Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Monday, November 30, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Working for Bigfoot

Working for Bigfoot (The Dresden Files, #15.5)Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the midst of a long wait for the next novel in the Dresden Files series, it was nice to have this trilogy of short stories to pick up for a quick fix of that world. Each of the three stories involving Harry working for a Bigfoot who wants to protect his son is well written and full of vibrant characters and humor, all the hallmarks of Butcher's work in Dresden's world. As they were written at different times in Butcher's career (and are accordingly spaced out at different points during Harry's adventures), they grow in quality alongside the growth the Dresden Files books experienced. They'd also make a great introduction to readers who might be curious about the Dresden Files because, despite being strewn throughout different points in the series, they aren't at all bogged down by mythology or backstory. Really, the only drawback to the collection at all is that it's too short; the three short stories took a total of about 90 minutes to read. But hey, they're short stories, right? What can you do but enjoy them and use them to tide you over while you wait for the next story.


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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Panel of the Week: 11/4/15

Gonna keep this one short and sweet as I don't have a lot of time; I'm between finishing up an all day binge of Jessica Jones on Netflix and waiting for the midseason finale of Walking Dead to start in a few minutes. Truly, we're living in the geek renaissance. Anyway, going back almost a full month now, the winner for best panel (or in this case, panels) of the week for the comics released on November 4th goes to the following sequence from Invincible Iron Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis (who wrote the Alias story Jessica Jones is based on, in a fun bit of timing) with art by David Marquez. We all know Tony Stark is a bit of a poonhound, right? But even he has to worry about making sure he isn't snogging the wrong lady... so what's a guy to do?

Introducing... the Hydra Test. When you absolutely need to be sure your new girlfriend isn't secretly part of a throwback Nazi cell planning to kill you in your sleep. Or mid-coitus. You know. Like they do.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Thankful Stormtrooper, 2015 Edition

After four years now, I'm starting to run out of these damn things...



Another time for turkey, another time for the annual SSTS post of gratitude (well I did say last year it needed a better name...). I'm getting it out of the way early this year because I'll be spending most of the day with the number one entry on the list, my love, Marisa. Last year I sat Thanksgiving out because I was still grieving. This year, since it's really the only holiday we have in common, I'll be spending the day with her and the evening having dinner with her family. It should be nice to get back in the holiday swing again. Aside from the holiday aspect, I'm beyond grateful she's in my life. We've been living together for about 13 months now, and it's just amazing. Yes, we have our troubles as every couple does, but everyday is still filled with love and joy and laughter, and if we can fill each others' lives with those things, what else really matters?

Secondly, I'm incredibly thankful that this year was the year I finally found a great job with decent pay, good benefits, fun co-workers (although I'm not particularly close with any of them yet, and who knows if I even want that to change; yeah, I have to get some cantankerousness into this post somewhere, I'm still me), and a lot of great little perks. And I'm grateful I was able to pass that happiness on and get a friend hired, who in turn got one of his friends hired. It's always nice to be able to help someone else.

Jameson.

My family and friends. Except for one period of time, I've never had a particularly large circle, and that's still the case now. But what I have is strong. I love the good people that fill my life, that I know I can count on, that I always have great times with.

Mmmm, Jameson.

Writing. Whether it's my writing or other peoples' writing that I'm able to enjoy through various mediums that spirit of creativity will always be a part of me, and will always be one of my greatest sources of enjoyment.

And of course, New York City. I might have to settle for working there because I don't live there anymore, but regardless of where I reside it's the Big Apple that will always have my heart.

Now it's time to go enjoy some of that writing stuff before my girlfriend finishes her hibernation at around noon. Until then, have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and if there's anything you're particularly thankful for, feel free to share!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - The Grownup

The GrownupThe Grownup by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this back when it was called "What Do You Do?" in one of George R.R. Martin's anthologies, Rogues. It's very much typical of what you'd expect from a Gillian Flynn work: first-person female narration, seedy snark and cynicism, and a twist (or two, or three; who's counting?) at the end. One of Flynn's strengths, which is on display here, is how fully realized and developed all the characters are, not just the narrator, which is something that isn't easy to pull off in first-person narration. The language Flynn uses is snappy and sharp, and is fun to read. Now, the drawbacks. After the setup, which takes up a large part of the story, the climax feels rushed. And I wasn't kidding when I said there were multiple twists, and it just feels like too many, especially coming as they do in a very short span of pages. The ending is wholly unrealistic, but it's fiction so I don't hold that against it. In fact, I wouldn't mind a follow-up to check in on the characters down the road a ways.


