Illidan: World of Warcraft
Novels that take place in role-playing games are a big business and can greatly expand the universe. Just look at the Warhammer series, the novels are incredibly popular and span both fantasy and science fiction. Now it seems World of Warcraft wants to get into the game and publish books that expand its universe. Even though one game is board based and the other is computer based. Honestly as an early effort this falls a bit flat, and William King is well known for his Warhammer books so this effort is surprising. We follow Illidan who has been locked up for thousands of years after betraying the people he was ruling, but now the darkness returns and Illidan is the only one that can stop it. He must gather together a fearsome army, but not everyone trusts him.
This feels like a weak Warhammer book and I will forgive people if they have a hard time telling the difference, the names are similar to what can be found in Warhammer books. If Blizzard is looking to differentiate itself from the other universe it could have done better.
The Cold Between: A Central Corps Novel
Surprisingly out of character, Elena Shaw connects with and takes a man home while on shore leave. Elena is shocked to discover her crew mate, Danny, was murdered during the night. The culprit is the very man she spent the night with—obviously a frame job. Elena and Trey, a retired PSI captain go rogue to find the real killer. Before long they’re embroiled in a mystery involving corrupt governments, power hungry psychopaths, and the aftermath of a horrific accident.
The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel is the first book in the Central Corps series. Bonesteel hit it out of the park with this one. It masterfully balances sci-fi, adventure, mystery, and heady romance. The characterization is stellar—pun intended. Elena and Trey’s romance blossoms and staggers under the weight of everything thrown against them. Even secondary characters are fully fleshed out. The world building pushes the story to greater heights, slowly teasing out details about the Central Corps, the PSI, and the main characters themselves.
Simply put, this is an incredible start to the series, and everyone will find something to love here. Bonesteel sets a wonderful stage with dynamic characters and a well-paced plot. Read it.
Kopi is more of a novella rather than a novel, but a brilliant one, given how precise and short it is. Narrated in third person, it follows the life of Kopi, an ordinary man whose life takes an extraordinary turn when he signs up for Virtual Cosmos. With technology advancing beyond our imagination, The Cosmos aimed for a real-life experience in a virtual world, where people could choose what they look like, whom they met, with no limits on what they could experience. One minute they could be waltzing on the rings of Saturn; another moment they could be completing office work in a remote forest. While keeping him connected with the real world, Kopi makes new friends in the Virtual Cosmos, whose interests match his and whose company he enjoys. With his increasing dependence on coffee in the real world earns him the title Kopi, he feels the line between the real and virtual worlds seem to blur for him. With religious groups holding protests and governments against the free-for-all policy, read on as Kopi comes to term with the good, the bad, and the ugly of the virtual world.
Narration in the third person is tricky to execute, but Bohm has done it really well. The scoring point of this book is that it sways from focusing on the main character to talk about the implications of virtual reality on the real world, not just socio-political, but also economical and psychological implications. The fact that this is a short dystopian book makes it ideal for a quick read on the weekend. Novels with such themes make the reader appreciate reality, our relationships with our families and friends, our childhood, and, most importantly, catching the essence of NOW. I highly recommended this novel for the young adult age group.
Codex Ocularis is a journey; a journey through time and physical space to a distant planet, but also a journey through the mind.
There is a planet in a galaxy far, far away that is unlike any planet you’ve ever seen or known of. It is known as Ocularis because it is eye-shaped, and has a focused lens pointed right at planet Earth. Yes, the planet is in fact looking at Earth and from what it sees, it is creating unique creatures in the aqueous humors of its surface. How do we know this? Because of one Astronaut/Psychonaut/Holonaut who has traveled across the dimensions of time and space and visited the planet through this unique advanced technology that employs the mind in some way. His words and diagrams have been left in his log book known as the “Codex Ocularis,” where you’ll find his thoughts and musings, his scientific theories and revelations of Ocularis.
Codex Ocularis is partly a storybook, partly a philosophical journey, and partly Ian Pyper having a lot of fun illustrating the ideas of a planet. The concept is an interesting one, but the execution is a little lacking. The astronaut’s notes are done in cursive that make it hard to read certain words at times. The content of the writing is pretty complex and “pretend-scientific” that kind of loses the reader. The illustrations are fun, but get a bit repetitive and when the reader isn’t sure what they’re reading, it makes understanding the images even harder. The book could’ve used more structure and plot to help the reader along.
