Categories
Book Reviews

Review: The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

I don’t care about this cover. It could have been designed in Microsoft Paint . . . or lithography. It’s not creative, but simple and minimalistic.

Blurb:

The international bestseller.

A book that captures ‘the spiritual moment’.

Are three decades of interest in modern physics, ecology, mystical religion and interpersonal psychology finally synthesizing into a new spiritual ‘common sense’? Are we now beginning to live this new common sense? Can it become the dominant paradigm of the next century?

An ancient manuscript has been found in Peru. Its contents: nine insights the human race is predicted to grasp as we enter an era of true spiritual awareness.

In this gripping adventure-tale, James Redfield offers a compelling vision of the new spiritual understanding that is emerging in human culture. You will instantly recognize the truth of the First Insight: in each of our lives occur mysterious coincidences– sudden, unexplained events that, once interpreted correctly, serve to guide and direct our actions.

Join the adventure and let this synchronistic perception guide you through a daring search for the remaining insights. Each will be found in turn, and each will clarify how a growing link with the spiritual is relentlessly transforming human life.

Reading like a story of high adventure, but having the in-depth effect of a spiritual parable, The Celestine Prophecy will take you on a journey that will lighten your soul, and connect you with a vision and an experience that is already changing the world.


It’s been eight and a half eons ( or so it feels ) since I read this book, even so it resides in a special place inside my mind, one of those books you pick up and it changes your whole perspective on life and everything around, and / or it affirms things you have suspected all along, but never had affirmations. An interesting thing is one of the categories on Amazon lists it as: Occult Metaphysical Phenomena. Don’t be fooled, this book is nothing but positivity and assisting your personal connection with the spiritual energy all around and is presented in a mostly unbias manner.

The format of the book is creatively thought out and is also told this way before you start reading: The Celestine Prophecy is laid out in a fiction format to tell about non-fiction things.

One thing that springs to mind when thinking back about my readings with The Celestine Prophecy are two things that have to do with even our spiritual connection to our distant life partners, plants. According to the book, it matters on how we interact with our plants and our interactions with them can even improve their quality of life. Amazing!

Another thing that sprang into mind about The Celestine prophecy is the way we interact with each other, something called control dramas, and with it details exactly how we as humans give and take energy from each other, including our methods for doing just that, even if we don’t realize we are doing it – We do. It makes perfect sense, but I personally rather favor the mentality of believing that we are in fact one energy, that co-habitating in the best way possible together as a decision as-so-best for everyone involved, that puts me on a less defensive and more comfortable stance than thinking someone is just out to control my energy all day, every day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s enlightening to say the very least, but a bit instigative at the same time.

EDIT: Something I noticed while looking up the control dramas is that they are all negative. Surely there are some positive control dramas. But this book insists on focusing on the negative in that regard.

What do you think about spirituality?

Recommendation:

The Celestine Prophecy is way more than essential reading as non-fiction, even though it is presented in fiction format for anyone that isn’t fully or even just getting into being familiar with spiritual energies and relations to the world around yourself and other people. ★★★★★ five stars out of five.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review: Borderless by Eliot Peper

I’m absolutely loving this cover artwork. What a blessing.

Blurb:

Information is power, and whoever controls the feed rules the world in this all-too-plausible follow-up to the science fiction thriller Bandwidth.

Exiled from Washington after a covert operation gone wrong, Diana is building a new life as a freelance spy, though her obsessive secrecy is driving away the few friends and allies she can count on. When she’s hired to investigate the world’s leading techno capitalist, she unknowingly accepts an assignment with a dark ulterior purpose. Navigating a labyrinth of cutouts and false fronts, Diana discovers a plot to nationalize the global feed.

As tech and politics speed toward a catastrophic reckoning, Diana must reconcile the sins of her past with her dreams of tomorrow. How she deploys the secrets in her arsenal will shape the future of a planet on the brink of disaster. Doing the right thing means risking everything to change the rules of the game. But how much is freedom really worth?


