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Look, Up on the Screen! The Big Book of Superhero Movie Reviews
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/18/2013 11:17:16

If you enjoy superhero movies this is well worth a look. Like any review (including, of course, this one), the ones in here are the personal opinions and responses of the author - you may agree or disagree as you please. I recall in the 1980s there was a film reviewer in a certain newspaper who had diametrically opposed ideas of what made a good film to mine: to the level that if he raved about a film I'd give it a miss, if he hated a film I headed for the cinema at once!

Anyway, here are some cogent and well-written opinions on a full one hundred movies in the superhero genre, ranging from quite ancient ones to some of the recent blockbusters. They are entertaining to read, and may suggest something you might like to see, or bring back fond memories of one you enjoyed.

If you are building a collection of superhero movies on DVD or in your media centre hard drive, keep this to hand as a ready reference. It's something to dip in to, check things up, just revel in someone writing about a genre he so clearly loves. If I don't put my copy down now I won't get anything else done today!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Look, Up on the Screen! The Big Book of Superhero Movie Reviews
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Bigfoot War 2: Dead in the Woods
by Lorcano H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2012 01:45:36

This is pleasant change from the writers that take themselves a bit too seriously. A pacey novel that keeps you intrested thoughout, I read it in a couple of sessions. Crammed with characters that you can associate with. I've spent a couple of quid on far worse. I for one will follow this series.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bigfoot War 2: Dead in the Woods
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Blood of the Dead: A Supernatural Time Travel Zombie Thriller (Undead World Trilogy, Book One)
by Ray W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2011 23:32:18

Blood of the Dead: by A.P Fuchs Being a fan of the zombie genre, I bought this book on a whim, just as a filler book to read between books that I was going to read. This however turned out to be one of the best impulse buys I have made. The book has a group of likeable characters that grow and develop through the book. As things get tough for them you find yourself mentally cheering them on, and hoping for their survival. As the characters Joe, Billie and Des are forced to leave The Haven in search of a ‘safer place’ A.P Fuchs does a great job of building the sense of impending doom that surrounds our group of heroes as they make their way to the city. Once there the trio soon meets a man named August who had lost everything and is looking for someone to connect with. Even with the addition of August, things steadily get worse for the group and send them on a crash course to hell and back again as they try and find a place to live if relative safety. This book is well written and has everything you want from a zombie thriller, plenty of zombies, plenty of action and a few laughs on the way. Once you have finished Blood of the Dead you will want to pick up the second book in the trilogy and sink your teeth right into it. I highly recommend this book to anyone.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blood of the Dead: A Supernatural Time Travel Zombie Thriller (Undead World Trilogy, Book One)
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Valley of Evil: A Superhero Novel (The Wraith Series, Book 2)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2011 22:53:00

Decent enough super-hero fiction. I think I was expecting something else. There are more in this series including a book that came before this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Valley of Evil: A Superhero Novel (The Wraith Series, Book 2)
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The Wraith: A Superhero Novel (The Wraith Series, Book 1)
by R J C S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2011 17:24:13

Note: I would post a “Spoiler Alert”, but that would imply there was something to spoil.

In his “Author’s Note”, the author states he wanted to “conceive [his] answer to such classic heroes as Batman, the Shadow and the Spider”. According to him, it took years “to try and flesh [the Wraith] out, to try and bring him to the world, or at least bring him out in such a way so that I myself could see him more clearly”. Then, in 2002; “my creative juices began to flow, and there was no turning back”. Personally, I would say that if this novel is an example of his “creative juices” flowing, I would hate to see what the author produces when he’s off on a plagiarising spree.

Why would I say this? Well, let’s see. The novel features: • a major city which has fallen from the heights of its glory days to become a bastion of corruption and criminality (Gotham City/Metro City); • a rich protagonist who lives in a mansion, has devoted his life to fighting crime as a black-caped vigilante swooping down on evildoers in whom he strikes fear (Bruce Wayne/Paul Sanderson-Michael Reeve), and repairs to an underground cavern (the Batcave/the Lair), complete with computers, training area, etc., with access through a secret passage in the library (indeed, even the elevator granting access to the underground cave sounds like it was “inspired” by the 1960’s television series); • the hero’s assistants, who include an English butler (Alfred Pennyworth/Jonathan Simpson) and a reformed criminal turned inventor (Harold Allnut/Max Horton); • a few honest police officers within a generally corrupt police department, two of whom are a tough, no-nonsense, vigilante-distrusting detective (Harvey Bullock/Bob Sloan) and his female Latin partner (Renee Montoya/Rosa Perez); • …

