Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: "The Capture" by Kathryn Lasky

My son and I have discovered a few bedtime reads lately via movie adaptations. The latest is Kathryn Lasky’s “The Capture” ($5.99, Scholastic).

My son first saw “Legend of the Guardians” in the theater with his grandmother, and for the past six months, I’ve been hearing how “awesome” it was. We finally rented it on Blu-Ray a month or so ago, and I found that I had to agree with him. Both of us were eager to dig into the books.

Like most adaptations, the movie and book are quite a bit different. It wasn’t nearly as different as one of our last book-to-movie reads, “How to Train Your Dragon,” but still not an entirely faithful adaptation. For one thing, “The Capture” only covers the very beginnings of the movie. I’m assuming that the movie covers an overarching story line from all or at least several of the books.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: "20th Century Ghosts" by Joe Hill

I have to admit that I’m rapidly becoming a Joe Hill fanboy. He first impressed me several years ago with his debut novel “Heart-Shaped Box,” which ranks as one of my favorite horror tales ever, and a few weeks ago, I enjoyed his latest novel, “Horns.” That led me, naturally, to the only other book Hill has in print, “20th Century Ghosts” ($13.95, Harper), a collection of short stories.

I admit that I’m not normally a fan of short story collections, but the tales in this book endeared me to Hill’s work even more. I’m reluctant to make the comparison, for obvious reasons, but reading “20th Century Ghosts” reminded me a lot of reading Ray Bradbury’s “The October Country” for the first time. Like my favorite Bradbury collection, there’s plenty of weirdness and creepiness in the pages of these stories, but there’s also a good mix of wonder, sweetness and observations on human nature.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: "Full Dark, No Stars," by Stephen King

Outside of the concluding books of “The Dark Tower,” which I had waited years on, and the non-fiction “On Writing,” which I enjoyed, I haven’t picked up a Stephen King book in quite a few years. The last few efforts I read, prior to his accident, were disappointing and didn’t hold my attention. A week or so ago, though, a perfect storm led me to his latest collection, “Full Dark, No Stars” ($27.99, Scribner).

After enjoying the latest from King’s son, Joe Hill, I was in the mood for something creepy and disturbing. “Full Dark, No Stars” just happened to be waiting on my Nook and, not having any other new books that came close to what I was looking for, I decided to give it a shot. The collection contains four short tales (a point in its favor since many of the last King novels I read felt bloated and in bad need of an editor) that are, in fact, horrific and disturbing because of their very nature.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Review: "Horns," by Joe Hill

I was both impressed and inspired by Joe Hill’s debut novel, “Heart-Shaped Box,” a few years ago, so I’ve been looking forward to digging into his latest, “Horns” ($25.99, William Morrow) for a while now.

Ignatius “Ig” Perrish once had a promising future ahead of him. He’s part of a well-to-do and well-connected family, in love with the girl of his dreams and has plans to save the world. Those plans all come crashing down on the eve of his departure for a six-month stay in England. He has a public fight with his girlfriend, Merrin, and when she’s found dead the next day, the suspicion falls on him. Ig is innocent, but having spent the night sleeping it off in his car, he has no alibi. When evidence from the scene that could have cleared his name is destroyed in a lab fire, Ig can’t be convicted, but neither can he be absolved. Now everyone in his life thinks he’s a murderer/rapist who got away with his crime because of family connections.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Freebies: Chapter 1 of Steven Erikson's "The Crippled God"

Tor.com is currently offering the first chapter of Steven Erikson's upcoming book, "The Crippled God," for free with registration. The book, scheduled for release in March, is intended to be the final installment in the "Malazan Book of the Fallen." To read the chapter, head to Tor.com.