Tag Archives: Books

Caliban’s War, a science fiction novel by James S.A. Corey (2012)

There are a lot of well known science fiction franchises out there. Ofcourse everybody has probably heard about Star Wars and Star Trek. Unless, to use a science fiction term, you have been living offworld. But in the world of science fiction novels, there are so many well written stories, that in many ways they sometimes rival these established franchises. A couple of years back I came across the novel Leviathan’s Wake written by James S.A. Corey (which is actually a pen name of two writers). It set up an epic science fiction universe, with a great storyline, and fantastic characters. The first novel paved the way for the sequels, and to date 6 novels have been published in what has become known as The Expanse.

Caliban’s War is the second novel and pretty much picks up the story where the first part left off. On Mars we meet a female supersoldier called Bobbie. When her entire platoon gets killed by a monstrous creature, she is the sole survivor. It seems the deadly protomolecule, that was believed to have been killed, has somehow managed to survive. But who is behind this? With both the Earth and Mars government on the brink of all out war, it is up to Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante, heroes of the first novel, to find out the truth. A fact that is easier said than done. With a massive conspiracy and Holden’s own fears threatening the survival of the entire universe, time is running out….for everyone.

Caliban’s War has been a page turner from start to finish. Where Leviathan’s Wake started off somewhat slow, this book pretty much comes running out of the gates from page 1, and does not stop until the finish. A book such as this can only work if you can feel what is at stake and a establish a bond with the characters. And in that regard the book succeeds on both counts. Jim Holden and the rest of the crew of his ship, were already great in part one. But in this book we get to know them even better, and as such care about them even more. But also the new characters, most notably Bobbie and the foulmouthed, old but incredibly strongwilled lady Avasarala, were very worthy additions.

What I liked about this novel is the threat that looms over everything. You constantly feel a sense of doom that there is something very wrong, and that not everything is as cut and dry as it may seem. Without spoiling the ending for you, expect a massive cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more. Luckily that more is already there, as you can keep on reading by checking out part 3, Abaddon’s Gate. And if you are not into reading, the books have been turned into a television series called The Expanse. I have yet to see this one for myself, but from what I have heard it is supposedly very good. I highly recommend Caliban’s War for everyone who loves good science fiction, with great characters and a touch of conspiracy.

I give Caliban’s War a 9 out of 10 score.

Agent Carter Season One Declassified,Marvel tv series book (2015)

The character of Agent Carter was first introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in Captain America: the first Avenger. Played by actress Haley Atwell, Peggy Carter was a female who had no special powers, but who could stand on her own nonetheless.   Being a woman in the late 40’s where everything was dominated by men, was no easy task. But Peggy was not in any way hampered by the fact that she was a woman, in fact she pretty much outsmarted every living man in those days. And I guess you could say it is a character that I have developed a small crush on, ever since I first saw her in action in that movie. And I was not the only one, the character became so popular that she eventually got her own tv series. Agent Carter ran for two seasons, and after that was cancelled, mainly because the costs for the show were incredibly high.

image

Agent Carter was a tv series set after the second world war, and continued the story of Peggy after losing the love of her life Captain America. It was a really fun show, with a lot of cool things on offer for people who are fans of the Marvel Universe. Even though this show is not a superhero series, it contains so many little easter eggs for Marvel fans, that it is easy to miss things. Luckily we now have a book that features the entire first season of Agent Carter in all it’s glory : Agent Carter Season One Declassified.

image

If you are a fan of this series,  this book is an absolute must buy. The book comes in a very sturdy slipcase, and the first thing you will notice is the very pleasing layout of the book. Contained within the book are an enormous amount of high quality pictures, featuring both images of the series as well as a lot of behind the scenes images. For this alone, the book is well worth the buy. You will spent a lot of time looking at the photographs, and you will probably look back into them even when you have finished reading this tome. The book itself is divided into four chapters, and also includes a foreword by Haley Atwell herself.

image

The book deals with everything from how the series came into being, episode guides, and ofcourse some insightful things about the making of the series. The book is well written, although the chapter that tells the story of how the series was made I found the least interesting. A lot of the time that dealt with a lot of technical aspects, that I usually tend to find pretty boring. Another thing that I found at times a bit lacking was information about the photographs themselves. I would have liked to have had some info about exactly what was in a certain picture, but this is a minor issue.

All in all though, this is a very cool book, and if you are interested in the show I highly recommend tracking this one down. Even though the series has unfortunately come to the end of the road, this book let’s you relive the entire first season again.

