Posted in Movie Reviews, reviews

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Review (SPOILER FREE)

It’s all lead to this. Ten years in the making, Earth’s mightiest heroes have finally gathered together to face the MCU’s greatest villain, Thanos. The ultimate architect of the threats faced by the Avengers, the Mad Titan goes on a bloody warpath of destruction across the MCU in the recently released film, Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s the synopsis:

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Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

To say this film both amazed and stunned me would be a gross understatement. My first reaction of course was this:

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After my initial shock wore off, I realized I had just seen the best MCU film to date. While films like Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Captain America Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming all have blown me away with incredible storytelling over the years, this film did something truly unique, and that’s bring a huge, cosmic and company wide comic book event to the big screen. We’ve seen individual stories emerge beautifully over the years in the superhero film realm, but Infinity War took a massive story like Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity and combined both big events into the stuff comic books are made of.

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I have to tread carefully, as I promised not to spoil anything for you guys. I highly recommend you see this film, and if you guys want me to make a separate post talking about the film’s shocking moments and what my theories for the future of the MCU are, then leave a comment down below letting me know. However for the context of this review, I can say that the film was beautifully made. The visual effects of course were brilliant, and getting to see so many heroes and characters interact for the first time was amazing to see. The best scenes featured interactions between the likes of Dr. Strange and Iron Man, Thor and Rocket Raccon, and Scarlett Witch and Vision. These characters stole the show as far as I’m concerned, as did Gamora, who had the biggest connection to Thanos throughout this entire film.

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The performances given by these actors was incredible. Not only did we get the amazing humor we’ve come to expect from these films, but the MCU finally delved into darker storytelling and showed a very visceral, real comic book war unfold. The emotions were running high throughout the entire film, from the movie’s opening scene to the closing credits. Joe and Anthony Russo did a brilliant job directing and bringing this story together, proving they have a profound command on the MCU and it’s overall direction. The film did a great job of connecting to big Marvel Comics moments, left plenty of Easter eggs and theories running to keep fans guessing until the next film, and provided one of the biggest shocks in superhero film history. With only Ant Man & The Wasp and Captain Marvel set to premiere before the big Avengers 4 film, fans will be eagerly anticipating the untitled Avengers movie in hopes of seeing how the first book of the MCU franchise ends.

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I loved this movie. I look back at my time watching this movie, and I can’t find one flaw in it. The villain was fully flushed out, and Josh Brolin did an amazing job of providing an incredible performance as the MCU’s greatest villain to date. The acting and directing was superb, and the overall story was able to do something very few superhero films can do, and that’s shock the audience. If you guys haven’t yet, be sure to see Avengers: Infinity War today!

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Posted in reviews

Wrecking Balls by Joe Giambrone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friends become rivals in the cutthroat world of stand-up comedy in author Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls. Here’s the synopsis:

Set in the world of stand-up comedy, Charleston and Gary are on the verge of comic greatness: broke, wasted, and floundering through life. As Charleston turns 30 he faces an existential crisis. His comedy career in the gutter, he considers leaving the life. That is until Gary pilfers one of his joke ideas. Then it’s comedy Jihad to the death, and there can be only one. 

Reviews: 

“A fun read, J. Giambrone has a talent for edgy humor, emotional baggage and quirky characters.” 

-Tome Tender Book Blog 

“I laughed, cringed, and overall found it a fast and enjoyable read… I’m so happy this book fell into my hands. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh. You won’t be disappointed.” 

-Theresa on Goodreads

Now a fair amount of warning for this book: this is not a book meant for the faint of heart. Geared towards an adult audience, expect a lot of strong language and jokes that some might consider offensive. However one thing that I think is tackled well in this story is what should and shouldn’t be considered inappropriate in our society. There are definitely areas that don’t need to be joked about or made light of, and there are some areas of comedy that come across as abusive or offensive in today’s world. However there are times where our need to find and root out social injustices go too far, and a crude yet simple joke could be twisted into a far more sinister thing than it originally was. This novel explores that a lot yet without making it obvious that it does so.

The novel itself is filled with a great insight into the minds of not only comedians or competitive people in general, but into the minds of those who are so desperate to be remembered that they are willing to do anything to get there. The surprising thing about this book is just how vicious the rivalry gets between the two friends. The author does a great job of mixing the war games between the two comedians with a helpful dose of character development, as we get brief glimpses into aspects of Charleston’s character that a lot of people will be able to identify with. Most notably we witness a man who begins to question the path he put himself on. A man who begins to wonder whether his dreams and all the work he’s put towards said dream are enough to win the day, or if it was all for nothing. We’ve all been in that headspace before, and it’s interesting to see this character wrestle with that kind of mind game while fighting for comedic glory in his professional life.

