Thursday, June 30, 2011

Library Book: Batman: Long Shadows

I found Batman: Long Shadows while I was at work today. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to keep reading!
Batman is presumed dead, so it is up to Dick Grayson to don the cowl and convince everyone that Batman lives on. The problem is that Dick Grayson is a very different man from Bruce Wayne. He fights differently and even acts differently from his predecessor. And unfortunately for him, Two-Face has noticed the differences.
So now Dick has to convince everyone (including himself) that he IS the Batman.
This was a really good story. But the graphic novel ends in the middle of a larger story arc. And unfortunately, Batman: Long Shadows is part of a longer story arc which includes Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Batman: Life After Death and a few other volumes. The library has neither of these titles, so it may be awhile before I get my hands on the rest of the tale.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Library Book: The Iron King

Julie Kagawa's The Iron King caught my eye a couple of months ago. I put it on my Chapters Wish List and then forgot about it. But then a few days ago I saw it go by while working at the library. So I decided to grab it then.

The Iron King is an interesting take on fey. Meghan Chase is the half-human daughter of Oberon. She is unaware of her fey heritage until her brother is kidnapped and replaced with a changeling. Meghan will risk everything to find him and bring him home safe.

And so Meghan embarks on a quest through the Nevernever with her best friend, who happens to be Robin Goodfellow. Along the way she'll meet a cast of fun characters like Grimalkin, a fey cat (who reminds me a lot of Edgewood Dirk from Terry Brooks' Landover series). And all the while, she is being fought over by the other fey, particularly her father and the Winter Queen Mab.

The Iron King was a very good story. It's the first book in the Iron Fey series. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue on with this series, but this book was really good.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nonfiction: Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames

My goal was to read Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames in about two weeks; I would have read about a chapter a day. But it looks like I powered through the book a bit faster than planned!
I bought Game Writing while I was reading Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing. Both books were created by the IGDA. While reading Professional Techniques, I quickly discovered that it was the more advanced book. And so I snagged Game Writing from Amazon.
My original problem with Professional Techniques was that, while it is full of extremely useful information, the book is relatively advanced. The problem with Game Writing is that it tends to be a little too basic. The first few chapters were all about the basics of writing a story in general. I found myself very familiar with the majority of the concepts in the first half of the book. And then the last couple of chapters seemed a bit more on the advanced side. I think I need something that's like a happy medium between the two books right now.
Another thing that I didn't like was that unlike Professional Techniques, Game Writing does not have any exercises to try out. With the chapters in Game Writing covering more basic concepts, it would have been nice to attempt actually using them, especially now that I am feeling a bit more confident about what I know. But that's okay. I can either go back to some of the exercises in Professional Techniques or see what the next book I read on the subject of video game writing has to offer!
While I'm on the subject, I think I am going to take a brief break from the game writing books. My brain feels like it needs a fiction break!