Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Book Review: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

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Death isn’t always the end. In fact, if you suddenly find yourself recently risen from the dead with an instinctual hunger for brains, it’s really only the beginning. Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series of novels follows underdog character Angel Crawford as she navigates life (or something vaguely similar to it) as a freshly-turned zombie.

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No, not this type of zombie.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues is a good follow-up to the debut book in the series, My Life as a White Trash Zombie. We see Angel getting more comfortable in her own skin (which only begins to rot if she doesn’t keep herself well-fed on brains, that she is able to obtain with a method far less chompy-chompy than most zombies.)

She may be getting the hang of being one of the undead, (it certainly has its perks in these books), but there are still hurdles aplenty for our struggling-but-determined heroine. A zombie mafia, corpse thieves, creepy experiments, and zombie hunters only seem to complicate things for Angel as she continues to deal with the struggles of work, love, family, and parole. The girl’s got a lot on her plate, and it isn’t all just brains. πŸ˜›

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Yum! Yum!

I really enjoyed this book and a lot of that has to do with how much I like the main character. Angel is flawed. Big time. But she’s working on it, and although things don’t come easily for her, she isn’t one to give up. Her narration feels honest and genuine, and it’s pretty damn entertaining to read given all of Angel’s sass and sarcasm that she wields with little or no apology.

The first part of the book does seem a bit slow at times, but the action and intrigue pick up nicely in the second part. I’d give this one a four out of five brain rating! πŸ˜‰

Also, I know I always rave about the cover art for these books when I talk about them, but c’mon, you gotta give it up to artist Daniel Dos Santos, this artwork is awesome!

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Spread, Vol. 1 (No Spoiler) Review

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“Ten years ago, we dug too deep and unleashed something we couldn’t control. Something that twisted and warped every living thing in its path. Something that remade the world in its own image. The Spread. One man has found a child who could save the world, but he has to fight monsters, raiders, cannibals, religious fanatics, and one cranky baby to do it.”

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Spread is an often over the top, yet entertaining post apocalyptic thrill ride. It’s like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Mad Max had a baby. The artwork is gritty, and most of the panels are practically dripping with blood and guts. I’ve gotta say, all the red does contrast quite nicely against the white frozen landscape the book takes place in. πŸ˜‰

Characters include a silent loner named No who isn’t as good at being a loner as it would seem considering how he keeps accruing traveling companions, a baby who might just be the last shred of hope this bleak world has, an unhinged crazy lady with a heart of gold, and a big, burly cannibal.

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Although I enjoyed reading the first volume of Spread (and plan on reading the other volumes) I could certainly see this comic not being for everybody. If you have an aversion to body horror, gore, and some good ol’ fashioned violence, obviously Spread just isn’t going to be your cup of tea.

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I always have a hard time ranking things by the “5 Star Rating System”, buuuut I would give this introductory volume to Spread 3.5 out of 5 stars. It did a good job shoving readers straight into its dystopian world and left me intrigued enough to want to continue on with No and his motley crew of miscreants as they take on The Spread.

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Well, those were my thoughts on volume 1 of Spread. What are you guys currently reading?? πŸ™‚ Any horror stuff for the month of October you’re looking forward to?

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Hell Fest (2018) No-Spoiler Review

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It’s October, boys and ghouls, so that means things are about to get pretty spooky around here! Halloween is fast-approaching, so what better time to sink your teeth into a bunch of horror movies, new and old? My first horror movie review for the month is for a film that just hit theaters September 28th called Hell Fest.

I’d seen the trailers and felt pretty indifferent to going to see it or not, but Mr. Moth was just curious enough about it to want to check it out, so I agreed. ‘Tis the season, right? πŸ˜‰ Plus, he’s going to see the new Halloween movie with me when it comes out, so I kind of had to be a good sport. πŸ˜›

Unfortunately, it didn’t take very long into the movie for even him to say, “I think this may be one of those bad horror movies that’s just actually bad.” Not to say that it was a total disaster of a movie, but it was pretty middle of the road in my opinion. I’ve seen worse, but I have definitely seen far better and more memorable. I will say, though, that Hell Fest does a good job of making you excited for Halloween and haunted attractions. If Hell Fest itself was a legit thing I would want to go and experience it for myself (minus the stabby stabby parts, of course!)

The movie also (briefly) has horror icon Tony Todd in it, so that was cool. πŸ™‚

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Hell Fest is your basic sort of slasher film, set in a massive horror themed amusement park. If you’ve seen your fair share of slasher flicks, I think it’s safe to say you probably know the drill by now: masked killer picks group of young adults to terrorize, lots of stabbing, making out, and questionable decisions ensue. I think the main thing Hell Fest does have that sets it apart is the cool setting it takes place in. If you love Halloween and haunted attractions you’ll probably be able to appreciate how much effort must have gone into all the different sets, mazes, costumes, props, etc.

