Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Fury From the Tomb (Institute of Singular Antiquities #1) by S.A. Sidor

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*No Major Spoilers* 

Saqqara, Egypt, 1888, and in the booby-trapped tomb of an ancient sorcerer, Rom Hardy, a young Egyptologist, makes the discovery of a lifetime: five coffins and an eerie, oversized sarcophagus. But the expedition seems cursed, for after unearthing the mummies, all but Rom die horribly. He faithfully returns to America with his disturbing cargo, continuing by train to Los Angeles, home of his reclusive sponsor. When the train is hijacked by murderous banditos in the Arizona desert, who steal the mummies and flee over the border, Rom – with his benefactor’s rebellious daughter, an orphaned Chinese busboy, and a cold-blooded gunslinger – must ride into Mexico to bring the malevolent mummies back. If only mummies were their biggest problem…

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I love historical fiction, and I was excited about Fury From the Tomb because it reminded me of the Indiana Jones series. I couldn’t wait to go on an adventure to Egypt amidst the craze of Egyptology and discover an ancient tomb that wasn’t supposed to see the light of day.

The book sold me on the first fifty or so pages. I can understand Dr. Hardy’s drive to follow the feverish whims of his wealthy benefactor. The possibilities for future trips to Egypt were in the balance. Dr. Hardy wanted to make at least one discovery before he resigned to teaching a lecture hall full of students.

“Mummies became exotic party favors rich people unraveled for their own titillation and gruesome delights, only then to be discarded like so much used gift ribbon and leftover bones. Disgraceful and unscientific plundering was commonplace.”- Fury From the Tomb by S.A. Sidor

After the excavation of the forbidden crypt, mysterious people come to smuggle the mummies out of Egypt illegally. Once the doctor and company return to the United States, the story gets interesting and starts to drag simultaneously.

Perhaps this wasn’t a good time for me to read this novel. Maybe it’s just not for me as a reader. I enjoyed what I had read I wish it wasn’t dragging along. I initially had a tough time describing why I felt the novel was dragging after the train hijacking. I think it was the dialogue that forced me to throw in the towel.

Overall, I would check it out at your local library. I thought the premise and characters were interesting, but I feel that the story drags once Dr. Hardy leaves Egypt. If you enjoy the Indiana Jones franchise or magical realism in historical fiction, then I would say this novel might be for you.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Rico Stays by Ed Duncan (Pigeon-Blood Red #3)

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*No Spoilers* 

After enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders stepped in to protect his girlfriend from a local mob boss’s hot-headed nephew, all hell broke loose.

When the smoke cleared, the nephew had vanished, but three goons who had tried to help him lay dying where they’d stood. Fighting for his life, Rico was alive but gravely wounded.

Out of the hospital but not fully recovered, he needed a place to crash – a place where he wouldn’t be found by men who surely would be looking. A place like a cabin owned by lawyer Paul Elliott, whose life Rico had saved more than once. Trouble was, Paul’s girlfriend hadn’t forgotten Rico’s dark history. Or Paul’s fascination with him.

Using Rico’s girlfriend as bait, vengeful killers soon would be coming for him. The only question was whether he would face them alone or with help from Paul.

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Last year, I reviewed Ed Duncan‘s book The Last Straw. The second installation of the Pidgeon-Blood Red series. Since I enjoyed the previous installment, I couldn’t wait to dive into Rico Stays

I was concerned about if I should go back and reread The Last Straw. I have a vague memory of the overall plot, and I don’t remember which character appeared more. Each novel in the series you can read as a stand-alone novel. I looked at my last review; I talked about how Rico was my favorite character. Rico still is my favorite character, but I feel like I got to know Paul Elliot more in Rico Stays.

This novel is full of suspense, action, as well as character development. I feel like I got to know each of the major players in this story by the time I got to the last page. No one is one-dimensional in this story.

If you enjoyed the first two books, then Rico Stays should be added to your “To Be Read” list. I would recommend this for those who enjoy modern crime noir, mobster stories, and stories full of suspense and action.

Click Here to buy Rico Stays by Ed Duncan!

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Posted in Movie/TV Reviews, Personal Blogs

My Thoughts on The Golden Girls

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The Golden Girls is a classic TV show about four friends living together in a home in Miami, Florida. These friends are not hot models, but loveable sarcastic grandmothers. Strong-willed Dorothy, spacey Rose, lusty Southern belle Blanche and matriarch Sophia, Dorothy’s mom, occasionally clash but are there for one another in the end.

