JUSTICE LEAGUE TAG

Thanks to The Orangutan Librarian for putting this across my radar.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE TAG

THE RULES:

I’m Bookstooge, I don’t follow the rules * spoken in gravely Christian Bale voice *

 

BATMAN: YOUR FAVORITE ANTIHERO

Elric of Melnibone. Because nothing says anti-hero like a drug addicted, broody sorcerer who killed his own love interest due to the machinations of his usurper cousin. 

 

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AQUAMAN: A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT TURNED OUT TO BE BETTER THAN YOU EXPECTED (BECAUSE LET’S BE REAL, WE DID NOT EXPECT KHAL DROGO TO MAKE AQUAMAN COOL)

Edward Cullen.  I thought Twilight was going to be all girly and sappy but my goodness,  sparkly? I did not see that coming!

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WONDER WOMAN: MOST BADASS FEMALE CHARACTER (NOT NECESSARILY IN A PHYSICAL SENSE)

Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.  When Anne went totally Rambo and geared up with the shotguns, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

(Most googled pictures of a female Rambo were not deemed appropriate for this blog)

 

CYBORG: FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Doom. Because the video game from 1993 will NEVER be surpassed.

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THE FLASH: A BOOK YOU SPED THROUGH

War and Peace. That baby only took me 6 months to get through. If that isn’t fast, I don’t know what is!

 

SUPERMAN: SADDEST CHARACTER DEATH (ALTHOUGH WE ALL KNOW THERE’S NO WAY SUPERMAN IS GOING TO STAY DEAD)

Moiraine from the Wheel of Time.  I cried because I knew she was never, ever, ever, EVER coming back. * very sad face *

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THAT WAS A LOT OF FUN- I TAG:

 

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The Sky-liners (Sacketts #11) ★★★☆½

skyliners (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Sky-liners
Series: Sacketts #11
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 208
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Flagan and his brother Galloway Sackett have returned from their adventures in The Sackett Brand and they’ve paid off their father’s debts. Now they’ve got to start all over and earn their own stake. In some no account little town they face down a gang of roughs who are intent on causing trouble for an Irish gypsy and his granddaughter. Said gypsy convinces them to take the granddaughter, Judith, to her father out west. They also take some of the finest horseflesh they’ve ever seen to help as breeding stock for Judith’s father. Well, the roughs, led by a man named Black Fletchen, don’t take kindly to this. Especially considering that Black was all set to marry Judith and take those horses for himself.

Flagan and Galloway and Judith all headout West, expecting trouble and they find it. Fletchen kills the gypsy, goes full on outlaw by rustling a herd of cattle, killing the owners son and begins hunting the Sackett brothers. When Flagan and company do reach Judith’s father, it is only to find that Black has already taken over the ranch and the father is being held captive.

Flagan and Galloway have hooked up with the cowboys whose herd was stolen, so when they plan on facing down the Fletchens, they’re not alone. However, Black sets a clever trap and gets Flagan, Galloway and Judith pretty much trapped on a mountain side. There is a big showdown ranging across the mountains in a thunderstorm. Fletchen gets his, Flagan gets shot and ends up being taken care of by Judith.

The book ends with it looking like Flagan and Judith will be getting married and Flagan taking on the ranch to help her father.

 

My Thoughts:

Heck, L’Amour has a pattern that he writes from. It works. So don’t expect anything new in any of these books and you’re all set.

For all that every single main character in each Sackett book complains about how they aren’t handsome like “Relative X” and don’t know how to talk to women, these Sackett boys sure don’t seem to have any problems picking themselves up some wives. Of course, it usually takes getting shot in some desperate battle in the worst of weather, after having ridden, walked and generally existed for 100’s of miles in even worse conditions. But still.

I like this book a lot better than the previous one. I think that comes down to having new characters. Since L’Amour writes more “archetypes” than actual characters, after a while any particular character begins to show their weakness as a growing, evolving person. The easiest way to deal with that is to constantly switch to new characters and new circumstances. That might come across as a criticism, but that is only if you are looking for deep characterization in your western. L’Amour made no bones that he was a storyteller. The characters come second. It is a way of telling a story that isn’t nearly as popular nowadays as it used to be. I think a lot of it has to do with culture shift more than anything.

The other thing I noticed is the weight of the pistols. I think it was in this book that it is mentioned that the character’s pistol weighed over 2 pounds. If not in this book, then definitely in another. Anyway, that is HEAVY! My little Sig P938, loaded with 7 rounds, weighs in at around 17ounces (16 oz to a lb for you furrenners!). So add some bullets to those old guns and you’re talking close to 3lbs. I can’t imagine doing a fast draw with something that big and heavy. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a gunslinger, hahahahaa.

Bookstooge Sackett I am not.

