Reviews

Want to know what our librarians and staff are reading? Browse through a variety of reviews added to our catalog from a variety of genres.

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  • Mother Panic. by Houser, Jody,
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 16, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Enjoy the story, skip the authors commentary afterward - the high-handed, self-important tone detracts from the reading experience.

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  • Tank Girl. by Martin, Alan C.,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 16, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    The more of these I read, the more DCs Harley Quinn comes across as a pale ripoff.

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  • Trigger warning : short fictions and disturbances by Gaiman, Neil,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 16, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction

    Short pieces and poems by a master storyteller. Minor quibble with the arrangement - there is a lengthy and informative introduction but the sections of commentary on the works would actually read better (IMO) if they were placed at the end of each relevant piece rather than run together before hand.

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  • Master and commander by O'Brian, Patrick,
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 16, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction History

    The lead and supporting characters are memorable, the locations and battle scenes are timeless, but there is to much other filling up the pages and cluttering the story. It's a dense read that either rewards a classical education or demands the acquisition of one, but in either case many references and inferences will be lost without a strong grounding in French and Latin grammar, Greek and Roman mythology, and 19th century European politics. (And this criticism is coming from someone who likes tracking down obscure allusions and forgotten trivia.) 

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  • Young guns
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 8, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    A great cast, grittily filmed, and with many suprisingly tender moments for an ensemble western. 

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  • Black Hammer. by Lemire, Jeff,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 8, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Lemire once again creates a living world without bogging down in backstory. 

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  • Midnighter and Apollo by Orlando, Steve
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 8, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    The author should have been given the number of a therapist, not a comic contract. Unresolved personal issues leak over every page, unnecessary crude language and gore is confused with content and a storyline that could have been wrapped up in one issue (since it was stolen from Greek Mythology) is strung out interminable for the entire volume.  

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  • All's Faire in Middle School by Jamieson, Victoria
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Nov 7, 2017

    Tagged: Children Comics & Graphic Novels Fiction

    The first graphic novel I ever felt compelled to read and I quite enjoyed it.  Of course half of it was set at the Florida Renaissance Faire and the main character and her family work at the Faire.  Imogene has been homeschooled  and decides to go to middle school.  Navigating the new world of school has many pitfalls and Imogene makes mistakes along the way.  She falls victim to the in-crowd girls whose leader likes you one day and bullies you the next.  Imogene almost makes a friend with a girl who comes to the Faire every weekend, but a mean prank done to impress the in-crowd strains their friendship.  The popular girls also make Imogene ashamed of her family for being different and she lashes out at them and says things that can't be taken back.  

    Full of realistic situations and well-developed characters, All's Faire in Middle School kept me reading.  I was eager to find out what happened next and how Imogene would resolve her problems.

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  • Far from the shamrock shore : the story of Irish-American immigration through song by Moloney, Mick.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Nov 3, 2017

    Tagged: Music History

    Excellent overview and history of Irish and Irish-American music as it developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a companion CD to boot. It gives context and insight to songs you've heard for years as well as  introduces the reader/listener to many more obscure songwriters and pieces as well. 

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  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Taylor, Laini
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Oct 31, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction Teens

    The monsters and the rebel angels have banded together to try to end the war, but it is not an easy peace between them.  Karou must keep up a dangerous pretense in order to keep the peace between the two groups.  Will the bonds hold?  Will they ultimately prevail in halting the war and bringing peace to Eretz?

     

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  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Taylor, Laini
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Oct 31, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction Teens

    Karou and Akiva find themselves on opposite sides of the war between the monsters and the angels.  Who is good and who is evil?  As the angels take the reins of power and vanquish the bulk of the monster army, Karou must use the skills Brimstone taught her to create a new monster army.  She bands together with a cruel and evil monster, Thiago, the White Wolf, and his followers but her one-time love for the enemy, Akiva, cause them to distrust her.  Even though she is working to save them and their cause, she is also in danger herself.  When Akiva comes to her in desperation to help another he loves what will she do?  Karou must walk a thin line in order to do what she feels is right.  But doing what is right just might get her killed.

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  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Taylor, Laini
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Oct 31, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction Teens

    A hidden world, a forbidden love, a never-ending war between angels and devils...make for a very interesting and compelling book.  Orphaned Karou is being raised by a group of mysterious creatures who only come to life outside of their home through Karou's drawings and stories.  Her friend Zuzana things they are products of Karou's rich imagination.  Brimstone, the leader of this magical group, is like a father to Karou and she travels the world completing mysterious and often dangerous missions for him.  She has no idea what lies behind the door in his workshop, but when the doors that lead magically to other countries around the globe begin to be sealed shut by a mysterious force, Karou must confront the reality that as much as Brimstone and his band love her, they have also kept her in the dark about her own past.  When she meets the elusive angel, Akiva, and the two begin to form a forbidden bond she has to choose between the world she knows and the one that has been hidden from her.

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: dead men tell no tales
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 30, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Even worse than the preceding entry in the series....if only no stars were possible. Repetition is not plot. Special effects are not story, and cameos are not acting. Spend two hours with a bottle of rum instead. Yo ho ho.  

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean, on stranger tides
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 30, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Nonsense, fooferal and idiocy of the highest sort. After a decent first film, the entire series has been coasting on repuatiton and marketing, unsupported by quality products. When the best part of the film is the outlandish introduction of vampiric spider-mermaids, you are beyond redemption. 

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  • John Wick
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 29, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Pure action, and directed with an eye toward featuring the abilities of actors and stuntmen rather than the spastic flashes of an editing suite. Excellent performances from all involved, particularly Willem Dafoe. On first viewing years ago the initial response was "I hope they make another" - thankfully they did. 

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  • Baywatch
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 29, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Went in on the vague memories of a TV show from 20 years ago and the reputation of Dwayne Johnson. NOT a movie for kids, but wildly entertaining. The film embraces a gonzo, foul-mouthed style from the first minute till the last, but with charm, ernestness, and sincerity. Ignore the savage critical reception and judge for yourself, Baywatch is clean, dirty fun. 

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  • Tank Girl. by Martin, Alan C.,
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 29, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    My first exposure to the character, and it was fun. the issue itself is consistent in tone, art, and style; all of the actors - both ongoing and one-shot - are well defined and distinct; and the gonzo feel of anything can happen walks the fine line between fun and ridiculous. I'll reserve judgement and await other volumes to see if this is an outlier or a normal entry in the series.

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  • Spider-Man/Deadpool. by Kelly, Joe,
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 29, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Two quippy superheros can be a bit much, but overall it's entertaining. 

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  • Quarry's greatest hits by Collins, Max Allan.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 29, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction

    Excellent short stories and a full novel that goes places Quarry never has before - adding depth previously unhinted at without ret-coning the established stories or betraying the character, two very difficult feats to pull off. 

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  • Sharpe's sword : Richard Sharpe and the Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812 by Cornwell, Bernard.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Oct 26, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction History

    Adding a spy hunt to the expected military action raises the stakes without detracting from the pace. A fine addition to Sharpe's catalog of adventures. 

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