Monday, July 31, 2017

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Well I have finished my re-read of the Dark Tower and just in time for the movie release in August. I really can't wait for this movie and I have had gift cards to the movies set aside waiting for this, and other movies this year. I'm going to do this review a little differently. I tried to review this the first time I read this and you can see that review on GoodReads if you really want to. I dance around what this book is about and gush way more than I really needed to. This time I'm not going to review the synopsis. You can read that on the dust jacket, back of the paperback, or on GoodReads. This is the last book in the series and everything has led up to this. 

The first time I read this book I was completely sucked in by the grand scale of everything. I hung on every word and then couldn't wait to talk about it with anybody. Sometimes they didn't even care I was reading this. My wife is a saint. This time was different. My opinion has changed on a few of the books in the series and I was a little worried that this book may not live up to the experience I first had. I have to admit this time around was different and I was worried that it would fall from my second favorite book of all time. 

I was expecting something grander and the beginning of the book was kind of flat. Here we are on the next leg of the journey only to fall into another town with another problem for the Ka Tet to solve instead of moving closer to their own goal. That being said there was a lot of heart in this book. This next stop on the way to the tower saw the reunion of an old friend who is one of my favorite characters in the series. This also turns the tides on our heroes journey and the Ka Tet begins to fall apart.

As I had mentioned there is a lot of heart to this story which means a lot of different emotions all wrapped into this final chapter. This is a roller coaster that will take you from excitement all the way through to bitter anger and everything in between. To add to this emotion there is a good bit of reference to IT and other books in this one. We get to see what has become of the rose and the Tet Corporation. After the flat opening there is plenty of answers and story wrapping through the rest of the book. The ending is what can be controversial. I have read a lot of review and the amount of people that like the ending, and hate it are split right down the middle. I will have to say that I liked the ending. Even now I didn't want this saga to end and I am so glad that the movie has found a way to do that.

I did love this book. It is still one of my favorites and little issues aside I can say it still holds that second favorite spot in my library. I still hold to my original rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I am so excited to see the movie that opens this Friday. I won't be seeing it on Friday but I will soon. You can find my review of the movie here on my blog once I do. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for a very long time. I grew up knowing the name and we even had an entire room dedicated to Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. I remember meeting Jeremy Brett at a channel 9 telethon event when I was little. Now I watch over and over Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock.So when my wife said her book club book this month was going to be this one I had to give it a re-read. 

Holmes and Watson are challenged with one of the strangest cases they have faced. A family friend of the Baskervilles comes to Holmes to look into the saftey of the newest resident to Baskerville Hall. All the previous family members who have lived there have found themselves dead due to some strange circumstances. The last one died of complications of heart failure. His heart failed because he was literally scared to death. 

I can see how for it's time, this book could have been considered a horror novel. The story goes that there is an inhuman beast of a hound loose on the moor. This larger than life hound is wreaking havoc on the members of the Baskerville clan and the newest heir is on his way to take up residence. This book has everything. A ghost story, mystery, intrigue, and adventure. This is one of my all time favorite Holmes stories and I was excited to give this what I'm sure will be many re-reads. 

I love this book because the story is engaging and really hard to put down. It also gives Watson a chance to shine. Holmes is in very little of this book and it gives Watson time to show what he is made of in his own investigative skills. Holmes is to busy with other cases to head out to the moor. So Watson takes off on his own to report back to Holmes as the clues develop. Seeing as this is one of my favorite books it is easy for me to give this a 5 out of 5 star rating. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nightwing vol 2: Back to Bludhaven by Tim Seeley

I have loved Nightwing from the time I was very young and first learned to read. I have follwed his story all the way from the second series where he first donned the Black and Blue costume he wears again. Since we now know that we are on a different Earth than what we read before Flashpoint and New 52 we now know this isn't the Nightwing I have known for so long. Since we are reading a new Nightwing to us this book is all about Nightwing finding out who he is. 

This is sort of broken into two parts. The first part is a normal adventure for Nightwing. His dreams are being invaded to help build up a being who feeds on fear and despair in dreams. In order to defeat this guy, Nightwing gets a littel help from our very own big blue, Superman. Nightwing is then forced to live out his worst fear in his dreams and that is the death of all the people he loves. Superman helps Dick realize that no matter what he is never alone because of the kind of man and hero he is. He has friends. 

The second part is all about Nightwing getting out of Gotham to find himself. Where would Dick go to be on his own? Well as the title states, Dick heads to Gotham's sister city Bludhaven. I was waiting for a Blockbuster from this Earth to pop up somewhere. That didn't happen but who knows, maybe in the future. Dick has to distance himself and reevaluate his life as a person and a hero. 

