Monday, March 31, 2014

Stonefly

Stonefly

author: Scott J. Holliday

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.14

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/31

date added: 2014/03/31

shelves:

review:

Stonefly is a supernatural story that feels familiar, but has a wholly original concept. Jacob Duke has to grant wishes. If you wish for something sincerely and Jacob can't grant it in seven days, you die. This makes Jacob a bit frantic, especially as the clock ticks down. So frantic, that he once spent time in a mental hospital, and became deaf as a result.



Jacob Duke comes back to the town of Braketon where he spent time in the aforementioned mental hospital. This time, he is just looking for a little rest and relaxation when he runs across a young boy who wishes that his father was dead. Jacob wants nothing to do with this, but after meeting the boy's abusive, violent father, thinks it might not be a bad idea.



Jacob is a very likeable hero in the vein of Odd Thomas (high praise from me, indeed). There's a good setup for a series with some good recurring characters, like Jacob's mysterious father, his mother and the sheriff who just wants her to notice him, and Lori Nelson, who Jacob helped and has strong feelings about. It's a very well told tale, and I definitely would read more about this character. Well done!



I was given a review copy of this ebook by Haley Road Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this book.





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Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

author: Annalee Newitz

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.40

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/31

date added: 2014/03/31

shelves: non-fiction

review:

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction tackles a very huge subject. It's a big ambitious subject. I'm not sure the entire subject can be covered adequately in a single 320 page book, but author Annalee Newitz gives it a good shot.



The book is about the history of mass extinctions on our planet over a 4.5 billion year history. There have been dust storms, ice, gas clouds and volcanoes that have attempted to eradicate life on earth. This is the setup for the book. Author Newitz is proposing how humanity could go about surviving the next mass extinction event. From underground cities to the Jewish diaspora, there are solutions that could work well. Covering biohazards and asteroid strikes, there are many potential hazards, but they are covered in a positive easygoing fashion. The book finishes with what our eventual move out into the stars might look like.



As stated, it's a huge subject and at times it feels a little glossed over, but it's a good jumping off point for further study. The work reminded me a bit of the work of Mary Roach, and that's a compliment. I like accessibly written science works and this one succeeds in that area quite well. I liked the book when it was all said and done.



I was given a review copy of this book by Netgalley and Doubleday Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this fascinating book.





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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Evil Ernie Volume 1: Origin of Evil Tp

Evil Ernie Volume 1: Origin of Evil Tp

author: Jesse Snyder

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.33

book published: 2013

rating: 2

read at: 2014/03/30

date added: 2014/03/30

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Evil Ernie Volume 1: Origin of Evil tells the origin story of Evil Ernie, a violent, horror comic where it's kind of hard to pick who you should be rooting for due to it's moral ambiguity. The violence is so excessive, dark and pervasive and the main protagonist is almost as evil as his enemy.



Ernie suffered a great loss on the day he was born. His father caused an accident that killed his brother and the mother who was carrying him. In the care of a stepfamily that seems to abuse or neglect him, he gets to the point where he does an unspeakable act. Now he is on death row and facing execution. What happens next sets off a series of violence where Ernie tries to kill his pyschotic father to complete a pact with evil.



It's a dark, dark series. Possibly the darkest I've read. I'm not sure I like this character, but I'm not sure he's supposed to be liked. Excessive evil and violence that may appeal to some, but not to me.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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The Bionic Man Vs The Bionic Woman TP

The Bionic Man Vs The Bionic Woman TP

author: Keith Champagne

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.00

book published: 2013

rating: 2

read at: 2014/03/30

date added: 2014/03/30

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Bionic Man Vs. The Bionic Woman and it's great cover seem to promise one of those epic battles that you used to find in comics in the 1970s in giant sized comics (anyone remember Muhammad Ali Vs. Superman?). In those stories, 2 heroes were pitted against each other, and through some sort of misunderstanding found themselves fighting against each other. There is a little of that here, but it might have been better to advertise the book for what it really is.



Trench, a hulking bionic villain, must survive on harvesting live organs from victims. This puts him on a killing spree where his victims are left with body cavities open and their hearts missing. When Steve Austin, aka The Bionic Man, is sent in, the cops with him are killed and he goes missing. Enter, Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, who is on the trail. It turns out Trench, besides being cruel, is also radioactive. Steve and Jaime are forced to fight each other to save their lives.



Art by Jose Luis was good, but I just didn't care about the story. Bionic limbs are ripped off and replaced so easily, that I wonder why there aren't a whole army of Bionic people in this iteration of the story. If so, why are there only 2 to fight this hulking menace. That was another problem. Trench is so huge and oversized while everyone else isn't. He just doesn't fit in with the rest of this world. He moves around a lot, but it seems like a vehicle large enough for him to travel in would be awfully conspicuous. I know I'm being petty, and that probably tells you how uninterested I was in the story.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Friday, March 28, 2014

Lord of the Jungle Volume 2 TP

Lord of the Jungle Volume 2 TP

author: Robert Castro

name: Wayne

average rating: 0.0

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/28

date added: 2014/03/28

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Lord Of The Jungle Volume 2 finds Tarzan in Paris. Jane is engaged to Lord Greystoke, but it's not Tarzan. He thwarts an attempt on a young countess, but is brushed off by gentry. The local police want his help in tracking the attacker.



The trail leads him back to the heart of Africa. Along the way, Tarzan makes new allies and finds the fabled lost city of gold. Now if only he can save Jane in time.



It's a great story by Arvid Nelson and the art by Roberto Castro is so reminiscent of the old book covers I remember. Lots of great adventure, and all the variant covers are included.





