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Old 05-22-2009, 04:17 PM
Spiderman: Back In Black TPB

I had missed out on this when it was coming out, so I finally got the trade from the library. Basically, this story takes place before last years "One More Day/Brand New Day" rejump where Peter is no longer married to Mary Jane, he lives with his Aunt again, etc.

Reading this trade, it's easy to see why OMD/BND was necessary, as Marvel had perfectly painted themselves into a corner with Peter unmasking himself at the behest of Tony Stark during the Civil War storyline. So now every one knows Pete is Spidey, including his close friends, villains, and the NYC cops and the military who are all looking for him.

This trade is split into two story arcs from 2 different concurrent series from then, "Back & Black" from Amazing Spidey written by J. Michael Straczynski and "Sandblasted" from Friendly Neighborhood Spidey written by Peter David. Straczynski's story, in one of his last written arcs for Spidey, is the angsty one. Aunt May has caught a stray assassin's bullet meant for Peter, courtesy of The Kingpin. The 5-issue arc is Pete dealing with his torment over revealing his identity, etc., and donning the famous non-symbiote black costume again, all because his soul and heart are now black, see (it didn't hurt that this arc coincided with Spiderman 3 and it's black costume subplot being in theaters right as this story was hitting newsstands). It also shows Peter close to going over the edge in punishing his foes several times. I never much cared for Straczynski's run on Spidey: too much mystical horseshit for a character who didn't warrant such stories, but his story arc here delivers the goods.

I wish I could say the same for Peter David's. Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman which debuted in 2006 was supposed to be David's ongoing title for more old-school style Spidey stories that featured more of the supporting cast. Unfortunately, the title was blindsided by massive crossovers like "The Other" and "Civil War". To see a veteran Spidey writer like Peter David having to carry water for other's convoluted Spidey stories was singularly depressing. But his "Sandblasted" story here really blows. In short: Uncle Ben from the year 2111 comes back in time and is murdered by..himself? That leaves Spidey to team up with Sandman and the Spiderman from 2111 to...blah blah blah--need I go on? It's far stupider than it sounds and reads even worse. Only David's clever dialogue and side-plotting makes this barely tolerable.

Marvel almost takes a seemingly giddy nihilism in putting its supposed flagship character through some of the worst possible storylines imaginable. Makes it hard to be a Spidey fan sometimes. I think next time to get my Spidey fix I'll go in search of some back issues from when this character was actually fun and interesting.

Straczynski's story: 7/10
David's story: 2/10
Overall: 5/10
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:13 PM

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Old 05-24-2009, 04:20 PM

I'm a huge fan of Steve Alten and his Meg series has had some really fun reads. This book does not disappoint. It's just a very fun action packed book. Alten has created some really nice characters with a terrific creature(s) to terrorize them. The action is written very well and really is a summer page turner for sure. The one draw back I saw was that there is a lot of set-up at the beginning, mixed in with some Meg terror, before things really start going during the last half of the book. I read most of this book in two sitting and can't wait for the next one to come out since it seems a lot of the set-up came in this book the next one should be pure shark/sea creature action to the max.

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Crash by J.G. Ballard - 6/10

The sexuality/technology is interesting, but it's pretty wordy, and repetitious in its wordiness. I got a little bored of it after a while. Cronenberg did a masterful job adapting this.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:49 PM
Darkness, Take My Hand- The second book in Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro series. Good story not as good as A Drink Before The War. It was very dark, and pretty depressing although so far all of his have been. Something was missing but I cant but my finger on it though. 8.5/10

Angels and Demons- I really liked this one up until the end, it really pissed me off. 7/10

Last edited by Frosty_86; 07-09-2009 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:20 PM


Not the greatest of King's work in that the novel is meant for a quick read (also meaning that many of the characters that aren't Ben Richards are thinly constructed), but it was entertaining. I loved the ending.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:09 AM

Weaveworld by Clive Barker: 4/4

Like I said, Clive Barker can do no wrong. (This is actually the second time I've read this book btw.)

