Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fergus the Great by Daniel Duffield- Review

Title: Fergus the Great
Author: Daniel Duffield
Pages: 180 pages
Published: July 12th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: author, owned book
Links: Author website, goodreads

Dovsfield is anointed by the Stone of Destiny at Tara to be high king of Eriu land. Immediately, he has to flee Eriu to escape from Coirpre, the current high king who wishes to kill Dovsfield. Then Dovsfield travels to Alba to seek refuge and help from Evenus, king of the Scotti. Yona knows of an ancient prophecy that she is to marry an Eriu prince. She loves Dovsfield and believes him to be that prince. Driven by her pride, she ignores the prophecy and chooses a different path across the Big Water to return to her tribe. From Alba, Dovsfield returns to Eriu to lead a revolt against Coirpre with the help of a young priest named Patricus and a new kingdom called Dal Riata is born. It is in this new kingdom that prophecies are fulfilled and the destinies of all are determined.
I finished this series that I have been reading for a few years now. So I am glad to be able to finish it. I think this book series was a really good start for it being Duffield's first time publishing. I would imagine that trying to get your book out there and read would be tough.  I think of how hard it is to get my blog up and going to attract readers and try to get people to discover my blog.  It is hard work.  So I have no idea how someone would get publicity for their book.  My mother knows the author of this book so that is how I was able to come across the book series. 

I think what I love most about the book is that I could tell the author really is passionate about the history and story of Fergus the Great.  I wish I was more interested in the history of my own people (I am French and German).  Duffield takes the time to really do research for his book including a map and a fantastic cover.  For a self published author I think these are great details that add to the book.  The first and third book covers give nods to each other and I hope in future editions the second book's cover matches too. Interesting fact to those who may not know but Fergus the Great is the father in the Disney movie Brave! Until I read this book I had no idea the Disney character was based off a real person.

This book follows the characters we have come to know throughout the entire series.  I loved revisiting them. I was only a little disappointed in the end of the story.  I felt like it was left a little too much in the air.  The adversary that we were chasing through the whole book goes on his way and we never really find out if they come back, or just stay away and the war is won?  I only say that because through out the books these two groups would fight, retreat, fight and retreat so I was unsure if this would happen again.  It almost seemed like it was set up for another book in the series though I was pretty sure this was going to be just a trilogy.  I looked on the author's site and can't tell if this is the final book in the series or not?

Really this book is fun... the whole series is fun.  Yes I do think you can tell reading that the author is new and it's apart of some huge publishing company with tons of editors on staff. The story is engaging and interesting so really in the end that doesn't matter.  It makes me wish I had some sort of story inside me waiting to hit the pages.  Alas... I have never been a writer.

Check out my reviews of book one and two:

Niall and the Irish Pirates by Daniel Duffield
Sons of Niall by Daniel Duffield

Friday, September 25, 2015

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie Review

Title: Murder on the Orient Express
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 347
Published: June 4th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers
(first published 1933)
Source: eaudio library
Links: goodreads

"The murderer is with us - on the train now..." Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again...
It's that time of year. The time of year I go on another super long road trip and force myself to listen to audio books. This year though I changed it up. I usually pick really long audio books. Ones that I know are big chunkers and are going to take like 35 hours to listen to. I was actually going to do that on this trip too but Outlander wasn't available at my library to listen to on audio (I'm surprised). So I started looking through the audios available and picked this one. I have no idea why.. it just looked good. I have never read an Agatha Christie book and thought I might as well check it out. I liked that this was a shorter audio book.  I felt great that I was able to finish a book in one day.  My road trip usually ends up being about 36 hours by the time I get back home.  So finishing one book a day I think is a pretty good thing.

The whole book pretty much takes place on a train.  So we get to meet all the characters who are suspects in a murder that also happens on the train.  This is apparently book 10 in the Hercule Poirot mystery series.  I didn't know this when I started and I could kind of tell that the book was assuming we had already been introduced to Poirot before but really this didn't make the book a bad book.  I am kind of glad I didn't know it was apart of a long series because I might not have read it then.  I like to read series in order.  I do think the ending of this book was.. well impossible to guess.  I could be wrong but really I just feel like no one would guess it.  I just want to discuss this book with people in real life!  Murder on the Orient Express would be a neat book club pick.

I can't wait to read another mystery from Christie but this time in print form. I just want to see if it's easier to figure out who did it.  I of course put the movie based off the book on hold at the library.  I was sad to see it wasn't on Netflix or Amazon Prime for watching but I suppose that's because it's an older movie.  I also am going to check out the Poirot series from 2012 that was on PBS because one of the episodes is based off this book.  So fun!

5 stars

This counts for one book for the event R.I.P!  Click on the button for more info!
Bout of Books


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X!

Here it is!  My favorite time of year and one of my favorite blogging events.  Be sure to go to the main page to find out about all the happenings because I am only going to participate in a few so you might be interested in other ones.  R.I.P. is known as Readers Imbibing Peril, and it is a challenge to read Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural. This challenge is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings normally but this year Carl needed some help so our gracious hosts this year are The Estella Society. The challenge officially runs from September 1st to October 31st. There is a group read also that people can participate it and that is always fun.
This is such a cool challenge, and since this is a category I mainly read anyway I am taking the plunge. I am going to pledge to be part of:

Peril the Third: This Peril involves imbibing just one read.
Peril the Third means I will be reading just one book.  I think I have already picked on and the review will be up soon.  The book is Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  I may jump in and read another book, but we'll see.
I am also going to take part in:
The movie I am going to chose is the movie based off of Murder on the Orient Express.  I think it will be fun to do the book and the movie together. 

