Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 2 by Brain Buccellato

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 2 by Brain Buccellato is action packed has improved it’s writing since last volume. This is the second to last Graphic novel in the series, and it’s starting to take direction for a pretty epic Batman and Superman fight. Batman is losing his confidence as allies start dropping by not seeing an end to the fight. Batman has a morale crisis and gets advice from Alfred basically coming down to Superman kills and is always in fear where you don’t kill and embrace your fear, it’s a pretty touching moment between Bruce and his Surrogate father/butler Alfred. Damian has a real crisis where despite hating his father Bruce Wayne, deep down he wants to be him and knows it’s the harder path. This book has an amazing cliffhanger that’s going to end badly for Batman and Superman. I think since Brian Buccellato took over the quality has gone down, but it’s great to see this series, which I have stuck with for 10 volumes so far get better under him and go into the epic ending I wanted for the series. Injustice: God Among Us Year Five Volume 2 collects Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five issues 7-12.

The Series Plot leading up to Year Five Volume 2: 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. Plastic Man risk all to save his son from being a prisoner of Superman, he saves his son and rescues every other rogue in the process. All the men Superman deemed bad guys are released out into the world, some vow to be good, some want to be bad, and some want revenge. Superman works on two things recapturing all of the criminals and taking down Batman. Superman has deal for a set of villains take down the Bat, and get your freedom. Bane the man who has broken the Batman before, Killer Frost and Killer Croc. They know they can’t reach the bat so the grab the Cat. Catwoman is tortured to reveal where Batman is, she’s saved eventually but quits seeing no end to this fight. Lex’s Superman clone is found, but there’s something not right about him almost bizarre. Bizarro is born and the Trickster is manipulating him.

The Plot to Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Volume 2: Catwoman returns to theft with her not so quiet lookout Harley Quinn. She’s interrupted by Robin/Damien, they fight and have a life lesson, Damien becomes torn with the Batman V. Superman dilemma. He’s defeated and confused and takes that anger out on Black Mask and crew. He gets beaten badly but wins with help from Dick Grayson’s sprit as Deadman, that can take over a living host for a limited time. Black Mask was suposed to me in jail as he was one of the recaptured from the prison break, that makes the Justice league throw doubt to Sinestro who is in charge of the new prison. Bizarro accidently kills the Trickster in a hilarious way, Bizarro starts to remember being made in a lab by Lex and ask lex to fix his friend. Lex convinces Bizarro to gains access to the Fortress of Solitude for real answers on who he is. A Lex controlled Doomsday waits there, the plan is to have Doomsday kill Bizarro so Superman doesn’t find out he is working to stop him. Superman wants answers from the clone and shows up where Lex turns Doomsday and Bizarro who he controls against Superman. Batman is running out of allies and confidence he turns to his surrogate father/butler Alfred who assures him that he is on the right side of this difficult path. After Alfred gets done talking to Bruce, he turns around expecting Damian, but gets instead Victor Zsasz with a long knife in the Bat Cave saying, “the devil sent me.”

What I Liked: Alfred really gets to shine he stands up to Superman telling him he is full of fear, he snaps Bruce out of his doubt, and he sets Damian straight, and calls him out on a lot of things. Superman vengeance on the joker cult was brutal. The way the Trickster dies is hilarious, and set up really well. Cyborg and Flash have deep thoughts about whether they are on the right side of things. The Doomsday, Bizarro, and Superman fight is pretty epic. The climax is great, I love where they are taking Batman and the situation he is being put in. Harley talking to a life sized cut out of herself as a therapist.

What I Disliked: The Harley and Shazam storyline, I felt like I have seen it already, since I have seen a version of that scene at least four times in Injustice’s run.

