Monday, September 29, 2014

Sleepy Hollow


Fall is here and I can't think if a better story that captures the feel of fall and Halloween like Sleepy Hollow. When the concept of that book was turned into a television series last Year I was excited. Last season ended with such a cliffhanger that I couldn't wait for this season to start. Last week was the first episode of the season and I must admit I was confused. 

When the episode begins we have the little "Previously on" which helped me remember where we left off. Then it starts almost months later like nothing happened. I was really confused at first. So much so that my wife and I found the season finale on Demand and re-watched it. Nope, still confused after that. We taped it on our DVR and yes, I realize I am dating myself by saying I taped it. We started the episode over and just hung on. 

About ten minutes in it all makes sense. I had worried that this was a show that wasn't going to stand the test of time. You can only battle the headless horseman so many times before it gets old right. Then they bring in the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and now Ichabod has much more on his plate than just a headless soldier who wont die. We love this show. Tonight is a new episode of season 2 and I can't wait. Between this and Gotham, I have a reason to love Mondays. Sounds cheesy I know but it is true. Some of my wife's and my favorite shows are on Monday night. Castle, Under the Dome, and now Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. The rest of the week is just not as good. Except Fridays, I do like Fridays just for the weekend. It is still early enough to get in on this show and enjoy it. If you are interested the season premier is still free on iTunes and you can always check your Cable provider for it OnDemand. 



This will also be included in my entries for the RIP Challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings. This is part of the Peril on the Screen section of this challenge. 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Gotham


Calling all comic book fans. Calling all Batman fans. This is the series we have all been waiting for. There have been a few live action series dedicated to Superman but really nothing for Batman. Superman had the George Reeves Adventures of Superman, Dean Cain's Louis and Clark the New Adventures of Superman, and Tom Welling's Smallville. Aside from Adam West's Batman there hasn't been anything for our caped crusader. Even Gotham isn't about Batman, but about what happened prior to Bruce Wayne taking up the mantle of the Bat. 

Gotham starts of with a bang. Litterally, the show opens with the most graphic depiction of the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne. I have seen this done in several movies but this was the most real, and gut wrenching scene I have viewed about this event in Batman's history. We then see the investigation into the murder and what Gotham City is really like. In this series we meet all of the famous Batman characters just years before the city was changed for the better. Jams Gordon has just made detective and is the only decent cop on the force. He promises to Bruce Wayne he will find his parents's Killer and put him away. He also is trying to figure out how to clean up the crooked police force that he has become as corrupt as the criminals they arrest. 

There is an amazing cast of characters and the actors chosen for these rolls are perfect. Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy ???, Harvey Bullock, Carmine Falcone, Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, and Bruce Wayne are all living out their humble beginnings which will lead them to be the characters we know from the comics. We even get a whole new character played by Jada Pinkett Smith. Her character of Fish Mooney is completely new to the Batman Mythos so there is the potential for endless opportunities. I do have my issues with some characters like Penguin but I am open to see where the story takes them. My issue with Penguin is the fact that he doesn't have the three finger flippers like he does in the comic book and I was worried about him playing a lowly thug for Fish Mooney when the Penguin is a bigger character. It is only the pilot so I will see what happens. 

It has been a long time since I have written a review on a movie. They have all been book reviews here on my site, but after watching the Pilot on Monday night I had to write about this. My wife and I both spent about 90% of the show with goosebumps. We loved it and, dare I say it, I can't wait for Monday. I'm hooked already and even bought my season pass on iTunes so every new episode will be mine to watch over and over again. I will this series and say at this moment based solely on the Pilot episode, this is worthy of 5 out of 5 stars. I would give this 10 out of 10 but I have to stick to some sort of constant in my blog posts. 

If you missed the pilot episode of Gotham I urge you to rush to your on demand, iTunes, or where ever you can stream recent episodes of TV shows. This is my new favorite show for the Fall. Here is the trailer for you to check out and decide for yourself. 



