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review 2019-01-05 07:51
After 1987's Predator, There Are The Comics...
Predator - The Essential Comics Vol.1 - Mark Verheiden,Chris Warner,Ron Randall

When Predator was released unexpectedly in 1987, it was one of the finest science fiction movie of its time since the release of Alien in 1979. In 1989, Dark Horse published Predator, the comic book series as an in-direct sequel to the movie before 1990 Predator 2. I have not read any of the comic versions until finally, I bought this... and I have some mix feelings towards it.


Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1 features three reprinted mini-series that was published before over the years and one never before published adaptation of Predator 2 until now. In Predator: Concrete Jungle, the story takes place in New York city where during the hottest summer, the Predator is on the hunt again... except, he brings his compatriots. Detective Schaefer, brother of Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, together with Detective Rasche investigates the murders and the conspiracy of one certain general that was involved from the movie. As the Predators invade New York City, it take Schaefer and Rasche to save the day. In Predator: Cold War, the Predators are now in Siberia and once again, on the hunt. Schaefer and Rasche once again together with a beautiful Russian soldier will stop the Predators on their hunting game... only the Russian government and the American government and a certain general want the Predators technology. In Predator: Dark River, its summer all over again and this time, a crazed Predator from Schaefer's past returns and wreck havok in South America. Once again, Schaefer investigates and this time, he will put an end to it.


The comic book series is filled with a lot of one-liners and cheesy action. I can see that writer Mark Verheiden really love the movie and so, his style of writing is similar to how the 1980s are then but it doesn't get any better. Although I do feel the concept of the Predator universe is some what not understood, its not exactly the best of its own when it comes to reading. On art, Chris Warner and Ron Randalldid a good job capturing the presence of the characters. Its not really good and its not that terrible. Its just how it is when reading a Predator adaptation comic and felt as if a fan would have envision it. Overall for me, Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1 would appeal to fans but not as an introductory story to those who are not familiar with.

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text 2018-12-30 15:49
December 2018 wrap-up
Once Upon a River - Diane Setterfield
Athena's Champion - Cath Mayo,David Hair
The Cat in the Christmas Tree - Peter Scottsdale
Tombland - C.J. Sansom
The Sorrows - Jonathan Janz

So, just 5 books finished in December. No real stand-outs this time, though Once Upon a River and Tombland were reasonably good. All of these were Netgalley acquisitions. I have 4 more to finish, one of which is rather good. If I can manage not to request anymore new ones, I can get back to reading the books I already have!


My 2019 goals are to clear my samples and backlog of books. That includes all those accumulated free books. Either read or reject. This could be ambitious if many of them are worth reading!


And of course all those paperbacks on my shelves. I've run out of shelves and walls to add new ones! So, I'm going to try to keep at least one paperback going until I work through enough to make them fit at least. I just have to remember how it was last time I moved house.


Yes, some books get kept forever, but I do have a lot that I could read and pass on to the local charity bookstore. Drowning in unread books is getting too stressful!

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text 2018-12-29 22:56
2019 Reading Goals: Non-Fiction Science Reading List
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World - Laura Spinney
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars - Dava Sobel
Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) - Liza Mundy
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet - Claire L. Evans
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt
Upstream: Selected Essays - Mary Oliver
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - Dan Fagin

In addition to the twelve books listed in this post, I hope to read a few of the Flat Book Society picks.


1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

2. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

3. Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney

4. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

5. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

6. Blood Feud by Kathleen Sharp

7. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

8. Code Girls by Liz Mundy

9. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

10. Broad Band by Claire L. Evans

11. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

12. Tom's River by Dan Fagin

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review 2018-12-28 15:01
River of Blue Fire - Tad Williams


This one was much better, but still felt slow.

And Renie is still irritating as hell.

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review 2018-12-27 13:03
Once Upon a River
Once Upon a River - Diane Setterfield

by Diane Setterfield


During a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames, an injured man with a dead child are brought in from the river. The local healer is brought in and somehow, the dead child comes back to life.


This story had a poetic quality to the prose in the beginning redolent of a classic fairytale, yet the plot is totally original. I have to admit I wasn't sure what was going on for most of it. Is the child supernatural? Several people want to claim her, thinking it's a daughter or sister they lost. Perhaps an orphan child they might adopt. Somehow her features seem to appear familiar to all of them and each wants to take responsibility for her.


Eventually, towards the end, all is revealed and things begin to make sense, apart from the part that really is supernatural. It's a mystery story that moves at a slow pace, reflecting the effects of a slow moving river on the community that lives within the flood plain of its banks.


The only fast action is towards the end. This is one for the patient reader, and for those who like to spend most of the book working out the answer to a puzzling situation.

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