Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Book Review: Noise Floor (the Vinyl Detective #7)


Lambert Ramkin aka Imperium Dart, techno trickster and ambient music wizard of the 1990s, has gone walkabout, disappearing from his rather palatial home in Kent. This isn’t the first time he’s pulled a vanishing act, but he’s never been gone so long before and his wife — wives, actually; it’s complicated — are worried and hire the Vinyl Detective to find the old rascal.

They theorise that wherever the missing man is, he won’t be able to resist turning up at a record fair somewhere in search of 12-inch white label acid house singles, which he collects compulsively. And no one knows the world of record fairs better than the Vinyl Detective. They’re not wrong, but once our hero finds the wandering Lamb the trouble really begins — including terrifying mind-fucks with a side order of, if things break the wrong way, mass murder.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Book Review: Under a Rock


Debbie Harry defined iconic band Blondie’s look. Her performing partner, lover, and lifelong friend Chris Steinwas its architect and defined its sound. Parallel Lines, their third album, catapulted to #1, sold 20 million copies, and launched singles like “Heart of Glass”, "Hangin' On the Telephone," and “One Way or Another”, providing the beat when Bianca Jagger and Halston danced at Studio 54 and the soundtrack to every 1970’s punk-soundtracked romance.

Chris Stein knows how to tell a story. Under A Rock is his nothing-spared autobiography. It's about the founding of the band, ascending to the heights of pop success, and the hazards of fortune. Famous names march through these pages: Warhol, Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and more. But you can get famous names anywhere. What you can’t get anywhere else is a plunge into the moments that made a giant 1980's artistic sensation. Stein takes us there in this revelatory, propulsive, distinctive memoir.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Book Review: Prez - Setting a Dangerous President


2046: Oregon teen Beth Ross has just been elected President of the United States of America. Age restrictions were abolished when corporations gained the right to run for office. Elections are now held on social media, and after a corndog accident makes Beth Ross go viral, a nation is shocked to wake up and find that "Corndog Girl" has just become their new president.

The eyes of the world are on Beth. But in a nation so used to misrule that the poor are willing to do anything on TV for a chance at a better life, will a fresh start be enough to undo the damage caused by Boss Smiley and his corporate shadow government?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Book Review: The Hunger and the Dusk vol. 1


In a dying world, only humans and orcs remain—mortal enemies battling for territory and political advantage. But when a group of fearsome ancient humanoids known as the Vangol arrive from across the sea, the two struggling civilizations are forced into a fragile alliance to protect what they have built.

As a gesture of his commitment to the cause—and to the relief of his bride-to-be, Faran Stoneback—the most powerful orc overlord, Troth Icemane, sends his beloved cousin Tara, a high-ranking young healer, to fight alongside brash human commander Callum Battlechild and his company of warriors. With a crisis looming, the success of this unlikely pair’s partnership and the survival of their peoples will depend on their ability to unlearn a lifetime of antagonistic instincts toward one another…and rise above the sting of heartbreak.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Book Review: Kei X Yaku - Bound By Law 1


Ichiro, an agent with the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Security Bureau, receives orders to make contact with and closely surveil Shiro, a yakuza hotshot whose bed partners include a considerable amount of influential male politicians. The mission takes an unexpected turn when they realize they've both been pursuing the same cold case: the disappearance of Rion Nakaba, Ichiro's senior and Shiro's sister. Determined to uncover the truth, the two secretly team up under the guise of lovers to try and pick up her trail...

Kei X Yaku: Bound By Law volume 1 by Yoshie Kaoruhara will be published May 14, 2024. Kodansha Comics provided an early galley for review.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Book Review: The Survivors


Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...

Friday, May 10, 2024

Book Review: Hip-Hop Is History


When hip-hop first emerged in the 1970s, it wasn’t expected to become the cultural force it is today. But for a young Black kid growing up in a musical family in Philadelphia, it was everything. He stayed up late to hear the newest songs on the radio. He saved his money to buy vinyl as soon as it landed. He even started to try to make his own songs. That kid was Questlove, and decades later, he is a six-time Grammy Award–winning musician, an Academy Award–winning filmmaker, a New York Times bestselling author, a producer, an entrepreneur, a cofounder of one of hip-hop’s defining acts (the Roots), and the genre’s unofficial in-house historian.