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review 2017-01-29 05:02

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Vol. 1: 1952Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Vol. 1: 1952 by Mike Mignola

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Weird. Yeah, I know that 'weird' is essential to Hellboy. But this was really weird. A hodge podge of horror with science fiction. Hellboy is awesome as always. His team kind of blurs together for me. Good action, but nothing that stood out and made me say wow. Having said that, it's Hellboy, so it's good.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-07-18 21:18
How John Taylor Surprised Me With His Beliefs About Good and Evil -- A Review of Paths Not Taken (Nightside #5)
Paths Not Taken - Simon R. Green


My Thoughts


The first instance ever that I have read the words jet-black describing the MC's mom's hair. The thing with jet-black is that while I have heard it used quite often in my family, I haven't heard it or read it anywhere else. We use it to describe a shade of black darker than black and shiny. Maybe I found this word because this book was written by a British author and not an American one. Could be that this word is one of the vestiges left behind by the British from their time in the Subcontinent.


New word learned: Suppurate

When I looked it up, it meant:




I also made the mistake of searching for images associated with this word. My advice to you? Never be that stupid! *shudders for the tenth time*


"...Lilith frowned, concentrating, and spoke another Word. ...Lilith gave birth to the Nightside through a single effort of Will and determination."


I don't know about the other religions but in Islam, when God wanted to create the world, He spoke one word. He said, "Be" and so the world was. Which is why, it was unsurprising that the scene with Lilith's creation of Nightside seemed quite familiar.


Some parts of the book read beautifully. A few of my favorites, with some background for reference, follow:


"Because Good and Evil and consequences have a way of creeping in, whenever people get together." That is why, according to John, Lilith seeks to destroy the Nightside she created.


According to the angels who show up, they take forms that human minds can comprehend. The pair in question shows up when the MCs go back to a time when humans had yet to be born.

 "Neither angel had much of a personality, as such. Presumably that would come later, after centuries of interaction with Humanity."


"To stay would be contrary to our orders," said Gabriel. "And in many ways, we are our orders.

This is pretty close to what I have been taught about angels.


"I couldn't let her die because of something she hadn't done yet and might never do.... Making decisions like this is what Humanity is for."


There was a whole bit at the end about Good and Evil that I found really fun to read. It fit in nicely with my mood these days since I was also reading Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes at that time.


What was just a teensy bit off-putting was the romance between John and Suzie Shooter.



Since I had done some snooping before, I did know that it was going to happen. It isn't that they don't make a good couple either. I guess it still managed to surprise me.  



The trademark humor was a part of this book in the series too but it was still darker than the previous ones. A favorite scene with the unflappable Cathy:


"Oh, Security!" said Cathy. A closet door I hadn't noticed before sprang open, and a huge and impressively hairy hand shot out of the closet and wrapped itself firmly around both the invading Eamonns. They struggled fiercely against the great gripping fingers, but with their arms pinned to their sides, they were both quite helpless. They shouted and cursed until I strolled over and gave them both a brisk warning slap round the back of the head. A thought struck me, and I looked back at Cathy.

"Can I ask what's on the other end of this thing's arm?" "I find it best not to ask questions like that," Cathy said, and I had to agree with her.


I did enjoy returning to Nightside. Can't wait to read the next one!


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review 2016-05-20 22:25
There's Weird, and There's Really Weird

Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2)Playing with Fire by Derek Landy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a crazy book series, but I like that about it. A lead character who is a sorcerer whose body is skeletal. A thirteen-year-old girl who stays out all night fighting evil creatures and sends her reflection to school as a stand in. Heinous, and I do mean heinous villains who don't mind exploding people, along with psychopathic assassins with Southern accents who can dig through the ground and who have a favorite straight razor. Yup. That's what this book is about.

I think that this one is a lot more dark, violent and disturbing than the first book, so I'd definitely warn a parent to read it first before letting a kid younger than twelve read this. The narrator was great. I loved his accents and how he makes these very strange characters stand out. I like his intonation for Skulduggery, rather sarcastic and one of those people who really don't panic. If he does, then you're in trouble. I enjoy his relationship with Valkyrie/Stephanie. She talks to him kind of disrespectfully, but it doesn't bother him. He treats her as an equal.

There were loose ends tied up from the first book that really needed tying. Even a cameo of sorts from Valkyrie's deceased uncle who left her his house and fortune. The sorcerer world grows bigger and more complicated in this book, and Valkyrie has cause to think about the life she's chosen as the descendant of Ancients who has decided to fight the good fight. She realizes how much time she's missing out with her family.

This book is just plain weird. If you don't like weird, pass it by. If you have strong opinions on what young people should read and that list includes violent books with sorcery, monsters and psychopathic characters who have no qualms about harming a 13-year-old girl, then you won't care for this. But if you like fun, weirdly humorous, quirky, sometimes scary, and sometimes creepy crawly books with not a small degree of wish fulfillment for tweens (and messages about empowerment for young girls), then you might like this.

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review 2015-11-04 22:08
The Bridegroom - Amelia Mangan

I wish I had this poetic grace for the sinister, decayed, and strangely ugly. Everything stark, defined, and immediate. This is a celluloid film, and perfectly cinematic; it is precise. Gorgeous weird fiction. Surrealism to eat.


I pick up horror anthologies just to read Amelia Mangan's stuff, and now she has a novel out. But someday all her short stories need to be collected, somehow. The sideshow mermaid from that carnival antho; the girl assailed by moth boys in Phobophobias.


BRIDEGROOM is the saturated film yet to be, of an unconventional First Contact story. You can read it for Free from Book Smugglers:





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review 2014-05-15 23:15
Hellboy's gone, but the world still needs saving!
B.P.R.D., Vol. 1: Hollow Earth and Other Stories - Mike Mignola,Christopher Golden,Thomas E. Sniegoski

This is the first in the spin-off series from Hellboy, about the other members of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. It starts just after Hellboy quits, and it's all on Abe Sapien to be the leader of their team to go out and save the world from paranormal threats. Abe and his crew are still reeling from Hellboy's departure, but they have to move on because the world isn't safe. Along with Abe, and Roger, the homunculus, Johann Krauss joins the crew. He is a powerful medium who unfortunately had his body fried during an out of body experience during a seance. He was powerful enough to keep his spirit together, and now he had to wear a specially designed suit that contains his essence. Being spirit form comes in handy a lot in this story, and his special skill adds a lot to toolbox of the BRPD. They are dealing with a race of primitives who have traveled from the inside of the earth, yes the earth is Hollow, at least in this story. An old friend and former BRPD member needs their help big time, and they follow her trail into the earth.

This is a weird idea, to say the least. What does that say that I still gave it four stars? I guess I have to admit, I like weird stuff. Glad there are stories out there to cater to weird fiction lovers like myself.

I like seeing Abe take the wheel in this series. Abe is a cool character. He seems to be mostly cerebral (compared to the brawn and bravado of Hellboy), but he can hold his own. Additionally, he is a very empathetic, and caring person. That's a good combination in a leader.

While Hellboy's absence is felt, I still enjoy the BRPD stories, because the other characters are appealing and fascinating in distinct ways from Hellboy, and there is plenty of supernatural oddness to go around. And there is more Mignola to read, especially with Golden and Sniegoski along for the adventure. All good things.

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