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Jeremiah J. Timmins RSS Feed (Laconia, NH USA!)

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Perdition's Edge Issue 1
Perdition's Edge Issue 1
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The West Never Dies, January 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I very much enjoyed this comic I bought for Kindle. The dialogue was a bit small on my Kindle for PC, but, the illustration come through perfectly. I was very impressed by them. The women and guns are sexy and the men are hard-edged and dangerous. The use of illustrations in framing the comic are really beautiful. Most impressed by the use of the silver crosses and things like a trail of coins morphing into the smoke from a steam engine's boiler. The Wild West is and will always be a fantasy setting, with its lawlessness, the mystery of the wide-open desert (which carries the mythic setting of the Biblical Middle East) and the lure of freedom and unspoiled riches. This book uses the West's setting and flavor very well to establish an interesting story about hope, doom, riches, sex, and death, all told with great visuals. As all Kindle readers know, the quality of Kindle offerings can very dramatically. But for me this was a happy, no-regrets Kindle buy that I highly suggest to others.

Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2)
Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2)
by Steven Erikson
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from $5.34

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Follow-Up to 'Gardens', January 8, 2007
Sadly this book returned to the fantasy morasse that I delightedly found 'Gardens of the Moon' to be free from: static characters and miles and miles of battle scenes. Once I became so bored I started skipping pages without missing the plot I knew I was done with this book. Erickson's worldbuilding and imagination and writing skills are all impressive, but this novel would be twice as good if it was half as long. I hope the next book is as good as 'Gardens' was.

Shadows Linger: A Novel of the Black Company (The Second Chronicle of The Black Company)
Shadows Linger: A Novel of the Black Company (The Second Chronicle of The Black Company)
by Glen Cook
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
34 used & new from $0.76

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and Engaging Fantasy, December 14, 2006
Wow, after not having read fantasy for years due to endless descriptions of everything and everyone, good and evil, archetypes, heroes and villians, I lucked out when I randomly picked up this book. It's an awesome read. Cook doesn't bother with much explicit description; he leaves it all to show, which he does with an economy of words that keeps focus on the white-hot story. The climax had me leaning out of my seat, which almost never happens these days - sadly - since I've read so many frigging books. With casualties galore I had no pre-conceived notion of the outcome.

I also really enjoyed the easy use of names. No apostrophe-ridden tongue twisters. No olde English, German, or nominal languages. No foreign language content at all. Here are the character names: Croaker, Goblin, the Lady, the Dominator, the Limper, Whisper, Soulcatcher, Elmo, the Captain, the Lieutenant, Marron Shed, Asa, Lisa, Darling, Raven. You might say it's unimaginative, true, however the easy names frees the reader to enjoy the plot. I found them quite liberating.

As far as descriptions of actions: they were sparse. When damage to people was described it was far more effective.

Overall I'll be reading a lot more Glen Cook and actually am kicking myself for not reading more fantasy as he reminded me of how good it can be.

I have to comment on one of the reviewers giving it a 1 star.

One-star: "Instead we are treated to some guy who double-crosses his wife, some guys who steal urns from an underground cemetary and some mentions of the black company. It took 200 of the 300 pages to even mention the White Rose. After reading the disappointing first book in the series, I was hoping that this one would shed some light on what that first one was lacking. It just confused me more."

Eh, the White Rose was mentioned in the first pages as being the Rebel's motive. The Black Company was mentioned at the same time when Croaker and friends were wiping out rebs. No one double-crosses a wife in the entire book, so I have no idea where he got that. Yes there is a guy who steals urns from the underground cemetary (aka 'catacombs') and that guy is one of the main characters named Raven.

One-star: "There is absolutely not a single interesting or well-developed character in 'Shadows Linger'. At least the first had Croaker, but even he is cast aside as a second string character. The names flit right past the reader, without anything to hook the reader in. Perhaps the characters themselves are the 'Shadows' that 'Linger'... shadows that would be fortunate to be called one-dimensional."

Croaker was the first-person narrator for approximately half the book, and he was well-developed, not second-string. The other principles were Raven, Marron Shed, and Darling. As far as what's needed to hook the reader in, it would be the action involving the characters, their needs and desires and appeal. Cook is very light on physical descriptions, yet it's quite easy to imagine the characters through their actions and even just names. The description of the Lady was something along the lines of: "We'd gotten older but she was still beautiful. She'd always remain 20. Her hair was stunningly black, and men could melt into her eyes. She was a focus of such glamor it's beyond physical description, and describing her is useless anyway as this wasn't her real form but the one she chose." The rest of what the reader picks up of the Lady's image comes from people's comments on her, what she says and does, etc. On the eve of the big battle in the story, there's no hurrah speech BS, this is what she says: "The black castle is a hole in the bottom of the ship of the Empire. We must stop it now lest we sink." Bam - I love it!

