Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth

Suicide Squad - Vol. 1 - Kicked in the Teeth

Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth
Author: Adam Glass (Author), Federico Dallocchio (Illustrator), Clayton Henry (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★★

So, there are lovers and haters of the Suicide Squad movie. In the movie, Harley Quinn is depicted as this strong, independent woman. However, for those of you comic book nerdies out there, we know that to be entirely false. It just annoys me that so much is changed to fit a movie when the comic clearly makes much more sense. Ugh!

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

suicide_squad_0023Supervillains hired by an undercover government organization as an agreement to serve less time. Injected by a nanite bomb to coerce cooperation, we find Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and more on their new mission. A zombie virus breakout is brewing and the Suicide Squad is dispatched to find a certain lady and her “package”. This package is the cure for the dreaded zombie virus.

SuicideSquad21

Along the way, Harley Quinn finds out about the death of her “Puddin'”, aka The Joker, and goes off on her own to find his face that was removed as a sign of his death. With her Harley gang emulating her, the Suicide Squad finds themselves in a struggle to defeat the posers before the detonator of the implanted bombs runs out. 

suicide-squad-1-kicked-in-the-teeth-2

We find ourselves left with the supposed death of one of our precious Suicide Squad members. Is that person really dead? Where is the Joker’s body? What happened with Yo-Yo after saying he was alive in King Shark? Will the Squad survive the virus and the Harley Quinn look-alikes? What happens next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

Dark Days: The Road to Metal by Scott Snyder

Title: Dark Days: The Road to Metal
Author: Scott Snyder (Author), James Tynion IV, Jim Lee (Illustrator), Andy Kubert (Illustrator), John Romita Jr. (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Batman and the rest of the Justice League (Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, etc.) are back at it again in this new DC Epic! 

Batman is being sketchy. So what exactly is his secret? Is it war or something else?

The beginning of the comic starts with a new theory that Batman is up to something. But what could it be? As Batman goes on his journeys, we begin to discover the truth behind his beginnings. But how is it all related to the other characters? Carter, aka Hawkman, recounts this brief history before one of his premeditated deaths. 

The Joker is after a precious metal that dates well back into the history of Earth. By delving back into the history of the bat (and other symbols…one including our Hawk friends…could this be how the rivalry came about?), we see the powers of this precious resource. So how can it be obtained now? Can it be manufactured or is it indigenous? Will Batman be able to find the roots to this mystery before the Joker and his gang?

One thing that I found unique and haven’t seen in any of the other comics I’ve read before (I’m not super experienced) is that there are references to other comics throughout, which help the audience gear up for some big event that is coming next. 

As usual, probably the best thing about comics is the artwork. This rings true to this comic. Bringing in the older issues really makes it unique when describing the current event and gives the reader a background to the story, especially if they haven’t read the historical issue in the past. 

Not having read some of the previous comics, I can see how this may be a little confusing as a standalone and to someone only just beginning their journey into comics.

The ending…ah! For those of you who know me, you know I love my Gotham villains. And of course, my favorite, the Joker is back at it in this issue! Mind blown of how I think it will all come together in the next issues. Hello conspiracy theory!

Can Batman exist without Joker? What will end up happening to Batman? How are all of the other heroes related? We will have to read the other comics to find out!

The expected publication date is May 22, 2018.

 

Book Reviews

Twisted Traffick (Twisted Trilogy #2) by Geza Tatrallyay

Twisted TraffickTitle: Twisted Traffick (Twisted Trilogy #2)
Author: Geza Tatrallyay
Rating: ★★★★

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Twisted Traffick is the second book in the “Twisted” trilogy. We find ourselves back at it with Greg Martens, the author, and now wife, Anne Rossiter. Anne is called back to assist her former Interpol boss when her Russian friend, Julia Saparova, also known as Adam Kallay’s former stripper girlfriend, is missing. 

Generally speaking, the second novel in a trilogy holds a lot of filler. It gears us up for the final installment. This, however, was not the case in Twisted Traffick. And if anything, it makes it a little better of a read due to the fact that the readers now know most of the main characters. 

