Archive for March 2012

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, I Am Not a Serial Killer   Leave a comment

Dan Wells manages to mix both the disturbingly real with the frighteningly Supernatural in his horror novel I Am Not a Serial Killer.  The young sociopath vs the demon is an angel that appeals and appalls at the same time.  It is well written and draws one into the intrigue and the struggle of the protagonist is so real and easy to believe.  It is clear that Mr. Wells has done a great deal of research on the subject of Serial Killers and Sociopaths.  It is also easy to see why the Acknowledgments state that Brandon Sanderson told him to stop talking about serial killers and Write The Book.  Readers should also note that the Acknowledgments states that the book is in no way Biographical, which is a relief to those of use who listen to him and his friends on Writing Excuses pod casts or run into him from time to time at conventions.   I have every intention to read and review the sequel I don’t Want to Kill You.  Though I will have to read something else on my list first so that I can let my heart recover from the race this book put it through.

From The poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

 

Poet At Large Reviews, TV, The Nine Lives of Chloe King   Leave a comment

The ten episode first Season of The Nine Lives of Chloe King is in so many ways a whole different world from the book of the same name.  The Mai (which I now learn is pronounced My) of the TV series are in some ways more vampiric.  In one episode two Mai from Brazil actually kill just for fun which the Mai in the novels are said to never do.  This choice is something of a let down.  The addition of the Jackals is however a nice variation to a world.  The thought that all the old gods had human children makes a more complete world.  Many things in the stories get diluted down for TV viewers.  The change of many of the characters to allow for the constraints of a TV series are also obvious, but not worth objecting to.  There is however some very good writing and well thought out story lines. The plot twists make a nice roller coaster ride for the viewer.  The character interaction is enough to make you come back for more.  In the end, I think it would be sad to leave it at the cliff hanger of the first season.  I want more…

If you have not yet seen the first season of The Nine Lives of Chloe King is is available on Netflix

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Posted March 19, 2012 by lydamaedameron in Review

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, The Nine Lives of Chloe King   Leave a comment

I am an independent reviewer, and am dependent on the library to get my hands on titles I review a good deal of the time.  On my last trip to the library I went wondering and had a title pop out at me off the shelves in the teen section.  The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell  the book says it’s an ABC family series, but I have never watched it.  The book I found is a trilogy under one cover.  The story some times racy for a family series.

It all starts when a Girl named Chloe falls of a tower and survives.  She then starts experiencing weird things like heightened senses and grows claws that she can retract to make her hands look normal when she is not upset.  Then she finds herself hunted by crazed killers.  In the second book she learns that she is a Mai which I’m fairly certain is pronounced the same as Mau which is a cat breed that is suppose to look closest to the first domestic cats from Egypt.  The Mai are suppose to be the direct descendants of Bastet and Sekhmet, The cat goddesses of Egypt and under some powerful curse that keeps them without a permanent place to settle.

The story is very involving and even thought the book is three novels in one I finished it in a very short time.  Though I have two complaints.

The first is that the writer refers to a Bat mitzvah and gets a few details wrong.  The Bat mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age for a young girl and though it is like a Bar mitzvah it happens at 12 not 13.  Girls come of age one year earlier.  Also she has the girl receive a Bastet necklace as a Bat mitzvah gift.  That is so not an acceptable gift.  Has Liz Braswell never heard of the Golden Calf in the wilderness episode.  A Egyptian goddess for a religious coming of age for a religion that forbids Idols?  Sorry the necklace may be important to the story but the way the girl gets it just does not fit.

The other nitpick I have is the in the first book Braswell has a man end up hurt and the order set to destroy the Mai clearly mention him, but at the end of the third they act as if they do not even know he exists.  There is no context for deniability at that moment, they should know about what happened to him.

I do recommend the book for a read if you can get past those nit picks.  I will be looking for the series on the internet.  The book was published in 2004 so it might be on Hulu or Netflix.  If I find the series I will post a review of it as well.

From The Poet’s mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, Schlock Mercenary, Emperor Pius Dei   Leave a comment

my first encounter with the web comic Schlock Mercenary was in 2005 when I met Creator Howard Tayler at a Science Fiction convention.  At the time I was just not interested in getting involved with a “web comic”.  I thought it was a waste of time, but later I found out how mistaken I was.

Almost a year later I ran into Howard again at Life The Universe and Everything (aka LTUE) in Provo, UT.  At that time I got more of a chance to hear what the plot of Schlock Mercenary was all about.  There was a long standing evolving plot.  At that time there were over five years of story, updated every day.  There were jokes that were an absolute riot about things I can’t even begin to list.  My favorite involved an exploding plasgun that was vulnerable to alcohol because it was the Mormon model and not the Irishman.