Light of the Sovereign
Light of the Sovereign by Nelson Sack is a beautiful story with many layers, set against the backdrop of an imaginary and dazzling world three millions years from now. Imagine a galactic universe operating as one world, with the earth being the capital of 307 other worlds. Humanity has evolved with its civilization and people experience peace and freedom, but things aren’t going to be the way they have been for millennia. Chaos will break and the entire universe will be plunged into a war like no other. Will the protagonist succeed in mastering the one weapon necessary for the redemption of her world?
Sonata Pleaides is just nineteen years old when she wakes up in a far island, eighty-nine thousand light years away from earth (Tera) to discover that she’s been named successor to the throne of the Queen, but there is a condition — she has to find her way home to Earth to prove herself worthy of the throne. It is interesting to see how the protagonist grows from a young girl to a leader, a powerful and respected warrior upon whom rests the destiny of many worlds. Most interesting is the bond she develops with the extraordinary Sword of Epsilon, otherwise known as the Guardian. Her relationship with the powerful weapon becomes a wonderful journey toward self-discovery as well.
The cast of characters is impressive, drawn from different backgrounds, interests, and professions. Sack demonstrates a wonderful imagination and genius and it’s surprising to see that he keeps track of the numerous characters, including war men and women, legal personalities, mentors, space ship captains, and a lot more. Some of the interesting characters will include the protagonist, Sonata, the First Sovereign of the Republic, Alara Petronia, Laran the combat officer, and many others. The plot is compelling, construed with different subplots that add to the excitement and the suspense while also being wonderfully executed. At times one feels like there is a lot of digression and it fuels the need to look forward to what happens next to the main character, Sonata.
Light of the Sovereign is a work of beauty, a tale that will entertain readers for many years, a proof of a bubbling imagination. Gird yourself for a thrill ride into worlds unknown to humankind and realities yet to be named. This one is highly recommended for fans of futuristic fantasy and sci-fi.
The Light Who Shines
During the 1600s, the first Vampire was created, bringing about extreme chaos and the beginning of the Red Ages.
Over two thousand years later, Bluebell Kildare, homicide inspector for the Supernatural Investigation Bureau, is faced with solving the murder of a boy found naked, tortured, and beaten near a bar. She is able to examine the emotions and feelings left over in the area, as well as of those near her through the use of her sixth sense; she is Gifted, and very good at her job. By closing her other senses off, she can focus in on the many emotions that permeate the area, so as to center her attention in on evidence and clues that others may miss.
Sadly, despite Blues passion for her job, and the other Daylight Vampires who ensure the safety of the people around them, not everyone during this time is so understanding of sharing the world with people who have come to be so different from themselves. Extremist groups, such as the Dilectus Deo, are constantly protesting the very existence of the Gifted humans among them and the Daylight Vampires that protect them from the dangerous Dark Vampires — beings who have fallen prey to their more base natures and given up their ability to roam in daylight after killing in bloodlust. It is a dangerous world, and it takes only the best and bravest to search after criminals who would do harm to others.
Fortunately, Blue is not only a talented investigator, but she also counts on the help of her boss, Jack Tanner or as she prefers to think of him, quite possibly the sexiest man alive. He exudes danger in a quiet, stealthy sort of way. I often think I should be frightened of him quite possibly because hes a very old and incredibly strong Vampire. But I cant seem to muster any fear, even when hes in an obvious rage. That only makes me question my sanity. Its a complicated and strained relationship but the clear and palpable tension between them only makes watching them work together all the more enjoyable.
In The Light Who Shines, Lilo Abernathy has created an amazing and fantastic world in which normal humans, Gifted humans, Daylight and Dark Vampires must coexist despite the magical dangers, intolerance, and greed that run rampant on a day-to-day basis. The mystery of the tortured boy is the driving force behind this intriguing novel. As clues are discovered, witnesses questioned, and tips followed from one place to another, it becomes progressively more disturbing to get closer to the person responsible for such a heinous crime. Yet, the more we learn about Blue and her commitment to fight for those who have been victimized by this bigoted society, the more we realize she is just the investigator needed to get to the bottom of these kinds of transgressions. She proves to be not only fully dedicated to her job despite any dangers that come her way including her own safety and surprisingly strong-willed for someone whos most prominent gift is the ability to sense emotions. Still, it is her imperfections and limitations that make her an even more likable character we can all relate to especially when it comes to her weakness for Jack.
As the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly evident that there is much more at stake than meets the eye. The torture and death of this young boy leads Blue down a path of unprecedented self-discovery and a much larger role she must play not only at the Supernatural Investigation Bureau, but the world. Furthermore, it brings her and Jack much closer than theyve ever been. The Light Who Shines is a fast-paced, extraordinary, and provocative tale of high stakes and deep losses that demands to be read!