It literally took me about four pages in this work to realize that I would love this book if it could only keep up with the foundation I had laid eyes on. And it did, filled to the brim with modern affirmations and epiphanies of realization, Borderless moves forward with all the things that wrap our current society with conundrums of . . . how do we move forward in a world where technology is trying to tell us too much?

Diana is an former CIA spy and is wrapped up in a swirling mission to take over a megacorporation called Commonweath that built a system that gives people all their information called the feed and their plan to form a one world government. The feed tells you when your friend is walking toward you down the hallway and that’s just the brunt of it. Every institution is a computer and the feed has all the information about everything. But, is the information being curated in disfavor? Are things being selectively hidden? What will they do to keep America running in this fictional world when this technology is trying to free itself? How will you be free when you are relying on bent, hand fed influences?

“The only way to fight someone that knew your weaknesses was to feign indifference.”

Borderless Pg. 109, Eliot Peper

I learned tons of words and phrases in this book and that makes me excited when they are used properly and put in place like a carefully set stone. While some words were repeated and just fancy names for foreign yogurt ( this was the worst, but still great example of the variety in flavor ), I thought it was great. I have a big long note in my note taking app that has a lot of the words I learned, but here I will pick four of them so that you may get a taste of what Borderless has in store as far as verbiage:

  • in·dom·i·ta·ble
    /inˈdämədəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    impossible to subdue or defeat.
    “a woman of indomitable spirit”
  • key·stone
    /ˈkēˌstōn/
    noun
    a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.
  • re·al·po·li·tik
    /rāˈälpōliˌtēk/
    noun
    a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.
  • feign
    /fān/
    verb
    pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury).
    ARCHAIC
    invent (a story or excuse).
    ARCHAIC
    indulge in pretense.

Make no mistake, I am no salesman so when I gloat simply for the fact that this is book #2 in the series, it worked so well despite my jumpy list-add clicking fingers, AND the fact that I found it in the first place makes me an extra happy camper today in the reading department.

Recommendation:

Presented with more than plausible real-world problems in a not-too-distant future spanning places all over the world, Borderless not only delivers a solid story, bringing all the moving pieces of international adult playgrounds together together quite nicely, it has style, knowledge, form and continuous breaths of fresh air and a perfect pacing to match. There wasn’t a single page I didn’t highlight something of worth or was tempted, then giving in to research a reference to people, places and things. This story deserves ★★★★★ five stars out of five, all day long.

Music Bonus:

Dub FX with Not Cool – Lyrics @ Genius.com – Get down with the feel good jimmy jams!

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews Other Reviews

Review: Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Good Bye: Part #4

All images are © 2014 Dark Horse Books / Frank Miller, All opinions are my own.

Introduction:

Previously, we covered Part 3 of The Hard Goodbye. Now, we have a continuation with Part 4.

In this post, I will cover Part 3 of the Chapter titled “The Hard Goodbye”.

WARNING: This book most certainly is NSFW and only for adults. I will do my best to leave the vulgarities out of it so that everyone can enjoy. Although, if you can stomach the madness to achieve the full effect, a proper purchase of the source materials is recommended.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead: In depth review including respectable, occasional snaps of the art work and surrounding thoughts.

Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: Part 4

Part 4 of The Hard Goodbye starts off with a some memories of a friend named Chuck that was retarded, but Marv loved him because he was “dumb enough to think he was a genius” and he compares those memories with his current dilemmas.

“I’ve been framed for murder and the cops are in on it. But the real enemy, the son of a bitch who killed the angel lying next to me, he’s out there somewhere, out of sight, the big missing piece that’ll give me the how and the why and a face and a name and a soul to send screaming into hell.”

He continues with details of a plan based off the information his mother gave him about the previous visitors looking for him. His plan involves sending him, whoever it is, an invitation and if he doesn’t die in the process, he’ll get a couple more pieces that fit this puzzle.

