Saturday, May 26, 2018

SPFBO 2017 Review: The War of Undoing by Alex Perry


The War of Undoing
Author:  Alex Perry
Series:  Kyland Falls 1
Publisher:  Self-Published, April 2015
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 618 pages
List Price:  US$19.99 (print); US$2.99 (eBook)  

‘My name is Tay Raining, and this is my brother Ellstone. I wonder if you’ve heard of us … I have a birthmark shaped like a question mark on my hand, I think it might mean something but I’m not sure what. My brother is probably important too, though I can’t imagine how. I’m rambling now, sorry. The point is … the point is, we are the Rainings, and we’re here to save you.’

War is brewing in Kyland, as the shadowy, spell-weaving vumas rebel against the human government, but both sides have secret weapons at their disposal. The humans’ secret weapon: a plan that could be the undoing of the world. The vumas’ secret weapon: three young humans abandoned in the smog-shrouded town of Tarot – Tay, Ellstone and Miller Raining. The Rainings could be the key to winning the war, but first they’ll need to work out whose side they are really on…

The War of Undoing takes readers on an exciting journey into a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. It is the first book in the Kyland Falls fantasy series, and is Alex Perry's debut novel.



Qwill's Thoughts

The War of Undoing by Alex Perry is a difficult book for me to review... in some ways. I enjoyed the premise of the novel and the flow of the story for the most part, but disliked most of the main characters either part of the time or most of the time. I don't know if this novel is Young Adult but it certainly read that way to me since the majority of the main characters were teens.

This world is divided into humans and vumas. Humans have no inherent magic and vumas do. The humans have oppressed the vumas - limiting their use of magic and where they can live. The leader of the vumas is fed up. This is a story of a changing world, of haves and have-nots, of oppression by the haves and brewing revolution by the have-nots, of fear of the magical by those without magic. It's also the story of 3 siblings - Tay, Ellstone and Miller Raining who were abandoned by their parents and how that affected each of them.

The book is divided into chapters by POV characters - Tay, Ellstone, Miller, and Kisli Thomas. The voices were not that different. There were a few times that if I did not know who the POV character was (from the chapter headings) I would have been confused. The characters are just enough different that this is not usually a problem. I also feel that at least 2 of the characters were stereotypical just to show the opposite sides of the conflict. Tay and Ellstone looked at the vumas as either their saviors or their mortal enemies. I believe that the story would have benefited tremendously from more nuanced characters.

I enjoyed the worldbuilding quite a bit. The author gives enough background to the growing conflict that it was understandable. There were some terrific non-POV characters as well. I'd love to read more about the exploits of Gramor Eretol, a vuma. The pacing is generally good and the battles and skirmishes were very well done.

I give The War of Undoing a 5.

Crowded Launching from Image Comics in August


CROWDED—A PULSE-POUNDING NEW THRILLER FOR FANS OF BLACK MIRROR

PORTLAND, OR, 05/25/2018 — Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Sebela (Heartthrob, We(l)come Back, Harley Quinn), Ro Stein & Ted Brandt (Captain Marvel, Raven: The Pirate Princess), Triona Farrell (Runaways, Mech Cadet Yu), and Cardinal Rae (BINGO LOVE, ROSE) team up for the forthcoming thriller, CROWDED, set to launch from Image Comics this August.

Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days—or their lives—are over.

Cold Spots Coming in August


COLD SPOTS—A CHILLING NEW HORROR SERIES SET TO BE THE HOTTEST READ OF THE SUMMER

PORTLAND, OR, 05/25/2018 — Psychological terror, the undead, and a supernaturally bitter cold come together in this spine-tingling new series, COLD SPOTS, from Cullen Bunn (REGRESSION, Harrow County) and Mark Torres (Zombies vs. Robots: Undercity) launching from Image Comics this August.

Ten years ago, Dan Kerr turned his back on his wife and unborn daughter. Now, both mother and child have gone missing, and Dan must face cosmic terrors to find them again. He soon finds that ghosts stir when his estranged daughter is near. And as the dead grow restless, the cold deepens in… COLD SPOTS.

“The idea of a sudden drop in temperature accompanying the manifestation of spirits has always fascinated me,” said Bunn. “With Cold Spots, I couple that idea with a tale of very personal loss and dread. As the dead surround Dan and his missing child, the cold takes on a deadly, terrifying ‘life’ of its own.”

