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  • Dan Cole

Rising to the Occasion

Still here! It's been two weeks. Two... long... weeks. School has run me ragged, but I'm always ready for my faithful readers! Got a new book review as well today, managed to finish Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in two weeks, practically a record for me! I'll save the full review for the end but for now I'll say I enjoyed it much more than the last book!





In Network news, we have a major event this Saturday, October 17th from 12-4pm EST. We're streaming a playthrough of the Soulbound starter set adventure: Faltering Light. This brand-new game was a gift from Cubicle 7, the creators of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition and we are so pumped to check it out! You can learn the new game and enjoy this cool introductory adventure with us at twitch.tv/professionalcasualnetwork


Everything else is moving along well, A Grim Podcast of Perilous Adventure is rocketing to stardom, and if you haven't listened yet, you're missing out.


For fiction, unfortunately no new 100 Days 100 Words, I've simply been too busy with other things to remember to do it! Hopefully I can have at least a few for the next entry. Other than that, I've been querying away with Hundred Dollar Heroes. No bites yet, but I firmly believe it's only a matter of time until I find the perfect fit and someone will love it as much as I do and you'll be able to buy it anywhere! For now I recently rewrote the introductory scene and would love some feedback, I'll slap it in here after the book review if you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think :)


In the world of gaming, Marvel: Crisis Protocol is still our jam, and will be for the foreseeable future. X-Men release in about a month and I couldn't be more excited. Wolverine, Sabretooth, Cyclops, Storm, Magneto, Toad, Mystique, and Beast join the game! More X-Men will follow, but I can see Wolverine and/or Sabretooth being staples in my lists going forward. If you haven't caught it yet, we are streaming the game every Monday night at 7pm EST from our local store, Bearded Dragon Games and Comics. You can find that at our twitch above and check out the game if you're curious.


That's about all for today, enjoy my review of Aurora Rising and the introduction to my YA Superhero novel Hundred Dollar Heroes!


Stay Classy!

-Dan


Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


So, after the last book, I needed a win. I got it here. I thoroughly enjoyed Aurora Rising. Jumping into some Scifi was necessary, too much fantasy lately. I kinda want to run out and grab the sequel, Aurora Burning, which I think completes the duology, not sure.

So, Aurora Rising follows a band of misfits from the Aurora Legion, an elite training school for galactic peacekeepers. Tyler Jones, son of a famous fighter, is the top of his class, best at everything. He gets the first 4 of 5 picks in the Draft, choosing his squad for the foreseeable future. The only problem is, he misses it. He goes out for a joyride into space and latches onto a distress signal. There he rescues Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, a teen girl who has been stuck in cryo for 220 years! When Tyler gets back to Aurora Legion, he has missed the draft and has been stuck with the leftovers nobody wanted. Luckily, other members could refuse being chosen for other squads, so he gets his twin sister Scarlett and her best friend and best pilot Cat. Zila, a strange medic, Finian an overly-sarcastic alien gearhead, and Kel, the elf-life warrior. The team is immediately thrust into what sounds like a worthless mission that turns into a kaleidoscope of misadventure and craziness until they discover a threat to their entire galaxy.

The action was tight, the characters were fun, and the scifi was original and thorough. I enjoyed this enough that I read the 470 pages in a blistering (for me) two weeks exactly. I liked the mystery, the characters, the action, pretty much everything. The only drawback for me was that some of the characters overused nicknames and sarcasm to the point it seemed unrealistic- a minor quibble. I liked this enough that I need to get my hands on the sequel now! I hope it’s in paperback, I don’t like having mixed sets.

I enjoyed the plot a lot. I felt it was going a bit fast at first, but then I remembered I was reading YA and that’s par for the course. I didn’t mind it as it kept going, there were some quiet moments, some introspective character moments. There were some legitimate surprises, plot tricks, and unique settings and events. I particularly loved the Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV- not the most original name, but I loved how it was mentioned a few times and then we got to ‘see’ it, very fun.

Overall, I loved it. I’m giving it 5/5 Fold Gates. Check it out, whether you like scifi or not.



Hundred Dollar Heroes

The subway tunnel shook and was rent apart by titanic powers. Beams of red, white, green, and yellow energy blasted in all directions, lighting the station like a nightclub dance floor. Human shapes flitted through the air, smashed into walls and columns, cracking the concrete, plumes of dust erupting from the abused material. Larger-than-life fighters traded blows in the growing darkness. Detritus and smoke filled the air, casting all forms into blurred shadows.

In the chaos, a young green face peered around a corner from the darkness beyond. Purge watched the battle with his mouth agape, his eyes wide. This was the coolest thing he had ever seen in his 16 or so years. A gelatinous mass morphed into a shape like a huge hammer and slammed one of their opponents to the ground. A hulking, dark skinned form pummeled other figures with massive punches. Purge winced with each blow. He held up a green two-fingered hand to his face at a sickening crunch.

He startled back when something cool bumped into his foot. Between his two long toes was a ball of some kind. It was metallic and blue. Purge snatched it up without a second thought, stuffing it into one of the many pockets of his rags.

The battle in the subway station was winding down, energy blasts not as frequent, cries of pain lessening. Purge risked another peek around the corner. He was shrouded in enough darkness that whoever these people were, they wouldn’t see him. Still, he was cautious and only let a single eye poke out of the shadow.

“Restrain them,” a woman spoke up on the subway platform. Her voice was strong and confident, a natural leader. “Local authorities will apprehend them. We did well and will Make the Company Proud.”

“Nice workout,” said the voice of a young man. Through the smoke a shadow he could be glimpsed kicking someone lying on the ground.

“Enough, Implant,” the first voice spoke out again. “Our work here is done, let us return to the Jumper.”

Without another word four figures jogged, and one slithered, towards the stairs leading to the Surface. Purge waited a moment and stepped out of the shadows. He was a strange site, even for this world. His brown rags covered most of his green skin, but not his long, thick tail, or his large hands. He snatched some broken pieces of metal from the debris. Just before he leapt up onto the platform to search more, red and blue lights began blinking above, reflecting down the stairs. Purge leapt to the wall, and climbed up to the ceiling, scurrying down the tunnel in the darkness. Those lights meant trouble, and Purge had no plans to be here when the trouble arrived.



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