Feb 27, 2016

Review: Superman Exposed: The Incredible Story of the Man of Steel

Superman Exposed: The Incredible Story of the Man of Steel Superman Exposed: The Incredible Story of the Man of Steel by Dean King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, Man of Steel is one of my favourite Super Hero characters. After reading this book I came to understand that I know very little about Man of Steel. This book is a good read. Joe Shuster derived the name for Superman alter ego "Clark Kent" from two movie actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor. Superman' love interest Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane character was modeled from Jerry Siegel's wife Joanne Carter. The fictional city Metropolis was named after the Fritz Lang movie Metropolis (1927).

I came to know that the concept of Superman was made way back in 1933, but it took nearly 5 years to reach the print. Jerry and Joe prepared the story for comic book adaption but when they were turned down they changed it for paper strip for Newspaper, but again they were unfortunate.

In earlier stories Superman's personality portrayed by his two creators (Jerry and Joe) as rough, aggressive, with loose moral code and violent. Nowadays we may find this fact as unbearable, as his early depiction of Superman is quite different. In Action comics #1, his character championed for the oppressed and the helpless against munitions manufacturers, hit-and-run drunk drivers, con-men, corrupt businessmen, crooked cops and domestic offenders like wife beaters and child abusers.

Later the change in story department and time, Superman who was once able to leap tall buildings now started to fly around the world. During the earlier part of 1950s Superman was given more powers like heat vision and the ability to breathe in space. He was also shown as being able to travel through time. Subsequently his opponents became more fantastic and powerful as well. On his eating habits, not only that Superman has been depicted as a vegetarian but in some comics he is depicted as an omnivore.

The famous phrase "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap building in a single bound", was first coined by Jay Morton for the Superman radio serials.

Earlier Man of Steel's home is known as Secret Citadel, then it got changed to crystallized building "Fortress Of Solitude" which lies some where in Polar region.

The author Dean King has neatly given the details of when the radio show was broadcasted, insights into several cartoon shows from 1940s to 1990s, the actors who took the mantle of Superman in TVs and as well in movies.

This book has less pages, is treasure trove for Superman fans.

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Feb 22, 2016

Review: A Thousand Fiendish Angels: Stories Inspired By Dante's Inferno

A Thousand Fiendish Angels: Stories Inspired By Dante's Inferno A Thousand Fiendish Angels: Stories Inspired By Dante's Inferno by J.F. Penn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book "A Thousand Fiendish Angels" from the author as free giveaway. The book has three short stories written by J.F.Penn, as part of an online contest for the launch of Dan Brown's thriller novel, Inferno, run by Kobo.

She has given a brief descriptions on the three interlinking short stories, using the symbolism of Dante's Inferno, and grouped into the main categories of sin. In this collection, the stories have been re-ordered to represent the passage of time, with the book of human skin linking the generations who possess it.

Sins of Flesh - A famed author Christopher Faerwald body is found in his home surrounded by the occult symbols such as the inverted horseshoe, the Islamic blue and white charm to ward off the evil eye, the medal of St Benedict, a Catholic sacramental medal used to ward off evil etc. The detective finds some clues about a book which the deceased author has hidden. What happens when he finds the book?

Sins of Treachery - A old man dies his grand sons Simon and Gest comes to know about a secret map and they travel to that place, what happens to the two brothers remains part of the story of "Sins of Treachery".

Sins of Violence - A mysterious illness spread from the far north, people contacted by that virus strain turns those infected into savage uninhibited killers. The story is post apocalyptic genre, the heroine Ariadne tries her best to end the rule of Minotaur and his gang Furies.

At the end of the book the author had given a brief account of the language and imagery on Dante's Inferno, Symbolism and character names.

A good read.

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Feb 15, 2016

Review: Stone of Fire

Stone of Fire Stone of Fire by J.F. Penn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A nice thriller from J.F.Penn, I received this eBook as free from Amazon. The story is about to gather the Pentecost stones also known as the stones of 12 apostles. And all these stones are scattered over the sacred places of earth. Once every thousand years a comet named as Resurgam will appear, during that period when these 12 stones are gathered will give unknown powers to the possessor.

