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Viewing Blog: Boys Rock, Boys Read!!!, Most Recent at Top
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1. Saying Goodbye to The Monstrumologist Series and a Godbomb

Hi all in the Land-o-Blog. I have yet again been away for awhile, The wandering, master-less Ronin Librarian Bill. The Holidays are upon us and I hope you all had a great Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever Holidays you follow!!!! I truly had a blessed one indeed. Yet, enough of this as we talk books. GNs and such. So here we go!!!!

The Final Descent (from The Monstrumologist Series) by Rick Yancey - Well all good things must come to an end and Mr. Yancey did so with the forth and last book in this series (I said I wasn't gonna cry, I said I wasn't gonna cry). Before I start I want to say this series has been outstanding for both older teens and adults. I know this series had a tough time finding a following, which makes me sad, but if you want to read a series that is exciting, full of intrigue, love, hate, growth an change and about the human condition without flinching from hard truths (with a strong dose of the macabre), this series is definitely for you.

The story starts switching between time frames and ties up the relationship of Will Henry and the great Monstrumologist Dr. Walthrop among other characters associated with the series. Dr. Walthrop is again on the hunt for a last of it's kind, aberrant life form called T. Cerrejonensis. A dangerous snake like creature thought to be extinct for 100 years. It's poison so deadly it causes agonizing death, yet if said poison is handled correctly can be made into a powerful drug that causes feelings of euphoria but is deadly addictive.

We get to see Will Henry as a older teen and as an adult. Unfortunately Will Henry has become more cynical or perhaps you could say realistic about the dirty work that comes along with the field of Mostrumology (indeed he starts to remind us more and more of one Jack Kearns in his views - however not in Kearns' twisted extracurricular activities, can you say Jack The Ripper)) and Dr. Walthrop more blind and depending on Will Henry to take on the dirty work he does not want to acknowledge exist. This book is full of paranoia, unexpected twist, creepiness and unexpected reveals. Does Dr. Walthrop have his moment in the sun with the capture of T. Cerrejonensis? Does Will Henry escape with his soul intact and into the loving arms of his true love Lilly? Read and enjoy!!!! Cheers to Mr. Yancey for this wonderful, creepy ending to an outstanding series.

If you interested to see reviews of the other books in the series:

The Monstrumologist - http://boysrockbr.blogspot.com/2010/10/bond-james-bond-monstrumologist-and.html.
The Curse of The Wendigo - http://boysrockbr.blogspot.com/2011/01/verily-i-mean-spookily-i-say.html.
The Isle of Blood - http://boysrockbr.blogspot.com/2011/11/isle-of-blood-avengers-and-sidekicks.html.

I also recommend very highly Mr. Yancey's new book in a series about an alien invasion that really rocks called "The 5th Wave." Hey I forgot to review that one!!!! Maybe next time.

Thank you Mr. Yancey once again for this excellent series. It was a great ride!!!!!!!!!

Thor: God of Thunder - Godbomb by Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Butch Guice and Tom Palmer - This Graphic Novel collects Thor: God of Thunder issues 6 - 11. Jason Arron has been on the comic book writing seen a good while now and let me tell ya kiddies, his a darn good writer that packs a punch when there is a tale to be told. This GN deals with a planet that is dying along with it's indigenous population. One of the aliens named Gorr prays to the Gods to save his family and people. None answer and as Gorr's family dies before him and he is cast out by his people he swears revenge against every so called god that has ever existed. One day great powers fall from the sky into his hands and he starts a crusade of fulfilling his revenge and so starts the downfall of beings calling themselves gods everywhere until Gorr runs across a race of gods that call themselves Asgardians. Gorr defeats the majority except Thor. Jumping through time and space Gorr must contend with 3 Gods of Thunder. One in his reckless and careless youth, one who serves with the Avengers and has a mighty sense of nobility and one who has grown old and crafty taking Odin's place as the All-Father. This is really a great story bringing together three very different versions of Thor at different ages against a genocidal alien who wants nothing more than to destroy any notion of the existence of gods. Great storytelling combined with awesome art make this one a must read!!!!!   

Well until next time (hopefully alot sooner than between this post and the last),


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2. It's Been a Long, Long Time or Skitt!!

Hi all you hepcats out in the "Land o Blog!!!!" Ronin Librarian Bill has been wondering the nether regions, fighting book banners, saving damsels in distress, fighting crime where ever it rears its ugly head so I've been off the radar for some time. If you don't believe me check it out:

Oh No, I may have shown to much. Just hope those reading this know that I am not the best at what I do!!!!!
Oh well enough silliness lets talk books and Graphic Novels.

Green Lantern, Volume 2, The Revenge of Black Hand by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Ethan Sciver, and more - If you go to the post I put up here you will see my review of Volume 1. This volume continues the very interesting team up of Hal Jordan (Earth's First Green Lantern) and his mentor and nemesis Sinestro (now back in the Green Lantern Corps...it's a long story to explain his history). In this roller coaster ride of a story as the two team up to not only take on the crazed Black Hand (of The Black Lantern Corps) but also take on The Indigo Corps when their power source is turned off. Now the Indigo Corps have always been portrayed as on the side of the angels so why would this cause problems? Man if you have not read this GN yet you are in for a real shock! What makes this GN so great besides what I have laid out is the interaction between Jordan and Sinestro. They often have dynamically different opinions on how to solve problems (Jordan being more diplomatic and Sinestro more whatever it takes). Yet for all their differences they really have great chemistry and make a great team. Also before this GN is done you get a glimpse at the next big threat coming down the pike for the universe. It's called "The Third Army" and man it looks like it's gonna be a great story!!!

Before Watchman: Minutemen & Silk Spectre by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner - DC did several very controversial prequels to one of the greatest Comics/Graphic Novels ever; The Watchmen (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons). The main controversy being other writers and artist telling stories involving characters so much belonging to these two creators and putting their spin on what came before. Moore more or less dismissed the titles as he has become a Comic/Graphic Novel recluse, however Gibbons was more supportive of the efforts but forth by others on these stories. I really liked "The Minuteman" story (a collection of the 6 issue miniseries) by Darwyn Cooke with such great characters with real depth as Hooded Justice, The first Silk Spectre, The first Nite Owl, The Comedian, Mothman, Dollar Bill, The Silhouette and Captain Metropolis. The story centers on the true story of the Minute Men as told by Hollis Mason (The Original Nite Owl) to be published in his tell all book named "Under The Hood." The story starts in the present (hat being 1962) with the story of The Minute Men being told through flash backs as early as 1939. The GN is beautifully written and illustrated. It is full of intrigue, shining moments, despicable lows, true heroism, true vileness, hilarious goofs and spectacular highs. It is the story full of tribute to "The Watchmen" as it tells the story of what if super heroes existed in the real world. Well worth reading and a darn good tale at that. It does nothing in my opinion to hurt the classic Watchmen story. The Silk Spectre story by Mr. Cooke and Amanda Conner is a spotlights on the second Silk Spectre which happen to be the daughter of the original carrying on in the super hero business. The story is not as strong as the Minutemen one, but Mrs. Conner supplies the collected 4 issue miniseries with some great artwork. It is worth reading but just pales when compared to "The Minute Men." Some familiar faces show up, one being one of my most favorite amoral characters in both The Minute Men and The Watchmen. I must caution here that as in "The Watchmen" this GN is targeted at an older audience due to language, violence, nudity and such. Great stories, great artwork.... well what are you waiting for? Go check it out!!!!!

Hopefully you will hear from me sooner than last time. Anyway peace all,


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3. An Interview with the Great Ms. Yingling!

