Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Word of the day: Sunk

Long Story Short: Owen hurt the feelings of an ineffable monster in another dimension.

As a general principle the second novel is more important than the first. Anyone can write an interesting book, given enough effort and time. The amount of people who a second interesting book is much smaller. (Of course Larry is far beyond this at this point.) If The Empire Strikes Back had been a flop we would not have Star Wars as a thing these days. Vendetta succeeds at this. Many of the writing bad habits that bothered me from the first book have been ironed out. (Although, Larry still used “Stated” for about a third of dialogue tags. Just one of my pet peeves.) The gun lingo has been dialed down but is still ever present. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, every writer loves their own expertise a little more than their readers. I do remember a time or two where I felt I was missing something by not know what the gun a particular character pulled out looked like.
Pacing is less breakneck than the first book. It was nice to have time to puzzle out the mystery before revelation.
Vendetta isn’t shy about hitting the emotion button.

Last Word: Smile.


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Word of the day: Shoot.

Long Story Short: A guy who likes to shoot gets to shoot monsters.

One of the all time great opening lines. The language is rough, this was Larry’s first published book. I recommend people start with either Hard Magic or Son of the Black Sword if you want to see what Larry Correia is all about. But really, you read Correia for the action. Some of the best action scenes I’ve read. This is really heavy in gun terminology I hear that he backs off on that in the later books as he is aiming for a wider audience. (Scatter damage is better against

I read this in the Monster Hunters Omnibus so I didn’t know when the end was coming. As things were ratcheting up near the end I kept finding myself going, “Okay, this is it he can’t get bigger than this.” and kept being wrong. I’m not sure if I can recommend this because the book is heavy, it makes it harder to smuggle into work.

There is a slight language advisory, Larry swears like a dairy farmer, but there isn’t too much in this book. (Although it was more than his other worlds.)

Last Word: Pitt.

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True Talents

True Talents by David Lubar


Long story short: The consequences of having psychic powers starts to hit the group.

This is a different animal from Hidden Talents. We get the POV of various characters and the stakes are much higher. It is less focused because of this but Lubar manages to tie all the threads together. My favorite part of this book is that the boys have ambition, well most of them. They are working toward a goal, they have a plan.

The great thing about the Talents series (of which I hope we get another book so we can figure out what this “pattern” stuff is all about) is how lowkey it is about the powers. They aren’t flying around saving the world. They are just kids trying to figure crap out.

Major Bowdler is an interesting character, he’s motivated by pride but thinks he is teaching people lessons. From all I’ve read of Lubar his major project is exploration of pride. (Even the gameboy Frogger Adventures he wrote for.)

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Trigun #1

Long story short: On a inhospitable planet colonized by humans, the force of nature known as Vash The Stampede tries to save everyone who is trying to kill him, while being pursued by two intrepid insurance adjusters.

I luckily found this and volume 2 at a thrift store. There was also a whole shelf of Narutos, but Naruto is kinda the point of no return. (Don’t worry I looked away for a second and the Narutos had disappeared, they are off running at a tilt somewhere.) I’m not sure if I would have picked it up had I not already seen the animation. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on, if the pacing were pulled back a little I think it would have worked better.

One interesting thing here is that they reveal the nature of Vash and the Plants much earlier than in the show. This is a good thing I think. My position is that if you have a cool idea it’s always better to give your readers that cool idea as soon as possible. Nothing is more annoying than a story chanting, “I’ve got a secret.”

Anyway, depending on your tolerance of manga this is a great one.

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Word of the Day:  Intensely

So how is raven like a writing desk? My answer is they both aren’t fish. But I doubt the Mad Hatter would accept that answer. The March Hare wouldn’t either and he would try to assault me with his tea. The Doormouse would accept it though, and probably be jealous she didn’t think of it first.

Go see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and perhaps then you can tell me the answer to the question. Go ahead this will still be here when you return. (Unless the internet implodes, in which case we have bigger fish to fry.) Oh but keep in mind that this is Tim Burton’s sequel to the Wonderland books, not Lewis Carroll’s story. Carroll’s characters are there, but Alice is all grown up and hating mundane life. (Which I think happens to most children who travel to a magical land and return home. But alas the return is part of the heroes journey.) She also thinks she’s crazy which may be the case since she fits right in when she follows the white rabbit and down the hole.

I loved Alice in Wonderland, Alan Rickman and Christopher Lee were wonderful with the few lines they’ve been given.  Johnny Depp’s plays the Mad Hatter in a way I’ve never seen, and I need to see the movie a few more times to fully get what he is trying to do. Anne Hathaway overacts so well. Mia Wasikowska does a great job as Alice. Helena Bonham Carter rocked the Red Queen, the spoiled brat who likes to break her toys. (Her toys being her subjects, guards, furniture. Poor Monkeys.)

I just can’t wait till I can see it in glorious 2D. For the midnight opening night I had to see it in 3D, which doesn’t work to well with my bad eye so I couldn’t appreciate the exquisite backgrounds or the fluffyness of the Cheshire Cat (My favorite character.) It was just felt like the projector was poorly focused the whole movie.

Anyway, follow the white rabbit, drink the tea, wear your hat and beware the Jabberwok my son.

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Boom Schlock-a-locka

Word of the Day: Repudiate.

One of the many things I’m planning to do here is review all sorts of junk. And by junk I mean anything worthy of my attention. First on this list, which is in random order, is Schlock Mercenary. This webcomic tells the story of a mercenary named Schlock. (Hey, I think I finally understand the title, just kidding.) Have you ever heard of hard sci-fi comedy? Impossible many say, well to those people I say, “if the word impossible is in your common vocabulary you probably don’t like sci-fi anyway.” (To a true scientist nothing is impossible, even if improbable, but there are graduated values of really hard.)

The story follows a band of mercenaries as they try to get paid and survive long enough to spend it. Meanwhile at the galactic core, and other places, sinister things happen and huge plots occur. But the focus is mainly on Tagon’s Toughs hurting people and breaking things to get paid as much and as many times as they can get away with. It’s epic and hilarious with a side of heart. (Which you can’t eat with a fork in your eye, get reading to figure that one out.)

Howard Tayler has been updating Schlock Mercenary everyday since June 12 2000. So there are now nearly ten years of deep archive to read. I say just jump on in and start reading from the beginning. Doing it that way you get to watch the art improve. Plus you get one heck of a story told in the right way.

The way I made it through the archives (which is responsible my low grades that semester) was I read strip after strip till my eyes started bleeding (exaggeration, they were just a little red from having read too much) and then I copied the url of the strip I ended on and emailed it to myself. You weren’t doing anything with all your time anyway.

Right now we are in the middle of the most ambitious Schlock book yet. Book 11: A Family Anti-Matter (book 10 has been my favorite so far.)

So anyway just jump in and beware the dark matter entities (DaMEs) or you may find yourself staring at what you think is someone else’s foot.

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