Sunday, May 3, 2015

Daredevil: Season One review

    I was initially skeptical of the idea of giving Daredevil his own television series. I like Daredevil just fine but part of the problem he has is the same one was the Punisher. Daredevil is a very interesting character but he's not as flashy as other Marvel superheroes. He might wear a bright red costume but most of his opponents are ordinary thugs and the occasional ninja. Ben Affleck attempted to adapt the most famous Daredevil story of all time and it ran into quite a few problems getting audiences invested.

    Netflix's Daredevil, by contrast, devotes itself to establishing the character and his environment long before it gets into the more exotic elements of Matt Murdock's world. We see white slavers, muggers, hitmen, corrupt real-estate developers, and worse long before we see our first ninja. Even the Kingpin, the most recognizable of Daredevil's foes, doesn't make an appearance on camera until a number of episodes in.

It's a shame these two don't have more scenes together.
    The show is also gritty. I don't mean gritty like The Amazing Spiderman is sometimes claimed to be or even the Dark Knight Trilogy. I mean this is closer to The Wire than Agents of Shield. This is gritty grit with a side order of grit and a large-sized grit drink. Daredevil doesn't always succeed in trying to rescue those he's protecting, he suffers innumerable injuries which need medical treatment, and it takes six or seven punches to bring down a single foe.

    The New York City of Daredevil is almost unrecognizable from the gentrified Disneyland it's become today, instead being closer to the 1970s version of the city which was the basis for so many vigilante movies. The justification for this is the Chitauri invasion of New York from The Avengers, which doesn't get mentioned by name but it is a fun treat for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans.

    Charlie Cox presents an enormously conflicted Daredevil who struggles with his desire to cause violence and his desire to help people. In a rare display of the positive elements of faith, Matt Murdock's Catholicism is shown to serve as a tether for him. It ties him to look at his actions objectively rather than through the lens he wants them too.

The black costume is bound to be controversial but I warmed to it quickly.
    Matt Murdock would very much like to kill the scumbags he deals with but he knows it would remove the part of his soul which allows him to judge right from wrong. This version of Matt is emotionally isolated and deeply damaged, which works with only a few superheroes but Daredevil is one of them.

    The supporting cast is also amazing with Deborah Ann Woll giving not only the best version of Karen Page on screen but in any medium, including comics. Her character is given an equality to Matt Murdoch and Foggy Nelson she was rarely given at the legal firm and a sense of justice which is not easily denied.

    Elden Henson is excellent comic relief as Foggy Nelson and manages to convey a real person despite the fact he's a joker. The confrontation between him and Matt toward the end of the first season is one of the highlights of the show. Rosario Dawson plays a slightly-modified version of Night Nurse, a character I never expected to make it to any form of screen.

Vincent D'Onofrio is an amazing Kingpin.
    A hero is only as good as his enemies, though, and the Kingpin is handled in an unusual but interesting manner. Rather than starting him as the smoothe operator we know, the series gives Wilson Fisk a surprising pair of weaknesses.

    This version of the Kingpin remains in the shadows and manipulates New York from behind-the-scenes not because of a desire for wealth (or so he tells himself) or power (again, another lie he tells himself) but because he wants to help New York City's poor become wealthy.

    This, despite the fact he is one of the chief predators on the destitute and impoverished. He is also a socially awkward and emotionally volatile man who doesn't maintain a public persona because he's uncomfortable in the spotlight. I've never seen Wilson Fisk portrayed this way but I think it works well. Some of the best scenes in Season One are his attempts to court his future wife Vanessa, showing a softer side of the man which could have been the hero to the city he imagines himself to be.

Rosario Dawson plays a big role in the series but is still criminally underused.
    The supernatural and superhuman play a role in the series, just on a far more subdued level than you'd normally see in a Marvel series. Concepts like The Immortal Iron Fist's Seven Cities and the Hand play a role in the story but they are hidden behind things like the Triads and Yakuza. The show is established by the time they arrive so that their appearance is neither shocking nor expected.


    My favorite character in the series has to be Karen Page. While it's a crime to have Deborah Ann Woll switch from red hair to blonde, her character has an effective arc throughout the season. She is a character with multiple conflicting emotions about crime, punishment, justice, and vengeance. Going from a murder suspect in the first episode to a legal assistant to someone neck-deep in Hell's Kitchen's politics is done with a deft hand. I also loved her chemistry with Elden Henson and hope we'll see her take on a role as Matt's love interest in season two (even if Elektra is a more famous romantic foil).

