Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1)

17 July 2013

DoaTSDiary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1) by Darrell Pitt

A teenager wakes up in a seedy hotel room. He has no memory of his name or his past. A man lies dying on the floor next to him. Someone starts pounding at the door.

He runs. He is chased.

While staying one step ahead of his pursuers, he begins to assemble the pieces of his life. His name is Axel. He is the victim of an amazing experiment – he has been given incredible powers – and he is not alone.

An organisation known only as The Agency has also modified other teenagers. Brodie is a master of the martial arts. Ebony can transmute one substance into another. Dan controls metals with his mind. Chad creates fire and ice from nothing.

They have been handed incredible powers to help the human race in times of crisis – and one of those times is now.

A terrorist organisation known as Typhoid has acquired Pegasus – a highly advanced missile, invisible to radar and conventional defence systems. They intend to fire it at an American city. Only this bunch of untried, untested teenage superheroes stands any chance of stopping the missile before it strikes its target.

Diary of a Teenage Superhero is a high octane thriller showing what happens when conventional teenagers with everyday problems are given powers beyond this world.

They have to learn to work together, but as Axel draws closer to his newfound friends, he remembers the words of the dying man in the hotel room.

Trust no-one.

He knows he can’t trust The Agency.

Can he even trust his newfound friends?

Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) reminds me of the UK television show Misfits. If you’ve never seen it check it out on by clicking the link, it’s on Hulu.

I like this story of teenage superheroes; they’re X-Men lite. Having them waking up with amnesia keeps from needing to dredge backstory for each character. That’s something, I find, that usually bogs down introductory novels.

For me it was an intense read because I was always expecting on of the lost heroes to betray the others which is the usual trope. Although the betrayer isn’t surprising, I’m not sure if the can really discount this character as defeated. Especially if he’s even half as bad as Dr. Ravana, this dude survived fire.

I also like how it setup the next novel but left everything noncommittal. As much as I didn’t like ‘The Agency’, they felt pervy, and I would have never trusted them. They did make them a team. That seems to on the step of becoming self-sustaining.

They transitioned from being X-Men into Avengers and I hope in the coming books they transition into the Justice League. That previous statement may only be understood by serious comic book fans but each group has subtle differences that make them distinct so I’m going to try and explain.

The X-Men are a ragtag group of teenagers that are trained and housed at a school they fight for justice and equality without government sanctions. The Avengers are a government sanction group of superheroes. The Justice League are superheroes with no affiliations, they fight for justice and stop evil at every turn.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see what Darrell Pitt does with this world. He setup stronger character with strength that haven’t quite figured out how to work together successfully. They barely managed to escape their boss battle. So they can only go up from here.

I give Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) 5 out 5 Gs.


Jack the Giant Slayer

28 June 2013

JtGSNicholas Hoult  
Eleanor Tomilinson  
Ewan McGregor  
Stanley Tucci  
Eddie Marsan  
Ewen Bremner  
Ian McShane  

PG13           114 min           2013
The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds. – from imdb

I was underwhelmed by Jack the Giant Slayer. I’m actually glad I waited to see this on dvd.
It was my sister asking, “Let’s watch Jack and the Giant Slayer.”

Twenty in minutes in she took a phone call. Comes back and says, “Okay!”

End of movie: “Well, that’s over.”

Usually she all over me about rewinding and what happened.

For me, It really didn’t impress. The story was marginal. The special effect was borderline horrible. You can tell they were in time crunches. Some of the scenes have that detail and others are barely passable.

After viewing, I can see why they moved Jack the Giant Slayer from its summer position of 2012. It would have been utterly crushed. And this is the film, Singer passed on X-Men: First Class to make. Really? wow.

Here’s what I was thinking when I should have been engrossed in this movie:

Damn, Is Nicholas Hoult really tall? Or is Isabelle really short?

Let’s check imdb, left room for better reception on phone… and Tony Stonem is 6’2¾”, that’s 6’3” all day long.

Imdb: has distinctive Vulcan eyebrows.

