Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review: "Sandman Slim" by Richard Kadrey

In the overcrowded urban fantasy/horror market these days, it's tough to get my attention. You've either got to be a proven commodity to me or hook me pretty quickly. Richard Kadrey does an excellent job of the latter in his latest novel "Sandman Slim" ($22.99, Eos).

James Stark has just returned to Los Angeles after spending 11 years in Hell ... quite literally. Before finding himself Downtown, Stark was a member of a circle of magic-users. Jealous of his power, the leader, a man named Mason, opened up a pit into Hell during one of their ceremonies and, with the help of some supernatural monsters, had Stark dragged there. Treated as a novelty by Lucifer and his generals -- the only living human to ever visit -- Stark was forced to fight in the arena against a bevy of vile creatures and was even recruited as an assassin in the demons' struggle for power. He's returned to Earth with plenty of new tricks, bent on revenge. In the process, though, he may just save the world.

At it's heart, "Sandman Slim" is a simple revenge tale in an urban fantasy setting -- a couple of things that are both quite overdone. But its hard to resist the hook of Kadrey's tale as, in the opening scene, Stark wakes up in a Dumpster with his clothes on fire and his strange story starts to slowly unfold. There are also a few nice little twists and turns to the story along the way, which I won't reveal here but are worth the journey.

Stark is the classic anti-hero. He's not a nice person, not someone who generally does the right thing just because it's the right thing. He's cold, callous and calculating, and everything is second to his plan for revenge. It's quite a challenge to take a character with those qualities and turn him into someone you want to cheer for, yet Kadrey manages to make it happen. He also surrounds Stark with a strange and fascinating cast of characters, ranging from a goth girls to mysterious wise men to an off-the-grid supernatural doctor with a secret to an angel that heads a government agency to fight Hell's minions on Earth.

"Sandman Slim" appears to be the set up for a new series of tales, and if Kadrey can keep them as interesting as this one, I'll look forward to continuing to read about Stark and Co.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Review: "The Child Thief" by Brom

Fantasy artist Brom has long been known for bringing beautiful nightmares to life on book covers, but with "The Child Thief" ($26.99, Eos), he turns his attention to the pages between those covers.

The book retells the story of Peter Pan in a way that it hasn't been told before. Brom, whose full name is Gerald Brom, writes in the afterword of the book that he was inspired by a few phrases from J.M. Barrie's original tale -- not the sanitized Disney version -- that he found somewhat disturbing. He takes those ideas and runs with them to create a Peter Pan that is, at the same time, very true to the original character, yet completely different. The Peter here is cunning, brave, glib and often heroic, but he's far from the carefree lad that never wants to grow up. Instead, he's a tortured character, driven by his desire to save Avalon (his version of Never, Neverland) from the invading "flesh-eaters," led by The Captain (no Hook here), and haunted by the methods that battle requires.

The story begins with Nick, a New York City teenager who is on the run from the drug dealers that his mother has rented space to in their home. Tired of their torment of his family, he has stolen their stash of drugs, with the intent to sell them for the cash to run away. Now, they've caught up to him. But someone else is watching. When the dealers pounce, Peter is there to save the boy and quickly wins his trust, convincing Nick to come through the mists surrounding Avalon to the fort where Peter and his friends live. The promises sound good, but soon after entering the treacherous mist filled with ghosts and monsters, Nick realizes that those promises weren't quite true.

Nick is exactly the sort of child that Peter looks for and has been stealing from our world for centuries -- lost, abused children with nowhere to go and nothing to lose. He's given them a place where they feel they're wanted and they belong, turning them into his "Devils" to fight a war that started long before any of them were born.

As you might have already guessed from the name of Brom's Never Neverland, he mixes and matches mythologies to create this new version of Peter Pan. He draws heavily from the legends of King Arthur, as well as Celtic and Norse traditions and even European and American history for a fascinating and sometimes horrifying landscape. He also uses these legends to offer an interesting back-story for the boy who refuses to grow up that's a bit different from what you might expect.

"The Child Thief" is a book that often leaves the reader with mixed emotions. There's certainly no black and white here. While there are times when you want to cheer for Peter, there's also a bit of revulsion for his selfish and violent actions. Likewise, the "flesh eaters" are painted as the evil destroyers by Peter in the early going of the book, but we soon find out that there's much more to their story than he's sharing, including a bit of a gut punch near the end that I won't reveal here. The Captain, like Peter, is a study in shadow and light. He's an easy character to dislike -- brutal and ruthless -- but with qualities that are, at times, quite admirable.

