Monday, September 28, 2015

A Dragon Ball Fanboy vs. Akira Toriyama: Super's biggest potential misstep, Piccolo.

For Super to be truly great and connect with all the fans it simply needs to do one thing.  It needs to make Piccolo the third strongest character.  I think putting him in the spotlight again with Goku and Vegeta adds the diversity and badass levels that the show is missing when he's not one of the main fighters.  I'm aware that he's not everyone's favorite character, but his inclusion would add a lot of what fan's are asking for in a new Dragon Ball series.
  1. The show can finally be about someone besides the Saiyans again.  Even if we can't level the human characters up (which is BS) we can at least have someone a part of the main cast who's not a Saiyan.
  2. Adds diversity to the technique pool used by the protagonists.  Having Goku and Vegeta spam the same types of beams with the same neon blue hair is sure to get stale after a while.  Just having him in there to throw some SBC and Hellzone Grenades and even maybe that never before seen HEAVY GRENADE :-P could add a lot to the action.
  3. His intelligence will be wasted if he's stuck in universe 7 while Goku and Vegeta go off to other universes.  He's definitely the brains of the Z fighters and Goku and Vegeta can use that tactical mind on their journey.
  4. We never got to see a Piccolo vs. Vegeta fight when they were at comparable levels.  Having this fight now may generate more interest than Goku vs. Vegeta.
  5. Piccolo, Goku, Vegeta, and Tien exemplify the spirit of the show more than any other character.  They are the true warriors who never stop striving to reach the next level.  A show centering around Goku, Vegeta, and Piccolo takes all the best elements of the action side of DB.  These guys are always down for a fight and still dream of challenging Goku.
  6. Any arc with Piccolo, Goku, and Vegeta as the strongest were generally the best.  Think about the best arcs of DBZ.  From the Saiyan Saga, to the Frieza Saga, to the Cell Saga, all of these arcs had Piccolo, Goku, and Vegeta featured prominently as the protagonists (or antagonists) and made for some of the most compelling action.

  7. There are a ton of Piccolo fans and he's still at the top of the character polls despite his new underwhelming role.
So Toei and Toriyama, have the Namek step into the portal with Goku and Vegeta.  Give him some power up courtesy of the Namekian Book of Legends, and some way to train to unlock levels similar to Goku and Vegeta.  If Frieza can do it, why not the guy who made the second best gains in the whole show, Piccolo.  Hopefully it's already planned.  If not then Super won't be as enjoyable as it could be.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Indie Book Corner: Sky Ghosts: Marco, by Alexandra Engellmann
Beautiful Cover Art by the Author

The Quick and Dirty

+Cutthroat Violence
+Plenty of Descriptive Action
+A Closer Look Into the Life of a Fan Favorite Character
+Pain and Marco's Brutiful (yeah I combined brutal and beautiful) Friendship Gets its Origin

He circled her slowly, pulling the stolen knife from his belt.

"Spice it up a lil' bit?" he gave her a serious look, and she showed her teeth.

"With pleasure," she purred, taking a knife two times bigger than Marco's from underneath her jacket.


Sky Ghosts: Marco is the newest entry into the Sky Ghost series and is a prequel starring the titular character, Marco.  Marco, as fans of the series will no doubt remember, is the mohawked badass from Sky Ghosts: All For One (which I also reviewed) with a penchant for breaking bones and having an encyclopedic knowledge of how to offend women with obscene commentary, but beyond all that he was a character many came to care for by the end of that story.  This book is strictly about how he came to join the Sky Ghost organization of New York.

Now in these reviews I like to avoid spoilers whenever possible so I typically avoid synopsis of the novel.  I like to instead go over the points about the story that I liked.  With that said, let's get started.

The book starts off with a mystery of sorts.  Just who is this Marco guy and why did the Ghosts find him in an alley, unconscious, and surrounded by the dead bodies of their enemies, the Beasts?  He appears to be just a teenager and yet this scene suggests that his combat skill is like that of a veteran.  Here we're introduced to a younger Pain, the main character of the first book in the series, Sky Ghosts: All For One.  Once Marco is conscious we get to the Ghost's headquarters and get to what the book is really about.

Offensive humor, bloodletting, bone breaking, and...pranks!?

So what this book really boils down to and why I like it so much is because it's just a fun side story.  It doesn't seek to be more than that.  There is no epic plot, only shades of a mystery surrounding this somewhat enigmatic character.  But more than that, we get a ton of humor and action as Marco tries to get accustomed to his new life and tries to get this offensive and violent girl out of his mind.

I laughed a lot while reading Marco.  The silly teenage nature of him and Pain combined with their stubborn natures and violent streaks made for some suitably hilarious and cringe worthy scenes.  For those who've read the first book in the series, their relationship is even more violent and volatile in this book.  The pranks they played on each other were pretty damn funny as well.  There was one red t-shirt that had me dying, mainly it was Marco's attitude while wearing the offensive garment that had me howling like mad.  You'll see what I mean once you read it.  Pain was so easy to rope into that one, I almost felt bad for her because Marco knew just how to push her buttons.

