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Defenders (comics)

The Punisher joins the mafi a! And Hulk smashes the Abomination! But what really happens when an X-team becomes huge media stars? Find out in this wild examination of celebrity culture -with a far higher body count than any reality TV show! And when the team relaunches their brand as the X-Statix, will it propel them to even greater fame? Or will the interactive O-Force become the hot new thing? Kid Loki is all grown up — and the God of Mischief is stronger, smarter and sneakier than ever before! But who is King Loki? What vile scheme has he been brewing all this time?

And a team-up with Spider-Man and the Inhumans! The headline-making Sam Wilson is a Captain America for today! Eric Shanower, Skottie Young, Jan. The premiere American fantasy adventure gets the Merry Marvel treatment! Dorothy fatally flattens a Wicked Witch, liberates a living Scarecrow, and is hailed by the Munchkin people as a great sorceress…but all she really wants is to get home!

Then, join the young boy named Tip as he escapes the servitude of mean old witch Mombi and runs away with his newly created magical companion, Jack Pumpkinhead. Brace yourself for blood, blades and brutality…you asked for it, bub! And following the events of Avengers Disassembled, who could possibly be on this team? Fate has brought them together, and now Captain America wants to make it permanent! Who will take his hand and join the new Avengers? Yes, he's not in control of himself. He's ruled by Raven 's voices in his head, and it's a fascinating concept. On the other hand, his internalizations and ramblings that he can't love or be loved are tiring and make me think about B-grade action movies of the 80s.

He's a character with great potential but somehow remains unmemorable as a person I could relate to. The same is true for others. Their motivations are believable, but somewhere along the line, they start to be defined by the need for revenge, berserk rage, blind devotion and stuff. My other issue with the book is its cinematic panache.

On the one hand, it's fantastic as the scenes are explosive, strong and easy to visualise. Valora raised her arms, and the man turned and fled. With one leap he was twenty feet away, dust swirling into the air from the force of his passage. He ran, twice as fast as a normal man, leaving curling spirals of smoke in his wake, diving over the burning remains of buildings and flipping in the air before landing on his feet and sprinting onward.

I think it's a great action scene. It contains plenty of embellishments, though. I'm not saying it wouldn't happen. I just don't think it would happen that fast and that unequivocally. To be fair, though, it reads very well. Fresh and unique world-building deserves high praise. I'll definitely read the sequel.

Monday, August 13, Hayes guest post. Q] Welcome back Rob and thank you for your time. How has your launch for City Of Kings been? RJH: Thanks for having me again. The launch has been somewhat stressful as all launches are , but it's going really well. Books have been sold and are being read, so I generally consider that a win. How has the reader feedback been for both those releases? RJH: Extremely positive. I'll admit I was a little worried about both releases. It's sci-fi, it's spec fic, it's all written in 1st person present tense which is a nightmare to write in , so it was a daunting release.

Luckily most people have really taken to it. For City Of Kings , it's again a little different as it's my first standalone set in the world of First Earth , and it deals with some quite dark themes. Again, most readers seem to be digging the brutality of it. I'm still waiting for the 1 stars though, I'm sure they're coming. Q] With Drones being your SF genre debut, it was an interesting read and a different read from your usual fantasy fare. What lead you to write a SF-thriller dealing with harvesting and packaging of human emotions? RJH: I just had the concept idea rolling around in my head, this ability to harvest and sell emotions in a way that drains the memory of all emotional connection and then passes the pure emotion on to the buyer.

At the time of coming up with it I had no setting or story surrounding it. It took me a good six months to decide it would work best in a science fiction future sort of like Total Recall or Bladerunner. I do love a good cyperpunk future setting. The real headache was that I decided it should be written in 1st person present tense It took me about a year of editing to get rid of all the past tense inconsistencies. What lead to its inception? RJH: It was pretty much always there. I went into my fantasy saga of First Earth with a plan, a 12 book plan.

That plan turned out to be quite fluid. Some stories have grown from nothing, demanding to be written, others have sunk into the murky waters of just not working out. But the 12 book plan remains intact with a number of key points that have to happen along the way. City Of Kings is the midway point, as the sixth book in the saga, and it's an important one. It introduces a couple of key pieces of information that will become very relevant later on in the saga, and introduces a new character.

What was the impetus for Rose to get her own POV in this book? RJH: It's her book. Rose is the driving force behind everything that happens in City Of Kings. She has a vision for the Wilds that she is determined to bring about, no matter how much a monster it makes her. And she's fully aware that she's running out of time to make it happen. It would have been a crime for me to write it without Rose 's point of view. Q] Anders is the only other person besides Henry who has appeared in all of your First Earth books. However he knows much, more about what's happening than Henry has any idea about.

