Rat Queens, Vol. 3: Demons

Rat Queens, Vol. 3: DemonsRat Queens, Vol. 3: Demons by Kurtis J. Wiebe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed every volume of the Rat Queens.

The comics are great, and I am even more impressed they dumped the artist who assaulted his significant other. That combined with the whole idea that the Rat Queens are a strong, female only group means it is refreshing step away from the regular tropes.

As a gamer/DM I have ran countless campaigns. I have been very fortunate to have a very high proportion of women in my games, usually more than half. The whole sleazy, sexy, camaraderie in the comic book matches up pretty well with my experiences with women gaming.

The new art brings out the Queens even better, albeit I have to admit I still love Betty the most. The personalities are drawn very clearly, and only inspires me to find more like this.

I waited this long to read it because I had heard it ends on sort of a cliffhanger and I didn’t want a long waiting times. Well Volume 4 is out now so I had finished this one, and am already ordering Volume 4.

The cliffhanger is the only reason this comic gets 4 and not 5 stars.

View all my reviews

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is for the audible audiobook version.

I saw this book on a very good sale on audible.com and I bought it on a whim. I like Neil Gaiman and while I haven’t read everything of his (American Gods here I come) I have always liked it.

What I didn’t realize with The Graveyard Book was that it was a children’s book. It wasn’t what I was aiming for, but it sucked me in and I don’t regret it.

The writing itself is very good, penned with a cadence that kept my interest. The story of a child growing up in the graveyard presents a lot of surreal imagery, along with the impossible characters and situations.

The most interesting is the story is snippets of Nobody “Bod” Owens childhood from infancy until his teens and the circumstances that befall him during that time.

All I can say without revealing any spoilers, this is a wonderful children’s book that adults can enjoy.

View all my reviews

Blood of Elves (Witcher Book 1)

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is for the audiobook. Possible Spoilers Ahead

I came to this series through the Witcher video games, so I was vaguely familiar the world. I played all the way through Witcher 2 which picks up before this novel, and Witcher 3 which is after this novel. It is because of those video games that I tried this novel out.

THE PROS

What I noticed was the world was even richer in the book. I really like the in depth writing about Geralt, Ciri and Yennifer. Magic made more sense after reading the book, and an appreciation for Geralt was even better. Hearing his thoughts and seeing him interact with Ciri and Yennifer changed a lot of my perspective from the game. I think when I go play the DLC for Witcher 3 it will be even better. I still like hooking up with Triss better than how the book works and I still Yennifer is still cold and distant and I don’t like her, but the infighting between Geralt, Yennifer and Triss makes more sense.

THE CONS

The book itself is will be very slow for most people. Coming from the video game I expected the book to have a lot more action and adventure. It is actually a lot more talking and passive interaction between characters. I don’t think this is bad in itself it was just a surprise and I think it would have been better served to have a quicker pace, or a more ruthless editor.

The writing itself is very dense. The author likes to use in-world languages and then translate them and it throws things off. I realize for “realism” there would be other languages, but this is probably the most extreme situation like this. I grew a bit tired of listening to the author first have a character say something in a language I didn’t know, then translate it and say it again.

I also haven’t figured it out if its so distracting and ponderous because the way the novel itself is written, or if its because it is a translation from Polish, or because it is an audible book of a translation of a book that is already too dense. Either way the writing does lose some of the steam it built in other areas.

Overall I appreciated the book. I will probably still get the second book but I won’t hurry to it. If you can get this book on sale, then I would recommend it, otherwise just play the video game.

View all my reviews

The Home Front: Life in America During World War II

The Home Front: Life in America During World War IIThe Home Front: Life in America During World War II by Audible Original
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I should clarify, it isn’t really a book, more like a documentary in an audiobook format, or a radio serial from the 1940s. I don’t think they even have a text copy of this.

It takes a view on the American home front before and during World War II. It goes over the issues that the American civilians went through from the growing issues in Europe, through the war itself. It utilizes Martin Sheen as a narrator of the situation, but you get to hear the actual radio broadcasts from the government and civilians.

You get a view on the civilians themselves and it is rather eye opening. I always knew things weren’t so patriotic on the home front (or even in the military). While there are a lot of great things we talk about that generation, there were also major problems as well, and you hear it from the people’s own voices.

FDR had a thing where people would broadcast questions or opinions to him on the radio and he would sometimes respond (but usually not, too many people). There are a lot of people professing what we attribute to the greatest generation, a lot of caring people who were going to do what they needed to do.

I wasn’t surprised at the negative people though. I knew that there were a lot of racists people, a lot of antisemitic people, and it was a bit discouraging to hear them talk. They sounded a lot like the alt-right in current days.

I think the most surprising thing was hearing how the people drafted in World War II were very reluctant to go. It sounded like most were going to go anyways, but there wasn’t nearly the wave of volunteers that our mythic popular culture says. This isn’t a bad thing, and it actually reassures me that we aren’t much different.

I definitely enjoyed this book. I recommend others to listen.

View all my reviews

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like books like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is the book for you.

The book is an entry into the world of A White Trash Zombie series and it is a success. You get to know about Angel, a young white trash woman who is obviously now a zombie. The story is about her coming to terms with her new life, learning what its like to be responsible and to take control. Her new powers as a zombie come with a price though, something she can’t walk away from.

That is probably my favorite part about the book though. It shows how she grows up, and learns that she is in control of her own destiny and that she is worth something.

A definite must read!

View all my reviews

Great Courses: Other Side of History – Daily Life in the Ancient World

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient WorldThe Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World by Robert Garland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This course made me miss going to college.

Professor Garland is clear, crisp and smooth with the material. I never realized how interesting it would be to have 48 lessons that cover the common person’s life from Neanderthal through the medieval times.

It was interesting to hear how a common person lived. Ranging from slaves, to women (sometimes one and the same, sadly more often then sometimes), to citizens, soldiers and merchants. It was interesting to hear about what their day to day lives were like, who they married and what they did when they had a day off.

I have no complaints about this Great Course, and definitely no complaints about the professor. The only thing is I did wish it had more with other cultures, but that is because I knew a lot of the information from my other studies. However, that isn’t a problem because of the Course.

This was definitely 24 hours worth of instruction that was worth it. I am going to pick up my next set of lessons from the Great Courses immediately.
View all my reviews

NPCs

NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth, #1)NPCs by Drew Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very enjoyable fantasy adventure.

First, this is for the audible book, and it comes in around 8 hours so it is a good listen.

I knew that the whole hook of the series is a “what would happen if the NPCs in a fantasy world became the adventurer”. I thought it would be a cute little story that really wouldn’t be that interesting. I was wrong, by the end of it I was rooting for the characters and it felt just as good as any of the fantasy epic stories.

The book travels fast, it covers some basics of the world and it does use the whole trope of their being our reality of people who play tabletop games and the world itself. It avoids most of the clichés, and makes you root for the Kobold god for minions.

As for the audio, it is just like the rest of the audio books, the sound is great, the guy who does the voicework is easy to listen to and they didn’t try to do sound effects which I count as a good thing.

Also I just found there are two more books (each longer then the previous) and I am excited about getting them.

View all my reviews