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review 2018-08-23 02:20
Chasing Embers by James Bennett - My Thoughts
Chasing Embers (A Ben Garston Novel) - James Henry Bennet

DNF

 

This book held a lot of promise.  Sounded like a fun read with a really interesting twist of a premise. Sadly, it wasn't that.

I could only make it 40% in before giving up.  The thing is SO overwritten.  I mentioned on Twitter that I don't think the author, James Bennett, ever met an adjective that he didn't like.  And use!  Dear GOD, the man needs an editor with a store of red pencils. 

Reading became like wading through mud.  Thick, sticky mud. 

It became really unpleasant and that's when I decided to set it aside.  Too bad.

But on the upside, that's a series I don't need to add to the "get it" list. :)

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review 2017-10-28 00:00
Batwoman Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death (Rebirth)
Batwoman Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death (Rebirth) - Marguerite Bennett,James IV Tynion,Steve Epting I have to say off the bat that I don’t know a lot about Batwoman. Not to long ago I met a woman whose favorite superhero was Batwoman so when I saw this on Netgalley I decided to give it a try. Batwoman Vol.1 : The Many Arms of Death collects issues 1 through 6 of the new ongoing series plus a one shot called Rebirth 1. The book includes writing from Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV along with art from Steve Epting and Ben Oliver.

Right away I have to say I wish a little more time was spent on the origin since I didn’t know much about her. But I liked the art and there was enough background information given so that I wasn’t lost. Agter the orgin we find Batwoman tracking people who have an illegal drug called monster venom. It causes people to turn into monsters giving them the means to cause destruction and kill as many people from as many nations as possible. Batwoman finds a man in Istanbul who just used the drug to transform and kill people in an international market.

Simple story, great characters and good art, what else can you ask for in a comic. I loved that Batwoman has a Pennyworth assisting her. I also liked that it takes place mostly on an island called Coryana ruled by pirates and other thugs. It would have been nice to have a little more background information on the history of Coryana and the story could have been a little more detailed. At one point we seem to abandon the story about the drug and go right into a story about the island about to be destroyed.

I did like how Batwoman’s lost year on Coryana was described, it’s pretty much shown as a home for vigilantes and it has some questionable characters.. My favorite part was when Batwoman is fighting a woman named Tahani and explains how she is not like Batman. She states that Batman would never work with the killers and thieves she is willing to work with. Batwoman shows herself as being a much darker character than Batman and doesn’t mind bending the law to her needs. One question I had was why does Batwoman wears a disguise since everyone seemed to know who she was anyway? All in all this is an entertaining book.
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review 2017-04-08 21:27
Good introduction to the new Batwoman series
Batwoman: Rebirth (2017) #1 (Batwoman (2017-)) - Marguerite Bennett,James Tynion IV,Jeromy Cox,Steve Epting

This isn't issue one; it's Rebirth #1.   The difference is that one will start of the first story arc, and this is a look back at Kate Kane's past, and what made her who she is, as an introduction to the character - I assume more for new readers like me than anything else - so that they can go into issue one knowing who Kane is and what she does. 

 

That being said, this wasn't as interesting to me as a I suspect the storylines in the series will be, but I didn't know that much about Kane, and so getting this full background was fulfilling.   I did feel it was a little too straightforward: and then this happened, and then she responded this way, to be really interesting.   Then again, I adore this author and I feel like I"ve seen stronger work for her. 

 

A decent background on this character and entertaining enough to rate four stars.   

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review 2016-10-13 00:00
Chasing Embers
Chasing Embers - James Bennett Chasing Embers - James Bennett The last dragon awake and aware finds trouble and ancient enemies determined to make his life interesting.
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review 2015-10-31 22:51
Halloween Party Book Set by James Livingood
Halloween Party Book Set - James Livingood,Michael Gilboe,J. Scott Bennett,Bryan Patrick Jones,Paperbackward

This audiobook contains three short stories, Frankenstein: IT Support,Swamp Monster Vodoo, and Vampire Caving.

Frankenstein: IT Support – Adam, Frankenstein’s monster, has survived to the modern times and works in IT at McTech. Through out the day, Adam answers several IT calls and deals with socially awkward coworkers.The pacing of this story was pretty slow, mimicking how boring Adam’s job is. The jokes came in two flavors – those about Adam and his love of ingesting electricity, and those about IT work and the dumb questions consumers call in with. There were also a few puns thrown in. I found the humor very predictable and therefore, it fell flat for me. Perhaps this story would go over well with small kids.

Swamp Monster Vodoo – The Swamp Monster was taken in by a vodoo master, who mentored him in the magic and in the cheat. They were partners of a sort, providing info from the other side to family members seeking lost treasure in the swamp. However, very soon into the story, the two must part ways. Swamp Monster, being large, green, and a little smelly, sets up a little cabin in the swamp. Pretty soon he is providing favors to the dead in exchange for buried treasure. Yet he doesn’t take into account that a certain ghost may be after something more. This was a pretty clever tale. I liked that it started off in on e place, and that gave me certain expectations, but ended in a completely different place. I quite enjoyed the journey between the two.

Vampire Caving – Bernie and Richard are turned in to vampires the 1920s by some nameless, yet pretty, woman who took them home one night after drinks. Then the story skips ahead to modern times. Bernie is a Hot Head, exploring the world and trying not to get burned by the sun. Meanwhile, Richard became a Doomsdayer, one of those vampires that prefers to set up a fancy nest and never leave. The Hot Heads provide new tech and knowledge to the Doomsdayers and the Doomsdayers treat the Hot Heads like royalty. Bernie continues to seek out the origins of vampires. He’s put a lot into it – studying history and languages. Richard has dug up a possible lead and hands that off to Bernie. The clue is a cave and Bernie suits up and starts exploring. What Bernie finds in the cave is totally unexpected – but him or me! But I really liked what the story did with this mystery cave. In fact, I am going to say there is some pretty beautiful myth building that goes on in this tale. I was impressed.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Michael Gilboe did a good job being Adam, Frankenstein’s monster, and ponderously moving through the day. He came off as lovable lummox and I felt that was and exact match for the text. J. Scott Bennett had a great voice for the Swamp Monster, bringing a bayou twang to it. I especially liked his voice for Granma Rose. Brian Patrick Jones did a really good job with the story Vampire Cave.  I liked his voices for what Bernie found in the cave. The intro and the little bit at the end after the completion of Vampire Cavingwere both in lower volume for some reason. That’s my only little quibble with the audio production. Each story came with it’s own little bits of music and I quite liked this little touch. 

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