Delving back into the uranium heist business, we find ourselves with Hetzel, Polyakov, and all of their friends once again. This time… in the human trafficking industry. In fact, these same men have taken Julia. But not only her, the criminals are targeting the families of parents holding jobs at the Mayak Corporation, or those similar, where uranium contamination was at an all-time high. These parents were provided with a story that these horrible  men would find jobs and a better life for their children. So, who wouldn’t want to do that for their own children?! Little did they know, their children (conveniently all females were accepted into the program) were sent into sex trafficking unbeknownst. I can’t even to begin the fathom the guilt that the girls’ parents felt.

This was anything but a filler story. It was a story within itself and could definitely be read as a standalone for someone not having read the first story. I think that is the key to any good novel. I’m curious as to what the last novel in the trilogy holds. Let’s all hope Julia finds a nice guy, right?! She seems to have the worst luck!

Tatrallyay not only provides us with the history and reality of life in post-Soviet Russia, but with an entertaining back story of how our foes came to be and how they are connected with some of our main characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Romance doesn’t play a major role in the story. The characters are realistic and well-described. I think the topic is one that more people should know about. Fortunately, for the reader, it was not too graphic, but enough to understand the implications that people suffered from these horrible monsters. A great read for someone who is looking for a little more substance than those who mainly resort to fiction!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geza

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an epée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Geza’s professional experience has included government, international organizations, finance and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has been semi-retired, managing investments mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family and his writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, a green card holder with an American wife, a daughter living in San Francisco and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between Barnard, Vermont, and San Francisco.

The third book in Geza’s ‘Twisted’ trilogy, TWISTED FATES, will be coming out in June. Besides the three “Twisted’ thrillers, Geza has published an e-thriller, ARCTIC MELTDOWN, and has another international political thriller, THE RAINBOW VIINTNER, under contract and due to be published later this year.

Besides his novels, Geza had had two memoirs published: FOR THR CHILDREN, the true story of his family’s harrowing escape from Stalinist Hungary during the Revolution in 1956, and THE EXPO AFFAIR, the story of three Czechoslovak girls he tried to help defect to Canada at EXPO 70 the world’s fair in Osaka, Japan in 1970.

Geza’s poems have been published in journals and two of his poetry collections – CELLO’S TEARS and SIGHS AND MURMURS – were published by P.R.A. Publishing. You can find more out about all these books at www.gezatatrallyay.com.

Book Reviews

Twisted Reasons (Twisted Trilogy #1) by Geza Tatrallyay

Twisted ReasonsTitle: Twisted Reasons (Twisted Trilogy #1)
Author: Geza Tatrallyay
Rating: ★★★★

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Greg Martens and Adam Kallay were childhood friends. After years of not seeing each other and their careers taking them separate ways, they decide to reunite in Vienna to research the histories of their ancestors. But, was that really the main motive behind the reunion? Greg, after recently going through a divorce, is invited to speak at the Austrian English Literary Society. Adam had just been appointed Deputy Direction of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security at the International Atomic Energy Agency. While not prominent reason behind their reunion, Greg and Adam are drawn to a HEU (highly enriched uranium) heist. Will they bring the perpetrators to justice or will they assist in stealing this valuable and expensive commodity?

Once in Vienna, crime novelist, Greg Martens, finds out that his best friend, Adam, is presumed dead by a hit-and-run. Along his journey to provide justice to Adam and track the disappearance of enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb, Greg makes the acquaintance of Anne Rossiter, an Interpol agent. Business quickly turns into something more. 

Greg decides to get revenge for his friend’s death and attempts to go after the perpetrators alone. However, things are not as these seem. Not everyone is as they appear and secrets are learned. 

What was really nice about this novel was the history incorporated throughout, as well as, bringing attention to issues in this part of the world that we don’t always hear about in the grand scheme of things, especially where much larger events took place. Radiation, while at the time, didn’t seem to be an issue, affected the health of those working with the commodity. Cancer and many other diseases develop from this exposure. In even just a few days, some people can die from the radiation, and that is exactly what happened in the Soviet Union. However, with the war going on, attention isn’t brought to these people who were suffering. 

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. For those of you who know me, I’m not always a fan of romance in these types of books, but I understand everyone else’s needs when it comes to love being included in novels. The “Anne missed Greg” and “Greg missed Anne”s included at the end of some chapters was a little much and not realistic to me, but that was probably my biggest complaint of the whole novel. The only other issue I could see being an issue for readers is keeping the characters straight in the beginning of the novel. I think, for me, this is due to the foreign names (which totally make sense!), but after reading more, they quickly become recognized.