Now, we have mention from Marv that you can find whatever you need down any back ally in Sin City and we are transitioned into a scene where Marv talks about a bar named Kadie’s and this information is layered with details about how anything that’s worth doing in Sin City is illegal and messed up. He gets free drinks at Kadie’s for favors. One of the workers at Kadie’s is someone named Nancy that likes to shake it to good, old country music:

First mention of a character named Nancy

Nancy is a dancer at the bar Kadie’s with a lasso and an attached cowboy hat. Marv normally just enjoys the dance, but not tonight. No, that’s not what he’s looking for. He picks a fight with someone named Weevil and slams his back out, tells him to spread the word and get some payment for it “because it’s worth it” and give the details about what to spread the word about: his grievance of Goldie. He orders a drink from a waitress named Shellie.

Nancy dances more and whips with her lasso.

Marv goes out back of Kadie’s and talks about how he loves hit men because no matter what you do to ’em, you don’t feel bad. “The worse you do, the better it gets.” Trouble is, they have him at gun point. Marv is making jokes about the guy’s jacket:

Marv puts up a strong fight and it the hit men, they brought coats to a gun fight. Marv takes one of their guns and wins, tells him to take his coat off because he is bleeding all over it:

Marv wins the fight out back of Kadie’s bar. Seems some hit men were trying to off him.

Marv tells the guy with the coat that it must have not been them that killed Goldie, but he interrogates the last man standing to find answers. The man tells him it was Telly Stern that gave the orders and Telly runs the tables over at The Triple Ace Club. Marv kills the man he is interrogating and tells him thank you.

Marv has olfactory hallucinations about Goldie and claims he only needs his medicine. Then, we see a woman peering around the corner:

Mysterious woman peers around the corner after Marv’s fight with hit men out back of Kadie’s.

Marv realizes the sun is coming up and needs to find a place to rest, although he was “just getting warmed up”.

My Thoughts:

Marv likes old, good solid country music. Good on him! He’s not into the feel good, happy music. He more enjoys what feels genuine to him and not washed up. He is taking no safe paths here, only looking to set an example for his quest to find out who is behind framing him for Goldie’s murder.

I didn’t mention this at all last time, but it’s obvious that Marv is just out of prison, with his discussions with Lucille and I’m nervous for the path that he is on. Just can’t catch a break!

Marv has connections in his town, again with women. I’ve yet to see any man friends or people he is getting along with that are of his same gender. Hrm. Marv has characteristics of being intelligent and brutish.

We don’t learn much in this chapter besides mystery. He claims to know the dancer Nancy, but there’s no interaction with her, only fighting and a mysterious woman that peers around the corner after his fight with the hit men. I can’t help but notice that she looks like Goldie and Weevil looks like . . . Wolverine from Marvel comics? Ha, ha! Geez.

Who is this mysterious woman? Who is Telly Stern?

See you next time,

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews

DNF @ 37% Review: Quantum by Patricia Cornwell

Very well done cover . . . with space balls of some sort.

Blurb:

International bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers pulse-pounding thrills in the first book in a series featuring a brilliant and unusual new heroine, cutting-edge cybertechnology, and stakes that are astronomically high.

On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences.

As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide—a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days.

Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe—not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

Brilliantly crafted, gripping, and smart, Patricia Cornwell’s cliffhanger ending will keep readers wondering what’s next for Captain Calli Chase.


Let me start out by saying I have read some Patricia Cornwell books and loved them mucho construto. I started reading this yesterday and made it over a hundred pages in, which I can say this is an easy read, so that’s not the reason I DNF’d this book.

The Kindle edition has media embedded in it, which was neato-torpedo, displaying some animated images at the start of some chapters. This is apart from the fact that I couldn’t change the background color for this book on my Kindle Fire, assumably caused from the embedded media which was all-together absent from Kindle cloud reader.

This book started out well for me. It was quick, punchy and intelligent. However, Captain Chase turned into a squirrel on assumable hallucinogens and coke, ( not the kind in the bottle ) feeding me every detail that ran through her mind whether it was relevant or not . . . and, it’s filled with ADHD-ish ( coupled with my own ADHD tendencies, it proves to be a bad mix ), panicky inner-dialog that I’m assuming is suppose to be thrilling, but just gives me more anxiety than I already have and a need to know what to pay attention to and what not to, which does become decipherable as you read. I comprehended and processed, but not in a way that I prefer.

