Preacher

Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, graphic novelA few months back, the news came out that AMC had ordered a pilot for an adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s graphic novel Preacher. I have seen these books at the Fullerton library for quite a while, and had always been meaning to give them a shot.

Here is where you can buy Volumes 1 & 2.

 

Synopsis

Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Texan Preacher Jesse Custer becomes completely disillusioned with the beliefs that he had dedicated his entire life to. Now possessing the power of “the word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters, Custer begins a violent and riotous journey across the country. Joined by his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip and the hard drinking Irish vampire Cassidy, the Preacher loses faith in both man and God as he witnesses dark atrocities and improbable calamities during his exploration of America.

 

Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, graphic novelsWhat Worked

The three main characters are interesting, but the ancillary characters really stood out; especially the Saint of Killers. I would read a comic book based solely on him. The pacing and the artwork make the story flow.

I really enjoyed the unique storyline. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

What Did Not Work

The dialogue throughout the book (especially between Jesse and Tulip, and any interactions between police officers) felt very forced and unnatural. By the third time Jesse and Tulip go through their “you tell me your secret first” banter, I was completely uninterested in any of their conversations. The jibes between the cops would have worked if done sparingly; here they seem to be present in every sentence.

For the start of a series, there were way too many storylines to follow. I could have done without the Adephi. Their dialogue was solely exposition, and was not interesting. Straight exposition would have work better, for me. The writing is just way too choppy.

My Take

I checked out the first two volumes in this series. Upon completing the first, I did not feel the desire to immediately start the second. Although I enjoyed the world that Garth Ennis created, it does not seem like the kind of series that I would enjoy binge reading. This leads me to believe that if the next couple of volumes do not blow me away, I will look for other books to occupy my time.

After reading the second volume (really half of it), I gave up on this series. Neither the characters nor the story held my interest.

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Welcome to Gameland: Deep into the Game (Book 1) by S.W. Tanpepper

Gameland, Saul Tanpepper, zombies, post apocalypse, fantasy, horror, booksWhile browsing through Amazon‘s kindle store when I came across Deep into the Game (Book 1) by S.W. Tanpepper. A few things caught my attention: 1) The cover looks sick (I know that is pretty shallow, but it worked), 2) This is the start of an eight book series (Gameland), 3) Tanpepper was willing to offer his first two books as free downloads (this showed me that he had confidence in his series).

Synopsis

6 Hackers, 1 Game… and 10,000 Undead.

Everyone’s addicted to Survivalist, a live-action, virtual reality television show featuring highlights from Arc Entertainment’s The Game. Filmed in Gameland, where cybernetically controlled zombies do battle in the middle of a Long Island wasteland, it’s to die for.

If you’re rich enough, you can buy your way in as an Operator. If you’re desperate enough, you can volunteer to become one of the Undead Players. Jessie Daniels and her gang of computer hackers plan to break their way in.

Welcome to GAMELAND. Access Restricted.

EPISODE 1: Deep Into The Game
A reckless, end-of-summer plan leads Jessie and her friends onto Long Island hoping to catch a glimpse of the infected victims of a decades-old outbreak. But while breaking in might be easy, getting back out is a hell of a killer.

I really liked that Tanpepper offered two separate synopses; one for the series as a whole and one for this first installment.

What Worked

This book offered the most believable dialogue that I have read in some time. Usually in a series of this nature you will find very forced dialogue that is used to move the story along. Tanpepper goes a different route; the dialogue feels authentic to the situation, while the story progresses along. I enjoyed the interaction between the characters and, more so, the amount of character development that was offered. This was not the obligatory origin story.

Tanpepper’s description of the world made it come to life. He made it very easy to envision this world. The start of this series offers a new take on the familiar zombie tale. And that is very difficult to pull off.

What Did Not Work

I did not like how the book opens. It felt as if Tanpepper hoped that the series will one day be adapted for either television or movies. Spoiling what will happen at the end, then going to the beginning of the story, took the wind out of my sails and had me distracted at the end of this book.

My Take

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book and am anxious to read the rest of the series. Tanpepper has me hooked and I highly recommend that you download this book to your device. On Amazon this book currently has a four star rating out of 133 customer reviews.

Make sure you check out the other books reviews on the site here, but first make sure that you follow the blog, so that you will get the latest content. Leave a comment below and let me know if this book sounds interesting.

Locke & Key By Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

I first heard about Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez while listening to a comic book podcast. From their brief discussion I knew I had to check out this series. The descriptive words they used made these books intriguing: horrifying, twisted, macabre, a must read. When strolling through the Fullerton public library I came across the first volume. It took several months until I came across the second volume.

 

Synopsis

Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, graphic novel, Locke & Key

Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all! Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) creates an all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez.

 

Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, graphic novels

Volume 2: Head Games

Welcome to Lovecraft, return with the next chapter in the ongoing tale, Head Games. Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support, little suspecting Zack’s dark secret. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingly familiar face. Open your mind – the head games are just getting started!

You know how I am a sucker for a short synopsis. I had to delete a sentence from the Volume 2 synopsis due to a major spoiler.

 

What Worked

Everything. This series is one of the most inventive that I have ever read. The writing by Hill and the fantastic artwork by Rodriguez mesh perfectly; I believe they raised the bar to another level. In 2011 Joe Hill won the prestigious Eisner Award for best writing. The Eisner is basically the Oscar for the comic book industry.

This is a harsh story, and that was completely refreshing. Bad things happen; Sometimes those bad things happen to good people. That may be what I liked the best: it is not a happy go lucky, lily white story. Shit gets real…and bizarre.

What Did Not Work

The only thing that did not work was the delay between reading volumes 1 & 2. The stories are so intense and engrossing that it was difficult to recall what had occurred prior. This is a perfect series for binge reading.

My Take

I could not give a higher recommendation for a series. This made me want to complete this series, then check out other works by Hill and Rodriguez. You can find them on Amazon (use the above links) or check them out at your local library. I was lucky enough to pick up Volumes 3 & 4 (Crown of Shadows, Keys to the Kingdom) today at the library.

Make sure you check out the other books reviews on the site here, but first make sure that you follow the blog, so that you will get the latest content. If you have read the Locke & Key books leave a comment and let me know what you thing; spoiler free please. If you have not, do they sound interesting to you? Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy reading!