Warworld and an army of Yellow Lanterns who gain power from those terrified around them is the absolute worst case scenario for any Lantern. 
This book is fantastic. I read this in one sitting with my wonderful kids bugging the heck out of me. I still didn't give up and was able to fly through this very well written story. I have said this several times so far and it still remains true. I can't wait to see what happens next. 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Star Wars: Catalyst by James Luceno

I am one of the very few who really want to see Rouge One but haven't yet. It was just a busy time of the year to try and see a movie and excuse after excuse. As soon as I saw this book come out I put my name on the reserve list with my library. Nerdist named it as one of the things you need to read before you see the movie so I was very excited wen my turn came around. 

I knew nothing about this book when I got it and wanted it to be that way. I didn't want any preconceived ideas going into it. This book is about the beginning of the Empire and the turn of the Republic into the Empire. The Republic continues to fight the Separatists and Palpatine is building the Death Star. In order to get the Death Star to be the most deadly weapon in the galaxy the Republic needs to get a hold of one scientist Galen Erso. He has been doing research on the special crystals the Jedi use to power their Lightsabers. Galen believes the power of these crystals is not being used to it's full potential.  

The whole book is all about the Separatists and the Republic trying to pursued him to join their cause. This book started out with a bang and the War that is raging across the galaxy and I was really interested from the get go. However, as good as Part one is the rest of the book seemed to loose my interest.

I am going to be honest here. I like Star Wars and look forward to the movies but I cannot call myself a huge fan. I learned reading this book that I really only like the stories that have all the original Characters, Luke, Han, and Leia. Bloodline really only focused on Leia  with occasionally some Han thrown in and I just didn't care for it. I didn't care for this book either. The opening part was really good and I was hooked but after that my attention and interest faded steadily until the very end where I just wished it was over. I have already invested so much time I just had to finish it. I'm not going to drag this out and just say that I give this 2 out of 5 stars. I am still looking forward to seeing Rouge One and I'm sure I will enjoy it. This book was just kind of a let down to me. If I was more of a fan I might have gotten more enjoyment out of this but as I mentioned earlier? I just can't call myself a true fan. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

If you have read my blog before you know that my wife and I read with my son most nights. For Christmas Conner got a Roald Dahl  box set and we just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Conner wanted to go right into the next book and couldn't wait. So we picked this up and kept Harry Potter on hold. I'm just going to say this right up front. This book was not as good as the first one. I was kind of a disappointment. 

This book picks up right after the first book. Charlie and Mr Wonka go to Charlie's home to get his mother, Father and other 3 grandparents. They move the bed into the great glass elevator and off they go to the Chocolate Factory. With a few mishaps the glass elevator rockets into space and right to a space hotel. Sounds interesting right? You would be wrong. this first part of the book was so boring we felt like we would never get through this. I think my son enjoyed it but my wife and I couldn't wait to finish this book. 

If a space adventure wasn't enough to deal with Charlie's grandparents want to get out of bed. Wonka gives them a special vitamin which would make them younger but they take to much. 3 of them become babies and one becomes a minus. If you want to know exactly what this is you will just have to read the book. If this review hasn't swayed you from that already. 

This is not one of my favorite Roald Dahl books and at least I can say I read it. I would say this is not on my re-read list but I know when my daughter gets a little older and wants to read this I wil struggle though it again. I give this 2 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Detective Comics Vol 1: Rise of the Batmen by James Tynion

It has been a very long time since I have read Detective comics. This book was always the grittier Batman series with more violence and darker themes but that changed a long time ago. I didn't read when Batwoman was the lead in this series and I do regret that. I loved her story in in 52 or Countdown to 52, I can't remember which one it was it has been that long. I have always been really curious about this character but never took the time to catch up with her story so I was glad to see her in this Rebirth volume. 

Batman has noticed that these drones are keeping tabs on all these different heroes in Gotham and he needs to find out why. In order to do this Batman gathers the people who are being monitored and it makes for one surprising team. Of course Batman, Batwoman, and Red Robin are not a surprising team nor is having Spoiler and Cassandra Cain on the team. What is weird is having Clayface as part of a superhero team.

I love that Clayface is part of the team. I love how DC Comics is giving some of their long time rouges a chance to change who they are and help people. Captian Cold has joined the Justice League from time to time and even now Killer Frost might be joining the Justice League too. Giving Clayface the chance to be something other than the monster he is stuck being was really interesting. Besides, Batman is going to need all the help he can get. These heroes are being monitored because an entire army of Batmen are being trained to be unleashed on not just Gotham but the world.

