Tag: Titan Books (page 1 of 13)

Invasion!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Luke Rhinehart’s New Novel!

Aliens have come to Earth and they’re here to play! Seriously, just play. Well, not seriously at all, but weird and funny in this new novel from Titan Books by author Luke Rhinehart where in fuzzy – shape shifting aliens from another dimension have come to Earth to change human attitudes towards money, power, sex, and everything else through the art of fun and play. The book is collection of fictional narratives most of which surround one alien (Louie) and his adoptive family, The Morton’s. Louie, and a few thousand of his fellow FF’s (funny fish), hop into of all sorts of trouble with the establishment until they are eventually declared a national threat and labeled as terrorists. Hilarity ensues. Here’s the books proper synopsis before the mostly half thought review:


It’s pretty weird. That’s what old codger Billy Morton thinks when “Louie” lands in his fishing boat and follows him home. He, his wife and two boys come quickly to love this playful alien, but when “Louie” starts using their computer to hack into government and corporate accounts, learn all that the NSA knows, and steal millions from banks to give to others, they realize that Louie and his friends mean trouble. The life of Billy and his family begins a roller-coaster ride of fame, fortune, jail, death, resurrection, and a distinguished ranking high on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” List.

When people (readers) go into book stores, they are going to find Luke Rhinehart’s Invasion in the science fiction/fantasy section of the store. Which isn’t where the book should be. The book is more of a political satire that uses aliens to tell readers of our own political and social errors. So, yeah there are aliens in the book, but this novel is about as much science fiction as Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five is about time travel. Though like Slaughterhouse Five, Invasion is chuck full of satirical intelligent humor.

Although I did enjoy the satire, and I agree with most of the authors sentiment toward our ruling political parties, I thought the book was way too long and often redundant. Also, many of the chapters that were supposed to be written by different characters often read similar (the Billy Morton chapters being the exception) and had a very “preachy” quality. It’s like the novel had a weird decision making problem of either being a funny satire, or going full sci-fi with its weird dimension hopping aliens. All of that aside; I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers. Part of me hopes this’ll be read by others who will then go out and end evil things like private prisons, the war and drugs, and Disney’s control of Star Wars, but I mostly think the book is above the heads of our current generation of bearded-man bun sporting hipsters, that already have a solid handle on blowing off the real world for play.

You can find your own copy of Invasion in book stores now or get a copy online at Titanbooks.com

Cheers!

The Age of Treachery!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review!

Okay, I’ve been trying to get this review done for about two weeks, but life just keeps getting in the way. So, I’m just going to start typing, and hopefully somewhere in the blathering that follows will at least pieces of a meaningful review. Here goes…

Gavin Scott’s Age of Treachery is an extremely entertaining suspense novel set in post World War II London. The story follows history professor Duncan Forrester, who has to prove that a friend did not commit the murder of a rival colleague in his history department. Trying to prove who murdered David Lyall is really tough though, because every one hated the man. Seeking the murderer takes Forrester across all of northern Europe and to some pretty fantastic encounters with some of the 20th century’s best fiction writers!

Usually, I don’t pick up mystery novels. So, I am a little grateful to Titan Books for introducing me to the genre and getting me this book to review. It kind of made up (a bit) for all the schlock entertainment flooding our televisions and movie theaters these days, and shows what a true art writing can be. I don’t know how a person even starts to write a mystery, but (by what ever method) Scott created a suspense filled story that was also thrilling and fun to read. The book takes a deep dive into post world war II history, and keeps a very “English/Sherlock Holmes” manner in its narrative. Which added a lot of charm to the story. I don’t think this will go down as one of the best mystery novels ever, but it definitely deserves a lot of credit for its unique mystery and incredible use of historical events (and literary assets like J.R.R. Tolkien) of the time. This is honestly one of the few novels where I don’t have any criticism after having read it. It was an intriguing, memorable, page turner. I was so into the book that I finished it in two days and I’m looking forward to future adventures of Duncan Forrester.

The Age of Treachery is available in all major book stores or you can get your copy online at Titanbooks.com!

