Friday, June 16, 2017

Song of Susannah by Stephen King


I enjoyed this book both times I have read it now. I went back and read my old review on Goodreads from when I read this back in 2011 and I was disappointed with my write up. It is really hard to write up a book in a series towards the end of it. As I have written more and more reviews I have come to terms with the fact that when I read a series I cannot write to those who have never read anyof the books in the series. I will not spoil the book but I will write a true review that will possibly spoil parts of the previous books. I say this so that you are officially warned. If you have any interest in reading the Dark Tower, read the other books before this review. 

This book picks up right where Wolves of the Calla leaves off. Susannah has gone through a door in the cave of the Mani and Jake, Roland, and Eddie are left to find her and save the tower. As our heroes wonder what to do next a beam quake hits hard shutting the door way into our world and Jake is the only one who can get it back open. The Mani have plans to send Jake through the doorway since he is strong in the touch and can open it but Eddie has other plans. I would too if it was my wife gone missing through a strange door into a different where and when. 

Susannah has crossed into our world but she isn't in control. A new personality has taken over Susannah and her name is Mia. Her whole purpose is to make sure the Chap is born and to care for the baby. Now Roland and Eddie have to do what they can to protect the rose while finding a way to get to Susannah and keep her from being killed by her Chap and the things that want it.

I'm going to be honest here and this is something you don't really think about until the second read. In this book Stephen King is actually in it. Eddie and Roland are in our world and find King in his home and have a few questions for Sai King. When I first read this book I thought this was so cool. I loved that the characters got to meet the creator. However, on a second read I don't find this as cool as I once did. I found this very vain and kind of a waste of time. Considering the ending of this book and the beginning of the next, if this section was cut out then more could have been covered in this book which either would have shortened the Dark Tower book 7 or allowed for just more.

I still enjoyed this book but I think I will have to change my original review from 5 out of 5 stars, to 4 out of 5. I still enjoyed this book but it wasn't as good as I remembered it. There was a slight hint of disappointment this time around with book 6.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wonder Woman Vol 2: Year one by Greg Rucka


DC knew what they were doing when they did a Year One story for Volume 2 to coincide with the Wonder Woman movie that also has an origin/year one story. I have loved reading Wonder Woman but have missed a few during New 52. I will catch up at some point but for now I am trying to keep up with Rebirth and not miss a thing. Thanks to NetGalley and DC Comics I was able to read this for an honest review. I fell down on my reading a bit so I am a bit late getting this review up but I'm back and ready to read. 

Greg Rucka is a great writer and I have loved his stories in the past. This one just wasn't my favorite. I really liked Vol 1 of Wonder Woman. Diana is dealing with conflicting memories of her origin and has partnered up with Cheetah to take down a demon. It had a really goo start to a larger story line and then it was a bit unsettling to interrupt that with a Year One story. I'm not saying this isn't a good book, just that the timing on this book was a little poor. It is great that it came out with the release of the movie, but here I got all excited to continue on with what I read in Vol 1 only to go backwards and move away from that story.

We still got a very good Wonder Woman story it was just out of place for me. Instead we get to see Diana train to become the champion of the Amazons. We get to see her meeting with Steve Trevor and the tough decision to leave everything behind to help save the world of Man and stop Ares from his torment over mankind. 

Ares is impressive and I always enjoy the stories he is in. I feel like I am being a little unfair on this book just because it didn't really fit in with what my expectations were. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, I still look forward to getting to vol 3 now that the year one story has been done I hope to get back to the now. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)


One word... FANTASTIC!!!!! My wife and I have been waiting for this movie for so long that at Christmas time we asked for Movie gift cards so we could seer this and Justice League because we knew money would be tight. We waited in anticipation until the day came this came to theaters and I want to go see this again. 

The movie fits in with the current universe of DC movies as it opens but hten this is a flash back origin story in the best way. Gal Gadot was absolutely impressive in Batman versus Superman and she surpassed that performance in this movie. We see Dinana Prince walking into the Louvre on her way to work and a Wayne Enterprise truck shows up to deliver a case to her. This is where the story flashes back to when Diana is just a little girl on Themyscira growing up under the shadow and protection of her mother the queen. Here we get to watch Diana grow up until the world of the Amazons is shattered by the arrival of Steve Trevor as his plane crashes through the magical barrier. 