★★★☆½

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No Thoroughfare ★★★★☆

nothoroughfare (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: No Thoroughfare
Series: ———-
Author: Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 256
Format: Digital Edition

 

The synopsis will have some real spoilers, so if you think you might ever read this book and don’t want it spoiled, just read the “My Thoughts” portion.

Synopsis: Spoilers

A baby boy is given to an Foundling and in his teen years is adopted by an older lady. She educates him and reveals that she is his birth mother. She sets him on the path of success in the Wine Business and promptly passes away.

Said young man, Walter Wilding, is in poor health and so takes on a partner to help with the business, one George Vendale. Walter also hires a new housekeeper and in the process it is revealed that she was a former nurse at the Foundling. It is also revealed that there were several “Walter Wilding”s and the lady got the wrong one. This distresses young Wilding to no end and he begins to seek out the rightful heir. It also places an incredible stress upon his already weak constitution and he soon passes away. He leaves it to his partner George to find the heir and if he can’t, to take Wilding’s share of the company.

At the same time, George is woo’ing Margeurite Obenreizer, a young swiss woman who is under the guardianship of her half-uncle. During this whole thing, it is revealed by an inquiry of George’s that someone in a high position of trust, has been stealing money from the company that Obenreizer works for.

George ends up taking a hike over the Alps to give his evidence and of course it is Obenreizer, who goes along to try to either steal the evidence or kill George. Margeurite senses something is wrong, follows with the help of faithful retainer of George’s and saves George only to apparently have him die in her arms.

Several months elapse and Obenreizer, now let go from his previous job, is working for a lawyer with the aim of stealing his secrets and using them for personal gain. He learns something about Vendale, who he thinks is dead. Then Margeurite and George spring forth, alive and whole and reveal the treachery of Obenreizer in full. Obenreizer, thinking he is getting revenge, reveals that George Vendale is actually adopted by the Vendales and that he was a foundling. Of course, it turns out that George Vendale was the heir that Walter Wilding was looking for the entire time.

The book ends with Obenreizer dying in an avalanche and George and Margeurite getting married.

 

My Thoughts:

I remembered a few things from my initial read in ’03, but in so many ways it was like reading it for the first time. I enjoyed this a lot.

This was drama of the finest vintage. Orphans and searches for lost heirs and love and evil villains and love triumphant and just desserts. This has it all in spades. And it is short, so anyone who might be intimidated by Dicken’s rather lengthy style won’t be put off. I don’t have anything else to say. I’m tired and worded out.

★★★★☆

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The Devil in Miss Urd (Oh My Goddess! #11) ★★☆☆☆ (Manga Monday)

devilinmissurd (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Devil in Miss Urd
Series: Oh My Goddess! #11
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Kei, Bell and the gang all “win” a trip to a hotsprings. There, they run across Mara and they all decide to call a truce while on vacation. Of course, it is all a ruse by Mara to gain a strand of Urd’s hair, which she uses to make a clone of Urd. The clone is empty and needs a soul.

Mara kidnapps Urd and using junkstore equipment, separates her goddess half from her demon half. The demon half Mara sends into the clone and lets it loose. Belldandy realizes what is going on and knows that if one half of Urd’s soul perishes, the other will as well. So they can’t destroy Demon Urd, just try to subdue her. Goddess Urd gets free and with the help of Belldandy and Skuld, Urd is put back together again. Of course, there is an empty “Urd skin” lying around.

The book ends with a one shot story of Banpei the robot putting on the Urd skin and going around helping people.

 

My Thoughts:

This was amusing. Convoluted, silly and not well thought out, but amusing nonetheless.

I think my biggest problem with this series is that I constantly see the manga-ka undercutting himself in the longterm to get what he wants in the short term. Take Urd. She’s supposedly half-goddess and half-demon. Gods and Demons are supposedly the antithesis of each other, so how did she come about? And then it is revealed that even the Almighty couldn’t separate Urd’s two natures but we’re supposed to believe that imbecilic Mara can do it? It is just too evident that Fujishima is making things up as he goes and the inconsistancies are glaring.

Going to be talking to myself for a minute, so bear with it. This series is making me not want to read manga at all. I dread having to read this because it is so blah and this re-read has destroyed all my good memories of what I read before. The romance and humor that appealed to me when I was 24 has not matured along with me. I’ve outgrown this and cannot overlook the faults. And yet I paid for the whole 48 volumes. I feel like I’ve got a ball and chain wrapped around my neck and I’ve been tossed off the dock.

And when I put it as bluntly as that, I realize something. I don’t like this manga anymore and while I spent some good money on it, spending TIME on it will not justify the money. I need to cut my losses and just let it go. I am done with this series. Hopefully I can at least sell it on Craigslist and not lose all my money.

I think this final picture is appropriate. Goodbye Oh My Goddess! Only the anime ova shall live on in my memory. This manga has punished me enough.