Overall this was an enjoyable read. A must read for any adult readers out there interested in the behind the scenes aspect of stand up comedy, be prepared for a sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic and often vulgar filled adventure. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073HQYKHP/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B073HQYKHP&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Joe Giambrone

j.giambrone@live.com

 http://www.joegiambrone.us

Blog:

https://jgiambrone.wordpress.com

@joegiambrone

Posted in reviews

The Adventures of Venessa & Teddy by Miejoiee McClinton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A cute story of two creatures who ignore social standings to become friends brings parents and children alike together in author Miejoiee McClinton’s The Adventures of Venessa & Teddy. Here’s the synopsis:

Meet Venessa, a spunky, outgoing, little bunny and her best friend Teddy, a blunt and sarcastic bear. Get ready to go through all the excitements and challenges of these two unlikely heroines after a simple game of hide-and-seek goes terribly wrong.

This short yet incredible read was a fun, exhilarating and surprisingly intense book. The dangers of wandering into unknown waters comes to literal life in this story, as Venessa and Teddy are thrust into a dangerous situation that ends on a kind of cliffhanger ending, leaving the reader to make up their own minds regarding the final outcome. The story of these two woodland creatures who you’d never expect to get along becoming fast friends was heartwarming to see, which is a perfect message to send to kids. The whole story feels like a message to testing the waters figuratively and leaving your comfort zone to explore the world as a whole.

Overall this was a great read. Filled with heartwarming interactions, surprising endings and characters children will fall in love with immediately, this children’s book was the perfect read that parents will absolutely love to read to their children. If you haven’t picked up your copies of The Adventures of Venessa & Teddy by Miejoiee McClinton, do so today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1522844627/ref=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1522844627&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Posted in reviews

Freedom City by Philip A. Becnel IV Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A near future that could easily mirror our own world comes to visceral life in author Philip A. Becnel IV’s Freedom City. Here’s the synopsis:

FREEDOM CITY hilariously ridicules the current kakistocracy (government run by the worst people) in a gripping satire that pays homage to The Monkey Wrench Gang. 

After President Trump unceremoniously dies from natural causes, four misfits from Washington, D.C. who call themselves the Fearless Vampire Killers sever the heads of Confederate statues and wage a comedic guerrilla war on post-Trump America. When President Pence enlists droves of fascist volunteers to crush the “alt-left” uprising, the rebels must risk their lives to run the fascists out of D.C. 

What follows is not only a battle for survival—but a desperate search for remnants of what once made America great.

This book is both humorous and touches on the scary reality of the Trump era United States. Those of you who know me on this blog know I am more liberal than anything else, and although I don’t agree with everything the democrats do, this book does resonate with me greatly. You see while it may appear to be an anti-Republican novel, this is actually just an anti-Trump, anti-racism and anti-bigoted book. It strikes at the heart of a corrupt government and the abuse of power that comes with it. It showcases how quickly personal freedoms are stripped away and those who don’t fit the government’s perfect mold are persecuted fiercely.

In this comical yet politically driven novel, it showcases how lost ordinary people are when they’re put in the middle of political rivalries between parties, and how it’s the average person’s duty not to blindly follow our leaders, but to question them and remind them that they were elected to represent us, not themselves. The characters are all relatable, each coming from a vastly different background than the other, and yet all brought together with the common goal of reestablishing the freedom that the United States was built upon. While each is damaged or comes with their own baggage, they find a closeness and family none of them knew they needed, all driven by a desire to fight for what’s truly right in the world.

The imagery was great in this novel, depicting a very real possible future that is both terrifying and hopeful. Terrifying in that one never wants to live in such a violent, chaotic and fear driven society, but hopeful in that it feels like there are more people out there willing to stand up for what’s right, despite the outpouring of negativity in the media and online. Overall I loved this novel, as it spoke to me as a liberal minded person without getting to heavy into the specific political views of each character, approaching it from a moral and human standpoint rather than a political one. This is a truly unique and one of a kind novel, so if you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-City-Philip-Becnel-ebook/dp/B078YCZ4KW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524562638&sr=8-2&keywords=freedom+city

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, book launch, Book Promotion

Blog Tour: Freedom City by Philip Becnel

Freedom City

By Philip Becnel

Genre: Contemporary fiction

 

FREEDOM CITY is an anti-Trump satire that pays homage to The Monkey Wrench Gang.

After Donald Trump unceremoniously dies from natural causes, four misfits from Washington, D.C. who call themselves the Fearless Vampire Killers sever the heads of Confederate statues and wage a comedic guerrilla war on post-Trump America. When President Pence enlists droves of fascist volunteers to crush the “alt-left” uprising, the rebels must risk their lives to run the fascists out of D.C. 

