Tag: Marvel Page 1 of 2

Reign of the Devourer

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Untold novel Reign of the Devourer by David Annadale, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am also friends with David on Facebook, but I suspect that’s more about him connecting with fans rather than being a big fan of mine!

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Story

This story focuses on Doctor Victor von Doom, the ruler of the Eastern European country of Latveria, and is a sequel to last years Harrowing of Doom.

In this story Dooms desire for power and control leads him to attempt to regain knowledge that was lost on Walpurgis Night in the previous book, and with the assistance of the priest turned geomancer Zargo and surgeon Orloff, he searches for a repository of stolen memories and knowledge buried beneath Latveria.

But Maleva Krogh, a former member of Latverias ruling elite has a connection to the Devourer of memories, and is granted the power of the Urvullak, a deadly strain of Latverian vampires who steal the very soul of their victims.

Conclusion

The book is a slow burner, it takes a while to get going, but once it does the action is frantic, and epic.

It’s a very different novel to its predecessor, in that book Doom knew what was coming and was planning several steps ahead, whereas in this book, he was forced to react to the Urvullak who he was not expecting whatsoever.

In the last book you got time to know the main characters in the build up to Walpurgis Night, whereas this book takes place over a shorter timeframe, and you get less of the background. So I would say that the previous book is best read before this for maximum enjoyment.

Zargos inner turmoil is really well written, he is a man who made a choice to deny his powers and take a different path, but now has that choice taken from him. He is tortured inside and he is forced to develop his abilities further to fight the threat of the Urvullak.

Orloff gets a lot more fleshed out as Doom takes her from practising medicine to developing a new science, which is eventually weaponised as she becomes a warrior and potentially Dooms greatest tool in the fight against Krogh.

My favourite part of the book really is Krogh and the Urvullak, they are written in a way that is terrifying and horrific.

What they do is so awful, they way they rip away your soul and transform you into one of them. They feel just as much a threat on their own as they do when amassed as an army.

They are chilling and something like out of a horror film, absolutely petrifying.

This book takes a turn toward horror that I wasn’t expecting, reinforcing Annandale as a writer who is one of licensed fictions best writers of the weird and dreadful.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars from me!


You can buy the eBook now, and the paperback is available in the US now and will be in the UK on 28th April.


School of X

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Xavier’s Institute anthology School of X edited by Gwendolyn Nix, and published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I also a, friends with one of the authors, Robbie MacNiven on Facebook, although for him that connection is probably more about interacting with fans than anything else, but I did once interview him for Edge 0f Empire!

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Xavier’s Institute novel series is focused on the heroes that attend this school and their adventures and the books in the series thus far have focuses on what would very much be considered b-list heroes, which is good because it allows the authors to do a lot more with the characters than they would be able to do with more established heroes.

The Stories

As this is an anthology I will break down the individual stories and give a few thoughts about them.

Fifteen Minutes by Jaleigh Johnson

A story in which Goldballs and the Stepford Cuckoos get to take centre stage.

Trapped inside their own minds after movie night, Goldballs gets to act out his fantasies about being a silver screen hero, but to break out of it, he needs to get through to Celeste who is finding themselves drifting apart from her sisters.

This is a solid story, very short with barely a wasted word, really enjoyable and a great opening story.

Note, don’t refuse a Stepford Cuckoos desire for karaoke!

Call of the Dark by Robbie MacNiven

Robbie gets to revisit Graymalkin and Anole after the events of First Team, and in the aftermath Graymalkin has developed a fear of the dark.

Forced to wander the depths of the insitues lower levels, he finds himself in a tussle with his darker self, but is he going mad, or is something more sinister going on.

On this story I have mixed feelings, at times I feel its the best story in the collection, and at others I feel its the least. Its the one I have reread the most and I struggle to really figure out how I feel about it.

That’s probably a sign of good writing, but its one I cannot make my mind up over, its likely I will buy the eBook so that I can dissect this story a few more times.

Uncatchable by Lauria Cath

This is a super fun story in which Hijack and Cipher go out for a midnight illegal street race, but discover a hidden secret to the meets.

Finding themselves having to take down a criminal gang in the middle of a street race, the pair save the day.