    In conclusion, this show is an accomplishment. I will never like Daredevil as much as I like some heroes but this is a show which can be appreciated by both comic book fans as well as fans of gritty urban crime drama--two groups which don't often go together.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Wheel of Time: The Dragon Reborn

    The third book in The Wheel of Time series moves at a much faster pace than the previous volumes. Which isn't to say it moves quickly, mind you, but the main characters are firmly established and so is plot. The Wheel of Time still moves at a languid pace, however, with Rand al'Thor nowhere near close to fulfilling his destiny. Robert Jordan manages the feat of making you feel like you're moving forward, however, and that's all I require from this volume of the story.

    The book begins with Rand al'Thor having assembled an army of followers after defeating Baal'zamon over the skies above the Seanchan last volume. Heroes of legend joined him in battle and he announced to the world he was, in fact, the Dragon Reborn. Progress since then has been limited with Rand mostly sitting around his camp, struggling to deal with his madness. As a male channeler, he is doomed to insanity and there's nothing he can do about that.

    Well, nothing except decide to leave. In what is the least enjoyable part of the book, Rand decides to abandon his army and just go off somewhere else to do anything else. Thus, Perrin and Moraine are forced to track him down for an extended part of the book. I'm not a fan of this plotline since Rand is almost incoherent during the entirety of it, trapped in his tormented visions and self-pity.

    The other parts of the book make up for it.

    The best part of The Dragon Reborn deals with Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne dealing with their induction into the Aes Sedai. The Aes Sedai are the most powerful political movers and shakers in the land but are torn by infighting. On one hand, they have the Amyrlin Seat working covertly to support the Dragon Reborn while the majority of them believe it is their duty to prevent the Dragon from taking over the world. On the other, you have the Black Ajah which serves the Dark One and could be any member of the organization but our heroines.

    There's some genuinely strong passages during the Aes Sedai portions of the book like Egwene's trials to become one of the Accepted. These hint at likely story points in the future and also give her some serious character development. As bad as her trauma at the Seanchans' hands were last volume, it is nothing to what she suffers forging herself into someone capable of redeeming the Aes Sedai.

    We also get a lot more insight into the Aiel race who are noted for being the people who birthed Rand al'Thor as well as being fanatically loyal to him. Unfortunately, they are not Robert Jordan's best creation being little more than fantasy-ized version of Dune's Fremen. I'm not saying that he got the idea from them and they don't have their own character after awhile but the similarities were distracting.

    The big change in the book is the redemption of the character Mat. For two books, Mat has been nothing but an enormous load on the group. This is mostly due to the influence of a cursed dagger but it made me hate him to a ludicrous level and hope for his conversion to the Dark Side so Rand could kill him. Instead, the book managed to turn the character around completely and make him quite likable.

    I was also a fan of new character Faile, who is a hunter of the (already found) Horn of Valere. The fact she's desperate to find it only for the heroes to not reveal her quest is in vain is as much a part of her enjoyment as her saucy personality. I do think she's a bit too harsh on Perrin but being a fan of anime, I get that she's just a woman who doesn't know how to speak to people without berating them.

    In conclusion, The Dragon Reborn is a book which shows Robert Jordan settling into his role as a master storyteller. We don't need as much explanation as we did in previous volumes and this plays into his strengths. There's perhaps too many characters and too much foreshadowing (almost to the point of telegraphing) but more than enough for me to say this is my favorite book in the series thus far.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Star Wars: Rebels: Season One review

    For those who want my reaction to the pilot, Star Wars: Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, then I suggest they go to this link here.

    The premise of Star Wars: Rebels is it is fifteen years after Revenge of the Sith and five years before A New Hope. The Empire has solidified its hold on the galaxy and started squeezing, abusing the Outer Rim territories worst. On the planet Lothal, a small band of resistance fighters works to liberate the world from Imperial oppression. They are aided by Kanan, a Jedi Knight, and his new apprentice Ezra. Opposing them is the erudite and evil Inquisitor along with his ISB henchman Kallus.

    Star Wars: Rebels is a lot of fun. It reminds me strongly of my old West End Games Star Wars roleplaying-game campaigns. Much like Dungeons and Dragons, they were about ragtag collections of misfits traveling around the galaxy fighting the Empire. While the travel part is missing, all of the characters are fun and well-rounded. Despite having only thirteen episodes, it manages to give all of them something to do. Kanan the former Jedi and Ezra get the majority of attention but they make the most of it.