Will Greg help with the heist in order to stay alive? What really happened to his best friend, Adam? Is there romance between Greg and Anne? What will happen with enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geza

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an epée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Geza’s professional experience has included government, international organizations, finance and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has been semi-retired, managing investments mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family and his writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, a green card holder with an American wife, a daughter living in San Francisco and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between Barnard, Vermont, and San Francisco.

The third book in Geza’s ‘Twisted’ trilogy, TWISTED FATES, will be coming out in June. Besides the three “Twisted’ thrillers, Geza has published an e-thriller, ARCTIC MELTDOWN, and has another international political thriller, THE RAINBOW VIINTNER, under contract and due to be published later this year.

Besides his novels, Geza had had two memoirs published: FOR THR CHILDREN, the true story of his family’s harrowing escape from Stalinist Hungary during the Revolution in 1956, and THE EXPO AFFAIR, the story of three Czechoslovak girls he tried to help defect to Canada at EXPO 70 the world’s fair in Osaka, Japan in 1970.

Geza’s poems have been published in journals and two of his poetry collections – CELLO’S TEARS and SIGHS AND MURMURS – were published by P.R.A. Publishing. You can find more out about all these books at www.gezatatrallyay.com.

Book Reviews

War of the Staffs (War of the Staffs, #1) by Steve Stephenson & K.M. Tedrick

War of the StaffsTitle: War of the Staffs (War of the Staffs, #1)
Author: Steve Stephenson & K.M. Tedrick
Rating: ★★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone out there love Lord of the Rings? If so, this is the book for you. Wizards, elves, dwarves, humans, orcs, dragons, and (a new twist)…vampires!

As legend goes, there existed siblings, one good and one evil. Adaman, the good god died at the hands of Adois, the evil goddess. Many years later, Adois sends a powerful, vampiric wizard, Taza, to bring evil upon a new planet. The only way to defeat Taza, along with the influence of Adois, is to assemble the two pieces of Ancient Staff of Adaman. Prophecy states that a young Prince may have the power to overthrow Taza and the grueling influence of Adois.

 

So, I feel like the easiest way for me to review this novel is to compare it to Lord of the Rings when describing the protagonists:

  • TarquinHe is our youngest little prince of Partha who happens to be our focal point of the prophecy. Raised to be an Elven diplomat since birth, Tarquin disappoints his father when deciding to join the armed forces of the Borderers, which happens to consist mainly of dwarves. As our prince climbs up the ranks, he is then tasked with leading a unit into the Underground to recover a Dwarven city, Brackas, lost to the evil while assisting Celedant uncover ones of the missing pieces of Adaman’s staff. To me, he will one day be like my beloved Aragorn.
  • CeledantComparable to Gandalf, he is there when you need him and has the potential to do more harm, but stands by as the others perform the greater deeds. Finding it his duty to restore the balance between good and evil, he is tasked with reuniting the two parts of the Staff of Adaman. One thing that surpasses Gandalf is his relationship with his dragon!
  • MorgannaIllanni rebel, her father put a warrant out for her head after she showed her disgust with her family being turned into vampires. Approached by her long-time friend, Kalsti, she decides to help the rebels free the human slaves. Barely surviving a critical injury, Dolgar, the god of the dwarves and healer, saves Morganna and provides her with the power to heal. With her new power, she heals Tarquin after a deadly blow when the two first meet. 
  • TazaThe War of the Staffs version of Saruman…except for a vampire. With his ultimate goal being of working for Adois (through her staff) to bring evil upon Muiria, he has turned all of the dark elves into vampires to do his bidding. 

 

Let me just say, there has to be another book! I need to know how Celedant and the others recover the last piece of the Staff of Adaman! Please, please, bring some more dragon action! And, while there wasn’t any romance in this novel (what a relief!), I’m feeling some sexual tension between Tarquin and Morganna (didn’t see that coming since the beginning of the novel…not!). Besides for a few grammatical errors and the beginning being confusing with keeping the characters straight, this was a great read that was even-paced, exhilarating, and sucked you into the story.

The expected publication date is July 16, 2018.