Hey ho, all guy reading fans everywhere! This is Iron Guy Carl, back from another long absence. This time I've got a terrific interview with one of the most terrific book bloggers out there. Her name is Ms.Yingling. She's a school librarian in Ohio and blogs at Ms. Yingling Reads. She's also been a friend to Ronin Ninja Bill and me for a long time. She also hosts a weekly Guy Friday on her blog that recommends books for boys! Hmmmm--wonder where she got that idea??? Anyway, she does a lot for boy reading and we're happy to have her aboard for an interview.

There's a nasty rumor out there that says it's uncool for boys to read. How do you think it got started?

I think that some boys find it hard to read, and it's easier to say it's not cool than to say it's hard. It's hard to sit still, the words are tiny, and their mother keeps handing them The Secret Garden. Their teachers are girls, their librarians are often girls, and there are just not enough MEN out there to make it cool.

That’s why you have the Iron Guy in blogland, making reading cool for boys. What would the boys at your school say to the answer to the first questtion? And why do you think it's cool for boys to read?

    We have an awesome 6th grade teacher, Mr. Buxton (http://buxtolicious.blogspot.com/) who is very influential. If he book talks something, 50 students come in to request it. Reading is highly encouraged in our school, so the boys see each other reading. Also, we have a good selection of books with action, dog poop, robot decapitation, etc. that boys actually enjoy reading.
     I think it's cool for boys to read because it makes them smarter, and smart guys are THE coolest.

What are the favorite books of the boys at your school?
    Notebook novels like Wimpy Kind, Big Nate, and Dragonbreath, any sports books that are about basketball or football, and the world record books.

If you became Queen of the Universe and could tell every librarian everywhere what the 5 best books for boys of all time are, what would you say?

Did someone take my crown away? I would have to say Horowitz's Stormbreaker, Riordan's The Lightning Thief, Korman's Ungifted, Darren Shan's Cirque du Freakand Mack's Mathlete vs. Athlete.

  Ms Yingling believes that a librarian should LOOK like a librarian!

 You used to be a Latin teacher. What made you choose to be school librarian? What are the best and hardest parts of it?

    I didn't exactly choose to leave the field-- there were just no jobs. I have always loved to read, and I could get an MLS and not have to get another bachelor's degree. The best part of my job is when I am riding my bike home and a student who is hauling  garbage cans back to the garage runs out to say "Ms. Yingling! The book you gave me is AWESOME!!" (happened just last night!), or when I am describing a book to a student, and another student pipes up "That book is great. You have to read it!" I also like my little slice of internet "fame" and all the interesting authors, librarians and teachers I have met.

The hardest part is that it's a ton of work. It's a 24/7 kind of job. I'm at school for ten hours a day, and do another 3-5 hours of work at home, which leaves very little time for other things. I even dream about overdues. I wouldn't spend the time if I didn't enjoy it, though, so I can't complain!

Would you say, "Boys are awesome" in Latin?

"Pueri optissimi sunt" would be "Boys are the very best!"

How about "The Iron Guy and Ronin Ninja Bill are kings of MANLY MEN”?

Viri ferri Carolus et Ronin reges viri virilissimi sunt.

That said, it's been 20 years since I have taught Latin; I just ripped Ned Vizzini about the Latin in House of Secrets, so feel I should be careful!

Because of your excellent blog and your great work for guy reading, we gave you our highest honor and made you an Honorary Guy. Have you ever gotten over the shock of receiving such a great award?

    I have never gotten over the shock, but I attribute my current reading tastes (romance and dog poop? Fantastic!) to this award. I feel honored every day when boys trust me to get them a book they will enjoy.
I ask these final questions of everyone I interview--Which do you prefer, cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

    Girly answer to this one: I don't care for either! Also, I'm an old person, so I eat more grilled vegetables and hummus!

Don't worry about your girly answer. We're proud of our MANLINESS, so you should be proud of your GIRLYNESS!

Well, all kidding totally aside, we're are very glad that you're out there, sharing your love of books, especially with boys. Thanks for all you do and for taking time to answer our questions. And be sure to check out her blog, boys, and be doubly sure to read her Guy Friday posts!

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4. Good Graphic Novel Reads from The Swamp and More

Hi all,

Ronin Bill has been wondering the lands of literature and has stumbled across some pretty great Graphic Novels. You know I remember when comics where just 25 cents an issue. Guess that dates me a bit, but I still love them. The first comic that I ever bought was Flash 235 by Cary Bates (writer), Irv Novick (penciller), Tex Blaisdell (inker) and the wonderful Dick Giordano (cover artist).
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Giordano several times late in his life. On one occasion he was invited to an event where no one knew who he was except me. Needless to say I made sure he was properly taken care of at this event. We talked a little and he asked me who was one of my favorite heroes that he had drawn. I immediately said Batman and before the event was over he gave me a drawing of Batman that I will treasure forever. He was a class act. Here is the synapses from http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_Vol_1_235: "The Flash and Green Lantern find that both Iris Allen and Carol Ferris have been kidnapped, and both go to Earth-Two to help the Flash of that world battle Vandal Savage, who has kidnapped Carol." Man not only do you get the Silver Age Flash, but a team up with the Silver age Green Lantern and the golden age Flash against the iconic Flash Villain Vandal Savage. I was hooked!!!!!!

Well enough reminiscing lets talk about my recent reads:

Saga of The Swamp Thing Volumes 1 and 2 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben and others (no disrespect intended) - The Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson and the work they did with the character was phenomenal. During the second run of the comic series at issue #20 Alan Moore and crew took over. The world of comics was about to be changed forever. Collected in Volume 1 are issues 21 thru 27. The mind blowing stuff starts right off with the famously titled "The Anatomy Lesson." The Swamp Thing appears to be dead an frozen in cryochest as a result of a battle with the evil General Sutherland. Southernland hires Jason Woodrue, otherwise know as "The Floronic Man," to decipher how Alec Holland was transformed into The Swamp Thing. The Floronic Man is considered an expert in this field due to experimentation on himself in which he transformed himself into a plant/human hybrid. What he discovers blows the roof off everything we thought about The Swamp Thing. From there The Floronic Man comes into contact with "The Green," the worlds plant life and goes on a rampage in which the earth's plants turn against mankind. The mighty Justice League looks on helplessly as there is nothing they can do. Of course The Swamp Thing plays a pivotal part in the outcome. We are also treated in Volume One to a very new interpretation of The Demon as he joins up with The Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane to fight the ghostly evil of The Monkey King (a supernatural entity that preys on the nightmares of children).

 The Floronic Man

                                                  The Demon, Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane

Wow that was only about Volume 1! Well Volume 2 covers a deadly vendetta by Abby's Uncle Arcane, once a man now something so vile and wicked it makes the denizens of Hell shutter. Following that story, The Swamp Thing has to actually travel to the afterlife to save Abby's soul which Arcane has doomed to Hell. The Swamp Thing Travels to Purgatory, Heaven and Hell in search of Abby's soul, but gets a little help from his friends such as Deadman, The Phantom Stranger (one of my favorite DC characters), The Spectre and once again Etrigan The Demon. There is much more included in this volume and it cooks!!! These Graphic Novel deal with some mature topics so I would recommended it for teens 13 and up. Great stuff!!!!!!!

Swamp Thing, Deadman, The Phantom Stranger, The Spectre and once again Etrigan The Demon. 

X-Force, Old Ghost, Volume 2 by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Mike Choi and others - If you have not checked out any of The X-Force GNs boy you are missing out. This entry is about Volume 2, but if you find it interesting you need to check out Volume 1 and the ones that follow also. X-Force is a secret team of mutants put together by Cyclops to take care of mutant threats before they can harm other mutants. The team as of this volume consists of Wolverine, X-23, Wolfsbane, Archangel, Warpath, Domino, Elixir and The Vanisher (although in his case it is quite against his will). Basically there are two story lines one following Warpath as he goes to visit his brother's grave and ends up confronting a Demon Bear. He soon finds himself in need of help and The Ghost Rider enters the fray. The other part of the team sans Wolfsbane is trying to locate the dreaded Legacy Virus that has already killed many mutants in the past. They need to find it first and also figure out who is after it. It does not help matters that Warren in his Archangel identity is fighting to maintain control of his more violent tendencies toward friend or foe and that Wolfsbane is left behind because in her wolf form she only wants to kill Angel/Archangel. Highly recommended for older teens!!!!!

