Review: The War Revealed, by Karl Gallagher

I almost wish that The War Revealed came out this month.  That way, I could have voted for it for the Dragon Awards this year. I’m going to have to settle for The Lost War (reviewed yesterday).

Newman and Goldenrod survived landing in a monster-infested wilderness. Their group of historical reenactors no longer fears starvation. But can they control the magic powers people are developing? Discover how they were transported there? And stay safe from the orcs and dragons?

The War Revealed (The Lost War Book 2) by [Gallagher, Karl K.]As noted in yesterday’s review, this series is amazing.

In the first book, we saw the emergence of magic just beginning to settle in among the folks of the SCA troop transported to a fantasy world where magic is common … and so are orcs. This book goes far deeper into the mechanics of magic. I’m trying to recall when the last time I saw magic being executed this practically. In the previous novel, a lot of time was spent on logistics and how things work. This novel centered around how magic worked. There’s Chekov’s gun, and then there’s Checkov’s SAW. There were even some uses of potential energy that read a little bit like old-school philosophy (IE: Ancient Philosophy). And some of it boils down to “Magic is weird.”

But yeah, there’s a lot of how things get done, only with magic. Call it “hard fantasy” if you must be picky, but it’s interesting and readable for well over 30% of the book.

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Why Dune Shouldn’t Be Gender-Swapped

Good morning, campers.  Today, here at Catholic Geeks, we’re going to play Let’s Kick The Woke Hornets’ Nest And See How Much The Internet Loses Its S**t.

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Step right up, folks.

I was at home, minding my own business, when my husband pointed out a Vanity Fair article on the new Dune movies.  I knew about the remake (or reimagining, whatever they want to call it), and was interested to see what they were doing.

Mind you, I didn’t hold out much hope that any of it would be any good.  Let’s face it, between the 1984 flick and the SciFi channel miniseries (back before they changed it to Syfy, the idiots) both sucked for different reasons: the old version has beautiful, perfect casting (Francesca Annis as Jessica; I rest my case)

Jessica

Lady Jessica

but horrible visuals and a butchered script; and the miniseries has (at least up to a certain point), a more accurate script, but utterly horrific casting (Jessica as a whiny little dirty-blonde twit?  Seriously?).

In my opinion, if you want to experience Frank Herbert’s Dune, just read the book.  The first book.  The others don’t exist.

But, here they are, making another movie.  Or, apparently, two movies.  So I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’m not going to fisk the article, because I was mostly pleasantly surprised by the content: the casting looks promising, the sets and costumes look great, and the director (Denis Villenueve) at least claims to be a big fan of Herbert, so the odds of him butchering the story are slightly lower than if, say, JJ Abrams got hold of it.

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The problem?  One supposedly-minor supporting character: Dr. Kynes.

The poor man got gender-swapped, and it’s a much bigger problem than just a bad casting switch.

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Psychics and Pineapples: A Review of ‘Psych’

Psych is a quick-witted, fast talking dramedy following the adventures of Shawn Spencer, the fake psychic who consults with the Santa Barbara Police Department; with the aid of his reluctant friend, Burton Guster, a pharmaceutical salesman, they ‘investigate, catch bad guys, and eat pie.’ Of course, they start with the pie – always. 😊

From L to R: Jules, Henry, Shawn, Chief Vick, Gus, Lassie

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Review: Overlook, by Jon Mollison

Part of the advantage of being part of a publisher is that I get to read books for free.

The disadvantage is that reading the e-ARC months before the book releases means I have to wait months to review it.

Anyway…

Of the Silver Empire superhero books released thus far, I believe this is my favorite to date. And this is out of an elite batch of authors, all of whom excel in their subgenres. Morgon Newquist’s was more classic superhero. Kai Wai Cheah’s was more police procedural or noir thriller. JD Cowan’s was more Isekai.

Jon Mollison’s Overlook is more spy thriller. I could almost hear Jeffery Donovan’s Michael Weston narrate this one.

Nothing is more dangerous than an invisible man.

Joe’s spent his life being forgotten. Not even the IRS comes for his back taxes. He’s a ghost, a perfectly average, perfectly forgettable man. It suits his purposes, though it’s a lonely existence. He can live as he wants, plying his almost-invisibility for freelance jobs.

Then a pretty blonde finds him when no one else can, asking for his help solving a murder. He almost says no, despite his instincts to help a damsel in distress. But how did she find him? And who is she?

He takes the job to find out. But he bites off more than he can chew as he realizes a brutal secretive organization called The Phoenix Ring is behind the murder, and somehow they can predict his every move.

A new Heroes Unleashed series begins with Jon Mollison’s Overlook, a fast-paced, action-packed superhero spy novel that will keep readers guessing until the end.

