Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday- The October List by Jeffery Deaver


The October List



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we have the chance to share news on upcoming releases that have us on the edge of our seats in anticipation.

I am a big fan of Jeffery Deaver's work, he is my favorite author. Once a year he puts out a novel in June with either Lincoln Rhyme or Kathryn Dance. Occasionally he puts out a one shot fall release and those, I think, are some of his best work. This book will be released on October 1st 2013. Here is a description:   

Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter. At last, the door opens. But it's not the negotiators. It's not the FBI. It's the kidnapper. And he has a gun.

How did it come to this?

Two days ago, Gabriela's life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She's given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and find a mysterious document known as the "October List" within 30 hours, or she'll never see her child again.

A mind-bending novel with twists and turns that unfold from its dramatic climax back to its surprising beginning, THE OCTOBER LIST is Jeffery Deaver at his masterful, inventive best.
There is nothing scarier to me than having one of my children taken. I can only imagine the kind of suspense Deaver has in-store for us. I can't wait for this book to be released and I already have it on pre-order. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0

Bout of Books
I have decided to participate in the Bout of Books event. I have been in a bit of a reading slump and could really use the motivation to get back into my rhythm. This will be my first blogging event and I am really excited. A friend of mine, Angie at
told me about this event and I am very grateful that she did. Here is the little blurb about what this event is.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Since this is my first event I am really looking forward to this. As mentioned, I have been in a bit of a reading slump for a little while. I don't have a lot of time to read these days, but when I do I find other things to fill my time. I have also been reading more graphic novels recently because I can finish them in one quick sitting. The worst part about my slump is that I have two amazing books I am reading right now. When I pick these up to read, I can't put them down, but once I stop I find it difficult to want to pick them back up. I know that this event is not for a little while but if I am still in my slump my goal is to finish what I have in front of me during that week. I will post a separate goals and progress post during the event. That way I can update with progress and any challenges I participate in each day. Here is hoping I can meet my goals. Should be a fun week.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach by Brian Azzarello



This was really cool to read. I am a big fan of Watchmen. I think it is the type of graphic novel that should be read by every comic book fan no matter if you prefer Marvel, or Dark Horse comics over DC. The writing is spectacular and it has always been a story that has stuck in my mind.

When these books started to come out I was really excited to see a little more of the characters I loved from Watchmen. It has been a long time since I have bought monthly issues, but I have been trying to catch up with graphic novels. This was graciously given to me by DC comics through NetGalley for an honest review. I can’t tell you how excited I was to read this and review it. The Comedian and Rorschach may not have been my favorite characters from Watchmen but I have always wanted to know more about them.

The first part of the book is issues 1-6 of Before Watchmen: The Comedian. In these pages we get to see a softer side to Eddie Blake. His early days playing football with the Kennedys on a sunny afternoon, are a complete opposite to his character in the Watchmen book. Finally a glimpse into what made him so angry and dangerous. Of course these books try to mesh in some aspect of history during the time period and Eddie Blake gets sent to Vietnam. He is sent to be a spokes person to boost the war effort. Troops’ morale is boosted by having a real life superhero helping in the trenches. That’s when things begin to go horribly wrong. War changes people and Eddie isn’t the exception, he becomes more angry and driven to win the war at any cost. He begins to become the very thing he is fighting. This was a very interesting story and it finally gives us a look into what made him. Eddie Blake always irritated me in Watchmen and I was ok with the fact he is killed early on in that book, but after reading this I feel for the guy.

The second part of this book collects issues 1-4 of Before Watchmen: Rorschach. Rorschach’s story was a little different. This wasn’t so much of an origin story; at least I didn’t think it was. We kind of see why he is so violent towards criminals but really this was just an early instance in his career as a hero. Rorschach is trying to protect a city he hates; he is digging into a drug ring to clean up the streets. At this point Rorschach is violent but not homicidal which is not like his character in Watchmen. While trying to stop the drug ring he heads to the sewers to take out the supplier. In no time he is beaten nearly to death and left in the stinking sewers to die. Of course this doesn’t kill our hero and he rises with a new out look on the city. Its true colors are black and red, pain and suffering is everywhere. Being soft is not what is going to fix this. To make matters worse, while trying to stop the drug kingpin who left him for dead the city is gripped with fear while a serial killer is on the loose.