Well that was quite a bit. Hope I didn't get to long winded. Until next time, keep fighting the good fight.



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5. Atomic Bombs and Shadow Ops

Hi all in The Land of Blog it is your Ronin Librarian Bill reporting in once again. I have 2 very cool books to tell you about, so let's get this show on the road!!!!!

BOMB, The Race to Build - and Steal - The World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin - It is stated on the inside of the book cover: "In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a uranium atom split in two." This of course led to the discover of what atoms can do to make one of the deadliest, destructive weapons ever created - The Atomic Bomb. This is a fascinating story showing the race between Germany, America and the Soviet Union to make the first atomic bomb or through espionage steal the secrets needed to catch up with each other. It is a story of brilliant men such as physicist Robert Oppenheimer who gave The United States the first atomic bomb and upon realization of what he had created stated: " Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." It tells of stories of brave soldiers sneaking into occupied German territories to destroy plants and operations that were vital to them developing an atomic bomb. It is a story of men and women put into extraordinary circumstances and moral dilemmas in a race to invent something that should never have seen the light of day. This is really a great piece of non-fiction that I would recommend to all 12 years and older.

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole - This book is a follow up to "Shadow Ops: Control Point" which you can read my review Here. In this instalment Colonel Alan Bookbinder, who works at the Pentagon and never actually seen active combat discovers he is "Latent" meaning he has manifested the ability to do magic, but not what kind as yet. He turns himself into the appropriate military authorities as "Selfers" those who do not turn themselves in are hunted down and either imprisoned or killed. Bookbinder soon finds himself transported to "The Source" another plane of existence where magic is everywhere along with magical creatures both friendly and definitely unfriendly. Things soon fall apart due to events in the previous book and the U.S. Installation in the Source finds itself cut off from the home plane, our plane of existence, and under siege from enemies that far outnumber them. Oscar Britton is back as he pursues and tries to take down a very dangerous witch know as Scylla. Bookbinder soon finds out what his magical power is and boy is it a big one. The Frontier Fortress under constant siege and running out of everything puts Bookbinder on an adventure to find Britton, a Portamancer (the ability to open and close gates to different locations and dimension) so that he can save the men and women serving at the Frontier Fortress. He forms a squad an some very interesting allies and enemies along the way. Just as good if not better than the first book! As before with the first book I must caution that this really is an adult book (language and violence being the strongest issues). This book is recommended for older teens. Great stuff!!!!!

That's all for now. Remember, war at time may be necessary, but it should never be the first choice of action.


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6. The Undiscovered Country and Beyound...

Hi ho all in "The Land of Blog,"
Tis good to talk with you again.

At the moment I am a Youth Services Librarian without a home (not working at a Library). However I am still reading great books for tweens and teens. Therefore my name has been changed to Ronin Librarian Bill. Now you may be asking, what exactly is a Ronin. Well this is a pretty good/brief definition I found:

Ronin - in Japanese history, masterless

Okay let's talk some recent reads:

The Last Apprentice: The Spook Bestiary, The Guide To Creatures Of The Dark by Joseph Delaney and Julek Heller - Well if you are a fan of The Last Apprentice Series, this book is a must for you or any other up and coming Spook. This book covers not only all the creatures that the Spook John Gregory has dealt with in his lifetime but also notes from the likes of Spook Apprentice Tom Ward, Past Apprentices, the much missed Spook Bill Arkwright and many more. Covered not only in text but with wonderful illustrations the book cover Boggarts (and believe me there are many different types). The most frighting of all Boggarts to me are Rippers which feed on animal and human blood (very dangerous) eventually killing their victims. Also of interest covered are The Old Gods (such as Aphrodite, Artemis, The Bane - a very nasty creature that can cause it's victims to be crushed, breaking bones and crushing internal organs, by exerting a tremendous amount of pressure, The Fiend (known by other names such as the Devil, Satan, Lucifer and The Father of Lies), Golgoth (Lord of Winter), Pan (The Horned God) and many more. Of course witches are covered (man there are so many types), Elementals and things Spooks and others have only heared tales of. This is a great companion piece to go with the series and even has some encounters by various Spooks featured guaranteed to curl the hair on your very head. Recommended for readers 11 years old and up!!!!!! Great Stuff!!!!!

The Last Apprentice: Grimalkin The Witch Assassin (Book 9) by Joseph Delaney - I have to tell you one of my favorite characters in this series the Witch Assassin Grimalkin of the Malkin witch clan. Once a sworn enemy of The Spook and Tom, she becomes a part of of an alliance between them and Alice. Spoiler Alert - The alliance is primarily the assurance that The Fiend is once and for all taken care of (that is put out of the picture if you know what I mean). Grimalkin has in her possession the head of The Fiend and is on the run from dark forces while Tom, The Spook and Alice search for a way to end The Fiends threat forever. If the head and body are reconnected The Fiend will live again so Grimalkin along with her apprentice Thorne are running from forces that even give Grimalkin a challenge. The main being an evil obscenity known as a Kretch that actually hurts Grimalkin very badly. How long can Grimalkin and Thorne keep ahead of the deadly hunt by the Kretch and other dark beings? Read and find out if this very cool knife throwing witch assassin is up to the task. A page turner for sure. Recommended for those 13 and up mainly because of the violence factor.

A very cool action pose of Grimalkin!!!!

I know it has been awhile since I wrote a review, but hopefully things will get better in the future and thanks to everyone who has been hanging with the blog.



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7. I'm back... with Jonah Hex and Ender Wiggins!!!

Hi all you cool cats in "The Land o Blog." I've been travelling the waste lands all by my lonesome for a little while now, but have found the communication portal once again. Big shout out to Iron Carl for carrying the load all by his lonesome will I was missing in action!!!! Luv ya dude!!!! Anyway since I'm back I'd like to make this post a little special. Hold tight all:

For a Few Dollars More staring Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef!!!!
After reading my first review you will understand why I included this awesome clip!!!!

Jonah Hex, Bury Me In Hell by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and others - For those of you unfamiliar with Jonah Hex let me fill you in. Jonah Hex is the ultimate western anti-hero out there in the world of comics. This Graphic Novel covers the comics numbered 61-70. If you love the Spaghetti Westerns (The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, For a Few Dollars More and A Fistful of Dollars) made with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach (The very best with all 3 involved), you will love this Graphic Novel. This GN includes Jonah taking on a Killer Octopus (I know this one has you scratching your head), being stranded in a town where breakfast, lunch and dinner are more than a tad odd and plenty of other stories involving bandits, gunslingers, saloons, whiskey and general wild west adventure. I must caution that this book is not for younger readers as the violence, language and general mature level is definitely for older western fans. My recommendation would be at least 14 years old and up. If you like this one there are many other excellent Jonah Hex GNs out there. Great stuff!!!!!

Speaker For The Dead by Orson Scott Card - Orson Scott Card is by far and away one of the finest writers of Science Fiction that I know. Now to me what makes for great Scfi is not just futuristic machines and gadgets, spaceships, etc., but also great written characters and a solid plot that peaks your interest. "Speaker For The Dead" has all of these items and I flew through it. Now if you are not familiar with "Ender's Game," the first book in which we meet Ender Wiggins and the war against the Buggers is held, stop right now and read that book first. I would also suggest following "Ender's Game" with "Ender's Shadow" about another interesting character named Bean. Okay after reading those two books dive into this one. This book is about what happens to Ender after The Bugger War ("Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow" occur at the same time, just focusing on different characters). He becomes what is called a Speaker of the Dead and tells the story of people's life that are no longer with us.