These military Batmen are wrapped up in an idea about the League of Shadows which is a farce Ra's Al Ghul used to make himself more powerful and feared. This secret military faction is all about stopping the terrorists before they strike and they have latched onto an idea that is false. This book has some political undertones but not enough to upset one side of the argument or the other. It touched on the idea of how dangerous it is to assume one type of person is a terrorist before you read the whole situation. Batman has to rise above his own pride to try and fix this on his own and realy on his team to not only save the day but save him also.

I loved this story and the emotions run really high in this book. This grabs you from the very beginning and never lests go. I mean never lets go because I am already itching to read vol 2 because the cliffhanger at the end of this book is tough to forget. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Rebirth has delivered on every story I have read and I am massively impressed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie

We are a big Lego Family. I have quite a few big sets and my Son is a huge lego fan and has som any of the smaller sets that they wont fit in his closet. We are a big Lego family but we are an even bigger Batman family so when this movie first hinted that it was coming out we got super excited and couldn't wait. 

We took the kiddos to see this movie this past Friday and I know it wasn't release weekend but I always like to avoid any chaos from opening weekend and read some reviews before I decide to spend my hard earned cash on an expensive night out. So we all went out and bought the giant popcorn to share and sat back and enjoyed a great night out as  family. As I mentioned I read a lot of reviews that don't have spoilers when the movies come out and this was had nothing but great glowing reviews which seemed really odd to me. Critics hate DC Comic movies and tend to smear them and say they are the anti Marvel Movie, which by the way, Duh. Even Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 91%. With all the hype and all the praise I really worried this wasn't going to be that great. I loved Batman vs Superman, and Suicide Squad and these were trashed by critics. Let me tell you, Lego Batman lives up to every complement and amazing review out there. Here is one more. 

This movie has everything a Batman fan would want. There are old crappy villains in this like Egg Head from the 60's Batman show, and Condiment King who was in the Cartoon in the 90's. It was so much fun picking out all the little characters that show up in this movie. I also really got a kick out of the fact that Ralph Fieenes, who Plays Voldemort in the Harry Potter Movies is in this movie and doesn't do the voice for Voldemort. Ralph Fiennes is the voice of Alfred and I think did a fantastic job in that character. The Lego movies do their hardest to make Batman the absolute opposite as what the character is in the comics but it is ok. It's funny, and the kids love it as well as the adults. 

This movie has a deeper moral meaning in the whole thing. It's all about family and working together as a team and watching Batman grow as a minifigure., The action is amazing through out and when there isn't action scenes the jokes are hilarious. There are also so many homages to the old movies in here that was just so much fun to watch. Going through the Bat-Cave and seeing Lego versions of the Batmobile from The 1989 movie and Batman Forever as well as so many other versions I remember was a big thing for me as such a huge fan of Batman. 

I absolutely loved this movie and want to watch it again right now. Yes I pre-ordered this on iTunes as soon as it was available. The story is great, the voice actors are wonderful and the music was just awesome. Having Richard Cheese the guy who makes popular songs into Lounge song versions does Man in the mirror and Everything is Awesome. They also have a new song Who's the (Bat)Man which I bought as soon as I heard this through Nerdist. Here is the link to their post so you can check out this awesome song. Also please enjoy the trailer at the end of this review because it is absolutely a 5 out of 5 star movie. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Batman Vol 1: I am Gotham by Tom King

I can't tell you how excited I was to read this book. DC Comics and Netgalley were kind enough to allow me to read this for an honest review and I was crazy excited. I purposely waited till I had read my other comics so I could save the best for last.

One thing I will say about New 52 is that Scott Snyder wrote some amazing Batman stories and it is going to be hard to live up to that expectation. This story was really good. Batman has dealt with a lot in his life and faced even some of the most horrible villains. Yet Gotham and Gotham Girl are something Batman hasn't had to deal with. Super meta humans have decided to take up a mask and fight the crime in Gotham until something goes horribly wrong. Batman now has to fight Hugo Strange/Psycho Pirate and control a crazed meta human.

Batman has his work cut out for him in this opening chapter in Rebirth that only will peak your interest with every passing page. I loved this book and already can't wait for Volume two. I know that coming up in future Batman stories he looks into a smiley face button with blood on it. Now any comic book fan knows the button belongs to the comedian from Watchmen. I can't wait to see Where that story goes and every step of the way to get there.

This book is written very well and this is the first time I have read anything by Tom King and I loved it. I have my favorite comic authors and if Tom King keeps up this level of quality writing on Batman, he could easily slide in next to Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns as one of my favorite authors. I loved this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By the way the artwork is really good. This panel of Gotham is one of the best I have ever seen. Gotham is always portrayed as run down, dark, and decrepit. This one panel not only still portrays the dark, hard edge architecture that makes the city what it is, but this makes it beautiful. I'm really impressed with this one panel and had to share this. This is yet another reason I gave this book 5 stars.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

Here we are, the last book in the Magician's Trilogy. This book picks up a bit after book 2 ends. Quentin is living back in the normal world, Julia is in the other side of Fillory, and Elliott is fighting a battle that only marks the beginning of an all out war for Fillory. Magic is leaving Fillory and the world is dying. I will admit that this book seemed to grab my attention more than the second book very early on. It is one of those situations where all our favorite characters a divided and you hope something happens to being them together. 