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Sweet Belldandy. It wasn’t only Kei who was in love with you back then

★★☆☆☆

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Thanquol’s Doom (Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #3) ★★★☆½

thanquol's doom (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thanquol’s Doom
Series: Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #3
Author: C.L.Werner
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Due to Skaven politics, Thanquol’s success at staying alive and reporting the death of the conjurer from his previous expedition is now a mark against him. Everyone wishes he had died so as to not remind them of the expedition at all.

Now Thanquol must “lead” an expedition against a Dwarven stronghold. He is allied, this time around, with the skaven scientists/alchemists and they have supplied him with a mechanical Boneripper built from the remains of his original one. Unfortunately for Thanquol, he is saddled with another Grey Seer who has secret instructions of his own. And of course, the Alchemists have their own hidden, true agenda.

Turns out Thanquol is simply a diversion for the dwarves to focus on while the alchemists and the other grey seer do their own thing. The grey seer is going after a powerful magical item, the paw of something or other and the alchemists are building a Doomsphere, meant to destroy the dwarven stronghold totally and completely. The fact that it might destroy the skaven city as well is just incidental.

Thanquol schemes how to make use of both of these agendas. He ends up releasing a chaos demon of almost uncontrollable power, by accident, and the doomsphere destroys itself due to the dwarves machinations.

The book ends with Thanquol still alive and figuring out how to survive this latest debacle.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a decent end to this trilogy. Since this was a spinoff of the Gotrex & Felix series I wonder if Thanquol ends up being killed off in that series? As a skaven, he certainly deserves it!

I’ve been considering why I enjoyed this Warhammer trilogy as much as I did while I haven’t really enjoyed the others I’ve read. Part of it is the humor. Werner does a fantastic job of showing how cowardly, two-faced and constantly backstabbing the Skaven are and it is just really hard to get depressed when reading about their antics. It’s like watching a clown car at the circus. The humor was ironic in nature, with Werner showcasing the worst of the skaven nature through Thanquol but it was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh. Much like the clown car I mentioned or seeing clowns beat the crap out of each other. Objectively, it is unpleasant, but in the right situation, it is great humor. It mitigated the depressing side of the Warhammer universe. In comparison, Werner wrote some of this book from the dwarves perspective and my goodness, now THAT was depressing. A Book of Grudges, Berserkers who live only to die in battle, a declining population due to birth rates and attrition? Ugh, ugh and ugh.

I was about to give up on the whole Warhammer universe after my run in with Tyrion & Teclis. Thankfully, this turned things around so at least I’ll try another Warhammer trilogy. Bookwraiths has reviewed another Warhammer trilogy by Werner and if my next choice (the Legend of Sigmar trilogy) doesn’t pan out, I might try that. But if I hit 2 stinkers of a series in a row, or they are just too depressing for me, I’ll probably be done with Warhammer.

★★★☆½

 

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PSA: Bookstooge Speaks Out….On Narcissism

PSA

Before we get into the really deep parts of this post, we here at Bookstooge would like to reassure our readers that we in no way support Narcissism. Depending on how long you have been following us, we are sure you realize our selfless dedication to the eradication of Narcissism. In our eyes, nothing is worse than that yahoo who just keeps blabbing and blabbing about how great and wonderful they are. This post today, with the typical Bookstooge logic, clear sighted analysis and calm, cool & collected proficiency of a true expert, will totally debunk any argument that any narcissist might bring against us.

 

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Y’all better listen to that Bookstooge fella. He done know what he’s talking about!

 

The first thing is actually identifying a Narcissist. Now, most definitions are of a person who is obsessed with themselves. We deny that statement. A narcissist is someone who is wrongly obsessed with themselves. They think they are handsome/pretty when they’re just average. They think they are smart, when they aren’t even near to Einstein. They think they are clever, when they are actually boring and banal.

Basically, a narcissist is someone who thinks they are right when they are just plain wrong.  That is one of the few reasons that we here at Bookstooge know we’re not narcissists. We are never wrong.  It also doesn’t hurt that we are even more humble than Moses, the “most meek man on the face of the earth”. (Numbers 12:3).

And this is why we wish to speak out on this issue. People often conflate the idea of self-obsession with just plain pigheaded wrongness and this makes them wrong, leading to a vicious downward spiral of self-destruction and recriminations that is almost impossible to escape from. We here at Bookstooge realize that most people cannot break this cycle themselves.  We not only wish to highlight this problem, but would also like to offer a solution.

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STOP BEING WRONG

 

Seriously, how hard is that? I, errr,  WE do it all the time. Day in and day out. Week after week, month after month, as the years pile up. And you don’t see us with a swelled head or massive ego, oh no!