COLD SPOTS #1 (Diamond Code JUN180044) hits stores on Wednesday, August 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, July 30th.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Leviathan Coming in August


LEVIATHAN A GIANT, SUMMER LAUNCH FOR IMAGE COMICS

“A page of Nick Pitarra's art cuts a swath of mesmerizing detail and
vivid characters across the mind, leaving one breathless in anticipation
for the next page where it happens all over again.” —J.H. Williams III
(The Sandman: Overture, Promethea, Batwoman)

PORTLAND, OR, 05/25/2018 — Join multiple Eisner-winning writer John Layman (CHEW) and Eisner-nominated artist Nick Pitarra (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS), along with soon-to-be-nominated-for-best-colorist Michael Garland (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS) for an eye-popping, face-melting, reality-defying, nonstop rush of pure adrenaline this August in the forthcoming LEVIATHAN.

“Nick and I have wanted to work together for a long time, and when I found out he had a hole in his schedule I jumped at the chance to write what I hope will be the quintessential Nick Pitarra book, a book that will take advantage of all the energy and madness he brings to a page,” said Layman. “Hundreds of years from now, when robot historians ask who Nick Pitarra was, this is the book they will boot up.”

Poor Ryan DeLuca didn’t buy enough beer for his party, and while he was out on a beer run his idiot buddies busted out some mystical arcana and performed a summoning ceremony—a ceremony that summoned a giant monster from hell!

LEVIATHAN #1 (Diamond Code JUN180012) hits stores on Wednesday, August 1st. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, July 9th. 


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Stairway, Vol. 1 Coming in August


STAIRWAY, VOL. 1 EXPLORES JUNK DNA AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF A HISTORIC SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY

PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2018 — Writer Matt Hawkins (THINK TANK) and artist Raffaele Ienco (Batman: Sins of the Father) team up for an all-new original graphic novel series beginning with STAIRWAY, VOL. 1 this August.

STAIRWAY, VOL. 1 follows a postgraduate student who discovers a way to unlock information hidden deep in our “junk DNA,” and parts of bio-schematics and other pieces of baffling data are found. This discovery triggers the largest scientific initiative since the Manhattan Project, with teams of scientists working to collect and collate this information. But will they find a stairway to heaven, or will they unleash something that will kill us all?

STAIRWAY, VOL. 1 (Diamond Code JUN180083, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0801-5) hits stores on Wednesday, August 22nd and bookstores on Tuesday, August 28th.

It can be pre-ordered on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.


Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway Coming in November


NORROWAY, BOOK 1: THE BLACK BULL OF NORROWAY BRINGS THE CLASSIC FOLKTALE TO LIFE THIS NOVEMBER

PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2018 — This November, sibling writer/artist duo Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (AFAR) team up for NORROWAY, BOOK 1: THE BLACK BULL OF NORROWAY, the first in an original graphic novel series based on the Scottish tale of the same name.

Sibylla had always craved adventure, but she never guessed it would show up at her door in the form of a giant, magical bull. Who knew a prophecy could be so literal?

“NORROWAY is the result of the stories my sister Cat and I told to each other on dark nights when we were growing up,” said Kit Seaton. “This is a new series inspired by all the things we love about ghost stories and the old dark fairy tales. It's about curses run amok, doomed knights, dancing princesses, shipwrecks, and young peasant girls destined for adventure. Take warning, however: even good intentions can lead to dangerous places.”

The Hchom Book Coming in September


MARIAN CHURCHLAND'S POPULAR
HCHOM COMES TO IMAGE COMICS

PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to announce that Marian Churchland’s popular, long-running blog posts on Hchom.com will be collected and published as THE HCHOM BOOK trade paperback this September.

If you were a goblin, what would your treasure hoard contain? Gems and minerals, biscuits and pastries, finely tailored jackets—or perhaps all of the above. Readers will follow the delightful whims and antics of ever-charming, ever-mischievous goblins in THE HCHOM BOOK.

“I began the blog [Hchom.com] with no particular aim: I wanted to post pictures of bread, and vent my material wants, and that was about it. Over time, however, it cohered into something so much more introspective, and even—to my ongoing astonishment and gratitude—into something that other people connected with on a personal level,” said Churchland. “I am so pleased, and so proud, to bring this work to print.”

THE HCHOM BOOK trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0834-3) hits comic shops on Wednesday, September 19th and bookstores on Tuesday, September 25th.

It can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-MillionIndieBound, and Indigo.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Curse Words Summer Swimsuit Special #1



PREPARE YOUR BEACH BODIES FOR…
THE CURSE WORDS SUMMER SWIMSUIT SPECIAL #1

PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2018 — Jump in, the water’s fine when you’re with Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s CURSE WORDS SUMMER SWIMSUIT SPECIAL #1—a sizzling one-shot set to make a splash from Image Comics this August and featuring interiors by guest artist Joe Quinones.