It should go without saying at this point, but don't pick up this book to read with the kiddies. While it is based on a childhood favorite, this telling is for adults only. If you're looking for a family tale, you're much better off with the original or, perhaps, Peter David's "Tigerheart" if you're looking for a different take.

If, on the other hand, you don't mind a more disturbing vision of Peter Pan, Brom delivers a fascinating and entrancing version, trading paints for words to create a tale as dark, twisted and stunning as his artwork.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Review: "The Strain" by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

I was immediately intrigued on receiving "The Strain" ($26.99, William Morrow), the debut novel from director Guillermo Del Toro and co-author Chuck Hogan. Over the past few years, I've become a big fan of Del Toro's films, and I was wondering how his style would translate into print.

In the novel, a jet on a flight from Germany lands at JFK in New York. Everything seems fine until the plane stops dead on the runway with no power and no communication. Nearly everyone on board is dead with no visible signs of trauma or illness. Most of the passengers are still seated as they would have been in normal circumstances. The case gets stranger when the bodies get to the morgue, and the medical examiner performing the autopsies finds some very strange clues about what might have killed them. But when the bodies mysteriously disappear from the morgue, it becomes clear that an ancient evil has re-emerged. New York will soon be thrown into chaos, and the entire world may follow.

In these days of vampire overload, just the mere mention of the v-word on a book cover is usually enough to make me pass. But I trusted Del Toro to provide something fresh and interesting to a genre that has rapidly grown stale. I wasn't disappointed. There are no fangs, pretty boy vampires or glamour here. Del Toro's vision of the vampire is brutal, ugly and monstrous.

Rather than the romantic notion of the vampire that seems to have flourished in recent years, Del Toro and Hogan's creatures are the victims of a plague that changes the body in horrific ways, making them essentially walking viruses. At least in the early stages of the disease, the vampires are mindless feeding machines, more akin to zombies.

The scientific approach to vampirism is interesting, if not entirely new, but it also presents a slight challenge in suspension of disbelief as many of the usual weaknesses of vampires (sunlight, silver) are also attributed to these creatures. The reasons for these weaknesses are really not explained in the book and may cause the reader to question why some of the classic rules of vampire mythology apply to these new creations.

"The Strain" is well-written and, after a lengthy amount of set-up and background, a fast-paced read. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get the sense of macabre wonder from the book that is a mainstay of Del Toro's films. Naturally, it's destined for the screen, and I'm anxious to see the director's vision, particularly for the character of The Master.

All in all, "The Strain" serves as a solid introduction for Del Toro in the print world, and I'll look forward to reading the next installment in the planned trilogy of vampire tales.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Review: Neil Gaiman, "The Graveyard Book"

I'll be honest and tell you off the top that I'd probably read the phone book if it had Neil Gaiman's name on the cover. So, yes, I'm a bit of a fanboy. But there's a reason. He's never disappointed, and "The Graveyard Book" is no different.

The book returns to the character of Nobody Owens, first introduced in the short story "The Witch's Headstone" which appears as a chapter in this book. Bod's parents were killed by a strange assailant when he was a toddler, but the boy managed to escape the killer and make it to safety in an odd place -- a nearby graveyard. After much debate, Bod is taken in and given the freedom of the graveyard by its ghostly inhabitants, two of which -- the Owenses -- are a couple that always wanted a child but never had one in life. The ghosts aren't the only inhabitants of the cemetery, though. Bod also finds a guardian named Silas, who is somewhere between the living and the dead and is keeping a secret about Bod.

"The Witch's Headstone" introduced readers to this unusual scenario, and while entertaining on its own, raised many questions about how things worked and how it came to be. This book fleshes the story out, beginning with the murders and carrying Bod into his teenage years. Along the way, the strange boy has a number of adventures both inside and out of the graveyard -- and even in some stranger locales. Gaiman offers a winding, fascinating journey that eventually will bring Bod face to face with his destiny.