This will be my first entry into the RIP challenge under the heading of Peril on the Screen. I am so glad I have an outlet to share my thoughts on some of my favorite things and being able to include this in my favorite challenge of the year is really exciting. 

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Midsummer Night Scream by R L Stine

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I I'm really excited to be doing the R. I. P. Challenge again this year. I spent a whole evening looking for horror books that I could check out from the library in audio. When I came across an R. L. Stine book. The kid in me who read Goosebumps got excited. I'm taking a little break from YA but this sounded good and the cover is pretty cool so I thought I'd give it a try. Like OMG this book is so stereotypical teen that I wanted to totally gag. Wow, the dialog in this book is one of the reasons I tend to avoid YA unless it's a really good story. I felt like I was watching a really bad CW drama and no one could act.

This is a modern take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I like when they do modern twists with classic stories and even though I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare I figured this was about a horror movie shoot instead of a bunch of characters falling asleep in a forest. Now, I expected the whole love triangle thing because I've read a Midsummer Night's Dream but this was, at times, little over the top. I did enjoy the little name play for Puckerman. He was the mischievous version of Puck in this book and he has his love potions and a very hairy appearance.

There were some parts of the book that I really enjoyed but to be honest, I really was let down. Maybe it is me and because I'm not really in a YA mood I was to harsh on it. The dialogue was really hard to get past because I hate the way teenagers talk. It seemed like Stine was trying way to hard to write like a teenager that he slipped in to over using stereotypical cliches.This is a short book and I finished it in a half a day listening to this at work. Had I not been listening to this my frustration would have taken over and I wouldn't have finished this book. Not very scary and it was kind of annoying. That is why I am only giving this book 2 out of 5 stars.

This is my fifth entry in the RIP challenge. I have already completed my pledged 4 books, but there is still plenty of time to submit more books. I love Halloween and the more horror novels I can read this time of year I'm a happy reader.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 20: All out War part 1 by Robert Kirkman

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This is what I have been waiting for. All of the last few books have led to this and this book makes up for all of those dull character driven books. I have enjoyed the show from the very beginning and after several seasons my wife and I decided we had to read these. We started this series a little over a year ago and I am so excited to see what is going to happen with the story and a little sad that after the next book we are all caught up. It's very bittersweet.

Rick has had it in this book. All the planning has led to this moment. The other communities have gathered some people to increase the army against Negan in his home. This book doesn't mess around. There is a brief morning of scene and then the battle begins and doesn't let up until almost the very end. What we are dealing with at the end feel like the calm before the storm. This of course sets up for the next volume. That is given away by the part one on the cover.

The action is great and the story doesn't suffer either. Rick gets some big monologues going in parts of this book but overall it was action packed and pretty good. I'm hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to read the next book. Hopefully I will have a review for you soon on what happens in the next chapter of the war.

On to the rating. I wont keep you waiting or restate why I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed it and this was a strong volume from a writing aspect. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Lake by Richard Laymon

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I have heard a lot of good things about Richard Laymon's books. A few are even sitting on my to-read shelf. I was browsing through the available horror audio downloads on my library's web site and came across this. The description sounded interesting so I thought why not. This book was a middle of the road kind of novel. 

There were some interesting spots that held my attention and kept it from being dull, but at the same time there were a few things I just didn't care for. To start, I will stay positive for a little bit. There is some mystery introduced in the very beginning that opens up a bunch of questions about our characters and their pasts. The questions I had surrounding Lee were answered about a quarter of the way through and then that was the end of my interest in her. Still her story was for the most part one that kept me from stopping the book and going on with other things. The other thing I enjoyed was the eerie feel of there being something in the dark but you can't be sure. That feeling is a heavy undertone to this book. Sometimes we get a glimpse as to what's out there only to find we were in a dream with one of our main characters.

