Book Reviews: The Mighty Knights / Sapphire’s Castle


Geek Alabama Book Reviews

This is a Geek Alabama Book Review!  And on this review, I am going to review two children’s books I have received in the mail.  The books are called “The Mighty Knights” and “The Mighty Knights: Sapphire’s Castle.”  Both books are written by Peter J. Clark and illustrated by Kory Fluckiger.  The thing is the books are currently going through a Kickstarter campaign, and I was sent the books to review and talk about their Kickstarter campaign.

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In “The Mighty Knights”, two boys battle a dragon before bedtime.  One thing I enjoyed is the animation was very cool and the words are easy to read for any age.  Here are a few pics from the book.

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In “The Mighty Knights: Sapphire’s Castle”, a bog and a girl battle a two-headed dragon inside their custom clubhouse in a tree.

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This is their second book, and the animation was done great here too!  Here are a few pics from that book.

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As you can see, both books involve a lot of fantasy.  I mean, dragons and battling them is something you would find on Game of Thrones.  In both books, you find plenty of colorful and easy to see animations.  The vivid eyes on the dragons and the details of the characters were done very well.  The words in both books are easy to read with a big font.  And the best thing is the font is done in very create ways on each page!  These are books any geeky and nerdy family would enjoy reading to their kids!

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Overall, I enjoyed both books!  And right now, you can get both books in their Kickstarter campaign!  To pledge, go to:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bestchildrensbooks/sapphires-castle-relaunch?ref=nav_search

I received both books for a book review.

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Book Review: The Making Of Tornado Chasers By Ken Cole


Geek Alabama Book Reviews

In this Book Reviews post, I am talking about the new book from Ken Cole and Reed Timmer called “The Making Of Tornado Chasers.”  In The Making of Tornado Chasers, filmmaker Ken Cole gives you a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the treacherous production of the documentary series Tornado Chasers, which follows Reed Timmer’s chase team during the historic 2013 tornado season.  Including behind the scenes anecdotes and first-hand accounts of the tragic events in Moore and El Reno, Oklahoma, Cole tells his personal story through a series of logs covering pre-production through the series premiere.  To get an idea of this series, here are two episodes from the series you can watch right now!

As you know, Tornado Chasers was funded by backers on a Kickstarter campaign Geek Alabama covered.  At the beginning, you will learn about Reed Timmer teaming up with KFOR-TV, and chasing in the Ozarks with Ginger Zee.  Early in the season, the chases were mostly busts, and with busts, you can not make an online TV show.  You also read about relationships with friends, and the new equipment they purchased to make the chases easier.

The book spends a lot of time during the chase of the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado.  They talked about the amazing supercell and tornado they saw, picking up crew from The Weather Channel who were involved in the tornado, and talking about the loss of storm chasers Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras.  The book also talks about the EF5 Moore, Oklahoma tornado, the tragedy and destruction, and Reed Timmer’s dealings with the mainstream media, who wanted stories about Moore, instead of chasing tornadoes in the field.

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In the book, you will also get some behind the scenes info. about Jim Cantore and Ginger Zee tagging along, the tough choices to keep chasing or search the rubble for victims, and the challenges of a very long day to keep chasing.  There is also some funny moments, like being denied into Canada because Dominator 3 was too significantly altered.  You will also learn about how they produced the show, and put the show together after the chasing season was over.  If you are looking to make a show, this book can give you some good tips!

Overall, The Making Of Tornado Chasers was a good read, and if you enjoy weather, this is a good book that is a quick and good read!  Learn more and get the book by going to: http://tvnweather.com/tornadochasers/book

Book Review: Blaze By Jason Woodham


Geek Alabama Book Reviews

On this Geek Alabama book review post, I am reviewing Blaze written by Jason Woodham.  Jason is an Alabama based author from the Ozark area and works as a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer.  He is an avid reader, writer, and outdoorsman who enjoys many different sports.  Blaze is the first book of the High-Born epic, a four-part sci-fi, action-adventure, love story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic future.  At its core, Blaze is a super-hero origin story that has both mainstream and niche appeal.  Full of adorable children; deep emotion; advanced technology, and remarkable powers, Blaze will burn its way into your dreams and keep you up at night wondering what will happen next.  While full of action, Blaze is appropriate for all ages.

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The story begins in an apocalyptic world, Harold is living on a farm and in this world, food means survival.  For example, families and people trade homemade clothing for food like a ham hock.  Colonel Foxx was kind of like the unofficial leader of the town, and he was strict.  If the villagers did not produce enough food, food was taken away from them!  Everyone struggles to survive and are extremely money poor.  Even though the people struggle to survive, Harold and the other kids does have a chance to be a kid and play.  The few people who live comfortably are called the High-Born, and everyone else treats the High-Born like they are their kings and queens.  Things are so bad, electricity is only on for certain times in a day.  And if you are caught learning things like Algebra, you could be executed.

The High-Born city could be seen from the village of Foxx Hole.  The city was mostly in ruins sadly.  Later in the story, you read that Harold develops special abilities like being on and creating fire, this changes everything.  Harold also develops other powers like great intelligence, moving across distances by thinking, and lots of physical powers.  In a town where Colonel Foxx requires everyone to attend lessons on how genetically-engineered soldiers saved humanity from extinction, Harold suddenly becomes a huge threat and attempts are made to get rid of him.  It’s almost like what you see in North Korea today, one leader is rich and lives well while everyone else is treated like scum.  And if anyone rises up, they are either killed or sent to labor camps.  Here is an interview with the author from WTVY-TV.