Ok so in the last book I really had a hard time keeping up with the time frame changes. Julia in Fillory versus Julia in the real world gaining her powers. Well this happens in this book too. At the beginning Quentin is invited to a run down bookstore in hopes of a job of the magic variety. Then we find Quentin working as a professor at Brakebills who finds the note offering the Job. So this book flips between time as well. It was so hard to listen to this book at work because of the subtle shift in time every now and then.

Quentin is out to find his way back to Fillory and he will do what ever it takes to get back. While he is trying to get back Elliot is trying to find Quentin so they can save Fillory and we get to see Alice in her powerful and very angry form. I will admit that this book held my interest much more than the previous two. I will still have to admit that I don't think these books were really my taste. I'm glad I read them but also glad I am finished. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. Still love the show and look forward to each new episode. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I can remember the first time I saw this movie. I was 9 and my dad found this on VHS at Toys r Us. We bought it and watched it while eating dinner in the living room. I have never read the book until now reading it with my wife and son. I have always loved the original movie with Gene Wilder even over the remake with Johnny Depp. Don't get me wrong the Depp movie is good and a closer adaptation to the book but the original is the best.

Willy Wonka is a recluse and no one has seen him or anyone in his factory for years. There has to be people in the factory though because it keeps churning out the worlds most amazing confections. Out of the blue Wonka announces that he is placing 5 golden tickets into his chocolate bars,. The ones who find it will get a private tour of the factory, a lifetime supply of Chocolate, and a special surprise to the winner. This leads me to our main character Charlie Bucket. This poor boy is exactly that, poor. His mother and father have no money and they take care of their parents who live the four of them in one bed in the middle of the house. Charlie would give anything to visit Wonka's factory but he only gets one chocolate bar a year on his birthday.

Needless to say Charlie finds a ticket and gets to visit the chocolate factory. Inside the Chocolate factory we read about all kinds of wonders and rare candies. We also get to meet the people who help run the factory. Mr. Wonka has a bunch or little people known as Oompa Loompas. Charlie and 4 other children go into the factory and each room has different wonders that some are unable to keep their hands off of.

I do like this book. I never read this until now and I am so glad I did. It was such a joy to read this with my son. I say read with my son because we all traded chapters. We would read at least 3 chapters a night. My son would read one and then my wife and I would read at least 1 each. Sometimes if the chapters were short we would read 2 but for the most part we traded. We all got such a kick out of this and then we watched the original together while my son was sick home from school. This weekend we are going to watch the remake with Johnny Depp. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and I am so glad we read it. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

My wife and I really like the show The Magicians on SyFy and I was curious about checking out the books this show is based off of. The frist book was so different from the show which was nice. I like how shows and books can be different so they are like 2 separate experiences and one doesn't ruin the other. The Walking Dead is like that where the show sticks to the larger story but is different than the comics. With season two fo this show gearing up I decided it was time to move on to the second books. I have got to be honest, these books are not really for me. 

I am not a huge fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I love comics and Superheroes and one of my favorite series is the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I also love the Dresden Files, so I had high hopes to like this trilogy. I just couldn't get into this book. I tried and my mind still wandered. Thankfully my wife had already read this and the third book so I could ask her all the questions I had as they came up. I felt like this book went on and on and I struggled. The ending also left me with a lot more questions than answers and not in a good way. Some questions are good so you are excited to read the next book but this just had me feeling like I missed something when it just wasn't there. 

In this book Quentin got almost everything he wanted and is now one of the kings of Fillory. On a routine errand, because he wanted to get out of the castle and go on a quest, he gets sent back home to our realm. In order to get back to Fillory he has to follow Julia and her trip through the world of Black magic. This book gives us both an account of what is going on in the present, but also Julia's story. How she got to be so powerful when Brakebills turned her down. Now Quentin and Julia have to find their way back to Fillory in order to save the land from loosing magic forever. 

There were some high points to this book that I enjoyed but for the most part I was bored. This is one of those rare cases that I enjoy the television show more than the books. It is very rare but it happens from time to time. At this point I only have one more book in the trilogy to read so I will finish it. Had this been a longer series I would have stopped here. I'm not saying these aren't great books I'm just saying they are not for me. I give this a 2 out of 3 star review.