Category Archives: @ashertopia

Will Save Galaxy for Food by Croshaw

Imagine that you’re a starship pilot on the fringes of space (the black), saving whole planners of people in the golden age of space exploration. You’re a hero to humans everyone; beloved to all. Then humanity invents a way to get from any two points in space instantaneously. And you don’t have a job anymore. And now you’re scraping by, begging for jobs to fly tourists on quick planetary flybys. It’s a big step down.

Will Save Galaxy for Food
by Yahtzee Croshaw
Dark Horse Books
February 2017

Our hero takes a job pretending to be a different pilot – an incredibly hated one – for a mobster to take his son on an adventure. The boy, and his girlfriend, who happens to be the daughter of the President of Earth, want to go do into space. In an act of fear, our hero and the monsters former secretary decide they would rather kidnap the kids as a plan to escape the clutches of the mobster. It gets more convoluted. The good news is that almost none of it matters as this is incredibly shallow and no details are necessary to enjoy this quick and simple read. It’s supposed to be a satire, and while it is funny at times, this is no Discworld novel.

Complete pass time and nothing more.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Attack on Titan 1

Attack on Titan is an incredibly odd story, even for a manga or anime, which is where I first was introduced to this world. Humanity live in huge walled cities and outside the walls are giant steam monsters that look like naked humans and that eat humans if available. No one knows where they came from or what their goal is. Survival is the focus.

Attack on Titan 1
By Hajime Isayama
Kodansha Comics
June 2012

In manga 1, we meet Erin, the overly angry teenage protagonist and his friends, the smart thinker friend and the powerful warrior friend and the inexplicable enemies. Anime tropes = achieved. If there isn’t something introduced to make this story stand out quickly it’s easy to see how some readers would lose interest. (Like I did when I got so freaking bored watching Erin take his lessons on the anime – I wasted adventure; not high school drama.) Fortunately, things do get a little better as [Spoiler Alert] Erin gets eaten at the end of manga 1.

I’ve already queued up manga 2 and intend to finish all 22 prior to watching the live action Japanese movies (2014) with my daughter, who loves this story.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

IQ by Ide

This detective novel won several awards: Shamus (Best First PI Novel 2017,) Anthony (Best First Novel 2017,) Macavity (Best First Mystery 2017,) and nominated for the Edgar Award. Along with the accolades, this is billed as a 20 year old black Sherlock Holmes solving cases in South Central LA. So I was sold on giving it a try.

IQ
By Joe Ide
Mullholland
October 2016

The main mystery – a rapper has been targeted by a hit man – isn’t really the main story here. Since this is the first novel, Ide weaves in IQ’s past as the more important of the two stories. He jumps back and forth between 2005 and 2013 and it flows well. By the end, we have s solution for the rapper mystery as well as a cheat understanding of IQ and his gangsta friend/ Watson.

While I enjoyed the book, I found getting to know Isaiah much for interesting than finding the person who took out the hit on the rapper. And I find that solution to be tagged on to the end of a book that maybe didn’t need that whole plotline. The ending felt hurried and unsatisfying. There is a second book and I’ll definitely read it, so this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

For those that this matters to, it is important to note that this book is filled to overflowing with crass language, cussing, gang violence, sexuality and whatever else would automatically trigger an R rating if filmed.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Blessed are the Misfits by Hanson

I don’t often listen to the radio but I’m always excited when Brant comes on. He speaks clearly and with love. He knows the Bible well and, I think, has a good grasp of God as well. So I was excited to read his new book. It wasn’t a let down.

Blessed are the Misfits
by Brant Hanson
Thomas Nelson
November 2017

This book is about how those of us who are introverted, different, odd, and even those of us who may have a syndrome like Brant’s Aspergers, can find a place in the largest of big tents in God’s kingdom.

I found a lot to relate to and a release on certain aspects of my faith that just wasn’t like everyone else’s, and that I subconsciously blamed on myself. I must not be seeking God enough. That’s why I didn’t feel his presence at church this week. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. Definitely worth the read.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

I Am Legend by Mattheson

It’s (dissapointingly) normal to say a movie doesn’t follow a book well, but I was surprised by just how far BOTH movies strayed from the source material of this book.

I Am Legend
by Richard Matheson
1954

Here you find a thoughtful, plodding, psychological story of one man, maybe the last man alive on earth, and how he deals with the loss of everything and everyone he knows to a great plague that may be vampirism and the great loneliness he feels.

