Bloodshot Reborn Deluxe Edition 1

The art is top-notch for a character that reminds me heavily of Punisher, Deadpool, and Wolverine. But reading the whole edition covering Bloodshot Reborn issues 1 to 13 makes me conclude that the Bloodshot story here looks very familiar. I thought the emphasis should have been pinned into the secret of nanotechnology and its possible weaknesses (I wanted to see a possible counter-technology to the Nanites) but the "magic" of the Nanites was swept under the rug in exchange for action and continuity of the whole Bloodshot legend---or aptly, Bloodshot's Reborn. This is definitely more of an action story than a sci fi story because the narrative theme here belongs to Bloodshot himself---Ray Garrison, not some damn nanotechnology.  It's just not so original as it seems. There are scenes that are so familiar like the last eye-candy Mad Max film reboot, Marvel Comics' Old Man Logan, and the first Matrix film when Neo woke up from the pod. Yup. That I think, sums it all.

P.S. I got a review copy of this comic book via the Net Galley and reading it via Adobe Digital Editions app in my laptop is not a smooth read. I was still able to capture some screenshots though, just for review purposes. All images owned by Valiant Comics.

Genre: Adult Action, Sci Fi
Rating: 3 pints of nano-blood 


The Secret of Sinbad's Cave by Brydie Walker Bain

I took this novel around July last year and finishing it sixteen months later (with apologies to the author), I can say that the young readers will love this book. This fantasy-adventure story reminds me so much of Steven Spielberg's 1985 film The Goonies regarding the search for a lost treasure and skirmishes with modern day hunters and pirates. This one though, is populated with vibrant New Zealand flora and fauna like nikau palm, rewarewa seedlings, kereru, tui, koura, Waitomo glow worm, and also elements and representatives of Maori Mythology like the Pouakai (Haast Eagle) , Taotoru (Orions Belt), and the patupaiarehe (fairy) bird.

Story-wise and as stated earlier, it caters to the YA readership but I think adult readers will also appreciate it especially if you love the New Zealand outdoors (as widely popularized by Peter Jackson's LOTR film trilogy) and the adventures of spelunking/potholing/caving. My only issue so far is how the character Mike was depicted as having no clue with regard to his daughter's whereabouts just after that child asked him about the location of hidden caves in the area. In real world, a parent can connect-the-dot quickly. It appears that Mike is the opposite, the counter-weight to Abraham's wisdom that creates a balancing order, an unexpected equilibrium shared by the two patriarchs for the whole pack. The children on the other hand are reckless being themselves and definitely lucky making you realize that you are indeed reading a fantastic novel. What I like most in this book are the background stories concerning the protagonist's ancestry, all ancient and in some angle, mythological. Tattoed Maori warriors summoned into haka dance is also a memorable scene.

Overall the adventure here is quick paced and there is a promise of new adventures and new worlds to see for the gang and especially for their leader Nat. For her though, this is just a first step.

Pounamu Taunga necklace

Genre: Fantasy-adventure, YA
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Book Reviews Temporarily On Hold

I am temporarily suspending my growing list of books for review.

For authors who contacted me prior to this date (12th of August 2016) I assure you that I am committed to finish your books, namely Brydie Walker Bain (The Secret of Sinbad's Cave), Cathy Kennedy (Meeting of the Mustangs), and JJ Sherwood (Kings or Pawns). I will let you know when my review post is imminent.

Please accept my apologies because I will be giving you super-late reviews (I took the Sinbad book last year!) as my Tsundoku stash continues to grow and stares at me like a vicious predator. Once again, my apologies for the late reviews and also for authors out there with new review offers that I will have to turn down.

Thank you.


If good sense stands alone, it will be taken as madness

This is one of the Penguin Little Black Classics "selections" that is surprisingly applicable to both the modern and the postmodern times, the Gen X and the Millennial generation. Taken from The Pocket Oracle and the Art of Prudence---a Spanish priest's collection of maxims on using guile and pragmatism to succeed in a dangerous world, I find this selection highly progressive and advanced from its year of publication in 1647.  Translated from Spanish by Jeremy Robbins, I find Gracian's maxims as 90% agreeable and 100% insightful. And it is certainly more than how to use your enemies. It's more of using your common sense.

I also believe most of The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene were based on this work by Baltasar Gracian because I see a lot of similar ideas (Never outshine your master, conceal your intentions, etc.) between the two books. Though it remains a theory given that I have yet to read the whole book by Greene and I'm using my assessment on its synopsis and back cover blurbs available in the book store and online.

Some of my favorite maxims (including the title of this post):

An image is made sacred not by its creator but by its worshipper.

Whoever wants to make their own opinion the measure of all things is an insufferable fool.

Enemies are of more use to the wise man than friends are to the fool.

The most independent person must still accept the need for friendly advice; even a monarch must be willing to be taught.

Get used to the bad temperaments of those you deal with, like getting used to ugly faces.

Your will must be tenacious, not your judgement.

Take a joke, but don't make someone the butt of one.

The masses, ever critical, will not recount your success, only your failures.

Ability and greatness must be measured by virtue, not by good fortune.

Genre: Maxims, Selection
Rating: 4 images out of 5