I went back to my life after the symposium and delved right into the archives because I needed laughs.  I needed them badly.  It took me a long time to read all the archives because I could not just sit all day and read them, but I was hooked.  Now it’s 2012 and I can’t live without my Schlock fix  Every few days I pull up the site and read.  I have all the volumes of collected strip that are out there.

Last year’s Emperor Pius Dei takes me back to the point where I entered the strip with character Ellen “Elf” Foxworthy’s shopping trip and Glamor Assault.  I still love what she does with the host of Glamor Assault’s camera.  There are some shows with that idea that everyone has to dress a certain way that I would love to find a way to take them off the airwaves.  On top of taking us back through the old strips the book has a bonus story that was never on the web site Dues Ex Nauseum.  This story gives a better idea of what self proclaimed god Petey has to do to manipulate the worlds of the cosmos to his end goal as well as telling what happened to retired mercenary John Des Trihs. I found it to be enlightening, clearly thought and as fun to read as the daily strip.

In a couple of month Howard will be releasing volume eight The Sharp end of the Stick.  Family tradition says I get it for Christmas, but I will be wanting it every month till then.

If you have never read Schlock Mercenary please go to schlockmercenary.com and enjoy every strip in the archive.  As the warning sign Howard sales says, “Warning, Habit Forming Web Comic, Deep Archives, Productivity Will Suffer.”

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Ravenspell Book 3, Freaky Fly Day   Leave a comment

The Ravenspell books and David Farland’s ability to spin a story grow together.  At the end of the Third book Freaky Fly Day I find myself completely hooked and under the spell of the dread Ever Shade.  Will the heroes of prophecy defeat him?  What will The Toad Warrior do before his master’s arrival?  Will Ben and Amber make it S.W.A.R.M. for their training?

Far too many Questions left for the reader to want answers too…

David Farland simply must write another one, I beg for it I crave it. I am certain that others must love the stories as much as I do.  It is said that an author who can torture his characters will leave his readers wanting more.  If you do not do mean things to your characters there is no conflict and therefore no story.  David Farland does only the most deliciously mean things to his character with satire and detail as side dishes to wet the appetite of his readers.  To not write another Ravenspell book would be unforgivable…

Please Mr. Farland/Wolverton, may we have another?

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Ravenspell Book Two, The Wizard of Ooze   Leave a comment

The Wizard of Ooze was much better than the first Ravenspell book Of Mice and Magic.  The plot more thought out and the plot points from the first book that left me with questions were explained.  The satire in the book was very thick but made me laugh in the manner that I believe David Farland intended.  Though now I will have to go do some research to find out if the claims made in the book about the larger worms in existence are true.

The subplot gives most of the humor.  The thought of a batty old woman taking video of mice with helmets and spears made of things we would keep around the house, then trying every agency in existence for someone to watch it appeals to ones sense of the absurd. The thought of a anti alien group with access to heavy weapons leads to even more laughs.

If you are looking for a book for you to share with your kids I recommend this one.  I’m sure you will both find reasons to laugh and points where you kids will want to cuddle as the evil wizard plots what he wants to do to the world.  though if your child has nightmares often be warned that zombie mice are a little on the scary side.

From The Poet’s Mouth

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Live Theatre, Quick Wits Comedy Improve   Leave a comment

If one is in Midvale, UT on a Friday or Saturday and willing to brave the late hours of 10:00 pm to 12:00 am, or are willing to stay after the main production at the Midvale Main Street Theatre, then I have a treat I recommend.  At that time the Theatre plays host to a group of young actors who have chosen to challenge each other.  They list their teams as the Dim Wits and the Half Wits but they all have to be Quick Wits to survive.

The Quick Wits Comedy Improve Troupe challenge each other to games of improve that my Drama Teacher would have called “Comedy Sports” but Most people would recognize as “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?“.  The rules say the actors can’t swear and there are some rules of conduct, but aside from that anything goes and anything can happen.  The particular details of each round are decided by audience participation. The actors must be able to think on their feet as they dance, pantomime, play charades and try be completely serious while improving ridiculous things.

Tension on stage my be defused by a stolen kiss which may be between any two people on the stage, even two of the same gender.  Swapping gum is not unheard of especially when the actor who ends up with it spits it on stage and the original chewer picks it back up and pops it in his mouth.  The whole point of the antic is to make the audience laugh and the judges who are chosen at the begging of the performance to award points.  Some challenges are based on how awkward you can make your opponent or even your own team mate, other challenges on how well you can heckle them.

The real point in the end is to make fun of society and being human. The true winners of the night are the audience who braved the night for a laugh.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Those who would like to find out more about Quick Wits should try http://www.quickwitscomedy.com/ or http://www.midvaletheatre.com/Quick-Wits.html, also try the Quick Wits Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quick-Wits/167401419943046