Book Review: The 7 Deadly Sins by Tze Chun

The 7 Deadly Sins by Tze Chun is a western graphic novel set in 1857, not to be confused with the anime with the same name. It is about a group of six convicts that have one sin from the seven deadly sins and their financier that release them from death row. The story mirrors the Magnificent seven and the Seven Samurai. This graphic novel is about redemption. It is multiracial cast with diverse backgrounds. The story was just okay, but some character motivations just did not make sense. I will say that I did love the colors used and every wide panel, but the close up or medium panels were sometimes confusing, having me flip back to tell just what action happened. The book is very bloody and gory. This book had the worst drawings of noses that were so bad they were almost distracting. I loved only two characters stories and background far more than any others one was the burned pregnant slave girl and the other was the priest assistant and financier of the mission to return his daughter to the murderous chief. The Seven Deadly Sins collects issues 1 – 6 for TKO comics.

The Plot: A chief is on a rampage killing families in 1857 Texas. The Texas Rangers want to stop him but he can avoid capture, but a reverend’s assistant hold the key in his daughter, that was stolen on a raid 9 years ago. He uses the reverend’s number one enemy when he releases him with 5 other death row inmates. He offers them money, fresh start, and some redemption in doing a good deed. They are hunted by the priest who wants the money that his assistant stole, which he was stealing from the church.

What I Liked: the color art was the best thing it was really beautiful and captured the desert landscape. The storyline involving the pregnant and burnt slave was the best, she should have been lead because she was by far the most interesting character with a heart breaking background. I like the reverends assistant storyline and the relationship with his daughter. The scene with the underground pond escape was really great. The scalping of the priest was brutal and creepy that he survived it.

What I Disliked: The character of the reverend and Daper’s motivations made no sense, and really hurt the story. It was a little hard to place the character to the seven deadly sins, I still have question marks over a few of them. The art of people and especially there noses, so distracting.

Recommendation: The 7 Deadly Sins was interesting in some parts, but not enough for me to recommend. The purchase price was cheap at 1.99 and was worth that price on kindle. I rated The 7 Deadly Sins 2 out of 5 stars. I might try one more TKO comic in Sara by Garth Ennis.

Book Review: Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray is an adventure filled Star Wars novel where the best character is a rock, no I’m not kidding the rock steals so many scenes and keeps the humor up. I liked the mix of humor and adventure. Into the Dark takes place at the same time as the first High Republic novel Light of the Jedi. This book covers 4 new Jedi that were not mentioned in Light of the Jedi, the timeframe is at the same time but these Jedi are dealing wit a different crisis. I liked the main character Reath Silas and enjoyed his adventure best. the other Jedi were hard to connect with for some reason. I enjoyed the story overall but I did feel disconnected to some of the characters. The story does a good overall arc and nails the theme of teamwork. Into the Dark is written for young adult audience of 12 and up, i thought this dealt with more adult themes than Light of the Jedi, it has drug use and a couple times does a character ask about having sex. I have heard good things about Claudia Gray’s writing especially Lost Stars which I have never read but friends and other bloggers are obsessed with, I love the overall arc and theme but was not blown away by it. I felt the ending was satisfactory and well plotted out with a lot of action. The High Republic takes place 200 years before The Phantom Menace.

The Plot Reath Silas is a 17 year old Padawan who loves the research aspect of being a jedi and living at the Jedi Temple, when his master takes a position on the outer rim, the frontier for the Jedi. Reath can think of a million reasons not to go. He reluctantly takes the journey to meet his master when his voyage is cut short by a disaster that blocks all the hyper space lines of travel. They find a space station that is off the map, and assist other stranded ships. But what the Jedi finds is a space station with the dark side of the force lurking in the dark. Can Reath and the other stranded Jedi’s stop this force before it starts effecting others?

What I Liked: I didn’t know where this story was heading, it kind of has two parts, and a twist in the middle. Liked the ending a lot great rising action with some twist thrown in and nailed the climax which got intense. Geode the rock and navigator of the Vessel is awesome the strong and silent type. Geode is the butt of a lot of the jokes and darn it if I didn’t chuckle every time. Reath Silas is almost a Bilbo Baggins type character that is so against adventure until he’s in it and wants to go back in it. I liked the whole Vessel crew they were all fun characters.