It is the winter of 1946, and after years of war, ex-Special Operations Executive agent Duncan Forrester is back at his Oxford college as a junior Ancient History Fellow. But his peace is shattered when a hated colleague is found dead: stabbed and pushed from an upper window.
One of Forrester’s closest friends is arrested for the murder, but Forrester is not convinced of his guilt; the dead man had many enemies, and there are rumours that he was in possession of a mysterious Viking manuscript. A manuscript that may have been owned by a German spy…
Travelling from Oxford to bombed-out Berlin and to the fjords of Norway in his search for the truth, Forrester must use all his wartime skills to find the true killer.

Duskfall

Duskfall

An Atomic Moo Book Review of Christopher Husberg’s New Novel!

Okay El Moochadoes, I just finished reading Duskfall (Titan Books, 2016) by author Christopher Husberg, and… I dug it. So get in a mode for magic and fantasy as I review a book about folksy elves, religious zealots, and an amnesiac pulled from icy waters only to start kicking ass across a whole continent. No, not Bourne.

So, I was only half joking about that “Bourne” comment. The book follows three main characters and begins with Knot, a man found floating in an icy lake with a few arrows sticking out of him. Knot has no memory of his past life, and is named “knot” by the elves that found him, because of his remarkable ability to… tie knots. The elves of this story have fallen on hard times, and are considered by most to be second class citizens, but Knot lives with them for awhile and even agrees to marry the daughter (Winter) of the elf that found him, which would have been great if strange men hadn’t shown up on the wedding day and started to kill everyone. During this attack Knot shows that he can do much more than tie knots, by quickly killing the attackers, and then just as quick, abandons his new elf-wife to go figure out why he’s so good at killing. When Winter learns of his leaving, she tries to follow, but on her journey she also learns she can do a type of magic, but only at the cost of a horrible addiction. Meanwhile, in another city a priestess learns that her sister has discovered some ancient scriptures and has been communicating with their goddess. Which would be all good and well, if that didn’t mean a holy inquisition wasn’t about to hit her and her family full in the face. The story follows from there and eventually brings the three main characters together on an adventure that will bring them all face to face with old gods and dark daemons! Which I think is a demon or maybe a goth kid with shitty parents… I don’t know.

For the most part I think Husberg did a great job of creating a new fantasy world. His spin on elves (called Tiellan’s) as a down trodden, and forgot folk was unique. I also really enjoyed his new take on magic as special mental abilities, and I think Winter’s story, of learning to use this magic while fighting addiction, were my favorite parts of the book. Husberg did a wonderful job a creating a dark, and cold, vibe for this story, and because of this the story had a feeling (for me at least) of a world where magic was sort of dying out, but you could still trip over the odd vampire every now and again. Then the weird stuff happens with Jane and Cinzia, and POW! World chuck full of magic again. Oh, yeah. About the vampire; I should also mention that I enjoyed the character of Astrid. As far as Draculias go, she’s pretty cool.

The only criticisms I have for this story (just two) are minor ones. First: I felt Knots back story, when revealed, was a little convoluted. I’m trying not to spoil much here, but I think he would’ve been a better character without the amnesia and later reveal of what makes Knot a Knot. I can’t say what it takes to make a believable character in fiction, but in a lot of these stories I read it seems (to me) like writers make way too many excuses to explain why their protagonist is an ultimate bad ass, and also a heck of a good guy. I think a vivid memory, and free will, would’ve made a much better hero for this story.