So far my review doesn't make a whole lot of sense, that i how I felt the book was. There are so many scenes in this book that happened and I was really confused. Then it turns out it is all a dream. Then there were dreams that Deana was having through out the book and we never really find out why. She is just this troubled girl with no reason to be troubled at first. These dreams were happening before her little tragedy began. Another thing that really irked me. There was a lot of sex, and talk about sex in this book. If I was reading a romance novel I would be fine with it but I was supposed to be reading a horror novel. A little sex is expected because most horror movies and stories have some. I just got sick of reading every time the mother and daughter saw a guy they had an "Exciting tingle" between their legs. Really, are these characters so promiscuous that the sight of ever man turns them on. How did this help advance the story??? I wanted a great horror story and instead I got let down. It was tough to keep going because I seemed to get frustrated with each new chapter.

I couldn't stand any of these characters which made it hard to find a reason to feel sorry for them and hope that it would all turn out ok. I honestly could go on for pages about the things that bothered me in this book but I think I will move on. I wasn't a fan. This has not put me off of Richard Laymon because there was some decent moments that brought goosebumps to my arms. I have also read a lot of reviews that said this is his worst book so my hope is it is all up hill from here. I will read more of him at some point but for now I will give this book 2 out of 5 stars. Really I feel it is 1.5 star worthy but it doesn't deserve a single star.

This will be my fourth entry into the RIP Challenge. This completes my challenge of the Peril the First. I will keep going on this challenge because this is my favorite book blog event all year. This is the time of year that I love reading horror and suspense a little more than usual.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 19: March to War by Robert Kirkman

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I'm just waiting for the big battle that is about to come. I'm was anxious to get through this book so I could move on to All out War Part 1. Rick has had it in this book, and it didn't take long for him to snap and take things into his own hands. Since the title is march to war and the next book is called all out war I feel safe in saying Rick's attempts go south and all it does is make Negan insanely angry. 

Yet again another book with practically no zombies. The series is because of a zombie apocalypse but there is only a small amount of them. The rest of the book is purely character driven. The story was pretty good and I couldn't put this one down. There were very few slow moments in this book but otherwise I enjoyed this one. The plot keeps building towards the war that is coming, my only concern is what is going to happen next. I feel as if once this conflict is over then there is nowhere else for our characters to go. They have already been through more than I could have even imagined and I can't see a road beyond the War. 

With little to no zombies and failed assassination atemps this story was pretty good. It is easy for me to give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I'm almost caught up with the books that are out right now. Two more to go and I am anxious to see where out characters will be when the dust settles

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver

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Things in my life have been crazy the last few months.I had this book on pre-order as soon as it was available. I anxiously wait for it to arrive on release day so I could start it. I did and then never had time to read anything but audio books. Deaver is one of those authors I have to read every word of, I don't want to miss a thing and sometimes with an audio book I miss little bits. The whole time that this sat on my shelf partially read was driving me nuts. I loved this book from the very beginning and it bothered me I couldn't pick this up again. Well this weekend my kids were great and let me read. I couldn't stop turning pages. I flew through the end of this book. 

Alright, enough about me and on to the book. I loved this book and couldn't get enough. I have read quite a few bad reviews about this book and I disagree. I thought there was a lot of tension and suspense in this book. Deaver has yet again created memorable characters and twist and turns that kept surprising me till the end. The book begins with one of the most interesting and original serial killers I have ever read. Our killer is drugging his victims so they are knocked out and then he Tattoos them using poison instead of ink. They die horribly painful deaths from the toxin in their bodies and the tattoos are messages to a much bigger picture. I loved this, I never would have thought to write a character who kills by poison tattoos. 

The link to the Bone Collector is small but it allows for Deaver to bring  in the character Pam who has become sort of a surrogate child to Rhyme and Sacks. I really like her character and it was nice to see more in this book. We also have a small Watchmaker story line at the very beginning. Even I was wondering what place this was going to have in the story but the ending tied that in very nicely. 

