Book Review: Star Wars X- Wing Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole

Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole takes the X-wing pilots out of the X-wing and has them go undercover on Coruscant. Wedge’s Gamble is book two in the X-wing Saga series that is a part of the Star Wars Legends series ( Star Wars Legends is a division that was considered cannon, but with The Force Awakens not following the trajectory of The established novels they were called Star Wars Legends). The last X-wing novel Rogue Squadron review, I used a Tom Cruise movie to describe it as Top Gun, this novel I would describe as Mission Impossible. Wedge’s Gamble refers to two things a plan to bring criminal’s from Black Sun to give the Imperials trouble on Coruscant and the undercover operation to take down the twin shields. This novel did bring up the topic of inter-species sex, which they don’t go to far butI thought for a Star Wars novel they went farther than I would have thought. I thought the war games are the standout in this book, does the potential for harm, outweigh the potential for peace. I have read this novel before and the set up for the next one is one of my favorites, because of what the Imperials set up for the Rebels. The Kyrtos virus is explained more in The Kyrtos Trap, which is book three in the series.

The Plot: Corran Horn the stand out pilot of Rogue Squadron, investigates why one of his pilots never returned from his trip, he ends up having a near miss and learning that Jace’s missing could be due to a spy in Rogue Squadron. Wedge the leader of the Rogue Squadron, proposes taking Coruscant, and is backed but they have a different way than he imagined, freeing prisoners from a moon that the prisoners have taken over. All the prisoners are former and current members of Black Sun and deadly gang that has no stake in the war at hand. The Rebels are banking on the fact that Black Sun will cause such a ruckus on the Imperials that they won’t notice the rebels sneaking in to take down the twin shields. In order for the rebels to take the stronghold. The Imperial’s know that they can’t hold on to Coruscant for too much longer, start developing a virus called the Kyrtos virus that can be healed but use a fare amount of Bacta (a healing medicine) to cure it.

What I Liked: The Imperial museum that rewrites history to make the rebels look like the bad guys and the Imperials as good. The end battle was really fun. I loved the Kyrtos Trap that was set up at the end, and will have lasting repercussions in the series. I liked the little bits with C3P0 not translating the Wookie leader properly, and Leia’s commander role works well. Corran Horn and Mirax’s relationship is fu to watch it grow and have Corran get tempted by the Bacta Queen who he’s undercover as a couple.

What I Disliked: The action is sometimes really hard to follow, in terms of where people are in relation to the bad guys and their own team members. I hated that we don’t see another member of Rogue Squadron other then Wedge and Corran until midway through the book. There’s is barely in X-wing scenes.

Recommendation: I enjoyed this novel more then the first one, Rogue Squadron, the stakes are a lot higher, the battles are more fierce. You will like this if you like star wars mixed with undercover work. I rated Wedge’s Game 4 out of 5 stars, it was a high 3 that I rounded up.

Wrap Up: June Book Reviews 2020

Hello dear readers, June has been quite a month. I cannot believe we have hit the mid point of the year.  Look forward to my best of books I have read so far this year, coming out soon. I managed to read 6 novels this month.  I read zero rereads  this month. I read one graphic novel, one book that has been on my TBR for years now The Shining by Stephen King. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series, and was able to finish the Power of the Dog series, this year it has been my goal to finish more series, I had a bad habit of starting a series and not finishing it. So far I have finished 2 trilogies, and have made gins in on-going series.   Thank you, to all followers I just hit 2 years running this blog yesterday, and it has both inspired me and uplifted my passion for reading thanks to you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Shining by Stephen King is a truly horrific book. Alcohol and ghosts do not mix! King gets into true fear, having someone you love, a father and husband, say, “I’m going to bash your brains”, then attempt to do it. The Shining is a ghost story but the scariest monster in the book is addictions and how it changes your rational choices, to choices that jeopardize your family. This Novel has been on my TBR for 15-20 years always meaning to read it but had not, until now.  I was shocked how different the book and the movie were, liking some and loathing some choices, but all in all a scary read, with truly horrific images, that only King can deliver.