What I Disliked: The Obvious jokes about Spice in Star Wars being compared to marijuana, It was too obvious and took me right out. The flashbacks are pointless until the end it could have been summed up in a story instead of breaking it into 5 boring parts (the first part was exciting then they grew boring) I could only connect to one out of 4 Jedi’s.

Recommendations: I will recommend Into the Dark on story alone. The story is really go it does add a whole lot to the Jedi lore but it is just a good unpredictable story. The good out weighed the bad in this story. I rated Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray 3 out of 5 stars. I was between 3 and 4 but ultimately thought is was closer to a 3. I will check out more of Claudia Gray’s writing which was good but still felt detached from far too many characters.

Book Review: The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette

The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette is a fantastic science fiction thriller with a clever ending you will not see coming. This book is The Wanders by Chuck Wendig meets Contact by Carl Sagan. A really good mix of the apocalypse with alien involvement. The characters are unique only a couple are annoying, by most in a quirky sort of way. The plot moves pretty fast and the more you find out is pretty interesting, every chapter digs more into the mystery. The finale is was really clever in what it means, I was kind of disappointed in the direction it was going but the book has a twist that totally redeems its self. I really hope people read this book, this has been my favorite new science fiction since The Wanders and Recursion. I don’t think it is on the same level as those books but was very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I read this book curtesy of Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books. The Apocalypse Seven was published on May 25 2021.

The Plot: Robbie wakes up in his dorm after at Harvard after a hangover, to find everything in his room changed, he’s in the right dorm but everything is different. It is so different he can not find another living soul on his floor. He here’s faint crying from a distance it is a blind woman Carol calling for her seeing eye dog. She says she can’t hear anything, and Robbie looks out side to see a vast forest and no other species around. They start finding various people and finding signs temperature changes, tornadoes, and roaming wolf packs, that the earth as they know it doesn’t exist. They call it the whateverpocalypse because it is so random, but will they survive it? They feel watched but can’t see who is watching?

What I Liked: I liked how funny parts were, it makes the novel really flow. I liked the mystery of what happened to 7 random strangers and how it kept building with every chapter. I liked liked how Carol who is blind was written through sounds and feeling, which made for intense scenes with the wolf pack. I love loved the ending, I was setting myself up for disappointment but the final twist was great one that changed everything. I liked that we met the puppet master and he was not who anybody was expecting. I liked how Robbie became the reluctant leader. I loved Win and how tough she was.

What I Disliked: The character of Toure was a bit much at times. I wanted to see more of Paul’s encounter’s with the wild. There were a couple of moments where you have to suspend disbelief and science a lot, I was able to do that and still enjoy the book, I know some people can’t and this might not be the book for you.

Recommendation: I think this was a fun little book, with good storytelling and fun characters. The ending is fantastic and such a good twist. I had a lot of fun with this book. I rated The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette 5 out of 5 stars. The rating was between 4 and 5 with the fun level and twist pushing it to a 5. This is my first Gene Doucette but I will check out other works in the future.

Book review: Goosebumps – Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine

Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine is the 19th Goosebumps book in the original order. Deep Trouble is more about adventure than horror. It is Stine’s take on a Dirk Pitt like character from a Clive Cussler novel. When the horrors come they are mainly in bad dreams. This book has sea creatures (both real and mythical), pirates, and danger. The story is okay it takes the first 30 pages to really get going. The story was kind of close to The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb in the structure of the story and the way things happen. The fear part of the book is based on you don’t really know what is under you in the deep sea.

The Plot: William Billy Deep Jr. is with his sister, and their Uncle Dr.D and a research assistant in the deep sea. Dr. D has a grant from Ohio to investigate and find new deep sea creatures. Dr. D’s funds are running low and a local zoo ask him to find a mermaid for a million dollars. He’s to keep this top secret but Billy overheard and wants to help. He swims out deeper then he is supposed to and finds trouble in a hammerhead shark, Billy is saved before he is shark bait by a… Not going to tell.

