BOOK TRAVELING THURSDAY: A BOOK FEATURING MY FAVORITE MORALLY AMBIGUOUS CHARACTER

booktravelingthursdays5Book Traveling Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Catia and Danielle.  Each week everyone picks a book related to that week’s theme, then you write a blog post explaining explain why you choose that book and spotlight all the different covers from different countries. To find out more check out about BTT go to the Goodreads group!

This week’s theme is: A BOOK FEATURING MY FAVORITE MORALLY AMBIGUOUS CHARACTER!  

Morally ambiguous characters.  Individuals who are more villain than hero, but they have a few redeeming qualities which keep them from completely slipping over into the darkside. At least, that is my personal definition of them.

There seems to be a lot of these “type” of characters inhabiting the pages of recent fantasy novels.  So many, in fact, that it is becoming hard to keep track of them all, or for any of them to stand out from the crowd.  Strange how the genre has changed during my life, because years ago it was all about the heroes.  Now, it is really about the villains, and my favorite “morally ambiguous character” of the moment is the drug dealer known only as the Warden!

ORIGINAL COVER 

 

A tie!  These two editions of Low Town published on the same date (according to my hasty research) by two different publishers: Doubleday and Anchor.  Another thing each of these covers has in common is the very simple, plain, white style.  Not my favorite sort of cover, but I’m sure others might like them.

FAVORITE COVERS

I love the moody atmosphere of each one of these pieces.  Certainly, the shadowy figures portrayed in each one adds to the tension, but I’d have to say the one of the right does the best job of using the figure, cityscape, and the bloody color to best effect.

LEAST FAVORITE COVERS

Just no.  No. No.  No.  None of these covers does Daniel Polansky’s amazing grimdark story justice, and I have to just say so emphatically.

So what do you think.  Agree?  Disagree?

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CHILDREN OF THE FLEET

children of the fleetChildren of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Fleet School #1

Publisher: Tor Books (October 10, 2017)

Author Information: WebsiteTwitter

Length: 384 pages

My Rating: 3 stars

With Children of the Fleet, Orson Scott Card delivers the fast-paced, exciting space adventure he has long been synonymous with.  This tale of teen genius Dabeet Ochoa riveting both in its re-purposing of battle school as well as its focus on the trial and tribulations of its new protagonist, as he encounters manipulation and mysteries along his way toward fulfilling his dreams.

After Ender Wiggin ended the Third Formic war, the focus of the International Fleet changed.  Now, the old Battle School has been re-purposed as a Fleet School, tasked with producing a new generation of leaders, who will lead the Ministry of Colonizations’ expeditions to settle humans across the habitable worlds of the Formic Empire.  The only thing which hasn’t changed is Hirum Graff is still involved, and child geniuses are still the preferred students for the new Fleet School.

Enter Dabeet Ochoa.  This teenager is an immigrant to the United States and also a genius by any standard.  He is driven, arrogant, yet cunning enough to cover-up his inner feelings of superiority with a veneer of politeness and harmlessness.  Naturally, Dabeet aspires to attend Fleet School, though he doubts he will ever be accepted since he has no ties to the Fleet, but his motivations to do so are less grand or altruistic than others.  All Dabeet really desires is to get away from his over-protective and smothering mother, who never tires of telling everyone elaborate lies (At least, Dabeet believes them to be untrue.) of a Fleet officer who impregnated her then abandoned her and Dabeet.  The constant annoyance of his mother the driving force behind Dabeet’s success.

For all his plans and triumphs however, Dabeet never dreams of actually being accepted into Fleet School.  At least, he doesn’t until one day he has a rather notorious visitor: Colonel Graff.  The old teacher of Ender Wiggins having taken a personal interest in this gifted youth.

As many of you will have no doubt guessed, Children of the Fleet is a coming-of-age tale about Dabeet Ochoa, involves military-like training, and it definitely has some similarities to Ender’s Game in its general execution.  But make no mistake, this is a completely different beast with new characters, different themes, and a more detailed build.