Beyond the laughs was the spectacle of action.  Alexandra continues to surprise me with her in-depth action scenes.  The details she uses to paint her picture give a nice mental picture of well choreographed and fluid action.  There was one epic fight in the training hall between Pain and Marco that was just a complete joy to behold.  That's slightly spoilery, but I want you to have something to really look forward to, especially for all you action junkies out there.  This was a buffet of violent theater and what's more, the stakes were actually very high.  I like when books can achieve that without, I don't know, the world being in danger from a nuclear bomb.

This was a pretty good entry into the Sky Ghosts series.  Their wasn't much revealed and so if you're the type who needs game changing, epicly plotted events in your stories to enjoy them then this isn't for you.  This is for people looking for intense action, some humor, and a look into one of the events and characters briefly mentioned in the first book.  I don't really have any negative points that I can think of.  I was a big fan of the first book as well and this book gave me what I wanted.  So in my opinion Sky Ghosts: Marco is a damn good time for fans of short stories with action and humor.  Check it out!

Buy For Your Kindle Today:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Indie Book Corner: Bluebeard's Children (Eyes of the Sun #2), by Christina McMullen

Want to read an indie book review by an indie author?  Well you're in the right place.  Today I'll be reviewing the sequel to Eyes of the Sun, Bluebeard's Children.
If you haven't already, check out my review of book one or just go straight to the purchase page to buy it here:

Bluebeard's Children picks up where the first one left off and a lot has changed in Lucy's life.  The changes are somewhat expected if you've read the first book, but one change comes as a surprise and affects Lucy greatly.  Some time has passed and we see how the events of the first book have affected Lucy and those around her.  We also meet some new people in Lucy's life.  As before, the story is filled with action and high drama, but this time right from the start.  It's all top notch and really gets you emotionally involved in the story.  It's a really good payoff for those who've read the first book and gotten to know these characters.

Right off the bat there is a huge shift in perspective for the book, which changes the feeling of it in a really good way.  Now we're in Lucy's head in a first person POV and from her perspective the emotions are stronger and the action is more vivid.  I was intrigued by this change because I planned to do the same except in reverse with a book I have sitting and completed and it's direct sequel (shameless plug for Hell Warriors).  This change made this particular part of Lucy's story a lot more enjoyable.

This book was filled with just about everything I like about books in general.  It's unfortunate, but I can't completely fanboy out like I want to right now, but you better believe there will be a list of it all at the end. I'll try to be succinct and describe some of it at least.

The dialogue was super smooth and relateable with characters offering wit, humor, and wisdom in a very simple way.  Joss Whedon would probably find this to be an enjoyable read in the vein of his own work.  You can't really have good dialogue without good characters (or can you???) and I found all of these characters to be exceptional and well rounded.  Each character felt real and you could see them living in this type of world the way they do and it all seemed so grounded.  And I loved the way everyone got a nice amount of spotlight and awesome character moments.  Towards the end there are several parts where we see just how skilled the main cast and extended cast are and just how compassionate and clever they can be.  I also like how a group of ass kickers like this can actually instead opt too use their brains to solve problems.  The characters were probably the biggest highlight of this book for me and that's saying a lot because the rest was top notch too.  With all that said, I haven't even commented on Lucy's growth as a character.  She really becomes someone that you can believe in, a truly upstanding person, a real hero.  For me, Lucy was the coolest hero I've read about in a while, and she didn't even try to be.

There are also some great concepts in the book, you know, stuff that you see in a book that makes you go "I can't believe someone thought of that!"  I had plenty of those moments especially on Bluebeard's estate.

The ultimate payoff in this book will be for those who loved the first one.  There are a ton of reveals here about Lucy and her family that'll make your head spin.  And there's a dilemma here that's usually handled very tritely in other books and media (especially comics books).  When it was used here my first response was to shake my head, but ultimately it was handled really really well here and added a lot to the story.  If you want to know what I'm referring to then check out my hidden spoiler on the shortened Goodreads version of this review.

So all in all, this book was as perfect as a book can get.  It's funny cuz it's not my 'type' of book, but the way it was written highly appealed to me.  It's a book that I'll gladly read again because it's fast paced, fun, and hits all the right emotions.  So check it out.  You won't be disappointed...unless your tastes are completely different from mine :-D.

The Quick and Dirty

The Likes
+Smooth dialogue
+Lovable characters
+Easy to follow action
+Interesting locations
+Great concepts
+Smooth read
+Lucy's likable and compassionate as ever
+Lucy's progression from the first book is tragic and believable, the mark of a person who sacrifices for others
+Amazing cast of ass kickers
+New Characters are all a blast
+More major revelations about Lucy and her family
+Smart cast, doesn't just solve problems with brute force
+Chars besides main get a chance to step up and be useful
+Every character matters and is utilized
the good guys are true humanitarians

The Only Thing I Disliked
-I'd like to think Lucy would be more rational about Andre's extraordinary circumstances early on and not hold it against him.

Check out Christina McMullen and her other works at and link to the rest of her awesome blog from there too.

You can read Bluebeard's Children on Kindle by downloading it here:

Thanks for your time and now back to blogging baby!