Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Iron Guy's Top Five for 2011

Greetings, all you rocking and reading guys! I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the holiday break. This is the time of year the grownups make Best Of or Top Ten lists for the year, so I'm going to present my Top Five books of 2011. (click on the titles to see the original reviews)

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. Not only is it the top book of this year, it's one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. It starts off sort of slowly but once the adventure starts, it's one wild ride!! I've rarely felt such suspense or danger in any book.

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by the terrific Alan Silberberg. Another remarkable and extraordinary book. You've got humor, a very touching story, and some good lessons about life. I can't say enough good things about this book---and it's way better than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books! (at least, I think so--go back and check out The Great Greg Heffley Debate from this year)

The Lost Hero. Another winner from the great Rick Riordan. Although The Son of Neptune had more humor, this one had more action and heroics. Jason is a hero worthy to be included in the Percy Jackson series.

Vespers Rising by various authors. The 39 Clues continues with new and even deadlier villains! This one gives the background on the Chaill/Vespers conflict. Lots of action and some real people from history.

How Football Works by Keltie Thomas. An informative and entertaining book. It's got enough information to satisfy new or long-time football fans.

OK, guys, what are your favorite books this year? And, Library Ninja Bill, what did you like the best? Click on that Comment tab under this post and let us know!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Isle of Blood, The Avengers and Sidekicks!!!!!

Hi once again all my fellow wanders in "The Land of Blog." Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving (lots of  Turkey and the good stuff that goes along with it). Library Ninja Bill has been very busy lately but has just finished some really awesome reads. So let's get straight to it:

The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancy - Okay this is the third book in the Monstrumologist Series by Mr. Yancy and it just keeps getting better. If you have not read the prior books in this series, just click here. This books starts off with Dr. Warthrop and his young assistant Will Henry receiving a most mysterious package brought to them by one Mr. Kendall on behalf of the very complex, charismatic and certainly evil  Jack Kearnes. The package is a nest made of human remains that infects anyone who comes into contact with it turning them into monsters so vicious that not only will they kill all those around them, but will eventually turn on themselves and literally devour the monster they have become. The master of these monsters is said to be a creature that swoops out of the sky and rips the victims to pieces, letting the remain fall like rain to the earth. This book is full of horrific finds  and discoveries made by The Doctor and Will and many times their futures look very bleak indeed. This book is also great in that we see the relationship between Dr. Walthrop and Will Henry develop in deeper ways as they act as anchors of sanity for each other. We learn more of what drives Dr. Walthrop and we see the toll of being his assistant takes and changes Will Henry. Also we get a glimpse into the dark psyche that exist hidden away, in most cases, in all human souls to different degrees. This is a great book with, horror, plot twists and a mystery that is just too big to describe here (and if I did what fun would that be) and will keep you turning pages. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

The Avengers, Volume1 by Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. - Well the Avenger are back together in this Graphic Novel and kicking butt and taking names. This Graphic Novel which collects the most recent reboot of the Avenger (Issues 1 - 6) and features on the team: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Wolverine, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Marvel Boy, Hawkeye and former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill. Kang the Conqueror has really messed up the timeline and things are going weird and bad not only in the present, but the future also. Well when things get bad on this scale, it's time to bring in The Avengers. This story is a wild ride and brings in cool guest appearances galore such as Ultron, Wonder Man (hero or villain?), Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen, the future children of The Avengers, Galactus, Dinosaurs and I could go on and on believe it or not. The Avengers have to deal with all this and fix the timeline or every things over. When things are at their worst you bring in the best. You bring in the Avengers!!!!!  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Sidekicks by Dan Santat - This great all ages Graphic Novel is about Captain Amazing and his pets. In his early days Captain Amazing had as his sidekick Static Cat, also his real pet cat Manny. Well time goes by and Manny is ready to retire and tries to train The Captain's new puppy Roscoe, who unknown to the Captain has the ability to turn into Steel (Roscoe calls himself Metal Mutt). Roscoe and Manny have a big falling out resulting in Manny leaving and the Captain never replacing Static Cat because he does not know about Roscoe's powers. Time passes and one of the Captain's most powerful villains gets released from jail, Dr. Havoc. The Captain is in real trouble and needs a tried and true sidekick to help him triumph over Dr. Havoc. Well the pet scene at the Captain's house has grown and all his pets want to be his new sidekick, if they can keep from killing each other while trying to work as a unit to take down the bad guys, until the Captain is ready for action after a run in with the evil Doctor. In addition to Static Cat returning and Metal Mutt still wanting to strut his stuff we now also have Fluffy the Hamster and Shifty the Chameleon all vying to be his newest sidekick. This Graphic Novel is great fun and full of laughs and heroics. Highly recommended for ages 9 and up.

That's all for now all you cool cats. Until next time, Peace Out,

Library Ninja Bill

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rock and Roll, Not Reading and Kung Foo Action Grips

Hi all,

Hope you have all been well. Without any of my amusing introductions (this time), I will get straight to talking about some recent great reads:

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide To Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald - First and foremost Charlie Joe Jackson does not like to read. He is renowned around school for getting reading assignments done without actually reading the materials he is assigned. Charlie has skated through school on reading by using the following method. Read the first chapter of the book and then the last. Next find someone to read the rest for you. What's so funny is that all the reading Charlie puts into reading other people's summaries of what happens in between the first and last chapters and presenting it is more work on Charlie than if he actually read the book. Unfortunately for Charlie all that is about to change because Charlie is found out by his English Teacher and his parents (not a pretty scene). Charlie tells you his story along with his harrowing experiences with this whole not reading thing that really just wants to make you laugh because, well it's just funny. What will Charlie do now that everyone is on to him. Read this extremely funny book and find out. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie...Sigh.

