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review 2019-03-13 21:50
Review ~ Awesome
American Gods Volume 1: Shadows (Graphic Novel) - Neil Gaiman,Scott Hampton,Walt Simonson,P. Craig Russell,P. Craig Russell

4.5

 

Book source ~ Library

 

I read the book years ago and then I recently found out there’s a graphic novel. Of course I had to read it, but my library didn’t have it. So I suggested the purchase and they obliged. My library is awesome!

 

First in a trilogy (or so I’ve heard), this volume covers Shadow’s release from prison and his introduction to Mr. Wednesday, all the way to where he’s leaving the funeral home of Ibis and Jacquel. For those who don’t think they can do the longer novel version I recommend the graphic novel because it hits all the high points of the story. Because of the medium it can’t quite get all the nuances (obviously), but it’s a really good adaptation. Since I read the book years ago, I didn’t really remember most of it until I started reading this one. Then it began to come back to me. The artwork isn’t really all that for me, but it’s nice all the same. It reminded me of some of Gaiman’s Sandman comics so I did some research and a few volumes use the same illustrators. Look at me! I recognized some artwork! Impressed myself, I did. Lol I may need to check out the tv show now. Maybe. We’ll see.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/03/american-gods-vol-1-shadows.html
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text 2019-02-16 01:31
Alien series from Audible Originals
Alien: Out of the Shadows - Tim Lebbon
Alien: River of Pain - Christopher Golden
Alien - Sea of Sorrows - James A. Moore

 

Out of the Shadows - 

I really enjoyed this performance; the story, characters, sound effects, and music all came together perfectly. I felt like I was listening to a movie. The atmosphere is amazingly scary and claustrophobic. And as others have said, the woman who voiced Ripley was perfect. I liked how they created a brand new story that took place between Alien and Aliens (the movies) and I liked the explanation for it. Overall a very entertaining listen that will be fun for any fans of the Alien universe.

 

River of Pain - 

The overall production of this one was great with the same claustrophobic, scary atmosphere as the first. But I didn't love the story or the characters as much.  Still entertaining, but just not as original or interesting. 

 

Sea of Sorrows - 

This was my least favorite of the three. I just didn't buy the distant descendant of Ripley having a psychic connection to the xenomorphs. I also didn't like any of the characters. I didn't connect with any of them and found myself waiting for them to die.

 

All that being said, I flew through these books. I found myself always wanting to listen to them, even though they are all basically the same formula:

 

- Humans go where they shouldn't or mess with things beyond their understanding

- The humans are somehow connected to Weyland-Yutani (which is greedy for money, power, or both, without regard for human life)

- An android works against the humans in service of Weyland-Yutani or in rare cases helps them

- The xenomorphs come and the humans underestimate them

- There is a lone survivor (or maybe a select few)

 

Anyway, if you are a fan of the Alien movies, these stories are a fun revisit to the universe - and might make you want to watch all the movies again (like I did last weekend).

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text 2019-02-08 01:33
Reading progress update: I've read 130 out of 261 pages.
River of Shadows - Valerio Varesi,Joseph Farrell

the river Po floods, and two people die...separated by distance, but connected by blood. and no, it’s much more complicated than “the river got them”. murder. decades-old secrets, decades-old hatred between those in and around Torricella who once were divided up into Fascists and Partisans. or is that where Commissario Soneri should be digging? 

 

really enjoying this one, especially all these grizzled and toughened characters living by the river, no matter how hard, or sinister, things get.

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text 2019-02-07 00:27
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 261 pages.
River of Shadows - Valerio Varesi,Joseph Farrell

always time for another Italian Crime novel, always ready to sample a new author from this sub genre, and gosh I love the title, and cover, of this book.

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review 2019-02-04 08:57
Book Blitz: Shadow’s Voice by Natalie Johanson with Giveaway

Shadow’s Voice
Natalie Johanson
Publication date: January 2nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
 
Rose Trewin is on the run. Pursued by memories of her father, she runs from city to city, seeking normalcy. But Rose can’t escape her past, or the magic running through her veins, the magic that allows her to slip through the shadows unnoticed. The magic her father once used to mold her into a mercenary sent to destroy his enemies.
 