The main focus of the narrative and its greatest success is the character of Dabeet Ochoa.  Orson Scott Card crafting a complex youth who has exceptional abilities yet severe weakness, specifically his difficulty making friends, judging people, and not allowing his arrogance and disdain for others to get in the way of being able to work with them.  His flaws major hurdles to overcome if he ever wishes to become an expedition leader, who must lead large groups of people into space. This story a tale about Dabeet attempting to mend his ways, mold himself into the new sort of hero which the world now needs.

Complimenting this character study is a very intriguing undertone of political lies and intrigue.  Something is going on in the Ministry of Colonization; their motives not as altruistic as one would expect from this organization.  But what the Ministry is hiding and what their true motives are is never revealed, merely teased, and promise an unwelcomed surprises as the series progresses.

The only criticism I can level at the book is the fairly numerous explanatory sections of the narrative, which were lengthy at times.  Certainly, new visitors to the Enderverse need to be brought up to date on everything which occurred with Ender Wiggins, but these interludes of tell-not-show were used a bit too much for my personal tastes, though others might not necessarily agree.

Overall, Children of the Fleet did a great job introducing a far different kind of character in Dabeet Ochoa, placing him on the pathway to exciting adventures and real character growth, and teasing readers with suggestions of far more dangerous and ominous intrigue taking place just outside their perceptions.  Plus, it did something even more noteworthy to Enderverse fans: it returned Orson Scott Card to this beloved setting and promises even grander stories to come.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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WAITING ON WEDNESDAY:THE REALMS OF GOD

waiting-on-wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and the novel I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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THE REALMS OF GODThe Realms of God by Michael Livingston.

Genre: Historical-Fantasy

Series: The Shards of Heaven #3

Publisher: Tor Books (November 7, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 400 pages

The Ark of the Covenant has been spirited out of Egypt to Petra, along with the last of its guardians. But dark forces are in pursuit. Three demons, inadvertently unleashed by Juba of Numidia and the daughter of Cleopatra, are in league with Tiberius, son and heir of Augustus Caesar. They’ve seized two of the fabled Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of God, and are desperately hunting the rest.

Through war and assassination, from Rome to the fabled Temple Mount of Jerusalem and on to the very gates of Heaven itself, the forces of good and evil will collide in a climactic battle that threatens the very fabric of Creation.

The Realms of God is the thrilling conclusion to Michael Livingston’s historical fantasy trilogy that continues the story begun in The Shards of Heaven and The Gates of Hell.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP TEN TUESDAYS

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

This week we have a great topic to explore …

TOP TEN UNIQUE FANTASY BOOK TITLES

Great topic!  Besides a fabulous cover, nothing grabs my attention quicker than a great book title.  When the title also captures the essence of the plot itself, I can’t wait to buy the novel and dive right in.  Below are a list of my ten favorite fantasy book titles!


evil is a matter10. Evil is a Matter of Perspective

An anthology filled with vile villains and their twisted motivations for their actions.  Well, at least, I thought they were villains, though I’m certain the majority of those portrayed probably wouldn’t label themselves as such.  And if they did, they’d be damn proud of the fact. And what better name for such a book of villains than this one.


the straight razor cure9. The Straight Razor Cure

In Low Town, the simplest solution to nearly every problem is a quick slice of the throat.  It might be messy, but it is quick, clean and cuts through all the delusions of civilization that people trick themselves into believing.  Hell, even our morally ambiguous protagonist the Warden resorts to such tricks on numerous occasions.  So what better way to capture the realities of this place than this title.


mirror of her dreams8. The Mirror of Her Dreams

Donaldson was the master of portal fantasy tales back in the day, and this one was quite good.  Here a world exists where craftsmen can create magic mirrors which open upon every type of world: both good, bad, and horrible.  Into this land comes a modern woman who is out-of-place in our world and dreams of finding something else.  This title perfectly capturing the emotional quest she will soon embark upon.


surrender to the will of the night7.  Surrender to the Will of the Night  

Glen Cook has damn fine book titles.  (Hell, no, this isn’t the only one on this list.), and this fine descriptive one is a tantalizing glimpse into the story itself.  I mean, the series revolves around a world fighting against a return to the ancient past when creatures of the night ruled all.  And while the protagonist isn’t necessarily a hero, he does find himself being tempted by opposing forces to surrender to their will, just like the title suggests.


