Dec 5, 2017

Theatrics Graphic Novel

Couple of days back I received a copy of Theatrics, a graphic novel from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Written by Neil Gibson, illustrations by Leonardo Gonzalez, Jan Wijngaard colorist and Jim Campbell letterer.


The story is not that much complex but the story is well narrated via panels. The hero of the novel is Rudy Burns, tall, handsome and attractive Broadway actor. One night while coming out of a bar he was attacked by ruthless criminals. Rudy retaliates but he was assaulted from the back, pounded mercilessly by the thugs.

Rudy wakes up to find he had lost his good looking feature which is very much needed for Broadway. From then on he comes to know he has lost his money, girl friend and his home. Nobody gives him an opportunity. Finally like every beaten soul he makes up his mind for suicide. Before trying to kick the chair Rudy sees a mail and reads it, which tells him how hard he had come up in the life.

Rudy changes his mind, Sammy gives him a idea to become a boxer. Little bit hesitation first then Rudy understands that taking up boxing is also a kind of acting. Sammy creates a myth that Rudy now known as Barbarian Count.


And Sammy utters these golden words:

“What everyone really wants is not just a story, but a distraction from their tough lives. They want to escape. It’s why they drink. It’s why they read. It’s why Broadway is so popular. It lets people escape. People want to be entertained”.

“If you want to get rich, sell to the rich. If you want to get filthy rich, sell to the dirt poor”.

“You look like a monster, but you care like a father. You’ll scare the opponents, but charm the punters”.

Rudy Burns life turns as he wins matches one by one, his career graph finally shows a upward curve. Now Sammy pushes Rudy further by making him fight with famous boxers, with that ends the first volume of the novel.

In the final pages the author has given some examples of how the graphic novel is done and what fine tunings they have to do before final print.

The artwork and coloring are excellent. The artwork for Rudy Burns character before and after the accident and panel showing the life of Rudy from the tears (the image which I have given below) are worth mentioning. A good method they had followed is instead of giving chapters they separated as Act 1 and Act 2.


An entertaining graphic novel set in 1920s. I enjoyed it very much.

Dec 2, 2017

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

A superb suspense thriller of the Dark Knight set in the Victorian age. Bruce Wayne returns from London to find that Gotham city crime rate has intensified. The story is by Brian Augustyn and illustrations by Mike Mignola.


The original artwork is by  cooey2ph, I reworked in Photoshop

Batman has to face the notorious Jack the Ripper prowling the gas lit streets of the city later Bruce Wayne has been charged of murders and locked up in Arkham Asylum.


Book cover (when you enlarge the image you can see a building named after the illustrator)

Batman using his detective skills nabs the real Jack the Ripper. And who is that person is a revelation for us.


Batman confronts Jack the ripper

The art work is not that good but the Dark Knight costume is awesome. Given above are the two images right from the story book and another from the art work  cooey2ph in a website.

Nov 28, 2017

The Undead: A Tale from the Night

I have already read Akay brothers “Jason Cage” and have some knowledge of how their storyline will be. But this short story The Undead: A Tale from the Night is entirely different. After reading couple of pages I had a doubt is this is from Stephen King!

the undead

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

– George Eliot

The above line is the first line of the book, the idea I grasp from the blurb and this line is entirely different after reaching the final page.

A first time father expecting a baby is the one line of the story. The story is told in first person narrative. The book has many gory moments as mentioned in the blurb we surely need guts to read. I have read this book 2 times, for the second time it really took me two days to sit and read it again.

This story is for the fans of mystery & thriller, fans especially those who like Stephen King will praise this book on the writing style.

Nov 23, 2017

Alexander the Great: A Life From Beginning to End (Kindle Edition)

Another wonderfully written concise book on History. The introduction part is very much captivating.


Alexander is the greatest conqueror of all time. He ruled a domain that encompassed the Aegean, Mediterranean, modern day Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Persia and India (small part).


Alexander’s mentor Aristotle

The author has given much information on Alexander and as well as about his father Philip of Macedon & Alexander's tutor Aristotle. The book has vivid description on the war tactics used by Alexander. A chapter is allotted how Alexander used myths, legends and psychology in conquering the enemies.

