Friday, July 29, 2016

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - June 2016

Wow, I am almost caught with the lists now, specially for the novels I am interested in.

"Silent Hall" by N.S. Dolkart
A coward’ son, a merchant’s daughter, a young prince, a wild girl, and a half-dragon all find themselves refugees from their island home. When a plague destroys their home, they try to forge their own future. Along with a sinister wizard, they awaken a dragon and defy the gods.
After their homeland is struck with a deadly plague, five refugees cross the continent searching for answers. Instead they find Psander, a wizard whose fortress is invisible to the gods, and who is willing to sacrifice anything - and anyone - to keep the knowledge of the wizards safe. With Psander as their patron, the refugees cross the mountains, brave the territory of their sworn enemies, confront a hostile ocean and even traverse the world of the fairies in search of magic powerful enough to save themselves - and Psander’s library - from the wrath of the gods. All they need to do is to rescue an imprisoned dragon and unleash a primordial monster upon the world. How hard could it be?

[New book from Angry Robot, from a debut author. Premise seems promising.]

"The Wheel of Osheim" by Mark Lawrence
From the international bestselling author of the Broken Empire Trilogy, the thrilling conclusion to the Red Queen’s War...
Mark Lawrence’s “epic fantasy” (The Washington Post) continues as a reluctant prince returns from the bowels of Hell to engage in his greatest battle yet—among the living and the dead.
All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting back out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.
Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate however has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end it’s win or die.

[Everybody who knows me knows me knows I am a fan of Mark Lawrence. Do check out my reviews of 'Prince of Thorns', 'King of Thorns' and 'The Liar's Key'. This is the last book in his Red Queen's War trilogy and I am quite positive it will be one of the best fantasy books this year.]

"Return of Souls" by Andy Remic
If war is hell, there is no word to describe what Private Jones has been through. Forced into a conflict with an unknowable enemy, he awakes to find himself in a strange land, and is soon joined by young woman, Morana, who tends to his wounds and tells him of the battles played out in this impossible place.
She tells him of an Iron Beast that will end the Great War, and even as he vows to help her find it, enemy combatants seek them, intent on their utter annihilation.
Return of Souls is the second volume of the trilogy Andy Remic began with A Song for No Man's Land.

[Another one from Andy Remic. Man, he is prolific this year.]

"Age of Myth" by Michael J. Sullivan
What does it mean if the gods can be killed? The first novel in an epic new fantasy series for readers of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch.
Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series, and one of fantasy's finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.

[Sullivan is someone who I have been following for awhile now, he is yet to disappoint me (I had reviewed his 'The Crown Conspiracy' and 'Hollow World'), this new series should be one of the greats this year.]

"The Hunt for Vulkan" by David Annandale
The Imperium is on the verge of destruction. It needs a miracle to reunite the feuding High Lords and lead the armies of mankind to victory. It needs a primarch.
Tearing itself apart from within, the Imperium is still virtually powerless to resist the ork advance. When the Adeptus Mechanicus reveal they have discovered the orks' point of origin, the Adeptus Astartes start to gather their forces for a massive assault on their enemy's home world. But what the Imperial forces need is a figurehead, a hero from legend to lead them - a primarch. Meanwhile, on the planet Caldera, a mighty armoured warrior fights tirelessly against the orks - is he the saviour the Imperium seeks?
A legend returns to the Imperium in its hour of need… if Koorland and his warriors can fight their way through an army of orks to reach him, that is.

[Another author of whom I am a fanboy, he has been in this blog quite often too. He did a guest post and 2 interviews (first, second) for me, and I reviewed 'Yarrick: Chains of Golgotha', 'Yarrick: A Plague of Saints', 'Yarrick: The Gallows Saint' and 'Yarrick: Imperial Creed'.] 

