Category Archives: Book Reviews
Yes, even metalheads can read. The books we rate here will primarily revolve around metal somehow, but you never know. If we think you need to know about it we will review it here.
Recently, I was in need of good book. I had absolutely nothing in mind which led to random browsing of new releases. I came across a novel called Pines by Blake Crouch. What attracted me to this story was the description telling me this novel was inspired by the television shows X-Files, Twin Peaks, and Lost. Within minutes, I had it downloaded to my Kindle App on my iPad.
The premise of the story intrigued me from the very start. Special Agent Ethan Burke is on assignment to Wayward Pines, Idaho. His objective is to locate two fellow agents who went missing there. Upon arrival in the picturesque town, he is involved in a devastating car accident that leaves him wandering the area injured and disoriented; his partner nowhere to be found. He receives treatment from a seemingly normal hospital staff, but something is just…off. The story unfolds intensely as Ethan realizes he may never be able to leave town.
Micro is the last novel Michael Crichton started before his passing in 2008. Author Richard Preston stepped in to complete the novel, and he did it in such a way that I was not able to recognize where Crichton left off and Preston took over. Micro is a scientific-based novel rich in detail. This one revolves around the idea of using magnetic fields to shrink down inanimate objects, working machinery, and people to near microscopic sizes. Why would anyone do that? Well, for the good of mankind of course. Nanigen Technologies is using the newly discovered technology to conduct research in hopes of discovering cures for diseases. In addition to scientific advancement, Nanigen has other more sinister plans for their technology; they created machines the size of a fly that can kill people by entering their bloodstream to cut their arteries from the inside out. Not only can these micro machines kill on command, they can be programmed to track humans by their scent like a pack of wolves. Rich governments want what Nanigen was doing. The technology is worth billions, but at what cost? Is the technology worth enough to kill for? The seven scientists from Cambridge, Massachusetts are about to find that out the hard way.
As many of you may have already noticed, I am quite a huge fan of the film The Big Lebowski. My avatar and username here on the site both reference the movie, and when out and about I tend to try to find any situation where I can slip a quote in from the film. Beyond its quirky sense of humor and delightful characters, The Big Lebowski is a rather deep film when one takes a look into it. To sum it up neatly, it’s an American take on Eastern philosophies and religions such as Buddhism and Taoism wrapped around a tale of mistaken identity, micturation, and bowling. Past its first initial flop in the theaters, The Big Lebowski found a following on home video, and what a following it found. The fandom and people taking a deeper look into the film led to the birth of Dudeism, touted as a religion for humor purposes, but more along the lines of a philosophy, like Buddhism. ”The philosophical rug that ties the room together” as the authors Oliver Benjamin and Dwayne Eutsey put it.
Have you ever thought that everyone in the world is blind to reality. That they don’t notice anything of importance going on around them and only think of themselves. Portuguese author José Saramago definitely thought of that and took it a couple of steps further and wrote a novel about a world where everybody becomes stricken with blindness. Instead of writing a novel about a bunch of blind people bumping into things or writing an epidemic story, he writes a deep and philosophical novel about humanities worst and also its best, all with a truly unique writing style.
This is a repost of a review of the series I wrote some years ago. I know some of the info is a bit dated, but it still gets the point across and is spoiler free
So, what is A Song of Ice and Fire? Well to put it simply, it is a still continuing fantasy novel series written by George R.R. Martin. Four books in the series have been released, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows and there are another three in the works which are expected to be titled A Dance with Dragons, The Winds of Winter, and A Dream of Spring. Each book runs about 800-1200 pages in paperback with smaller print. So, why would one want to spend months reading massive books of an incomplete fantasy series? Well, let me tell you why.
If anyone tells me they never fantasized about going back in time I would call them a liar. Wishing you could go back in time to correct a wrong and make it right is something we all agree we wish we could do. “Gee, I wish I would have done that differently” is usually the extent of our desire to travel in time. In Stephen King’s latest novel 11/22/63, Jake Epping has the ability to correct many wrongs, but at what cost? Why prevent President John F. Kennedy’s assassination? What is it about keeping JFK alive that will make the present, 2011, a better place? The answer lies solely within the context of science fiction.
I’m sure many of you have read some form of the novel The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell or at least have seen one of its many film adaptations. It’s the story where a guy finds himself abandoned on an island to soon find that he is being hunted by a rich guy who wants the real thrill of hunting something intelligent. And I’m pretty sure everyone is familiar with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. If you were to take those two novels and blend them together and add a good helping of psychological and social undertones with a good smattering of twists, aliens, and imagination you will find yourself with the science fiction novel Hunter’s Run, written as a collaboration effort between George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, and Daniel Abraham.
The Bloody Reign of Slayer is a biography by British author Joel McIver. McIver is well-known in the metal world and has written numerous biographies of metal bands and artists such as Metallica, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, Tool, Motorhead, Randy Rhoads, Deep Purple, and Queens of the Stone Age. He has also written for Rolling Stone and Metal Hammer. Currently, McIver is working on co-authoring a memoir of the mighty Brazilian thrasher (Soulfly, Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy), Max Cavalera.
Released in 2008, The Bloody Reign of Slayer documents the life and times of one of metals most successful thrash bands, Slayer. Crowed one of the “Big Four,” Slayer has seen highs and lows, but one thing always remained constant; their live show was intense both on stage and in the pit. I can testify to that no less than nine times (although I do not get in pits anymore, I’m too old and that shit just hurts).
Like many bands of the early 80s, Slayer was carving out their niche with an extreme style that didn’t really have a label yet. Some called Slayer ‘black metal” before that genre really took new form by the Norwegian black metal scene. The term “thrash” hadn’t been coined yet. Metallica was on the loose making waves of their own which was described as the catalyst for Slayer to be faster than them. I say they succeeded quite well. From their first album, Show No Mercy to their most recent World Painted Blood, Slayer has remained relatively constant musically. In fact, Slayer built quite a reputation as the band no one wanted to play in front of for fear of being booed off stage. I saw that first hand as well.
The life of a rock star always seems to play out the same way; a dose of dysfunctional family; a pinch of part struggling music career, a heap of fame and fortune, and a bundle of band member drama = enough to write an autobiography. I can’t say that I am/was a Sammy Hagar fan. I was a too young to appreciate his first major band Montrose or his multiplatinum solo career. I do remember “I Can’t Drive 55” and before I knew it David Lee Roth was out of Van Halen and Hagar was in. Even then, 1984 was the first Van Halen album I remember hearing; the last one released with Roth singing. As a kid I was just amazed that a major band could press on with a new singer. Obviously, it worked out for them.