Book Review: Closed at Dark by Rob Blackwell

Author:Rob Blackwell
Title: Closed at Dark
Publication Info: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2014
Previously read by same author:

Summary/Review:

This novella by my college friend Rob Blackwell introduces a new series about Soren Chase, a paranormal investigator.  This story combines parental fears of “stranger danger,” urban legends, and supernatural monsters to create an intriguing mystery thriller as Chase tries to figure out who – or what – is trying to abduct his long-time friend’s child.  The characterization is a bit thin, but I expect it will develop as did the characters in Blackwell’s Sanheim Chronicles.  We’ll find out soon when Soren Chase’s first full novel The Forest of Forever is released.

Rating: ***

Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

AuthorGeorge R.R. Martin
TitleA Game of Thrones
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Publication Info: [Santa Ana, Calif.] : Books on Tape, 2004
ISBN: 9780739353370
Summary/Review:

My wife has been reading A Song of Ice and Fire for years, including on our honeymoon, but I’ve always been intimidated by their length.  Having binge-watched the television adaptation Game of Thrones, I figured it was time to give the books their due.  The audiobook narration by Dotrice is a good way to enjoy the book because his gravely British accent makes me feel like I’m listening to an epic storyteller.  The book does a great job of laying out the politics and intrigues among the seven kingdoms while simultaneously setting up for a graver confrontation with stories of the North beyond the wall, and the Targaryen’s in the East.  Amazingly the first season of  tv show remained faithful, if condensed, to this book.  Worth the read/listen and I’ll be moving on to the second book.

Recommended books: Eragon by Christopher Paolini and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Rating: ***

Song of the Week: “Archie, Marry Me”

This week’s song is “Archie, Marry Me,” a bit of joyful power pop from the Toronto band Alvvays.  The song reminds me of Camera Obscura, which is never a bad thing, and I like the way vocalist Molly Rankin sings “Archie.”  She’s also descended from The Rankin Family, because everyone in Canada is related somehow.

Anyhow, enjoy this matrimonial proposal:

Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

TitleFrozen
Release Date: 27 November 2013
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Production Co: Walt Disney Company
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: Animation | Family | Musical
Rating: ****

As of yesterday, I’ve ended my reign as the last middle class American parent of young children to have not see Frozen.  My daughter and I watched it on DVD.  Despite all the hype and attention to the movie, it wasn’t quite what I expected, which means I somehow wasn’t spoiled.  It was a good mix of musical set pieces, humor, adventure, and a story of sisterly love.  I liked Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer the best.  Yep, I liked it.  So, I guess it was worth the wait.

 

Beer Review: Peak Organic Fresh Cut

BeerPeak Organic Fresh Cut
BrewerPeak Organic Brewing Company
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7.5 of 10)
Comments: Hoppy.  But pleasantly so.  Straw-colored, bubbly and foamy, Fresh Cut has a grassy/grainy aroma with a spicy/hoppy flavor.  I like it.

 

Beer Review: Wayerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Beer: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
BrewerWeyerbacher Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.0 of 10)
Comments: Enjoyed a pint of this during prime pumpkin ale season and it is among the best of its type.  Pouring an amber orange, the beer gives off a sweet cinnamon scent.  The flavor is clearly pumpkin with ginger, and a strong taste of alcohol to boot (it is 8% ABV).  A yummy treat.

 

Beer Review: Harpoon Cambridge Uncommon

Beer: Cambridge Uncommon (100 Barrel Series, session #51)
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: Draft
Rating: *** (7.8 of 10)
Comments:  These limited edition Harpoon beers are often brilliant, I wish they were around longer.  Batch 51’s official description: “This hybrid style balances IPA aromatics with a classic Pilsner base. Czech tradition meets American hops.” The beer is golden and bubbly with a grassy aroma, and a grainy orange flavor balanced with bitter.  I like it.  Get it while it lasts.

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