Recommendation: This is the tenth book in the Injustice: Gods Among Us series and man is this book good, it is heading into the direction I wanted it to end at when I started it. Batman and Superman are heading for one heck of a showdown, and it’s not going to end when they find out the both have mothers named Martha. There will be blood! I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 2 by Brain Buccellato 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman is a nail-biting horror story full of suspense. The horror isn’t in the monster but what the sight of the monster will do to the human. Malerman to his credit never describes the monster, and leaves it totally to the imagination of the reader. The monster’s sight will make the watcher full of rage and for most be driven to commit suicide, by any means necessary. We spend most of this story in the dark, literally, as the only way the creature is effective is through sight, so character’s cover their site through blind folds. The only way they use their eye sight is it every window is covered and know exactly who is in the house. This novel makes a simple task of going to the well to get water a suspense filled ride where every bump or trip hazard could mean doom. This novel was adapted to a Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock, which enhanced the tensions, strengthened some of the relationships, and add a diverse cast of characters. The novel was did a better job of making the small moments suspense filled, while the movie enhanced the bigger moments, and let some relationships blossom more than get cut short like in the novel. I recommend experiencing both, I would have rather read the book first, but the book was so hot at the time, I couldn’t wait. This is my second Josh Malerman novel I read the underrated and excellent novella A House at the Bottom of the Lake.

The Plot: We meet Malorie with two kids both four years old, that all are blindfolded as they make there way to the river, for a nice easy blindfolded river ride to a destination unknown; but a promise of safety. We flashback to when Malorie has just discovered she is pregnant. She currently lives with her sister and got pregnant off a one night stand. Her sister and her watch the news as Alaska as been struck with a rash of people going crazy and commit suicide. They go to a drugstore to get a pregnancy test and see people starting to panic. They stockpile food and cover all the windows in the house, it goes great for three months when a piece of the covering falls and results in the sisters death. Malorie three months pregnant and getting desperate saw an add for shelter not too long ago before everything stopped, just a couple blocks away. She risks safety and security to chance it all to live in shelter with a group of strangers. This decision will change her life is it for the good or the bad?

What I Liked: The descriptions are what make this book suspense filled. We discover what things are as we get a POV of what all the prods. We get details on sound, texture, and of smells that put the reader right in that scenario. The character of Malorie from a meek character to a strong some what cruel mother is a great character transition. All the character’s and how they interact over so much strain adds to the tension. I liked the system they create to survive. The row boat and the wolves scene is pure tension, and one of the best scenes. I loved the ending, I felt is was pretty perfect. The climax is one of the best that I have read, everything happened at once, kind of making it two climaxes at once.

What I Disliked: The bad guy doesn’t get what he deserves, but now there is a sequel, so maybe they return. There’s the aftermath of the climax, that I was still bummed we didn’t get a recreation of what exactly happened as Malorie puts it together with feeling, we did get a brief one, but if we could have been told in a more detailed way of what exactly went down it would have been awesome.

Recommendations: Read this book! Read this book before you see the movie, the movie only adds it takes nothing away. If you want horror that will keep you on the edge then this boo is for you. Where A Quiet Place is horror for sound Bird Box is horror for sight. I rated Bird Box by Josh Malerman 5 out of 5 stars. I can not wait to read the sequel Malorie that was released only a month ago.

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a beautifully written Young Adult novel dealing with class struggles, growing up, the sacrifices we make to keep family together, and love. This novel was written 6 years ago I was warned it had a good twist, but was not prepared for what it was, and it makes this beautifully written novel mean so much more. The words used flow like poetry, the stories with in a story are great and act as metaphors for what is going on. This is not a book that was on my radar at all so thanks to the book blog community for the rave reviews that got me to take a chance. I was moved by the story and had some misty eyes when all was said and done. Being a male in my forties I could still relate to this story about teenagers coming together over the summer and bonding as their world was about to turn upside down. We Were Liars won the Goodreads Choice award for Young Adult Fiction in 2014.

The Plot: Cadence or Cady and her mother started spending their summers in Martha’s Vineyard Island , they always meet up with their family, Cadence’s grandparents, her two aunts and plenty of cousins. Cadence fun little trips change when she meets Gat, at age 8, an Indian boy who is the son of a guy dating one of the aunts. Gat is treated like family, but there is an underlying of class that not all the family is happy with. Cadence forms what they call the Liar’s Club with cousin Johnny, the wild one, cousin Mirren , the smart one, and Gat who lives with Johnny, who cares about all things, the family referred to them as the liars. Year 15 was the best one yet for Cadence, she could feel Gat start noticing her. Then we cut to Year 16 where she can barley get out of bed and has crippling migraines. She can’t remember anything about the summer of year 15. She finally visits but the liar’s club was warned not to say anything. What happened that summer?

