Book: ‘Questionable Content’

Questionable Content is a webcomic, however having read most of their back catalogue in just over a week it felt like a book!

A friend had sent me a couple of their strips and I’d found them funny – for example

(Strip from Questionable Content)

It turns out that this isn’t what the comic is normally about, disappointedly, it’s more like Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’ – including the LGBT aspects which Questionable Content has cheerfully expanded to include the more recent expansions of defining sexuality and gender identity-based cultures for example LGBTQI

At times it seemed that a number of interacting characters had the exact same haircut, this didn’t encourage me to read properly and instead I found myself skimming and clicking ‘next’

To be perfectly honest I don’t feel the time spent reading all the comics was necessarily time well spent, there were a few strips that I found funny (most of which involved Pintsize – the little round-headed robot above who is usually more sex obsessed) and a whole lot of romantic angst (of various flavours) and mental health awareness pieces – which is important however not my idea of fun

However now it will be quicker to check just the new strips to see if they have Pintsize in so that’s sort of a win…

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Book: John P. Logsdon and Christopher P. Young’s The Merging – “…walking around with his shirt open because he looks like a Chippendale’s model”

Ian Dex is a genetically-enhanced individual – as are most of the team of the paranormal police in Las Vegas. These enhancements also make him- and the rest of his team, very horny – which is frankly a weird thing to make a core part of your world building, but whatever it’s different I guess…

In terms of plot the book is largely about how Ian has slept with most of his team and pretty much anything female with a pulse, although there is a number of super-sized and super-strong vampires, werewolves and succubus picking fights all over town

the merging

Apparently this book is meant to be action and comedy – urban fantasy with a bit of police procedural and a sense of  humour, I noticed the action and it was ok however the comedy aspect passed me by almost completely. I’m wondering if I just wasn’t in the mood for it as the Amazon reviews for ‘The Merging’ seem really positive and I was totally indifferent to it

The only real impact this book had was to generate a thought-chain about why HR hadn’t got involved over what was very clearly appropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace

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Book: Brad Magnarella’s Demon Moon – “Something tells me I’m in over my head.”

This might sound like a tangent, however I don’t like Spider-Man; the reason I don’t like Spider-man is he has a day job which allows him to muddle along in a hand-to-mouth sort of way and then an unpaid night job which puts him through hell and jeopardises everything good in his life – including his crumby day job

demon moon

This basically sums up Everson Croft’s life, he has some powers but isn’t really that in control of the potential those powers bring, he has a day job that is constantly suffering from his underpaid night activities as a wizard and he’s rather dull

 

‘Demon Moon’ is a readable book, it just isn’t terribly memorable and wasn’t my idea of good fun – I’m look for escapism not a meagre mundane existence with the occasional monster

 

*Link to Amazon if you are so inclined*

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Jane Hinchey’s ‘Straight To Hell’ – “All I want to do is go back to my peaceful life in Hell”

This book was recommended to me and the opening lines of the blurb sounded promising:

“My name is Lucifer. You can call me Lucy – I’m also known as the Devil and Satan, though why my idiot brothers came up with those nicknames is beyond me. I’m an Arch Angel and I run Hell. Yep, I’m the CEO”

It transpires that the plot is nothing to do with her being the CEO of Hell, instead Lucy goes to Earth, gets tired and hungry like a mortal then shags some bloke whilst playing Nancy Drew on a case involving a soul sucker.

Nothing about the book felt original or engaging in its own right, the author seems to know this as she opts for a half-baked cliff-hanger ending with a dodgy alternative Point Of View final chapter – perhaps as a last ditch attempt to drag us into Hell with her

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Book: Paul Matthews’ ‘We Have Lost The President’ – “without a leader, self-interest would be king”

The premise of ‘We Have Lost The President’ sounded fun, the year is 2044 and due to a hacker- related incident Britain is a low tech Republic with an elected President

Howie Pond is the President’s official spokesman and is granted quasi secret agent powers when the President goes missing as part of a desperate attempt to find him

We largely see this world from Howie’s view, a land of bureaucracy where the beeper is king and close ties between corporations and politics are rife

I really enjoyed the first three pages of the book, then the world building and scene setting gave way to Howie, his unlikeable girlfriend and his dreadful coworkers… the book is sad to be a comedy-thriller yet it wasn’t very funny or very thrilling

Somehow there are three sequels all starting ‘We Have Lost…’ so I guess other people liked it

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Book: Adam J. Wright’s ‘Dark Peak’ – “You can’t have that kind of knowledge in your head and not do something about it”

I picked up ‘Dark Peak’ because I’d read something previously by the author that was ok and I needed something lightweight to read.

The premise is seven year old Mitch Walker was knocked out in the wood 30 years ago and his five year old sister disappeared. Now Mitch has returned to the Peak District temporarily and chances upon evidence that it might be an uncaught serial killer that took his sister

There is also an author of a popular true crime book in the area, Elly Cooper, and she too is looking at the possibility of a serial killer

So basically it’s a standard template of find the monster before the monster finds you. There was a manageably small suspect pool – so small that the serial killer was basically instantly obvious the minute they were introduced.

Mitch wasn’t a terribly deep man, Elly existed purely to give  slightly different view of the same simple story and the twist at the end was a bit dull! Other than that is was ok to read

Maybe I read too much Mark Billlingham before getting bored after book 7 or 8 to be that wowed by anything involving hunting human serial killers, however if this book turns into a series I can’t see me bothering reading anymore!

Link to Dark Peaks on Amazon in case you are tempted

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Book: Richard H Thaler’s Misbehaving – “if no one-time solution yet exists, invent one”

Behaviour economics is something that sounds interesting, put simply it can be argued that many of the ‘logical’ and seemingly evidence based choices that people make aren’t necessarily based on the logic and evidence that is in front of them; instead personal biases and preconceptions and general wibble can intervene

As someone who doesn’t have loads of confidence in certain decisions and agonises about finding the ‘right’ research upon which to base a decision I’ve had a couple of Thaler’s books on my wish list for ages so was happy to get one for Christmas

Alas a year of reading almost exclusively via a Kindle and, bluntly, reading lightweight fluff that didn’t require though has made real books a bit of a struggle, so a week later I’m a mere five chapters in despite finding it interesting

I am going to get to the end and darn it I am going to think about the contents and use it to find better books in 2018!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2018 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content