Beat The Band by Don Calame - This book is a follow-up to the extremely funny Young Adult (YA) Book "Swim The Fly" (click here to see my review of that book). As in "Swim The Fly" this book focus on the extremely comical events that three friends - Matt, Coop and Sean - experience as they traverse the treacherous waters of High School and their raging teenage hormones as it goes for the opposite sex. In this book instead of Matt being the narrator, the gross out king and sex obsessed Coop tells the story of what happens to him and his friends in their sophomore year of high school. The trouble starts for Coop when in his Health Class he is teamed, by drawing names, with the infamous "Hot Dog" Hellen for a semester long project. Coop has dreams of scoring big with such hot girls as Prudence Nash and the awful reputation that Hellen has obtained threatens to ruin his chances in scoring with any popular girls. So to combat this situation he gets his buds Matt and Sean to join a "Battle of The Bands" Contest assuring coolness for him and his friends if they win. Only problem though is that they stink and their chances of winning are little to none. How does Coop save his reputation after becoming associated with Helen and his band's little to no chance to win the contest? Read this extremely funny book to find out!!!!! Because of some language and subject matter, I recommend this book for older teen readers (15 years old and up).

The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, et. all - This story is about the Marvel Superhero Iron Fist (a mystical martial artist who has no peer) collecting the first 6 issues of the comic. For time immortal there have existed seven mystical realms each with an immortal weapon. Now when I say immortal here the person is not immortal but the power. The Immortal Weapon from the mysterious city of K'un-Lun is Daniel Rand and he is known as "The Iron Fist." For ages beyond tale the city of K'un-Lun has had an "Iron Fist" as it's champion. The only release for all the "Iron Fist" has been in death (usually in battle), except for one. Orson Randall, the "Iron Fist" before Daniel Rand, saw to much death, to much human suffering and walked away from his duties as "The Iron Fist." The power of the "Iron Fist" has given him long life and an endless run to escape those who would have vengeance upon him for many different reasons. Now fate has set Daniel Rand and Orson Randall, two very different people, on a head-on collision and if they are to survive they must learn to trust one another against the coming storm. This is a fantastic GN with both excellent storytelling and artwork!!!! Suggested for those 13 and up. 

Peace all and keep reading,

Library Ninja Bill

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Taking Flight, X-Force and The Wimpy Kid Debate

Hi all my fellow travelers in "The Land of Blog." It is good to talk to you once again and I hope you are all doing well. Well let's get down to business. First off, I want to hear from some of you out there in defense of Greg H of "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Fame. Yes, as I stated before Greg is not the nicest guy in the world, but look at his crazy family. Can you really blame him? An older brother whose sole purpose in life seems to be to make him miserable. A younger brother who gets everything he wants. Parents who just don't understand him. His life and surrounding are at the very least strangely interesting. Plus tell me which gets more laughs kindness or naughtiness. I have not read "Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze" by the terrific Alan Silberberg yet, but I will make sure it is the next book I pick up. Love ya Greg and The Wimpy Kid series!!!! Rock on!!!!!!!!!!


                           Pretty funny too!!!!!!

You make the call!!!!!

Now on to some recent Graphic Novel reads:

Flight, Volume 7 edited by Kazu Kibuishi - The entire Flight series, I believe there are 8 volumes out as of this date, are just an incredible breathtaking collection of stories by many different authors and illustrators. My favorites in this addition are many, but I will mention just a few for brevity's sake. "Kenneth Shuri and The Big Sweep" by J P Ahonen I think is my absolute favorite. In this instalment Kenneth, an unemployed Ninja, has taken a job as a janitor to make ends meet for his family (his daughter named Jess and wife named Barbara). Everything is going fine until Jess takes down the big bully at school with extreme prejudice with nine forks thrown into his abdomen followed by a brutal kick to the head. It seems that Kenneth has been telling Jess fairy tale stories at bedtime that are a bit violent to say the lease (lots of Kung Foo Action). His wife is furious at him and to make matters worse, the bully's farther hires an evil ninja to take out Kenneth. Not a good situation all around for Kenneth. Read the rest to see how everything turns out. Some of my other favorites are "King of Beast: What's Yours is Mine!" by Paul Harmon. This one is about a bounty hunter named Naga and her pet/friend Kala, who happens to be an escaped snake formerly the property of one Medusa. Naga is after the terrifying monster known as the King of Beast and Medusa is after her to get Kala back. Really great art work and a great story. The GN also has a Jellyaby story by Kean Soo that really rocks. Like I said earlier, I could go on and on about this GN so check it out. This GN has stories appropriate for a wide age range. Some are all ages, while others are not. Because of this I recommend this GN for those 13 years old and up.

Naga from King of Beast!!!!!