What I Liked: The fear of you don’t know what is below you was set up really well, it is a shame it wasn’t followed once the real story happens. I liked Dr. D he has pretty good morals. Billy is best when he is dreaming of being a famous deep sea explorer. I liked the plot once it got going it, was not scary but it had some heart to it. The final twist was fitting and a good way to end the story.

What I Disliked: There’s a plot point about the zoo people freaking out that billy eased dropped on the zoo paying for Dr. D to find a possible mermaid, which is ridiculous the zoo wants the mermaid with in 2 days, billy lives with his uncle on a boat on the sea, who is he going to tell. The plot took too long to get going with any direction.

Recommendation: This story falls in the middle for me as good but not great. I’m going to review this the same as The Ghost Next Door it is not scary but the story has a lot of heart in it. I rated Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine 3 stars out of 5. Here’s my full ranking of the 19 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, 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, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, Deep Trouble, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Book Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is a uniquely told mystery because it is told in reverse, but you still don’t know all the facts making it very compelling. There are some big twist that will make you change your whole theory of what is going on. The writing was good with just enough description to let you visualize what is going on. The narrative is told at three different times by four different people in the story, at first this is a little dizzying, but then starts to fit in to place. The way the story is told makes it brilliant, if it was told the normal way it would still be good but they way it is told makes you question and doubt everything. This is my first Mary Kubica and I was blown away I have heard her name mentioned in mystery but didn’t expect to be this blown away and frankly jealous that I did not think of this brilliant way to tell a story. The finale is heart ponding and the villain gets what they deserved. This book does have LGTBQ characters. There are trigger warnings of extreme child abuse that could ruin this book for some. I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin trade publishing for giving me an advanced reader’s copy of Local Woman Missing. Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is published on may 18th 2021.

The Plot: A girl escapes people that have been torturing her for 11 years, the girl is famous of a sort for missing. The novel jumps back 11 years to the day of the missing girl, and we know she is not the only one missing the mom and another local woman are missing as well. Then the novel jumps back even further to 11 years and 3 months, where the mom receives a threatening text message saying I know what you did years ago, you will be punished.

What I Liked: The plot and the way it is told add so much tension. The past will change you perception of the future, it was really cool how that was done. I liked the psychological aspect to the book on the toll of reintroduction of a girl missing takes on her and the family, having Leo, the younger brother of the missing girl be the narrator was great as we get in his head. I did like there was a lesbian couple that no one batted an eye at and trusted there kids with. The finale was tense you already know who the villain now you want to find out if they get caught or they do more destructive things. I was very satisfied with the ending and the turn of events.

What I Disliked: There was one plot twist about a cheating husband, an accusation, then we find one girl had an affair I was bummed that it wasn’t tied into the husband, and that the husband having an affair just went away in the story, I kind wanted to know if it was true, or the accuser was just paranoid. I liked having the perspective of Leo a young 14 year old, but he has some lines about love and sex that felt more like a 40 year old that has been through the ringer not a 14 year old virgin.

Recommendation: Read local Woman missing it is a really smart mystery, that takes the reader for a ride shows you all the suspects and slowly fill in the details of the past and the present. Be warned of the trigger warning for extreme child abuse and entrapment. If I had to compare the narrative style to another book I would say it was closest to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, as close as it is the two are very different and this book doesn’t have a perspective that you can not trust. I rated Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica 5 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be reading more Mary Kubica in the future.

Wrap Up: May 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, May was an good month for reading I got a little behind on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month out of 9 Local Woman Missing will be read next month as I am half way done with it, it is very excellent as well as a book I didn’t get to The Apocalypse Seven.   I read one graphic novels this month, 1 book in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 2 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 4 books published this year. I read another Stephen king making him the dominate the most books read by an author.

Five Star Reviews:

The One my John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets black mirrored showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman.