One-star: "That aside, the story itself was just uninteresting. There's more plot development on the back cover blurb than there is in the actual novel. Some of the plot elements had absolutely no motivation behind them. It was as if Glen Cook was purposely leaving out details like "Why on earth are they doing this?"

Why on earth are they doing this? Plot: Mortal mercenaries begin to find their souls to the chagrin of their employer, the Lady, who can kill them with a thought. Around this central plot we have: A deserter from the Black Company wages a one-man campaign to save the reincarnation of the White Rose in the harshest of lands at the edge of the Empire. A wastrel bar owner redeems himself in life. The Lady battles her ex-spouse, the Dominator, in a fight to maintain control of the world.

No plot? Yeah, right. Just like the Black Company was never mentioned, the White Rose wasn't in the book till the end, someone double-crossed their wife. Uh-huh.

World of Warcraft - (Obsolete)
World of Warcraft - (Obsolete)
Offered by MorningStar2
Price: $24.95
182 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This really can't be compared to other MMORPGs, November 28, 2004
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I knew Blizzard would do a good job, but I really didn't expect it to be this good. This game is fun, immersive, beautiful, has variety and challenge, and did I mention fun?

I've played a few MMOs and this one blows the others out of the water. The amount of work that went into this game is unbelievable. Also, it's glitch-free as far as I can tell after 30 hours of play. Launch day had a lot of server resets but that was cleared up by day two and never returned. Compared to the weeks of BS other MMOs make you put up with at launch, that's trouble free.

Many great ideas were thrown into this game. One of the best is the quest system. While levelling you continually do interesting and varied quests. Completion of the quest usually grants as much or more XP than a player gains from killing anything during the quest. Quests also provide great items, and the quest escalation enables the player to learn gradually about the world they're in and how to function in it.

The varied character that the game's NPCs display is great. For example if you start in Deathknell, the Undead starting point, you get used to the dreariness of the Undead world, where NPCs say stuff like "Beware of the living," and "Trust no one." When you reach Oggrimar, the Orc capitol, and hear the Orc NPCs tell you "Strength, honor," or "Be safe," you run into the same cultural variety that makes real life travel interesting. The goblins of course always tell you things like "Time is money, friend!" since they are the banking and trade people.

One example of ease-of-use is when you are about to replace an equipped item with a new item, you can see both item stats displayed before making the change to help you decide.

The only detractions I've heard people talk about is the lack of coordinates. Well, on one hand you have to learn the world intimiately, or at least use direction and map. On the other hand, this forces one to pay attention to the world, which helps one learn it quickly. Also, GPS-style coordinates in a Medieval / Fantasy world are a bit unrealistic.

As far as eye candy, the game has tons. While the images aren't hyper-realistic, they have amazing character and look great. Characters can also sleep (Undead sleep like they're in coffins) dance (Undead females dance like Goth people, males dance like heavy metal guys, Taurens do 'the happy dance,' and Trolls breakdance).

Anyway, rambling on, but it's an awesome game. Best MMORPG so far, and makes me regret ever spending time on ones like SWG or EQ.

IL-2 Sturmovik - PC
IL-2 Sturmovik - PC
Price: $6.49
32 used & new from $0.43

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Game, April 20, 2004
This review is from: IL-2 Sturmovik - PC (Video Game)
Damn, this game is incredible. Even if you rev your engine, the plane will rotate a bit from the torque. Try to learn how to recover from stalls on all the different models, then learn to recover the ME-109. It ain't easy but once you recognize how your plane of choice acts when it's about to stall, you can pull aerial maneuvers that really ride the edge of the aircraft's ability. I guess that's where 'flying by the seat of your pants' comes from. This game is just overall unbelievable. It's hard to imagine how people used to actually fly and fight in these things considering the difficulty of just getting up and landing, nevermind combat.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Offered by Dot Com Deals
Price: $13.46
532 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great flick!, December 10, 2003
Never been so surprised with a movie. I had zero expectations for it (old Arnie, original cast largely gone, new director, female terminator seemed to be a grasp for something exciting). But the movie was great. Very enjoyable action film in which characters change, there's humor, and great thrills.

Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided - PC
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided - PC
10 used & new from $47.83

61 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME GAME! Whiners be gone., July 24, 2003
I rate games by the degree to which they destroy my social life. I once thought Civilization III and Medal of Honor were bad, but Star Wars - An Empire Divided, could end a marraige or turn you into a hermit (at least in real life, plenty of friends can be made in-game). This game is AWESOME!

