If you know me, then you know I'm absolutely obsessed with Lord of the Rings. I watch the movies a few times a year and I used to read the books at least once a year. I haven't read them in a while, but I think it's overdue. So naturally, when I heard Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, Pippin Took and Merry Brandybuck from LOTR respectively, were developing a podcast together I had to subscribe.
I know what you're thinking. The Friendship Onion is an odd title. What does it mean? Well, like Ogres, Billy and Dom's friendship has multiple layers. During this podcast, they will be peeling back the layers and talking about the different aspects of their friendship from the set of Lord of the Rings to their personal lives.
I love Billy and Dom. They're great fun to follow on social media. Billy Boyd is hilarious and Dom Monaghan is inspiring. Having these two together on a podcast is such a delight. The first episode dropped earlier this week and I highly recommend you check it out if you love Lord of the Rings. They have already given some fun insight to what it was like filming that movie from their point of view. I'm excited to see what else they have in store!
If you want to check out The Friendship Onion for yourself, you can listen to them on your favorite podcast app OR you can check them out on YouTube. Right here, in fact. You can watch them eat Twinkies for the first time. I can't believe they've never eaten a Twinkie before. I hope you enjoy their podcast as much as I am. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite scene from Lord of the Rings is!
All across the country, Spirit Halloween stores have popped up. Which means, Halloween is right around the corner! My favorite holiday. It's the time of year to start getting creepy. Put out the Halloween decorations, watch scary movies, and read some horror books! And on that note, here's a few scary books I recommend you check out this year!
The Shining by Stephen King
This has become my all time favorite Stephen King book! I won't bother telling you the plot. Chances are, you know about it by now. If you've never heard of it, well, I have no clue what you've been doing with your life. Read it! The spooks stay with you for a while!
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The book is different from the movie in many ways. And maybe I'll do a post about that in the future. In the book, people have turned into true vampires. Robert Neville spends his days hunting vampires were they sleep. At night, they stand outside his home and antagonize him. There's something far creepier about them speaking and yelling Neville's name in the middle of the night. Great book. Creepy in many parts.
Last Call by Sean Costello
There are some scenes in this book that I can vividly remember like I had watched a movie. They're intense. It's about a serial killer named Bobcat who likes female victims and a fascination with their teeth. It's a creepy story that you'll love!
3AM by Amy Cross
Don't answer the knock at your door at 3AM. Just don't do it. There's ghosts in this book and it's all about a haunted apartment complex and one woman's search for her missing Aunt. It's wonderfully crafted and creepy.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
One of the best horror stories of all time. If you don't know what Dracula is about...I don't even know how to finish that sentence. It's such a creepy book and Dracula is such a great villain. And I would highly recommend checking out the prequel book Dracul written by Bram's great grand nephew and J.D. Barker. I do no recommend the sequel he wrote, Dracula The Undead.
Flash!, Bang!, and Boom! by Roxie Prince
Alright, these are three books. That's cheating. But, they are all collections of flash fiction pieces so if you read all three, it's like reading one large book? Wait, this is my list. I don't need to justify myself. These stories are great and many of them will stick with you for a long time. And don't take my word for it. The No Sleep Podcast thought they were spooky enough to include one in their show! Trust me, you'll love the spooks from these books!
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Some college students decide to go on an adventure in Mexico and find themselves stuck on some ruins with evil vines. The vines are alive and attack and eat people. As long as the vines stay on the ruins, the world is safe from them. But these kids aren't. It's a gruesome tale. If you like dark horror, this is for you!
The Resort by Bryce Gibson
The plot is somewhat similar to The Ruins. So, if you liked that, you'll like this. Something strange is going on at Mackenzie Walker's family owned resort island. Some teens on the island are dead and something evil is killing them. Mackenzie takes in on himself to hunt down the thing responsible. A great and creepy tale!
Those are some great books that will leave you feeling creeped out, scared, and horrified. And if you're looking for something by me, I would recommend Getaway and Echoes of the Past. My two horror related books. Getaway focuses on a family torn apart by murder, betrayal, and adultery while on a family trip. Echoes of the Past follows Sasha's desperate attempt to rescue her daughter from a town gone mad. Any book on this list would be a perfect addition to your Halloween season read. Trust me!
Have you read any of the books above? Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of them. Have some spooky book recommendations of your own? Let me know!
Hello there readers!
Recently, I read the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I thought it would be fun to give a brief run down of the book versus the movie. Now, if you didn't know, the book was written by Ian Fleming. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he also created another classic character. None of than James Bond. Yeah, I know. Weird. The man responsible for one of the most violent, action packed, spy thriller series of all time also created a children's book about a sentient car.
Let's dive into the book vs the movie. There may be spoilers ahead. Although, we're talking about a book published in 1964 and a movie made in 1968. If you haven't checked out either by now, you probably weren't going to. Am I right? Either way, let's jump in.
So, for those of you who have seen the movie, you know it's a musical. Well, guess what? So is the book! Nah, just kidding. That makes no sense. Of course, the book wasn't a musical. But other than the name of the car being Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the family name is Potts, there's really not much the same about these two pieces of media.
In the book, Professor Potts has just invented a new type of candy that whistles while you suck on it. They make a good portion of money and decide to buy a family car. He decides to buy a wrecked junker and fix it up to save money. When they get it home, professor Potts works to restore the car. Only, he doesn't recognize a lot of the gears in gadgets under the hood. Wait, Fleming was British. Maybe I should say bonnet? Whatever. He fixes up the car and she's as good as new. The family decides to take a picnic in the new car but get bogged down by traffic. No worries! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the rescue! She flashes an indicator that calls the professor stupid and tells him to pull a lever, which he does. The car then starts to fly. They land on an island out in the ocean away from everyone else and enjoy their picnic. But when everyone falls asleep and the tide comes in, they fear they will drown. But again, Chitty to the rescue! Another lever and she becomes a boat. So, Professor Potts, being the responsible father and husband that he is, decides they should drive to France!
Once there, they drive up into a cave and realize it might belong to some smugglers as there are booby traps of sorts. But they drive through them and get to the exit, only to realize this cave belongs to a dangerous mob boss. Once again, Potts shows us what a good father he is and asks his children to gather up dynamite from the mob boss' stash and the proceed to blow the whole place up. As you can imagine, the mob boss gets kind of angry over this and ambushes the family. Of course, Chitty helps them escape and they decide to spent the night in a hotel. Note, still hasn't called the police. But hey, who's judging?
In the middle of the night, the children are kidnapped but Chitty once again saves the day. She tracks the children on a sort of radar and wakes up Potts and his wife. They fly over the city until the find the children, who are being forced to help rob a candy store, and confront the bad guys. Eventually, Potts and his wife rescue the children and the bad guys are arrested and everyone is happy. The End.
If you've seen the movie and never read the book, you're probably a little confused. Where's the island where children go missing? Where's the evil child catcher? What about how in the movie, it's all just a story and not even real? Yeah, book isn't like that at all. If you haven't seen the movie, which you should, it's almost nothing like the book. Potts is a widower and meets a woman named Truly Scrumptious, which is a nod to the ridiculous names Fleming would give to female characters in Bond books, and he takes them out for a picnic in his car. When the tide comes in and strands them all on the beach, Potts tells everyone a story about a car that can turn into a boat, fly through the sky, etc. They fly to a kingdom where happiness is illegal and children are imprisoned.
It's an incredibly different story from the book. If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I recommend you do both. They are both great stories on their own. It was fun reading the book and seeing just how different everything was. I really can't tell which one I liked more. The movie will always hold sentimental value to me. It's one of the first movies I watched with my grandmother and was my favorite movie as a kid. The book is a cute tale and I'm glad I read it.