A word I learned in this book was:

This is a rambling book, which I didn’t mind in itself, but even rambles need to be organized to become coherent to the reader. There’s not much abstract thoughts of the protagonist’s mind other than “what the hell is happening to me and NASA” and “OMG, something is happening to me that someone else just referring to in passing” ( quotes are sarcastic, summarized version of Captain Chase’s thoughts, not actual quotes from the book ), at least of what I read. Sentence structure could use more variation, at least for me – it felt like I was being pelted with little thought-darts. However, the book does give some background to NASA, which I didn’t fact check and won’t.

I don’t have anymore to say about it other than the people at NASA should have given Captain Chase a sedative or two, in order to counter-act those over-stimulated thoughts way, way earlier in the book.

★★☆☆☆ Two stars out of five and a big-fat DNF for Captain Chase’s first book titled Quantum by Patricia Cornwell.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review: Ten Years of Darkness by Kristen M. Chambers and Viktor H. Strangewayes

Color palette here is carefully selected with a feather radiating magic. Nicely done cover.

SDMcKinley.com completed this review via a free copy in cooperation with StoryTellers on Tour and the author’s blog tour.

FEBRUARY 3RD – THE WELCOMING
Whispers & Wonder
––
FEBRUARY 4TH
Westveil Publishing
––
FEBRUARY 5TH
booksandbites
––
FEBRUARY 6TH
Beneath A Thousand Skies
@the.b00kreader
––
FEBRUARY 7TH
@theenchantedshelf
––
FEBRUARY 8TH
S.D. McKinley
––
FEBRUARY 9TH – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum

For more about this tour visit Storytellers On Tour.

Blurb:

A darkly humorous mash-up of time travel and dark fantasy, in which our heroes discover there is more to our history than we’ve been led to believe. Discover a world of demons and dark Magic, of ancient civilizations and unexpected alliances, hiding just out of plain sight…

A demonic plague carried by time-traveling bats, a dripping mechanical construct from ages past, and a talking quill which gleans the truth from a person’s blood. A few months ago, that would have been enough to make Kristen question her sanity, but after everything she’s seen, they seem pretty par for the course.

After a brief encounter with a mysterious stranger leaves Kristen with an unusual Magical artifact, she begins to realize there is far more to our world than she’s been told, and the very future of humanity may just rest in her hands. Joining forces with some rather unlikely allies – a nervous neighbor whose dreams of Magic are quickly turning into his nightmare; a diminutive yet feisty Lumynar, who may be the last of her kind; and a wisecracking demon who happens to share the moniker of a fictional spy – Kristen sets out on the journey she had always dreamed of, but may not be prepared for.

With potential horrors looming on the horizon, access to Magical resources obstructed by powerful forces, and more questions arising with each encounter, our heroes must band together and fight for their world and the fate of humanity. But for every question answered, many still linger: Have they chosen to support the right factions? Are their goals worth more than those they are fighting against? And worst of all, have they gone through this entire process before?

From the group who founded the Vaal’bara Historical Society, Ten Years of Darkness is a prequel which can be read before Volume One or after Volume Five. The prequel takes place in an unsettling time before many events transpired, yet is simultaneously affected by their outcome, following characters both new and familiar, and bringing as yet untold details to light while also exploring others from a unique perspective. Those seeking to learn the true mission of the Society may very well choose to start here, while other readers who have already traveled the timeways at our heroes’ side will find many clues to further their journey as they look toward the future.


Ten Years of Darkness presents originality in form with handy visual-graphic hints at progressions in story line with visual clues as to what kind of scene transformation is taking place such as time transformation, portal, written document or vision. This element works well and added value.

In regards to further specifications on format, each chapter is professionally titled and paragraphs are separated by a double-carriage return, being non-indented in the print book and indented in the eBook format. While I didn’t mind the double spaced paragraphs in the print book, the indention and spaced paragraphs did bother me slightly in the eBook as a violation of too-much-wasted-white-space. Albeit the former were small offenses in my vouch for criticism regarding form in writing. All things matter.

