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review 2017-10-21 21:11
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Solid second entry. I was thrown by the first chapter introducing a new character/POV to the series, but it was clever the way the author wove the threads of Little Red Riding Hood into the narrative. Still excellent, deep worldbuilding introducing additional locations, but as a middle book in a series, it didn't feel as fresh as the first, or as gripping as later entries are likely to. Enjoyable read.

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review 2017-10-17 04:03
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel - Mark T. Sullivan

5 stars for story

4 stars for narration

4.5 stars overall

 

I loved this. It's easily the best thing that has come out of Amazon Kindle First ever, and I'm so glad I picked it up. 

 

This is a "novel" only because the author wasn't able to verify all the facts of the story that Pino Lella told him about his time in Italy during the last two years of the war. As it explains in the foreword, a lot of documents were "lost" after the war, and many people who lived through it chose not to talk about it and simply let it fade into history. Being unable to 100% verify every detail, the author decided to call it a novel, but it is a biography. 

 

As such, I can't really critique this the same way I normally would any other story. These are real people and real events. There's no ultimate struggle of good vs evil (well, there is but as we all know, humans are complicated and things aren't always so black and white) and there are no tropes to rely on or subvert. This is just what happened, and it's both inspiring and infuriating. 

 

Without giving too much away - and assuming you're not a WWII history buff and might know some of these details already - Pino Lella was seventeen when the war came to Italy, and in order to avoid being conscripted and forced to fight on the German front in Poland, where many Italians pressed into service were losing their lives, he instead "volunteered" to work for Operation Todt. All he knew about it was that it was less likely to get him killed and would keep him off the warfront. Things don't go as planned and he ends up in a prime position to work for the resistance, getting them valuable information that helped the Allied invasion. 

 

For the first third of the book, things move pretty slowly. Pino is at first hidden in the mountains near the Switzerland border and helps refugees escape over the border. When his parents bring him back to Milan, things start to pick up and slowly get more complicated. And yet, things seem to almost go too well. Then the end of the war is in sight, and that's when things really hit the fan. The writing in the last third is especially strong and emotive, and I really had to work not to cry in the car as I listened to this on my daily commute. 

 

As for the narrator, Will Damron, he takes the Kevin Costner approach to accents. I would honestly have no accent at all than to listen to a really horrible Italian accent, so I wasn't bothered by this. He does do a decent German accent though. He's very clear and easy to follow along with, and he reads at a good pace. At first, his narration was almost matter-of-fact, but he can really bring the emotions when it's called for. I would say for the most part, he's a 3 star narrator, but the ending was strong enough to bump it up to 4 stars. (And he's certainly popular with audiobooks, so he has his fans.)

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review 2017-10-12 18:27
A Interesting Character That Needs To Shine
Scarlet Witch Vol. 3: The Final Hex - Marvel Comics
The continuation and final volume of Wanda aka Scarlet Witch’s stand alone series.  We are introduced to more back story and learn what the future holds for Scarlet Witch and a little about her brother Quicksilver.

 

With this final installment we learn more about Wanda’s family and what is causes problems with magick in the world. The story was intriguing and art was so so. There is a lot crammed into this volume.

 

I did feel that because I never read any of Marvel’s Civil War story or any other comics with Scarlet Witch that I was lacking some information. I also knew basic things like her being Quicksilver’s sibling and who her parentage was suppose to be. I also feel the ending to this particular storyline was rushed and I was yearning for more of Wanda’s story.

 

I would love to see more comics with Scarlet Witch. She seems to always end up in the background of other characters stories.  I think she really needs more tales just following her.  A witch with as much power as she has should not be in the background.
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review 2017-10-10 16:04
Why did Marvel do this?
Old Man Logan (2016-) #19 - Jeff Lemire,Filipe Andrade,Andrea Sorrentino

Usually they're good about filling in the holes if you haven't read the series, which seems like a good marketing strategy since they give these away for free with the digital uploads of your regular comic purchases.   This time, I had no idea what happened: Wolverine specifically mentions an incident with Jean Grey going into his head that kicks all this off, and I have no fragging idea what happened. 


Overall, it didn't impact the heavily emotional and emotive story about Wolverine wanting to go back to the future he came from, to save the baby he didn't mean to abandon, but did when he left.   The whole 'we won't help you to preserve the timeline' by all the magicians is both understandable and heartbreaking, especially since many of these are friends, many of whom he's worked with before.   

 

Not sure I'll continue with this storyline, but it was a fun, free read.   The problem is Marvel does enough stuff that I like that I have to weed out some excellent stories for the ones that strike me more, that fill an emotional or mental need I have. 

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text 2017-09-28 20:05
Reading progress update: I've read 90%.
The Scarlet Tide - Stephen Osborne
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