The serial killer sub plot is my only hang up. It had potential to be such a great story or case for Rorschach to be apart of, but instead it was just background. Killer kept offing victims while Rorschach pursued his target. Rorschach and the serial killer meet at the end but it felt like this was an after thought. The book was ending and there was still this loose end so in a few pages it got wrapped. This was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to reading the other graphic novels with the other characters in the future.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Green Lantern Corps Vol 2: Alpha War by Peter J. Tomasi



MURDERER!!! Not a word you see associated with a Green lantern, but in this Volume we see John Stewart on trial for his life. Risking everything he had and all of his morals to make sure he protected the Corps and countless innocents. He had to make a hard choice, one that will haunt him forever. This choice landed him in front of the entire Corps, charged by the Alpha Lanterns, and expected to be made an example off. To top this all off the Guardians are up to something and it looks like the end game will be the complete destruction of the Corps. This book was amazing!!! I am firmly hooked on the Green Lantern Corps series.

John Stewart and Guy Gardner take the center stage in this series and Guy is desperately trying to free his fellow Earth Lantern. A guilty verdict for John will mean his death by the hands of the Alpha Lanterns, the internal affairs of the Green Lantern Corps. When reviewing the evidence against John someone has tampered with the ring log and it is not looking good for him.  This book is loaded with amazing action/fighting sequences and the art work is very well done.

The writing was spot on and kept me turning pages as fast as I could. I liked the first Volume in the New 52 reboot of the Green Lantern Corps, but this book was much better. Without giving anything away the Guardians have big plans for the Corps and it isn't necessarily for the best. Seeing these characters have a darker side is very intriguing and I can't wait to see how this story line plays out in future books. This is defiantly just another chapter in a larger story. I will be reading Vol 3 when it comes out as soon as I can.

The other really great thing about this book was that we get a little more history behind Guy Gardner. This Graphic novel collects issue #0 of the Green Lantern Corps which is basically his origin story. I started to follow Green Lantern late in the story so I had no idea how Guy was chosen for the Corps. Maybe this is the first time this has been told, but I can't say since I don't know. It was really interesting to see his family and what started him as a Green Lantern. I couldn't believe how by the book and headstrong he was when he first became a cadet in the Corps. Seeing him earn the mark of a Green Lantern was a story I will always remember. The writing was amazing, the art work just as good. Overall I was very impressed with this volume and I can't wait for more. DC comics has done it again and made me a believer in superheroes all over again. A series that was just something I read when it fit a larger story is now on my must read list. For any fans of Green Lantern I say give this and Volume 1 a try, you will not be sorry. I am still blown away just thinking about it. I already want more.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver




I have been a huge fan of Jeffery Deaver since I read the Bone Collector for the first time. Since then I have hunted down every one of his books and I am always preordering the new ones on amazon.com as soon as I can. Needless to say he is my favorite author. When this showed up on amazon.com for preorder I jumped on it and waited anxiously for it to be released. When it arrived I wasn’t able to start the day it landed on my doorstep and I was in a reading slump. So starting off I had some mixed emotions with this book.

This book is a bit different from the Lincoln Rhyme books I have read before, because there is a political aspect. I am not one for political Thrillers, there is nothing wrong with them, I’m just saying they aren’t for me. So when I began reading this and there wasn’t a crime scene for Rhyme and Sacks to investigate. Instead we get a political killing in a different country, a prosecutor who just wants Rhyme and Sachs to find reasons why the victim shouldn’t be painted as a terrorist so she can go after the Government office that ordered the hit was not what I was expecting. However, I always give Deaver the benefit of a doubt and kept going. I was so wrong in my initial impressions.

This story is amazing, and once it got going there was plenty of mystery and intrigue, as well as Deaver’s classic twists. When I read every one of his books I try to think like him and figure out the next step, or how this is going to end. I thought this time I had him, I knew what pieces went together and we knew who the killer was by name right off the bat. A little over half way through the book Deaver ripped the carpeting out from under me and everything I knew was wrong. I have always wondered how long Deaver can keep these types of twists going in his books before he becomes predictable. Apparently he still has plenty of skills to misdirect and stump even the most observant of readers.

This book may have had a few slower moments and down spots when compared to his other works, but the characters and plot make up for that in a big way. One of the main reasons I read the Rhyme series is for the characters. Each book is its own individual story so they can really be read in any order, but when you read them in the order they were written you get to see the relationship between Rhyme and Sachs grow. I think that the little bit of relationship is just as good as the action itself. They care for each other and are written so well they seem like people you have known for years. You become vested in them as the story progresses. There were a few moments that had me holding my breath as I read. I couldn’t believe the situations Rhyme found himself in this time around. I didn’t even realize that I had stopped breathing until I got to the end of the action and could feel my lungs burning from lack of oxygen. There is so much I could say about why I loved this book, but I must be honest. If you really want to know why I loved this book so much, go read it. I’m so afraid I will give something away; even if I did Deaver would still find a way to shock each reader in different ways. I loved this book and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Aside from a bit of a slow start this was a thrilling read.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Green Lantern Corps Vol 1: Fearsome by Peter J. Tomasi


I love Green Lantern, he has quickly become one of my favorite super heroes. I’ve always liked reading about Hal Jordan and his adventures. From time to time his book crosses over with the Green Lantern Corps title. Normally I only read those story lines that cross over, but with things starting over with The New 52, I figured I would give this a shot. I am so glad I did.