I didn’t watch this show growing up. I watched what my parents watched on TV. My dad watched westerns like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. My mom liked watching baseball and tennis. So it wasn’t until my last stay at the mental hospital, that I realized why so many love The Golden Girls.

I binged The Golden Girls on Hulu, and I realized the show hits on several topics that are still relevant to senior citizens today. The discussions of aging, being an independent woman and finding love after the loss of a spouse. Even if you under the age of 40, these issues facing women today can seem daunting.

However, this classic TV show makes me feel bittersweet at points in the show. The Golden Girls sometimes makes me wish I had a better relationship with my grandparents. These issues are something I have been working on both internally through research and deep-thinking, and externally by discussing how I feel with my fiance.

I think what makes The Golden Girls so predominant to so many is how the characters help their viewers connect to a maternal figure in their life. It helps to grieve as well as keeping you laughing and entertained throughout.

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Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

REVIEW: Dorohedoro

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*No Spoilers* 

*This anime is rated R/MA for Blood, Violence, and Nudity*

In a city so dismal it’s known only as “the Hole,” a clan of Sorcerers has been plucking people off the streets to use as guinea pigs for atrocious “experiments” in the black arts. In a dark alley, Nikaidou found Caiman, a man with a reptile head and a bad case of amnesia. To undo the spell, they’re hunting and killing the Sorcerers in the Hole, hoping that eventually they’ll kill the right one. But when En, the head Sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering his people, he sends a crew of “cleaners” into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds. – IMDb

I first saw the trailer for Dorohedoro on Netflix, and I thought it looked interesting. I don’t mind violence or gore in anime, but there is so much more to this anime than meets the eye.

I had so many questions I had no clue what was going on in the beginning. No matter how little I was understanding, I couldn’t stop watching. Even as Caiman and Nikaido explain what goes on in their universe, I had more questions. For example, why does everyone in this world wear a mask when they go out? Is privacy a significant concern in this universe?

Even though I had only minor questions about the world surrounding the characters, I think the writers did a great job handling the mystery surrounding Caiman, but keeping several cards close to their chest for the next season.

Overall, I found Dorohedoro to be a fantastic anime; the characters are great; there is plenty of humor amongst all the violence. I can’t wait to dive back in when Netflix releases season 2 next year.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Non-Fiction

REVIEW: The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers by Marcus Parks, Ben Kissel, and Henry Zebrowski

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Since its first show in 2010, The Last Podcast on the Left has barreled headlong into all things horror, as hosts Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks cover subjects spanning Jeffrey Dahmer, werewolves, Jonestown, and supernatural phenomena. Deeply researched but with a morbidly humorous bent, the podcast has earned a dedicated and aptly cult-like following for its unique take on all things macabre.

In their first book, the guys take a deep dive into history’s most infamous serial killers, from Ted Bundy to John Wayne Gacy, exploring their origin stories, haunting habits, and perverse predilections. Featuring newly developed content alongside updated fan favorites, each profile is an exhaustive examination of the darker side of human existence. With appropriately creepy four-color illustrations throughout and a gift-worthy paper overboard format, The Last Book on the Left will satisfy the bloodlust of readers everywhere.

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I have been listening to The Last Podcast on the Left for a couple of years now. I love how they talk about these serial killers and rips the curtain mainstream media has placed around them and expose them for who they indeed are.

Years of researching serial killers has revealed that most of these criminals are not the monsters of nightmares they are so often portrayed to be by “true crime entertainment” but are more often huge dorks who couldn’t get anything right in their lives so they turned to murder and mayhem. -Henry Zebrowski of Last Podcast on the Left

However, on their podcast, they talk about more than just serial killers and true crime. They also discuss various paranormal and occult topics. They recently finished up a series about the history of lobotomy, and I found the subject to be fascinating as well as a bit gross.

This collection of serial killer histories is worth the read for any true crime fan, and I feel it’s a great introduction to the podcast itself. Marcus tells the story, and Henry and Ben interject with jokes and humorous comments. Although, when the subject revolves around UFOs and aliens, Henry tends to take over the story and adds pieces of his research.

Overall, if you are looking for a true-crime read that’s not afraid to have a sense of humor, then I would recommend Last Book on the Left. This collection is perfect for fans of the podcast or looking for an introduction to true crime. This story will leave you laughing while double-checking the locks on your doors and windows.

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