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 or 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 loved 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.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

peregrine

It’s been way too long since I did a book review but ever since I’ve been writing my own work like a madman. I know the book has spawned many sequels ( four to date if I’m not mistaken), a spin off book, and a movie by Tim Burton while I haven’t followed the series as closely as I wished, it was one of the first books that really got me into reading.

Jacob Portman grew up listening to his grandpa Abe’s miraculous stories of his youth and WWII; he told stories of a strange home for strange kids as well as monsters pretending to be human during the war. Jacob, loving his grandpa, thought these were the signs of dementia, old age, until Jacob sees one of the monsters  the day his grandfather dies. Jacob needs answers, convincing his parents to let him go to the island from his grandpa’s stories, discovering there might have been more to his stories than a old man’s fantasy…

I have so many feelings about this book but overall what I love is Ransom Riggs’s use of old distorted black and white photos in the series to bring a creepy, authentic feel to it you don’t usually get. The book starts off really strong and actually has a eerie vibe and it’s scattered throughout the book which is welcomed; Enoch’s power with the toy soldiers and the mice is pretty unsettling. The Peculiar characters are memorable and I like the hint of madness they possess because there predicament. I have mixed feelings on Jacob’s ability. One of my biggest complaints is that the book has a X men vibe and by the end feels a bit too much like a superhero story towards the end; the villains towards the end aren’t particularly memorable in my opinion and feel pretty generic. The lore can be a tad bit hard to follow and I actually had to read it twice before I had it completely straight- there is a lot of time travel and dimension play at work. In the end, while not perfect, it’s still a damn interesting and unique book I’d highly recommend checking out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth (New 52, vol. 1)

new 52 suicide squad

Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Voltaic, Black Spider, Diablo, and King Shark: these 6 have have 2 things currently in common. All are super criminals, while some do the deeds for money, others, blood-lust or redemption, they are considered extremely dangerous and a threat. The other thing: Amanda Waller has recruited them all to Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. After proving themselves, their first mission is a bloody one involving a stadium where a nano-virus was released, turning the hundreds inside into bio-mechanical zombies. After surviving hordes of monsters, bounty hunters and a meta human prison break, the group is divided by possible treachery and Harley going the warpath after finding out her beloved Joker was allegedly skinned alive. Can the squad reel in the former Dr while uncovering the threat of Basilisk?

I have to say, this was my introduction to the concept of Suicide Squad years before the movie and I was instantly hooked. The Suicide Squad movie took some of the vibe this arc had but honestly, it didn’t do it justice. The chemistry between characters is interesting as well as a great line up; King Shark is hands down my favorite with some great gory moments as well as some great dark comedy moments. While I’m not thrilled with the part of Harley’s new origin where she takes the same chemical bath as Joker, her origin was nice to see and the dialogue was convincing.  There are a great many characters I didn’t mention that I love, like Captain Boomerang and Yo-yo that were cool to see. The art fits well and there are plenty of epic and graphic fight scenes to sink your teeth into. Honestly, this is a great read to intro you into the New 52. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Aquaman: The Drowning ( DC Rebirth, Vol.1)

aquaman rb v1

Things are finally at a turning point for Arthur Curry, the Aquaman, as Atlantis finally establishes an embassy on dry land as an attempt to cool tensions with the surface world and educate the masses of both lands. Before the opening, the US government is weary after a Atlantean extremist group called the Deluge are thwarted by Aquaman before launching a terror attack on the surface. During the embassy unveiling, Black Manta, Arthur’s nemesis returns for blood. Things spiral out of control. The US declares war on Atlantis after the Deluge reemerge; Manta is taken in by a naval tasked organization called N.E.M.O that plans on ruling the world, and he quickly gains control of it; every move Arthur and Mera make is met with hostility and all hell breaks loose, resulting with an altercation with the Man of Steel himself. Can DC’s black sheep stop a war from breaking out?

This is book is hands down the best I’ve read from DC Rebirth so far and honestly, I’m pretty glad it’s Aquaman. The story is well paced and easy to follow for newer readers but has a lot of great character moments from Aquaman to keep you engaged. The book showcases a lot of turmoil and pathos in Aquaman and the position he is put on having the fate of two worlds that mostly hate him on his shoulders. I love the showdown with Manta and the fight with Superman at the end is a badass surprise. The artwork is beautiful and the characters look great. Honestly, if you are curious about what DC Rebirth has to offer, this book is a pretty damn good place to start. May the gaming gods bring you glory.