Four Star Reviews:


The Border By Don Winslow takes the epic tale of DEA agent Art Keller and his war on drugs to a worthy conclusion. The Border is book three in the Power of the Dog series. This series starts in 1975 and takes us all the way up to 2019. The Border mirrors events that happened in real life and tweek them to fit the narrative, making it feel very real and current. The previous books in the series have remained in Mexico, but this book looks at the drug war going on in America. This book reminded me of J. R. Tolkien’s Return of the King when they destroyed the ring, they go back the shire is under siege (that happens in the book not the movie). Art Keller spent so many years trying to destroy drug kingpins in Mexico, that he returns to see that drugs are all around and didn’t stop anything. I did not like The Border as much as The Power of the Dog and The Cartel which were both 5 stars, but this delivered a pretty could conclusion wrapping up the series really well.

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells is the third installment of The Murderbot Diaries. This novella like the previous stories in the Murderbot Diaries follows an A.I. SecUnit that is self aware and detached from the mainframe that controls all other SecUnits. He refers to himself as Murderbot because he has murdered hundreds as he was controlled and part of the mainframe. He know tries to discover mysteries of his past. The Murderbot Diaries are part character study and part action adventure. The character study is usually the best part, but I preferred the action a little bit more in this installment.

Three Star Reviews:

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks, is a fiction that is written like a nonfiction having a journal, expert interviews, and family interviews. The Legend of Bigfoot is something that I have always been curious about, this book does the research on past Bigfoot sitings and makes a story out of it. I like Bigfoot but I’m not a fanatic (note: though growing up I did name one of my dog’s Bigfoot), I think fanatics and believers will get a lot more out of this book than I did. I ‘m sad to say I found the first half of this book very boring, with me only connecting with two characters. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing group Ballentine Del Rey.

 Two Star Reviews:

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato is all about the new Gods (Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, and the Flash) v. the old Gods (Zeus, Hera, and Hermes). Superman kills Zeus’ son Hercules, and in retaliation Zeus strips Shazam of his powers and sends him along with Harley Quinn to the underworld. We learn more about Ares, the God of War, plan for more war and who is pulling his strings. This Volume has been my least favorite so far, there was a couple of cool moments, but the dialogue remains stale and uninspired.

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato is all about the new Gods (Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, and the Flash) v. the old Gods (Zeus, Hera, and Hermes). Superman kills Zeus’ son Hercules, and in retaliation Zeus strips Shazam of his powers and sends him along with Harley Quinn to the underworld. We learn more about Ares, the God of War, plan for more war and who is pulling his strings. This Volume has been my least favorite so far, there was a couple of cool moments, the dialogue remains stale and uninspired. There is a moment where the dialogue improved in the Epilogue, but I found out that was the original writer of Injustice Tom Taylor coming back and writing a great Plastic man adventure, that will play heavily into the final year as all the bad guys are released, along with the remaining Green Lantern Corps. The finale should be action packed, one can only hope the dialogue gets better. Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato collects issues 8-12 of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four, as well as the annual of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four.

The Plot:The Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois and his unborn child, when her heart stops a nuclear bomb destroys Metropolis. Superman distraught kills The Joker and declares martial law on the whole world, vowing that no one should die needlessly. Lex Luthor develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that Superman controls. Batman steals the super humans pills and gives them to every hero and a few villains to make them equal. Superman’s action have drawn attention to the Green Lantern Corps who’s power is all about will power. Martian Man hunter died as he was fighting Wonder Woman from the inside when Superman used his heat vision, and sent Wonder Woman into a coma. Sinestro is manipulates Superman telling his own story and the way the Green Lantern Corps will attack, he makes an alliance that brings Sinestro and his minions as added protection, both Hal Jordan and Superman put on the yellow rings of fear to win against the Green Lantern Corps. Batman list the help all of his friends with magical abilities in a plan to put Superman asleep forever. The plan worked but Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to wake Superman and Wonder Woman. The sleep was supposed to give Superman clarity but he wakes up madder than ever because of what he missed out on. Batman makes a deal with Ares as well that has the old Gods and Amazon’s joining his side. The Amazon’s are missing Wonder Woman’s mother who is taken prisoner by Hera and made to sit this fight out, as per her deal. Batman ends up tricking Wonder Woman to fight Superman to the death a a champion of the Amazon’s. Sinestro interferes when it looks like Superman could lose. Zeus Sees this as deal breaker and declares all out war on the New Gods. Superman kills Hercules in the conflict which makes Zeus angry and kills Shazam and Harley who spoke out. Superman retreats as the remaining Justice League are beat. Zeus declares himself God of the world, wanting to get rid of every other form of religion. Ares makes a deal with Superman to bring a jealous Poseidon to fight his brother Zeus. This brings Aquaman into the battle, as Poseidon wants to wipe out Wonder Woman’s home with a giant tidal wave. Batman knowing this has got out of control and he got played by a vengeful Ares, seeks a help and offers enough hints to Superman to figure out who Ares is doing his bidding for, Darkseid.