"Angels of Caliban" by Gav Thorpe
The First Legion go to war, and their primarch's brutal actions threaten to tear apart the fragile alliance of Imperium Secundus.
With the Dark Angels spread across a hundred systems, primarch Lion El’Jonson stands as Lord Protector of Ultramar – though his true motives are known to few indeed, and old rivalries on the home world threaten to tear the Legion in half. But when word comes of the Night Lords’ attack on Sotha, the Lion’s brutal actions bring Imperium Secundus once again to the brink of civil war. Not even the most fearsome warriors of the Dreadwing, nor any arcane secret of the Order, can guarantee victory if he sets himself against his loyal brothers.
There was no way Imperium Secundus was going to last (or we'd know about it in the 41st millennium, wouldn't we?) and this is the beginning of the end…

[Number 38 in the Horus Heresy series, lets see how this one works out.]

This was released in June according to Tor, but was released in April according to Goodreads. Somehow I missed this, which definitely is one of the books I am interested in this year as I loved the first book of the series a lot.

"Saint's Blood" by Sebastien De Castell

How do you kill a Saint?
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they've started with a friend.
The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors - a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he'll still have to face him in battle.
And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

[The first novel 'Traitor's Blade' was one of the best books of  2014. It had such a fun cast of characters, I am quite hopeful for this one.] 

Up next is this month, yup, I am almost caught up in case of books it seems.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mini-Comic Review - Green Arrow #1

Name - Green Arrow #1
Published by - DC Comics
Writer - Benjamin Percy
Artist -
Otto Schmidt
Letterer - Nate Piekos

Before reading this issue I didn't know much about Green arrow and wasn't particularly interested. But reading 'DC Universe Rebirth' issue made me interested as I learned about DC planning to work on the Green Arrow-Black Canary relationship again. I decided to check out the "Green Arrow: Rebirth' issue which in fact made me a lot more interested with not only the chemistry of the couple but also through the introduction of the new villain's and also with Green Arrows unique perspective of heroism and doing good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

June 2016 New Comics To Watch For

I know I am quite late, I know June is long gone, but here is a list of some new comics you might have missed from June.....

Written by Fred Van Lente
Art and Cover by Guiu Vilanova
The streets of New York have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, seeking to usher in the unimaginable evil of the Old Ones. And the only man capable of fighting against the unspeakable terrors isn't a man at all. Detective Sebastian Greene is one of them -- it takes a monster to catch a monster.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez
The explosive first chapter in the comic event EVERYONE will be talking about. And we come out swinging with a blistering double-sized first issue from the creative team behind last year's best-selling debut of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and Miles Morales. A new Inhuman, with the ability to profile the future, emerges and the ramifications ripple into every corner of the Marvel Universe. Lines are drawn, bodies fall, and the Marvel Universe will be rocked to it's very core. The action starts here!

Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Mark Brooks
Everyone's favorite scoundrel gets his very own series! Han is given a top-secret undercover mission for the Rebellion -- rescuing a number of informants and spies. His cover for the assignment? Only the biggest and most infamous starship race in the galaxy! You know -- the race Han has dreamt of winning his entire life. Will he keep his mind on the mission? And can he manage to pull it off while keeping the lead? Best-selling author Marjorie Liu (X-MEN) comes to the Galaxy Far, Far Away along with superstar cover artist Mark Brooks (ULTIMATE X-MEN) in his return to interior art! Face it, readers -- there aren't enough scoundrels in your life!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and Cover by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
The Last Son of Krypton must decide whether to help his young son use his new and rapidly increasing abilities, or hide them from the world.
THE CREATORS: The team supreme that brought fans the adventures of Damian Wayne in BATMAN AND ROBIN returns for the adventures of Superman and his offspring.

Written by Tom King
Art and Cover by David Finch and Matt Banning
“I AM GOTHAM” Chapter One
No one has ever stopped the Caped Crusader. Not The Joker. Not Two-Face. Not even the entire Justice League. But how does Batman confront a new hero who wants to save the city from the Dark Knight?
CAN’T MISS: Superstar artist David Finch returns to the Dark Knight alongside writer Tom King for this five-part storyline.