I've never seen a game this complex and engrossing. To start, you customize the character you want from one of six species, then modify the 3-D model's body, face, and features. You choose from one of five novice professions, which can branch to like 20 elite professions. For example, if you want to be an architect, you start as an artisan, concentrate on the homebuilding tree, gain experience, then become a novice architect and go from there. This is what originally interested me in the game, since I've never really liked fantasy. But the chance to become a medic, architect, or musician, instead of just a swordsman dwarf or archer elf, seemed interesting. Indeed, it has been.

The player economy seems to work very well. Because one person cannot be a master in more than two fields at once, and you can't have more than one player per server (each server is a galaxy), players cannot be self-sufficient. They have to buy and sell to get what they need. And with the diversity of demands, everything from tailors needing hide, to architects needing metal, to pistoliers needing more advanced firearms, the economy is quite vibrant.

The only complaints I have about the game are the server down-time and bugs. Yes, they could have waited in Beta more, but the more players they have reporting bugs the more errors they can find. In a game this wildly complex there will likely always be a bug or two. Like books, software isn't necessarily completed, it's simply released. However, instead of beta-testing for another 6 months, I'm glad they released the game now. It's worth playing, there's a bug report function in the game, and server downtimes are announced on the Star Wars Galaxies site. Also, your first month with the game is free to give you time to determine whether or not you like it.

There are lots of great things about this game, but one of the most interesting is the fact that you're dealing with other people, and you can make friends through this game. That, and that the escalations your characters go through while gaining experience are really neat. While a lot of players are upset that they aren't an uber-character straight out of the box, people who stick with the game grow attached to it because they make characters very strong. It's rewarding to come across a newbie being chewed to death by kreetles (large Tattooine insects), flailing for life, and you easily destroy all the bugs and their lair in six shots because you've mastered the Pistolieer profession.

The animated battles in this game are great. The characters dodge, roll, blast, shoot from under the belt, dive and shoot, trade swords, or parry pike thrusts. There's even an unarmed martial art in this game.

I've had the game a month now, and no one I know of has become a Jedi or opened a force-sensitive slot. Some fanboys seem upset about this. Well, just because it takes months to even discover how to become a Jedi, and there's no guarantee you'll unlock your character's force slot, doesn't mean the game is bad. On the other hand, if there's a Jedi in a galaxy, that player's a legend. This stands up with the esteem of Jedis in the movies. They're rare, legendary, and powerful. If you want to be an insta-Jedi you can always pick up Knights of the Old Republic.

Another thing about this game that's really cool are the player cities. I'm in one now, and it's basically all friends who play at the same time of day and have professions that compliment one another. We have a PA hall at the end of the street, then a street full of player houses, stores, etc. There are constant block parties and you never have to scrounge and scrape to get a hunting party going. We have doctors and entertainers in the PA hall, so if you come back from a hunt or mission or raid, the doctors and dancers and musicians heal you, you give them a slice of the mission reward, and everyone's happy. The artisans in our guild (tailor, armorer, weaponsmith, architect) give us discounts, since I supply materials, and money-trading is done within the guild in case someone needs to buy something big like a factory or whatever.

The game can be disheartening if you're just starting out. It's hard to find your niche in the economy, and it takes time to gain experience. But, so what? It imitates life. And if it takes you a month or two to gain an elite profession, just think how long it takes in real life. And in the meantime, you come across other people with your level of talent and you bond with them. Or, if you're not socially inclined, you can just be a lone wolf and take destroy missions for money.

Overall, it's a very cool game. There have been a couple development bumps along the way, but if your computer is a steady mount, this game will go nicely. Also, the bugs and servers have improved steadily in the past month. There's a lot more I'd like to say about how fun this game is, but the best thing I can say is go buy it.

Also, if you get the collector's edition, your character starts off with sunglasses, which aren't available or tradeable. Definitely look kinda leet and cool with those. Wish I'd bought 'em!

-- JJ Timmins

DVD ~ Christian Bale
Offered by DAILY "Black-Friday" 4U
Price: $11.72
181 used & new from $0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just when you think all movies officially now stink..., June 28, 2003
This review is from: Equilibrium (DVD)
... you get a diamond like this one, 'Equilibrium.' Yeah, I know it borrows from Bradbury, Orwell, and the Wachowskis, but guess what? NO STORIES ARE COMPLETELY ORIGINAL! Stories are just good, or bad, and this one is kick-butt.

This is a low-budget movie with heart. Watching Christian Bale's 'deterioration' into a feeling human being was fascinating without becoming too sticky. Bale is perhaps one of the only action-capable actors to pull off such a demanding role. Gun Kata is a concept that has been around for a long time without anyone placing a name and philosophy to it. Yes, the odds he survives are unrealistic, but so is flipping upside down while firing an M-16 and actually hitting people. What's important is that gun kata is a means of explaining the mythic capabilities of the hero in a cool way. And the action scenes pay off in a huge way.

