Sunday, January 28, 2018

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

I really wasn't sure what to expect with this but I knew it was Neil Gaiman and Marvel so  that was a Duh for me. Once I got into it and started realizing what it was and who the characters actually were, then I couldn't stop reading.

The characters from the Marvel universe set 400 years in the past. I didn't immediately recognize a lot of characters (why did it take so long to realize who Master Fury was??). There are weird weather patterns happening in England/Europe and in the New World (aka America). Virginia Dare and her bodyguard, Rojhaz, travel to see the Queen to ask for assistance with the new colony. Dare has a unique "problem": when she's angry or terrified, she changes into an animal. Rojhaz is always there to find and protect her until she's able to change back.

Doctor Strange is the Queen's personal physician. Master Fury also works with the Queen as Head of Intelligence. Things start breaking down badly when a secret treasure from the Knights Templar needs to get to England. Fury and his assistant Peter Parquagh ( I didn't catch this til the end. Oh, Amanda) are attacked and things finally collapse when the Queen is killed. King James of Scotland wants the crown and wants all the Witchbreed dead.

We pull in pretty much everyone here: X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America, etc. The season of the superhero is forced when the world is about to end. 

Incredibly interesting perspective of superheros in the past, being brought into fruition just to save our universe and all the rest of the universes out there.

EXCELLENT graphic novel!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest escapade of Stephanie Plum with only one exception: the words "She blew out a sigh" were repeated everywhere. I blame the editor on this one. That repetitiveness should have been caught. Otherwise, I was fully on-board for this ride with Stephanie, Lula, and zombies.

Zombies? Now that's a twist.

We're 24 books in to the Plum series and you know what you are getting. This time we added a third hot guy who wants to sleep with Stephanie and zombies. And Ethel. Don't forget Ethel. Stephanie just wants to be paid so she's trying to track down the skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds business. She doesn't want to deal with giant, 50lb boa constrictors (Hi Ethel!), meth making idiots who blow up buildings (Yo, Zero Slick) and zombies.

I did figure out really early on how the zombies came to be but it was worth suspending belief to see Lula freaking the hell out every time she saw a zombie. I did lose track how many of Ranger's cars Stephanie destroyed in this book but no one seems to care. It's all suspended belief, junk food reading and pure fun.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thar She Blows!!!!!

I'm still listening to Moby Dick (from Librivox) and I'm not even halfway through! I'm still interested enough to keep going but have to admit that the whaling chapters are a bit tedious. I would like to think I'm learning new things but discovering that since Melville didn't have Google, he may have been wrong .... a lot.

I knit at lunch and listen to my iPod. Around chapter 50, the title character actually made his appearance! He ate a sailor but that's what he does so it's cool.

It took until about chapter 28, I think, before we met Captain Ahab. Crazy how you hear so much about classics but it takes forever to meet the characters!

Still moving along.......It WILL be completed!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

This was an interesting story. Since I have the habit of not reading synopsis beforehand, I wasn't really sure what to expect. This is a bit of a Dystopian worldview and damn, it was depressing.

Kathy is our 30-something narrator. She tells us she is a carer, which at the time means not much more than it's context, and she travels back in her memories to Hailsham, a private school in England. At first, I did start thinking it was going to be about uppity children growing up into obnoxious adults.

Boy, was I wrong.

Spoilers are ahead so beware!

Kathy's main friends at Hailsham are Ruth and Tommy. Throughout their time there, they are strongly encouraged to create art. So encouraged, they have events called Exchanges, where they pay for other students art via tokens they've earned. They also have Sales, where they can actually purchase items from outside the school. Both of these events allows the student to create their own collections. Around this point, I was finding it odd that parents were not mentioned. Oh, naive Amanda.

As they got older, Ruth and Tommy become a couple, even though it is Kathy that Tommy seems to gravitate towards.  Sex is a hot topic and taught, with props, by the Guardians. But, the students are reminded they cannot make babies and MUST keep themselves free of disease and stay healthy.

From Hailsham, they move into the Cottages. Ruth is essentially the type of girl I would not like. Kathy, as a narrator, seems to get off her point quite often and tends to take the long way to her initial thought. And Tommy, poor dear, he doesn't seem to fit very well anywhere. After a rift between Ruth and Kathy, where Tommy is in the middle, Kathy goes off to training to become a carer.

It made me ill around this time to learn that all of these kids-growing-to-adults are clones. Their sole purpose in life is to live until they are required to make donations of their organs for their "original'. Sometimes the donations kill them, sometimes they recover enough to come upon their fourth donation, where they are kept alive and harvested as needed.

What is most horrifying is that none of the students seem worried about their fate. No one rails against donating. They just do. We learn that Hailsham was an experiment, a way to prove that the clones had souls and were human. It didn't take and Hailsham was eventually shut down. It's described that other clones live in deplorable conditions until they are harvested. People are not willing to bring back diseases into their life just because clones can feel.

I sincerely hope we never get to this type of future. But dystopia seems closer and closer some days, doesn't it?

There is a movie out based on the novel, streaming on Netflix. I'm curious enough to watch it.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

That's some good junk food reading! I'm finding that I really love the Fox and O'Hare series. The Job is book #3 in the series (look ma, I'm finally reading a series in order!) and pretty damn entertaining.

Nicolas Fox is on the FBI's most wanted list at #7 but he's teamed up with FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare to work undercover to bring down some of the nastiest of nasty criminals, perhaps in a way that the FBI cannot do legally *ahem*.

In The Job, they go after Lester Menendez, a very scary and horrific dude who had his body and face all plastic surgeried in order to escape capture. One of the biggest warlords around, he killed his plastic surgeon and the staff. It turns out that the plastic surgeon was the brother of Serena Blake, former co-worker of Fox's. She wants him to find and destroy Menendez.

Fox and O'Hare pull in our favorites: Willie, Boyd, Tom and Jake (Kate's dad). They also hire Rodney Smoot, a CGI expert. All of this to pull of a ploy of sunken treasure designed to pull the warlord from hiding.

Surprisingly, it works!

This was a very fast and fun read. There are six books so far in the series so I need to get crackin'.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Big Damn Classic of 2018!

Your voices have been heard!!!

Click to embiggen

We all kinda guessed this, didn't we?

The winner is:

I already found it on my Kindle. I'm ready to start as soon as Moby Dick is that might be sometime in 2019.