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Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 2

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 2

author: David Petersen

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.93

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/28

date added: 2014/03/28

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Volume 2, is a great concept that works beautifully. Guest writers and artists were invited to tell tales within the world of Mouseguard. Instead of having stories and art that would seem strange in the context of the story arc, an unusual framing story is set up.



It seems that many of the mouseguard have been accruing debt in June Alley Inn, so an interesting story contest is proposed. The winner who tells the best tale will have their debt forgiven. This launches into a series of stories told by guest writers and artists. The art varies, but the stories all seem to fit within the world of Mouseguard and it's medieval world of mice, foxes and badgers. There are stories of bravery and fairytales, and even one song.



It's a delightful package and one of the better story collaborations I've ever seen. The art and stories are all top notch. Contributors include Stan Sakai and Bill Willingham among a whole host of others. Very recommended.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this beautiful graphic novel.





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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Am #11: Walt Disney

I Am #11: Walt Disney

author: Grace Norwich

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.70

book published: 2014

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/26

date added: 2014/03/26

shelves: non-fiction, young-adult

review:

I Am #11: Walt Disney is a young reader's history of Walt Disney. It tells the story of Walt Disney in 128 pages from his birth to his death. There are illustrations and pictures.



I used to read a series of early readers called Step Up Books from Random House in which different historical figures were featured (my favorite was Meet George Washington). This series seems to be in the same vein, but for a slightly older group of readers. It reminds me of that earlier series, and I really enjoyed it.



The book features a list of people who are key to the story you are about to read. It ends with a list of 10 things you should know about Walt Disney, then a second list of 10 more thanks that are pretty cool to know. There is a glossary and a list of places to visit. In this case places to visit include theme parks, but also the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco (which is an excellent museum) and Walt's home town of Marceline, Missouri.



It's told in a kid friendly way, but harsh facts are not held back. You learn Walt's father was not a pleasant man, and that he lost his early creation, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit. It's well told and engaging.



I was given a review copy of this book by Scholastic and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Snapshot

Snapshot

author: Jock

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.08

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2014/03/26

date added: 2014/03/26

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

In Snapshot, a young man who works in a comic book store finds an abandoned smart phone in the park, and that's about the quietest moment in the whole book. It's an action story that will leave you breathless and turning pages. The story twists and turns relentlessly.



When Jake Dobson finds a smart phone in the park, he thinks he can sell it for cash. When he looks at the photos on the phone, it puts his life in danger from a hitman who shows up at his comic shop. The photos show a dead man with a missing pinkie. Things turn strange when the dead man in the photos shows up alive and well at the police station where Jake tries to explain what's happening. It gets crazier from there when people around Jake start ending up dead, and he makes a new friend that may have something in common with the pictures on the phone.



The art is all black and white and it's striking. It sets a noir tone for this story that I'd love to see on a big screen. It's very cinematic. I especially love that Jake never gets overly competent at anything while he is running. I'm not sure I buy what the bad guys are doing, but the story is good enough that I can overlook it. Great story!



I received this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this pulse-pounding graphic novel.





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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

author: Chris Hadfield

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.13

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2014/03/25

date added: 2014/03/25

shelves: non-fiction

review:

Colonel Chris Hadfield and his YouTube videos from the ISS went viral during his 6 months on board. His final video from the station, a version of Space Oddity, was heavily viewed and is the kind of touching and real picture we need to have of life in space. In 'An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth' we learn what got him there. It's incredibly inspiring and Chris Hadfield comes across as hard-working, humble and a genuinely good human.



I am about the same age as Chris Hadfield. We both grew up in the shadow of Mercury and Apollo. We both wanted to be astronauts in that golden land of our youth, but Chris made that dream come true with a lot of hard work and perseverance. The lessons presented in this book seem counter to what we are taught, but they have served Chris Hadfield well. His advice includes always sweating the small stuff, not visualizing success and caring what others think. Unconventional wisdom in a narcissistic age.



Along with the wisdom are stories. Stories of being blinded while doing an EVA outside of the shuttle, finding a snake in the cockpit of a flying fighter plane and what it feels like to launch into space. Colonel Hadfield shows such an immense amount of gratitude for what he's been allowed to do, and his sense of wonder and graciousness is evident throughout the book.



I look forward to seeing what Colonel Hadfield does next. I know there will be a next. He is a man filled with an innate curiosity and drive.



I was given a review copy of this book by Little, Brown and Company and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so very much for allowing me to review this honest and inspiring book.





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Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise

author: Neil Gaiman

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.85

book published: 1990

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/25

date added: 2014/03/25

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Signal To Noise kind of defies or reinvents the meaning of graphic novel, or maybe morphs it into something even more artistic. This is hardly news to anyone familiar with the work of Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman and their collaborative work over the years. Signal to Noise is actually an older work that is seeing new light here.



It's the story of a filmaker who finds out he has cancer. He's working on a film that deals with an apocalypse. The themes of worlds ending is strong in this book. When your world falls apart, do you let your creativity die? Do you try to finish something that might outlive you?



It's a shorter work, but it packs an incredible emotional punch. McKean's work illustrates, but enhances the story. There is an entire story being told in the art alone. Gaiman's work is haunting and memorable. I've been wanting to read this one for a few years and I'm so glad I finally did.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this excellent and enduring work.





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Monday, March 24, 2014

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon

author: Leah Moore

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.41

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/24

date added: 2014/03/24

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Sherlock Holmes and the Liverpool Demon is another in a long line of Sherlock Holmes tributes. The story here, according to the excellent introduction by noted Holmes scholar Leslie S. Klinger takes place around the time of The Sign Of The Four, which places Holmes and Watson in Liverpool. Actually, it's a bit sad when the introduction is more memorable than the story to follow.



