Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Review

TITLE: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

AUTHOR: Oliver Bowden

GENRE: Video Game Tie-In

PAGES: 528

I am a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed gaming franchise by Ubisoft games. When the books came out, I was giddy with excitement. I read the first book in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance, and was left wanting. It was basically a rehash of the game, “Assassin’s Creed II”, with very little insight into the backstory of the characters. That being said, can the follow-up, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, be better?

The answer to that question is…no.

Like the previous book, it follows the script of the game with some descriptives about the area and offers little more than that. With the wealth of historical figures in the game itself to maybe shape the hero, Ezio, very little is done with that. It is a tale of revenge, pure and simple, and as a revenge tale it works, but barely.

Yes, I realize the target audience is probably a teenager who plays video games in his parent’s basement, and the parents are desperate for him (or her) to read a book and pick it up for them, and I am far from my teenage years, but I wanted something just a little more. Even if I was a teenager, i would want a little more than just the script of the game rehashed.

All in all, 3 bookmarks (barely) out of 5.

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Tuesday Thoughts On Reading

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“People often accuse science fiction of being escapist. I don’t entirely agree, but so what if it is? Sometimes we all need a way out.” – Gareth L. Powell*

I read this quote from Gareth L. Powell on Twitter and it tripped a bunch of dominoes in my mind. This quote hit me on a very personal level. I have been reading for 48 of my 54 years on this planet. I was the kid in school that when the teacher would assign us two chapter, I had to go to the third or fourth. Yes, I am a reading geek. Let me rephrase that….I am the KING of reading geeks! Sure, it is a title I’ve given myself, but those who know me would agree, leave my crown alone!

Now, to put my own spin on the above quote from Mr. Powell, I posit that all pleasure reading is escapist. This goes across all genres. Seriously, it works for science fiction as well as self-help books, science books, history, mystery, biography, fantasy, hopefully you get the idea here. If you are reading for pleasure, you are looking to be transported to an area that takes you away from the daily grind.

One of my favorite genres to read is history. Not only historical fiction, but history itself. History was one of my favorite subjects in school, and my major in college. I love the World War II era, but I will read any history that sparks my imagination. (Currently, I am reading about the Borgias. Also looking into the death of Julius Caesar.) Reading history helps me escape what is going on with the world and takes me to simpler, yet more difficult times.

I once worked with a man who read books on electronics for fun, also read books on finance. For him, these books relaxed him, took him away from the daily grind and doldrums that get many people down. This was his jam. I remember asking him why he read these kinds of books and he told me “I am interested in the subject matter.” That was it. No other explanation offered, but no other was needed.

Nine times out of ten, a person who reads for pleasure wants to be transported to another world, another time, another way of thinking. We long for that escape. We want to somewhere, anywhere. We want to go where our heart and imagination takes us.

*Special thanks to Mr. Gareth L. Powell for permission in using his quote.

 

 

 

 

The Ninetoes book of the Week 10/13-19/2019

Underground by [Spector, Craig]

By now, you realize I am a huge Craig Spector fan. This guy has serious writing chops, especially when  it comes to giving you the deep dreaded heebie jeebies! If he is not writing, he is making music, and the music is just as good, if not better than his books! (More about his music by the end of the month!)

So, his book Underground is Craig Spector at his haunting best!

“Once upon a time there were seven good friends. They were the forgotten little brothers and sisters of the Big Chill generation, born in the turbulent year when the flames of Watts lit the City of Angels and napalm kissed the war-torn skies of Vietnam. They called themselves The Underground. For Justin and Mia, Josh and Caroline, Amy, Seth, and Simon, there was nothing but drugs and music, combined with boundless cynicism and a deep yearning for something that really mattered.

As graduation rolled around, they knew they would drift apart. By Labor Day weekend, there was just enough time to throw one last private party. But where? Creepy old Custis Manor was temporarily uninhabited. So they motored out to the moldering southern plantation, ready to party the night away.

They could not have known that on the other side of the mirrors, something watched: a corrupt, voracious force, neither fully living nor truly dead. It was a soulless spirit of evil that had spent more than two hundred years cultivating its terrible powers.

It was the Great Night. And Custis Manor was its domain.

In one terrifying night their lives were forever shattered. One died. One disappeared. The survivors were scarred both inside and out. For twenty years, they couldn’t face the truth of what had really happened.

Until now.

One has gone back, and through the mirror. And now the remaining friends are forced to confront the demons of their own pasts and a greater nightmare beyond their comprehension. Together they must face the Great Night, lay waste to its vicious legacy, and free the thousands of souls still trapped there, as the reunited Underground meets the Underground Railroad of souls.

A truly original metaphysical thriller—gory and intense, satisfying and unique, Underground is a startling vision of the nightmare dimension from one of the true masters of the genre.”

