Dark Tower: The Waste Lands
Greetings, the Waste Lands is the third book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The first two novels, the Gunslinger and the Drawing of the three, where reviewed earlier on in the blog. It still follows the same odd storyline about Roland the Gunslinger and the new characters introduced in the previous plot in search of the Dark Tower. It still has not been revealed why they are in search of the Tower only that all of the worlds are falling apart and all will be lost if they do not reach it in time.
This one is the weirdest I have read so far but it should be kept in mind I haven’t looked at other Stephen King novels, most of which involve a supernatural twist. The beginning of the Waste Lands is set up to find another adventurer, a boy called Jake who was in the original book. Roland and the other travellers, Eddie and Susannah must race against time to find a portal to our world. This is in order recruit the latest member of the team. The ending of the novel implies to me that the series will eventually become mad beyond understanding but gripping none the less.
As with the previous books, King builds up the story for most of the novel with few fights spread across it and has a great action scene at the end. This isn’t a criticism, in fact it works quite well when he focuses and writes in great detail about events that may not seem exciting but are important to the story, as well as characters. The words seemed to fit together nicely, creating a good atmosphere and it isn’t difficult to understand. I am eager to read the following novels and hope that answers will come in due course. The seventh chapter of Unforgotten Rivalry is up in Warehouse 17.
Quote of the day
Residents of Joker Asylum are all required to follow one simple rule. Failure to follow this rule will be punished by death, no 'ifs', 'ands', or 'buts'. And do you know the best part about the rule? It's a secret!
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Greetings, Super 8 is a recent film by Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams which revolves mainly around a group of young teenagers. The actors portrayed their roles to an impressive standard despite the fact that it was probably most of the casts first major movie. The special effects are also favourable, especially scenes with conflict and the ending.
The plot in the whole is rather simple but I feel the young teenagers’ developments, particularly the main character Joe, are more important and satisfying than the larger storyline. It is set in the 1970’s beginning with the accidental death of Joe Lamb’s mother in a processing plant, Lamb struggling with the loss of his mother is one of the main themes occurring throughout. After some time has passed it is revealed that he is part of a team of youthful individuals trying to win an amateur film championship. Filming a scene of a zombie horror movie at a train station, a car pulls out on purpose in front of an incoming military train causing a crash.
All of the team survive, finding out that it was a teacher at their school who had caused the collision, he is apparently still alive warning the children to run before the army catches them and therefore executing them. It isn’t long until the military realise that something in the cargo is missing when they arrive at the scene of the crash and discover there were others at the track during the time of the attack on the train.
The story is quite entertaining but the effect doesn’t last the whole way the film. I have doubts over the ending, believing it similar to E.T which was a problem as the monster is harder to defend due to the fact it killed many individuals. All in all it is an enjoyable experience and probably one of the better movies of the year. The sixth chapter of Unforgotten Rivalry is up in Warehouse 17.
Quote of the day
That's good, just keep rubbing your head. That'll turn back time
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Greetings, I know that a few readers are not fans of the superhero genre but I feel that Batman: Arkham Asylum deserves a mention. The game is well received by many critics and it isn’t hard to see why, everything seems to fit perfectly. I particularly like the dark edge which has been given to the Caped Crusader in recent media such as the films, this darkness is carried on into Arkham Asylum. I feel that is more in tune with the character, Batman or Bruce Wayne, due to the events that shaped him into the hero he is.
The plot is rather simple but later extends into something much bigger. At the start the usual prison in which the rivals of Batman are contained is damaged in a fire, meaning all prisoners are to be transported to a Lunatic Asylum on an island named Arkham Asylum. The Dark Knight had caught the Joker before the story even begins and delivers him to the island not far from Gotham City. Batman escorts his enemy to his cell, along with other Asylum Personnel but the Joker breaks free and soon takes control of Arkham. The Caped Crusader is stuck in the Asylum and must confront many of his worst foes if he hopes to regain power over the facility.
The map is quite large and some areas have riddles, trophies and challenges from the Riddler, as well as tapes covering some thoughts or interviewers of different characters. These are not essential to complete but there are achievements for doing so. The combat can be quite hard, especially if the enemies are armed with machineguns and should then be taken out silently. All actors portrayed their roles brilliantly but Mark Hamill, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, brings a new level of insanity to the Joker. In conclusion, this is a brilliant game and is a must have for any fan of Batman. The sequel promises to be as entertaining as the original. The fifth chapter of Unforgotten Rivalry is up in Warehouse 17.
Quote of the day
Daniel... Do not wish to interfere with operation of ship, but perhaps you should pull up sharply...
Casino Royale, the book
Greetings, Casino Royale is the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming, himself. It should be noted that the book is quite old and therefore some of its views, as well as technology are now considered outdated. One aspect I couldn’t help but notice was the lack of action. I didn’t really expect that from a Bond adventure however, I imagine that Fleming wanted to focus more so on the centre character, James and his development through his experiences rather than create a fast paced thrill. As far as I remember the agent only disarms an assassin and does not actually kill anyone during the plot.
The story line itself is much less complicated than the film and is reasonably short. The villain, LeChiffre was a member of a soviet organisation called SMERSH, which was established to kill Western spies and continue the spread of communism. LeChiffre lost a large amount of SMERSH’s money before the events of the novel, as such the institute branded him a traitor and hence he would receive the death penalty. A frightened LeChiffre begins gambling to pay off his debts, in Casino Royale which is situated in France.
Therefore M, head of MI6 has sent 007 to beat LeChiffre at the card game Baccarat to remove his winnings and gain more money for the West. It would also mean the villain would be hunted by his former employers. James is helped in his mission by Mathis of the Deuxieme, Vesper Lynd and Felix of the CIA. The story is also heavily embedded with the game Baccarat which is explained in detail and featured heavily in some chapters. Despite attempts to instruct the reader of how it is played, I didn’t understand and was left reading through several chapters having to guess what was going on. That isn’t too important as the winner is clearly announced.
Casino Royale is a reasonable novel, which seems to have shaped Bond into the 007 known in the cinema but I can’t confirm that until I read the next book. It is certainly more entertaining than the film which seemed to have added scenes and distort the plot to the point of confusing the viewers. The fourth chapter of Unforgotten Rivalry is up at Warehouse 17.
Quote of the day
Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem.