TBR: September 2020

September 2020 TBR list: I haven’t made a TBR list in some time, the last time I did it for dual months, now I ‘m confident in my reading and my work schedule.  Here is what I will be reading this month.

The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk, this is a novel that I have already finished and placed my review it is released to the public on September 8th 2020.  The story is a crazy one that connects a serial killer, a Foley artist, con men, and a grieving father of a lost daughter. The Invention of Sound is written by the writer of Fight Club, check it out.

Goosebumps Be Careful What You Wish For… by R. L. Stine this book is number 12 in the original series order.  I have already read this book as well, I t was clever writing but with no real scares. This is my latest review.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – The cover drove me to this book, probably one of the most haunting yet beautiful covers.  After the cover awed me I started reading the reviews and book descriptions.  Lesbian Necromancer is how a character in the book was described, which is pretty much all I needed to pick up the book. The main character was described as MTV’s Daria in a action packed Science Fiction involving necromancy.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – I have seen this book blow up the blogosphere and was the top five of a lot of mid-year list in July.  Stephen King and Gillian Flynn have both wrote blurbs about it.  Friends have told me, it is best to know as little as possible going in.

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – This is book four of the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series.  I have reviews for all three novels and a in-between short story bridging the gap into Capturing the Devil.  The covers are gorgeous for all these books.  The story follows Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell two apprentices in early forensic science in the late 1880’s- 1890’s.  There’s romance, danger, and murder all through out this book series.    I was drawn to the cover and the staff reviews at Barnes and Noble for the second in the series.  This is the final book in the Stalking Jack The Ripper Series.

The Trials of Koli by M. R. Carey – This is the second book in the Rampart Trilogy.  I was blown away by the heart and the originality of the first book ,The Book of Koli, that I had to read the second one.  The premise is in future trees have taken over, they can walk and kill, society lives in shelter and relies on old technology to protect.  Koli dreams of being a technology user, but not knowing about technology he doesn’t know the system is rigged, with voice commands and fingerprint analysis.  He finds out and steals what ever he can find to make work he want’s a weapon, but what he gets is … a device that know one would think to use as a weapon, but in Koli’s hands he turns it into one.  This book is an ARC and comes out on 9-15-20.

InJustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Volume 3 by Brian Buccellato – This series is based on the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us.  In the series it ask what would the world turn into if superman lost everything and started killing his enemies and anyone who did not see the world his way.  Batman with his no kill code, is against this and friends become foes as the Justice league is broken up and heroes take sides.  This is Graphic Novel 11 in the series so far and the last Volume before InJustice 2 starts. I have reviewed all ten before it on my site.

Goosebumps Piano Lessons Can Be Murder by R. L. Stine – This is Goosebumps 13 in the original series order.  I  have enjoyed reading these, and have a gotten a great response from my followers that have enjoyed reminiscing with me.  This book I can barely remember the episode from the Goosebumps TV show, so I will be mostly blind going into to this book, which is preferred.   

Book Review: The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk

The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk is one crazy story that connects a serial killer, a foley artist, con men, and a grieving father of a lost daughter. If you have ever read anything by Palahniuk who is most famous for writing the mind bending Fight Club, you know you will experience something totally unique and that is what is delivered here, a story I cannot imagine anyone else producing other than Palahniuk. The writing is very good, Palahniuk makes some of the craziest observations; also he knows his history when it comes to sound editing, you will come away from this book knowing a lot about the interesting world of foley sound; which is the creation of fake sounds in movies. The cover features a watermelon getting split open which is the sound used for a skull cracking in movies. This book is mind bending, as it will make you the reader ask is this real, is this a drugged out fantasy, is this mental break, or is this a dream. I would read something in this this story and ask that question and read a little further to find out if it was real or not. There is some readers who will driven mad by this, I for one enjoyed it because you who always get the answer on what was real. This wasn’t my favorite Palahniuk which is Choke and Lullaby but it is up there for me. Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader Copy. The Invention of Sound is Published on 9-8-20.