Written by Dan Abnett
Art and Cover by Brad Walker and Drew Hennessey
“THE DROWNING” Chapter One
Black Manta returns, and as Aquaman attempts to broker lasting peace between Atlantis and the surface world, his greatest foe engineers a plan to destroy everything and everyone the undersea hero loves.
THEY SAID IT: “I’m excited to draw a vast undersea world with all the visual flourishes of fantasy and science fiction that it affords,” says artist Brad Walker. “I’ve done so much work in outer space-based comics, and I love the freedom that allows.”

Written by Benjamin Percy
Art and Cover by Otto Schmidt
As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.
THEY SAID IT: “My touchstones are [former GA writers] Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell, while trying to make the series my own,” says writer Benjamin Percy. “Green Arrow will be a politically and culturally relevant series. Expect stories that aim a broadhead into the zeitgeist, that are ripped from the headlines.”

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Novella Review - The Gates of Azyr

Novella - The Gates of Azyr
Writer - Chris Wraight   
Series - Warhammer : Age of Sigmar   
Published By - Black Library
Despite my reservations, I was planning on checking out the this novella for a long while now, due to it being the first story set in the new Warhammer setting 'Age of Sigmar'. And for once, I am wondering if I should have bothered? This is just a new kind of bolter-porn, meaning mindless action sequence after action sequence with almost no character development or intrigue. And this got quite boring pretty quickly and seemed like a drag despite its short length.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - May 2016

Can I be more late with this list? Well, technically speaking I can be, I can post this list on the next year or something, but whatever, this is my list of promising books from May.

"The Jewel and Her Lapidary" by Fran Wilde
Buried beneath the layers of a traveler's guide is a hidden history: two kingdoms, powerful gems, and the even more powerful Lapidarys who bind them. Lin and Sima, caught in a web of intrigue and deceit, must find a way to escape the traps set by the past and save their kingdom.
An epic fantasy, in miniature.

[ Another one of the novella length story by, and from a author I was previously interested in, and from the reviews over the internet should be a great read.]

"Twilight of The Dragons" by Andy Remic
Part two of the high-octane fantasy series, from the natural successor to David Gemmell. A group of heroes makes dangerous bargains in order to overthrow the dragonlords and their Dragon Engines.

[ I have been meaning to check out stuff by Remic for so long and he keeps throwing more and more promising stuff in my face.]

"Outriders" by Jay Posey
The start of a Military SF series from imprint best-seller and Tom Clancy game series writer Jay Posey.
Captain Lincoln Suh died on a Wednesday. And things only got harder from there.
Snatched out of special operations and thrown headfirst into a secretive new unit, Lincoln finds himself as the team leader for the 519th Applied Intelligence Group, better known as the Outriders. And his first day on the job brings a mission with the highest possible stakes.
A dangerously cunning woman who most assuredly should be dead has seemingly returned. And her plans aren’t just devastating, they might be unstoppable.
How do you defeat a hidden enemy when you can’t let them know they’ve been discovered?
You send in the Outriders.

[ Another new Angry Robot title, from Jay Posey, who I had in this blog on the past (his guest post), should be a fun read to say the least.]
"The Silent Army" by James A Moore
The City of Wonders has been saved by nearly miraculous forces and the Silent Army is risen, ready to defend the Fellein Empire and Empress Nachia at any cost.
The power that was hidden in the Mounds is on the move, seeking a final confrontation with the very entities that kept it locked away since the Cataclysm. Andover Lashk has finally come to accept his destiny and prepares to journey back to Fellein. The Sa’ba Taalor continue their domination over each country and people they encounter, but the final conflict is coming: The Great Wave of the Sa’ba Taalor stands to destroy an empire and the Silent Army prepares to stop them in their tracks.
Caught in the middle is the Fellein Empire and the people who have gathered together on the final battlefield. The faithful and the godless, the soldiers and killers alike all stand or fall as old gods and new bring their war to a world-changing end. Some struggles are eternal. Some conflicts never cease. The Gods of War are here and they are determined to win.