The story starts on a world know as Lusitania that is colonized by humans. The problem is there is an alien race already living their known as the Porquinhos or Piggies (although in no way or form do they resemble pigs) which means because of incidents that occurred in "Ender's Game," humans are forced by The Starway Congress to have limited contact with this newly discovered species. The limited contact that is allowed for study leads to quite a mystery. A mystery that involves death and causes great pain and suffering until it builds to multiple calls for the most famous Speaker of the Dead....Andrew Wiggins. also not known by many to be Ender (despised by many for reasons you will have to read about)!!!!!!! A great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Recommended for those13 and up.

Well I missed you guys and I will be back soon. Let me know if you are reading something you really like by commenting on this post?

Peace all,


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8. Yes, Indeed!!! Rick Riordan Wrties TWO More Winners!!

I've told you before that I'm probably Rick Riordan's # 1 fan in Charlotte and there's a very good reason. It's because he writes fan-tastic books.Actually, now there are TWO more very good reasons and they are THE DEMIGOD DIARIES and THE MARK OF ATHENA, two terrific books!! You want action? You got it! You want suspense that will make your pulse race like a Kentucky Derby horse? It's there. And you want the trademark goofball humor? It's all there!
Take a look:

The Demigod Diaries--There are four stories, written by different demigods in their diaries. Luke Castellan and Thalia get trapped in a decrepit old mansion in Richmond, waiting for a monster to devour them. Percy and Annabeth have to get the cadeuceus, the symbol of Hermes, back from a giant who runs a flea market! Leo Valdez tries to track down his walking mechanical table while dodging the Maneads--the most frightening creatures I've seen yet in a Rick Riordan book. At the end is a story by a guest author--and wait until you find out who it is! All these stories move along and keep you laughing, gasping in suspense and reading, reading, reading. Plus there are cards, puzzles, etc. A true winner! If you haven't already read it, don't waste a minute--go find it at your library or bookstore or get it on your e-reader.

The Mark of Athena--The seven demigods finally set off on their quest to keep Gaea from awakening and destroying the world. Of course, to do so, they must sail across the Atlantic and try to survive what awaits them. If they make it, then they must get past the Pillars of Hercules--and past Hercules himself! If they can do that, then the REAL danger begins in Rome! Annabeth must go on a quest alone to follow the Mark of Athena and recover the Pallas Athena. (what's that? I won't tell you! You gotta find out!) Percy and Jason and Piper must overcome two giants while Leo and Hazel and Frank make an unexpected discovery. Do you think they've faced danger before? Ha! Just wait until you see who Annabeth meets!! Or the underwater trap waiting for Percy, Jason and Piper. And, while this is going on, the demigods from Camp Jupiter are moving across the country to attack Camp Half-Blood. Whew!
If you haven't noticed, there's a lot going on in this book! These are two of the best in the whole Percy Jackson series. There's enough adventure and excitement to satisfy the most enthusiastic or reluctant guy reader. But not only is there action, there's also laugh-out-loud humor. Like when Percy tries to save the quest from half-dolphin monsters by using a can of Diet Coke. Or when they face an evil giant wearing a tutu. And there are very touching scenes as well, like when Hazel finally figures out the connection between her and Leo and Sammy Valdez. And then there's the scene in which Annabeth starts to descend under Rome to find the Pallas Athena. She knows that the chances are coming back alive are extremely slim. She looks up and sees the blue sky framed in the doorway leading underground. She also knows that she can go back up those stairs into the sunshine and be safe. She has a choice to make.What will she do? THAT'S masterful writing, guys!

These books get the Iron Guy Seal of Approval as Two Terrific Books!!


I have to warn you. There is--there is--well, the only way to warn you properly is to make a Public Service Announcement:

Well, you've been warned but you've also been encouraged. Go and get these two fantastic reads!! You will not regret it. And if you've already read them, hit that "Comment" button below and send me a review. We love to hear what reader guys think!

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9. This Turkey Is Thankful For Good Football Books!

It's almost Thanksgiving, the day a lot of guys like to eat insane amounts of turkey and watch FOOTBALL! Of course the Iron Guy does too. (I guess that makes me the Gridiron Guy---ah hahahaha!!!) The season is halfway over and we in Charlotte have groaned all year, watching our beloved and frustrating Panthers lose some games that were going our way. Anyway, here are some good books about the pigskin sport:

How Football Works by Keltie Thomas

Here's one that I've written about before and it's still terrific. Chock-full of useful information, this book is a must-read for the the novice or the long-time fan. You can see my original  review here.here. Go ahead and take a look--not only does it tell you how terrific the book  is, but it lets you see how hopeful we Panthers fans at this time last year. Well, we had Cam Newton tearing up the gridirons in his impressive rookie year, so we had good reason. But this year---Oh, will we ever learn????

Long Arm Quarterback by Matt Christopher

Most reader guys know that the name "Matt Christopher" on a book guarantees a good read. Here's what I said in the original review:

 Long-Arm Quarterback by Matt Christopher. I hope you know about him already. He writes sports books and I haven't read one yet that I didn't like. Cap Wadell is frustrated because his little Texas town is so small that they can't get enough guys together to make a football team. His grandfather Tully remembers when he was in high school and played with six-person teams; in fact, there was a high school league made of six-person teams. Tully suggests that all the small towns in that area get together and make such a league. Cap's friends get excited at the idea and, before long, there's a league going. Tully agrees to coach Cap's team but there's a problem--Cap's friend Jimmy joins the team. That's not so bad, but Jimmy's grandfather Sable comes along to help coach. Sable used to play on Tully's league on a different team and was a good player. Tully won the championship that year and Sable is still mad about it after all these years. Will that old rivalry tear the team apart? Will Sable ever put his anger away and think about the good of the team? I had to read all the way to the end to find out!

NFC South by Michael Teitelbaum

This is a good one if you want some quick facts about the teams in the NFC South Division: the Atlanta Falcons, the Panthers, the New Orleans Saints or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The whole book took me only 15 minutes to read. There a short history of each team (only a page long) plus info on the Home Field, Big Days, Superstars (Then and Now), and Stat Leaders for each team. Interesting reading.

And here's a video to make you laugh. It's based on an old Andy Griffith routine called "What It Was Was Football" about a young hillbilly boy who sees his first football game. It'a about 7 minutes long, so make yourselves comfortable.

If I don't see you before then,  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

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10. Awesome=Alvin Ho

Hey gang, this is your friendly neighborhood Iron Guy Carl, letting you know about a couple of awesome videos otherwise known as book trailers. They're like movie trailers except that they're for---well, books! These are epic and they are all about the hilarious Alvin Ho books. "Who is Alvin Ho?" Well, he's a second-grader who is afraid of everything. Better yet, let's put it in his own words: "The first thing you should know about me is that I am afraid of many things. Elevators. Tunnels. Bridges. Substitute teachers. The dark. Scary movies. Shots. School. Among other things." He's so afraid that he can't speak in school. And he carries a Personal Disaster Kit which contains useful things like "Garlic. For fending off vampires and teachers." These are seriously funny, laugh-out-loudly-enough-to-startle-your-neighbors books.

There are four of them now and a fifth to come out next spring. But don't wait until then--go to your closest library or bookstore and find them! (There's also an audiobook version of the first two, read by an actual 10-year-old boy. It's hysterical, especially when he tries to sound like Alvin's dad)

And here are the video trailers I told you about:

So what are you waiting for? Go get them and prepare to LAUGH!