Four Star Reviews:

Later by Stephen King is a really fun ghost story, about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them is it a gift or a curse. I would say it is the Sixth Sense meets combined with a short story he wrote in if it bleeds Mr. Harrigan’s phone, this story went in another direction and it was good. Later was part of the Hard Case Crime series, that not really a series but more of a style of books. This is my fourth so far and favorite. I have read the three that Stephen King wrote and one by Brian DiPlama. Later is a good fun ride that gets exciting and a little gruesome. King will always create characters that you can connect instantly to and Jamie the lead is no exception. The pacing is fast I was able to read it in a day and had moments where I could not put it down.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is a tightly wound thriller at an isolated hotel with it’s own horrific past. The thriller gets off to a fast start with a murder. we later learn the significance of it and when it happened. This is a novel of a lot of twist that will mess with your head as to is behind all this. The setting is unique a former Sanatorium that treated female tuberculosis patients that is turned into a swanky hotel in the Swiss Alps. This book was on Reece Witherspoon’s book club which gave it some extra hype. The Sanatorium is a solid mystery, with easy to remember character’s.

Three Star Reviews:

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a collection of 6 novellas all featured in the town of Goblin. The town of Goblin is a little different with police that look and sound the same, the dead are buried standing up, and a witch live in the forbidden North woods. The stories are interesting and barely intertwined for it being in the same town. The most interesting things the police, the dead buried standing up, and the witch, are barely explored. The book focuses on the history of the town which is just okay but not nearly as interesting as the other things I had mentioned. The novellas are okay, there was only one really good one, one really predictable and the rest fall into the good category. I wanted the stories to come together more. The writing does some clever things but the pacing, and focus on the history of the town will try the patience of the reader. 

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living, which sounds a lot like Pixar’s film Coco. This is no Coco. There is a plague that wipes out all of existence except one person to our knowledge who is isolated the city of the dead shrinks to one city where all are connected in some ways. The story is more metaphorical than straight linear. The words written are beautiful, but man does this story get boring, the last person doesn’t seem to want to do really anything that makes sense. Mostly it’s wondering and you get to know her character through the people she knew. I thought it was an interesting story, but it could’ve been something more. The dead world was interesting and a metaphor for living your best life even if you’re dead.

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times

Book Review: Goblin by Josh Malerman

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a collection of 6 novellas all featured in the town of Goblin. The town of Goblin is a little different with police that look and sound the same, the dead are buried standing up, and a witch live in the forbidden North woods. The stories are interesting and barely intertwined for it being in the same town. The most interesting things the police, the dead buried standing up, and the witch, are barely explored. The book focuses on the history of the town which is just okay but not nearly as interesting as the other things I had mentioned. The novellas are okay, there was only one really good one, one really predictable and the rest fall into the good category. I wanted the stories to come together more. The writing does some clever things but the pacing, and focus on the history of the town will try the patience of the reader. This is my 3 Josh Malerman book, I loved Bird Box and A House at the Bottom of the Lake, and I had the same problem with Inspection that I did with Goblin, pacing and focusing on the wrong things that make the story interesting. I think Malerman is still great at thinking outside of the box and creating good story ideas, the execution of those ideas doesn’t always land for me. Thanks to Netgally and Del Rey publishing for giving me this ARC. Goblin is published on May 18th 2021.

The Plots and Rankings:
The Prelude: which is a story a bout a man from another town having to deliver a package to Goblin, with a very specific instructions, if you hear any noise don’t stop, if you fail to deliver at the exact time destroy package. The driver doesn’t follow all the orders, a good introduction to a creepy town of Goblin 4 out of 5

Man in Slices is about a guys creepy best friend, who gets a creepy girlfriend who wants him to show love like Vincent Van Gough, by cutting off body parts. Friendship is put to its limits. The story was okay but the twist ending was really rushed, I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars.

