Book Review 187 // A Light Beam for Faith: The Making of A Restorer

Something a little different this Friday. I discovered a new Ottawa-based Sci-fi writer releasing her first book, and after a quick chat, I decided to treat myself to the kindle version of the title. I hope you will take a moment to read and, if interested, treat yourself to a copy.

Title: A Light Beam for Faith: The Making of A Restorer

Author: E.K. Highland

Fluff: She’s not waiting for a hero to come to save her; instead, she becomes her heroine. Hazel’s world comes crashing in front of her in an instant during a family trip to Mont-Tremblant. What she doesn’t know is that she is from the stars, and so it’s no wonder she must return to find the answers she seeks.

She embarks on a trek aboard the Imperial Bona Fides, the mothership of the Alpha Cygnians people. With the help of her best friend Zita and the others she will meet along the way, she will journey to places she never knew existed. Hazel will learn to tame her fears and become the woman she wants to be.

This is the story of different worlds that must learn to co-exist. They must all put their differences aside, and with a bit of faith, they will all witness a new dawn. We are all compelled to be inspired when faith is with us.

Review

I was convinced to give this a try as a local author wrote it, and it is essential to support new voices and broaden my reading. All I can say is that I am glad I did. We join Hazel, your average girl living in the year 2334. She has a classic back story of a father disappearing and a strange twist of an alien ship kidnapping her twin sister during a holiday at a local resort. During this kidnapping, Hazel's mother is drugged via injection and forgets who she is and who her children are. Now alone, Hazel is forced to attempt to find her father, and through this adventure, we watch her grow into a strong, inspiring adult.

A lot is going on in the book, and the book's central theme is co-existence and the importance of life. Will there be more in the series? Who knows, but I'm interested to find out.

This book wasn't what I expected at all, and though not my regular sci-fi read, I enjoyed it.

Audio Review 75 // The Harrowing by Rob Sanders

Having a double feature this week! I am not going to lie. I am looking forward to another Alpha Legion story. Whenever they appear, they are cunning and ruthless. Let's see if it continues in this short tale from War Without End.

The Title: The Harrowing (The Horus Heresy #Short Story)

Author: Rob Sanders

Fluff: Death has come to Callistra Mundi. The Space Marines of the Traitor Legions are coming, but when it's the Alpha Legion, you never know how they might appear... or who might be working for them.

The garrison world of Callistra Mundi is threatened by traitor forces – none other than the insidious Alpha Legion. Like so many before it, this attack will not come as a traditional legionary assault but as a Harrowing. Operatives and turncoats are revealed within the Mechanicum ark freighter Omnissiax and her attendant battlegroup, and confusion will reign amongst the loyalist defenders. And only when none can tell friend from foe will the true destruction begin...

The Alpha Legion assault a garrison world in their own inimitable style, turning friend against friend until no one knows who is responsible... Jump in and see if you can figure out the mystery behind the Harrowing.

Buy now: Amazon

Format: ebook

Review

Okay, okay, this was freaking awesome! A great little insight into the Alpha Legion's tactics. Overall, we discover that the Harrowing tactic involves misdirection, infiltrators, and good old-fashioned turncoats. We actually get to experience the damage that can be done from within and the confusion that can be sowed with very few agents.

This is like a SAS/Special Force mission, and it was so cool to watch the Mechanium undone by these tactics. Overall a fantastic tale that I highly recommend, and I can't wait to see what the Alpha Legion does next!

As always, I appreciate you stopping to read, and I hope you will check out my Youtube Channel, Adventures with Peps, for more content.

Audio Review 74 // By the Lion's Command by Gav Thorpe

I am continuing my run of short listens of Horus Heresy stories with this title from the War Without book. By the Lion's Command has my favourite BL author Gav Thorpe once again taking the helm with the Dark Angels. Let's get into the details.

Title: By the Lion's Command (The Horus Heresy #Short Story)

Author: Gav Thorpe

Fluff: Following the splitting of the Dark Angels fleet in the aftermath of Perditus, Seneschal Corswain continues to hunt down the Death Guard forces under the command of the infamous Typhon. Now, a tense standoff erupts in the heavens over the supposedly independent world of Terra Nullius, and Corswain must either bend the local population to his own cause or make an example of them to other worlds that might secede from the Imperium. In this war, there can be no innocent bystanders.

It's a tense stalemate from start to finish. An ultimatum is set for the Free Army of Terra Nullius by the Dark Angels. They can rejoin the forces of the Emperor or be destroyed along with the traitor Death Guard. This is one of the first instances where a system declares independence rather than joining either side in the Horus Heresy, forcing the Loyalists to make some hard decisions about them.

