Slip into Batman

The New 52 Batman Superman Vol 2: Game Over by Greg Pak, Brett Booth and Jae Lee

I found myself without a book one day, so I picked this up.I really enjoyed it, it was very fun but looking back on it now, a few weeks later, it wasn’t very memorable.

The three major stories in this graphic novel are as follows: 1. A child genius inadvertently gains control of Batman and Superman through a computer game and has the beat the snot out of each other 2. Batman and Superman are both required to bring members of their family to Warworld to battle it out with each other in order to save the earth 3. Huntress and Powergirl come from a different reality to get help for Powergirl and other Kryptonians who’s powers are out of control.

While there were some really fun parts, particularly Batman/Superman banter and a few moments of interaction between their families, the story is mostly finagling situations for Bruce to hit Clark or vise versa. That’s what made it no memorable to me. I like character driven stories, not fist driven ones. Having said, I had a good time with this book.

Batman makes me happy.

Last movie I watched:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I gotta read the book.

Last TV show I watched:

Medici Masters of Florence. I’m on the first episode – show me what you got Netflixs and Rob Stark

Cainsville book number 3 (keep it together, don’t squee, you don’t have to squee)

Deception by Kelley Armstrong

This is another short blog post. I’m way behind. There was this vacation and then that got me behind and suddenly it was Christmas and that got me even more behind and now I’ve only got a few thoughts about anything because it was months ago that I read it and the list of books I’ve finished is as long as my arm.

I know, I know, why don’t I just skip a few?

Because they were wonderful books and I don’t want to forget them.

I loved this book. There. That’s my thought.

Last movie I watched: The start of Star Trek Beyond. I’m a little disappointed but maybe it’ll pick up shortly.

Last TV episode I watched: Supernatural. One of the tail end of season 11. God’s back, so that’s neat.

A dud. They have to happen sometimes

The Black Stallion and the Lost City by Steven Farley

I picked up this book years ago after the series was withdrawn from the library I was working in at the time. The library usually couldn’t keep serial horse fiction on the shelves they were so popular, so I was surprised this one was withdrawn. Until I read it, and then it made sense.

This book wasn’t really bad, it just wasn’t really anything. The story starts with the Black and Alex, his rider, in Greece filming a movie about Alexander the Great. Shooting is disrupted one day so the Black, Alex and a friend go out on a ride, come across a beautiful white mare and end up following her into a mythical city were people drink magical water that keeps them young and healthy for a very long time, and spoiler alert, at the end of their lives are fed to the sacred fleshing eating horses from Greek Mythology.

The story is fine I suppose but unoriginal. The writing style is flat and uninteresting. The characters are generally characterless and the mystery of the city is ruined by the flap on the cover, so as a reader it’s just a matter of time before the story unfolds. It’s not even bad enough to real blog critically about.

There is no chance of me recommending this book. I’m not sorry I read it, even though it took forever because there was no narrative drive, I’m just probably never going to think of it ever again.

Last movie I watched:

X-men Apocalypse I think? If so, it was way better than I thought it would be.

Last TV episode I watched:

The Fosters. It’s a great show. I love it. They might be getting a little extreme about creating enough drama for this to go on as long as it has, but I love it anyway.

 

 

Cleopatra in Space!

Cleopatra in Space Book One: Target Practice by Mike Maihack

This incredibly fun little graphic novel for kids is just lovely. Despite having a female lead, it would be a great read for boys, if you can convince them to read. Well, any good book is a great read for boys, regardless of the gender of the main character obviously, but parents and kids tend to reject this radical notion for reasons. That I don’t know. Because that seems silly to me.

Not the point.

Cleopatra, legendary future queen of Egypt isn’t particularly thrilled with the life of a monarch, and would rather be running around shooting things with her slingshot. Until she’s teleported to another planet where everyone things she’s going to be the legendary leader they’ve been waiting for and depending on her incredible skills with a blaster to save them all. And Cleo? She’s always late for class, on any planet.

This graphic novel is fun, fast paced and well illustrated. Cleo is a really likably heroine, and her supporting cast, including her potential new friends and her mysterious cat mentor are great additions. There’s nothing shocking original about an unhappy princess changing her destiny, a reluctant hero or a prophesied saviour who isn’t sure they want to be, but it’s well worth the read anyway. Strongly recommend to kids who are looking for a solid graphic novel series to devour.

Last movie I watched: X-Men Apocalypse. I heard it was awful, went in with very low expectations and actually enjoyed it. So there.

Last TV episode I watched: Stranger Things. Seriously creepy show guys. Great. No regrets, but seriously creepy.

It’s getting more magical!

Cainesville Book 2: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Everyone is really lucky I couldn’t figure out  how to spell the excited noises I shouted when I finished this book. Otherwise this blog post would have just been a string of crazy excited noises spelled out.

Because I want to encourage people to read these books (because they are awesome) I’m going to try not to spoil anything. But I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do this without spoiling a little bit of Omens, the first book in the series. So, if you think there’s the slightest change you’d enjoy this series (and if you don’t think you would, I’m sorry) leave now.Just go.

Visions takes place soon after the events of Omens, when Olivia returns to parent’s home to get some of her stuff . When she returns to her car she finds a dead body sitting in it. After this terrifying incident Gabrielle and Olivia are on the case again, not only trying to clear her biological parents of the six murders they are still serving time for but also investigating the death of this young woman. And it turns out, investigating the murder of this young women will bring them closer and closer to the secret of Cainesville, reveal some new enemies and lead them to some new allies.

