Sunday, October 7, 2018

Book Review - City of Blades

Book - City of Blades  
Writer - Robert Jackson Bennett
Series - The Divine Cities #2   
Published By - Jo Fletcher / Broadway Books

 
I have waited a long time before writing about this one. It's not that I didn't like the book, I absolutely loved it. But 'City of Blades' just has been a difficult book to review. Once again, Bennett takes his unique and charismatic world and throws his amazingly crafted characters into real world problems. In the second novel of 'The Divine Cities' series, the author takes us head first into the reality of war, how it affects a nation and its people.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Promising Animes of Fall 2018

I haven't done anime centered posts in awhile now, as animes as a medium ceased to excite me for a few ears now. It's the start of a new season, and due to my having less time for trying out new games I have almost abandoned looking for new games. Now, it seems like the right time to watch a few shows as the year is almost at an end.

Let's restart a old tradition, shall we?

PS: I will mostly avoid sequels in this list of mine, as they are a bit difficult to fllow regarding the amount of backlog. Well, the new 'Jojo' show might be worth the time I guess.


Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken /  That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

"Rimuru Tempest" is the new name of a slime in a fantasy world taken by a former 37-year-old human Satou Mikami after he is killed by a passing robber. Broken free from ordinary, stale past life, his fresh adventure in a fantasy world as a slime monster with unique abilities begins.

[ Well, the 'life in a fantasy world' setting is quite overdone already to be honest. But a series featuring the main protagonist as a slime does intrigue me a lot. ]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru / Run with the Wind

Kakeru, a former elite runner at high school, is chased for stealing food. He is saved by a Kansei University student Haiji, who is also a runner. Haiji persuades Kakeru to live in the old apartment "Chikuseisou" where he plans to team up with fellow residents to enter Hakone Ekiden Marathon, one of the most prominent university races in Japan. Kakeru soon finds out that all of the residents except for Haiji and himself are complete novices.

[ 'Sports' centered anime is always a safe bet for entertainment. This one promises to focus on marathon running, which is a new concept. ]

Goblin Slayer

A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It's the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue—a man who's dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there's no telling who might come calling next...

[ This might be something good, I am taking a chance with this one actually. ]

Hinomaruzumou

It is a divine ritual, a martial art, a combat sport—it's sumo!!
A "small" new student, Ushio Hinomaru, appears before the weak little sumo club of Oodachi High School! The words "big" and "heavy" are the rules to this sport, which does not fit this newbie any inch, but this guy goes and does what...?! Ushio and the small sumo club climbs its way to the top!
The goal is Hinoshita Kaisan! (a title for the highest rank in professional sumo, equivalent of Yokozuna)
A fired up high school sumo tale—no retakes allowed!!

[ Another sports/martial arts anime that I am quite hopeful for. This one has a successful manga which has been running for awhile now. ]

Karakuri Circus

The protagonist, Masaru, has just inherited a big fortune after the death of his father. However, people are trying to get their hands on it by any means necessary, even if it means killing him. Narumi helps Masaru from being kidnapped after fighting strange figures. He finds out that they're not humans, but wooden puppets with amazing strength. After a hard fight, Narumi is forced to admit that he's no opponent for them; and just when he starts to think that Masaru will be captured, Shirogane, Masaru's watcher arrives from France with a weapon, the puppet Arlequin. Here begins the story of Karakuri Circus.

[ A manga, which ended more than 10 years ago, has 40+ volumes is finally getting adapted. I am in, obviously. ]

These are the five shows that I am most definitely going to check out this fall. I might also check out continuing shows like 'JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Wind', 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' and 'Attack on Titan Season 3' or returning shows like 'Toaru Majutsu no Index III', 'Golden Kamuy 2nd Season' and 'Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season'. Then again, I am also quite hopeful for some other new shows like 'Double Decker! Doug & Kirill', 'RErideD: Derrida, who leaps through time' and 'Gakuen Basara'.