Can Joe defeat the shadowy Phoenix Ring? Or will his powers fail him when he needs them the most? Read Overlook today and find out!

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NEW RELEASE: Places Beyond the Wild (Z-Day, #4)

This seems to be the year for anthologies. First I was in the Area 51 anthology, then I applied for the Movies, Monsters and Mayhem anthology (with Kevin J. Anderson).

And now, I’m in Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology, set in the world of Daniel Humphreys’ Z-Day.

Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology (Z-Day Book 4) by [Humphreys, Daniel, Corcoran, Travis J.I., Finn, Declan, Piatt, P.A., Schantz, Hans, Del Arroz, Jon, Anjewierden, J.M., Brumley, Bokerah, Paolinelli, Richard, Beckwith, J.D.]


Let’s just say that Mad Dog Moon had something to do with my getting the job on this one. Heh heh heh.


Anyway, it’s already a #1 bestseller on Amazon. So, time to party.

 

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Fall Review 2019: Prodigal Son

From the mind of the creator of Chuck — Prodigal Son.

So, our hero, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is the offspring of Doctor Martin Whitly, alias the serial killer named The Surgeon (actor Michael Sheen). Bright discovered what his father was and turned him into the cops, let by Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips).

Fast forward twenty years and Bright is very … intense for the FBI. When they declare that they’re afraid he’s about to break, Bright goes back home to New York. To his mother the blue blood, and his sister the reporter.

Now that Bright is out of a job, he’s recruited to the NYPD by the very man he turned his father in to.

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DragonCon 2019 AAR: Jim Butcher Solo Panel

Do I even need to do an intro for this one? It’s Jim Butcher

And if you’re new here, you’re just in time for my new releases: 
 

Too Secret Service Part 1        Too Secret Service: Part 2   

Too Secret Service: Part 3

 

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DragonCon 2019: Visitors From Beyond: Ghost and Spirits in UF

Ghosts of all varieties, from the helpful to the truly terrifying, make appearances in the works of our panel authors, who will explain why they chose to use these beings in their work.

Panelists:
  • Jim Butcher
  • Eric R. Asher
  • Walter H. Hunt
  • Leanna Renee Hieber
  • Amanda DeWees
  • Tim Powers.
  • Moderator: Carol Malcolm
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Zachary Levi Dragon Con Panel, AAR, August 30, 2019

Zachary Levi talks about his movie Shazam, his TV show Chuck, and other roles at a Dragon Con Q and A on August 30, 2019

And if you’re new here, you’re just in time for my new releases: 
 

Too Secret Service Part 1        Too Secret Service: Part 2   

Too Secret Service: Part 3

 

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DragonCon 2019: Magic Systems 101

A primary component of urban fantasy, the sources and uses of magic vary widely within the genre. Our panelists will explain the forms magic takes in their work and the role it plays in the stories they tell.

 
Panelists: Patricia Briggs, Melissa F. Olsen, R.R. Virdi, Jim Butcher, Tim Powers, Marie Brennan. Moderator: Carol Malcolm
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NEW RELEASE: TOO SECRET SERVICE, AN EPIC THRILLER TRILOGY.

I am happy to announce that I am returning to the world of A Pius Man, and going back to self-publishing thrillers.

And first up, Too Secret Service, a thriller in three parts.

And all three parts are up for pre-order.

Wayne Williams is a Secret Service agent sentenced to the outer darkness because his family pissed off the wrong president.

Catherine Miller is a CIA assassin who specializes in becoming anyone.

When terrorists threaten to nuke every spot on the President’s world tour, they are both called in to handle the threat.

To stop World War Three, they must travel from Ireland to Rome to Israel. They will have to face terrorist gunmen, professional assassins and nuclear suicide bombers… and perhaps even a threat from within.

But first, they must survive each other.

A NEW EPIC THRILLER SERIES.

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Review: Bane: Conquest, by Chuck Dixon

As a rule, I avoid comic books. I find most of them overpriced and under quality. The last time I went out of my way to collect comics it was J Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider Man. (No, I don’t blame him for One More Day.)  Right now, there is so much political crap going on in comics, or so much poor writing (See: Batman’s wedding) that you can’t drag me to a comic book with a ten foot pole.
But recently, I found myself making an exception for Chuck Dixon, creator of my favorite comic book villain — Bane.  

Commonly known as an antagonist for Batman, Bane has been largely ill-treated in Bat-media. I find him more interesting that Batman, and more likable than the majority of Bat villains. While many of them are tragic figures (not Riddler, Joker, Catwoman and Penguin, they’re arrogant, evil, and larcenous, in that order) Bane is one of the few I genuinely like. When first introduced, he was intelligent, efficient, and not half as crazy as most of the rest of the Gotham crowd. And he had a plan executed so well, I want to see DC writers try to pull it off again to see how they can Mary Sue Batman out of it this time.In short, he’s a villain who plays chess and speaks Latin.