Where the first book was a weird but exciting blend of science fiction and magic, this book is definitely leaning more to the magical side, and I’m pretty excited about it. The story draws on a lot of mythological history but also very subtly. As more of the residents of Cainesville start to show their real identities the mix of first person and third person narration makes it practically impossible not to speculate about who’s who and shout agitatedly at Olivia and Gabrielle as they fumble around the truth. Or maybe other people don’t talk to fictional characters. It made it nearly impossible for me not to anyway.

While I don’t necessarily advocate monitoring what children and teens are reading based on content  this book has a lot more sex than the last one, so it probably belongs in the adult section of the library. But if you are okay with the sex, like a little romance, a little mystery, a little science fiction, a little fantasy or a mix of any of these, I really can’t emphasis enough how much you’ll like this book.

That’s all I can say about that without telling everyone about all the amazing things i’m going to accidentally spoil for them.

Last movie I watched: About Time. Still a favourite

Last TV episode I watched: Love it or List It maybe? DAMN IT HILARY.

My first experience with Kelley Armstrong

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

I met Kelley Armstrong once at the library I was working at. She came to do a book signing. She was really nice but I hadn’t read any of her books.

Now I have. And it was amazing.

Omens is a fantastic book about a wealthy young woman who has everything going for her. Olivia  is engaged to a man who will run for senator in a few years. She doesn’t have to work so she focuses her time on pursuing her interests in Victorian literature and volunteering. But despite it all, she doesn’t feel quite right. Then one day her whole world comes shattering down when she learns that she’s not who she thinks she is – she was adopted at age three and her birth parents are serial killers. Her mom doesn’t know how to deal with it. Her fiancee wants to postpone the wedding. The media is having a field day. Olivia bolts. Betrayed by the people she thinks she can count on she is determined to make it on her own. But it’s harder than it looks and she finds herself in a little town called Cainsville. The people are welcoming, the rent is affordable but something about the place is just a little creepy. There, with the help of a lawyer, Gabriel Walsh from Cainsville who also represented her birth mother, Olivia sets out to find out exactly who parents are and follows the leads to some unlikely places.

This book is really neat. It’s got just a slight hint of supernatural and science fiction in it and it’s pretty unlike any other series I’ve ever read because of it. Armstrong does a great job of mixing a creepy, superstitious tone in with an depressingly feasible science fiction plot and a mystery all in one. Olivia and Gabriel are realistic and cool characters. The supporting cast of Cainsville residents are charming. While most of the story is told in first person, there are some short chapters scattered through the story offer really interesting insights and hints about the story. While I normally don’t like inconsistency in narration, in this book it just teases a little and makes the story very compelling.

Because there are so many potential spoilers and I enjoyed it so much, I’m having a hard time talking about the story. I’m reading the second one now, so I suppose tune in later for a more comprehensive (and spoilers) discussion of this book.

Last movie I watched:

Still probably the Back Up Plan

Last TV episode I watched:

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I can even deal with how funny that show is. Fancy ceiling lamp. Hilarious.

 

 

 

YA vampire Romance that’s still better than Twilight

House of Night: Chosen by Kirsten Cast and P. C. Cast

Alright so I really, really meant to start this series from the beginning but I didn’t. Someone I trusted told me it was the first book. It wasn’t and I realized it and was going to stop. But then I had an inconvenient lunch break and I had nothing else to do so I had to read it.

I regret it because it was great and now the first two books are kind of ruined for me so I don’t get to enjoy their greatness. But I also don’t regret it because it was great.

The story picks up, I assume where the last book left off.  Zoey’s best friend Stevie Rae has died and come back as a… well no one’s quite sure. Everything’s going well with Eric, her fledgling boyfriend other than one thing – she’s imprinted on her former human boyfriend Heath. And suddenly Loren, one of the teachers, is talking about how much he wants her. On top of all that, Zoey knows Neferet, a teacher and high priestess, has something to do with Stevie Rae’s death and she can’t tell anyone – not her boyfriends, not her best friends, not even her family. But there’s one person she might be able to – her worst enemy Aphrodite.

As far as teen paranormal fiction goes, there’s a lot of good stuff in this book. On the teen front there’s a lot of fun and genuine teen experiences, or at least wish fulfillment. Having 3 hot potential boyfriends, one of whom is much older and talks about how you’re the only person who’s ever made him feel that way may not be completely realistic but boyfriend drama, group dynamics, keeping secrets and family tension are all things teens will relate to really well. Unlike a lot of love triangles, or in this case love squares I guess?, it’s really hard to guess which one Zoey really loves and the Casts do a great job of showing what she loves about each of them. Her circle of friends, all of whom are pretty fun and well developed for secondary characters have a great dynamic and realistic response to Zoey keeping secrets from them. Zoey also struggles with her family – her mother and stepfather are slowly severing ties with her, but it’s messy. You know, like a real family.

The paranormal aspect is pretty neat too. The world building is comprehensive and beautiful and I love the focus on Nyx, the goddess of vampires. The rituals, the elements and the process of becoming a vampire are all beautiful, original twists that make a lot more sense then “they sparkle”.

This book also did a good job of seamlessly incorporating characters who could use some representation. Zoey is Aboriginal and details included in her identity without making her into a stereotype. Her friends Damien and Jack are gay but their relationship is more important, which is unusual – they aren’t Jack from Will and Grace, they’re a couple who have separate and overlapping identities. I’m pretty pleased with that.

I’m going to read the whole series, you know, one day when I have time to do nothing but read and happily recommend it in the meantime.

Last TV show I watched:

Unbreakable Kimmy Smitt. LOVE IT.

Last movie I watched:

The Backup Plan. Babies are cute.