Listen to that California accent!
Hope you all like my first short video!
“An’ nothin’s a bigger threat to the status quo than superheroes…” Garth Ennis, The Boys.
Garth Ennis’s ‘The Boys’ is a brutal look at a CIA backed operation tasked with keeping superheroes in line. The team consist of Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman, and The Female.
After Wee Hughie tragically loses his girlfriend when the superhero A-Train blasts through Glasgow, he is approached by Butcher, the leader of The Boys. Accepting the offer Butcher makes him, Wee Hughie is taken into the dark world of what superheroes truly are, and why they need to be kept in line.
A little later, we meet Annie January, a superhero who has just be recruited into The Seven, which is something like the Justice League or the Avengers. After a traumatic first day, she finds herself on a bench in the park where she meets Wee Hughie for the first time…
If you like carnage and debauchery like I do, this is the comic for you. This book has graphic violence, rape, and straight-up wild ass superhero antics. Be prepared to have the veil removed from your eyes about the moral standards we hold superheroes to. Should you read on, you will find it gets so much more crazy than what you see in volume one. This comic is insane, and I hope you like it.
Interesting tid-bit: Simon Pegg’s likeness is used for Wee Hughie.
How do I even start this post? Obsession doesn’t even begin to describe what I am feeling about C.S. Pacat’s ‘Captive Prince Trilogy’. I’m practically obsessed over my obsession with the books. I want to shout it into the sky so the wind can carry it to everyone’s ears as a soft whisper. “Captive Prince”, it would say. Sigh! Swoon! Faint!
I suppose I should start at the beginning…
Years ago, I was out to dinner with my good friend, Rachel*. Rachel has worked in the book/publishing biz for a while, and she generally knows what I like to read, so I ask for recommendations all the time. This was one of those occasions. As we walked to
Olive Garden (Rachel loves the Olive Garden), she suggested to me something she had just read and was loving. I took note of the name, and, as time would have it, quickly forgot.
The years passed. Rachel continued to recommend me the book any time the conversation came up. Finally, at a restaurant that was not the Olive Garden, I told her to recommend it to me on Goodreads. I tell you, people. I have the memory of a gold fish!
The recommendation sat on my “to-read” pile for another whole year, until I heard a radio commercial for Amazon’s special Prime day bonanza (not actual name). The actual Prime Day sucked ass. It was like the old couple down the street cleaning out their basement. But I couldn’t go away empty handed! Not after all the hype! The Girl in the Tiny Hat and I combed through our list of ‘to-read’ books in search of a small pay-off. Thus, I received the first book in the trilogy, ‘Captive Prince’, two days later…
~Cue dramatic music~
To say I found a small pay-off would be a flat out lie. I essentially received the money shot of all pay-offs.
‘Captive Prince’ follows the story of Damen, prince and heir to the throne of Akielos. After being over thrown by his older half brother, Kastor, Damen is forced into slavery. He is to be gifted to the prince of a revival kingdom, Prince Laurent of Vere. A prince who has every reason to kill him, forcing Damen to keep his true identity a secret.
Laurent has a personality that is as beautifully crafted as his stunning features. A perfect balance of cruel and charming. He is in a constant battle against his uncle, the Regent, who holds the throne until he comes of ruling age. Damen finds himself somehow in the middle of their unpredictable games as he tries to plan his escape to freedom.
Laurent is unrelenting in his control over Damen, but Damen cannot help his immediate attraction, though he despises the young prince. He’s definitely into blondes, and Laurent may be more than meets the eye.
Once a attempt at the prince’s life is made, and Damen was made to look the culprit, things change when Laurent puts his safety, reputation, and title on the line to protect him. But the secrets that lie behind each carefully spoken word, brings new light to Laurent’s situation. And the price the Regent forces Laurent to pay for protecting Damen? Laurent must agree to serve his country on the southern border. Something Damen knows is almost certain death for the prince of Vere, and that is something he cannot allow when his own freedom hangs in the balance.
Did I forget to mention Damen fought and killed Laurent’s older brother, and first heir to Vere, on the battlefield years before?
Tell me that doesn’t sound amazing! It’s friggin’ fantastic! I was already harassing C.S. Pacat on Twitter! It was magical! (The harassment will stop soon. I promise.)
The characters were fleshed out with clear, believable personalities and traits. The countries were defined in architecture, customs, mannerisms, and fashion. The story was painted together seamlessly, yet revealing only the colors that lay underneath at the exact moment they were needed. The most impressive part of all, it was written well.
I went one whole day without Damen or Laurent before the second book, ‘Prince’s Gambit’, arrived in my mail box.
Let me tell you….. WOOWEE!
This one just came out, so I won’t say too much. The second book has the characters mostly on their campaign to the southern border of Vere. Damen, still in slave service to Laurent, serves him well as a council in military tactics and keeping soldiers in line. However, more secrets and planning along the way drag Damen and Laurent on a great deal of missions alone.
Somewhere along the way, Damen laid eyes on Laurent, and couldn’t take them off. But what will happen when he escapes back to his country to rally against his brother? What if Laurent find out his true identity in the mean time? Dun-Dun-Duuuuunnnnn!