GET A COPY: Amazon/Audible

Published: March 31st, 2015, by Black Library

Review

I love Dark Angels in the Horus Heresy era. Who's side are they on? Are they good guys? Are they bad guys? Or are they playing both sides? I love it. In this title, we are treated to Seneschal Corswain as the lead. It follows his forces after splitting the legion forces, as Corswain attempts to locate the traitorous Typhon and his Death Guard.

Believing to have discovered the Death Guards' destination, the Dark Angel forces head to Terra Nullius to engage. Here they find a world protected by orbital stations; the only problem is the world has not chosen a side and hopes to ride out the war as a neutral force. Unfortunately, the war has arrived, and they must decide who to join. The devil they know (i.e. the Imperium) or the new Overlords (the Deathguard).

A very tense story which could have easily swung either way and Gav Thorpe does a great job at adding this pressure into the account. A really standout piece in these short stories so far. Well worth the purchase and listen to!

Enjoy.

Comic 193 // Star Wars Adventures (Vol 4): Smugglers Blues


How many more library finds can I discover before they fully dry up? This week it is the turn of volume 4, Smuggler's blues. With a young Solo and Chewy in trouble once again.

Title: Star Wars Adventures, Vol. 4: Smuggler's Blues

Creative: Cavan Scott, Derek Charm (Illustrator)

 Fluff: Set before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, join everyone’s favourite stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder on a daring new caper!

Feared bounty hunters Zuckuss and 4-LOM are hot on the heels of the most notorious scoundrels in the galaxy, Han Solo and Chewbacca! Han and Chewie will risk landing on a mysterious planet that somehow shuts down all electronics to evade their pursuers. How will the boys escape with the Millennium Falcon unable to take off?

With a mix of characters from all across the Star Wars film series, Star Wars Adventures is perfect for Jedi and Padawans alike.

Review

As the name suggests, we are getting the stories of smugglers in this volume, with a Han Solo/Chewy adventure, a Lando Calrissian tale and finally, a Jaxxon the green rabbit tale (I am a big fan of Bucky O'Hare, so I better like this one!).

Opening tale is the cover also with Solo and Chewy attempting to flee from the bounty hunting duo of Zuckuss and 4-LOM. After a failed attempt to escape, the duo crash land on a planet that kills all electronic devices. As they are forced to team up, we are faced with double-crosses, killer spiders and blaster action. A great way to start the book off; I really enjoyed it.

The follow-up tale is all about the smooth as butter Lando Calrissian. During his days in Cloud City, he attempts to be an honest man and is contacted by an old friend to help steer a kid from entering a life of crime. Not a sinister tale, also not that thrilling, to be honest. A safe story.

Now I was looking forward to Jaxxon, the green rabbit, in Disney canon! An exciting story that will seem very similar to a Mandalorian tale (which I assume was inspired by this). Jaxxon has been hired to transport a batch of endangered eggs, the last in a long line of a Royal family. Of course, nothing goes to plan, and it is soon discovered to all be a ruse to allow the real eggs to be smuggled away by Hans. A short, sweet tale. I do hope we get more.

Overall a solid outing, not perfect, but when is it? It's nice to see Jaxxon and have an excellent Solo story, so it wins there. It was also interesting to see a bit of Bespin. Overall I would recommend reading if you have a spare evening.

Alien Isolation Part 14 - That made me jump


Unlucky for some, we have reached part 13 of my Alien: Isolation gameplay series. This episode was a joy to play. I died and jumped so much, my heart was racing by the end, and I actually struggled to fall asleep that night. Hahaha.

Hope you enjoy it!

Book Review 186 // No Use for Good Men (Short Story) by Guy Haley

Enjoying these Black Library short reads, I fear this story is tempting me into the crime series they have been creating of late. Here is the fluff for No Use for Good Men.

Fluff: 

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is a vast city… The urban sprawl of murder and corruption. A den of vice and illicit deeds where the law fails, and justice is fleeting.

Glutted merchant-kings turn the wheels of industry, feeding the engine of war on distant worlds while the lowly dream only of survival. As the gilded prosper, hidden behind their fortress walls, the masses must find a place within the underbelly. But regardless of station, whether criminal or law-keeper, one fact remains true – this city is dirty, and no one escapes it without a little sin. For in Varangantua, there are no good men.

Review

Damn, this was good if quick read. Guy Hayley does excellent work in bringing the City of Varangantua alive. It is a depressing place where good people are crushed under the iron fists of gangs and corruption. How the people survive is beyond me, and the complete feeling of powerlessness the law enforcement faces is just numbing. Order is a fleeting dream that seems to slip further away every day.

