Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: Swamp Thing: The Dead Don't Sleep, Issue #1 of 6

I received and Advanced Reader's Copy of this Comic from the Publisher through NetGalley.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

That's just for the introductory issue though, as things are just beginning and being introduced. I have a feeling that if I were to read the entire 6 issue story arc, I'd end up lifting that rating.

The artwork is fantastic, and the writing is cutting edge. I've never read Swamp Thing, other than seeing him featured in a cameo appearance or two over the years. So I really can't compare this to the old versions, but I do think it's a pretty good sign that co-creator Len Wein is back here writing this new series. And did I mention that the artwork of Kelley Jones is truly top notch?

I will definitely be interested in continuing this series.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: Once Upon a Road Trip

Once Upon a Road Trip Once Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. Blount
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reposting this review from 2015, as I am also reviewing for NetGalley.

Disclaimer: The author is a friend of mine on Good Reads, and she provided me with a copy of her book for review.

That said, I'm impressed. Told mostly in third person with a splattering of short journal entries, this story is a memoir disguised as a fictional work. It's a combination of travel memoir, and a record of personal growth.

Set a few months after 9/11, the story perfectly captures life with the technology out there at the time. Cell phones existed, but we didn't all have them yet. Computers and the internet were common, but not as advanced as they are now. Pay phones still existed. Whoah - wow. Paper maps. And calling cards.

These things made me smile, because I remember those years fondly. While this was "Angeli's" story, parts of it rang very close to my own memory. Yes, I spent quite a bit of time during the late '90s and early '00s traveling by car. And stopping to use pay phones. I even hit some of the same areas that Angie described in her book.

Some of the background stuff too, that started Angie on her journey. Online social and writing groups that led to meeting some in my journeys, yeah. As I read this book and was totally engaged in Angie's story, some old memories floated to the surface. Good, bad, ugly. And hey, I even thought as I read that Angie should have stopped in South Georgia for a spell :)

Personal memories and parallels to the story aside, Angela Blount can seriously write. This story was engaging from the beginning and remained that way all the way to the end. She conveyed not only what happened, but the emotional ups and downs along the way. The personal touch and how well it rung true for me makes it easy to round up to 5-stars, but the story itself is a solid, thoroughly enjoyable read all on its own.

Angela, thank you for offering me the opportunity to read your story, and for sharing something so personal in such a beautiful way with all of your readers.

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