The Plot: Gates Foster lost his daughter 17 years ago, when she was only 7, he has spent that lifetime wonder if she is alive or dead. Lately he has been obsessed with child predators and working on tracking them down like a vigilante. On a plane he has a breakdown, swearing he heard his little girl call for him. he then accuses a fellow passenger of being a kidnapper because the girl looks so much like his daughter. A friend of a local support group for kids that have died early bail him out. Mitzi is a foley artist known for creating a realistic scream, she learned the technique from her dad and has since taken over the business. Gates Foster is on the brink of madness when he realizes where he heard the his daughter from a movie, is he paranoid, crazy, or is he on the right track to discovering the truth about his daughter.

What I Liked: the twist, there’s so many, and it keeps changing you perception of people. The history of Sound design I found really interesting, me, having worked on a couple of independent short films doing foley sound, loved the history, and how it was told. The flipping back and forth from Mitzi to Gates works great while they’re stories don’t intertwine. The uniqueness of the story is so refreshing for some one who reads so much, I had no way of knowing where this story was going, and just enjoyed the ride. The wild subplot about the conmen, I don’t know if it is was really necessary to the overall story but man was that plot crazy.

What I Disliked: Flipping back and forth between Gates and Mitzi while they are in the same place, listening to different things was super confusing for no reason. Why wouldn’t you just listen together.

Recommendations: I recommend this crazy, crazy, story. If you enjoy stories that are wild ride that you can’t predict, then this is the story for you. The story is mainly mystery, which too my knowledge is Palahniuk’s first, even though all his stories have an aspect of mystery. I rated The Invention of Sound by Chick Palahniuk 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Outliers – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell is a great book that made me think after I finished about my own outliers. An outlier is described as a scientific term to describe things or a phenomena that lies outside normal experience as described by Gladwell. The book is smart but written so simple, that it is easy to follow. I was blown away how easy Gladwell will break down a person’s history in a couple of paragraphs. The topics are broken down and planned out really well. If and when I read nonfiction, I usually read a biography, so it was a treat for me to be so throughly entertained by this book. I read this book in two days, part one that is a little over half the book I could not put down. The second part about legacy wasn’t as good but still intriguing.

The Plot: The book shows you that outliers exist by using examples of hereditary, when you were born, if you grew up around self made people, if you had the time to find sucess, and the date you were born. Gladwell shows that if you want to be a professional hockey player you should be born from January through March for an added advantage. The advantage is December 31 is the cut off for Allstar league. So everybody born in January – March will be the most physically developed. Which plays into Gladwell showing evidence of people working 10,000 hours in an area to gain success, he shows how this worked for The Beatles, Bill Gates, and other people in their field. You will see that one’s intelligence has a limit for success when you include other factors. You will spend time with the smartest college drop out ever in Chris Langan. Will get answer why Asians have an advantage in math, why Korean airlines used to have the most plane crashes, and why it was an advantage to be Jewish to be a Lawyer in the 1960’s.

What I Liked: This book was so easy to read and flowed so well for most of it. Gladwell breakdown the lives of over a hundred people in this book, it’s all interesting and the histories allowed me to paint such a vivid picture in my mind. I came away thinking about mine and my family’s outliers for success, it had that self help aspect where I can think and plan stuff for my own kid’s future. The 10,000 hours to success is brilliant, and the highlight of the book. That chapter I can see myself reading again in future. I’m from the South and I liked the experiment that was performed on aggression in Southerners compared to Northerners.

What I Disliked: The airport disasters chapter went on for too long, and we kept coming back to one crash in particular that was over analyzed to death, I did think it was interesting but I got the point and was ready to move on 30 pages ago. The second part of the book did not flow as well as the first.