This seems like a season of anime with lots of promises, let's just stay hopeful for now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Short Story Review - The Guile

Short Story - The Guile
Writer - Ian McDonald
Published By - Tor.com

 
'Man versus Machine' or 'Old versus New' is a theme that has been used many a times in various forms of fiction. So, as a matter of fact, I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about 'The Guile'. But, at the end of the day, in case of a short story it is all about execution. And 'Ian McDonald' really adds his unique flavor to this age old theme while creating a story full of lovable characters. The end result is a fun and refreshing short that retains a lingering taste in mind even after it's finished.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

April 2018 New Comics To Watch For

April also has some pretty interesting series'. I am specially interested in the return of  'Black Hammer' and the new work by Saladin Ahmed for Marvel (I liked his 'Black Bolt' a lot).

EXILES #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Javier Rodriguez

INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW VALKYRIE!
DON’T BLINK – THE EXILES ARE BACK!
Fan-favorite X-Man Blink once joined a team destined to save not just the world, but the entire Multiverse. And now, her teleporting talents are needed once again! When a mysterious threat begins eating away at the fabric of the Multiverse, the Unseen – the man once known as Nick Fury who now can only observe Earth from a lofty post on the moon – must recruit a champion to save it. But she can’t do it alone. Who will join Blink’s new team – and can they ever go home again?



DOMINO #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: David Baldeon

BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE Part 1
Impossible curves. Impossible shots. Impossible targets. Marvel’s #1 soldier of fortune is back in an explosive new ongoing series! The product of a failed super-soldier program, Neena Thurman always made her own luck as the sharpshooting mercenary known as Domino… but what happens when her own powers betray her? The hunter becomes the hunted as every mercenary in the game smells blood in the water! Plus: A pair of beloved Marvel characters return!





ISOLA #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Artist: Karl Kerschl

Childhood friends BRENDEN FLETCHER (MOTOR CRUSH) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller KARL KERSCHL (Gotham Academy) reunite on the comics page with a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making! The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away—a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Featuring lush color work by MSASSYK (Gotham Academy) and letters by ADITYA BIDIKAR (MOTOR CRUSH). Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.


CRUDE #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Garry Brown

Killers once feared Piotr Petrovich. Now, they’ve sent his son home to him—in a body bag. Haunted by his failures, Piotr journeys across Russia to learn what type of man his son really was, while hunting the bastards who killed him. And once Piotr finds them, they will learn to fear him once more…. GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer STEVE ORLANDO (VIRGIL, Midnighter) and artist GARRY BROWN (BLACK ROAD) deliver an emotional, bone-shattering account of murder, masculinity, and mayhem.





THE DEAD HAND #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Stephen Mooney, Jordie Bellaire

"COLD WAR RELICS," Part One Carter Carlson was a highly decorated operative during the Cold War. But in the fall of 1991, as the Soviet Union collapsed, Carter discovered a secret that not only changed his life…but also altered the course of history. Now, as the mysterious “Dead Hand” threatens to end the world once again, the only thing standing in its way is the relationship between an old spy and a little boy.






SKYWARD #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joe Henderson
Artist: Lee Garbett

"MY LOW-G LIFE," Part One One day, gravity on earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Twenty years later, humanity has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, a woman born just after G-day, it’s…well, it’s pretty awesome, actually. You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t stumble into a dangerous plan to bring gravity back that could get you killed…. From writer JOE HENDERSON (showrunner of Fox’s Lucifer) and artist LEE GARBETT (Lucifer, Loki: Agent of Asgard), SKYWARD is an adventure-filled exploration of our world turned upside down and a young woman’s journey to find her place in it.


BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormton

The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns!
Picking up immediately where we left off—Lucy Weber has become the new Black Hammer and right as she’s about to reveal to our heroes how they got stuck on the farm and can escape she vanishes. Now our new Black Hammer finds herself trapped in a gritty world filled with punk rock detectives, emo gods, anthropomorphic humans, absurdist heroes, and many more weirdoes, in a mad world in which there is no escape!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Finally another Book Haul - September 2018

I have been on a dry spell in terms of buying new physical books both due to being immensely buy and having less cash to spare. But thank to my lovely wife for an amazing birthday gift, I finally got another haul this month.

Once again, thanks to backpackbang.com and amazon for their services.

