Thursday, October 25, 2012

Short Takes

I’m going to use this general header for my thoughts on books I either just didn’t quite get through, or for some other reason just won’t wind up with a full review. It won’t get used all that often, as I mostly do full reviews, so when you do see this it’ll likely gather up a whole bunch of things from a few months worth of reading. This time around I’m going to talk briefly about:

Greatshadow by James Maxey – I read around 100 pages of this before moving on. It’s not that it’s a bad book, but it’s much more Fantasy-based fare than Maxey’s Bitterwood series (which is much more science-fictiony than it would first appear to be). I thought Greatshadow had a really unique way of creating a 3rd-person omniscient narrator by killing a main character and then having his ghost essentially haunt the others – following them through the story and relaying the story to the reader (thought there are hints that this dead character may yet find a way back to life). It seems as if this book is meant to be a raid on a Dragon’s lair, to steal it’s treasure – but there is also a fair amount of world-building going on, so it seems to be a book that could be a nice stand-alone adventure while also being the start of a larger storyline. But as I mentioned, it’s very much rooted in traditional fantasy, and that just wasn’t something I really felt compelled to continue reading.

The Emperor’s Might: Warriors of the Imperium – this is an art book from the Warhammer 40,000 universe, featuring the art from – well, I’m not entirely sure really. Some of it is definitely art from book covers. Some of it could be art from inside game guides and player handbooks. It’s unfortunate because I’d love to know more, but this book is not the place to find out. There are no descriptions to tell the reader what they’re looking at, who the characters might be or even what book the artwork was featured on. With any description, I might have been able to overlook some of the obviously early art from the Warhammer universe – stuff that just doesn’t come close to comparing to the art currently being used for the series. Some of the early stuff is just downright poor – though I imagine that for anyone who has nostalgia for their early days of playing the game they might get more enjoyment out of it. For me, I wanted way more out of this book – and it’s devotion to art at the expense of everything else just didn’t work for me at all.

The Clone Wars: The Sith Hunters – this was a pretty forgettable bridge story taking place between the season finale of The Clone Wars TV series from last year (where Darth Maul returns) and the season premiere this year. The Jedi decide to put together a task force to track Maul and his brother Savage, and remove him as a threat. Shockingly, the kung-fu Jedi Master who no one has ever heard of before this story is the guy that gets killed by Maul before the adventure is over. Not worth seeking out, for completists only.

X-Men/FF – another forgettable graphic novel, this time featuring the X-Men (pre-Avengers vs X-Men) and the FF (the in-mourning for Johnny Story Fantastic Four) as they travel to another dimension to seek out some long-forgotten ancillary characters from both books who have wound up in a Savage Land-like prehistoric world which of course also happens to have two opposing highly advanced civilizations warring for control of the world – one of which wants to use the portal to invade Earth. It’s all really predictable, brings absolutely nothing new or exciting to the table, and is marred by the presence of an issue at the beginning of the book that has absolutely nothing to do with the crossover (and I assume was only included because they didn’t know where else to collect it).

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