Holmes and Watson are in Liverpool finishing up a case, when they get wrapped up in another one. This one may involve supernatural figure Spring heeled Jack, or some large creature. The locals are superstitious, the local police are somewhat indifferent to Holmes' methods, and Holmes is simply intent on finding the answer.



From a Sherlock Holmes perspective, they got the details right. The art is good. It's dark and dingy. I just found the story only mildly interesting, and the solution was not really one worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Also, the locals speak with what I assume is a Liverpool accent, and it was just difficult to read. If I'd heard it, it might not have bothered me, but in written form, it just didn't work for me. Which is too bad.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior

Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior

author: Rorke Denver

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.17

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2014/03/24

date added: 2014/03/24

shelves: non-fiction

review:

Damn Few: Making The Modern Seal Warrior is the kind of book that shows what a true hero looks like. Rorke Denver shows the intelligence and competence and willingness to do the job needed that gives me complete faith in our military. If there are minds and spirits like this in the ranks, we have little to worry about, but our enemies better start running.



Lieutenant Commander Denver takes you on his journey. From BUD/s and Hell Week to becoming a SEAL trainer, he shows what it takes to be among the elite. He is well read and self-effacing. He discusses what the SEALs are looking for, and it might not be what you would guess. He discusses training and overseas missions. He talks about some of the high profile missions the SEALs have been on, even though he wasn't a part of it. He discusses how the military wants large deployments of SEALs and why that might not be the best idea for the kind of fighting the SEALs need to do. He talks about losing comrades-in-arms and what it's like to kill someone. He starred in the movie 'Act Of Valor' and he talks about that experience, and how reluctant he was to be a part of it. And he talks about what it's like to leave a wife and children behind on deployment.



He's a true American hero as are all who serve. He is well read, and there is a 'warrior's bookshelf' at the back of the book with books that have inspired him over the years. He's well spoken, confident and humble, and I can't recommend this book enough.



I was given a review copy of this ebook by Hyperion/Hachette and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this inspiring book.





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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Parker: Slayground

Parker: Slayground

author: Darwyn Cooke

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.94

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2014/03/23

date added: 2014/03/23

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Turning classic novels into graphic novels can be hit or miss. Darwyn Cooke's graphic novels based on the Parker novels of Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) seem to capture the tone and style perfectly. The series takes place in the same timeframe as the novels, and Cooke's style is an eyeful of style details from the late 1960s.



In Slayground, Parker is involved in a botched robbery. He escapes over the fence and into an off-season amusement park, abandoned for the winter. He soon discovers it's a dead end, and that the only way out is being guarded by people who want the money he has stolen. But Parker is deadly and not the kind of person you want to try to trap. It's one of the shorter novels, so there is a short backup story as well, The Seventh.



Darwyn Cooke's adaptation, as stated, is perfect. His choice of art is evocative and stark. It's quite good, and I'd love to read more of these.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Polar: Came from the Cold

Polar: Came from the Cold

author: VĂ­ctor Santos

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.65

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/22

date added: 2014/03/22

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Polar: Came From The Cold jumps right into the action and doesn't let up until the very end. In an unusual form factor for a graphic novel, the stark images leap off the page. It's a visceral and satisfying read.



An older man and a woman are in a snowbound cabin as assassins creep up on him. We learn that he is a former agent known as Black Kaiser. We also learn pretty early on that he is not easy to kill. But his former employers at the Damocles Agency are determined and relentless. Black Kaiser is kidnapped and tortured at one point. If he gets away is for you to find out.



The art by Victor Santos is striking. It's reminiscent of Frank Miller's Sin City work. Blocky, abstract, minimal color. Some of the full page works are genius. The story is not new, but serves as a vehicle here to deliver great art. That's not a bad tradeoff in my opinion.



I was given a copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this striking and artistic graphic novel.





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Friday, March 21, 2014

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1

author: Chris Mowry

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.44

book published: 2013

rating: 2

read at: 2014/03/21

date added: 2014/03/21

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 1 feels like a very long prologue. There is a fair amount of fighting, but when it's all said and done, I felt like saying "And?" Then the book ended.



Along with feeling like a prologue, though, it kind of dumps you in the middle of the story. Godzilla is back as well as a whole host of the regular gang (the smog monster, Zilla, and other big kaiju). There is also a new threat from outer space. A group of specialized soldiers fighting these monsters are largely outclassed and given crappy dialogue. There is a group of specialists that are meeting, but by the end of the book, they aren't given much to do. The monster fights are what you are really here for and they are large and fairly impressive, if you like that sort of thing. It all kind of feels like a setup for the next volume.



Story by Chris Mowry leaves the character development a little flat. Perhaps that's not really important in a comic about giant fighting monsters. Art by Matt Frank is impressive with the monsters and fairly uneven with the humans. It's clear that the creators and audience are purely focused on the monster fights and the rest of the book is left as uninteresting filler.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ghosted, Vol. 1

Ghosted, Vol. 1

author: Joshua Williamson

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.53

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/20

date added: 2014/03/20

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Ghosted is billed as a supernatural mashup with Ocean's 11, and it works very well. For anyone who likes crime capers with wicked twists, it gets even better when you add in ghosts. Revenge takes on a new, harsher tone.



Jackson T. Winters is stuck in jail for, what seems like, the rest of his life, when he is broken out by a very wealthy man in search of his particular talents. It seems that the rich man needs to have a ghost delivered and Winters can put together a team to do it. First though, Jackson requests a snappy suit "like something Sinatra would wear." This is a direct nod to Danny Ocean, but this Danny Ocean is more the George Clooney variety.



