Monthly Archives: January 2018
Publisher’s Description: The Shadow has enjoyed nearly a century of enduring popularity as the first and greatest hero from the golden age of pulp magazines. Here, for the first time, is unveiled the origin story of how the Master of Men returned to America following his many adventures abroad in the aftermath of World War I. How did Lamont Cranston launch his legendary crusade against crime, assemble his vast network of covert operatives, and meet his lover and companion, Margo Lane? A treat for longtime Shadow fans and a perfect introduction to the character for a whole new generation of readers. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow Knows!
Collects the complete ten-issue storyline (#1-10) from The Shadow: Year One, including a pin-up gallery of over 50 comic book covers (by top-tier artistic talent including Alex Ross, Matt Wagner, Chris Samnee, Wilfredo Torres, Howard Chaykin, and more), plus hand-drawn sketch covers.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Percy Procrastinator says…
I love the Shadow. I read many of the novels and comics as a kid. When it was rebooted in the late 80s as a comic series, I was there. Sadly, it didn’t last long, nor did another revival a few years after that one. I knew that Dynamite had started another series in 2011, but it was only twenty-four issues. They also put the Shadow in a series called Masks, pairing the Shadow with some of his contemporaries.
The Shadow: Year One is a compilation of a new series, again by Dynamite. I should probably step back and explain Year One.
A lot of comic book publishers are taking their known characters and doing a new look at them, called Year One. Most of the time, if you reboot or start a new Batman, Superman, X-Men, or other known series, the author will just jump into their story, assuming the reader knows how these heroes got started. Or if they do an origin, it’s usually a quick version of it.
Take Batman. His parents are killed in front of him and he vows to get revenge on all criminals who make people fear them. Bruce Wayne then disappears for a dozen years or more before coming back as the Batman. And we start when they are established and look in on their current story.
Year Ones ask the question, how easy was it for them to turn into the superhero we know? Where did Bruce go to learn to fight? How did he arrive back in the city? How did he earn the support of Commission Gordon? (Batman Begins pulled heavily from Batman Year One, if these questions sound like it answered them.)
This is no exception. The comic is written from Margo Lane’s standpoint, which serves to keep The Shadow shrouded a bit of mystery. The city is dealing with a masked figure gunning down criminals. It’s just the Shadow, though, not his usual group of agents, including Margo Lane herself.
I found this to be quite wonderful! I think that’s why I like trades now where they do tell an entire story, rather than getting individual issues. We see Lamont Cranston arriving back in New York, acting the playboy. We find out why he has come to NY and who he is fighting. We learn a bit about his powers and eventually who he is, which thrilled me! We also see him save Margo and then make her one of his agents. We see one of his early disguises at the police HQ when he needs to learn information on what the police know. And we see the start of his organization. By the end, it’s not done, but it’s a start. And the ideas of many of the Shadow stories before it are woven into it well, surprising even me a few times. I also liked the evolution that will happen between what he uses now and what his organization will use.
If I have any complaint, it’s two-fold. There is a lot of 30s slang that was tough to follow. It also took a bit to learn the characters because the art wasn’t as crisp or clean as I would have preferred to distinguish the many characters. I also think they needed a bit more foreshadowing of several things. However, still a great story and a solid four from me.
Oh Boy! Listen up! Author News right here! Right NOW! I’ve got a good one for you! Come on in, grab a cup of coffee and read the announcement!
Cover and book description reveal! Tell me, doesn’t that cover just suck you in?
Title: Dust Walkers
Author: Ken Lange
Series: Vigiles Urbani #2
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Description: When newly minted vigil Gavin Randall is summoned to a small town in New Mexico, the last thing he’s expecting is to have to fight a cartel of necromancers. Their undead horde tests the limits of his powers and shows him just how vulnerable he really is…and that’s not the worst of it.
His enemies have spent centuries preparing for a war no one within the Archive has foreseen, and he has yet to learn to control his abilities or figure out his place in this ancient conflict. With time running out, will he be able to forge the alliances he needs to survive the coming storm?
Other books in the series: Accession of the Stone Born
Warden Global series occurs in the same place and time as The Vigiles Urbani Chronicles. Some characters from within each series appear in the other, so it’s like being in the thick of the adventures.
Warden Global books include:
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Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip. Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.
There are a lot of things I want to share with you today.
Title: The Artificier
By: S. R. Witt, James Hunter
Narrated by: Matthew Broadhead
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Release date: 01-05-18
Publisher: Shadow Alley Press Inc.
Description: October, 2042
In two weeks, the world will die, murdered by a nine-mile-wide, extinction-level asteroid.
And Robert Osmark—billionaire and savvy tech-genius—couldn’t be readier for the fiery apocalypse.
