Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: "The Secrets of Life and Death"

I've been putting this review off for awhile. Not for a lack of desire, but rather for a lack any strong feelings towards this book, neither good or bad.

While I enjoyed the connection of two story lines, I wasn't really moved to feel a certain way about the book. The writing was not bad, but I certainly was not drawn in to the book.

I honestly wish I had more to say, but, sadly, I don't. The book wasn't good nor was it bad. It just was.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: "J"

I want to preface by stating that I am not a huge fan of spoilers. I strongly dislike reading reviews that include them, and do my best to not include them in my own. Because of this, I feel as though my own review about this novel is going to be incredibly vague.

I do not think there is any doubt the author wants to make his readers uncomfortable. It was clear from the start that I was meant to feel unsettled and awkward. I wanted out. I did not want to live in this dystopian world, nor did I want to witness it from afar.

The storyteller, however, had different plans for me.

Not ot only was I uncomfortable, I was attracted to these negative feelings! I was drawn into this novel just as much as I wanted out of it!

I know this review does not offer much in terms of context, but after getting over my initial shock of being pulled in two directions, I need to reread the novel.

This is book is absolutely not for everybody, but if you are attracted to the unattractive, I strongly recommend you pick yourself up a copy. 

For more information, please click here.

I received this book in exchange for an honest and open review.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: "The Martian"

My feelings for this book after its completion were incredibly torn. One on hand, it was a great survival story about a topic that has been most utilized for frightening space monsters. On the other hand, I found the book to be a bit too scientific/technical for my liking (I do not always want to have to use critical and analytical thinking skills when I read; this book forced me to!).

I chose to read this book because I am attracted to survival stories. How awesome it would be to delve into one about a lone astronaut on Mars! I very much enjoyed the premise of this "Lone Ranger" abandoned by his piers on a foreign planet. It was interesting to see how one would adapt and survive in a situation that should lead to inevitable death. For this part of the story, I was able to remain hooked.

However, what caused my mind to wonder as I read was the overwhelming presence of technical language and lack of satisfying character development. This did not take away from my interest in the survival story, but it did make it very difficult for me to relate to the character in anyway.

While I cannot rate this book five stars, I can recommend it by prefacing that readers will not be able to relate to this kind of survival story. 

Please note that I received this book I exchange for an honest and open review. 

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Review: "Foundations in Comic Book Art"

Despite the fact that the title of this book may lead one to believe there isn't a whole lot of substance and detail to be found, this book is surprisingly comprehensive. It absolutely serves as a great way for somebody who is interested in comic making to begin their artistic adventures!

I only recently became interested in sequential drawing and story telling, and I am finding this book to be incredibly helpful in finding my footing. From perspective planning to inking to software application, John Paul Lowe offers readers a fantastic understanding of the wide variety of important areas that help to build a comic book. I don't expect to become famous for my work, but this book will allow me to take this new hobby that much more seriously.

I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in making comics.

I will be passing this book along to a buddy of mine who is just starting out as a comic book illustrator!

I received this book in exchange for an honest and open review. 

You can find more information by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: "The Blood Cell" (A Doctor Who Novel)

After reading a different book about our new Doctor and keeping up to date with the current season of Doctor Who, I found this book to be somewhat disappointing. 

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book nor was it a bad story line; it just didn't live up to my expectations.  The writing style left much to be desired, even though the author did an excellent job capturing the new Doctor's quirks and mannerisms. 

I really wish I could give a more in depth review but this book simply fell short. I might read it again to give it a second chance,  but it has made me weary of the other books in this series. 

Please note I received this book in exchange for an honest and open review.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review: "How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters"

Despite the terrible acting, ridiculous antagonists, and gaping plot holes, I find myself oddly attracted to bad horror movies. I constantly find myself surfing the channels only to check our SyFy's next blockbuster flop. When I came across Andrew Shaffer's How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters, I assumed I would be reading a definitive survival guide to all of the crazies monsters and apocalyptic events this television station broadcasts. Well, you know what they say about assuming...

I have much difficult calling this book a book. If anything, it's nothing more than a list of SyFy's most well known movies, with some brief descriptions and humor that only the author could have found funny. Most science fiction type survival books I have read have been able to successfully combine outlandish scenarios with real life survival tips. Shaffer not only failed to combine these two very different things, he did a poor job just focusing on discussing each monster and cataclysmic storm. Frankly, being told to kick Mothman in his moth balls was just not all that entertaining.

When I read these types of book, I am not looking to be simply entertained; I am looking to have an intelligent conversation about not so intelligent topics. Give me a real reason to fear a cave bear. Give me a real reason to want to prepare myself to tackle a Mongolian earthworm.  I would have even simply settled for a few good jokes here and there.

I was not given any of these things.

I was given a glorified TV Guide of SyFy's movies.

Do I recommend this book?

No, not at all. 

I received this book for the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Review: "Silhouette" (A Doctor Who Adventure)

I want to go on record by saying that I've been a Whovian for a little over a year now. During this time, I have developed a deep love and respect for many of the Doctors. I've been exploring the Whovian universe for awhile, and am happy to say that I have finally stumbled across the literary world of Doctor Who.

One of the best things about Silhouette is that you don't need to have read any of the previous books in order to enjoy this one. Sure, having a background of the characters is helpful, but the story is so quick paced and intelligent that you needn't have ever picked up a Doctor Who book before.

From start to finish, I could not put this book down. Only just having been introduced to a new Doctor, this book did an incredible job of drawing in its readers to the individual idiosyncrasies and quirks of this new reincarnation. I no longer felt I was accompanying Matt Smith on his adventures, but rather becoming a new companion to Peter Capaldi. I did have my doubts about this new hero, but Silhouette definitely helped to persuade my opinions in a positive direction.

I was startled by how well the character of Silhouette was developed, and how perfect her "talents" were described. Our author did an incredible job creating a vivid image of her shadow friends and origami birds.

I will, however, comment that our dear friends Clara and Jenny were portrayed a bit flat for my taste. Although they have been with us for some time now, a new reader would feel a bit disappointed by the lack of personality displayed by these two women.

Silhouette is not perfect. It's flat characters do detract from the flow of the storyline. The plot holes all but glare out to the reader. Any true fan of the Doctor Who universe will be able to accept it as is, and fall quickly in tune with the fast paced action of this story. I would absolutely recommend Silhouette to anybody who considers themselves a fan of Doctor Who. To somebody just starting, I would steer them in a different direction. They will not be able to appreciate the true beauty of this story should this be their first.

Overall, I would give this book four of five stars!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the Blogging for Books program. 

Need more information before picking this book up? Then click here!