Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comics and Angels and Fairies

Three new reviews from me. Two new comics and two new bo0oks. Be sure to check them out.

Baryon 111 is up at

DIRT 1, 2, Scott Nicholson, Kewbwe Arruda Valdez &Rainer Petter, Post Mortem Comics, $2.95 each, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Scott Nicholson was one of the Writers of the Future winners a few years back and did a series of horror novels for Pinnacle. Not he is branching out into comics by revisioning some of his shorter works into comics. Scott has memories of the horror comics from EC and is presenting these for those of us that fed on the same vein, so to speak.

Our host for the books is The Digger, who appears in a top hat, a tattered longcoat and a shovel ready to do his job. “The Christening” tells of the Stamey family and the birth of the next generation. “Carnival Knowledge” is a short tale of a carnival freak. “Timing Chains of the Heart” is the story of Cammie, a ’69 Camaro and her jealousy about the girls that get taken for the ride of their lives.

The second issue opens with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” about a father and his son as they try to avoid the dead men walking. “Dumb Luck” tells what happens when you ignore a chain letter. “Second Chances” makes you wonder if everyone really deserves one.

The comics are black and white with color covers and are well written and the art is well suited to this genre. Ask for these at your local comics store or use the link from Scott’s web page,

ANGEL’S ADVOCATE, Mary Stanton, Berkley, $7.99, 314 pages, ISBN: 9780425228753, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Bree Winston-Beaufort has a law practice in Savannah, the most haunted city in America. Her office is in the middle of the cemetery and she has no lack of clients wanting an appeal on their sentence. Her only problem is that the dead don’t pay very well.

When a local, well to do teenager steals the cookie money from a Girl Scout and zooms off in her Hummer, Bree takes the case as a favor to her aunt. Lindsey Chandler seems to be a normal rebellious teenager whose father died in a car wreck a few months earlier, but that is only one of her problems.

Bree ends up with Probert Chandler as a client as well. He says it was murder and wants to appeal his sentence to the ninth circle of hell. He was the owner of a chain of discount drug stores and partner in a drug research corporation. As Bree works to get Lindsey a reduced sentence, she becomes aware of drugs being stolen from the company, but no police reports were ever filed.

Bree discovers the history behind the family, the corporation, the business partners, and other things as she works to solve this case in spite of some evil spirits out to stop her.

This is another fabulous entry in the paranormal Beaufort & Company series. It’s a very enjoyable and fast paced novel that is filled with unconventional characters. In case you are not familiar with Mary Stanton, she also writes as Claudia Bishop. I don’t know whether to use the terms quaint and charming but they are the right words to use for this novel, but that’s what it is. If you missed the first book in the series, DEFENDING ANGELS, be sure and pick it up as well. This is definitely one of the top ten books of the year.

DREAMDARK: Blackbringer, Laini Taylor, Firebird, $9.99, 438 pages, ISBN: 9780142411681, an observation by Barry Hunter.

The best thing a book can do is to cause you to think. It doesn’t have to be deep world shattering thoughts. It can be the thoughts that bring back memories of your childhood, of your first discoveries of the world around you. The world that is physically around you and the world that is inside you. There is always the world that is and the world that could have been.

I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember when that new, at least to me, medium of television brought Mary Martin into my house in the guise of Peter Pan. And with Pan came Tinkerbell, the first of the fairies to make a home in my marvelous world of what might have been.

Now she has been joined some fifty odd years later by Magpie Windwitch, fairy and grand daughter of the West Wind. Magpie travels the world with her faithful band of crows that endeavor to eliminate the devils and imps that seek to cause trouble. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of Bellatrix who did the same thing 25,000 years ago.

Now she must hunt down the greatest threat the world has ever seen. The Blackbringer has been released from its confinement and it s up to Magpie to recapture it and stop it from destroying the world of fairy and man as well. During this quest Magpie makes new friends, new enemies and ultimately the true story of her birth and her powers that have been kept from her.

I don’t know if parents still read to their children or not. I’m sure some do, but either way this is a marvelously enchanting book to introduce them to the realm just beyond our gaze. You know the place, the one you see as your eyes close for the night or as the first light strikes the morning dew.

This is a book and series that need to be on your shelf. Adults need to read it as well and rediscover the joy and magic that is all too sadly, being forgotten. Even if you don’t have children yet, get a copy and after you read it save it for the ones you are going to have later; be it in this world or the world that could have been.

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