Stephen King Goes to the Movies: 4/4

I feel like I'm handing out way too many 4/4's but at the same time I'm really happy that I've been this fortunate the past few years as far as reading goes. Both the Children of the Corn and the Mangler stories were much better than the films (or in Mangler's case what I've heard about the film) and Low Men in Yellow Coats (AKA: Hearts In Atlantis) is truly one of King's most touching stories, and ties deeply into the Dark Tower mythologies.

Frosty: Angels & Demons' ending was terrible. It nearly ruined the entire book for me.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:45 PM
I don't get what was so terrible about Angels & Demons' ending, refresh my memory.

First Flight of the Phantom Eagle (Garth Ennis, 2008)

World War 1 graphic novel written by the master of grit and violent tragedy Garth Ennis. Very good stuff, tackles all the topics and ideas that arose from that war and Chaykin's art work is really good too.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:59 AM

This is the first Michael Crichton novel I've read since reading Sphere in the 8th grade (which had been preceded by Jurassic Park, Congo and The Lost World), and I was not disappointed. The novel is very fast paced, very suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat. Just when I thought I knew where the story was going, Crichton turned everything around and proved me wrong.

My only complaint would be the constant criticism of Japanese techniques in business and, essentially, screwing over the American economy. While it was definitely important to the plot, I thought it was a bit much in that seemingly every character talked about it.

Other than that though, a very exciting read!

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Old 06-11-2009, 05:41 PM

Originally Posted by Natty View Post
I don't get what was so terrible about Angels & Demons' ending, refresh my memory.

Basically the camerlengo ending up being crazy, and the Illuminati all being a conspiracy concocted by him. After a chase across the Vatican, he pours gasoline on his body and sets himself on fire, and his ashes are never found. imo totally ridiculous ending to a good novel.


Coldheart Canyon-Clive Barker: 3.5/4

A very erotically charged Horror novel by Clive Barker along the liness of Weaveworld crossed with The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser). Its my last Barker novel for a little while though...don't want to read them all too quickly.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:54 PM
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A great book. One of the best I've read. Hits hard...
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:49 PM
Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life (Alan McArthur & Steve Lowe) - 7/10
Easy and fun read.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:28 PM
The Exorcist-William Peter Blatty

Technically I didn't finish the book, but I put it back on the shelf today. The Exorcist (novel) was essentially the same as the film, except the writing was not very good. It kills me to write this, it truly does because I absolutely adore the film, but I just could read the whole way through this book. Blatty's prose is too-amateurish, and I do believe that I've read better un-published works of fiction online than between these covers. It really is a shame that so many talented young writers will never see print when there are much less deserving titles being churned out by the thousands.

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:14 PM

Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

It's always been interested in reading fiction by writers who are primarily known for their work in other areas. And Leonard Cohen is just as skilled with the written word as he is with poetry and songwriting. He puts together a melancholy and beautifully human portrait of a longing for and obsession with the unattainable that is good and genuine. The book is also steeped in Cohen's bittersweet sense of humor, so it's an all-around enjoyable read.

Next on my reading list: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:59 PM
Finished A Game of Thrones...next up Clash of Kings!
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:53 AM

This is a very fun actioned packed addition to the series. The imagination that Clemens (James Rollins) has is superb. You can definately see the change in this book that it is starting to gear up towards the finally with more confilicts introduced and more characters introduced with new "destinies" being revealed.

Like I said it was a very action-packed book. There were many battles/fights to keep you turning the page with many cliffhangers left at the end of the chapters that just made you want to keep reading. A very fine addition to the series but the one thing that I thought it was lacking was the very interesting history of all the cultures that were in the first two books. I'm sure with the addition of a few characters at the end of the book the next will jump back into that.

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Old 06-22-2009, 03:21 PM


It wasn't bad, in fact it was quite the page turner. The short chapters made it nearly impossible to stop. However, the narrative was unfocused which is unusual for Crichton. Everything had to do with the horrors of genetic engineering and gene patenting, of course, and some of the storylines did come together in the end...but it was simply too much. I wish more would have been done with David the transgenic humanzee, but alas.

