Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ARC REVIEW DC Universe Rebirth: Batman/The Flash The Button Deluxe Edition

Batman/The Flash
The Button Deluxe Edition

DC Universe Rebirth
Issues: Batman 21-22 The Flash 21-22

Story: Tom King and Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter and Jason Fabok

Story: Batman finds a strange blood stained smiley face button in the batcave. All of his analysis leads him to believe that it's not from this dimension. When a strange spark causes him to see his father he knows only one person can help The Flash. But an instant later the impossible happens The Reverse Flash appears beats up Batman, then when he discovers the button a split second later he dies. Flash arrives to find a beaten up Batman next to the charred corpse of The Reverse Flash. After Batman fills Barry in on what happened Barry wonders if the Flashpoint timeline didn't disappear like it was supposed to and together they decide it's worth a try. Batman and The Flash "travel" to the Flashpoint universe where Bruce Wayne comes face to face with his father. awwwwww. But Batman and Flash need to keep going to get to the bottom of this and find out who is responsible.

Jason Fabok does the pencils and inks for pt.1 and 3 with Brad Anderson on colors and all four covers. Howard Porter's art on pt. 2 and 4 with Hi-Fi on colors. I liked the art in a whole you can definitely see the differences between the two when they are next to each other but side by side with almost the same image and you can see it. Overall I think I prefer Jason Fabok I just like his lines better, but all in all I loved the all the art.


Review: I know there are a lot of mixed reviews but I enjoyed this one. I liked the touch on Flashpoint and even bring in Garrett for the short amount of time that he was there. I hope Reverse Flash stays dead this time. I really do like that it appears to be DC's solution to fixing things, going back to before the Flashpoint paradox screw up and going more traditional. I am enjoying Rebirth and this tease for what's to come was great because now I'm on pins and needles waiting for what's next. As the crossover that leads up to the big event and as the tagline says the road to the Doomsday Clock starts here. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Halloween Reading Recommendations

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

Normally I don't do recommendations often, but I figure for Halloween it's okay.

One book in particular I love, it's a great Halloween read. The Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne. A hair raising thriller that kept me wanting for more, I didn't want to put this book down. Although I did guess one element at about half way through, other than that I loved this book. The characters have troubled pasts in one way or another, an internal struggle they must deal with at the same time fight the attraction toward each other and finding the serial kidnapper/pedophile/rapist before he strikes again. And it all takes place during Halloween.

Books that are scary but not Halloween

I've always been partial to Clive Barker. Cabal and the Hellbound Heart are two of my favorites but also The Books of Blood series. There are six book in the series and each book contains a collection of the macabre that only Clive Barker could do. Yes those are my books and yes I'm missing the sixth book.

Next up on my list is William Todd Rose's Realms of the Dead, it's two connected novellas.
For me everyday day is a good day for a damn good horror novel. I had no idea what to expect from William Todd Rose, I have never read him before. I love horror but I'm picky about who I read, but the synopsis intrigued me. This book was creepy in all the right ways. It kept me engulfed in the story and the characters. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I liked the science fiction/ metaphysical aspect and it blended in nicely with the gruesome games of a tormented mind. The synopsis likened William Todd Rose to King and Koontz, but I would be more willing to group him with Clive Barker. I really enjoyed this. Crossfades is more the sci-fi horror while Bleedovers is more paranormal. I liked how this was two separate novellas, even though it could have worked as a full length novel, it cut down on unnecessary filler

I newly discovered Abbie Roads. She has three books out right now and each othe them are a dark romantic suspense. Her books are dark and twisted and sexy as hell, it really satisfies my horror and romance needs. The Fatal Dreams duo also has a dark fairytale/folklore feel to it. 

For kids, always the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series the illustrations alone can give you nightmares. For beginner readers one of my favorites growing up was one called Four on the Shore by Edward Marshall. It is a fun little book about four friends telling scary stories to each other.

