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review 2016-07-27 01:11
DC Animation – The Killing Joke

I am a huge fan of this single issue stand alone story for Batman.

 

I mean whats not to be in awe of, the art is timeless, and we are given an origin story, out right , for the single most enduring and iconic villain in comicdom.

 

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So when DC announced that they were doing an animated version of the story featuring the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, and Mark Hamill I was over the fucking moon.

 

This was going to be the greatest Batman animation ever made, and the last 45 minutes of it are…. but damn, that opening half hour… It starts with Barbara Gordon’s last case as Batgirl. Which isn’t my issue, it shows her in a strong capable light for some of it, but my issue comes with how they changed her relationship with Batman.

 

This is a relationship that has been largely paternal in its portrayal, so much so that Batgirl’s usual beau is one of the Robins. But here they have a scene with Batgirl and batman making out and a later scene confirming they knocked boots.

 

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This coming in the prologue reduces the Batgirl character to being stuffed in a refrigerator to propel Batman into his encounter with the Joker. I get that her being paralysed is a turning point for the character and that you needed to do something for a prologue, but you could’ve left out the sex and made it more powerful in my opinion.

 

Beyond that  though this animation is about the most faithful adaptation of any comic material that I have ever seen. The artists have recreated iconic panels from the one shot comic.

 

The brutality of Jim Gordon’s torture and descent to the very edge of madness is disturbing and harrowing in a way that is never seen in animated adaptations of western comics.

 

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Batman looms larger than life and the stoicism and pain in his persona really come through, especially through his detachment from others and hatred of the Joker. And the Joker, my god the Joker… I’m not going to beat around the bush, Mark Hamill is the star of this. He just is. He delivers the dialogue with such ferocity that the Joker was scarier than he has ever been on screen.

 

The origin tale still makes you feel for the poor shlub that becomes The Clown Prince of Crime in Gotham City, but that sympathy is juxtaposed with the cold sadism of the man who crippled a woman just to torture her father. It was the same in the book but hearing Hamill but emotion and insanity into that dialogue made it all the more chilling to realise that in the end, the Joker actually has a point…

 

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”

 

It’s scary and it’s harrowing because it’s true.

 

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Watch it, ignore the prologue and just watch the adaptation. It will give you chills if you know the story. It will make you think if you don’t…

 

Happy Viewing

 

 

Source: archeroftheasylum.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/dc-animation-the-killing-joke
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review 2016-04-22 05:25
Another Amazing Michael Angel Fantasy and Forensics!
A Perjury of Owls: Book Four of 'Fantasy & Forensics' (Fantasy & Forensics 4) - Michael Angel

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”  ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

 

A Perjury of Owls

Dayna Chrissie’s life has changed, drastically, since she was first yanked, very much against her will, into  Andeluvia. There has been death and loss, friends made – and enemies as well. She has fought griffins and demons, dragons, and even magical deer (yes, magical Deer… and a psycho one at that!) She has been through Hell and back for her friends and the land of Andeluvia, even when those she protects demean and try to destroy her.

 

“Nothing could be more heart rending than this mute and motionless dispair” ― Émile Zola, Thérèse Raquin

 

Dayna Chrissie is a Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, but these days she only works there third-time while she spends the great majority of her time in Andeluvia. But Andeluvia hasn’t been all that friendly to her. The nobles consider her an interloper, and as much as the King wants to hire her as his court Forensics Examiner he isn’t willing to go against the nobles to force her into place. So, what is a King to do but dub Dayna Chrissie “Dame” Chrissie? But being a Dame has its own perils indeed. And unless the Owls release their death grip on the Andeluvian treasury, her Damehood may not last more than a few days before the whole of the country descends into anarchy and murder.

 

Ah, but there is more going on. The Darkness is growing, feeding. The Griffins have lost the majority of their aerie. The Fayleene have been forced from their devastated home, and though the Centaur community is standing stable? The Owls, ah the Owls. Dayna’s friend Albess Thea is missing, and Raisah of the Noctua, a feared warrior sect of owls, has taken her place. And Raisah certainly does not the the welfare of Andeluvia, or even of the Parliament, at heart.