What I Liked: The world freaking out when Zeus rules it, declaring all other religion obsolete. That it is revealed that the US still has nukes and placed them in lead so Superman could not find them, and then they use it to stop Zeus. The Plastic Man rescue of his son, was a great emotional one off. The calling out of Sinestro’s bad guy mustache. Harley Quinn in the Underworld. Harley’s prison rules for the underworld taking the biggest guy down first. Having Batman’s team and Superman’s team coming together for a brief time to take down the bigger threat.

What I Disliked: The dialogue remains horrible, making a lot of the action not as epic. Batman takes a back burner in these issues. The Darkseid reveal had the potential to be epic, but was over super quick, with little consequence. Aquaman finally chose a side to see him, quickly fade away. I felt his story was unresolved.

Recommendations: This volume is the first true dud in the injustice series. I still recommend the Injustice series as a whole, but now understand why some of my friends discontinued the series. The epilogue was epic and kept me intrigued. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato 2 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells is the third installment of The Murderbot Diaries. This novella like the previous stories in the Murderbot Diaries follows an A.I. SecUnit that is self aware and detached from the mainframe that controls all other SecUnits. He refers to himself as Murderbot because he has murdered hundreds as he was controlled and part of the mainframe. He know tries to discover mysteries of his past. The Murderbot Diaries are part character study and part action adventure. The character study is usually the best part, but I preferred the action a little bit more in this installment. The thing that drives this series is Murderbot wants to be alone, but situations keep thrusting him into action. I like how he manipulates other robots that are all to ready to conspire with him, without human knowledge.

The Plot: In the first Murderbot novella All Systems Red, Muderbot hired by a team of scientist doing lad surveys on a planet, a shadow company, GrayCris, has been doing it’s own research on the planet, and found aliens have visited it and have left technology, they fear the scientists finding out and send a kill order of the scientist. Murderbot saves them as they find out about the alien visit and learn more about the GrayCris, Murderbot is bought by the scientists and granted freedom. Murderbot runs away. In the second Murderbot book Artificial Condition Murderbot investigates the place where he became a mass murderer and finds out he was hacked and taken over by GrayCris that wanted settlers dead. In Rogue Protocol Murderbot is going to a planet that GrayCris deleted from record. Murderbot wants to grab proof of a coverup and give it to the scientists who released him and still fighting GrayCris. He joined a survey team that doesn’t understand what they are walking into, he lies his way in as security, and reluctantly has to protect the humans and a naive droid he has nicknamed Puppybot.

What I Liked: Miki or Puppybot as Murderbot thinks of him, is a different side of A.I. one that is shown and only knows love. His interaction with the very cynical Murderbot are what make this book so fun. I loved seeing Mili showing the strength that rubbed off of Murderbot near the end. I liked Murderbot, who is an avid consumer of T.V. shows quoting some of the lines that applied to criminal justice, to the would be criminal were really good. Murderbot plot summary of the first two books made me laugh, because of how cynical it was to the human’s and the robot’s that helped him but still not really wanting their help to begin with. The action was really good and easier to follow in the past. The twist was pretty great because it was so plausible and made you think a character’s motivation went one way when it was the other.

What I Disliked: The plot setup is getting formulaic. Murderbot travels somewhere using lies to hide true intention, gets to destination and someone gets double crossed, he has to complete original mission by saving dumb humans. The books are different but I got a little plot Deja Vu.