Are you participating???  Happy Fall!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #29

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Batwoman Vol 5, Teen Titans Vol 4Talon Vol. 2, and Red Lanterns Vol 5,

I have enjoyed the Batwoman comics.  Not as much as I was enjoying Batgirl but I still do enjoy them.  As some of you may know.. the creative team behind Batwoman left this comic because of DC not allowing them to have Batwoman (Kate) marry her girlfriend.  Of course DC came back saying that's not why and blah blah.  So here we are with a new staff.   The comic does flow unlike some I've read lately. There is an art thief named Wold Spider running around.  Batwoman fights him and then ends of fighting Nocturna who is a vampire she accidentally let out of Arkham Asylum.  We even get a peak at Batman and Batwoman working together in this volume. A lot of the comic focuses on the breakup of Kate and her girlfriend Maggie. The comic ends with a cliffhanger... I will read the next volume and see where DC takes this one.  As far as I know it's not a canceled series yet.

3 out of 5

I love these comics.  Especially after the show Young Justice.. I just enjoy seeing superhero teens.  This comics introduces us to Beast Boy and Raven and I thought that was really amazing. I haven't read about them in comics yet so seeing them in action was interesting. I haven't read the Teen Titans before but apparently Raven's dad Trigon is always in the mix. So in this comic he comes back in to fight and get Raven to become evil again.  Since the New 52 is really my first introduction in the DC comic world I need to these story lines to be perfect with the new lore.  But this one seems to just assume we know about the characters. There is a love triangle going on... though supposedly it happened because of possession and everyone seems ok with that.  I can't stand love triangles. People hate Raven's new look but personally I like it.  I think it's kind of cool with the feathers on her face.  I give this one 3 out of 5

 Talon has been very interesting to me.  I think the Court of Owls is a great story line.  Volume 2 in the Talon series though wasn't as good as the other Court of Owl stories. The comic continues the story in Volume One where Calvin is fighting the Butcher, Bane, and the Court of Owls.  We see Batman come in and claim he's going to capture Calvin once it's all done. I read this whole section.. then realized it was really an introduction to the fact that Calvin will move on to the Batman Incorporated comic. Ughhh.... I suppose that he just wasn't a strong enough character to keep the Talon comics going.  There was a stand alone comic at the end about Calvin trying to get to the Lazarus pit.  I didn't feel like this had much to do with the story so I skipped it. It was a boring comic to be honest and it's probably good that the series ended here.

3 out of 5

 What is it about the Red Lanterns that I can't get enough of???  The writing in the comics is really good... the stories just flow perfect.  There aren't too many crossover stories in this comic so I think that is also why I am enjoying the series.  This comic did crossover Supergirl but I have been reading those comics so I wasn't very lost.  In this comic we run into her as a red lantern.  A powerful lantern.  At the end of the comic she is back to normal and we really don't find out why (you have to read Supergirl to find out). This comic has Guy Gardener's red lanterns fighting against Atrocities red lanterns.  One wants the red lanterns to be a little good while the other wants them to be pure evil. This is a super long volume. The next volume has a new writer.. which I guess should be expected being that the comic has had such a long run so far.  Bummer though I will give it a try.  5 out of 5

This counts for 44 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Armada by Ernest Cline Review

Title: Armada
Author: Ernest Cline
Pages: 349
Published: July 14th 2015 by Crown Publishing
Source: Library
Links: goodreads, 

It’s just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom—if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.At first, Zack thinks he’s going crazy. A minute later, he’s sure of it. Because the UFO he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.But what Zack’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too… familiar?
Disappointing.  That is really the main feeling I have after reading this book.  I had such high hopes after reading Cline's Ready Player One. Was this even the same author????  The story was way too similar to Ender's Game.  Aliens are coming to Earth so the government uses video games to secretly train civilians to fight.   There is a huge chunk of the book that just goes over getting ready for this war.  On and on we get so much detail about the ships.. and about bases.  The pop culture references are pushed too hard in this book.  The references flowed easily in Ready Player One where in Armada Cline pushes the references in even if they don't go.   He makes sure to mention EVERY SINGLE alien movie there is in the book.

The ending was disappointing to me also.  It was just kind of something I've heard before .. and then it was like Cline wasn't happy with the ending because he starts having the characters question their own decisions. I am quite shocked that this book has a 3.5 rating on goodreads.  Who out there is loving this book??  The whole gamers are going to save the world thing is hard for me to buy.  Supposedly when the world finds out about the aliens coming everyone runs to internet cafes... handheld devices and all these internet places to jump online and help out.  Really... people who have never gamed before are now just going to play games???  I can't even imagine my parents jumping on and doing this.  I myself am a gamer so I would... but someone who's not.  I just don't see it.  Plus... the servers would have to be enormous for the gaming system to be able to have millions of people playing at one time all around the world.

The book just wasn't that great.  Ready Player One is sooo good though so I am sorry for people who read Armada and then don't bother with Cline's other book.  I really think that this book is a dud and just don't waste your time reading it or thinking it's going to be a great geeky book.  It's just not. 

2 stars