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review 2017-09-24 21:54
It's time to revisit an old favorite...
Texas Family - R.J. Scott

It’s been four years since I read this book and I have to admit in my reading experience I’ve found that sometimes when there’s a large gap of time between originally reading a book and when I re-read it or in this case listen to the audio book it doesn’t always go well, but I’m happy to say that was not the case with this book…If anything, I enjoyed the audio book just a little bit more than I enjoyed this story the first time around.

 

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of R. J. Scott’s Texas series and having the opportunity to revisit these characters in audio book format has been a treat, so much so that I’m looking forward to treating my self to the rest of this series in the near future.

 

Sean Crisden is the narrator for this title as well as previous titles and I have to admit when it comes to books involving cowboys he’s one of my favorites. I love his deep, gravelly, easy drawl along with the fact that he consistently ticks all my basic audio narrator boxes with his consistent, unique and expressive voices.

 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with this series I strongly recommend starting at the first book and reading them in order. Jack and Riley are the main characters in this series and their story starts back in the first book…The Heart of Texas.

 

Jack and Riley started as an enemies to lovers story in book one and each successive story follows them as their relationship grows and here in the fourth book Riley and Jack have decided it’s time for their family to grow and have decided that surrogacy is how they want this to happen and Jack will be the father. But as can often be the case plans go astray and things may not end up the way they intended but both men are quick to realize that while they didn’t get what they’d signed up for…they were getting the family they wanted.

 

In spite of all their advantages, this isn’t a story that’s so perfect it makes me feel like I’m going to sink into a diabetic coma. Jack and Riley still have the stress of day to day life and the problems it brings to deal with…running a horse ranch, managing an ethical oil exploration company, dealing with relationship struggles both theirs and their families, making compromises and finding solutions.

 

‘Texas Family’ is a nice slice of life look at what’s happening in the world of Jack, Riley and their family. It was also a chance to see them building the life together that they’d started in ‘Texas Family’ and continued to work towards in ‘Texas Winter’ and then in ‘Texas Heat’. I love this series, these characters the lack of angst and extreme drama, no great mystery to solve…just the day to day life of two people in love building a life together that would see their dream of family become reality.

 

There are a few authors whose books are comfort food for me…for my brain, my heart and my soul. I know the kind of story I’m going to get and it’s one that I can lose myself in and enjoy. They’re my go to authors when I’ve been left with too many jagged edges by life and/or by emotionally draining books. R. J. Scott is one of those authors and her Texas series are among those books.

 

********************

An audio book of ‘Texas Family’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-23 16:14
Review: "The Pillar" by Kim Fielding
The Pillar - Kim Fielding

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

 

*********************************

First read: March 1st, 2015

1st reread: September 23rd, 2017

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review 2017-09-23 00:04
Vision and Hercules talk, Falcon and Thor talk and Wasp and Spider-Man talk
Avengers (2016-) #11 - Mark Waid,Mike Del Mundo,Alex Ross

All of these are dealt with on a team level of some sort: what does Vision do with his newfound longevity?   He's gone to the future, found out how long he does - or at least can - live, and he's trying to figure out what it means for the relationships he has with the people in his life - like his teammates.   Wasp and Spider-Man don't get along, and Spider-Man wants to know why.   Falcon thinks maybe now that he isn't Captain America, Thor should lead the team.   

 

All of these talks expose characters weaknesses, or strengths, and sometimes something that is a little bit of both.   Two of the talks were heartwarming, and hopeful, while Falcon's wallowing - and his realization that he doesn't have to be Cap - just reminds me of nazi-Cap.   I mean, I wanted to shake him and ask why he wanted to be like a dude who was a nazi. 

 

Nazi-cap annoys me enough that I knocked down a star. 

 

Still not my favorite art.   This is one of the less sexy versions of Vision and yeah, I like the art style enough - I guess it's grown on me - that I won't knock off stars.   Technically, it's great art, but I wish I had a sexier Vision!

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review 2017-09-22 23:05
Well, shit...
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 3 - Kyle Higgins,Hendry Prasetya,Jon Lam

Talk about dark.   Someone gets decapitated in this.  As in the head is torn off and brought out as a 'hey, look what happened, and lose all hope,' type thing.   (I think it's clear that it's not the Rangers tearing off heads...)

 

When Tommy and Billy escape their enemies, they end up in a terrifying future in which Rita rules the Earth.   What's happened and can they make their way back to their timeline?   Can they change things so that Rita doesn't conquer the Earth? 

 

This is far darker than anything in the show, and it allows the writer, and artist, to explore a more complex world: solutions aren't so easy that they can be fixed in a short episode.   Things aren't merely fixed because people realize they're wrong.   Even with Tommy changing sides - he's given power by Rita Repulsa and later joins the Rangers - the show had a fairly cardboard good and evil dynamic: when you were evil, or a bully, you just were.   When you were good, you might make mistakes, but you tended to always have good intentions, and an apology would fix all.   

 

Not so here.   Tommy's more conflicted about his Power Ranger origin, and sees the other as good and himself as less good, even when there's fairly solid proof this isn't true.   No amounts of apologies will fix a decapitation.   (And even when Rita does evil, she tends to do so in ways that don't kill, or even maim in ways that do permanent damage.   But the ways that people rally, or don't, after such blows is a deeper, complex part of human nature; allowing Rita and her crew to go around ripping off heads allows the Rangers to rally - or not - in the face of such barbarism.   It was something they never had to face, or even think about, because it would never happen in a kids show.

 

Of course, violence doesn't automatically equate to complexity.   It can be for shock value or simply not show consequences that are realistic, or complex.   This comic doesn't stay true to much of the TV show: it's more violent, but it does stay true to much. The value of friendship, of sticking together, how good can overcome evil, about doing good, and the diverse cast of characters.   The changes, like the more violent nature of this comic, aren't added in place of what it keeps the same, nor are they gratuitously added.   They're added to build on that, but to place greater challenges in the way of the Rangers and showing that no matte what, they will continue to fight.   It's added to explore these characters more deeply in the face of these challenges.   

 

The cheese is gone, replaced by more character development than I would have expected.  

 

And I'm loving it all.   

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review 2017-09-22 20:37
Things keep getting darker
Saban's Go Go Power Rangers #3 - Ryan Parrott,Dan Mora

But in a 'Rita has a really twisted plan' kind of way, not so much angst.   (There is some of that with Trini's unbearable shyness combined with her crush on Jason, though.   It's not unbearably angst-filled, though.)

 

Rita brings more putties Earth to fight the Power Rangers, but I'm not sure what her plan is with the human-looking girl who's looking for the Power Rangers, not given her connection to the putties, nor with what her purpose is there on Earth. 

 

I'm sure it'll be devilishly malicious, though, and I'm looking forward to reading about what the plan is in the end.  For now, I'm just having fun being taken along on this journey!

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