Rob's Blog

Archive for September, 2017

Book: ‘Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi’ by Rob MacGregor – September 26th, 2017

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Books

Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi (Indiana Jones: Prequels, #1)Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi by Rob MacGregor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If one has seen any of the filmed versions of Indiana Jones, they are most likely to find this book very disappointing. If read without that background the reader is likely to find this book disappointing.

First let me review this objectively: This is a muddled book that has weak characters written and a plot with little to no suspense, though it’s clear there is an attempt to establish such. There are also obvious political overtones that are distracting to the already poor plotting. The author plots the second half involving visiting an area over and over again. Better plotting and a smoother story would have been to depict maybe two visits. Especially in that the visits all tie into a prologue before chapters of a flashback.

My biggest problem is that I didn’t like any of the characters. Teeing off with Jones making a political statement I extremely disliked. There’s a female character that alters character many times. Some is written off as this and that. But none is resolved at the end.
The writing is mediocre. Add that to poor plotting, poor characterizations adds up to a poor book.
If you know the Indiana Jones stories: MacGregor appears to have written this prior to the television series that establish a very different drive and past of Henry Jones, Jr. This book is written as if Jones couldn’t have cared less about archaeology all the way to college.

Even if MacGregor didn’t know of the TV origins, the first 30 pages steer very far away from the first reel of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. Frankly, it seems MacGregor was out to include his political views in the book. The actions written have little similarity to all else that exists of the Jones character.

MacGregor writing misses the Jones character in many ways and makes the overall story feel like it involves a different character.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points.

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Book:’Tyranny’ by William W. Johnstone

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Books

TyrannyTyranny by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

‘Tyranny’ is another Johnstone Clan entry in the US Against the World series. These are fun, in a way, in how a stout group works together towards defending their perception of what is best for America. This story is clearly based upon recent government attempts to take land based upon tax issues and the like. This entry starts off as government versus citizen and then spirals to nearly full-scale war. I find, thus, that the book starts off realistically and finishes into a melodramatic lot of silliness.

The characters, for a Johnstone US Against the World book, are standard: Old fellow, son, various relatives, friendly sheriff, etc. The bad guys are about the same: Power hungry Government Wonks. All involving an Alamo set-up. Back and forth and then battle to end. This end battle is more ridiculous than others. Of the series, Home Invasion is still the best of the lot.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of ten points

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I’ve been Coloring Santa! – September 25th, 2017

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Illusration

…and I have a lot more Santa to color, too! Getting ready for a trip this weekend to Pensacola and realizing I can’t get this book done until after I return. Still trying to settle down after the hurricane and a sick kitty. Too much household work to do, while trying to tend to this Christmas book. More art to come!

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I’ve Been Drawing Alligators!- September 24th, 2017

by on Sep.24, 2017, under What's New?

The inked version of Monday’s Swampy’s Florida celebration cartoon. To see the color version and why Trilby is holding what he’s holding and just what’s being celebrating Monday, see the Swampy page!

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Book: ‘Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx’ by Max McCoy – September 24th, 2017

by on Sep.24, 2017, under Books

Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx (Indiana Jones: Prequels, #12)Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx by Max McCoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

McCoy knew this was his swan song and he pulled all the stops for a rip roaring tale. He nails all of the characters seen from previous films. Other characters are also very well written. McCoy has an unlabeled prologue and epilogue that adds layers to the storytelling that defines that Indiana Jones lives the life of adventure.

McCoy likely made the story too complicated as the story has a few spots of incongruity. One scene involving someone speaking to a crowd in English near the Chinese and Russia border while others are speaking other languages is poor narrative. There’s also inconsistencies involving an island scene, also.

Nevertheless, McCoy, with his writing, presents the heart and soul of the Lucas and Spielberg creation.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 7 out of 10 points.

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I’ve Been Drawing Birthday Pictures! – September 23rd, 3017

by on Sep.23, 2017, under What's New?

Here’s a 16″ x 20″ watercolor painting I did for a birthday. You all now see what that dinosaur was for. 🙂

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Book: ‘The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep’ by Lawrence Block – September 23rd, 2017

by on Sep.23, 2017, under Books

The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep (Evan Tanner, #1)The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep by Lawrence Block
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read block before and he does approach his writing in an unusual way. But this was really something. A vibrant character that embarks on a haplessly adventure through many countries and many unusual, quirky characters. The writing is as fresh today as it was when this book first came out in 1966.

I’m amazed at the vast amount of fascinating characters Block created in this book and how he assembled all of them, in their many locations, with their very individual stories, the main character’s story and so much more within 200 pages. Outstanding work.

On top of it all this book is superbly written. The writing makes it very difficult to put the book down. There’s also an energy to Block’s writing that helps the characters and story pop out.

Definitely in the top 5 books I’ve read this year.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 10 out of 10 points.

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I’ve been Coloring Puppies by a Fire! – September 22nd, 2017

by on Sep.22, 2017, under What's New?

I’ve been digitally coloring another little Spot book all day Ftiday. I’ll be doing this for the next few days.

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I’ve been Drawing Mermaids! – September 21st, 2017

by on Sep.22, 2017, under What's New?

This mermaid I drew is part of a larger project I hope to show later.

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Swampy’s #Florida says Happy National Elephant Appreciation Day!

by on Sep.22, 2017, under What's New?

Swampy and friends celebrate National Elephant Appreciation Day!

Here’s the National Elephant Center website: http://www.nationalelephantcenter.org/

#ElephantAppreciationDay

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Swampy’s #Florida says Happy Miniature Golf Day!

by on Sep.21, 2017, under What's New?

Swampy and the gang head over to Golf-n-Gator in Cape Canaveral to celebrate Miniature Golf Day. Zuber, the cat, wonders if any of the gators in the surrounding pools are related to Trilby.

Golf-n-Gator is right on A1A in Cape Canaveral. Click here to plan a trip to practice your putting skills and see a few gators – http://www.golfngator.com/

#MiniatureGolfDay

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