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.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow TV Show Premiere Date for the UK | UK ...

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)


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.

Oh that's terrifying! - Lily, the AT&T girl | Meme Generator

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Rants, Reviews, Science Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Commentary, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.


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!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

  • Jim Butcher
  • Eric R. Asher
  • Walter H. Hunt
  • Leanna Renee Hieber
  • Amanda DeWees
  • Tim Powers.
  • Moderator: Carol Malcolm
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment