Wednesday, 3 April 2013

ePulp GoodrReads Review of the Week - Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord by Van Allen Plexico.

Sentinels: When Strikes the WarlordSentinels: When Strikes the Warlord by Van Allen Plexico
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Pulp Warning* All my e-reading skews towards e-pulp. So do my reviews. Reader beware :) *Pulp Warning*

Overall: 4 stars (Recommended)

The first book in the Sentinels series is everything it claims to be: old school comic book storytelling but in this old school prose stuff. And it's a lot of fun. A must read for old school comic readers and a lot of fun for anyone who likes to read about people in figure-hugging costumes punching robe-clad people who like to plot the end of the world.

Pacing and Action: 4 stars.

Fight scenes, baby. That's what you'll get. And people who can fly and/or teleport. That generally makes for a fast, action packed story.
Seriously though, this is comic book storytelling so there's absolutely no let up to the fights. If that's your thing then this is your thing.
The writing also has a good sense of humour. Very funny. There's a scene with an errant marsupial that comes to mind. Hi-larious for its 'what the...' value. And down right stereotypical (I should know).

Pulp Concept: 5 stars.

Can't get a pulpier concept than 'superheroes'. If you can, I want to know about it.
I suppose there's a slight chance that old-school fanboys may get agro about the thin veneer of DC or Marvel-iness that wafts around each of the characters but the rest of us geeks will get a kick out of a world in which Darkseid (with an Arnold-esque '6th Day' predicament) is desperately trying to fight off Superman before Galactacus shows up to eat the Multiverse.

Character Development: 4 stars.

It's not the strongest but it's definitely there. The characters do have personalities and they do have their own stories to be advanced, although I think most of this story is a set up for the larger trilogy. It's okay without being brilliant.

Production: 4 stars.

Does the job with a cover that tells you exactly what you're getting and professional editting. Had a weird thing going where all dialogue, even after logical action tags, would take a new line, making it hard to work out who was talking on occasion. But that may have been a Kobo thing or something.
All up though, good stuff.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

This is obviously an ongoing story with a much larger set of stakes on the table and many character threads left open for more exploration. Hopefully this will also include expanding on the world a lot more. This is, after all, a world in which superheroes fly the skies. Let's discuss that a little more.
Also, good news, there's at least six stories in the series so far. So if you do end up liking this stuff, there's plenty more where that came from.

Wrap Up.

A very fun little romp through the superhero genre which makes you wonder why modern-style superhero prose pulp isn't written more often. Not quite the epic must-read title but a pretty good start.

Most Quotable moment:

"The Second German Reich? Again?" He glared at Francisco. "Remind me to recalibrate the dimensional transporter. You're spending far too much time studying that particular alternate reality."
Francisco looked crestfallen.

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