Recommendations: I recommend you check this book out. It’s great for anecdotes at parties, some great conversational pieces. You can wow your friends with this question and answer that is asked to potential Microsoft employees during an interview; Why are manhole covers round? And so many other great bits. I rated Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell 4 out of 5 stars. I will totally read another piece of nonfiction work by Malcolm Gladwell

Book Review: The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Krause

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Krause is a great zombie epic! It’s scary as hell, in its graphic descriptions that make you see, smell, hear, and even taste the gore. The first 200 pages don’t read while eating please take my advice. This novel is so much more than just a gore fest, it there is heartbreak, love and betrayal. The Living Dead is a morale tale that ask what is living really? Is it a person going through the motions more glued to their phone than the real world? Or is it a Zombie that longs for a connection. This book is a huge 600 hundred pages, and I was entertained the whole time, the book went in directions I was not expecting, it kills more main character than I was expecting, which is a little fun and adds to the thrill that no one is safe. The first 400 pages are total zombie madness, the book jumps forward in time and deals with the aftermath of survival and attempting to live and be good people in the Zombie Apocalypse. This book is written by the grandaddy of the zombie genre, when he wrote and directed The Night of the Living Dead in 1968. He would continue making zombie movies until his death making such classics as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. The Living Dead was an unfinished screenplay that got turned into a novel by writer Daniel Krause. Krause is known for working with another writer/director named Guillermo del Toro he wrote the novelization of the Oscar winning film The Shape of Water and he is the co-creator of Trollhunters on Netflix, which I love so much. I was super excited when I received a copy for review thanks to Netgalley and Macmillion Publishing. The Living Dead by George A Romero and Daniel Krause was published on August 4th 2020.

The Plot: A statistical analyst sees a glitch in the system, which is the start of a full blown Zombie attack. Two forensic pathologists make the horrifying discovery that the dead rise as they are doing an examination, and tweet out head shots are the only way to kill. Crew members on the aircraft carrier Olympia try to survive a zombie out break in the middle of the ocean. We get a first hand experience at a zombie attack at a trailer park, and we get to experience a news team making the tough call of what exactly to report. All face life and limb to survive without being bit and become part of the living dead?

What I Liked: The descriptions and sounds will paint a vivid picture in your mind that you will not be able to soon forget. The characters are plenty about the same amount as Steven Kings The Stand, and they are all so well defined that I knew exactly who they were, and liked almost every one of them. The body count was so high and unexpected deaths kept me on pins and needles. The bad guy, I kept imaging as a clone to Robert Blake’s character in David Lynch’s Lost Highway. The writing is really great and it balances horror to morality really well. I’m really sad this is going to be the last collaboration between Romero and Krause. Hopefully a lost script is found somewhere.

What I Disliked: The ending was a great idea, but after the first three fourths was so awesome, I have to admit I was a little letdown. I wanted it to be bigger, and epic like the start.

Recommendations: I totally recommend this epic tale of zombie horror from the master of undead fiction George A. Romero. This book has every gross gore-tastic description you could ever want in a zombie story. The characters are diverse and all over the spectrum of people. If you are looking for raw zombie horror then you will get it, and if you are looking for a morality tale then you will get that too. This book has my full recommendation. I rated The Living Dead by George A Romero and Daniel Krause 5 out of 5 stars. It’s one of my top reads of books published this year.

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.

Book Review: The Cartel by Don Winslow

The Cartel by Don Winslow is one epic book, the story takes place over 9 years and feels like it. You live the lives of heroes and villains in a drug war gone bad. 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 Power of the Dog series. This is the second time I have read this book, the first time I read it out of series order, but this book does a great job of recapping everything that happened in Power of the Dog ( the first book), that I wasn’t lost. Power of the Dog starts in the 70′ and leads up to the 2000’s and The Cartel takes it from the 2000’s and goes up to 2010’s. The main characters  from Power of the Dog Art Kellar and Adan Barrera continue their blood feud going to an amazing climax. This is a great gangster tale, with lots of action. The Godfather the film is mentioned a lot, and you can see parallels but this novel is definitely it’s own thing. For a 616 pages this novel has an amazing pay off that rewards the reader for all the pages.

The Plot: After Art Kellar had Adan Barrera arrested in the US. Art retired and joined silent monks to maintain seek mercy for all that he has done. Adan Barrera cuts a deal to rat on one of his ex-partners in exchange to be extradited to Mexico to serve the rest of prison sentence and attend the funeral of his daughter. Once in Mexico he has all the prison officials bought and lives like a king, he has female prisoners brought in to parties and falls for one Magda. Adan Blames Kellar for his daughter’s death and puts a two million dollar bounty on him, which draws his old agency the DEA to warn him. Kellar fearing retaliation goes on the move and takes down bounty hunters on the way all not wanting to be apart of the DEA, until he reads a report about Adan escaping prison. In Adan’s 3 year absence a new gang the Zeta’s have grown into power. Adan was ruthless with in reason but the Zeta’s just want chaos. Kellar want to take sides down as they target people that are close to him. Kellar may have to work with Adan to take them down.