But what do you think? Have you seen the movie but never read the book? Let me know in the comments below!
This past week, I took a trip with my family to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was a family trip and not any sort of research for an upcoming book. Although, there is much inspiration to be had in Tennessee. Such a beautiful place. But I thought it would be fun to talk about a few of the highlights of the trips. If you know me or have been following me for a while, then you know I love camping and hiking. We did a bit of hiking so I definitely want to talk about some trails. Oh, and if you want to hear a brief story about a paranormal experience I may have had, sign up for my monthly newsletter or Patreon page. Only places you will find that story!
First thing I'll talk about is our brief stay in Senoia, Georgia. We stopped and stayed over night to help break up the drive. And to visit one of our favorite small towns. It doesn't hurt that it was the backdrop for Woodbury in AMC's The Walking Dead. We've visited a few times but there's always something new and exciting to see. And since it's an active filming location still, there's new stuff popping up all the time. Fans of the show would recognize Alexandria which is right across the street. I'll share a few photos at the bottom of the post that you can sift through.
Of course, the real trip started when we got to Tennessee. You could see the Smoky Mountains from our cabin and the view was incredible. In fact, the whole cabin was incredible. I call it a cabin for lack of a better word, really. The first night, we looked up at the stars and I broke out the telescope to view Saturn and Jupiter. The night sky is so much darker up there than Florida so it was amazing.
Let's move on to some trails. The first trail we hiked led to a place called Cataract Falls. Not sure the story behind this naming but I bet it's a funny one. The waterfall was a cool sight to see and we were able to climb a few rocks to get a close look. We also hiked a place in North Carolina called Clingman's Dome which is the highest point in the Smokies. A trail called Gatlinburg Trail. And one of my favorites, Metcalf Bottoms Trail.
Metcalf Bottoms Trail wasn't a long hike. About 1.5 miles round trip. However, it was up a mountain and back down. So it was uphill both ways. That will be funny in a second. At the end of the trail is an old wooden school house and cemetery. The school house was built in 1881. We explored a bit and realized you were allowed inside. Which was great because it started to rain so we took shelter until it stopped. While waiting, we learned that kids used to hike the very trail we had used to get to and from school. Which means, there really are people who can say they used to walk to school uphill, both ways.
If you've ever been to Gatlinburg, you know it's a tourist city with lots of giftshops and touristy things to do. We didn't spend the majority of our time here but we spent a good amount there. It helps that my wife and I have been to Gatlinburg a couple of times already. One thing that was really fun was taking a ski lift up the mountain to a little mountaintop park. We had some drinks and enjoyed the amazing views before heading back down.
There was so much we did on this trip that I couldn't possibly sit here and talk about it all without boring you to tears. Everything from enjoying a camp fire to laying out on the ground to watch a meteor shower. It was a fun trip and a great way to get away from everything that's going on right now. I highly recommend taking a trip up there if you haven't already! And who knows, maybe there will be a book based in the Smokies coming soon!
SONG WAS NOT IN THE BOOK 1/5 STARS
Just kidding. I recently read the first book- or more like the .5 book?- in The Witcher Series. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. After watching the Netflix series and loving it, I wanted to dive in to the world of Geralt and see how things panned out in the books. I must say, I wasn't dissapointed.
If you've seen the show, then you would recognize most of the tales in this book. It's made up of short story collections featuring Geralt and his quests. Much like the show, it shows Geralt going from town to town as he earns coin for killing monsters. Basically, this first book is the first season of the show. Minus the ending which really gets the plot rolling for the next season.
But enough about the show. Lets talk about the book. It's a very fun read. Geralt is a bad ass. He talks a lot more in the books than he does in the show, which is one of the major differences. It's very fun to read these tales after watching the show. I have a conundrum now. Do I read the next books before the second season? Or do I read them after? Tough call. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Hello there and happy Tuesday.
Today, I thought I would share 3 of my favorite horror related YouTube channels. If you like scary videos, abandoned places, ghost hunting, and horror movies then you'll love these 3 channels. So, let's get started, shall we?
3. Slapped Ham
Alright, so Slapped Ham doesn't exactly sound like it's a YouTube channel for anything spooky. However, this is a channel filled with creepy and unexplained videos from around the internet. It has everything from creepy Cryptid sightings to creepy security cam footage to keep you up at night. If you're a bit skeptical like me, you'll still enjoy the channel as a lot of the videos are creepy even if they are fake. The real chilling videos are always the ones involving real murders that have gone unsolved or the last known footage of people before they were kidnapped. Those are spooky for sure.
2. Crypt TV
If countdown and list videos aren't your thing and you would prefer to watch horror shorts then Crypt TV is the channel for you. They have a lot of shorts that are all horror related. And the budget/production value of these shorts are amazing. With 3.2 million subscribers, it's not hard to see why. I wouldn't be surprised if they become a full fledged movie studio production one day.
1. Amy's Crypt
Normally in these blog posts, I put these things in no particular order. Just because one channel makes it to number 1, doesn't make it my favorite. However, in this case that's not true. Amy's Crypt is absolutely my favorite horror related YouTube channel. Amy's Crypt follows adventurer Amy as she explores haunted and sometimes abandoned places. She shares the history of the location and even performs paranormal investigations. I think the reason she comes in as my favorite channel is her skepticism. I've seen plenty of paranormal investigation channels who hear one little click from a room and scream ghost and run for their lives. While this might entertain some, I find it ridiculous. Amy's Crypt, however, does not do that. Even when she seemingly has solid evidence of something paranormal, she's quick to express it was probably something else. I share the same mentality and attitude when thinking about the paranormal so I love watching. Plus, the history and abandoned places she adventures to at night are creepy in their own right! If you're a history buff, lover of urban exploration, or the paranormal then this channel is right for you!
Those are my top 3 favorite horror related YouTube channels. Do you have one not on this list? Please, let me know in the comments below. I always love discovering new YouTube channels. And if you are looking for more horror YouTube in your life, give the 3 channels above a subscribe and don't forget to check out my YouTube channel Books by Bond which is the home of my new narrated horror story show Terror Tube. You can check out my latest video below.
It's the end of 2019, which means it's time for me to look back on all the books I read this year and pick my 5 top favorites. This year, I managed to exceed my Goodreads goal by 1 book. I read a total of 25 books and I'm happy with that. But picking only 5 out of those will be incredibly hard. I read a lot of great books this year. I also started reading the Harry Potter books for the first time. However, none of them will make this list because I have a post planned for all the books together. So look forward to that. But here are my top 5 favorite books that I read in 2019.
5. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark By Campbell Black
I may be biased here because I love Indiana Jones so much but this book was so much fun to read. And for any fan of the movie, it helped to get inside the character's head and learn a little bit more about the things that happened off screen. It was the first book I read in 2019 and it helped to kick off the new year in a good way.
4. Bang! Vol II By Roxie Prince
Roxie Prince has become one of my favorite authors of all time and a good friend. Yes, that's right, I'm friends with the author! How cool is that? Prince has 3 volumes of flash fiction horror pieces out and Vol II was amazing. One of her flash fiction pieces was featured on the popular No Sleep Podcast, so you know it's creepy and good! If you haven't read a book by Prince, you need to go read one right now! Especially her flash fiction books. They're quick stories you can read on the go. Perfect for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to read.
3. Hangman by JC Gatlin
I should start off by saying this book was incredible. And yes, the author is also a good friend of mine. And I'm not just trying to promote my friends here. They happen to be friends and amazing authors. Besides, these are my top 5. So I can pick whichever I want! Hangman was such a fun read and I literally couldn't put it down. I had to know who the killer was. I thought I had it all figured out right up until the very end. Turns out I was completely wrong. If you love a good murder mystery, suspense novel then you'll love this book. Definitely should be added to your reading list!