The other criticism is more of personal one, and though I’m totally going to muck it up, I still kind of wanted to explain why it soured this book for me a bit. At a certain point in this story I suspected the author was LDS (Mormon), and although his being religious doesn’t bug me, having his religion pop in the story kind of does. I was raised in an LDS family, and I even did my missionary work in Brazil. Shortly after which I left the church. I’ve spent the better part of twenty years getting as far away from that religion (or any) as I can, so having it swing around again (even in the form of fantasy story) kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, brain. Anyways; I don’t think these elements would hurt the story for any other reader, and it shouldn’t, but… eh, kind of took me out of the story, and it was hard to get back into it after that. It also has me pondering my personal biases and how I’ll expect enjoyment from any off the shelf fantasy novel I’ll pick up, but how quickly I turn my nose up at stories that contain any of my own past/personal religious myths. Which means that since reading this fantasy story, I’ve been spending too much time in the dusty parts of my brain, and I don’t like that. Though, Husberg did do an amazingly progressive spin on the Joe Smith story, and using priestesses, goddesses, and a little inquisition, made for a better story than the crud I had to sit through in Sunday school.

All the same though, readers can find of copy of Duskfall at all major book stores now, or you can get your own copy online at Titanbooks.comM. Check out a complete synopsis below!

Cheers!


Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl. As he is nursed back to health by a local fisherman, two things become very clear: he has no idea who he is, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease.
The fisherman is a tiellan, a race which has long been oppressed and grown wary of humans. His daughter, Winter, is a seemingly quiet young woman, but behind her placid mask she has her demons. She is addicted to frostfire – a substance that both threatens to destroy her and simultaneously gives her phenomenal power.
A young priestess, Cinzia, hears the troubling news of an uprising in her native city of Navone. Absconding from the cloistered life that she has kept for the last seven years, she knows she must make the long journey home. The flames of rebellion threatening her church and all that she believes in are bad enough, but far worse is the knowledge that the heretic who sparked the fire is her own sister.
These three characters may have set out on different paths, but fate will bring them together on one thrilling and perilous adventure.

The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Andrew Cartmel’s New Novel!

Andrew Cartmel’s The Vinyl Detective almost abates my hatred for hipsters. Almost. I don’t think anyone can stop hating hipsters. It’s just too easy to despise those bearded, coffee obsessed, man bun toting, shit bags that clog our beach streets with Fiats and Vespa scooters, but somehow (weirdly) Cartmel crafted a story that makes a coffee chugging – vinyl obsessed – hipster kind of cool. With a solid mystery to boot! Wow.

Written in Dead Wax begins when the nameless vinyl detective (later nicknamed “Chef”) is hired to find a rare Jazz LP by a now defunct 1950’s publishing label. Up until this point, Chef has eeked out a living by scouring London’s charity shops (I’m guessing that’s either like a pawn shop or a 2nd hand store…?) for rare records to sell online, or add to his vast collection. Then one day he is contacted by a foreign company’s very beautiful representative, Nevada, to help track down an incredibly rare jazz album, Easy Come, Easy Go, but finding the record won’t be easy. There just happen to be a pair of murderous blonde athletes also hunting the album and then there’s the dark mystery hidden in the record it self!

The thing is, I really enjoyed this book. Cartmel did a wonderful job of making his characters (though still disgustingly hipster-ish) likable and fun. Chef is an excellent detective, in a sort of not being a detective kind of way. He’s the total underdog hero, and as a geeky outsider myself, I can’t help but root for the underdog. I think the stories unique way of unfolding a mystery is also what makes the book such a great read. Written in Dead Wax takes it’s readers deep into the world of music, and (even better for geeks) collecting. I honestly have no opinion on what sounds better, CD or LP, but I’ve got a closet full of vintage Star Wars figures. I could easily tell you about the backing card, year produced, or existing variants of any of the collectible action figures (not dolls!) safely sealed away in the many containers which are piled to the ceiling in my closet. I can even spot reproductions and cheap knock offs. I don’t know why, but reading about collectors, and a mystery that goes deep into their respective world, was really refreshing. I honestly think this is one of the best mystery stories since The Big Lebowski! And yes, that was a mystery too. In fact; I’m almost willing (grudgingly) to consider the likes of Chef and Tinkler as geeks. Almost. ‘just have to lose the cats and any opinion about coffee.new16oz-coffee-cup Seriously!? What grown man keeps cats and gives a shit about the taste of coffee!? Coffee should be black and burn just as hard going out at as it did going in! That’s it. Its there to get the job done. You drink it, stay awake, and lose a year or so of unwanted life expectancy. When I put a $1.29 of hard earned cash down on the counter for my 7-11 what ever brew, I need it to do its goddamn job of keeping me upright and lucid for the next few hours. Not brag about its “aroma”, or what part of India a child laborer had to pull it out of. Coffee should be burly, stalwart, and humble. Just like my women. ‘merica.

