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review 2019-08-21 14:25
ARC REVIEW Spectre by Shiloh Walker

SpectreYay! Reading Shiloh Walker makes me happy. Spectre is a stand alone, although I do hope Tia's brother will get his own story eventually, told in the third person but switches focus between Tia and Meric. I love the characters in this book. Meric "Spectre" was raised to be a killer, his father was ruthless and if Meric hadn't of killed him at the age of 14 Meric would be a soulless and ruthless as his father. Sarge found him shortly after and saved Meric and while Meric still grew up to be an assassin Sarge fine tuned his skills and taught Meric to trust and have morals and rules. Even after Sarge died Meric never strayed from his own rules so when Boston mob boss and leader of a white slavery ring offers him a job to kill the sister of the cop who busted his brother Meric knows he's not going to take the job band unless he does does something someone else will.

Tia had a difficult childhood with a irrational mother who hated her and after she died was left to an Aunt who clearly hated her too. Tia always knew she was different from everyone else and everyone else made it clear she wasn't "normal". It wasn't until she was older that she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Aspergers. It took Tia a while to find her "normal" but she likes her life now with her best friend and her brother, even though he lives in another state, and her job teaching painting to kids who are just like her.

Spectre knows the only way to keep Tia safe is to remove her from the playing field; after all you can't kill what you can't find so he kidnaps her. But he was smart enough and observant enough to realize the transition and move would be easier for her with familiar things so he brings her dog, and art supplies and with how organized she is it was easy to pack clothes and toiletries. I love that he cared enough to do this that he understood that it mattered. Tia is scared and confused at first but when Spectre explains to her what's happening and when she gets proof she's more cooperative. I love that they are both blunt they are straight forward with their emotions and fears their was no whining and hemming and hawing, and I love Meric's solution.

Overall, this was a great read. The action is intense and the romance is hot, with some light bondage play. The story as a whole was fantastic, I love Shiloh Walker's writing she writes and I completely become immersed in the story and invested in the characters. If you are new to Shiloh Walker she does tend to get graphic, one reason I love her, as the Warning that is attached to the blurb says Warning: This isn’t a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There’s also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.     




 

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review 2019-04-11 00:00
Showcase Presents: The Spectre, Vol. 1
Showcase Presents: The Spectre, Vol. 1 - Jerry Siegel The Spectre was originally a Golden Age super-hero, created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily. First appearing in More Fun Comics # 51 (Jan 1940) he soon became a member of the Justice Society of America. It was an unusual origin story. Police officer Jim Corrigan was murdered but an entity called ‘The Voice’ refused him entry into the after-life and sent him back to Earth to fight evil. Jim Corrigan still has a body and a life of his own but he is inhabited by the Spectre, who emerges to fight crime with magic powers.

‘Showcase Presents: The Spectre (Vol. 1)’ starts with the Silver Age reincarnation of the character in Showcase # 60. Sadly, the Spectre is one of those significant characters who have never managed to maintain a long running series of their own, despite being an important part of the fictional universe they inhabit. This hefty volume therefore features several different styles of Spectre over the decade or so that it spans. The first 154 pages are largely unremarkable featuring the writing of Gardner Fox and the art of Murphy Anderson. This is interspersed with a couple of issues of ‘Brave And The Bold’ where the Spectre teams up with the Flash and the Batman with scripts by Bob Haney and art by Carmine Infantino and Ross Andru. These are all decent talents but not spectacular.

I have a love/hate relationship with Gardner Fox. I admire his cleverness and his prolific output but for a man who knew some science he often lets you down. For example, in Showcase # 84, ‘The Ghost Of Ace Chance’, the Spectre saves a gambler by entering his body and extracting it when he is thrown into a tank of liquid gas. The gangster’s spirit had just fled his body and moved into that of Jim Corrigan. So the disembodied detective is excluded from his own body. A series of near-catastrophes drains his energy, including an earthquake and a tornado. He fights the tornado by luring it with his cape like a bullfighter! This shows that the story was written for ten year-old boys. Fair enough, it was, but even they might have thought this a bit far-fetched.