Recommendation: I totally recommend this series, it’s fun, it is one heck of a character study, and it has amazing Science Fiction action. One of the cover quotes I really agreed with is, “One of the most humane portraits of a nonhuman, I’ve ever read” by Annalee Newitz. I rated Rogue Protocol 4 out of 5 stars. I will continue reading the Murderbot Diaries series that is currently 5 books comprised of 4 novella and one novel. So far every book has been 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks, is a fiction that is written like a nonfiction having a journal, expert interviews, and family interviews. The Legend of Bigfoot is something that I have always been curious about, this book does the research on past Bigfoot sitings and makes a story out of it. I like Bigfoot but I’m not a fanatic (note: though growing up I did name one of my dog’s Bigfoot), I think fanatics and believers will get a lot more out of this book than I did. I ‘m sad to say I found the first half of this book very boring, with me only connecting with two characters. At the end of this novel in the acknowledgements it was said that this was a failed movie script that got novel, the way it was written a movie would have worked better. The second half is a rip roaring action/survival that does not let up. The story turns into a man verse monster book. The action is fierce and unrelenting. In the end, the unbalance and the limited characters to truly root for, made the intense action too late to totally save this story from just more than an okay from me. Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks is Published on 6-16-20. Thanks to Netflix and Random House Publishing group Ballentine Del Rey.


The Plot: We learn early on there is a village up in the Rainer Mountains totally cut off from civilization thanks to an active volcano. The village was an experiment by tech savy artists and environmentalist, to live off nature and still be connected to tech. The village, Greenloop, is found burned down and torn to shreds with bodies of all but two members of the village who are declared missing with only a journal left behind. The journal explains that Greenloop was a attacked by Sasquatch. The journal, the journal writer’s brother, and various experts go over the tale adding insights, and analyze if it is believed to be true or not.

What I Liked: I love the man verse nature verse monster aspect. I wish this was featured through out the novel just not at the back half. The idea for Greenloop society was interesting. I loved the character of Ms. Monstar the tough older lady, artist that has seen war and knows how to survive, teaching the tech people how to go to war was interesting. I also liked the husband of Kate the journal writer that found himself as the village handy man. The brutal action, was a highlight of the book. You have never read about a Sasquatch being so vicious, it was kind of like seeing all the treats that Han gives to people about Chewbacca in Star Wars played out. The first arm rip off is a doozy. I didn’t really identify with Kate, the journal writer, but I do love the speculation of her brother, at what happened to her and the closure that he got through it.

What I Disliked: Too many chapters were dedicated to the research of other villages like Greenloop, at first it was interesting but it went on and on. It took too long for the Sasquatch to show up or even get teased. I did feel the ranger had too much information on the Sasquatch legend and mythical creatures in different countries. This book needed to have a conspiracy theorist who runs a Bigfoot watch to break up the science.

Recommendations: I think Sasquatch fans will like this more than I did, so I recommend this to them. This one is a hard one for me the beginning was hard to get through, then the second half was everything I wanted to ever see a Sasquatch do. I will barely recommend this one. I have not been this torn on a review in quite some time. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the Summer. I rated Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks 3 out of 5 stars. I have not read a Max Brooks all the way through, I have read most of the Zombie Survival guide, and love the satirical tone, World War Z has been in my TBR pile for so long. I liked the action in this and will one day read more Max Brooks.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well. The Welcome to Camp Nightmare 2 part episode from Goosebumps was a childhood favorite of mine, there’s minor differences a one plot point change that I liked better than the book. There’s a real lack of false scares in this one only one at the beginning, which is the smallest amont in a Goosebumps book so far. The book uses every camping horror trope but twist it and makes it fun. I’m reading these Goosebumps books in order and giving to my three nephews, and they will like this one a lot.

The Plot: Billy is going to his first Overnight camping trip for the summer at Camp Nightmoon. Billy makes fast friends on the bus with his bunk mates of Cabin 4 Jay, Colin, and Mike. The trip starts off bad as there are snakes found in Mike’s bunk and bite him right at the start. Mike’s hand starts swelling and is told there is no nurse. Larry the older cabin leader is relaxed and says cold water and a bandage are all it takes. Mike goes off to treat his wound and is not heard from again as all his stuck is removed. Mike is the first of many campers to disappear that no one but Billy seems to remember. Billy really freaks out when he finds out the phone is fake and the letters he’s been told to write are undelivered. Billy is in Camp Nightmare, not Nightmoon.

