Thursday, November 30, 2006

Harbringers, by F. Paul Wilson

I'm not feeling too good right now, so I'm going to try and keep my review of Harbingers short. If you've read my previous blog posts, you know I love the Repairman Jack books. We finally get to find out who's been killing Jack's family. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to any reader who's been paying attention. There's lots of action and emotion, and we get to see Jack make a really tough choice. I give Harbingers five yo-yos.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Brother Odd, by Dean Koontz

I picked up Dean Koontz's new Odd Thomas book, Brother Odd, yesterday, and I've already finished it. If you haven't read the Odd Thomas series, you don't know what you're missing.

Odd Thomas is, not surprisingly, odd. He can see the lingering dead, and worse things, like the creatures he calls bodachs. Bodachs are shadowy harbingers of disaster, and when Odd sees them at a hospital for disabled children, he knows that big trouble is coming. Pretty soon, all Hell breaks loose.

Brother Odd is very fast paced, full of action and humor, and is a great read. Odd Thomas is one of the most original and memorable characters you'll ever read about. The only real complaint I have is that the villain is utterly predictable. I mean, when weird monsters start popping up you gotta figure that either a mad scientist or a wizard of some sort is behind it, and there just happens to be a scientist with a secret underground lair in this book. Still, that doesn't detract from the plot.

I definitely recommend this book. Brother Odd gets a full five yo-yos.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Deathworld, by Harry Harrison

I like Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series, so when I saw Deathworld, I decided to pick it up. It's an omnibus edition containing the first three Deathworld novels and a short story (there are apparently four other novels in the series, but they were written for the Russian market and have never been translated into English). Sadly, this book was kind of disappointing. The first novel was great. The second was terrible. The third was mediocre.

The first novel, tells how Jason dinAlt came to the planet Pyrrus, where every living creature is against humanity. Jason is a professional gambler, and he goes to Pyrrus after helping win the Pyrrans a billion bucks, so they can buy weapons. He goes to Pyrrus to prove how manly he is and ends up helping to solve their problems through reason.

In the second novel, Jason is kidnapped by a moralistic do-gooder. The guy's spaceship crashes on a primitive world and the two are taken into slavery. Somehow--despite the fact that he was raised in a feudal world, had little or no formal education, never learned to read until he was 15, and spent his adult life as a gambler--Jason has an unbelievable grasp of science and technology. He improves on the local cars, builds a radio transmitter and receiver, knows how to make sulfuric acid, improves the local metallurgy, and shows a basic knowledge of electrical generators and oil refineries. Jason also proves to be a bit of a dick when he starts a war to try and "civilize" the planet.

He's an even bigger dick in the third novel. There he starts a war, resulting in the loss of many innocent lives, so he can start a mining operation on another primitive planet. I'm sorry, but by the third novel I hated this guys guts.

Sure, the book has lots of action, which is always good. Unfortunately, I found parts of the book to unbelievable, even for SF, and I couldn't stand the main character. Still, since novel number one was so good, I'll give Deathworld an above average rating. It gets a barely above average three and a half yo-yos.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hal Spacejock Support Crew

I always like trying to get free stuff, and the Hal Spacejock books actually look interesting. Unfortunately they don't seem to be available in the US (okay, Amazon has used copies, buy $25 for the first one and $18 for the second is a bit more than I want to pay). Anyway, without further ado I present the meme:

I joined Hal Spacejock's Support Crew

I didn't pay anything,
I didn't sign anything,
and I didn't read the fine print.
Just like Hal!

No space pilot can exist in a vacuum (hah!), and behind every successful pilot there's a talented and dedicated support crew.

Hal Spacejock is one of the least successful space pilots in the history of the galaxy, and a worldwide support crew is needed just to get him off the ground.

Join now for free Hal Spacejock goodies!
| Join the team | - - - - - - - - - | Hal who? |

Hal Spacejock ... Après moi le wreckage

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Do-Gooder, by F. Paul Wilson

Last week, I was browsing the Repairman Jack forums, and I saw that there was a Repairman Jack short story available for $30 on eBay. These aren't just any short stories. They're printed on a 14x20 broadsheet, and are signed and numbered. It's printed on acid free paper. It has a woodcut illustrating it (and is signed by the artist too). It's printed on acid-free velvet and is suitable for framing. I got one, and it's pretty cool. There are only 200 of them, so if you want one, you better check it out now.

