The Outsider

The Outsider - Stephen King (Hardcover) - Books Online | Raru

How many crimes are truly perfect? How many times are things exactly as they seem? What happens when the answer is something unexplainable, and its the only answer?

Terry Maitland was a beloved citizen of Flint City, teacher, little league coach, and family man. That is until multiple witnesses and various scientific evidences point to Maitland as the heinous murder and sexual assault of a young boy. Detective Ralph Anderson makes a public arrest, shaming Maitland in front of the whole town. The case looks open and shut, but an outstanding mount of evidence proves Terry’s innocence; how can a man be two places at once? Is Terry Maitland a criminal mastermind or is there something supernatural at play?

Stephen King, the legend, still has it. The Outsider isn’t one of his best but it’s a damn good book. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, where it’s a pretty well done detective story that’s pretty fascinating. While I was kinda bummed at the turn the story took, it was filled with interesting characters and good interactions between them. The book flows well and doesn’t feel too light or bloated, bloated being a common King complaint. If you are a King veteran, especially with the Bill Hodges trilogy, you’ll find some cool connections here. My only real complaint was the shift between thriller and horror and the Outsider goes down like a total bitch which makes the end a bit anti-climatic. In the end it’s a damn good read I recommend for King fans. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Inhumans

Inhumans - Wikipedia

Of all the strange corners of the Marvel universe, the Inhumans of Attilian are some of the most mysterious, powerful, and dangerous. A city devised of superpowered beings granted power from the mythic Terrigen Mists, every citizen is genetically unique and given a place under the royal family led by the silent king, Black Bolt. There is peace and prosperity until they misjudge a young Inhuman at changing ceremony named Woz, enslaving him with the unfortunate Alpha Primitives, despite his hidden powers to transit through reflective surfaces. Its soon after that Woz is drawn unto Maximus, the greatest threat Attilian has ever faced who plans to revolt the city, start a war and usurp his brother, Black Bolt. Can a overwhelming conflict from inside and out be avoided without coming to devastation and full fledged war?

So I want to say I love Marvel Knights productions, which cover the grittier stuff in Marvel, and this book is a Marvel Knight’s production. The art steals the show with some truly memorable and frankly imaginative designs. The writing is really good too and there is a really good story here that isn’t your typical superhero romp. That point however is where I feel people will get divided. This book sure as hell isn’t for everyone. While most comics balance between action and world building, this book is about plot and character rather than Blockbuster action. Between the heavy exposition and world building combined with the length a lot of people will find this book bloated and boring. Since I’m a Marvel fan, a sci-fi fan, and a Lit nerd I think it’s a really good tale from one of the weirdest corners of the Marvel universe. I recommend this story if you are a Marvel fan or like deep sci-fi. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren

Amazon.com: Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren (2019-2020) #1 (of 4) eBook:  Soule, Charles, Crain, Clayton, Sliney, Will: Kindle Store

Ben Solo, the apprentice and nephew of legendary hero Luke Skywalker as well as the son of legends Han Solo and Leia Organa, as well as the grandson to the incomparable Darth Vader, one of the galaxy’s greatest villains. Ben is a talented young Padawan born of legacy with all choices taken from him, or as he feels. For years, a voice named Snoake has been been guiding him alongside Luke, rather against Luke, telling him his fate isn’t as a Jedi but rather with his grandfather in the dark where his true freedom lies. After coming into contact with the Knights of Ren, a cult worshipping the dark side of the Force, Ben decides to join them after Luke’s betrayal, beginning a new age of infamy as Kylo Ren begins.

So I was really anticipating this comic after my liking of the sequel trilogy crash and burned for me. Kylo was one of my favorite characters and after reading this, I still find myself loving and hating him as a character. The Knights of Ren are interesting adversaries that I really think could’ve made for great villains if written better. Luke is great in this book and his fight against the cult is badass. The art is great and the writing is pretty good. My biggest issue is the book feels rushed as hell and I feel like more time could’ve been spent of Ben’s character and his time with Luke. In the end, it’s a solid book but not great and adds some depth to a lackluster triloy. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dreadnaught (Nemesis Book One)

Dreadnought, Nemesis Audio CD (MP3 CD) by April Daniels | 9781543642360 |  Booktopia

