Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: The Crimson Campaign

The Crimson Campaign The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm loving this series. This one was even better than the first, and definitely sets up the third really well. I was a little skeptical about this new "Flintlock Fantasy" trend, but if this is typical of the subgenre, I'm sold.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Review: Seeded

Seeded Seeded by Benjamin Descovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great little piece of flash fiction that serves to introduce the author's style. I'm definitely interested in checking out some of his longer works. This little teaser was a great first chapter in what could be a pretty good novel.

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Review: Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's Button Box Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hell yes! This was an afternoon of audio delight. I'll read it in print someday because I'm a completest, but I am very glad that I got absorbed into this novella by way of Audible and the narration by the fantastically wonderful Maggie Siff, who I grew to love on Sons of Anarchy:

And the story! It was Stephen Kingly. I mean...(view spoiler). And Castle Rock, circa 1970s. It was like going home.....

I should also add that the bonus story "The Music Room" was enjoyable in its own right. Creepy and short, it was a nice added bit to the package. As was the short interview with the authors, King and Chizmar.

I hope to see more of these kind of things. With the Dark Tower movie coming out this year and the new version of It and this Mist tv show, there's a lot to look forward to in the Kingiverse. Stories like this just wet the appetite almost as much as a gunslinger burrito.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review: Behind the Throne

Behind the Throne Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars, and I'm going to round it up. Why? Because even after I worked all week and had a lot of things to do around the house last night, I stayed up until 3 am to finish this book. I could barely walk to get to the bed after I finished, but I did it. And really enjoyed the whole experience.

This wasn't as detail-rich or epic scope as most of the top ratings I give, but when a book hooks you from the word 'go' and keeps you racing through pages and unable to put it down, that counts for something. I mean, that's why we read to begin with, isn't it?

Definitely looking forward to the next book(s) in this series.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: The Policewoman

The Policewoman The Policewoman by Justin W.M. Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, then. Just when I thought I was getting an interesting and detailed insight into a possible coalition of international police and military units working together against a drug cartel, a very human story took root and hooked me right in.

The was some info-dumping, particularly early on. There was a lot of detail and a lot, I mean a lot, of acronyms. But these things were done well, in that at just the moment when I wanted to know what something was or what an acronym stood for, there it was. I didn't have to go look it up, so that was convenient.

But then out of nowhere I realized I was attached to these characters and cared what happened to them. By the ending, I was swiping my e-reader as quickly as I could scan the page with my eyes. And wow....these action sequences are pretty amazing...

All said, I won't say much. I'm being intentionally vague on dropping plot points, as I wouldn't want to give anything away. There's plenty of unexpected here, let's say. But I will say that Roberts can spin a tale and get the reader to really feel for his characters...

5/19/17 Update: I now have a new hardcover edition of the final product and word is that some of the "infodumping" I mentioned earlier has been revised. I'm looking forward to reading the finished product, but haven't fit it into my schedule yet. When I do, I'll do a new review on the hardcover edition.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Kiss: The Elder, Volume One

Kiss: The Elder, Volume One Kiss: The Elder, Volume One by Amy Chu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided an eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

When browsing through the available titles on NetGalley's website, was there reallly any chance that I'd see this:

and NOT press the "Read Now" button immediately?

Not so much.

I mean, I've been a Kiss fan for as long as I can remember...

So here's a bit of a reboot. That is, a new "version" of the story told on the 1981 album Music from the Elder

It featured hits such as....well...there really weren't any hits. The song "A World Without Heroes" is somewhat well known, but for the most part this was a concept album for the band and a huge departure from their signature sound.

That said, as I dug out my cd of the album and gave it a listen, I was reminded of how it's really not a bad album. Shocking to Kiss fans at the time, there was still some beauty there. This graphic novel captures some of that, telling the story from the perspective of four young folks that are unsatisfied with what their post-apocalyptic, dystopian society has told them life is all about.

As a story in and of itself, The Elder isn't anything remarkable. But what makes this memorable are the references to the band itself and its legacy, and the way that is all tied into the "history" of this tale.

The art is fantastic, both of the futuristic society and in the iconic images. It's definitely worth a read, especially by a Kiss fan.

Maybe only by a Kiss fan. But still...

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Die Laughing

Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Die Laughing Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Die Laughing by Amanda Conner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an eARC copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, for eye candy, Harley doesn't disappoint. The artwork overall is pretty great. The first story, "Die Laughing" is decent, with some good Harley humor chuckles. "108 Ways to Die" was pretty meh, and the final three parts "Undercover Punker" were pretty awful.

All in all, I think I'm about Harley'd out. Still love the girl, but I might have become overexposed at this point.

Maybe a break is in order.

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