We then get to see Diana defy her mother's wishes and take Steve Trevor to leave Themyscira and head to the world of man to help end Ares the god of War and stop World War 1. There are some great lighthearted moments, like Diana's discuss at how women are treated in 1918 London. How women are supposed to fight in the layered dresses. Also, Steve Trevor's secretary is quite funny and her interaction with Diana is just great.

All that aside I am humbly moved by this movie. I have always been conscious of the struggles women face and I hope everyday that my daughter doesn't have to deal with the same hurdles when she grows up. She always wants to be Batman or the Flash and never wants to be Batgirl. I want my daughter to be proud to be a woman and have a strong role model other than my wife to look to. Wonder Woman, I mean Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are those women. I had no idea that I had been waiting all my life for this movie until I saw. it. I want my son to know that Women can be strong and deserve respect so I am as much excited for my daughter to watch this movie as I am my son. I was moved to tears at one point and had goosebumps through the whole movie. 

This is easily the best movie I have seen all year and I'm so glad I finally got to see it. My wife and I loved this and wish we could go right back to the theater to watch this again. If you haven't seen this movie yet I beg you to go. It doesn't matter if you are a comic book fan or a Wonder Woman fan this is just a very well done movie with a moving story and a cast that was perfect for every role. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and will give it 10 out of 5 just because this is my blog and I make the rules. Check out the trailer below. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Flash vol 2: Speed of Darkness by Joshua Williamson



I love this series but I have to admit that I am so confused. I'll admit that I didn't read much of the Flash during New 52 so I am sure I missed some stuff but these books are confusing because I keep waiting for answers and none have come in two books. The being said I have been so wrapped up in Vol 1 and 2 that I still have loved every panel of these books. A big thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for allowing me to read this for a review.

Now before I get into the book I am going to explain why I am so confused. This may be a spoiler so read forward at your own risk. In volume 1 we see briefly that Wally West has come back. What do you mean Wally is back you might be asking yourself. Wally has been there all the time. Well I grew up with one Wally West and since New 52 there has been a whole different Wally West. So now we have 2 Wally Wests in this world and I have no idea how my Wally ended up gone and how this new Wally exists. So yeah, my fault I haven't been an avid Flash reader but at the same time I was expecting to get some answers in this book, especially since it has a decent bit of my Wally in it. At the same time it did make for a great cover that made me nostalgic for the original Barry Allen Jay Garrick one of old. I loved this take on the classic cover. To tie into this 
I also have to admit that one other thing confused me is at the beginning Barry freaks out and starts to fade into the speed force. Of course it takes the two Wallys  to work together and pull him back to reality, and while in the Speed Force Barry gets a vision that gave me goosebumps. Here is my issue, this seems like a set up for what this volume will be dealing with and then all of a sudden the book takes a left turn and we never speak of this fade into the Speed Force again. Why bother getting this all set up if you aren't going to even develop it.

So the Flash has been dealing with a lot since Rebirth started. He has had to deal with a lot of new speedsters at first like in Vol 1 and Wally has been getting powers, much like in the tv show. Barry has been dealing with training him and keeping his identity from Wally and Iris, on top of holding a job as CSI for the Central City police department. Of course new Wally is anxious to really test out his powers so he tries to go out on his own and in doing so he is pulled into the shadow world. This book has the Shade in it. Once a villain he has now crossed over to side of good all for love. Changing his emotions and thoughts has caused a problem with his shadows and they go rouge. No the Shade is desperately looking for Barry because he is the only one who can help him save the love of his life and keep Central City from being overrun by darkness. 
I really liked the story in this book. The writing was so engaging and well plotted. I wasn't a huge fan of the art work in this book and it looked a little rough. I have seen much better art work in Flash comics before and the writing is the thing that carries this book. All of this being said I will give my rating. This is a 3.5 out of 5 stars due to the art work being less than spectacular. The writing and characters will allow me to round this up to 4 out of 5. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Batman Vol 2: I Am Suicide by Tom King


I have been a fan of Batman since I first started to read. Being able to follow this series has been very exciting. Thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for letting me read this for a review. Batman is desperately trying to help Gotham Girl after she was whammied by Psycho-Pirate . In order to try and get to him he has to go through Bane. 

To do this job Batman has to enlist the help of some strange characters. Batmaan creates his own version of Suicide Squad. The biggest shock in his decision isn't who he picks for his team but why she is locked up. Catwoman has been locked up for killing 237 people. I'm not going to lie, I still have the last 2 books of the Batman series to read before Rebirth took over. Rebirth was so exciting I jumped ahead so I could get started right away so I have no idea what is going on. Apparently Catwoman is awaiting lethal injection for killing the terrorists that wiped out the Orphanage she grew up in killing everyone inside. 