Untitled-146. The Slow Regard of Silent Things

No, I’ve never read this book or any story by Patrick Rothfuss actually.  Yeah, I’ve familiar with all the gushing praise heaped on the author, heard the screaming fangirls/boys, and told myself time and again to get to this series already.  Have to admit that the really cool book titles make me want to read Rothfuss more than all the hype.


with mercy toward none5. With Mercy Toward None

Cook’s second title on my list is pretty self-explanatory actually.  The story is about a man whose family is killed, and he becomes a prophet of a god who demands unity through any means necessary, including killing anyone who refuses to take a knee.  The title perfectly captures the tone of the book, preparing you what lies ahead.


the many deaths of the black company4. The Many Deaths of the Black Company

Anyone who reads fantasy for the fights, battles, and deaths has to be like me and think this title is damn great.  The Many Deaths!  How damn cool is that?  Amazingly simple, descriptive, yet perfectly captures the tone of the book.  This one all about the Black Company fighting for its survival as its enemies seem to have completely destroyed it.


shadow of what was lost3. The Shadow of What Was Lost

This is another novel which I have not found time to read, but I definitely intend to in the near future.  Naturally, the story appears to be about a shadowy evil from the past waking up and having to be faced, even as characters come to terms with things done in that past.  All of which is pretty easy to guess after reading the book title.  A title I might add that immediately gets you thinking about what it is referring to.


an empire unacquainted with defeat2. An Empire Unacquainted With Defeat

How great is that title?  Really.  I mean, a fantasy which proclaims in a polite way that this is about a badass empire which has never been defeat and will kick your candy ass whenever it feels like it.  Yet, at the same time, the author is suggesting to the readers that somehow, someway, this book is going to show how this empire learns what defeat is all about.  Makes me want to read it again just talking about it!


shadows of silence in the forest of hell1. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

Okay, I’m cheating a little bit here since this is a Cosmere novella from Brandon Sanderson and not a book title, but I had to do it.  I mean, this has to be one of the best fantasy titles ever created.  Can’t you just feel the creepy atmosphere and cringe worthy events lurking behind that cover.  I did anyway, which is why I had to immediately read this story.


Well, that is my list.  Agree?  Disagree?  Tell me why.  And feel free to add some other characters to the list.

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FUNDAY MONDAY, OR THE BOOKS THAT WILL HELP ME SURVIVE THE WEEK AHEAD (OCTOBER 23, 2017)

funday-monday

Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. But while I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new year and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by reading some great books.

Last week started off so well.  It was smooth sailing at work; I was hitting the gym like I need to; and everything was fine with my family.  Then fate intervened.  Unexpected changes at my wife’s work hit us, followed by one of my sons getting a bad cold, which he very graciously passed on to me.  So after that great start, the week ended with a huge sneeze and all my reading plans and blogging plans ground to a halt.

But, hey, it is a new week.  Great things are just around the corner for all of us, so let’s take a look at what I’ll be reading!

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the court of boken knivesThe Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Genre: Fantasy — Grimdark

Series: Empire of Dust #1

Publisher: Orbit (August 15, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 473 pages

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion–and only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith’s past–and in his blood

Dark and brilliant, dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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blade of empireBlade of Empire by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Dragon Prophecy

Publisher: Tor Books (October 24, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 608 pages

Set in a masterful fantasy world filled with elves and demons, unicorns and goblins, and mages and warriors, BLADE OF EMPIRE continues the legend of Vieliessar Farcarinon, the first High King.

As Vieliessar confronts the first waves of the forces of Darkness, her destined Bondmate, Runacar, leads a rag-tag group to war. For centuries, the Elves have hunted the Otherfolk minotaurs, gryphons, dryads, and more considering them beasts. But they have a complex society, Runacar discovers, and though he is an Elf, takes it as his mission to help them reclaim their lands from his former friends and allies.

