Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 2016 New Comics To Watch For

So April has come with some fresh and new releases, are any of them worth it? Frankly that is for you to decide.

Written by J.T. KRUL
Art and Cover by V. KEN MARION
When a meteor crashes to Earth, bringing with it an unspeakable alien presence that terrorizes a nearby small town, the lucky ones die first. As for the rest, they find themselves locked in a hellish struggle for control of their bodies and their minds. This isn’t just an invasion. It’s an infestation. What would you do if the greatest threat to humanity was hidden away inside you?
Award-winning writer J.T. Krul (Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Jirni) and superstar-in-the-making V. Ken Marion (All New Soulfire, Jirni) bring you their dark and horrifying science-fiction epic about tortured souls who are cursed to a fate worse than death...much worse.

A new era for the Black Panther starts here!
Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner TA-NEHISI COATES (Between the World and Me) and illustrated by living legend BRIAN STELFREEZE, "A Nation Under Our Feet" is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther's struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda -- the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions -- has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T'Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called The People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T'Challa knows the country must change to survive -- the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD
Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years... or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime's worth of medical records, his whole identity (indentities) are called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself? Jeff Lemire (EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN) and rising star Greg Smallwood are calling everything you know about Moon Knight into question.

DEPT. H #1
Written,  Art and Cover by MATT KINDT
From New York Times best-selling MIND MGMT creator Matt Kindt comes an exciting new undersea sci-fi mystery.
Mia is a special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. What she finds is a mind-blowing crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep-sea creatures, and an impending flood! 

Art and Cover by IAN BERTRAM
The Winchester House—famous for its original owner’s bizarre compulsion to incorporate a multitude of architectural curiosities. But as the bereaved Sarah Winchester’s workers toil on stairways to nothing and doors to nowhere, a mysterious stranger arrives . . . and he could make Sarah’s demons all too real.

Written by BRIAN WOOD
Meet Magnus the Black, neither clean nor sober, neither Christian nor Pagan, but a man true to his word. When a ranking official under his care is brutally murdered, he's prepared to hunt the killers to the frozen tip of Norway, religious war be damned.
Northlanders creator BRIAN WOOD returns to the Viking genre along with artist GARRY BROWN (The Massive, Catwoman) and DAVE McCAIG (Batman, American Vampire) in this all-new series.

Written by NICK SPENCER 
Art and cover by STEVE LIEBER
A story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things--and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper! If you liked classic crime comics like CRIMINAL and 100 Bullets we apologize in advance for letting you down!

Written  by PHIL HESTER
Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. Magnus, Robot Fighter. Solar, Man of the Atom. The Mighty Samson. The legendary heroes whose adventures have thrilled comic book readers for over half a century are back, only this time they all share the same time and the same world – ours! In this breakneck first issue, each warrior wrestles with the perils of the twenty-first century, but a greater evil is approaching, one that will unify the legendary champions in a struggle that will change each forever. Join Eisner-nominated writer Phil Hester (Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, The Bionic Man) and rising star artist Brent Peeples (Last of the Greats, Legenderry: Green Hornet) for the latest and greatest chapter in the Gold Key saga.

Written by JIM ZUB  
MINSC AND BOO ARE BACK! And things have never looked more dire, as mysterious forces draw the legendary ranger and his crew of adventurers to RAVENLOFT, the Realm of Terror... where they find themselves face to face with undead horrors in the land od eternal night!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mini-Comic-Review - Mockingbird #1

Name - Mockingbird #1
Published by - Marvel
Writer - Chelsea Cain
Artist - Kate Niemczyk

Coloring - Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer - Joe Caramagna

It seems it is a great time for marvel fans who enjoy comics about female spies, as this new series featuring one of the lesser known characters is a very unique and equally engrossing as the new Black Widow series. Great storytelling with a firm grasp on the goal and planning the story arc precisely can make a seemingly disjointed story be actually quite intriguing.

