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Reviewing Gladius and the Bartlett Trial by JA Paul

2/5

For the record, this review is wrought with spoilers.

I sincerely debated giving this novel one star on the principle that I was forcing my way through to the end, but Paul knows how to write a sentence, he just didn’t catch the flow on how to tell a story. All of the reviews tell me this novel is written for young boys, but honestly, what age group? This novel is a mish-mash of wanting to be more adult and acting entirely too childish. “No, this character can’t die like this,” “No, let’s wait for the contrived story-telling,” and then in the same breath quite brutally kills off another character. The worst part about this novel is that when it is interesting the title character is nowhere to be found. Gladius is bland to the point of he could have been anyone else and been more interesting. Gladius also has this way of tripping over someone who can help, just in the nick of time.

The Bartlett Trial itself is barely explained, even though for the first 30% of the novel Paul was spoon-feeding us plot instead of letting it develop naturally. When it did develop naturally it was by the coincidence that, hey, there’s someone to help. We get a damsel who needs rescuing who should be dirtier and has absolutely not discernible reason ever given throughout the novel as to how she would be “helpful” later locked away from someone to just happen to trip over. Birds and bats can talk but the giant cat that attacked Gladius in the first scene can’t, why is that? We hear a very long story about a dragon that has nothing to do with anything other than the person works with dragons.

Oh, my favorite, “Gladius’ weight sent him falling past Elle and landing hard against the cliff fifteen feet below.” Someone ignores physics. If she is lower than him there is no way by simply falling he ends up under her “because of his weight”. No. Way. Speaking of no way moments, Albino bats? Kind of cool. Except they only come out in the day. You do know there are other problems with albino than that they are white, correct? The other being the sensitivity to light. So the author wanted day bats and for them to be white, that would have worked, but to call them Albino is just again going for the cool word rather than the logistics of the creature.

All of this honestly just makes me angrier because I can tell Paul can write, but to be honest it just was hardly worth the effort here. Does it mean I would never read anything by him again? No. I’d like to see him write something and just go for what it is he wants and not for what he thinks will sell.

Reasons to Read:

- Doc and the storyline between the two brothers are interesting

Reasons Not to Read:

- All of that stuff up there

Reviewing ‘Walking A Golden Mile’ by William Regal and Neil Chandler

4/5

William Regal is an enticing figure you watch on your television screen. His persona never fades and he knows how to tell a story in just the way he carries himself. What went on, though, to bring him to the point the is at today? Let’s face it, everyone who follows wrestling knows he did drugs at some point, but what was going through his mind as he did?

The novel starts off a little dry. It was not hard to follow but did a fair share of bouncing. It was obvious he did not want to actually talk about his family more than he had to. The family was more thrown in to show that someone out there supported him or how he differed for them. His love for his father shines through clearly, but Regal did his best to take the focus off of familial ties.

About 15-20% through the novel it seems to screech and turn and slam on the brakes. It re-evaluates where it is going, and hit’s the gas. Now, instead of taking winding turns the novel is following a very straight path that takes you along a scenic route. Perhaps a little fast, but not too fast you get to see what you came for.

Regal’s story is heartbreaking and something to look up to all at once. He is a role model, even if it’s a what-not-to do sort of thing. Regal makes quite a few mistakes in life, and pays for them. He is repenting now, and forever, for those sins, and it makes for a more interesting read. A man who was sinister and dark on screen is truly a humble, loving man.

My biggest complaint about the autobiography was the reuse of simple words, like “sad”. Sure, Regal even admits he is no literary genius, but if you have another man there to help you write your story he had better darn well not overuse the word “sad”. The audience gets it, having friends die is sad, but how many times did I need to hear the word? Thesauruses rock.

Reasons to Read:

- You are a sports entertainment fan

- You are a Regal fan, in any incarnation he has been in

- You enjoy stories of men overcoming their own addictions

- You enjoy autobiographies

Reasons Not to Read:

- A bit dry in detail

- Overuse of certain words

- Despite stories with other wrestlers, the focus is very much on Regal and everyone else is glossed over

April 2012 Barrett Book Club Novel

If you are here you are obviously following @BarrettBookClub on twitter. If not, you should be! In this space I am going to make sure we know what book we are reading and when they go up, we’ll post the discussion questions. We do not have to discuss those questions particularly, but perhaps they will help you come up with some questions of your own! If you have a discussion question this is also a great place to leave one in the comments!