"Dragon Ball Super, Vol. 3" by Akira Toriyama (Story), Toyotaro (Illustrations) from Viz Media 
 
Goku’s adventure from the best-selling classic manga Dragon Ball continues in this new series written by Akira Toriyama himself!
Ever since Goku became Earth’s greatest hero and gathered the seven Dragon Balls to defeat the evil Boo, his life on Earth has grown a little dull. But new threats loom overhead, and Goku and his friends will have to defend the planet once again in this continuation of Akira Toriyama’s best-selling series, Dragon Ball!
With the Universe 6 and 7 Invitational Fighting Tournament over, Goku and his friends return to their normal lives. That is, until Future Trunks suddenly appears to warn everyone of a new threat—Goku Black, a mysterious warrior who looks like Goku but isn’t him! He’s a monster who has wiped out most of Earth and all of the Gods of Destruction and Lords of Lords from all twelve universes. Who is this mysterious man, and will Goku and his friends be able to stop him?!


[ The third volume of the new 'Dragon Ball' series, I will try to continue buying this series for as long as I can obviously. ] 

"Quarry's Climax (Quarry #14)" by Max Allan Collins from Hard Case Crime
 
From the award-winning author of ROAD TO PERDITION, the new QUARRY novel continues the deadly story of the assassin who stars in the acclaimed Cinemax original series.
Memphis, 1975. "Raunchy" doesn’t begin to describe Max Climer’s magazine, Climax, or his all-hours strip club, or his planned video empire. And evangelists, feminists, and local watchdog groups all want him out of business. But someone wants more than that, and has hired a killer to end Max’s career permanently. Only another hit man - the ruthless professional known as Quarry, star of the acclaimed series on Cinemax - can keep Climer from becoming a casualty in the Sexual Revolution.


[ I have heard so much about the Quarry series, the latest was going quite cheap, so finally decided to check it out. ]


"Sworn in Steel (Tales of the Kin #2)" by Douglas Hulick from Roc
 
It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.
With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.
Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...
 


[ And the second one for completion of the series. ]

"Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire #3)" by Mark Lawrence from Ace 
 
King Jorg Ancrath is twenty now—and king of seven nations. His goal—revenge against his father—has not yet been realized, and the demons that haunt him have only grown stronger. Yet no matter how tortured his path, he intends to take the next step in his upward climb.
Jorg would be emperor. It is a position not to be gained by the sword but rather by vote. And never in living memory has anyone secured a majority of the vote, leaving the Broken Empire long without a leader. Jorg plans to change that. He’s uncovered the lost technology of the land, and he won’t hesitate to use it.
But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced—a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King.
 


[ I have been biding my time before reading the end of this trilogy. I love Mark Lawrence and finished his second trilogy, which was amazing to say the least. But I love Jorg so much that I have been dreading to read this for a long time now. As I have got this a hard copy now, there is no excuse left I guess. ]   

Thursday, August 16, 2018

New Comic Review - Extermination #1

Name - Extermination #1
Published by - Marvel Comics
Written by - Ed Brisson
Art by - Pepe Larraz
   

Coloring by - Marte Gracia
Letters by - VC's Joe Sabino
Release Date: August 15, 2018

 
Although I have been a fan of the X-men for a long time, I would be honest in admitting the X-men hadn't had any extraordinary stories for quite a while now. As an old fan I have been checking out the series whenever something vaguely promising seems to be on with them, but have been disappointed for some years now. Well, maybe some beloved mutants are dying left and right, but I for one, am finally excited again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

March 2018 New Comics To Watch For

March is a way more varied month in terms of new comics than February. There are releases from a variety of different publishers that I find promising this time, compared to the last  month.
 
ETERNITY GIRL #1 (of 6)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Sonny Liew


Caroline Sharp has been a lot of things, including both a superhero and a super-spy. But now, with those days behind her and her powers proving unreliable, Caroline finds herself stuck in a life weighed down by her depression and an inability to change. You see, Caroline is going to live forever, and there is no escape to be had. The very act of living reminds her that, to the rest of existence, she is an anomaly.
All of that could change, however, when her old foe, Madame Atom, comes to her with an intriguing offer. Madame Atom can give Caroline the power to end her life; she just has to destroy the rest of the world.
This brand-new DC’s Young Animal miniseries spins out of the Milk Wars event, written by GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim) and illustrated by Eisner-winning artist Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye).

