Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Monday, December 21, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Mockingjay

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Probably my least favorite book in the series, just because it lacks the few bits of comedy and other light touches the two previous novels had. Also, the focus on the love triangle bored me as I sort of hate both Gale and Peeta as characters. The biggest problem I had was the abruptness of the ending... or I suppose I should say the abruptness of the climax; the ending itself goes on and on. I also don't like Collins' reliance on starting chapters with Katniss waking up in hospital beds, unaware of what happened. It gets tired. That said, Katniss is still a great character who really benefits from first person narration, and with the exception of the two mentioned above I enjoy the supporting cast. The action scenes are inventive and entertaining as well. I wish this had been as good as the first two chapters, but it was still an enjoyable ending.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Panel of the Week: 12/02/14

Marvel has been trying a lot of new things recently. They restarted all their series at #1 after an 8 month in-continuity gap to give readers a great jumping-on point for everything. As such, I've tried a lot of their new offerings. Some, like Karnak and Hercules, were surprisingly good. Others, like Totally Awesome Hulk, are ridiculous but have a good enough hook in there somewhere to make me want to see what happens next. And then there's the new volume of Daredevil, issue one of which was written by Charles Soule and pencilled by Ron Garney, in which the Man Without Fear is given a new enemy...

It's an Asian crime boss called Tenfingers. You know. Because he has ten fingers on each hand. Which really means he has twenty fingers, right, so wouldn't that be his name? I don't know. Apparently part of his thing is that his henchman are allowed to cut off one of their fingers and give it to him whenever they complete an assigned task. yeah, you read that write. They cut off their own fingers not as punishment but as reward. This is so mindnumbingly stupid I don't even want to type about it anymore, let alone read anymore about it.

The literal definition of "they can't all be winners" right here, folks.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Warheart

Warheart (Richard and Kahlan #4)Warheart by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I remember when I started reading the Sword of Truth series. It was 2001 and I picked up Wizard's First Rule on a whim, and was immediately blown away by the fullness of the world, the richness of the characters, and the thrilling action. Fast-forward almost fifteen years to Warheart and I couldn't be more glad the series is over. For me, this series peaked at Faith of the Fallen and has gone downhill ever since. The lush world and full-bodied characters have been replaced by a simplistic, repetitive writing style that sees dialogue go on for pages at a time full of circular conversations where the lines could be said by anyone. No one has a distinct voice anymore. And for a book about a character called Warheart (a phrase, by the way, introduced almost as a throwaway line that is only saved from being a one-off by being used twice more, including a closing line that is easily one of the worst closing lines in the history of books), there is so little action it's unbelievable. It's basically a book about characters traveling back and forth to different places saying the same thing ad nauseam, followed by a ridiculously anticlimactic final confrontation. I'm giving Warheart one star for the one scene in the book that packed any sort of emotional punch for me, and out of loyalty and love for what used to be a great series.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Panel of the Week: 11/25/15

Sometimes there isn't anything all that outstanding that pops out in a particular week's batch of books. When that happens, it never hurts to just go with a classic action shot, and that's what I did with the week in question. The panel from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #2, by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti, featured below is just a such a panel.

Overlook the idea that both the Thing and Shadowcat are on the Guardians of the Galaxy instead of their usual teams, that's just the changing ways of Marvel now. Regardless of the team, there's nothing more timeless and classic in the comics world than the Thing, a cosmic enemy, and the clock hitting Clobberin' Time.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Brimstone Angels

Brimstone Angels: A Forgotten Realms NovelBrimstone Angels: A Forgotten Realms Novel by Erin M. Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's been awhile now since I picked up a book in the Forgotten Realms setting from a "new" author (I put new in quotations because this book came out four years ago now so, y'know). At this point the only books in this setting I'm still reading are by Salvatore and Greenwood; it's in fact the entry in the Sundering series bookended by those two that Evans contributed that got me interested in her series that kicked off with this book. It has an interesting plot, twisted by machinations of devils, demons, and men alike. It has decent action scenes and a fair bit of comedy, mostly at the expense of the inexperienced heroes. It is in fact those inexperienced heroes that lead to the biggest negative of the whole book, in my opinion; the heroes are young, teenagers really, and as such can be annoying. For every heroic moment they come up with, there's a bratty one to balance it out. But as annoying as it is, it's also a sign of good characterization that the characters are written realistically. The ending was a little too rushed and cluttered, but otherwise it's a solid start to a series that I'm ready to get into book two of as soon as I can.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Panel of the Week: 11/18/15

You should never sip on another man's Kool-Aid. Especially when that man is the king of an advanced race who never speaks a word because the power of his voice could shatter the moon. Seems like the kind of thing that would fall under the "self-evident truths" category. But some people have a bit of a learning curve... which brings us to the panel of the week for November 18th:

The panel in question comes from Marvel's Uncanny Inhumans #2, written by Charles Soule, drawn by Steve McNiven. The character in question, scene above in black, is Black Bolt; Medusa, seen walking away in the top panel, is his former queen... and the dude in yellow and black is the Human Torch, who Black Bolt has just discovered is now dating Medusa. Since his voice isn't something he can really use, Black Bolt decides to let his gestures speak for him when it comes to his feelings on the subject...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Panel of the Week: 11/11/15

I have to be honest, being so far behind on the panels for this column sometimes makes it hard to remember why I picked certain ones over every other panel in all the comics I read that particular week. But in the case of November 11th, I have no such problem. Let me show you why.

The above panel from Darth Vader #12 (written by Kieron Gillen, drawn by Salvador Larocca) features the eponymous lead character disabling a rebel fighter just by Force-throwing his lightsaber through it.

Pretty badass, no?