What I Liked:The characters are interesting and each is given a background, so you know where there choices come from and they feel very real. Crazy Eddie my favorite side character. He is funny and ruthless. I loved Crazy Eddie trying to make a movie of his life. The Climax is action packed and really fulfilling ending. The shoot out at the Don’s house was a great one, where the 70 year old hunter won’t be bossed around and destroy his home. I liked the Mexico prison scenes, which reminded me of the Goodfellas prison scenes. I loved the seamless blending of facts and fiction.

What I Disliked: the only time I found this book challenging is keeping up with what side everyone was on, and sometimes if they were in Mexico or America. The Character of Chuy was so underutilized, his character disappears for almost 300 pages, that I almost forgot about him, when he returns at the end of the book. There were too many scenes with the Juarez news, I liked were the scene ultimately went too but it took way too long to get there.

Recommendations: Pick up The Power of the Dog series, it is so hard hitting. I you want to read a gritting hard hinting novel that does not stop, the this is the book for you. This book is all about gangsters and drugs. I rated The Cartel by Don Winslow 5 out of 5 stars, the novel had a few hiccups but delivered on a lot. I liked The Power of the Dog slightly more. I have just received a copy of The Border by Don Winslow which is the 3rd book in the Power of the Dog series and plan on reading that soon.

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato

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. The first three issues are great but the last three kept slipping in quality. The epilogue of the Teen Titans and why they are not involved in the events was great and will definitely come in to play later. John Constantine reveals the end game for what he really wanted to accomplish. Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 collects issues 7-12 of Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three.

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. He develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that he controls. Batman wants the world to be safe but still give the people free will. 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 took out Cyborg, Robin, Raven, and flash at the Hall of Justice. John Constantine joins the fight on Batman’s side as a body from a Green Lantern Corps kills one of his ex-lovers and mother to his child Rose. Constantine assembles team of magic powered heroes to join forces with Batman and take Superman down. They use Raven as bait and set a trap to put Superman in a magic sleep that shows him the way things could have went. The vision was supposed to give him clarity but he wakes up madder than ever because of what he missed. Wonder Woman wakes up because Athena made some bargain with Wonder Woman’s mother. We see Constantine’s real game plan, and why he’s so willing to help.

What I Liked: The Superman dream story is written so well. I loved the reveal of Constantine’s long con that he had been setting up for a while now. When the Devil Traigon shows up Harley’s reaction to seeing made me laugh hard, “He’s from the movie Legend, where are the unicorns?” Wonder Woman’s dream about a relationship with Clark was great. A return version of Dick Grayson, as the Deadman, has a conversation with Bruce where he calls him dad is the sweetest thing ever. The epilogue, showing what happened to the Teen Titans, and why they are not involved, surprised me with who they sided with in the fight. I liked Flash’s trickery while still keeping his word to Dr. Fate.

What I Disliked: The Traigon and Mr. Mxyzptlk fight was just okay and went on for way too long. I didn’t like the Spectre reveal of who is behind the mask, I wanted more. The Poison Ivy V. Swamp Thing fight was cool, but didn’t get why they would be immediate enemies.

Recommendations: This volume of Injustice had my favorite opening issue, but it couldn’t hold after that. The quality of the Injustice Series is still being maintained. This series is still some of the best DC has put out in a while that wasn’t a straight Batman graphic novel, in my opinion. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Long Bright River by Liz Moore

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. The novel isn’t a fun read it stays pretty serious while staying on the dangers of addiction and the effect it can have on those around you. This is not a novel of big twist, but tiny little ones that build up. I was glad to be wrong on my guess of the killer, and that twist was pretty good. Paula Hawkins wrier of The Girl on a Train and Dennis Lehane writer of Mystic River praise Long Bright River on the cover in blurbs.

