The Artifact

The Artifact , by Kevin J Anderson (and others) just affirmed why he is one of my favorite authors. Every book of his that I have read has been action-packed and fast-paced. It feels like you’re watching a movie. The Artifact was no exception. A group of men, calling themselves the Daredevils Club meet every year to brag about their adventures. When one of the men discover several mysterious artifacts, seemingly not of this world, he enlists the aid of the Daredevils Club to help find the missing pieces.

The cast of characters was a group of people, so none of them were explored too deeply. But this was a short book, with only a back-story at the beginning, explaining how the Daredevils got together.

With plenty of twists and a surprise ending, The Artifact will keep you on the edge of your seat. I read through it in two days, because it was so hard to put down.

The Thirteenth Tale

Completing my first book in the October Reading Challenge, I read The Thirteenth Tale , by Diane Setterfield.

It seems like everyone and their brother has read and reviewed this book, but I’ll give my two cents as well. I purposefully didn’t read any details on The Thirteenth Tale, wanting to have a fresh take on it.

It was a perfect read for this Halloween season, spooky and mysterious. The story was so beautifully written, that I was captivated from the start and never once wanted to put it down. Setterfield wove a brilliant web of stories within stories, revealing parts at different times, as everything came together at the end.

I do have a few criticisms. One, I didn’t care for Margaret’s constant complaining about her dead twin that she had never known. Yes, it’s sad, but she’s now an adult and needs counseling if she’s still that wrapped up in the ghosts of her past. I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy for such week women portrayed in books. That’s why I thought it hilarious when the doctor prescribed for her to read Sherlock Holmes, instead of her usual Jane Eyre.

My other major complaint is that Setterfield took so long to wrap everything up at the end. The end seemed to drag (the only part in the book that did). And the explaining what happened to everyone was overkill. Why would we care what happened to Judith and Maurice? I don’t remember who Maurice even was! I believe he was referred to once or twice in the story.

But overall this was a fun novel that I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good, spooky mystery.

And of course, I have to comment on last night’s Heroes episode.
We finally got to see Niki’s “Mr. Hyde” persona. And I have a new theory on Peter. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one). I think maybe he has the ability to adopt anyone’s powers when he’s near them. This would explain why he could fly only near his brother. (Remember he was falling the first time he tried to fly, until he was close to Nathan in the air.) It would make for a cool twist. And it would also mean that Peter could match Sylar’s abilities, making him the only one who could possibly take him down. Since it seems that Sylar has multiple powers: mind control, healing, flight, super strength, freezing ability, etc.

Comic Meme

I saw this meme on a random blog and thought it too fitting.

Comic Book Geeks Unite:

1. Which comic company is your favorite?
Marvel. No question. X-Men, Spider-Man, and Runaways have some of the best stories. While I love a lot of the DC characters, I just can’t put the stories and villains on the same level.
2. Whose is your favorite character(s) and why?
X-Men. There is a vast assortment of mutants with various powers, so there are always new and fresh stories to tell. And some of my favorite are the most unique mutants such as Nightcrawler, who looks like a demon but actually is a strong Christian. The best example to judge someone by their appearance.
3. Do you prefer villains or heroes?
Heroes definitely. Though great villains help to make great heroes.
4. If you could be any comic book character who would you be?
Wonder Woman. I grew up idolizing her, telling people in the nursery that my name was Diana Prince. I now say that at least I reached her height!
5. Comic Books to Movies: Do you prefer it when the movie sticks to the comic story line or strays off with their own creative license?
I much prefer when the movie sticks to the comic cannon. Same with any other book made into a movie.

Thursday Thirteen

Last night I had to draw giant comic strips for a backdrop in the sanctuary for the upcoming series we’re doing in church labeled “Heroes.” When I heard this, I of course got extremely excited, ideas whizzing through my mind. The rest of the Creative Team just sat there, while I (the only woman) was spewing out ideas and obviously giddy. One of the guys asked me how I knew so much about super heroes. Yeah. It’s kind of sad. And yet, I felt more sorry for him not knowing, since the super hero sub genre of science fiction may be my favorite aspect. And one of the reasons I love the new show Heroes (and The 4400) so much… ordinary people having extraordinary abilities.

Anyway, this got me thinking about…
Thirteen Reasons Why I love Super Heroes:

1. Super Powers and Special Abilities. What’s a super hero without cool powers? (No, Batman doesn’t have super powers, but he does have a powerful mind and cool gadgets.) My favorite powers are usually the most useful ones like flight, telekinesis, or teleportation.
2. Fun Adventures and Fights. What good are heroes without a story?
3. Character and Morals. People joke that Superman is a Boy Scout, but he’s the ultimate role model. Some people may like super heroes that are fallible, but I want my heroes to have a higher moral code.
4. Ordinary People with a Higher Calling. At the heart of each hero, they’re still just people. And each as chosen to help people instead of using their gift in a selfish way. This really hits home with me. I need to be using my gifts for other instead of focusing on myself so much.
5. Costumes. Come on. What’s a super hero without a cheesy costume?
6. Secret Identity. A lot of heroes don’t have one, but I find it gives the hero a more human quality. And it gives them a feeling of safety when enemies are around.
7. Super Villains. The more powerful the bad guy, the more exciting the situations become.
8. Immortality. In the world of super heroes (and most of science fiction), no one stays dead forever.
9. Love Interests. Mary Jane, Lois Lane, Steve Trevor… most great stories have a great romance. And who can’t admit to having a crush on a super hero?
10. Origin Story. Every story has a beginning. And the origin stories are what shape the hero into who they become, and why they do what they do.
11. Theme Song. Spider-Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (heheh)… theme songs always give me a sense of excitement, as well as a feeling of nostalgia.
12. Merchandise. From t-shirts, posters, and novels, I have to admit… I crave it sometimes.
13. Attractive. That’s right. Just about every super hero is attractive and at peak physical condition. I mean, who would want to watch a slovenly, old man running around in tights? Not me. I’ll take Colossus and his bulging biceps any day.

What do you love about super heroes? And which is your favorite?

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