The team is assembled. A couple brothers who film supernatural events, An aging con man who doubles as a stage magician, a psychic who seems to have real powers, a skeptic who is there to balance things out, the rich man's muscle, and of course Winters. They are sent into a haunted house to find a ghost to capture and return. There are surprises and double crosses. To discuss them further would spoil it for you. Are you intrigued by the concept? If so, check it out.



Joshua Williamson's story is snappy and even though he's borrowing from another source, it feels fairly fresh. He's built an interesting main character in Winters, who has a few ghosts of his own that he needs to exorcise. Art by Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva is pitch perfect. Ghosts swoop overhead, the house is creepy, and the art tone is perfect. I really enjoyed this one.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this fine graphic novel.





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The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun

The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun

author: Cullen Bunn

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.16

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/20

date added: 2014/03/20

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Sixth Gun: Sons Of The Gun is a prequel to the series. It features origin stories of a sort for the bad guys in the series. It might have been a bit helpful to have a brief description up front for casual readers of the series, but I was able to figure it out.



These are General Oliander Hume's men and in these stories they possess 4 of the guns. The men are Bill Sumter, Will Arcene, Ben Kinney and Silas Hedgepeth. It's an interesting take because the men are almost sympathetic here, but not in the rest of the series. They are all a bit monstrous and changing. Is it a result of the guns or something else? Each man gets his own chapter of the story, but there is an overarching storyline that connects them together. The more interesting stories are Will's and Silas'. Will fights monsters in the swamps and Silas becomes a doctor treating the plague.



It feels like a filler, and there isn't a lot that's new or needed, but the art by Brian Hurtt is good. It was worth reading just to get an eyeful of the great art. Enjoyable, but not the best place to start the series.



I received a review copy of the graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me review this graphic novel.





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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fraggle Rock Classics Volume 2

Fraggle Rock Classics Volume 2

author: Stan Kay

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.25

book published: 2012

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/18

date added: 2014/03/18

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Fraggle Rock Classics Volume 2 reprints the second half of the original comic run from 1985. It also adds a few new comics in to round out the package. It holds up really well, and would be a great read for a young kid who likes comics.



The Fraggles adventures here include a journey to become a great explorer, a trek to steal a really large radish (which might be somebody's friend), and the troubles caused by a mischievous genie. The stories are all fun and have some lessons for the Fraggles (and unsuspecting readers) to learn.



Marie Severin's art in the original stories is restored in wonderful eye-popping color. The newer stories included are one offs. The art style is quite a bit different, but the stories are still fun. I enjoyed these stories.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this fun graphic novel.





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Monday, March 17, 2014

S.

S.

author: J.J. Abrams

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.84

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2014/03/17

date added: 2014/03/17

shelves:

review:

S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst is a love story to printed books. It's a multi-layered story and it was a fun book to read. I believe it is available as an ebook, but you would lose much of the tactile enjoyment of this book. It's really an amazing work of publishing and a treat to pore over.



The book arrives in a sealed slip cover. When you break the seal, it appears that what you have is an old library book. This is born out by the library sticker on the spine, the yellowing pages and the library checkout stamp on the back page. You also notice the pages have things tucked into them and there is writing in the margins on almost all of the pages. The first thought might be how to even begin tackling this work. I'll reveal how I did later for those interested in knowing.



The story is layers within layers within layers. The first layer is the book itself. It is called Ship Of Theseus and it's written by an author known as V. M. Straka. It tells the story of a man shanghaied aboard a strange pirate ship, where the crew have sewn their mouths shut. They have their own dark purpose for this passenger.



The second layer is with the translator's footnotes. There is insight into the mysterious author and there seems to be a relationship between author and translator. Who is the translator and are there coded messages in the footnotes?



The final layer is between Jennifer and Eric. Eric has been studying this book for years and writing notes in the margins in pencil. Jennifer discovers it and begins a written conversation with Eric. The two bond over the mysteries of the book. They also leave all kinds of things inside . There are postcards, letters, old photographs, maps on napkins, obituaries.



It's a great story. I was given the book as a Christmas gift by a friend that knows I love books and puzzles and it was the perfect gift. I absolutely enjoyed it.



You could just read straight through and piece things together, but there seems to be an order. I'll tell you how I approached this, but if you want to unlock the puzzle and discover for yourself, just skip the rest of this review.

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First, I took everything out of the book and documented the page numbers they were in. I even photographed them and put them in a cloud account (in case the items were misplaced). The margin notes by Eric and Jennifer are written at different times, but different color ink is used, so it's easy enough to decipher. Blue & black, then green and orange, then red and purple and finally black and black. I first read a chapter with Eric's older pencil notes and footnotes, then went back and only read the blue & black notes and any extra items that were found on pages. Then when I finished the book, I went back and read the green and orange, the went back and read red and purple, then black and black.

There is a chronology to the notes, but even within colors they jump around. Just be patient and you can piece things together.







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Sheltered, Volume 1: A Pre-Apocalyptic Tale

Sheltered, Volume 1: A Pre-Apocalyptic Tale

author: John Christmas

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.67

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/17

date added: 2014/03/17

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Sheltered takes place in the snowy backwoods of America and is reminiscent of The Lord Of The Flies. Paranoia, violence and torture run rampant, as well as the need to survive.