Unlike the shortsighted masses, he’s been diligently preparing for this day from the moment the asteroid first appeared. Through his relentless efforts, digital salvation now awaits anyone bold enough to take the leap and permanently transition into the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. And Robert Osmark will lead this new world he has created.
But even with every advantage skewed in his favor, Osmark faces powerful opposition. A rogue faction of global elites led by US Senator Sizemore isn’t content to merely survive the apocalypse. They have their sights set much higher, and are recruiting dangerous allies, undercutting Robert’s efforts at every turn, and hiring VGO’s most deadly assassins to get what they want. To win, Osmark will need to viciously crush all opposition before his plans turn to ash.
While this book is released in audio, it’s also in print. If audio is not your game, don’t worry, James A. Hunter has thought of you too.
Next up is: Jennifer Estep
If you’ve not tried the series Elemental Assassin, you really should think about it. I know, the heroine is an assassin and that may turn a person off of the story just like that. But, give Gin a chance. Here’s what Jennifer has to say:
Assassins might not be the most sympathetic characters or the easiest to identify with, but I think they are some of the most fascinating. Plus, I wanted to write a really smart, strong, tough female character, which I think that I’ve done with Gin Blanco.
As of right now, after this book, there will be two more books in my Elemental Assassin series.
Also, starting with Venom in Her Veins, I will be self-publishing the series. I am hoping to release the book in spring 2018, but we’ll see what happens.
Note: The title of this book has been changed from Cold Sting to Venom in Her Veins.
NEXT: Lara Adrian
For us romance lovers, Lara Adrian has released Claimed in Shadows on January 23, 2018. This is one series I haven’t tried although I want to. You know, my TBR list is really, really long! 😉 Anyway, those that have a penchant for Vampire romances, check it out!
Title: Claimed in Shadows
Author: Lara Adrian
Series: Midnight Breed #15
Released: January 23, 2018
Description: In this pulse-pounding new Midnight Breed vampire romance novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian, passion explodes between a daywalking member of the Order and a fiery female warrior whose shadowy past will test the bonds of both duty and desire.
As the son of a formidable Breed warrior, Aric Chase has been devoted to the Order all his life. With his training completed, all he needs is one successful mission before he can join the fight to destroy the Order’s chief nemesis, Opus Nostrum. His rare ability to daywalk lands Aric an assignment in Montreal, where he learns he’s to be teamed with another new recruit, a beautiful, but tough-as-nails Breedmate named Kaya Laurent.
Independent and driven, Kaya wants nothing more than to become a full-fledged member of the Order. Having grown up in squalor and neglect on the streets of Montreal, she longs for the close-knit family she’s found during her training to be a warrior. Eager to prove herself, she is thrilled to be given the chance at a key operation—even if she must share the mission with an arrogant, far-too-seductive Breed male who’s practically Order royalty.
Their unwanted partnership soon erupts into a desire neither of them can resist. But when Kaya’s past reaches out from the shadows to call her back, she must decide between protecting a dark alliance that could shatter her dreams of joining the team and a truth that could not only forfeit Aric’s faith in her, but bring the enemy right to the Order’s door.
SPI Files #7: The Solstice Countdown
SPI Files #8: The Pandora Predicament
SPI Files #9: The Demon Directive
Obviously, there are no descriptions or covers yet. Stay tuned.
Check in tomorrow for the cover reveal and description of Ken Lange‘s new book, Dust Walkers. This is book #2 in the Vigiles Urbani series.
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Working with vampires is never a good idea, but when broke, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Publisher’s Description: Supernatural Bounty Hunter isn’t the sort of thing you see on LinkedIn. But with a rare type of magic like mine, I don’t have many options.
Dangerous or not, the job is mine. And it was going fine, until an old as sin vampire stole my mark, and with it, my pay day. Knowing I’m poor and desperate, he has offered me a job. I’ll have to work by his side to help solve a top secret case. Everyone knows not to trust vampires. Especially a hot elder vampire. But without any other jobs coming up, I’m stuck. As I uncover a web of lies and treachery, revealing an enemy I didn’t know existed, the truth of my identity is threatened. I might make it out alive, only to end up in a gilded cage.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers. *BEWARE*
Nervous Nellie says…
This was a fun an engrossing book. There is no sex-alluding to the deed, yes. Following through, no. There is one spot of nudity, plenty of killing of witches and mages…and zombies but no graphic description of violence that leans into the horror category. The four letter “f” word was used a little bit, but it had to be done to make the character a dimensional and believable character. There was also no cliffhanger.