What I Liked? The writing flows like poetry. I loved the fairy tales with in the story that Cadence writes to express her issues on things. I loved the twist, I was so not prepared for it. I liked the comparisons to Wuthering Heights in Gat and Cadence’s relationship. I bought into the relationship, Lockhart did a good job at showing what made Gat so attractive. I loved the character of Johnny, and how he stood up to his Grandaddy when it came to his inheritance. Cadence’s relationship with her grandad was a great one she saw him for what he was a lonely man pulling his family’s strings for the inheritance so they will stick around. The three sister’s conversation about death and who deserved what in the will was to real.

What I Disliked: at first I knew when everything was happening, but towards the end it got murky. It was hard to tell which summer was which. It lead to that good twist, but I don’t like feeling lost in story time.

Recommendations: I will recommend this great young adult novel, that is highly relatable to all ages. It captures that summer fun time from teen to adult so well. I thank this is a good book to pass on to a person that might need it, sorry for being vague, the twist should not be spoiled. I rated We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 4 out of 5 stars. I will look for more work from E. Lockhart in the future.

Book Review: The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry

The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry is a modern day fairy tale set in the 80’s. A town is cursed by a monster that lives in the woods is it a serial killer or something more? This book is creepy it is a combo of the original Pied-Piper tale, that lead children away with his tune, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in a totally 80’s world. I’ve read a lot of books about the 80’s recently, and I feel this book nailed the grime and dirt of the 80’s; the rampant smoking underage, the cool cars, the mischief of parents letting kids run wild through the neighborhood, and the torn/ripped jeans. The Ghost tree had a great opening scene that carries the book, there’s clever writing about the curse on the town and the towns people. I wanted a little bit more from this novel than I got, I thought the present day body count was too low for this type of story. I would like to thank Berkley Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced copy. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry is published on 9-8-20.

The Plot: The quiet town of Smiths Hollow has a murder, not an ordinary murder, but bodies of two young girls ripped apart, with only their heads remain. The police investigating the murder go through the motions but seem to soon forget, as well as the woman that discovered the bodies. Not all forget the one’s that remember say it’s not July yet. Alex a police officer who recently moved to the town notices how the town forgets and investigates the crime making a horrific discovery, that a young woman dies every year in July, it is currently June. Alex makes the discovery that a woman didn’t die last year but a man with his heart ripped out. Lauren and David are the children of Joe who died last year of getting his heart ripped out. Lauren and David both have physical reaction when both the girls are murdered like they can feel it, and a trance went over it. Lauren and David are the key to stopping this monster in the woods.

What I Liked: The story is great, Christina Henry is so good at coming up with high concept ideas and this story is no exception. I love the 80’s vibe, this story did it really subtile and not in your face with it like a lot of books. I liked the towns reaction to outsiders and the curse in general. The backstory was cool and really thought out. I did like the power hungry mayor that knows everything but has his own interest at hand. I loved David the best character, with his cool psychic visions and predictions. The supernatural element the book nails. I like the climax a lot, it was action packed.

What I Disliked: the love interest for Lauren, Jake. Jake is in college and has recently turned 18, Lauren is 13 and about to start high school. Jake says lines like I’ve been into you for a long time, which is super creepy. I could not get behind this love interest at all. I was disappointed that only a couple murders happen, when there could have been way more, there’s a pretty good finally that finally has some death but too little too late.

Recommendations: I recommended Alice by Henry with a 3 str rating which I rarely ever do, but it looks like I’m going to do it again. I’m barely going to recommend this one, it’s a great idea, even it I think the execution could have been a lot better. The story had an epic potential but it just didn’t reach that level. If you like stories in the 80’s then you will like this one. If you like stories about small towns with big secrets then this might be the story for you. I rated The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry 3 out of 5 stars. I’m going to keep reading Henry we’re gonna totally connect one day I just know it, I still get excited for her ideals on books she has written like The Girl in Red, apocalyptic Red Riding Hood, I have to check that out!

