Torsten’s latest FB reading

May 1st I recorded my latest reading from my Amazon debut, enjoy and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Original Sin

gotg og sin

The Guardians of the Galaxy, the cosmos greatest gang of misfits, have been countless adventures as well as ups and downs. During the The Thanos Imperative they beat the Mad Titan Thanos and sealed the Cancerverse at the cost of losing Star-Lord, Drax, and Nova. Drax returned from the dead and miraculously Star-Lord and Thanos found there way out of the Cancerverse, but not Nova. After Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians Disassembled  Gamora corners Star-Lord for answers, recounting the horrors of the dimension where death is extinguished as the three heroes clashed against Thanos and the unstoppable Revengers for the Cosmic Cube and the hope for escape. Meanwhile, Flash Thompson has lost control of Venom as the Symbiote is loose on the ship, taking them to there homeworld as Captain Marvel delivers news of there next big problem: the new Spartax election.

This book is a prime example of why I love the Guardians. Quill’s recount of the Cancerverse is pretty harrowing there is a heavy emotional weight to it, while Venom’s story is comical and has some cool lore in it; between the 2 stories there is some cool action throughout. The book, unlike Imperative, flows nicely and feels like a nice easy read for it. I’d definitely pick it up, especially after reading Thanos Imperative and a few stories before it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales (Dead Billy Dead)

30 days 4

With vampires going back towards there former glory and away from the Twilight school of thought and Morbius getting his own movie, I wanted to dive deeper into the 30 Days of Night series, starting with this side story away from the original trilogy ( 30 days of night30 Days of Night: Dark Days , and 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow )

Billy is a asshole, a low life and a burden to the people he loved. One night he gets into a brawl with a psycho who bites him and the madness begins. Billy seemingly can’t die as he is mistakenly shot by a cop but the new powers developing seem connected to vampires. Desperate, he seeks help from his ex girlfriend while fleeing the cops and seeking help from a power hungry Dr Saxton, who has sick plans for Billy. Is there redemption for the creep after becoming a monster?

While nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, this is a solid vampire story. While reading it, I felt more than tad of influence from the Morbius comics only full R rated. Billy isn’t a bad character to follow but I have to admit Saxton was a more interesting villain and a pretty sick one at that. The art is pretty common to the series, blurry and bloody, so however you felt about the others is pretty much how you’ll feel about this. In the end it’s a pretty solid book but not really special. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ultimate X-men/ Ultimate Fantastic 4

Ult x f4

What would bring a huge misunderstanding between the mutant peacekeepers and the first family of Marvel? Cerebro, Professor X’s device that amplifies his telepathic abilities across the globe, has been stolen while the most of the team deals with a crisis far away. Wolverine tracks Cerebro down to the home of the Fantastic Four; accompanied by Ice Man and Kitty Pryde they attempt to infiltrate the Four’s new HQ, being registered as intruders by the Four. Wolverine battles Mr Fantastic and the Thing while Ice Man battles the Human Torch as the ladies of the group bump into each other and the fighting seizes, but the question is who is responsible?

While not a bad quick read, there were some serious missed opportunities. While seeing The Thing and Wolverine was cool as hell and Ice Man vs Torch was sweet, the fights could’ve been longer and I wish there were more X Men. The end of the book is a bit anticlimactic but it’s a nice little crossover with some nice interactions between characters that’s meh overall. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ultimate Fantastic 4: Inhuman (vol.4)

ult f4 v4

After the events of Ultimate Fantastic 4: N- Zone , the Fantastic 4 are out in the open and unveiled to the public after thwarting Annihilus and they are in trouble. Sent back to the the think tank at the Baxter building by there handlers, they discover a disgruntled genius calling herself the Thinker is out to prove herself the superior mind, any way possible. After dealing with her, Sue and Johnny’s distant mother comes into there lives to uncover Namor, while Johnny meets a cute girl that proves to be not so human, introducing Namor the Submariner and the Inhumans in the Marvel Ultimate universe.

