Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vamps and Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Hi all you crazy cats out there in the wilds "O Blog." I know it's been awhile but between fighting the evil forces that threaten good reading and patrolling the good land of "Blog," man I have been one busy Library Ninja!!!! I even had to hunt down this part of a blog I wrote that the forces of no goodness had made disappear. But enough whining on my part, let's talk good reads!!!!!!

Teeth:Vampire Tales Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling - I recently finished this anthology and was quite impressed. Many different authors contribute to this anthology of vampire stories inspired by many different cultures and their vampire mythos. It ranges from stories that are down right scary such as "All Smiles" by Steve Berman, "Sit The Dead" by Jeffrey Ford," and "Slice of Life" by Lucius Shepard to those that are funny and fascinating in a morbid sort of way such as "History" by Ellen Kushner and "In The Future When All's Well" by Catherynne Valente. There are even those that show vampirism as just being another way of living (or non-living), that are as mundane or more exhilarating than living as a human, but are as the Beatles said:

"Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!
La la la life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!...
La la la life goes on."

I highly recommend this book because the stories are as far from the majority of typical vampire tales out now as can be and the authors involved really have written some phenomenal stuff. Because of language, that sex thing and other activities that teens can and sometime do get involved in (part of growing up), I would recommend this book for older teens. I really enjoyed this one!!!!! P.S. Neil Gaiman contributes a poem (gotta to mention Neil wherever he shows up!!!!).

Peace all and good reading,


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shadow Ops, X-Men and Combat Oh My!!!!!!

Hi all,

It's The Wandering Library Ninja Bill. I 've been walking in the waste lands and dry and dark places. Fighting evil wherever it rears it's ugly head. It's mighty strange living in the shadow lands, but good reads always pull me through. So let's see what's on this dish today?

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole - Imagine if in the real world people started to exhibit strange powers and magical abilities. This is what I hope is the start of a great series about how things would play out. In this world created by Myke Cole some of humanity has started to develop magical powers. Some people are born and exhibit these abilities early in life while others are well into their adulthood when they exhibit magical powers. In this world, very much like ours, when this starts to happen governments around the globe try to control these individuals for their own agendas. In the United States people who manifest magical gifts are either incorporated into the military or kept under constant supervision. Those who try to run, termed Selfers, are hunted down by the military and "handled." Some powers are considered okay by the government, while other are not. Some of the "good" powers are: Physiomancer (the power to heal) but if used to harm it is called Rending and prohibited, Pyromancer (the ability to generate fire and control in many ways), Aeromancer (ability to control storms and lightning, also can use wind currents to fly), Hydromancer (ability to generate and control water) and others I will leave you to find out about. Those that are prohibited and individuals exhibiting them "supposedly" helped  or taken down are: Elementist (the ability to make fire, water, earth, etc. self aware and act on the person's behalf without taking away from the user's focus), Necromancy (the ability to control the dead), Portamancy (the ability to open and close gates to different locations and dimension), Whispering (the ability to control animal life) and also many others that you can find out about if you read the book.

This story focuses on Lieutenant Oscar Britton part of the SOC (Supernatural Operations Corps). The SOC is made up of servicemen without magical powers and those with to serve The United States Government. One of there duties is to hunt done Selfers and capture users of outlawed magics. It is during one of these missions that Britton manifest the ability of Portamancy. He runs because he does not understand what has happened to him and is just plain scared. He is pursued by the SOC under the command of the mysterious Aeromancer known only as Harlequin.

He is caught and taken to an Operations Area in another dimension known as "The Source" (it seems to be the place where magic originates and has broken through to our dimension to endow certain individuals with different powers). This is all top secret and all knowledge of it kept under raps by the military and government. The Operations Area is used for multiple purposes. One is to wage a war in The Source with the indigenous population known as "Goblins" (some magic users and others not). Another use of the Operations Area is to imprison Selfers and users of prohibited magics. Yet another use is to convert both Selfers and PROBES (those manifesting prohibited magics) into military service.

This is a great book full of action, probing morality issues, unexpected twist and turns and just a down right fun read for those who like action and intrigue. I highly recommend this book, but must caution that this really is an adult book (language and violence being the strongest issues). I encourage older teens who this summary intrigues to give it a try. I loved it!!!!!

Alright now it's time to review a Graphic Novel I recently read that really was smoking!!!!!!

X-Men: Schism by Jason Arron, Kieron Gillen, Frank Cho, Alan Davis and more - This book starts with the X-Men a cohesive unit on their Island Nation of Utopia. Scott Summers (Cyclops - The X-Men's undisputed leader) and his second in command Logan (Wolverine) are firmly committed to working together to lead and protect the dwindling mutant population from this island located off the coast of San Francisco.  Without giving away to much of the plot, the X-Men end up getting there butts kicked by a bunch of kids (and I do mean kids, all around 12 years old...although they are way more intelligent than your average bear). These kids set up the X-Men to look bad to all non-mutants who may live peacefully besides mutants and bring on the Sentinels, mutant killing machines that have haunted the X-Men from almost their first appearance, in a big way. Young mutants are asked by Cyclops to fight in a big time fight with the ultimate Sentinel for the continued existence of Utopia. Wolverine violently disagrees with Cyclops on using children to do battle with this Souped-Up Sentinel. It gets so bad that the two come to blows in a fight that must be seen to be believed, all the while this Sentinel is bearing down on them. The X-Men will not be the same after this tragic event and all will have to choose sides between Wolverine and Cyclops. Don't expect the expected. Great read for those 12 and up!!!!!

Well got some more walking to do before I finely lay my weary head to bed. Peace all and good reading,