2. Thanos: Titan Consumed by Barry Lyga
I listened to this audiobook while on the road to book events and conventions. It was so cool hearing more of Thanos' back story and learning more about him. While reading the book, you completely forget about the monstrous villain he becomes in Infinity War and you actually grow to like him. If you're a huge Marvel movie fan, like me, then you'll love this book!
Before we get to number 1, I'd like to shout out a couple of honorable mentions. These would be books I really enjoyed but couldn't fit them in my top 5. Nether Isle by Nicoline Evans. A fun story about ghosts and the island they try to control! Awakened by James Murray from Impractical Jokers. An exciting sci-fi read that makes you want more. Last we have, Supernatural Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido. If you love Sam and Dean Winchester, you'll love this book.
1. Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker
I wasn't a huge fan of Dacre Stoker's Dracula sequel so I was a little apprehensive to read his prequel novel. However, I was not disappointed. This was such a great book that really kept the style from the original alive with a new twist. I loved the characters and learning more about Bram Stoker's life, even if it was between fictional story telling of his mixing with vampires and Dracula. If you're a Dracula fan, you're going to like this book.
So, those were my top picks of the books I read in 2019. I'm looking to reading even more books in 2020. Did you read any of the same books as me this year? If so, let me know in the comments below. And if you plan to pick any of these titles up because of my reviews, let me know that too! I'd love to talk with you about any of these amazing books!
First and foremost, welcome to the new and improved Bond's Blog! What's different, you ask? Well, the banner for starters. I hope you like it. I do. That's me as a Funko Pop on the right hand side. I'm also changing up what this blog will be about. It's going to cover book reviews, info about my writing and my books, and, occasionally, my outdoor adventures. There might be some other things here and there but this should be the format going forward. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Moving on, let's get into the review. I finished reading the first Supernatural book in the series at the beginning of February. I'm definitely a Supernatural fan. Which means, when I found out there were books as well, I had to start reading them. I'll keep this review spoiler free for those who haven't read it.
The book takes the Winchester brothers to New York. While there, they handle two cases. A haunting in the house they're staying in and murders modeled after the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The haunting was a lot of fun to read because the author puts the reader in the mind of the ghost. It's an interesting perspective and good for a couple of laughs. The Poe murders are a bit odd, even for Supernatural. It might not be the best case the boys have ever come across but it was still a fun read.
As for the characters, Sam and Dean Winchester, they were great. I really felt like the author captured their personalities well. I could hear their voices clear as day while I read and could even picture them. The author did a good job bringing the two characters to life on the page, which can't be an easy task considering the Winchesters are complex characters.
If you're a Supernatural fan and can't get enough of the Winchesters, you won't be disappointed by this book. Pick it up and give it a read. If you're watching the show live, it's a great way to hold yourself over between season breaks. And it's pre-Castiel and Crowley days. So, it's interesting to go back and see how different the boys were back then.
I'll continue to read the Supernatural books this year and I'll be sure to post my review for each as I go. Hopefully you enjoyed this review and maybe you'll pick up the book for yourself. Have you read any of the Supernatural books? Or maybe you plan to. Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and remember to keep wandering, just not alone.
Recently, I finished reading the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The book is based on the original screenplay so it's relatively close to the movie. I should start out by saying I friggin loved this book. But, Indiana Jones has always been my all time favorite on screen hero, so I could be biased. However, I read through this book in only a week. I didn't want to put it down. Here's my review of the book. Note, there will be spoilers. But you should have seen this movie by now!
Let me start with the differences. There are a few and whenever they happened it always made my heart sink for just a moment. For example, after Marion and Indy decide to join forces, after her bar burns down, she tells Indy she's going with him. In the movie, it's one of my favorite lines. "I'm your god damned partner!" She yells, holding up the medallion. This line doesn't exist in the book. I know, trivial but I still miss it. Of course, Indy's famous line "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage." Also doesn't exist in the book. Again, not that big of a deal. Just very iconic lines. The scene in which Indy takes the RPG and threatens to blow up the Ark is slightly different as well. In the movie, he's up on a cliff pointing down, threatening to blow it back to God. In the book, however, he gets right up in Belloc's face with the thing and threatens to kill them all. As you should already know, in the movie Belloc calls his bluff. It's a pivotal scene where we learn a lot about our favorite whip wielding hero. In the movie, he's jumped by German soldiers and forced to give up.
There's also some answers given in the book that aren't in the movie. For example, Indy knows not to open his eyes after they open the Ark. In the movie, he just shouts at Marion. Telling her to not look. But we're left wondering why and how he knows that. Before you say anything, I'm aware there's a deleted scene which explains this but since it's not actually in the movie, hush! The book includes the scene in which Indy has the medallion translated which warns to not look upon the contents of the Ark or die. Later on, Indy remembers this and tells Marion to shut her eyes. However, this next scene does not have a deleted scene and it's always been a question of mine. How did Indy get to the island in the first place? I'm aware he hitched a ride on the German submarine but how, exactly? Did he sneak around inside? Did he stand on top while they drove it above water to the destination? Well, it turns out, he ties himself to the periscope with his whip. The sub descends but leaves the periscope just out of the water, allowing Indy to ride to the island in peace. He even takes a nap!
Getting inside Indy's head is great. It brings a lot of the character to life in a different way from the movie. We learn a little bit more about him and he feels even more real. If you're a huge fan of Indiana Jones, like me, you will not be disappointed by this book. Definitely give it a read! Later this year I will be reading Temple of Doom and Last Crusade as well. So look out for my reviews for them as well.
Also, I have some exciting news to share with you. I'm now an affiliate of Amazon.com. Which means, if you sign up for Audible by clicking the banner below, you will be supporting me directly and allowing me to continue writing, reading, and leaving reviews. And audible is great. You get two free books when you sign up and every month they give you a credit for a free book. There's so much to listen to on Audible! You won't regret signing up. Click on the ad below and use booksbybond-20 at checkout! Thanks for reading and remember to keep wandering. Just not alone.
Let me start by saying, I didn't read as many books as I would have liked this year. My Goodreads goal was 24 and I came in at 20. Pretty close, though. But of those 20, I do have a few favorites that stood out to me so I thought I would share them with you today. So, let's get into it, in no particular order and spoiler free, of course.
5. Origins by Dan Brown
I guess we'll start with the mainstream title. Ever since The DaVinci Code, the Robert Langdon books have been hit or miss with me. I didn't care too much for The Lost Symbol. Inferno was pretty entertaining but I felt as if these books were missing something the first two had. Angels & Demons and The DaVinci code made bold statements about religion and science. I felt that statement was lost on the others. Then enters Origin. I won't spoil anything about the ending but I will say Dan Brown explains religion and science in such a beautiful way which happens to mirror my own thoughts. Nothing might ever be as good as the first two but Origin sure as hell came close!
4. Brimstone Hustle by Robert McKinney
I discovered this book while browsing a self-publishing Sub-Reddit page. I'm glad I did. This book was a lot of fun to read. I won't sit here and tell you it was my favorite book of the year but it was a lot of fun. The plot centers around a woman who is able to "teleport" anywhere in the world she wants by taking shortcuts through Hell. The idea was original enough to catch my attention. Of course, she uses this power to get payback on an individual and I won't say much more than that. It's the first part in a series and I really should get down to reading the rest. My only complaint, which could be squashed with the sequels, is the power could be used for so much more than your regular thriller story. But still a fun read.