Unfortunately, most events or thoughts in the book come in quick passing. It’s fast paced adventure through space and time with magical elements of time crystals, talking quills and a transformational, riddle giving knife. In my readings, I found it difficult to decipher what was important in the book and what wasn’t, being there not much accentuation toward important things and non-important things. Although, with all these details spinning at me I still found escape into a meta-world where things are surreal and interesting in a way that we do not find in our present reality, which was great in seeking escapism and food-for-thought. The writing itself, on a small scale was executed well with little-to-no typos or sloppiness in regards to grammar and punctuation.

“May the quill prove mightier than the blade.”

Page 101, Ten Years of Darkness

I have mentioned before that what I look for most in a book is complete immersion, being enveloped in a proverbial wrap of feeling, giving me emotion ( whether good or bad ) and instilling a sense of complete atmosphere which I found mostly lacking in this book. This is why I believe that happened: there’s not much further explained and proves to be too verbose with not much poetic nature and the writing seems cut short both in character elements and setting when thoughts, actions and setting could be appropriately, even slightly expanded upon to give us a little more background and feeling about what is happening and most importantly: why . . . in order to give my imagination some taste. It could use a good rambling re-cap in spots to tie everything up nicely. This begs the argument against imagination vs too much information, but what I am seeking here is just a little more in regards to setting, character and thoughts to feed that imaginative construct in my mind. It seems that this book might be a product of all the advice online about writing and that presents dangers in itself of lacking soul and individuality that is needed to encompass a complete personal thought as paragraph and a complete feeling as form and book. I feel as if I know nothing about these authors through their writings – neither good or bad in itself.

Now the flip side of this is we are given plenty of room to appreciate the premise of the book being that reality is more than meets the eye, exploring the concept of worlds interacting with our own in ways we cannot presently understand. Then, we are presented an option to decipher importance of specifics on our own – as a feat of imagination and grasp for something more than simply what is presented in front of our face, in the writings. I absolutely loved those magical touches including naming demons after elusive cartoon characters that I personally grew up with via media, thus inciting a correlation previously not thought about, ending in personal amusement.

Recommendation:

Ten Years of Darkness presents originality in form and function, while delivering fun themes surrounding time and magic with comedic characters and mischievous events; even not normally animate characters such as knives and quills that interact with the fictional world. But, it lacks depth in regards to the reader deciphering what is important in the story and what isn’t with little-to-no back tracing or reasoning to why things happen or even thoughts. However, I would imagine telling a story that resides outside reality, but delves into meta-reality, might present the same exact problems because it would lie outside common reasoning. Ten Years of Darkness – definitely worth the read @ ★★★☆☆ three stars out of five.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews Other Reviews

Review: Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Good Bye: Part #3

All images are © 2014 Dark Horse Books / Frank Miller, All opinions are my own.

Introduction:

Previously, we covered Part 1 and 2 of The Hard Goodbye. Now, we have a continuation with Part 3. Life has handed me the brass knuckles and I’ve been short of time. This post only covers one part, Part 3, albeit an important one, where we learn the ruffian’s name and meet some people and relatives close to him.

In this post, I will cover Part 3 of the Chapter titled “The Hard Goodbye”.

WARNING: This book most certainly is NSFW and only for adults. I will do my best to leave the vulgarities out of it so that everyone can enjoy. Although, if you can stomach the madness to achieve the full effect, a proper purchase of the source materials is recommended.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead: In depth review including respectable, occasional snaps of the art work and surrounding thoughts.

Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: Part 3

Finding himself in the sewers, after running from the cops the ruffian has bad things to say. He hopes they choke on their breath while they wait for him to surface, however he is coughing himself in the waste. He resurfaces out of the sewers and mentions a person named Lucille, that she has what he needs:

First mention of Lucille

Close call. Ruffian almost gets spotted by a copper walking through. He jumps to hang off the building in a marvelous comic frame:

Now, the scene switches to a female inside, presumably woken up and startled by a noise. She gets out of bed, grabs her gun and realizes it’s just the ruffian, nothing to be alarmed about except he has a swath of small bandages all over his body. He tells Lucille that it’s nothing to be worried about. He had simply gotten “grazed”. Ruffian asks Lucille for a beer and she shrugs it off, knowing that isn’t why he arrived.

