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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

Graphic Novel Review: Paris 2119

Paris 2119 by Zep ( story ) and Dominique Bertail ( illustration ). Yep, we have an optical illusion with the line curvatures on the cover, here. I had to triple check to make sure this image didn’t become amorphous. If my checks had failed, I would have beat it into submission. Is that a pane of glass, separating the light from darkness? Interesting . . .

I received this graphic novel as an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.com

Blurb:

Celebrated author Zep (A Story of Men, A Strange and Beautiful Sound) weaves a mystery borne from humanity’s addiction to convenience and technology, and the dangers such addiction can propose. This gorgeously illustrated, poignant sci-fi tale aims a spotlight on current social trends such as over-consumption, climate change, identity theft, and transhumanism. Painted in detailed watercolors by Dominique Bertail, this book evokes the classic science fiction styles of Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Enki Bilal, and Jean-Claude Mézières.


Since the creators opted to list the social trends covered, I will make a quick one-liner note about their relation to this story:

  • Over-consumption: a letting caused pollution leading up to a teleportation device that is problematic in it’s deceitful nature. All in attempt to fix a problem that just ends in more problems.
  • Climate change: atmospheric disinfection program that causes it to rain non-stop.
  • Identity theft: What happens after attempting to contain a man after you erase his identity? Trouble.
  • Transhumanism: digital clones, teleportation, privacy concerns potentially all leading to mental and physical problems.

The choice of art style here is interesting, as the extended description on Amazon says, “[…]in a classic style reminiscent of legendary French graphic novelists such as Bilal, Moebius, and Mezieres.” The art style isn’t futuristic, but rather archaic:

Inside art style for Paris 2119.
Categories
Memories On Art Opinion Resources

Bookshelf #1 and Beef with Potatoes

Welcome to the post for Bookshelf #1, where I’ll show you the top row of my book shelf just after some tidying up. Then, later I will continue onto the next shelf. There’s several different places to store the books, here, there, everywhere. Things make it onto the bookshelf, of course that aren’t books. 🙂 This is something of a natural order.

Speaking of natural: You ever try to eat a raw potato? It might make sense, right? You can get a whole sack of potatoes for five dollars and then your hunger is raging for nice, nutritious treat to fill your stomach, but then, it doesn’t agree. Something similar to birch bark. It never does settle.

The potato shall be cooked. It is written.

Instead, I’m vouching for some Pepperidge Farm toast with butter and year old Christmas jelly that settles greatly:

It’s a little shaky standing up in the chair, where the tripod won’t reach, something of wariness.
Left Side, continuing to the right . . .
And, the right side.
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Resources

MiniBook Haul 12.5.2020

These two books were recommended by the thrift store. I have no idea when I will get around to reading them. My main reason for posting the books is simply to see if someone has something to say regarding the content. I know nothing about them and have neither seen the books before or heard of the authors. Just a little randomosity while waiting for food. 😃

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

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Book Reviews On Art Other Reviews

Graphic Novel Review: Rogue Planet

[ Image Source: ComiXology.com ] Just amazing artwork. If you click this picture, it takes you to a source to buy the individual comics that are available for release now, unlike this graphic novel, that will release on 02 Mar 2021.

I completed this as an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.com.

Have you ever seen a comic running through a tablet that looks 3D? Holy Cannoli. Nonstop, dropkick, knock your face off, extra-pulpy SciFi monster-butter on top of SciFi bread with space jelly of whatever flavor you want, here with Rogue Planet. I really enjoyed this one! 🤨

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Music Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #3

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links and now it has evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #3, where I share some appreciation for artwork.

Visual:

Spawn, Todd McFarlane and I go way back, all the way to the release of Spawn #1. McFarlane really has done some great things for the comic and toy industry; what he did was groundbreaking, in turn breaking the mold of what these mediums can and should do. He was often rejected because of his ideas, but he held strong to them and I love that. Hold strong to your beliefs, guys and gals:

Cover art for Spawn #313 via Todd McFarlane’s FB.com page
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On Art Resources

Dec. 2020 Book Haul

Welcome to Book Haul post for December 2020, here at SDMcKinley.com. The intention here is to spread good news about . . . you guessed it – books, art, love, peace and tranquility! Many other things besides reading take a place at my table, which means I’m a slow reader and that every book on this list doesn’t always get a review straight away. Don’t ask me what determines that and Don’t even ask me about my eBook Haul 🤣, as these are all physical books.

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Music Opinion Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #2

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links and now it has evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #2, albeit a day early. Because, you deserve something early today.

ALI - No Excuses, Women's Lives Matter | The Elephant
This post is dedicated to all the women in the whole world, fighting for true equality. [ Image Source ]

Book:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells [ Image Source ]

I haven’t quite got the chance to dive into this series, yet. Hopefully, St. Nick can bring a copy in through the chimney. I’m even more interested after reading some of the other, zany quotes. Have you read any of this series?

“I liked the imaginary people on the entertainment feed way more than I liked real ones, but you can’t have one without the other.” ― Martha Wells, All Systems Red

[ Quote Source: Good Reads ]
Categories
Opinion Resources

WandaVision – The Vision 50s Style TV Show

Yesterday, I posted a bunch of compositions. They are nothing very serious, but it is where I started my writing journey and these are from a notebook binder full of ramblings. I found these well enough to share. So, if you are following by email, thank you for letting me spam your mailbox with all those yesterday. 😀

Yesterday, I also learned, through a mailed copy of Entertainment Weekly, that there will be a new show titled WandaVision coming out this winter ( currently scheduled for January 15th, 2021 ). I’m kind of excited about it really since it will be a throwback of sorts, gaining inspiration from classics such as I Dream of Jeannie and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

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Book Reviews On Art Other Reviews

Review: The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read!

The Horror! The Horror! uncovers a rare treasury of some of the most important and neglected stories in American literature—the pre-Code horror comics of the 1950s. These outrageous comic book images, censored by Congress in an infamous televised U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating juvenile delinquency in 1954, have rarely been seen since they were first published—and are revealed once again in all of their eye-popping glory. Jim Trombetta, in his commentary and informative text, provides a detailed history and context for these stories and their creators, spinning a tale of horror and government censorship as scary as the stories themselves. [ Source: Amazon ]
WARNING #1: SPOLIERS IN THE FORM OF PICTURES