Justice League MOVIE REVIEW

When I was a kid, I’d always dreamed of a Justice League film. Reading the JL comics, watching Superfriends reruns and the Bruce Timm Justice League series only added fuel to the fire for my dreams. For a while, I was convinced it wouldn’t happen anytime soon, and if it did I’d either be dead or too old to care.

In 2007, there had been rumors of a Justice League film in development with George Miller (Mad Max) at the helm. But when those developments didn’t come to fruition, I was back to dreaming.

Then, 5 years later, Marvel released The Avengers. I remember sitting in the theatre, in awe at seeing characters I’d read in comics or watched on Saturday mornings, fight aliens in New York. Then as a response, DC announced Man of Steel to be released the next year. That ignited the fuel… And now in 2018, and four DC films later—Justice League!

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure how good Justice League would be. (Or if it would even be watchable.) Man of Steel was good, Batman v. Superman wasn’t horrible or good, Suicide Squad was unbearable, and Wonder Woman was the best one out of all of them… I was hoping Justice League would get better reviews from critics, but seeing the reviews the film sounded like a mess worse than Suicide Squad.

Still, I just couldn’t resist not seeing Batman, Superman and Wonder on the same screen as Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. (Seriously, who thought Aquaman or Cyborg would be in films of any kind?)

Anyway let’s start with the directors. Zach Snyder (Watchmen, BvS) was originally attached as the director, but then tragedy struck and he had to stop. Thus Joss Whedon (Avengers, Firefly) was brought on to finish, and he made some script changes, and filmed some additional scenes.

Visually, the film looks rather bright compared to the other DC films… Man of Steel and BvS looked dark and moody, almost like everything had a shade of gray. Thankfully Whedon & Snyder have added some color. One issue unfortunately is the CGI. At times, Justice League looks a video game. Worse, the villain Steppenwolf doesn’t look realistic or remotely threatening. (The actor Ciaran Hinds did well with the voice, but that only helps so much.)

Script wise, the story is good but not the most original. Just the stereotypical throwing superheroes together who don’t get along and have them form a team… you get the picture. However, there a few genuinely funny moments, and there’s less cheesy dialogue than in previous DC films. (Though it’s easy to tell what Whedon and Terrio wrote, it feels like a cohesive project. Though Avengers this is not.)

If you see this movie, see it for the acting. Specifically from our six heroes: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. (Honorable mentions include Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and J.K Simmons as GPD Commissioner Gordon.) All six seem to have good chemistry, and that’s always integral for team movies. Out of the six, Fisher, Momoa and Miller steal the spotlight. (Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash respectively.) League is a great film debut for those three. Though I feel bad that Ciaran Hinds didn’t get to play a villain with good lines.

Overall I give Justice League 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. No it’s not perfect, but League is fun to watch for some super heroics! Also don’t forget to watch the after credit scenes.


Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence REVIEW

Note: This book is not for children. Yes, it’s about a 15 year old boy. But it’s about a boy thrust into a world of blood and ruin. Not for children, or squeamish readers. If this was a movie, it would be a hard-R. You have been warned.

For the last two years or so, in Fantasy groups on Facebook and beyond, I’ve been hearing quite a bit of praise for Thorns. I put it on my massive reading list for a while, and finally got to it last year. Thankfully I stopped procrastinating about reading it, and finally finished it this year.

The book centers on Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath, heir of Ancrath. When he nine years old, he witnessed soldiers belonging to Count Renar, murder his little brother and his mother, while he watched helplessly from a thorn bush he fell into.

Jorg’s father, King Olidan, refuses to get revenge for the senseless murder, so Jorg decides to take matters in his own hands, and leave the castle to plot his revenge. By age thirteen, he becomes the leader of a group of brigands, and by age fifteen he decides to return home and become King… But some things are easier said than done. (And that’s all I can say without spoiling the book.)

The book is told entirely from Jorg’s point of view, in the first person. (Rare for a Fantasy novel to be told from that view, but Lawrence handles the challenge beautiful.) He is cold and ruthless, yet he’s also very sarcastic and at times made me laugh out loud. And it’s largely the humor that kept me reading, and the unpredictability of Jorg’s actions.

As for Jorg the character, he’s not a large brute that bashes everything that moves that you normally find in revenge stories. He is small and skinny, preferring to outthink and outmaneuver his opponents, giving him a big advantage in a world of darkness and brutality. And thankfully Lawrence writes the antagonists s of the tale the same way, and makes them just as memorable as Jorg.