This series focuses on Bobby Morse, who having been injected with two experimental serums is under constant medical monitoring by S.H.E.I.L.D. This is her story going through her life as a super-spy while having to deal with these encounters and the story is told in a unorthodox way as to being a bit funny as well as keeps the reader wondering as to what is actually going on.

The character of Bobby is quite interesting with her sharp sense of humor as she keeps trying to totally ignore the problems she is facing until she faces then straight on. The story progression is quite hectic and despite having no real action I just couldn't stop turning the pages trying to get my grip on what is really happening. There is fun cameos by various well known marvel characters and the drawing is also done in a realistic way as to give the characters believable attributes. And another strong aspect about the drawing is that it draws attention to the various side gags and cameos that makes this a much more fun read.

The one thing that can be called a shortcoming is once again the disjointed approach, as before reading the last page where Chelsea explains about her unique method of storytelling, everything might seem a bit too strange.

I quite enjoyed this first issue and will definitely return for more, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mini-Comic-Review - Black Widow #1

Name - Black Widow #1
Published by - Marvel
Writer - Chris Samnee & Mark Waid
Artist - Chris Samnee

Coloring - Matthew Wilson
Letterer - Joe Caramagna

Comic is a medium that can convey so much enjoyment with so little words if it is in capable hands and this first issue of 'Black Widow' just showcases that. It only has minimal dialogue and barely any plot, yet it provides its entertainment through non-stop action and reminds readers of the opening of a masterfully done spy movie.

This issue does not provide any backstory or puzzle readers with status quo or world building. You don't have to worry about reading back issues or search the net for info, rather you can just sit tight and start to enjoy the ride. It effortlessly throws us into a chase and the thrill of it. Natasha has taken something from S.H.I.E.L.D. which turns her into an instant enemy and everyone starts chasing her to get it back. The story is very fast paced with top notch action sequences which just focus on the fact that despite having no real power Natasha is quite a formidable foe for any adversary. Throughout the issue Natasha battles her pursuers across various locations and the reason remains a mystery. 

Chris Samnee does an excellent job with drawing as his drawings sound way louder than any words and makes it so much more fun reading than a comic choke full of texts. The panels are executed perfectly conveying movement and urgency and the excellent coloring by Matthew Wilson adds much more to the overall mood as well.

This is one of the most promising new series by marvel without a doubt and I am quite sure most of the people who had the pleasure of reading it will pick up the series due to its uniqueness and simple and pure entertainment value.

A well deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mini-Game-Review - Tap Titans

Game Name - Tap Titans
Publisher & Developer - Game Hive Corporation
Platform - Android, iOS
Genre - Clicker / RPG

Tap Titans as a game is a total mixed bag. In terms of game play it is as simple as can be with being a mindless clicker, yet on the other hand it also features rpg elements in a very fun and easy way. You have level ups, skills, other heroes to recruit as well as a simplistic and often times quite boring method of grinding to make you fell like playing a rpg.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Novella Review - The Devil You Know

Novella - The Devil You Know 
Writer - K. J. Parker       
Published By - Tor Books

No action or extravagant world building is necessary, only two characters can a make a story work if you know how to tell it. K. J. Parker proves that with this work of his. There are only two characters telling us their story in alternative first person narrative and the prose and setting are so skillfully engrossing that it is really hard to put down.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - March 2016

So it is that time again, another month has ended and it is time to talk about the most promising books of the month, wholeheartedly in my opinion.

'Borderline' by Mishell Baker
A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she's sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.
For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she'll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble's disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.
No pressure.

[Ah, a promising new writer, the protagonist seems quite interesting and the setting as well. Hopefully it will deliver on the promises.]

'The Devil You Know' by K. J. Parker
The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.
But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.
He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?

[I have read this one, a thought provoking and fun read with twists and turns to keep you interested despite having no real action, this guy is quite an skilled writer.]

'Black City Saint' by Richard A. Knaak
For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.
Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.
Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.
The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

[This seems like my kind of Urban Fantasy from the cover and description.]

'The Last Mortal Bond' by Brian Staveley
 The climactic third and final novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
The trilogy that began with The Emperor's Blades and continued in The Providence of Fire reaches its epic conclusion, as war engulfs the Annurian Empire.
The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.
But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all--Valyn, Adare, and Kaden--come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.  

