Category Archives: Genetics

Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice (Winter’s Saga 3)

Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice (Winter’s Sage 3) by Karen Luellen



Tormented by evil.
Haunted by choice.
Searching for redemption.

******

Lines between good and evil blur as the Winter family fight for survival in Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice. Book #3 in Winter’s Saga delves into the choices we make and the butterfly effect on the world around us. Meg Winter must cope with the caveats of her evolved gift or be consumed by them. Her family and friends watch helplessly as she struggles to find herself, learn what is worth fighting for and let go of things beyond her control. Will she break free of her own fears before it’s too late or let her insecurities rule them all?

Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice is as amazing as the previous entries in this series by Karen Luellen. From the very first pages of the first book until now this has been an amazing journey. The Winters’ family and their allies are facing insurmountable odds against the demented Dr. Kevin Williams. You will instantly root for them and cheer with them each step of the way.

The series is as engross, to me as the Jumper Series by Steve Gould. They both are about kids growing up with amazing gifts and the pitfalls that come with them. It’s also about how family as it’s never as rigid as usually labeled.

They’re a family fighting for their survival against a man so filled with evil even the most desensitized person will cringe. I’ve actually watched a man bleed to death taking his last breathe in front of me at age 12. Dr. Williams described actions are more heinous than the person that stab that old man in his home.

This man is what I thought Cobra Commander looked like under his helmet, when I was a kid. I would rather watch Nightmare on Elm series on repeat that look this evil man in the face.

And this is who’s trying to kill our protagonists, evil incarnate. He’s a cancer to not only the Winters by humanity at a whole. He’s so evil that people are lining up to turn against him.

Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice moves at an intense pace. Not one chapter is wasted. A lot of the story revolves around Meg’s evolution. As the unofficial rock of her family her changes affect everyone around her. There are many instants of her mental angst giving insight into the evolution of her power. At the rate of increase she may become the most dangers meta on the planet.

Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice ends on an ambiguous note. Many things are left in the air. Although it’s written like a standalone, the ending is a cliffhanger. It feels like the first half of a story. You will want the next novel as soon as you finish.

I give Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice 5 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 5, Book Review, Genetics, Novel, SciFi

Winter’s Storm: Retribution (Winter’s Saga 2)

Winter’s Storm: Retribution (Winter’s Saga 2) by Karen Luellen



Born into evil.  
Raised for violence.  
Searching for truth.  
 
 
In the second book of Winter’s Saga we meet Creed Young. He’s a metahuman, like Meg, Alik and Evan Winter, but unlike the Winter children, Creed wasn’t rescued by a goodhearted doctor from the experiments and traumas at the hands of the evil Dr. Williams. No, Creed wasn’t that lucky. Instead, he was raised along with hundreds of other metasoldiers in a militant compound to be a lethal, bloodthirsty assassin. His first assignment: To kill the thief, Margo Winter, who stole three children from Dr. Williams’ institute twelve years ago, and return those stolen assets.



Winter’s Storm: Retribution (Winter’s Saga 2) is just as good as the first one. A fair amount of this story deals with a new character Creed Young. With the focus on Creed it doesn’t hurt the story as much as you think. It works because for the majority of the book the Winters’ are reacting to their new reality. And those life changes events just keep coming throughout this novel.
 
I wanted to hate Creed Young, as a new character and for his purpose. I couldn’t even when he was being puppeteered by the evil Dr. Williams. (As a character, I visualize Dr. Williams as Dr. Doom, without the metallic suit. And please don’t leave comments about how this is incorrect. I personally don’t like the Fantastic Four. The Avenger, X-Men did better jobs fighting their villains, except in the Ultimate Universe. For whatever reason they disbanded, Johnny joining what’s left of the X-Men fit him better.) Creed and Gavil are a literary example of dysfunctional. I’ve wanted to beat the living crap out of my brother, but to literally HAVE to kill him. I couldn’t do it, even if I raised in the conditions of that hell-hole, The Facility.
 
There is a reveal, in this book, that took shape, in the first book, Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge and continued in this one. Each incident you could see this eventual outcome. I’m just surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. But holding it off until the end made the anticipation for the next novel, Winter’s Wrath: Sacrifice, that much sweeter and panged. I can’t wait to read what comes from this decision. If you haven’t read it yet, check out Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge.


I give Winter’s Storm: Retribution (Winter’s Saga 2) 5 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 5, Book Review, Fantasy, Genetics, Novel, SciFi

Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge (Winter’s Saga 1)

Winter’s Awakening: The Metahuman Emerge (Winter’s Saga 1) by Karen Luellen


Created for evil.
Raised to protect.
Searching for truth.

******

Extraordinary teen Meg Winter and her brothers Alik and Evan are shoved into a new reality when they discover life is not what they thought it was: there is evil hunting them, they are not normal teens, and their mother’s captor wants them back to continue his plans for the perfect race.


First let me start by say Ah-Maze-ING. Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge should definitely get the Hollywood treatment. If they are going to continue to remake crap like Total Recall, this should be on a studio’s list. It’s Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity meets X-Men: First Class. Warning: Set aside time to read, YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PUT DOWN.
 
This is a fast pace and surprisingly quick read. I never questioned the good or bad of the characters. Karen Luellen’s writing allowed me to visualize the action surrounding the characters. For me I kept imagining Jennifer Lawrence’s character from Winter’s Bone as Meg. Alik (cool spelling btw), and Evan were generic based on their descriptions.
 
These kids are intelligent, capable, and lethal. Their “mother” made them self-sufficient. It really doesn’t read artificial or farcical when these 15, 14, and 12 put a plan in motion.
 
The backstory is exactly how I imagine metahumans will spontaneous come into existence. It’s the noblest of intentions warped by the ‘GOD complex’ of man. Having been watching the Olympic, there are a few, I think are either metas or on the cusp of being one.
 
The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but it does left you hanging. I do have my suspicions. I usually like to add a buffer between books in a series but I think I’m going to just go into the next one, Winter’s Storm: Retribution (Winter’s Saga 2) .




I give Winter’s Awakening: The Metahuman Emerge 5 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 5, Genetics, Novel, SciFi

“The Best of Spider-Man, Volume 1”

thebestofspider-manvol1.jpg“The Best of Spider-Man, Volume 1” by J Michael Straczynski

“The Best of Spider-Man, Volume 1” includes the ‘Coming Home’ storyline (Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #30-35), the award winning Amazing Spider-Man #36, a Kingpin Story, Flowers for Rhino Story and Ultimate Marvel Team-Up featuring Punisher, Daredevil and Spider-Man.

It’s a nice collection of story through Spider-Man’s lengthy history but I felt for a first volume there were better stories to be told. The first half featuring Amazing Spider-Man Volume #30-36 are an amazing read and gives major insight to Spider-Man, his motivation, and an interesting look at his powers and his enemies. For fans of the character I think they will find this section very interesting and the shocking revelation at the end is worth a read for those uninformed of historical event.

The middle section though really didn’t connect with me. It didn’t fit together with the rest of the stories told in this ‘best of Spider-Man’. The main characters of the middle section were Kingpin, Rhino, and private detective who life is to find out who Spider-Man is. They were interesting stories in their own right but this is a “Best of Spider-Man.”

The third arc of this graphic novel included was a story from the Marvel Ultimate Universe featuring Punisher, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. It was more of a Punisher story featuring Daredevil and Spider-Man. The Punisher breaks out of jail to avenge the deaths of his family and runs into Daredevil, who’s client he kills, and Spider-Man bumbles into the story by helping the bad guy get away.

The editors and my definitions for best of Spider-Man is different. Being “The Best of Spider-Man” means spider-man is at the first and not a background character. Overall its an interesting read and will appeal to a casual reader. Givers the readers a great glimpse into the world of Spider-Man nad the complicated machinations that he must deal with throughout his life.

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Filed under 2003, Book Review, Comic Book, Genetics, Graphic Novel, Marvel, Spider-Man, Straczynki, J Michael

“Hulk: The Incredible Guide”

hulk-theincredibleguide.jpg“Hulk: The Incredible Guide” by Tom DeFalco

Welcome to the nightmarish world of Dr. Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk!

A ticking bomb! A 700-pound engine of destruction! NO words can fully convey the awesome power that us unleashed when rage consumes Dr. Bruce Banner and the Hulk emerges, roaring, “Hulk – smash!”

Hulk: The Incredible Guide captures the full legend of this Marvel Comics superhero, who has been thrilling fans for more than 40 years. Discover the secret of the Hulk’s superhuman powers, and of the weird multiple personalities lurking within Bruce Banner’s fractured psyche! – From the back cover.

Having never really been a fan of the comics, I was exposed to the television series that was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid and the movie by Ang Lee. “Hulk: The Incredible Guide” gave insight into this character that I never knew. The Hulk is a more complex character that most people characterize him as. Knowing what I know now Ang Lee only showed a small aspect of the character and that’s one of the reason hardcore ‘Hulk” fans were disappointed.

“Hulk: The Incredible Guide” gives what I imagine as a complete history of the character at the point of its publication. It gives detailed differences between the different Hulks, something I never knew. Any reader of this book will find some of these facts about the character amazing.