Anyways… I’m very much looking forward to the release of the next book (The Run-Out Groove), and even if Titan doesn’t send me a review copy I’ll probably go pick one up. Yeah, I’m willing to spend my own money on the next edition. That’s how much I enjoyed this. Below I posted a copy of The Vinyl Detectives official synopsis. However, visit Titanbooks.com to get a copy of your own.

Cheers!

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others.
Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client.
Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

Dead Letters!

DeadLetters

An Anthology of the Undelivered, The Missing, The Returned…

An Atomic Moo Book Review

The Dead Letter office is a real thing. According to Wikipedia (never a real source), the dead letter office is “is a facility within a postal system where un-deliverable mail is dealt with”. A lot of countries have dead letter offices, but I think the US is the only one to actually use the name. According to 99percentinvisible.com – over “90,000,000 items were marked undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) and entered the dead letter and parcel system.” This is all really cool, and (of course) it is also the prefect premise for dozens of stories the likes of which can be found in a new anthology from Titan Books! See how I brought that around. I think I’m good at this…

Anyways… Now out through Titan Books is a fantastic new collection of stories centered around the (mostly) sinister idea of unwanted mail! Okay… on the surface you wouldn’t think that was such a scary idea, but think about it: The wrong addressed letter, the misplaced package, that message that just disappeared, represent an idea of mystery. Opening a strangers mail is like a starting off point to the unknown! A possible leap into an unknown mystery! The shadowy secrets of your apartments former resident’s credit history suddenly laid bare! It’s possibly a goddamn ticket to the Twilight Zone, people!

Exploring the vast ocean possibly within 90 + million undelivered messages are eighteen writers (list below) who contribute their literary talents to this idea. Now I don’t want to give the idea that Dead Letters is all spooky horror stuff. The variety of stories cover everything from horror to mystery to the kind of mundane. One of my favorite stories in the book is actually one of the first stories and deals with a mysterious green envelope. Not necessarily an evil green letter (could be), but definitely a very bizarre green letter. Then other stories take you through painful personal histories or to mythical places. It’s this variety of ideas all based on the one premise that makes this book a fun read. There’s even an H.P. Lovecraft-esque story by Andrew Lane that reads incredibly spooky, and I think would have made Lovecraft proud. Overall, I really dug this book. Though, I thought it was weird every person in the story had a moral dilemma about opening a piece of lost mail (really? Not one guy/gal was like, “free shit!”), all of the stories take an unexpected journey and some of them are even kind of touching. I think this would be a much better book to read in the fall, closer to Halloween, but if you’re looking for an overall eerie vibe in your summer reading, then The Dead Letters would be a great place to start!

Dead Letters is available now in all major book stores, or you can get your copy online at Titanbooks.com. I posted the official synopsis below along with a complete list of contributing authors.

The Dead Letters Office: the final repository of the undelivered. Love missives unread, gifts unreceived, lost in postal limbo. Dead Letters: An Anthology features new stories from the masters of horror, fantasy and speculative fiction, each inspired by an inhabitant of the Dead Letters Office, including tales from Joanne Harris, China Miéville & Maria Dahvana Headley, Adam LG Nevill and Michael Marshall Smith.

Conrad Williams , Joanne Harris , Michael Marshall Smith , China Miéville , Nicholas Royle , Ramsey Campbell , Pat Cadigan , Nina Allan , Angela Slatter , Alison Moore , Kirsten Kaschock , Maria Dahvana Headley , Steven Hall , Lisa Tuttle , Muriel Gray , Claire Dean , Christopher Fowler , Adam LG Nevill , Andrew Lane

The Art & Making of Independence Day Resurgence!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review!

