Street duty review

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Hello everyone I’m Theonlinecurator and today we’re looking at a book I’ve been meaning to review for weeks but for one reason or another I’ve never got round to untill now and comes to us from famed screenplay writer Chris Ould writer of almost 80 hours of television dramas like Casualty and The Bill so naturaly I’d never heard of him before I picked up this book. I believe I’ve run out of things to say so let’s start the review.

There isn’t much to say about this cover it’s just someone, I asume our main character, stearing blankly into your soul. I do like the idea of using case numbers to distinguish each book but other than that only two other things draw my atention. That the cover when the cover artist (I couldn’t find a name anywhere) ether took this picture with doctor Manatan just out of shot or couldn’t decide where he wanted these random blue blotches to be and that the city, I know it’s given a name but it’s only used a few times and I don’t have time to flick throgh the whole book again untill I stumble across it, is apparently suffering from a similar environmental problem to Central city in the spirit milenium edition, seriously look.

All the clowd cover’s disperced and the sky’s changed to an unusual, mixed colour, I feel like we should get a name for this kind of incedent.

I believe that it would be impossible to read this book and not notice the structure. To start with it’s split up into standard chapters which is fine. Then it’s also split up into days and while it’s strange to have both of them it only happens 3 times over the cource of the story so it’s not that noticable but then on top of both of those there’s a new number for every time there’s a location change and this is where it starts to get both noticable and more than a little annoying. I don’t think there was a single section of this book where we stay in the same place for more than 20 pages and it also dosen’t help that we’re following 3 sets of characters and that sometimes they spread out and sometimes they interact with each other. I think the shortest was two thirds of a page but my personal favorite would have to be where we focuse on one set of characters doing something go over to a diffrent set of characters for a page and then go back to the first set of characters in the exact same place at the exact same point in time as where we left them. I mean how would you feel if I just stopped talking about this issue, started talking about a seperate one and then finished what I had to say on this like nothing happened? There are some points where it makes sense like someone moveing to the other side of town to follow up on something that happened in there last apearence with some other content to fill the journey time but then they’re there because a character went from one room to another that’s down the hall.

I’m not sure why but I flicked throgh the pages at the very end of the book and couldn’t help but notice some… interesting comments form some teenage readers who’d been asked about what they thoght of the characters and I can’t decide weather to be writhing in angry at one of the most rediculous asertion I’ve ever heard or doubled up in lafter at one of the most unfortunate misquotations I’ve ever seen, you be the judge. ‘The majority of adult detectives in fiction seem to be battered, cynical, world-weary, divorced, alcoholic and bitter, and that’s just the upbeat ones!’ Is it supposed to say ‘alcoholic or bitter’? Had the readers they asked never ventured outside 90s’ Noir before? As I said, you be the judge.

If I had to say something good about this book then my mind would probobly go to the mystery. I wouldn’t exactly say that the action races along like some other reviewers have but that’s just how I interprete it. Despite that I did feel that the conclusion and how everythink came togehter was a bit rushed because as I said there isn’t much action and the case is built more arount subtle hints and changes than blatant clues and since this story was intertwined with a lot of setup for the next book there was a lot to get in in just 300 pages while still working with such a large roster of characters. Also I don’t think I truley expected a happily ever after ending but it did surprise me just how much detail it put into all the reprocutions and changes the events of the last 3 days caused. If you want details, buy the book and read the final page of story but if you want everything to rap up cleanley I suggest you look somewere else.

Well this was an interesting review, I talked about chapter structure jumpy as a lamb on a cafine drip, some quotes I just don’t understand and a ricuring cover theme. The book also claims that the sequil will be coming out this year and at the time I’m writing this I have no idea if it’s been relieced yet but if it has I promice to review it as soon as I can. If I could choose a few things I think should be in it I think I would say the diffrent groups interacting a bit more and some more characterisation for the supporting characters, that’s about all I have to say about Street Duty and now I can’t thing of a good way to both ask you to tell me what you thoght of the review in the comments or on my twitter page at @offsitelibrary and see if you can think of a name for the cloud destroying disaster and also segway into my next time segment so… next time

Dark life review

Untill then, goodbye.