3. Glass Girl by Jessyca Thibault
Poetry is not something I normally read, however, I discovered Jessyca on Instagram a while back while she was doing a free promotion for her first book Doll Eyes. I found myself unable to stop reading and finished it in one sitting. Same with her follow up book Glass Girl. If you like poetry, you must give her series a try. I enjoyed them so much because it wasn't just a collection of poems but a window into the soul of another human being. It allowed me to take stock of things in my own life and try a new perspective. And with so many horrible things in this world and all the hate, opening your eyes to another person's experiences is something we need more of. And Jessyca does this well. She's a talented author with a bright future ahead of her!
2. The Ruins by Scott Smith
Although I didn't find this book as scary as many others have, I still enjoyed every second of it. A group of backpackers on a vacation in Mexico find themselves trapped on top of an ancient ruins site where the vines literally come to life and the locals won't let them leave. The book is dirty and visceral at times but for all the right reasons. I never looked at any character as heroic nor villainous. You could feel the desperation in every choice they made and you could almost feel the utter exhaustion they felt as well. A well crafted tale of horror.
1. The Resort by Bryce Gibson
It was a tough choice between this and Gibson's other thriller, The Reading Buddy. Both were excellent reads full of suspense and death. In the end, I had to give it to The Resort. There's not much I can say about this book without giving anything away. But I can tell you the main character Mackenzie Walker works on an island with his parents running a resort. When college students come for spring break and one of them winds up dead, Mackenzie gets pulled into a whirlwind of happenings and learns there's something terrible inhabiting the island. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out what it is. I promise, it's worth it.
Well, there you have it. My top 5 picks of the year. I definitely will be attempting to read more books next year than I did this time around. What were some of your favorite books? Have you read any on my list? Or do you plan to read any of these? Let me know in the comments below.
Recently, I finished reading the book The Ruins by Scott Smith. There was a movie made about ten years ago based on the novel but I had never watched it. So, I thought this would be one of those rare moments when I would get to read the book first and watch the movie second. I'm always finding out movies are based on books after I've already watched it. I figured I could drop my opinion on the book, the movie, and how they compare. Cause the internet doesn't have enough opinions about things already. And don't forget, there may be spoilers here. You've been warned.
First, let's start with the book. I actually loved it. It wasn't as scary as some have made it out to be. Don't get me wrong, if I was on a hill in Mexico with a sentient killer vine that could imitate noises, voices, and eat human flesh, I would pee my pants and let the Mayans guarding the place kill me. But reading about it wasn't as scary an experience as I thought it would be. I loved how dark and gritty the book was. No one came off as the hero. No one came off as better than anyone. They were all scared, they were all unsure of their actions. And yes, the book is graphic but not for the sake of shock. Instead, it's primal. You get the real sense that these people are trapped on the hill and you feel dirty yourself. It puts you in their shoes. You can feel the dirt and grime sticking to your skin. You can almost choke on the fumes from human waste. It's graphic but necessary to the story. And the ending was great. No one gets out alive. I couldn't imagine a better ending.
Alright, let's move on to the movie. It starts out with a woman all alone in a dark place. She's crying out for help when something drags her into the darkness. Then, cut to our main characters enjoying life in a Mexican beach resort. Everything moves pretty quickly. They decide to take a trip out to some Mayan ruins with a man they met about an hour ago. The quick pace is actually a good thing, though. We don't need a lot of build up. The movie is supposed to be about the ruins and the killer vines. Not college kids in a beach resort. Naturally, they get warned not to go there but they go anyway. The moment they see the ruins, everything happens fast. The Mayans guarding the place come out of the trees and yell at them. Once they touch the vines, they realize they aren't allowed to leave, thanks to the Mayans killing one of the group. The pacing of the movie is pretty fast without a lot of down time. Again, not complaining here. My one complaint is of the characters. They don't feel fleshed out or realistic. Just expendable kids on a summer vacation. In the end, one of them escapes. Not a fan of that ending for this particular story.
Last, let's examine how I feel about the movie when compared to the book. At first, it starts out almost exactly like the book. The Mexican resort, the meeting of Mathias, the Greeks and everything. Though, the movie version doesn't introduce the Greeks at all. They are nameless figures in the background. I understand books have more time to introduce characters but the movie doesn't even make an attempt at this. You would hardly even know they were Greek if not for a quick one line by another character as they walk up on the group at the beach. The group arriving at the ruins is relatively the same just much quicker. Again, this makes sense as the pacing of the movie was much faster than the book. Considering the book had over three hundred pages to tell the story and the movie only has about an hour and a half, it makes sense. So I understand the pacing. What's weird, though, is all the changes made to character's fates. For example, Dimitri (called Pablo for most of the book because they don't know his real name until later) gets killed by the Mayans in the movie and Mathias falls down the well and breaks his back. In the book, it's Dimitri(Pablo) who breaks his back and they care for him for most of the book before he dies. Of course, this change may have had to do with pacing so I understand. In the book, Eric gets infected with the vine and goes crazy, cutting himself to ribbons before stabbing Mathias in the heart by mistake. In the movie, they give that part to Stacy and let her kill her boyfriend Eric. Jeff dies in relatively the same way in the movie and the book. The Mayans take him our for trying to escape in the book whereas in the movie he's merely a distraction to allow Amy to make a run for it. And this is the change I hated the most. Amy gets away. She runs to the Jeep and drives off safely. In the book, Amy is choked to death by the vine in front of Jeff but it's too dark for him to see. He simply thinks she's puking. I prefer the books ending where no one makes it out alive. Of course, in both the book and the movie, the Greeks show up to the ruins in the end. This ending makes sense in the books because we just witnessed our entire group die with no hope of escape. Now, we know what's going to happen to the Greeks. They have no chance. But following the movie's ending, we see there is a chance. The Mayans can be outsmarted. In the book, stepping into the vines meant certain death one way or another. The movie misses that mark and gives us a hopeful ending. Personally, I like the darker ending but that's just me.
Have you read the book or seen the movie? How about both? Which did your prefer and why? Let me know in the comments below. And if you haven't seen the movie or read the book, you really should. I quite enjoyed them both.
If you've been keeping up with my blog (first of all thank you so much!) then you know I'm currently reading through The Dark Tower series by Stephen King for the first time. I took a bit of a break between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla, parts IV and V respectively. Now, I'm back into them.
Currently, I'm a little ways into Wolves of the Calla Part V of the series. And wouldn't you know it? There's a cameo by good old Mr. Stephen King. I've made posts in the past like this before. Back in 2016 I mentioned how the first book The Gunslinger referenced the movie The Shining. I talked about what that meant for the universe. Read it here. In 2017, I talked about how part of Wizard and Glass made mention of The Stand. Check that out here.
Now, in Wolves of the Calla there's mention of a bookstore with an advertisement on a chalk board. Which author is featured on this chalkboard? None of than Stephen King. So, I'm confused. The universe where Jake and Eddie come from is the same universe as Stephen King and his books. Presumably, it's our universe as well. Stephen King exists in the universe where he invented things like The Shining, The Dark Tower, and The Stand. Do those books exists in this universe or is it some sort of weird parallel universe to ours where King is an author but some of his major books were never written, such as The Dark Tower series? Or, perhaps in this universe Stephen King has the ability to shine as well. Ugh!
My mind hurts thinking about this. But I must say, it's fun to think about. What do you think? Have you read The Dark Tower series? What do you think is going on? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading. As always, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Horror is one of those genres which, if done well, can really stick with you for a long time. There's a lot of horror books out there. Some are eerie, some are creepy, some are downright disturbing. But what truly makes a horror book amazing, in my opinion, is one you can remember years later and still get that uneasy feeling. And these four books definitely lingered with me for quiet some time. So, here they are. Four of my favorite horror books, in no particular order.