At first I thought it was a big book for little kids miss placed, but after reading it this is a book for young adult. It need to be big to appreciated the character. With amazing drawing accompanying the facts given in this book all whom read it will appreciate the character more.

I think the most interesting thing about this book is how it gives its information. It breaks it down by the decades of publication and highlights the major events and villains of each decade to his final demise. I think the end of the Hulk is the most startling and moving drawings I have seen in comics today. After reading this book from cover to cover you will understand why.

The history of this character is rich and also tragic. He is a character that is often dismissed as an overzealous Neanderthal, which is such a mischaracterization. “The Hulk” is a complex characterization of several more established tales combined to create a character that has stood the test of time. He is a character that most people find as a commentary of the id psyche of most people.

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Filed under 2003, Book Review, Comic Book, DeFalco, Tom, Genetics, Hulk, Marvel

“Essential Spider-Man, Volume 1”

essentialspidermanvol1.jpg“Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1” by Stan Lee

Released in June of 2002, ‘Essential Spider-Man Volume 1’ contains Amazing Fantasy #15, the comic that started it all, Amazing Spider-Man #1-20, and Annual #1. These are the first 22 chapters reprinted from the original comics written by Stan Lee.

These are the stories that started the legend and cultural phenomenon. All the stories are from the sixties and it’s full of the vernacular of the time. At time the language is so ridiculous that I would be distracted by it, but that’s the way they talked I guess.

The black and white reprint drawings are a hard thing to get use to when you’ve grown up with color filled comics. But I’m guessing its that editor are play on nostalgic, taking the reader back in time to the beginnings of this super-hero, Spider-Man. Although this is the history of Spider-Man, the language, drawings, the stories combine to be hokey. Written for children they really don’t stand the test of time. But will appeal to the die-hard fan of the character.

The one thing that it does that makes it worthy of reading is that it a reprint of the original comic that showcase the introduce of some of Spider-Mans rogue gallery: Doc Ock, Vulture, The Sandman, The Lizard, and Mysterio just to name a few. It also features some team ups with the Fantastic Four. ‘Essential Spider-Man’ also showcases the writing of Stan Lee and illustration by Steve Ditko. Lee portrayed peter and Spider-Man in the more classical dual personality, having Peter be ridiculed and rejected by his peers and being an introvert and where Spider-Man it confident and an extrovert.

If you’re a fan of the character and never got to read the original start of the comic that is Spider-Man its here in all its glory. If you can get passed the outdated language and the black and white, I think you will find that this is a great graphic novel to read. You get to see the humble beginnings of a cultural phenomenon that even today is influencing children and adult. It shows the creative writing of Stan Lee, who in his own write has influence countless readers.

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Filed under 2002, Book Review, Comic Book, Genetics, Graphic Novel, Lee, Stan, Marvel, SciFi, Spider-Man

“The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1: Coming Home”

theamazingspider-man.jpg“The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1: Coming Home” by J. Michael Straczynski

Alone. Throughout his life, Peter Parker has often felt alone. When he first discovered his spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider, he kept them secret. His attempts to exploit them for profit resulted in his Uncle Ben’s murder. Later, his attempts at maintaining the secret from his first love, Gwen Stacy, resulted in her death. It seemed as though no one understood the difficult balance between mortal and hero.

Until now, that is. A mysterious figure appears suddenly. Exhibiting similar powers to Peter. He can stick to walls and jump from building to building, just like the wall-crawler. Who is this mystery man? Who are the people he represents? And what is the ancient evil that has arrived in America in Search of Peter?

Reprints of Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #30 –35. – From back cover

“Coming Home” is an interesting story telling Peter of the origin of the power he “inherited” from the spider. Peter meets Ezekiel and with this meeting makes him redefine the concepts that he formulated about his powers. On the heels of this meeting Spider-Man must now content with an evil bent on his destruction, which never tires, and just keeps coming. Even with all of that it’s the ending of this graphic novel that makes it interesting to me, Aunt May’s discovery of Peter being Spider-Man.

This marks the beginning of J. Michael Straczynski writing run on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and he starts off with a bang. Right out of the gate he gives Peter a life changing moment. Making him to question the nature of his powers. He gives a well-established conception a new twist readers will find intriguing. It’s a great start to what could potentially be some of the best storytelling in Spider-Man history.

“Coming Home” is creatively drawn. Displaying some of the more poignant and distinctive moments to highlight the action to be portrayed. The coloring is vibrant and full of action, standing out even in the night sequence. John Romita Jr. accentuated the writing from Straczynski.

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Filed under 2002, Book Review, Comic Book, Genetics, Graphic Novel, Marvel, Spider-Man, Straczynki, J Michael