SEE: Sizzajee’s sinister sorcerers sweating their way through the sunny, sultry summertime season back in the Hole World. SEE: a hogtaur in a Speedo! SEE: an invisible wizard with a sunburn! SEE: such sights! Such glorious sights! JOIN US.

"From day one, I've been asking Charles ‘When do I get to draw a centaur hog man in a bathing suit? When, Charles—WHEN!!!?!’ and OF COURSE he puts the Speedo-wearing hogtaur in a swimsuit during the ONE issue I'm not drawing!” vented Browne. “I hope Joe Quinones appreciates how good he has it! Jealousy overload! ARG!”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nintendo Download: Dillon Rocks, and Rolls, in his Return


This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – Celebrate Street Fighter’s historic legacy with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, a massive collection of 12 Street Fighter games that encompass the Street Fighter I, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III and Street Fighter Alpha series. The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection will be available May 29.
    • Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Play as Zangetsu, a demon slayer bearing a deep grudge, who must travel through perilous lands to defeat a powerful demon lurking in a dark castle. Zangetsu will meet fellow travelers along the way, who can join your journey as playable characters. Alternating to these characters with their unique abilities will unlock new paths through the treacherous stages. Your choices in recruiting these adventurers will change the difficulty of the game, and may even affect the ending.
    • Ikaruga – A rebel pilot named Shinra must battle an enemy nation using a specially designed fighter called the Ikaruga, which can alternate between two energy polarities (black or white) at the touch of a button. Bullets that are the same color as Shinra’s ship can be absorbed, while the opposite color will do damage. The Ikaruga game will be available on May 29.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS
    • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido (Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS) – The free Nintendo Switch demo for this sushi-eating, plate-throwing puzzle-action-RPG and the option to pre-purchase is now available in Nintendo eShop. The Nintendo 3DS version is also now available for pre-purchase. Nintendo 3DS version playable in 2D only.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
    • Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers – As a team, defend a post-apocalyptic Wild West from an invasion of transforming rock monsters alongside your Mii character, Dillon the armadillo and his squirrel engineer, Russ. Recruit hired gunners to back you up in battle, and then roll into fights and high-speed chases and take down waves of enemies as Dillon, the “Red Flash” himself. A free demo version of the game is also available for download.

Covers Revealed - Recent and Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the recent and upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


G.S. Denning (2016)

My Grave Ritual
Warlock Holmes 3
Titan Books, May 15, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 425 pages

As they blunder towards doom, Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings. Christmas brings a goose that doesn’t let being cooked slow it down; they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And, naturally, Moriarty is hanging around… in some form or other.


Book 1
Book 2





Jason Mott (2013)

The Crossing
Park Row Books, May 15, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Stay and die, or run and survive.

Twins Virginia and Tommy Matthews have been on their own since they were orphaned at the age of five, surviving a merciless foster care system by relying on each other. Twelve years later, the world begins to collapse around them as a deadly contagion steadily wipes out entire populations and a devastating world war rages on. When Tommy is drafted for the war, the twins are faced with a choice: accept their fate of almost certain death, or dodge the draft. Virginia and Tommy flee into the dark night.

Armed with only a pistol and their fierce will to survive, the twins set forth in search of a new beginning. Encountering a colorful cast of characters along the way, Tommy and Virginia must navigate the dangers and wonders of this changed world as they try to outrun the demons of their past.

With deft imagination and breathless prose, The Crossing is a riveting tale of loyalty, sacrifice and the burdens we carry with us into the darkness of the unknown.





Malka Older (2016)

Null States
The Centenal Cycle 3
Tor.com, September 11, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

State Tectonics concludes the trilogy that began with Infomocracy:

The book The Huffington Post called "one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history"
Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The Verge, Flavorwire, Kirkus Reviews, and Book Riot
A Locus Award Finalist for Best First Novel

The future of democracy must evolve or die.

The last time Information held an election, a global network outage, two counts of sabotage by major world governments, and a devastating earthquake almost shook micro-democracy apart. Five years later, it's time to vote again, and the system that has ensured global peace for 25 years is more vulnerable than ever.

Unknown enemies are attacking Information's network infrastructure. Spies, former superpowers, and revolutionaries sharpen their knives in the shadows. And Information's best agents question whether the data monopoly they've served all their lives is worth saving, or whether it's time to burn the world down and start anew.

THE CENTENAL CYCLE
Book 1: Infomocracy
Book 2: Null States
Book 3: State Tectonics


Book 1
Book 2