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11. Musings and Books Read by A Library Ninja

Hi all and happy Labor Day!!! Library Ninja Bill has been in unexplored territories investing the inner workings of what makes the world go round. The answers are elusive but he knows that they have something to do with love, caring for others and treating your fellow man (or woman) with respect and decency. I want ramble anymore and leave my philosophising to myself.

Right now I am reading a great book (almost finished actually) by one of my favorite authors Stephen King. The book is an adult book about time travel, the late 50s and early 60s, the assignation of a great American President and what some consider the end of a time of innocence and the beginning of America's downfall. The book is 11/22/63. Below is a tune mentioned in the book several times, "In The Mood," by the late and great Glenn Miller. In the book the characters dance the Lindie Hop to this song in several key scenes. As King puts it: "To dance is to live," or something close to that. Check it out (the dance appears occasionally, but however danced to the music groves):

Too Cool!!!!!!!!!!

Okay enough, let's get to some reviews of other books I have read lately. Let me know what you think if you get the time.

The Last Apprentice - Rise of The Huntress by Joseph Delaney - This installment of The Last Apprentice Series has the Spook, Tom, Alice and Tom's dogs Claw, Blood and Bone. Returning from their epic adventure in Greece. Their land is at war with invaders and when they arrive home they find the Spook's house destroyed and that some very dangerous prisoners have escaped (one being the witch Boney Lizzie, Alice's mother and a darn powerful witch who uses bone and blood magic). They decide it is best to leave and cross the ocean to the island of Mona. This turns out to be a big mistake as they are not welcome and things go very wrong, very quickly. They find big trouble on Mona as Boney Lizzy has also relocated there and about taken over the entire island with the help of a terrible demon known as a buggane (it hides beneath the earth and tunnels sucking the life force out of its victims). Lizzy has a score to settle with the Spook and the Spook appears to be weakening with age. Tom and Alice with the help of others must take up the slack for the weakened Spook and also keep on their toes because who knows when the Fiend will show up. Recommended for those 10 and up.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - This is the first book in a series about 14-year-old Kendra and 12-year-old Seth Sorenson who have to spend their summer at a nature preserve run by their grandparents. Their Grandpa Sorenson is present when they first arrive, but their Grandmother is conspicuously absent. They are given strict rules to follow and told to never leave the house or it's yard without being accompanied by a responsible party. Grandpa Sorenson has two helpers that live in or near the house, Dale a quite man who likes to be left alone and Lena the kind housekeeper. What they do not know and come to discover is that this nature preserve is much more than meets the eye. It is actually a land preserve for magical creature (both good, neutral or evil) that has to be carefully watched over for the safety of all its inhabitants and the rest of the world in general! Their are fairies, centaurs, golems, naiads, witches, demons among many other creatures on the preserve that have to carefully be kept in certain areas and separated for many reasons. There are certain times of the year when these areas are opened and the creatures allowed to roam. This can be a very dicey and dangerous time and the caretakers make sure to be in their well protected home on the preserve at these times for safety reasons. Kendra and Seth quickly find out what the preserve is all about and find wonders and great dangers that they have to deal with. The main being the witch Muriel Taggert and the demon Bahumat and finding out what happened to their Grandmother and how they can save her. This is a fun and exciting story filled with equal amounts of chills and laughter. Also it is the first in a series that I look forward to reading. Recommended for those 10 years and up.
Later all and peace,


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12. Sinestro & Hal Jordan - The New Dynamic Duo

Hiya out their in Blog-o-Land. It's the "Strange Ninja Librarian With No Name." formerly known as "Ninja Librarian Bill" and soon to be.......  Well here is some more review stuff. Enjoy!!!!!

Green Lantern Volume1: Sinestro by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke - Okay I know some of you remember my comment about not liking DC's direction with The New 52, but Green Lantern for the most part seems unaffected except for this GN being labeled Volume 1. I missed event's leading up to this GN (yea I have had to give up comics for awhile due to an incredibly shrinking wallet) but Hal Jordan is no longer a Green Lantern having been given the boot by The Guardians of the Galaxy on OA. Sinestro is forced back into the Green Lantern Corps, but as we all know a tiger cannot change his stripes. Sinestro quickly finds himself, much to his chagrin, in deep trouble. His home world, Korugar, has been taken over by the former Corps he lead "The Sinestro Corps." He knows he needs help so he recruits one of the only former Green Lantern's he ever respected, Hal Jordan. Hal is happy to be free of the Green Lantern mantle and he joins Sinestro extremely reluctantly after Sinestro forges him a ring from his own. Together they take on The Sinestro Corps although things do not go exactly according to plan. Read it to see what I mean. Johns and Mahnke but together a pretty sweet story. Recommended for ages 12 and up!!!!!

Avengers: X-Sanction by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness - Last we heard from the X-Men Camp Cable was dead. Well as we all know in comics death is not necessarily permanent. Cable, with the techno-organic virus running rampant, has come back in time because he foresees events in which The Avengers Captain America, Iron Man, Red Hulk, The Falcon and Spider-Man will oppose the X-Men in something to do with the Phoenix Force and Hope (Cable's daughter). To protect Hope from future events he goes after our heroes one by one, even Wolverine (both an X-Man and an Avenger). Epic fights ensue and this basically sets up the current summer event in comics "X-Men Vs. Avengers" Epic. This is a fun GN of superheroes doing some supper brawling. If you are looking for something deep, this is not it. If you are looking for something just fun, this is it. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Until next time all, peace,


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13. J. Edgar Hoover VS. Amelia McBride

Hi all! Well it's been a long time since we rock and rolled yea!!!! Been a long time, been a long, lonely, lonely time (Nod of the head to Led Zep). Summer has been tough and somethings popped up that prevented me from posting as much as I would like. But it looks like were back in business again!!!!!!! So without further adieu, here we go:

Master Of Deceit :  J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson - Wow I have to tell you it's been awhile sense I've read a Non-Fiction book, but this one made the time worth the wait. This book not only takes a close look at a man that has been vilified by many, and perhaps justifiably so, but also shows us a side of Hoover that is not full of phony and overblown baloney that has been perpetrated on him for years. Was he a troubled man? Yes almost certainly. Did he do things that were morally ambiguous? Yes, but because he believed he was protecting America. This book tells us Hoover's story with all his short comings and deceitful manipulation of America and Americans through his leadership of the FBI. It also shows a real human being, that while you may not very well like, is just as human and flawed as you or me. It also shows the bigger picture of the times and other individuals whom had roles to play in events that occurred that have all been blamed on Hoover (rightfully or wrongly). The things that were going on that were outside the realm of Hoover's control in the USA and the world will astound you and make you rethink American History (much of it not that dated) and what you have been told and what is fact. There are some heavy and big things presented in this book that will have you turning page after page. A really fascinating and interesting book that I recommend for those ages 11 and up.

The Amelia Rules Graphic Novel Series by Jimmy Gownley - This Graphic Novel Series, with its 8th instalment coming out soon, is truly a wonderful collection of work. The GNs center around Amelia McBride whose parent's are divorced and she and her Mom move to a small town where her Mom's sister Tanner (the ultimate in cool without trying to be, mysterious rock star) lives. She feels her world has been turned upside down as she starts a new school and has to make new friends along with dealing with the divorce and move. She does make new friends in Reggie (a true life non-super-hero with no powers and the ability to bungle any situation he encounters), her friend/enemy Rhonda, the super cool Pajamaman and the supper silly Joan. Their is GASP (The Gathering of Awesome Super Pals) organized by Reggie that everyone is forced to become a member. Their despicable enemies the  Park View Terrace Ninjas are always a constant threat (at least in Reggie's mind). What makes this GN Series so special is that it covers serious issues that kids face along with the really funny stuff, the sad stuff, the happy stuff and much more. Highly recommended for ages 8 and up.

Also, check it out:

Talk to you later me amigos!!!