4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson's book I Am Legend was outstanding. It had everything a horror fan could ask for. Post apocalyptic society, vampires, desperate loneliness, and more. Plus, the vampires were real vampires, unlike the movie of the same name. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the movie sucked but the book was certainly better. There are still scenes that stick with me to this day. For example, there's a scene with Robert Neville trying to return home before the vampires come out for the night. He's behind the wheel of his manual car and his foot slips off the clutch and it stalls. There was so much tension in that scene. There are plenty more examples but I want to keep this spoiler free. If you haven't read I Am Legend, you need to!
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I'm sure you've read Dracula or at least seen one of the many movies inspired by the book. If not, you surely know his name. He's the king of all the undead beasts of our horror fueled nightmares. Dracula is cunning, charming, dangerous, and vile. This book sticks with me for many reasons but mainly because of its style. The book is written as journal entries from our hero Johnathan Harker and others at times. It was such a cool concept and original idea. It seemed to build the suspense over the entire novel. Plus, Dracula was much more than the simple villain movies made have made him out to be. In the book, he's far more dangerous and cunning. He's able to shape-shift into multiple forms, not just a bat. Some of them are utterly terrifying. I really feel for Jonathan and his fiance. There's a particular scene between Dracula and Jonathan's fiance Mina that was particularly unsettling. But I'll let you discover it for yourself.
2. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
I know what you're thinking. Evan, The Cask of Amontillado is a short story and not a book. To which I say, how are you able to interrupt me while I'm writing this? You must have the shine (from Stephen King's The Shining. Foreshadowing to the number 1?) Seriously, The Cask of Amontillado by Mr. Poe has to be my all time favorite story of his. Of course, there's the classics like A Tell Tale Heart, or The Raven (yes, I know that's a poem. Stop interrupting!), and The Pit and the Pendulum. But I can still remember this story clear as day from when I first read it in middle school. I can't say much about the story, for those who are about a hundred years late in reading it. Let's just say it centers around being buried alive. That is an utterly terrifying notion. In fact, it's been a while since I've read this story. I think I'll go read it now.
1. The Shining by Stephen King
Now that I've reread The Cask of Amontillado, let's talk about The Shining. (Seriously, I did go read it before finishing. Don't believe me? Follow me on Goodreads. You'll see!) Now, I know I said there was no particular order to these but I think I lied about the number one spot. The Shining has to be my all time favorite horror book and might even be my favorite King novel. The book is far more unsettling than the movie and there's plenty of scenes to get your paranoia flowing. One part in particular happens in the bathroom. Let's just say it took me a while to use the bathroom without moving the shower curtain first. Then there's a bit about a firehouse, an elevator, and just everything. Everything in this book is creepy and terrifying. It's amazing!
There you have it. Four of my favorite horror books and my number one favorite of all time. Are any on my list your favorites as well? If not, what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and remember, keep wandering. Just not alone.
No doubt, you have seen the movie Jaws. I mean, who hasn't? It's a classic movie with a concept that scared thousands of people out of the water. But, did you know it was based on a book? You did? Alright, well aren't you just so smart. Peter Benchley wrote the book Jaws and it was published in 1974. Clearly, I don't have to tell you how popular it became. But was the book any good? Well, yes and no. At least, in my opinion.
I read Jaws several years ago and have to say it completely captivated me. I finished it in one day. The characters were amazing and realistic. I actually found myself hating Hooper and Sheriff Brody's wife, Ellen. The thought of them in the book disgusted me. Which is an amazing testament to Mr. Benchley's writing style as he was able to evoke real emotion from me.
*Note, from here on out there will be spoilers for both the book and the movie. Swim at your own risk!*
I would highly recommend this book but suggest you read all the way up to the very end. Right up to when the shark attacks the Orca. Stop right there. Put the book down. And watch the end of the movie. That's where the book, at least for me, falls apart.
In the movie, there's the epic struggle with the shark as it destroys the boat and eats Quint, much like the book. However, Hooper was eaten by the shark the day before in the book. It's for the best. He was a dick. Of course, we all know Brody's famous line as he shoots the oxygen tank stuck in Jaw's jaws. (Was the shark named Jaws? I think someone should have named it Jaws. Makes sense to me) "Smile you son of..." KABOOM! Shark dead. Blood, guts, and blubbery debris rain down from the heavens. Cool, right? Well the book....well....it sucks. I just don't like it.
Quint's dead, Brody is floating on debris from the Orca. He peers into the water and sees the shark swimming towards him, mouth agape. He readies himself for death but suddenly....the shark dies. Yup. It. Just. Dies. You see, they had thrown several harpoons into the creature before hand and it only now succumbs to its wounds, just in time to not eat the main character.
Is it a more realistic ending? Yes. Is it an exciting one? No! To me, it felt like the author originally wrote an ending where Brody was eaten by the shark and continued on its way until it later died in the ocean, like many sharks before it. But then he had a change of heart and let Brody live. Which meant, having the shark die in the most anticlimactic way possible. Of course, the explosion wouldn't have been as impressive in the book but maybe we could have had something in between. You know, Brody jabs it in the eye for a final time with a spear and it dies. Would have been a lot better. For a book with so much built up conflict, it felt like the end puttered out. Ultimately, it was a great book but the ending was better in the movie.
What did you think? Did you read Jaws? Did you like the ending? Did you hate it? Let me know your feelings in the comments below! Thanks for reading and remember, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Podcasts are an amazing form of entertainment. If you've never listened to one, you should really think about giving them a try. There are literally thousands, if not millions, of choices out there. Everything from audio dramas to scientific discussions. It's pretty amazing. I listen to a lot of podcasts but I thought I would outline my top ten favorites for you. Note, these are just my personal recommendations and not in any particular order.
1. Welcome to Night vale
This podcast might be a little hard to explain. It's like an audio drama told from the perspective of a radio host for a local station in a small town known as Night Vale. Weird things happen in Night Vale but it's everyday life for the citizens. Cecil Baldwin, the narrator, breaks down the latest news of the town and outlines current events. It's a very fun show and the production quality is spectacular. I actually went to see one of their live shows last year and it was amazing. If audio drama and weirdness is your thing, you have to listen to Welcome to Night Vale.
2. Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories
Once I started listening to this show, I couldn't stop until I was caught up. The cases they discuss are all real murders which, to this day, have never been solved. The show gets its real character from the audio drama elements they borrow. The hosts, Carter and Wendy, outline details of each murder and in between the crucial parts of the stories are acted out by voice actors. Think of it like part documentary, part old time radio program. I've learned a lot about unsolved murders. Even ones I thought I knew so much about already.
If you haven't heard of Lore, you really need to look it up. It became one of my favorite shows after about one episode. The show has expanded too. It's now a show on Amazon Prime and even a book series. All of which are incredible. Basically, the show is narrated by the wonderful Aaron Mahnke and it outlines stories about lore and legends. Everything from ghosts possessing a child's doll to the hysteria of a town fearing vampires. Lore showcases the real stories surrounding the lore. The show is amazingly produced and the music is awesome. (Shout out to Chad Lawson) If you only listen to one podcast from my list, I highly recommend this one. Especially if you're into legends and history.
4. Sword & Scale
This is a true crime podcast. If you can't tell, true crime is one of my favorite subjects. Sword & Scale presents these stories in a fascinating way. Real audio is used to tell the story whether it be 911 calls, audio from court hearings, or even interviews with experts and eye witnesses. Basically, this podcast is not just a guy relaying a story into the microphone. Sword and Scale makes the stories come alive and become real. Which might make several of the cases much more disturbing. I will warn, some of the cases mentioned are highly disturbing, so don't listen if you're squeamish.