A group of survivalists is living in the woods getting ready for some apocalyptic event that is getting closer to happening. They have most of their supplies ready and underground bunkers to shelter in. When something happens to the grownups, the children find themselves following one of the older boys, Lucas. Lucas is convinced the apocalypse is coming and ends up isolating the camp from news of the outside world. He acts with malicious violence against any who would oppose him. Vic and Hailey oppose him and try to convince the others to join them.



It's a tightly woven and very paranoid story. Unlike most end of the world stories, this one is pre-apocalypse. By the end, we don't know if the apocalypse is coming, or it's delusional survivalist ranting. I suppose that's for future volumes to reveal. Art and story by John Christmas is good. Good characters in a tough situation.



I was given a review copy of the graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Dark Lady (Sherlock, Lupin, and Me #1)

The Dark Lady (Sherlock, Lupin, and Me #1)

author: Irene Adler

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.38

book published: 2011

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/16

date added: 2014/03/16

shelves: young-adult

review:

The Dark Lady is a fun book for young readers. It tells the story of a young Irene Adler befriending a young Sherlock Holmes and a young Arsene Lupin. English readers may not be familiar with gentleman thief, Lupin, created by Maurice Leblanc. While Holmes and Lupin never meet in the English stories of Doyle, they do in ones that Leblanc wrote in France.



In this story, translated from the Italian book by Iacopo Bruno, they are all children who meet on holiday. At first, the adventures are typical children's adventures like hiding from grown ups and playing games in abandoned houses. When they find a body washed up on shore, they decide to investigate. Especially since they are observed with the body by a shadowy figure. Along with the body are some missing jewels and a mysterious rooftop burglar.



I love that the characters seem to be like the ones they will grow up to be. You can see some affection from Holmes, but he'd rather be as annoying as he is as a grown up. The solution has some nice twists. This is touted as the first in a series, and I'd love to read further adventures with these young characters. I also think it's perfect for the mystery readers between the ages of 9 and 12.



I was given a review copy of this book by Capstone Young Readers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this delightful young readers book.





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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Will O' the Wisp

Will O' the Wisp

author: Tom Hammock

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.88

book published: 2014

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/15

date added: 2014/03/15

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Will O' The Wisp takes place in the southern swamps and is full of hoodoo and the creepy happenings that take place on the islands of the dead. When a young newcomer comes to the island, she has to learn to get along, and to learn to protect herself.



When Aurora Grimeon's parents die of mushroom poisoning, she is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle. He lives in a creepy old house and makes his living collecting specimens and providing anatomical skeletons that he cleans with beetles. He is a man of science living in a world of superstition. He's also got a cool pet raccoon named Missy that eventually takes to Aurora as she wanders around meeting the locals.



When the locals start showing up dead, and Aurora starts seeing blue lights in the swamps, she starts investigating. She is soon over her head and starts learning how to protect herself from local hoodoo priestess Mama Noonie. The mystery deepens and is quite creepy.



The whole thing has a great atmosphere to it. The art by Megan Hutchinson is great and the story by Tom Hammock is one of the more original ones I've run across in a graphic novel. It was a good story and I'm glad I read it.



I was given a review copy by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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The Obedient Master

The Obedient Master

author: Timothy Keller

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.71

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/15

date added: 2014/03/15

shelves: non-fiction-business

review:

Timothy Keller's brief but excellent series of ebooks on the life of Christ continues with a look at Christ in the garden of Gethsemane (from Mattew 26).



Discussed is the significance of Jesus taking on the full wrath of God on behalf of sinners, knowing what that was going to mean, and going through with it anyway. It should have an effect on those who believe and that is also discussed.



It's a heavy topic, Christ's anguish, and it's not lessened here. Our response should be joyful gratitude and that is infused in this short work.



I was given a review copy of this book by Penguin Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this book.





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In Session

In Session

author: M.J. Rose

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.54

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2011/11/07

date added: 2014/03/15

shelves:

review:

A quick,enjoyable read of three short stories by M.J. Rose each involving a larger than life suspense character from a famous series. Authorized by their creators, M.J. Rose does a very favorable treatment, truly capturing each characters unique voice.



Her own character, Dr. Morgan Snow, is a sex therapist who stars in her own series. Dr. Snow finds herself interacting with each of these men, either through therapy sessions, or by being threatened or endangered. None of the encounters feels forced or uncharacteristic, which must have been a bit of a challenge, since most of these tough guys wouldn't be caught dead in any kind of therapist's office. Kudos to the author.



I'm not usually a big fan of crossover fiction or favorite characters written by other authors (although I would like to see a Jack Reacher/John Rain encounter), but the writing is deft and feels true to the nature of each character. I think my favorite of the three involved John Rain, but all three are solid storytelling.





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Friday, March 14, 2014

Z-Boyz in the Robot Graveyard

Z-Boyz in the Robot Graveyard

author: John Shirley

name: Wayne

average rating: 0.0

book published: 2012

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/14

date added: 2014/03/14

shelves:

review:

Z-Boyz In The Robot Graveyard is a 2-part novella with a linked story. Both stories are by John Shirley with unsettling art by Daniel Bradford.



In the first story three survivors make it to the robot junkyard in hopes of finding parts to make a sentry for their compound to fend off zombie attacks. When things go wrong, the woman, Keesha, and her now semi-robot brother find themselves trapped in the junkyard. Keesha builds a working robot, but it will never make it back to their home. Then, a mysterious stranger named Curt shows up and adds a grisly twist to the robots that are being built. Can Curt be trusted? What are his ultimate plans?



In the second story, we meet two brothers named Perry and Joe. Perry is creating a macabre piece of performance art in the desert.



There were also a couple extra stories in the collection called Women On War and they were pretty good too.



