Ashe and her mother, Mia, are still recovering from Ashe’s kidnapping. It’s been a long, difficult road with many twists and turns, not to mention secrets. A lot of things have gone unsaid by Mia, and for very good reasons. Ashe is quickly growing older, and her maturity is obvious in everything she does. When Ashe corners her uncle Jason and tells him that her plans for college are different from her mother’s, things begin to change for all of them. Mia struggles to face the fact she will, again, be separated from her daughter, This time, however, their separation will follow the most harrowing experience of their lives.
Black Star Eclipsed, by M.J. Jones, continues the compelling story of Mia and her daughter Ashe. Their lives are nothing short of amazing. For as much as they appear to be a typical single mother and daughter team, they are far beyond that in dozens of ways. Jones has succeeded in further developing this pair into an even stronger and more stunning set of characters. Furthering the story, Jones has added incredibly in-depth backstories and strong characters in both Jason and his wife Kierra. For seemingly secondary characters, the two are well-drawn and pull readers into the plot fairly quickly in the first chapter.
After reading the first installment in Jones’s Black Star series, I was prepared for a little more action right out of the gate. The first book featuring Mia and Ashe hit hard in the first chapters with suspenseful moments right off the bat. This follow-up story offers a lot in the way of background information, allowing both readers and Ashe to learn more about her father. Though I appreciated the attention and time given to catching readers up on the previous book and the backstories, I would like to have seen more suspense and intrigue to kick off this installment.
The dynamic between characters is a huge part of Jones’s writing. I especially enjoyed the interactions between Mia and her sister-in-law Kierra. Their exchanges are always spirited and easily relatable. For a novel that is steeped in elements of science fiction, it is nice to see characters with genuine emotions and typical relationships.
Black Star Eclipsed is engaging, psychological science fiction. The storyline is well-developed, and the characters are relatable. The overall story took a little longer to get off the ground than I would have preferred. I recommend this series to anyone who wants to explore an especially unique take on the science fiction novel.
Pages: 452 | ASIN : B09ZYQP2ZD
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Johari has an incredible imagination and absolutely loves to write. He has put his skills to use writing an amazing story for his school’s writing contest. His patience grows thin as he waits anxiously for the moment in his day when he can share his sure-fire winning story with his classmates. Johari is convinced the tale he has woven will catch the attention of his friends and classmates, not to mention the contest’s judges. When the moment comes, Johari takes the stage with all the confidence and support one young fifth grader could ever hope to have.
Johari the Great, by Naomi V. Dunsen-White, is the sweet story of one elementary student who has an incredibly supportive and loving family and is especially gifted when it comes to using his imagination to write creatively. Dunsen-White’s main character, Johari, is a great role model for young readers. He shows all the qualities of a self-motivated and self-confident young boy.
I was particularly impressed with the book’s focus on the writing contest. As a teacher, I loved seeing the excitement of not only the main character but the other students in the classroom. This is a wonderful way to encourage students to delve into writing for enjoyment and share with peers.
Johari the Great, is a phenomenal children’s book with a positive message. Included at the end of Johari’s story is a fantastic resource for parents and teachers, which makes this book even more valuable to readers. Dunsen-White’s precious story will make a great addition to any classroom or school library.
Pages: 40 | ASIN : B08PTL62CP
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Heroes To The Public Villains To The Law is the final book in your trilogy. Was there anything that developed organically while writing this series that surprised you?
While writing this final book, I wasn’t all too sure how it would go and end. As I wrote it, many new creative ideas came to mind. It took much focusing and thinking just to write it. As I wrote each chapter, it would take me vividly into my imagination as if it were all taking place. I enjoyed writing down each mind scenario that I kept coming up with, then erasing and restarting it again just to get it right. It took much of my time, imagination, and patience just to make a point and get the final messages out to a public that still may not understand the why. I was rather surprised by the way it all played out towards the end.
Were you able to cover everything you wanted to in this series?
Yes, I pretty much covered everything that I wanted to discuss through the written series.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your trilogy?
