The Book Thief by Markus Zusak can mean a lot of things to different people. To some it could be the tale of a girl with an insatiable hunger for books. For others it could be a vivid commentary on the Nazi regime from an insular point of view. It could even be a metaphor for how life is fleeting and death is the one constant uniting all of humanity. Whatever interpretation may be drawn there is a assumption that the reader comes away with a clear message. That is one of many reasons why The Book Thief is one of the most scintillating novels I’ve read in recent memory. Continue reading “The Book Thief Review”
Reviewing this book has been long overdue, considering it’s become my favourite book series. But then finding a good book to read can be like picking the best clothes to wear: There’s many of the same variation but only certain clothes really do it for you. The importance of a man’s clothing comes into play within the swashbuckling debut novel of Sebastien De Castell called Traitor’s Blade. Although The Greatcoats series has been out for a few years, going back to where it all began is still an enjoyable read.
Marvel has plenty of popular American characters, from Iron Man, to Captain America. But the Marvel Universe is full of awesome characters from different countries as well. One of my favourites is Pete Wisdom, a mutant from England and the head of the British Intelligence Service M1-13. He has the ability to form ‘hot knives’ from his fingers and use them as weapons. Yet there’s a lot more to Wisdom than just his power set.
The serial killer genre is known to make use of specific tropes. The killer usually suffered trauma in their childhood to make them into the murder machine they are today. The victims are normally helpless to prevent their deaths and the killer is always brilliant and meticulous. These stories can be entertaining up to a point. But when every character becomes saddled with cliches then it’s time for something new. So, what about a novel that breaks away from the traditional journey of the serial killer genre? South African novelist Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls takes something we’ve seen before and offers a new slant.
After reading through The Brief and Wondrous life of Oscar Wao my initial thought was ‘Thank God my life isn’t as bad as this guy.’ Within moments of reading it I was invested because of the relatable themes about body image, insecurity and stereotypes. Junot Díaz presents a stunning contrast between two distinct but similar worlds: the Trujillo ravaged Dominican Republic and the illusionary land of America.
Of the many characters in the Marvel Universe, there are few who are as enduring as The Fantastic Four. Out of the four members, The Invisible Woman stands out the most. Susan Storm is able to become invisible as well as create powerful force fields for a variety of effects. But she’s more than a superhero. She’s a loving wife, a fierce mother and the glue that keeps The Fantastic Four together.
These days there are plenty of new techniques brands can use to raise awareness, whether through recording engaging podcasts or creating flashy video campaigns to grab customer attention. But before social media, before the internet, before computers there was the written word. The written word was the first major advertising device and the influence is still seen today in headlines, billboards, websites and blogs.
Copywriting has had a long, successful history, and there have been many famous examples of advertisers who’ve tapped into the potential of words to engage their customers. But can their advice still be useful to modern brands?
“Of course I knew her. Diana of Themyscira. Their champion. The one the rest of the world knew as Wonder Woman. I had never met her. But I had heard the legends. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.”
Some comics work best when they’re telling an epic story that is spaced out over several issues. Others can present a self-contained story that focuses on character development and motivations. Red Hood And The Outlaws 8 is a stand alone issue that focuses on Artemis and her quest for the Bow Of Ra. There’s a bar fight, a mythical city and an appearance from Wonder Woman.
Have you ever gone into Starbucks and ordered a coffee using your phone? Every time you made a purchase a golden star appeared or a progress bar showed how much you needed to level up to gain the next perk. If it sounds like you were playing a game it’s because you were. Starbucks is one of many brands who’ve tapped into the concept of gamification and used it to their advantage.
“Whatever people want to think of me, they can go ahead and think it. Deathstroke’s daughter. Teen Titan. Hero. Villain. Loyal. Brave. Crazy. Conniving. Broken. What matters is the choices I make and whether or not I can live with them.”
With well known characters like Batman and Superman, it’s fair to assume they will have a fair share of legacy characters surrounding them. Bruce has his Robins and Clark has Supergirl and Superboy. But what about a villain like Deathstroke? Slade Wilson has a reputation for being the greatest assassin in the DC Universe. But his children are very different. Rose Wilson, AKA Ravager, chose to be a hero and here is why she’s an awesome character.