What I like about this particular book is you get 3 mini stories for the price of one. The first story is a good epilogue to the last book and it is cool seeing the Four face there own home as a enemy. While I don’t like Namor’s Ultimate backstory, I can’t lie the fight between him and Torch is pretty cool and the story is a nice look into Sue Storm’s character. As a fan of the Inhumans, I don’t like the designs in Ultimate but Karnak vs Invisible Woman was one of my favorite Ultimate moments. While the stakes aren’t overly high in the book, it’s nice to get some bite sized chunks with Marvel’s first family and it’s not a bad book to pick up if you read the others. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

The Thanos Imperative

thanos imperative

Awhile back I made a list of 5 Marvel stories that hooked me and this book was in there. With the Infinity Saga of the MCU at a close, Thanos was the greatest threat we’ve seen our heroes come to our heroes, but if the mad Titan was our only hope?

Death, while frightening and painful, is an essential part of life but in the Cancer-verse, awaken by Adam Magnus and his followers death doesn’t exist and is running out of room. An entire universe united under a dark version of Marvell is ready to breach our universe. The cosmos greatest heroes unite to face the mass invasion lead by Nova, Quasar, Medusa, and Gladiator but even with the aid of the Silver Surfer and his master Galactus it seems. Of all people, hope rests with the misfit Guardians of the Galaxy who have a once dead Thanos in containment; Thanos is the personification of Death the Cancer-verse needs but the Titan is unstable and Drax is driven mad with the urge to slay him. Can Lord Marvell and a whole universe be stopped and at what cost?

So, first things first, my explanation of the story is the gist but honestly it’s easier to follow than most of the book. This book goes through a shit load of exposition and because of the huge amount of stuff going on, it becomes hard to follow at times and a lot of it feels more complex than it needs to. On top of that, I do not  recommend this to newer readers because of the insane roster of characters including: Nova, Quasar, Gladiator, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Surfer, The Inhumans, Beta Rey Bill, Ronan the Accuser, Adam Magnus, Galactus, the original Captain Mar-vell, and of course Thanos, and no, movie knowledge won’t help you much. While those are huge drawbacks, the artwork and scope of the action is beautiful and epic. Watching Surfer and Galactus go into battle amongst all these cosmic heroes was truly badass.  The story takes some chances and some characters do die and the ending did a reasonable impact on Marvel as a whole. It is a real cool story with fantastic artwork but it’s more complex than it has to be. May the gamin g gods bring you glory.

The FBI Adventures of Will Chair

will chair

I’m going to start by saying congrats to local Scranton author Billy Kraser, our mutual friend here at the blog on his mainstream debut. I’ve covered some of his smaller works before but for his main debut he wanted to do something meaningful. Billy, born with Spina Bifida and wanted to make a children’s book to show kids with disorders such as his or others that they aren’t alone and can achieve greatness. The story follows Will Chair as he becomes a FBI agent tasked with cyber crimes and dealing with bullying cases.

Honestly, I feel pretty privileged to see the rough drafts of the book because the story in it’s final form has a damn good message. Meant for children, the book is terse and easy to read but the messages are real and the scenarios are relate able and relevant in today’s world. I’m excited what’s next for Will Chair and the the author of his story and I recommend checking his work out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fbi-adventures-of-will-chair-billy-kraser/1135191609

The Mist ( book)

mist book

What can I say, Stephen King is a legend. I’ve read short stories and 1,000+ page books alike and even those I wasn’t in love with, still weren’t god awful. The Mist is a novella previously from his collection Skeleton Crew that in recent years has been made sold separately more, which is how I read it; the movie is a pretty damn good adaptation with a much more heart wrenching ending that I recommend watching, even if some of the creature effects haven’t aged well ( a mini review, look at that).