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 Guest List By Lucy Foley

The Guest List By Lucy Foley is slow build thriller filled with lies and secrets bursting at the seems. A wedding party on a remote island, what can go wrong? A scream to the sight of a murdered body is what starts off The Guest List. By the end you will know who is murdered and who the murder or murders are. The book is told through 6 perspective wedding guest each with his or her own secret and motive. It’s a fun who done it? where you the reader get to play the detective. This was my first Lucy Foley book, she came on my radar after last year’s The Hunting Party, which I want to read now. I have to say I wasn’t blown away I guessed early who the killer or killers would be and were right, there were some details that I did not get right that kept it enjoyable for me. After you know who the murder or murders, there’s still a little bit more like are they going to get away with it and I liked that bit.

The Plot: On the a storming evening there is a black out on the wedding night, when the lights come on there is scream from the island of someone finding a dead body. We meet all the main players of the wedding, the uptight control freak bride Jules, the charming TV star groom Will, the university dropout Jules’ sister and bride’s maid Olivia, the estranged party boy best man Johnno, the stay at home mom and plus one of Charlie her husband and Jules’ best friend, the wedding planner and Chef Aoife and Freddy, and four of Will’s drunk best mates from boarding school, Duncan, Pete, Femi, and Angus. That’s the guest list, list of suspect, and also list of possible murder victims.

What I Liked: The perspectives of the six individuals worked really well, I only got confused once, and it was for a short time. The setting of Cormorant Island comes with its own haunted past and adds to the isolation of being trapped. I enjoyed learning all the secrets and how some strangely connected. The ending was really good how one character ended up getting a comeuppance for their part in a secret that hurt others even though they were not involved with the murder. Good writing keeps this from not being a typical murder mystery.

What I Disliked: I was able to guess the murderer or murderers pretty easily, I t just made the most sense, like I said in my first thoughts it was still interesting, but I kind of wanted to be wrong.

Recommendations: I would recommend others check The Guest List out. If you like a good Murder Mystery and train wreck of secrets all coming out at a secluded island than this is the book for you. I compared this book to Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Woods, which I rated similarly. I rated The Guest List by Lucy Foley 4 out of 5 stars. I will definitely try to read The Hunting Party when I have a chance.

Book Review: Goosebumps – The Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine

The Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps books number 11 in the original series order. This book was good sort a revenge plot gone bad. Carley Beth is scaredy cat, tired of everyone picking on her because she gets scared buys a mask that scares people but the mask is haunted and can’t be removed. This one is actually pretty scary for a Goosebumps book. The monster voice that the mask puts out and the personality attached is kind of terrifying. ” I’ll eat you up!” was one of the lines. This is the first book in the series so far and I like how Halloween was incorporated and the old out dated costumes mentioned, Freddy Kruger and Indiana Jones are still popular, but I haven’t seen an E.T. in some time. The Haunted Mask did bring the dreaded fake scare back, but there was only two and they were used in a way that helped the story along.

The Plot: Carley Beth is a scaredy cat, who her so-called friends prank on a daily basis. They prank her into eating a worm and that a tarantula escaped. These pranks would get almost anybody but carley will scream at the top of her lungs every time. She decides she’s going to get revenge this Halloween and get a scary mask this year. She rejects the costume her mom already bought her, a duck. She gets her life savings, 30 dollars, determined to buy a scary mask on Halloween, the store is closed but the own opens back up. She finds what she wants through a door in the back. The store owner said he took the mask off the market because they were deemed to scary. She’s persistent and she buys the mask. The mask gives her a cool evil voice and serious anger issues. She scares her friends but when the fun ends, she finds the mask won’t come off. I she doomed to have the mask be her new face forever?

What I Liked: The revenge storyline is great Steve and Chuck are jerk and had it coming. I loved the some of the lines where she yells, “I’ll eat you up!” to kids, then the mom of the kids says something and she says, “I’ll eat you up too!” Carley Beth gets demented and starts scaring everyone and stealing their candy. The tarantula prank was pretty good and well thought out. The horror of the mask attached to Carley Beth’s mask is good. I almost want a backstory to how the unloved were created, which were briefly discussed. The final scene was great even though it was predictable it was still pretty perfect. The Classic cover for this book is one of the best in all of Goosebumps covers.

What I Disliked: Her costume was only a mask, and regular clothes, the mask was described as scary but the regular clothes would have counter balanced that on Halloween.