Me: “Ha!” LOLing. (After about a minute of repeating it and laughing) “Shit, I got a movie to watch.”

Sat back down and watched until credits rolled. And I didn’t even care what I missed.

I give Jack the Giant Slayer 2 out 5 Gs.

Control (Shift 2)

22 June 2013

ControlControl (Shift 2) by Kim Curran

Scott Tyler is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.

That’s why he’s so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.

They’ve sent him on a mission. To track down the enigmatic Frank Anderson. An ex-Shifter who runs a project for unusual kids – as if the ability to change your every decision wasn’t unusual enough. But Anderson and the kids have a dark secret. One that Scott is determined to discover.

As his obsession with discovering the truth takes him further away from anyone he cares about, his grip on reality starts to weaken. Scott realises if he can’t control his choices, they’ll control him.

When I found this ARC I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t know it was a sequel. It had an interesting description that made me want to read it. After I finished Control (Shift 2), it left me with one word: WOW!

In the beginning of the novel, it felt slow with a lot of useless information filling the pages. It’s not! Kim Curran is setting her pieces before she hits the reader with her checkmate. The first half of the book is preamble to the second half. The exposition of the first half gives way to the second half’s action that’s exciting and nonstop, until an actual surprise ending.

You never see this ending coming. I already want a third book for this series. You don’t have to have read the first book, Shift, to get this book. But I’m definitely going to go back and read it. Especially for a certain character, I want to read about the previous version of him.

Having not read the first book, the concept of shifting was a heady idea to wrap around but it works. I came to understand the science of this fiction. Now it’s at war with my love of the Jumper series by Steven Gould. Because they are both such interesting concepts: opening self-contained wormhole through space and time and having the ability to change your decision.

The fact that Scott Tyler can remember these collapsing realities makes me an even more interesting character than David Rice. Anyone that loves Jumper will love the Shift Series: Shift and Control.

I give Control (Shift 2) 4 out 5Gs.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

12 June 2013

HGWWJeremy Renner  
Gemma Arterton  
Famke Janssen  
Pihla Vitala  
Peter Stormare  
Thomas Mann  
Derek Mears  
R           98 min           2013

Hansel & Gretel are bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past. – from imdb

I thoroughly enjoyed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters . It’s humorous, crass, and revels in violence. It’s implied in the name: Witch Hunters. This revisionist of the classic story finds two lucky children turned into damaged scarred adults.

With its steampunk weapons, these siblings slaughter witches wholesale. They don’t ask for or accept forgiveness; they are badassdem to the core.

Gretel is such a kick-ass female. It should be renamed Gretel & Hansel. For all the good he did, as much as he gets the shit kicked out of him. She is a queen bee with all her workers following her. (You question that check out the end credits and tell me if she isn’t the queen of her domain.)

The only problem I really had with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was the use of diabetes. Since learning what diabetes is, I always thought Hansel and Gretel would be characters to have it. This movie addresses the possibility but it uses it for shite. Hansel is diabetic, but never in the history of diabetes has insulin ever supercharged a diabetic.

With such elaborated design of background witches at the gathering, I would have rather Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters been a television series, where they dispatch a witch of the week, because some of those costumes were so distracting excellent.

I give Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 3 out 5 Gs.

Winter’s Scar: The Forsaken (Winter’s Saga 5)

22 March 2013

Winters ScarWinter’s Scars: The Forsaken (Winter’s Saga 5) by Karen Luellen

Defined by fate
Accused of betrayal
Scarred by fire


Not all metamorphoses are for the better. Sometimes nature can be cruel.

Evan Winter was the youngest in the family. He was the academic-minded, medical genius who could perform intricate surgical procedures if necessary. He was the logic-driven, golden-hearted kid-brother of Meg and Alik.

Everyone loved Evan. Everyone appreciated his devotion to family and his unconditional faith.

No one could have seen his change coming.
Nothing could have stopped the events as they unfolded.
Now everybody is in shock at what has become of Evan Winter.