Pick this one up and it may very well become your own book of the week! This book is perfect for reading during the Halloween season.

Your Friday Fun Read 10/11/2019

Animals

I love a good werewolf story! With the book Animals, John Skipp and Craig Spector gives us an awesome werewolf story. Let me put it this way, I read this book when it was first published twenty six years ago and it still sticks with me. They took everything that is known about werewolves and threw it out of a forty six story window, watched it punch through the roof of hell, then made it their own. This is a fast paced read that will stay with you for a long long time!

“Wild Things…

They’ve been with us forever – prowling the smoky roadhouse dives that are their watering holes and hunting grounds. Predators, lurking amidst the human herd.

Changing shape at will. Lusting for blood and meat they are gods in the wild. Gods in disguise. And they feed on the spark inside each of us.

Syd was just another lonely working class guy singing the steel-town blues. Then he met Nora. She’s sensual, Erotic. Amoral. A creature of the night and she’s luring Syd across the line that few can cross–and fewer survive: the line that separates man from beast.”

This is one not to be missed!

The Ninetoes Book of the Week 10/06-12/2019

Yakima Henry: Volume 1 by [Brandvold, Peter]

Okay, I am sort of cheating on this one. Yakima Henry by Peter Brandvold is six, count ’em 6 books in one volume. These book were written under his pseudonym Frank Leslie when they were originally released several years ago. Now, Wolfpack Publishing is re-releasing them and as it stands now, you can get this volume at amazon.com for 99 cents. Six books for one buckskin, a dollar, a dinero, a buckaroo! Come on people this is a deal not to be missed!

The books included in this volume are as follows:

The Lonely Breed

The Thunder Riders

The Wild Breed

The Killing Breed

The Savage Breed

The Dangerous Dawn

All together, this is 1521 pages of wild west adventure with a hero that will stick with you long after the last page is read!

The Scream Review

The Scream by [Skipp, John, Spector, Craig]

TITLE: The Scream

AUTHOR: John Skipp and Craig Spector

GENRE: Horror

PAGES: 432

We have all heard the phrase “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll”. Well, if you go to the flipside of that coin you will see “Blood, Gore, and Goo!” Lucky for us, John Skipp and Craig Spector own that coin, and they have flipped it over and over and over again in their novel The Scream.

The Scream is a heavy metal rock and roll band that have legions of fans. Their fans see an awesome heavy metal group that goes beyond the norm and embraces all things dark and Satanic, which is right up their alley. For the rest of the rock community, they realize that something is not quite right with the group, but hey, it is all in the name of Rock and Roll.

Add to this a preacher that wants to ban Rock altogether, an entity called Momma that has an agenda all her own, some Vietnam War vets on both sides of the aisle, a runaway teen that has seen both heaven and hell, and a pregnant band member of the Jake Hamer Group (another Heavy Metal Group that butts heads with The Scream) and you get a story that ratchets up the tension with each and every page, right to a a soul searing showdown in Philadelphia that will leave the reader feeling like a wrung out dishrag at the end.

What really makes this novel shine is the fact that thirty two years after its publication it still stands the test of time. It is as relevant today as when it was written, maybe even more so considering all that the world is going through.

6 Bookmarks out of 5! (Yes, I realize I said 6, but this book is worth the extra bump. It is THAT good!)

Freedom of Screech Review

Freedom of Screech by [Spector, Craig, Williamson, Chet, Massie, Elizabeth, Hayward, Matt, McHugh, Jessica, Matheson, Richard, Orosel, Jenny, Ketchum, Jack, Macomber, Patricia, Monteleone, Thomas]

TITLE: Freedom of Screech

AUTHOR: Craig Spector editor

GENRE: Horror

PAGES: 251

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I love an anthology. When you get a group of authors writing about a shared idea or world, things get real interesting real fast. In the case of Freedom of Screech the idea is what happens when someone’s freedom of speech is inhibited. The result is, well to be honest, quite terrifying!

In this anthology, you have fifteen tales that range from the past to the present to the near future in which a person’s freedom of speech is in some way inhibited, whether it is actually restricted or perceived to be restricted, these tales will definitely give you something to think about.

The authors that contributed to this anthology are:

Chet Williamson

Elizabeth Massie

Matt Hayward

Jessica McHugh

Richard Christian Matheson

Jenny Orosel

Jack Ketchum

Georgia R. Buns

Tom Monteleone

Patricia Lee MacComber

David Niall Wilson

Robert Guffey

Joseph Mulak

Michael Picco

Norman Spinrad

Whether your politics lean to the left, or the right, or smack down the middle, this anthology will give you something to think about!

5 out of 5 Bookmarks