X-Force: Angels and Demons by Kyle, Yost and Crain - Okay this is The X-Men taken up a notch in intensity and ugliness.  The mutant population has dwindled to below 200 worldwide. Desperate times call for desperate measure. Cyclops is tired of waiting for the newest threat to attack mutants and he wants these threats stopped before they can occur and the bad guys taken out of the game permanently. So of course he goes to Wolverine to lead a secret group, secret even from the X-Men to deal with these threats. He recruits, much to Logan's chagrin X-23, Warpath, Wolfsbane and Elixir. Wolverine agrees in principle but does not want these others involved because of the emotional toll he knows it will take on them as they all become stone cold killers doing whatever is needed to get the job done. Their first mission is against the fanatical Purifiers, responsible for killing more mutants than any other organization in history, lead by Brother Mathew Risman. If this were not bad enough Risman brings another major threat to all mutants into play with the restoring of of the ultimate sentinel Bastion. Things get even worse when Wolfsbane is kidnapped by the Purifiers and put into the fanatical hands of her father who believes she is a demon that needs to be destroyed and the X-Man Angel is attacked, his wings removed and he transforms back into the very dangerous Archangel. It's a wild ride all. This book is labeled with a Parental Advisory for language and violence, so I would recommend it for older teens 15 or 16 years old.

That's all for now people.

Peace all,

Library Ninja Bill

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ha Like That! A Grownup Agrees With Me!

All right! The Iron Guy does not back down from a debate but he's always glad of some backup. And he's got some from Mr. S, who runs the TMC Guys Read club blog. Mr. S has taken my side in The Great Greg Heffley Debate. (go here to see that post)Well, actually, he didn't know he was supporting me. He sent in a comment on my review of Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain on the Boys Rule Boys Read! blog. That review was what started this Great Debate when I said that Milo was a whole lot better than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Mr. S wrote a comment on that review sums up my thinking about Greg Heffley and Milo:

Mr. S said...

I agree, IGC. I describe Milo as the "good" version of DoaWK. The main thing I dislike about DoaWK is that Greg is completely unlikeable. He's a jerk, he's rude, lazy, careless. And for no reason! He has little to no remorse. Blah blah blah...adults are no fun, eh?

However! Milo is a lot of those things, too, but he's had traumas in his life that cause him to act certain ways. The book is full of great humor, with deep meaning and sadness. Alan did a great job.

Yes, indeed, Mr. S!! You are right on the money! Greg H is a jerk. Well, I've been one too but I hope I've outgrown most of it. GH doesn't look like he will. But what do I know--as Mr. S said, "adults are no fun, eh?"

I will quote Mr. S one more time, though, because he's absolutley right about the difference between Milo and the DofaWK books. Milo is a "book of great humor, with deep meaning and sadness." That, for me, is what makes Milo so much better. Not only does it have lots of humor, it's got some depth and real feeling. DofaWk doesn't; at least, not for me. It's like the difference between watching a really good movie or 90 minutes of Cartoon Network. The second one will make you laugh but then you do something else and forget about it. A really good movie will stay with you and get you to think about it after it's over.

So what do YOU think, Ninja Librarian Bill?? And what do YOU think, all you readin' and rockin' guys? Am I right or totally whacked out?? Send in your comments and join The Great Greg Heffley Debate!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Robots, X-Men, Thunder Gods - Too Freaking Cool!!!!

Heyo all you cool cats out zig zagging around the blogosphere. Got some good stuff for ya this time, so lets get the show on the road.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson - First off this book is a little different from most that I review for this Blog in that it is an Adult Title, but as I read it I found that it had a heavy octane infusion of Teen Appeal ( 16 and up)!!!! This book is basically about an Artificial Intelligence, in the not so distant future, taking over all things run by computers all over the world to eliminate the human race. The Artificial Intelligence is named Archos and once activated it slowly but effectively starts to destroy humans through the all so many things we utilize that require computers to operate. Smart Cars run down people in the streets, elevators drop people to their deaths and these are the simple electronic/basic computer controlled items that are used to start the War. Soon afterward simple, yet as we find complicated, human looking domestic robots used by civilians to those used by the military as pacification units start to turn on humans also. Next complex weaponry, missiles and humanities most wicked of weapons of war are being used against them. In the later stages of the game, Archos devises frightening mechanical horrors of all shapes and sizes to use in it's war. Thankfully all is not lost, as the human race adapts for survival purposes (as it has been known to do). Humanities strongest weapon against Archos  is it's inventiveness and wit, it's determination to keep going when all looks to be lost.

This story is told in chapters from different characters and machines point's of view. There are the Wallace brothers, The Gray Horse Army and the all so important to the cause Perez family in the United States. In Japan there is Mr. Takeo Numura who learns to set machines/computers free from Archos control. In Afghanistan there are American Soldier Paul Blanton and Afghan Freedom Fighter Jabar who find Archos secret location. In England there is Lurker, a hacker, who helps free communications from Archos so humanity can talk and coordinate to survive. There are even "Free Born" Robots that gain sentience and fight with humanity against Archos. Oh man, this book is just to cool and I feel I may have talked about it too much. So if you want to read a great book with surprises around ever corner and great characters (that hopefully I have not spilled too much of the beans on) you have to read this book. Two Thumbs Up!!!!!!!!

A short promo to wet your appetite:

And now bring on the thunder and lightning!!!!!!!