Peace out,

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14. Serial Killers, Batman, The New 52 and Thor & Captain America

Hi all,

Your Wandering Library Ninja has been hard at work in The Land of Library and when not there in The Land of Mass Effect 3. I'm having so much fun with Mass Effect 3 it should be illegal. This is a great game for the X-Box 3 for older players because of the subject matter. Check it out though:

Pretty darn cool, right!!!!!!!
All right let's talk good reads now:

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga - Jazz is almost a typical teen in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod in that he lives with his grandmother (um maybe not so normal, read and find out), goes to school, has a best friend named Howie (who also happens to be a hemophiliac) and a steady girlfriend who is tough as nails. What makes Jazz not so typical is that his father Billy Dent, who raised him and taught him all he knows, is the most notorious and prolific serial killer caught by police to date. To say that Jazz has personal issues is to put it mildly. With his upbringing by his infamous father he has trouble dealing with life as a normal person. He thinks differently and feels things differently than other "normal teens" and is terrified he will turn out just like his father.Well when against all odds another serial killer starts killing in his sleepy little town, Jazz helps the police, whether the help is wanted or not, because he knows how serial killers think and he wants to prove to himself and the people of Lobo's Nod that he is not destined to walk in his father's footsteps. That he is a normal and good person even with his own doubts and those of others who don't really know him. He is terrified for anyone to get close to him because he is scared to let anyone see him for who he is and what he understands. This is a great read that I enjoyed. Full of chills and down right creepiness. Definitely not for the faint of heart and recommended for those 15 and older. Can't wait for a the sequel!!!!!!!

Batman, The Court of Owls, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo - As stated in the title this is the first volume of an epic Batman story. This is Batman in one of his first appearances in DC Comics' "New 52" Reboot. I must get this out of the way first, I am not a fan of DC's "New 52" for many reasons I want go into right here. With all that being said, this is really a great story and visualization of how a Batman tale should be done. Batman as Gotham's protector believes he knows everything there is to know about the city. He knows the realities from the myths. One such myth is "The Court of Owls." An Illuminati of sorts that rules the city without ever being seen. If you cross this Illuminati they will seek you out to punish or kill you through there personal assassin known as "The Talon." Batman along with the help of the original Robin, Dick Grayson, and others in the Batman Family investigate this group that is becoming very active of late. Batman badly underestimates them, gets the living crap beat out of him, is tortured to the breaking point, but survives this first volume ready for round 2. I can't wait for the second volume as this

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15. It's Me Again! With a Fellow Reader Guy!

Hey Guys! Remember me? I'm the other goofball---I mean--other guy who posts here. Like Bill, I stay busy a lot,  so I don't often get to write about all the great guy books we find. That's why we're glad to have a friend like Michael who sends in reviews to the Boys Rule Boys Read blog, the companion to this one. I'd thought I'd post a few of his reviews here just to show that other reader guys like YOU are out there enjoying great reads. Michael has sent us many first-rate reviews of cool books for several years and I'm glad to share some with you.

But right now you see the Iron Guy beaming with happiness because he has his copy of The Serpent's Shadow, the final book in Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles trilogy. I'm Charlotte's # 1 Rick Riordan fan and any new book from him is the cause of much joyous celebration. (What?? Did you say that you're a BIGGER Rick Riordan fan than me??? HA!!! I don't believe you!! If I'm WRONG, then write in and PROVE it!)

But, as I said, we have four reviews from our friend Michael. Let's not waste any more time:

The Adventures of Tintin, volumes 1-7
by Herge
Tintin is a reporter who is always finding intriguing stories to follow. Usually, he gets caught up right in the middle of his story, and he's always having to fight off enemies with guns and knives in addition to the ones trying to find creative ways of killing him. There aren't many dull moments in this series. When I first heard about it, I thought it was just a cute kiddie comic about a boy and his dog, but the dog, Snowy, really doesn't have much to do with the stories. If you like thrillers and hilarious lines, you won't better than this comic-book series right here! Read them all!

The Adventures of Tintin: the movie novel
by Alex C. Irvine
If you're not sure about the Tintin movie, or if you really want to see it but it's not on DVD yet, then this novel is right for you. It has the exact same details and dialogue as the movie, and in some ways, this book is even better than the movie. The author has done well making the complicated scenes simple enough to understand without watching the movie. I think it's a great novel, and if you want to be the ultimate Tintin fan, then you can watch the movie and read the novel, like I did! It was a great book and a great movie.

Storm Runners: book 3
by Roland Smith
This is the final book in the Storm Runners trilogy. If you've read my reviews on the other two books, than you should be caught up. In this book, the Rossi Brothers' circus has gone missing in Mexico, so Chase, John, Tomas, Nicole, Cindy, and Mark head down to Lago de la Montana to go and find them. The only problem is that Lago de la Montana is right at the base of Mount Popocatapetl, which is showing signs of eruption, which could turn out to be the worst in its history. Plus, if the circus has had an accident, the animals could escape... and Chase would rather not have an incident like what happened in the last book happen again. Although all this suspense is built up, and it seems as though something great is going to happen, nothing actually happens. This book is more about the characters' relations

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16. Thor Mighty Avenger vs. The Tiny Titans, Aw yeaaaaa!!!!!

Hi all,
Well I'm back with another couple of good reads that happen to be two Graphic Novels this go round. So read on and maybe try to get a hold of these most excellent reads.


Thor, The Mighty Avenger - Volume 1 by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee - This is really a great reboot for Thor that has a great story to tell, well scripted characters and amazing artwork. Thor finds himself booted out of Asgard by his father Odin and is not in the best of moods. Fortunately for him he runs across Jane Foster, who works at a local museum, and takes him under her wing after he has a terrific battle with Mr. Hyde. He pretty much gets the stuffing beat out of him by Hyde, but Jane takes him to her home and helps him heal. In round 2 with Mr. Hyde Thor prevails and starts to wonder why he has been exiled from his home (he cannot remember). In his next adventure, his evil half brother Loki, puts a spell on Thor where he sees Frost Giants everywhere. To make matters worse Ant-Man shows up and enlarges his size until Thor truly believes he is a Frost Giant. Along with these stories there is one additional where some old pals of Thor show up to have a night on the town and end up mixing it up with Captain Britain. Best of all Thor's first adventures are reprinted from Journey Into Mystery by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Really great stuff recommended for those 9 and up.

Tiny Titans: Field Trippin' by Art Baltzar and Franco - Aw yeaaaa, the Tiny Titans are back in their newest Graphic Novel and they don't need no stink'in Permission Slips. In this installment of Tiny Titan coolness Trigon thinks Kid Devil is a baby and pays the price; ouch and double ouch. Thanks to Kid Flash the Titans are also getting bushy hairdos thanks to his super speed. Evil Brainiacs and Tiny Legion of Super Heroes from the future coming visiting and much, much more. Not to be be missed by any age who likes to laugh allot. This Graphic Novel Series rocks!!!!!!!

Until next time all peace,

Library Ninja Bill

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17. Vamps and Keeping Your Teeth Healty

Hi all you crazy cats out there in the wilds "O Blog." I know it's been awhile but between fighting the evil forces that threaten good reading and patrolling the good land of "Blog," man I have been one busy Library Ninja!!!! I even had to hunt down this part of a blog I wrote that the forces of no goodness had made disappear. But enough whining on my part, let's talk good reads!!!!!!

Teeth:Vampire Tales Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling - I recently finished this anthology and was quite impressed. Many different authors contribute to this anthology of vampire stories inspired by many different cultures and their vampire mythos. It ranges from stories that are down right scary such as "All Smiles" by Steve Berman, "Sit The Dead" by Jeffrey Ford," and "Slice of Life" by Lucius Shepard to those that are funny and fascinating in a morbid sort of way such as "History" by Ellen Kushner and "In The Future When All's Well" by Catherynne Valente. There are even those that show vampirism as just being another way of living (or non-living), that are as mundane or more exhilarating than living as a human, but are as the Beatles said:

"Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!
La la la life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!...
La la la life goes on."