I've enjoyed all the entries in the Zombies vs. Robots series, and I look forward to reading more of these original takes on zombie fiction.



I was given a review copy of this book by Open Road Integrated Media and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me read this book.





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The Crow: Curare

The Crow: Curare

author: James O'Barr

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.97

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/14

date added: 2014/03/14

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Crow: Curare is based on a newspaper article that Crow creator James O'Barr read and deals with an obsessed cop and the brutal murder of a young girl. The cop can't shake the case and wants to solve it, even if it ruins his personal life.



Joe Salk is a good cop. He's got a wife and a couple kids. When he is pulled into the brutal murder of a young girl, he gets in over his head. he becomes obsessed with the case to the point where he frightens his children and his wife eventually leaves him. This doesn't stop him. He pores over the evidence looking for answers. Then, in true Crow fashion, he gets help in an unusual form. The young girl, and her strange pet crow, assist him in finding her murderer and bringing him to justice.



This is the complete 3 issue series, written by O'Barr and illustrated by Antoine Dode. The illustrations are splashed on the page in a frantic style which seems to match the thinking of Joe Salk as he tries to track the killer. It's a dark story, but a good one.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nowhere Men, Vol. 1: Fates Worse Than Death

Nowhere Men, Vol. 1: Fates Worse Than Death

author: Eric Stephenson

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.09

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/13

date added: 2014/03/13

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Nowhere Men is a graphic novel of grand scope. It jumps around in time and seems to take place in an alternate version of our history. There are bigger than life characters who are also flawed. Add in the backup interviews and articles in each issue and it is reminiscent of Alan Moore's Watchmen, but with scientists instead of superheroes.



Starting in the 60s, we see a group of 4 scientists who seem reminiscent of a certain British pop group of the time. It seems a time of great promise for these four young men. The story jumps around a bit in time, and we see some of these men later. One has gone missing and a few of them aren't talking. Meanwhile, there is a strange virus they've created and the folks who have it are sequestered in an unusual place. When they start mutating further, things start to spin out of control. Secrets of the past are threatened to be revealed. And then, the story ends for now.



It's a cool, crazy ride. It's ambitious in nature. It was exactly what I was looking for. Eric Stephenson has set up a really interesting series and I can't wait to read more.



I received this graphic novel for review from Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Ender's World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game

Ender's World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game

author: Orson Scott Card

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.85

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/13

date added: 2014/03/13

shelves: non-fiction

review:

'Ender's World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game' is a series of essays by a variety of people who love the classic book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. But these are not just people who love the book. There are people who teach the book, people who use the book to teach military leadership and tactics, authors, television show creators, and others.



Essays range from articles about the rules of writing and how Ender's Game breaks these to a back and forth conversation between a father and daughter. There's one on how Ender's Game should have ended and another on how Ender's Game is a guide for life (or is it?). My favorite was by John F. Schmitt, who used Ender's Game as a teaching tool to reshape how the Marines fight in the late 1980s. The book is still on the recommended reading list for military leadership because of the lessons it teaches. This was pretty impressive.



There are no detracting or highly critical articles, but it's still a good book. There is an introduction by Orson Scott Card and after every article, the author or authors have a chance to ask Card the questions that have been bugging them all these years, and he answers. Ender's Game is a classic that I've read multiple times. Reading what others have to say about it was really quite enjoyable.



I was given a review copy of this book by BenBella Books, Inc and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this book.





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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Shadow 1941: Hitler's Astrologer HC

The Shadow 1941: Hitler's Astrologer HC

author: Dennis O'Neil

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.00

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/12

date added: 2014/03/12

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Shadow 1941: Hitler's Astrologer is a reprint of Denny O'Neil's excellent 1988 graphic novel. Mike Kaluta's superior art is outstanding and doesn't seem as dated as other art from the era. It is only about 60+ pages and priced like any other graphic novel. Usually a graphic novel is at least twice that length.



On Easter Sunday in New York, a woman racing for her life in Manhattan finds herself being helped by The Shadow. The plot that is uncovered ties in to the Nazi's plans to own the worlds mystical and astrological objects, and the mastermind behind these plans is Hitler's Astrologer. In a story spanning continents, and with cameos by some of World War IIs most notorious figures, it starts out fairly normal and becomes quite creepy. Can the Shadow unravel this mystery and save the woman? Can he save the world while he is at it?



The story ties in with historical events very nicely. There is a large cast of characters, but it's always clear who is who. As I mentioned, it's a really great story by one of comic books master writers and the art is quite good. I enjoyed it, but it is not as long as other graphic novels of today.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.







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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin

author: Jim Butcher

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.74

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/11

date added: 2014/03/11

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden gets an original graphic novel and it's pitch perfect. The story (idea from Jim Butcher) takes place right after the book Fool Moon. In that book, Harry has survived werewolf attacks that have led to an unexpected loss.



When Harry gets the chance to leave Chicago and investigate a series of murders in a small Missouri town, he jumps on it. Packing his staff and, of course, Bob, he finds himself in the middle of a family curse that began in Egypt a number of years before. Harry finds himself stuck between a ghoul and a goblin who are set on eliminatig the family. Harry finds unusual allies, and, as always, gets pretty beat up along the way.



It's a great standalone story and works well as a graphic novel. Story by Jim Butcher and Mark Powers and illustrated by Joseph Cooper, it's exactly how I picture the world of Harry Dresden to look. The book includes the original story treatment and rough script as well as pencil sketches of the main characters. If you're a Harry Dresden fan like me, you should definitely check this out.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine, #1)

A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine, #1)

author: Jaclyn Moriarty

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.82

book published: 2012

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/11

date added: 2014/03/11

shelves: young-adult

review:

A Corner Of White is a breath of fresh air in a world of young adult novels focused on zombies, vampires and post-apocalyptic dreariness. Sure, the characters have their problems, but they are just so quirky and good natured that you can't help but laugh with them and cheer for them.



