Ugh. It’s been two months since I’ve touched this thing.
Sorry guys. I’m sporadic, but didn’t mean to be this sporadic.
Current state of writing: working on a new short story for the next anthology (more info upcoming as we get closer to whatever deadline we set, but do know that we’re working towards another), and still struggling with plot details on VH. I’m about to just start throwing things on paper and seeing what sticks XD
Over the winter holidays I read a bunch of different things (when not distracted by illnesses and a new game system <3), and I kept meaning to write up full reviews, but I don’t think I’m ever going to sit down for full-length ones at this point. Too much distance. And some will probably get touched on again as I continue the series. So here’s a real quick round-up of some of the things I picked up and what I thought:
So the big one I read over winter is a series called the Maradaine novels. It’s technically several series in one, but they all take place in the city of Maradaine and they’re starting to cross over a bit. There’s currently four books in the series, two that follow the Thorn of Dentonhill, and two that follow the Constables. A fifth book is set to release next month following what looks to be an Ocean’s Eleven type group and under the series title of “Streets of Maradaine”.
This has been a really fun series so far! The Thorn is basically Batman with magic and slightly higher stakes (he’s a student at the local university, so a life of crime-fighting has to balance with studies so he can pass!) The magic system is intriguing, and even in the first two books Thorn has to start making some big decisions in terms of what things are going to cost him (fair to say, though, that the relationship costs tend to fix themselves rather quickly, but I chalk that up to being a comic book standard, and a bit forgivable for that).
The Constables line is a bit drier. It definitely has a Gotham feel (or Law & Order) in that you have a small group of good guys heading out into a tough to control neighborhood. It’s more mystery based with focus on procedure and investigation. I still enjoyed them once I got into them, but they may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
I’m definitely going to check out the next book line when it comes out.
The next book I read was The Man with the Golden Torc. Overall, it wasn’t a bad read it just… Well, back up a bit. Urban fantasy is dominated by the magical paranormal investigator. Nothing wrong with that, but that does mean sometimes they can be hard to differentiate. One solution, it seems, is to up the power ante to begin with. The Iron Druid series does it, as does this one. Here we meet Eddie Drood, agent of the Drood family that basically controls the world from the shadows. However, Eddie has been cast out as rogue, and he doesn’t know why.
My issues with this one was in terms of the power level and the pace. Finding out why you’re rogue seems like it would be a big task! It all wraps up in this book and sets up for an entirely different type of world set up in the end. On top of that, in his quest to find answers, he encounters several paranormal groups and basically foils their plots without even trying. It just all read as being very easy for him. And I realize that it’s basically a paranormal Bond (if the title wasn’t a big enough give away, Drood also goes by the cover of “Bond. Shaman Bond.” Yeah.) But when you set up groups as being big bads in the region that the character has to be careful around in order to get the info he needs and then he just casually ends up fucking up whatever their current goal is without even trying? Well, that’s just bad Worf Effect. I mostly ended up finishing this one because by the time I got bored of it, I was almost done.
I’ve also been reading through more manga. Right now my big love is Overlord. This series falls into the same category as Sword Art Online or .hack in that the main character is a video game player who finds himself trapped in the video game world, or in something close there-to. However, unlike others in the genre, the main character here was part of a PVP server where his guild played as the bad guys. So, he’s a lich.
Momonga finds himself trapped in the game world after logging in for one last time before the server shuts down permanently. However, after the shut down time, he’s still there. And his guild seems to have been moved from the game world he knows to somewhere else. So now he’s trying to find out what he can about this world and see if anymore of his guild members are trapped there with him (since a number of them were supposed to meet up that final night and not everybody checked in that night).
It’s an interesting premise with some interesting trope reversals. The manga is the last release of the series with a light novel series and single season anime preceding it.
I’ll try to post sooner next time 🙂