Marvel Adventures Thor: Bringers of The Storm by Various - This all ages Graphic Novel brings together some really great Thor adventures from Marvel Adventure Avengers #5 and #16 and Marvel Adventures Superheroes featuring Thor #7 and #11. The first story while not really having every ones favorite God of Thunder does feature the Avengers (Captain America, Storm, The Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man and Wolverine) taking on Thor's trickster brother Loki and his super powered minion The Wrecker. The second story has the Avengers traveling to Asgard to help Thor and his fellow Asgardians take on one of my favorite Thor villain's Malekith, The Dark Elf, and his legion of followers. The third story is a classic one of Thor matching wits with his evil brother Loki and features lots of poisonous reptiles. The last story and my favorite has Thor initially battling a young Frost Giant that has been tricked by Loki. The Frost Giant named Bragmir upon learning he has been tricked surprises Thor in help him take down an evil demon from fiery Muspelhelm. Thor learns a valuable in lesson in that not all Frost Giants are evil and may even share things in common with his people.

And finally a Graphic Novel Opus!!!!!!

X-Men Second Coming by Various -  Talk about epic, this Graphic Novel (collecting Second Coming: Prepare, X-Men: Second Coming #1, Uncanny X-Men 523 - 525, New Mutants 12 - 14, X-Men Legacy 235 - 237, X-Force 26 - 28 and X-Men Second Coming #2) is a well crafted collaborative effort between many fine writers and artist. The story begins with the mutant Hope (the first mutant having been born since the Scarlet Witch cursed the mutant race with no more births) and her protector Cable returning from the future where he has been protecting her. All heck breaks loose as soon as they hit the ground running. The X-Men, Hope and Cable take on enemies led by by the the fanatical Bastion who is in hot pursuit of Hope and Cable along with attempting to destroy the remaining mutants living on the island refuge of Utopia. Almost every X-Man around appears in this story in varying levels of importance. Cyclops and Wolverine are leading the X-Men to not only save themselves but what hope lies for the future of all mutants. Sentinels and Nimrod Units along with other nasty surprises push the X-Men to the limits of their endurance. Thrill in epic battles featuring Namor, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Angel, Nightcrawler, X-23, Colossus, Cannonball, Legion among many others. Some will live and some will not. The stakes are high and so are the cost that must be paid in this highly recommended GN. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Whelp cowpokes, gotta mosey on down that dusty trail.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Return of the Iron Guy and the Great Greg Heffley Debate

Hey, hey all you readin' and rockin' guys in blogland! 'Tis I, Iron Guy Carl, posting again after a looong absence. I've hated to be gone for such a long time but life is sooo busy these days that I hardly get time to look at my computer. But I got inspired to write again lately after my annual trip to North Myrtle Beach beach a couple of weeks ago. It's really beautiful down there, as you can see:

It's also a very fun place--here I am, tackling a burger that's worthy of the Iron Guy!

But I also got the chance to see my good friend Library Ninja Bill:

There he is with his wife (known in the superhero world as The Valkyrie) and my wife (known to crimefighters everywhere as The Blond Phantom)

It was good to see him and catch up. Among the things we talked about was my review of Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by the terrific Alan Silberberg. I reviewed that book on the Boys Rule Boys Read blog and you can see my review here. In that review, I said that I liked it a whole lot more than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. "Those are pretty strong words," said Bill. Well, I feel pretty strongly about that book. It's terrific and you really need to find it. It started a little debate between us as well. I told him what I'm about to tell you. And I tell you this because you, like Bill, you are trusted friends and only to you could I confess this deep, dark secret. You ready??

I'm not a Greg Heffley fan.

Yes, I know that's a lot to take in. But be prepared for the second great shock. Want to know why I'm not a fan?

Grag Heffley's a jerk.

There! I said it! I know that puts me in the bad graces of guy readers everywhere. I know that might make me a member of a tiny, tiny minority. It might even make me an endangered species--but, then, I'm the Iron Guy and I can handle myself!

I'm sorry, but I just couldn't read any more of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books after that first one. I mean, after Greg Heffley made faces at the kindergarten class and then let his best friend Rowley take the rap for it, well, I just couldn't work up any sympathy for GH. I did enjoy the rest of the book--it really is funny--but I just couldn't bring myself to read the rest of the DWK books. So am I wrong?? Am I acting too much like a grownup?? Are you a fan of these books? If so, hit that "Comment" label under this post and tell us why. Or do you agree with me? If so, tell us that too. The Iron Guy does not shrink from a controversy and I'm hoping to start one here with the Great Greg Heffley Debate!!

Conter Point by Library Ninja Bill - Iron Carl, you make me sad. Although I have not yet gotten around to raeding Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze which I plan to soon sinse you have thrown down this mighty guantlet. I will concede to you the point that in The Wimpy Kid series Greg Heffley is indeed a jerk, but one that most people can probably identify with or at least I can. While I was not a monster at Greg's age, I certainly did some pretty self-centered and stupid things. So believe me when I say to a certain extent I can laugh and cringe at Greg's actions (some of these things hit close to home unfortunately). Also it is when Greg's great and stupid plans go astray that make the series so funny. So I am a defender of Greg (both the good and bad). If any of you out there agree with my point of view let's put The Mighty Iron Carl in his place!!!!! I hope to hear from all of you out there in "The Land of Blog" with your thoughts and opinions. This could be a very interesting discussion.

Peace all,

Iron Carl and Library Ninja Bill 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gamecocks,Demons and Astonaut Chickens!!!

Hi all out there in "The Land of Blog." Where did the summer go? I can't believe it's September already. Well at least football season has started and I am a huge college football fan. I went to collage at The University of South Carolina and thus I am A big Gamecock fan. We are classic underachievers and kings of disappointment, kinda like the Charlie Brown of the college football world, but we never give up. Who knows maybe this year we will do really well.

