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.


Reasons Why I fell for the Funny Fat Friend

5 July 2013

Reasons I fell for the FFFReasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend by Becca Ann

It’s stupid to fall for your brother’s ex. It’s even worse to enlist another’s help to win the ex over. But Brody is desperate and Hayley, his partner in American Sign Language, is more than willing to lend him a few tips. She’s the school’s ‘matchmaker’, and with her bizarre and positive personality, Brody finds her easy to talk too, even about the most awkward situations. Hayley’s tips seem to be working, but as Brody learns more about his matchmaker, he starts finding reasons to spend time with her, and not the girl he thought he was in love with.

But Hayley isn’t ready to fall for anyone. Labeled the “Funny Fat Friend” within her group, herself image makes it impossible for Brody to share his feelings without Hayley shrugging it off as a joke.

Convincing her Brody can, and did, fall for the “Funny Fat Friend” turns out to be a lot harder than simply falling in love.

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend is the romantic comedy that Hollywood should be turning into movies. You can tell from reason one why Haley and Brody are perfect for each other. I’m not saying Quynn (love the spelling) isn’t perfect for him but as a guy who has a brother, you really don’t want to follow them.

Haley and Brody’s relationship develops organically and when they finally get together you believe they’ve not only earned it but deserve it. They have those comfortable laughing out loud moments that everyone wants in a partner. Quynn is definitely that dream girl guys lusts over. Haley is the girl you want to bring home and marry.

I like the thinly (pun intended) veiled commentary on young girls and weight issues. I do think girls should read Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend because mature guys do think this way. We are a rare but out there breed.

If you liked On the Island then you will love this one. Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend is a perfect love story for the Lifetime Channel. (someone should really get on that!) If you’re looking for a light fun read this is the book for you.

I give Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend 5 out 5Gs.

Hemlock Grove

30 June 2013

Hemlock GroveHemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

This one I’m going to do a little different. I watched the series before I read the book. The series is an actual visual representation of the novel. It’s like they filmed the book. There are few difference but they are minor, and the series changes made the story more interesting, in my opinion.

Hemlock Grove is an example of where staying faithful actually worked in its favor. The series is definitely a nod to reader. Reading the novel makes you appreciate the series more. For those who asks: why read the novel, if the series is just the same? Because you get information in the novel, that don’t get in the series. Plus reading is fundamental.

Hemlock Grove is weird, twisted, and throws out normal conventions. You better understand the characters, in the series, if you read the book. That transformation scene was superbly written, but it was a visually a work of art. It’s the most gruesome and visceral werewolf transformation I have ever watched. It’s perfection on film, that one scene made it worth watching.

I give Hemlock Grove 5 out 5Gs.

Injustice (Gods Among Us) 024

26 June 2013

injustice2224Injustice (Gods Among Us) 024 by Tom Taylor

Millions are dying from the invading hordes of Apokolips. Superman is forced to remove any remaining inner restraints and unleashes a truly terrifying display of power.

Injustice (Gods Among Us) 024 is a definitive comic coming on the heels of Man of Steel. Superman questions Flash, because he can think faster than anyone else on the planet, about their restraints costing more people their lives by trying to restrain instead of just killing the invaders. The question is the same as posed to Henry Cavill’s Superman and the conclusion is the same.

People keep complaining that it’s not in the spirit of Superman. Do you think Superman would have been there to stop the towers from falling? If he did, do you not think he would have done everything in his powers to find the masterminds behind it.

We expect a God raised among men to be above killing. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. That only applies when there are consequences. If the world was threatened I would expect Superheroes to do whatever it takes to alleviate the threat by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

I’m not saying either Superman was right. I AM saying they’re justified in their killings. It’s going to be interesting how this one concession changes the opinions of not only readers, but the superheroes and public in these storylines.

I give Injustice (Gods Among Us) 024 5 out 5Gs.

The Returned

25 June 2013

The ReturnedThe Returned by Jason Mott

“Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.”

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargraves find themselves at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

Mr. Mott captures the sensibilities of southeastern North Carolina perfectly. Growing up in the Sandhill region of North Carolina, I know these characters. Have talk to these characters. Some are my neighbors. Some are my friends. It made the story instantly personal and relatable.