This is a simple story, but a great one, its very much something that I could picture as a one shot issue with a great premise, X-Men have some fun, but end up taking down the bad guys!

Eye of the Storm by Amanda Bridgeman

Sooraya, Shark Girl and Rockslide get kidnapped by a cyborg who hates humans and mutants alike, they are forced to fight animal robots.

I hate to be negative, but this story is the weakest of the bunch, I think this would have worked better as an individual short story release. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels out of place here.

Of Dirt and Bones by Pat Shand

Phoebe Stepford starts to break away a bit from the other Cuckoos, having nightmares that force her into her diamond form whilst asleep.

Traumatised by Emma Frost increasingly brutal training sessions, she is sent over the edge and cut off from her sisters.

She ends up accidently killing a goose, and wracked with guilt she buries it in the grounds of the school, but soon the area is overrun by zombie animals!

This is a great story with lots of wonderful horror inspired elements and really takes a look at the trauma that training to be a member of the X-Men can cause.

Kid Omega Faces the Music by Neil Kleid

This is a really funny story and a very different one to the others, and as the last “short” story in the book is perfectly placed.

The story telling mechanism is fantastic, Kid Omega, who as a character, I really dislike normally, is forcing the story into the head of a random person, because he can’t tell it to anyone at the school, so why not subject a random stranger to a telepathic barrage.

Its written as a conversation between Quintin and the reader, and tells how after sneaking off to a film convention, to steal Wonder Boys glasses, Kang the Conqueror turns up and sends him on a merry journey through time.

But the trip has a purpose, as Quintin sees the evolution of another Omega level mutant, Magneto, and gets a deeper understanding of his teachers journey and the evolution of his belief in mutant supremacy.

This story is one of the real highlights of this book, and to be honest makes it worth the cost all on its own!

Depowered by Carrie Harris

This is more of a novella and sees Carrie return to Triage and Tempus, who she wrote about in Liberty and Justice for All (Not yet read this, I missed its eARC on Netgallery and I have struggled with funds for new books recently).

The Schools teachers leave for an urgent mission leaving the students alone, but not for long as Polaris and Mirage turn up seeing the help of Triage and Tempus to try and regain/control their powers after the Scarlett Witch’s muttering of the words “No More Mutants”.

Unfortunately the powers that Polaris still have are out of control and in the chaos caused by a demonstration, they attract a squadron of Sentinels, who invade the school and attempt to apprehend the young mutants.

It also strongly references the time that Tempus spent in the future in which she married and started a family in the Uncanny X-Men, before being flung back to the present destroying that future forever.

This is a great story, a good mix of action, character development and a focus on plenty of characters giving good screen time to several of them.

Makes me want to go any buy Liberty and Justice for All next time I have the pennies!

Conclusion

Overall this collection is worth the money, yeah some stories stand out more than others, but that’s inevitable with any anthology.

It flows well and other than the one story, all fitted quite nicely together, with most characters making an appearance in the final story.

The ones that stand out, Eye of the Storm and Call of the Dark do so because the characters don’t feature in that last story, I can’t even recall them being mentioned in them.

And I think that’s why they don’t flow as well, the others build up to an almost Avengers style final story where most of the characters come together to face down the big bad.

But yeah this collection is solid, and I can see it as being something I could easily recommend to someone, its got a lot of characters that see less focus in the comics and other media.

I am going to give it 4.5 out of 5


School of X is out as an eBook and paperback now and you can get it right now!


Witches Unleashed

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Untold book Witches Unleashed by Carrie Harris published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Witches were a trio of magical users who were supporting characters in some fairly older titles. The team is Jennifer Kale, Topaz and Satana who were put together by Dr Strange to counter the Hellphyr and get it back into the Tome of Zhered-Na. They had a series back in 2004 I think.

They are joined by Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider and Jennifer’s cousin.

The Story

Johnny Blaze managed to get himself stuck in Hell, and in his escape he let Lucifer, the Prince of Lies out, but shattered into 666 pieces.

Now its the duty of the Ghost Rider to hunt down the fragments and send them right back to Hell.