What follows is not only a battle for survival—but a desperate search for remnants of what once made America great. 

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About the Author

I was born in San Francisco and raised in Cotati, California, but I spent my formative years in New Orleans and then Northern Virginia. I now live in Washington, D.C., where I’ve been a private detective for almost twenty years.

FREEDOM CITY, an anti-Trump satire about resistance to American fascism, is my debut novel, but some years ago I published two nonfiction books about investigating: Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations and Principles of Investigative Documentation. I’ve also published articles in a variety of legal and popular journals, including Time Magazine.

 

Phillip

https://twitter.com/PhilipBecnel
https://www.facebook.com/PhilipBecnelIV/

https://philipbecnel.com

https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-City-Philip-Becnel-ebook/dp/B078YCZ4KW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515622217&sr=1-2

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/freedom-city-philip-becnel/1127764621?ean=9781387416042 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37858302-freedom-city

Excerpt (First paragraph):

Despite the odium and widespread condemnation of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America, he passed with all the fanfare of a fart in a mesh sack. Medical examiners said it was a thrombotic stroke, likely exacerbated by obesity and high blood pressure. Some said cocaine and opioids had been found in his system, but these reports were never confirmed. Trump was dead, and now it was time to start glossing over his dismal legacy and perpetuating his vision, posthumously, for Making America Great Again…
You can find my official review here!

Posted in reviews

Keeper by Kim Chance Review

An exhilarating story of a young woman who’s life is turned upside down one frightful night when she discover’s her destiny is far more dangerous than she would have ever thought in author Kim Chance’s novel “Keeper”. Here’s the synopsis:

When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.

With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.

This book definitely reminded me so much of The Mortal instruments by Cassandra Clare. A seemingly ordinary young girl is taken out of the comfortable and normal world she knows and thrown into this chaotic, life or death world filled with magic, mayhem and death. However the book stands out above the rest of the YA Fantasy series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I don’t mean because it takes place in the South. No, I mean the characters themselves are just amazing. I found myself pulled into the story because of the fantastic cast of characters, from the very relatable nerdy best friend Maggie to the strong yet caring Uncle Gareth and the mysterious yet handsome stranger Ty. These characters really allowed Lainey to develop into a strong, vulnerable yet brave protagonist who works hard to overcome the shock of this strange new world and become the person her friends and family need her to be.

The fantasy world created by author Kim Chance was incredibly vivid and incredible, with the haunting encounters with the dead and the deep dive into her family’s witch centric past. In just one book Lainey Styles has become the YA Fantasy genre’s newest heroine, a relatable young woman who must quickly become something greater than herself. It’s a story of family, of destiny and of overcoming life’s obstacles, no matter how difficult or how unfair they may seem.

Overall I loved this novel. It’s a fantastic first entry into what I hope will be a phenomenal YA Fantasy series. Author Kim Chance proves in this book that she is a force to be reckoned with in the YA world, mastering the ability to relate her characters to both her target audience and beyond. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of this incredible novel Keeper today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1635830125/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1635830125&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Author

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Kim Chance is an English teacher from Alabama, currently residing in Michigan with her husband and three children. When not writing, Kim enjoys spending time with her family and two crazy dogs, binge-watching Netflix, fangirling over books, and making death-by-cheese casseroles. Keeper is her first young adult novel. Kim is also a YouTuber who loves connecting with other writers. She posts videos at http://www.youtube.com/kimchance1 and is the creator of the #Chance2Connect chat on Twitter. Connect with her on Twitter: @_KimChance, Instagram: kimwritesbooks, Facebook: @kimwritesbooks, and on her website: http://www.kimchance.com.

Posted in reviews

The Blustery Day by Caroline L. Thorton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A wonderful children’s story takes life in author Caroline L. Thorton’s The Blustery Day. Here’s a quick synopsis:

A windy, winding, wonderful adventure. Grab your wellington boots and join the fun of The Blustery Day in this charming picture book for children.

This delightful children’s book was just charming. The artwork was beautiful, and the deeper message about people or things that come into our lives suddenly, helping us through one crisis or another and leaving before we even realized just how much that person or thing helped us is something we can all relate to. It teaches us to be appreciative of those who help us through tough times, and not to take anything for granted. Children will be delighted with the truly wonderful artwork in this story, and parents will love going on this magical journey with their child.