The Returned is a philosophical fiction that opens the door to a question that anyone that has lost someone asks. It’s a question that I asked myself, no WISHED myself. For my grandfather’s return, he was my example of a husband, father, and man, after my own walked out on his.

Although he’s been gone three years it brought up emotions I thought I’d processed. The moment the soldiers came through the woods to the river felt: Anger. I realized what was about to happen. It’s funny because this is the similar question brought up in the Man of Steel, which I just recently saw: How people response to the fear of the unknown.

If my grandfather returned I’d undoubtly would see him as my grandfather. I would defend him with MY dying breathe. I think my mother would too because it hit her so hard. But I asked my younger brother and his reaction was the same as Fred Green.

I think this novel should be read by everyone that has lost someone one. Especially, if the someone is a recently lost. It helped me process things about my grandfather’s death. I had tightness in my chest with the soldiers came to the river, increased as I read and receded as I finished this novel. Like an invisible weight was lifted. If it helped me and I thought I had already grieved, I can imagine what it would do for someone still grieving. It’s just that good.

I really did come to care for the Hargraves, Wilsons, and Bellamys. Through them and the tangent stories peppered throughout, you glimpse various examples of human nature and its response to something as jarring as the returning of dead loved ones.

The Returned is an excellent work of fiction for book clubs. It leaves the reader to answer the questions raised. The second I finished I wanted to discuss it with others. To find out what side others would land on in this hypothecial.

Jason Mott’s debut novel The Returned will be studied and talked about in classes, mark my words. It will be one everyone’s to read list.

These are prequel short stories in the same world of Jason Mott’s debut novel The Returned being released before the August 2013 release.

01 June 2013 — The First

01 July 2013 — The Sparrow

01 August 2013 — The Choice

I give The Returned 5 out 5Gs.

Man of Steel

13 June 2013

Man of SteelHenry Cavill  
Amy Adams  
Michael Shannon  
Diane Lane  
Russell Crowe  
Antje Traue  
Harry Lennix  
Richard Schiff  
Christopher Meloni  
Kevin Costner  
Ayelet Zurer  
Laurence Fishburne  
PG13           143 min           2013
A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

Everyone who knows me, knows about the time I first saw Superman II, with a towel around my neck I asked my mother could I fly. If that same kid saw Man of Steel you would have leaped without asking. Trusting that he could defy gravity.

I the fan of Superman, balked at anyone other than an American playing Superman, but Henry Cavill proved me wrong. He really is a man of steel. Taking his licks and continuing to fight against the enumerable odds.

Zack Snyder did an excellent job of impressing the pain, loneliness, the longing that was promoted. He visualized the humanity of the character in a way that has never been portrayed. But I’m not sure if that was on the page or the way he shot it. I do know it worked.

Man of Steel has the chaos and destruction superbeings would leave in a city. It’s on a massive scale that should be appreciated in theatres.

DC Comics really should let Nolan & Goyer handle all their properties because in their capable hands they can do no wrong. The story is steeped in mythology that makes sense and has purpose. It’s accessible to fanboys and newcomers alike.

Man of Steel is the movie event of Summer 2013. If you a Superman, comic book, or a fan of just an amazing story go see it.

I give Man of Steel 5 out 5 Gs.

Injustice (Gods Among Us) 2

27 April 2013

Injustice 1-3Injustice (Gods Among Us) 2 by Tom Taylor

When someone close to Superman disappears—apparently a kidnapping victim—the Man of Steel summons his fellow Justice League members to help him search. But why can’t Superman find this person himself? And will their efforts be in time?

Injustice (Gods Among Us) 2 continues with Superman arriving at the docks to find a dead Jimmy and the Jokers calling card. It sends Superman into a panic. This is when I knew the inevitable and I got excited. Because for the first time in history I thought they were going there.

Every member of the Justice League is alerted. When the Flash carries Batman I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. But I missed the significance of finding one of Batman’s rogue gallery dead from Joker gas.

But when Superman finds the Joker it’s a WTF moment for me. It ends with Superman facing his greatest foe, Doomsday. I missed the breadcrumbs for the art. I really like the dynamic scenes captured in each panel.

I give Injustice (Gods Among Us) 2 5 out 5Gs.

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