ARC REVIEW Halloween Carnival Vol 5

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

DEVIL’S NIGHT by Richard Chizmar
"You’ve read about what happened that night. What you don’t know is the true extent of the damage. The papers got it wrong—and the truth is so much worse than you thought." blurb

This was a pretty good story. It was weird and a little predictable but I like the way the story played out.

THE LAST DARE by Lisa Tuttle
"Elaine hasn’t been back to her hometown in years. The house she lived in is gone. The tower house isn’t—nor are the stories of the fate that befalls whoever dares to go there." blurb

This is probably my favorite in this volume. It's creepy, creepy is good I like creepy. The menacing tower house, a ghost story, and lost memories it's a great Halloween read.

THE HALLOWEEN BLEED by Norman Prentiss
"What if Halloween... bleeds into other days? It doesn't matter when the story was written, or when you read it. What matters is that it has an effect on you. It's casts a spell." from the uncorrected proof.

It's a strange and unusual story, it makes you think and then creeps you out and leaves you questioning, "what just happened?" 

SWING by Kevin Quigley
"In Hollywood, everyone lives forever. At least that’s what I used to think . . . before Jessica. But no one seems to live long when they’re around me." burb

Yeah it was weird and creepy but the story did nothing for me.

PORK PIE HAT by Peter Straub
"When it comes to jazz, there are players, and there are legends. “Hat” was a legend. His real name didn’t even matter. Still, he had his secrets—secrets best left buried in the past." blurb

It was long and took forever to get to the point and it wasn't even that scary.

Halloween FB Mega Hop: PNR/UF Halloween Giveaway

There is a really cool multi-author Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Halloween FB Hop going on with some awesome prizes check out the kick off page here...

Halloween FB Mega Hop: PNR/UF Halloween Giveaway: PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ARC REVIEW Halloween Carnival Vol 4

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

"For some, office parties are the highlight of the season. For others, they can paralyze with dread. Theo is determined not to let his anxiety stop him from attending—though maybe he’s right to be afraid." blurb

I hated this one. It was mean and sad and it's the kind of story a bully would tell because he thought it was funny. It's not. There was absolutely nothing wrong with how the author wrote it he has a great style but just the content alone was just mean.

"The candy’s always better on the other side of town, even if it means crossing paths with bullies. But a rich house with an unlocked door might just be too good to be true. . . ." blurb

Once again bullies. This book left me with the distinct feeling of WTF was that. 

"Every town has one: a house or a field or an old tree that just gives off a bad vibe. Of course, those feelings are just silly superstition, nothing to take seriously. Right?" blurb

Entertaining and fun, there is always that one tree that creeps you out and in this case they have reason to be.

PUMPKIN EATER by C. A. Suleiman
Peter loves Halloween, pie as long as it's dutch apple, and pumpkins. His hobby of building concrete pumpkins started years ago and gradually they have increased in size. Lucky for him this years are bound to be the biggest, big enough even for his lying cheating wife.

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn't keep her. My favorite out this anthology. It was dark and twisted and a great ending

WHEN THE LEAVES FALL by Paul Melniczek
"Haverville always seemed like a typical town to me: a place where people work hard, and no one ever really leaves. Until the night I went to Graver’s Farm—and discovered what Haverville was really hiding." blurb

This is definitely the longest one in here starting just before 50%. It was just ok, there were things I liked about and other things that fell flat. I liked the concept of it but the execution didn't work for me. It had such a exciting build up toward the end but an almost anti-climatic ending.

Overall, my least favorite volume.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ARC REVIEW DC Universe Rebirth: Red Hood and the Outlaws vol 2 Who is Artemis?

Red Hood

and the Outlaws

vol 2 

Who is Artemis?