Overall this was an incredible children’s book. Full of passion, heart and emotion, this story not only has all the earmarks for a good children’s book, but goes on step further with vivid imagery throughout and a rare lesson not many people are able to master in their lives. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Caroline L. Thorton’s The Blustery Day today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BV4615B/ref=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07BV4615B&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Posted in reviews

The Cottontail by Jennifer Renson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An exciting prequel explores the dark origins of a monstrous villain and the impact he had on the emerging story in author Jennifer Renson’s The Cottontail. Here’s the synopsis:

Victorio is one of few children blessed to live in the palace under the rule of the King and Queen of the small but prosperous Kingdom of Lucca. The palace is a prison in the young boy’s eyes, as he desires to see the world and be of greater service. What Victorio doesn’t realize is he’s become the interest of the mysterious Feletti, who’s looking to expand his collection of dolls. The clock is ticking, and Victorio must escape the clutches of the mysterious doll maker as his influence spreads and another unforeseen danger approaches

This incredible prequel to Carousel, (read my review of that here), was an immensely impactful short story. The tale of Feletti and his dark deeds enraptured me as a reader. Getting to see life before Feletti and his rise of power in the kingdom of Lucca was fascinating to read. Getting to see life inside the former royal palace through the eyes of Victorio was a masterful choice, allowing players to see the privilege the royalty felt and how they viewed the commoners, and how this ultimately led them to their fates. Your heart went out to the children of the palace, who fought against this mindset but found themselves bound by law and tradition.

The setting was beautiful, bringing Lucca to life in such a short amount of time and making the reader feel as if they could walk through these larger than life palaces. The eerie nature of Feletti seeped through every page of his story, painting a vivid image in the reader’s mind as if it were playing on a television screen.

Overall I loved this story. Although a quick read, the story itself was both fun and an exciting new entry into this wonderful world of Lucca the author has created. It leaves me wanting more to say the least. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of author Jennifer Renson’s The Cottontail today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Cottontail-Jennifer-Renson/dp/154710399X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1524113813&sr=8-5&keywords=Jennifer+Renson

 

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Social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennyRenson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksandpoetrybyJenniferRenson/

Tumblr: http://jenniferdarjeeling.tumblr.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHS5sW_xOgZSXhpUwhK36Bw

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/45251647-jennifer-renson

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Jennifer+Renson

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Jennifer+Renson?_requestid=976857

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The New 52: Futures End, Vol. 1 Review

A horrific future filled with mechanical bugs and cyborg heroes terrorizing the world lead one man to take the fight into the past in DC Comic’s very own The New 52: Futures End, Vol. 1! Created by  Brian AzzarelloJeff LemireDan JurgensKeith GiffenPatrick Zircher (Illustrator), Aaron Lopresti (Illustrator), Jesús Merino (Illustrator), the first volume shows the groundwork for this apocalyptic future where the evil program Brother Eye has decimated the DC Universe as we know it, and the fight for the future rests on the shoulders of everyone’s favorite future Batman, Terry McGinnis. Here’s the synopsis:

Five years from now, the DC Universe is reeling from a war with another Earth, leaving the world unprepared for an approaching evil that threatens to destroy the future. As heroes are turned into mindless villains, the planet as we know it is no more. The only salvation lies in the past, where this future apocalypse must be averted. Can a time-traveling Batman Beyond help a massive cast of the DCU’s finest avert the impending apocalypse? 

Written by a cast of the industry’s best talents, including Jeff Lemire, Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, this new epic series will expose the secrets of the New 52 universe!

Collects issues #0-17.

The artwork and story of this DC Comics event is both breathtaking and haunting all at once. The first pages hit the reader hard with a monstrous future. Seeing the likes of Wonder Woman, Constantine and other beloved heroes transformed into mechanical cyborgs programmed to kill or assimilate the heroes of the world, seeing these iconic heroes bodies torn asunder by these machines is heartbreaking to watch, and really sets the stage for this life or death fight that Batman Beyond has to make.

The trip back to the past shows a world torn apart by politics, war and conflicting ideologies. A more relevant reflection of our current society, this story shows what happens when people fear refugees that hail from the same region as known enemies, and the hardship these refugees face because of narrow minded politics. We also see the beginnings of a major conspiracy, with a new Superman who wears a mask and becomes more and more violent, a Firestorm divided amongst themselves and Frankenstein traveling into space to find the cause of a superhero team’s demise. It’s everything you want in a huge DC Comics event, exploring both the cosmic and mystical realms of the DC universe.

Overall this was a fantastic start to an intense comic book event. By the first volumes end, the true enemy will be revealed, and the fight for the future will truly begin. Can Terry stop Brother Eye from gaining power before it’s too late? Will the heroes of the DC universe be able to stop the coming threat? Find out by picking up your copies of The New 52: Future’s End today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/New-52-Futures-End-Vol-ebook/dp/B00MV1O02U/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523852018&sr=1-10&keywords=The+New+52