Archive for Reviews

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman is an author who needs no introduction. From his graphic novel work with Sandman to his screenplays, from his amazing American Gods to his also-amazing but perhaps less-known-about (by American audiences) Neverwhere, Gaiman is known throughout the spec-fic world as a prolific author and a pretty nice guy to meet.

I was going to say something like “but not everyone knows Gaiman’s work as a children’s and young-adult author”, but that wouldn’t be accurate. So instead I’ll cut this intro short and just tell you I’m reviewing Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.

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Book Review: John Dies at the End by David Wong


When I was a kid, I used to read Mad Magazine. My local grocery store carried it. I also noticed there was a competitor to Mad called Cracked, and I started buying that as well. The age of magazines eventually passed into relative obscurity, and the magazines themselves had to change or die. I don’t see much from Mad anymore, but Cracked seems to have survived the digital transition to become a website that lives in my RSS feeds and that makes me laugh every day.

So when Cracked.com senior editor David Wong released a novel called John Dies at the End, I knew it was fairly likely that I’d enjoy reading it. Thing is, I never got around to it, not until the filmed version was available on demand. I decided it would be best to read the book first.

And then I spent four days trying to figure out how to write the review.

(Warning: this review contains mature language.)

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Fan Film Review: Sonic


With the ever-decreasing cost of professional-grade digital recording, editing, and special effects equipment, filmmaking has truly come to the masses. One only need scour Vimeo or YouTube to find a great short film (and a lot of bad ones). But even three years ago, director Eddie Lebron made a hugely-popular (more than 430,000 views in 2010 alone) fan film of the video game Mega Man — and things back then cost more and were more difficult to produce.

Now, in 2013, Lebron is back with Sonic, a fan film that reimagines the colorful, cartoonish world of the iconic Sega video game.

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Film Review: TiMER


The very first film I put into my Netflix instant queue was TiMER. At the time it seemed like a cute little sci-fi film. It sat there, right at the top of my queue, for… geez, must be two years now… before I finally decided that it was time to watch it.

So I did. And now I am reviewing it for you.

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Book Review: “Serpent’s Storm” by Amber Benson


This review contains spoilers for the first two Death’s Daughter books, Death’s Daughter and Cat’s Claw.

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So here’s the thing about Serpent’s Storm, the third Death’s Daughter book by Amber Benson: at first I thought she’d turned into Laurell K. Hamilton. Then I thought she was writing a madcap roller-coaster adventure. Then I got completely lost. Once I got to the end, I was really pleased with the destination… but unfortunately the journey didn’t work for me.

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Book Review: Cat’s Claw by Amber Benson


This review contains spoilers for Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson.

Following her enjoyable adventure through Hell with Calliope Reaper-Jones, Death’s middle daughter, I think it was pretty much understood that actress and author Amber Benson would return to her Death’s Daughter universe. She did so in 2010 with Cat’s Claw, a sequel that pretty much depends upon the main character making bad decisions for the story to succeed. Make no mistake, I still had fun reading the book, but there was an awful lot of narrative convenience in it.

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Book Review: The Tyrant Strategy: Revenant Man by Jonathan C. Gillespie


I’m not a huge fan of military SF. But I am a fan of post-apocalyptic SF. I’m not a huge fan of augmented-humanity SF. But I am a fan of humans-aren’t-the-most-powerful-people-in-the-universe SF. So when author Jonathan C. Gillespie put out his new novel The Tyrant Strategy: Revenant Man I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my cup of post-apocalyptic, augmented humanity, military-style, humans-aren’t-so-great tea.

That’s an awfully complicated blend, by the way. Not too many people sell it.

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TV Review: Dog with a Blog


I think it’s safe to say that most kids — at least, most of us who had dogs — always wanted our dogs to be able to talk. Odds are good it never happened to you, but it did happen to Tyler James and Avery Jennings, the two human main characters of Disney Channel’s new show Dog with a Blog.

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Book Review: Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele


Every time I read a YA novel, I wonder why all novels don’t move at the same pace. I’m not missing anything in the YA genre — the characters are just as developed, the action is just as action-y, and the story is just as engrossing. I just don’t have to slog through hundreds of extra pages of tangential plotlines and lovingly-rendered character descriptions to get to the good stuff.

And I think that adequately describes Allen Steele’s new YA sci-fi adventure, Apollo’s Outcasts, which will be published this November by Prometheus Books: for the most part, everything extraneous has been trimmed away, leaving a tightly-written, fast-paced novel that I quite enjoyed.

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