Now her magic is growing and changing, becoming something new and untamable. Rose is unable to rest. Wolves wrapped in fog follow her relentlessly along the countryside. Desperate, she uses her magic to escape, but the shadows are pushing her towards the center of a conspiracy.
 
Now, her country teeters on the brink of a civil war as a Lord Governor gathers power against the king. An enemy, with magic similar to her own, emerges in the chaos of political intrigue.
 
Faced with a country at war and a king brought to his knees, Rose must accept who she is and harness her powers in order to save her country and herself.

 
EXCERPT
 
Rose stretched her neck and sighed. the low setting sun was hot on her neck and sweat trickled down her back. She groaned and pushed away from the spinning wheel, dropping the bundle of wool back into the pile at her feet.
 
“Miss Trewin, you haven’t finished.”
 
She rolled her stiff shoulders and turned to the older, white haired woman. “No, ma’am. But the sun is setting and I’m hungry.” She dusted her lose skirts free from the wool fibers. “I’ll make it up tomorrow.”
 
The shopkeeper glowered at her but relented with a wave of her hand. “Fine then. Business has been slow anyway.”
 
“Thank you, Marg.”
 
Rose smiled softly and slipped past the gruff woman—the first to offer
Rose a job in this small town. She wasn’t a great seamstress or spinner, but she worked hard, and Marg wasn’t a cruel shop owner.

“Are you still staying at the inn?” Marg asked as she passed.

She tucked stray hair behind her ear. “Yes. It’s clean and not too expensive.”

Marg snorted softly at her. “You should look for a room somewhere else. There are plenty of people who would rent you a room. I even know of a small cottage or two near the woods.”

“Perhaps,” she said as she dusted off her skirts.

Rose looked up when her boss cackled at her. “You’ve been here nearly six weeks. Living in an inn can’t be enjoyable.”

“No, it is not but . . .” She trailed off. “Thank you again.”

Slipping outside, she wandered down the uneven cobblestone street toward the pub and inn. It was a small building, dingy and worn. The ceiling had a haze of smoke clinging to it, but it had decent food, mostly, and clean beds. It was a small town, smaller than she liked, but it seemed to suit her. The buildings were a ramshackle collection of stone and wood, many wedged next to each other as if the city grew too quickly.

Rose settled herself at a small table in the corner. “Dinner ma’am?”

She looked up at the tired barmaid and nodded. “Some ale as well, please.”

The barmaid quickly returned with a bowl of stew and a mug of ale. Rose sipped at the thin broth and poked at the chewy chunks of meat. She wrinkled her nose at it and pulled the mug of ale closer. Leaning back in her creaky chair, she watched the room.

Her view was interrupted by a man stopping in front of her table. “Yes?” Rose drawled and slowly dropped her hand closer to the dagger sheathed in her boot.

The thin man gestured to the empty chair across from her. “Might I join you for some conversation and a meal?”

She glanced at the stranger and looked him quickly up and down.

Worn and cracked boots, old but nice clothes, dirty face but clear eyes. Before she could shake her head no, he was dragging the chair around and sitting next to her, his back to the wall.

Rose raised an eyebrow at him as he settled in the chair and waved over the barmaid. “Yes, of course . . . help yourself,” she drawled and shifted so she could face him.

He snorted. “A horse makes for stale company after so long.” He turned to the woman. “Some stew and ale, please.”

She sipped her ale and watched him. “I’m Nico.”

“Rose.”

Nico gulped down half of his ale before stopping for air. “Have you lived here long?”

She clucked her tongue and finished off her ale. “Born and raised.” She stood from the rickety table. “Now, I must be off. Enjoy your stew.” Rose walked steadily and calmly toward the narrow stairway in the corner without looking back. She didn’t care for strangers and cared for questions even less, no matter where they came from. Let that traveler think she was born in this rotting little town and forget all about the strange girl he met in the tavern when he left.

Rose unlocked the door to her small room and slipped inside, locking it behind her. She walked to her narrow bed and pulled the dagger from each boot, dropping them onto the small table next to it. She slipped off the simple skirt of browns and reds and yanked off the constricting bodice. Rose climbed into bed, ignored the sounds of a tavern below her, and tried to sleep.

