Slaughterhouse Five

sh5 So if you’ve been following us here at Saviorgaming.blog, you may have seen a pattern in the book reviews I do: I love horror and fifties era books. Truth be told I’m not much for modern literature respectively, not to say their isn’t good reads out there ( but every modern feels like a landmine in a age where Fifty Shades runs supreme). I was inspired the 50’s- 60’s era of repressed literature when these kind of books were not only fiction but a ways to let things out, and I think a world as exposed by media and the internet, I wonder if we lost some power in our fiction as time goes on…but I’m here to review a book dammit so let us begin.

Slaughterhouse Five is Kurt Vonnegut’s World War 2 strange opus of Billy Pilgrim as a P.O.W, plane crash survivor, alien abductee, optometrist and the revelations of time and space brought onto him by the Trefladorians (my apologies on the botched spelling). Both a fascinating non linear story with dark comedy, sad moments and well done characters. For a story as unconventional as this, it flows really well and though it drifts sporadically, it isn’t hard to follow. I seriously couldn’t put this book down. I read it in the span of a couple days and got me back into reading after a long hiatus. If you are looking for a unique classic that will make you laugh, scratch your head, and ask some questions bout time, sanity, and the horrors of war, definitely pick this up.

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Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

redlantern So we’re one step closer to Blackest Night with the first of two preludes to it, introducing us to Atrocitus as the leader of the red lanterns as well as the introduction of Saint Walker and the re-emergence of the Star Sapphires, while giving you a Easter egg of Larfleeze at the end (tune in next time for his crazy ass). To refresh our memories, in Green Lantern: Secret Origins we learn Atrocitus is a infamous murderer with a group called the Five Inversions obsessed with slaughtering the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe for the Manhunter’s galaxy wide massacre that killed Atrocitus’s family. In Secret Origins, Jordan and Sinestro defeated before he could kill William Hand. Well, our story begins right after Sinestro Corps War ends, Sinestro is awaiting execution in a Green Lantern Sciencecell, while the Guardians deal with the consequences of releasing the power rings nonlethal protocol. When Green Lantern Laira searches out a certain member of the Sinestro Corps and murders him in cold blood, the Guardians order the formation of a new subdivision within the Green Lanterns called the Alpha Lanterns, hybrid soldiers of lantern and Manhunter, to keep the regular lanterns in check. Laira flees only to have her ring replaced by a new, sinister that replaces her heart with boiling rage. Forged by blood and hate the red lanterns emerge and strike at the green and yellow light, Atrocitus yearning revenge on the legendary defenders who beat him years ago. So Hal Jordan and Sinestro must band together with the mysterious blue Saint Walker, who teaches them green and yellow are no longer the only lights in the universe, the spectrum has shattered and others are coming…

atrocitus  Again, like with the last book, this Should not be your first step into the world of Green Lantern. If you didn’t read SCW, you are pretty screwed trying to follow. However, once again the writing by Geoff Johns is amazing and the art is violent and colorful. Fans of lantern will love this story centered around fan favorite Atrocitus, who kicks major ass as always. May the gaming gods bring you glory and “With blood and rage of crimson red ripped from a corpse so freshly dead together with our hellish hate WE’LL BURN YOU ALL- THAT IS YOUR FATE!” red lantern oath.

Lord of the flies

flies So this is a weird one, friends. Lord of Flies is a book that is both strange and deep, much like Animal Farm, showcasing the the evils that can spawn in the hearts of man without the threat of society’s consequence. During the dawn of WW2, a plane full of English boys crash lands on a island in the middle of nowhere. They are the only human inhabitants. Our character is Ralph, a carefree young lad transfixed with the promise of no grown ups and a island to explore. Soon he meets Piggy, a fat, asthmatic boy in glasses who acts as a thread to rationality to the story. Together they find a conch shell in the sand; Ralph blows on it to summon the others. Others come forth, including a band of black clad choir group led by Jack Merridew. Ralph and Jack, two of the oldest, old a vote to see who leads the group. Ralph is voted chief, while Jack takes point of leading hunters for food. The goal is simple: build and maintain a fire on top of the island and survive. Ralph quickly discovers the hardships of chiefdom- the fire isn’t easy to keep up, fear spreads among the little ones of a monster that lives on the island eating the children, and ultimately his tumultuous clashing with Jack, who slowly falls into madness and overthrows Ralph by violent force.