What I Liked: Billy makes a lot of smart choices. The reveal of the fake phone was pretty great. The first scare with the desert creatures could has been one of my favorite scares of the series so far. The Bus driver scaring them, the not saying another word worked really well as he starts dumping their stuff. I loved all the clues to the ending, pay attention to the way the land and sky are described. The final twist was pretty good. I liked Larry the do nothing relaxed camp counselor. The scares are pretty good for the most part.

What I Disliked: The forbidden bunk was never really used, that’s why I like the TV episode so much better, because you have this device the forbidden bunk already set up, why not learn the history of it. I thought the plot point towards the end where Billy was asked to shoot things was okay but not explained enough.

Recommendations: Welcome to Camp Nightmare worked really well, and gave off some good scares. It was one of the easiest stories to get into so far. It made me remember my sleep over camp days and a lot of the stuff that I was afraid of. I rated Welcome to Camp Nightmare 4 out of 5 stars, and it ranks third out of the Goosebumps books that I have already read. Here’s my full ranking of the 9 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, and Monster Blood.

Book Review: The Border by Don Winslow

The Border By Don Winslow takes the epic tale of DEA agent Art Keller and his war on drugs to a worthy conclusion. The Border is book three in the Power of the Dog series. This series starts in 1975 and takes us all the way up to 2019. The Border mirrors events that happened in real life and tweek them to fit the narrative, making it feel very real and current. The previous books in the series have remained in Mexico, but this book looks at the drug war going on in America. This book reminded me of J. R. Tolkien’s Return of the King when they destroyed the ring, they go back the shire is under siege (that happens in the book not the movie). Art Keller spent so many years trying to destroy drug kingpins in Mexico, that he returns to see that drugs are all around and didn’t stop anything. I did not like The Border as much as The Power of the Dog and The Cartel which were both 5 stars, but this delivered a pretty could conclusion wrapping up the series really well. This book brought back a couple of characters from the first book, that I was curious about what happened to their characters, since they were missing from the first. This is my fourth Don Winslow book, and I plan to read a lot more.

The Plot: In 2012 Art Keller took out Adan Barrera, it was unsanctioned, and he denied to everyone even the woman he loved. This created rumors a sighting of the drug kingpin. The extended Barrera family still ran the drugs, but they all wondered where Adan is? and if he is dead, who takes over? Art Keller who retired is lured back to DEA, by a senator who he has helped in the past, he not coming back as an agent, but as the director. His new job is to stop drugs in America. Adan’s body is found which causes split in the family and breaks out in a turf war. Crazy Eddie just wanted to do his four years and retire after he helped Art Kellar take down Adan by snitching. Prison his hard for him, and he has to make deals to survive putting him right back in the drug game. Art Keller thought he killed the kingpin, the killings and drugs would slow down, but he was wrong.

What I Liked: This series is still hardcore look at drug and their effect. The conclusion wrapped up everything, every dirty little secret was exposed and it was quite something to read. Art Kellar got to keep the girl, Marisol is his soul mate it was nice to see him not destroy one relationship. I liked all of Crazy Eddie’s rise and falls, he’s a fun character that is like a cat always landing on his feet. I liked the war to be the new boss. I liked Ric’s last night out, that’s how you go out. I liked all the double and triple crosses, and some still keeping loyalty that was formed years ago. I loved seeing Sean and Nora come back into the series.

What I Disliked: The Nico storyline, it was interesting at times, but for such a long book, it was an easy cut for me. I felt the storyline barely dipped into drugs, and was more about illegal immigrants. What was done with Chuy’s storyline, since he was in the epilogue, with Art Kellar. He was dispatched too soon, and Art never really found out what happened. Chuy was basically his son for two years, and when he runs away he makes a search party but doesn’t seem to give it another thought after that.

Recommendations: The Border is a hard core narrative that is very hard hitting. The Power of the Dog series has way too many trigger warnings to list, it is for a mature reader. That being said the writing is really good and will keep you very entertained, you will live the lives of drug dealers, cartel enforcers, DEA agents, undercover cops, teenage immigrants, gang members, reporters, and hitmen. I rated The Border 4 out of 5 stars. I rated the full Power of the Dog series 5 out of 5. The Power of the Dog, which was my favorite 5 out of 5, The Cartel a worthy sequel 4 out of 5 and finally this book The Border 4 out of 5 stars. I started reading Don Winslow books 3 years and he is quickly becoming my favorite new author in Crime Fiction.

Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King is a truly horrific book. Alcohol and ghosts do not mix! King gets into true fear, having someone you love, a father and husband, say, “I’m going to bash your brains”, then attempt to do it. The Shining is a ghost story but the scariest monster in the book is addictions and how it changes your rational choices, to choices that jeopardize your family. My girlfriend was very shocked that I had never read The Shining, and got it for Christmas. I was something not on my list really, because I had watched the Kubrick film so many times and thought I knew the story. I still really enjoyed it. The movie changes quite a bit, there are no creepy twins!! No axe, but a mallet, no maze, but animals made of bushes, we never get to see what Jack is writing, but know he is writing a history of the hotel, and we get a lot more of Dick Halloran the cook at the hotel with the shine. I have seen the Mini-series starring Steven Webber which is a lot more accurate to the source material, nails the ending. As a fan of Stephen Kings works I felt this was one of the better beginnings to one of his stories, I was hooked pretty instantly.

The Plot: Jack Torrance has been sober for 13 months, after close call involving drunk driving, and the almost loss of his family. Jack recently lost his job as a private school teacher, as he lost it on a student. Jack is hurting for work and still dealing with the struggles of addiction. When and old drink buddy that is also sober now, has an opportunity for Jack, care-taking for the Overlook Hotel, a Colorado hotel that needs a care-taker for the winter months of no operation. Jack sees this as the perfect job he can work on a play get paid and be away from his alcohol addiction for months. Jack takes his son and wife, Danny and Wendy, with him. Danny has an ability to read thoughts, and see the future called “the shine”. He has been getting warned that this trip will have dangers. Danny meets a cook with the shine ability that warns him as well about strange occurrences. Jack ends up becoming obsessed when he learns of the hotel’s killer past. Jack and Danny are both haunted as the hotel decides it wants to make them permanent residents.

What I Liked: The history of the Overlook hotel was really interesting. The reveal of what REDRUM means was a good one, it memorable from the film but the book did it nicely. The final 150 pages of this book are full of excitement. The main monster in the book was alcohol addiction. I loved the rational for Jack sabotaging the things to get help, was he knew if he was unemployed that he was going to give into to drinking, so the ghost was the safer bet in his mind. I liked “the shine” and how we got to see a couple people have it. I liked that the ghost used racism against Dick, but not any of the people. I love the way Mr. Ullman was described, I would have liked to see his reaction to the ending, because of the way he was connected to the hotel. I thought the stop drinking story was powerful and haunting. King books usually have way too much detail about a lot of things that do not matter, but I felt this was good example of most of the details having a purpose.

What I Disliked: The small subplot where Jack bragged about writing the expose on the Overlook Hotel to Ullman and Al. That plot was dropped towards the end. The point was to show manipulation of the mind, but I felt another way would have been better.

Recommendations: I had a lot of fun with The Shining. The writing is really good. The scares and the descriptions will give you chills. I had a lot of fun finding the differences from the film and the book. For a pop culture reference The Shining is the book that Rachael put in the freezer on Friends, and Joey put Little Women, which I actually did read this year coincidentally. The Shining out of the 30 some Stephen King Books that I have read would easily put it in the Top 10 maybe top 5. I rated The Shining by Stephen King 5 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: Book Reviews May 2020

Hello dear readers, May has been quite a month. I managed to read 6 novels this month, I have worked over 50 hours every week this month, so I’m calling that a win. .  I read one reread. I read two 5 star books. I read one graphic novel, where Wonder Woman kick Superman’s butt. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series. Thank you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Cartel by Don Winslow is one heck epic book, the story takes place over 9 years and makes you feel like you lived it. You experience the  lives of heroes and villains in a drug war gone bad in Mexico. The book in fiction but is heavily researched with real events added to the story to give it an authentic feel. The Cartel is the second book in the excellent Power of the Dog series.  I gave Power of the Dog the first book in the series five stars as well, it is highly recommended.