Elliot Baranski lives in the Kingdom of Cello, a world different from ours. In his world, his father has gone missing. Also, it's a land where colors can attack and create weird effects on people. It's got a fantasy feel to it, but people have televisions and cars. It seems like a brighter, happier version of our world with travelling princesses and the occasional lucky butterfly child falling from the sky to give a boost to the crops.



Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England with her mom. Her dad is missing for a different reason, and her mom is addicted to watching a quiz show and convinced she could be a contestant, even though all her answers are wrong.



Elliot and Madeleine meet by exchanging notes in a crack between their worlds. There is sadness and intrigue. There is Lord Byron and Sir Isaac Newton. There are quirky friends. And the characters are really likeable. The second book is due out in a couple weeks, and this book ends wide open and ready for a continuation. I really, really liked this book.



I was given a review copy of this book by Scholastic and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this great book.





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Monday, March 10, 2014

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (The Forgotten, #6)

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (The Forgotten, #6)

author: Tony Lee

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.24

book published: 2008

rating: 4

read at: 2013/03/08

date added: 2014/03/10

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Doctor Who: The Forgotten is a fun romp through a good chunk of the history of Doctor Who. Seeing as it's the 50th anniversary of the show, this is timely and very welcome.



The 10th Doctor finds himself with no memories and only his companion Martha to help him out. To solve the mystery of his identity, he relives memories of his past regenerations. Each version of himself provides clues to the puzzle. The fun part is that Doctors who had shows in black and white appear as black and white memories. I wouldn't dare spoil any surprises here, but for the long time fan, there are lots. Lots of great cameos along the way.



My only gripe is that Matt Smith, who plays the 11th Doctor is not represented, but the individual issues in the collection were published before his run on the show. The art by Nick Roche and Ben Templesmith is great, and the story by Tony Lee and Pia Guerra does a fine job of keeping in the spirit of the show.





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The Best of Pantha: The Warren Stories Hc

The Best of Pantha: The Warren Stories Hc

author: Steve Skeates

name: Wayne

average rating: 2.00

book published: 2014

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/10

date added: 2014/03/10

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Pantha was a backup comic in the Vampirella magazine. This graphic novel reprints 20 of the stories. They are all about 10 pages in length. Most of them are standalone serialized stories, but there are a couple larger story arcs.



When we first meet Pantha, she is an exotic dancer, who finds that she can turn into a large black Panther when she is in danger. At first, this power happens unexpectedly, but, over the stories, she gains more control. She also learns that she has these powers from a group of powerful aliens. She goes from barely getting by to hooking up with the Van Helsing family and living a fairly lavish lifestyle.



It's all rather campy and kitschy and feels even more that way because of the 40+ years that have passed since these stories were first printed. This is a New York of the 1970s, with it's squalid nightlife (remember when Times Square was kind of a dump?). The dialogue is unintentionally hilarious, as are the stories themselves. I had a lot of fun reading these because they were so over the top. Sort of like B-movie fun. So bad, they're good.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.





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Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Survived The Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was This Podcast

I Survived The Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was This Podcast

author: Andrew Mangum

name: Wayne

average rating: 2.76

book published: 2013

rating: 1

read at: 2014/03/09

date added: 2014/03/09

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

I Survived The Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was This Podcast is about a young zombie apocalypse survivor named Mara Mitchell. She has a podcast about gardening, and she lives alone in a compound, fenced off from the world around her. When the compound is breached one day, she decides to make a bold move.



She decides to try to befriend the zombies. She bakes them cookies. She tries to help them. But they will have nothing to do with her. They mock her and call her names. They play pranks on her. One day, she decides she's had enough and just wants to kill the zombies.



And that's about it. The art is not terrible, but the story is really lacking. It's not funny. It's not suspenseful. It's fortunately not very long, but I still can't recommend it.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me read this graphic novel.





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Bag of Marbles, A: The Graphic Novel

Bag of Marbles, A: The Graphic Novel

author: Joseph Joffo

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.50

book published: 1973

rating: 4

read at: 2013/10/11

date added: 2014/03/09

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

This review is for a new graphic novel interpretation of the novel 'A Bag Of Marbles' by Joseph Joffo. It tells the story of how his Jewish family survived and escaped from occupied France during World War II.



When Nazis threaten Maurice and Jo, their father has a plan. He's already migrated from Russia to Paris to escape other problems, so he is used to running. And he's sent Jo's 2 older brothers on ahead. The boys have to make their way south through the border of occupied France without papers and only their ingenuity to get them by. There are narrow escapes, clever plans, heart-warming reunions and tragedy.



The art by Vincent Bailly is great, keeping the art light and then ominous then light as the story changes tones. It's a rough subject, but it's a good story and is accessible to middle grade children. The original novel has been translated into 18 languages, and after reading this, I can see why the story has endured.





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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Doomsday.1 (Doomsday.1, #1)

Doomsday.1 (Doomsday.1, #1)

author: John Byrne

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.56

book published: 2013

rating: 0

read at: 2014/03/08

date added: 2014/03/08

shelves: graphic-novels

review:







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Friday, March 7, 2014

Club Monstrosity (Monstrosity, #1)

Club Monstrosity (Monstrosity, #1)

author: Jesse Petersen

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.90

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/07

date added: 2014/03/07

shelves:

review:

A group of monsters hiding in a modern city meet once a week in a church basement. It's a support group for the struggles they go through, but after all the years, it's gotten a bit tedious. Members include a mummy, a vampire, a werewolf, Jekyll & Hyde, and an invisible man.