The Dragon Prophecy is a tale of loyalty and betrayal, of love and loss, of sacrifice and salvation. And of the never-ending battle between Light and Dark.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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BOOK TRAVELING THURSDAY: A BOOK YOU’VE READ THAT WAS TRANSLATED FROM ANOTHER LANGUAGE

booktravelingthursdays5Book Traveling Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Catia and Danielle.  Each week everyone picks a book related to that week’s theme, then you write a blog post explaining explain why you choose that book and spotlight all the different covers from different countries. To find out more check out about BTT go to the Goodreads group!

This week’s theme is: A BOOK YOU’VE READ THAT WAS TRANSLATED FROM ANOTHER LANGUAGE!  

A different kind of topic.  Not one I’m familiar with answering very much on a week to week basis, but it is worth taking a look at, especially since I never even think about whether my fantasy first saw publication in another language.  But one did come to mind.

ORIGINAL COVER 

chasers of the wind_1

 

I am almost positive this is the original cover for the book.  It was published in 2005 by Альфа-книга.  I’m also almost one hundred percent certain the publication language is Russian since the author is from the Russian Federation.  If I’m wrong about any of this, please correct me so I can correct my error.

FAVORITE COVERS

Nothing especially unique about these two covers, but they both catch the eye.

LEAST FAVORITE COVERS

None of these are absolutely horrible, I guess, but they aren’t very good either.  Or,a t least, they aren’t what I look for in fantasy covers.

So what do you think.  Agree?  Disagree?

Posted in Book Traveling Thursday, Cover Lover | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: WRATH OF EMPIRE

waiting-on-wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and the novel I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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wrath of empireWrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

Genre: Fantasy – Flintlock

Series: Gods of Blood and Powder #2

Publisher: Orbit (March 6, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length:  624 pages

The country is in turmoil. With the capital city occupied, half a million refugees are on the march, looking for safety on the frontier, accompanied by Lady Flint’s soldiers. But escaping war is never easy, and soon the battle may find them, whether they are prepared or not.

Back in the capital, Michel Bravis smuggles even more refugees out of the city. But internal forces are working against him. With enemies on all sides, Michael may be forced to find help with the very occupiers he’s trying to undermine.

Meanwhile, Ben Styke is building his own army. He and his mad lancers are gathering every able body they can find and searching for an ancient artifact that may have the power to turn the tides of war in their favor. But what they find may not be what they’re looking for.

Purchase at Amazon.

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TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP TEN TUESDAYS

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

This week I’m revisiting an older topic I missed …

TEN FAVORITE HEROINES

When I began researching this topic, I assumed it would be a snap to find ten heroines whom I liked.  With near a thousand fantasy/science fiction stories to choose from, it seemed a reasonable assumption.  Boy, was I wrong.

Naturally, the main issue I encountered was that most of the speculative fiction I had read (especially decades ago) did not have a strong, female lead.  A fact which I never really noticed at the time, since most fantasy/science fiction was male dominated.  But, now, the lack of strong females was pretty striking.

My second problem (and just as huge of a hurdle) was the fact more recent heroines were fairly hit-or-miss with me.  Some were definitely interesting, damn skilled, and tough-as-nails, but few of them struck a chord with me personally.

Eventually, I did recall ten heroines whom (at various times in my life) I did adore, as they took me on some amazing adventures.  A few of these women are young, others old.  A couple are from recent releases, more are from years gone by.  What they all have in common are those undefinable qualities which all great characters have whether they be men or women.


impersonations10. Caroline Sula — Dread Empire’s Fall

Skilled and tenacious, this Terran naval officer is a mystery.  Something in her past haunting her, even as she fights to combat a deadly menace to mankind.  Sula just a great character, whom a reader wants to learn more about, because you are certain the secret she is hiding will be fairly earth shattering.

Buy The Praxis: Dread Empire’s Fall at Amazon.


THE LIGHTNING THIEF9. Annabeth Chase — Percy Jackson

I’ve been fortunate enough to read this series to all three of my sons, and so every few years I’ve been able to revisit this grand adventure.  One thing that hasn’t changed over time is my respect and fondness for Annabeth, who is exactly the type of person I hope all three of my sons are lucky enough to befriend during their own teen years.