Aaaaand, in case you missed it, here’s the trailer:

So, that pretty much sums up my review for Hell Fest. I’m looking forward to feeding into my horror cravings more throughout the rest of October. How about you?? Watched any good horror movies recently? Planning on binge-watching a bunch before Halloween? Let’s talk about it! πŸ˜€

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Two Hearts (Peter S. Beagle Short Story Review)

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Peter S. Beagle’s whimsical fantasy tale The Last Unicorn is a classic. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, so when The Shameful Narcissist recently read and provided a link to a short follow-up to the story, of course I was eager to return to Mr. Beagle’s rich and enchanting world of magicians, unicorns and other mythical beasts.

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The original tale is a clever and spellbinding journey all its own, so I was very hopeful that this newer adventure would be able to capture some of the magic woven in the first book. I was obviously hopeful, but I had to wonder, could Two Hearts manage to match the charm and whimsy of its legendary predecessor? Well, as Captain Cully would say: sit down, have a taco, and let’s talk about Two Hearts.

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Although this short story features multiple characters we came to love in The Last Unicorn, you may be surprised to learn that the main character is someone new entirely. Sooz, a young girl from a small village plagued by a child-eating griffin, is done waiting for the king to send more knights who all seem to fall prey to the very beast they’ve been sent to slay. She’s decided to take matters into her own hands and runs away from home to seek the king out for herself, to get his help specifically. Young Sooz, you see, has heard all about brave King Lir and the dragons and giants he’s slain, the impossible riddles he’s solved, and the maidens he’s saved.

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Unfortunately, no matter how noble the hero, the one thing they may never vanquish is time, and the king is now in the later years of his life, his mind often failing him. On her way to seek the king, Sooz befriends the infamous Molly Grue and Schmendrick the magician from the first tale. Although King Lir is frequent to forget and lose himself as he admits to Sooz, the mention of a familiar character always manages to bring him back, if even for only a matter of time.

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Lir’s bravery and kindness propel him to agree to help Sooz and her village, but will the best intentions of an aging hero be enough to finally bring an end to the griffin? You’ll have to find that one out for yourself. πŸ˜‰

I will tell you, however, that Peter S. Beagle definitely captured the enchantment of his original tale once more, much to my delight. Especially in the last third or so of the story. We finally get to see what has become of the characters he introduced us to so many years ago, and he introduces us to a brave young girl who would do anything to protect those she cares for against a hungry monstrous creature. For fans of The Last Unicorn, I would definitely say this one is easily worth the read. I enjoyed it and it made me want to re-read the original book again.

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Monstress, Vol. 3 (No Spoiler) Review

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Marjorie Lui and Sana Takeda’s gorgeously rendered epic Monstress is back with its third volume, Haven. If you’ve read and recall my reviews for Volume 1 and Volume 2, it will come as no surprise that this is something I’ve been eagerly awaiting all year.

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Throughout the story of Monstress, our main character Maika Halfwolf has seen some shit. Potty-mouthed poet cats, crazy-ass witch-nuns with a deadly agenda, ancient gods that hunger for flesh, and bipedal shark people to name just a small few. Really, that is only the smallest of tastes for the complex and layered world presented to readers throughout the series. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Monstress has the most detailed and fleshed out worldbuilding I’ve ever seen in comic form. The more you read of the series, the more things begin to come together and take shape, especially in volume 3.

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The kind of villain I can get behind: knows how to rock an all black outfit, loves a good book, and cuddler of dogs!

The artwork, as always, continues to shine in the third installment, and the characters are being forced even more out of their comfort zones (well, what little bit of comfort they were previously able to cling to in their war-torn world, anyway). Kippa is finding direction in her life and becoming stronger, Ren is forced to make a difficult decision, and Maika might even have to start playing nice(er) and make . . . dun dun dun . . . friends! GASP! πŸ˜› Even the ever-growing, ever-hungry god Maika constantly struggles with is taking shape, both literally and figuratively.

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Although we get more answers, there are still plenty more questions you’re left with by the end of Volume 3, but it only makes me look forward to Volume 4 that much more. Especially with such a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

Deadpool 2 Review

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Jeez, it’s been almost a week already since I went to see this movie, and my slacker ass is only just NOW writing up a review post for it. Shame, shame on me. Saturday was a day full of fun which included a friend’s birthday party hosted by none other than the fabulous Cupcakes and Machetes, A Mario Kart 64 tournament (that I won!), a trip to the hellish labyrinth full of people (and possibly a Minotaur) that is Ikea, aaaaand a morning jaunt to the movie theater to see DEADPOOL 2! πŸ˜€

Based off how much I loved the first Deadpool film it’s safe to say that I went into this one with expectations. HIGH expectations. Luckily, those expectations were nothing short of met with the second installment. I greatly enjoyed myself while watching this film. The humor, action, character interactions, cameos, etc. had me thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.