Deaver has made some changes to the way he wrote this book and I guess that changes have caused some to not enjoy this as much. One of the big changes is the fact that it seems like we spend more time with our villain than he did with Rhyme and Sacks. I liked that, the killer was an interesting character and he was written very well. I also read a few reviews that said this was very political. I don't think it was political at all. He isn't like Stephen King who likes to slam home his political views when he can. There wasn't any nudging one way or the other with political views. I'm not sure what other reviewers were seeing that I didn't but we are all entitled to our opinions so I will not put anyone down for what someone thinks. 

I honestly could go on like for what would seem like forever about how much I loved this book. This wasn't as amazing as The October List or the Bone Collector, but there wasn't anything I didn't like about this book. This is easily a 5 out of 5 star read for me. The very end does open things up for possibly the next book in the Rhyme series and I can't wait to see what happens. 

This will be the third book for me in the RIP challenge. I am so glad that I was able to finish this book in time to submit my review for this challenge. I love this challenge and already have more than the four books in line for this challenge. Can't wait to see how many of those I can finish before the end of the challenge. 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 18: What Comes After by Robert Kirkman

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At this point we have met our new villain who has put the community in danger. Rick has already tried to get rid of Negan and his gang of bullies and it didn't work. Rick is given and ultimatum and is forced to take it. We see a defeated and depressed Rick doing anything he can to keep his new home safe. His friends are starting to wonder what happened to their strong leader now that he has given up.

Secrets are running deep in our little group of heroes. Trust issues are popping up everywhere and this book delves into the human aspect to keep the plot going. Not a whole lot happens that is really worth mentioning in this book but it still was better than some of the in between or filler books in this series. We learn more about a neighboring community and there is even more to the character Negan that comes to light in this book.

Negan is one of those characters that is interesting but you just hate more than anything. I hope he gets torn apart by zombies at some point. He is just the most vile of human beings and even then I feel it is a stretch to call this character human. Kirkman did a great job with his character development I just wish there was a more interesting story line.

This one falls in the middle of the road for me, I didn't love it, and I didn't hate it. I am giving this 3 out of 5 stars. One last parting comment about Negan is that I think he is even worse than the Governor who was the big villain in earlier books. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

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When my interest was starting to wane and I was tired of the repetitive events just worded differently I read this book. One word..."Wow"! I knew this was going to be a better book when it didn't open with a battle in yet another school that Percy and some mythic creature destroy. With only five books in the series everything comes to a head in this book and it was very well written. 

Kronos is gaining in power and it is up to Percy to live out the prophecy that we finally get to know. From the very beginning this story just took off with plenty of action. All of the pieces begin to come together which really made this book hard to put down. Half way through this book the battle to end the whole series. I loved this book and it made each boring moment along the way worth it. 

I don't know what more I can say about this book that wouldn't ruin this great story. It is an easy decision for me to give this 5 out of 5 stars. I flew through this book and really wished there were more in this series. My wife assures me that the next series Heroes of Olympus is even better. I have a few things I want to read first on my to-read list, and with Halloween on the way I have a few books to get me in the creepy spirit of the season. I will be moving on to the next series and I'm so glad it will be finished next month so I can read straigh through without waiting.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Walking Dead vol 17: Something to Fear by Robert Kirkman

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When I though all hope was lost this book finally brought some interest back into the story. There still is a frightening lack of zombies but the plot takes a turn that made this an interesting read. This is the first time since the Governor that Rick and our group have had something really tangible to fear. Sure the zombies are always a constant concern but they know how to kill them and when to run. I mean, the dead walk which makes them fairly easy to run away from. 

In this book we meet Negan who is nothing but a bully trying to take advantage of the communities who just can't stand up to that kind of evil. Rick decideds to help out their new friends in the second community and take Negan out. Rick doesn't relize that the threat ahead of him is much larger than he thought. Finally the story picks up and has begun to set up a big battle in the future. It took a little while to get going but about half way through I was really invested in the story. There are some painful scenes in this book that change the course of the story, but that is what really drives this plot.

