The Man in the Empty Suit follows an unnamed time traveller as he attends his 39th birthday at the Boltzman Hotel. While your mind is probably imaginiThe Man in the Empty Suit follows an unnamed time traveller as he attends his 39th birthday at the Boltzman Hotel. While your mind is probably imagining a lavish party with friends and loved ones, you’d be mistaken. The only people in attendance happen to be multiple versions of the protagonist who all travel to this date and location every year - the year 2071.
Things are going swimmingly until a future version of the narrator is murdered. The present narrator isn’t sure who’s behind the dirty deed but is almost certain it has to be himself, albeit either a past or future version of himself. Author Sean Ferrell asks the question: how can you solve a crime when you’re the victim, the suspect, and the detective?
I really had to work at this book to get to the end. That isn't a knock at the quality nor the author’s ability to structure a narrative, it was just a difficult read. With The Man in the Empty Suit, I couldn't tell you the amount of times I had to tell myself to stick with it; to stay with the author because everything will eventually fall into place. The truth is, I've always struggled with non-linear storytelling and with this novel, reading it was like trying to force open my skull and cram information into my brain that didn't immediately make sense, kind of like your body rejecting a recently transplanted organ.
And things do eventually settle down. After the murder, when the narrator decides to kill time before his next birthday (and death-day) bash, he bums around the ruins of 2071 New York City, waiting for his chance to confront his would be assassin. While the sordid state of the Big Apple is never explained, I kind of like it when authors do that sort of thing - “here’s the end of the world, good luck guessing how it happened!” I enjoyed that section of the story over the chaotic beginning - here, the characters and setting have room to breathe and grow.
This was an interesting read to say the least seeing as I do love me a good time travel yarn....more
Current Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott decides to expand upon the wall-crawler’s origins with a tale set within web-head’s first sixty days. Struggling tCurrent Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott decides to expand upon the wall-crawler’s origins with a tale set within web-head’s first sixty days. Struggling to come to terms with his newfound powers and responsibilities, Peter Parker inadvertently inspires a young fan to take up action as New York’s newest superhero, The Clash. Will Spidey continue to inspire this new costumed crime fighter or will their egos.. clash?
Confession: I picked this up at the library a few weeks back thinking it was the first volume of Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot, so you can imagine my disappointment when I realized I didn’t look before I leaped and grabbed the wrong book. I was going to bring it back but thought, what the hell? I already have it. Might as well read it.
Outside of the cool throwback style artwork, there’s really no need for this thing to exist. I know that may sound mean, but I came away feeling like I gained nothing from reading it. I think the thing that annoyed me the most was keeping the style of the 60s but throwing in things like cellphone cameras, YouTube and other modern elements. It frustrated me and took me out of the story repeatedly. It was almost like it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Who knows? Maybe this won’t bother others as much as it did me.
I’ve loved what I had read of Slott’s Superior Spider-Man work so maybe this was just a weird, mediocre experiment. Now to go back to the library and get the right book!
Michael Hendricks has a very particular set of skills, skills he has learned over a short career as a covert ops agent stationed in Afghanistan, skillMichael Hendricks has a very particular set of skills, skills he has learned over a short career as a covert ops agent stationed in Afghanistan, skills that make him a nightmare for other hired killers. If you pay him now, that will be the end of it. You will survive an attempt on your life. But if you don’t, he will ignore you, they will find you, and they will kill you.
Up to now, Hendricks has made himself a very successful career knocking off other hit men. Unfortunately for Hendricks, a large crime syndicate dubbed The Council has taken it upon itself to seek out an equally skilled killer, Engelmann, to wipe him off the map. Adding fuel to the fire is FBI Special Agent Charlie Thompson. Leaving nothing behind; no clues, no method of identification, Hendricks has become nothing more than a ghost to her for years.
The Killing Kind sets a collision course for all three individuals. A collision course that leads to a war. A war in which all three will do anything to be the last one standing.
Chris Holm’s The Killing Kind moves like a tank with a Ferrari engine; absolutely brutal and destructive scenes infused with action that flows effortlessly. With so many cooks in the kitchen, you rarely have time to catch your breath before Holm moves the focus to another scene or character, keeping things fresh and intriguing.
The Killing Kind had been one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and I’m happy to say that my expectations were met, and then some. Grab this when it hits shelves in September.
"Scientists are actually preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should"Scientists are actually preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should do something."
In 1993, Steven Spielberg brought dinosaurs to life on the big screen. At the time, Jurassic Park was so immensely popular that I would be shocked to find someone today who hasn't seen it. Now, with the forthcoming release of Jurassic World, dinosaurs are all the rage again. During a routine trip to the book store, I picked up both Jurassic Park and The Lost World for a pretty good price.
Before I cracked the cover on Jurassic Park, I skimmed through a few reviews online. Many of the reviews stated that there are pretty noticeable differences between the novel and the movie. Right away, this had me excited. I'm a read the book, see the movie kind of guy - not the other way around. I find that if I've seen the movie first, I have a hard time forming my own vision in my head. Maybe I have no imagination. Who knows?
As far as differences go, "noticeable" is an understatement. While the science behind the dino resurrection stays the same (blood from mosquitoes in amber), many of the characters are completely different. Don’t worry, Goldblum's Ian Malcolm is still as self-righteous as ever but the biggest difference is that of John Hammond. In the movie, he comes across as this overgrown child full of wonder whereas in the book, he’s this arrogant, egotistical man seemingly without compassion. He’s also infallible. The best example of this comes from the discussion on the velociraptors. In the novel, Malcolm calls Hammond out on the fact that everyone had been surprised at just how vicious the raptors were, that they often killed and maimed workers. It never once entered into Hammond’s head that they could do without one less species running around.
I’ve never read a Crichton novel before but the man can really turn up the tension to eleven. The best example being the use of the velociraptors. Like the movie, they’re presented as the story’s main villains (although several characters allude to it not being their fault, that they’re just hunting and eating to survive) and the scenes in which they’re stalking the main characters had me speed reading.
Aside from the raptors, you had that meat grinder on legs, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. For an eight ton killing machine, he sure can lurk in the shadows. Just when Alan and the kids (Tim and Lex) think they've escaped his wrath, he jumps out and scares the ever loving shit out of them. This leads to Lex saying on two occasions “I hate him” which made me laugh each time Crichton had her say it.
For as great as the book is, I feel there’s certainly something lost in the pages. Jurassic Park is a story that is so visual that nothing in the novel could compare to seeing a dinosaur come to life before your eyes on the big screen. While I felt the original story is a lot stronger than the one presented in the movie, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. That being said, I could go on and on about all the subtle differences here and there but that would cause this review to extend to an uncomfortable length. So, I’ll just link to this page here. I would stay away from it if you intend to read the novel as it’s basically spoilers.
I’ll close by saying if you've only ever seen the movie, you NEED to read this book. The sheer amount of work put forth by Michael Crichton makes you wonder if he was secretly cloning dinosaurs on the side.