Can I just say that I was not expecting this kind of story? I was kind of expecting a heroine that’s clingy and wishy washy attitude that amplifies to the damsel in distress when she falls into a vapid romance with a vampire that’s going to save her. That’s what I could get when I do no research, read no sample chapters and listen to no snippets from the narrator. Basically, I put my money down blindly. That’s totally unusual for me. But I did it anyway. Me. Taking a chance. Write it in the history books.
What I got in this book, were characters that practically walked out of my earbuds to sit in the room with me. I gotta say, Reagan’s contacts, clients, co-workers and neighbors are incredibly interesting folk.
When I grow up, I want to be just like Reagan Sommerset. She’s not afraid of anything. She’s confident, knows exactly what to do and can figure out a smart ass comeback in a blink of an eye. She’s such a stand out character that I loved her every minute. Even in the most difficult and awkward of situations, she always has something sassy to say.
As I said, the writing was great – but the narrator….the narrator NAILED it. Her voice range was amazing. This book did not sound like it was being read-no, it sounded like it was being lived! Poole’s inflection on frustrated, tired, sassy, bossy, hardass Reagan was golden. Then came the other characters that stood out. I could picture Reagan’s neighbors and the mage duo like I’d known them forever. I don’t know how Nicole Poole does it, but she can go from one character speech to another totally different character with a different accent and timbre at the drop of a hat. I was so impressed with this book, I had no other choice but to give it 5 stars. It was that good.
Publisher’s Description: After having his face sliced off one year ago, The Joker makes his horrifying return in this new epic that features Batman’s entire network of partners in crimefighting, including Batgirl, Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin, the Teen Titans and more. While The Joker threatens the very existence of Gotham City, these heroes –and villains–must find a way to survive.
Collecting: Detective Comics 16-17, Catwoman 13-14, Batgirl 14-16, Red Hood and the Outlaws 15-16, Teen Titans 15, Nightwing 15-16, Batman and Robin 15-17, Batman 13, 17; & material from Detective Comics 15, Suicide Squad 14-15, Batgirl 13, Red Hood and the Outlaws 13-14, Teen Titans14, 16; Nightwing 14, & Batman 14.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Percy Procrastinator says…
I don’t follow comics that closely, despite all of my comic reviews. As such, I don’t know why DC did a reboot back in 2010 called the New 52, ending all lines and restarting 52 of them. And DC did it again with another reboot and followed that by going back to the previous lines and comic numbers! I can’t answer any of that, sadly, or know if there is an answer why. What I do know is that when they did the New 52, they waited a whole year before bringing back the most well-known villain:
Right off the bat (heh, no pun intended), when I look at the list above of how many comics this contains such that I didn’t have to get all of those titles on my own, I’m very happy for this trade. Further, it puts them in a chronological order of sorts, rather than all titles from the same line together. If they had done that, we would have gotten the finale after the fourth issue and the rest would have been backstory, rather than the gripping story they wove.
The Joker’s back and he’s crazier than ever. We are shown that this time, not told. He kills. He maims. He tortures. And that’s just to his friends, much less the good guys. This is a story of the Joker making Batman pure by getting rid of all of the baggage that holds him back. And that’s the Batman’s “family” of Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin(s), and Catwoman. They all have to go if Batman is to be the pure good guy to Joker’s bad. And the Joker just wants to have fun.
****SPOILER TO FOLLOW THIS DISCLAIMER****
I’m really torn about whether to say this spoiler or not. A story should stand on its own even if it’s spoiled or it might not have had much story. At the same time, some might not want to know anything other than this:
I enjoyed it. It’s a good story. I will quibble below but enjoyed the read and felt what they did with Joker was well done.
Now, if you want no spoilers, don’t read further.
*****YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*****
Sadly, and here’s the spoiler, it doesn’t work.
At the end of it all, the writers couldn’t mess with the continuity of the other titles, so none of the family was hurt. There are slight hints that there is a fracture between them, but I don’t doubt it will be resolved a few issues later in all their own titles. None of the main characters die. Oh, the Joker still kills some known secondary characters, but Nightwing, Batgirl, Catwomen, and Robin are all okay.
For that reason, DC’s title is misleading. They wanted it to conjure images of Death In The
Family, when Joker killed then-Robin, Jason Todd. I think this does Joker a disservice. I think by hyping him up and then having him not do it weakens the character. This Joker would have killed them or done something to them, not let them all live.
The thing is, I still give this a solid four, even with my disappointment in the ending. The ride we go on to get there is fascinating. The Joker does kill several secondary characters from several titles and, as I said, he might fracture the relationship between Bruce and the others, but it will soon be status quo. What he does in the meantime, though, entertains in the most macabre way. I think Harley has it the worst. The psychology of her story is good, as well as the psychology of the Joker. I just think it’s too bad they couldn’t have done something a bit more permanent.