The crew has an excellent dynamic.
    Rebels does a good job of recapturing the Original Trilogy feel. While there's no direct analogues for Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, Obi-Wan, and the Droids, they manage to feel like the same sort of characters. The characters are also at their most enjoyable when they demonstrate how different they are from the Millennium Falcon's crew. For example, Kanan should be the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the group but he is brash and impulsive. Ezra should be the Luke Skywalker of the group but his interest is less in being a Jedi than helping others. Chopper the Droid is, by contrast to R2-D2, gleefully psychotic.

    I'm particularly fond of the characters of Sabine and Hera. Star Wars made a strong mark on American culture by creating the character of Princess Leia but has often floundered in trying to make strong female protagonists since. Both Sabine and Hera impressed me with their strength of character as well as intelligence. The fact numerous episodes passed the Bechdel Test is fairly rare in Star Wars spin-offs. I also like the fact neither Sabine or Ezra are Caucasian, showing the franchise  is moving to diversify itself.

The Inquisitor has an impressive presence throughout.
    The Empire's depiction is also enjoyable: highlighting how brutal and authoritarian it is the common people as opposed to just hunting the heroes or building superweapons. The majority of Stormtroopers get treated like jokes, unable to hit anything or survive the heroes running rings around them, but that's always been the case. I also like seeing the heroes win victory after victory over the Empire. The Inquisitor, Kallus, and Tarkin also make up for the somewhat comical treatment the regular troops get.

    A character I really warmed to was Minister Tua, who is the highest-ranking Imperial on Lothal but clearly the one who has the least knowledge about how the Empire is really run. A cheerful promoter of the Empire and its values, its clear she's unaware of just how bad it really is. Tua has a lot of really funny moments with my favorite being how honored she is by being chosen to host Empire Day (Imperial 4th of July) despite the fact it's obviously something no one else wanted to bother with.

Minister Tua is just an awesome character.
   The Inquisitor is a character I actually felt was somewhat underused. Voiced by Jason Isaacs and played with a cold, calculating relish--I wanted to see him as a major villain. Sadly, while he has focus in several episodes, he gets overshadowed by the appearance of Grand Moff Tarkin toward the end of the first season. We also never get any backstory for the Inquisitor, only getting his title for instance. Still, I enjoyed the confrontation between him and Kanan in the season finale.

    Suitably epic.

    The first season has a mixture of good and not-so-good episodes. My favroites being "Rise of the Old Masters", "Empire Day", "Path of the Jedi", and "Vision of Hope." I'm less fond of the guest-star episodes where the main characters take a backseat to ones from the OT. "Droids in Distress" misuses R2-D2 and C3PO while "Idiots Array" has a wholly unnecessary appearance by Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee Williams does an excellent job in the latter but I couldn't help think this was to the deterrent of the main characters. I also wasn't a fan of "Fighter Flight" and "Breaking Ranks."

Ezra's Jedi training is surprisingly evocative.
    I think the show is being marketed to a slightly younger age group than The Clone Wars, which is both a blessing and a shame. It's good to give the next generation a show they can really latch upon but I think they could have been slightly more mature. Stormtroopers and rebels get killed by the bucket-load in A New Hope without traumatizing me. I was like four when I first watched that movie too.

    Would I prefer there to be a bit more insight into the character's backstory and the Empire to be a bit tougher? Yes, I would. However, that's not really what Rebels is all about. It's a breezy, fun, adventure serial and I don't see any need for it to be beyond that. Besides, the show surprised me on a number of occasions by being darker than I expected. These moments are a welcome addition to the story and further enhance the OT relationship.

    In conclusion, I really liked this season and I recommend Rebels to any and all Star Wars fans. It may be a bit too immature for some jaded cynical types but it is good fun for the whole family. Which is, really, what makes Star Wars candy for all ages. As Tom Baker said, "there's a difference between a children's show and a childish show." This is most definitely the former and my inner child can appreciate it.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Death of WCW review

    The Death of WCW is a mean-spirited book. This is the biggest problem with it. It's informative, sometimes hilarious, but fundamentally filled with a contempt for the sequence of events which led to the fall of Turner Broadcasting's wrestling promotion. Admittedly, reading through the book, it's not hard to see why the authors felt this way.