By itself Lord of the Flies is a hard book to classify; it exhibits pieces of psychological horror, parable like animal farm, and straight up adventure epic. It’s a very slow burn, but like many good stories of this kind, once the eerie and dark parts begin it escalates nicely. My favorite aspect is Jack’s slow descent into madness and how he throws away much of morality behind clay paint he wears, feeling disconnected enough not to be affected by the blood he starts enjoying spilling. I enjoy the grim look at man’s action without consequence. My only gripe is yes this is a slow ass burn and not even a big book. A lot of detail goes into the scenery and setting, much like the novel for The Shining which is fine but sometimes, ok more than sometimes, hurts the pacing. Absolutely worth a read if you ever wondered what a cross between Children of the Corn and Gilligan’s Island would be like.

Twilight

twilight Once upon a time, Torsten V was a 18 year old emo kid who actually found Twilight a fascinating book with a cool story and decent characters. Back then, I only had read a couple books on my own and I was in a bad place in life and, OK, the excuses are piling up on me, aren’t they? Well, Torsten V grew up, read more books, and learned the truth about Twilight- it sucks. Twilight is the story of boring ass Bella Swan who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. Forks is a small, rainy, boring town. She goes to school and there she sees the Cullens for the first time, a group of overly pretty, rich, pasty kids that are adopted siblings of the town’s Dr. She has Bio with Edward Cullen, a dude that looks at her like she hasn’t showered in week and hauls ass away from her the second the bell rings. Two days later, he talks to her and seems interested in her ordinary life. Couple days later she’s almost crushed by a skidding van (if only that’s how it woulda ended.) In a flash Edward appears and shoves the van back with ease, denting the side of it with his bare hand, disappearing into the distance again. Through her own personal investigation, Bella discovers Edward is a vampire, and how could she be safe with him- oh I forgot to mention it’s a love story.

Ok, I’m not going to 100% crap on the book. Yes- the characters are meh at best. Yes- the villain really has no meaning to the overall narrative and is more tacked on than Rhino at the end of Amazing Spider-man 2. Yes- Bella is a shallow character with no real past and willing to hurt her poor dad for a guy she met like a month prior. And YES- these novels are not particularly well written; no where 50 shades bad though. I will say the first person perspective is done believably; Bella is written to be a 17 year old girl of average intelligence, and that I can believe unlike other stories I’ve read in this perspective where the speaker and the character don’t match ( I once read a book told through the voice of a middle school drop out who reasoned shit and spoke like the bastard had a Phd. That kind of bullshit.) And debatable as it is, some of the vampire lore is interesting. I actually think it was cleaver to have there beautiful appearance aid in luring their natural prey. I like the idea of vampires building a lifestyle where they aren’t monsters and I feel like restructured it could lead to some good plot threads. As for the movie…you ever hangout with your friends, grab a pizza and some beer and watch a shitty movie for laughs? I bring you the twilight movie as a prime example. The effects suck, the acting sucks, the action at the end is just funny, but I admit the score is good. In fact the soundtrack ain’t bad, and I’m not even into that kind of music really. So did the twilight series murder vampires? Eh, it didn’t kill it but it stated the virus that did. May the gaming gods bring you glory and beware sparkly emo people…sigh.

Dracula

dracula1 Dracula…what can be said of the most legendary vampire and one of horror’s oldest and greatest icons that hasn’t been said? This harrowing and creepy novel has been adapted to several movies ranging from the greatness of Bela Legosi and Christopher Lee to the crap shoot that was Dracula 2000 and the awesome manga/ anime Hellsing, which kind of inspired me to write this review. The story is told through a series of letters, newspaper articles and journals either by the characters or pertaining to them in some fashion, which I thought was really cleaver for the time. For this review I’ m going to skip a direct synopsis because let’s face it, after watching several adaptations and then reading the novel, the plot seems cemented into the public’s mind one way or another: a Gothic manor in the mountains of Transylvania, an immortal bad ass rising from a coffin to do battle with men armed with torches, wooden stakes and garlic, and the names Harker, Van Hellsing, and of course Dracula feasting on the blood of the innocent. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would have; and good news  to all of the people like myself that have a hard time dealing with old English, the dialect isn’t as intense as many other books I’ve read from the time period. There are lags in the pacing but a great sense of atmosphere and tension. Dracula is far more OP than people give him credit, I mean shit dude, he can control werewolves. He’s more closer in ability to Alucard from the Hellsing manga/ anime series or the 2014 film Dracula Untold. Van Hellsing, despite what the 2004 movie with Hugh Jackman would have you believe, is not a expirenced monster-hunter but a wise physician and teacher. Still epic in his conviction and a great character. My only real issue is the ending is anticlimactic, especially after a well paced race against time, but I can let it slide. If you’re a upcoming writer like myself or want a great horror story, definitely worth a pick up…which I got to give a shout-out to my  Bestie for giving me the E reader I read it on a few years back, you were amazing as always:) may the gaming gods bring you all glory and god help me for my next review, for Dracula maybe the best of vampire stories, but next I cover the worst…gulp…

