Friday, July 21, 2017

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for a very long time. I grew up knowing the name and we even had an entire room dedicated to Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. I remember meeting Jeremy Brett at a channel 9 telethon event when I was little. Now I watch over and over Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock.So when my wife said her book club book this month was going to be this one I had to give it a re-read. 

Holmes and Watson are challenged with one of the strangest cases they have faced. A family friend of the Baskervilles comes to Holmes to look into the saftey of the newest resident to Baskerville Hall. All the previous family members who have lived there have found themselves dead due to some strange circumstances. The last one died of complications of heart failure. His heart failed because he was literally scared to death. 

I can see how for it's time, this book could have been considered a horror novel. The story goes that there is an inhuman beast of a hound loose on the moor. This larger than life hound is wreaking havoc on the members of the Baskerville clan and the newest heir is on his way to take up residence. This book has everything. A ghost story, mystery, intrigue, and adventure. This is one of my all time favorite Holmes stories and I was excited to give this what I'm sure will be many re-reads. 

I love this book because the story is engaging and really hard to put down. It also gives Watson a chance to shine. Holmes is in very little of this book and it gives Watson time to show what he is made of in his own investigative skills. Holmes is to busy with other cases to head out to the moor. So Watson takes off on his own to report back to Holmes as the clues develop. Seeing as this is one of my favorite books it is easy for me to give this a 5 out of 5 star rating. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nightwing vol 2: Back to Bludhaven by Tim Seeley


I have loved Nightwing from the time I was very young and first learned to read. I have follwed his story all the way from the second series where he first donned the Black and Blue costume he wears again. Since we now know that we are on a different Earth than what we read before Flashpoint and New 52 we now know this isn't the Nightwing I have known for so long. Since we are reading a new Nightwing to us this book is all about Nightwing finding out who he is. 

This is sort of broken into two parts. The first part is a normal adventure for Nightwing. His dreams are being invaded to help build up a being who feeds on fear and despair in dreams. In order to defeat this guy, Nightwing gets a littel help from our very own big blue, Superman. Nightwing is then forced to live out his worst fear in his dreams and that is the death of all the people he loves. Superman helps Dick realize that no matter what he is never alone because of the kind of man and hero he is. He has friends. 

The second part is all about Nightwing getting out of Gotham to find himself. Where would Dick go to be on his own? Well as the title states, Dick heads to Gotham's sister city Bludhaven. I was waiting for a Blockbuster from this Earth to pop up somewhere. That didn't happen but who knows, maybe in the future. Dick has to distance himself and reevaluate his life as a person and a hero. 

As a story I really enjoyed it, but there were some slower moments. Volume 1 I flew through and couldn't out it down. This volume I didn't have a problem setting it aside and walk away from it. I can't thank DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a honest review. I do have to apologize that it took me so long to get this reviewed. You expect this type of story to have its slower moments because it is character development, not an all out action thriller. This was still very much worth the read and does seem to set up the next chapter in Nightwing's story so I am excited to continue on to the next volume. One complaint I do have for this is the art work kind of fell short for me. I always love the detail that has been in the city pages in other books and this lacked detail. Maybe it was meant to be that way but it just felt incomplete to me. 

I enjoyed reading this book and like I said, I can't wait to read volume 3. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fort Solitude by Derek Fridolfs

Fort Solitude

The Secret Hero Society books are really cute. My son and I look forward to each of these books because these we read just the two of us. We read a ton of kids books together with my daughter and we read the Harry Potter books with my wife, but these are just Father and Son time. 

We both really enjoy the fact that these books are about our favorite heroes but as kids around my son's age. In this book it's summer camp time. Our heroes have been sent to summer camp and strange things start to happen. Campers who win competitions mysteriously vanish. Now Clark, Bruce, and Diana have to figure out what is going on before there are no kids left. 

The first book centered around the big three with Bruce Clark and Diana. In this book we get more heroes involved like The Flash, and Cyborg. These books are a lot of fun to read. They incorporate so many different forms of telling a story. There are journal entries, text message, camp flyers, and comic strips. We enjoy reading back and forth between my son and I. He could read these all on his own but I enjoy that he wants to wait to read them with me. I appreciate this time we send together before he gets older and realizes I'm not cool. 

We enjoy these books and they are really cute. My son is 7 and I am going to brag. He reads at a level above his grade. These are easy quick reads ans a lot of fun. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and encourage any little fan of Superheroes to give this  a read.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trinity Vol 1: Better Together by Francis Manapul


I love these heroes. Whenever there is a series with these three I have to read it. Big thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a review. I loved the weekly series Trinity back when Infinite Crisis had the 52 weeks series going on. I had high hopes for this book and I can say I wasn't let down. 