As I mentioned, though, it was a quick read, but it was enough to add the series to my to-be-purchased list, and that alone speaks volumes to how good a read this was. I will review as soon as I have that title and have consumed it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Audio Review 73 // Sermon of Exodus by David Annandale

 

Sermon of Exodus is a short story published in the War Without End. The cover image used is that of War Without End, as the Sermon of Exodus has yet to be released separately. A minor spoiler is that the Sermon of Exodus is a prequel to the events of Book 30, The Damnation of Pythos. It is annoying that it came out afterwards. They seem to do that a lot.

Fluff:

In the wake of Horus' miraculous recovery on Davin, the Davinites begin an exodus to the stars, joining with the Traitor Legions, to whom they will offer the power of the Dark Gods.

Review

That is a short fluff without much description, which sadly sums up the story. So far, in this short audio story run, this was the hardest to listen to. I struggled to get into it, which was a real shame.

It is a prequel to The Damnation of Pythos and provides some extra background for the events and characters, which would have been great to have before reading that novel (thanks, Black Library). It helps explain the Lodges and their ongoing role within the traitor legions a bit better. But that kind of is it for the highlights for me. The main character Tsi Rekh is the prophesied one who would lead the Davinites to more greatness in the eyes of the Gods (so much ego in the 30k, haha). Which is overused so much during these Horus books that it bores me.

Ultimately for a lore point, this is worth a listen. As for enjoyment, I would move along on to a different story.

I appreciate you stopping by to read this, and I hope you will be back soon!

Beer Review 188 // Hop on Your Face IPA by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company


The brewery I work for always produces its Easter IPA called Hop on Your Face. They created this beer in the good old West Coast IPA style. As always opinions are my own. Here are the details:

Beer Name: Hop on Your Face
Style: West Coast IPA
Format: 473ml
ABV: 7.5%
Fluff: #HOYF (Hop On Your Face) is back, just in time for Easter. An unabashedly intense and aromatically obnoxious beer that is like nothing you have had before. The best part is you get all this flavour without the overwhelming bitterness some IPAs can carry. This beer is brewed only once a year and only for Easter. Secure your cans now or miss out!

Review

It is a bold beer, pouring a golden yellow and capped with a lovely white foam. The aroma is solid, nice citrus note coming through. On the sip, the initial flavours are firm but not obnoxious, which is for the best. This is a surprisingly easy drink, nice malt backbone, which adds a bit of a cereal note and then plenty of citruses and a bit of pine to cut through it all. Then as you work through the pint, you get a building hit of bitterness that leaves you wanting more. At the 7.5%, I will be sticking to just one can, but this is enjoyable on a deck watching Ottawa's spring come.

As always, thanks for reading!

Comic Review 192 // Star Wars Adventures Pomp & Circumstance Vol.7

Punch it, Chewy! We are diving straight into another excellent Library find, as I discovered Vol.7 of the Star Wars adventure series. We have Poe and BB8 flying into danger in their sweet-looking X-Wing so let's not waste time and dive into the details.

Title: Star Wars Adventures, Vol. 7: Pomp and Circumstance (Star Wars Adventures (2017) #7)

Comic Team: John Jackson Miller, John Barber, James Gilarte, Jon Sommariva & Valentina Pinto.

Publisher: Disney

Fluff: Join Chewie, Poe Dameron, BB-8, and Luke Skywalker in these adventures that span the Star Wars universe and the saga's entire history. These young-reader-friendly stories will appeal to Jedi everywhere, Master and Padawan alike!

Chewie is all alone with a perplexing new problem that is a major pain in his hide, and the iconic Wookiee will have to use all of his strength, wits, and patience to overcome this latest danger! Then, when an emergency landing separates BB-8 from Poe Dameron, the astromech droid must make friends with the natives to repair their ship and return to the Resistance.

Plus, welcome to the Resistance! In this all-new adventure before The Force Awakens, follow the fledgling Resistance as it begins to realize the growing threat of the First Order! Based on Star Wars Resistance, an exciting new animated series on Disney Channel! And in the last story, with Leia injured, it's up to Luke to undertake a sensitive diplomatic mission with the easily-irritated Sarkans! What should be a routine meeting soon turns into an action-packed adventure with the galaxy's fate on the line!

Buy now and support me: Amazon.

Review

Plenty of stories in this one. In my opinion, the first and title piece is Mind Your Manners. In this piece, we witness Leia and Luke as diplomats as they attempt to secure a deal for crystals used in laser production. Of course, things go wrong, and treachery threatens to overthrow all their hard work. This is a solid opener; it could have been a better start.

This is followed by a weird day tale in Chewie’s Day Off. Chewie is given some time away to unwind; unfortunately, a bounty hunter has other plans and ruins his relaxing day. Overall a poorly thought out tale as Chewie is never translated, so most of the story is left to the artwork. A bit of a miss for me.