I hope they first and foremost understand why I wrote the series which was to bring light on the matter of child abuse, pedophiles, rapist, and racism issues. To understand that each one of us can make a difference in these issues by advocacy. To help stop the abuse of children whether that be by a parent, caretaker, or foster. Insist in harsher punishments for both sexual rapists and pedophiles. To help change the weak laws that are currently set in place for racism into better ones.
Are you planning to write more books featuring the characters from this series or are you working on something different?
At the time being, I will not be writing any more books now or in the future. My trilogy series was the last of my books to write to try and get an important message out. In the meantime, I have some of my books available on Amazon and book stores.
Posted in Interviews
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In this third and final book novel emerges a new teen villain, Darla.
When her father, Shadow Claw, is finally captured, an enraged Darla, unable to help and left with no other choice, makes her way into Africa to seek the help of villain Cora.
Upon Cora’s return to New York, law enforcement is faced with Cora’s ruthless wrath again.
Cora’s return brings her previous rivals, Jerico, Nina, and Danny, back to the scene.
Cora and her new triple team members from Africa set their eyes on human traffickers.
Left with no other options, FBI headquarters sort out prisoner Amadou Khan to help in the capture of the villainess Cora.
Commissioner Danny’s adopted sister, scientist and technologist Julia, joins the fight.
A new mafia king leader takes over for the late mafia king. Commissioner Danny’s dark secret from his past is discovered, bringing dire consequences.
A familiar face from Nina Dansk’s past returns for her.
After receiving an unexpected tip about his parents’ unsolved death, Jericho faces a new betrayal and a rival.
Beast Shadow Claw’s true identity is finally revealed.
Posted in Interviews
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Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains is a case study on the psychological and emotional impact of the music used in the Batman franchise. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I’ve always been fascinated with the role of music in storytelling. Whether it’s on a stage or a screen, music can absolutely affect an audience on a primal level. A great score can inform how you connect with a specific character or story. I also think pop culture entertainment is a great window into deeper conversations about important things. It’s why I’m a professor who consistently use pop culture references and examples in my college courses I teach. And if I want to navigate readers through the psychology of music for tormented characters, I figured analyzing Batman villain scores would be a fascinating way to go about it!
What villain’s theme music is your favorite and why?
I personally have a deep love for Danny Elfman’s Batman Returns score. The way he aurally connects the three main characters (Batman, Catwoman, Penguin) with complementary yet individualized music themes is masterful and emotionally powerful. In my opinion, that score is perfection.
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?
I wanted to make sure my second full-length book met the bar I had set for myself with my first full-length book Cool Cats and a Hot Mouse: A History of Jazz and Disney. I was so honored and humbled by the reception Cool Cats and a Hot Mouse received (including it earning half a dozen national award recognitions). Just like my Disney Jazz book, I wanted my Batman villain book to educate readers about our history of entertainment in a captivating way.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have several upcoming chapters in scholarly books being published in the next year. I’m also excited to be launching a new pop culture hub called POP PROFESSOR, which will be a website where I’ll offer blogs and videos covering bite-size presentations of fascinating pop culture things (similarly to my books). That can be found at http://www.popprofessor.com, and my professional website is http://www.matthodge.com. I’m also still a full-time university professor, and enjoy spending my days in classrooms with students.
Posted in Interviews
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Award-winning composer author Matthew Hodge has created an alluring musical representation of Batman’s Villains. Dozens of familiar villains take center stage in each chapter, along with detailed character facts. The facts and content of Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains are fun and intriguing. In addition, readers will find the history of the music and character development mentally stimulating.
Movies, video games, and TV shows use music to build drama and anticipation. These sounds stick with people long after the piece has ended. It allows foreshadowing without saying a word. Hodge dives into the psychological and emotional impact of the music given to villains in the Batman franchise. Readers will appreciate that he goes into detail, not just about the blockbuster movie, but the video games and television shows as well. This fascinating book looks into how music impacts the experience one has watching or playing the games.