What else? Oh, right: the hero wears a dark suit with a cape and cowl, conceals coiled rope on his belt, which also has pouched compartments holding, among other things, gas pellets, and often perches among the gargoyles on the city’s rooftops. He uses the Eye of Judgment on criminals (cf. Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare). He “had sworn never to take a life, no matter what the circumstance”, and one of his earliest crime-fighting feats is foiling the attempted mugging of a couple, where the criminals “just wanted [the] cash an’ that necklace” (cf. the murder of the Waynes).

If none of this sounds familiar to you, you haven’t been reading the same comic books as I (or, obviously, the author).

What about the “plot”, then?

This involves mass-murder through poisoned make-up (anyone remember the 1989 Batman movie?) and disappearing homeless people brainwashed into becoming an army (as in the 1994 Batman/Spawn crossover, although in the latter case, the homeless were cybernetically joined to mechas) of a mysterious, physically imposing criminal mastermind (“the Cobra”, who somehow reminds me of Bane, but that’s probably just my imagination).

If you are into nitpicking, there are many apparent inconsistencies to choose from: regarding Tavelli Cosmetics’ offices on Montgomery Street, “Leena pushed the button for the fifteenth floor—the building’s top floor” (Ch 18), yet in the following chapter, “The Wraith scaled carefully down the glass and steel wall, lowering himself with a remote controlled line, feeding from a small engine atop the building’s roof. Not needing to lower himself very far, The Wraith stopped the mechanism at the fifteenth floor […]”. This either (a) implies that the 15th floor is no longer the top one, or (b) is an example of the author’s poor writing style (considering that his characters do things like “retreat[ing] back from the wreckage”, this is a distinct possibility).

The author does have problems with floors, actually: forget that the world’s largest building (currently, this is the Burj Khalifa) has “only” 163 floors. The Latham Industries building has 300, which is a nice round number with which to impress the masses. But when its roof and top floors are blown up, the Wraith jumps to the roof of the nearest building. Now, unless there are numerous buildings with 290+ floors in the city, that is one magnificent jump. And if there are that many tall buildings in a single area of the city (with the Latham building being the tallest, as explicitly stated), imagine how wide the streets must be, to deal with the traffic such buildings would require; the jump would still be an impressive one. But as I said, this is mere nitpicking, of course.

The same kind of painstaking attention to detail is given to punctuation, and most particularly to hyphenation, making some of the sentences rather hard to understand at first (on top of which, there are missing words here and there, which probably reflect the editor’s lack of concentration when going through the final draft: who could blame him for falling asleep while reading this “rollicking good adventure yarn”?)

In short, I have no idea what the actual comic book is like, but I do know that this “novelisation” is a horrendous attempt to reproduce the naive style of classic pulp fiction. Contrary to the author’s stated opinion (“It is what it is, a short novel in the vein of those old classic pulp magazines—easy to read, quick to digest, enjoyable to finish.”), this novel is merely a waste of a day’s reading.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Wraith: A Superhero Novel (The Wraith Series, Book 1)
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Bigfoot War
by Steven D. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/03/2010 10:43:40

A Flamesrising.com review:

I’ve been put through the literary meat grinder recently with really great & really intense books like Darkness on the Edge of Town and On the Third Day. So I figured it was time to read something a little lighter of subject; something not quite so epic this time around. You know, something frightening… but fun! To that end, my reviewer’s copy of Bigfoot War couldn’t have come in the mail at a better time!

I’ve never read a Bigfoot horror story before; to be honest, most of my experience with Bigfoot comes from either watching Harry & the Henderson’s or watching the car crushing eponymous monster truck. I knew nothing about author Eric S. Brown either, but fortunately he spilled his own can of beans in the book’s introduction. Growing up in rural North Carolina, Eric apparently had Bigfoot as his mythical neighbor when you consider all of the sightings and stories about the big cuddly lug in his hood. No doubt this was the sort of fertile ground where Eric’s garden of terror would allow a story like Bigfoot Wars to sprout from!