"The Graveyard Book" is a Neil Gaiman story, so naturally there are plenty of fascinating, supernatural characters to meet along the way and lots of adventure, but at its heart, it's a book about growing up. Through the course of the story, Bod goes through the same transformations that most boys go through as they get older. He searches for his own identity. He deals with friendships found and lost -- both human and supernatural. He questions his guardians and tries to find his own place in the world. He just has the added issues of dealing with ghosts, monsters and attaining some small, yet effective, magical powers.

While there's certainly some creepiness involved -- there almost has to be with a story set in a graveyard -- but there's much more wonder and discovery. Despite the circumstances that brought Bod to his current state, the story is less dark and gloomy and more triumphant and uplifting. There's a certain fairy-tale atmosphere about it, even in the darker moments. That's one of the things that Gaiman does best, and one of the things that keeps me coming back to his books.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Review: "Turn Coat," by Jim Butcher

What do you do when a long-time rival turns up on your doorstep looking for help? That’s the question that faces wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden in Jim Butcher’s latest, "Turn Coat" (Roc, $25.95).

Donald Morgan, the warden of the White Council who has hounded Harry for years for his suspected use of black magic, shows up at his apartment, seriously injured and on the run. Morgan has been accused of the murder of a senior member of the White Council, and the evidence against him is pretty convincing. Morgan was, in fact, found standing over the body, holding the murder weapon, only moments after the wizard was killed. Then, he wounded three wardens in his escape. He’s being hunted by the other wardens (though some, like Harry himself, have not been notified of the man hunt), and there’s a bounty that’s drawn all manner of supernatural creatures to try to bring Morgan in.

His own experience tells Harry that Morgan is not the kind of man who would turn against the White Council, and he suspects there’s more than meets the eye. Due to their past animosity, it’s the last place Morgan’s hunters would expect him to go for help, and Dresden offers him shelter and aid. The gesture puts him on a path that’s likely to get him killed along with his old rival if he can’t find the real killer before the White Council finds Morgan.

I’ll admit that I’m a complete fanboy of Butcher’s Dresden Files at this point. I can’t remember the last time that I still found the 11th book in a series as entertaining as the first. While most series are losing steam, Butcher’s is shifting gears. The action in "Turn Coat" brings readers to a new chapter in Harry’s story. The events in the book will give him new status and perhaps a slightly altered outlook on life, as both he and members of the White Council are forced to take a hard look at their values.

But the added inner struggle doesn’t detract from what has always been the hallmark of the Dresden Files -- interesting characters and fast and furious action. We get plenty of both here as we get a little more insight on some of the council members who have been a bit mysterious through the first 10 books. There’s also a new baddie -- a skinwalker from Native American legend -- and a battle between the beast and Native American wizard Joseph Listens-to-Wind is spectacular.

At a point in the series where I’m usually calling for the author to retire his hero and move on, Butcher and Dresden continue to excite. Here’s to 11 more books just as good as the first 11.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: "Black Blood" by John Meaney

John Meaney returns to his intriguing world in "Black Blood" ($24, Spectra), the second in his series of books about police detective Donal Riordan.

As the book starts, Riordan has become a zombie. Not the classic, shambling, brain-eating zombie you’re probably thinking of, but a person resurrected by technological means. The big problem for Riordan and others considered nonhumans in Meaney’s world is a group called the Unity Party, which is pushing to strip their freedoms and possessions. The group is gaining power and influence daily, and also happens to have a number of ties to a group Riordan and his officers call the Black Circle -- a group directly responsible for the death of Riordan’s boss and lover Laura Steele, and his own.

Riordan’s life is in chaos. He has inherited all of the wealth of Laura, though that’s in jeopardy if the Unity Party has its way. His police unit has been put under the command of an outsider and the officers are being sent on secret missions to investigate mysterious white wolves appearing around the city and some new blue telephones which are being installed all over town with seemingly miraculous changes in the people who use them.

In "Black Blood" we get more glimpses of the fascinating world that Meaney has created -- part science fiction, part horror, part fantasy. Uncovering the strange workings of this world is one of the more entertaining parts of the story.

The civil rights thread that was an undercurrent in the first novel, "Bone Song," takes a much more prominent role and really pushes the action in this book. The efforts of the Unity Party bring a rapid change in the social structure in Tristopolis and makes Riordan’s job that much more difficult.