Lucille and the ruffian are now in the bathroom and he confirms that ( the alcohol ) isn’t why he arrived with a solid “no”. Lucille throws his a bottle of pills. He eats one immediately. She tells him he is better with pills and he thanks her.

We learn that Lucille is a “dyke”, but with her figure she could have any man she wants. Lucille gets the ruffian pills from her girlfriend that is a shrink; Lucille’s girlfriend attempted to analyze the ruffian, but got too frightened.

Ruffian tells Lucille that he had to fight the police and she makes sure he didn’t off any of them. Ruffian thinks not, but they know what hit ’em. Then, Lucille questions him about how she will even the situation out, but he tells her no need and “not a chance”.

“This isn’t some barroom brawl or some creep with a gas can looking to torch some wino. This is big and I’m right in the middle of it and there’s no place I’d rather be. There’s no settling down. It’s going to be blood for blood and by the gallons. It’s the old days. The bad days. The all-or-nothing days. They’re back. There’s no choices left and I’m ready for war.”

Frank Miller as unknown male ruffian from The Big Damn Sin City.

The ruffian seems to have excited himself and grabs Lucille by the shoulders.

Lucille attempts to talk him out of his trajectory by bringing up prison, saying it was “hell” for him. But, he deflects and justifies it with defining what hell is. He says something to the effect that hell is not knowing your purpose and he isn’t like that because he knows exactly what his purpose is. He also tells her that someone close to him was killed in prison and that is how he got out. Lucille looks startled at how the ruffian is handling her.

He leaves Lucille’s apartment by, yet again jumping out of the window. While doing some theatrics and hanging off a building rooftop, he mentions “sweet Gladys“, but he will have to sneak past Mom and her hearing has improved since she went blind. He arrives at his Mom’s house, removes his shoes to sneak into his old bedroom. It’s unsettling for him, makes him cry. The memories. No mind because Gladys is here.

We learn that Gladys is his gun.

Gladys, the gun.

He takes time to bond with the gun and explains the situation with Goldie to Gladys. He stole Gladys, the gun from the strongest guy in school, but he levels with himself, justifying taking the gun because it’s previous owner, the strong man was dead when he took it. He named the gun after “one of his sisters from school”.

Mom pokes in the doorway of the bedroom while he is bonding with his gun. Mom calls the ruffian Marvin and he apologizes for awaking her. Mom tells Marvin that people came looking for him that were’nt coppers. Marvin tells Mom about his “new night job”.

Mom and Marvin talking gently.

Mom questions Marvin and he tells her about Goldie, but no specifics such as her death. And, that ends Part 3 of The Hard Goodbye in Frank Miller’s Big Damn Sin City. See below for thoughts and character bios.

My Thoughts:

Let’s talk about being a product of your environment. Do you think Marvin might be a product of his environment? I mean, he is doing a ton of questionable things, but I haven’t seen malice in his actions. Yes, he knocked down the cops. Yes, he took pills. Yes, he is busting into his parole officer’s apartment but, it looks like she accepts that, like he needs her.

Here’s another subject to think about: codependency. Is Lucille enabling Marvin by giving him pills? We have indication that he is better on the pills by her word. Should he learn how to deal with life without the pills? Maybe. We don’t really know how he is off of them, but that is possibly weak justification. Who knows? We don’t even know what kind of pills they are. They could be antipsychotics.

Do you feel like you want to judge Marvin? What kinds of judgements have you made about him? Seriously. It seems like the lines between what is good and bad here are blurry to say the least.

And then, here begs another question: would Marvin be actually be better off to surrender his fight and roll with the punches so-to-speak? No one knows that answer for a fact, but for the stories sake I think not! I want to see this guy win. We don’t know what lead up to this. He is obviously scarred from the past. All we have is what is presented in the story with context clues and diluted dialog.

He seems to bond with women most easily and that’s apparent here in Part 3, where he leans on his parole officer and mother. He got rough with Lucille, which I didn’t like. Thankfully, he didn’t violate her. She seems to know what to expect from him and is acceptant of his behavior when he barges into her apartment.