It’s not a great book, and definitely dated, but it was worth the read and definitely better than either movie. Dark and unrelenting and interesting.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Kobane Calling by Zerocalcare

A graphic art non-fiction account of the artists visit to Northern Syria / Rojava (Kurds) and first hand account of his impressions on the factions currently at war.

Kobane Calling
by zerocalcare
Lion Forge
October 2017

I don’t accept the stories as gospel, because there is simply too much confusion and propaganda on all sides. But I do accept these stories as his experiences and will continue to dig deeper into this crazy abyss that currently has so many nations in a sort of proxy war over this area. It was fascinating and, if true, heartbreaking. Definitely worth taking a look at.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Paul Behaving Badly by Richards and O’Brien

A book that asks the question, is the Apostle Paul a racist, chauvinist jerk?

Paul Behaving Badly
by Richards and O’Brien
IVP
November 2016

I found it to be an excellent resource on questions and topics that come up frequently in discussion about Christianity, like, the role of women, homosexuality, and Paul’s sometimes aggressive arrogance. Each section digs into the claims to make the case against Paul and then domains the truth about him using historical criticism and exegesis.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Year One by Roberts

A strange interesting post apocalyptic novel where a devastating virus kills a massive amount of people in the world and at the same time magic awakens in the world. I’m looking forward to the next novel.

Year One
By Nora Roberts
St. Martin’s Press
December 2017

FYI: NSFW at times, with strong language and a couple of brief accounts of sexuality. Very brutal at times. Lots of apocalyptic violence.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Loureiro

The book starts with journal entries by a man who has recently lost his wife. His pschologist suggested that starting a blog would help him work through his feelings. Infortunately, in Russia there is an outbreak of something that will make his journal about so much more than the loss of one woman; soon it will be about the loss of almost all people.

The Beginning of the End
Apocalypse Z #1
By: Manel Loureiro
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Brilliance Audio
November 2012

Unlike many zombie books this isn’t ultra action packed and filled with everyday people who suddenly become all-star athletes who can shoot zombies in the head from 100 yards witb a pistol. It also isn’t filled with non-stop vulgar language as if another cuss word would ramp up the realism. I enjoyed the pacing – based on journal entries – and the take on zombies (they are slightly different than your run of the mill Waking Dead.) I also loved the setting – so many in this genre have to happen in the US. It was a nice change of pace. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

Glory Song by Redman & The Answer by Camp

Sometimes I have an opportunity to listen to and review new music and because many of my friends and family love Christian pop radio music I agreed to review two new CDs. Both came with the promise of a free giveaway and because I love you, the readers of this site, here are my reviews. Comment below or on Facebook to win. Winners will be chosen at random on October 15, 2017.

Glory Song
by Matt Redman
sixsteprecords
September 2017

My biggest problem with this album and the songs on it are previous works by Redman. There are no 10,000 Reasons here. Instead, we get, in my opinion, very basic lyrics – listen to, for instance, the beginning of the song All Glory, All Glory the song. And, yes, that is an illustration, an illustration that is, – on mellow and same-ish music ready made for Christian radio. And that’s not a great thing, in my opinion. None of the songs rise to the level of interesting, creative or complicated.

That said, listeners who came looking for Redman will find enough of the same Redman to love this album. Listeners looking for “safe for the whole family” music will find it here. Listeners looking for something mellow and encouraging with easy to remember lyrics will enjoy Glory Song. And since music is mostly all about taste preferences, I’ll just agree to disagree and set this aside.

The Answer
by Jeremy Camp
Sparrow
October 2017

When I was first introduced to Jeremy Camp it was as an alternative to secular music. He was supposed to be good-for-the-soul pop rock and some of those early songs weren’t bad. Recently – say the last decade – he has become known for his worship songs and covers, Like 2015’s Same Power, and soft rock songs like, He Knows (both from I Will Follow.)

The Answer is very similar to, but not as good as I Will Follow. He has the same soft rock vibe going for the most part, but adds some electronic noise, like in the already constantly playing on radio, Word of Life, or even a Jon Bon Jovi-esq Awake O Sleeper (reminds me a lot of Young Guns.)

While some of the songs do stretch the sound of Camp, I found the album to be strongly, firmly forgettable. Obviously, I’m in the minority here based on the radio play that Word of Life is already getting. But I’m tired of songs that all sound the same and artists who don’t push themselves or evolve. I firmly believe that Camp can do better. Just my opinion.

Don’t forget to comment here or on Facebook if you think my opinion is totally rubbish and you want a copy of the CD(s).


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

A copy of each of the CDs was provided in exchange for a review.