    Essentially, The Death of WCW is a book chronicling the rise and fall of World Championship Wrestling. Created by Ted Turner as an alternative to the World Wrestling Federation, it was the successor organization to the in-decline National Wrestling Federation. Ted Turner was already a very rich man with his own network when he noticed no one was watching the latter. He proceeded to start airing The Andy Griffith Show every day and wrestling, which created an audience for his programming. A very Southern audience to say the least.

    The book follows the rise of Eric Bishchoff, mid-level announcer, to the head of the company and how he used Ted Turner's billions to poach the top-talent of the WWF. Talent which had their heyday in the Eighties but which had been overlooked since then like Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ted Dibiase, and others. He also managed to get Kevin Nash (Diesal) and Scott Hall (Razor Ramone), two individuals who had received a great deal of attention from the WWF but smelled money in the WCW.

    They became extraordinarily successful in their new promotion before a combination of poor contracts, poor decisions, horrible wrestling, and outright bizarre angles resulted in the collapse of the company. The WCW went from being a ratings juggernaut to being almost unwatched. There's no greater illustration than the books mention that the WCW was originally worth so much that an offer of five hundred million for it was passed on, only for it to later be sold for three.

    The book suffers due to, mostly, being a repetition of events from the time the book gets to the "Monday Night Wars" portion of the book onward. We don't get a sense of what qualifies as good decisions in the wrestling business, only that WCW kept making extremely bad ones. It gets a little tiresome reading one horrific mistake after another. Though, to be fair, this is nonfiction and they really did appear to be run by a bunch of lemmings at the end (or Vince Russo, I'm not sure which is worse).

    The book argues no one thing brought down the WCW. Instead, they argued it was a consistent long-term series of poor management decisions. They overspent, they didn't tell good stories, they didn't let the wrestlers perform interesting matches, and they misjudged their audience terribly. No single change could have saved the WCW because it took a fantastic series of bad changes to end its viability as a brand. Worse, the book argues that the WCW's successor in TNA wrestling is more or less following the same road.

    Which is a shame.

    While the book is very informative, some of the events described within needed elaboration. I was particularly interested in finding out about the poor handling of Bret Hart as well as the "David Arquette becomes WCW champion" angle. Yes, the dorky sheriff from Scream and Courtney Cox's ex-husband, David Arquette. These two matters are skimmed over in the book and I felt cheated. Both events are mentioned but really needed longer explanations. The later, in particular, was a symbolic end to taking matches in the promotion seriously.

    By the end of the book, I was tempted to skim every page.

    Still, The Death of WCW was a pretty decent read for the first two hundred or so pages. You get a sense of what made the promotion great, what made it fabulous, and then are forced to watch it all get thrown out the window. For those familiar with the promotion and its matches, I recommend this book. Just understand it gets ugly toward the end and, more than sad, tragic.


Star Wars: Rebels: Spark of Rebellion review

    As anyone who has read this blog can tell you, I'm a long term Star Wars fanboy. I own most of the novels, comics, video games, and more. The decanonization of the Expanded Universe hit me hard but left me interested in where they were going to take the setting. One thing I knew, though, was that the television shows would be the focus of the setting until the release of the new movies.

    I was a big fan of The Clone Wars cartoon starring Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano. It was mostly very-good, accent on mostly. For example, as well-crafted as those episodes were, the survival of Darth Maul was just silly. There were also plenty of duds like when Padme goes to get a loan from the Banking Clan for the Republic only to discover a Ponzi scheme (because THAT'S what the series is about) or the misuse of David Tennant as a Jedi teaching droid. So I had trepidation about the new Star Wars: Rebels series.

James Earl Jones as Darth Vader's voice is an unexpected treat in the episode.
    Would it be good? Would I care about the characters? Would it just be a re-hash of the adventures of Han, Luke, and Leia traveling about the galaxy in the Falcon I've read literally hundred of stories about.


    This is really-really good. For both adults and children! It's family entertainment.

    As Star Wars should be.

    The premise is a group of rebels are operating on the planet Lothal. Lothal is a backwater planet in the Outer Rim territories which is unimportant to the Empire as a whole but, still, has an unusually high prevalence of Imperial soldiers. The populace is getting abused mercilessly by the Empire and it's the perfect place for a bunch of would-be revolutionaries to operate.