In the second book of the series, Meaney continues to set himself apart from the glut of supernatural detective stories out there. I’ll look forward to more visits to Tristopolis.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: "Bone Song" by John Meaney

John Meaney creates an intriguing world for his new series, beginning with "Bone Song" ($6.99, Spectra).

It’s a world where bones have great power. The energy to keep the city of Tristopolis running is generated from them, and the bones of artists have a seductive power all their own. Great performers are disappearing all over the world, with the attacks often happening in front of ensorcelled audiences. The bodies then mysteriously disappear.

Tristopolis detective Donal Riordan has been charged with protecting a famous opera diva who is visiting the city and suspected to be the next target. When things go awry, Riordan finds himself thrown into a new role as part of a special task force filled with interesting characters assigned to take down the suspected conspiracy behind the disappearances.

In "Bone Song," Meaney melds science fiction, fantasy, horror and police procedural to produce a book that brings something new and interesting to the overloaded supernatural detective story field. While there’s not a real weakness in the book, the true star is the world itself, powered by the necroflux created from human remains and filled with machines operated by often-enslaved wraiths. At times, it seems a bit like horror told with a hard science fiction style. There is, of course, an undercurrent here that often runs through these kinds of books about equality and rights for all beings, but it takes a back seat to the primary story.

The world isn’t the only attraction, though. Meaney builds a cast of interesting characters that seems to avoid many of the cliches of the genre.

Overall, "Bone Song" is a promising start to the series which continues with "Black Blood," already out in hardcover from Spectra. It will be interesting to see how things develop and if Meaney can keep it as compelling as the first installment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: "Tigerheart" by Peter David

Peter David, known for his off-kilter take on King Arthur, turns his attention to another popular literary character in "Tigerheart" (Del Rey, $22.)

The star of the tale is a young boy named Paul Dear who is on a quest to please his mother and rebuild his family after the death of his infant sister. Paul has been raised on tales of the Anyplace and its enigmatic hero The Boy by his father. Though you may not recognize the names, the characters will be very familiar to anyone who knows the works of J.M. Barrie or the many adaptations of those works.

So, why not just use Neverland and Peter Pan? According to David, Peter Pan is far too self-centered to allow anyone else to be the star of a book that includes him, and Paul is most certainly the hero in this tale.

Having learned early on that he can speak to animals and being fueled by his father's stories, Paul has glimpsed the Anyplace often. He's also befriended a snow tiger that prowls the imaginary land. After his infant sister's death, Paul's life changes. His mother and father split up, and his mother forbids any talk of the Anyplace or the Boy, even going so far as to have Paul put on prescriptions to keep him from speaking of it. Eventually Paul begins to trick his mother by not taking the pills, and that's when he formulates the plan to follow the pixie Fiddlefix (who has her own reasons for wanting Paul to come) into the Anyplace to find a new little sister and make his mother happy again.

Once there, though, he finds a place that's a little different than what he expects. The Boy, having defeated Captain Hack, has comandeered his pirate ship and, along with Hack's sister, Captain Slash, is terrorizing the Anyplace. It's up to Paul to find out why the Boy has changed and win his help to solve the problem.

David's tale is an interestingly different look at the legend of Peter Pan. Much like the original, it's often fascinating and often quite dark. While it does celebrate the imagination of childhood, David's work also takes a look at the bleaker, less pleasant side of the Boy's refusal to grow up and gives him a crisis of conscience that we could probably never imagine Peter Pan having.

One problem the book does have is in the narrative style. David often breaks the story to address the reader directly. I understand that it's an attempt to recreate Barrie's style and create the feeling of a storyteller spinning the tale. More often than not, though, it took me right out of the flow of the story.

That aside, "Tigerheart" is an imaginative and fun take on a familiar place and characters. It provides a slightly different spin on the classic tale and some food for thought.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review: "Victory of Eagles" by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik picks up where she left readers hanging with the last installment in her fantastic reimagining of the Napoleonic Wars in "Victory of Eagles."

A short time has passed since the final scene of "Empire of Ivory," when the dragon Temeraire and his captain Laurence were being taken into custody by British officials for providing Napoleon with a cure for the deadly disease that they hoped would devastate the French dragon corps. Laurence has been convicted of treason, but is being kept alive to make sure Temeraire remains cooperative. Temeraire, the rarest of dragons, has been sent to the breeding grounds where they hope he will pass on his Celestial genes, particularly his devastating weapon, the Divine Wind. Needless to say, he is not very happy with the development.

