Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Third: The Wide Window Review (Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist)

Oh my criminy, I am so done with this series! What happens in The Wide Window, the third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events? The EXACT SAME STORY THAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST TWO BOOKS! The Baudelaire orphans are placed with a distant relative, the villainous Count Olaf tries to do away with them and steal their fortune, he predictably fails, escapes, and the kids are relocated to some other hapless relative so the whole damn thing can repeat itself in the next book! I noticed this disappointing pattern in the second book, The Reptile Room, but hoped it was a one-off – nope, this looks to be the template for the entire series! I’ve read the same story for three books now and I can’t takes the formulaic repetition no more! 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Aquaman: Kingdom Lost Review (John Arcudi, Patrick Gleason)

Aquaman: Kingdom Lost is the third volume of the Sub-Diego storyline though that useful information isn’t mentioned anywhere on this book so good job, DC Marketing! That said, while Sub-Diego was just a mediocre comic (which, by Aquaman standards, instantly makes it a contender for “classic” status!), I’d recommend readers not to bother with Kingdom Lost as it is shiiiiiiiiiiit! 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Magic by William Goldman Review

An insane magician/ventriloquist and his bloodthirsty dummy redefine what it means to kill onstage – and off! 

William Goldman’s Magic is a fairly decent horror novel. It definitely has its faults but it’s also quite charming and entertaining in a trashy way. 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Hitman, Volume 2: Ten Thousand Bullets Review (Garth Ennis, John McCrea)

I read the first Hitman book a few years ago and didn’t like it much but decided to revisit it and give it another shot - maybe I initially read it wrong/wasn’t in the right frame of mind? After all, it’s Garth Ennis writing a character who’s essentially DC’s Punisher and Ennis’ Punisher was fracking awesome! But no, I was right the first time: Hitman is complete drivel! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Second: The Reptile Room Review (Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist)

Wow, this series tanked hard - and so damn soon after a great first book! I kinda expected it to dip in quality gradually, like every series does at some point, but so quickly and by so much in just the second book? That’s impressive!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Silence by Shusaku Endo Review

Set in the 17th century, a pair of Portuguese Catholic priests, Rodrigues and Garrpe, set off to the remote and mysterious island kingdom of Japan to spread Christianity and track down their mentor, Father Ferreira, who is rumoured to have committed apostasy (renounced his faith). But the Japanese government are not friendly to foreigners (this xenophobic attitude actually continues to this day!) and are particularly hostile to this new religion - is Ferreira simply dead and does a similar fate await Rodrigues and Garrpe? 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Who Is Jake Ellis? Review (Nathan Edmondson, Tonci Zonjic)

Ever see The Bourne Identity, Matt Damon’s first Jason Bourne movie from 2002? Good wasn’t it? Yeah, I think Nathan Edmondson liked it too because he’s basically replicated it with Who Is Jake Ellis? 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson Review

Eye-catching title, eh? Unfortunately that’s about all that really stands out about Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, which is actually a very ordinary self-help book - and I’ve not even read a lot of self-help books either, that’s how broad, generic and unremarkable a lot of the stuff he talks about here is! Still, its ideas are ultimately positive and worth re-reading and keeping in mind so I can’t say I found the book a total waste of time. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 Review (Mark Russell, Mike Feehan)

Snagglepuss as a closeted gay Southern playwright standing up to systemic oppression in 1950s America? Heavens to Murgatroyd, that sounds like a barrel of laffs! Yeah, it’s a surprisingly serious reboot for the iconic Hanna-Barbera character that’s not even pretending to aim for a kiddie audience which is probably why the first issue isn’t bad. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Shazam!: The Monster Society Of Evil by Jeff Smith Review

Monsters threaten Earth - Shazam gotta punch ‘em. Wow, what an original, thoughtful storyline!

I suppose Jeff Smith does a decent, if rushed, job of explaining what is a really weird and convoluted origin but I feel like Shazam is an outdated character at this point - he’s just not interesting and comes off as quite corny, both of which could also be applied to the one-dimensional monster villains (convenient that the baddies call themselves “The Monster Society of Evil” eh?), as well as Sivana and Mr Mind. 

Friday, 5 January 2018

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris Review

The hi-larious humorist David Sedaris returns for another collection of rib-tickling, side-splitting… ok, enough of that! But Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls isn’t a bad read and a few of the essays had me LOL-ing hard though it’s definitely not as consistently good as his other books. 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Losers, Volume 1: Ante Up Review (Andy Diggle, Jock)

I tried watching The Losers movie twice before and gave up quickly each time for the same reason why I gave up trying to read the comic once before: it comes off as the most bland, generic actioner EVER. Having forced myself to read this first volume of the comic I can confirm that, yup, it most definitely is that!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Snuff by Terry Pratchett Review

I bought Snuff when it first came out in 2011, not realising then, like everyone else, that it was going to be the final City Watch book. I sadly abandoned it long before the end anyway, sensing that it wasn’t any good. But, having recently read an excellent Discworld short story reminding me of my love for Terry Pratchett, as well as seasonal nostalgia (new Discworld books used to be cannily published during the Christmas season), I decided to give Snuff another shot and this time force myself through. At the very least I’ll be completing the City Watch series. Well, my initial impression of the novel was right - Snuff ain’t up to snuff! 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Batman: Nosferatu Review (Randy Lofficier, Ted McKeever)

There are absolutely godawful Batman books and then there are Batman Elseworlds books, many of which somehow found a level even lower than rock-bottom quality - in fact, I might’ve found the worst of them all with Batman: Nosferatu!