I will admit that the story for this book wasn't as good as volume 1 nor was the art work up to the standard either. A good portion of this book is just a letter from Catwoman to Batman and then a letter from Batman to her. I have always enjoyed the relationship between Batman and Catwoman so I enjoyed the letters but it didn't fit with the action going on in the panels so I was a little distracted. 

The art work was good but not as detailed in most of the book. There were some good panels that had a good bit of detail to show just how Gotham can be. Batman has some good pages too but I just felt that this could have been better. I know the artists tend to change issue to issue but when Vol 1 had such amazingly detailed art I was a little let down. 

So all this negativity I am sure you are guessing I didn't like this. Well you would be wrong, this book may not have lived up to what I expected but it was still very well done. I wish there was more to the story instead of the letters over the action, but I loved the characters. Bane is a changed villain which added more depth to his character and made me want to see where his story will go in the future. Seeing Batman and Catwoman deepen their relationship was great, and I would love to see more in future books. I have always wished those two could make it work. This was an enjoyable story and I can't wait for the next volume. This is a 4 out of 5 star read. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Crossing by Michael Connelly


I have been a big fan of Michael Connelly's for a very long time. Harry Bosch is one of my favorite detectives and I have also enjoyed the Mickey Haller novels. Its a good thing that I enjoy these two characters because the last few books Connelly have written haven;t fit in one series or the other but they fit in both. Now that we know Bosch and Haller are half brothers they tend to cross over more and more in these books. I'm ok with that. I love a good crossover and these two work well together to enhance the plot. Most people would think, of course they are going to work well together since they were written by the same author. That isn't always the case and trying to get two completely different and, in a way, opposing characters to work this well is pure talent. 

This book's title has so many meanings the crossing means so much to different people. In this book the title has two meanings. One is Bosch's battle to make sure he doesn't cross over the line between police officer and the defense. These two worlds rarely play nice together and always seem to fight back and forth, especially during trial. The second meaning is the point in every case where the victims life crosses over with the perp's. Not only is Bosch fighting his own situation but he has to take this closed case and investigate it to prove that his gut feeling that Haller's client really is innocent.

This book was great and I am so glad I caught up (sort of) to where Bosch is at becuase I like following him through his trouble with the department and trying to brave the world of a teenage daughter. There was a few slower parts in the book but life has to have those moments every now and then. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend this to any Harry Bosch or Mickey Haller fan.  


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Green Lanterns Vol 2: The Phantom Lantern by Sam Humphries


My favorite Green Lantern is Hal Jordan with Kyle Rayner a very close second. It took a long time for me to get into the Green Lantern Corps series which I started to read when Blackest Night began. I'm a fan of Green Lantern and I tried to keep up through New 52 so I got to see Simon Baz become a Green Lantern and I was a little uneasy with his picking up as yet another Lantern of Earth. Rebirth started and I had to find out what is going on with the missing Corps and what is going on with Hal since he was outcast from the Corp and using a Renegade ring. So I requested this series not knowing what to expect. 

This series hasn't disappointed yet.I have been so impressed with the plot and artwork in these books that I am already looking forward to Vol 3 when ever it comes out. I have to thank NetGalley and DC Comics for letting me read these for reviews. I am thoroughly hooked on this series and Lantern Jessica is a close second to Hal Jordan in my favorite Lanterns.

So what is the Phantom Ring? This is the very first ring ever crafted by the Guardians of the Universe.  Anyone can wield this ring because it doesn't choose the bearer and taps into the complete emotional spectrum. Like the White ring that Kyle Rayner has been given it taps into fear, rage, will, and all the other emotions bit the Phantom ring brings a power that is to much to handle. Jessica and Simon have been doing their best to protect this ring and the Guardian who forged it but it gets out and finds the most delusional and deranged peson hell bent on becoming a Green Lantern.

Jessica and Simon will have to find this Phantom Lantern, while trying to find the Guardian and rescue him. In order to accomplish this they will have to face their greatest enemies, themselves. As Green Lanterns they are chosen because they can overcome great fear. This book tests these characters and I loved it. I highly recommend this book and one of the things I have to admit really getting a kick out of is the beginning of the book when it is Halloween. This book is easily a 5 out of 5 read. Love this series and can't wait to see what happens next with these two new Lanterns.