Kamp is a story of a man that fears a haunting so bad he knows it will kill him. His whole family has been haunted, and he’s the last one left. I liked the bits about the history of Goblin the town. The story itself was not all that interesting and I knew how it was going to end. I did like the art work, that seems right out of Tales from the Crypt. I rate Kamp 2 out of 5 stars.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUNTER! was a good story about a hunter’s birthday party. The greatest Hunter in Goblin wants to hunt what hasn’t been hunted before a great owl, who lives in the forest that is forbidden. The ending was a great one filled with irony. the history of the owls and how they came to Goblin was interesting. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

Presto is about a magician that can do the impossible, move object with his mind. is it a trick or something more. I liked this story the most so far. really interesting backstory and intriguing present day story. The ending twist was pretty good. This story had the best flow and was always interesting. I rated it 5 out of 5

A Mix-up at the Zoo is exactly like the title a lonely man works at the Zoo which he loves and at a slaughter house, you can’t blame him if he gets mix -up from time to time. This story had the most potential, but the pace was sometimes to slow. The dreams which were interesting overstayed there welcome and lasted too long. The ending you see coming, but it was good. I rated it 4 out of 5

Te Hedges is about a big hedge maze that can not be beat, only until a young 8 year old solves what is at the center of the maze, and is horrified by her findings. She confronts the maze maker this heads to the police. I liked parts of this story a lot, the thing the little girl was horrified at was pretty lame, which was a bummer, because I was all about this story until that point. This story has the best pacing but really failed to deliver on the mystery. I rated The Hedges 4 out of 5.

What I Liked: Presto is my favorite story hands down it has a mystery that leads to the hype, and has a killer ending as well. The Hedges made you feel every dizzying turn in the maze with the little girl until she reaches the center. The Mix Up at the Zoo was probably the scariest because you see it coming, and you fear for what is going to happen when the mix up happens. The Idea for the Man in Slices is my favorite, that story had the most potential. Happy Birthday Hunter had the better ending, it wasn’t flashy but I thought it worked on a psychological level.

What I Disliked: I wanted to see a lot more connectivity in stories. I thought the town could have been a lot creepier. I fell like the police and the buried standing up are the most interesting things and they are not explored at all. the pacing could have been better in a lot of these stories.

Recommendation: I’m barely going to recommend this collection, Presto is the highlight, read that story before you give up. I’ve seen real mixed reviews and mine is pretty mixed as well, there’s good and there’s bad i this collection I feel the good out weighs the bad. If you don’t like the novellas you do have to admit that the stories are really clever. I rated Goblin by Josh Malerman 3 out of 5. I struggled on the rating more of a 3.5 than a 3, when I am so torn I rate it lower on Goodreads then higher on Amazon splitting the difference. I will continue to read Josh Malerman and will read Malorie the sequel to Bird Box next.

Book Review: Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times, where the girl is so guarded we rarely see what is in her head, other than being unnoticed and surviving. I did enjoy the theme of home is where the heart is, it’s the safe place. Thanks to Netgalley and Ecco publishing. The Girl in the Walls is published on May 11 2021.

The Plot: Elise lives in a house that is not hers, anymore. The Mason’s own the home she lives in. The Mason’s don’t know she live there, because she lives in the walls. She lives like a mouse scurrying around eating what she can and reading what she can. The house is here when they go to work and school. She does not leave the house. Eddie the youngest Mason can feel her presence, he doesn’t know if she’s real or a ghost, he just wants her gone, and to stop taking his stuff. The trouble starts when the older brother starts noticing, and is more proactive about it.

What I Liked: The uniqueness of the story, it blends the line of is she a ghost or not for the first couple of pages. It was a beautiful story of a house and it’s meaning, but it’s also a creepy story for a home owner, it made me think of the horror movie the People Under the Stairs. I liked the brother Eddie, it didn’t say he was exactly autistic but definitely in the spectrum, he senses the girl and protects her as well as puts an ode to her in his legos. The descriptions at the beginning when Eddie has a piano lesson was so good. The villain is terrifying as he fights his childhood fears that there was someone in his house, and he’s determined to find what goes bump in the night. I liked the stuff about Odin, Thor and Loki.