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It was great getting to see Deadpool and all the other characters from the first film again, and just as great to get to see characters like Domino and Cable hit the big screen. As to be expected, there are plenty of laughs in this film. The little jabs at both Marvel and DC throughout the movie were always good for a laugh.

It’s hard to get much into the plot without venturing into spoiler territory, so we’re just going to go right ahead and dodge that bullet. As the trailer lets you know, Wade is out to protect a young boy with mutant abilities from Cable who has traveled back in time to kill said kid. Stuff ensues. If you want more info than that, go see it for yourself! πŸ˜‰

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Even with all of the sexual innuendo, blood, dismemberment, swear words, violence, and all the other fun bits, Deadpool 2 has some serious heart to it. It’s a sequel that doesn’t fall into the seemingly endless cesspool of letdown follow-ups. Definitely would watch it again. πŸ™‚

So, if you haven’t gone out and seen it already, I highly suggest you hop into action and go check it out.

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Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Giant Days, Vol. 4 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Yay! More Giant Days! ❀ If you’re looking for a fun slice o’ life style comic with good female friendships and likable characters all around, this is a series not to be missed out on. πŸ™‚ It’s a cute, feel-good (mostly) series about a trio of friends tackling life (and sometimes being tackled right back by it.)

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Each of the characters is going through their own things in this volume that I’m not going to get too into since, ya know, spoilers suck. In typical adulting-fashion, the girls deal with these issues, plus a whole slew of other things like the literal hell that is house-hunting, making terrible student indie films in an effort to win some cash, job hunting, and the horrors of online dating. Combine all these things and more and you wind up with another entertaining installment in the lives of Esther, Daisy, and Susan.

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Esther truly understanding what it means to be part of the work force.

Currently tangled in the sticky web that is house hunting, myself, I found their struggle all too real. That shit sucks. It sucks big time. You think it’s gonna all be awesome, that you’ll find your dream home all easy-peasy-like, but really it’s mostly moments like this:

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All in all, volume 4 is another fun and enjoyable read in the Giant Days series. Have you read any Giant Days yet, or are you reading any other good comics at the moment? Let’s talk about it! πŸ˜€

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Game Night (No-Spoiler) Movie Review

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I’m not sure how I missed all the trailers for this movie, but luckily my boyfriend is far more observant than I am and made sure we went to see this one. Newly in theaters, Game Night (starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams) is a hilarious, fast-paced comedy that had the entire theater laughing out loud all the way through.

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The story is centered around a group of competitive friends who regularly get together for game nights where they go head-to-head in a wide variety of games. But when Max’s (Bateman’s) hot-shot brother shows up and introduces the group to a new high stakes game, the night winds up taking several wild and crazy turns.

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If you enjoy a good game night yourself from time to time, you’ll probably enjoy this as much as we did and be able to relate to certain parts, but even if you don’t, the actors all have such great chemistry that it makes for some really funny scenes that I think most people could still enjoy. I would definitely watch this one again. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

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A Look at Low, Volumes 1 through 4

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Sebastian the Crab was dead wrong when he said everything was better under the sea. It’s not a bunch of dancing fish and singing crustaceans like Disney would like for you to believe.

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No, it’s nothing quite so nice as all that. It’s more like hordes of deep sea pirates out for your blood, aquatic abominations that want to eat your face, and corrupt leaders who want to keep hope and morale, well, “low”. (You just knew that pun was gonna be used somewhere in this review. May as well get it out of the way now.) πŸ˜‰

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So, for something a wee bit different, I’ve decided to go ahead and review the first 4 volumes of Low in this one post, rather than review them each separately. The main reason for this, is that I experienced very mixed feelings while reading this series. As I’ve mentioned before, Low wasn’t one of those reads that I was head-over-heels in love with upon finishing the first volume. In fact, if my boyfriend hadn’t already bought the three other volumes, I probably would have ceased reading this series altogether. I hate to say that because I had really been looking forward to reading it and I enjoyed the overall concept, just not the execution, I suppose. It’s always a bummer when you feel like you wanted to like something so much more than you actually did, and that’s exactly how I was left feeling. Fortunately, this series improved dramatically as I continued reading it. Volume 1 may have been a rough start, and definitely my least favorite of the four volumes, but I’m glad I carried on and continued reading the story.

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Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope introduces us to a grim future for humankind where, due to the sun’s lethal radiation, humans have been forced to live in the dark abyss of the world’s oceans. It’s been a very long time since humans left the surface behind, and resources are dwindling to the point of no return as we meet our central characters, the Caine family. This is a very busy volume with a LOT going on, and also the longest of the four installments. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it and talk pros and cons regarding this particular volume.

