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!!!!!!!!