Danny Tozer is a young man living in a world of super heroes and villains, where powers and destruction are a way of life, but Danny has bigger problems than demigods battling through town: Danny secretly desires to be a girl, the only relief coming from the small things he can hide from his parents. One day, Danny gets caught in the crossfire of of super battle, left with with a dying Dreadnaught, the greatest hero in the world. During a battle against Utopia, Dreadnaught dies passing his powers into the closest person nearby- Danny. Danny is transformed into the body of his dreams, a beautiful young woman with an array of new powers. It’s not long before Dreadnaught’s old teammates try recruiting Dani to take his mantle, but she quickly learns her dream has consequences. Her relationship with her parents worsens as they fight to change her back into a boy against her will, her best friend turns into a perv, and many of the heroes she worshipped turn out to despise her as a female and a trans-woman. With her grey sided friend and partner Calamity, it’s up to Dani to decide her destiny, embrace the real her, and defeat Utopia..

I’d heard about this book and decided to check it out on Audible and I was absolutely addicted to this book. This is a really heartfelt story of a young trans-woman dealing with the prejudice of the world. The book does a great job at balancing the real world issues of a sympathetic character and a pretty interesting super world. While the super stuff isn’t unique it does have cool Easter eggs and is a interesting world. I wish Utopia was a better villain but the twist to her identity is pretty neat towards the end. The final battle is pretty badass and admittedly, besides a lot of feels, Dreadnaught’s declaration at the end was pretty epic. In the end, it was a really good book that genuine and well written and I’d recommend checking it out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alien: Covenant (Audiobook)

Alien: Covenant by Alan Dean Foster | Audiobook | Audible.com

Of all the Alien stories I could have chosen in my dip into audiobooks, I decided to dive into the novelization of Alien: Covenant by Alan Dean Foster, who is a veteran of novelizing the Alien series. I always wanted to know if the Alien series could translate successfully into the written word and I’m happy to say that where I was hugely let down by Alien: Isolation (audiobook) , the audiobook for Covenant soared. Foster not only brought the story to life but fixed a lot of what was wrong with the movie. In my review, I said a huge problem was the lack of character development and the awkward pacing caused by the content crunched into the timeframe. Another bonus of the different medium is having the extra info and characterization explains some of the seemingly dumber moments rational. Foster also knew to touch up some of the dumber moments like the blood sliding and the “questionable” dialogue during the David/ Walter flute scene. The performance is extremely well done and adds a lot of atmosphere to the story and characters. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, more than the movie in fact and I’d recommend checking the book out if the movie let you down. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alien: Isolation (audiobook)

So if you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ll know how much of a Alien fan I am. My first dip into Audible was Alien: River of Pain (audio drama) and while it was a fun experience, as a writer I was curious how a novel would read. I chose the novelization of Isolation, curious how the terrifying game translated into literature. For a brief synopsis, check out my review of Alien: Isolation because this is strictly on the book experience. So did it live up to the game?

I’m sorry to say the game excels at being a gem of claustrophobic sci-fi horror while the book spends too much time on side plots and putting too much emphasis on Amanda Ripley’s abandonment issues and sulking nature on her life without Ripley. While I had no issue finding out about Amanda’s drunken step dad, her mom thwarting a mutiny at her last job, or the succession of bullshit and deception Amanda had to go through before that meeting Samuels, I did take issue with how much the book lingers on this and how little I feel was put into the actual story from the game. A few times I felt promise of the game’s terror but it’s either wiped away by a overly long flashback or Amanda starts an internal pity party instead of being truly scared as she was in the game. Also. I didn’t much threat from the Alien but more so the Working Joes. Another vital thing that bothered me was how every chapter ended with a audio log or transcript from the game that were frequently jarring at times. In the end, I just say play the game for a more intense, fulfilling Alien experience. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alien: River of Pain (audio drama)

So this is a first for Saviorgaming as this is the first time I’m reviewing a audio drama via Audible, which is a pretty awesome service. I do plan on reviewing them in the near future so tune in for that. For my first full Audible experience, of course I’d pick a story from the Alien universe.