Just when things were looking bleak for the series in terms of keeping my interest this turned that all around. I ca see where this plot is headed and I am looking forward to what lies ahead in the future. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Not the best book in the series, but it has brought life back to these books.

I also will be including this review in the R.I.P. challenge. This will be book 2 out of 4 that I have pledged to read for this challenge. I hope to read more than four books because right now all I'm reading are graphic novels. Check out the RIP challenge if you are interested in Horror, Suspense, or Mystery novels then this is the reading challenge for you.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Review Rut Anyone?


To all my fellow bloggers and reviewers, have you ever felt like it was a chore to write a review? I love to write reviews because it keeps me writing and allows me to express what I feel about what I just read. It also kind of gives me closure to when I finish a book. If it is a great book I get to relive my favorite moments, and if it was really terrible I get to vent my anger and frustration.

Lately I have found that reading series it makes it hard to write reviews. I don't want to spoil earlier books for those who haven't read them, and I really don't want to be repetitive. For example, The Walking Dead is a great series and I am really enjoying it, but sometimes I feel like everything I want to say about a volume I've already said. Same thing with the Last Apprentice Series that I have been reading. Each book has the next chapter of a larger story, but it seems tough to really review these books like I would something that stands alone. The Lincoln Rhyme series from Jeffery Deaver is a series but each book is pretty much its own story so it makes it easy to review it without giving away spoilers.

One of my friends has a great idea and she reviews a couple of Graphic novels in one post. This allows her to get right to the point and keep the reviews short and sweet. I like that idea but right now, most of what I'm reading is graphic novels so that would cut out a weeks worth of reviews for me. Plus, sometimes I jut have a lot to say. I still really like her idea and maybe one day I will go to a similar format.

At this point you might be wondering if this whole post is just to fill a slot for the week. Well, it kind of is. I have had three reviews that I have needed to write for books I have finished but I just haven't had the drive to do so. No I am running out of scheduled posts and need to get back to writing. This whole topic has spent a lot of time on my mind and I wanted to see if I was alone on this. If you're reading this and you are a blogger then have you ever let books stack up than need reviews? Does it work better for you to sit down and write a bunch at once, or do you find it better to put the book down and write it? I do tend to forget somethings about the story and what I thought as time passes between reading the book and finally reviewing it.

I have heard a couple people I know who write notes as they read a book so they can write a comprehensive well thought out review. I have tried that but I am not very good at it. I either get so wrapped up in a book that I forget all about taking notes, or I spend more time looking for things to take notes on that I do paying attention to what is actually happening in the book. What do my fellow bloggers out there do to get themselves out of this reviewing rut? If you have read my posts in the past, what would you change about them? I may have only been blogging for just over a year now but I am anxious to adapt and make my blog something people enjoy reading.

I'm looking forward to seeing if this drums up any discussion. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Walking Dead Vol 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman

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Well her we are with the next chapter in the story. Was it impressive, meh. In this book Rick is trying to strengthen their community. Keep things safe and secure and I felt this books exactly that. It's a safe bet that people will read this because it is part of the series, and the publisher is secure knowing that even though this is a slow plain book they will make tons of money because it says "The Walking Dead".

I'm being to harsh, this does set up what I hope is a very intense story line in future books. In this book Rick finds out that there are in fact other communities out there. It shouldn't have been such a shock because it just makes sense. It hopefully will open up trade between our group and these others which will bring in some much needed supplies.

We get some new characters introduced and with a new community of people it opens up for some new conflicts that our group hasn't had to deal with. I wasn't a big fan of this book. It just dragged on for me until the end. The new community has brought possibility to where this series can go and I am anxious to see what happens next. I just could have done without this book. If the last half of this book was the beginning of this volume it would have been more interesting if that makes sense. I give this 2 out of 5 stars

This is also going to be my first entry into the Readers Imbibing Peril event. I am doing Peril in the first which means I will read four books from the supernatural, Mystery, or horror genre. 1 down, 3 more to go

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