[The final book of a much praised epic fantasy series, hopefully I do get on with reading the first two books so I can get on with this one.]

'The Winged Histories' by Sofia Samatar
Four women, soldier, scholar, poet, and socialite, are caught up on different sides of a violent rebellion. As war erupts and their families are torn apart, they fear they may disappear into the unwritten pages of history. Using the sword and the pen, the body and the voice, they struggle not just to survive, but to make history.

[The reviews bestow high praise, the setting should be entertaining, looking forward to find something unorthodox yet fun.]


 'The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories' by Ken Liu
A publishing event: Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.
With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).
A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor.

[I have read the titular story previously, it had blown my mind, will the rest deliver? Can't wait to find out.]

'Javelin Rain' by Myke Cole
The fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell, set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series.
Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.
Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.
Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost...
Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded "Javelin Rain." Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.
Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. Only what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation...

[I have read the first two books of Myke Cole (review of  Control Point), they are among some of the best blend of genres in modern fiction in my opinion, need to get on with his later writings and fast.]

'The Mortal Tally' by Sam Sykes
Acclaimed author Sam Sykes returns with the second thrilling novel in his Bring Down Heaven series.
The heart of civilization bleeds.
Cier'Djaal, once the crowning glory of the civilized world, has gone from a city to a battlefield and a battlefield to a graveyard. Foreign armies clash relentlessly on streets laden with the bodies of innocents caught in the crossfire. Cultists and thieves wage shadow wars, tribal armies foment outside the city's walls, and haughty aristocrats watch the world burn from on high.
As his companions struggle to keep the city from destroying itself, Lenk travels to the Forbidden East in search of the demon who caused it all. But even as he pursues Khoth-Kapira, dark whispers plague his thoughts. Khoth-Kapira promises him a world free of war where Lenk can put down his sword at last. And Lenk finds it hard not to listen.
When gods are deaf, demons will speak.

[Sam Sykes is a fellow I am quite interested in, specially due to his sense of humor, I started on reading his first book a few days ago, and literally have trouble putting it down at times despite my busy life. And I read on the internet that he does keep getting better with each one. Need I say more?]

'Downfall of The Gods' by K. J. Parker
If you visit the Temple and ask nicely for forgiveness, you might get it—assuming you aren’t Lord Archias and you haven’t killed the Goddess’s favorite musician, Lysippus. But even goddesses are expected to follow certain rules, and as much as she wants to punish Lord Archias it seems her troublesome, all-powerful father forbids it. So the Goddess will just have to get around that by forgiving Lord Archias if he can manage some simple—or, rather, seemingly impossible—tasks. A Goddess has to do what a goddess has to do.
And in World Fantasy Award winner K.J. Parker’s sharply inventive new novella Downfall of the Gods that means everything from soothing supernatural egos to accompanying the argumentative Lord Archias on an epic quest to save his soul…and get her own way. As the Goddess and her mortal charge make their way across the world to the Land of the Dead, a host of divine surprises await them. Could what they find at the end be the downfall of the gods themselves? Only time will tell. This is a story Parker fans won’t want to miss.

[Second book by K. J. Parker on the list. Another promising setting, hopefully this is as good as the first.]

'The Winter Box' by Tim Waggoner
It’s Todd and Heather’s twenty-first anniversary. A blizzard rages outside their home, but it’s far colder inside. Their marriage is falling apart, the love they once shared gone, in its place only bitter resentment. As the night wears on, strange things start to happen in their house—bad things. If they can work together, they might find a way to survive until morning…but only if they don’t open the Winter Box.

[I have some fun memories regarding Tim Waggoner ( my review of Night Terrors). And this novella has such high praise on goodreads, should be a blast.] 

Wow, this month has some great releases to say the least. New books from Brain Staveley, Sam Sykes and Myke Cole from their well know series' to be interested about and also featuring some promising authors I have yet to read. Time to get busy on reading.