Category Archives: Literature

Batman: No Man’s Land by Greg Rucka

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This book is going to get rated harsher than some of my other book posts. Does it deserve it? Probably not. Is it going to happen anyway? Yes.

Hi, yes, HUGE Batman fan here. We’re talking the girl who had a Batman bathroom. We’re talking about the girl who plans on getting a Batman tattoo sleeve. We’re talking the girl who calls out people on their not-so-accurate love of Batman. “Ohhh, you only like the Nolan films. Obviously you don’t really love Batman.” Yeah, that girl is me.

That being said, I haven’t read every single Batman comic out there. I’ve read a bunch, but not everything, and No Man’s Land is one of the ones I’ve yet to get my hands on. It gets talked about a lot in some of the comics I’ve read, and I know a lot about what happens during NML, but I haven’t read it.

You don’t need to read the comic to know that this book is wrong though. Books can be wrong, and this is one of them.

Picking up this book for $1, I was intrigued. “Someone made a book about the comic book? Okay? Well, I might as well read it.” First off, I like reading books, and I like reading comics. I’m completely fine with reading comics that get turned into books, but comic storylines into books? I feel like maybe that’s a sacred space and shouldn’t be touched on. It’s already a written media. Come up with your own storyline for NML using what we don’t know but still keeping everyone in character and the original storyline accurate.

Did that get confusing? Okay, so let me try and explain. What this person has attempted to do is rewrite the comic book in a strictly “words only” format. I don’t feel that should ever be done though. You could say, “Well, remember this period of time we didn’t know where Batman was? Here’s a short story about those missing days” and I would accept that. That is ok. This just kinda feels like plagiarism, and not even good plagiarism.

Okay, so what you want to actually know about the book: Let’s talk specifics. First, it’s not a bad read. I was entertained y the whole book. A little annoyed by some out of character-ness from Two-Face, Joker, and Nightwing, but still a good read. Greg Rucka is a good writer. I just think he chose a bad storyline to write about.

For example, you can’t just come into the Batman universe and rewrite people’s beginnings. Harley Quinn has a show and a book that go over her origin story. This guy decided she needed to seem crazier, thus giving her an absurd origin story. You can’t rewrite history, guy! That’s what Fanfiction.net is for, not a published book.

I think if you truly love Batman, this book isn’t for you, but if you have a passing interest and don’t really know too much about it, then why not? Pick the book up. I sadly won’t be reading anything more by this guy though, even if the plot sounds good.

Word of advice: Go original next time. Make your own Batman plot line.

X-Men: Dark Mirror by Marjorie M. Liu

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I haven’t posted about the books I’ve been reading lately. That might be because I’ve fallen across a few duds. That might also be because I keep falling back into what I consider my “safe” authors. You know the ones. You already love them, so you’re not taking a huge risk by reading one of their books.

This is the first new author book I’ve read in quite some time, and it’s the first comic book series to novel that I’ve read as well. I don’t have a preference between novels and comics, though for this one, I would LOVE to see it in comic form. You’ll see why as you keep reading.

X-Men: Dark Mirror is written by an actual comic writer, which is why I think the characters were true to themselves and the writing is very true to the regular plotline. I could definitely believe this was canon. This book was funny, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. This is going to be one of those books that when someone mentions they like X-Men, I’ll say, “Oh, have you read this book?”

I picked this up at a used bookstore (always the best place to buy books) and it seemed like something I might like. The story is about how the X-Men, namely Scott, Jean, Wovlerine, Kurt, and Rogue switch bodies with other people. Scott and Wolverine end up as women (which is why I want this in comic form) and Jean ends up as a man. Liu does a wonderful job of talking about how they miss their powers, even though some of them have wanted them gone before.

I will say two criticisms of this book: It isn’t long and it’s pretty fast-paced. I thought the group would stay in the mental hospital for longer than a day. I kept waiting for them to get caught, but their stay ended pretty quickly. This kind of ties in with how I kind of expected the book to be longer. There could’ve been a lot more written here. I took this book to DC with me, and was halfway through in the course of an hour. This book lightly touched on issues, such as the loss of their powers and how it affected them, when it could’ve been expanded.

I’m not trying to persuade you not to read this. I strongly recommend that if you like X-Men-comics, movies, or otherwise-this book is fun and you should buy it. This book will be finding its home on my shelves, much to my friend’s dismay.

If you’re interested in some other recommendations or want to read some more reviews, check these out: The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike, Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk, or Alice Have I Been by Melanie Benjamin.

Joyland by Stephen King

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The cover first attracted me to this book. For someone whose greatest fear is clowns, I have a certain attraction to all things carnival. Combine that with the attractive redhead on the cover, and I was knew I was buying this book. The only thing that made me more sure was the name attached to it: God of all writing, Stephen King. Mr. King and I have had a very long relationship, starting when I first picked up Dreamcatcher at age 9.