The story is pretty good, considering it's only about 500 words, and it's just such a neat thing to own. I give it five yo-yos.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Midnight Mass, by F. Paul Wilson

Many years ago, I read the novella that the first part of Midnight Mass is based on, and I thought it was a great story. Earlier this year, I rented the movie version, and thought it sucked (and wondered why the Hell they cut out the Rabbi, because he was one of the best characters and had one of the best lines: "What goes through this old Jew goes through you!" as he sacrifices himself to kill the vampire priest). The book is way better than the crappy movie, and slightly better that the novella.

The book is set in a world where vampires have taken over; like I Am Legend, only the vampires owe more to Dracula and other fictional vamps. It's a heroic tale, about how one man can light a spark that can, ultimately, lead to the vampires' defeat. Sure the man ends up becoming a sort of half-vampire--kind of like Blade, only with more vampiric weaknesses--but he's still a heroic man even then.

There's another great bit of dialog in the book:

"'Father Joe Cahill is back--and he's pissed.' I like that."
"It'll make a great bumper sticker"

It would make a great bumper sticker.

The book is great. It's got some great lines, some great adventure, some great characters, and it's pretty damn scary. Even if you don't like vampire books in general, or if you were turned of by the crappy movie, you should still buy this book. Midnight Mass gets five yo-yos from the Yoyogod.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Blood books: Volume Three, by Tanya Huff

If you've read my reviews of Volumes 1 & 2, you can probably guess that I liked The Blood Books, Volume III. The characters are interesting, and the stories are original. This volume contains a novel and a short story collection.

I thought the novel wasn't quite as good as the previous ones. The other ones featured supernatural enemies and mad scientists. This one featured an evil doctor who killed street people for their organs. That might have been fairly original in 1997 when the story was written, but in 2006 it's been done to death. Adding in the ghosts were a nice touch. The story was still pretty goo, though I thought it dragged in places.

I liked the short stories better. I had actually read "This Town Ain't Big Enough," though I have no idea where, since it was first published in Vampire Detectives, and I'm pretty sure I haven't read that. I liked all the stories, but I guess I'd pick "So This Is Christmas" as my favorite.

Anyway, buy these books. I give The Blood Books: Volume III four and a half yo-yos.

Edit: While cataloging my books, I discovered that "This Town Ain't Big Enough" is also in the book Virtuous Vampires, which I do have a copy of.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Where's My Cow?, by Terry Pratchett

I just love the Discworld books. Pratchett is one of my favorite writers. So, I decided to get a copy of his Discworld book for little kids, Where's My Cow?. It's pretty good book.

I wouldn't consider it for the casual reader. It's a very short book, but that's what you'd expect from a children's picture book. The story it tells would be familiar to anyone who read Pratchett's Thud!, as it's told there as well.

So, who would I recommend this too, then? First, for fanatics, like myself. I want to read all the Discworld books. Second, I'd recommend it to parents (or other adults) who want to expose children to Discworld and Pratchett. I plan on getting another copy to give to my 1 and a half year old nephew as a Christmas present. Third, I'd recommend it to anyone with little kids and a sense of humor.

Looking at the Amazon reviews for this book, some people don't like it. Many people complained that the illustrations aren't the same as the ones from The Last Hero/don't look like they think Sam Vimes et al should look/suck. I think the illustrations are funny and go very well with the story. Some people complain that the language isn't appropriate. There is "Buggrit," which means "Bugger it," and would be a curse word in Britain, but I'm in America where it isn't, so that doesn't apply to me. Some people complained that the book wasn't suitable for children or just wasn't good. Those people probably had their sense of humor amputated.

I like Where's My Cow? enough to give it five yo-yos.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Wayfarer Redemption, by sara Douglass

I love getting a good book cheap, so when I saw a copy of The Wayfarer Redemption at my local Borders for $3.99, I grabbed it. What surprised me most about this book, is that so many of the people who reviewed it on Amazon hated it. I thought it was great.

Sure, it does use the fairly standard epic fantasy plot. Villain pops up and threatens the world. Heroes go on a quest. One guy turns out to be very important and has magic powers. Another guy is a total dickhead. They fight over the beautiful woman. There is an ancient Prophecy. There are mysterious, magical races,

One thing I liked is how the aforementioned dickhead, Borneheld, actually had good reasons for being the bad guy (the lesser one). He was abandoned by his mother at an early age. He was ignored by his father. He has always resented how his bastard half-brother is a natural warleader, who is respected by his men (and most everyone else). His anger and resentment have made him act foolishly and just be a jerk.