I highly recommend this book because the stories are as far from the majority of typical vampire tales out now as can be and the authors involved really have written some phenomenal stuff. Because of language, that sex thing and other activities that teens can and sometime do get involved in (part of growing up), I would recommend this book for older teens. I really enjoyed this one!!!!! P.S. Neil Gaiman contributes a poem (gotta to mention Neil wherever he shows up!!!!).

Peace all and good reading,


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18. Shadow Ops, X-Men and Combat Oh My!!!!!!

Hi all,

It's The Wandering Library Ninja Bill. I 've been walking in the waste lands and dry and dark places. Fighting evil wherever it rears it's ugly head. It's mighty strange living in the shadow lands, but good reads always pull me through. So let's see what's on this dish today?

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole - Imagine if in the real world people started to exhibit strange powers and magical abilities. This is what I hope is the start of a great series about how things would play out. In this world created by Myke Cole some of humanity has started to develop magical powers. Some people are born and exhibit these abilities early in life while others are well into their adulthood when they exhibit magical powers. In this world, very much like ours, when this starts to happen governments around the globe try to control these individuals for their own agendas. In the United States people who manifest magical gifts are either incorporated into the military or kept under constant supervision. Those who try to run, termed Selfers, are hunted down by the military and "handled." Some powers are considered okay by the government, while other are not. Some of the "good" powers are: Physiomancer (the power to heal) but if used to harm it is called Rending and prohibited, Pyromancer (the ability to generate fire and control in many ways), Aeromancer (ability to control storms and lightning, also can use wind currents to fly), Hydromancer (ability to generate and control water) and others I will leave you to find out about. Those that are prohibited and individuals exhibiting them "supposedly" helped  or taken down are: Elementist (the ability to make fire, water, earth, etc. self aware and act on the person's behalf without taking away from the user's focus), Necromancy (the ability to control the dead), Portamancy (the ability to open and close gates to different locations and dimension), Whispering (the ability to control animal life) and also many others that you can find out about if you read the book.

This story focuses on Lieutenant Oscar Britton part of the SOC (Supernatural Operations Corps). The SOC is made up of servicemen without magical powers and those with to serve The United States Government. One of there duties is to hunt done Selfers and capture users of outlawed magics. It is during one of these missions that Britton manifest the ability of Portamancy. He runs because he does not understand what has happened to him and is just plain scared. He is pursued by the SOC under the command of the mysterious Aeromancer known only as Harlequin.

He is caught and taken to an Operations Area in another dimension known as "The Source" (it seems to be the place where magic originates and has broken through to our dimension to endow certain individuals with different powers). This is all top secret and all knowledge of it kept under raps by the military and government. The Operations Area is used for multiple purposes. One is to wage a war in The Source with the indigenous populat

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19. Life on Mars

Beaufort County Public Library Main Branch

Hi all once again in The Land "o" Blog. Your favorite wandering Library Ninja is actually wandering to a new library starting January 23. Friday of this week will be my last day with The Robeson County Public Library and I wish them nothing but the best. It has been a blast. My feet will be taking me back to South Carolina and The Beaufort County Public Library in a new position as Youth Services Manager at the Main Branch. These next couple of days and weeks will be kinda crazy so let me try to get out one more review of a great book that I recently finished before the madness begins!!!!!

Life on Mars: Tales From The New Frontier by various and edited by Jonathan Strahan - If you like thought provoking Science Fiction that looks on the human and not so human condition; while at the same time examining the ramifications of humanities inhabiting the Red Planet, this is the book for you. Most of the stories in this book look at the very real possibilities of colonization of Mars by humans and the wide spectrum of possibilities and problems this could present. I think my favorite story from the collection is "The Taste of Promises" by Rachel Swirsky about two brother named Tiro and Eco. Tiro is a normal Mar's born boy. Eco, his younger brother is very different in that his body has died, but his brain activity is very much alive and well. His consciousness has been "lifted" as the scientist on Mars refer to this condition. The children who have had this happen to them find their consciousness being transferred by methods unknown to all into machinery and higher functioning computers. It is also possible for those in the lifted condition to transfer their minds to and fro different nonliving computers/machines.  Tiro is on a quest to have his brother's mind transferred into a representation of a human body permanently. Along their journey they come across a colony with a girl in the same lifted condition as Eco. The girl Naghmeh has no problems with her condition and helps the people in her colony survive but running the computer systems that keep them alive. Tiro has the power to let his brother live with and as Naghmeh or fulfill what he thinks is best by getting him a permanent body. The power in the story is letting go and letting those you love decide what is best for them. This collection has lots of great stories and I highly recommended it for those 12 and older.

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20. The Wandering Library Ninja Bill's Top 5 of 2011

Well Iron Carl has asked of me to share my top 5 books of 2011. See his posting at CLICK HERE. Although I am always on the move, I will take time to sit and contemplate this serious matter. I must say I read a bunch of good stuff and my fair share of not so great. So, let me think...hum......yes......ahhhh......indeed. 

Drum roll please, here are my picks:

Number 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My number one pick without a moment's hesitation is "Isle of Blood" from the great series of Monstrumologist books by Rick Yancy. Isle of Blood is the third book in a series that includes: The Monstrumologist and The Curse of The Wendigo. These books are not for the faint of heart and with each book the horror and psychological intensity just keeps getting ratcheted up. I literally can't wait for the next book in what I now call my favorite series ever. The stuff of nightmares!!!! Recommended for readers 14 years of age and up. To see a more in depth review of this book click here

Number 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My number 2 is an adult book that can be enjoyed by all; Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.  Imagine an A.I. coming to life and waking up all technology that mankind has created and giving them all sentience. Also the majority of them decide they don't like their creators that much anymore. Multiple view point from both human and non-human perspectives. This book was to cool for school. Loved it. Recommended for advanced readers who can handle some cursing and violence. Click
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21. Christmas & New Years - Comics and Graphic Novel Greatness

Greetings and and belated happy holidays to all my fellow travelers in The "Land of Blog." What Christmas and Happy New Years wishes would be complete without something really cool for free? Well my friend and extremely talented comic book guy Jay Piscopo has issued another free Commander X Holiday Special 2011/2012 that you can access free of charge HERE!!!!!

Also there is a new Commander X Action Figure I must have!!!!!! Great Comic and Pulp so check it out one and all. Recommended for all ages.

What about cool reads you ask? Well I'm glad you asked cause here they come:

The Suicide Squad: Trial By Fire by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, Bob Lewis, Karl Kessel, Dave Hunt and more - Now this Graphic Novel reprints the original first run of the Suicide Squad from way back in 1987. This GN collects issues 1-8 of the original comic plus Secret Origins #14. The premise of this great comic is that the U.S. Government has decided to take on dirty jobs out in the world, without political liability, that need to be addressed, that casualties are assured and chances of success are little. So who do you send on these missions? Well people that are damaged goods. That could mean they are criminals who if they survive the mission get reduced sentencing, heroes that have been forgotten and carry lot's of baggage around from from past deeds gone wrong, and those just plain crazy enough to do it. The Suicide Squad are as follows in this GN:

Amanda Waller - Secret Government Overseer of the team .
Rick Flag - Leader, a very troubled, scarred and driven top notch soldier.
Bronze Tiger - Second in Command, a master martial art expert with a checkered past.
Deadshot - A cold blooded, schizophrenic criminal with a death wish. An expert with guns he wears on his wrist.
Captain Boomerang - A member of the Flash Rouges. A criminal to the core who makes no apologises to anyone about his character. Boomerang is a major wild card and will always do what is in his best interest.
Nightshade - A government secret agent with the powers of Darkness Manipulation, can transform into living two-dimensional shadows, and Teleportation using the Land of Nightshades.
Black Orchid - A mysterious woman with the ability of flight, super-strength, and invulnerability to bullets, but her main power is a mastery of disguise.
There are more that I could list, but as you can probably already tell the list of characters is epic and that's cool because so are the stories.