David Drayton and his family feel lucky to be alive after a massive storm tears through there lakeside home. The damage is heavy but everyone is safe; just a nasty summer storm after all. Dave and his son Billy, along with his despicable neighbor go to the local town grocery store as a fog emerges. The fog is heavy and reaches seemingly everywhere. Understandably, the store is pandemonium from the storm of like minded folks who wanted to move on with there lives. Someone emerges that there is something in the mist. It’s not long before they see a series of ungodly horrors roaming the mists and the deaths that accrue when anyone ventures out. Trapped, another threat looms from within as people turn on each and a mini cult rises claiming the end of days has come leaving David with the choice of venturing out or get sacrificed to the monsters outside…

For the most part, The Mist is a simple but effective quick horror story. It’s nice to see King switch things up and do a first person story, which he does well and I’d like to read more of from him. There wasn’t any characters I disliked and I thought they were all solid. I like the variety of monsters and the gory kills throughout the story. The biggest problem I have is the first few chapters, I’d say first 3 to be more specific drag, and the story doesn’t really pick up until a decent ways in so the story feels longer than it should. Regardless, it’s a pretty good creepy shorter story from the horror master if his gigantic works put you off and honestly, the movie was a pretty faithful adaptation as well, just with a way more bleaker ending. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

The Hunger

hunger

In a quest to find my own literally voice and advance as a writer, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some pretty unexpectedly good books such as This is What you Want, This is What you Get after meeting the author and being able to help our mutual friend Billy Kraser ( Sticks:A tool in Time saga). Nonstop Amazon recommended this book to me and finally, I admit, because of the price and the alluring cover I decided to check it out, not knowing a damn thing about what it was about. Sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover.

How many of us are fimilair with the story of the Donner Party? An early American tragedy of a ill fated journey of pioneers who got lost in the midst of a brutal winter during the 1840’s and resorted to cannibalism in a failed resort to stay alive. But what if there was something more to it, something sinister and supernatural? Is it a disease? Is a ancient curse in the untamed woods? Is it sheer madness that causes the Donner Party to turn on each other as they are stalked through this perilous journey while the threat swells from inside.

I have to say, I loved this book and found it a very cool read. It’s a slow burn kind of horror read which I enjoyed because there is some really creepy moments and a ending that had me on edge. The different characters are well developed and a few times I was surprised at there fates. The monsters are ambiguous, somewhere between the fabled wendigo and a Deadite from Evil Dead, but the story does well at making you wonder what form the “creatures” actually take.  Alma Katsu, the author, has a nice flow to her writing and I give her credit for making a period piece that feels legitimate but not pretentious as some would. In the end, if you want a good solid horror book that builds with good characters and a cool premise, I highly recommend this book. I’ll drop a link for it on Amazon and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Loch

loch

Here we have a request from my friend Autobot, who has a love of Cryptozoology; this review is for you kid.

Loch, nicknamed after the famous Loch Ness  Monster, is fascinated by legendary sea life and the expeditions he and his sister get to join the there dad on. There dad, Sam Perkins, is a  big marine biologist who is sadly working for a dick named Cavenger who is obsessed with capturing a monster of his own. During a expedition to a quiet lake, prehistoric beasts are discovered, the most powerful of which kills a cameraman. While picnicking, Loch and his sister Zaidee uncover a baby creature they call Wee Beastie, a friendly, playful creature that means no harm. Cavenger is on the warpath, assembling a stock of high powered munitions to gun the creatures down. Can Loch, Zaidee, and Cavenger’s daughter Sarah save the creatures before it’s too late…

Loch is a pretty short and sweet book meant for younger folks between I’d say ages 8-13. There are a surprising amount of gory deaths that younger readers will find cool that aren’t overly graphic. The main characters are fun and the story is overall pretty solid; I like that it doesn’t sequel bait, unlike something like this made in modern day would be. The pacing of the book is good, only taking me two days to finish reading it. In the end it’s a solid monster book I’d recommend for younger folks. May the gaming gods bring you glory.