[ I read the second book of this series in-a-jiffy, the third one is being a bit of a grueling read so far, nevertheless quite interesting, the final should be better, or so I hope.Check out my review of 'The Blasted Lands' , his guest post and his interview


"Stranger of Tempest" by Tom Lloyd
Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Shattered Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent's principalities, he walks the land in search of purpose. He wants for little so bodyguard work keeps his belly full and his mage-gun loaded. It might never bring a man fame or wealth, but he's not forced to rely on others or kill without cause. Little could compel Lynx to join a mercenary company, but he won't turn his back on a kidnapped girl. At least the job seems simple enough; the mercenaries less stupid and vicious than most he's met over the years. So long as there are no surprises or hidden agendas along the way, it should work out fine.

[ Awesome cover and reviews say awesome stuff about the book too.]

"The Tower of Swallows" by Andrzej Sapkowski
The Witcher returns in this action-packed sequel to "Baptism of Fire, " in the "New York Times "bestselling series that inspired "The Witcher "video games.
The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life. But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous. There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting...

[ Ah, The latest translated novel from 'The Witcher' series, bring it on.] 

Another list finally done, now I have to get on with the rest, well, I'm off...

Friday, July 15, 2016

June 2016 New PC Games To Watch For

June was actually a horrible month for games, it must actually be one of the worst months for PC games in recent history. So it was hard and took quite some time to find some of these games to actually make a list.

Hearts of Iron IV
Hearts of Iron IV is a war strategy video game developed and published by Paradox Interactive. It is the sequel to Hearts of Iron III and part of the Hearts of Iron series of grand strategy games focusing on World War II. It was released on June 6, 2016.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Mirror's Edge Catalyst is an action-adventure platform video game developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts.  It is a reboot of 2008's Mirror's Edge and revolves around protagonist Faith's origin and her attempt to overthrow a totalitarian conglomerate of corporations who rule the city of Glass. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 7, 2016.

SteamWorld Heist 
SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based action strategy shooter developed by Swedish video game developer Image & Form. The third installment of the SteamWorld series and the distant sequel to SteamWorld Dig,[1] SteamWorld Heist has the player control Captain Piper Faraday, a smuggler and occasional pirate, as she recruits a ragtag team of robots and sets out on a space adventure. The objective of the game is for players to board, loot, and shoot their way through enemy spaceships. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux through Steam on 7June 7, 2016.

Zero Time Dilemma
Zero Time Dilemma is an adventure video game developed by Chime. Zero Time Dilemma is the third and final entry in the Zero Escape series, following Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (2009) and Virtue's Last Reward (2012). The game is directed and written by series creator Kotaro Uchikoshi, and features music by Shinji Hosoe and character designs by Rui Tomono.It was released for Windows on June 30, 2016.

[The star of this list is without-a-doubt 'Zero Time Dilemma', which is the final part of one of my most favorite games of all time '999', and it's going to be on PC which is a first time for the series. I just can't wait to get my hands on this. PS: If only the game was a bit cheaper.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Haul From Steam Summer Sale 2016

Wow, from the 23rd of June upto the 4th of July was so damn hectic and confusing to say the least. I had about 11 bucks in my Steam Wallet and got a 20$ gift card for the sales, so totally about 30 bucks, had to reach level 5 for getting the card drops (was on level 4), so I had to craft a few badges too.
Then was the tension and excitement of participating wholeheartedly on a Steam sale for the first time was a fun experience unlike any others. In the end I got the following games -

"The Banner Saga"
The Banner Saga is a Viking-themed tactical role-playing video game developed by Stoic, a trio of indie game developers formerly of BioWare, and published by Versus Evil. The core of the game is a single-player campaign of turn-based combat engagements inspired by games such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Shining Force, with the player controlling and being able to build up a party of characters with complementing abilities. The Banner Saga has an aggregate score of 82 out of 100 (based on 32 critical reviews) on Metacritic, signifying "generally positive reviews".