Go Gamecocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well that's not really what I'm here to talk about so let's get things moving along with some recent good reads:

The Last Apprentice - Clash of The Demons by Joseph Delaney - This is the sixth instalment in this awesome series. Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, is recruited by his Mam who has returned home from Greece to take on a great evil she has been fighting there sense the death of her husband and Tom's Dad. She also recruits Tom's Master The Old Spook Gregory, a former Spook Trainer Bill Arkwright, Witches from different clans that share interest with Mam's fight, The crafty Witch Assassin Grimalkin, others, and last but not least Tom's close friend Alice (also a Witch). They are all headed to Greece to take on a powerful Old God, The Ordeen who appears in her Citadel, The Ord, every few years to terrorize humanity. In the past an order of monks located in Greece have been able to contain her malevolence to a small part of Greece. However with the Fiend now on the lose, the monks are in danger of being destroyed and the destruction caused by the Ordeen and her monstrous followers unleashed upon all parts of the world. There journey is long and they face many evils before reaching the monks in Greece such as Fire and Tapper Elementals (the first using the powers of fire and the second harnessing the power of rock and earth, Maenalds (women from Greece who have gone mad and are deadly cannibals), Sirens, Lamia Witches, and more. Then at the end of their journey there is the great evil citadel of The Ordeen and the demons and monstrosities that live within. Not everyone will return from this adventure and those that do can count themselves amongst the very lucky. Can't wait for the next book!!!! Recommended for those 9 and up!!!!!

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman - This Graphic Novel is one of the most original I have read in awhile. The stories in this GN revolve around a mered of different characters attending a school which just happens to be in Outer Space. There are two many characters to talk about so I will introduce you to just a few (you can find out about the rest by checking this excellent GN out). The first character we are introduced to is Hakata Soy who gave up his place in a superhero team whose different vehicles could come together to form a giant Mecha/Transformer. He is a loner and somewhat solemn in nature. There is also the nonsense Miyumi San who is decisive in action and while not always correct is always ready for anything that come her way. One of my favorite characters is Doug Hiro who never takes off his space suit and is happiest outside the Astronaut Academy floating among the stars. There are many other characters each with their own distinct personalities that make this book so great. By the time you finish reading this GN you will have laughed quite a bit from the many stories, gotten to know the many different students and teachers and be ready for the next installment in what looks to be a promising series. This Graphic Novel is recommended for readers 12 and up. Great stuff!!!! 

Finally we have a mystery guest reviewer, we will just call this person X, who has a book review to share with us.

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin -  Doreen Cronin has also written “Duck for President, Diary of a Worm” & “Click, Clack, Moo”. This is a book that would come under the heading of “easy to read” chapter book for middle grade readers. For those just starting to read out loud to others this is a fun book to share. There is lots of humor and great pictures to go along with this story. J.J. Tully is our main character. He is a no nonsense, former search and rescue dog. He is trying to enjoy his retirement when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like two pieces of popcorn with legs) and their mom, Moosh, come a calling, demanding that he help them find their missing brother and sister, Poppy and Sweetie.  J.J. is our Hero and Vince the Funnel is our villain. The action takes place inside the home of J.J’s new owner. This is Vince’s territory and he doesn’t take kindly to the “new” dog. Vince is hiding something and it is up to J.J. to find out what. If this story had a second title; I would vote for “Never underestimate a chick!” OR “Something is fowl with Sugar”. By the end of this book you will be glad you read it and find that you are not the only one who loves a good story (and Sugar is that chick!)
Well that's all sports fans!!! Until next time....Peace All!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

13 Reasons, Being Pleasant and not Playing with Fire!

Hi all in "The Land of Blog" ti's your forever wandering and trustworthy guide Library Ninja Bill with more news on the latest, at least to him, and greatest, a matter surely open to debate, reads out there.  Okay got a bunch of good stuff this go-round so let's jump into the deep end of the pool (hope everyone can swim).

First things first. I recently heard from my most excellent friend Kirsten Cappy from the great state of Maine. She had this to share with me so check it out:

Pretty funny right! Thanks Kirsten, you Rock!!!! Can't wait to give this book a spin! Now on to more serious. yea right, business:

Skulduggery Pleasant, Playing with Fire by Derek Landy - This is the second book in The Skulduggery Pleasant Series and it is just as fun and full of action as the first. Now is the time to pause reading this review and skip to the next review I made sometime back on another blog. It's all about the first book and some cool stuff. Take your time I promise to wait with this review until you finish that one. All right see you back soon.......Hum, Hum, Hum , Hum, Hummm. Ah back are you? Sounds like great stuff doesn't it? Well, um, now about the second book. Skulduggery is back with his allies Stephanie , or should I say Valkyrie Cain, the kick-butt ninja stylized Tanith Low and others. An old foe of Skulduggery's, Barron Vengeous, has escaped his prison which just happens to be the very same one Skulduggery put him in 80 years ago. He has recruited sinister allies in Billy Ray Sanguine - a Cowboy of the supernatural plains whose power makes everything come undone around him (sounds confusing I know, but man this guy is dangerous), Mr. Dusk - a vampire of the utmost power, and others to bring the Faceless Ones to this dimensional Realm (if you thought Vengeous and his crew was bad, they got nothing on the Faceless Ones). On top of stopping the Barron and his allies from bringing back the Faceless Ones, Skulduggery and crew must defeat the resurrected Grotesquery - a fearsome and vicious creature assembled from various spine chilling monsters, who is also a key to bringing the Faceless Ones into our dimension. Did I mention if the Faceless Ones are brought back to our dimension that it's the end of everything. Oh well, as you can see this book has got it going at 110 ten miles per hour and it won't let you go till it's over!!!! Highly recommended for those 9 and older!!!!!!