I give Agent Carter: Season One Declassified a 8 out of 10 score.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia, a Star Wars book (2012)

It has never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan, as it is today. With a new movie to look forward to every year, loads of new novels, comic books and merchandise heading to stores (and unfortunately making an attack on the contents of our wallets), fans will have enough to keep them happy. However a long time ago (no pun intended), there was a time when Star Wars popularity was at an alltime low. A few years after the release of Return of the Jedi, there were no new movies on the horizon, the comicsline was stopped because of decreasing sales, and as such it seemed Star Wars would be a franchise in danger of dying out. But in 1991, writer Timothy Zahn published a trilogy of books that came to be known as The Heir to Empire trilogy. These books introduced new characters and events, and continued the saga with stories set after the Return of the Jedi.

image

The books became a massive succes, and it is said that they were pretty much responsible for a renewed interest in the Star Wars franchise. After these novels, hundreds of books and comics were published that tied together events set before and after the sixth movie in the saga. And then came Disney. After Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars everything that had been previously published in written form, was declared non-canon. And thus ended the era of the “Expanded Universe”. Many fans were pretty upset about this decision, myself included. A few of the novels and comics brought forth a few characters and events, that were so cool that you could almost feel as if you were being in the theatre experiencing the opening crawl for the first time.

One of these epic storylines was based on a computer game that was released in 2003, called Knights of the Old Republic. It chronicles events set 3600 years before the rise of our favorite Sith Lord, Darth Vader. One could almost call it the Middle Ages of Star wars. Even though Disney has also declared this era to be non-canon, I pretty much don’t care about that. As it is set so many years before the movies, it details events that don’t interfere with the current timeline anyway. If you are a fan of Star Wars, and want to know more about this era, I highly recommend the Old Republic Encyclopedia. This book, published by DK Books, is truly a must have for every Star Wars fan, whether or not you have ever played the games or not.

image

The most noteworthy feature of this book is the art. It contains incredibly and highly detailed illustrations of the ships, weapons, planets and characters that populate this timeline. You can stare for hours and hours at these pictures, and lose yourself forever without ever getting bored. If the pictures I have included within this review have not already convinced you how cool it looks, I don’t know what will. This being an Encyclopedia, there is also ofcourse a wealth of information that details everything that has happened so many years before Darth Vader came to power. Do you want to know what Jedi were like back in those days? Which Sith Lord nearly brought the galaxy to it’s knees? What battles and wars were being waged? The answers to all these questions and more can be found in this massive 350 page tome.

All I can say is if you are a Star Wars fan, this book is just pure and simple a must buy. Unless you are only buying books that are considered to be part of the official canon timeline, this book will satisfy pretty much every Star Wars fan. Having just concluded it, I will definitely look back in on it, from time to time, if only to look at the beautiful and fantastic art.

I give the Star Wars Old Republic Encyclopedia a 10 out of 10 score.

Alias Omnibus, A Marvel Comics Book (2014)

Netflix has been producing a number of television series that are based on Marvel comics. That these so far are pretty succesful, is probably not anything new. These shows, can’t really be compared to their blockbuster movie cousins however. What pretty much distinguishes them is that they are very dark, and focus more on the development of the characters. The first series Daredevil, has so far resulted in two seasons and pretty much laid the foundation for the shows that have followed afterwards. One of the more unusual series that has spun off from Daredevil is Jessica Jones. I have just completed reading the omnibus on which this pretty unique series was based on, and I found it to be an absolute delight. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s first focus on the story of Jessica Jones itself.

Alias can pretty much be described as a film noir type of story. Jessica Jones used to be a superhero, but because of certain events that are explained later on in the book, she gave up on her life as a costumed crime fighter. These days she is the sole employee of her own private investigations company called Alias Investigations. She helps out people on various cases such as kidnappings, but also the more mundane ones such as infidelity. Jessica herself has pretty much hit rockbottom. She is a heavy drinker, and uses men purely as a distraction. Not before long however, her past catches up to her, and a few cases she takes on, might be too much for her to handle…with or without superpowers.