The main villain, who isn't called Gargamel but I keep thinking of by that name because they sound kind of similar, has some excuses too. He was raised by wraiths (who are evil magic beings). He was the result of a forbidden union between two magical races. Really though, he was evil before he was born. I guess it was the prophecy or something.

The hero is called Axis. He was raised by priests. I turns out that they lied to him his whole life and the whole history of his country is a lie. He's done bad things as the military leader for the priesthood, but no worse than any other military leader has had to do.

I liked the book. I'll read the next one in the series. I don't care if some people on Amazon thing it's crap. Tastes vary. I give The Wayfarer Redemption 5 yo-yos.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I don't usually read spam. Google does a damn good job of filtering it out. Occasionally though, a spam message slips through. I recently got one in a foreign language that I don't understand. I used some internet language identification programs. One said it was Turkish, and another said it might be Italian. I'm pretty sure it isn't Italian, but I guess it might be Turkish (especially since the link at the end is to a .tr site). If someone could identify this language for me--or even better, tell me what it says--it might save me a trip to the loony bin. Here's the message:

subject: Seri Çözüm

Gazete ilan kampanya

Gazete kampanyalarinin özellikleri, süreleri ve ücretsiz yayinlari için arayarak bilgi aliniz

Sabah Gazetesi Kelimesi (3,50 YTL +KDV)
ELEMAN 2 Gün ücretli + 1 Gün ücretsiz = 3 GÜN enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
VASITA 2 Gün ücretli + 3 Gün ücretsiz = 5 GÜN enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
EMLAK 2 Gün ücretli + 5 Gün ücretsiz = 7 GÜN enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
* Çerçeveli Eleman ilanlari
* Ticari ilanlar
* Sosyal ilanlar (Vefat, Anma, Baŝsagligi, Teŝekkür.)
* Tanŭtŭm ve Duyuru ilanlari

Hürriyet Gazetesi Kelimesi (3,50 YTL +KDV)
ELEMAN 2 Gün ücretli + 1 Gün ücretsiz = 3 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
VASITA 2 Gün ücretli + 2 Gün ücretsiz = 4 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
EMLAK 2 Gün ücretli + 2 Gün ücretsiz = 4 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
* insan kaynaklari eleman ilani
* Çerçeveli Eleman ilanlari
* Ticari ilanlar
* Sosyal ilanlar (Vefat, Anma, Baŝsagligi, Teŝekkür.)
* Tanitim ve Duyuru ilanlari

Posta Kelimesi 1.70 YTL +KDV Milliyet Kelimesi 2.30YTL+KDV
ELEMAN 2 Gün ücretli + 2 Gün ücretsiz = 4 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
VASITA 2 Gün ücretli + 5 Gün ücretsiz = 7 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza
EMLAK 2 Gün ücretli + 5 Gün ücretsiz = 7 Gün enaz 6 Kelime ilaniniza

Gazete ilanlariniz için Tel

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Blood Books: Volume Two, by Tanya Huff

I was at Borders the other day, and I picked up The Blood Books: Volume II & Volume three. Sadly, I couldn't continue with Repairman jack or The Runelords series, because my Borders didn't have Gateways or Wizardborn. Sigh, it's there own damn fault Amazon gets so much of my business.

Once again the stories feature Vicki (the half-blind detective), her ex-partner Mike Celluci, and Henry Fitzroy (the vampire). This book introduces new enemies who are truly terrifying. And creepy too.

Anyway, The Blood Books: Volume Two is great. I actually liked it better than volume one. The first novel in this one, Blood Lines, is about a resurrected mummy. I know it sounds clichéd, but it's done very well. The mummy in this book is one of the best villain I've read in a long time. Blood Pact, the second novel in the omnibus, completes the Abbot and Costello Meet... theme in the other books (Dracula, the wolfman, the mummy, and now Frankenstein). It's not at all silly, though. It's a very touching and tragic story. I think I actually cried at one point. I mean Vicki's mother dies and is brought back by a mad scientist. That is sad enough, but the ending is tragic.

I liked this one a lot. I give The Blood Books: Volume Two five yo-yos.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Horrorween, by Al Sarrantonio

The main reason I picked up Horrorween was because I thought the idea of a town where Samhain "the Lord of the Dead" lived, was occasionally sighted, and is about to start killing people sounded silly. Sadly, this book isn't silly and it's not really all that good either.

First off, I'd like to point out that Samhain isn't the Lord of the Dead, it's the name of the holiday Halloween is copied off of. Sheesh. I know it often turns up as the name of a god in fiction, my first though was of the Real Ghostbusters episodes featuring him.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that this "novel" has been previously published as "Hornets," "The Pumpkin Boy," and Orangefield. Unfortunately, these stories don't seem to have a Hell of a lot to do with one another. Samhain appears in the first and last ones but doesn't seem to have anything to do with the second. Even the first and last stories only seem peripherally connected.

"Hornets", aka Part I: Something's Coming, is about a writer of children's horror. He's trying to write a story about the god Samhain but has writer's block because Samhain is so vast and evil. Then he decides to write about a cute creature called Sam Hain instead. This seems to piss off Samhain, who promptly kills the writer's wife with some hornets, and then does the writer in the same way. If that's all it takes to get Samhain to kill you, I hope J. Michael Straczynski is watching his ass (he wrote the Real Ghostbusters episode featuring Sam Hain).

"Pumpkin Boy," aka Part II: False Leads, is about a crazy roboticist who kidnaps a couple of boys and uses their brains as remote control units for a pumpkin-headed robot. I swear, I'm not making it up. It doesn't seem to relate to the main plot at all, except that a police detective is in this one and "hornets," and he apparently must be gotten out of the way or he'll foil Samhain's evil schemes.

Orangefield, aka the rest of the book, is about Samhain's evil plot to get three people to commit suicide on Halloween. This will apparently bring about the end of the world or something. The book is never really clear on this. It's also never clear on who Samhain is working for. We know he has a boss, because we get their dialogue every couple of chapters, but we're never told who the boss is. Really, who the heck could be more powerful that "the Lord of Death?"

Anyway, this isn't a very good book. It's not a very bad book, either. It's just plain confusing in parts, but has some genuine excitement. It doesn't hang together all that well, but it doesn't feel totally random. I can't see my way to giving Horrorween anything but three yo-yos.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Since Magic the Gathering is having a Great Designer Search, I though that just for the fun of it, I'd try following their challenges (I'm not entered in the contest or anything). I created these 10 cards based on the requirements from this week's challenge. I used the Magic Set Editor from Source Forge if you're wondering. I'm not much of a designer, so most of these cards are probably undercosted and some are probably broken.

The designers were given 10 slots to fill and 10 pieces of artwork. They could mix and match as they chose. Here are my ideas:

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This slot was for a whit uncommon that is "an answer to all the token making in the environment. Be subtle." I'm not sure if this counts as subtle or as an answer to tokens, but when I saw this image I thought Flagbearer, and I think it kind of works.

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This slot was for a white, rare, "Johnny-style enchantment." I think my selection matches the art, is within white's slice of the color pie, and is at least slightly Johnny flavored.

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This slot was for a blue, common sorcery. "No card filtering or drawing. No bounce (aka returning cards to hand)." I'm not sure how well I did with the artwork, but I think the spell is kind of neat.

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This one was for a rare "Timmy" creature. As with most of the actual submissions I read, this artwork screamed "Shapeshifter with a Clone type effect." I think my take on it is pretty cool, though maybe a bit broken

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This slot was for an uncommon, black aura "you want to put on your own creatures." I think I did a fairly good job here.

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This slot was for any black rare. I knew this guy was a zombie, so I put him here. I think the ability matches that art, but is way out of black's slice of the color pie. Oh well.

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This slot was for a red common "Instant or sorcery. No direct damage or destruction (artifact or land)." I think I did a good job with matching the artwork to the ability and keeping it in the right area of the color pie, but I doubt it's a common.

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This slot was for an uncommon red creature. "Want a build around me for draft (aka something that will encourage players to go down a path or paths he or she wouldn't normally had they not drafted this card early; examples of this type of card are Lightning Rift, Mark of Eviction and Momentary Blink)." I think this one encourage playing sacrificable artifacts and artifact destruction spells, so I guess it works.

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This slot was a common green creature that costs four or more mana. I added Morph since it does have one of those morph spider thingies in it. I'm not sure that this would be printed as a common, though.

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Green rare. Non-creature spell. Green's lacking in "wow" factor (aka something that will impress the player by how different it is). Trying to come up with an ability that matched an artifact apparently blowing up as it destroys a creature was hard. I decided that the creature had destroyed the artifact and is being killed in the explosion. I don't know if it works well or not.

Anyway, I hope you got a good laugh out of these. Seriously, feel free to offer constructive criticism, mockery, or whatever. If you want to steal these to enter in You Make the Card Four when it finally comes out, feel free. If MaRo, or some other WOTC employee, reads this and decides to steal it for their design files (perhaps because of a recent head injury), be my guest.

My next review should be up later tonight (after Doctor Who) or maybe some time tomorrow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Blood books volume One, by Tanya Huff

As you might recall, I wasn't to impressed with Huff's Wizard of the Grove. I thought her The Blood Books, Volume I was a much better book. First off it doesn't have six chapters of back story shoved in the beginning like Wizard of the Grove did. Also, it's one of those fantasy/mystery type things that I like. Oh yeah, it's an omnibus edition too, and I always like those when they're good.

There's this ex-cop named Vicki who had to leave the force when she got a rare disease that makes her night blind and is destroying her peripheral vision too. She becomes a PI and is hired to find the killer in a series of "vampire" attacks. She gets some help from a real vampire. In the second novel in the book, she and her vampire buddy team up again to investigate the murder of some werewolves.

These books have a very exciting plot, and the characters are (mostly) very believable and generally interesting. The only real exception was the villain in the first novel, who was so unbelievably geeky that he seemed more like a stereotype than a real person. The villain in the second novel was much more believable.

I really liked this, and I'm definitely going to pick up Volumes 2 & 3 next chance I get. I give this one four and a half yo-yos.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Seer's Digest, by Michael "Mookie" Terracciano

Okay, so I got a copy of Dominic Deegan One and a Half yesterday, aka Seer's Digest. If you read my review of Crystal Clear, you know I've been waiting for this one.

There's no point in going into how great a series I think Dominic Deegan is. If you want to hear about that, read the review of Crystal Clear or the review of the web comic. For now, I'll say that it's a damn great web comic. It's one of the few web comics I read that I'm pretty sure I'll keep reading as long as it's still being written. I can't say the same for the other comics else I've reviewed. Yes, I still read Dr. McNinja and the InqTales stuff, but there's another I've given up on.

I don't even read Sorcery 101 anymore, because the writing (which was never all that great) just keeps going downhill. After the "action" in the last story ended, the Kell Hound spent 15 pages explaining to a newly made werewolf what it's like being a werewolf. 15 pages of people talking with no jokes and the only action being reviving a friendly vampire. whoopdie do. At three pages a week that equals five weeks of not a damn thing happening. She just really needs to work on her pacing, and dialogue, and spelling, and grammar (and stop ranting like a petulant child when someone dares to criticize her).

Anyway, to get back on track, Seer's Digest is great. This contains all the Dominic Deegan stories from the beginning through chapter nine. There's also some neat little filler artwork placed in to fill up what would otherwise be blank spaces. There's a cool afterword by Mookie, and a brief bio of him. The last page tells us that volume two is coming soon, and it can't come soon enough for me. The only real downside to this volume is that since it's self published, you won't find it at Amazon and your local bookstore probably won't have it either. That's not much of a problem since you can order it direct from Mookie for a measly $23. Go on, do it now, because Seer's Digest gets a full five yo-yos.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Brotherhood of the Wolf, by David Farland

I just finished Brotherhood of the Wolf. As you may recall, when I reviewed The Runelords last week, I said that I thought there were some problems with the first book, but that the series showed promise. After reading this book, I decided I was right; this one is better than the first one.

The first book in the series was a bit slow in the beginning. This one started with lots of action. You've got horrible Reavers sprouting up like weeds, going around, and killing everybody. They're pretty cool and nasty monsters. There's also a thing called a Darkling Glory which seemed kind of cool too.

The characters are gaining more depth, and poor Raj Ahtlan (the villain) seeems to be turning into a total nutjob. There are new enemies popping up in the form of the wind mages. There are new heroes. Really, I just liked this book a lot.

The only thing that annoys me is the constant misuse of the word sirrah, which as anyone who has read Shakespeare (or looked a Websters Online dictionary) knows means "used as a form of address implying inferiority in the person addressed." Farland seems to use it as a comlpiment or something. Sheesh! It's not much, but it really bugs me.

Even with that, I do like this book. I give Brotherhood of the Wolf four and a half yo-yos.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Last Hero on Earth, by Tom Smith

As you might know, I like Tom smith's stuff. I download his iTom song every week. Since my car didn't require too much when I had in in for inspection last month, I decided to splurge on, among other things, The Last Hero on Earth.

This is a very odd CD. It was written as a part of 24 Hour Comics Day, where people are encouraged to try and write a comic book in 24 hours. Like me, and many other people, Tom Smith can't draw well or fast, so he wrote songs instead. The songs were based off of imaginary comic book chapter titles suggested by the readers of his LiveJournal (see the thread here). As you might expect, he got some very odd suggestions, which resulted in a very odd and funny album.

It's a comic opera about a super hero called The Waffle. All of the rest of Earth's heroes have been defeated by the combined might of the world's mad scientists. The Waffles abilities are "agility, quick with, [and] marksmanship (syrup gun only)." These aren't the sort of abilities that strike fear into the hearts of evildoers. Really, it reminds my of the movie Mystery Men, only much better (and I actually like that movie).

All of the tracks are funny. There wasn't one that didn't get me laughing at least once. Some of them got me laughing a lot more than once. It's hard to say why, but my favorite tracks are probably "What If?," "Pirate Ninjas from Dino Island," and "With Great Power Comes Great Power Bills." Like I said, it was hard to pick, because all of the tracks were great.

The only real exception wast he bonus tracks. They weren't bad, but I didn't think they were all that great. They were mostly some alternate versions of other tracks with introductions by Tom Smith. There were also some bloopers. Overall, I don't think they significantly added or subtracted from the quality of the album.

it's a great album. You should go buy it. I give The Last Hero on Earth five yo-yos.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Haunted Air, by F. Paul Wilson

Another day, another Repairman Jack novel. I just love these things. Repairman Jack is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction. He reminds me of The Equalizer or The A-Team, only he never works for free (unless his girlfriend Gia asks him too). Any bad guys who get in his way are dead meat.

In The Haunted Air, Jack is hired to help a couple of phony mediums out of a jam. The problem is, their house is haunted by the ghost of a murdered girl, and that ghost has plans for Gia. There's lots of action, lots of violence, and lots of supernatural stuff. Oh yeah, and there's a guy who's either over two hundred years old or a loony--the book doesn't specify, but I'm going with loony.

This is a cool book. If you're a fan of Repairman Jack, you should read it. If you're not a fan of Repairman Jack, buy one of those $4.99 copies of The Tomb, and you probably will be (then you can read this one, or read it first I don't care). Anyway, I love the Repairman Jack books, so I give The Haunted Air five yo-yos.

Oh yeah, I received a copy of Tom Smith's The Last Hero on Earth. I'll probably have a review of it up later tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

It's not very often that I read story that's so good I wish I could give it more than five yo-yos. I Am Legend is that kind of story. Unfortunately, this volume comes with a few short stories as a bonus, and not all of them are as good.

If you've seen The Last Man on Earth or The Omega Man, then you know the basic plot. Robert Neville is the last man on the planet. Everyone else is a vampire, and the story tells his struggle for survival. It's a very powerful story that causes us to question our own place in the universe.

The only problem is that the story is a bit dated in spots. It was written in the Fifties, but it's set in the Seventies. Unlike the real Seventies, this one still has radium painted clocks (cancer anyone?) and wind-up watches (OK, they might still have been around, but I doubt they were very common). Still, that doesn't detract from the story at all.

This volume also contains ten short stories. The only one I was familiar with was "Prey," and that was only because I remember seeing it adapted on television. I didn't like "Buried Talents" or ""The Near Departed" much at all. I liked "Witch war" a bit, mainly because I wondered if it was inspired by Charles Fort's idea of using Poltergeist Girls in war. "The Dance of the Dead" kind of sucked. I really liked "Mad House," which is about a guy with real anger management issues. "The Funeral" was pretty funny. "From Shadowed Places" and "Person to Person" were both pretty good stories.

I'd also like to add that I really liked the cover on this book. It was done by The Chopping Block, who have done quite a bit of work with They Might Be Giants, and actually have a TMBG song about them.

Despite some of the short stories being just so-so, this is still a damn good book. If you haven't read I Am Legend, you're missing out on one of the best vampire books ever written. I give it a very well deserved five yo-yos.