All right let's take a trip into Bill's past:

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - Who is the best detective ever? Did you guess Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Jacques Clouseau or perhaps The Hardy Boys? Well if you guessed any of those you would be wrong!!!!! The greatest detective ever is none other than Skulduggery Pleasant who is introduced in what I hope is a very long series of books of the same name. What sets Skulduggery apart you ask? Well first off he is not officially among the living and second off he is a walking, talking, and highly sarcastic skeleton who uses magic. His specialty is the investigation of supernatural crime (OOOOO0000000ooo!!!!!! Spooky Stuff I tell ya!!!!!). The story in this book starts when 12 year old Stephanie's eccentric Uncle Gordon dies. At the funeral Stephanie bumps into a very strange character wearing a overcoat, scarf, sunglasses, a wig and a very broad hat so that not one bit of him can be seen. Later in the story Skulduggery saves Stephanie's life while she is at her Uncle Gordon's House, which she inherited, when she is attacked by a very strange creature. Stephanie learns from Skulduggery that her Uncle was murdered and he is on the case to find out who done it!!!!!! Stephanie is fascinated by the strange unseen world Skulduggery introduces her to. A world were magic is very real and monsters exist around every corner. She persuades Skulduggery to let her accompany him on his investigation and things just get weirder and stranger from there. If you like books that are funny but also full of intrigue and action, you will love this one. I laughed so much and got caught up in the fast paced story that I finished it way to soon. Luckily there is a second book and I plan on starting it right away.

To hear a really cool interview with Skulduggery Pleasant himself go to http://www.skulduggerypleasant.com/us/world/interview.htm.

The official website for everything Skulduggery Pleasant can be found at http://www.skulduggerypleasant.com/.

Now in all seriousness, the next book I want to talk about deals with some pretty heavy stuff so if you are one of the younger readers of this blog you may just want to skip even reading further. However if you are at least an older teen, do yourself a favor and give this book a try.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - The two main characters of this book are Clay Jenson and Hannah Baker. One is very much alive while the other has recently committed suicide. Clay receives a package that contains tapes that Hannah made before she took her life. He is part of a list of people that Hannah has decided to tell her story to and explain how their actions affected why she did what she did. This is a powerful story that shows how our actions or inaction affect people around us. The story is well written going back a forth between Clay and Hannah as she speaks on the tapes. The reader will find themselves really caring about these characters and wanting to know them better. What did Clay do to impact Hannah's awful decision? Why did Hannah choose to do what she did? If nothing else this book will make the reader think about people they interact with and how they treat them. It will give the reader warning signs of people who are living on the edge. This is a very thought provoking story and even though you know the final outcome for Hannah you want so bad to convince her not to take the action she ultimately does. This book is recommended for readers 14 years and older in my opinion. Serious issues that need to be thought about and discussed so Hannah's fate is not shared by others.

Well that's all ladies and gents! Until next time,

Library Ninja Bill

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Part-Time Indians, Insane Asylums and The Beyound!

Hello all! I know it's been awhile but Summer Reading has been keeping me hopping (also fighting dog gone Jedi). I hope some of you guys and gals (I know you are there) out there are participating. It's really a cool program. Anyway here are some cool reads I have done recently that maybe you will want to check out if you have not already.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie  - This YA book is really one of the most excellent I have read in a long time. This is the story of a young Native American teen named Junior and his transition from his familiar surrounding of the reservation he lives on to the more frightening and certainly more confusing world outside his familiar home. This book holds no punches as Junior describes in detail the poverty, depression, alcoholism and other plain truths related to reservation life. When Junior decides to go to school outside the "Res" he finds that the mostly white upper class school he picks to attend and the new kids he meets are also far from perfect and face challenges and problems, although somewhat different, not so different than those he has seen his while life. Same crap, different place. This book deals with difficult topics such as death, poverty, alcoholism, racism; yet as seen through the eyes of Junior they are presented in such a way that does not send the reader into a deep depression, but just as "this is how life is." Hope and love are always injected in dealing with these topics. One of the best books I have read in a very long time. Recommended for readers 13 years and up.

Wolverine: Weapon X, Vol. 2: Insane in the Brain by Jason Aaron & Yanick Paquette - This Graphic Novel collects issues 6 - 10 in the comic series. Wolverine wakes up in a Insane Asylum with no idea who he is or any memories at all. The Asylum is run by the sinister and potentially the craziest person in the asylum Dr. Rot. Logan slowly begins to notice his surroundings are not quite right, but will he regain his memory in time before the good doctor decides to remove his brain (a little hobby of Dr. Rot). Nice storytelling and art with guest appearances from some of my favorite X-Men. Recommend for ages 13 and up.

