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.