Book Reviews

La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday by Trina McNeilly

La La LovelyTitle: La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday
Author: Trina McNeilly
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start off by saying that I completely adore this cover (smiley face with heart eyes). Originally, when I was granted this request, there was no cover picture yet. So props to an amazing cover!

My plan wasn’t to read this novel until a little later on. Out of curiosity, I checked my Aldiko app and realized I only had three days left on my bookshelf!!

Every hardship, each negative circumstance, and all brokenness is an opportunity to find more of God. Which, in turn, means to find more beauty.

I have a tattoo on my ribs with a similar quote: “We’ll wear our scars like medals of hope”. I truly believe that everything does happen for a reason, both the good and the bad. Every experience in life makes us who we are. Even though, at times, it can be rough, it leads us toward the right path in our lives.

With every ending, God is authoring a beginning. Our current failures are being written into future opportunities.

This is great! People generally view endings as a bad thing. Really, it is the start of something great. This made me excited! I, for one, have a hard time imagining failures as a good thing. However, our failures bring us to the next great experience in our lives. How amazing!

You must get lost before you can be found.

I truly believe that in order to get closer to God, we need that one terrible experience to get that “Aha!” moment and get back on the right path. It’s hard to realize what we truly need when life goes smoothly. When it is difficult, that is when we realize exactly what we need to do in order to change it for the better.

The only person I had been battling was me.

I know, I am my biggest critic. I get so hard on myself with every mistake I make, and trust me, I never forget it! I know, for me, the hardest person to forgive is myself. I’m still trying to forgive myself for something I did (not even that bad) years ago.

I thought I wanted to run, but what I really wanted, what I’ve always wanted, was to be found.

Don’t we all? I know, especially in relationships, what I want most is for someone to be there…no matter how hard I push. At times, things are rough and it’s easier to run away, however, sticking through it and figuring it out provides so many more benefits that running and not resolving an issue.

The soul of a home isn’t determined by how it is decorated; it is determined by who and what reside in it.

I adore this quote. This is exactly how I feel about life. Spending time with those who mean something to you can be the greatest experience, even if it is just sitting on the couch and watching a movie. People (and pets) really make a home, not the material items inside.

This was exactly the read I needed. I’ve been feeling a little off lately and needed something to pick me back up! This novel did it for me!

The expected publication date is April 10, 2018.

Book Reviews

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley

The BelovedsTitle: The Beloveds
Author: Maureen Lindley
Rating: ★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What is a Beloved? A Beloved is someone who has everything come to him/her easily, whether it be beauty, wealth, good fortune, or likability. In this story, Gloria, Elizabeth’s sister seems to be just this. Not only does Elizabeth’s lover (also a Beloved) fall for her, but she has the good graces of their shared mother, and with that, receives the inheritance of the house instead of Elizabeth, the eldest child.

Based in contemporary time, I wasn’t convinced it was today’s time. It felt older to me. Maybe with how the inheritance worked. Most people don’t live in the house that their parents lived in after they’re deceased. Also, since there wasn’t the mention of technology all that much, maybe that led me to this realization.

On to the good stuff…Elizabeth. Guys always talk about crazy ex-girlfriends. Well, this girl outshines them all. She is the epitome of crazy: breaking into houses, a phantom dog, and attempted (and some successful) murders. And all of this for a “talking” house. Is any house worth that much? Especially since we only “hear” two words at the very end. I think not! I found it extremely odd that this house was more important than her sister and even her husband. “House” was the only thing worth living for in Elizabeth’s eyes (and we see this by her trying to commit suicide and arson at the same time). If she couldn’t have this house, then no one can.

We see Elizabeth, this crazy woman, but I wish she was stronger. She lets everyone just walk all over her. We see this especially when Gloria and Henry move into Alice’s (and now Elizabeth’s house) and treat it as their own, how Bert so easily moves on with Helen and in their own apartment! She talks the big talk, but we see how her relationships completely take advantage of her obsession with the house. The one thing that was refreshing about her, though, was that she isn’t this overly optimistic protagonist that we see with most novels.

 I was hoping for some kind of resolution. Because I didn’t feel fulfilled by the one given, so I didn’t really see the point of the plot. I’m not sure how her apartment neighbors had anything to do with her obsession with the house and why their were victims to her insanity. It just felt completely random to the rest of the story. There could have been so much more, but this novel just left me feeling “blah”.