DC Universe Rebirth 
issues #7-12
Story by: Scott Lobdell
Art by Dexter Soy, Kenneth Rocafort, Mirko Colak, Tom Derenick, Nicola Scott, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Veronica Gandini (colorist), Dan Brown (colorist)

Story: Before it gets into Artemis' story the first issues explains a little bit more about Bizzaro and where he came from. It also explains that at some point in time they may be forced to deal with him, permanently but this is not that time.
Artemis is looking for a weapon that was gifted to her people from the Gods, and if the right person uses it it is a weapon of mass destruction. It was in Gotham at one point but now it's back to where it all started, and not just for Artemis but for Jason too. They find out it is back in Quarac, the place where Artemis' home is hidden from the world and the place where The Joker killed Jason. Their plane is shot down by the Quarac military and the three of them are separated. Jason is taken by the military, Bizzarro lands in a civilian area and they ask him for help; while Artemis lands at home and is faced with the embodiment of her guilt. Jason hears one story and Artemis hears another which side is right and will Artemis be able to stand up and do the right thing?

Art: Mirko Colak does issue 7 and I really like it except for the eyes, the eyes all look small and beady. Kenneth Rocafort draws the prologue wonderfully, great action and attention to detail. Dexter Soy takes over for the rest of the volume and does a fantastic job at it. Some brilliant coloring by Veronica Gandini and Dan Brown.

Characters: Red Hood and the Outlaws consist of Jason Todd who was once a Robin, but was brutally murdered by The Joker and brought back to life by the Lazarus Pit and is now Red Hood. Artemis is an Amazon much like Wonder Woman except years ago a small fraction of the Amazons left Themyscira and found another pantheon to shelter them. And Bizarro a Superman clone gone wrong, the only surviving clone from that failed experiment.

Review: It's Jason Todd so I'm pretty much going to love it. He is one of my favorite characters from the Batman series, I love guys with tortured pasts and who are kinda assholes. The overall story was downright good. It was captivating and entertaining. It shows real character development for Jason and Artemis. It was a great story I couldn't put it down.        

ARC REVIEW Halloween Carnival Vol 3

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

THE WAY LOST by Kelley Armstrong
"The kids in Franklin don’t ask questions. Each Halloween, one of them disappears into the forest. Dale promised his mother he’d never go into the woods alone. But the kids in Franklin also lie."

I'm leaving the blurb as the descriptive because it just so creepy. I haven't read Kelley Armstrong in what seems like forever, I loved her Otherworld series and I love her writing style and this short story is well damn, I wasn't expecting that. It was a really good story with an unexpected ending.

LA CALAVERA by Kate Maruyama
A Calavera is the representation of a human skull, for Dia de los Muertos it is often used as an offering for the dead. Trish was just another gringa until Jasmine, and now that Jasmine is gone Trish wants to honor her with a special Calavera.

Really predictable but I positively enjoyed it nonetheless.

THE DEVIL’S DUE by Michael McBride
Pine Springs, Colorado, has never wanted for anything. It's always been prosperous and never any crimes or drug problems. The reason why is just as evil as you might imagine, and this year one family isn't willing to pay the devil his due.

A genuinely good scary monster horror short story. After the start it was kind of slow but it escalated pretty quickly and ended bittersweetly.  

"Samhainophobia: an irrational fear of Halloween. Phasmophobia: an irrational fear of ghosts. For Anne, these terrors are more rational than she knows." blurb. Newly married Anne has not told her husband about her phobias yet, she's scared that he will leave once he finds out but with Halloween getting closer and her phobias getting worse she confides in him. But this is not a happily ever after romance no, this is a horror.

Well I didn't see that coming, just when I started to get disapointed in the story I had a, "oo what a twist" moment. It has an ending that kind of makes you want to do a maniacal laugh at the end.

Gerald is a crotchety old man on death's bed, he did nothing with his life and never left home and ever since he was diagnosed with emphysema every Halloween is tormented by his past. 

I liked this one but not as much as the others and it's mainly Kelli's fault she was annoying AF.

Overall, this is my favorite book out of the series.   