What I thought I was picking up was another Stephen King “keep me up at night” horror stories. What I got instead was more of a young adult murder mystery. I’m not saying the book was bad, but it certainly didn’t live up to my expectations.

King’s books do have some mystery to them, but this one just completely lacked that scary element that you’re almost guaranteed with his name and the word “HORROR” written on the back. The predictability of this book was also a loss. I like mystery books, but if I can deduce less than halfway through the book who the killer is, you almost can’t call it a mystery. Granted, smaller things like “it isn’t white” were harder to figure out, but this book was definitely lacking in the suspense department.

I’m glad I read it though, simply to get it out of my system and because I pretty much HAVE to read everything Stephen King writes. It puts my mind at rest at what a good book Joyland should be, and replaces it with the facts. Was it entertaining? Did it draw me in? Yes to both, but when it comes down to it, it’s not something I will reread, and it’s losing its place on my shelf. I have to make room for better, not-so-disappointing books.

The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy by Frank Beddor

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If you’ve been wondering where my book posts have been, it’s because I wanted to finish this trilogy before I posted about it. It also didn’t help that I lost interest halfway through ArchEnemy, the last book.

Now, I love Alice in Wonderland and will read pretty much any and all spin-offs from it, as well as watch the movies. I previously posted about Alice Have I Been, a really good Alice In Wonderland book. It was hard to break away from the things that book put in my head (such as Carroll being a pervert) while reading this book.

I have this terrible time with series. I must have them all in my possession before I start reading. Otherwise, I get lost or forget what I’ve read. This is what happened to the Dark Tower series and it had happened to this series once, when I originally read the first two books in high school. Oh, I was in love with them! They stayed in the back of my head for a long time until I  found one of the books at Goodwill! I had thought to myself then, “How could anyone throw out such a wonderful series?”

I know how.

Because it’s not actually wonderful.

Aly did that annoying thing where she read the book before me then pointed out all the mistakes. I like to think that I would’ve found them eventually myself, because I had never gotten to ArchEnemy before.

Do you hate puns? Hate ridiculous, over the top stereotypes? The original Alice In Wonderland was nonsensical. The Disney movie was nonsencial. 90% of all Alice In Wonderland is nonsensical. These books are just plain nonsense.

There are so many “I just want to lay my head down and cry because this book hurts so bad” moments that of course I lost interest. Okay, so The Looking Glass Wars wasn’t bad. I still really enjoyed that one. However, the unbelievability began in Seeing Redd and just kind of picked up pace until it exploded all over ArchEnemy. I finished the book this weekend and I’m still in “What the hell” mood about it.

They’re making them into a movie. Actually, they had planned this before Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland came out (which I think is actually worse than these books), so in a smart move, the project was held back, awaiting its time to shine. I would go see the movies. I’m sure that cinematically, it’s beautiful and maybe they’ll change away the annoying parts. We’ll see.

Overall, I’m cutting my ties at Looking Glass Wars. The other books don’t exist to me. I’ve done this with so many shows and book series that I’m practically professional at this. If you want to read it, I strongly suggest not buying them and just getting them from the library.

 

 

Firestarter by Stephen King

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If you’re a big fan of families, horses, and happy endings, this book is definitely not your type. Granted, some King novels have questionable and/or happy endings, but a semi-happy ending is all this book has to offer. Someone made it out alive though, and with King, that’s a rare occurrence. It’s a nice one-time read, but I think this will ultimately be cleared off my shelf.

So Charlie, this little girl, has the power to start fires with her mind because of one of those college test groups that gives you $50 at the end. “Take this drug, and it may be a placebo, but it also may not.” That kind of test.

Anyway, the drug both her parents took gave them small superpowers, but in their child, it amounted to more. So this secret government agency, the Shop, hunts them down to incarcerate and study the little girl. Obviously, this does not go well, and the mother dies as a result.

So now it’s father and daughter against the world, up until the Shop actually succeeds in capturing them, which is something I did not forsee. The Shop captures them, and as they try and escape, the father dies. So now it’s little girl against the world. And that’s pretty much how the book ends. Obviously, a lot more than that happens, but I recommend you reading it.

I didn’t get anything out of it other than it was an enjoyable read. I think with all my King-lovin’, most of his books actually aren’t quotable or honestly, stay with me to ponder and reflect on. IT was deep (and confusing) and made me scared of drains, and Dreamcatcher made me scared of toilets, but other than the fear factor, nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I love him like I love a good story, and the man provides good (horrifying) stories, but sometimes, I like intellectual books. Maybe I should buy the newest Malcolm Gladwell book and do a post on that (Don’t tempt me. I have enough books to read).