Thursday, August 30, 2012

Library Book: The Traveler

I don't really have a lot to say about The Traveler.  I saw it at work and was intrigued by the concept.  A mysterious masked man with weird time powers is fighting against weird time-powered assassins.  Why not give it a try?  So today I gave it a read.  And the premise is exactly what I got: some mysterious masked man fighting against weird time-powered assassins.  I kind of figured out who the masked man (the Traveler) was near the beginning.  I never really understood how his powers worked (or what exactly he was able to do - this was in stark contrast to the Split-Second Men, those assassin guys.  The Traveler was more than happy to explain about them). 

I do have to give a shout-out to the artist, Chad Hardin.  The art was very good throughout the story.

But other than the art, I was left feeling rather "meh" about the whole thing.  I realize this was his origin story, and it's possible the series might get awesome after this point.  But overall I didn't really care.  So if the library eventually gets the next volume (whenever that appears), I might pick it up.  But I'm not going to go actively looking for it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Library Book: Shadow's Master

After a bit of a wait, I finally got to read the final book in Jon Sprunk's Shadow Saga: Shadow's Master.  This time around, Caim is in search of his mother, who he knows for certain is alive in the frozen north.  Armed with this knowledge, he sets out with a couple of friends he made in the previous book (as well as Kit) searching for Erebus, the citadel in which his mother is held.  There he will confront his grandfather: the Shadow Lord.

Meanwhile, Josephine has taken an army north.  She received word of an invasion from that direction and hopes to halt it in its tracks.  Of course, she also secretly hopes to find Caim while she's at it.  Unfortunately her army is tiny compared to the opposing force she finds.  And at the head of the horde from the north is Talus, the Thunder Lord, a sorcery who has destroyed all who oppose him using his magic.

While helping Caim out here and there, Kit is also left with a big decision to make.  At the end of Shadow's Lure, Caim declared he loved her.  But being Fae, they cannot touch one another.  And so she struggles with a difficult choice: does she love him enough to give up her immortality?

As with the previous two books, I really enjoyed Shadow's Master.  I liked that less time was spent with Josephine (in the previous book, I found that her chapters tended to drag on a bit).  But I also liked her chapters a bit better; they were shorter and filled with more action.  As I said before, in Shadow's Lure her chapters are full of political intrigue, which is fine but not what I personally wanted out of the Shadow Saga.  In Shadow's Master Josey has gone to war, and so her chapters have more action and less intrigue.  I also have to add that unlike the previous two books, Caim doesn't spend most of his time grievously injured.  Sure, he gets cut up in fights and whatnot, but no bear this time (I know, I'm a big fan of Caim's rotten luck from the previous two books). 

So overall, having read the entire trilogy, I really enjoyed it.  I look forward to whatever Sprunk works on next!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Short Story: Jack of Blades

I found "Jack of Blades" at the same time as "Reaver" (as well as "Theresa," which I have not yet read).  I honestly don't know anything about Jack of Blades; I'm guessing he's from the first game which I haven't played yet (but I'm going to first chance I get!)  Like "Reaver," "Jack of Blades" was a lot of fun.

I apologize, but I'm going to be giving some spoilers for this one. If you haven't read the story, go read it right now.  It's awesome!

"Jack of Blades" is about a guy named Xiro who wanders into a town taken over by Jack of Blades.  Xiro is told he cannot leave because Jack doesn't want his whereabouts being revealed to the outside world.  He then proceeds to accidentally kill two if Xiro's ten men (although the accident part is debatable.  There was a line to the effect of "his hand no longer shook" which led me to believe Xiro may have just been pretending to be unskilled).  In the wake of this, the villagers believe Xiro is a hero but he fervently denies it, claiming to be a no one.

Regardless of who Xiro is, his killings inevitably attract the attention of Jack.  Xiro kills two more of Jack's men in an "accidental" fire (I wasn't really buying the accident part) and is then brought to Jack's mansion where he is supposed to provide sport by fighting (or as they believe, dying to) a balverine.  After some incredibly bizarre stuff, Xiro manages to kill all of Jack's remaining men and reveals that "Jack" is an imposter   He listens to "Jack's" reasoning and then kills him as well.  The story never says exactly who Xiro is, but I thought it heavily implied that Xiro was the real Jack of Blades.

As I said, I don't know much about Jack of Blades, so I'm going to go play Fable 1 before looking into his character (having played 2 and 3, I'm pretty sure he must be from the first game).  But regardless, I really enjoyed reading this story!

As a side note, I'm not going to read "Theresa" until I've played through the first game.  I know she's originally from the first game so I want to play that before reading her tale.

Short Story: Reaver

I'm not going to lie.  I love Reaver.  So when I found a short story dedicated to him, I had to read it.

"Reaver" was a lot of fun (which I expected because it is about Reaver the character).  This is the story of how Reaver defeated Captain Dread, the self-styled pirate king.  In his witty and overconfident way, Reaver manages to undermine Dread's credibility before single-handedly taking on Dread and his crew!  The story can be a bit gruesome at times (there are some rather gory details) but it's a lot of fun!  Definitely worth the read, especially if you're a Fable fan.

Library Book: A Flight of Angels

I saw A Flight of Angels a couple of weeks ago while at work.  I've seen some of Rebecca Guay\s artwork on Magic: the Gathering cards and was immediately interested in reading this specifically to enjoy the art.  And now that I've finished it, I have to say it is an incredibly pretty book.

A Flight of Angels starts when some faerie creatures see something fall from the sky.  They go to investigate and find an angel has fallen from heaven.  After discovering the angel lives, they decide to hold a tribunal to decide the unconscious angel's fate.  And so those assembled tell stories about angels in order to decide this one's fate.

Besides that framing narrative, there are five tales told by the faerie creatures.  Of all of them, I liked the first one best; it was a retelling of Adam and Eve (and the art from the cover is from this tale).  The next two tales were about death.  One had an angel who was bad at everything, and so found himself as an angel of Death.  The next was about a woman who made a deal with an Angel of Death so he could not take her unless she invited him in.  Both were okay.  The fourth story was about a clumsy girl who caught the eye of an angel.  And the final story was about the war of the angels, in which some were cast out of heaven.

As I said, most of the stories were alright.  But the artwork was fantastic.  So if your main interest is the art in a graphic novel, this one's for you.