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Panel of the Week: 10/28/15

My neverending quest to get up to date with this column continues. It would be going better if I'd do this more than once every two weeks... I mean, that's not a great ratio for a weekly column, right? Anyway, the winner for the week of October 29th comes from Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 3) #2, written by Peter David, art by Will Sliney.


A robot.

Where the hell did it come from ?

Detroit?

Why Detroit?

No idea. Just a blind guess.


THAT'S why Detroit. Robocop, bitch.

Goodreads Book Review - Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Much like the first book, I had a hard time separating the book from the movie while I read. That being said, the book is a compelling read. It pulled me along through the few slow spots because I couldn't wait to get back to the good parts; when the action and intrigue is this book are on, it's ridiculously hard to put down. The thing I miss most in terms of what expectations I had from the movie is the behind the scenes intrigue; the movies had more of the people from the capitol as the games went on. But there are more than enough characters to juggle already so I can see why that part isn't in the book. Collins made me want to book up the final part immediately after putting this one down. I managed to resist that but that's definitely the mark of a successful novel.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Unfettered

UnfetteredUnfettered by Shawn Speakman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As in any anthology, there were a few stories I liked and a few I didn't. In particular, the ones by Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, Daniel Abraham, Peter V. Brett, Lev Grossman, and David Anthony Durham all amused me to some degree or another, with the Brooks and Grossman ones probably being my favorite. The one that disappointed me the most was R.A. Salvatore's entry; it wasn't a bad story, per se, but as he's one of my favorite authors and has been for almost 25 years now, I was hoping for more. I did enjoy the conceit that sets this one apart from other anthologies, though, that the authors were unfettered by a controlling theme and could write whatever they wanted. I just wish some of them had written things a little meatier.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this after watching the movies makes it very hard to separate the two in my mind; as I read I'm seeing the scenes from the movie instead of imagining things myself, which makes it hard to give a completely unbiased review. That said, I enjoy the characters and the story line is engrossing.The action could stand to be a little more descriptive and a lot more fleshed out; all the action scenes fly by, and frustratingly tend to end with someone passing out and having the results told to them when they wake up. Isn't "show, don't tell," one of the first rules of writing? Minor complaints aside, it's a very good book.


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Friday, November 6, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - The Aeronaut's Windlass

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like Butcher's other two series, the first book in the Cinder Spires was a slow beginning for me. Part of it, I'm sure, is that I'm not much into the whole steampunk thing, so I guess a lot of the tropes that go with the genre were lost on me. But as always, I love Butcher's character work. All his characters feel alive, vibrant, and fully fleshed out, which makes it easy to care about them. I also enjoyed the overall plot he has going on here, although aspects of it, such as the love story that pops up, felt a little to rushed and unearned. What I think I loved more than anything else, was the way cats fit into the story. The characterization and lifestyle he gave them felt so spot-on to how cats are that it had me thoroughly entertained. In all, getting into this one was a little slow to me until about the halfway mark, where it really took off, and I'm looking forward to the next one. Meanwhile, am I the only one who caught a reference or two to the Codex Alera in here? Might they be connected?


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Panel of the Week: 10/21/15

Getting closer and closer... I swear, the idea of a weekly column seemed like a good one at the time! Anyway, the winner for the batch of comics from two weeks ago is a two-page spread that comes from Marvel's Weirdworld #5, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Mike Del Mundo.


Weirdworld has been a weird book, part of Marvel's still ongoing Secret Wars event, filled with weird ideas and weird images and just, y'know, weirdness. In this final issue the battle for Weirdworld rages on, and it's fought between crystal warriors and magma men and swamp things and dragons and so on and so forth. Which isn't why this panel wins. Nor are the pencils and colors themselves why it wins, although they're great too. The reason this panel wins is that, in the midst of all the assorted aforementioned crazies duking it out, there are a pair of butterflies flying by with a nuke. How the hell does that make sense?

It doesn't.

It's just weird.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Panel of the Week: 10/14/15

I had intended to post this over the weekend, as it's a good one for Halloween, but the weekend got away from me, so this panel from The Walking Dead #147 had to wait until today. Which is fine, because it isn't really all that Halloweeny after all. Of course, the issue in question was written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Charlie Adlard. There aren't really any spoilers in this one, so don't worry.


If last week's panel winner was a commentary on where things are in the Marvel Universe right now, well, an image of Rick putting a gun to Michonne's head has to be a similar sort of commentary on things in the Walking Dead comic right now, right? Unless all isn't as it seems... Anyway, it wins because it's a fairly shocking panel, in context or out, and the scene that follows is pure gold. And I absolutely love the cold, emotionless look on Rick's face, like he isn't afraid to do something, even if it is against Michonne. Just a bit chilling, huh?