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The Smugglers’ Caves and other stories review

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Hello everyone! I’m theonlinecurator and through a combination of technical difficulties, being sick and prior commitments it’s been MORE THAN A MONTH since my Spirit millenium edition review! So until I can work feverishly enough to finish somthing new  here’s a short review of a short story collection.

One thing you need to know early on is that the stories in this book completely switch tone from one to another, I mean we have a story about a dog entering into a dog show right next to a story about a sentient broom!

But never is this more apparent or sometimes more frightening than in the illustrations since without any kind of warning we go from shaded, more realistic artwork to a softer, more cartoon art style.

consistency? What’s that?

Still, despite this books many and various faults I feel I can still appreciate the air of what attracted children to it when it was written, it’s so classic it actually has a subscription to the Enid Blyton newsletter in the back

Which I shamelessly admit I tried to use.

Well, thank you for joining me for my first ever online short, if you want to tell me what you thought please leave a comment or if you want to keep up to date with my posts just follow me on twitter or leave a comment there at @offsitelibrary. Come back soon to see great books, awful ones and probably a lot more late content!

The spirit millennium edition review

The Spirit

Hello everyone! I’m theonlinecurator and today is a very special day. Firstly, this is my first ever comic review and secondly it’s time to review a comic I’ve been wanting to do since I started this blog, The spirit millennium edition. One thing I feel I should say up front is that these stories were very influenced by the times when they were written since a lot of real world elements were taken into account. Unfortunately I don’t think I can go through all 6 stories so you’ll have to settle for the 3 that are the best in my opinion, with that out of the way, let’s get started!

All 6 of these stories have there own covers but if I went through all of them we’d be here forever so I’ll just look at the front cover. I really can’t decide if it’s especially creative or especially lazy. I think it’s a nice idea to have a skewed version of the original cover but at the same time… it’s just a skewed version of the original cover! Form a purely artistic point of view I do have to compliment this cover on attention to detail although the colours leave something to be desired. Central city appears to have suffered some kind of huge environmental disaster that dispersed all the clouds and caused the sky to go murky green.

The first story unfortunately shows some major weaknesses. Since it’s a short story it has to cut some major corners, namely, once he gets the villain’s name on the second page he just looks him up in the phone book.

Remember when I said these stories were very influenced by the time they were written? Well this story is where we see the first evidence of it when our intrepid hero is saved by heat rationing because it brought back open fires…

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“And I’m sure leaving this burning chair where there’s  a wood store for this fire will have have absolutely no negative affects!”

So when all’s said and done this was actually a really good way to start the book although It dose show the strain of having to fit a whole mystery story into 9 pages.

As the second story starts off I feel that I should say that this one’s by far my favourite, mainly because I don’t think you can find another comic out there that starts with a death threat to the German high command.

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Other than that it has a nice set up and climax although I do often have to remind myself that when this comic was first written it wouldn’t seem unusual for The Spirit to use  a hand grenade.

Our final review is of a story that will most likely be more enjoyable if you also like The Shadow since Made-to-die-antagonist No. 4011 possesses the same powers although you could argue that they’re different because he didn’t need any monks to bring them out, but what I think about most of the time while reading this is this incident.

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Yeah, never mind using a grenade being out of character, check him out straight up holding those two suspects at gun point!

So to conclude although I spent most of this review picking apart the negative points about these stories The Spirit is still one of my most loved comic characters just because to this day it still has the air of classic pulp magazine investigation and I doubt anything will ever change that.

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EVER

If you want to give your opinion on the review then go to my twitter page at @offsitelibrary or leave a comment bellow. Aside from that you can come back next week for…

Top 6 astronauts in fiction

Untill then, goodbye.

Deathworld 3 review

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Hello everyone! I’m theonlionecurator and welcome to my second ever book review! Today we’re looking at a book I believed should be taken to the ends of the earth for more reasons than I can fit into this introduction (With any luck you read them on my last list “Top 10 books to have on a desert island”) and so before I get down to the review I feel I should say SPOILER ALERT! near the end, so with that out of the way, let’s get started!