These books are labeled as ‘Romance’, but I can tell you they have so much more to offer than romance. The writing and storytelling was on a caliber I haven’t seen since reading George RR Martin. She’s brilliant!
C.S. Pacat, a Melbourne resident, originally published the chapters as a serial fiction blog, and, if I am not mistaken, received over 15 million hits! She went on to self publish the books before Berkley (Penguin) picked them up for paperback release. That alone inspires me to keep writing on this damn blog.
The third book in the trilogy will be released in February 2016. I suggest you get book one and two now, read them, obsess, then re-read them before snagging ‘King’s Rising’ in February.
Buy them here:
In reality… Harper Lee has been my number one author love of all time. Even after all the shiz going down about her second novel, ‘Go Set a Watchman’. This Author Love will be set up in two separate, but equal parts.
Part 1: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
Sometimes, even for people who write all the time, it is hard to find the correct words to describe how something made you feel. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is that something for me.
‘TKAM’ was a book forced upon me by the California education system. Looking back, I believe a lot of books they force upon young people are unappreciated pieces of art. I say ‘unappreciated’ because most teenagers lack the real life experience to fully understand the significance of the adult life story. The books were, for the most part, enjoyable, but more so when you can truly understand what “That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful fool,” actually means in our society.
That being said…. after reading the first chapter of ‘TKAM’ I was instantly awed. I understood her language. I understood, and could relate to Scout Finch and her childhood antics. I was swept away by the writing style that could pull you into Maycomb, Alabama. Her message was clear through the intricate story-telling of a child, giving me a mindset of change and realization. And Atticus…Atticus Finch was the epitome of was it is to be a perfect father and a perfect man. As close to perfect as anyone could get, at the very least. He was the same man inside the house as he was outside, he told his children the absolute truth to their questions, and he did what he considered right. The perfect fictional character laid out.
It’s difficult for me to write how I felt back then, and how I felt re-reading it last month. As I re-read it, some of the lines brought me to literal tears. It’s such an incredibly moving story. The only way I can think of to describe my feels are to compare it to giving birth. I’ve never given birth, or raised a child… but what I mean by that comparison is you open up a book and bring it to life. As you watch it grow, you feel so many different emotions along the way, and you still love it unconditionally at the end.
After finishing the book for the first time, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be an author. Even if only one person read my book and felt a tenth of what I felt about ‘TKAM’, then I could die a happy person.
Part 2: ‘Go Set a Watchman’
Despite all the controversy surrounding the sequel– the random find of the manuscript, her lawyer taking advantage of her old age– I was still very excited about ‘GSAW’.
What I can say about it is this… It was very obviously written by Harper Lee, so all you Truman nay-Sayers can go jump off a cliff. It was a joy to get back into the world of Maycomb County. Lastly, it cannot be a sequel to ‘TKAM’.
I am one of the rare people who view ‘GSAW’ as a completely separate book, not a sequel. Same characters, same town, but somehow in a parallel universe. I believe that is why I have a less harsh opinion about the book. It did not ruin, in any way, Atticus Finch, because he wasn’t the same person. He couldn’t be. The details relating to events from the first book weren’t correct, because in this world they happened differently. I couldn’t see it as an extension of the same story because it simply wasn’t.
Scout has finally had the blindfold removed from her nostalgic view of Maycomb, and its citizens; all family and friends. The huge change rocks her so hard, she feels it physically, unable to handle the real truth of racism in the south. Especially in her hometown.
I think people are afraid to say they enjoyed the book. The way racism is presented in the book is very true to the time it was written. I think it is very narrow minded to say “I don’t like racism, and won’t accept Atticus as a racist man, so I won’t read/enjoy it.” Which is the gist of about 70% of the articles I’ve read. If you cut yourself off to things you don’t agree with, then you will miss out on some beautiful pieces of literature. No one automatically thinks you are a pedophile if you like ‘Lolita’.
I feel the same way Jean Louise (Scout) feels about racism: it shocks and disgusts me. She feels she is set apart from the rest of the town because she was born color blind, raised by a white man and a black woman. I still enjoyed the book.
In no way was it a perfect book, but the flashbacks of childhood brought me back to that world I loved so much. The raw emotion when she decides to kill herself, the older brother who was always there until he wasn’t, the humility of being a teenager. Then, an adult facing the harsh truth, but ultimately finding her voice.
There are two big things that did turn me off, and those are the last two chapters. I never thought Jean Louise would truly turn away from Atticus, racist or not. Yet, I didn’t think she would give in so easily as to just accept him as an oppressor with a “Gee-whiz, dad. My bad.”
‘GSAW’ won’t be the most amazing book you’ve ever read, but it most certainly is not the worst either. It is worth the read if you can separate the two books in your mind.
I have yet to find a author who can take the number one spot from Harper Lee in my collection. She remains a golden idol to look up to in my mind. Her work helped me realize mine, and even though I found my writing voice is very different from her own, I still hope someday I can have the same affect. Even if it is only on one person. (Who will probably be my mother. :D)