THE ISLAND by S. Usher Evans – A Light Survival Adventure

I used my time at the beach last week fairly well, if I do say so. I managed to read about 85% of a book in about six days, which is a much faster clip than I usually make.

The Island by S. Usher Evans is the first in her Madion War Trilogy, which I picked up at Awesome Con in April. After talking with the author for a few minutes, I decided to buy all three books at a discount.

After finishing book one, that seems like a pretty good decision. The Island is a solid adventure story that was easy to digest on a lazy vacation. Continue reading “THE ISLAND by S. Usher Evans – A Light Survival Adventure”

CLICK. by Luther M. Siler – Quick, Fun, Inter-Dimensional Action

I got Click. directly from the author after I won a contest on his site. I was the first to comment a random word from a video he posted, proving I actually watched it.

Click. is an exciting and action-packed story that’s easy to digest and hard to put down. As is typical with Siler’s stories, the dialogue is snappy and sarcastic, with one-liners and pop culture references peppered throughout.

Continue reading “CLICK. by Luther M. Siler – Quick, Fun, Inter-Dimensional Action”

Quick Rip: Of Monster’s and Men’s New Sound?

“Alligator” is the first single from Of Monsters and Men’s third album. Fever Dream Comes out July 26, and the first single already has me wondering is we will yet again hear an evolved sound from the fascinating Icelandic group.

This performance on Fallon features the five main members–they usually have 3-5 touring members–playing a layered chorus of distorted guitars that more closely resembles post-rock than the band’s previous alternative folk rock sound.

Maybe “Alligator” will be anomalous on the new album, but a move in this direction actually makes sense to me. 2011’s My Head is an Animal had an airy feel with lots of vocal choruses. 2015’s Beneath the Skin still used a lot of acoustic sounds and vocal harmonies, but its tone was darker and hinted at the more ambient, emotive power of their music.

Whatever direction the band has chosen, I’ll be happy. Of Monsters and Men has (clearly) become known for long droughts between albums, but each one feels fresh and unique. I can’t wait to  hear what Fever Dream sounds like.

Steve D

“Black Crow, White Snow” – Book Review

I picked up Black Crow, White Snow by Michael Livingston from Audible’s free Originals program. It was part of May’s slate of free shorts. To be honest, I had mostly ignored Audible’s Originals to this point; I just didn’t see much value in it.

But after listening to Livingston’s short story in just two days (it’s only 2.5 hours long), I’ll have to pay closer attention to the free books Audible offers. Continue reading ““Black Crow, White Snow” – Book Review”

“Everything Trump Touches Dies” – Book Review

I listened to Everything Trump Touches Dies by conservative campaign strategist Rick Wilson on Audible. Narrated by Wilson and dripping with snarky disgust, ETTD  is an unflinching and unforgiving evisceration of the Trump campaign and administration through its first year-plus.

Continue reading ““Everything Trump Touches Dies” – Book Review”

Thoughts from the Game of Thrones Premier

If you can’t tell from the glut of content flooding every website, Game of Thrones is back. But I can’t just stay out of the fray during the biggest television series finale ever.

I have reactions too! For now, I’m just going to get my own notes on the season 8 premier on proverbial paper.

Beware… Here be spoilers!

Continue reading “Thoughts from the Game of Thrones Premier”

Review: “The Price of Inequality” is Heavy on Rhetoric, Light on Much Else

The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future by economist Joseph E. Stiglitz is in many ways a reaction to the Great Recession of 2008 and the US’s response to it.

I listened to this book on Audible, which likely impacts the way I feel about it. In short, I probably could have used the footnotes available in the print version. Continue reading “Review: “The Price of Inequality” is Heavy on Rhetoric, Light on Much Else”

With Tyranny on Hand: A Sound of Thunder’s Hope through Metal

While wandering around Baltimore Comic Con last fall, I happened upon a large vendor table playing metal music and loaded with vivid artwork.

There I met guitarist Josh Schwartz from A Sound of Thunder, a metal band based Northern Virginia who had just released an album and accompanying comic book.

Josh is a nice dude, they’re a local band, and they’re clearly into storytelling through their music. So of course I picked up the album. And it’s fantastic.

Continue reading “With Tyranny on Hand: A Sound of Thunder’s Hope through Metal”

What The Umbrella Academy Covers: Sci-Fi Mainstays and Comic Book Commons

Written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Ba, The Umbrella Academy is another example of comic book turned TV show, following in the footsteps of similarly dark realism properties like the Marvel series quintet, DC’s Arrowverse, and Wynonna Earp. It’s an interesting road now oft traveled in the pursuit of more viewers; a path that borrows generously from other mediums as well as other generations.

This fanciful musing on what TUA weaves well into its own dynamic story is in no way a slight against it. I enjoyed the first season quite a lot and finished it fast. Tropes and throwbacks are categorized as such , and repeated like so, because, in a world full of individuals, occasionally strangely specific themes seem to grip our interest.

In this post, I wish to explore the familiar as an enticement to embrace the new. Continue reading “What The Umbrella Academy Covers: Sci-Fi Mainstays and Comic Book Commons”