Way back in 1996, I was a handsome 19 year-old with a bright future. True, I would soon squander that future on many hours playing video games, and then going to school for a journalism degree, but in July of 1996 my friends and I had just gotten back from our 2nd SDCC and that night we jumped into line to see this fantastic new movie called Independence day! Which, despite a few cinematic foibles, was really fun! Big flying saucers come to Earth and blow everything up and it’s up to Brundle-fly, the Fresh Prince, and Lone Star to save our world! Epic. Yeah, ID4 has taken some criticism over the years, but since then we’ve seen giant piles of shit like Force Awakens, so… hindsight, right?

Anyways, the point is: ID4 was fun, and one of the best things about The Art & Making of Independence Day: Resurgence was remembering the good times of seeing giant alien frisbees laser the shit out of all our major cities.04_independence_day_bluray True, I have not yet seen the new movie. Not because of any negative reviews or anything like that. It’s just that I’m very broke right now, and getting over a nasty flu. I didn’t want to go to the movies, throw up, and have people thinking I was critiquing the movie. However, I can totally throw up from home, and write a critique on the official companion. Groovy.

Continue reading

The Nice Guys

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of the official movie novel!


Titan Books sent me a review copy of The Nice Guys, and I really wanted to get the review done before this film hit theaters. However, at the time I was slammed with work stuff, and getting us ready for our first comic book convention. So, it was really cool when my twin brother (Chudd) said that he would read the book and write the review. Awesome, I thought. Then some time passed, and no review. Then more time passed, and still no review. Then way too much time passed and I asked Chudd about the book. “Oh yeah,” he said. “It was good.” “Okay,” I said. “Can you put that in writing?” An hour later I came back to my desk where I found a very “abused” paperback and a piece of paper that read: “it was good.”


Fuck.

So, I started to read the book, but the novel was warped and distorted. So, being a little curious I asked Chudd what had happened. “Oh yeah. It got wet,” he said.
“Did you drop in the sink,” I asked.
“No, just the toilet.”

Doubledamitfuck… So, yeah, it took awhile, but here’s my review:

The thing is, Chudd was right. This book was good. Really good. Written by Charles Ardai, The Nice Guys is a fun mystery set in 1970’s Los Angeles about two, somewhat less than bright, men on the trail of a missing girl. The story begins with Holland March. He’s a private investigator, and former cop, who is initially hired to find out if a porn star, who has been recently killed in a car accident, was actually still alive.The_Nice_Guys_square_grande March discovers that a girl named Amelia is how involved, but his investigation is cut short when Amelia hires professional thug, Jackson Healy, to beat up March and stop his snooping around. Then Amelia disappears and March and Healy go looking through a world of corrupt politicians, auto companies, and porn films, to find the missing girl.

If you haven’t already seen the movie, then go pick this book up. It’s fun, energetic, and full of likable characters all set in groovy 1970’s detective story. This is like Maltese Falcon with a pulse… and with somewhat less intelligent P.I.’s. Both the characters of March and Healy are so off the beaten path that their some what clueless way of getting things done kind of reminded me of the Big Lebowski. The mismatch pair bumble their way through the investigation and encounter some very “laugh out loud” moments. Which doesn’t often happen with a book. I don’t really have a lot of negative stuff to say about this story. It did it’s job and kept me entertained. If anything, I’m more stoked to see the movie now to see how it all plays out in real(-ish) life. Definitely add this one to your summer reading list and enjoy the ride. Also, since reading this book I’ve been listening to a steady stream of Earth Wind & Fire and KC and the Sunshine Band. groov’n.

The Good Guys can be found at all major book stores or you can get your own copy online at Titanbooks.com. Check out the official synopsis and trailer for the movie below!

The official novelization of the upcoming comedic detective thriller, The Nice Guys, starring Oscar Award Winner Russell Crowe, Oscar Award Nominee Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, and Oscar Award Winner Kim Basinger.

The film takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl (Margaret Qualley) and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.

