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Comic Review: Bury The Lede
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Bury the Lede by Gaby Dunn

Bury the Lede
Paperback | Kindle/comiXology
Written by Gaby Dunn
Illustrated by Claire Roe with Miquel Muerto
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release date: October 8, 2019

In Bury the Lede, Madison Jackson is an intern with the Lede, the top newspaper in Boston struggling to garner the attention she needs to turn her internship into a coveted full-time reporting gig. So when she’s invited along to the scene of a homicide with fellow Lede reporter Lexington “Lexi” Ford, she sees this as her opportunity and jumps at it.

The case revolves around the murder of a high-powered Boston man and his son by his socialite wife Dahlia Kennedy. Behind bars, no one has managed to get her to talk. So, on a desperate whim, Lexi sends in Madison… and the gamble pays off… the alleged murderess is now talking, but not necessarily the story that Kennedy and Lexi were expecting. To make matters even more complicated, Dahlia will now only talk to Madison, making the young intern a focal point of the investigation as opposed to the person reporting it, a position reporters never want to be in at any point.

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Music Review: Fear Inoculum By TOOL
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Fear Inoculum by TOOL

Tool
Fear Inoculum
Digital
Label: RCA Records
Release date: August 30, 2019

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’m a diehard fan of TOOL. Sure, I really got pretty hot and heavy into the band’s 1993 debut LP, UndertowBeavis & Butt-Head can have that effect on a young mind. Plus, it’s a fantastic freaking album that holds up really well even to this day. But I only got into subsequent releases on a marginal basis. I listened to them if I could find them legally without paying for them. And considering their last studio album released was 13 years ago, I couldn’t even tell you what that legal method was. Probably CD loaners from friends or the library.

But this year’s Fear Inoculum was one that my circle of music peeps was very heavily anticipating. This includes my IRL friends, my co-workers, my online friends… we were all looking forward to it very, very much.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Frogcatchers By Jeff Lemire
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Frogcatchers by Jeff Lemire

Frogcatchers
Hardcover | Kindle
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Lemire
Publisher: Gallery 13
Release date: September 24, 2019

Frogcatchers begins with an elderly man awakening after a dream in which he was a child again catching frogs in a pond near his home. Where he finds himself is a strange room with no memory of, well, anything save for that dream. He decides to venture out to find out what happened, where he is, and why. What he discovers is a room key identifying that he’s in an old hotel from which he seemingly cannot get out. When he calls out for help, a young boy shows up and quickly ushers him into the basement of the hotel in an attempt to escape from the Frog King and his agents who are out to get them.

Even more confused and desperate now, the man convinces the boy to let him use the key to open its assigned room in hopes of discovering a way out on the other side. Begrudgingly and under extreme duress, the boy relents. Thus their adventure continues.

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire By Delilah S. Dawson
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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Galaxy’s Edge – Book 2
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by January LaVoy
Publisher: Del Rey | Random House Audio
Release date: August 27, 2019

In the second book of Disney’s new Star Wars series related to the Galaxy’s Edge theme park, Black Spire focuses on spy Vi Moradi’s attempts to resuscitate a flagging Resistance in the days immediately following the eighth film, The Last Jedi. With the New Republic’s central government destroyed by Starkiller Base and their forces all but defeated, Vi is sent by her mentor, General Leia Organa, to seek promising new worlds on which to re-kickstart the Resistance. To help her, Leia sends along Archex, a man with an intimate knowledge of the First Order. You see, he was not only a former Stormtrooper Captain known as Cardinal, but he and Moradi have a history all their own… Cardinal tortured Moradi after capturing her. During their torture sessions, though, Moradi discovered a weakness in Cardinal/Archex and exploited it. This allowed her to not only escape the clutches of the First Order, but also rescue a Stormtrooper was now able to see the error of his ways.

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Book Review: Violet By Scott Thomas
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Violet by Scott Thomas

Violet
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Scott Thomas
Publisher: Inkshares
Release date: September 24, 2019

In the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, Kill Creek, author Scott Thomas brings us a much more deliberate and slow-building terror in Violet. Kris Barlow, in an attempt to escape from the platitudes of friends, family, and strangers after a car accident claims the life of her husband, takes her daughter to a house on Lost Lake that has been owned by her family for decades, and that she hasn’t visited since she was about her daughter’s age.