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

ARC REVIEW Dark Horse Comics: Aliens Defiance vol 2



vol 2

Dark Horse Publishing

Story by Brian Woods
Art by Stephen Thompson, Tony Brescini, Eduardo Francisco, Dan Jackson

Story:We pretty much pick up where we left off in vol 1. Hollis discovers she has one of those things inside her. Instead of killing it she thinks it would be wise to study it so they can find better ways to kill them. Davis and Zula are hesitant but they agree to Hollis' plan. Davis retrofits one of the cargo holds into a giant cryo chamber. Hollis successfully removes the creature and Davis transports it to the cryo hold where they successfully hold the thing, for a while. All the while Zula who is in constant pain keeps thinking back to the transmissions her doctor sent her about coming back to Earth and turning herself in and how she can have it to where she won't face any punishments. But the makeshift cryo hold has caused damage to the ship and now not even the cryo hold is failing top it all off with pirates attacking and Zula has decided the only way to go is home. But first they have to get rid of the Alien. Once they get to Earth things don't go quite as they planned but Zula ok with that she's not a quitter she can find a way.

Art: For the most part beautiful artwork. The first three episodes the main characters were drawn really inconsistently. Zula's head would completely change shape from different perspectives. The latter half of the book it's wonderfully drawn. I am constantly amazed how beautifully scary the xenomorphs are drawn especially the queen. 

Review: Wow. Hollis reveals she has a xenomorph in her and all I'm thinking is, "that is a queen!"
The story just keeps getting better and better and when you think all is hopeless Zula is there with a solution. It does have a bit of a bittersweet triumphant CLIFFHANGER ending but man oh man. I think the story flowed better in this one than the first volume it definitely exciting, I couldn't put it down.     

ARC REVIEW Overwatch Anthology Vol 1

Overwatch Anthology vol 1
Dark Horse Publishing
Blizzard Entertainment

Scripts by: Robert Brooks, Matt Burns, Andrew Robinson, Micky Neilson, Michael Chu, James Waugh
Art by: Bengal, Nesskain, Gray Shuko, Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz, Miki Montlló, Joe Ng, Espen Grundetjern (colorist)
Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft's John Rushell, Jimmy Betancourt and Albert Deschesne

 McCree – Train Hopper

Script: Robert Brooks
Art: Bengal

Jesse McCree is hitching a ride on the express train when Opción Dos starts to hijack the train. Against his better judgment because he knows he’s just going to get blamed for it stops the hijacking.

McCree's  story was a good one, he completely deserves his reputation even if he is trying to move on from the past. He's more of the unsung hero. I really enjoyed Bengal's art. His style of the manga/anime in the digital spectrum fits in great with what Blizzard has for this game.   

Reinhardt – Dragonslayer

Script: Matt Burns
Art: Nesskain
As Reinhardt and Brigitte are traveling they come a small village that is practically being held hostage by a ruthless gang demanding protection money. Reinhardt ever the hero decides he can save them.

Of course Reinhardt is going to stick up for the little people, it would be going against his nature to do. It's an exciting story and well written and put together. I loved the his speech while he was putting on the armor. Nesskain's art is beautiful I love all the clean lines and detail.  

 Junkrat & Roadhog – Going Legit
Script: Robert Brooks
Art: Gray Shuko
Junkrat and Roadhog attempt to go legit when a business man offers them a job. Take out the bad guys and save the hostages, discreetly. But in the typical Junkrat fashion it all gets blown to hell, literally. It’s not the clean cut job they were hoping for but it’s exactly what the business man was hoping would happen.

This was hysterical. Junkrat's almost non-stop commentary and completely obliviousness of their actions it's no wonder they are the comic relief of the game. Gray Shuko has done artwork for Blizzard so it's no wonder he does such a spot on job for their comic.

Symmertra – A Better World

Script: Andrew Robinson
Art: Jeffery “Chamba” Cruz
Symmetra is working with the Vishkar Corporation which has a bid in Rio. They lose the bid to a local contractor but also a known slum lord. Symmetra is then charged with the task of digging up dirt on the man, only she can’t find any. Symmetra starts thinking of another way to get him out when everything goes wrong. Even though they tell her it’s for the better Symmetra is having doubts.

This story was just kinda there for me, it was good but seemed like it needed more. The art reminded me of Big Hero 6, not that it was bad I liked it, it's just in that style. 