"Borderlands GOTY Edition"
Borderlands is an action role-playing first-person shooter video game that was developed by Gearbox Software for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It is the first game in the Borderlands series. The game was released worldwide in October 2009. Borderlands includes character-building elements found in role-playing games, leading Gearbox to call the game a "role-playing shooter". Borderlands received positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 85.83% and 84/100, the PlayStation 3 version 84.07% and 83/100 and the PC version 80.86% and 81/100. In late 2011, Borderlands was named 35th on IGN's Top 100 Modern Video Games list.

"Dust: An Elysian Tail"
Dust: An Elysian Tail is an action role-playing video game developed by independent designer Dean Dodrill, published by Microsoft Studios. It was released on the Xbox Live Arcade on August 15, 2012, and it was subsequently released for Microsoft Windows on Steam on May 24, 2013. Dust takes place in the fictional world of Falana, inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. Gameplay is presented on a 2D side-scrolling plane. The player controls the titular main character, Dust (Lucien Dodge), as he tries to remember his past. Dust: An Elysian Tail received generally positive reviews from critics.

"Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition"
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting video game based upon the fictional universe of DC Comics. The game was developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. It was released in April 2013 in North America, Europe, and Australia, and June 2013 in Japan. An expanded version of the game, titled Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, was released in November 2013 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game in which players control characters with different fighting styles and special attacks, engaging in one-on-one combat to deplete their opponent's life gauge. The game features 2.5D graphics; movement is restricted to a two-dimensional plane, while the characters and backgrounds are rendered in a three-dimensional fashion.Injustice: Gods Among Us received positive reviews from critics. The Ultimate Edition was given 83% and 80/100 for the PlayStation 4, and 80% and 79/100 for Microsoft Windows.

"Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut"
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed by Harebrained Schemes set in the Shadowrun universe. It was originally released as downloadable content for Shadowrun Returns on February 27, 2014. An expanded version was later released as a standalone game on September 18, 2014, under the title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut.The Dragonfall expansion was warmly received, earning an average score of 81/100 for the DLC version and 87/100 for the standalone version on Metacritic.

Transistor is a science fiction action role-playing video game developed and published by Supergiant Games. The game was released on May 20, 2014, for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4. Transistor sold over 600,000 copies across all platforms by January 2015. Transistor utilizes an isometric point of view. The player controls the character Red as she travels through a series of locations, battling enemies known collectively as the Process in both real-time combat and a frozen planning mode referred to as "Turn()". Transistor's soundtrack was written and produced by Darren Korb. The musical style of the soundtrack has been described by Korb as "old-world electronic post-rock". The soundtrack sold 48,000 copies within the first ten days of release. Transistor has been well received by game critics; receiving an 8/10 from GameSpot, 8.5/10 from Destructoid, 9/10 from IGN, and an 8.5/10 from Polygon. It also has an 83 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 47 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

"Valdis Story: Abyssal City"
Valdis Story A.C. is a side scrolling action adventure for P.C. with an emphasis on intricate and rewarding combat as well as deep play style customization. The player will assume the role of Wyatt as they explore the ruins of a holy city that was lost many years ago. Wyatt must battle various types of demons, angels, and a new threat tentatively known as Ferals using swordsmanship, martial arts, and sorcery. There are many customizable skills and equipment that will aid Wyatt on his journey. It Currently has 83 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

[Some of these games I had my eyes on for a long time (Borderlands, Dust, Valdis Story etc.); some I bought on the whim of the moment (Injustice, Shadowrun etc) but all of these I am hoping to play and enjoy immensely. Do let me know what you guys think of my choices and also share stuff you may have gotten.
PS: I also bought some games very cheaply for steam trading card farming, these are numerous and are not really stuff I am interested in so I would not mention them here.]