River of Pain runs in tandem with Aliens , following the downfall of the colony Hadley’s Hope as well as introducing us to Newt before we meet her in Aliens. Following Ripley’s disappearance and her encounter with the creature from LV-426, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation renamed the planet Acheron and began terraforming the planet with it’s flagship colony, Hadley’s Hope. The Colonial Marines offer protection and order for the civilians but there is friction between there new head, Brackett, and the science division of Wey-Yu. The company’s influence is strong. The Jordan family, surveyors, get an opportunity from the company to discover the last undiscovered area of the planet, and the crashed derelict the crew of the Nostromo had found decades before…

As far as a Alien story goes, River of Pain is pretty fitting and is a nice prologue to Aliens. I have to say I’m impressed and loved the movie grade sound effects; the voice acting is really fitting and well done and after the first chapter it was easy to get into. While there is some retread from the movie, it doesn’t feel like padding and thankfully most of the material is fresh. The complaints I have are small like the title “River of Pain” is pretty pointless and starting the story with Newt’s birth was just weird. In the end, if you love the Alien series, this is a cool experience I’d recommend checking out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

I-HAVE-NO-MOUTH-AND-I-MUST-SCREAM

Ok, so this is highly unusual for me because normally I cover books and comics and so on but I never dedicated a whole post to a short story before. Normally I wouldn’t but honestly this story, while roughly 20 pages, kept me thinking for days and haunted my day dreams with lurid imagery and touched a primal fear of mine- machines and man’s ludicrous reliance on them. The story follows the last five humans on earth, after a godlike A.I called Am eradicated humanity. Am keeps these people alive as a sick joke, not allowing them to die, de-evolving them and stomping them deeper into torturous madness and everlasting pain. In such a short package there is a lot of bleak imagery and touchy subjects like suicide, rape, and violence. The writer, Harlan Ellison, has a very simple style which somehow brings the horror of this scenario closer to home and feel more palpable. I really can’t remember the last time a short story intrigued me and left me speechless and inspired and that is the best compliment I can give. I can’t recommend this story enough, especially if you want to write horror or dark sci-fi yourself. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Heart Shaped Box

heart box

So because of a string of WTF events in life, I went back to being a full throttle, hardcore Lit nerd for a couple weeks. In those weeks, I got to read somethings off my to-do list, one of which is Joe Hill’s debut novel. Hill is the son of the legendary Stephen King so I was really interested to see if the apple fell far from the tree…

Judas Coyne is a aging rocker with a morbid collection of various things he’s acquired over the years. One day, his assistant finds a online bid for a ghost attached to a dead man’s vintage black suit in a heart shaped box; Jude buys it for giggles, just to have. His young, goth girlfriend laughs too, despite getting pricked by something sharp in the suit. It’s not long before Jude finds validity to his purchase and he’s visited by the owner of the suit, wielding a blade pendulum and X’s replacing his eyes. When Jude demands a refund from the seller, he finds out she has a sinister plot for him after blaming him for the death of her sister, Jude’s previous girlfriend. It’s up to Jude and his girlfriend Georgia to survive the vengeful spirit of a heartbroken step father as they run for there lives, but is there an escape?

I have to give Hill credit, while not perfect I ate this book up. Hill has a easy style that channels hint’s of his father’s earlier work but feels uniquely his own. The story is well paced and there is a good sense of dread throughout. Craddock, the spirit, is a eerie force that feels threatening and works as a good antagonist. My favorite part of the story was Jude and Georgia’s relationship and character arcs throughout the story. What I admit what I didn’t like was the actual end to Craddock, feeling like it came to out of left field and went to too far out to land a happy ending. In the end, it’s a enjoyable book by a good author I can’t wait to read more of that I recommend picking up. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Amazing Spider-man: Edge of Spider-verse

spiderverse

Spider-man is well known through comics for having one of the most diverse and fascinating multi-verses with alternate Spiders that hold there own as unique characters. Famous Spider variants include the Scarlet Spider, Miles Morales, and Silk aka Spider-Gwen. Edge of the Spider-verse isn’t really a cohesive story but five short stories featuring Spider-man Noir, Spider-Gwen, SP//dr, a terrifying Man-Spider, and a anime like Spider man from an advanced future. Honestly, I’d love to see more from all these variants except for the futuristic Spider-man, who didn’t really click with me. I really enjoyed the Man-Spider story, which felt like a take on Spider close to Tales from the Crypt orĀ The Fly . I’m tied between wanting more of Noir and SP//dr ; Spider-Gwen I love the set up but some of the execution on her stories irks me. In the end, if you were ever curious of lovedĀ Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse and want to learn more, I’d pick this book up for a quick read. May the gaming gods bring you glory.