Prodigal son returns

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Birthright Vol.1 

4 stars

Son gets lost in woods and finds himself in mystical world as fore-told protector. Son returns as all-grown warrior only to save his real world and family from other evil sorcerers.
A familiar setup but a solid start of one heck of a crazy series. The transition of past and present is very smooth and heartfelt. Action is bombastic and damn that detailed artwork. I felt like squealing like happy piggy. Take a bow Mr. Bressen.

Epic is what can be described this series as. Any fantasy lovers guilty pleasure.

P.S. You’re one cunning comics writer Mr. Williamson. Does every have to end in a nail-biting (see what I did there?) cliffhanger?

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Steve in the Forbidden Zone

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Book 1 and 2  –  3.5 stars

Our beloved Captain America gets himself stuck in the ‘Lost Dimension Z’ and raises a child he found, against all the odds.

We all know Captain is the ultimate ‘Goodie-shoe’ when a man’s principles are considered, right? But where did his principles come from and why do they matter so much? Mr Remender has gifted us with a heart warming story to answer. So when such a righteous man finds a baby being used for biological experiments, it is no surprise that he will escape with it and raise it as his own. He sinks himself in more danger when the baby turns out to be the son of Warlord of this dimension. The Lost Dimension Z is messy, full of muties (not the lovable X-men kinds) and a war raging for years and ages. Frankly the story is sometimes too much to wrap your head around. But that flashback story about Steve Roger’s childhood is so spot on that it makes me wonder if we ever get to see a book just about the little Steve. Mr Romita Jr is as aggressive as always. Head too big for body, ribs wider than tanks but somehow gives a visual treat (don’t worry, he always delivers) so enrich of colour and action that the plot-holes seem less important.

The story contains various cliché formats of needless-sacrifice-for-emotional digging, enemy-becoming-righteous and elephant-dropping-plot-holes. But still the story somehow passes off due to its purity. Read it for our good-ol’ Cap’s sake.

His arm grew back?!

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Amazonia – 4 stars

4yrs ago, a government scientific expedition team lead by Dr. Carl Rand had vanished in the unknown depths of the jungle of Amazon. Now after all these years one of the team members- a special force soldier comes out of the jungle and dies within hours from multiple diseases, scars and molestations. But, he has come out with both of his arm although he had gone in with only one! Now the government decides to lead another expedition to trace back the missing years following the dead soldier’s path with a team of scientists and soldiers. They also enlist Nathan Rand(son of Carl Rand) who wants to solve his father’s death at any cost with the help of his friends. But little does he know that there is one more contender of their findings who lurches behinds them hiding in their shadows while the unseen horrors and ancient secrets of Amazon waits for all of them!

Ok, I was hooked with just the premise itself! The plot is very engaging. I have read many science fiction and adventure novels but mostly those focus on technologies very much. But rarely comes novels like Amazonia which focuses on the nature and its horror! the wilderness, the jungle, its animals, weird bugs, medicinal leaves – all of these knits a gripping and enjoyable story which is decorated with stupendous action, chase and one after another twists. The jungle’s description and the actions are written so well that it feels like happening in front of the eyes like a movie (will come back to this point). With betrayal, revenge and a good villain thrown into that, James Rollins has really written a fantastic gripping novel.

Each of the characters are living through the pages and feels very very realistic. Manny, Prof. Kouwe, Tor-Tor became friends of mine too along with Rand. Nathan Rand is one of the best heroic characters that I have read. His anger, sadness and bravery really leaves a mark on the reader’s mind.

Sadly the books is very very cinematic at some places. It kind of does feel like a sci-fi adventure movie with little bits of Predator thrown in. But what really hurt me was that the 2nd half of this book is almost a blue print of the movie AVATAR by James Cameroon!! Amazonia came out on 2001-02 whereas AVATAR was out on 2009. The jungle, animals and intriguing story elements are so similar that it feels uncanny to be ‘just a coincidence’! It even felt as if Mr. Cameron ripped off some of the pages of this book to write the script. I usually like movies of Mr. Cameron but this sad realisation left a bitterness when I finished the book.

I highly recommend this book to any science fiction or adventure lovers.