Finding his way to Salem, Florida, Blaze detects something different about this fragment, and he decides to seek the help of a local coven of witches, who just happen to consist of his cousin Jennifer Hale, guardian of the Tome of Zhered-Na, Topaz, an empath, and Santana Hellstorm, a half demon of hell.

Realising that the fragment of Lucifer is in the body of a Kale family member, the sister Lefay and Johnny Blaze, turn to some extreme means to try and find the fragment and send it back to the underworld.

Conclusion

When I started this, I was a bit concerned that it would require quite a bit of background knowledge about the magical world of Marvel, but Harris does an amazing job of spoon feeding what we need at the exact time we need it.

There is lots of exposition, but it feels just right, its never too much or too little and I think the judgement was just right.

Now if I am honest the pacing isn’t something I am a fan of, the story takes a long time to get started, but then the finale does feel a little rushed.

I don’t know the confrontation with Lucifer just felt like it needed more build up, but the writing of that battle was absolutely incredible it felt very fluid and dynamic and with Lucifer using his powers to push the group of heroes to their limit.

It really was a very well written and descriptive climax with the most unexpected of endings.

The Witches get only the smallest time in the main Marvel comics and its great to see them getting the attention they deserve here, and this is the amazing thing about the Aconyte books, they take characters who only get bit parts and expand them out into amazing novels.

This book I am going to give a score of 4 out of 5.


The eBook is out now, and the paperback will be published on the 17th February.


Mood:- Frustrated
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 5
In My Ears:- That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain
Tabletop Game Last Played:– The Horus Heresy
Video Game Last Played:- Horizon Zero Dawn
Book Last Read:– Witches Unleased – Carrie Harris
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed:- The Masked Singer
Current State of Projects:- Nowt on my desk!

The Rebels of Vanaheim

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legends of Asgard book The Rebels of Vanaheim by Richard Lee Byers, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Legends of Asgard novels specially focus on the Norse mythology influenced Asgard with characters like Thor, Odin and Loki.

The Story

This story focuses on Heimdall and Uschi, a captain of the Valkyries that we met in Richards previous book, The Head of Mirmir, and they are going on a lovely holiday to their home realm of Vanaheim, a sister realm of Asgard run by god of the harvest Frey.

But in amongst some family drama, they come up against a curse of shape shifting draugr. But when a family member falls under the curse, there is a race against time to deal with the zombie menace, but the crisis of the undead is just one aspect of a greater conspiracy.

The story is frankly, excellent, and the best thing is, that if it didn’t have Marvel on the cover, you could have easily thought that this was a fantasy novel set in the world of the Nordic gods.

There is a mystery running throughout the story linked to the miraculous draugr rune swords provided to the Vanir from the forges of the dwarves.

Conclusion

Like his last book, this is presented as a fable told to a young girl to help her navigate a life problem, which I think is really good as it helps set it up as a tale from Asgards past.

Its a highly enjoyable read, I devoured it in two sittings and just really loved the story, as I said, its strength is how much it draws on Norse myths and swirls it round with the existing Marvel lore.

In the hands of a less skilled author, it could be meh, but Richard has taken this and turned it into a fantastic tale that I just could not put down.

5 out of 5 stars!


You can buy the eBook now and the paperback gets a release on the 17th March


Triptych

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Xavier’s Institute book Triptych by Jaleigh Johnson, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Xavier’s Institute novel series is focued on the heroes that attend this school and their adventures and the two books in the series thus far (disclaimer I never actually read the first one yet) have focuses on what would very much be considered b-list heroes, which is good because it allows the authors to do a lot more with the characters than they would be able to do with more established heroes.

The Story

This is an interesting story which focuses on Fantomex, a super soldier who at one point was three distinct brains in one body, but when those brains are separated due to catastrophic injuries, they are each given their own bodies and go their separate ways.

The main character of this book, the core Fantomex, is left the most injured and is taken by his external nervous system, the bio-mechanical E.V.A., to the Xavier Institute in Canada, where he is healed and brought back into the world, all too aware that he is missing two thirds of what he was.

A lot of the book is Fantomex coming to terms with what he feels is a diminished body and skill set, as some of his abilities are with the other members of the Triptych.

