Sunday, March 30, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Second Contact by Mike Resnick - I'm apparently on a SciFi/Fantasy mystery kick. I found this potboiler SciFi mystery-thriller hanging out on my bookcase and dived right in. It's got a good set-up (starship Captain kills two crewmen), likable protagonists and an unexpected conclusion but the journey between the set up and the ending gets a bit long winded about 3/4 of the way. It's not really an outer space adventure as the cover implies; it's quite Earthbound and set in the near future. This one, maybe more than any of the other Resnicks I've read, would make a pretty nifty movie. Good Fun!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer - I love a good SciFi mystery. Sawyer does another bang up job here with a neat surprise ending in this courtroom novel from 1997. Looks like Sawyer's next novel Wake won't be published until spring 09, but it will be serialized in Analog magazine this fall. Luckily there's still a few of his books I have yet to read. Reading one good SciFi mystery just makes me want to read another. (Which reminds me that I'm anxiously awaiting Warren Hammond's Ex-COP.) This one is certainly Good Fun!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comic Book Review This Week

All Star Superman 10 - More sublime perfection from Grant Morrison, Frank Quietly and team. The only bad thing about this title is that it's ending in a couple of issues. In a class by itself, this will be read for many years to come. With the end in sight I'm wondering what is next for Morrison and Quietly? Cheers! Best of the Week!

Legion of Super Heroes 40 - Honestly I nearly enjoyed this one as much as Superman, but I'm a Legion nut. Still think it's nearly the best Legion since the early 70s. Excellent!

World of Warcraft 5 - OK, I've come to the realization that althought I sometimes enjoy the art here, more often than not I find it confuses the action of the story. The art should enhance the story. It just doesn't here. This one's plots OK. I just wish I could tell what I'm looking at. Disappointing.

JSA Classified 36 - This here's part 2 0f 3 of a Wildcat story that surprised me last month. This one's got Wildcat teamed up with Catwoman and I enjoyed this one a lot too. Really neat artwork, and I hope to see more from Ramon Perez. Excellent!

Next Issue Project #1 (Fantastic Comics #24) - This one wasn't release this week, but I picked it up because my comic book store was sold out of the new Green Lantern. It's an odd size book, which I assume to be golden age and it's a big 64 pages. I really enjoyed most of it, but it's most notable for the Mike and Laura Allred Stardust story. Nine stories altogether and a couple were dogs (the last story makes no sense and is mostly in German). Good Fun!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Stalking the Unicorn by Mike Resnick - Since I enjoyed The Dragon Done It so much I decided to plunge full into Resnick's classic John Justin Mallory novel from 1987. It's a very enjoyable fantasy detective adventure brimming with Renick's trademark snappy dialog and genial attitude. This novel's been out of print for a while, but Pyr is bringing it back with this great new cover pictured here (not sure who the artist is) in August. I am looking forward to reading it's sequel Stalking the Vampire which is also due in August from Pyr. Recommended!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Dragon Done It - Edited by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint - While I've come to be a big Mike Resnick fan over the last few years, I've never picked up any of the anthologies that he's edited before this one. I'm not huge fan of multi-author collections, as I tend to pick a few selections to read and pass on the majority. However, I read and enjoyed all but 2 of these stories collected here, and will eagerly pick up more of his editorial collections. My favorite stories in this collection were from Resnick himself, William Hope Hodgson, Laura Resnick, Ron Goulart, Randall Garrett, Esther M. Friesner, Graham Edwards, Neil Gaiman, David Kirtley and Dave Freer with Eric Flint. I had a couple quibbles with the collection. There's no introductions to each of the stories, and I would have liked to read something about the authors, as many were unknown to me. Also, given the fantasy detective theme it would have been nice to see stories by Glen Cook, Martin Scott and Alex Bledsoe. Quite enjoyable and Recommended!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Flash 238 - I've had a fever for most of the week and it took me a while to get thru this weeks releases. It was another solidly entertaining week, but for my fevered and drug addled mind this one was the pick of the litter. The best yet for Payer and Williams II. Nifty little superhero story, solid art and great eye popping colors. This ones everything a superhero book ought to be. Cheers! Best of the Week!