When rumor reaches Temeraire that Laurence has been killed in a French attack on the ship that was trans-porting him, he mobilizes the other dragons of the breeding grounds into an army of uncaptained dragons with the goal of vengeance on the French.

One of the strengths of the series to this point has been Novik's ability to make the tales believable. She writes of the dragons with the same flair and spirit that Patrick O'Brian writes his naval adventures. But here, she begins to stretch the bounds of credulity. Surprisingly, that stretch has nothing to do with the dragons that are flying around. Rather, it gets harder and harder for the reader to understand Laurence's tortured sense of duty.

It's obvious no one wants him around. He has a dragon that's itching to fly away. They can return to Temeraire's homeland of China and live like royalty, or go anywhere else in the world for that matter. Of course, I suppose flying off and living happily ever after wouldn't make for a very good adventure.

There's also the matter of the social issues that Novik has injected into the story. While the dragons' fight to be recognized as thinking beings rather than dumb beasts takes a great leap in this book, it feels a bit rushed with the formerly obstinate officials in power agreeing far more easily than it seems they would. While these things don't ruin the book, they do invade a bit on the suspension of disbelief that's required to enjoy it.

That said, "Victory of Eagles" is still an engaging book, and the personalities, particularly of the dragons, are still the main attraction. At the same time, it doesn't capture my imagination in the way that the earlier books in the series did. Here's hoping for a little less of the tortured sinner from Laurence and a little more adventure in the next one.

On a side note, Peter Jackson has optioned the first four books in the series. Should a movie ever develop, it should make a stunning subject for Jackson's treatment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Review: "Fool" by Christopher Moore

I’ve often regretted that my introduction to Christopher Moore came through his 2002 novel "Lamb." I still consider it one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, and his other books, while all enjoyable, just haven’t stacked up. His latest, "Fool" ($26.99, William Morrow), finally found that spark again.

It seems parodying great literary works may be Moore’s strong point, as this time he takes on Shakespeare’s "King Lear." We get a little background on Lear’s fool early on. Pocket is an orphan, raised by nuns, exiled from the church and saved from a cruel master by Lear after his act causes the king’s youngest daughter Cordelia to speak after years of silence.

As in Shakespeare’s play, Pocket becomes a beloved companion and a bit of a confidante to Lear, having the ability to point out folly and foolishness that would cost the life of any other person at the king’s court. Unlike Shakespeare, the fool of Moore’s book is the true mover and shaker behind the story. After Lear asks the fateful question of his daughters that sets things in motion, Pocket is the one working behind the scenes like an acid-tongued Machiavelli as the king wails and rages at the storm.

Moore plays fast and loose with Shakespeare, history and pretty much everything he touches in "Fool." The story draws influence and pulls quotes from a number of Shakespeare’s plays, and the witches from "Macbeth" are even invited over to play a key role as Moore’s version of the story unfolds.

There are, of course, dalliances, buffoonery and general silliness involved, as you’d expect from Moore. He warns at the opening of the book, "This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as non-traditional grammar, split infinitives and the odd wank." For the most part, he lives up to that, so, like "Lamb," "Fool" is not a tale for the easily offended.

It’s not an easy thing to turn one of the greatest tragedies ever written into a comedy. Moore succeeds in injecting plenty of humor — albeit usually very black humor — into the story, while still keeping some of its darker and grittier elements.

While most of Moore’s books have been entertaining, he really shines when he takes on the bigger stories. Sure to offend as many people as it entertains, "Fool," like "Lamb" before, stands head and shoulders (or at least coxcomb and bells) above his other works.

A new beginning ... sort of

If you've wandered here in search of my music reviews, I'd like to let you know that I've branched out and created a new site solely dedicated to music. Since the music has always been the biggest draw, I decided to start the second site so those looking for music don't have to wade through my other insane babblings. Basically, it's the same name, same writer, just completely dedicated to music.

If you're one of the chosen few that enjoy my occasional rantings, book reviews and musings on the Saints, you probably don't want to wade through the pages of metal reviews either. Those features will still be found here, and I will continue to update them, though not as frequently probably as the music site. Hope you enjoy both.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Review: "Swallowing Darkness" by Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton’s series about Meredith Gentry, a half-human princess of faerie, started with great promise in her 2000 novel “A Kiss of Shadows.”

