Friday, January 2, 2009

Darth Bill's Picks of 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rock On Alll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Darth Bill Salutes You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Above is a picture of a couple of my Sith Buds I took on New Years Day. There a wild lot I'll tell ya that. These guys really know how to party!!!!!!

I was not going to do this originally, but after I saw the Calman's Post I felt compelled to do so. Okay here are my top 4 books of 2008 (the reviews are the same that I did earlier in the year):

1) Runemarks by Joanne Harris - This story is set 500 years after Ragnarok that ended the old world ruled by the Norse Gods. The main character in this story is a young girl named Maddy Smith who is born with a strange and magical birthmark. In Maddy's world "The Word" rules all with an iron-fist. In her world magic is taboo and imagination is highly discouraged. Because of what people perceive as Maddy's strangeness she is ignored by her father and has no friends. That is until one day when she meets and old wanderer called One-Eye who befriends here and teaches her to use the magic that has been lying asleep inside her. This book is filled with Norse Gods, Heroes, Villains and Monsters. This book will suck you in and you will not be able to put it down once you start reading it. This is a great book that I would put right up there with Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" book series. The one obvious difference is that this book rekindles excitement in Norse Mythology as opposed to Greek Mythology.

2) Ironhand: Book Two of The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher - This book takes of where Stoneheart (click HERE to see my review of that book), the first book in the trilogy, left off. It takes off like a rocket and doesn't stop the whole way through the story. The story starts with George and Edie determined to rescue the Gunner who has been captured by the evil and mysterious Walker. Now I know some of you are scratching your head asking who or what is a Gunner and a Walker. Well this story is set in a London that most people are not even aware exists. In this London, stone statues and carvings are very much alive. The statues in London are divided into two types. The taints (gargoyles, dragons and other sorts of inhuman stone creations) are evil soulless creatures. The spits (The Gunner and other more or less human looking statues, but not always as we see in this book) whom are akin to humans in that they have souls and tend, for the most part, to be on the side of good. What it really boils down to is what the statue makers intended them to represent and thus become. The Gunner is a statue of a World War I English Soldier who helped George and Edie quite a bit in "Stoneheart." The Gunner is the Walker's prisoner because of this help after George inadvertently set off a war between the taints and spits. The Walker, a sinister sorcerer type, is a servant of dark powers and leads the taints in their war against the spits. This book moves through both present day and the past. The reader travels with the characters from present to World War I to a pre-industrialized England and other strange places and times. This book is full of wonderful twists and turns that will keep the reader turning page after page. One word of advice, if you really want to enjoy this book fully, you should definitely read Stoneheart first. Man, I can hardly wait for the next book!!!! They are that good!!!!!!!!!

3) Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams This book rocked and I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. The main character of the book is 14-year-old Will Burrows who along with his archaeologist father, Dr. Burrows, shares a passion for digging tunnels into the earth in search of buried historical items. Will’s family is extremely “different” and to say the least dysfunctional. His father is always involved with his work and little else, his mother watches TV non-stop, and his younger sister runs the families finances. Will is an extremely pale boy and picked on non-stop at school. That is until he befriends another outcast by the name of Chester, who is a rather large intimidating boy, and gets him interested in digging. Life is going pretty good for Will between digging with his father and digging independently with his new friend Chester. That is until Dr. Burrows goes missing and Will finds that right in their basement is a tunnel that leads to a subterranean world populated with people time left behind. This book is full of twist and turns and just when you think you know what’s going on, the book kicks into another gear to throw you for a loop. I would classify this book as a mystery/action book. Whatever you want to classify it as is up to you, just make sure you don’t miss one of the truly great books of 2008!!!!!

4) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this book is a perfect example of why. The book starts out with the murder of a family by a "Jack The Ripper" type murderer. The whole family is murdered except for the baby boy who wanders out of the house and ends up in the local graveyard. There he is protected by the ghost and those who lookout over the grave yard from the murderer. The boy is adopted by two ghost and given the name Nobody Owens. Along with his ghost parents, he is raised in the graveyard by all of its inhabitants as one of its own. The book consists of the many adventures the boy Bod, short for Nobody, has as he grows up in the graveyard. There are ghouls, werewolves (which may surprise you), monsters and just plain evil people Bod meets or comes up against throughout the story and ultimately he must face up to the man who tried to kill him as a baby. This book is wonderfully written and full of thrills, action and poinyant moments that will make you remember it long after you have finished reading it. Gaiman leaves the door open for a sequel and I for one sure hope it happens. Great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best 4 Graphic Novels of 2008 (reviews ftom earlier post):

1) The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli Vols. 1 & 2 by Jay Piscopo - Vol. 1: The first story "The Mystery of Me" introduces us to the main character of the graphic novel Capt'n Eli. This is Capt'n Eli's origin story and introduces many characters and asks many questions that you will be intrigued to learn about in future stories. In this story he joins the Seaserchers and also meets for the first time Commander X.

