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Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Red Rain" - R.L. Stine

"Red Rain" - R.L. Stine

If anyone knew me as a child, they would know how much of an R.L. Stine fan I was. It would be a rare sight not to see my nose stuck into one of his books. He was basically my hero. I swear that I must have had near 400 of his books. (Ok, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but as a military child packing up my R.L. Stine books to move took almost two hours by themselves!) My Mom would take me to garage sales to find the missing books in my Goosebumps collection. I had everything by him: Goosebumps, Fear Street, "Choose Your Own Adventure", etc. I was enamored by R.L. Stine until he wrote his first "young adult" book, "The Sitter". "The Sitter" was such a jump from what I was used to R.L. Stine writing that it put me in shock and stopped my fascination with his books. (That and I was in high school and had already read all the "teen" books he wrote.) With that introduction, once I saw he produced an adult book, I put my issues with "The Sitter" aside and had to read this book to give R.L. Stine a second chance in my life. 

I just finished the prologue and the first chapter. So far, so good. The style is familiar, like a long lost friend. That was very comforting to read. I missed his style of writing. The only major thing I have noticed that separates "Red Rain" from his younger targeted books is that the language and word usage is more mature. I can honestly say that I am glad to have an R.L. Stine book back in my hands and cannot wait to finish this book. :) I might have to dig out my old Goosebumps books from my parents garage and have a mini flashback fest. :) 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Stonewall" - David Carter

"Stonewall" - David Carter

"Stonewall" is an in-depth look at the riots that triggered the gay revolution. Located in Greenwich Village, New York in 1969, these riots are the beginning of a new point of view towards gay, lesbian, and transgender people. Before these riots, people had no problem beating, publicly mocking, or even murdering people with different sexual preferences and attractions than the "normal" preferences and attractions. 

So far still in the first chapter learning the background of the gay community in Greenwich location. The book opens with an introduction about Tony Lauria, a son of the mafia community. Much to his father's dislike, he decides to open a gay bar with one of the unused properties owned by the mob his father runs. This bar, later, would be the location of the Stonewall riots. 

This book is a very informative book, not an interactive book like many of the other books I've written on this blog. I figured since we just passed Gay Pride Week in Anchorage, I would pick up a book and learn a little bit of the history of that particular way of life. Despite the first chapter being written similarly to a textbook format, I am quite drawn into the explanations of how people were treated in Greenwich Village, despite it being one of the top gay communities of it's time (and ironically enough any sort of gay or lesbian interaction was banned and punishable in Greenwich Village at that time). The way the book describes it, because the majority of the gay bars were owned by the Mob, the people who frequented those bars felt a certain sort of security and safety.. somewhat. 

"Radioactive Communist Zombies" Part 2

I've finished up "Radioactive Communist Zombies" by S. Evan Townsend and I must say it managed to change my mind. In the beginning of the book I was quite disappointed. The book seemed to bounce all over the place and couldn't decide if it was going to be a fantasy book, a war book, a romance book, or a diary-type book. It seemed to keep switching, and the transitions were not good.

About halfway through the book got much better. The author got his transitions down, and was actually throwing in catching moments to keep you hooked. It got to the point where I was reading two hours straight, and dreading to put down the book. The different types of books that were showing eventually got their act together and came to be a pretty interesting combination.

I was still confused about where the title came from. Throughout most of the book there is no reference to Radioactivity or zombies. The book does have a lot of talk about communism right off the bat though. Around 3/4th of the way through the book it finally mentions something about a radioactive bomb. Finally, on page 195 of 223 it says "radioactive communist zombies".

My overall opinion of this book is that it's a good book, but not on my favorite list. It took almost half of the book for it to come together and make sense. Similarly, it took over half the book for it to manage to capture me. Since I am doing a comparison with the same book that was tweaked and published under another name, I'll let you know how that one comes out. :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Radioactive Communist Zombies" - S. Evan Townsend

"Radioactive Communist Zombies" - S. Evan Townsend

I have yet another unique opportunity for this blog. My coworker, Bonnie, has loaned me another interesting book, "Radioactive Communist Zombies" written by her cousin. While we were talking at work, she mentioned that this book is one that he published by himself. She also said that it was later picked up by a publisher, altered a bit, and renamed "Agent of Artifice". This immediately interested me and I knew I had to read both and see the difference between the two, and which book I like better. I can already tell you I like the title "Radioactive Communist Zombies" better than "Agent of Artifice" because it's so random, but we'll see if the book lives up to it's title. 

I've already started to read "Radio Active Communist Zombies" and will admit that it's a tad confusing at times. The man character is Michael Vaughan. He works as a Non-Official Cover for the CIA, and is an adapt. It took me awhile to figure out what an adapt is, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure I fully understand it yet. From what I gathered, an adapt is someone with special powers. Using their powers, they can change languages, persuade people, make people afraid of things they aren't, etc. They look just like humans, and it is very difficult to figure out if a person is an adapt or not. 

Anyway, back on topic. Michael is sent to Cuba to assassinate Castro. So far during his trip in Cuba, he's met a beautiful woman, Liesl. She is also an adapt and ends up in a deadly car crash with Michael, killing two other adapts. The violence against the adapts are increasing, and Michael is well known to the men hunting adapts. 

I'm only on chapter four of thirteen, but it's interesting enough to keep my attention. There are some slow points, but right as I'm considering to put the book down for the night something interesting pops up. So far this book seems like a crime novel, mixed in with a bit of wizard/witches type magic. You're on the run with Michael, and get to see what it feels like to be hunting men and being hunted by man. 

So far I would say this is a good read. It's still early to tell what type of person I'd recommend it to, but it's still a good read. :)