So Rebirth Spoiler here. In New 52 the Superman we had been following died of nothing more than Kryptonian Cancer. All this time a Superman had been in hiding on the Earth with his wife Lois Lane and a son Jonathan. Turns out he is the sSuperman we used to follow before Flashpoint. Some how he has moved to a new Earth and now that their Superman is gone he has come out of hiding to help the people of this Earth. 

This book starts out with a dinner party. Bruce and Diana were invited to Clark's home to have dinner so they could all get to know him and he could get to Bruce and Diana. The best part of that is watching Bruce be a normal person at a dinner party. Afterwords the three of them went for a walk. Next thing Clark knows he is waking up in Smallville with his dad and a younger version of himself. All three of our heroes find themselves in earlier versions of themselves reliving the most depressing moments of there life. Fortunately for our heroes they are together and the adventure begins. 

I really liked the story but then again I am bias towards these characters when they are together. My disappointment for the Superman books during New 52 has been well voiced in my blog here, but I have enjoyed learning more and more about the Superman I remember. The art work in the book could have been better. I wasn't all that impressed with it but the covers art was great. Each book featured a hero front and center in there own story and I really enjoyed it. 







I really liked this book and I am looking forward to volume 2. I want to see the relationship between these three heroes grow all over again. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I have been a fan of Rebirth so far but I have a lot of questions that still haven't been answered. Here is hoping some of them start getting answered so. I do recommend giving this book a read. It was quite enjoyable.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love by Sarah Vaughn


I have always been fascinated with this hero. Deadman is a former daredevil who died while performing a stunt and now remains on this plain to help those in need. Boston Brand has popped up in many different series I have read and I always like the stories he is in. I know he is in the Justice League Dark series but I have yet to read that one. When I saw this book pop up on Netgalley I had to throw my name in the hate to read this. Thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley I got that chance to read this for a review.  

Ok so this book is about Boston being drawn to this house. He isn't sure why and he usually helps people but there is something different here. When he finds it he becomes trapped and there is a Spirit in torment. While in the house the current residents come home. A man who is trying to write a book and his girlfriend who has this connection with the spirit world. I have to say this story is a little slow but it is haunting. I was completely fine with the slow build throughout the book because it helped create this eerie atmosphere. Usually a comic has a very short time to get your attention so the action and story need to be right up front. This however needed to be paced out.

The story was great but the art work in this book stole the show. The covers for these issues were fantastic and the best part of the artwork. To be fair though the rest of the book is packed with amazing detail that really stood out. I have included a few examples. The combination of both art work and writing made this book an easy 5 out of 5 stars. I will say this about the book. When our female character lead was thinking the text boxes were a very light blue with white writing. Reading this digitally it was really hard on the eyes and I had to take breaks. I'm sure this wont be a problem in the print version but fair warning if you read this digitally. 

I am really impressed with this and I hope to see more adventures with Boston Brand in the future. I would love to read more and I am going to look for his origin story so I can read the beginning of Deadman. Thank you DC for letting me read this for a review. 



Monday, June 26, 2017

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling


Slowly but surely we are getting through this series with my oldest. He is a huge fan of Harry Potter and knows his trivia already. The look of his face when we got to the end and the big surprise hit was priceless. If you have read this book or when you read this book you will know exactly to what I refer. 

Book 6 in this series is dark. The wizard world now officially knows that Voldemort has returned. Now that the world knows Harry and Dumbledore are not crazy, the pressure on them has become tougher than ever. Everyone may know Harry was right but now they know he is the chosen one. Harry is in fact the one person to end Voldemort. This book has two story lines that progress through the book. 

The first story line leads right into the title. Harry is taking potions this year and he didn't expect to The reason is Snape is now the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher and since the new teacher isn't as strict Harry can follow his school plan to be an Auror. Since he wasn't expecting to take the class he has to use an old book. While using this book he finds little notations in the margins. These notes were made by none other than the the Half-Blood Prince. These little notes help to make Harry the best student in the class which will come in handy if he wants to get the information he needs for Dumbledore out of Professor Slughorn. 

This leads us to our second plot line. Dumbledore is away from school a lot but he is taking time to work with Harry on a very important back story. I know what you may be thinking, this is the 6th book I think we know everything there is to know about Harry's backstory. This book isn't about Harry's story but rather the early days of Voldemort. Dumbledore and Harry have to find out what secrets Voldemort is hiding and the best way to defeat him. 

I love this book. This is my second read of this series and I have to admit that my opinions haven't changed at all. I have re-read other series and found that the books didn't hold the same magic as when I read it for the first time. The Harry Potter books have remained some of my favorites. and now that my wife and I take turns reading this to our 7 year old  there is even more magic watching his face as we read these. I stay firm on my 5 out of 5 rating. 

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.