Beyounders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull - This is a great book about a a boy named Jason and a girl named Rachel who get drawn into an alternative world/dimension where the time period appears to be around the middle ages. The two do not know each other until they get transported to this strange land ruled by an evil magician named Maldor. They learn that they must work together and trust one another if they want to defeat the wizard and hopefully return home. How can they defeat this wizard. Their exist a word that if spoken in his presence will destroy him. Pieces of the word are scattered throughout the land and they must find them before Maldor finds the two of them. They find allies along the way, but also many enemies. This is an exciting book that will have you turning page after page. Recommended for readers 9 and up.

Until next time all.



Saturday, July 9, 2011

Green Lantern, Spider-Man and Thor, maybe more!

Hey ho all in the "Land o Blog." Tis the Library Ninja who has forgotten his name. Wait a minute, a moment of clarity. My name is Bob. No doesn't sound right. Well I'll figure it out eventually. Bobo, darn it's on the tip of my tongue.

Before I start today's Graphic Novel reviews, I want to share some pretty silly cartoon stuff about our favorite heroes. Check out this into from a Thor cartoon series from the 60's:

Pretty bad right? Well let's be fair and show one of DC's big guns at one of his low moments:

Yikes overly dramatic and cheesy at the same time. I love it though it's good fun!!!!

And now some musings on recent reads:

Green Lantern: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis - First let me say that I have not seen the Green Lantern movie yet (boo me!!!). This GN rocks and if the movie resembles it in anyway then I can't wait to see it. This GN starts off by showing the special bond that a young Hal Jorden has with his father who is a pilot. The worst day in Hal's life happens (understandably) when his father dies protecting people when the plane he is flying breaks down and he has to crash land it in a safe place. From that day forward Hal Jorden has no fear (having witnessed his worst fear in his father's death). Flash forward to the future where Jordan is just barely still flying aircraft for Carol Ferris and something totally unexpected comes into his life. He obtains from a dying alien, Abin Sur who has crashed landed on Earth, a green ring that makes flight possible along with manifesting any creation you can think of into reality to be used to fight the powers of evil. Jordan is then taken away to the Plant OA, home of the Guardians of the Galaxy and The great Green Lantern Corps, to be trained as a replacement Green Lantern for the space sector Abin Sur served. It is there he is noticed by a particular Guardian and Abin Sur's apprentice Sinestro, hailed by all as the greatest Green Lantern ever, who decide to take a special interest in Hal Jordan because they see his great potential. Sinestro and Jordan team-up to take on the powerful and evil Atrocitus and eventually become friends. Sinestro takes on Jordan's training and everything seems to be turning out all right, but the rumblings of The Darkest Night have already started and deception creeps into the Corps future. Read the Graphic Novel to get the full story and go on one heck of a ride. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Marvel Adventures: Thor and Spider-Man by Various - This Graphic Novel collects Spider-Man and Thor team-ups that have happened throughout the years in comics. The first story has Spider-Man being enchanted by one of the evil Norse Gods The Enchantress, traveling to Asgard, fighting with the Gods and eventually the big guy himself Thor!!!! The next two stories have this famous twosome taking on time traveling (and time stopping) Trolls and the supervillainThe Mongoose. The last story in the GN has Thor and Spider-Man, with a guest appearance by Valkyrie, fighting and trying to figure out what is going on with two aliens, the only survivors of their world, battling each other. Who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy? How did all this come to pass. Take a look at this excellent GN to find out. Recommended for those 9 and up. 

Well all you good and noble people that's all Ninja Bill has for now. Hey I just remembered my name!!!!! Cool!!!!

Well I hope you all are having a great summer and look forward to talking again to you all soon.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Swimming The Buterfly with Water Witches and Rick Riordan Envy!

Greetings all yea blog o readers!!!! Tis I Library Ninja Bill with more great reads, powerful zen and general goofy information.

I recently went to the movies an saw Thor and the new Pirates of the Caribbean Movie. All I can say is they were both awesome!!!!!! The Green Lantern Preview looks pretty cool and I really want to see the new X-Men movie. So many movies, so little money (geeeezzzzz). I sensed, during the movies I have seen however, some Rick Riordan envy. Let's examine the evidence:

Okay enough of the silly stuff (unless it relates to books) and let's talk about some recent reads by yours truly:

The Last Apprentice: Wraith of The Bloodeye by Joseph Delaney - I know I have been writing many reviews on this series, but what can I say I'm hooked. In this installment The Spook and Tom find the recently released Fiend hot on Tom's trail to destroy him. The Spook in hopes of keeping Tom hidden from the Fiend sends him away for a time to study under the tutelage of another Spook named Bill Arkwright. Tom finds life hard with Mr. Arkwright and misses his friend Alice (a Witch) very much. However Mr. Arkwright teaches Tom many important lessons and toughens him up physically. Unfortunately the Fiend has learned of Tom's new location and sends his daughter Morwena, a powerful Water Witch with the power of the bloodeye (whoever her blood soaked eye catches in direct eye to eye contact becomes frozen and unable to act) to kill him. Will Tom while training with his new Spook Master be able to survive? What new allies and enemies will he make as his story continues. Only one way to find out, give it a read. Awesome series recommended for ages 9 and up!!!!!!!