THE NICE GUYS Trailer Red Band 2016 (NSFW)

Warcraft: Durotan

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of the Official Movie Prequel

I play a lot of WoW. Probably too much, but the point is, I’m a fan and I think it’s pretty awesome they just released of a Warcaft movie. I also think it’s pretty awesome that I get to review the official Prequel novel: Durotan! Damn. I love being a geek blogger.

Anyways, Durotan (named for the principal character and released by Titan Books) takes place before the first Warcarft game. Not the MMORPG, but the very first Warcarft. Which, I really want to play again – having read this book. The world of Draenor is falling apart. Literally, not figuratively._86564582_warcraft In these last days of a dying world, Durotan has taken over as chief of the Frostwolf clan of orcs, and now it’s up to him to not only lead his tribe, but save them from annihilation. Adding to his problems is the corruption of the spirits, murderous other orcs, and a creepy green orc named Gul’dan. Here’s the official synopsis:

In the world of Draenor, the strong and fiercely independent Frostwolf Clan are faced with increasingly harsh winters and thinning herds. When Gul’dan, a mysterious outsider, arrives in Frostfire Ridge offering word of new hunting lands, Durotan, the Clan’s chieftain, must make an impossible decision: Abandon the territory, pride and traditions of his people, or lead them into the unknown.

Part of me really enjoyed this novel. I’ve played WoW since 2008 (just about when Wrath of the Lich King released), but I never got into the lore of the story. Reading about the orcs, the Draenor (the blue space goats), and Gul’dan’s origin was interesting. In a way, it also covered the birth of Shamanism in the game, as well as Warlocks, and why the orcs game to Azeroth. However, I don’t see anyone who isn’t a Warcraft fan enjoying this book. The story is very “noble savage” and I think does a bad job of mixing the role of an honorable warrior with the idea of a blood thirsty killer. It’s like reading Kilgon fan fiction, but with talking blue space goats. Okay, that actually does sound better, but I still don’t like the idea of “everyone’s a good guy.” I think this story would have been a better read if it had just backed off the nobility and honor shtick. Let ’em be bad guys! Other than that one criticism, I did enjoy this book, and it even got me to roll a Shaman (I named him Ood. He’s a Tauren. Since starting Atomic Moo, I tend to play a lot of cow characters) which I’m having fun with. So, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, Durotan is actually a good introduction to Warcarft and something I think WoW fans will enjoy.

You can get you’re own copy of Warcarft: Durotan at book stores everywhere, or order your copy online at Titanbooks.com. For the Horde!

Arrow: Vengeance!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review

Okay El Moochadores, Titan Books recently released a new paperback novel that reveals the coming together of some of Oliver Queen’s most dangerous adversaries! Arrow: Vengeance, by Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo, tells readers how Slade Wilson escapes Lian Yu to eventually recruit Isabel Rochev and Brother Blood in his quest to destroy the (Green) Arrow! Cue exciting music and read the official synopsis below!

Also a survivor of Lian Yu, Slade Wilson’s ultimate goal is Oliver’s doom, and he recruits Isabel Rochev, whose hatred for the Queens knows no bounds. Brother Blood, while seeking to do what is right, also finds himself inextricably tangled in Wilson’s machinations.

This is the UNTOLD story behind the rise and fall of the Arrow.

Now the Review!

I’m a fan of Green Arrow comics, and I picked up my first issue of Longbow Hunters (by Mike Grell) in the late 80’s. Green Arrow is very much my favorite comic book character, and a few years back I was really excited that they were going to make a television show about GA! 250px-Green_Arrow_The_Longbow_HuntersThen I learned they were calling it “Arrow.” Okay, that sucked, but I was still on board! To me it seemed like nobody else knew abut Oliver Queen and what a cool character he was. Then the CW started rolling out episodes, and then I remembered how much I hate TV. Their version of GA, just isn’t… right. To me it seemed like hack. As if they were taking the easiest possible route. Almost like the CW producers were trying to mix Christopher Nolan’s Batman with David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider. Not all was bad though. There were parts of the show I did enjoy. I liked the supporting cast, and if I was a little more motivated (less lazy?), I would totally be stocking
Emily Rickards right now. Also, seeing John Barrowman as Merlyn, was kind of cool, but overall the show seemed to be full of overly dramatized plot lines, pointless action (every one’s a ninja!), and no blond goatee. WTFuck CW?