Warbound 4 0f 5 - Continues with characters from World War Hulk. I was scratching my head at the end of this one. Hiroim is killed then revives for no explained reason. Maybe this will be explained next issue? Still enjoying Kirks art as always tho. Mostly good fun, and a wee bit Disappointing.

Justice League of America 19 - An moderately entertaining wrap up of the previous issue's storyline. This book is pretty decent. But it certainly could be better. I'm ready for a new artist here. Like that one who did a couple of back up stories, or the artist that's doing Wildcat in JSA Classified. Nearly Good Fun!

Brave and the Bold 11 - Hunh. No George Perez, but new artist Ordway is a pretty good fit to finish off the story arc. Seems kind of dumb that DC wouldn't let Perez do 2 more issues here. Not my favorite issue of the series but it's still one of the best out there. Excellent!

Thor 7 - Seems to be the opening of a new arc now that Thor has wished Asgard back into existence. Nice looking fill-in (?) art by Djurdjevic and a plot that's moving forward towards, ummm, something. Maybe I'm finally warming up to this title, but I liked it this month. Good Fun!

The Incredible Hercules 115 - Marvel's best title just keeps perking along. You're a Marvel fan and you're not reading this? Shame on you. Excellent!

Fear Agent 19 - My hard-on for Heath Hudson continues, ahem, unabated. I'm dizzy, pass me the oxygen tank. Thanks for printing my letter, Rick! Sublime!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Green Arrow and Black Canary 6 - Another good solid week for comics, but no real stand outs for me. I think I liked this one best but I'm partial to the artist and liked the twist at the end. Maybe the best issue so far. So, gets my Cheers! Best of the Week!

JLA Classified 54 - This is the final issue of this title and it's nice it's gone out on a high note, perhaps the best story arc since the one that kicked off the series. Good Fun!

Justice League The New Frontier - A swell companion piece to the sublime cartoon movie also released this week. Sweet content as well as nifty and timely marketing. Had to search pretty hard for this one. Excellent!

Teen Titans Year One 3 - Bah this series is halfway over! I'd love to see this creative team make it an on-going title instead of a mini. Love this book! Excellent!

Countdown to Mystery 6 - A really good issue. My heart goes out to Steve Gerbers family and friends. I miss him already. I hope DC does this title justice with a smash bang ending. Excellent!

Wonder Woman 18 - I was going to drop this title since the Dodsons have left for Marvel, but I'm glad I picked it up. I think I'll like this storyline better than the previous one. A nice surprise. Excellent!

Fantastic Four 555 - A fairly enjoyable chapter 2, tho I find the drab colors to be distracting. This could go either way, but for now it's Good fun!

Madman 7 - Ummm. It's a no dialog issue that comes off more like an experiment than a success. I found it to be a bit hard to follow. Why not use a few thought balloons? Disappointing.

Avengers Fairy Tales 1 - Somewhat charming with some lovely visuals this nearly sated my craving for the real Avengers in a take off on Peter Pan. Good fun!

Supergirl 27 -
I read a few awful reviews on this issue before I read it, but I rather liked it. It's much better than the last handful of issues, but I wouldn't protest if they put a new writer on here. Good Fun!

The Last Defenders 1 - I like parts and hated other parts, so I doubt if I'll pick this up again. But maybe I'll change my mind in 4 weeks. It's almost OK.

Superman 674 - I have not read this title in a long time, so I'm not sure what's going on here. Clark and Lois have a child now? Where'd he come from? Hate that the Fortress looks like the cheap styrafoam sets from those awful 70s movies. And it looks like Mon-el is back in the Phantom Zone with his lead problem. Didn't they cure that like, umm... 45 years ago? What's up with that? Confused.