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Review: Brand of the Warlock by Robert Kroese

Review: Robert Kroese, Brand of the Warlock 
Book 1 of The Counterfeit Sorcerer 

A hooded man, his face marred by a mysterious black brand, walks the Plain of Savlos. Some say he has the power to summon demons. Others say he is the only one who can vanquish them. His name is Konrad, and he has a secret….

Once an ordinary soldier, his life was forever changed by a fateful meeting with a dying sorcerer. Now he is all that stands between civilization and the creeping evil of the shadow world. The Brand of the Warlock is the first book in the fast-paced sword & sorcery series THE COUNTERFEIT SORCERER.

Pick up The Brand of the Warlock and start your adventure today!

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David Tennant Dragon Con Panel AAR

Time to mix it up a little.Have some Media guests.

David Tennant talks about being the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who, Crowley from Good Omens and other roles at Dragon Con August 31, 2019.

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DragonCon 2019 AAR: Heroes of High Fantasy

Authors of High Fantasy meet and tell us their tales of adventure and derring-do!

 
Panelists: Aleron Kong, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson, Marie Brennan.
 
Moderator: Jennifer Liang
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DragonCon 2019 AAR: Male Stars of Fantasy/SF

The best of the best tell their secrets of successful writing careers.

Panelists: Jim Butcher, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Stackpole, Robert J. Sawyer, Brandon Sanderson. Moderator: Nancy Knight

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Dragon Con 2019 AAR: Contemporary Vampires

So, obviously, this is one that I’m interested in, of only because I’m on it. It was my first panel on the first day, at 10am… yes, I know that they have panels on Thursday now, but Friday is what I still think of as The First Day.Anyway, this has a whole bunch of people, and some good ideas.

In this panel authors discuss how they refreshed everybody’s favorite variety of undead for use in their works.

Speakers include authors R.E. Carr, Declan Finn, Clay Gilbert, J.F. Lewis, Mari Mancusi, Lisa Manifold

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New Release: Area 51, the anthology

Image may contain: 1 person, text

So, I’m in a new anthology, from Bayonet books.

It’s called Storming Area 51.

It’s gonna be a little strange.

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This one was described as John Wick, but with a burrito (not a puppy).

An action novel for fans of John Wick, Demolition Man, or Die Hard.

Maxwell Cain, also known as “Bloody Rain Cain,” is a cop fed up with the murderous hooligans who control the streets of San Pajita, California.

After years of public service, Max is fired for executing too many dirtbags, and he seeks solace at his favorite taqueria. When his comfort burrito is sullied by the careless actions of brutal thugs, Max finally snaps. What begins as an argument over a ruined lunch quickly spirals into a hurricane of blood and revenge.

Max is joined in his fight by the gorgeous Kate Valentine, a baker with an itchy trigger finger. As the two rush into battle against an entire criminal organization, they are hunted by the relentless terror of the seedy underworld: Johnny Legion.

This book is designed to feel like watching a classic 80s or 90s American action flick.

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Review: Psychic Undercover (with the Undead)

Ah, vampire romance novels. The cotton candy of the literary world. Even the more substantial ones are so light and fluffy, you could drop them in the ocean and they’d work as a life preserver. (Lynsay Sands, I’m looking at you. I like your stuff, but you need to invest a little more in plot.)

Luckily, Amie Gibbons’ book Psychic Undercover (with the Undead) is more urban fantasy than vampire romance, so thankfully we have plot, we have character, we have a bit of a police procedural, and we have action.

The FBI’s about to find out ghosts and vampires aren’t the only things that go bump in the night…

Singers are a dime a dozen in Nashville, so despite her mama’s urging, psychic Ariana Ryder’s working her way towards a career in law enforcement at the FBI, one tray of fetched coffee at a time, instead. She’s got an extremely handsome boss, a dancing partner among the lab techs, and a solid year as the team rookie under her belt…

Right until the director gives her a big break, working undercover as a singer at a club to investigate why it’s being targeted by a serial killer. This might have worked better if the club didn’t happen to be a vampire nest.

Now, with the vampires’ investigator, Quil, on the case, the sparks are flying and the jurisdictional battle isn’t the only thing heating up as they race to solve the case before the killer strikes again!

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Review: Gemini Man

This one came out, and I have to tell you, it’s about flipping time. I read this book months ago. I probably should have written up the review immediately, but I was more interested in finishing the bloody books that came in around them.So, anyway, this is JD Cowan’s book — Gemini Man.

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