Alias is part of the MAX comic book line, and as such is intended for a mature audience. Which is pretty much true, as the number of F-bombs in this graphic novel are astounding. Don’t be fooled though. This is a truly highly intelligent comic book, and the story is absolutely breathtaking. Already a fan of the television series of Jessica Jones, this book delves much deeper into the heart of this great character. And it is, at least not in the beginning, a very pretty heart. When you first meet her in the story, she is not someone you really like. Nevertheless, as the story progresses, you get where she is coming from, and why her personality has changed so much. Unlike the television series, a few popular superheroes make guest appearances in the book, such as Captain America and Spiderwoman. This is not a superhero book though. As I mentioned in the beginning, this really feels like a classic film noir, and as such is totally different than anything I have read from Marvel. I guess that is why I loved it so much. The art in the book also is not typical, but does simply feel right for this comic.

If you are looking for something different than your normal superpowered comic books, I highly recommend reading this fantastic graphic novel. I dare you not to get sucked into it’s clever storytelling. Before you know it, the hours will have past, and you might realise the day is almost over. And things like that are only reserved for the very best books.

I give the Alias Omnibus a 10 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Merchandise

It has pretty much become a fact of life that whenever a certain franchise becomes popular, the merchandise is never far off. And why not? Certainly for fans it is pretty cool to own something from a beloved movie or tv show. It ofcourse also has a downside, and that is it usually is not very kind to the contents of your wallet. When there is money to be made, they usually know how to cash in on something that is very popular. I’ll be honest, I can be highly influenced by advertisements. Especially if I like a movie franchise or tv show a lot, I pretty much begin to collect stuff from it. Ofcourse there are certain lines that I don’t cross. If I have to cough up an amount of money that I have to work a year for (yes, I like to exaggerate lol), than I say thanks but no thanks. But if it is something that I really like, and the price is right, than I really like to add another piece to my collection. Showcased below, for your enjoyment, are three franchises that I enjoy collecting stuff from.

Star Wars

image

Ever since seeing Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, I have been a massive Star Wars fan. I love science fiction, and without a doubt Star Wars will always be my favorite galaxy, far, far away. Over the years my collection has been growing a lot, and it contains novels, action figures, trading cards, artbooks, comics, and games. We are about a month away now from the latest installment hitting the theatres, and I am already looking forward to it immensely. The problem with Star Wars merchandise is that there is so much to buy and collect, that it is almost impossible to keep track of it all. Still, with no end in sight to what is on offer, there is a lot to enjoy for fans.

The Walking Dead

image

What can I say, ever since first seeing the first episode of this incredible tv series I have been hooked. After learning it was based on a comic book, I started with collecting those, and when the tv series became popular, the merchandise train got on board as well. The Walking Dead has some truly awesome action figures on offer from McFarlane toys, as well as novels that expand the story, and some very cool boardgames. Though the range is not as wide as Star Wars, there is still enough on offer for fans, to start collecting stuff.

Sword Art Online

image

Earlier this year a friend of mine told me to start watching an Anime series called Sword Art Online. Honestly, at the start of the show I did not enjoy it. Sure, the storyline was interesting, the animation looked cool, but I just could not get into it. However I did continue to watch, and I am really glad I did. This series has become one of my alltime favorite Anime shows, and as is usually the case with things I like, I just had to start collecting some stuff. A few months back at the Amsterdam Comic Con (which is pretty much the same as the American version, only smaller) I found some truly cool items, which are on display at the picture above. This collection is at the moment pretty small, and I don’t think it will grow as big as my Star Wars or Walking Dead collection. Still, if I come across something interesting, I will probably add it to the existing pieces.

Final thoughts

Merchandise can be a lot of fun. As long as you can contain yourself and don’t go overboard with spending money, I see absolutely no harm in starting a collection of cool stuff. The biggest problem I think is that whatever you start collecting, there is usually way too much on offer, or too little. Some movies or shows, that are a little bit less popular, have almost no merchandise to collect. That can at times be frustrating, especially if you are a fan. On the other hand, with too much on offer, it usually comes down to what should I buy? You can only spend your money once (duh) and with so many cool items on display, it can become very hard for a fan to make the right decision.

So what are your thoughts on merchandise? Do you like it, hate it? If you are collecting stuff, what are some of your favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments section. As always, thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Another, a horror/mystery novel by Yukito Ayatsuji (2009)

In the past decades there have been a lot of tv shows and movies based on books. Some of these adaptations have been, to put it mildly, not really living up to expectations. The big problem that usually occurs when adapting a novel to the big or small screen, is that there are deviations from the original story. Characters behaving differently, certain plotlines being omitted, the list can go on and on. Still, that being said, there are also examples of movies/tv shows that have truly done justice to the original, and on rare occasions even surpass the novel. A few weeks ago I have seen an Anime series that totally blew my mind. It was called Another (you can find my review for it here ), and it has been one of the best things that I have seen all year. If you haven’t already, you can check it out on Crunchyroll (which is kind of the Netflix for Anime) for free (if you don’t mind the occasional commercial). Even if you don’t like Anime, I can guarantee that this show might change your opinion. What usually happens when I really like something , is that I become pretty much obsessed with finding out as much as I can about it. And as such I learned that the Animeseries was based on the novel of the same name. Having just concluded it, here are my thoughts on this briljant book.

It is the year 1998, when a young transfer student from Tokyo named Koichi Sakakibara enters class 3 of the Yomiyama North Middle School. From the start Koichi feels a sense of unease around him. The students all seem to act as if they have just been awakened from a nightmare. And it is not only the students, but also the teachers who truly don’t behave like they normally should. And why is there a student in class, Mei Misaki, who everyone treats as if she isn’t there? It is not long when the first people start dying in truly horrific ways, that Koichi is beginning to realise that there is a terrible curse on class 3. A curse that may have it’s origins in an event that happened 26 years ago, at the same school, and also in class 3. Koichi will come face to face with a mystery, that might very well cost him his life…..

If you have seen the Anime, then this novel really does not bring anything new to the table. Everything that happens in this novel, except for one or two minor things is also in the Anime series. In fact the Anime has expanded upon the story in ways that have even improved it. Something that I think is very unique. The novel however is every bit as powerful as the series. It is only because I had already seen the Anime and pretty much knew what would happen, I got a little bit less enjoyment out of it, than I thought I would. So which is better? The Anime or the novel? It really is a tough question to answer. But I do think the Anime wins by a slight margin. Especially the ending is handled in a more spectacular way in the series. If you like mystery/horror novels, or Stephen King, than this novel is well worth checking out.

I give Another (the novel) a 8 out 10 score. If you first read the novel, instead of seeing the Anime you may add a point to the score I have given above.

Special Features Presents:Solo Boardgaming

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, something must be pretty clear by now: I have way too many hobbies. As such I always have too little time on my hands, but I am also never having the problem of being bored. I used to be a very fanatic online gamer, but those days are pretty much behind me now. These days I am back into one of my older hobbies: playing solo boardgames. When I tell people that I play boardgames by myself, I usually get asked the questions: How does that work, and is that any fun? Let me start by answering the last question first. Yes it can be a lot of fun. It really isn’t all that different from playing a computergame on your own. These days, a lot more fantasy and scifi boardgames are coming out, that have solorules included. There are even games being released that have been designed for only a single player.

As for the first question, how does it work? Well, there really is not an easy answer to that question. With so many games on the market these days, every game works differently, though some have overlapping features. Starting below, I have made a personal top five (okay, six) of Boardgames that I really enjoy playing by myself. This list is by no means complete, and it just contains some of my favorite games, but there are a lot more games out there that I enjoy playing solo as well.

1. Legendary Encounters

image

There are currently three Legendary Encounters sets out, Aliens, Predator and Firefly. Being based on a few of my favorite franchises definitely is a plus for me. Basically what you do in these games is play through a movie (or in the case of Firefly an episode), where you try and complete a number of objectives. You start with a deck of weak cards, and as the game progresses you acquire more powerful ones. Hence the name deckbuilding game. With these cards you try to beat the enemies the game throws at you, as well as complete the missions. Being an enormous Predator and Alien fan, I absolutely love these games.

2. Fighting Fantasy gamebooks

image

Though technically I guess you could say it is not a boardgame, it is a game that uses dice. The best way to describe these books, is a novel in which you are the hero. Every gamebook contains a story that presents you with a choice you have to make at certain points. For example, will you head off in the dark tunnel to the right, or take a safer path through the forest? These books are a lot of fun, and if you love reading this is definitely something you might want to check out.

3. Xenoshyft

image

Xenoshyft is another deckbuilding game, but a really tough one. You take command of a group of heavily armed soldiers that are trying to protect a mining corporation from bloodthirsty aliens. The artwork in this game is absolutely spectacular, and it also presents a really tough challenge. You have to plan very carefully and protect your base at all cost. If you lose your base, you lose the game. With the aliens growing in power every round, the game also get’s more difficult by the minute. Even though I have lost a fair amount of games with this one, I still love playing it.

4. Star Trek Expeditions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of my favorite franchises combined with a boardgame, nothing get’s better than that. In Star Trek Expeditions you take on the roles of Captain Kirk and his crew, as they try and overcome challenges on a planet that is considering to join the Federation. This game has all the things you expect to find in a Star Trek television episode: starship combat, political intrique, espionage and some very interesting missions. The only downside of this game is the lack of expansions, something that this game would definitely benefit from. Still, it is a lot of fun to play, and with some very cool miniatures included, this game looks the part as well.

5. Fortune and Glory

image

Having recently done a review on this game (you can find it here ), this game has turned into one of my alltime favorites. It comes as close to starring in your own Indiana Jones movie as you can get. You are an adventurer racing around the world to recover ancient artifacts. In your journey you will encounter a lot of things, from ancient temple traps, to vile people who are trying to stop at nothing to prevent you from reaching your goals. This game oozes atmosphere, and is a blast to play.

6. Elder Sign

image

The last game on my list, Elder Sign is a dice/cardgame based on the Ctulhu mythos. You take on the role of an explorer who has to prevent an ancient evil being from rising up, and plunging the world into darkness. Searching in a dusty and ancient museum, you try to find and locate Elder Signs, that will stop the Ancient One from rising. Along the way, evil creatures, traps and other horrors will try to prevent you from reaching your objective. And….you may not be able to hold on to your sanity, as the increasing horrors you witness, might take their toll on your mind. Great stuff, and another one of my alltime favorite games.

Final thoughts

A boardgame will always be the most fun with more players. I definitely won’t deny that fact, as the fun of interacting with each other, can never be matched by a solo game. Having said that, I do think that solo boardgames have improved over the years. As such they are still a lot of fun to play, even if you are on your own, and especially with games driven by some kind of storyline, you feel a sense of satisfaction when you manage to beat the game. Luckily there are more games arriving every month (not that I did not have enough games yet already lol), but this does keep things interesting. If you have never played a sologame before, a few of the games in my list, might be worth checking out. Thank you for reading, and see you on the next post.

The Finest Hours, American movie (2016)

About 19 years ago a movie was released that was based on a true story that happened out at sea. The movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, chronicled the events of a huge passenger liner that eventually sunk after it hit an iceberg. I am ofcourse talking about Titanic, a movie that went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters to date, and received a total of 11 Oscars. It has also been the only movie that I have seen 9 times in the cinema. Movies about disasters and men versus the sea have always fascinated me. Hollywood keeps making them, and I guess that is because a lot of people love watching them. This year we had another one based on a true story, called the Finest Hours. Is it any good? Well let’s find out shall we?

It is 1952. The young coast guard officer Bernie Webber, played by Chris Pine, is about to meet the girl of his dreams, Miriam. Pretty unsure of himself it turns out he was worried for nothing, as Miriam definitely is interested in him as well. Months later, the two make plans to get married. As Bernie always keeps following the rules, he heads of to his commanding officer at coastguard headquarters, to ask permission to get married, as per regulations. Meanwhile out at sea, a great storm is brewing and the oil tanker Pendleton finds itself right in the middle of it. Then disaster hits, and the great ship breaks in two. The stern keeps floating, and on it are roughly thirty men that find themselves trapped on the sinking ship. Bernie receives orders to head out to sea to pull of a daring rescue attempt. With the storm getting worse by the minute, it seems that the rescue is doomed to become a suicide mission…..

The Finest Hours is what I would like to call a good old fashioned disaster movie. Sure, it doesn’t tread any new grounds, but it does deliver an entertaining movie experience. The acting in this movie is very solid. I really liked Chris Pine’s performance. His character is a bit of a shy and somewhat unassuming person, and that is what I loved about it. It’s cool that someone like that can pull off a rescue such as this. Also noteworthy are Casey Affleck who is always a very solid actor, and Holliday Grainger who played Miriam. The special effects in this movie are pretty awesome as well, and make you feel as if you are right down in the middle of the storm. One could argue that there are some moments in the movie, where the tension drops a bit, and there are definitely some typical disaster movie cliches in here. But honestly , overall I really enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it to people who like movies such as The Perfect Storm and Titanic.

I give the Finest Hours a 8 out of 10 score.

Nightlords The Omnibus, a Warhammer 40000 novel by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (2010-2014)

The Warhammer 40000 universe has a very long and dark history. Literally hundreds of books have been published in this series, set in different periods of the timeline. For those of you not familiar with it, the Warhammer 40000 universe has it’s origins in a tabletop boardgame published by Games Workshop. It details a grim and dark universe where humanity is constantly at war with either themselves, a myriad of alien races and the horrible forces of Chaos. Pivotal in this universe are the Space Marine legions of the immortal Emperor. The Emperor once united humanity and created the supersoldiers called Space Marines. Divided into Legions and commanded by his sons, the Godlike beings called Primarchs, they set forth to conquer the universe in the name of humanity. Thousands of years ago the Emperor was betrayed by one of his sons, the Primarch known as Horus. Aligning himself with the Dark Powers of Chaos, Horus started a war against his father. Several Space Marine Legions joined forces with Horus and that event came to be known as the Horus Heresy.

In the end the Emperor prevailed against Horus, but he was mortally wounded and placed in The Golden Throne. The Traitor legions, as the Space Marines who allied themselves with Chaos were called, retreated. Most of the books that have been published in this universe concern themselves with the loyal Space Marines. Interestingly the Nightlords omnibus focusses on a Traitor legion: the so called VIII legion, also known as the Nightlords. And oh wow, is it good. It has become the best Warhammer 40000 novel I have read to date, and not only that, it has made it’s way into my personal top 5 of best books that I have ever read.

This omnibus collects the trilogy of Nighlords books that have been published, and also throws in 3 short stories. One thing that I really loved about this book, were it’s characters. The main character Talos, also known as the Prophet, is truly a horrifying and evil being, but still has his own code. The warband he commands also includes some very memorable and equally evil men. This tome is a true pageturner, and a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. The action and horror included is absolutely breathtaking, and writer Aaron Demski-Bowden, has truly written a tale that can be enjoyed by sci-fi and horror fanatics alike. If you are already familiar with the Warhammer 40000 universe, this is an absolute must buy. But even if you are not, but are a lover of dark science fiction than this book is truly a great introduction to this dark universe. Even though this book has nearly 950 pages in total, I was not bored by it for even one second. I highly recommend this novel and want to warn you in advance that you will probably have trouble putting this book down. Be prepared for some long nights staying awake, reading this fantastic novel.

I give this book a 10 out of 10 score.

 

I Am A Hero Omnibus 1, a Japanese Manga book (2016)

The Walking Dead is returning to your television screens in October with it’s seventh season to date. One would almost forget that this fantastic television series all started with a comic book created by Robert Kirkman. Even more impressive is that it has just reached issue number 158, and there is no end in sight yet. Not bad, considering that this a series that tells a story about a Zombie Apocalypse. Not that stories like that are bad, mind you, but to keep it interesting for 158 issues is nothing short of amazing. Ofcourse as is always the case with things that are a succes, we get copycats. Most of these are just poor substitutes for the real thing, but occasionally something arrives that truly impresses. And that, in a roundabout way, brings me to the I am a hero manga. This also tells a story of a Zombie Apocalypse, but that is where the similarities with the Walking Dead end.

I am a hero, tells the story of the aspiring Manga artist Hideo Suzuki. Now Hideo is not your typical guy. For one thing he is plagued by hallucinations of varying degrees. He also likes to talk to himself: a lot. The only person who seems to accept him is his girlfriend Tekko. Hideo has been struggling for years to break through in the Manga world and not for lack of trying. Unfortunately he is just not very good, even though he thinks so himself. But then things in the real world begin to change. At first it is hardly noticeable, but when there are increasingly more people acting strangely, Hideo is beginning to realise that this is not another hallucination. People are actually starting to change into zombies. With the world heading slowly to an Apocalypse, Hideo has to find a way to make himself survive, and care for the girl he loves.

I am a hero, is being released by Dark Horse Comics into omnibus editions, which contain two volumes of the original manga. This is definitely a story for a mature audience. There are some seriously bizarre and adult situations that pop up from time to time, and this can sometimes for a casual reader be distracting. However once you get past these, this makes for a very entertaining read. This Manga starts very, very slowly. It takes it’s time (one could argue for too long) to set up the characters and the storylines. However the art of this Manga is so incredibly beautiful that I did not mind this at all. Every frame is almost like a painting, and that alone makes it worth the purchase. I do think that this Manga won’t be for everyone. Even if you like zombiestories, this is not your usual Zombie Apocalypse epic. However, if you want to read something other than the Walking Dead, and are willing to take a chance, you might definitely be surprised. I for one loved it, and am looking forward to the release of the 2nd omnibus in October.

I give this Manga a 9 out of 10 score.