A Clockwork Orange

clkwk o bk I will never listen to my old droog Ludwig Van the same after this real horrorshow book and film. Whether you prefer Anthony Burgess’s telling in invented British slang or you want to get blown away by Stanley Kubrick’s trippy visuals and sound, A Clockwork Orange is a story both thought provoking, disturbing, and grim but beautiful. Clockwork is the story of a young ruffian named Alex and his band of droogs who enjoy mischief and chaos in a dystopian future Britain that thankfully never came to be. In fact, Alex is king of his own little world. His droogs follow his every whim, his parents don’t ask questions why he never goes to school, and everything he does gets a slap on the wrist. In one night they beat a homeless man, steal a car, and get into a giant gang brawl with their rival Billy-Boy, and end the night with some spiked “Milkako” (milk). But Alex isn’t just rage and the ol’ ultraviolence, his greatest love is that of Beethoven. Even when his droogs seem to want a change in the group dynamic, Alex doesn’t seem to care, he merely brings them back into line. But one night, one of their escapades goes wrong, a woman dies and Alex is left alone to suffer the consequences, betrayed by his friends. In prison, serving a twenty year sentence Alex discovers a new kind of experimental government treatment for violent criminals that will get him out in a matter of weeks. It uses a mix of violent imagery and audio to subliminal discourage acts of violence, causing feelings of intense pain. But when Beethoven is part of the program, Alex comes into a dilemia. Released back into a populace he misused, beat, and molested with no way to defend himself Alex truly learns the error of his ways as everything bites him in the ass.

Both movie and book are pretty similar with only some minor changes; the book has an additional chapter as an epilogue that carries the story farther than the movie does and Alex is a tad bit younger in the book, which makes some of the horrible things he does a little more disturbing but the movie has the iconic scene of “singing in the rain”. Either way, I love them both. It’s something I think everyone should experience at least once. So until next time, I’m Torsten V, your humble narrator.

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The Hellbound Heart

Hbh1 So because the Savior reviewed the iconic movie adaptation of Clive Barker’s disturbing romance novella, I figured I’d cover the lesser known novella, The Hellbound Heart. In a rare instance, Barker did the novella as well as direct the film adaptation which definitely shows. Both are very similar. Frank Cotton, a discouraged sexual deviant, sits in a candle lite room and toys with the ominous Lemanchard’s Configuration (or Lament Configuration), a beautiful, ornate puzzle box that once opened will call forth the seraphic Cenobites to bring him absolution and pleasure. Little does he know how subjective pleasure can be. Frank disappears and his house back in the states goes to his brother Rory, his beautiful but cold wife Julia, and his daughter (in the book their relationship is less specific and she never really refers to him as Daddy or father but rather implied) Kirsty. Rory is a kind, boring man. Julia is a prude who fantasizes about banging Frank, and the brief affair she had right before marrying Rory, and Kirsty is a normal teen girl who loves her dad and tolerates Julia. When moving, Rory scratches himself on a nail and that little bit of blood summons the horrible remains of Frank to find Julia and our plot begins. Julia needs to bring horny men to Frank so he can slaughter them and take there flesh to recover his flesh before the Cenobites find him. Desperate for zesty love Julia obliges. Kirsty, suspecting Julia of having an affair, follows her only to find the horrible truth and comes face to face with her skinned perverted uncle Frank. She manages to escape with her life, waking in a hospital with the box. She opens its and out emerge the Cenobites, not the angels we were lead to believe but gruesome, deformed creatures lead but a tall, colorless figure with a grid craved into his face and nails dug in that would be called Pinhead by fans for decades after. The Cenobites tell Kirsty they want to show her pleasure; she barters her life if she produce Frank. They agree, only sparing her if they can punish the bastard who fled them.

Hellbound Heart is my favorite love story; and it is a love story as well as a soap opera. The Cenobites are written to make you picture them as angels and are masterfully revealed not to be both in the opening and the third act. Clive Barker write Pinhead to have a fearsome, quiet presence reminding me a lot of classic Darth Vader, which is the best compliment I can give. Even in his later works, anytime Pinhead is involved, he gives the story a sense of dread and despair that only the best characters in horror can. It’s a short read, maybe 130-140 pages if that, so definitely pick it up for a good scare and stay away from old music boxes!

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