 Pharah - Mission Statement
Script: Andrew Robinson
Art: Nesskain
Pharah and her team take on an Anubis A.I. that has broken and has been corrupting every nearby electronic. With her team dying around her Pharah is faced with the moral question of Team before mission or mission before the team?

I really liked this one. Action packed emotional, some great backstory, and more awesome art from Nesskain.

Torbjörn – Destroyer
Script: Micky Neilson
Art: Gray Shuko
Torbörn heads to Boklovo to stop a rampaging Titan class Omnic. Originally built to build the one has been retrofitted to destroy instead. Torbjörn was one for the original designers and was the obvious choice to stop this one. Once inside he faces an old acquaintance.

It doesn't give a whole lot of backstory onTorbörn but it gives enough to know what kind of a character he is. With more spot on art by Gray Shuko. 

 Ana – Legacy
Script: Andrew Robinson
Art: Bengal
Ana and her team are moving a group of scientist before the evil Talon gets them. But the enemy is ready for them with snipers of their own. To Ana her team mates are her family and the enemy snipers are killing her family Ana moves quickly to eliminate them first. But the last one Ana makes a mistake she hesitates and it costs her everything.

Another one I really liked. 

Ana – Old Soldiers

Script: Michael Chu
Art: Bengal
This takes place sometime after Legacy. Soldier 76 is on the hunt for something when he comes across a wanted poster that leads him to an isolated compound. Hoping to uncover more information he instead discovers two old friends that may or not be on his side any more.

Yep loved this one too. Putting all the pieces together of the who's who and what happened. 

Junkenstien – Halloween Special
Plot: Michael Chu
Script: Matt Burns
Art: Gray Shuko
A Halloween party for the Overwatch group. McCree has just wrapped up a scary story when Rein says he has an even scarier story. It’s about a righteous ruler and a mad scientist trying to raise the dead, and deals being made with the wrong kind of people.

A fun little comic that is perfect for Halloween season. 

Reflections – Holiday Special
Script: Michael Chu
Art: Miki Montlló
Tracer is rushing to the store to get her Emily a Christmas gift but get distracted by a mugging and misses the store by seconds, lucky the family she rescued comes to her rescue by giving her a gift. Meanwhile Winston is left waiting for Emily and Tracer and wondering what everyone else is up to.

A nice pensive story about what the character of Overwatch do around the holidays. Miki Montlló art looks like it should be a cartoon, I love it. I can almost see the characters moving.


Script: Matt Burns and James Waugh
Art: Joe Ng
Color: Espen Grundetjern
In what starts like the movie Jaws, Torbjörn goes hunting a rogue Bastion in a remote Swedish town. But once he finds the Bastion he quickly realizes something is wrong with it. Torbjörn now must rescue the peaceful Bastion from the panicked villagers.

If Quint had sided with the giant shark instead, I imagine something like this. It was a fun short story of how Torbjörn found Bastion. Joe Ng and Espen Grundetjern did a wonderful job on the art.

Script: Michael Chu
Art: Gray Shuko

London, England. The Onmic are rebelling and the entire city is a war zone. McCree, against orders, is already there assessing the situation. Meanwhile the Prime Minister does not want Overwatch involved. Soldier debates whether to send in a team or not. Only after a conversation with Tracer does he know the answer to that question, he sends in Tracer, Mercy, Rein, and Torb.   

Corresponding with the Uprising season it's a nice little insight to what when on. 

Overall, full disclosure, I don't play the game but my hubby does so most of the day that's all I hear about. If I have a question I just ask him, he loves it it gives us something to talk about together instead of him talking about OW while I talk about books. I love storylines and well Overwatch really doesn't have one but when you get to the back stories and the webcomics that's the story I crave. I loved learning more about the characters and enjoying the fantastic art. Blizzard is pretty good about doing side and back stories to go with their games, when I got back into computer games it was because Diablo 2. I'm not much for online competition, I hate playing against other people. But as graphic novels go and being part of the Overwatch franchise this is a great item for any heroes collection.  

Also coming out in a couple days...