As a story I really enjoyed it, but there were some slower moments. Volume 1 I flew through and couldn't out it down. This volume I didn't have a problem setting it aside and walk away from it. I can't thank DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a honest review. I do have to apologize that it took me so long to get this reviewed. You expect this type of story to have its slower moments because it is character development, not an all out action thriller. This was still very much worth the read and does seem to set up the next chapter in Nightwing's story so I am excited to continue on to the next volume. One complaint I do have for this is the art work kind of fell short for me. I always love the detail that has been in the city pages in other books and this lacked detail. Maybe it was meant to be that way but it just felt incomplete to me. 

I enjoyed reading this book and like I said, I can't wait to read volume 3. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fort Solitude by Derek Fridolfs

Fort Solitude

The Secret Hero Society books are really cute. My son and I look forward to each of these books because these we read just the two of us. We read a ton of kids books together with my daughter and we read the Harry Potter books with my wife, but these are just Father and Son time. 

We both really enjoy the fact that these books are about our favorite heroes but as kids around my son's age. In this book it's summer camp time. Our heroes have been sent to summer camp and strange things start to happen. Campers who win competitions mysteriously vanish. Now Clark, Bruce, and Diana have to figure out what is going on before there are no kids left. 

The first book centered around the big three with Bruce Clark and Diana. In this book we get more heroes involved like The Flash, and Cyborg. These books are a lot of fun to read. They incorporate so many different forms of telling a story. There are journal entries, text message, camp flyers, and comic strips. We enjoy reading back and forth between my son and I. He could read these all on his own but I enjoy that he wants to wait to read them with me. I appreciate this time we send together before he gets older and realizes I'm not cool. 

We enjoy these books and they are really cute. My son is 7 and I am going to brag. He reads at a level above his grade. These are easy quick reads ans a lot of fun. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and encourage any little fan of Superheroes to give this  a read.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trinity Vol 1: Better Together by Francis Manapul

I love these heroes. Whenever there is a series with these three I have to read it. Big thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a review. I loved the weekly series Trinity back when Infinite Crisis had the 52 weeks series going on. I had high hopes for this book and I can say I wasn't let down. 

So Rebirth Spoiler here. In New 52 the Superman we had been following died of nothing more than Kryptonian Cancer. All this time a Superman had been in hiding on the Earth with his wife Lois Lane and a son Jonathan. Turns out he is the sSuperman we used to follow before Flashpoint. Some how he has moved to a new Earth and now that their Superman is gone he has come out of hiding to help the people of this Earth. 

This book starts out with a dinner party. Bruce and Diana were invited to Clark's home to have dinner so they could all get to know him and he could get to Bruce and Diana. The best part of that is watching Bruce be a normal person at a dinner party. Afterwords the three of them went for a walk. Next thing Clark knows he is waking up in Smallville with his dad and a younger version of himself. All three of our heroes find themselves in earlier versions of themselves reliving the most depressing moments of there life. Fortunately for our heroes they are together and the adventure begins. 

I really liked the story but then again I am bias towards these characters when they are together. My disappointment for the Superman books during New 52 has been well voiced in my blog here, but I have enjoyed learning more and more about the Superman I remember. The art work in the book could have been better. I wasn't all that impressed with it but the covers art was great. Each book featured a hero front and center in there own story and I really enjoyed it. 

I really liked this book and I am looking forward to volume 2. I want to see the relationship between these three heroes grow all over again. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I have been a fan of Rebirth so far but I have a lot of questions that still haven't been answered. Here is hoping some of them start getting answered so. I do recommend giving this book a read. It was quite enjoyable.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love by Sarah Vaughn

I have always been fascinated with this hero. Deadman is a former daredevil who died while performing a stunt and now remains on this plain to help those in need. Boston Brand has popped up in many different series I have read and I always like the stories he is in. I know he is in the Justice League Dark series but I have yet to read that one. When I saw this book pop up on Netgalley I had to throw my name in the hate to read this. Thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley I got that chance to read this for a review.  

Ok so this book is about Boston being drawn to this house. He isn't sure why and he usually helps people but there is something different here. When he finds it he becomes trapped and there is a Spirit in torment. While in the house the current residents come home. A man who is trying to write a book and his girlfriend who has this connection with the spirit world. I have to say this story is a little slow but it is haunting. I was completely fine with the slow build throughout the book because it helped create this eerie atmosphere. Usually a comic has a very short time to get your attention so the action and story need to be right up front. This however needed to be paced out.

The story was great but the art work in this book stole the show. The covers for these issues were fantastic and the best part of the artwork. To be fair though the rest of the book is packed with amazing detail that really stood out. I have included a few examples. The combination of both art work and writing made this book an easy 5 out of 5 stars. I will say this about the book. When our female character lead was thinking the text boxes were a very light blue with white writing. Reading this digitally it was really hard on the eyes and I had to take breaks. I'm sure this wont be a problem in the print version but fair warning if you read this digitally. 

I am really impressed with this and I hope to see more adventures with Boston Brand in the future. I would love to read more and I am going to look for his origin story so I can read the beginning of Deadman. Thank you DC for letting me read this for a review.