By the end of the movie, when Bale shows up in his white cleric's outfit, he has so morphed into the ultimate good guy that you just can't wait for him to explode. This is one movie that actually pulls you in, makes you think, and entertains you.

-- JJ Timmins

No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars The Matrix Kaput, May 21, 2003
This movie is so bad, it almost drags down the first Matrix. I wonder how the directors/writers could have gone so wrong in storytelling. Only Highlander Two is a worse sequel, and I can't even count Highlander Two because it's so bad it's good.

What's wrong with this movie? Everything. Considering what the Wachowskis have shown us they can do in Bound and The Matrix, I can only chalk up the failure of Reloaded to the 'you can't edit me cuz I'm awesome' syndrome that afflicts so many succesful artists.

1 - Trinity's appeal from the first movie was the fact that she kicked complete and total ass. In the sequel she's relegated to the role of 'the chick who gets in the way.'

2 - The story never gets a good flow. In the first Matrix, they set up the world, then the action starts. Morpheus is captured, and against all odds a trio of heroes with Neo at its core saves the day, and Neo undergoes unbelievable change. That's great - there's only four serious players (Trin, Morph, Neo, Smith), one plot (is he the One) and one conflict - save Morpheus and fight the Matrix, as represented by Smith. In Reloaded there are 13 new major characters to introduce. There are six or seven plot conflicts for you to focus on. The audience never has a chance to get interested in any one thing. Except for the FX, which were cool. But no amount of FX and action will ever hold your interest if they're not backing up a solid story. This movie was like a supermodel with no backbone.

3 - In every serious encounter, Neo saves the day. You quickly realize that no matter how bad it gets Neo will fly in and kick butt. This is boring.

4 - The Matrix was a philosophical movie. Reloaded is a movie that teaches you about philosophy. The Merovingian's speech about choice was lifted straight from a college textbook. The first one was an action movie that made you think, because they didn't spell anything out. It's the whole show vs. tell philosophy to storytelling. If you want someone to think an idea or philosophy in a story is cool you show them how it's cool, not tell them.

5 - The whole 'cut a story in two parts' idea is a bad one. If Warner Brothers had released Revolutions in three weeks instead of six months, it would have worked better. As it is, many people who saw the movie's ending were disappointed, and didn't even understand what happened. For example, a line of dialogue at the end confused many viewers into thinking Zion was destroyed, not just a mission of ships.

6 - Neo's powers are worthless. At the end of The Matrix, Neo was basically God. He could simply unzip an agent, because he could manipulate the code with his mind. In the second movie, he's relegated back to karate and kung fu. And he never taught any of his friends how to see past the reality of the Matrix?

7 - Boring fights. The fights were choreographed in this movie even better than the first, but they were boring. There was no visceral impact. In the first one you had Morpheus breaking toilets with his head and Smith kicking Neo so hard into concrete walls that it broke the concrete. The fights in this one are like watching your kid brother play Tekken. The fights also lost their punch because you really weren't concerned about anyone dying, you knew Neo would save them.

The first time I saw this movie, I was really excited. I think I was still excited from the first Matrix, four years ago. But upon repeat viewings I have to admit that this is a bad movie. So many characters, too many plot conflicts, too many easy saves by our hero, and overall too shallow. It's a very pretty movie, cool action, but if the first one's as deep as an ocean, this movie's a kiddy pool.

-- JJ Timmins

Gladiator Signature Selection (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Gladiator Signature Selection (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Russell Crowe
Offered by ClockworkCornucopia
Price: $14.85
83 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awesome, April 25, 2003
Pure, thrilling entertainment on an incredible scale. It's rare that I see a movie so full of such awesome talent. From the incestuous, mad Commodus to his counterpart, the honest, fearless Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridus, and everyone in between. I've watched this movie about 12 times, and haven't seen a mistake yet.

Connie Nielsen as Lucilla is breathtaking. She posesses maximum amounts of intelligence, grace, and beauty. There isn't a man alive who wasn't intrigued when she tells Maximus, "Maximus, I still remember you in my prayers. Oh yes, I pray."

Another standout in a great cast is Oliver Reed. Damn, he was a good actor. Just look at his face when he's telling Maximus about the colluseum. "50,000 Romans, following every move of your sword. And the rise, and cheer, as if, as if you're the Thunder God himself."

The acting, story, and sets in this movie are all astounding. If you want a thrill and haven't seen this, buy it immediately.

-- JJ Timmins

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