The night was restless, with the wind howling outside all night. Dreams of her father and life before made for a long night. When morning came, it was gray and cold. Rose looked at the sky from her small window and thought grimly how it fit her mood. She dressed quickly in more reds and browns before heading out of the inn for another day of tedious work. She liked the flashy bright colors of turquoise or green, but those stood out. She paused as she passed the small mirror hanging on the wall. Her hazel eyes and straight brown hair were simple. Too young to have wrinkles, but life didn’t care that she was barely in her second decade and there were small lines at the corners of her eyes. Rose loved bright colors when she was young. Now, reds and browns were her col- ors. They don’t stand out. She snorted at her reflection and left her room.

Rose pulled her long jacket closed against the wind. The walk from the inn to the shop was short but the wind was cold and hard. By the time she reached the shop door, she was half running. The bell dinged softly as Rose tried to smooth her hair back into place.

“Oh, hello dear.”

She gave up pulling her hair out of her face with a huff. “Nasty wind picking up, there better not be a storm coming.”

Marg snorted and turned the page in her ledger. “Oh, someone came looking for you after you left yesterday.”

She snapped her head up. “What?” Alarm made her insides twist. No one should be looking for her. No one should know to come here. Marg licked her thumb and turned another page. She spoke without bothering to look up, “Yes, tall man. Had quite a lot of black hair. He said he was an old friend of yours.”

Rose tried to swallow but her mouth had gone dry from fear. “What did you tell him?”

Marg finally looked up. “That you’d gone for the day.”

“Anything else?”

Marg frowned at her. “No, dear. What’s gotten into you?”

She rubbed her lips with her shaking fingers. “I need to run an errand. I’ll be back later. I’ll make up the missed work tonight.”

Marg frowned at her. “You only just got here, girl. What am I paying you for?”

“I’ll be back.” Rose turned on her heel and went back out into the wind. Her hair whipped around her face as she turned down the narrow alley between the drapery next door. Her light skirt wrapped around her legs in the wind. She took another turn and headed along the back of the buildings toward the inn.

“Morning, Flower.”

Rose jerked to a stop. She turned faced the speaker. “You know I hate that name.”

A tall man leaned against the wall, his dark hair hiding most of his face. She could never tell if it was to be sensual, to hide his face, or if he simply couldn’t control his messy locks.

“I thought I’d wait around for you.”

“Why are you here, Gavin? Have you finally found someone who will hire you?”

He leaned against the shop wall, trying to look relaxed, but Rose could see the strain in his neck and the clench of his jaw.

“I’m looking for better employ, if you must know. You, however, are a long way from home. Your father must be so worried.”

Rose pulled her hands out of her pockets and kept her arms lose at her sides. The wind pulled her hair from the loose braid and it whipped around her face. “I’m sure,” she drawled. “Is that what you’re going to do, Gavin? Rush back to him with news of my whereabouts, hope that lets you back into his fold? Do you think presenting me as a gift will get you work?”

He jerked away from the wall and grabbed her hard by the arm. “He’ll be mighty pleased to know your location. Might even pay me good coin for the information. And if he won’t, others will. You know they will.”

A quick, hard whirl freed her arm from Gavin’s grip. Before he could say more, she turned away. He shouted after her but she ignored him; keeping her back straight. She slipped in through the servant’s door near the stables and used their hallways to get up to her room. She locked the door behind her and let out a deep breath.

Her little room was barren: a small bed against one wall, a short rick- ety desk along the other. She had no decorations and her few personal items were still packed in her bag. If she were to leave, no one would remember she’d been here. Her spot at the small spinner shop would be easily filled.

Rose slumped onto her small bed. This was the farthest west she’d been, had even crossed the province borders into Amora and still her past found her. She’d been here too long already, and Gavin couldn’t be allowed to sell his news of her. She curled onto the bed, tucked the scratchy wool blanket around her, and set in to wait for the night.


Author Bio
Natalie Johanson has been interested in writing and reading since she first held a pencil. What first began a short story for her own reading turned into a world with a story to tell the world. When her time isn't being monopolized by her ferret, work as a police officer, running Dirty Dash races or reading she is writing.

Check out Natalie's website, nataliejohanson.com, for news, updates and more.

 
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