There is no greater danger to any Dark Lord than a ragtag band of misfits.
    While attempting to steal from the Empire, the rebels come across a precocious kid named Ezra who nearly ruins their plan in his attempts to steal the cargo from them. This leads to Ezra joining the crew and discovering that one of the rebels has an enormous secret.

    A secret involving a lightsaber and a Jedi holocron.

    Spark of Rebellion isn't a movie like The Clone Wars movie (which was awful, btw) but, instead, just the two-episode pilot for the television series. I'm not exactly pleased the two have been separated since there's no reason for this episode not to be included with season one. Indeed, I initially bought season one expecting it to be included with my purchase but was disappointed to find it wasn't there.

    The cast is a fairly likable bunch who will be familiar archetypes to long-term Star Wars fans. There's Hera, who is the calm and collected pilot of the group. There's Kanan, the Jedi-in-hiding, who subverts expectations by being anything but calm or collected. There's Zeb the Australian-sounding brutish thug. Then there's Sabine who is basically a punk skater-girl who just happens to be a Mandalorian. Wow, Sabine is like the incarnation of the girl I would have liked to have dated when I was a teenager.

    She also has explosive spray paint.

I was really fond of the relationship between Hera and Kanan. They're one of the most mature couples in television--which is sad in a way but still true. Very Walsh and Zoe.
    Ezra, the ostensible audience identification character, isn't as bad as many of the ones which I've seen over the years. Despite being a young teenager in a cast full of more-interesting adults, he's competent and cocky rather than annoying. He's a bit too-much like Aladdin but given said character is Disney's hands-down most likable boy character, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    The show is aimed at a somewhat younger audience than The Clone Wars but they still kill Stormtroopers left and right. I also like the animation style, which seems smoother than The Clone Wars in many ways. I also like how they go out of their way to show the Empire's oppression in small and petty ways as well as grandiose ones. There's forced evictions from homes, abusing citizens over trivial offenses, and causal racism. This is the kind of thing to teach children about true tyranny and not the stuff they often see in the media.

    In conclusion, I really like Spark of Rebellion but viewers shouldn't have to buy it in addition to season one. I also think the show will not be to the tastes of some older fans. Despite this, it's funny with likable characters. The feeling of the original trilogy is captured well and I am interested where they take the characters.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

GnomeSaga: Cogweaver review

    GnomeSaga is a high fantasy series designed to evoke the countless five dollar novels released by TSR and Wizards of the Coast in the Nineties. Dungeons and Dragons fiction was never the height of its genre but rarely failed to entertain as well. Set on an unnamed world, GnomeSaga invokes most of the tropes of a Dungeons and Dragons game while also putting its own spin on events.

    It also stars gnomes.

    Cogweaver is the third volume in the series and the climax of the series' initial plotline. One could easily consider this the finale of a trilogy but I'm pleased to say it is only the ending of the first batch of stories. Too many authors stretch out their plotlines without much in the way of progress and thus wear their fans to the quick. Kenny Soward is smart enough to give closure to a story which didn't need to be prolonged and I appreciate that.

    The series follows brother and sister Nikselpik and Niksabella as they attempt to deal with an invasion from another dimension. The evil Baron wants to control all of the ultraworlds and he has a near-unstoppable force to do so. Throwing the entire dynamic into whack is the pair's mother, a gnome who is close to becoming a goddess and opposes the Baron. Unfortunately, their mother is a complete psychopath who is more interested in controlling Niksabella than fighting tyranny.

    Cogweaver resolves the story between these characters in a surprising manner. Given the relatively sedate pace of the second volume, I was expecting the Baron arc to drag out five-to-seven books. As a result, Cogweaver has a fast-pace and rapid set of twists which make the book the best of the initial three. Really, they could have stretched things out a little more but I have no complaints about how fast they resolved things.

    Much of the novel follows the pair as they deal with the ultraworld invasion. This is a high fantasy war novel with Nikselpik serving as First Wizard while Niksabella struggles behind the lines to free the Stonekin from their slavery. Kenny Soward has a gift for PG-13 fantasy violence, never really getting grim and gritty but keeping things entertaining throughout.

    The characterization is enjoyable, too, with Nikselpik's failed relationship with priestess Fara contrasting nicely with Termund and Niksabella's love story. I also like the dose of realism the book provides: how does a Lawful Good priestess reconcile herself with her love of a Neutral (and evil-ish) Necromancer?

    The answer? She doesn't.

    Doomed relationship is doomed.

    And bravo to the author for that.