Feeling weaker, he tries to push those trying to help him away, despite the best efforts of Emma Frost and Cyclops to make him find a place in the world.

What follows is his attempts to find out what his other selves are up to, and what we get is a cat and mouse chase involving fine art and nanotech, and at the heart of it, is a young mutant, who like Fantomex, is still trying to find her place in the world.

Conclusion

To start off this book has taken me most of a month to read due to my having a lot of issues with sleep, so its been a while since my last review.

But this book is a fairly solid story, lets face it, we have all been in a place where we have needed to rediscover who we are, and I know I have had that again quite recently.

So its great to see how the author has really delved into the self-doubt and questioning that plagues us all in those times, but she shows that for Fantomex, and for most of us, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can get there, so in that respect, the book is quite hopeful in its theme.

The four characters who are focused on in this book, deal with their identity crisis in very different ways, and the individual journeys to figuring things out are very different.

I am not sure how to summarise it, I just like that the book was all about figuring out ourselves, and that the journey is just as important as the destination, where shortcuts simply don’t work.

The LGBT aspect of the book is also great, with Avery being very much out and proud, but in, an ordinary way that probably feels more natural than you see in many other places.

To be honest that is something Aconyte have been good at, making queerness normal, not a plot point, just part of a character that feels right and not forced. It takes great skill to do that, and Aconyte have picked authors who just manage this flawlessly.

So how would I summerise this book, well frankly, if you have ever found yourself in a situation in which you feel like you have to question, anything about yourself, this is a book you will really relate to.

Four stars out of Five.

The eBook is out now and the paperback hits the shelves on the 3rd February.


Dark Avengers: The Patriot List

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Untold book Dark Avengers: The Patriot List by David Guymer published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am also friends with David on Facebook, although thats probably more about him connecting with fans than him being my best bud!

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Dark Avengers were a iteration of the avengers which contained several members who were supervillains disguised as stablished superheroes.

In this iteration, we have Mac Gargans Venom as Spider-Man, Moonstone as Ms Marvel, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Daken as Wolverine and the superheroes, Ares and The Sentry. The team is lead by Norman Osborn who wears a Stark armour which is known as Iron Patriot.

The Story

So I will start off by saying that this is a book in which you really do need a bit of knowledge of the Marvel universe to really get on and enjoy it, because its not a book that explains the characters and background in a great amount of detail.

But if you have a the basic understanding of the universe, you are gonna really enjoy this book.

This story is set in the aftermath of the Secret Invasion storyline, when Norman Osborn has seized control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and reformed it into H.A.M.M.E.R. and rebuilt the avengers with psychopaths. maniacs and killers.

The story revolves around a plot by S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalists to steal a secret list of potential replacements for the Avengers known as the Patriot List, which involves a plot to embarrass Norman Osborn a man with a real obsession with his public image.

So Osborn releases the worst of the worst to prevent any threat to his leadership of the world security.

Conclusion

This is a very good story, its high octane and filled with amazing dialogue that sassy and at the same time a little horrifying.

The action scenes are frankly some of the best I have ever read, just well written and balanced.

The character dynamics are a highlight, and each of the teams members are given their own chance to shine, with everyone getting a reasonably equal bit of time to show themselves off.

As well as being a very good action novel, it also has an amount of depth as it also focuses on the mental health of the Dark Avengers, because as you can imagine, the villains have their own daemons to battle.

I really enjoyed that for the antagonists, David has gone deep into the Marvel lore and brought up some superheroes/villains from deep down that you rarely see, and perhaps may not know about at all.

The Dark Avengers are a pretty nasty bunch, some more so than others, but David really has got you rooting for them and wanting them to win, and given the way he doesn’t hide what they really are, that’s not a mean feat.

This gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me and frankly is a near perfect Marvel novel.


The eBook is out now and the paperback hits bookstores on the 25th November.


Outlaw: Relentless

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Heroines book Outlaw: Relentless by Tristan Palmgren published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Marvel Heroines series focuses on the female hero’s of the Marvel universe, Tristan wrote the first book in the series, Domino Strays, which I really enjoyed, so I was looking forward to this book.