I unfortunatley have no idea who drew this cover but I truley don’t know what I think about it. I think that it’s proportioned vary well and the colours betwean the background and the structure contrast nicely but that structure is my problem, namely, what the heck is it supposed to be? A tower? A launch pad? Some random thing sphere science fiction thoght would catch our attention but has nothing to do with the plot? We may never truly know.

Since I’ve already talked about most of the possotive features of the book and the author and cover art are out of the way I think it’s time  we looked at one of the main things that could put peoplle off the book, THE UNBELIEVEBLY GRAPHIG DEATH SCENES! DO NOT read this book if you have a problem with deaths described in every possible detail. Don’t believe me? Well maby I should dig up some of the lesser death scenes from the book, how about the one when some guy gets stabbed in the brain two pages in? Or the resolution of a fight scene where a guy gets stabbed a few centimeters away from his… uh, on second thoughts should we just move on to the point were a horse plummets 200 feet and goes splat in full view of most of the charicters? You have been warned.

START OF SPOILERS!

Finaly it’s time to move onto the part of the book that caght my atention the most, the ending. The whole plot of this book was to gain power over the natives of a planate to resettle on for the people who couldn’t addapt to liveing in the wilderness and they eventually gain controle throgh, as you might expect, the spread of similar ideolegies… throgh a plan that has nothing to do with the one we’ve been following for the mejority of the book. I seriously don’t know what I think about that, I think it’s a good way to end things because it’s realistic but I really don’t like the fact that I spent 118 pages following a very detailed and complex plot only to be esentially told it was all for nothing.

END OF SPOILERS!

So in conclusion this wasn’t at all a bad book but it’s more than possible that it’s one of the most opinion baded in the world. If you’re a Si-Fi fan then give it a try and if you want to seek out the other two I’d sugest them as well. There’s not much else I can say other than after reading throgh it for a third time during this review I still have no idea which jounra I’d class it under and if Harry Harrison’s reading this I have a sugestion to make. If you ever bring back the deathworld series could you plese have a problem where the answer isn’t the medikit? That thing has to be the most over used Si Fi gadgit since the sonic screwdriver. Thanks for reading my review, if you liked it why don’t you go to my Twitter page at @offsitelibrary and tell me what you thogut. Come back next week for a review I’ve been lookin forward to for a long time because next up it’s…

The Spirit first title review

Untill then, goodbye.

Showcase comics #73 review

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Hello everyone! I’m theonlinecurator and today we’re looking at one of the most important comic series in history. The titles of Showcase presents are some of the most important in history. The testing ground of strange new ideas dedicated solely to measuring readers reactions to decide weather or not to give the new characters an ongoing series. But don’t think for a second it was just for crap characters, it introduced the silver age green lantern, the silver age atom, challengers of the unknown and the in the comic I’m going to talk about today, Showcase #73, The Creeper.

We can attribute this particular creation to Steve Ditko who also created Hawk and Dove, The second Blue Beetle and The Question (Some of my other favorite characters). So if you don’t think that Ditkos experience was reason enough to check out this comic you need look no further than the cover (which he also drew)!

This cover just has everything for me. The Creeper leaping from an unseen vantage point, Ditkos name hidden within the action and finally, by far the most awesome thing about the cover, the fact that he doesn’t just have a wanted poster, he has a wanted BILLBOARD!

In my mind The Creeper is a sadly under rated hero for just how selfless he is even before he becomes a super hero. He starts by arguing on live TV with his sponsors’ friend, who I see as having no reason to exist other than being hated.

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Yes, just put him in the corner and let him rant to himself.

Then he goes on to almost compleatly shrug off a knife wound to save a scientist he just met from the villains and as I said he dose all that BEFORE he gets his powers. If I went on to talk about every little detail I would end up talking about 90% of the comic so I think I’ll move on to one of the biggest reasons to take the time to find it.