So for this round, the books is:

Walking a Golden Mile by William Regal with Neil Chandler.

It’s hard to find a copy of this novel, but it’s not hard to find a Kindle edition. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have one for about $12.99. If you can not buy one in time @WWECapshuns and myself ( @SolaceWinter ) might have a copy we can loan you, just get a hold of us!

The discussion for twitter is set for April 28th.

Questions are ready!

1) What do you think about superstars who speak out about their past drug problems?
2) What is your favorite Regal gimmick and why?
3) What aspect of the book did you like the most/least and why?
4) Do you want to see another book from Regal? If so, should that book be about him or should he try his hand at fiction like Mick Foley?
5) Is there a question you wish Regal had answered in his book that he did not? If so, tell us about it!

Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice

Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice by Adrianne Ambrose

4 out of 5

A virgin is sacrificed once a year to a Volcano God who demands it. This is what happens when women do not sit around waiting to be sacrificed.

Plot: It is hard to explain what the plot of this novel is about without giving too much away. Extremely fast-paced and a very quick read by the time you apprehend one thing there is a new one. This does not make it a bad thing but it does make for a plot that is constantly fluid.

Characters: Point-of-view character Jezebelle proves, often, to be the smartest character in the novel. Which is actually rather scary considering she has her own dense moments where she should have stopped to consider things. However, her companions in travel, Dizeray, the actual virgin sacrifice, and Thor, a barbarian that Jez admits has a stupid name, seem to be that much… stupider. It is frustrating to a point, but entertaining to watch the group bumble their way through the plot. They are joined by a troll, Lestor, and Thor’s brother, Tul. Lestor has the most personality out of the group and might be verging on the next smartest, which is scary considering he is an idiot as well.

Why did I enjoy a novel filled with so many idiots? It was a well told mess of bumbling circumstances. It reminded me of an episode of a sitcom where everything just keeps going wrong as they try to make it to their destination. Jez and Diz keep stumbling their way along, not really sure where they are going or why, and enjoying the fight. They are joined later by a wolf named Puddin’ who I kept hoping would do more.

This is not a plot to take seriously. It is easily torn apart and questioned if you really wanted to think about it, but that is not the purpose of this novel. This novel is to entertain and allow the non-virginal women to embrace something new. We all have days where we feel like Jez, Jez is just unabashedly brazen about her attitude. When you come to the ending you realize this ending is so very much the character. What could you have expected?

4 reason to enjoy this novel:

4. Fast paced, easy read

3. Humor that pokes fun at the fantasy genre

2. Strong female heroine that does not want to be

1. Does not attempt to take itself seriously

4 reasons to stay way from this novel:

4. Plot could become incoherent if deliberately picked at

3. Definitely a book for women

2. No real descriptions for the sex scenes

1. Does not attempt to take itself seriously

Hell in a Cell: Predictable but Entertaining

Since I’ve been talking about predictability in the WWE, @TheSupremeForce, @yawsrko and I decided to test our guessing skills.

Christian vs. Sheamus

Solace Prediction
They do not seem to want to bury Christian entirely and yet they do not want to give him a shot. Sheamus is a powerhouse that is hard to contend with on any level, and did just come off a loss with Cody. Winner: Sheamus

TheSupremeForce Prediction
I don’t think it’s going to be clean, which makes it tougher. It’s either going to be Sheamus wins via count out or Christian wins via… cheating. Winner: Sheamus

Yawsrko Prediction
It’s a Sheamus Thing. Lobsterhead. Christian’s annoying and could wind up dead. OHHH. These words are true. I’ll make you believe…actually I think it’s bc Xtian’s not really in the WHC picture and Facemus needs the win more. Winner: Fa- er, Sheamus

Winner: Sheamus

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara

Solace Prediction
Sin Cara and his new black mask versus Sin Cara of the old Blue Mask. I’m looking forward to this, and going to be rooting for the black masked Sin Cara, but ultimately it will be the blue masked Sin Cara that wins. If anything, there will be epic finger pointing. Winner: Sin Cara of the blue mask.