There’s a short period of excellence because Neal Adams took over the art in The Spectre # 2-3, then both art and story in # 4-5. This is early Adams and interesting to see as he was to become a huge influence in the industry, a kind of anti-Kirby with his completely realistic approach. Unhappily, he didn’t stay long on the title and issues # 6-10 demonstrate a painfully slow decline into shorter stories with a number of different writers, clear evidence of a lack of direction. Even these issues are not without some charm, thanks largely to the interesting art of Jerry Grandenetti. Issue # 9 has a story titled ‘Abraca-Doom’ with script by Dennis O’Neil and art by Berni Wrightson, two other talents just starting out that were to achieve great things. This is not one of them.

Pages 368-546 are what really make this collection worth buying. In 1974, the series was revived by writer Michael Fleischer and artist Jim Aparo for a ten issue run in ‘Adventure Comics’. In keeping with the times, films were full of anti-heroes and fiction generally was getting darker, the Spectre became a bit nasty. Criminals were tracked down and died horribly. There’s a sub-plot of a love story between Jim Corrigan and a beautiful heiress and another of an ace reporter investigating the hero, appalled at his cruel treatment of evil-doers. The reporter is called Earl Crawford and bears a remarkable resemblance to Superman’s alter ego. Both art and story in this little run are excellent. Jim Aparo is definitely of the Neil Adams school but, for my money, his work here is even better. The good stuff continues in the next pages as he draws Brave And The Bold # 116, the next featured story. This is followed by a Spectre/Superman team-up in which the almost omnipotent disembodied detective teaches the Man of Steel a bit of humility and a valuable lesson.

‘Showcase: The Spectre (Vol. 1)’ winds down with a three-part run of Doctor Thirteen from Ghosts # 97-99, in which the paranormal investigator tries to prove our hero is a fake. It wasn’t bad. Finally, there are a couple of issues of Brave And The Bold # 180 and # 199 where he teams up with the Batman again in a magical milieu. This is okay for the Spectre but I feel Bruce Wayne’s alter ego doesn’t really fit well in this context. However, the stories are okay and the art, by Jim Aparo and Ross Andru respectively, is good.

Overall, this curate’s egg of a ‘Showcase Presents’ accurately depicts the chequered career of an interesting character. When he was good he was very, very good and when he was bad he was not without some historical interest to persons curious about the history of the American comicbook.

Eamonn Murphy
This review first appeared at https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/
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review 2018-06-12 00:00
In/Spectre, Vol. 1
In/Spectre, Vol. 1 - Kyo Shirodaira In/Spectre, Vol. 1 - Kyo Shirodaira Completed Series Rating
⭐️? stars⭐️
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review 2018-03-11 02:28
SPECTRE Review
Spectre - Stephen Laws

This book was dumb as dog feces, but I had a helluva time with it. It’s gory and over-the-top in that glitzy, shameless way only good bad horror fiction from the 1980s can be.

 

The story of seven friends (six guys, one girl) haunted by an unfortunate happening in their younger years, this is a horror thriller that should not feel original but does. Sure, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel; but it isn’t a thoughtless hack job, either. If it hadn’t come out the same year as Stephen King’s It I would assume this was a cash-in on that novel’s gargantuan success, but it did come out in 1986 and it makes for an interesting snapshot of where horror literature was in the mid-80s.

 

Though not particularly scary (and just so goofy), I do feel this novel is a success and I am now interested in reading other releases by Stephen Laws. It is a shame he isn’t more known amongst modern horror fans.

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url 2017-05-09 19:50
43 Books in series releasing today
The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel - Jo Nesbo
The Vinyl Detective - The Run-Out Groove: Vinyl Detective 2 - Andrew Cartmel
Skitter - Ezekiel Boone
In/Spectre 4 - Chasiba Katase,Kyo Shirodaira
Owl and the Electric Samurai (The Owl Series) - Kristi Charish

See full list at https://www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar 

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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