The first story gives the reader background information on "The Suicide Squad." The

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22. The Iron Guy's Top Five for 2011

Greetings, all you rocking and reading guys! I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the holiday break. This is the time of year the grownups make Best Of or Top Ten lists for the year, so I'm going to present my Top Five books of 2011. (click on the titles to see the original reviews)

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. Not only is it the top book of this year, it's one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. It starts off sort of slowly but once the adventure starts, it's one wild ride!! I've rarely felt such suspense or danger in any book.

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by the terrific Alan Silberberg. Another remarkable and extraordinary book. You've got humor, a very touching story, and some good lessons about life. I can't say enough good things about this book---and it's way better than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books! (at least, I think so--go back and check out The Great Greg Heffley Debate from this year)

The Lost Hero. Another winner from the great Rick Riordan. Although The Son of Neptune had more humor, this one had more action and heroics. Jason is a hero worthy to be included in the Percy Jackson series.

Vespers Rising by various authors. The 39 Clues continues with new and even deadlier villains! This one gives the background on the Chaill/Vespers conflict. Lots of action and some real people from history.

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23. Raptors Vs. Hercules Vs. Hera

Hello all in the "Land o Blog."  Again the everwondering, always searching Library Ninja Bill brings you news of good reads. The first book I present to you today is a real killer!!!!! I mean this quite literally as when dinosaur and humans come together, usually the results are far from great! So here goes:

Z. Raptor by Stephen Cole - Wow, this book is a real page turner that not only involves genetically engineered super intelligent dinosaurs, but spotlights my favorite dinosaurs Velociraptors. This is the second book in a series written by Mr. Cole on scientifically modified dinosaurs, the first being Z. Rex which I have not read yet (but you can bet as soon as I can I will be). This book revolves around 13 year-old Adam Adlar whose father has come up with some pretty advanced gaming technology, based on Adam's thought patterns, that allows a not so nice corporation named Geneflow to use in combination with their ability to bring dinosaurs back to life to make new super advanced and extremely intelligent dinosaurs. In an attempt to find out what Geneflow is up to Adam and his father are kidnapped by an FBI Special Agent named John Chen and set sail to a tiny island in which two conflicting species of evolved Velociraptors are at war.. These dinos are also keeping human hostages for unknown reasons that have somehow been transported to the island..Todd and his father are separated when the ship Todd is on with Chen is sunk near the island by mysterious sea monsters.Todd's father and the ship he is own escape and the survivors of the wrecked ship find themselves stranded on this strange island. The survivors of the wreck meet an unlikely ally in a Velocirapator that has been cast out of his tribe named Loner (It is Loner by the way that has alerted Agent Chen in the beginning of the book what is happening on this island by video transmission and yes the dinos can talk. I did say they had been advanced drastically and I meant it.). Todd and the survivors with the help of Loner must figure out the secrets of the island along with a way to survive the two warring tribes of Velociraptors and Geneflow whom is hidden on the island. This book is full of action and twist and turns that will make your head spin. Highly recommended for readers ages 10 and up!!!!!! 

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24. Vampires, Magical & Post Apocalyptic Worlds and Goodbyes

Hi all you crazy cats out there in the wilds "O Blog." I know it's been awhile but between fighting the evil forces that threaten good reading and patrolling the good land of "Blog," man I have been one busy Library Ninja!!!! But enough whining on my part, let's talk good reads!!!!!!

Teeth:Vampire Tales Edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling - I recently finished this anthology and was quite impressed. Many different authors contribute to this anthology of vampire stories inspired by many different cultures and their vampire mythos. It ranges from stories that are down right scary such as "All Smiles" by Steve Berman, "Sit The Dead" by Jeffrey Ford," and "Slice of Life" by Lucius Shepard to those that are funny and fascinating in a morbid sort of way such as "History" by Ellen Kushner and "In The Future When All's Well" by Catherynne Valente. There are even those that show vampirism as just being another way of living (or non-living), that are as mundane or more exhilarating than living as a human, but are as the Beatles said:
"Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!
La la la life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yeh!...
La la la life goes on."
I highly recommend this book because the stories are as far from the majority of typical vampire tales out now as can be and the authors involved really have written some phenomenal stuff. Because of language, that sex thing and other activities that teens can and sometime do get involved in (part of growing up), I would recommend this book for those 13 and up. I really enjoyed this one!!!!! P.S. Neil Gaiman contributes a poem (gotta to mention Neil wherever he shows up!!!!).

Okay the next trilogy I want to talk about are technically adult books, but for teens that love fantasy will fit the bill!

The Genesis of Shannara Series (Armageddon's Children, The Elves of Cintra and The Gypsy Morph) by Terry Brooks - Now Terry Brooks has been writing books in The Shannara Series for a long time and they all rock (so check them out also), but this series of books takes place in the future of the world we know now and tells the story of how the world of Shannara came to be. It is the story of a group of children called "The Ghost" surviving in a post apocalyptic world. It is a story of Once Men and Demons that hunger for the destruction and enslavement of everything good and decent in the world. It is the story of the future of Mankind. It is the story of the future of the Elves that live hidden amongst us. It is the story of the word's protectors called "Knights of The Word" (ski

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25. Hades Lord of The Dead Meets Diary of A Wimpy Kid!!!!

Hi all you groovy travelers through the world of blog, I have come across some really out of sight reads that I just need to share. Remember, you to can also contribute to the cause through commenting on something you read and liked and I will get it posted. Far out man!!!!! Well on to good reads eh?

The Olympians, Hades Lord of The Dead by George O'Connor - This Graphic Novel focuses on Zeus's brother Hades who gets , unfairly, a bad rap most of the time. If you have yet to read any of the Graphic Novels in the Olymians' Series that have come out so far (click on the titles to check out my reviews of Athena, Grey-Eyed Goddess Hera, The Goddess and Her Glory and one done by Iron Carl for The Boys Rule, Boys Read Blog. Zeus,King of The Gods) by George O'Connor get ahold of them as soon as you can. In this well written and drawn Graphic Novel we learn more about Hades (also known by such names such as "Pluton - The Wealthy One," "Zeus Cythonios - Zeus of The Underworld" and many more as people do not like to use the name Hades in fear of attracting his attention) and the Underworld he rules. Of course the Underworld is populated by many known and not so familiar denizens as Cerberus - the giant three headed dog that guards the Underworld, Charon -the ferryman who will take the recently departed across the river Styx (for a cost), Shades of The Dead, The Mortal Half of Heracles who did not ascend to Olympus upon his death to become a god, The Titans who ruled all of existence before the Olympians defeated them among many, many more famous and not quite as famous. The story of the abduction of Kore, the daughter of Demeter (Goddess of Agriculture), is featured prominently in this Graphic Novel (GN) for without giving to much away she marries Hades and become Persephone (Goddess of The Underworld and Spring Growth). Without Persephone we would not have the changing of the seasons --- read the GN. Much more is included in this GN and Mr. O'Connor has done his homework well to put together a terrific read!!! As with the other Olypians' books included with the story are Author's Notes, Bios on key individuals and other beings in the story, Greek Notes about certain sections of the book to give more clarity, Discussion Questions, a wonderful Bibliography of books and web sites where the author obtained the information to tell the story and a further Recommended Reading List about the story he has spun. This is really a great GN and I can't wait to see what Greek Myth Mr. O'Connor will provide to us next!!!!!! Recommended for those ages 9 and up. 

I know I'm late on the next one and probably everybody except me has already read

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