Our story begins with young Jeff Taylor, who lived in the small rural town of Babble Creek. Notice that I used the word “lived” (as in past tense.) You see, according to Jeff, he witnessed his family being slaughtered by the legendary Sasquatch! Understandably, he fled the small town… but he left as a soon to be ”man on a mission”. Fast-forward fifteen years later; with two tours of duty in the Iraq War under his belt, Jeff has now returned to Babble Creek a very different person, and he has a score to settle with ol’ Bigfoot.

Jeff’s return to town understandably concerns the town proper immediately. Between his old friends, the Police department and other locals, an unfortunate series of events takes place which stirs up the proverbial hornets’ nest. It seem that “the one and only Bigfoot” isn’t quite so one & only. As fate would have it, a whole tribe of Sasquatch lives in the nearby woods… and they’re enraged & aiming to put their collective bigfeet in Babble Creek’s hinny!

Clink on the link below to read the entire review: http://www.flamesrising.com/bigfoot-war-review/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bigfoot War
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Revolt of the Dead: A Zombie Novel
by Steven D. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/20/2010 13:34:32

A Flames Rising Review:

"Two friends. An ancient book. One heck of a problem.”

Halloween isn’t until tomorrow night, but Barry and his best buddy Shawn are dealing with a scary monster today. Mitch, the school bully has had Shawn marked for sometime now, and he takes it on the chin. Barry encourages Shawn to stand up to Mitch and defend himself, but so far he’s lacked the courage. Ahh, the joys of school.

Later that day the two are looking for a book for a class, but instead they find a very different and much more intriguing book in a secret compartment. Shawn is fascinated by this seemingly “ancient spell book” and studies it throughout that night into the following morning. Shawn even takes it with him when he and Barry go a Halloween party a class mate invited them to. But Mitch is also attending the party and after a confrontation gone bad, he ruins their night and gets them kicked out.

Desperate for revenge, Shawn takes Barry with him to a nearby cemetery to play a prank on Mitch. According to Shawn’s research of the spell book, there is a spell contained within the book that can raise the dead. So why not raise a couple of zombies to scare the living heck out of Mitch? Because nothing ever goes quite as planned when you’re meddling with powers you cannot comprehend, that’s why!

Revolt of the Dead by Keith Gouveia, is the latest zombie novel to move into the crosshairs of my rifle scope. While I’m not familiar with Keith’s work, I like to think that I’m fairly well versed in zombie literature. With that in mind, I peered through my rifle scope, aiming between the eyes of this undead fodder. Did this novel hit, or did it miss? Let’s pull the trigger and find out.

Read the entire review at http://www.flamesrising.com/revolt-dead-review/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revolt of the Dead: A Zombie Novel
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Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers - A Canterbury Tale
by Steven D. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/20/2010 13:30:36

A Flames Rising Review:

The other day in my email there was a new Offering of an eBook novel for me to review. “What’s this? A new tale of the great Robin Hood As a zombie killer?!” Now this should be good! Tis a different style of novel, for better or for worse For this Canterbury tale is told entirely in verse.

I ask you to follow along with me if you would About this unique take on Friar Tuck and Robin Hood As they deal with a hoard of zombies and their maw’s Their horrible stench, their appetite and also their claws.

At first I wondered what story this novel may reveal. A zombie outbreak on Saxon soil... really, what’s the deal? It seemed silly at first that Robin Hood’s latest plight Would be saving all of England from an evil zombie blight. In my head, the framework of my review was ready to concede That this strange angle on Robin Hood would be silly indeed. And yet as I read the novel, to my very surprise I could tell That this tale wasn’t a mockery… it was actually quite swell!

The book beings with a monk spreading a dose of fear To a crowded tavern of many people supping on wine and beer. Between his swigs of the tavern’s free flowing ale A horrible story of undead monsters was the theme of his tale. It starts on familiar ground as King Richard was away Dealing with the Palestine’s and leading a spiritual fray. Back home his brother Price John, with an evil smirk Plotted the steal Richards’s kingdom, man what a jerk! To fund his alliances, the heart and soul he’d tax Out of the poor peasantry who all paid by the sacks Of coins and trinkets made of silver and gold That is, until one day came a man who was brave and bold. He stood up to all those oppressive Norman lords By using thievery, bows, arrows and swords.

Read the entire review at http://www.flamesrising.com/robin-hood-friar-tuck-zombie-killers-review/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers - A Canterbury Tale
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