This book has 55 chapters and 358 pages.  What I like is each chapter in the book is not really too long.  And the print is easy to read and sized so mostly anyone can read it.  The print is much larger than what you get in other books like the Bible.  In this book, the High-Born are almost like some spoiled rich people.  And the High-Born expect everyone else to give them the proper respect they deserved and always comply with them.  Seriously, the High-Born say they are the only reason everyone is alive today, and they celebrate with military gunfire.  This almost sounds like what you see in some countries in our world today, Hunger Games anyone?  The High-Born also gives everyone their weekly allotment of food for survival.

Harold spent some time learning what these powers mean, and often ended up somewhere very rural and naked.  And the High-Born wanted to continue to keep everyone un-educated and dumb.  After the High-Born defeated the Forgotten Nations’ Soldiers, the High-Born took away all computers, books, and even paper so people could not write on anything.  All of the survivors were rounded up and places in villages like Foxx Hole, this way no one could learn and all schools were destroyed.  It is like the rich and powerful wants to control everything and keep everyone else down and out.

Aunt Nean had an Algebra book, and Harold began to learn from that book.  But soon, the guards noticed the learning and the different looks on Harold.  And the soldiers began to round up the children.  Colonel Foxx pretty much summed things up and said everyone in Foxx Hole was his slaves, and that is only Chapter 20 and the end of part one.  Harold had enough, and he started to change things, but that is all I am going to reveal, you need to buy the book to read what happens next!  You will get plenty of adventure and action and a story of someone rebelling against slavery and wanting freedom for his people.  We have seen similar stories from our world before.

In the story, you see Harold caring for the children in and outside of Foxx Hole, and in the book World War III is mentioned along with how the High-Born came in to take over everything.  The High-Born attempts to stop Harold and the village suffers as the High-Born wants to see the villagers resort to cannibalism.  I loved the aspects of learning and family being together in Blaze.  The second half of Blaze features plenty of action that is sometimes ugly, but not too graphic for older kids and teenagers.  Those people would enjoy this book!

Like some people who have reviewed Blaze, you will want to learn what happens next!  Harold has the power to balance the scales, and he has to battle against a army of perfect soldiers equipped with an arsenal of the most advanced technology the world has ever seen.  Harold cared for his family and the villagers of Foxx Hole.  You will get to read a great sci-fi experience that any geek/nerd would enjoy!  I would recommend you get Blaze, and enjoy reading it, you might have a tough time putting it down!  I give the book 5 out of 5 stars, it’s a good book that more people should notice!

Buy the book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Blaze-Jason-Woodham/product-reviews/0615892760/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Thanks for author Jason Woodham for singing the book for me!

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Learn more about Blaze at: http://www.blazingknight.com

Follow Blaze: A Superhero Origin Story on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/blazingknight111

Follow Jason Woodham on Twitter @JasonWoodham.

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Book Review: Lost Birmingham by Beverly Crider


Geek Alabama Book Reviews

This is the first ever book review on Geek Alabama!  For my first book review, I am going to talk about the new book from Beverly Crider titled “Lost Birmingham.”  Lost Birmingham talks about some of the history behind the Magic City.  Most people living today in the Birmingham Metro would never know about the Birmingham Terminal Station, Quinlan Castle, Lyric Theatre, Shelby Hotel, Avondale Mills, and much more!  If you are a history buff or what to learn more about Birmingham, you need to pick up this book.

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Lost Birmingham talks about the forgotten landmarks and history of Birmingham.  Although  I am not going to talk about everything in the book, I am going to talk about some interesting things I have read in Lost Birmingham.  First, did you know that the former Lakeview Park was the site of the very first Alabama vs. Auburn football game way back in 1893?  The park had a lake, a theatre, baseball field, swimming pool, skating rink, and even a bowling alley.  The first football game between the University of Alabama and the Agricultural and Mechanical College (Auburn) occurred on February 22, 1893.

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Attendance was at around 5,000 people and the park was jam-packed with fans.  Auburn won the first game 32-22.  The players were even treated to special meals at their hotels.  And most people traveled by train to get to this game.  Today, Lakeview Park is no longer there.  But you can find a historical marker of the first Alabama vs. Auburn football game in front of a BBVA Compass administrative building.

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The Lyric Theatre was very successful in downtown Birmingham, until the Alabama Theatre opened across the street.  At one time, The Lyric Theatre was so desperate to stay open they started to show “adult movies.”  The protectionist even got arrested for showing these films for violating Birmingham’s blue laws.  Today, the Lyric Theatre is still there but needs millions of dollars of renovations to re-open.

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Avondale Park was a place for the Avondale employees to relax.  By the way, Avondale had kids working back in the day.  Children were great workers because their small hands could get in between the machines.  Avondale Park became the first home of the Birmingham Zoo.  One of the most popular animals was an elephant named Miss Fancy.  At times, you could see Miss Fancy wandering the streets of Birmingham as she escaped quite often.  She did not stay for long as the zoo closed and Miss Fancy and the other animals were sold off.

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Birmingham also had a wonderful train station that opened in 1909.  The Birmingham Terminal Station had a great design and was talked about by numerous magazines from across the country.  The station had two huge rooms and was topped by a huge central dome.  One sight at the station was a huge sign saying “Birmingham, The Magic City.”  When passenger train traffic declined in favor of the car, the train station was torn down.  Today, the Red Mountain Expressway goes over the spot of the former train station.

If you want to read an interesting book about Birmingham’s history and see a lot of old photos, you need to get a copy of Lost Birmingham!  I found the book very interesting and I loved seeing all the old photos showing how Birmingham once was.

To learn more about Lost Birmingham and to purchase the book go to: http://lostbirmingham.com/

Follow Beverly Crider on AL.com at: http://connect.al.com/user/BeverlyCrider/posts.html

Follow Strange Alabama on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeAlabama and on Twitter @StrangeAlabama