5. 60 Second Science
Have you wanted to listen to a podcast but don't have a whole lot of time? Then this show is perfect for you! Each episode is only a couple of minutes long and talks about current studies and stories in the scientific community. Think of it like hearing a brief news report about the latest scientific discoveries. Since it's only a few minutes long, don't expect detailed explanations but what they do explain is very informative. If you have a few minutes to spare, check it out.
6. Hostile Worlds
Speaking of science, this quickly became one of my favorites. I was hooked from episode one. It's part audio drama, part science documentary. Trust me, you won't be bored listening to this podcast. The hosts travel through space in a ship named the Tardigrade and visit planets and moons such as Venus and Titan. As they explore these alien worlds, they explain what it's like to explore these places in great detail. You might actually believe they are truly there. It's fun and educational.
7. The No Sleep Podcast
Do you love horror? Do you love audio drama? Then this is perfect for you. Each episode consists of several stories found on the No Sleep forum of Reddit. The voice actors portray the stories in true audio drama fashion. The sound effects are great and really add to the level of horror this show already provides. There are so many talented voice actors on this show it's ridiculous. It's by far my favorite horror podcast. Nothing can top it.
8. Serial Killers
I know, a lot of true crime in my playlist. But they're so good. Especially Serial Killers. It's under the same network as Unsolved Murders. Hosts Greg and Vanessa break down the motives and methods of different serial killers. Everyone from Ted Bundy to Elizabeth Bathory. They give facts about the case and even breakdown the psychological profile of each serial killer. I have learned so much about serial killers I thought I knew and even learned disturbing new ones. And, it has sparked a few book ideas as well. If you love true crime or the topic of serial killers in general, this is perfect for you.
9. American History Tellers
I am a big fan of history, always have been. American History Tellers breaks down American history one era at a time. It started off with Cold War and is currently explaining the days of prohibition. What's interesting about this podcast is it puts you in the shoes of someone living in that period. The listener is presented with stories and information about history which may have eluded them in history classes in school. I love hearing the true history of my nation. It's much better than the watered down versions so many schools introduce. History buffs should definitely sink their teeth in.
10. Thinking Sideways
This podcast is a little different than everything else on my list. The hosts present real life mysteries such as the Somerton Man Mystery or the Wow! signal and talk about the mysteries circumstances surrounding them. Near the end they give their own theories which sometimes involve aliens, jokingly of course. The three hosts, Devin, Joe, and Steve, have great chemistry and really engage the listener in these mysteries. Out of all of the the shows I listen to it's probably the least structured and scripted but that's what makes it so much fun. It's three people, in a room, talking about mysteries. You can't go wrong there.
These are just ten of the many podcasts I subscribe to and I'm always looking for more. If you have a suggestion from one of your favorite shows, drop a comment below. I will most likely subscribe and have a listen. Podcasts are a great form of entertainment and even education. With so many shows out there, it's hard to list only ten. I hope you enjoyed my list and hopefully you discover a new favorite show to listen to. Thanks for reading and, as always, keep wandering, just not alone.
As I've mentioned before, I'm currently reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King for the first time. It's a fantastic series and I'm really finding myself drawn into the world of the Gunslinger and company. At the moment, I am reading The Dark Tower IV, Wizard and Glass. There are minor spoilers ahead so read at your own risk.
After our heroes get off their ride through Mid-World with Blaine the Mono (who is a pain and that's the truth) they find themselves in Kansas, our world. Except, it's not really our world. Instead, they have found themselves in our world ravaged by a plague that has wiped out much of humanity. A plague nick named Captain Trips. This is exciting! It means our ka-tet has entered the world of The Stand!
Of course, I haven't finished reading the book yet so I can't be sure of anything but as of right now I'm excited! This means Stu, Randall Flagg, the Trashcan Man, and others are all in the same world right now. Will we get a cross-over with Roland and company with the others? Unlikely. But it's still cool to think the characters in this series are in the same world as one of my all time favorite books. It makes me wonder, what other easter eggs are there in these books? How many other references are there to his other works? I'm going to read on to find out.
If you haven't read Stephen King's Dark Tower series, you really should. I'm loving it so far. Trust me, you will too! As always, thanks for reading!
Alright, I literally just finished this book and had to hop on here and review it right away. I absolutely loved The Waste Land by Stephen King, the third book in The Dark Tower series. Admittedly, it took me longer to read than it should, but that's OK. I was able to relish in the story and the amazing characters that King brought to the pages.
First, we have Eddie and Susannah back as integral characters that aren't just there to question the gunslinger at every turn. By the end of the book, they are becoming heroes in their own right. The chemistry between these two characters is amazing and believable. It's been a fun journey watching their relationship bloom.
Of course, Roland becomes more relatable and human. In the first book, Roland came off as an arrogant jerk and I could have cared less about him. A main character who would easily sacrifice an innocent life to further his seemingly unobtainable mission seemed terrible. But now, Roland has learned, has grown from his experiences and seems to have established friendships with these other characters. It makes me root for Roland and want him to win.
A beloved character comes back and it's amazing having them in this book. I won't mention who it is as to avoid spoilers. But I loved it.
Last we have Blaine and he is a pain. That's the truth. Blaine is probably the most terrifying adversary the ka-tet come across in this book. He can't simply be beaten with a gun or a fist. It's fun to see how these characters react to him. Especially heroes known as gunslingers. They must use their wits instead of just fists.
When it comes to the ending, I expected a cliff hanger as there are more books in the series. What I could not have predicted, however, was how effective of a cliff hanger King would leave. I want to grab the next book and start reading this very minute!
All in all, this book was great. It moved slow at some points, but that's OK. Still an amazing read that has me excited for the next. I want to learn more about this world and the tower. On a side note, I believe the monster's from Stephen King's The Mist to be the same as the creatures briefly seen in this novel.
If you're reading the Dark Tower series and haven't made it to this book yet, hurry up! You will love it!
Like most people, when I find an author that I really enjoy I tend to read their other books. If I really like them, and they are within the genre that I love, I will create a shelf for them on my Nook. There's the "big name" authors like Stephen King and Lee Child that I have created shelves for. Now, I am pleased to say I'm adding Amy Cross as well!
So, I just finished reading Amy Cross' 3am. I am honestly glad I did not read this book near that time. Every little noise would have made me paranoid. I'm still waiting to wake up then and hear a knock at my door!
If you like horror, pick up this book. It follows a woman's desperate search to find her aunt who went missing in an apartment complex in London known as Marshall Heights. Megan shows up at her aunt's flat to find out what may have happened to her. Not finding any trace of her, she stays in her aunt's flat. The property manager, Michael Powers, allows her to stay there but warns her to stay inside and asleep at 3am.
I don't want to give much of the plot away so if you want to know what happens next, pick up the book. It's a quick read and I believe it's only .99 on Kindle and Nook. Totally worth it! I loved this book and can't wait to jump into more of her work! It was creepy and suspenseful and I couldn't put it down.
Now that I've settled nicely into 2017, I thought I would take a look back at 2016 and think on some of the books I read last year, maybe talk about my favorites. I will admit, I didn't read nearly as many books as I should have last year. I set my goal on Goodreads to only 12, which I surpased by 1. I would like to do a lot more reading than that, of course. Any way, here are my favorite books from last year, in no particular order mind you.