Then we get the Poe and BB8 story Unlikely Friendship. Having landed on a swamp planet, our duo is rescued by a young boy. The trio then facedown the natives and restored the X-Wing for take-off. A relatively short affair, which is good. Easy to forget, but nothing wrong with it, just filler.

I was excited for this All Aces Battle Royale. I am currently working through the Resistance cartoon, so having a comic strip is perfectly timed. Set on the Colossus, we have the Aces attempting to intercept communication that, if allowed to leave, give away their location to the First Order. Really enjoyed this tale. I think this could be a highlight piece for me.

We then end with Sector 7-E. Also, a Resistance story, double fun! In classic Kaz style, he discovers pirates stealing weapons, and with a bit of help, he sets about bringing them down. A very straightforward rescue-style story but rather enjoyable for what it was.

Overall this comic was a middle ground for me. A few hits and a few misses. The Chewie one, for me, was a low point. The Resistance tales were an excellent addition, and I hope we get more, but I can see this being a hit for a younger audience.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Road to Badab Executioners


Like all best-laid plans my Road to Badab project floundered. If you missed the first video follow this Astral Claws links, otherwise let's move onto the next video Executioners.

Executioners


"You may cleave to your courage but that will fail you, look to your weapons but you will find them not enough. Run, fight, hide, pray, cry out or cower -- it does not matter, for we are come."

— Fafnir Rann, Patriarch and first High Executioner of the Executioners Chapter


Warcry: Unknown

Founding: 3rd Founding

Successor: Imperial Fists

Successor Chapters: Iron Champions, Crimson Axes, Skull Bearers.

Primarch: Rogal Dorn

Chapter Master: Arkash Hakkon

Homeworld: Stygia-Aquilon (Binary World) former homeworld, Fleet-Based Chapter (Currently).

Fortress-Monastery: Darkenvault (Asteroid Base) former base.

Colours: Metallic, blue-tinted gunmetal, occasional use of brass to denote veteran status.


The Executioners is a 3rd Founding Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists created according to Imperial records in the first year of the 32nd Millennium. The Executioners were one of four formerly Loyalist Chapters that rebelled against the Imperium of Man’s authority during the Badab War and joined the Secessionist cause led by the Renegade Astral Claws.


The Chapter, through a debt of honour found themselves on the wrong side of the conflict (I disagree Huron was right at first), but as the war drew on the Executioners realised the Astral Claws were falling from grace and had crossed a line. They changed sides and ultimately repented. They forfitted their terrority to the salamanders and went on a penance crusade set by the High Lords of Terra.


What a fantastic Chapter. I was so impressed with the lore and the paint scheme I picked, that I decided to paint all my Imperium Magazine figures in it. I hope you enjoyed this and will head over to my YouTube channel and follow me there.




Book Review 185 // The Shapers of Scars by Marc Collins


Some more Black Library goodness this Friday. Today we look over a Space Wolf adventure. And enjoy a new viewpoint on the ongoing wars of the 40k verse.

Title: The Shapers of Scars (Black Library Advent Calendar 2020 #5)

Author: Marc Collins

Page Count: 26

Buy the Book: The Shapers of Scars by Marc Collins

Fluff:

Beneath the slate-grey skies of Fenris, a mighty jarl lies dying. She is a huntress queen, who has guided her people for many years, and the time for her thread to be cut is near as those closest to her prepare for her passing, Katla Helvintr dreams. In her mind, she faces the great wyrm that laid her low once more, and if she loses this battle, her time is done. But Katla Helvintr is powerful and has a wyrd upon her, and her end may not yet have come…

Review

I enjoy a Rogue Trader adventure, and Collins has managed to create a fantastic character in Katla Helvintr. She is a Rogue Trader, but she also comes from Fenris, the Homeworld of the Space Wolves. Collins manager to create a character that was more than just a space Viking. She is a solid force to be acknowledged, and I seriously hope we get more like this in the future.

The ship itself should also be viewed as a character. The Wyrmslayer Queen is a dangerous ship; its machine spirit seems bold, solid and scary (like its captain). It is portrayed as an alpha predator in space, covered in guns and armed with deadly void harpoons to help grab its prey. The use of the harpoons in the story is so low-tech but amazingly fitting to hold a ship in place for boarding actions. The action is intense, and with it being Tyranids, you know it would give me the sweats. The scene where Katla faced off against a Carnifex left me gagging for air as I held my breath. I am ultimately glad she survived because that gives me hope for more adventures. So come to Collins and give me a whole book!

As always, thank you for stopping by. If you enjoy my blogging adventures, please check out my links as it supports me and the blog.

Kofi: https://ko-fi.com/adventureswithpeps

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Book Review 187 // A Light Beam for Faith: The Making of A Restorer

Something a little different this Friday. I discovered a new Ottawa-based Sci-fi writer releasing her first book, and after a quick chat, I ...