Other than that though, it was an okay read and not a waste of time.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:39 PM
Utopia #1. I like where this is going after Dark Reign and bringing in something called the Dark X-Men. Good stuff.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:12 AM

Great narrative of the war.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:46 AM
It Is Just You, Everything's Not Shit (by Steve Stack) - 8/10
Companion piece to Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life but this time detailing all the nice things, gotta say I got a huge smile when I got to K and found Krtek listed.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:26 AM
As You Like It (William Shakespeare, 1600)

Very funny satire on love, men and women. The not so funny stuff was also well written, one of the master's better works.

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Old 07-02-2009, 12:02 PM

Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk

Extremely irritating, and, no, I didn't find much reward coming out of it. It highlights the gimmicky nature of Palahniuk's writing that has deservedly received a bad rap.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:15 PM

The Stand-Stephen King: 3.5/4

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell-Marilyn Manson
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:28 PM


Really good. A little predictable at parts (inevitable as it takes place after Episode I), but enjoyable. Hopefully Zahn'll write a really good novel that takes place sometime thereafter, showing how Thrawn gets in with Palpatine and becomes a Grand Admiral. But, yes, very good.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:42 PM


Very fun fast paced book. A little predictable but still very fun, I was never bored while reading it. Its the first in a series but I dont know when the author plans on releasing it but when he does I will be reading it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:28 AM


Nothing in this really stands out with awesomeness, but it was still not a complete waste of time. I liked a few (such as "N").
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:26 PM

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Old 07-06-2009, 10:24 PM

Wow!!!!!!!!! Damn was this book good. I cant wait for the next one in the series to come out. I just wish I didnt have to wait a year.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:17 PM

What the upcoming Band of Brothers: Pacific will be largely based upon.

Great memoir. Really shows the terrible side of war, but without being preachy. This is an absolute must read for any politician even thinking about voting on sending our troops into war.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:22 PM

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Old 07-15-2009, 10:09 AM
Recently finished:

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:36 PM
10 Bad Dates With De Niro - 7/10
A book of alternative movie lists, some good lists, given me a number of films to check out. Found it difficult not to skip some of the lists, I can't stand it when people who speak/write in English throw in french words or phrases. Fucking morons.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:18 PM
Watchers by Dean Koontz: 3.5/4

A touching, heartfelt book. My only gripe was Dean Koontz' signature predictability. I was always two pages ahead of every plot-twist, and could tell you who would live/die the second they walked onto the page. The book was still very nice, however. (Gotta give a shout-out to X-Nightcrawler, who recommended this to me!)
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:20 AM

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher
My new favorite book series. Jim has a fast paced writing style without leaving out character development and a wonderful sense of humor and action. Dresden is almost the antithesis of another wizardly Harry (that I could never get into the books of) except with all the morals you'd want a hero to have and the will to always save a damsel in distress. I've already started on Book 2, Fool Moon and am enjoying the hell out it (yay, werewolves!).
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:03 PM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - 10/10

Such an amazing close to the Harry Potter series.. couldn't have been done any better. I can't wait for the movies.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:39 PM

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Old 07-25-2009, 11:58 PM

I picked this book up at a local bookstore after seeing their display for a book signing. I checked it out and saw the authors were local and that the story looked like it would be something right up my alley. The plot is way out there but that I didn't have a problem with. What I didn't like was that it seemed like nobody was really surprised about anything...ever. In the great expanse of the post-apocalyptic U.S. way too many people who know each other or are linked to each other just run into one another and no one seems to really find any of that odd or surprising. It's all so matter of fact and it's throughout the whole book. They don't question anything for more than a few sentences and then it's over. I also thought that all the characters were huge stereotypes. I won't get into too much details about them but you have the evil billionaire egomaniac, the spiritually inclined Native Americans, hardcore militia types, etc. The characters almost felt like drones who were just going through the motions but not really having and feelings or independent thoughts. This book also tried to be way more philosophical than a book of it's genre should be and that's what the majority of this book focused on. All in all I could not get into this book for the life of me. It might be right for some but it fell way short for me.

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:56 AM
Clash Of Kings - 9/10
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:26 PM
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:33 AM

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
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