Would you say that's a fair approximation? Will the latter books reveal all of Anders' mysteries? RJH: Yes. Was that an intentional move? Another trilogy of sorts by combining a duology and a standalone? RJH: Not really. Believe it or not, the timing of everything that happens is because of one particular character. I pay a lot of attention to where my characters are at what time, and I try my best to keep a consistent timeline running. So it really all boils down to City Of Kings had to happen when it happened because of Anders. It's all his fault, and most of my characters agree.

Can you tell us more about it? I can't give away too much right now, but I will say that the series will reveal a lot more about First Earth 's secondary race, the Drurr , and how they fit into the larger plot of the saga. The series will also tell readers more about the rise of necromancy as an ongoing threat. Q] You currently have a quite a few short stories set at different timepoints and places in the First Earth World whilst featuring many different characters. Which short stor y ies will be tying in to the new trilogy? RJH: There's already a couple. There might be a few more shorts on the way as well, but I can't say for certain.

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Too much of my time is being taken up with writing full length novels at the moment. Q] I never have asked you about this, but the grand title of your saga is the First Earth. What does it mean and why did you choose to call it as such? Musashi by Felix Ortiz. Are you writing a sequel to one of your earlier works or will you be releasing something brand new? I've taken a lot of inspiration from eastern martial art films and anime with it.

It follows a young boy called Ein who is given a quest by a shinigami god of death to kill the emperor. To do this, Ein is given the power to bring heroes back to life to fight for him. The only problem is, to bring them back to life and bind them to his cause, first those heroes have to die. And beyond that my next project is a trilogy set in a new world where magic is granted to Sourcerers by swallowing crystals.

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It's a bit more high fantasy than I've written before with a few other races, and lots of big magic, and it's another one I've written in first person from the perspective of young woman called Eska. Book 1, Along the Razor's Edge , will be releasing next year this is the first time I've revealed that , with books 2 and 3 following the year after. Q] Never Die sounds amazing and I'm sure your fans will love to hear more about it. The other trilogy you reference sounds even cooler, will this be your turn to dabble in the YA genre?

RJH: Apparently so. I certainly didn't intend it to be YA when I started it, and in my mind it isn't, but some of my early readers have said it has YA elements to it. I've also been told it's what would happen if you put Faithles s and Red Sister in a blender. I'm not sure I agree with either statements personally.

In parting, it there anything else you would like to share with our readers? RJH: Just to say thank you for reading. I love sharing stories with people, and I couldn't do that without readers. You are all awesome! Friday, August 10, What do you mean turn them into swine? The strength of those flowers lay in their sap, which could transform any creature to its truest self.

Clearly her sty residents had an oinky predisposition. And I am sure that there are many who had started the transformation long before landing on her island. Whaddya call the large sty Circe filled with erstwhile men? A good start. You had to know this would be part of the deal for this review.

So, now that I have gotten it out of my system, it is out, right? When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. But in this case, I suppose both might apply. Circe is indeed the first witch in western literature. And many a sailing crew might have had unkind things to say about her. But for how it might be pronounced in Greek, you know, the proper way, you might check out this link. Put that down, there will be no throwing of things in this review! Given how many times this and its companion volume, The Iliad , have been reworked through the ages, it is no surprise that there have been many variations on the stories they told.

But Miller tries to stick fairly close to the Homeric version. Be warned, though, some license was taken, and other sources inspired the work as well. But it is from Homer that we get the primary association we have with her name, the magical transmutation of men into pigs. We follow the life of our Ur-witch from birth to whatever. She did not start out with much by way of godly powers. Her mother, Perse , daughter of the sea-god Oceanos , was a nymph, and her father was Helios , the sun god. This did not help in the family to which she had been born. Kinda tough to keep up when daddy is the actual bloody sun.

Years pass, and one day she comes across a mortal fisherman. He seems pretty nice, someone she can talk to. Left to her own devices she tries this out on her bf, making him into his truest self. Pearls before you-know-what. Not the last bad experience she would have with a man. Her relationships with men are actually not all bad. Daddy is singularly unfeeling, and can be pretty dim for such a bright bulb, and her brothers are far less than wonderful, but there is some good in her sibling connections as well.