Present time the comet is going to appear, thousand year legends becomes fact. Dr.Morgan Sierra and her twin sister are possessing two of the 12 stones, Morgans sister and her daughter is kidnapped, to save her, Morgan enters the search with ARKANE a secret government organisation, a team member Jake Timber is given the task to work along with Morgan to find the Pentecost stones before it falls into the evil organisation Thanatos. Not only them another rich and maniac Joseph Everett who wants to save his twin brother Michael (hospitalized in St Bartholomew's private psychiatric Hospital) badly needs the stones.

How Dr.Morgan and Jake gets back all the stones will be revealed in a thrilling globe trotting novel "Stone of Fire". The climax is superb a fitting finish to the novel. And also a sequel might follow for Dr.Morgan.

The author has given a detailed information about the facts and fictions of her story. The locations in the book starting from India, England, Spain, Iran, Italy, Israel, Tunisia and USA. The Biosphere in the novel is a real place which the author has used her skillful imagination for the climax.

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Feb 10, 2016

Review: The Doomsday Testament

The Doomsday Testament The Doomsday Testament by James Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mathew Sinclair, Jamie Saintclair, Sarah Grant and Walter Brohm these are the four significant characters involved in this novel.

Hundreds of years before a meteor crashes in Tibet which creates a large crater on impact. The people worshiped the meteor, they made a gold casket for holding the stone. That energy stone is called Sun stone in the story. When Nazi rule was in prime, Walter Brohm takes an expedition and get holds the Sun Stone, he researches for harnessing its energy, during World War II, Hitler was looking for a breakthrough in Nuclear fusion weapons he finds that they cannot harness this Sun stone energy and Hitler fears that it might destroy his country. Further the research was halted, but SS headed by Heinrich Luitpold Himmler patronizes Walter Brohm to continue. Unfortunately Germany was facing defeat from both ends. Walter Brohm hides the research papers and painting of Raphael in a hide out.

During the end of the war US paperclip project brings Brohm's hope, he negotiates with US and his trump card is the Sun stone. What happened to Walter Brohm and the Sun Stone remains a mystery.

An art historian Jamie Saintclair founds that his Grand Father Mathew Sinclair was dead due to a fall from steps. Jamie gets Mathews journal, he reads and comes to know about the lost painting of Raphael and Walter Brohm. Jamie tries to get the grasp of the story, he meets aged Mathews friend who is in the hospital. He gets further info regarding the stolen painting of Raphael but soon he was also found dead in a hospital.

Jamie starts his journey to find out the painting of Raphael, he gets a company along the way, Sarah Grant (her character much predictable) both goes in search of the painting but they get more than what they bargained for.

Industrialist Howard Vanderbilt, Assassin Fredrick, the countries China and Israel are all searching for the Sun Stone, Jamie who is not aware of such things get involved in the dangerous trap. The story goes from one country to another, palaces, mountains, bunkers, forests etc.

The question still remains what happened to the Sun Stone and who gets it? A fabulous novel, the author has given a note at the end of the book of how the journal was written for the story.

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Feb 3, 2016

Review: 100 Mistakes that Changed History: Backfires and Blunders That Collapsed Empires, Crashed Economies, and Altered th e Course of Our World

100 Mistakes that Changed History: Backfires and Blunders That Collapsed Empires, Crashed Economies, and Altered th e Course of Our World 100 Mistakes that Changed History: Backfires and Blunders That Collapsed Empires, Crashed Economies, and Altered th e Course of Our World by Bill Fawcett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book gives much info about the mistakes/blunders committed during war, the author also shares the examples from the economic collapse of 2008.

My most liked chapters are (1)Ambition (2)Ahead of his time (50)Do Nothing (52)Tech Failure and Panic (58)One Wrong Turn (70)Dealing with the Devil (71)Halfway Right (80)Obeying Orders to a fault (82)Too Little Too Late (91)Indecisive Leadership (95)Open Says a Me.

Blunders and backfires from World War II takes the center stage, Bill Fawcett had given condensed version of exciting instances of the war.

And the next major part of the book is about the American Civil War. The failure of Beardeslee military telegraph used by the Union paved way for the loss of battle and George Armstrong Custer campaign against Sioux and Cheyenne camps in Montana and the result of not only his death but also contributed the death of the Indian tribes in later days.

The last lines from the book:

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
George Santayana

Of course George Santayana also said:

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.

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