Another thing different about this tale is that everyone is equally capable of good and bad. A good break from clearly defined and moustache twirling characters.

Even the writing style is refreshing. Descriptions are short, and to the point, moving the story along at a quick pace. As a writer, it’s a style one can and should aspire to.

Overall, I give Prince of Thorns  4 ½ Stars out of 5. If you like your Epic Fantasy on the gritty side or revenge stories, you should give this book and the rest of The Broken Empire series a look. Should also appeal to fans of David Gemmell, Joe Abercrombie, and Scott Bakker.

Blood Skies by Steven Montano REVIEW

11439413Over the past few years, Post-Apocalyptic novels, shows, and films have captured many people’s’ imaginations. Though the usual cause has always been the same: man mistreating the environment , nuking everything , et cetera. But what if the calamity was magic entering our world ?

Sounds like a cheesy concept, but Montano makes it work. He also combines the military fiction and horror genres, with fantasy but it doesn’t feel out of place. The characters are an absolute treat to read. The villains aren’t too bad either.

Also no whiny kids in the plot is a plus! (Looking at you Divergent !) I really hope more post-apocalyptic tales follow suit.

Overall , I give it 4 stars. If you like The Dark Tower series, and novels like Starship Troopers, Blood Skies is for you.

Boise Library Comic Con — My first Con as a guest !

Details about my upcoming appearance at the Boise Public Library Comic Con.

The Writer on Wheels

Click image to learn more! Click image to learn more!

Over the years I’ve gone to a few local conventions, always as a regular nerd and never a super nerdy guest. Well, looks like I finally made it to the Super Nerd Guest Club (Just hope there isn’t a secret handshake.) at the Boise Public Library Comic Con 2015 in the heart of Downtown Boise.

The event is on August 29th, starts at 10 AM- 5 PM. You will be able to find me at the Idaho Comics Group table in the Artist’s Alley. And I’ll be there, chilling with my Tarzan & the Comics of Idaho #2 cohorts.

I’ll be selling and signing paperback copies of Blade of the Broken for the list price of $10.99. I’ll Blank white book w/pathonly be bringing 15 copies, so you may want to buy a copy to bring from Amazon or B&N online. Along with the artist for the script…

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2014 for Goblins , Swords, Elves Oh My! The data.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A big announcement !

(NOTE: If you saw this post on my other blog, you can ignore this post.)BladeOfTheBroken-ebook-web

My novel Blade of the Broken, is coming out in one week! 🙂

It’s very weird to say that… I’ve been telling you guys since November 2011 that I was working on my novel. I’m a bit nervous, like a parent taking their firstborn child to daycare for the first time. But you can’t keep your child away from the world around them.

You have to be able to let your child find its place… My book is essentially my firstborn child. I’ve got to let him take his first steps someday, rather than keep him in a file cabinet.

And that is what I’m going to do… On the 13th, I’m having a baby shower—err I mean online book release party! And I want my blog readers to join in the fun also! The party will be on Facebook, and is open to anybody, anywhere with a Facebook account! And it’s all day! (:

I’ll be giving you the scoop on the journey I took to get to this point of publishing. I’ll be answering any kind of questions you may have about the writing process, books, or any other questions you have. (Heck, we could even argue about what pizza is best cold!) I’ll even have a special giveaway!

In the end, I’d be honored if you joined me in the book release mania. The link is below.


P.S. Blade of the Broken will also eventually be selling in paperback also. I haven’t forgotten about you paper aficionados! (: (The latest proof I have is quite sexy.:) )

Thr3e by Ted Dekker REVIEW

I’m a big Ted Dekker fan. But I didn’t start with Thr3e. I first read Showdown, and fell in love with the quick paced, and thought provoking writing. Then I burned through Blink and The Circle Trilogy. (All amazing in there own right.)

I’ve been itching to read more of Dekker’s books, so I decided to start with his first novel Thr3e. It had a great suspenseful first few chapters, but by the time I got to the middle, it became an extremely slow read. Too many unnecessary scenes, and clunky descriptions and dialog.

It didn’t get good again to close to the end… But the end wasn’t too satisfying, and I felt like my time was wasted.

If you’reTedDekker_Thr3e reading Dekker for the first time, skip this book and read Showdown or Blink instead. His writing has improved greatly since Thr3e was released.

Overall, I give the book 3 out of 5 stars.