Monday, June 21, 2010

Ed's Mini Book Review - 13 Bullets

Cover of "13 Bullets"Cover of 13 Bullets

More vampires, that's what I always say. Ok, maybe I don't always say that and I probably shouldn't. Vampire books are an overcrowded genre to begin with (and that may the understatement of the millennium).

So, added to this almost beaten to death genre, is 13 Bullets which introduces us to Laura Caxton, reluctant vampire hunter. A Pennsylvania state trooper, who happens to stumble upon a vampire hireling, called half-deads, attempting to dispose of his masters' leftovers, Caxton is then teamed up with grizzled and cantankerous semi-famous FBI vampire hunter, Arkeley, to try and track down the lead vampire in the area.

Something that I really liked about this vampire tale is that the vampire here are monsters. They are vicious, vile, uber-deadly and have the looks of the Nosferatu-like vampires we've seen all too infrequently in recent years. The are dangerous predators, the top of the food chain and they know it. Kill a recently fed vampire? No chance, more likely he'll rip your arms off and drain from what's left of your arm stumps.

Beyond that, 13 Bullets takes some predicable twists and turns and in too many instances, you are waiting for someone, mainly Caxton, to do something intelligent instead of falling head first into the next dilemma. The writing is solid and the sections of the book are broken down nicely (if you read it, you'll see what I mean). Combined with some interesting plot elements that are hinted at but not fully resolved will make me want to pick up the next book in the series.

My Grade: B

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Ed's Mini Book Review - The Dragon Factory

Action. Check.
Kick assery. Check.
Science mumbo jumbo. Check.
Decent but not great follow-up. Check.

The second book featuring ass kicker extraordinaire, Joe Ledger, surprisingly picks up shortly after the events of our first encounter with Joe and the DMS (Department of Military Science), Patient Zero. The fist book was a fast paced, zombie-esque thrill ride that was a breath of fresh air to the zombie book genre. Away from the 'survival horror' themed zombie books, the first Joe Ledger book are like a mash-up of Splinter Cell and World War Z (perhaps called it a 'viral thriller'). Shortly after dealing with the zombie virus in the first book, we have Joe and his team facing off against competing genetic manipulators, one faction making super soldiers while the other is making gene based bio-weapons.

A lot of this book feels the same, villains backstabbing each other, the cloak and dagger of Mr. Church and the DMS, and, of course, lots of action. Another problem with this Ledger adventure, is that a lot of time is spent not knowing what is going on and our heroes do very little to figure things out, the machinations of the bad guys are literally just handed over to them which makes the end game seem like a bit of a cop out. Also, I had a real problem with the actions of the main villain at the end.

Did all this mean I didn't enjoy it? Hell no! Joe Ledger kicks major a$$ in a Jack Bauer sort of way (Legder is actually compare to Bauer at one point). Bad Jack stories are still good stories and bad Ledger stories are good ones as well. This one even isn't a bad story, it's just a flawed one and not up to par with Patient Zero.

My Grade: B

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Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm sorry I pimp slapped you into that china cabinet.

Cover of "Black Dynamite [Blu-ray]"Cover of Black Dynamite [Blu-ray]

How the hell did I miss this?

And by 'this' I mean to pure awesomeness that is Black Dynamite.

Now, I grew up on the blaxploitation films of the 70's and this flick does the trick, ya dig? It manages to catch the essence of those films while keeping the parody edge without becoming too chessey or over the top, you follow?

With destined to be classic lines like 'And when you pop the top, the panties drop' and 'Kung-Fu treachery', Black Dynamite hits the spot solid.

So, go out and see this now or else I will not hesitate to lay the hammer down on any clown that comes around!

I said can you dig it!
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reading List - June

Pile of old books.Image via Wikipedia

Summer is upon us so the reading may be a little light with time spent on the beach and maybe a vacation or a stay-cation. Still there are some things I want to get to, just a matter if I do get to them.

The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Mayberry
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
13 Bullets by David Wellington
Fables Vol. 5 by Bill Winningham
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