This series revolves around all the Green Lanterns throughout the Universe, but at the forefront is two of the Green Lanterns from Earth, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart. I have never really liked Guy Gardner because he was always arrogant and a show off. Not the kind of personality I care to read about when it comes to a super hero. Reading this book I see that a lot has happened to Guy Gardner and he has calmed down quite a bit. The characters are written well and I think this series is one I will be following closely.

In this story we find a new breed of villain attacking the Green Lanterns. These villains can defend against the will power of the green ring and dish it out themselves. They are powerful and running through as many Lanterns as they can till they get to OA to take the central power battery. The mystery of these new foes is what really makes this book interesting so I don't want .

About midway through this story Guy and John as well as a good bit of the Corps is divided against these attackers. We get to see how each character deals with their unique situation. This really gives a good look into each of the main characters. There are some tough decisions to be made by each, and the extent of their emotions and character are tested. With all that is going on we get to see a glimpse into the guardians of the universe. These are the creators of the Green Lantern Corps and it seems like they are up to something only they know about.Possible foreshadowing for later issues maybe???

I really liked this story and I already have the next graphic novel in the series. I can’t wait to see what trials John Stewart and Guy Gardner will face with the rest of the Corps. I am officially hooked on this series. I have enjoyed catching up on all the heroes I have missed since I stopped buying weekly issues.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell by Gary Urey


Since I like to read and I review every thing I can, you will see some kids books from time to time. I really enjoy reading to my kids. My son is three and loves to curl up in the gilder before bed and have us read him a story. My Daughter is only two months old but seems to enjoy the sound of mine and my wife's voice when we read. Since we all enjoy books and reading I am always on the look out for new books to share with my son.

This is a cute story but I guess my son and I were expecting more. I found this on Netgalley and figured it would be a great choice for my son who loves booger jokes. At first it started out fine and my son and I were enjoying our time together reading before bed. There was a lot of bullying in the beginning because poor Andy Whiffler has a giant nose. I can see that the author is trying to point out how horrible bullying can be and try to teach kids early that it is a bad practice. Not a bad message for a kids story.

I remember getting picked on like this in school as well so it brought back some painful memories, none were because I have a giant nose. Just before the halfway point my son started to loose interest. He wanted me to read other books at bedtime instead. I did convince him to keep going and once Andy became Super Schnoz he enjoyed it a little more. There are some cute play on words and references that a grown up will pick up on that helped with a giggle or two.

Not a bad story overall, we did enjoy it. This is good for little boys who love boogers and snot jokes. it has some slow parts but the characters are fun and the story is entertaining. The best part of the book is the fact I got some father son snuggle time in our glider before bed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DC Entertainment Essential Graphc Novels and Chronology 2013


I absolutely loved this guide!!! A few years ago I decided to give up my obsession and weekly trip to the comic book store when my son was born. I fell out of touch with the DC universe and I am now trying to find my way back to see what all I have missed. I have been getting my hands on every graphic novel I can so I can catch up because getting individual issue is sometimes impossible and very expensive. There have been times that I have wondered which book comes first and in what order I should read these. Then I found this, I was so excited to find a complete guide I couldn't wait to give it a look and build my very own checklist.

This is an amazing reference tool to the DC universe. This has books broken down by top picks, best of Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison. It also has books broken down by super hero. All of the best Batman and Superman books can be found in there own section with descriptions and chronology. There is even a section for DC for all ages. I really liked this because it is an aspect of comics I didn't think of. I want to start my son out right when he gets old enough and these would be a great starting point for him. These easy to follow sections have helped me pick out what stories I want to read and where to start.

I have also been very curious about other aspects of DC comics such as the Vertigo line. This gives me detailed descriptions of the different series so I can pick one I would like to start and which books I should get. The best part about this whole book, I think, is the chronology table in the back of it. Separated out by Batman, Superman, and other DC heroes, I am able to see where I left DC in the story line and which books I need to catch up. Thank you DC for putting together this reference guide. I am impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the information. It was also fun to see I own and have read most of the top graphic novels listed in this. I would highly agree that those are must reads.