The Story

This is not an origin story, this picks up very much in the middle of The Hotshots, the posse lead by Domino being a thing, and begins with them doing a job for Tony Stark, by seizing an AIM freighter headed for Boston.

When the job goes south, Inez Temple, AKA Outlaw finds herself taking the blame, and starts wondering if she is losing her mind and her health as she feels run down and seems to be missing parts of her time.

She has always counted on her wits to survive, but now feels like she is being robbed of it. Taking a journey back home to Texas, via the Xavier Institute, she has to face her past to find out why she seems to be losing herself.

Look I don’t want to go too much into the story, because frankly, I don’t want to spoil it for you, and much more would spoil it.

The story draws a lot from Outlaws limited history within the comics, which despite her being only a very recent addition to the comics, is still quite rich.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything as everything you need to know is explained in the story, its very good, in the way it portrays the background you need as almost wandering thoughts within Outlaws mind as she tries to make sense of what’s going on.

Conclusion

I can’t lie, The Hotshots is one of my favourite super teams, there are kickass women, who despite having very different background and abilities, actually get on very well, a real sisterhood. This novel is set slightly before that really clicks into place and there is still a bit of tension between the original members of Dominos Posse, and the newer recruits, but by the end, they are well on their way to being that tightknit team.

This story is full of action, but at the same time is quite introspective, there is a lot of time alone, that Outlaw has to think about the journey that lead her to where she is now. The way it sort of beats around her fear that she may be developing a form of dementia is actually really emotional.

The book contains links to some of the other Aconyte Marvel novels, which I loved, although one of them I haven’t yet read, but I can see myself buying it.

I am not sure what else to say, this book is super enjoyable and I literally devoured it in two sittings.

Absolutely a 5 out of 5 stars from me, and I really hope Tristan does more Hotshots novels.


The eBook is out now and the paperback hits the shelves on 11th November.


The Serpent and The Dead

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legends of Asgard book The Serpent and The Dead by Anna Stephens, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Legends of Asgard novels specially focus on the Norse mythology influenced Asgard with characters like Thor, Odin and Loki.

The Story

This story focuses on Lady Sif and the Valkyrie Brunnhilde as they investigate why the souls of slain warriors, including Sifs friend Gyda.

Travelling across Asgard, to try and get to the bottom of why worthy warriors are not reaching the promised afterlife and confront the dark forces behind this.

While they say its a story with a team of two, Brunnhildes girlfriend, Inge, also plays a pivotal part. And this story is a story of friendship and trust, with the relationship between the three protagonists being deep and very interesting, as the three characters all have their own distinct personality and role. Sif is the warrior, bold and brash, Brunnhilde is more thoughtful and wants a plan rather than rushing in, and then Inge is the diplomat who bridges the gulf between these two.

Of course Sif is convinced that Loki, the Trickster god, is behind the horror, and so they start a journey to find him and confront him.

Conclusion

This is a really good story, it is, at its heart an action book that quickly moves from battle to battle with little time in between, and the action itself is very well written.

That said the moments of the book I enjoyed the most, were the quieter more insightful moments in which we got a better idea of the motivations behind why the characters have chosen to undertake this quest.

There is a deep appreciation for Norse mythology in this book and it feels very well researched and whilst its identifiable a Marvel book, its not so deeply Marvel, that you need to be too familiar with that fandom to appreciate this book.

Its an interesting mixture of action adventure, epic quest, Norse mythology and a little bit of superhero mixed together, which means I think it will really appeal to a lot of people.

The thing I really loved about this book though is the characters, they were at once very identifiable as the characters from the comics, with a nice twist from the author to make them her own, and the comradery and relationships, both platonic and romantic, between these three strong female characters made this a real joy to read.

The only thing I would have liked different, would be more of those quiet character building moments, but I hope to see Anna write more Legends of Asgard novels.

4 out of 5 stars!


You can buy the eBook now and the paperback gets a release on the 28th October


Target Kree

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Crisis Protocol book Target Kree by Stuart Moore, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let this cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

Marvel Crisis Protocol is a tabletop skirmish miniatures game from Atomic Mass Games based on the Marvel comic characters, with its starter set conations five of the Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Black Widow) and five of the Kabel (Barron Zemo, Red Skull, Crossbones, Doctor Octopus and Ultron).