Merry was living in Los Angeles, working for a detective agency, when she was called home by her aunt, the queen of the Unseelie Court of the sidhe, and offered the crown of the court if she could produce an heir. That’s when things took a bad turn.

The second book, “A Caress of Twilight,” was entertaining, but not nearly as good as the first. I slogged through as much of the third book as I could, but never finished it. The plot that had so intrigued me in the first book had become a thin excuse to get the characters from one sex scene to the next by the third.

I gave up on the series after that. But on the recommendation of a few people that I trust, I decided to give it another shot with “Swallowing Darkness” ($26, Ballantine), the seventh book in the series.

Mercifully, heirs-- two of them -- are on the way when the book opens, clearing the way for Hamilton to get back to the story. The book opens with Merry in the hospital, recovering after being kidnapped by King Taranis of the Seelie Court of the sidhe and hatching a plan to have him prosecuted by the human authorities rather than having her warriors handle it in the traditional sidhe manner and spark a war between the two courts on American soil -- a war that would violate the treaty with the American government and leave the sidhe exiled from the country.

A visit from her grandmother goes horribly awry, leading Merry to call on the ancient magic of the Wild Hunt to seek her vengeance. Ancient magics, long lost, seem to be popping up all around Merry, and all the various clans and royalty of faerie want their piece of it. All, that is, except her mad cousin Cel, who only wants the crown her aunt promised him before she discovered he was unable to provide a heir and sees Merry as an usurper.

Though I skipped three and a half books in the series, Hamilton does a good job of catching the reader up in the early going, and I don’t feel as though I missed much.
Most of this book is spent in faerie, rather than the human world, dealing with ancient races and magic, which gives it more of a traditional fantasy feel. It unfortunately lacks the courtly intrigue of the early books, as pretty much everyone here has declared their side and the hostilities are open.

Now that the plot has started moving again, it moves at a breathless pace toward the resolution of many of the points raised in the first book, and sees Merry coming fully into her power, restoring the historic magics of the sidhe and uniting at least a few of the fractured factions of faerie.

Though Hamilton now says the story, which began as an 8-book series, may stretch to 15 (rarely a good thing), the fairy-tale like ending of “Swallowing Darkness” at least hints that a chapter of the story is over. The book does, however, bring a welcome return to plot, and here’s hoping the next chapter will follow suit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Armchair QB: Goodbye Deuce

Well, I can't say that I didn't see it coming, but I also can't say that it doesn't make me sad to say goodbye to Deuce McAllister. The Saints released him today. Too much money owed to him next year. It's sad, but it's the way of the NFL in these days of free agency. No matter what a guy has done for a team, no matter how much respect he's earned, no matter how much the fans love him. If he's got too much money coming to him, he's out the door. It sucks, but it's business.

Deuce wasn't only a great player on the field, setting records in his eight years with the Saints, but a great guy off the field. One of those genuinely good guys that seem to be a rare commodity in today's world of professional sports. He was a solid leader on and off the field, and fans in New Orleans loved him for it. Still will love him for it. For me, Deuce ranks right up there with my favorite Saints of all time -- Archie Manning, Dalton Hilliard, Sam Mills, Rickey Jackson, the Billy Joes (just kidding on that last one, of course). Perhaps he even surpasses those guys. It's hard to say right now without the perspective of time, but Deuce may just be my favorite Saint. I'll look forward to seeing 26 in the rafters of the Superdome one day, and I'm sad to think that I've seen it on the field for the last time in black and gold.

Thanks, Deuce, for the memories you've given us over the past eight years, and I wish you luck wherever you land. I, along with a lot of other members of the Black and Gold Nation, will be rooting for you, and I'm sure that you'll visit the Dome at least a couple of more times to kick our butts before your career is over.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still alive

I'm still here. Are you?

Probably not, I guess.

It's been a busy few months since I last wrote. The music year wound down uneventfully, and the Saints? Well, there's not much left to say about our usual mediocre 8-8 season, is there?

At any rate, you should see some new content begin to trickle in. I'll have my "best of" roundup for 2008, and catch up with a few reviews that never found their way to the site last year. Hopefully some good new music will start to trickle in after that, and I can keep things going.