Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: Serpent's Storm by Amber Benson

In anticipation of Amber Benson’s signing tomorrow at Midtown Comics, last week, I picked up her new Calliope Reaper-Jones book, Serpent’s Storm. Then I proceeded to finish it within a few days.

I’ll admit with her first book, Death’s Daughter, it took me some time to really get into it. I don’t know if it was because there was so much information that needed to be given or something else, but while I like it, it didn’t wow me. It took a second reading for me to truly appreciate it.

With her second book, Cat’s Claw, I felt like I was popping in to see how an old friend was doing and catching up with her life. I guess because I was more familiar with the mythology, I was able to quickly get lost in the story.

Serpent’s Storm is a completely different story. This is not a quick “how are you doing?” This is “entering a convenience store to get coffee, only to find it’s being held up.” It starts off with a quick recap and update with our heroine, Calliope, and then BAM! You’re thrust directly into a story that is far darker and more twisted than the previous ones.

There is an epic feel to this story. People get hurt or die and there are betrayals. There are battles and help from unlikely sources. There’s love and broken hearts. There are also a couple of spicy sex scenes because no epic story would be complete without a few really good sexcapades.

What I love about this book is not only does Amber create a story that has a sense of largeness and could have easily spiraled out of control, but she keeps it tight and focused as Callie deals with every challenge and obstacle that is thrown at her in her clumsy, spazzy, fiercely determined, strong willed and oh so human way. Minus the special familial circumstances, Callie is someone we all know. And that is what makes her great.

What it comes down to is this – Amber Benson tells a great story. This is a story that will give you satisfying conclusions while leaving you wanting more. These are characters you can’t help but invest in. You want to follow them on their journeys and see where life takes them.

I don’t have a ratings system so let’s just say I give it two thumbs and big toes up and I can’t wait for the next book. 

Amber Benson will being signing Serpent's Storm with Anton Strout, who will be signing his book, Dead Waters, at Midtown Comics Downtown tomorrow at 1 PM. Come on down and say hi!

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Video Friday!!!

Good day, gentle readers. It's time for another installment of Video Friday. Today I'll be offering a smattering of the more amusing and interesting videos I've come across on the web.

Did you know a new Ben and Jerry's flavor was recently introduced? On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Wednesday evening, Jimmy debuted his flavor, Late Night Snack. It is a concoction of vanilla bean ice cream with a caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters. And just how did this come about? Last summer, Jimmy performed a musical tribute to the ice cream gurus with his "vocal group", Ladysmith Snack Mambazo. One thing led to another and ice cream magic was born.

Did you know Justin Bieber was on CSI? He played a most angry young man who eventually met with an untimely demise. But that's not the whole story. At least, according to some. Here is one man's theory on what REALLY happened.

How we handle rejection is one of the ways we can tell how one can handle life. Here a father shows his child a rejection letter. I think we can safely say this is one of the better ways to turn something unpleasant into something memorable.

Let's move on to something a little... darker. Dark side darker. We all know that Toyota commercial featuring the child dressed as Darth Vader. What if things were a little different? What if he really did have the power? Let's find out.

You've all heard about the Robocop statue that is going to be built in Detroit. Well, right before it was announced, the man himself, Peter Weller, made a statement to Detroit explaining why this needed to happen. It's because of this and the love and devotion of his fans that Robocop will watch over Detroit for years to come.

And finally, because I would like to leave you in the mood to get out and dance, here is a compilation of some of Sam Rockwell's finest dance moves. The man does like to move and thankfully, he does it well.

Fare thee well, gentle readers. Until we meet again.

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