Friday, April 01, 2016

Star Trek / Green Lantern: The Spectrum War

Star Trek / Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is a graphic novel which is exactly what the title says, an improbable crossover between the rebooted Star Trek and the Green Lantern universe.  Go ahead and snicker.  It was fun.

In a future/alternate GL timeline, Nekron, the creator of the Black Rings, somehow manages to kill most of the members of the various Lanterns Corps.  Ganthet pulls off a trick to use his death's energy to send the various rings into another universe, specifically the one populated by our rebooted Enterprise crew.  The Enterprise crew find his body about the same time Hal Jordan finds them (the green ring was curiously missing from Ganthet's collection).  The rings get activated and three Enterprise crew members get chosen while the yellow, red, and orange rings fly off to find appropriate Star Trek universe counterparts.

The yellow ring chooses one of my favorite Klingons, General Chang, who is sadly underused in this book.  The red and orange rings choose some random characters they created for this book.  Don't bother getting invested in them.  Grumpy McCoy gets indigo (I love his reaction to  the ring picking him.), while Uhura becomes a Star Sapphire, of course.  *sigh*  My favorite choice is Chekhov.  He gets chosen by the blue ring.  "I can do zat!"  He does embody hope.

Anyway, Nekron pops up again and the new Lanterns have to join up with the old Lanterns that actually managed to survive and get pulled from their universe to ours.  Yes, I consider Trek to be my universe.  I can hope, can't I?  Each of the Corps has at least one that survived.  They each find their counterparts and things go from there.  Oh, did I mention that Nekron has found the perfect place to rouse an army?  It's the asteroid cluster formerly known as Vulcan.

This was only a six part series, so it wasn't really long or in depth.  It was fun, though.  Kirk and Jordan are too much alike to actually get along well at first, but when faced with impending doom our heroes manage to rub along well enough.  Kirk figures out the way to beat Nekron, in an interesting twist.  Don't take this book seriously.  It's fluff and wish fulfillment, just like the Star Trek / Doctor Who crossover.

Different Seasons by Stephen King

This is really just a review of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.  I put Stephen King on my list of authors to read for my 2016 challenge, but knew I'd have to read a non-horror story.  Sorry, but King does his job too well and what he doesn't, my over-active imagination happily fills in for him when I'm trying to go to bed.  Not happening.  Since The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies, I figured I'd pick that one up.  Of course it had to be in an anthology.

Anyway, to those who don't know (living under a rock, are we?) the basic premise of the novella and movie is that an innocent man, Andy Dufresne, is sent to prison for murdering his wife.  The novella encompasses his entire term in prison as observed by a fellow inmate named Red.  Andy is a smart man, he was a banker on the outside, who uses his brains to make a bad situation just a little bit more tolerable.  And he has a plan.

I really liked it.  King didn't flinch from the awful stuff that happens in prisons, but he didn't overuse it either.  For a short read, you got invested in both Andy and Red and couldn't help but hope for both of them.

As for the three other stories in the book, I started reading An Apt Pupil after I finished Shawshank but had to stop.  The characters made me feel dirty from the get-go, which is apparently King's intention for them.  Hehehe.  I did get far enough in to get the reference to Andy Dufresne and had a bit of a chuckle at it, but I just couldn't read further.

The Body is the story Stand By Me, another old favorite movie, is based upon.  I started it, but haven't finished it.  I probably will before I give the book away, but it's not a priority.

The last story is The Breathing Method, which is tagged as a horror on the dust jacket, so I may not read that one.

Meg Brown: The Short Man by Joshua Cejka

The Short Man (Meg Brown Mysteries #1), by Joshua Cejka, was a quick read, as it's a short story.  It was fun,  Meg is of the uber-observant school of detectives and is sent with her partner to solve the mystery of a murdered parking enforcement officer.  There was a good amount of humor packed into this little gem as well as enough back story filtered in to make us interested in the character.  I'll be picking up the others in this series.

Alpha Bear by Bianca d'Arc

I'm really liking this series.  In Alpha Bear d'Arc is introducing what sounds like a really cool Big Bad, while still making the immediate Baddie dangerous locally.  This time, John, the Alpha of the community of Grizzly Cove, is up for the mating chopping block.  Of course, the job of the author is to throw obstacles at this and decides to pair him up with a strega, or hereditary witch of Italian origin, Ursula.  Apparently shifters and witches don't tend to make the best of couples.

Well, Ursula and her sister have been hiding their magic so they don't get bounced out of the nearly-all shifter community.  The sister outs them by accident and things start moving pretty quickly after that.  It is a quick read and has some fun bits.  I really hope Ursula's grandmother makes a visit to Grizzly Cove at some point.  She sounds like a real trip.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon by Richard Roberts

I definitely like this series.  I read the second, Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon, by Richard Roberts, right after I posted the review for the first.  I stayed up pretty late reading it, so I shouldn't have woken up as early as I did.

This book finds Penny and her friends, The Inscrutable Machine (an awesome name for a villain team) end up going to Jupiter and its moons to figure out the source of a signal picked up by one of the villains they meet in the first book.  There they meet an interesting cast of characters.  Somehow, a group of humans ended up being brought out to colonize some of the moons of Jupiter.  The new humans in the story are joined by a group of Automoton, who control the humans' lives, and also by a species of alien that takes over the humans by infecting them like parasites.  Penny still wants to become a hero, rather than a villain, but it seems everything she does works in such a way that she still appears to be a villain.

As I said, I really am getting a kick out of this series.  The main character the friends interact with in this book is a nicely flawed, fellow mad scientist.  Remmy has two brothers with differing ideas of how to save the other Jovian colonists from the robots and the parasites.  They're both older brothers who think of Remmy as a pesky younger sibling.  Remmy has a story arc I hope Roberts revisits in later books.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain by Richard Roberts

I ended up reading Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain by Richard Roberts because I got the third one in the series as a free read for review from Netgalley and the third refers to enough things that happen in this one and the second that I want to read them first.  I really liked it.  I'm going to be buying this series in paper.

Penny is the daughter of two superheroes.  She has always hoped she'll get her own powers.  Well, she does.  Slight hiccup being that her powers seem to lend themselves better to being a supervillain than a hero.  This first book finds her and her two best friends sort of falling into the villain thing by accident.  Basically, one of her friends loses his temper and pulls a "Hulk-Smash" which is actually a trap by a superhero's sidekick.  To get him out of trouble, she has to fight the sidekick and gets branded a villain.  Things go south from there.

The characters are nicely fleshed out, including the parents, amazingly enough.  Most parents in YA novels are there for decoration and the occasional grounding.  Penny truly loves her parents and doesn't pull the "oh woe is me, my parents don't understand me" bullshit.  It's nice seeing a YA family that actually has that love all around.

The descriptions of the inventions she makes and the world she lives in are a lot of fun.  There are enough superhero tropes being used well and in a fresh manner and enough to remind you that these are, indeed, kids learning how to run in an adult world that it makes the book very interesting.  For example, when meeting the strongest supervillain alive, even if he's retired, Claire wants his autograph.  This is a world that celebrates the superhero genre and enjoys its place in it.