Nostalgia. Pure simple nostalgia. Just think through all the different plot points I’ve talked about. A single loose cannon T.V. investigator gets approached to help the C.I.A. investigate Russian defectors being kidnapped (Okay, even I question why the C.I.A. asks the help of a T.V. company) to use a ridiculous disguise to investigate the seemingly innocent rich guy to find out he’s actually the main antagonist of the story to beat all of them within an inch of their life to leave them to the police who always arrive just soon enough to see him running away but just too late to actually do anything.

Well after dedicating almost a whole review just to how grate this character is I hope you might consider actually spending money on an issue of your own. If you want to find a comic in this series it’s best to find a comic shop with comics arranged in alphabetical order and search through the ‘S’ section, it’s how I found this one. Goodbye for now and I’ll be back when I finish my next post…

Top 10 books to have on a desert island.

The prince of mist review

Hello everyone! I’m the online curator and today were going to be talking about a book I find to be one of the best horror stories ever. I hadn’t even heard of it or the author until I saw a description of it in the back of a comic and despite being skeptical I decided to get it. What did I think when I read this creepy-covered manuscript? Well…

First of all let’s look at talk about the author, Carlos Luiz Zafon. I think the first thing I need to address is that I’m kind of surprised I’d never heard of this guy judging from the research I did for this article when his official website (http://www.carlosruizzafon.co.uk) tells me, “Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the author of the international phenomenon The shadow of the wind and The Angel’s Game”. So, yeah, I’m wondering how a man with his work in more than forty different languages and international awards managed to stay off my radar for so long.

The next thing I can’t do this review without talking about is the cover… I mean just look at it!

It’s set in World War 2 and it’s the same as most books set in the war. You know, Family escaping the city, quiet costal town, murder/theft/<insert exciting incident> blah blah blah let’s get on with the review.

I consider this a great horror book because it does something very important. From page 1 it builds up suspense. It starts off, as I said, with the classic coastal town and slowly throws more and more weird stuff at us until we’re dealing with animated stone angels and eel/clown hybrids!

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Thank you dad, for helping me with this crazy Photoshop.

One thing you need to know about this book before judging is that as well as horror it also has its fair share of emotional strain and depressing undertones. Despite mainly having an adventure driven plot it from being called to fight just after he’s been introduced!

Towards the end of the review I’m starting to realise something I didn’t really expect to find, every, and I mean every, adult who has any idea about what’s really going on is a complete idiot. Let me undertake the very difficult task of explaining the plot without giving any major spoilers. The whole reason the villain is in that little costal town is to get his hands on one person and since he died at sea that’s were he’s at his strongest so it’s stupid enough that no one who knows the truth hasn’t move him to a land-locked country but they let him live in a house within running distance of the sea and probably walking distance of the high tide! You can’t get much less forsightful than that, but hey, it could be worse. They could let him swim in the very same shipwreck the guy who wants his head died in. But they wouldn’t be that stupid, right? Oh, wait, that’s seriously word for word what they let him do! Didn’t they dedicate a whole lighthouse to watching that wreck? So either these people’re tired of keeping an eye on him or they suck really badly at being a secret society!

After reading through the book a few times I think I came to realise something. Max, the protagonist, has to be one of the most selfless, heroic people in the history of literature. Now I know there must be some people out there saying “he can’t be as good as ______ from _______” but let’s look at the story from his point of view for a second. Because there’s a war on, which by the way the enemy is winning, he’s forced to leave the city he grew up in for a completely different environment where his only friend probably only has a year left to live, a greedy shape-shifting psycho out for blood, the house he lives in is practically derelict and to top it all off his younger sister gets put into a coma and his older sister gets kidnapped! But despite all this he finds the courage to solve the mystery, save his sister and save THE WHOLE TOWN without lifting a weapon. Try to argue with me now, I dare you.

Well that’s about all I have to say about this book so I think I’ll end with saying that this is definitely something worth reading if you’re a fan of subtle horror and/or dramas. Not necessarily war dramas because although the war is a major influence in the first half of the book it really takes a back seat for most of the story. With that, I’ll leave you to your thoughts. Please go to my twitter page at  @offsitelibrary to tell me what you thought of the review, what you think of the blog and even what you’d like to see me to write about. So until next time, goodbye and come back for…

Showcase comics #27 review