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Remember, these are not in any particular order. Having said that, I would say this was the best non-fiction book I read last year. It was fun an entertaining with just enough factual information to make you feel as if you learned something at the end. If you're not familiar with the book, it's a man's journey across the Appalachain Trail, which is a trail leading from Georgia to Maine and over 2,000 miles long. It's quite the accomplishment to hike its entirety. Bryson is accompanied by his buddy Katz who is overweight and a recovering alcholic. Despite some of the set backs, the two have a great time and enjoy their time on the trail. It's a great book for nature lovers and a great book for anyone interested in non-fiction.
2. Last Call by Sean Costello
I discovered a new favorite author last year. Sean Costello doesn't always follow the convential genres and writes either thriller novels or supernatural stories. It's nice to see an author break the known molds and give us more than one genre in their writing. His book Last Call was fantastic. It was a close race between this and his other book Squall. This ended up winning becuase the memorable characters. The killer was a psychotic and disgusting man whom you hated from the very start. The main character grows on you very quickly and you like her well before she gets caught up in anything. All you can do is sit there and beg the author not to hurt her while he takes you on a thrilling journey with an action packed ending. It was amazing to say the least. A book I will probably read again in the future.
3. The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
One of my all time favorite authors is Stephen King. I've been reading him since I was a young kid. I've always wanted to start his Dark Tower series and decided that last year was as good a time as any. The first didn't spark my interest as much as I had hoped but the second I just couldn't put down. It introduced more characters with plenty of depth and showed real suspense. I posted a blog with a full review if you're interested to read it there.
4. Compendium: A Horror Novelette by Roxie Prince
I "met" Roxie Prince through social media and decided to pick up her horror novelette. It was a short book, as the name suggests, and the reviews promised it was good. Let me tell you, they were right on! I enjoyed every single page. Even though the stories were short, you felt like you got to know several of the characters in them. You actually felt for them, you actually liked them. It's not easy for an author to make you love their characters in such a short amount of time. Then there were the stories themselves. They were different from anything else I had ever read before. In an age where zombies are everywhere (and I'm not complaining about that, really. I'm a big Walking Dead fan) you would think the monsters in this book would be dull and boring, being zombie like themselves. But that's not the case. These monsters are something more and very interesting and terrifying. You know what, you should just go read it for yourself.
5. The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher
This book had such an interesting concept. Basically, what would it have been like if the Nazis had won WWII? The Darkest Hour follows a police officer named Rossett who now works for the SS in the newly appointed "office of Jewish affairs". His job is to relocate Jews from their homes and board them on the trains. Rossett fought against the Germans in the war but when the Nazis won, he fell back in line and took orders. Since they were in charge, he took orders from them without question. Everything changes when he meets a young Jewish boy who was hidden in one of the houses he raided. Against his better judgement, he decides to rescue the boy and try to get him out of the country. I couldn't put this book down. The setting was amazing and the story was fantastic. Rossett was a character you hated from the beginning, knowing he was doing evil work for the Nazis. But as you learn his story and follow his journey you understand him and grow to love him. It was an exciting story and such a great historical twist!
Those were my top picks from last year. Did you read any of them? Have any thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.
Recently, as of yesterday, I finished reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three. Thought I would post my thoughts about it. So, here it goes! I will make sure to keep it spoiler free as well.
This book was incredible! I was a little worried about the series after reading the first book, as it did not draw me in like I thought it would. The Drawing of the Three drew me in nicely, pun intended, and was gripping to the last page. I didn't read it as fast as I wanted to, with the holiday's getting in the way, but I never wanted to put the book down. Wanting to see what Roland, Eddie, and Odetta/Detta would do next.
The story was very exciting and the characters were interesting, unique, and believable. I found myself rooting for Eddie in the end, having been unsure if I would like him or not. He really grew as a character. Odetta/Detta walker was interesting, to say the least. I expected to want her to die, but now I feel as if she is going to have a huge role to play in the next books.
The Drawing of the Three has me excited to start reading the next book in the series, The Wastelands. I hope I like it just as much, if not more. Have you read The Dark Tower series? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the books and as always, thanks for reading!
With The Dark Tower books by Stephen King finally being turned into a major motion picture, I thought it was time I dove into them. For years I wanted to read them and finally I am. In the second book, The Drawing of the Three, I came across an interesting easter egg that got my mind racing!
I'll make sure to keep it spoiler free for those of you who haven't read the series and are planning to. A character from a differen't world than The Gunslingers makes a reference to a very popular movie made by Stanley Kubrick. It was crazy because the particular movie he talks about is The Shining. That is, of course, a Stephen King novel!
What's the big deal with this? After all, King makes references to his other work all the time! 11/22/63 mentions Pennywise, The Dead Zone talks about Carrie's high school, and countless others. Well, this is different. Stephen King makes mention of the movie The Shining. This leads me to believe that Stephen King is alive and writing books in his particular universe!
Now, here's where I get a little confused. If Stephen King exists in the universe in which this particular character, Eddie, is from, does that mean Eddie is from our universe? Does that mean all of the other books King has written exists in their own universe? Is there a door in which Roland could step through and meet characters such as Johnny Smith, Carrie White, or even Christine?
And on a different note, from the first book, does that mean the boy Roland befriends is from our universe or King's? It seemed as if the boy comes from Eddies universe, which would be ours as well. When Roland stepped through that door he actually stepped into the real world, our world. The stories of The Shining are just books and movies. But the boy, Jake, is from the universe King created. That means he shares a world with Dale Barbara from Under the Dome and Danny Torrence from the Shining!
I'm sure this has all been talked about before. I'm a little late reading these books but I still found the concept fascinating. What about you? Have you read The Dark Tower books? What do you think about this shared universe concept? I'd love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading!
Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone. Sorry I'm a little late.I was busy yesterday and unable to update anything. I thought it would be pretty cool to share my Thanksgiving day with all of you and invite you to share what you did in the comments.
First, let me start off by saying what I'm thankful for. Obviously, for my family, for the little one on the way, and for their overall health. They help focus me on my writing and always striving to be better, for myself and for them. I'm thankful for the books I have read which inspired me to take up the craft for myself. I'm thankful for this beautiful world around us all and for the fact that I get to hike and camp in it as often as I do. And, of course, I'm thankful for all of you who help make my dream a reality. Without readers, I would be writing stories only for myself.
I'll do you the favor of skipping all the boring bits like me preparing the dish I would bring to my families house, or the drive over, or even talking with family. What I want to share with you was pretty fun and pretty cool.
My older step brother brought over a really cool piece of technology for us to try out. It's something I've always wanted to try and was very excited when I saw it. He brought with him the HTC Vive. If you aren't familiar with what that is, it's a virtual reality headset. It's one of the better ones on the market. It actually has censors which track your movements and give you a virtual box in which to interact with the games. There are also two hand held controllers that look like overturned ladles.
After watching countless family members have their fun with their VR experience, each of them trying a different game to keep it interesting, I finally got my turn. My step brother thought it would be cool to have me play a surgeon simulator game. It booted up and I was in a virtual room with an operating table in the center. If you've never experienced VR before like this it might sound a bit strange when I tell you it really feels like you're in the room. Yes, the worlds are animated so you know they aren't real, you know it's virtual, but the experience is so immersive that your brain actually believes you are there.
I stepped up and leaned over, looking at the guy on the table, which was a character from Team Fortress 2 if you know what that is, and spotted a white rib cage covering his lungs and heart. The object was to give the poor man a heart transplant. To my right, I spotted a refrigerator. First, I opened the freezer. There was nothing much of importance inside, but let me tell you about the act of grabbing in this virtual world. For this game, the on screen display of the controllers look like hands and in order to grab things you need to close your palms around the handle of the controller almost as if you are grabbing an object. So, when you grab the handle of the fridge and pull it open, you practically feel like you are. It's a strange and awesome feeling.