Winter’s Scars: The Forsaken is an amazing setup to the next book. The action sequence that defines every novel, of this series, happens so early in the novel. It really defined the rest of the book. It changes the dynamic of so many characters.

This novel works because every character is trying to recover after this family has been shattered. They are at a crossroad, as a reader, you don’t know if they are going to pick up the pieces and find their way back to the family introduce in the Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge.

It also changed my opinion of several characters in the book. Characters I was rooting for the entire series felt like enemies of the state. I’m looking at you Margo Winter. Then I started to have sympathies for villains, like Donovan Arkdone. Even when it looked like ostracized characters were going to find happiness I couldn’t trust it, that’s you Kylie.

This time around Karen Luellen created so much conflict from one action from the previous book. It’s become such a “Luke, I’m your father,” kind of moment but it was in no way written that way in the previous novel.

Will the Winter family get their happy ending? I honestly can’t tell and from the mistrust that Dr. William has seeded into this family you can’t bet on it. Winter’s Scars: The Forsaken leaves you anticipating the next novel.

I give Winter’s Scars: The Forsaken 5 out 5Gs.

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments 4)

10 March 2013

City of Fallen AngelsCity of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments 4) by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments 4) is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. This time around the focus shifts from Clary and Jace to Simon, the vampire Daywalker. It created an interesting shift in the series which I liked.

Simon, a secondary character in the first three books, becomes protagonist and the plot that moved in entire book. He’s the one character in the entire series that doesn’t really understand or want his power. For me he is the most interesting character of the series now. He’s like the vampire Spider-Man; he has great power now will he develop the responsibility to use it.

This one had thoroughly engrossing. To say its compelling is an understatement. I expected the twist and it was still surprising. This one really can stand on its own, it’s accessible to newcomer but to have the full experience they really need to read the first three.

It ends on such a cliffhanger that you instantly want to start the next book City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments 5). It’s a cliffhanger worthy of ‘Who Shot JR?’ The first movie hasn’t even come out and I’m ready to see this one on the big screen. If the movie makers follow the Twilight model it’s another four to five years before this potentially hits the screen, OH THE HORROR!!!

Mortal Instruments
Book 1 – City of Bones
Book 2 – City of Ashes
Book 3 – City of Glass

I give City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments 4) 4 out 5Gs.

Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3)

9 March 2013

VolcanoesVolcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) by Nicole Hamlett

Be careful what you ask of Fate – sometimes she gives it to you.

When we last saw our heroine, she’d watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend’s head to save her son’s life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she’s facing an all-out war. It’s critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.

With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his “change” and juggling her relationships with Drew and Heph, to say Grace’s hands are full would be an understatement.

You didn’t think that was all, did you? Of course there’s more!

Grace wished her life would just go back to the way it was before, and that she wouldn’t have her powers or responsibilities anymore. Unfortunately, it looks like Fate answered this time. The results aren’t pretty.

Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) reads like a diary with internal monologues thrown-in. Its humor that’s comical bordering on satirical. If you can’t LOL while reading this book then you have no sense of humor. You should stop reading and get that checked immediately.

Grace Murphy is a mid-thirty-ish author, mother, demi-god with borderline arrested development in her early twenties. Her problems don’t stem from her recent discover that her mother is Diana, goddess of the Hunt, they are her problem. The dysfunction of her family makes me smile that they aren’t mine.

Coming off her adventures in Rift, her enemies make their revenge personal. Grace Murphy is constantly at odds with her family and friends, struggle to break the cycle. It’s just plain humor as she tries to break it like a monkey banging its head against the cage. Through her amazingly displays of power to her constant battles with Hypnos and the other children of Nyx, Grace is finally accepting that she’s a badass demi-god daughter of Diana.

The story ends resolute with much of her conflicts unresolved. Yet you know there are more stories to tell in the life of Grace Murphy. Grace Murphy is a character in progress, she is nowhere close to reaching her potential based on her parentage. It will be interesting to see where the amazingly hilarious author Nicole Hamlett takes her.

Book 1 – Huntress

Book 2 – Rifts

I give Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) 5 out 5Gs.

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