Given the depth of the content, Hodge seems to know how to keep it lighthearted and easy to understand through his writing style. He sets the pace to allow the reader to focus and take in the content, giving each character its own chance to shine. Even minor villains are given a stage to shine as their music is just as relevant as the supervillains at creating an atmosphere of foreboding and anticipation. In addition, readers will appreciate how the chapters are divided up, allowing them to focus on one character at a time. This allows this stimulating book to be picked up when readers want just a quick read.
Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains is a fantastic read for DC fanatics or film buffs. This would also appeal to music fans who want to look into pop culture music and its use in media. Finally, it would be a great and valuable source for university/college-level film study.
Pages: 258 | ISBN : 1683903218
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All beings radiate a life force, but some have an additional Mystical Force – a force that grants them special gifts, be it magical essence, demonic aura or spiritual power. While some consider these people to be gifted, there are others who feel these powers are unnatural. Mystical Force is a fantasy series, dealing with themes of prejudice and racism.
(Vol.1 Stranger in a Strange Land):
Shi-ria is brought to Earth by a sorceress named Zolida as part of a prophecy. There she meets Mystic, Noonien, Tokijin and Rose and must save a bunch of kidnapped demons from smugglers while the Order wants to destroy them. Meanwhile another sorceress named Scarlet Knightwalker wants to prevent this to ensure a dark future doesn’t come true.
(Vol.2 Angels and Demons):
Sister Rose and Tokijin are attacked by another demon (Jimomaru) and his sorceress ally (Aanjay) as revenge for them being persecuted by humans. Shi-ria, Mystic and Noonien are needed to help when Tokijin is placed under a spell and forced to attack Sister Rose.
(Vol.3 The Kolri and the Koldar):
Shi-ria, along with police detective Shinjo are transported back to Shi-ria’s planet, Thalia. Now Shi-ria must return Shinjo to Earth, while at the same time a dark cult (the Koldar Warriors) learn about this and want this power to magically teleport to any planet across the galaxy so they can spread their dark theocracy and destroy all “infidels”.
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Villains for Justice is Marta Nater’s provocative idea of a modern world where super-powerful villains take justice into their own hands to hunt down the most horrible criminals that exist. The book starts with Nina Dansk’s story, a woman tired of seeing her loved ones and regular people constantly abused by a legal system that neglects its victims and that doesn’t provide adequate punishment for criminals. Nina Dansk’s story is very detailed and starts from her childhood, so the reader can easily follow how Nina’s mentality slowly changes to the point where she abruptly decides to punish rapists, predators and sexual abusers by viciously killing them, fighting for the protection of abused children and women.
The book also follows the story of other captivating villains. Jerico Raven, an ex-detective passionate about law and justice, and Shadow Claw, a mysterious man-hybrid with hawk-like features also take justice into their hands, this time to fight off the crime and corruption that was abundant in the streets of New York. Later on Cora Rollins is also introduced, an ex-police officer that was inspired by Nina Dansk’s story and decided to follow her path, becoming possibly the worst villain of all, torturing and murdering exclusively sexual abusers and predators.
Hunted by the authorities and loved by the regular people, these intriguing villains keep their promises as vengeful vigilantes, giving a new meaning to the word justice and thus gaining the respect and admiration of those who had been living under fear throughout their entire lives. This book serves as a reflection of modern day society and showcases how constantly the real victims are left unprotected while the criminals are sheltered and given new opportunities to live among those they hurt the most. Through the main characters, we see how the suffering they endured transforms into anger and thirst for revenge, at times going too far and ending in tragedy.
The characters presented are quite interesting and have complex and compelling storylines. I enjoyed reading each of their motives and how they carried out their plans to bring justice to the world and save abused children. While I enjoyed the story I felt it could use another edit, but the story is gripping enough and presents some entertaining scenes. The idea of villains that want to punish criminals is interesting and pulled off in creative ways throughout the story, it kept me wanting to find out constantly how the story was going to end. This is a story about revenge and taking justice into one’s hand, with the understanding that sometimes good intentions may build a terrible path that ends in tragedy.
Villains for Justice by Marta Nater rousing crime fiction novel with interesting characters that embark on an entertaining revenge rampage throughout the city.
Pages: 262 | ASIN: B08R29CFKV
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