  This is a great book for everyone, not just the avid comic book reader. If you are someone who wants to give comics a try for the first time, or you just want an amazing story line this publication is exactly what you will need. It appears this is a free book possibly given out at comic book stores. I was fortunate enough to get this from a review site so I can't say if this is available in stores. If you are interested in becoming a reader of comics, go to your local store and ask about this book. You will be glad you did.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver



I have been wondering what to post for my first official post. Of course my first post was the all about me stuff but I wanted to get started on my reviews. It was actually a difficult task at first, because I am proud of my reviews. So which to use? Well. after thinking about this I figured I would share an old review for the book that started my love of reading. 

This is my all time favorite book. When I was in high school I hated to read. The only books I would read were the cheesy movie knock off books. I read Mission: Impossible, Batman and Robin, and The Saint. My mom had said this was going to be a movie and the movie paperback edition had just come out. I read this book in record time for me, which was really any time faster than a month, and was captivated. No book had ever held my attention, or kept me up at night with a flash light because I had to find out what happened next.

Jeffery Deaver was the first real author I had ever read and he left an impression on me that has inspired me to be the avid reader I am today. He is also one of the reasons I want to be an author myself someday. Since reading the Bone Collector I have read every one of his books, including those that haven’t been in print for years and never will be again. I searched so hard years later to find a hardback first edition of this book and found one. In 2010 I met Deaver for the first time and had him sign my copy.
 
Deaver's character Lincoln Rhyme, is so well written that I connected with him. I liked the way he solved crimes with just the tiniest bit of evidence. When I got to college I decided to study forensics so I could learn more about the processes and techniques in this book. Taking these classes  showed me just how much research Deaver did for the character. I really gained respect for Deaver's writing knowing that he put in so much work to create his characters and stories. 

The Bone Collector is a vicious killer who leaves clues to his next victim at the crime scene. The victims are left in some of the most grisly situations and the suspense is so intense I had a hard time sitting still. I couldn’t read fast enough. This book and the writing style of Jeffery Deaver brought the joy of reading into my life, and helped me expand my horizons to find some of the best authors I have ever read.Having read hundreds of books since I have yet to find a book I connect with as much as this one. Some have come close, but nothing has matched this book. I will recommend this to anyone and everyone looking for a great read with lots of twists and turns.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

All About Me

Well, here I am. I am very quiet and reserved but I want to be a writer. So I figure it is time to get myself out there and let people other than my family read my writing. This is my first time trying anything like this so I am sure there will be bumps along the way. Hopefully one day I will get the hang of this being social thing.

So the personal stuff I am willing to share is that I am a husband to the most amazing woman in the world, and I'm the proud father of a Son and Daughter. Both are still very young, and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. That leaves little time for my reading and writing, but the time I spend with my family is everything to me. One day I will manage a good balance and work towards my dream of being an author.

When it comes to reading I have been a comic book nerd since I was old enough to read, and an avid reader since High school. DC comics was my guide to reading when I learned to read from seeing the 1989 Batman movie a 100 times and reading the graphic novel. I was able to recognize the words based on the quotes from the movie. Batman has been my favorite superhero for as long as I can remember, and as I got older I have added Superman, Green Lantern, and the flash to my list of favorites. I don't collect weekly issues anymore, but I have been trying to get my hands on any graphic novel collection I can, be it library, digital, or buying them when I can. It has brought me back into the DCUniverse, and I missed it.

In high school I began to read more than just comics. I wasn't a big fan of reading and had grown out of the Goosebumps, and Boxcar Children books. So I started reading books based on movies, I read Mission Impossible, Jurassic Park, and others. It wasn't until I came across The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver that I became the reader I am today. This book was better than anything I have ever read, and when I found out Deaver had written other books, I grabbed up everyone I could.

Now I mostly read Mystery, Suspense, and Horror novels, but I do venture out to other things from time to time. I am much more willing to try new things when it comes to my reading and I have found some great stuff. Not really a fan of Science Fiction I decided to try the Dresden Files series and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Now it is one of my favorite series and since I am new to it I have so many more books to read still.

Last thing and I will stop boring you I promise. Since I was a kid I have wanted to be a writer. I loved writing little stories for class in grade school and it has followed me since. When bored in classes I found I would write stories instead of taking notes in lecture. I didn't let this affect my grades because I only did it in classes I didn't find challenging enough. One of these days I will finish one of my big ideas and hopefully get published. I started out writing Mystery stories with a Noir style detective. Now it seems my style is more horror. I seem to have been highly influenced by Stephen King and it has shown in my ideas for stories. So far I have only written one little short prompt for a group I am a co-moderator for on Goodreads.com. It is the only piece of work I have shared publicly and more than likely will be a post here on my blog later.

The whole point of this blog for me is to share my book reviews, share some writing in hopes of feedback to help me improve, and talk about Movies and Comics. It will also help me get a little more comfortable with this whole social networking thing. Just have to see what happens I guess.