TheSupremeForce Prediction
I’m going to pick the blue mask Sin Cara. Not because I think he should win but because looking through the card there is a lot of potential for heels to win and this is the one match where the face winning will make sense. Winner: Blue Mask Sin Cara

Yawsrko Prediction
Let me adjust my lighting for my next prediction. Let me use my best Hogan voice for this prediction for the Mano y Mano match. BOTCHAMANIA RUNNIN WILD BROTHER..and I choose Blue Sin Cara. I choose blue because he’s the good guy and if he gets suspended for drugs again, they can just put the old outfit on the other guy. Winner: Blue Sin Cara

Winner: Sin Cara Azul – as Michael Cole called him

Since the tag match was a “surprise” there were no official predictions for this. However before the match began all three called that it would be Air Boom as the winners over Swagger and Ziggler.

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton

Solace Prediction
Mark Henry won at the last one. Cleanly. Their best bet would be keeping the title on him, even if Randy had to lose by disqualification. But since Randy Orton is almost in John Cena country when it comes to needing to be feuding for the title, my prediction is: Winner: Randy Orton.

TheSupremeForce
Mark Henry keeps the title. I don’t know if I see him winning cleanly again, but I see him keeping the title. Winner: Mark Henry

Yawsrko Prediction
Somebody gonna get his scruff squished, ’cause somebody else got this Monster gimmick. Henry crushed Kane, Big Show..if RKO destroys him….now, then it’ll hurt both of them. Henry bc SuperOrton will have ended the run, and Orton because he’d be little more than Cena Jr. Winner: Mark Henry

Winner: Mark Henry

Impromptu Cody Rhodes versus Job, er, John Morrison. Again, not one on the official predictions but all three of us guessed Cody before the match finished.

Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

Solace Prediction
I want Beth Phoenix to win. I want Beth Phoenix to win. No more roll ups from an inferior wrestler, please! Winner: Clinging to the hope of Beth Phoenix

TheSupremeForce Prediction
Beth’s gotta win this one. If she doesn’t it ruins any credibility the angle had. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Yawsrko Prediction
Has to be Beth. HAS to be. There’s only so much Kelly everybody can take. Just ask CM Punk…But seriously. Kelly looking strong has only made Beth look weaker. One more loss would make the Divas of Doom look like Doofus Divas. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Winner: Beth Phoenix. She had better win after all of that screaming. My head feels like it’s about to split.

John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

Solace Prediction
CM Punk is not getting the title back right now. He actually has an angle going on that doesn’t even need to revolve around him having the title. It’s almost foolish to have him with the title. The fight is really John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Del Rio deserves to have the title. But it’s Hell in a Cell. Winner: John Cena retains the title

TheSupremeForce
The tour where they go to Mexico is coming up soon. They have built Del Rio up as a solid contender for the title. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Yawsrko Prediction
I’m guessing that the whole car rental thing for Del Rrrrrrrrrio might be finding its way to a budget cut. So he can’t win. While my gut is screaming Cena, and the summer (and Summer of Punk, apparently) is over…let me take Punk. To be, like, rebellious and shit. Or something. Winner: CM Punk

Winner: Alberto Del Rio!!

And then enters The Miz and R-Truth and laid waste to everyone, even the camera guy. However, as Joey Image pointed out on my timeline, “Not one of these guys thought to grab the bolt cutters?” True, but would that have been as fun? Just like R-Truth and The Miz allowing themselves to be arrested so that the wrestlers could not jump them on their way out. Triple H jumps them anyway, though honestly the police would have arrested him as well for assaulting someone already under arrest.

Breakdown for predictions:
TheSupremeForce at 100%
Yawsrko at 85%
Solace at 71%

The two I was wrong on actually made me happy to be wrong. I’m still, and likely always will be, a huge Randy Orton fan but he does not need the title to be popular. I ended up finding that pay-per-view far more interesting than I was assuming it would be going in. Well put together matches and Cole, JR, and Booker worked well off of one another. Cole was a bit more understated, Booker got in his few good lines, and JR stuck to what he does best which is blending with the other voices. Storylines weren’t really furthered to be honest except for the two Sin Caras.

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