Okay, so now your wondering why I’m reviewing the show and not the book (Arrow: Vengeance) based on the show, but I am! Sort of… To their credit, the authors wrote a novel that verbally mirrors not only the major events of the first couple of seasons, but also “feel” of the television show, but with way less of a point.4329485-tumblr_miciq8qobn1r2dejoo3_1280 Any one who has already seen the show already knows what happens. This book doesn’t reveal too much more that some simple exposition on the CW series already revealed, and what is added is kind of hockey. In particular, I found Slade Wilson’s part of the story kind of annoying. We already know from the TV show that he’s an ultimate badass who gets a boost from the mirakuru, who hates Oliver Queen, but let’s murder his family too and for no reason have him blame GA!

I understand that fans of the show (and I guess that really doesn’t include me any more) will love this book because it tells how Slade got off the island, and later meets up with Isabel Rochev, but to me the story was predictable, and (worst) of no consequence to any of the main characters. Avoid the hack!

You can get your own copy of Arrow: Vengeance at all major book stores, or online at Titan Books!

The Angel of Highgate

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Vaughn Entwistle’s New Novel

This summer I turn 40. Four decades. Most of them kind of awful. Now that I’m about to hit the big Four Zero all I think about is death. Well, my death. I can’t help it! I’m probably more or less half way there and that scares the hell out of me! Hell, most cavemen only lived into their thirties! I’m a very old caveman, and there’s so much I haven’t done! I’ve only hit on about twenty strippers in my life. Do you know how many strippers are out there!? And, Thai food! I’ve never ate it! What if it’s awesome!? Oh, and I’ve never eaten Thai food off a stripper! Ye Gods, there so much I haven’t done! I’m not ready to die!!! So, picking up a novel that has a fascination with death, dying, and the dead, probably wasn’t smart.

Anyways, my own mortality aside: Titan Books recently published a thrilling new novel from Vaughn Entwistle (cool last name) that is very much on the macabre side of 19th century London. The Angel of Highgate begins with Lord Geoffrey Thraxton, a sort of outlandish rogue, who’s self indulgent behavior has given him a bad reputation in elite English society. Thraxton is obsessed with death, and one evening while hanging around a cemetery he sees a specter that changes his life! Here’s the official synopsis:

After surviving a pistol duel, Thraxton boasts his contempt for death and insults the attending physician. It is a mistake he will regret, for Silas Garretteis a deranged sociopath and chloroform-addict whose mind was broken on the battlefields of Crimea. When Thraxton falls in love with a mysterious woman who haunts Highgate Cemetery by night, he unwittingly provides the murderous doctor with the perfect means to punish a man with no fear of death.

The Angel of Highgate did an excellent job of recreating 19th century macabre. This book is as thrilling as any horror fiction you could get from Poe or Shelly two centuries ago. Lord Thraxton is enough of a young, egocentric, cad to be both enjoyable and hated at the same time. I also really enjoyed the villains in this story. Good bad guys are hard to come by, and Entwistle did a masterful job of writing the antagonists for this novel. Doctor Garrette, and Morecai Fowler, are a great combination of ruthless and sinister for a more adult oriented story. If I had to give a criticism of this book it would be that I wish it had kept up with the “spookiness” that was present in the first half of the novel. Though the story remained dark and eerie, it became much more of an adventure story and pulled away from the supernatural tone that was set up by moments like the seance in chapter twelve. That didn’t ruin the book for me, I was just hoping for a bit more of a ghost story after the seance, is all.

So, if you’re young and you’ve got a whole life a head of you, yeah, pick this novel up and give it a read. Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go find a happy stripper that’ll let me slurp Pad Thai off her naked body. I might not get to do it tomorrow!!!

The Angel of Highgate is for sale in all major bookstores, or you can get your copy online from Titan Books!

Cheers!

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