I own the core set and its well worth investing into, if you fancy it you can purchase it from my Element Games affiliate link!

The Story

The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy team up in a search for a planet killer amongst a group of Kree refugees on earth working for Tony Stark.

The story starts with the Guardians of the Galaxy trying to save which is in the middle of being destroyed, but they sadly fail and lose a beloved member in the process.

The story then picks up on earth six months later as the Guardians hunt down the planet killer and Tony Stark (Iron Man) faces the wrath of Jennifer Walters (She Hulk) and Kamala Khan (Ms Marvel) over the conditions of the refugees from the planet, but of course the Guardians crash the party and chaos ensues.

You know what there isn’t much to talk about in regards to the plot, its very simply and as it develops you end up with a huge number of Marvel characters making an appearance, most included in Crisis Protocol, but at least two who are not.

Conclusion

This is a hard book to review, on the one hand, it’s filled with lots of fun and some cool interesting fight sequences.

But there is way too much fighting and not enough stories, especially when you are cramming so many characters into the book.

At points it’s felt like they were just throwing in extra characters for the sake of it, I mean there is a scene with Black Panther that goes nowhere and serves no purpose other than to have Black Panther in the book.

The characters all want the same thing but they are too busy fighting each other to figure that out, and that’s not exactly in keeping with the characters.

The book starts off great, the first part is fantastic, but honestly, I think this would have been better as a comic rather than a prose book.

But then again it is promoting a skirmish combat game.

It’s a 3 1/2 stars from me, and had it just had a bit more dialogue and story in it, it could have really been a lot better. That’s not to say its bad, its actually quite fun, but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping it would be.

But if all you want is literally a fun beat-em-up story, give this a go as it is rather entertaining.

The eBook is released this Friday the 6th July and the paperback hits the shelves on the 2nd September.


Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Heroines book Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest by Cath Lauria, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let this cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Marvel Heroines series focuses on the female hero’s of the Marvel universe, the first two books in the series, Domino Strays and Rogue Untouched were extremly good, so I was looking forward to this.

The Story

So I think its best to introduce Elsa Bloodstrone first, she is a monster hunting heroine introduced to the Marvel universe by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. She is the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone and follows in his footsteps of protecting the world from vampires, demons and monsters. Very much a Buffy type character.

She is British, loves her tea and doesn’t take s**t from anyone, and likes to keep people at a distance, but all that changes when a woman turns up on her doorstep claiming to be her half sister who has had her Bloodstone shard stolen, the Bloodstone being what grands Elsa her powers of superhuman strength, healing and endurance.

The core of this story is less so the adventure they are on, but the relationship between Elsa and Mihaela as they travel across thje world, investigating Ulysses old bases of operation to ensure he hasn’t left anymore Bloodstone shards lying around, lest what could happen if they ended up in the hands of evil doers.

We start off being very distrust of Mihaela, who lacks the same strength and attitude as Elsa and its very much an odd couple kind of relationship, with them constantly at each others throats, in more ways than one!

Mihaelas comments about Elsas attitude and recklessness are meet with very witty, sarcastic and snarky comebacks, even in the middle of a battle. Lauria does an excellent job of getting into Elsas head, we slowly get to see more and more about why she prefers to work alone and more about why she doesn’t want her sister in her life.

Conclusion

This book is really really good, and its refreshing to get a good book about one of Marvels lesser known heroes, and I really hope that Lauria is allowed to continue this storyline as the conclusion sets up some cool possibilities.

The backstory for Elsa and Mihaela is explored very well, so if you have never heard about Elsa before, then you will have no issues enjoying this book.

Overall its a fantastic pulpy adventure with cameos by a couple of other heroes on the trek around the world and a rather cool twist that turns everything around very nicely.

This is a brilliant book, full of background, but done in such a way as to not overwhelm and crammed full of comic book style action.

Solid 5 out of 5 stars from me!

The eBook is released on the 4th May and the paperback hits the shelves on 22nd July.


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