Friday, June 14, 2013



BY: James Patteron and Martin Dugard

Genre: A Nonfiction Thriller

As I have mentioned over on my Patterson’s Pantry Blog as a student I adored studying ancient history. While ancient Greece and Rome were my favorites I was also fascinated by the pharaohs of Egypt. So when I came across this non-fiction book written by one of my favorite authors I was thrilled.

I was even more excited to see, according to the cover, it was a non-fiction thriller about the plot to kill the child King Tut I HAD to read it.

Unfortunately it was a disappointment. There was none of the suspense that Patterson usually includes in his books. The ancient history was so chopped up it was hard to follow.

I understand the importance of following the life of Howard Carter, the Egyptologist that un-covered Tut’s burial chamber, but so much time was spent on his failures over a 30 year time span little space was left to do the life of King Tut justice.

The third story running in the book could have been left out entirely or confined to the prologue and epilogue rather than thrown in as well. While I appreciate the fact Mr. Patterson was inspired to write the book there was no need to scatter here and there his plugs for his other books and who was doing what research. Again I would have much preferred more time had been spent in Ancient Egypt, and Tut.

Instead of spending hundreds of words on the long lineage of Tut he could have dealt more with just the lineage of his parents, and especially his stepmother Nefertiti, and how she died. Or more about his child bride and half sister.

Patterson claims they solved the “crime” of King Tut’s murder. I’ll leave you to decide if he did.

My rating for this book is a low B-. More for the research that was done on this book than for the story line.

Jan who will go back to reading the fictional characters of James Patterson’s genius and steer from any future non-fiction written by him in OK



By Ridley Pearson

GENRE: Fiction, fantasy, Young Adult

Disney Hollywood Studios and Epcot are the two parks covered in this third book of the series. 

Wayne is missing and it is up to the Kingdom Keepers with the help of the two Fairlies to find him before it is too late.

Who is the mysterious lady all decked out in Disney gear that seems to be stalking Finn and the Fairlies? Is she good or evil?  Should they trust her?
Where is Maleficent? These questions and more are asked and answered in this third installment.
I found this book moves faster than the first two books with far more action and intrigue.  Of course the Overtakers are very prevalent in the book complete with new back-ups. 

I particularly liked the exploration of the now defunct Wondersof Life Pavillion .  This quiet Pavillion was one of my favorites of days gone by.  So I was thrilled that they not only included it in the plot but included it as no longer in use. 

The glimpses of the behind the scenes areas continue throughout this book.

Overall, as a dyed in the wool Walt Disney World fan,  I have been enjoying this series of books simply because of where they take place and all the behind the scenes action you get to know about.

The plots are the basic good versus evil stories, but the adventure is well written.

I also like the fact that the teens in the book don’t just skate through disobeying without consequences. 

I must say that unlike many sequels the stories of the Kingdom Keepers are improving with each additional book.  I would give this one a solid B+

Jan who will be Reading the Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play soon in OK

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Every walk to the woods is a religious rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance. Communion service is at all hours, and the bread and wine are from the heart and marrow of Mother Earth. -John Burroughs



Genre: Sci-Fi Fiction


I'm going to be right up front and say the very first few minutes of this movie made me uncertain if I even wanted to watch it. I believe in living with nature, but I am not a "bunny hugger". This movie started out with an environmentalist theme and it put me off. Later my son told me he thought about getting up and going and asking for his money back, but then he remembered we were seeing it for free.


As a family we believe everyone has a right to their own opinions about the environment, but no one has a right to shove their beliefs down the throats of others, so when movies start off blaming humans for every problem in the universe it leaves a bad taste in our mouths.


Luckily for the movie makers that one reference was all they made to the environmentalist movement. So we stayed to watch the movie. Or maybe it’s not so good for M. Night Shyamalan, because this review is not favorable for it.


The premise of the movie, if you haven't gathered it from the movie trailers filling the airways, is that man destroyed the environment and had to flee the planet. The new planet they went to was infested with man destroying beasts, called "Ursa" that were planted there with the sole purpose of hunting man down and killing him by tracking him by the fear pheromone.


This is where the movie becomes disjointed and starts to move erratically. Had they followed this story line a bit more the rest of the movie may have been more interesting. One brief glimpse of Will Smith, who plays the father, Cypher Raige, walking or, "ghosting" as it is called in the movie, all around the creatures without being detected is all you truly get of the battles with the Ursa.


Let’s stop here and discuss the names, which were for the most part not understandable when the characters spoke them,  in this movie.  First of all the name of the movie to begin with After Earth, it did NOTHING to describe the movie. 


The there is Will Smith’s character’s name, that quite frankly none of the three of us viewing the movie could make out what in the world they were calling him during the whole movie.  I had to look it up on the net to find out it was Cyper Raige.  What type of name is that?


Jaden Smith’s, Will’s actual son, is named Kitai, at least that one we could understand as Will Smith said it often and loudly in the movie.


The only two other characters that seemed to have names in the movie were the mother Faia Raige and the deceased sister Senshi Raige.  


Then of course there is Ursa, the creature.  Ursa was a she bear in ancient times, but this thing looked nothing like a bear and they called it both he and she in the movie.


That wasn’t the only continuity problem we found in the movie, IF you should decide to see this movie you will see that even when running through a planet with no shoe stores Jaden Smith changes shoes, more than once.  We weren’t looking for continuity problems, but this and others jumped out at us.  We are fans of continuity in our movies and dislike glaring problems with it.


One HUGE continuity problem was the fact the movie was NOT what the trailers lead you to believe.  I cannot tell you the reason I say this without ruining the movie for you die hard Will Smith fans.  So I’ll stop there.


As you have probably already guessed by all I have typed, the rating on this movie is not very high in this family.  The three of us voted, the votes ranged from a C to a low B in our household.


My recommendation, if you are going to see only one movie, this shouldn’t be it, maybe after it comes out on Netflix, but not before then.  Of the two movies we saw Saturday, “Iron Man III” was far better.  You can read my review of it here.


Jan who is certainly glad she didn’t pay to see After Earth in OK



“How Superheroes Make Money:
- Spider-Man knits sweaters.
- Superman screw the lids on pickle jars.
- Iron Man, as you would suspect, just irons.”
Jim Benton, Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers


Genre: Fiction, Marvel Comics Super Heros

As part of our “staycation” this weekend we saw two movies on Saturday.  The first of which we saw was “Iron Man III”.  It was standard Iron Man fair, flying suits, resident bad guy, save the maiden type fare, but it was a fun movie.

Robert Downey Jr. took up his ongoing role of Tony Stark, aka: Iron Man. In this episode he is a bit more neurotic suffering from panic attacks.  His salvation is a young boy, Harley,  played by Ty Simpkins.

Harley is the first supporting child actor featured in the Iron man films, he adds a bit of added humor to the movie with his easy handling of Tony Stark throughout the movie.

Of course I don’t want to give away the plot, I hate when people do that.  So I simply will remind you to keep your eyes open for Stan Lee making his cameo appearance as he does in all Marvel Comic movies.  We spotted him easily, but he’s only there for a split second, so keep your eyes open.

Throughout the movie we caught quick references to other Marvel Comic superheros, which always makes movie watching fun.  Kind of like listening to  Disney animated movies for that one snippet of “when you wish upon a star” playing in some piece of movie.  It’s generally there, you just have to watch/listen for it.
For one final smile stay through the credits for a final scene that includes another suprise cameo.

In our family rating system we give this movie a solid B, with all three of agreeing it was a far more interesting movie than the second one we saw, “After Earth”.