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Comic Review: The Magicians #1
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The Magicians #1
Created by Lev Grossman
Written by Lilah Sturges
Art by Pius Bak
Colors by Gabriel Cassata
Letters by Mike Fiorentino
Covers by Qistina Khalidah, Alexa Sharpe
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Lev Grossman made my year when he wrote The Magicians. But he made my millennium when he continued the series and made it a trilogy. Syfy went a step further and turned it into a (not so accurate) television series that is still ongoing. And a few months ago I reviewed The Magicians: Alice’s Story. I therefore felt that I should alert any and all fans of the franchise to The Magicians #1, the first comic in a five-part mini-series.

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Book Review: A Midnight Clear (Anthology)
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A Midnight Clear
Paperback | Kindle
By Sam Hooker, Alcy Leyva, Laura Morrison, Cassondra Windwalker, Dalena Storm, Seven Jane
Publisher: Black Spot Books, an imprint of Vesuvian Media Group
Release Date: November 5, 2019

‘Tis the season, folks. This is the first holiday book I am reviewing for this year and I am quite sure it will not be my last. A Midnight Clear is a small anthology from Black Spot Books that focuses on less-than-cheery yuletide tales that will not necessarily horrify you, but they are certainly not going to wish you a Merry Christmas, either. But, and I say this without reservation, between the six short stories, it will entertain the crap out of you.

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Book Review: Rage (A Joe Ledger Novel) By Jonathan Maberry
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Rage
Rogue Team International Series #1
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Jonathan Maberry
St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: November 5, 2019

A couple of years ago, I reviewed an anthology about a covert operative named Joe Ledger. This particular collection of short stories, called Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, was written by a variety of authors but edited by the character’s creator, Jonathan Maberry. I loved the supernatural twists within that book but I was aware, even then, that these were unusual for this protagonist who is more tactical and paramilitary oriented. Having said that, when I was given an opportunity to read and review this newest release, Rage, I leapt at the chance. Joe Ledger has that effect on readers.

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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Tyranny Of Dragons
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Dungeons & Dragons: Tyranny Of Dragons
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: October 22, 2019

Can you believe it has already been five years since the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons hit shelves all over the world? Not only has it become the most successful version of the world’s greatest role playing game, but it has become so inclusive that friends that never showed an interest prior are now playing the game. I’m looking at you, Lisa! This newest release, Tyranny Of Dragons, compiles the two original adventures, Hoard Of The Dragon Queen and The Rise Of Tiamat, into a single volume. I remember writing several articles back then about these upcoming releases from Wizards Of The Coast. You can journey back into the past and read one of them here. But there are some additions and changes that make this a worthy purchase; keep reading to find out what those are!

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Book Review: The True Bastards (The Lot Lands Book 2)
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The True Bastards
The Lot Lands Book 2
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Jonathan French
Publisher: Orbit Books | Crown Publishing
Release Date: October 8, 2019

You may recall last year when I reviewed Jonathan French‘s The Grey Bastards. (If not, you can find it right here.) At the end of the article, I demanded a second novel posthaste. Well, he failed to listen to me, but I am glad he chose not to rush a sequel. Because, without a doubt, The True Bastards is more than a fitting return to the Lot Lands. In fact, this second book expanded the series in directions I could never have imagined. Curious? Well, of course you are! Read on for more reasons why you are going to be rushing to grab your own copy!

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Book Review: Fallen: Alex Verus (Book 10) By Benedict Jacka
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Fallen: An Alex Verus Novel
Alex Verus Book 10
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Benedict Jacka
Publisher: Ace (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Release Date: September 24, 2019

I am a fairly new fan of Benedict Jacka‘s Alex Verus series. As a longtime reader of urban fantasy, I cannot fathom how I ever failed to pick these up until last year. But life is funny like that. I chewed through the first nine books in the series fairly quickly and was stoked beyond words when I saw that this one, Fallen, was coming out soon. I literally inhaled it when I received it. In fact, the guy who got me started on these books was so jealous that it took all I had not to tease him with some spoilers. But I persevered and he remains oblivious to the story. Sorry, Patrick. But it is better this way. Anyway, let me fill you in one some of the basics about the book without ruining the overall plot. Okay? Okay.

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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
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Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: September 17, 2019

Well, what in the Nine Hells has Wizards Of The Coast released now, you might ask. Okay, so if you literally phrased it like that, then you pretty much answered your own question. Because the newest Dungeons & Dragons release is called Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus and it is all about making your way from one of the most notable cities on the prime Material plane to the first layer of the Nine Hells. This journey is obviously dangerous, but few understand exactly how perilous it can be!

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Book Review: Boundless: A Drizzt Novel by R.A. Salvatore
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Boundless
Generations: Book II, A Drizzt Novel
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By R.A. Salvatore
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Release Date: September 10, 2019

I opened the box carefully, reverently even. The last thing I wanted to do was damage the contents and though chances were slight, I closely monitored how deep the incision was, insuring that nothing inside would be harmed in any way. First one flap, then another, continuing on until all four were flipped out so as to facilitate the removal of the treasure within. A bit of packing paper and bubble wrap is all that separated me from the coveted prize inside its current containment. Lifting the multiple items from their home, I slowly removed one after another from the stack, setting them down carefully on the table beside me. After taking out four of them, I spotted it. It was next to last in the bundle, just waiting for me to take it up lovingly. I touched the cover, maybe to remind myself that this was no dream but in fact the time had come for it to be part of my life, to be a part of the world. Six books arrived that day from my editors, but only one was Boundless by R.A. Salvatore. And regardless of how my day was going, it had been redeemed, for Drizzt had come home again.

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Book Review: Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction
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Astounding
John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Alec Nevala-Lee
Dey Street Books
Paperback Release Date: July 30, 2019

You know, I went into this with a completely different mindset. When I saw this book in the lists for review, I truly thought it was an anthology of classic science fiction. Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction is actually a highly detailed exploration of the rise and evolution of modern science fiction as I knew it growing up. It has continued to evolve, but this book delves into the life of John W. Campbell and how he influenced not just what readers saw in print, but also, in many ways, what many authors were writing.

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Game Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Essentials Kit
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Dungeons & Dragons: Essentials Kit
D&D Accessory
Boxed Set
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: June 24, 2019 (Target exclusive release) September 3, 2019 (worldwide release)

So, truthfully, this is less of a review and more of an alert. The Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit is effectively what it says it is, the essentials to play the game. Is it everything you will ever need? Probably not for most of us. But for the casual player, perhaps. Wizards Of The Coast seems to be doing everything they can to make the world’s greatest roleplaying game accessible to everyone. And for a game that has always been diverse, this inclusiveness is heartwarming.

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