When the invisible man turns up dead, it's suspicious. When the leader of the group, a blob called Bob, also ends up dead, it seems like someone is hunting the monsters down. Not only hunting them but matching their deaths with the ones in "their stories." They way they die in their respective books or movies. It's a lighthearted detective novel with a hint of romance and lots of humor. There is a sequel and this book does have an open ending.



The characters are interesting and quite human, in spite of their monstrous lives and pasts. It's all about what makes us different, what we do to fit in and the people we surround ourselves with to make our lives interesting. I really liked it.



I was given a review copy of this book by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me review this book.





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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

author: John E. Kelly

name: Wayne

average rating: 2.87

book published: 2013

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/04

date added: 2014/03/04

shelves: non-fiction-computer

review:

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing by John E. Kelly and Steve Hamm is a quick but fascinating read. It talks about where we are currently with the state of computing and how our needs are being quickly outstripped by technology that has served us well for many years. It talks about conceptual ideas for what computers could do for us in the near future. It purports that computers wouldn't become as cognitive as humans, but that new computing styles could work side by side to assist humans.



IBM's Watson is discussed. This is the computer that was featured on Jeopardy a few years ago playing, and winning, against Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings. The development of Watson as well as ideas for what it could possibly be used for are discussed. As well as how to change computer processors. We have miniaturized processing to the point where it is no longer effective. We are losing computing power instead of gaining it. We need to rethink computing and develop quantum computers. This is a concept thought of by physicist Richard Feynman and we are now on the verge of seeing it as a reality.



The whole book feels like a commercial for IBM, but there is a fair amount of innovation going on with IBM, so it's not completely invalid. And in such a short book, I'm not sure how wide you could go with other companies' innovations. I found it fascinating and exciting.



I was given a review copy of this book by Columbia University Press and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this interesting book.





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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1

Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1

author: Mark Rahner

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.56

book published: 2014

rating: 3

read at: 2014/03/05

date added: 2014/03/05

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

Dejah Thoris is the princess of Mars from the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this graphic novel, Dejah and her people of Helium and the green skinned monstrous looking Thark race have come to a truce. It is a time of peace and Dejah and John Carter are getting ready to celebrate. On a peacekeeping tour, Dejah is kidnapped by Voro, a Thark bent on a gruesome goal.



Voro is a butcher. Rather than any reward or ransom he thinks he could get, his plans are to sell parts of Dejah to the highest bidder for them to eat. He already has captured a number of Helium women and they are in various states of harm. Can Dejah escape this monster and get back to John Carter? Can this shaky truce withstand such horror?



I've read a previous Dejah Thoris graphic novel, and while it was good, this one was much better. You get to see Dejah as a warrior and she is in a pretty horrific predicament. If you've read the books then the familiar characters are here, and you know the state of dress, or rather undress, that the people of Barsoom are in. There is a cover gallery that features alternate and more risque covers. I like what Dynamite has done with this series and would like to read more.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me review this graphic novel.







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Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Sixth Gun, Vol. 5: Winter Wolves

The Sixth Gun, Vol. 5: Winter Wolves

author: Cullen Bunn

name: Wayne

average rating: 4.14

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/02

date added: 2014/03/02

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

The Sixth Gun, Vol. 5:Winter Wolves is, obviously, a continuation of the series. It's sort of a weird West story where magic and magical creatures exist. The main story line involves a series of six guns that can do extraordinary things. There are people who want to either possess the guns for good or evil or who want to outright destroy them. Often these people find themselves on the same side as they battle bigger things.



There are a couple story lines in this volume. In one of them, two people, Drake Sinclair and Becky Montcrief, find themselves in possession of 5 of the 6 guns. This makes them a highly sought after target. They find themselves trapped in an alternate world that is frozen. They are trapped by a wendigo that wants to make a trade.



In another story, 2 men and a mummy are being chased by agents of a group called the Sword of Abraham, who want to acquire the guns for their own means. There is a mad chase and an interesting culmination to that story line.



I found the story engaging, but it has lots of flashbacks, so it doesn't move the story forward as much as some might like. I love the combination of western and supernatural. Cullen Bunn's story is tight and full of surprises. Brian Hurtt's illustrations are crisp and scary. I loved the art and look forward to more volumes of this story.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me review this graphic novel.







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Saturday, March 1, 2014

B.P.R.D.: Vampire

B.P.R.D.: Vampire

author: Mike Mignola

name: Wayne

average rating: 3.86

book published: 2013

rating: 4

read at: 2014/03/01

date added: 2014/03/01

shelves: graphic-novels

review:

B.P.R.D.: Vampire follows events in B.P.R.D.:1947. B.P.R.D. is the paranormal organization that Hellboy is part of and in these stories he's still quite young, so the stories are about other members of the organization.



This story involves a young sailor named Simon Anders who seems to have two demonic sisters trapped inside him. He decides to go in search of the vampires behind these spirits. The question is if he will get lost in his quest for vengeance or if he can rid himself of the two spirits living inside.



I've read a few of the B.P.R.D. series. They are all informed by the art of Mike Mignola, so even though there are different artists, there is an overarching cohesive look to the series. I really like that approach. The artists on this 5-issue series are Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Brazil's Wonder Twins. Their work here is gruesome and dark and I quite liked it.



I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for letting me review this graphic novel.





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