Run Like Hell (Book 1 of Wandering Monsters)

Elliot Kay's new book Run Like Hell asks and answers the question: "What is it like to be the monsters when an adventuring party kicks down your front door?"

Although the book is technically game-related literature, it doesn't have the usual hallmarks of character sheets or explicit rules elements. It's just set very solidly in the generic fantasy game setting, with the perspective reversed. Gaming fans will have a lot to recognize while finding quite a lot of new and interesting elements from the perspective shift. It's definitely light reading, and quick at just under 200 pages.

Highly recommended for gamers, who will find a few hours of light amusement at a good price (free via Kindle Unlimited). Non-gamers can probably take a pass, not because it's bad, but because you won't have any idea what's going on or why it's funny. Very reminiscent of Drew Hayes.

Tue Sep 25 18:42:58 CDT 2018 by Matthew. Comments

Legion (The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds)

Brandon Sanderson has had a series of stories featuring a character named Legion (real name, Stephen Leeds) whose "superpower" (in a thinly defined world mostly similar to our own, but with science fiction elements) is a form of multiple personality disorder. In essence, he hears voices and sees things, specifically, other people. These "aspects" encapsulate and represent the information and expertise that his own own mind cannot itself contain and represent. Think of them as a coping mechanism for a supergenius.

Just released, Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds collects two of those existing novellas with a new third. The author says there aren't any more coming with this character, and there's no (admitted) connection to Marvel's Legion character. I enjoyed the character when he first appeared, and this conclusion to his story is interesting without bringing the series itself to any kind of classic significance.

It is, I think, a thinly veiled examination of the typical authors feelings about having fully realized imaginary characters occupying significant parts of their thoughts and attention, combined with the common situation of needing to research details for a book on a lot of different topics well enough to quickly sound like an expert to a reader.

Categories Brandon Sanderson

Thu Sep 20 07:50:00 CDT 2018 by Matthew. Comments

Port of Shadows

Port of Shadows occupies a strange place in the chronology of the Black Company; it predates almost all of the history we know, picking the story up after the first book and before the second. The author appears to be numbering it 1.5. Thank god for decimals.

This is not a good place to start the series. Read The Black Company (the first book of the series by the same name) for that.

Honestly, I'd almost say this book should be read in publication order, ie, last, despite its appearance early in the official chronology. If you read it immediately after the first book, you'll have no idea what's going on or who half the characters are.

The writing style is noticeably different, which the narrator lampshades, as he does the fact that this period in the company's history is never referenced or referred to again in the "later" (series chronological) books. The writing is more descriptive and less sparse, somewhat more emotional. There's a reason for all of that.

Talking too much about the content of this book would, inevitably, represent a spoiler. Really. I can't even tell you the name of the main character aside from the narrator, because that would be a spoiler, even while it would encourage you to read the book (well, if you're a fan of the series already).

The only thing I can really say about it without spoiling the plot is this: Croaker gets domesticated.

Wed Sep 19 13:56:54 CDT 2018 by Matthew. Comments

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