CAVE CARSON HAS AN INTERSTELLAR EYE #1 (of 6)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Jon Rivera
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming


After a year of multiverse-hopping and fighting in the Milk Wars, returning to a normal life of digging and cave-diving just isn’t the same for explorer Cave Carson. Sure, he’s got his podcast, family and that cybernetic eye, but reminiscing about times gone by isn’t the same as living. Luckily for Cave Carson and his daughter Chloe, they’re about to get sucked into an all-new adventure—literally—when they go spelunking in a black hole! But what’s caused this black hole to appears and what’s its connection to the intergalactic music sensation Star Adam?



SHADE, THE CHANGING WOMAN #1 (of 6)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone


Shade has shed her alien identity. She’s stepped out of her original Earth body and into another one. Now, free of the burdens of any past life, and finally on her own, she sets out to see more of her new home. But how does she cope when the madness takes all the human emotions she was forced to confront in the Milk Wars and turns them into a bouillabaisse of memory and confusion? And to make it even more challenging, Shade must also face her namesake, the original Changing Man.




GIDEON FALLS #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino


A brand-new ongoing series from the acclaimed bestselling creative team of Old Man Logan and Green Arrow! The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.
Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character-driven meditation on obsession, mental illness, and faith.


OBLIVION SONG #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici


A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years, they gave up. Nathan Cole...won't. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those still living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe...Nathan is looking for something else? Why can't he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?




CYBER FORCE #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Hawkins & Bryan Hill
Artist: Atilio Rozo


TO PROTECT THE FUTURE, WHAT WILL WE BECOME?
The classic series returns in a reimagining overseen by creator MARC SILVESTRI. In a modern world where humanity is defined by the technology it creates, a terrorist strikes at the heart of human progress. One of the few survivors of the attack is a man named Morgan Stryker. Mortally wounded, Stryker's life is saved by his employers...but the price could be his humanity itself.





GREEN HORNET #1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: German Erramouspe


Britt Reid Jr., the scion of the Daily Sentinel publishing empire, vanishes during a wild party on his friend’s yacht. Meanwhile, crime spikes in the streets of Century City with the mysterious criminal/secret vigilante the Green Hornet absent.  It’s only a matter of time before SOMEONE puts two and two together, and it’s up to Kato, former partner of Britt’s father, and his daughter Mulan to protect the city AND the Green Hornet legacy, while finding out what happened to Britt.  Amy Chu (Red Sonja, Poison Ivy, KISS) picks up where Kevin Smith left off with an action packed mystery.

DOCTOR STAR AND  THE KINGDOM OF LOST TOMORROWS #1 (of 4)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Max Fiumara


This dual-narrative story set in the world of the Eisner-Award winning Black Hammer series chronicles the legacy of a Golden-Age superhero.
An aged crime fighter desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son, who he hoped would one day take the mantle of Doctor Star. Over the course of the story we learn his World War II-era origin, how he got his powers, his exciting astral adventures, the formation of some of Black Hammer’s greatest heroes, and more in this heartbreaking superhero tale about fathers and sons.


SHADOWMAN #1
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: And Diggle
Artist: Stephen Segovia


DON’T FEAR YOUR DEMONS… FIGHT THEM!
Orphaned at birth and raised on the margins of society, Jack Boniface never knew his place in the world. Until he discovered it waiting for him… in a darkness far older than the reign of men…
Unbeknownst to him, Jack was fated to become the next in a long lineage of Shadowmen – mortals bound to violent voodoo spirits of immense power – that could safeguard our world against incursions from realms beyond.
For years, he struggled to control the loa's murderous urges – a battle he eventually lost.
But now, after years of self-imposed exile, the man once known as Shadowman is returning home to sharpen the weapon within…and unleash a reckoning on the evils of our world that will soon send shockwaves through heaven and hell alike…
In the epic tradition of X-O MANOWAR and BLOODSHOT REBORN, Shadowman storms to the forefront of the Valiant Universe – more powerful, more terrifying, and more relentless than ever before – in an adrenaline-fueled ongoing series from superstar writer Andy Diggle (Green Arrow: Year One, The Losers) and high-octane artist Stephen Segovia (Action Comics)!