And, Marvin’s mother and his interaction with her is pleasant. He speaks to her like a son should, although it’s questionable about leaving out details in his story, but I’m guessing his justification for doing that is to not worry her. Poor mom probably worries enough as it is . . .

There’s a lot of detail in these black and white frames. I like the art style. Things pop out at me like the shower curtain not up on the rail in Lucille’s bathroom. Is she paranoid, possibly induced by her environment?

One thing that Marv is redeeming himself on, I can say for sure is using his resources, unlike what I thought about him when Goldie died. Even so, it still makes me wondering if he is operating on a hunch or no about her death. Something is awry.

See you next time,

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews Other Reviews

Review: Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Good Bye: Part #1 and #2

All images are © 2014 Dark Horse Books / Frank Miller, All opinions are my own.

Introduction:

If you saw my massive one book haul post, you know that this is a mammoth book @ over 1300 pages, full of semi-black and white comic-mischief and mayhem tailored in by Mr. Frank Miller and his crew being Lynn Varley on color art and logo by Steve Miller, published by Dark Horse Comics.

In this post, I will cover the first two parts of the Chapter titled “The Hard Goodbye”, that covers roughly 40ish pages of content.

In this review I will assume we know nothing! Having viewed and picked the marvelous movie and it’s cinematographic heights and splendorous display as one of my most favored films of all time, I will still treat this as if I know absolutely nothing about it, only revealing things and thoughts as they are revealed in the book.

At the end of each post, I will make a character round-up and summarize what we know about each character as the story progresses, along with my thoughts.

WARNING: This book most certainly is NSFW and only for adults. I will do my best to leave the vulgarities out of it so that everyone can enjoy. Although, if you can stomach the madness, to achieve the full effect, a proper purchase of the source materials is recommended.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead: In depth review including respectable, occasional snaps of the art work and surrounding thoughts.

Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: Part 1

After a copulation session while internally bashing his logical and physical surroundings, this male ruffian ( name unknown ) wakes up to find his mate unconscious.

We learn the female’s name is Goldie.

Death on first date. He thinks death immediately, but there are no signs of trauma or struggle. The male ruffian knows it’s murder by a gut feeling fueled by his hangover. Maybe it was cardiac arrest? He speculates cold murder, for sure. He’s questioning things, thinking about how he didn’t care when he was asleep. He hears a distant scream moving toward.

NOTE: This image has not only been watermarked, but also female parts blurred out.

The murderer must have told on him, he thinks. Scuffles with the cops have happened before. It won’t go well this time, at all. But that’s no reason not to raise some Caine!

Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: Part 2

Someone’s gonna pay for bringing death again so close, he thinks, especially after a night with a lucky score like Goldie.

Here comes the coppers, sirens blaring up the stairs with guns and tactical equipment of an unknown variety!!

While waiting on the cops, the ruffian pops some pills of questionable origin and then busts through the door as soon as the cops knock, instead knocking them to the floor! He runs into the hallway and jumps out the balcony, dodging a bullet in the process. Unaffected, he gets up unscathed and jumps out of the window, into the outside air.

Falling a long distance down, outside of what looks to be an apartment complex and onto the street, the male ruffian is confronted with the cops again and pulls the outlandish move of jumping into the cops’ windshield feet first, takin’ em out and thus wrecking the cop car into the apartment’s brick wall.

Why did Goldie have to die like this? He’s determined to give someone a slow, hard death for murdering Goldie even though they just met.

My Thoughts:

Man, these are the exact kinds of situations ya don’t want to be apart of. This guy, the ruffian is stone cold to the core, knocking the cops out on more than one occasion in these first two bits.

And, second of all, I would absolutely flip if I woke up and the person next to me was dead. A even nightmare. This guy just pops some pills and takes out the cops. But, there is an indication that he knows this situation for some reason. I hope we’ll find out.

Is he a drug addict? Where did this girl come from? Is she in on this framing? Is it a framing at all? So many questions!