We do realize that people aren’t just going to stop being wrong all by themselves. After a lifetime’s habit built up, they simply can’t stop cold turkey. So besides our patent pending “Stop Being Wrong” solution, we also offer, for a VERY slight fee, our personalized Bookstooge Opinionator.  Join us and if you ever feel like you “might” be wrong, just send your personal Bookstooge Helper an email with your opinion. All Bookstooge Helpers are trained to the highest degree to detect right and wrong opinions. They will get back to you within 24hrs, often even sooner(!!!!), letting you know if your opinion is indeed right or wrong.

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The Bookstooge Opinionator Team: We make sure YOU are always Right!

 

Studies have shown that those who use this tool experience elation and the complete disappearance of fear in their online lives. This online experience often sublimates into the real world. You’d be surprised how many sports and movie stars, politicians and talkshow hosts have used and benefited from The Bookstooge Opinionator.  Admit it, you probably thought those talking heads on tv were just well informed, intelligent people. But nope, it is all thanks to our wonderful program.

To end this most beneficial of posts, if someone you love, or perhaps even yourself, might suffer, in the slightest, from that most dreaded ailment of Narcissism, it’s ok. We are here to solve your problems and get you back on track of Being Right, All the Time! (trademark pending)

 

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Orbus (Polity: Spatterjay #3) ★★★★½

orbus (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
Orbus
Series: Polity: Spatterjay #3
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Captain Orbus is now captain of a Space freighter instead of a sailing ship on Spatterjay. He’s trying to reform himself from the masochistic brute he was before. Unfortunately, he’s rather bored, as the ship AI Gurnard, pretty much does everything. Then they are hired by a reif to recover a prador exoskeleton from the Graveyard, an area in space that acts as a buffer between the Polity and the Kingdom of the Prador. Orbus uncovers a lot of dirty dealing and the fact that Oberon, King of the Prador, is actually infected with the Spatterjay virus and has been for centuries. The wardrone Sniper and submind Thirteen hook up with Orbus and Gurnard to get this info to the Polity so the AI’s can use it.

At the same time, Vrell, a prador who survived on Spatterjay and worked his way offplanet, has taken over a Prador warvessel. He too realizes the King is mutated and that this knowledge will kill him. Vrell is faced with fighting and losing to the Prador, running to the Polity and possibly being killed out of hand for his actions in escaping Spatterjay or running away into unknown space. Vrell is also infected and his mutating brain suggests hiding out in the Graveyard. He takes his ship, and reprogrammed Kings Guards, who are also mutated Prador, into the graveyard. This leads him into conflict with the Golgoloth.

The Golgoloth is a Prador that is over 1000 years old and has kept itself alive by growing replacements for itself (as it is both male and female) with its children. It was the kingmaker for the 1st and 2nd Prador Kingdom and fled to the Graveyard when Oberon took power. Through the centuries Oberon has approached the Golgoloth to return to the Kingdom to work for him and the Golgoloth has always refused. Now, with his secret about to be revealed, Oberon forces the issue with the Golgoloth and tells it it is either it or Vrell.

The conflict between Vrell and the Golgoloth suck in the crew of the Gurnard. It also places incredible strain on Vrell’s resources, which reveals a hidden genetic code in the Spatterjay virus. This genetic material turns out to be Jain in nature and is a squad of Jain Soldiers. The Jain are resurrected and it takes everyone, including Oberon and his dreadnaughts, to destroy them. In the end, Oberon sacrifices himself to gain crucial knowledge about the Jain and passes it on to his successor, Vrell.

The Jain are destroyed, the Golgoloth gets its punishment at the hand of King Vrell, Orbus realizes his desire for action isn’t crazy, the Prador Kingdom is in upheaval and the Polity can breathe easier for a few decades.

 

My Thoughts:

In all honesty, my review from 2011 still sums up my thoughts. Awesome violence between super powered beings (whether of mind or body or both) and we get Jain soldiers. I had completely forgotten they were introduced here. It is good to be reminded of them, since Asher’s latest series is called Rise of the Jain and the first book is titled The Soldier. After this book, I’m totally ready for that.

I do have to admit that I don’t understand the reason for the title. Captain Orbus plays as big a part as Sniper but nothing compared to Vrell, the Golgoloth or even Oberon at the end. He’s the human connector between us the readers and the various factions in the book (Polity AI’s, alien Prador, even the world of Spatterjay) but I didn’t find him integral to the story.

The reason for this not getting bumped up to a full five stars is the tech descriptions that is a regular weakness of Asher’s. He just can’t resist writing about gadget X, Y and Z doing A,B and C and then being totally obliterated by O,F and U. It’s like gun porn, but on a larger level. Tech porn maybe? Whatever you want to call it, it bores me, even more than scenary descriptions would.

I think that Orbus is probably the most violent of the whole Spatterjay trilogy and the Spatterjay trilogy is the most violent, to date, of his Polity books. Be aware of that when diving into these books. Mutated Prador are even worse than a Hooder on a ship of reifications!

★★★★½

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