Football-the American kind

I love football. There’s nothing like it when your team wins. Of course, some people are lucky enough to be Stealers (intentional misspelling) fans and get to watch their team win ALL the time. But others are raised in a finer city but cursed with a worse team. In my case, the Cincinnati Bengals. Ugh! Anyway, the season ended last week. It was a disappointing season but it ended on a fine note with a titanic touchdown.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I’m late to this party, but the cool thing was that I got to binge read the entire trilogy. I’m not going to review everything in the story because the plot is too massive to succinctly condense.

 
Instead, I’ll summarize my thoughts by saying how much I admired, envied, and loved Mr. Brown’s beautiful writing and his remarkable characterizations (and this is easily the strength of a series filled with many strengths). In addition, no good space opera is complete without battles that put you RIGHT THERE and Mr. Brown doesn’t disappoint. And did I mention that the books give off a strong epic fantasy vibe even though the series is technically science fiction? It’s like the very best amalgamation of Dune, Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and an overall absolutely fabulous series.
 
A word of caution: like many, I put off Red Rising because when I sampled it, I realized that it was written in first person, present tense, something I thought I’d hate. I didn’t, and I quickly stopped noticing it. Oh, yes. And a new book in the series, Iron Gold, releases this month.

Justice League-a very spoilery review

A long overdue movie review. It’s of Justice League. Spoilers galore so stop reading if you plan on watching it.

What a fun mess of a movie. I’m still trying to figure out how I could have enjoyed a movie that was so wild and bizarre. Multiple origin stories that basically say, “Here’s your hero!”. Check. A nonsensical story line about ‘mother boxes’ that somehow unite and destroy all life. Or maybe the Earth. I can’t remember. Anyway, it’s probably not important but check. Russian family in danger. I thought we weren’t supposed to like the Ruskies? I guess they’re ok when an alien is threatening to destroy the world. On we go with Greek gods fighting super-powered aliens. Check. Some stupid sounding, stupid looking villain with an even stupider name. Steppenwolf in this case. And yes fanboys, I know he’s an old DC villain, but c’mon, Steppenwolf? The wolf of the steppes? Whatever.

Anyway, the story starts with Steppenwolf (stupid, stupid name) arriving on Earth, beating down the Amazon nation and making off with the Mother Box. Next, Bruce Wayne is putting together a team. He meets the Flash and Aquaman and their origin story. Apparently Barry was struck by lightning and chemicals while Aquaman . . . not sure how Aquaman came to be, but it sure is cool when he walks right into a tidal wave without any sense of fear. Not as cool when he gets his butt handed to him by yon Steppenwolf. The wolf of the steppes.

Later on, Bats and the team learn from Wonder Woman—she joins them, too—about  Steppenwolf, and Shazam! (whoops, that’s a different hero and he wasn’t in this movie). Anyway, the Justice League forms. They pick up Cyborg. Another brief origin story and a father doing anything to save his son. I think. Or maybe the father was the reason his son became Cyborg. Whatever.

The League forms and realizes they can’t defeat the wolf of the steppes. Not without Superman! So they revive him. The most obvious ‘secret’ in the movie. Yes sirree, they do that and Superman promptly wipes the floor with the entire League. He’s about to crack Batman like a Liberty Bell, but thankfully, Lois shows up. For some reason, Superman becomes evil whenever Lois dies. She must be some form of morality kryptonite in human form. It makes more sense than anything else since she’s pretty pointless otherwise.

More mayhem ensues and ta dah! Bats and Supes are friends. Whew. What a whirlwind of a movie.

BTW if there are lots of typos, that’s my normal writing style, and I was too lazy to edit.

December oddities

What a strange December. My editor, Dave Wolverton, informed me that there are some big changes needed for William Wilde and the Unusual Suspects, book 3 in the Chronicles of William Wilde. Sigh.

But then I got to have a fun conversation with Nick Podehl tonight, and we went over over pronunciations and dialect for book 1. Plus, Nick loved the book, so that’s a definite bonus.

William Wilde and the Necrosed

A riveting tale of magic, mystery, and adventure, The Chronicles of William Wilde will thrill readers who loved The Summoner Trilogy and The Maze Runner.

On a cold winter’s night, just shy of his seventeenth birthday, William Wilde became an orphan. It was a simple car accident that claimed the lives of his family.

Eight months later, at the start of his senior year of high school, a beautiful, mysterious girl enters William’s life. Captivating and confident, she holds secrets about William’s heritage, secrets of which he himself is unaware: rare magic flows in William’s veins.

And watching William from afar is Kohl Obsidian, a monstrous, undead horror. He won’t rest until the tragedy he started eight months ago culminates with William’s death.

William’s life hangs in the balance, and he must discover a means to vanquish a creature that has never been defeated.

Discover a mystical world where heroes are forged from the unlikeliest of metals.

Available Feb. 27, 2018.

The Chronicles of William Wilde

For those who are wondering, my next series is titled The Chronicles of William Wilde. It’s a 5-book series featuring a teenage boy on the cusp of manhood who’s orphaned in a car accident. Mysteries ensue, magic is discovered, and danger is made real. Oh yes, and a certain man, woman, and Kesarin from The Castes and the OutCastes eventually make their presence felt.

The first book, William Wilde and the Necrosed, is set to be published on Feb. 27, 2018. The second book should be out on June 18th, although that’s still in negotiations. The third book is scheduled for October. The first two are in finalized form, and the third is nearly finalized. The fourth and fifth only exist in my head, but I’ll get them done.

And all books will be narrated by Nick Podehl.

 

Thor:Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok. A quick, spoilerish review. Thor’s chained up by a horned devil who’s helmet is supposed to lead to the fall of Asgard. In this movie, though, Thor channels his inner Tony Stark. No longer the noble warrior, he’s snarky and fun. Long story short, Thor lays the smacketh down on the roody-poo (my Rock reference) candy-ass demon and steals the helmet. Some fiery hound of hell chases him and Skurge played by Karl Urban aka Judge Dredd, is busy trying to make time with some Asgardian women. Skurge finally beams Thor back to Asgard and all is well.

Thor then realizes Loki has been pretending to Odin for I guess the past few years as the real Odin has gone MIA. Thor isn’t too bright, I guess. Anyway, the movie then gets going as the two brothers search for their missing father. They find him, their older sister Hela, played by Kate Blanchett, in a form fitting leathery looking outfit that had to be uncomfortable as hella to wear, finds them and all hella breaks loose.

Enough spoilers. Mostly because I’m tired of writing. Anyway, I liked the movie. It was fun, but like all comic book movies not named The Avengers, it’s forgettable. Not deep, but that’s the age we live in when it comes to movies. Some of the scenes, the winks to breaking tropes and almost breaking the fourth wall reminded me of Deadpool, but without the shock-and-awe cluster of f-bombs. Thank god.

A final note, I still wish Thor’s powers were based on magic instead of science. Call it the fantasy author in me.

Where things stand

I’m in a fun zone right now. The first three books of William Wilde are with various editors. William Wilde and the Necrosed is complete and in Nick Podehl’s hands, and I should have book 2, William Wilde and the Stolen Life, in finished in its finalized form by tomorrow. It’ll then go on to Nick from there. He’s scheduled to do the narration for books 1 and 2 in late December. Book 3, William Wilde and the Unusual Suspects, will hopefully be done its final draft before Christmas with Nick narrating it in late January.