Inside the fridge, I found a few bottles of wine, two hearts, and a sandwich. Thinking the patient was hungry, I grabbed the sandwich and stuffed it in his mouth. It was a funny and slightly disturbing sight. With that, I shut the fridge and turned to my left. A few feet away stood a table with a myriad of instruments strewn about. There were surgical instruments meant for cutting bone and extracting organs in the safest way as to not harm the patient. Instead, I grabbed for the baseball bat. I found it was a very effective tool for opening the sternum.
After the first task was finished, I proceeded to reach my hand into the virtual chest and accidentally removed the lungs. I assumed he didn't need these and tossed them across the room. For some unknown reason, there was a pigeon perched on a shelf and I threw it at the bird for a direct hit. The bird was fine but it didn't seem to like it.
Then, I grabbed for the machete, no self respecting doctor would be without one of course, and went about the delicate task of removing the patient's heart. Since the organ was presumably damaged, I also tossed it across the room. There is something satisfying about throwing objects in VR.
Opening up the fridge, I removed the small heart and stuffed it into the open cavity and realized I had no idea what to do next. The lungs were all the way across the room, the ribs were in pieces, and the heart was no longer attached. The sandwich was still in the guys mouth so I considered it a success. He died shortly after that. I guess I wasn't cut out to be a surgeon.
But, the experience was so cool. You know nothing is real and yet you feel like everything you see and touch is real. It's the coolest sensation I've felt playing a video game. Yes, it's a bit gimmicky and the cord attached to the computer in the room tends to get in the way while you're walking around, but it's so much fun. The way our brains work is so amazing. In fact, I tried to step up on a structure that wasn't there instead of just walking through it. You know you can't step up on it but your brain tells your leg to lift. If you don't force yourself not to, you will do it automatically.
I played a few other games but that surgeon one was probably the most entertaining. If I had a video of my experience I would show you. It really was a lot of fun. If you know someone who has the Vive, check it out. It's worth your time, at least in my experience.
So, that was the neat thing I did with my family on Thanksgiving. It might be a little strange to most people but that's my family, we're odd. What about you? What did you do on your Thanksgiving? Please, I would love to know how you all celebrate your holiday. Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to reading them. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and as always, thanks for reading!
For this post, I thought I would do something a little different. I wanted to give you all a glimpse into my life, well current life that is. This past weekend, my wife and I took a nice trip to a lovely town called Mt. Dora. It's about forty five minutes north of Orlando, FL. The historic downtown area sits on the edge of a beautiful lake named Lake Dora, obviously. It was a wonderful, small town in the middle of Florida, a true gem hidden in plain site. If you haven't been there, you should go.
My wife and I decided to go to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. I know, visiting a small town in the middle of Florida seems like an odd place to spend a one year anniversary. We were actually supposed to be on a Caribbean cruise this whole week for our celebration. We booked it only weeks after getting back from our honeymoon. But then, something wonderful happened. We got pregnant! Upon my wife visiting her doctor, and mentioning our upcoming cruise, she was told "Absolutely not!" At first I thought the doctor was being a bit paranoid so I took to Google. Her reason for banning us from the cruise was the current outbreak of Zika in the Caribbean. I assumed it was over-hyped, much like it is in the states, and thought we would go anyway. Turns out, I was wrong.
It's pretty bad in the Caribbean right now, unfortunately. They're projecting 1 in 4 pregnant women are infected with Zika. It's spreading there a little too fast. Of course, this can be attributed to people in Puerto Rico not taking proper precautions like bug spray. It was not guaranteed we would contract Zika if we went, but better safe than sorry, right?
Zika is really only a major concern for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant. If we were not pregnant, nor trying, I would have no fear going to the Caribbean. It's such a lovely place down there. But we just figured, why take the risk? Instead, we were able to work with Royal Caribbean and obtain vouchers for another cruise within 2 years.
But I'm getting off topic here. We decided to see a part of Florida we had never seen before for our anniversary and I'm glad we did. It was lovely. Downtown is a very historic place with old buildings converted into new shopping centers. An old, brick building that used to be a hotel in the 1920's is now used as a shopping center, the old prison a museum, and a house built in 1893 is now a masonic lodge. Pretty crazy!
There's a train that runs from Mt. Dora to the neighboring city of Tavares. It's an old train built in 1907 and still runs on a wood-powered steam engine. It's about an hour and a half round trip and well worth it. The ride is pleasant and really gives you the feel of what life must have been like to travel back then. These days, we're pretty spoiled. We jump in the car and drive across country in only couple days, or take a plan to the other coast in a few short hours. Back then, it was as much about the journey as it was the destination. I think that's been lost on a lot of people these days.
One of the things that really stood out was the history museum. It was only $2 an adult so I wasn't expecting much. I must say, it was a highlight of our trip. The woman who was our tour guide was a lovely person who really enjoyed the history of American and the town. I feel like I learned a lot! Later, my wife told me the ladies working the museum didn't get paid, they were volunteers. I feel really bad I had no cash on me at the time, otherwise I would have left them a nice tip!
At the history museum, they gave us a map that outlined the historical homes in the town. It was a self guided driving tour that took us around the city. I don't think the map was completely updated as it told us to turn south on a one way street that only traveled north. Despite that, the tour was really cool! There were some beautiful houses that were built in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I would love to tour the inside of some of them! While we were on the train, the tour guide told us we had passed a house belonging to Al Capone. I looked it up but couldn't find any truth to it. Apparently, Mr. Capone really liked visiting Mt. Dora but there are no records he bought a house. It may have been in someone else's name. Those mobsters weren't dumb.
Saturday night we decided to leave the hotel and go out for dinner. In the elevator we met up with this wonderful couple who was working at a Renaissance festival in the area. We had seen signs for it and thought about checking it out but weren't entirely sure. We got to talking to them in the short elevator ride and they offered us free tickets to the fair. I was completely surprised and ecstatic that they had extended such a wonderful offer to us. They said they would leave the tickets at will call, if we decided to show up.
Sunday morning, we had our breakfast, visited a few parks in the area, and decided to head to the Ren fest. Sure enough, the tickets were waiting for us at will call with a note explaining they were actors who ran the show The Wonder Elixir of Life. Naturally, we had to check out their show. It would be the least we could do for getting free tickets. We headed in and found a large map. I stood for a moment trying to find the show. A gentleman came up to us and asked what we were looking for. I didn't quite look down from the map and told him the name of the show. He pointed us in the direction and said we would love the show. My wife nudged me and told me that was the guy in the elevator who had given us the tickets. I didn't recognize him at all. We said hi and I apologized for not recognizing him. Then we headed over to watch their show.
It was pretty funny and we both had a good time. They were a lovely couple that clearly enjoy the work that they do. I can definitely respect that. It was so cool to meet such wonderful people, unexpectedly. It was such a pleasure meeting such wonderful people.
My wife and I have only been married for one year but we've been together for six years now. I still look at her as my best friend and feel exactly as I did all those years ago. It's nice spending your life with someone who understands you and supports you the way she does. There will be many more wedding anniversaries in the future, of that I'm sure!
So, that was our little weekend away for our anniversary. We had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed exploring a new area. I look forward to more trips in the future, especially after our little one has joined the family. It will be fun to explore the world with a child and share my life with another person who will most assuredly have a grip on my heart!
If you enjoyed this, let me know. Leave me a comment saying you would like to see more of these types of posts in the future. There's plenty of adventures for me to share. We camp, hike, and do a lot of things. Let me know! And as always, thanks for reading!
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.