The second story in the book,"The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea," is an adventure tale that involves the mysterious Sargasso Sea that has been a floating burial ground for ships throughout history and the even more curious Bermuda Triangle where both ships and other seafaring vessels, planes even, have mysteriously disappeared never to be found again. This story involves time travel,Christopher Columbus, some of the very interesting history (or would that be future????) of Commander X, and lots of battling with the Hydrons (evil underwater dewlers). This is such a cool story!!!!!!

The last story in the book, "The Return of Baron Hydro," take us back to the days of World War II. The Big 3 (Commander X, Sea Raider, and the Human Sun) take on Baron Hydro (major bad guy) and his Hydrons. This story is action packed and just a whole lot of fun!!!!!!!!

The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli: The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea (Volume 2) by Jay Piscopo - Man with this volume the Capt'n Eli Graphic Novel Series hits another gear and really takes off!!!!! As it was left off in the previous volume Capt'n Eli is still with Commander X aboard his super high tech submarine "Sub Zero." They reach the underwater city of Aquaria only to find it under attack by a race of underwater denizens known as the Outcast. It seems Aquira and it's people are now ruled by Commander X's former World War II partner, known then as The Sea Raider. We also find out that Commander X is Aqurian's sworn Lord Protector and it is his duty to protect them from all threats and enemies. Let's see what else happens in this story, we learn the history of Aquaria and its relationship to Atlantis, we learn the secret origin of the ruler of the Aquarians known by many names such as - Rex Noble, The Sea Raider and The Sea Ghost among others, Lord Hydro is back with all his evilness and Hydrons and much. much more!!!!!!!!!! I promise you if you pick up this Graphic Novel you will be unable to put it down until you have finished reading it and then you will still be wanting more.

2) The Bone Series by Jeff Smith:

Bone: Treasure Hunters, Volume 8 by Jeff Smith - Fresh into the have gained entrance into the once great ruling city of PLCMC Library's Graphic Novel Collection is the latest instalment of the Bone Series. Well kids things are really getting interesting in the Bone Graphic Novel Series. In this instalment the Bone Cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Gran'ma Ben, Thorn and BartlebyAtheia. Inside and outside the city things are not well. Outside the city Ghost Circles are everywhere and Briar (Gran'ma Ben's Sister) is gathering both rat creatures and human warriors to serve the Lord of the Locust and bring an end to all. Inside the city things are not all that great either as our heroes must contend with Tarsil, The Captain of the Queen's Guard, who has turned traitor and now rules the city. So besides the dragons disappearing, enemies all around who would like nothing better than to find and crush the former royal linage of the kingdom (that would be Thorn and Gran'ma Ben) and all that support it, the nearing release the Lord of the Locust into the world and all other types of nastiness; everything is just great!!!!!! I tell ya, you need to get ahold of this latest volume as soon as possible and read it. This is really just awesome stuff!!!!!!!!!!

Bone Volume 7: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith – Well, the seventh volume in the Bone Graphic Novel Series has finally come out and it was well worth the wait. As the title to this volume intones, things get real scary and serious in this one. The villagers and Veni Yan Monks are really put to the test by the “Lord of the Locust’ and his armies. Everything goes crazy with a volcano eruption and the appearance of “Ghost Circles” everywhere. The Bone cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and the recently returned Bartleby are also being pursued by the forces of the “Lord of Locust” and just manage to stay one step ahead. But how long can their luck hold? What is a Ghost Circle? Who lives and who dies? Only one way to find out, read the book. You won't be disappointed.

3) Amulet: Book One, The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishint- Wow, this is a really cool graphic novel that I encourage everyone to give it a read. The story starts out with a terrible accident that forces major changes in the lives of sister and brother Emily and Navin. Because of the accident Em, Navin, and their mother are forced to move into an abandoned house once lived in by Grandpa Silass who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The kids find out that their grandfather was an inventor of sorts but even more importantly Em finds a magical amulet that is a total mystery to her. On the families first night in the house, they are awoken by sounds coming from the basement. While investigating the sound, a strange tentacled creature pulls their mother through a mysterious doorway to another world. Em and Navin determined to save their mom follow and thus begins their true adventure in a place like nothing they could have imagined.

4) Salt Water Taffy: The Adventures of Jack and Benny - The Legend of Old Salty by Matthew Loux - This Graphic Novel is about two brothers Jack and Benny whose parents have decided to take the whole family away from the city and to spend the summer in the state of Maine at the weird and mysterious Chowder Bay. Jack and Benny make fast friends with one of the locals known around those parts as Fisherman Angus O'Neil. One evening the boys see something huge and monstrous on the beach, but can't quite make it out. After talking to Angus they discover that Chowder Bay has a mysterious resident in the waters known as Old Salty. This leads to strange robberies by lobsters, very strange behavior by seagulls and an epic battle between Old Salty and Angus. Does any of this make sense? If not read this excellent Graphic Novel and it all will. I really loved this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Well here's to looking for great titles in 2009!!!!! If you have some books or Graphic Novels that you particularly enjoyed from 2008, write in and let us know about them!!!!

Peace all,


1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Excellent choices. I can't wait until Silvertongue, the next Charlie Fletcher book, comes out.