There’s an indication that death has been following him for some time, that murder surrounding him has happened before. Did he do it in his sleep? Is she really dead? There’s no evidence of either question, just raged thoughts coming from a pill popper. I mean, not even a pulse check for the poor woman? Come on, ruffian man! Are you so drug fueled that your gut feeling tells you everything you need to know? Use your resources, man. I’d really hate to be in a situation like this, but hot damn! Guessing by the dialog, this guy is in some deep caca and has been for some time possibly some sort of local waging.

This surely is a story to take your time with. I’m intrigued. It’s not glamorous, pretty or favorable. It looks hellish and dangerous.

See you next time,

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review: Gridlinked by Neal Asher

Gridlinked by Neal Asher

Blurb:

The runcible buffers on Samarkand have been mysteriously sabotaged, killing many thousands and destroying a terraforming project. Agent Cormac must reach it by ship to begin an investigation. But Cormac has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Pelter, who is prepared to follow him across the galaxy with a terrifying android in tow.

Despite the sub-zero temperature of Samarkand, Cormac discovers signs of life: they are two ‘dracomen’, alien beasts contrived by an extra-galactic entity calling itself ‘Dragon’, which is a huge creature consisting of four conjoined spheres of flesh each a kilometre in diameter. Caught between the byzantine wiles of the Dragon and the lethal fury of Pelter, Cormac needs to skip very nimbly indeed to rescue the Samarkand project and protect his own life.

Gridlinked is the first sci-fi thriller in Neal Asher’s compelling Agent Cormac series.


This book is a prime example where it’s just not possible for a blurb to sell the book like it was ever intended to do in the first place. In fact, a long synopsis would even be sinful. Agent Cormac thinks whoever came up with these downright nasty ideas should eat a sharp beetle. Sometimes while reading . . . I wanted to tear this book in half. However, great care was taken not even to dog ear this bad boy. I absolutely fell in love with the story of Agent Cormac and the punchy, humorous way the words are laid down on each page. With break neck speed through space with spaceships, atmospheric re-entry and sadistic androids are some of the wettest, pulpy slap-stick environmental constraints of being in the future where things aren’t always as they seem. Your first inclination about why this is, is most definitely wrong, with a tag line of “The Hunter Becomes the Hunted” and things like chameleonware all the way to the neat little lore-type-blurbs at the start of many chapters that explain the human condition in relation to this beautiful, far-out space world.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review: A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

With the cover, I’m catching a Studio Ghibli vibe, which is great and the minimalistic combined with the illustration makes for all-around, excellent cover.

Blurb:

Egypt, 1912. In Cairo, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine.

What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and a plot that could unravel time itself.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Things are turning around for me with historical fiction. Anytime you put “saucy assassins” in the blurb, you got me. I’m not referring to the type of historical fiction that covers what might have happened surrounding a semi-real event, I’m talking about this lovely short story, here ( 45 pages in length ), titled A Dead Djinn in Cairo ( ← you may read the whole thing online @ tor.com, in previous link. I suggest you give the .99c if you like it and can suitably afford it ) by P. Djèlí Clark, which takes place in 1912, has an explicit Indiana Jones / steam punk type-feel to it and lore galore. Some of Clark’s other work looks to be worth checking out as well and are being adapted for TV.

Categories
Book Reviews Other Reviews

DNF Graphic Novel Review: Belle: Oath of Thorns

Belle: Oath of Thorns TPB [ Image Source: mycomicshop.com ]

This was fun, what I read of it. However, the images were pixelated in this Adobe protected PDF and their viewer for these .acsm files is absolutely horrendous. I won’t deal with it ( you can see for yourself what I mean. It scrolls painfully slow and the zoom is unusable which is critical for digital comics ). You can load it up, especially on a mobile device and it is right next to trash, in a dumpster fire. I can’t understand how Adobe gets away with putting out basura like that ( with the exception of Photoshop and the likes ).

Anyways, like I said I was enjoying this, but Zenescope didn’t test their methods, so Belle: Oath of Thorns TPB gets a ★☆☆☆☆ one star out of five from me.

[ Image Source: debrafine.com ]

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.