Short Book Reviews

Scavenger by David Morrell - This is the sequel to the Bram Stoker Award-winning thriller Creepers. Like its predecessor Scavenger is a straight up page-turning non-supernatural thriller in which our heroes are manipulated by a insane game playing evil genius. It's quite outlandish in concept but the execution is a highly readable adventure. Not quite as good as Creepers, it's still nearly Good Fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny - Wow. It's been 30 years since I read the first 5 Amber books, and I remember enjoying them a lot. That's all I remember about them which is to say, Nothing. Picking up this 6th book after so long proved to be something of a mistake. I just wasn't really drawn into it. Maybe some day I'll go back and reread the series from the beginning. Until then, this one's Disappointing.

Short Book Reviews

Fiends by John Farris - I've read several John Farris books and enjoyed them quite a bit. This thick book had me swiftly turning the pages with an inventive, original and creepy supernatural threat (Eve's "unwashed" children want your skin!) battling down homespun heroes but it never quite elevates above it's monster movie trappings. I easily recommend some of Farris' other books but I wouldn't start here. It's good for what it is, and better than other horror novels, but for me It's just OK.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Green Lantern 28 - OK, I'm running a bit late on getting this weeks comics posted. I got to Comic Quest a couple of days late and 3 of my titles were sold out, so some disappointment there. As for this weeks Green Lantern, I'm enjoying the fallout from the Sinestro Corps War more than I did that storyline. Geoff Johns is building nicely from the ashes of the War. I love this title once again. Cheers, Best of the Week!

The All New Atom 21 - Rick Remender's first issue here is a good jumping on place for readers of the new Atom. I've been looking forward to Remender's take on a DC hero and he doesn't disappoint. I'm on board for as long as Remenders runs lasts. Good Fun!

Cable 1 - I'm a huge fan of writer Swierczynski's novel The Blonde and have been looking forward to reading this on-going title. Perhaps I was expecting too much but I was much disappointed. There's just not enough going on here for $3. If you read the first panel and the last panel you pretty much have the whole story. I usually like Olivetti's art but it looks cartoons pasted on Photoshoped photo backgrounds here. Maybe I'll read this as a collection... if I find it used. Disappointing.

Secret Invasion Saga - This here's a good idea. A free the-story-so-far in advance of Marvel's next event series. Much of it for me was a repeat but it's certainly good marketing. I'm not sure I'm very much into reading the Secret Invasion series as it's drawn by L. Yu. But maybe I'll be swayed into picking up the series. It's OK.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Subterranean by James Rollins - I enjoyed Rollins most recent novel The Judas Strain so much I've decided to go back and read his older novels. This one is his first as Rollins from 1999 (not including the books written under his James Clemens alias). It's pretty much a update of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth concept, but it works well as a page-turning pulpy SciFi action adventure thriller. I'm quiet tempted to pick up another Rollins straight away, so I guess it's a salty pretzel of a novel. It's hard to read just one. Good Fun!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Etc.

Seems like just last week I was lamenting KILLER ROBOTS, and the lack of ray guns and a jet pack. Guess now I can check off RAY GUNS off that list. I wonder if I can order an Active Denial System on Amazon? But then maybe I'll just wait for the pocket sized version.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff - Blue-blooded, old-moneyed, movie-star handsome, crusading district attorney running-for-governor Will Sullivan is faced with a dying daughter, a creepy hospital, a wife with secrets and hallucinatory supernatural mystery man. I greatly enjoyed the Sokoloff's first novel The Harrowing and was looking forward to this one quite a bit and I liked this one too. It's perhaps a old-fashioned style of horror thriller which I rather prefer. I'd think Graham Masterton fans would enjoy this one. Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

B.P.R.D. Vol 7 Garden of Souls by Mignola, Arcudi and Davis - I greatly enjoyed the previous volume of B.P.R.D., The Universal Machine, which was a solid read collected in one volume. This on the other hand is a bit of a disappointment. I have not been a faithful reader of this title and my lack of knowledge or my poor memory hindered this story. Quite a bit is referenced from previous plot lines and this story is not as tight as the Universal Machine. Still it has its highlights as Abe Sapien gets the spotlight and contains some cool steampunky villains and creatures. Hellboy does not make an appearance. It's just OK.