Buy The Lightning Thief at Amazon.


MORDANT'S NEED8.  Terisa Morgan — Mordant’s Need

An unlikely heroine Terisa overcomes her withdrawn personality to travel to a magical land named Mordant, where she encounters love and lust, power and court politics; the threat of death and destruction forcing her to use skill she never dreamed she possessed.  Great heroine in the traditional mold.

Buy The Mirror of Her Dreams at Amazon. 


best left in the shadows7. Alys — Best Left in the Shadows

This tough-as-nails heroine is an enigma waiting to be revealed.  In the past she tried to rise above Lowside where she was born, but now she has returned to her roots, trading and selling secrets among the gangs and factions of the underside of the city.  She is a daughter of the underworld. Bold. Cunning. Free.  Damn interesting too.

Buy Best Left in the Shadows: Volume 1  at Amazon.


DARKWAR6. Marika — Darkwar

This young pup of the Packstead is loyal to pack and family, but with dark times coming, she finds within herself a great power is awakening, one which will take her far from home, embroil her in amazing deeds, and perhaps save her very world!  Marika is just a great character, whose drive is unparalleled.

Buy Darkwarat Amazon.


daughter of the lion5. Keely — Daughter of the Lion

Daughter of Niall, the ruler of Homana, Keely is gifted with the power to shapechange into any form she wishes; a gift of magic which is far above all her kin; and she will not be used as a pawn by her father or by ancient prophecies.  Sometimes, however, strident determination can be turned against even the strongest person.

Buy Daughter of the Lion at Amazon.


TIME OF THE DARK4. Gil Patterson — Darwath

Graduate student.  Survivor.  Warrior.  Gil Patterson goes through quite the transformation, as she leaves California behind to travel to another world gripped in a desperate struggle for survival after the apocalyptic rising of the Dark.  What has always made her a personal favorite of mine is her intellect and sense of humor.

Buy The Time of the Dark at Amazon.


sins-of-empire3. Vlora Flint — Gods of Blood and Powder  

Vlora showed brief flashes of greatness in The Powder Mage Trilogy, but it is this series where she takes center stage.  Naturally, the fact she is a badass powder mage instantly makes her a personal favorite, but Vlora also has many compelling qualities that draws me to her, including compassion and strength, devotion and resolve.

Buy Sins of Empire at Amazon.


polgara2. Polgara — Belgariad

She is a woman of passion, sarcasm, and complex emotions, whose bark is only exceeded by her bite.  She has her issues, her hang ups, but also her strengths.  What sets Polgara apart, however, is her determination to not only overcome the darkness but due so with companions who have taken a bath.  Gotta love Aunt Pol.

Buy The Belgariad at Amazon.


Chronicles of the Black Company1.   Lady — Chronicles of the Black Company 

Beautiful.  Cunning.  Passionate.  Fearless.  Deadly.  She is the woman of a man’s dreams, and the female who inhabits his worst nightmares.  She does evil without qualms, yet appears as elegant and demur as her moniker when it suits her designs.  All love her and despair.  And, yeah, I’ve always both respect and adored her, so, obviously, the Lady is my favorite heroine, because, sometimes, she does do heroic stuff.

Buy Chronicles of the Black Companyat Amazon.


 

Well, that is my list.  Agree?  Disagree?  Tell me why.  And feel free to add some other characters to the list.

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FUNDAY MONDAY, OR THE BOOKS THAT WILL HELP ME SURVIVE THE WEEK AHEAD (OCTOBER 16, 2017)

funday-monday

Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. But while I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new year and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by reading some great books.

I really try to be dedicated and follow a reading schedule.  Promise.  But, sometimes, I get distracted.  Like I did last week with some DC graphic novels.  And my schedule goes to hell.  But, I’m going to do better this time around, stay focused, and play catch-up — as usual.

