Review Round Up: Castles, Mercs, and the King of the Seas

Book reviews for 'CTRL-Alt-Revolt!' and 'The Lost Castle' by Nick Cole, 'Aquaman Vol 1' by Geoff Johns, and 'Star Slammers' by Walt Simonson.I’ve been upping my reading recently. There was a long stint there where I just wasn’t able to muster the energy to read at night. I worked, slunk through some TV for a few minutes, and sloughed off to bed. I thought I was bring more “efficient” and letting the TV wind my brain down – but, my sleep was as terrible and unrestful as ever. And, truth is, I was really on the edge of total burn out.

So, I stopped. Stopped working late at night, stopped watching TV. Stopped trying to force productivity, re-learning a lesson I knew from long ago: Working harder isn’t always working better.

And, while re-setting myself, I picked up a book and burned through 500 pages in a single sitting. I finished that book the next day, and picked up another one. As I increased my reading, my sleep became more restful. I still wasn’t going to bed early by any measure, but my quality of sleep has steadily improved. My brain is transitioning from the endless attention churn to more focus. My attention span is getting back to normal. I check my phone a lot less.

In the following weeks, I’ve kept on reading, getting at least 30 minutes before falling asleep. It’s been helping. A lot.

I figured since I was doing all of this additional reading, I would post the reviews – and I’ve got a backlog of reviews to write, as I’ve been burning up some books since I started. I’ll try and take a night each week to keep up with the reviews (fingers crossed).

I use ThirdScribe (of course) so I write the full review there in individual book pages, and you’ll see this latest batch below. Under those, are links to the books themselves, with all of the purchase links if you want to pick up a copy for yourself. You can also click through any of the books and talk with me about them, because that would be cool… 😉


Winner of the Dragon Award, @nickcole ‘s return to the world of Soda Pop Soldier is a heck of a great read.CAR is a sort of prequel to the story of Cole’s earlier novel, Soda Pop Soldier, putting the world of the current day on the path to the future cyber-dystopia seen by Perfect Question in the Soda Wars in the future. It is a terrific cyber noir thriller, filled with fascinating and unique characters, action, and intrigue. The story is told from multiple perspectives, but my favorite by far is that of Captain Mara, a young woman who finds herself in charge of a Romulan Starship facing off against a modern Captain Kirk in a Star Trek virtual reality game. I know, but trust me, it will make sense when you read it and, I assure you, you’ll wont be rooting for the Federation.And that’s pretty much how this book rolls. It’s an action filled satire full of references to games, TV, and pop culture all kept moving forward by Nick Cole’s signature page turner…[Read more]– Rob McClellan (@robmc) December 21, 2016


Star Slammers

Star Slammers totally blew me away when it first came out as an original Marvel graphic novel back in the ’80s – the old school oversized ones, mind you. I’ve read that story a hundred times at least. The concept of space samurai mercenaries was just more awesome than I could easily bear. I ate it up.But, sadly, that’s where the story ended for more than a decade, until Malibu Comics agreed to publish a new Slammers story in the 1990’s, this time a five part serial. More space pulp than hard bitten merc story, it was still pretty fantastic and it did my heart good to see the Slammers back in action.This volume is the first time both stories were collected in a single, seamless volume. The art is, in my opinion, some of Simonson’s best. For the uninitiated, this volume is a fantastic way to be introduced into the magnificent world of the Star Slammers.[Read more]– Rob McClellan (@robmc) December 21, 2016


Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench

I feel pretty comfortable saying I’m not a huge fan of Geoff Johns. When it comes to comics, he’s not my favorite writer. However, he absolutely knocked it out of the park with Aquaman.I have long been a suffering Arthur Curry supporter, so to see the character brought back so strongly into the spotlight really hits me in the feels. From stopping an armored car with his trident to confronting the monsters of the trench, this book was non-stop excellence.Another huge selling point was the presence of Mera in the story, and in Aquaman’s life. So often she, as a character, is left adrift in the DC universe. Sometimes damsel, sometimes harpy, sometimes little more than arm candy. But, not so here. Here she is a complete person, a powerful, caring, and loving partner. It’s nice to see a super hero romance shown in such a way. Kudos to the team.From the characters to the art to the story, it’s really hard to imagine a better Aquaman story and I, for one,…[Read more]– Rob McClellan (@robmc) December 21, 2016


The Lost Castle (WYRD 3.0)

I devoured The Lost Castle, the third full novel in @nickcole ‘s WYRD series, in less than 48 hours. I think that pretty much says it all.This installment continues the epic journey of Frank, Holiday, Ash, and Cory as they look to survive the apocalypse. Between zombies, demon sisters, and madmen they have their hands full. Part 3 explores the back story of the mysterious Frank, where he learned to shoot like that, and his involvement with the Black Hand. Also, we get to see a lot more of Mr. Steel, as well as get a bigger glimpse at just what is really going on behind the apparent collapse of the multiverse.Nick’s fast paced, page turner style really jives with my reading preference. While the world might be about to end, I definitely like where this story is going. Can’t wait for the next episode![Read more]– Rob McClellan (@robmc) December 21, 2016


Book Links

Click through each cover for more about each book.

About Rob McClellan

Rob is the founder of ThirdScribe, a unique author services platform and social network. As a naval officer and diver, he spent a majority of his career doing a lot more than you would think with a lot less than you can imagine -- a skill that has proven extremely valuable in the start-up world. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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