 What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is one crazy book that you can’t predict or put down. Characters flip from being good to bad, as the reader learns more secrets. This book has some of the most cringe worthy scenes, not because of gore or anything horrid, but because you are reading about a character that keeps digging themselves into holes. This is family dysfunction at its finest. What would it take for you to chain your mother in her room? The answers come quickly but the reasons behind them stay buried in lies.

Four Star Reviews:


Long Bright River by Liz Moore was a slow burn mystery that uses a real town and the topic of addiction, to make this mystery compelling. The slow pace reminded me of In The Woods by Tana French and The Widow by Fiona Barton. The mystery is not as good as it could have been and takes a backseat to addiction, but addition and the characters that are dealing with it are what make this novel stand out.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 by Tom Taylor, adds a little magic to this volume of Injustice. It was just a matter of time until magic got brought in, with magic being Superman’s weaknesses besides kryptonite. I’m not to familiar with Justice League Dark characters, but the Batman / John Constantine dynamic really plays off each other well.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato is a change from original writer Tom Taylor. The first issue in this volume is probably my second favorite since the first issue. In this issue Superman dreams what if Lois lived instead of died, having Batman kill the Joker to protect Clark, as he say where the Joker almost took him. This volume concludes most of the Justice League Dark’s involvement.  Constantine leaves in a really clever way.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato is one action packed volume that pits the old Gods of Myth Zeus, Hera, Hermes and more against the new Gods Superman, Wonder Woman, and more in a fight with deadly consequences. Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to revive Wonder Woman and Superman from a magic induced sleep, we learn the terms of that deal in this volume and the consequences that come with it. Batman also makes a deal with Athena (the God of War) who is playing both sides for more war. Superman and Wonder Woman fight, and man is it epic.

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato is one action packed volume that pits the old Gods of Myth Zeus, Hera, Hermes and more against the new Gods Superman, Wonder Woman, and more in a fight with deadly consequences. Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to revive Wonder Woman and Superman from a magic induced sleep, we learn the terms of that deal in this volume and the consequences that come with it. Batman also makes a deal with Athena (the God of War) who is playing both sides for more war. Superman and Wonder Woman fight, and man is it epic. This graphic novel was high on action, but low dialogue that was not full of cliches. Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato collects Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four issues 1-7.

The Plot:The Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois and his unborn child, when her heart stops a nuclear bomb destroys Metropolis. Superman distraught kills The Joker and declares martial law on the whole world, vowing that no one should die needlessly. Lex Luthor develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that Superman controls. Batman steals the super humans pills and gives them to every hero and a few villains to make them equal. Superman’s action have drawn attention to the Green Lantern Corps who’s power is all about will power. Martian Man hunter died as he was fighting Wonder Woman from the inside when Superman used his heat vision, and sent Wonder Woman into a coma. Sinestro is manipulates Superman telling his own story and the way the Green Lantern Corps will attack, he makes an alliance that brings Sinestro and his minions as added protection, both Hal Jordan and Superman put on the yellow rings of fear to win against the Green Lantern Corps. Batman list the help all of his friends with magical abilities in a plan to put Superman asleep forever. The plan worked but Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to wake Superman and Wonder Woman. The sleep was supposed to give Superman clarity but he wakes up madder than ever because of what he missed out on. Batman makes a deal with Athena as well that has the old Gods and Amazon’s joining his side. The Amazon’s are missing Wonder Woman’s mother who is taken prisoner by Hera and made to sit this fight out, as per her deal. Batman ends up tricking Wonder Woman to fight Superman to the death a a champion of the Amazon’s.

What I Liked: The epic Superman / Wonder Woman fight is epic, lots of great drawings back the fight up. Harley volunteering herself to fight Superman as tribute. Harley’s on going crush on Shazam calling him Shazzy. Shazam and Hercules fight another great fight. Montoya losing it when Huntress is killed. Batwoman’s show of restraint against her enemy.

What I Disliked: The dialogue was really weak. Bearded Batman looks really weird.

Recommendations: The Superman versus Wonder woman is worth the price of this book, it is epic and meaningful fight, that is fought over two issues. I really enjoyed the art work more than I have in the previous volumes. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato 4 0ut of 5 stars. I only have 4 volumes left in the original Injustices series, and plan to have them read before the end of the year.