The Plot: Mickey works as a cop in the Kensington, Philadelphia, a town where she grew up. Kensington is a placed rocked by the opioid crisis, it effected her mom, her father, and her sister. She doesn’t remember much of her parents who passed away when she was young, and raised by her Grandmother Gee. Mickey and Kacey had the same life but she became a cop and her sister a junkie prostitute. Mickey stumbles into a case of a dead young hooker, that is the start of a serial killing. As more girls off the street start showing up dead, her sister Kacey has vanished. Is it she the next victim, or is there something else? Mickey risk everything to locate her sister before it is too late.

What I Liked: I liked the characters, Mickey, Kacey, and Grandma Gee are all well rounded characters with real problems. I liked the way the opioid crisis was handled in the book. The look on addiction and the link of heredity was really great. I loved, loved the final scene of this book it nailed theme of addiction starting early so hard, that scene will stay with me a little while. I liked the look on community and how they come together and try to help. Kensington, PA is a real place with a real crisis, but the city is portrayed as broken down but still with a heart that I admired. I have had friends and family that have gone through addiction some have lived through it while others have succumbed; which made this story very relatable to me.

What I Disliked: Liz Moore chose not to use quotations on any lines of dialogue, which I found really distracting and had to read some passages over to understand it. This was a writer or editor’s choice but it didn’t work for me. The serial killer’s plot fell to the wayside for too long, I thought it could have dealt with that storyline together with addiction. The serial killer’s was not really compelling and didn’t do really anything to hide it.

Recommendation: I really think the character’s over the mystery make this novel one to check out. I found the difficult subject right on point and very real, which kept me reading. I think this book will allow addicts to look at what they put people that love them through, while giving the people that take care of them more insight into why addicts are addicts. I rated Long Bright River by Liz Moore 4 out of 5 stars. This was my first Liz Moore book, but I will soon check out more.

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 by Tom Taylor

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 The Deadman, John Constantine, Dr. Fate, Zantanna, and Swamp Thing were the character’s I knew pretty well, but people like Ragman, Detective Chimp, Spectre, Madame Xanadu, and The Demon, I have little to no knowledge of. The Batman / John Constantine dynamic really plays off each other well. This volume had a fortune told with some events already happening. One person has already came back from the grave, with the possibility of another. Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 collects issues 1-6 of Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Three.

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. He develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that he controls. Batman wants the world to be safe but still give the people free will, Batman sacrificed his body to get the formula for the super pill to give his side a chance. Superman’s action have drawn attention to the Green Lantern Corps who’s power is all about will power, see this as an affront to not let free will. Sinestro is manipulating 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 took out Cyborg, Robin, Raven, and others at the Hall of Justice. John Constantine joins the fight on Batman’s side as a body from a Green Lantern Corps kills one of his ex-lovers and mother to his child Rose. Constantine assembles team of magic powered heroes to join forces with Batman and take Superman down. They use Raven as bait and set a trap to stop Superman for good.

What I Liked: The Reveal of the line I need the world’s leading detective, everybody is thinking Batman, and then it is revealed to be Detective Chimp. Constantine laughing at Batman and Detective Chimp together. Harley debating with Dr. Fate and his name because he isn’t a doctor, and should be called Mr. Fate. The way Batman uses the Demon and his power. The prophecy and what has came true so far has me eagerly waiting to see if the final words will come true. I love the choice for who is brought back to be the new Deadman. I love the line Constantine uses to get Swamp Thing to join, you used to be human remember, and Swamp Thing says, You did too, which is so powerful. The final Batman Superman fight to end this volume was great.

What I Disliked: I needed more background on a lot of the magical heroes, and who they are and what their powers are? The mystery with who the Spectre really is, I don’t know where this is going?

Recommendations: This is a solid addition to the Injustice:Goods Among Us storyline. The story still has my attention. For me not being a big fan of Justice League Dark I still really enjoyed this volume. I really loved the charm of John Constantine, who I only know through the Keanu Reeves film and the Tv show Legends of Tomorrow. This book made me want to read more comics featuring the character. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 by Tom Taylor 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: Book Reviews April 2020

Hello dear readers, another month down. I read 9 novels this month, hit over 700 followers, thank you everyone. I read two graphic novels, three science fiction, one fantasy, one historical fiction, one young adult, and one middle grade fiction. I only read two books that were not in a series. One book was an advanced reader copy from Netgalley. My most anticipated read turned out to just be okay. My breakdown for this month is two 5 star reads, four 4 star reads, and three 3 star reads.