What I Disliked: The ending initial ending was good, then we get two more that were unnecessary because they didn’t provide any information, if you show the girl when she was older, but don’t tell anything about her past life or current really. I was left with more questions than answers with the first I was satisfied. We don’t see enough into Elise’s mind, we don’t get her thoughts on much I had a hard time connecting to her. I could feel for her circumstance but not for her as a person.

Recommendation: I will barely recommend this for the young adult audience it was made for, but as an adult I respected the unique story line but not the character development. I found some parts beautiful, but so of it just pain boring as nothing happened and developed. I rated Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman. The only new villain is a robot creator, who is kind of lame. Kurt Conners returns not as the Lizard but as a reformed scientist that owes Spiderman a favor for discovering the antidote that cured him. The stories are mostly connected taking 3 and 2 issues to complete the arc. This was good fun, web slinging action, with a lot of heart and some heartbreak.

The Plots: Aunt May is sick and in the hospital on Peter’s first day of college. He’s not really there and most believe his stuck up because he won the science grant and is ignoring everyone. Aunt May is sick with a radioactive isotope is May’s blood. Peter blames himself as he donated blood to save her life a little while ago, now his radioactive blood is killing her. He searches for KurtConners who owes him a favor, he agrees to help Spiderman, and orders a rare chemical that is needed, but another bad guy needs it for a power source. The bad guy steals the chemical, they fight, Spiderman is pinned with the chemical just out of hands reach, as the ocean water seeps in (the picture on the cover is that moment). he must take everything he has to save himself and Aunt May. Kaven is determined to beat Spiderman once and for all. The Green Goblin comes up with a plan to take away Spiderman’s Spider Sense so he can watch him unaware, which he does and knows his secret identity.

What I Liked: I loved when Peter Parker is captured by the Green Goblin, he tries to use his web slingers that aren’t there because he is Peter Parker. I liked the Peter Betty drama and how hard it is to me Spiderman. The pulling the machine off his body and gathering the internal strength to keep going after his muscles are almost gone from the fatigue, and just using will power. I liked seeing Curt Conners back on the side of good. I liked the Green Goblin reveal and the backstory behind it. Molten Man really surprised Spiderman, and his story was fun. J Jonah Jamison dealing with all the secretaries that quit because of his bad behaviors that Betty could put up with. The long stories were good and add the anticipation, that made them flow over a couple of issues.

What I Disliked: There’s only two new villains the Meteor and a jailed robot maker, both were really lame.

Recommendation: This was my favorite volume since the first. I totally recommend you read this awesome volume, that steps up the long form storytelling, ratchets up the emotions, and maintains the excitement. This volume is not as funny as the last couple but makes up is serious more mature storytelling. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets Black Mirror-ed showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show, that I can’t wait to check out. This the 4th book I have read by John Marrs and it did not disappoint in the least. The technology in The One is mentioned in The Passengers and The Minders which are books about future technologies, that hackers try to hack and manipulate. The book does have an LGTBQ storyline which is done really well

The Plot: A gene is found that links you to the one you are to belong to, your one true love. A website is started where you can send in DNA to have it analyzed. We follow five people, Mary who has been showing everyone her match, but something happens before they can meet, Jade who lives in England is matched with a Australian farmer with a catch, Christian is a serial killer of women that has just been matched, Nick and his bride to be dare each other to take it, when Nick does he’s matched with a man, and A super rich women with no time to date, becomes matched with a regular guy, she must keep secrets to see if this is real.

What I Liked: The premise and the story arcs are great. I liked that the characters never meet each other, it would have been to much of a stretch to make this happen. The characters are great and you know and understand them in the end. The twist are really good, each story has a major twist, and they are all plausible. My favorites were Christian, Mary, and Nick. Their are some happy endings and some truly messed up endings. The end twist was a great one that made you question every thing and every couple.

What I Disliked: The only tale that I never connected with was Jade’s, I did enjoy the twist but it took a while.

Recommendation: I really enjoyed this story as I have enjoyed all John Marrs so far. If you have never checked out his work I would recommend this story The One and What Lies Between Us. Marrs is If he king of domestic thriller, every book he writes is a page turner. I rated The One by John Marrs 5 out of 5 stars.