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.

Where the frack is William Wilde?

William Wilde is rolling along. I’m at various stages of complete drafts for the first 3 books. Not much work left. Audible Studios has bought the audiorights and would like the audiobooks released simultaneously with the ebook/print book. What that means is that I’ll have three books done and none out in the world. Crap!

The good news is that Nick Podehl will do the narration again, and I’ll always want that. Right now, the schedule is for Nick to do the narrations for books 1-2 in December and book 3 in late January with a 3-4 month release schedule starting on Feb. 27th, 2018. The same things will apply as far as pronunciation etc since once more, what I thought would be a simple YA fantasy that becomes an epic fantasy became much more complicated. Especially since Rukh, Jessira, and one other character transitioned from their world of Arisa to Earth circa 1987 onward.

How my audiobooks came to life

I hadn’t thought about this much until a question on reddit/fantasy cropped up.

I had a strange path to the audiobook market. I took most of the money I earned from the ebook sales of my second book, *A Warrior’s Knowledge*, and hired Nick Podehl on my own to narrate book one, *A Warrior’s Path*. I hired Nick because I wanted someone with a) a youthful voice and b) someone famous in the epic fantasy genre (Nick narrates some of Patrick Rothfuss’ books and has gone on to narrate a lot more). After Nick agreed to do the book, I sent him the manuscript, and he read it. Then we had a phone call about pronunciations.

Originally, I had intended *The Castes and the OutCastes* to be a simple trilogy, focused on only 4 character POV. Believe it or not, I honestly thought it **was** a simple series all through the first book. Then after the release, people told me how convoluted the characters and world-building were. I think they meant convoluted in a good way since the world draws heavily from India and it takes awhile to get into that difference.

Anyway, Nick and I had an hour long conversation going over pronunciations. Then he narrated the book and did postproduction (getting rid of extraneous sounds like cleared throat etc). About two months from the time Nick agreed to the narrating, I received the final version. I listened to it and asked for a few changes. Then it was done. It cost me roughly $8000 all told, and I tried not to panic when I released the book.

In two months, I knew I was going to make my money back based on the sales (don’t ask me why it sold so well but I think it was Nick’s name mostly and then word of mouth since I did no promo/advertising). Then I hired Nick to do book 2 *A Warrior’s Knowledge*. Same thing with conversation about pronunciation, production, etc, and it came out roughly four months after *A Warrior’s Path*.

By then the third book in the series, *A Warrior’s Penance* was ready to go as an ebook, but I contacted Audible Studios, and they bought the audiorights to book 3. They wanted to do a simultaneous release on the audiobook/ebook/print, so I waited on publishing while they hired Nick to do the narration.

And that’s the story.