5 Star Reviews:

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow – is Scarface and the Godfather rolled into one. You live as the good guys the bad guys and the people in between that are casualties of a 30 year drug war, in the USA, Mexico and Columbia. This story looks at both sides like I have never read before, it shows the good guys having to cross lines they never thought they could cross and the bad guys crossing those lines to keep what they have. The pace is break neck and so addicting. This is book one in the Power of the Dog series.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two Volume 2 By Tom Taylor – is action packed with a lot of surprises and turns. This volume was a return to form it added the comedy back, some heartbreak, epic fights and happy reunions. Harley Quinn is a very bright spot in this volume, adding humor and heart, with her own twisted sense of humor. Batman is still in the shadows still recovering from what Superman did in year one. Superman goes from protector to dictator as he starts losing foot holds on his turf.

4 Star Reviews:

The Book Of Koli by M.R. Carey – is science fiction book after an apocalyptic battle where we tried to fix the environment but the world created trees that can walk and kill for nourishment. This book is the first book in the proposed Rampart Trilogy. This book is all heart, you can’t help but fall for Koli as he wants something more in this world, ad he manages to get a piece in the most unlikeliest of ways. The novel has a couple of good twists and turns and went in a direction I didn’t see it going. He is the unlikeliest of hero with a weapon to match. I read and reviewed this book thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind – is a fantasy that goes from juvenile light fantasy to brutal high fantasy full of sex and torture. Wizard’s First Rule is book one in the 15 book Sword of Truth series. The first 200 pages are the corner stone of fantasy mediocrity, A hero orphaned finds out he is really the savior all along, he meets the woman of his dreams that’s the key to the danger and his prophecy. The old healer in the village is really a powerful wizard that has been watching over him. The first 200 read like a Star Wars plot set in a fantasy world. Thank goodness this book is over 800 pages because those pages are original and go in directions I couldn’t have predicted, and I couldn’t put it down.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two Volume 1 by Tom Taylor – it gets away from the Batman and Superman strife of who is wrong by adding the Green Lantern Corps. The epicness died down a little in this volume but the potential is still really high for a huge payoff. Out of all the members of the Justice League I’m least familiar with Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps, this graphic novel is heavy on those characters.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow 1 is a love story at its heart, that I found very beautiful, it dips into the science fiction by way of magic, and the time period of early 19oo’s makes it historical fiction as well. I liked the idea of doorways to another world, where some people want to explore them, while other’s want them destroyed. The story is told as a book with in a book, which took a little getting used to, once I got used to it I liked the storytelling more, and there’s a few surprises in this way of storytelling that really work for the narrative.

3 Star Reviews:

This Is How You Lose The Time War By Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone – is a science fiction love story featuring a spy vs. spy storyline with time travel agents. What happens when one time traveler writes a note to her rival? They start a letter writing correspondence through time. The novel flows like a poem as the time travelers try to one up each other with diction, prose, and literature. There where times when I was head scratching some of the words and what they mean.

The Girl Who Cried Monster by R. L. Stine – is Goosebumps book number 8 in the original series. The Girl Who Cried Monster is an updated take on the classic fable The Boy who Cried Wolf. The premiss is the same a girl is obsessed with monsters, always acting like they’re real, discovers a real monster, and no one will believe her. The tale runs pretty typical until the bonkers ending, which is so out there it ruins it a little.

The Toll By Neal Shusterman – is book three of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The Toll Ends the series in a fitting way exposes truths hinted at in Scythe and Thunderhead. This book expands the number of characters introducing a few new ones and expanding upon characters we have grown with. This book was my least favorite in this excellent series. I wanted to love this book as much as the others, but from chapter two, I knew this book was going in a different direction than I wanted it to. The novel eventually corrects course and delivers a satisfying ending to the series. My main problem is Citra and Rowan have been the main characters, and this book changes it to an ensemble story.