    The climax of the novel isn't the defeat of the Baron or his armies, though, but an ascension ritual which has been built-up for the past two books. I was, initially, skeptical of introducing a plot about the ascension of gods into an otherwise enjoyable war story but I think it works out well. I saw the ending coming a mile away but was still moved by the consequences of it. Plus, I was glad Nikselpik finally managed to confront his mother about the decades of abuse he'd suffered at her hands.

    The ending is both well-done as well as bittersweet. Not everyone survives to the very end of the story and even the greatest of triumphs comes at a terrible cost. I find the survival of one character rather eye-rolling, especially given how his death played an important role in the story. The fact his survival doesn't do anyone any good, however, was a nice subversion.

    In short, if you liked the previous books, buy this one. If you haven't read the series, I heartily recommend giving it a try if you love Dungeons and Dragons, high fantasy, or quirky adventures in general.


Friday, April 24, 2015

My life as a writer in 2015

    Hey folks,

    I wanted to give people an update on my current writing situation and what's coming out in the coming months as well as what's contracted for the future. Last year, my contract with Permuted Press was cancelled due to "irreconcilable creative differences", I was left with an uncertain future in publishing. I had no less than five manuscripts with a sixth on the way and nowhere to publish them. I had been contracted for no less than nine books with Permuted Press and giving that up was the hardest choice of my writing career.

    Where would I go, what would I do?

    My first book and 'big' release is The Rules of Supervillainy in May. I don't know whether it is going to be released in mid-May or late May but it's coming out soon. I can't contain my excitement over this story. Gary Karkofsky is Merciless, a man who receives a magic cloak in the mail and decides to become a supervillain in a world already full of them. It turns out he's not all that good at evil, though, and may have to do something about his city being overwhelmed by it.

The symbol of our supervillain.
    Jim Bernheimer and Amber Cove publishing want this to be a full-fledged series and will be releasing The Games of Supervillainy this Winter. It's already completed and I'm already working on yet another Spring 2016 in Secrets of Supervillainy. I love Gary as he's a fantastically snarky character and

    Thankfully, Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad, Eyes Deep) and Joe Martin of Ragnarok Publications as well as Jim Bernheimer (Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, Prime Suspects) proved to be my salvation. Or, at least, they proved to be the sort of guys who liked my writing enough to want to publish my books. No disrespect to Permuted Press but I was happier with my contracts as well, getting excellent terms as well as a strong sense of where my new publishers wanted to go with my work.

    Esoterrorism, the first book of the Red Room series, will be coming out in July. It is the adventures of Derek Hawthorne, agent of the titular organization, and his partner Shannon O'Reilly. Spies vs. the Supernatural! They fight the weird and cover it up! It's an homage to all my favorite conspiracy fiction from the Nineties like the X-Files, Deus Ex, and Mage: The Ascension.
Love this cover.

    The fact it's coming out just as a new X-Files series is in the works is good timing. Ragnarok Publication isn't just interested in this single novel, though, and has already contracted me for the completed sequel of Eldritch Dossiers for release in March of 2016.

    I have already completed the third novel in the series, Operation: Otherworld, and hope it will be released in 2017. This is a series which is dear to my heart and I hope I'll get a chance to write it for years to come. I love the world, characters, and conspiracies--but I'll let you judge for yourself what you think of it.

    While these are my releases set for 2015 (and their sequels), I'm also contracted for 2016 s well thanks to my awesome publishers. In mid-2016, expect to see the release of Wraith Knight, the first book of the Wrath Knight Chronicles. Following the adventures of Jacob Riverson, the cursed undead champion of the King Below, we get to see a tail of both redemption as well as temptation.

    With the God of Evil destroyed, Jacob has a chance of regaining his lost honor as well as humanity--or gaining revenge on a world which condemned him in the first place. I love the characters in this fantasy novel and think of it as an adult Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings-esque tale.

    Ending up my contracted novels is Cthulhu Apocalypse, which is ironically the first novel I wrote for Permuted Press and the one which has been through the most rewrites. I wanted to get this one JUST write as it is an homage to Mad Max, Fallout, and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. John Henry Booth is a survivor of a world destroyed by the Great Old Ones. Humanity is on its last legs and there is possibly no hope. Despite this, John trudges on and seeks his own meaning in the Wasteland.

    I hope everyone will check out my books this year and in the future. I've got quite a full plate for both this year and the next.

    Let's hope it continues for years to come.