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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Unwritten : The mystery, fun and a boy Wizard

So Goodreads recommended The Unwritten to me, and since I have been reading comics that they recommend I decided to give it a try.

The first volume really had me in awe. I had fallen hard for this book, and the reasons for this were mostly because of the mystery of just what was the true reality behind this story.

Here is my review of the first volume.

So being that I loved the first volume I couldn't wait to get into the second volume, and I enjoyed it, but it just seemed to lack something that I quite couldn't place my finger on. This didn't discourage me, because let's face it not every part to a series is going to be great.

So then I got to volume three, and was let down hard. So the author no longer eludes to the mystery of the main character being a boy wizard, but he is the persona from the story books. Plus there was supposed to be this big reveal about Lizzie Hexam, and her background story, which turned out be nothing but a cheap "choose your adventure" spin. There was no clear answer to the background of this character, and no matter how many ways you tried it, as they were all varied.  This gave me the impression that the author didn't take the role of this major character that seriously, and why should I the reader either.

Even after all of this I picked up and started to read what I later discovered was to be a prequel to the whole series, and some had said was the book that should introduce new readers to the storyline.  I will admit that I had to drag myself through this read, as I found the whole "boy wizard" theme with latin spells too be really silly and frankly very immature for a mature recommended story.  This is probably one of the main reasons why I have yet to read Harry Potter.  So I was very disappointed by the maturity level of what should have been an adult book. It seemed as if the author is only trying to appeal to the Harry Potter fans, and I may read another volume, but this is one series I could care less to finish in it's entirety. 

I had found out from researching this book that the whole series was "never intended" to be like Harry Potter, but I kind of doubt that. The author had said that the main point of this series was how a child could have a book series fashioned after them and the fame of dealing with that. He used the example of Chris Milne, who was the basis for Christopher Robin in the Pooh books. I also discovered that this story later crosses over with another Vertigo series that I enjoyed in the beginning Fables.

Friday, February 14, 2014


So last night I rented the newest film in the Riddick series. I like how Vin Diesel plays a character who is a lot like Conan the Barbarian, but it's science fiction. This is the perfect combo for a scfi action film. I really enjoyed all of the previous films, but this last one just seemed to be a bit rushed, and was lacking something. Riddick is left on a hostile planet, and is trying to get back to civilization by any means. He summons a rescue team by means of a homing beacon found in an abandoned station. This time they really lacked some details , such as what was he looking for, and will they continue this in another film? This film had all of the action that one would expect, and the ingenuity of Macgyver to keep you watching. But scenes seemed to flash by so fast that before you knew you think you missed something vital or did they just not make out more of the story? I liked this one, but felt that it was just average compared to the previous ones.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I was a Deckhand on the Erie Canal

I have been unemployed on and off for the last 5yrs., and in that time I have worked quite a few seasonal jobs.  One of which was a seasonal job working for the NYS Canal Corp., which is basically the modern name for the Erie Canal.  I was what they called a Marine Helper from June until November. A Marine Helper is basically a deckhand, and the duties of this job are to maintain the boat with which you are assigned, and to do minor construction on the canal itself.  Some of these tasks assigned to a deckhand are things like painting the deck, and cleaning cobwebs from it, which was a daily duty on one boat I was assigned.  But most of the time the duty was to help tie scows/barges to be towed to different locations through out the state of NY.

This is a scow or as most would call a barge.
 Most people from NY learn in Elementary School about the importance of the Erie Canal, but we are all under the impression that it is a thing of the past. The Canal is very much still in use, and still being used to this day.  Most of the boats that can be seen on the waterways are pleasure boats, such as yachts, and fishing boats; 
This is a pleasure boat with a tug boat of their own on the side.
but I got the chance to see corn barges. Corn is being traded from Canada to America to be later made into ethanol for gasoline. I was impressed to know that this was going on and it gave me some hope for the future of our economy.

This is a corn barge that has been emptied of its cargo.
 I simply grew to love this job after being there for a few months during the summer, and even though I had no previous experience with boating or being on the water.  I saw so many beautiful sights in parts of the state that I would otherwise never had seen or known about.

View of a farm from the Erie Canal, Newark, NY
This is a  story that I may have to revisit later , because there is so much that I want to share about my experience.  If you are interested in learning more about the Erie Canal here are a few books about it - 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ideas lead to Revolution

I just recently finished reading the first volume of a series written by Grant Morrison. In this book the notion that writings of several authors over the course of time have shaped our world in ways that we tend to overlook. I had never really thought of this before and I would have to agree that it is right. Ideas from people such as John Lennon, Mary Shelley, Marquis De Sade, and some others I cannot recall at the moment have changed the way society as a whole views the world.  Morrison used these ideas as the main tool to explain how his secret society called The Invisibles have created revolutions versus the ones who would seek to enslave us. This team almost seem like outcasts, as it consists of some homeless people, and one is a transvestite. Legends, and old forgotten religions, and a little bit of surrealism made up another part to this book. It is a unique book that at one point reminded me of The Clockwork Orange, as the juvenile prison was brainwashing boys. It was an average read for me one that I didn't really think was great , but didn't suck. I think I may finish reading the whole series at some point.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cybernetic Weapons of Mass Destruction

Earlier today I had finished reading We3, which is a Vertigo graphic novel consisting of three comic book issues. Being that it is Vertigo this is intended for mature readers. The story is about kidnapped pets who have been transformed into battle armored, and wired for control killing machines. I have heard rumor of the US military wanting to do something similar with dolphins, but whether that is true or fiction is not the point. I'm guessing that is what inspired the writers of this story to create this to begin with.
There is not much for dialog , and most of the book consisted of action scenes some of which are from the view point of a security camera. The animals are used experimentally to see if the idea of using modified animals can be used in combat situations, and after they complete a mission they are to be decommissioned (killed). The doctor who was in charge of the animals decides to let them go, and just like "Homeward Bound" decide they want to go home. Not having a clue as to where home is, and with the government after them is the main theme of the book. I found this to be a fascinating what if scenario, and was a very entertaining read. Bonus for the happy ending. I have rated this 4 stars on goodreads.