Recommendations: This is one of the better Goosebumps books from the series. There is some good laughs and good scares. This book ranks high in my ranking. This book also has one of the better tv episodes that is a two parter, and one of the first stand alone episodes to get released on VHS when that was a thing. I rated Goosebumps the Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine 5 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 11 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, The Haunted Mask, 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, The Ghost Next Door, and Monster Blood.

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 Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato get to a quick start, in the last volume, all the prisoners that Superman had captured at the beginning are released. Superman and team works on recapturing them, but in some of those criminals he sees an opportunity. How do you break the Bat, with the only man that has done it before, Bane. Lex Luthor’s secret clone with superman’s DNA rises, and we witness the birth of Bizarro who is being manipulated by the Trickster. This volume is filled by great ideas, but the execution is really lacking. Tom Taylor the first writer of the series was great at making everything connect, with Brian Buccellato this issues are more stand alone with loose connections. I wanted to like this one a little more not the worst of the series, but not the way I wanted for the final year of Injustice to start. Injustice: Gods Among Us is based on a video game that starts at Year Five, so it’s pretty cool to show how they get there.

The Series Plot leading up to Year Five: 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. Plastic Man risk all to save his son from being a prisoner of Superman, he saves his son and rescues every other rogue in the process. All the men Superman deemed bad guys are released out into the world, some vow to be good, some want to be bad, and some want revenge.

The Plot of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Volume 1: Superman works on two things recapturing all of the criminals and taking down Batman. Superman has deal for a set of villains take down the Bat, and get your freedom. Bane the man who has broken the Batman before, Killer Frost and Killer Croc. They know they can’t reach the bat so the grab the Cat. Catwoman is tortured to reveal where Batman is. Lex’s Superman clone is found, but there’s something not right about him almost bizarre. Bizarro is born and the Trickster is manipulating him.

What I Liked: Bane getting involved, and the context of him breaking Bruce once before. Bizarro’s intro, I loved that he freaks out at the mirror reflection thinking the S is backward, and changing it so it displays the same way in the reflection. I loved the Frankenstein reference, when Bizarro freaks out about fire, then realize he does not burn.

What I Disliked: Hawkgirl and Hawkman storyline, absolutely pointless. Doomsday was wasted. I have a pet peeve of writers making Babe dumb and not intelligent, and it happens here.

Recommendation: The overall story is really good even if all the issues aren’t. I wanted he series to go out with a bang not a whimper. Two volumes left until the series is finished, I’m not going to stop. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps – The Ghost Next Door

The Ghost Next Door by R. L. Stine is book ten of the original Goosebumps series. This one is rarely scary, I predicted the twist very early on, but I ended up liking the ending that saved this from being the worst Goosebumps. The scariest thing is to see the elevation of peer pressure and dares. There is a shadow creature that’s a little scary, is it real or imagined? there’s no lame jump scares that are usually littered through out Goosebumps books. This one is more tied to the Goosebumps movie than anything else, where they used the character of Hannah better than this book.

The Plot: It’s Summer and Hannah is bored, she spends all day watching her 2 twin brothers and writing letters to her friend at camp. her summer turns adventurous when she meets Danny the neighbor boy, the only thing is she’s pretty convinced he’s a ghost. Danny says he’s lived here for a while but Hannah rode her bike through the back yard the other day and there was no family. Now she has to prove it to him. Danny is if he’s a ghost or not is hanging out with a group of kids that haunt their local mail man. Hannah tries to stop them but, she seems to be haunted herself by a shadow creature.

What I Liked: The ending is the saving grace of this story, I liked it a lot, it’s and ending that I’ve seen before but I thought it was done very well. I liked the character of Hannah especially how she writes letter with her little treats of harm if they do not write back. I liked the reveal of what the shadow creature was. The biggest horror element was the peer pressure and man does it get to an intense level fast.

What I Disliked: Not really scary maybe slightly more than Monster Blood (Monster Blood is the worst) the twist is really easy to predict, I see most kids figuring it out as well.

Recommendations: If you’re on a quest like me to read them all then read it. if you are looking for fun and scary for the kids, I would skip this one. The only thing this story has going for it is how heavily this story is featured in the 2015 Goosebumps movie starring Jack Black and Dylan Minnette. I rated The Ghost Next Door by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 10 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, The Ghost Next Door, and Monster Blood.