The next book I want to talk about is definitely for older teens:

Swim The Fly by Don Calame - This book is kinda like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," but with much more mature topics that older teen boys must contend. The book is about three friends Matt, Coop and Sean and the yearly summer goal they set for themselves. Well being teens of a certain age whose legs become wobbly and mouths stop working around attractive teenage girls, they decide that this years goal will be for the three of them to see a girl in the nude. This book made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. While attempting to attract what the guys would describe as a hottie named Kelly, Matt volunteers for the swim team they are on to take the place of a wounded team member in swimming the butterfly in competitions. This is one of the hardest swimming technequies and lets just say Matt is not up to it. Between attempting to woe Kelly and the situations he gets in with Coop and Sean, this book is a definite two thumbs up and a garanted laugh maker. Because of the mature content, I reccomend this book for teens 15 and up. Great stuff!!!!!

Until next time me amigos,


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is it getting spooky around here or is it just me?

Good Evening (or morning, afternoon, whatever) it is I your master of ceremonies Necromancer/Spook Ninja Bill. Man have I got some good stuff for ya, but first a spooky little clip:

Spooky Stuff - Awooooooooooooh!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now for some super cool spooky reads:

Hold me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride -
This book is awesome!!!!!!!! I finished reading it in record time as it sucked me in and left me waiting for more. The story is about a teen-age boy named Sam, who unknown to him, his mother is a witch and father carries the genetic code for necromancy. Sam has flunked out of school and is working in a dead in job at a fast food joint with his friends Ramon, Brooke and Frank. Sam has always felt out of place and strange but does not learn why until one night at work he runs into a man named Douglas who he and his friend offend. The next thing he knows, that night after work he and his friends are attacked by a super strong human (or what appears to be). Sam's life starts to spiral out of control as his friend Brooke is beheaded, but her head is still alive and talking. Douglas, we find out, is the head of a council of fey and fairytale creatures that live right beside humans in the everyday world. Douglas discovers that Sam is also a Necromancer and decides to use him for his own evil purposes. Fear not though as Sam and his friends, plus new ones he makes such as Brid (a hybrid Werewolf), are not going down without a fight. This is an exciting, scary story that promises more books to follow. Man, I sure hope so! Recommended for teens (13 and up). 

Check out this video for the book and tell me you are not intrigued:

The Last Apprentice, Attack of The Fiend by Joseph Delaney - This is the forth book in this series and they just keep getting better and better ( I have already started the next book). In this installment The Spook, his apprentice Tom and Alice (a young budding witch whose future for good or evil is undetermined, but who is a good friend to Tom) set off for the town of Pendle to take care of the witch clans that have grown out of control. The three main witch clans in Pendle are The Malkins, The Deanes and The Mouldheels. Things start of bad for our brave adventures and steadily get worse. Tom's brother Jack and his family are attacked and kidnapped by witch clans from Pendle soon after the travellers reach it. Tom and Alice take off to see what has become of his family while the Spook starts to plan for how to handle the witch clans. When Tom and Alice reach his brothers farm they find it destroyed and his family gone. Tom's brother James, a blacksmith arrives to help, but will his help and anybody elses be enough? Tom must recover three trucks left for him by his mother that the witches have stolen (not to mention his kidnapped family) along with dealing with wraiths, witch assassins and worst of all the witches' plan to bring into the world the Devil himself. Twist and turns at every corner. This is a great book and series for those 9 and older.

Until next time friends,

Library Ninja Bill

Monday, May 9, 2011

The First Rule of Pet Club and Tales Dark and Grim

Heyo all there out in the Land Of Blog, Tis I again the lone, nomadic, forever wandering Library Ninja Bill. Times have been tough, I have to be honest with you, but reading goes on. So without further adieu:

First I'm gonna talk about The fourth GN in The Tiny Titans Series, so to set the mood check out this video that totally rocks:

The First Rule of Pet Club by Art Baltazar, Franco and Geoff Johns - This Tiny Titans Graphic Novel collects issues 19 -25 of the monthly series. Problems abound for Robin as Wayne Manner and the Batcave has been overrun by bunnies from a magic trick gone wrong by Zatara and penguins from Robin opening a forbidden door in the Batcave. Now all the bats have flown the coup from the Batcave and Batman tasks Robin with getting them back. Thank goodness for a little help from your friends...that's right it's Tiny Titan Time, aw yeah!!!!!!! Also this issue has the powerful tale (well maybe powerful is the wrong word, but it sure is funny) that ties into (not really) "The Darkest Night!" Gotta love those Tiny Titans, aw yeah!!!!!! Great for all ages!!!!

Next a totally rocking book based on the fairy tales of The Brother Grimm:

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz - Now if you like sweet and safe, watered down fairy tales, this is most definitely not the book for you!!!!! The author of this book has taken two famous Grimm Fairy Tale characters, Hansel and Gretel, and woven a phenomenal story that ties other Grimm Fairy Tales into one fantastic ride. The book starts before the birth of these two children with the Tale of "Faithful Johannes" servant of the King and Queen of The Kingdom of Grimm. If this opening story does not grab you, twist you and leave you aghast, please get help soon? Hansel and Gretel are born to the King and Queen and the adventures of these two siblings rocket you through the rest of the book.  This book is a page turner from front to end. Think you know your favorite fairy tales? Well guess again as the author puts them back into there somewhat original and gruesome versions. There may even be tales new to you that are expertly woven into this most excellent story. If you are a little squeamish, never fear, the author often butts into the story to make sure you really want to know what happens next? Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but not with this book. Two Thumbs high in the air!!!! Great book recommended for those 9 and up, who believe it or not, like things not so sweet and sugar coated.

Also check out this little tease:

Until next time all you hepcats,