The author has mentioned Alexander’s oratory skills, his compassion towards his soldiers, enemies etc.

Quotes of Alexander from the book:

“We are free men, they are slaves… they will be fighting for pay… we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it.” – Alexander to his troops on the eve of the Battle of Issus, as quoted by Arrian.

“An army of lions lead by a sheep is better than an army of sheep led by a lion.”

Nothing is impossible to him who will but try.

“The Strongest” – Alexander on his death bed when asked who he wished to name as his successor.

A very good book and I like to recommend this to history buffs like me. My rating is 5 stars.

Nov 17, 2017

Nostradamus: A Life From Beginning to End

“I will be seated at night in my secret study,
Alone, sitting upon a stool of brass;
A flame shall leap forth from the solitude,
Granting that which is not believed to be in vain.”

The book is concise and well written about the life of Michel de Nostredame, better known via the Latin form Nostradamus. He was born on December 14th 1503 in a small commune called Saint-Remy-de-Provence in the south of France. Nostradamus grandfather was a decisive force in his life. He studied medicine at the age of 14. Married to Henriette d’Encausse and had two children.

When the plague swept Europe, though Nostradamus was a physician he was not able to save his wife and children. After that he wandered over France. Later he settled and started his profession along with his study in occult.

In the year 1547, he settled in Salon-de-Provence, there he married a rich widow Anne Ponsarde, she give birth to six  children. Nostradamus moved away from his medical profession and took up occult science. He published almanac which became a hit and he become famous. Even the Queen of France Catherine de' Medici consulted him and later appointed him as Counsellor.

After publishing 11 almanacs Nostradamus wrote the famous Century  it had over 1200 quatrains, unfortunately only 946 of them remain today. At that time people like him are termed heretics and Inquisition prevailed. Nostradamus cleverly wrote the quatrains which would include not only the true languages of the old Masters— Latin and Greek— but also Italian and even a dialect from the Provence area of France which was unique to the region.

The author has written neutrally about Nostradamus prophecies. And he has made clear that we have to decide by our own wisdom.

A good book for reading from Hourly History.

Nov 12, 2017

Odessa Sea - Book Review

My 11th outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.

It is February 1917, Black Sea as Russian Imperial Navy ship Kerch is under attack in Odessa by Ottoman warships. The ship is overwhelmed soon and obliterated Kerch sinks. The story then jumps to April 1955, as Tupolev Tu-4 carrying deadly cargo crashes on the Black Sea killing all. Present time, now our hero Dirk Pitt receives a mysterious Mayday signal from Crimean Star. When Pitt and Al reaches the spot they find all the crew except one dead with a foul odor in the air. Trouble finds Pitt, entering the Crimean Star opens the Pandora box and nonstop adventure for us. 

There are many questions pops up while reading the novel such as what is the relation between Russian Tsar and British in World War I? Why Tech Billionaire and drone manufacturer Martin Hendriks finances a Bulgarian black market smuggler? Why Martin wants to start a war between US and Russia? all these are neatly answered by the author. The villains Mankedo and Martin Hendriks are more intelligent and calculative in their steps. Sometimes they outwit our hero Pitt. We can comprehend Clive's unique formula of intertwining four separate plots of the story and merging them in the final chapters without flaw. 

Inclusion of Dirk Pitt Jr. and Summer Pitt characters adds the needed pace to the story, we can feel Pitt Jr. showing of his father Dirk Pitt skills and humor. That's not all St. Julien Perlmutter aids Pitt's kids in finding the lost treasure which in turn help in Dirk Pitt's adventure. I find that Pitt Jr. and Summer have shared Pitt's action parts. 

I enjoyed the action scenes of Dirk Pitt, for example the technique used by Pitt for escaping from the closed tunnel, when the NUMA submersible was damaged by the villains the escape seems to be remote but the coolness of Dirk Pitt emerges once again, understanding the scientific fact of anoxic water and its importance in the destruction and getting hold the RDS-5 bomb in the climax, what more a Dirk Pitt fan needs. 

This novel is for Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt fans like me.