She has a warm interaction with a titan, Prometheus , which is a net positive. Later, she has an interesting relationship with Hermes , who is not to be trusted, but who offers some helpful guidance. And then there are the mortals, Daedalus the master artist, the Michelangelo , the Leonardo da Vinci of his era , Jason , of Argonaut fame, Odysseus , who you may have heard of, and more. There were dark encounters as well, and thus the whole turning-men-into-pigs thing. Miller has had a passion for the classics since she was eight, when her mother read her the Iliad and began taking her to Egyptian and Greek exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

It made her a nerdy classmate but was a boon when she got to college and was able to find peers who shared her love of the ancient tales. It was this passion that led her to write her first novel, The Song of Achilles , a reimagining of Achilles relationship with his lover, Patroclus , a delight of a book, a Times bestseller, and winner of the Orange prize.

Hannigan's Fight (A Matt Stark Novel) by J.D. Mader

It took her ten years to write her first novel, about seven for this one and the gestation period for number three remains to be seen. If past is portent, it will be the latter, and should be ready by about The central, driving force in the story is Circe becoming her fullest possible self. This is the story of a woman finding her power and, as part of that, finding her voice.

Circe actually has better inclinations. For instance, when Prometheus is being tortured by the titans for the crime of giving fire to humans, Circe alone is kind to him, bringing him nectar, and talking with him when no one else offers him anything but anger and scorn. She is curious about mortals, and asks him about them, going so far as to cut herself to experience a bit of humanity.

Livestock comes in for some attention outside the sty. Her island is rich with diverse fauna, including some close companions most of us would flee. An early version of Doctor Doolittle?

Such goddesses also had power over fierce animals, and are known by the title Potnia Theron , Mistress of the Beasts. While she has her darker side she does change her nymph love-rival Scylla into a beast of epic proportions, which gets her sent to her room, or in this case, island, and there is that pig thing again she is also a welcoming hostess on her isle of exile, Aiaia.

Which sounds to me like the palindromic beginning of a lament, Aiaiaiaiaiaiaia, which might feel a bit more familiar with a minor transformation, to oy-oy-oy-oy-oy-oy-oy-oy. I mean, she runs a pretty nifty BnB, with free-roaming wild animals, of both the barnyard and terrifying sort, a steady flow of wayward nymphs sent there by desperate parents in hopes that Circe might transform them into less troublesome progeny, a table with a seemingly bottomless supply of food and drink.

And she is more than willing to offer special services to world-class mortals, among others. I mean, after that little misunderstanding with Odysseus about his men, Pigs? What pigs? What could you possibly mean? Oh, you mean those pigs. How careless of me. She is not all bad.

New Children's Books 12222

Circe struggles with the mortals-vs-immortals tension. Her mortal voice makes her less frightening to the short-lived ones, allowing her to establish actual relationships with them that a more boombox-voice-level deity might not be able to manage. Of course, it is still quite limiting that even the youngest of her mortal love interests would wither and die while she remained the same age pretty much forever. Knowing that you will see any man you love die is a definite limiting factor. Yet, she manages.

She certainly recognizes what a psycho crew the immortals are, even her immediate family, and respects that mortals who gain fame do so by the sweat of their brow or extreme cunning, even if it is to dark purpose not their questionable godly DNA. Reinforcing this is her front row seat to the real-housewives tension between the erstwhile global rulers, the Titans, and the relatively new champions of everything there is, the Olympians. I mean, perpetual torture, thunderbolts, ongoing seditious plots, the nurturing of monsters, wholesale slaughter of mortals?

My thoughts about [ Circe as caregiver] really start with the gods, who in Greek myth are horrendous creatures. Selfish, totally invested only in their own desires, and unable to really care for anyone but themselves. Circe has this impulse from the beginning to care for other people. She has this initial encounter with Prometheus where she comes across another god who seems to understand that and also who triggers that impulse in her. How do you construct a moral view coming from a completely immoral family?

I would put the book away and check the news. The top story was literally the same issue I had just been writing about — sexual assault, abuse, men refusing to allow women to have any power I was drawn to the mystery of her character — why is she turning men into pigs?

Jason and Medea niece pop by for a spell. She is summoned to assist in the birthing of the minotaur nephew to her seriously nasty sister. She definitely had a life, many even, particularly for someone who was ostracized to live on an island. I mentioned her mortal-like voice. The lions. The pigs. And then when I get to the Odysseus episode in the book, I follow Homer obviously very closely … - f rom the BookRiot interview In terms of sources, I used texts from all over the ancient world and a few from the more modern world as well.

She may not have been the brightest light in the house of Helios , but she glowed with an inner strength, a capacity for mercy, an appreciation for genius, beauty and talent, and a fondness for pork. This is the epic story of a life lived to the fullest.