 

Sirrahon the Stone Dragon, ancient, cruel and released from his three-thousand year prison has disappeared, and no one knows where he might be. There are dark things moving, and in the Shadows the outline of a man lurks.  The demons are moving in the dark, and though everyone has seen what is happening, all are hiding their heads. All but Dayna and her intrepid crew, Grimshaw the Griffin, Liam the Fayleene Prince and Galen the Wizard who have been with Dayna through thick and thin, through war and death, but also through hope and understanding.

 

Michael’s Fantasy and Forensics remains one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. Alternately funny and touching, painful and heartwarming, if you haven’t started it yet, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to do so. Andeluvia and its inhabitants will be sure to pull at your heart, your mind, and your soul. Enjoy!

 

I work with Michael on his stories, so I should say here that I received this book for free but all of my thoughts are my own.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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text 2016-02-22 05:16
Love a Strong Woman Hero!!!
Alaskan Fire - Sara King, David King

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.” – George R. R. Martin

 

It wasn’t supposed to be, well, “easy,” not exactly. I mean, moving into an isolated, 10,000 square foot fishing lodge in the backwoods of Alaska isn’t for the weak of heart or soul. But when you inherit a good bit of money, just enough to buy your dream, it is hard to think about all the things that can happen when you are a 6’4” woman with orange hair, huge feet, and a childhood wish to run a back country fishing lodge. So, Blaze dove in, monster feet first. But, well, yeah. Stuff happens.

 

“Stuff” like your handyman suddenly turning into a were wolverine and attacking not an hour after the bush plane drops her off on the banks of Lake Ebony on the Yentna River. Yep. Things are going downhill from here, toot sweet. Oh, werewolves and wolverine, dragons and Thunderbird and, well, you get the point. And baby, “Something Wicked definitely this way comes…” But, darn it, this is HER place – even if a curmudgeonly, foul tempered, bad mouthed wolverine IS accusing her of being some kind of fantasy creature bent on elbowing in on “his” territory. Hey, she has the proof of her ownership of those thirty acres in her safety deposit box! Jerk.

 

I was truly surprised and thrilled to find a new-to-me author I am now so enthralled with. Alaskan Fire is a new sort of beast. A fantasy/paranormal with new and fascinating world and character building. Yes, there are the “standard” list of fantasy characters. Weres and dragons, etcetera. But done with an interesting twist of characterization and storyline that created a book I honestly couldn’t put down. And rather than gulping the book in huge bites, I savored it, taking my time and learning to love a couple of pretty unusual oddballs. Let’s face it. Jack the wereverine is someone that I would normally absolutely “despise” in any other situation. From the first, I hated him. I mean really hated him. But stepping back, I began to learn who he was, deep down. All the millennia of being alive, through a time when man was barely walking erect, through the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and beyond . . . centuries without measure, filled with love and loss and more pain than any one creature should be forced to bear. Yep. Jack is a piece of work. And before it was over, well, I may never be a charter member of the Jack Fan Club, but I absolutely want to continue the story. Because this? Well, this was awesome.

 

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.” ― Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas

 

I will warn you that Ms. King has an obsessive love affair with misplaced and unnecessary commas, as well as unnecessary hyphens, so expect it. Yes, she needs an editor. But her writing overall is so compelling even I was able to overlook it. And that is pretty darn special. Oh, and this is not the “meet the guy and hump him within five minutes” story. This is much, much better than that. Those are fine, in their place, but this is a real, honest to goodness novel with power to spare. There is a somewhat “HEA” … but I see a lot more in store for Blaze and Jack than some simple ending. A lot more.

 

“Alaskan Fire” is the first of Sara King’s “Guardians of the First Realm” series. Book two is “Alaskan Fury” and I already have it downloaded. Here’s a hint for Were and Human alike – these are Kindle Unlimited, so what are you waiting for?! (Oh, and ignore this crummy cover. The new cover is gorgeous.)

