World War II

Starving Review: Intrusion (A Relative Invasion Book 1) by Rosalind Minett

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Intrusion (A Relative Invasion Book 1) by Rosalind Minett (Amazon)

My literary foodies, it has been too long, hasn’t it? But I, your Starving Reviewer, am back in the saddle with some long stalled reviews for your culinary pleasure. Today’s dish takes a classic recipe of historical drama from a tense period of world history, but adds the interesting twist of setting the table for a young child. Will this new perspective on history prove to be tasty or bland?

Before we find out, let’s blow the dust off the Starving Review Creed:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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Starving Review: Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack

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Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack (Amazon, Goodreads)

There is a temptation from the menu entry of Unspeakable Things to want to put it into certain categories, certain specific cuisines.  A homefront war novel, perhaps?  A coming-of-age historical novel?  A Holocaust-themed book?  What will this meal actually turn out to be when it gets to the table?  Better yet, will it be any good?

Before we dig to the bottom of the dish, let’s recite the Starving Review motto:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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Starving Review: Night Side of Dark by Caleb Pirtle III

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Night Side of Dark by Caleb Pirtle III (Amazon, Goodreads)

It’s 6:30 am my time and I have spent a copious amount of the hours before hand finishing off this latest literary meal.  Night Side of Dark comes with a bill of sale labeling it as a dark World War II-era thriller with supernatural overtones.  It certainly sounded intriguing and you may already realize by the first sentence of this review how the rest of it will go.  We all know the power of fine literary cuisine to keep one up to all hours of the night, unable to rest until the last morsel is devoured.

Before we find out why this is so captivating a treat, let’s do a quick run-down of the Starving Review laws:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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Monday Musings: Everybody Should Read Comic Books!

Welcome to the first weekly installment of Monday Musings, where I shake off the hunger pangs of another hardscrabble weekend to bring you whatever crosses my addled brain.  For this initial article, I want to tell everyone out there that they should really read some comic books already!

This may not be that left-field of a thing for me to say.  After all, I write in the superhero genre, one born from the comic books.  What’s different here is that I’m saying that you should read not superhero stuff, or watch comic-book-inspired movies, but to read actual, real comic books.  Why?

Look, they aren’t all good.  Many are actually pretty bad.  However, there are some truly remarkable stories told in those four-color pages and, more importantly, they are our modern mythology.  They are our Greek gods, our legend makers.  It isn’t ‘David and Goliath’ anymore, as much as Spider-Man freeing himself to save his Aunt May in Amazing Spider-Man #33 (websearch it if you haven’t seen the pages before and don’t be surprised if you HAVE, just didn’t know the exact source).

Just open your eyes and see that quite a few superheroes ARE the gods of old.  Thor, Hercules, Odin, Loki, Ares, and many more hobnob with the new colorful pantheons we have created.  Even more are closely connected with the old mythology.  Wonder Woman, Shazam, and countless others herald back to the Greek, the Norse, the Egyptian, and so many other collections of gods and heroes.  Our comic books are inheritors of thousands of years of tradition, history, and introspection.

Don’t buy it?  Comic books have been with us now for decades and those characters and stories that resonate with us have never faltered for that entire history.  The archetypes, the parables, the lessons those pages hold connect with the same stories man has told in thousands of ways since the dawn of time.  Comic books reflect the times they are written in, but still contain the same messages and characters they have held since their inception.

There must be something culturally vital for what began as children’s entertainment to still be so important to us over seventy years later.  There must be something critical for us all to glean from something that was considered as indispensable to many soldiers during World War II as anything else in their care packages.  Our culture, our history, our hopes, our dreams, and our nightmares are in the colorful pages you can get at any comic book shop.  We just have to take the time to read them and sort the good from the bad.

Starving Review: I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust by Mathias B. Freese

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I Truly Lament: Walking Through the Holocaust by Mathias B. Freese (Amazon, Goodreads)

Not all literary meals are laid out on the table purely for the stuffing of the reader’s face with new entertainment.  Some have a purpose behind their creation and other recipes are crafted to bring the reader an important message or a deep feeling as he sits chewing the fat.  I’ve reviewed at least one book like this before so it’s not a stranger to this Starving Reviewer and I have another such literary meal at my table today.  The message and the event it seeks to fill our taste buds with is older but even stronger than the previous book.  I Truly Lament deals with one of the great and terrible tragedies of the 20th Century: the Holocaust.  Does it perform its mission admirably?  Let’s find out.

But first!  The Starving Review creed!

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre.
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

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