Friday, August 28, 2015

#CBR7 Review #24: Daredevil, vol. 1 by Frank Miller and Klaus Jansen

I have this problem. The problem is that I always want to get into more comic books but never know where to start (bruh, you know people who can probably help you with this). But I saw that this edition of Daredevil said “Volume 1” on it so thought that hey, maybe that would be a good place to start. What I realize is that this was the first run of Frank Miller at the helm for the character (the first half of the volume being predominantly in the drawing, the second half with more of Miller’s writing). From what I understand, many believe that the character of Daredevil really came into his own when Miller began working with him, so at this point of me jumping into the series, Matt Murdock was already established as Daredevil and had some history that required me to fill in some blanks along the way with what I already knew about Daredevil (from the show, other conversations, etc), or to try and come to other conclusions regarding his relationships with certain characters based on the present information given. At the very least, almost all of the issues included in this volume made sure to go over how Matt Murdock gained his abilities and became Daredevil so that we aren’t so out of the loop on that front.

In any case, this first volume of Miller’s work begins with Daredevil appearing in a few issues of The Spectacular Spiderman before jumping into Daredevil on his own. The volume overall largely deals with Daredevil against one of his biggest foes, Bullseye, as well as Kingpin, who is in a stage of returning to America after giving up his life of running the crime lords for some time. We also see the first appearance of Electra, and have some run-ins with The Hulk and other villains. The beginning of the volume seems to be a bit lighter in fare, with the second half becoming more dark, and in my opinion, more interesting.

Overall, it is a good run of issues focused on Daredevil, yet I did feel like I was just jumping into something just for a little stint in the middle. I think I need to either continue to read more in order to get more into it, or to pay more attention with where and when to start a run with an already established character (and particularly one that I already have an idea of in my mind as based on the Netflix show of the character, whoops).

[Be sure to visit the Cannonball Read main site!]

Monday, August 10, 2015

#CBR7 Review #23: Bitten by Kelly Armstrong

Another one from the pile my friend handed to me when I asked for book recommendations! And a pretty enjoyable read, too, given how much I like werewolves these days (*cough* Teen Wolf). But I once again fall into this problem that I’ve been having lately in regards to protagonists: they just aren’t connecting with me. That is not to say that I like nothing about Elena, the main character in Bitten. But, she just seems to flip flop a bit to the point where I’m not sure if certain things are in fact out of character or if I just don’t truly understand her in some ways and am therefore seeing them as such. That’s my problem, though, and I don’t think everyone would feel the same as me.

Bitten is about a woman named Elena, who is the only female werewolf in the world (special snowflake sirens screech in the distance!! she’s a hot commodity, y’all!). But let’s not get caught up in what initially made me roll my eyes. Elena has been living a pretty decent human life as a wolf without a pack for a while, but gets called back to her old pack life when some violent acts start to occur in the area around where her former pack lives. Elena falls easily back into this life, and there the internal struggle begins as she is faced with decisions regarding human versus werewolf life, and her new boyfriend versus her old werewolf lover, Clay, with whom she has so much history. The violence in the area around her old pack is related to the threat of some outside, pack-less wolves (“mutts” as they are called), which soon begins to threaten the lives of Elena and her wolf family (I mean, that’s basically what a pack is, right?).

I won’t go too much more into details, as it’s always fun when not too much is given away. But the story itself is bloody and intriguing, and the characters all seem to be quite colorful and interesting (if somewhat one-dimensional in the case of a few). All in all, it was enjoyable for a werewolf novel, and I am interested in reading the next in the series. There is just that issue I had with Elena herself throughout the book. Something about her didn’t resonate with me, but that’s okay, as it happens sometimes. Though I did picture her as something of a mix between Ronda Rousey and Natalie Dormer, which certainly helped in coming up with a picture of her in my mind.

At the end of the day, I might pick up another one of these books one day, as Armstrong has a pretty concise yet engaging voice in her writing. It just might not be the first thing on my list to continue with (I just have so many other things now that I need to read and/or continue!).

[Be sure to visit the Cannonball Read main site!]

#CBR7 Review #21-22: Introductions to Christian Theology

A joint review of:
- Christian Theology: an Introduction to its Tasks and Traditions by Peter C. Hodgson and Robert H. King, and the companion book of assorted readings, Readings in Christian Theology

I am currently undertaking an introductory course in Christian Theology, as a part of my school program of choice. And I made the mistake of doing it by correspondence after a few course cancellations, scheduling issues, etc. I am way in over my head, and I recognize that.

That being said, I thought that these introductory texts would help me get truly immersed in the subject, but as it is, I find them difficult to read, as I don’t have much of a religious background to understand some of the concepts. It is very in-depth as to a number of the major Christian doctrines and what is essential to the faith, but at times I felt like I needed a dictionary on standby to be truly able to digest the type of language used.

I will say, however, that many of the readings in the accompanying “readings” text are illuminating and helpful in coming to understand some of the different schools of thought present in Christian theology over time. They just often have a style of language that is a little difficult for me to connect with.

So all in all, this isn’t really a topic that I’m well versed on, and perhaps there is a better way to begin getting into Christian Theology than these texts. I’m sorry for continually reviewing my textbooks. I should stop that (even though I do continue to read them all in their entirety).

[Be sure to visit the Cannonball Read main site!]