Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review: City of the Dead

City of the Dead City of the Dead by Brian Keene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I realize that there are those who passed on this title because book one was so insane, but isn't that the beauty of this genre? Keene is one of the people who were in the vangard that brought zombies back to the forefront. Kirkman simply gets the credit because he has a hit TV series, but there was a time when zombies were NOT so prevalent on Amzon in the book section. Keene stood out with this tale because it does not try to make you feel good. It tries to unsettle you and does so very well. And to have the demon aspect so well melded into this genre is a testament. This tale is even more action packed and fingernail destroying than the first installment.

I refuse to dock this selection simply because I (and obviously in the minority here) did not care for the narration. It was just did not do it for me.

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those stories that made me think of all the great "animals as people" tales ranging from Jungle Book to Animal Farm to Charlotte's Web. Yes, a broad range indeed, but this story has that going on for it. There is such a beautiful poetry to it that you find yourself lost. There are actual "laugh out loud" moments (not to be confused with the overused LOL. I mean you will actually chuckle. This is fantasy with a twist and I think you are missing out if you don't give this beautimus story a shot.

As for the audio version...the narration was, for me, the weak point. There was just something about Ms. Hazen's voice that did not work for me. That said, narrators are like singers, one person loves Sinatra, the next Bon Scott, so take that criticism with a grain of salt. I will say she has a vast array of voices and the production is top notch.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review: The Temple of Elemental Evil

The Temple of Elemental Evil The Temple of Elemental Evil by Thomas M. Reid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a player who picked this game up in the 70s, I am familiar with this mod. It was never one of my favorite, and now the story proves that idea. It was simply a bit dry as a story. The writing was a bit cliche as it played out. Sort of like a bunch of old fantasy tales pieced into this one story to make the complete tale. There just wasn't anything that made me sink into the story.

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Review: Unqualified

Unqualified Unqualified by Anna Faris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hollywood books are not my normal read, but I am enough of a fan of Ms. Faris to want to hear her take (yeah, I did the Audiobook version) on whatever it was she would include. There are perhaps some good stories that her female readers will enjoy. Some relationship advice and the sort. Not much in the way of really covering her career arc. Still, it was an okay bit of lite fare.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath What Lies Beneath by Ditter Kellen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She agreed to give me quiet time during the football game if I tried her book series.

My wife got hooked on this series and wouldn't stop talking about it, so I gave it a shot. Right off the bat, I will say this is not my genre. I'm a horror buff, so I kept waiting for the zombies. Here is what I came away from the story with...first, it has a fun mix a hard case ex-CIA guy, a young doctor, her dad the scientist, and then the Bracadytes...these would be the merman/alien creatures that are apparently all ripped and unabashedly handsome yet naive to our slang (which made for some interesting comic relief moments).I was not looking for Dickens or Bronte here. What I wanted when I chose to share in something my wife can't put down was just something entertaining. Since I drive and listen to books, this was a good break from the norm. It entertained me, had a bit of action, and I found out the REAL reason my missus apparently loves the series. Steamy moments of the intimate nature.

Ladies, bring a hanky to dab your brow...I think you'll enjoy it. My wife sure does. And I'm even gonna continue on to the next book just to see what happens next.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Monster Hunting 101

Monster Hunting 101 Monster Hunting 101 by Richard A. Bamberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of Bamberg's "Wanderers" series, I had to give this a shot. I think this was an early attempt. He has gotten better in his story-telling. This is a GOOD story, not amazing, but very enjoyable. I can see elements that seem to fold with his other series and wonder if this might've been his warm-up.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I used to pour over these sorts of tales when I was in junior high and high school. Recently, I had a rekindled interest, but had a difficult time finding anything that really shared the stories of Loki, Thor, Freyja and all the rest. My "finish date" on this is deceptive as I have probably listened to it 3 or 4 times.

If you want to take a trip into proper Norse mythology, this is the perfect book. The audio version has the added bonus of being read by the author, Mr. Gaiman. I would consider this a must read simply sue to the superb concept of how these stories were once used to explain the world as seen through the eyes of the Norsemen.

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