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the court of boken knivesThe Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Genre: Fantasy — Grimdark

Series: Empire of Dust #1

Publisher: Orbit (August 15, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 473 pages

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion–and only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith’s past–and in his blood

Dark and brilliant, dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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she who waitsShe Who Waits by  Daniel Polansky

Genre: Fantasy — Grimdark

Series: Low Town #3

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (October 30, 2013)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 405 pages

Low Town: the worst ghetto in the worst city in the Thirteen Lands. Good only for depravity and death. And Warden, long ago a respected agent in the formidable Black House, is now the most depraved Low Town denizen of them all. As a younger man, Warden carried out more than his fair share of terrible deeds, and never as many as when he worked for the Black House. But Warden’s growing older, and the vultures are circling. Low Town is changing, faster than even he can control, and Warden knows that if he doesn’t get out soon, he may never get out at all. But Warden must finally reckon with his terrible past if he can ever hope to escape it. A hospital full of lunatics, a conspiracy against the corrupt new king, and a ghetto full of thieves and murderers stand between him and his slim hope for the future. And behind them all waits the one person whose betrayal Warden never expected. The one person who left him, broken and bitter, to become the man he is today. The one woman he ever loved. She who waits behind all things.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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SUPERMAN: SON OF SUPERMAN

superman son coverSuperman: Son of Superman by Peter J. Tomasi 

Patrick Gleason

Genre: Superhero Comics

Series: Superman #1 (Rebirth)

Publisher: DC Comics (January 4, 2017)

Author Information: Tomasi’s Twitter 
                                         Gleason’s Twitter 

Length: 176 pages

My Rating: 4 stars

Since I pretty much hated the New 52 Lois and Clark, it didn’t take much to improve things in my eyes, but I have to say WOW! I really loved this book. The art was great. The story was fast-paced, exciting, and explosive. But, mainly, I loved it because of the characters: Lois, Clark, and their son Jon.

The core theme of Son of Superman is family. This pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent dealing with guilt and worry over danger to his family, as he comes out as the new Superman. Lois is right there beside Clark, doing what she always does be smart, tough, and kind in equal measure, fighting to keep her husband and her son safe and headed in the right direction. And son Jon is struggling to learn his new role in the family as he grows into powers he is having a hard time dealing with.

superman son 1_2

I won’t go into the specifics of the actual plot other than say it involves the Eradicator, who takes a special interest in Jonathan Kent. There are some damn fine fight scenes with Superman. There are even a few with Lois.  (If you’ve heard the old adage about not messing with a momma bear’s cubs, then you will understand what sparks Lois’ wrath.) And, yes, even young Jon gets into the mix, showing the Eradicator he did inherited both his father’s badassery and his mother’s tenaciousness.

superman son 1_4

Like I said earlier, this is a damn good book. Part of that is the art and the fights, but the real key to the fun is the family element: Clark and Lois just better together. To quote a sappy 90s romcom, Lois “completes” Clark and he returns the favor. And now the real power couple is not only back together and married but raising a son who is trying to come to grip with growing powers. This allows lots of family scenes, family dynamics, where Lois and Clark are deciding what to do, how to protect their son yet help him mature into a man. These pages of non-superhero action very touching and quite memorable.  This the Superman Family I’ve always wanted to read about.

Superman_Lois_Jonathan

As for the new Superboy himself, Jon is a great character: a young man who has great powers and big expectations. I mean, who would want to try living up to your dad Superman’s legacy? So, Jon has his issues and his moments. He can be a naive, sweet kid one second then a whiny, petulant youth the next. He has super powers to rival most heroes, but he is still just a child whom his father wants to both shield and protect yet teach how to become a good man and a great Superboy. Jon’s struggles so realistic and touching that they are the foundations of this story, even as the title to the book proclaims.

superman son 1_3

Yeah, I know some readers might not like an older, mature Superman, preferring the more youthful, New 52 version. As for me, I’m really liking this more family centered Man of Steel and definitely recommend it to other Superman fans. At least, give it a try guys. You might be like me and find yourself loving it.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

Posted in 4 Stars, DC, Graphic Novels, Rebirth, Superman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment