Through the Killing Glass: Alice in Deadland Book II by Mainak Dhar

English: Image shows three young Chinese Red G...

Pretty decent follow-up to Alice in Deadland . The former residents of the Deadland have formed a community (Wonderland) and humans and Biters are building a fragile peace. Of course, the Red Guards are not so quick to forget the ragtag bunch that bloodied their noses. Alice must hold together this coalition in the face of new enemies, both internal and external, while at the same time receiving help from unexpected quarters. Definitely a zombie tale with a twist.

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The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch

Oliver Pötzsch

Oliver Pötzsch (Photo credit: Lutz_ek)

The Dark Monk is the second installment in Oliver Potzsch’s “Hangman’s Daughter” series, and was just as enjoyable as the first. The setting is 17th century Bavaria and the main characters are members of the Kuisl family, Jakob, the titular hangman, and Magdalena, his daughter, as well as the son and apprentice to the local doctor, Simon Fronwieser. This time centered around a Dan Brown-esque religious mystery and race against time and treasure thieves, the book is full of historical fact and authorial fancy.

In fact, the one knock I have against the book is that some of the situations in which he places the characters and the means by which he extricates them are just a little too far-fetched, in an otherwise brilliantly researched and historically accurate novel.

Definitely looking forward to part 3.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Excellent story and visuals. Hasn’t aged a bit, in fact, it may be more appropriate for these times in which we live than when it was written thirty years ago. Alan Moore and David Lloyd seem nothing less than omniprescient in their descriptions of a future society that has given all of their freedoms to a soulless government, especially regarding The Eye and The Ear. And it didn’t even take a nuclear war…

English: Anonymous Español: Anonymous

English: Anonymous Español: Anonymous (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Johnny Cash’s American Recordings by Tony Tost (33 1/3)

American Recordings (album)

American Recordings (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first started reading this biography of the album American Recordings, I thought to myself “This is the most overblown, self-possessed, conceited, smug, overwrought, pretentious piece of literary crap I have ever read.” Now that I have finished it, I KNOW it is the most overblown, self-possessed, conceited, smug, overwrought, pretentious piece of literary crap I have ever read.

To wit: In reference to the song “Let the Train Blow the Whistle”, Tost wrote

“Perhaps the song even reveals where Cash believed the reckoning between God and America finally takes place; within the emotional, psychological and spiritual interiors of the republic’s citizens, the truly apocalyptic battleground.” (Loc. 812)

About the track “Thirteen” he wrote: “On the page, ‘Thirteen’ is a competent lyrical exercise in dramatic self-pity and generalized menace, nearly a caricature of Cash’s persona; it embraces the Man in Black’s outlaw mythology without including either the spiritual ache or the knowing wit that were also in his possession.”(Loc. 1072)

And I’m still trying to figure out just what the hell Tost was doing with Chapter 21–Permanence (3)…

This series, 33 1/3, has a reputation for unevenness, and I would have to say I hope so. As this is the first I have read, I do hope they can’t all be this bad. I don’t think Johnny would recognize his work or himself in this book. My first ever Zero Star review.

The Deadfall Hotel by Steve Resnick Tem

Reading

Reading (Photo credit: Beppie K)

OK, rarely will you ever hear me say this, but this book should have been longer. Not because I didn’t want it to end, but because so much is left out. While I am generally a fan of books that leave a little to the imagination and treat the reader as though they are a capable, thinking individual, there is so much missing here as to strain credulity.I know, I know, this is a fantasy novel. But it is populated by actual human beings, even if they are English. And those Englishmen should either react as humans do, or we should be given some explanation. Screw stiff upper lip and all that–NO ONE in this realm would just accept the goings-on at The Deadfall Hotel without so much as an eyebat, as we are led to believe that Richard Carter does.

This is my first foray into the work of Steve Resnic Tem, so I’ll withhold judgement on the entire oeuvre unless or until I read more, but this one left a lot to be desired.