Something to mull over...

Friday, March 31, 2017

James Clyde - a fantasy involving other worlds, kingdoms, forests, betrayals and magic diamonds!

My kids (grades 5 and 7) and I had the privilege of receiving a review copy of this book.  Our first impression was that this would be a typical grade school fantasy book - the cover seemed to indicate that this was a story for young children, since the illustrated boy looked like a 9-yr old in his pajama robe.  However, the positive reviews seemed to imply otherwise.  Upon reading it in full, we conclude that it is an age appropriate middle school book for 10-12 year old kids.  It had a few violent scenes (think of knight battles vs. forces of evil) but there were none of the tricky romantic innuendos.

This is a well narrated fantasy story which involves other worlds, kingdoms, forests, betrayals and magic diamonds.  The story moves quite fast, and there are questions that popped up in our minds as we read along.  Some of these questions are addressed later on due to the way the story timeline is structured.  However, there are a few that almost seem to refer to a basic understanding of the history behind the other worlds.  These are mentioned as myths or stories passed on through time, but we are unfamiliar with them.  The questions didn’t really impede the flow and excitement of the story, so we were able to read at a fairly fast pace.  There are elements of wonder and delight which are rare in most books nowadays.  The courage and bravado of James is impressive and believable.  We cannot disclose much since it may spoil the plot, but for those fond of comparisons, we felt a little bit of LOTR here, escape to witch mountain, knights of the round table and peter pan.  He he he - did I confuse you with this mash up - well, you will understand when you read it yourself.

Be advised beforehand that this is meant to be a series, given the open-ended conclusion.  There is an initial victory won, but it is far from being the end of the war between James and his family’s enemies.  Given the excellent writing style and clean content, we look forward to the rest of the story unfold.

Recommended for parents and kids who enjoy reading books together as part of family time.  

Available in Amazon.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Insane in the membrane witty antihero - Harley Quinn Vol. I: Die Laughing

I never really paid much attention to Harley Quinn in the past.  I just know that a close friend of mine dressed up as her character last Halloween.  Well, in this graphic novel, she is absolutely nuts, unpredictable, impulsive, brave, smart and outrageous.  I loved the back story, but I enjoyed even more the story of the alien-minced meat that transformed everyone into flesh-hungry entities aka zombies.  Great art work, witty banter, and cohesive storyline.  Highly recommended.

Graphic novel provided for review purposes.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#davinci #tesla #alias #raidersofthelostark #moses #arkofthecovenant

I know it is bad to do comparisons, but I am going to do it anyway.  The story tackles a new angle to the Da Vinci – Tesla lore on the science behind weather manipulation.  It is geeky-exciting in that regard.  On top of that, Scriptural references to the Ark of the Covenant is layered in, extending the line of Moses and the Levites to the present day.  It is archaeologically-curious in this aspect.  The pace is similar to Dan Brown’s fiction, the international secret intelligence landscape is similar to Ludlum’s global conspiracy web.  The action reminds me of JJ Abrams’ Alias and Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Too much?  It is a matter of preference.  Personally, I enjoyed it.  It was a fun and exciting read that I highly recommend for a nice weekend.

Review copy provided by Net Galley.

Excellent Holmes spin-off graphic novel for kids

Well done!  Again, another wonderful spin-off from Sherlock Holmes.  This time around, this graphic novel centers on the street kids whom Holmes utilizes as his “eyes and ears”.  The mysteries are solved by the kids themselves, given that Holmes is often out of town on other assignments.  The illustrations are top-notch and the storyline sufficiently exciting and action-packed.  The only suggestion I have is to make the arrows of the speech balloons straight instead of lightning-jagged.  It was a little distracting.  I do look forward to the rest of the series as they are published.

Review copy provided by Net Galley.