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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text 2016-02-17 20:34
Love a Strong Woman Hero!!!
Hell's Chapel (Shapeshifter Urban Fantasy) (Caith Morningstar Book 1) - Celia Kyle,Lauren Creed

Hell's Chapel (Shapeshifter Urban Fantasy) (Caith Morningstar Book 1)

“Be careful what you wish for
Cuz you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

 

Be careful what you wish for
'Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it”

Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up”, Courtesy of MetroLyrics

 

Caith Morningstar was there when the first brick of the Mouse’s house was laid. Order. Secrecy. That is all she asked. Orlando is her city. Her place of peace, where demons (dems), angels (gels) and tweens (‘other’) come to rest, relax, and visit her bar, Hell’s Chapel. Well, when you are the niece of “The” Morningstar, have an unending life and a very, well, let’s say ‘eclectic’ family, you deserve a little peace.

 

But peace isn’t in the offing tonight. Not when a thelac demon and a punk troll have decided that busting up the bar is just the ticket. Then, when her brownies don’t show up for work that night, leaving her with a total wreck to clean up before opening time, well, Caith’s week isn’t getting any better. Order, People! Is that too much to ask?

 

And then, to top it off, her Uncle Luc (Lucifer, to those not related to him) shows up. Then, an angel with attitude. Oh, and let’s not forget Papa Alrick, Wolf Alpha of North America, and her other four Papas as well (yes, other four papas. Don’t ask.) Things get all growly and bitey and sword slashy before Caith gets to take a breath. To make it all even worse? Green. Eyed. Zombies. Then? Green Eyed Vampires. Can a girl not catch a freakin’ break?! It’s hard enough to convince the badass Angel of Destruction, Samkiel that he is your mate and really, really should put that whole “On High” thing in the rearview and get the whole boom chicka bow bow bitey bitey life mate thing on with her.

 

“Be careful what you wish for . . .”

 

There is blood, blood everywhere. Death and destruction, and pain pain pain. And for a girl whose mother is the sister of the King of Hell, staying true to her five father’s pure ideals of right and wrong is going to turn out to be a “Hell” of a lot harder than expected.

Celia Kyle is one of my all-time favorite authors of light-and-fluffy paranormal romance. She has bridged out here, under the name Lauren Creed (why bother, Celia? We are ALL going to love you to pieces, no matter what you write!) into Urban Fantasy. The thing is, even if you, Beloved Reader, are completely convinced you “only” like Paranormal Romance, you are still going to adore this new series. The romance is there (a bit too much concentration on it, admittedly, for my UF tastes, but it works with the story, so there ya’ go) but this is still UF at its ‘first time out the gate” finest. Caith is strong, fierce, and cunning, as you would expect Lucifer’s niece to be. But when your fathers are a holy warrior from the Crusades for strength and the ability to gut a man with a knife between heartbeats, Father Earth (Mom just can’t handle birthing All them babies!) for a connection to the Earth, her unicorn papa for purity, the Alpha of every werewolf in North America for healing power, and, well, the King of the Pixies for a sense of humor and the ability to vanish at a moment’s notice, Caith also has a heart of gold and a basically sweet nature – that she will cut your heart out for if you happen to mention it.

 

I am desperately glad that Ms. Celia writes fast!!!! I can hardly WAIT for the next book!!!

 

I received “Hell’s Chapel” from the author in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and my thought is, Grab This Book Immediately. Whee!!!

 

 https://youtu.be/hcFlokM2CgQ

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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text 2015-09-30 15:36
Deadly Heroines in a Romance Series
Halfway To The Grave, Night Huntress, Book One - Jeaniene Frost
Angels' Blood - Nalini Singh
Skinwalker - Faith Hunter
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
Tinker - Wen Spencer
Naked in Death - J.D. Robb
Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill
One Kick: A Kick Lannigan Novel by Chelsea Cain (26-May-2015) Mass Market Paperback - Chelsea Cain

These heroines kick butt over the course of a series. Who do you think is the best?

 

These are my top 10 in no particular order.

 

1. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost: Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield

2. Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux

3. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter Skinwalker Jane Yellowrock 

4. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs Coyote Shifer Mercy Thompson

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Nurse Claire Randall

6. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews  Badass Kate Daniels

7. Tinker by Wen Spencer Genius Tinker

8. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb Lieutenant Eve Dallas 

9. Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill  Grad student Merit

10. One Kick by Chelsea Cain  Kathleen Lannigan

 

Agree? Disagree? Have some to add? Let me know! 

 

Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Deadly Heroines in a Romance Series

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly Heroines in a Romance Series

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