Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Hood

Hood Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF'd at 35%. I'm just not feeling this. The story is decent enough and I love the idea of a gritty, realistic, Welsh Robin Hood. The execution is just falling flat, and there's too much out there I want to read to continue reading a book I don't care about.

There's something off about this writing. While I wouldn't necessarily call it bad, it feels forced. Like the author is making a conscious effort to "dumb down" his narrative to make it YA. It ends up reading about as flat as a poorly done translation from a foreign language.

So yeah, I don't think this fails because it is YA. I think it fails because the author isn't writing YA well. I have no idea how his writing is for his "adult" books, but this didn't give me a lot of incentive to try any.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of War

Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of War Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of War by Peter J. Tomasi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given the opportunity to read this graphic novel by the publisher through NetGalley.

The artwork was really good and vibrant (though I'm not crazy for that cover). The story was decent, though not entirely inspiring or captivating. I did enjoy how Superman and Wonder Woman worked through their problems together, learning to balance the need to protect the innocent with the urgency to take down the bad guys. They are able to play to each others' strengths, which is what you want in a super team up.

That said, it was a decent little bit of entertainment without being something to pass awards out for.

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Review: Luna: New Moon

Luna: New Moon Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant!! I devoured this book over a few days, skipping television and movie options to just immerse myself into the low gravity. I'm still depressurizing.

I've seen this book called "Game of Thrones in Space", and I'd have to say not so much. Only in the sense that it would make a fantastic series on HBO which would compare. I've also seen it compared to "Dallas", and there is a bit of that, but the most accurate comparison is easily The Godfather. That book/movie's sense of family and survival against long odds and adversaries definitely struck more of a moonbeam here.

When is the sequel coming out?? That one will shoot straight to the top of my TBR as soon as it's available.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Jersey Tough: My Wild Ride from Outlaw Biker to Undercover Cop

Jersey Tough: My Wild Ride from Outlaw Biker to Undercover Cop Jersey Tough: My Wild Ride from Outlaw Biker to Undercover Cop by Wayne "Big Chuck" Bradshaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this ebook for review from the publisher through NetGalley.

My recent love of the TV series Sons of Anarcy drew me to request this book, with its subject matter of a patched outlaw biker turned policeman. I was curious to see how he pulled that off, and how he came to the decision to make the potentially lethal switch in careers.

Beyond that, I found this to be a fascinating memoir. Bradshaw's experiences with the Breed and the Pagans was as interesting as anticipated, but I was even more intrigued by his accounts of his life in the US Army and then later in his police work.

This is a man who has been through quite a bit in his lifetime. He's witnessed lots of violence and seen the darker side of humanity throughout much of his life. But this isn't a story that makes us feel sorry for his experiences and tough life. Rather, it shows a great way to look at life's challenges and meet them with integrity. At any point during these years Bradshaw could have gotten lost in what life threw at him, but he shows here how he could rise above.

This book was as enlightening as it was fascinating.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love. Yes, folks, it is love at second sight.

I liked this book quite a bit the first time around, when I'd listened to the audiobook. Here's my review of that listen, from 2012. It's interesting to look back at that review now, as I enjoyed the book quite a bit more this time around. The things that annoyed me on that earlier review didn't bug me at all this time.

So I'm not sure if that's that I prefer the reading to the listening, or if I'm just getting more of the fine detail this time through. I remember being lost at times before, and I didn't get that now. So it's probably a combination of the two.

At any rate, I read this again in preparation for moving forward with the series. I'm glad I did, as in many ways this felt like a new experience. I'm certainly a lot more fresh on the story, and the universe laid out by "Corey" here.

So, let's see what kind of war Caliban is about, shall we?

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: The Sandman: Overture

The Sandman: Overture The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley.

2.5 stars. I'm rounding up because of the artwork, the cool McKean covers, and the great epilogue. Oh, and the special appearances of Merv Pumpkinhead and The Corinthian.

Yes, it was fun to revisit some of our old friends from The Sandman. As per usual, Neil Gaiman's imagery is wonderful and goes perfectly with the excellent artwork provided. The story though, left me mostly confused and eager to get through it. I get that it's part of it, the Dreaming and all of that. If Dream himself is confused and lost, I imagine that all of us dreamers would be too.

It just didn't pack the punch of the main series. It's decent enough as a revisit, but I would not recommend a new reader to start here. If I had started with this volume, I highly doubt I would have continued with the main series.

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