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PROS:

  • A really cool concept. The whole post-apocalyptic science fiction set in the deep, dark vastness of our oceans had me completely psyched to read this.
  • The artwork and colors are lovely. Greg Tocchini (the artist) and Dave McCaig (the colorist) do a good job bringing to life the beauty and oftentimes horror of the world and characters that Rick Remender (the writer) has created.

CONS:

  • This series does have some decent character development overall, but I wasn’t feeling it whatsoever in this first volume. One character in particular has a complete moral shift in gears and character change over the course of a time hop so we’re given like no actual evidence of him growing or changing, he just does so between his last appearance and the next, and it’s honestly quite jarring.
  • Okay, I’m certainly no prude, I’ve generally got no issues with sex and nudity, but this was just . . . a bit much. Tons of female nudity and abuse, women being used for sex and then having extreme violence inflicted on them immediately after, orgies everywhere, etc. A lot of the outfits the female characters wear seem like they were designed that way simply because “tits” and “ass”. Again, this complaint is coming from someone who doesn’t typically shy away from mature content, but the male gaze was sooo prevalent in this one.
  • There’s an overall β€œalways have hope” message in Low, and it felt especially preachy in this volume. It left me feeling like I’d had it hammered in my face over and over and over again. I get that it’s a good message to put out there, but the sheer repetitiveness of it was maddening at times.

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Low, Vol. 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us is where the series begins to get get a little better, in my opinion. In this installment, we see some of the bigger complaints I had with the start of Low slowly begin to simmer down. I also began feeling more invested in the characters and what was going on. The stakes are getting higher, and we get to learn more about different characters and different places with their own big bads. I found myself going from not liking Low by the end of the first volume, to liking it by the end of this one. Was I in love with the series at this point? No, but I did like it.

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Low, Vol. 3: Shore of the Dying Light is, without a doubt, the volume that I liked the most. Tensions are on the rise and there’s a lot at risk in this installment. Also, it is hands down the volume with the least blatant overuse of pointless female nudity which, I’m sorry, has been a real issue for me through this series. You can tell the intentions are for several of the characters to be represented as strong female characters, but I can’t help but feel that it is a little undermined when you randomly have one of those characters in a fight scene in volume 2 where she’s suddenly totally topless because reasons. I mean, come the hell on. Volume 3 was a nice reprieve from this sort of thing.

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Low, Vol. 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes takes us back to some of the events that went down in volume 1 and reveals something pretty interesting and story-changing events that unfolded. There’s plenty of action in this one and some trickery and surprises. It leaves off on a point that has me curious to see where the story will go when volume 5 comes out. It’s not going to kill me to wait for it like it does with some other stories from Image.

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All in all, this series grew on me the more I read of it. I was curious to see what others were thinking of Low overall, so I looked up other reviews and they really varied. Some people loved volume 1 the most and felt it never really reached that high again, but I felt volume 1 was the worst of the lot and that it only improved from there. A lot of people felt the same way I did about all the gratuitous female nudity. Yes, there was some male nudity as well, but it was like a light breeze compared to a hurricane. Most people, like myself, were fans of the artwork, but some found it muddy and hard to follow at points. So, it seems this series is a real mixed bag for people. Have you read Low? Do you have plans to read the series? I’d absolutely love to see what you think of it. πŸ™‚

If I had to give a star rating for each volume of this series it would go as such:

Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Volume 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us: 3 out of 5 stars

Volume 3: Shore of the Dying Light: 4 out of 5 stars

Volume 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes: 3 out of 5 stars

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Strange the Dreamer (No-Spoiler) Review

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Some things are just so damn good that they deserve to be savored. And savor I did while reading Laini Taylor’s vividly imaginative epic, Strange the Dreamer. Although I was in no rush to reach the end of this tale, I was enthralled from beginning to end. The world, the characters, the writing itself, were all sublime.

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Lazlo Strange, as the title would imply, is a dreamer in every sense of the word. Since he was a young boy, orphaned by the war and raised by monks, he has been fascinated by a mythical lost city that others brush off as the stuff of fairy tales. It isn’t until years later when he is living the humble life of a junior librarian that Lazlo is presented with the opportunity to seek out his dreams, and with them, the lost city of Weep.

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This story is pure magic. It did exactly what I always hope for a book to do: it made me feel something. And in this case, not just something, but a LOT of somethings. Parts of the book are so damn fun, while others are so charming and so sweet you’ll never want them to end, and then other parts are utterly devastating. Beauty and ugliness. Love and hatred. Dreams and the harsh realities of human nature. This book is gonna give you the feels.

This was, without a doubt, a 5/5 Stars sort of read.

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