Unfortunately, the best of intentions rarely go as you’d expect and the same happens here. Kris has forgotten that the reason why she hasn’t visited the house is because of things that happened to her family so many years prior. While she hasn’t thought about them in decades, those “things” never left the lake house. They’ve been lying in wait for Kris. And now they’re about to make themselves known again.

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Book Review: A Hero Born By Jin Yong
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A Hero Born by Jin Yong

A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Legends of the Condor Heroes: Book 1
Written by Jin Yong
Translated by Anna Holmwood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release date: September 17, 2019

Set during China’s Song Dynasty, approximately 1200 AD, A Hero Born, the first in the celebrated Chinese Legends of the Condor Heroes book series, starts when two sworn brothers are confronted with a terrible choice after being charged with treason by the local government: argue their innocence before a corrupt magistrate that will likely condemn them to death or try to make a run for it with their wives and sons in tow, fighting their way through soldiers who have come to arrest them.

...continue reading »
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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova
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Star Wars Galaxy's Edge A Crash Of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge book 1
Written by Zoraida Cordova
Narrated by Brittany Pressley
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press | Listening Library
Release date: August 6, 2019

In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate, the first of a new series of books centered around the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, Jules and Izzy are the best of friends. They do everything together. And when you’re six and five years old, respectively, living in the last known habitable outpost on the edge of wildspace, you come to rely on having that friend. You need each other.

When Izzy’s family up and leaves in the middle of the night with no warning whatsoever and no chance for the kids to say good-bye, to say your life has been upended is an understatement.

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann
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Star Wars: Myths and Fables by George Mann

Star Wars: Myths & Fables
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by George Mann
Narrated by James Monroe Iglehart
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press | Listening Library
Release date: August 6, 2019

Back in college, I took a class on short stories. As a result of what I learned, I have carried a deep love of the form throughout my adult life. So, imagine my joy when Star Wars: Myths & Fables, a collection of short stories set in a galaxy far, far away, was thrown my way.

Okay, so writer George Mann is not the first to offer up Star Wars short stories. He’s not even the first to do it since George Lucas sold the rights to this universe to Disney (that honor goes to 2017’s multi-authored collection From a Certain Point of View). This is, however, the first time I can recall in which a single author wrote an entire collection of short stories that all share a similar voice and style.

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Book Review: Only Ashes Remain By Rebecca Schaeffer
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Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

Only Ashes Remain
Hardcover | Kindle
Market of Monsters, Book #2
Written by Rebecca Schaeffer
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: September 3, 2019

Only Ashes Remain is Rebecca Schaeffer‘s sequel to last year’s breakout debut Not Even Bones and, let me just get this out of the way right now, it most certainly does not suffer from the dreaded “sophomore slump” that tends to afflict many creators in the entertainment industry.

Our “unnatural” heroine Nita returns, but under the protection of INHUP (International Non-Human Police), an agency that not only protects humans from the dangerous non-humans living amongst us in this alternate reality, but also protects non-dangerous non-humans such as Nita from both dangerous non-humans as well as the very paranoid and sometimes more dangerous humans who tend to think of everyone unlike themselves as being a threat.

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Book Review: Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds By Gwenda Bond
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Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds
Hardcover | Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook
Stranger Things, Book 1
Written by Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: February 5, 2019

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds is the first official book to be published that’s set in the fictional world of early 1980s Hawkins, Indiana, from Netflix’s Stranger Things and features some of the characters we have come to know and love from the three seasons of the hit streaming series.

But for this story, we travel a bit further back. To 1969, in fact. This is when Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine’s character) and his young ward, Kali (or “008” as we’ve come to know her), arrive at Hawkins National Laboratory to expand upon his experiments on the human mind. To aid in his tests, he recruits four college-aged kids chosen because of promising capabilities they’ve displayed.

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