Posts Tagged ‘Independent’

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The Apostates, by Lars Teeney, tells the story of post-apocalyptic America, which has been re-named New Megiddo, under the rule of a far right-wing, uber-religious administration.  All rules regarding term limits and separation of church and state have been abolished by the long serving President, John Schrubb, and his super-zealot religious hierarchy, led by the Reverend Wilhelm Wainwright.  However, there is an uprising brewing.  A band of cast-aside sinners, known as Apostates and believed to be dead, is planning a rebellion.  Funded by an unknown source, the Apostates are a well organized militia with some powerful weapons on their side, but will it be enough to topple a regime hell-bent on bringing forth Armageddon?

Teeney crafts a relatively interesting “what-if” scenario with this story.  The Apostate characters are intriguing enough to follow along with, even if they do have some rather awkward names.  The regime characters, on the other hand, seem to be a group of pretty generic villain stereotypes who tend to make some laughably bad decisions with little to no reasoning behind them.  It creates an odd dichotomy and really makes one wonder how the leading administration has managed to stay in power for as long as it has.

The plot itself makes up for some of the less developed characters, as it is a pretty engaging read.  I wanted to keep reading to find out where it was going, but it too was not without fault.  Being a six hundred page novel, this story obviously has multiple sub plots, and I genuinely felt that a few of them could have been edited out completely.  Namely the one historical plot thread.  I understand that the author is trying to give us an idea of how the situation came to be, and to build a world for the story to inhabit, but I feel like there are better ways to do it.  One would have been to write multiple books about the story, rather than trying to squeeze everything into one.  In the end, it ultimately feels like a collection of shorter novels broken up and put into one big book.

Now, onto my biggest gripe with this book, the mistakes.  There are numerous spelling, grammar, and word choice errors that plague this text.  A few, even a few more than a few, is understandable and forgivable for an independent, self-published novel, but there were far too many here.  I found it incredibly distracting, and it makes the book more difficult to read as a whole.

Overall, the story itself is not bad, and it even has a few intense and gripping moments in it, but the book is in desperate need of a proofreading and editing job to trim the fat and fix all the errors.  If you’re into post-apocalyptic tales, give this one a whirl, but be warned, it’s far from perfect.

The Verdict for The Apostates:
3 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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The first volume of this series about violent anthropomorphic woodland creatures comes to an end with this fourth issue.  After the sudden and shocking events of the last issue, the Tin Kin tribe sets out to find a few of their missing comrades, but are they walking right into a trap?  So here’s the basic gist, this story started out fantastically, but as each successive issue came out, it became harder and harder to distinguish which animal was which, particularly when it seems like new characters are introduced with each issue.  This of course makes it kind of confusing when there are many different characters talking in the same scene.  One of the consistently amazing things in this series has been Ashley Witter’s artwork.  I would actually suggest reading this series just for the artwork alone.  It is everything that I’ve talked it up to be since issue one.  Overall I enjoyed this series, but the writing quality did seem to dip in the later issues.

The Verdict for Squarriors #4:
3 out of 5

If you like this review, or any of my others, don’t forget to subscribe!

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Captain America: White #2
Hail Hydra #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
X-Men ’92 #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ghost Racers #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
RunLoveKill, Volume 1
Crimson Peak (Movie)

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This one’s been on my to do list for a little while now, so I figured what better time than now to get it off the list.

March of the Crabs: The Crabby Condition is the first part of a trilogy about Cancer Simplicimus Vulgaris… or the French marbled crab.  According to the story, this particular species of crab never evolved like the rest of its cousins, and because of that lack of adaptation, the members of the species are doomed to a particularly cruel fate.  You see, these crabs are unable to change direction, and they must move back and forth on the same straight line for the entirety of their lives.  However, there are a few of these crabs who are sick and tired of the same routine day in and day out, and they may have just discovered a way to change the course of their species forever.

French illustrator, Arthur de Pins crafts the beginning of what is shaping up to be quite a philosophical and often comedic story.  for the better part of their lives, these crabs follow the same path, run into the same characters, the same dangers, and the same obstacles, with no way to change their lot in life.  Some have become complacent and accept it, while others have come to despise it, but it all boils down to one simple question, what are those few willing to do or sacrifice in an attempt to change the order of things?  Also, change inherently brings about new perils and new obstacles, and these crabs will need to learn very quickly if they are prepared to face those.  I like the ideas put forth here, and I’m quite anxious to find out where the author will take them in the ensuing volumes.

The artwork here is very stylized.  It’s almost like watching an animated feature movie from a few decades ago, which isn’t to say that it’s bad, it’s just not what I’m used to seeing.  There isn’t much detail to most of the characters, so it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart, but despite the fact that they all pretty much look exactly the same, they all have vastly different personalities, and once they get into a conversation distinguishing one from the other becomes a little easier.  I particularly liked how the de Pins portrayed the humans as these towering monsters that the crabs are deathly afraid of, even going so far as to give them evil and devilish looking faces.  It’s probably not to far off from how crabs, or most small animals for that matter actually view us.  Little details like that are what make works of fiction great.

Overall, this is a graphic novel that I really enjoyed.  The story is entertaining and engaging, with dashes of genuine heart and comedy thrown in at good intervals.  The artwork is a little simplistic for my liking, but it works pretty well with the story.  I’m looking forward to volume two.

One thing you should definitely be aware of, even though the art style and description may make this sound like a children’s book, there are definitely some more adult oriented themes in play here, so keep that in mind if you think you might want to purchase this for a younger relative.

The Verdict for March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Secret Wars #5
Ghost Racers #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Planet Hulk #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Battleworld #4
Doctor Sleep (Novel)

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I’ll make this short and sweet, because honestly, there’s not much more I can say about this series.  It’s fantastic.  The artwork is spectacular, and the story is gripping.  The ending of this third issue is kind of abrupt, so I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as I did the first two, but it’s still great and definitely worth a read.  If you can find the first three issues in your local comic shop, I highly recommend that you pick them up, because the way this story is going, the fourth and final issue is going to be a doozy.

The Verdict for Squarriors #3:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition
Ultimate End #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Civil War #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)