ARC REVIEW Halloween Carnival Vol 2

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

MR. DARK’S CARNIVAL by Glen Hirshberg
A College professor teaching about the local Urban Legend Mr. Dark's Carnival. He's obsessed with finding the real one of it exists or it is just that an urban legend. But that night he receives tickets to the carnival, will he finally be proven wrong or is this just another frat boy prank.

This is one of those that can leave you feeling "WTF" sometimes it a good feeling and sometimes bad in my case with this book it left me indifferent. It was creepy and I love the lore he put into it but the ending just fell flat. So many unanswered questions.

When a young boy tries to help his sister get over her fear of monster with hypnosis he taught himself. What he doesn't realize is what he opens her up to not until years later.

It's all in the wording. This was creepy and it was good but I don't know if it belonged.

MISCHIEF NIGHT by Holly Newstein
"Cabbage Night, Goose Night, Devil’s Night—they’re all the same. Before the treats come the tricks. It’s all in good fun . . . until someone gets hurt."  blurb

In all honesty, I did not remember this one. I could not remember what it was about. When I looked back in the book I thought "oh yeah, that one" I was left very underwhelmed with this one.

Hit man for the mob on Halloween, talking.

I'm not much one for mob type stories. It was interesting but not very memorable.

THE PUMPKIN BOY by Al Sarrantonio
A young boy gets lured out of his house by a pumpkin boy. Police detective becomes obsessed trying to find the boy. Detective Len Schneider is trying to make up for the past, a serial killer was caught but not before he murdered his last victim a young boy. The young boy's mother sees a animatronic pumpkin boy speaking with her son's voice. Soon after another young boy goes missing.

This is what I like. Cops with baggage, missing kids, possible serial killer on the loose, creepy af. Best one in the anthology.

Monday, October 9, 2017

ARC REVIEW Halloween Carnival vol 1

All this week I will posting books for to help you get into the Halloween spirit, or just help you find book that will creep you out and keep you up.

STRANGE CANDY by Robert McCammon
You are always warned never to eat candy that isn't wrapped, but something tempts this Dad to eat the strange candy that appeared on the bottom of his daughters candy bag. He's about to find out why you aren't suppose to do that.

With Strange Candy it was creepy at the beginning but overall it was a sad story, yes I cried.

Father Ward has returned home to stay after serving overseas in the military. He was told no one hears confessional on Halloween night but Father Ward feels the need to do so anyways and finds out exactly why the head priest stopped listening.

Overall, this one was too damn short just when I was getting into it it ended. It feels more like the beginning chapters to a book rather than just a short story.

DEMON AIR by John R. Little
Flying on the cheapest airline to Australia just maybe the biggest mistake these people ever made. When the flight crew start to turn into something else only the strong will survive this flight.

Well it was definitely weird. This one also felt like it was the beginning to a longer story specifically an urban fantasy with a asskicking heroine who just discovered her powers of asskicking-ness. 

Trick McGraw is an aging Hollywood western star who lost his fame when his horse died. Desperate for money he agrees to do a horror movie down in Mexico.The horror movie is based on what is said to be a true story with some extra stuff like a mad scientist experimenting on a vampire added in for a bit more scare. The movie is taking place on location at an old Hacienda where the urban legend of La Llorona is more than just a legend.

Growing up in Texas especially next to the Rio Grande I heard La Llorona stories and I loved that she was the main focus in this story. I have read one other short by Lisa Morton it appeared in the Dark Screams anthology I reviewed a couple of years ago and I liked her then and even more so now. It was a great story. 

Dustin Davis is an author in need of publicity and to help generate activity on social media creates the hashtag #MakeHalloweenScaryAgain. Unfortunately for Dustin it does more than that when someone takes the hashtag to the next level and starts a killing spree in order to make Halloween scary again.

 Aside from this one being a little predictable it was a really good serial killer thriller, and I do love me a good serial killer story. And aside from my mind constantly thinking "The Hash Slinging Slasher" thank for that Spongebob, I loved the concept of the story. 

Overall, the last two books are what really make this book worth reading for me.