Books

Man of Steel CC2KFanboy Comics' Bryant Dillon reviews the official movie novelization of Man of Steel.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a strange phenomenon surrounding official movie novelizations and how, if they’re written well, they can actually exceed the quality of the film version of the story. (I will direct skeptics, once again, to check out the official movie novelizations of the Star Wars prequels if they need convincing.) Much like his recent adaptation of The Dark Knight Rises (read my review here), author Greg Cox has done it again by delivering an official novelization of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel that will surely thrill fans of the film and also most likely sit better with the film’s detractors than the movie itself.

I recently interviewed Beth Fred, CC2K contributor and author of "The Fate of a Marlow Girl" and "The Other Marlowe Girl," both out now.  I got to talk to her about her books, writing, the romance genre, and her upcoming YA romance novel, A Missing Peace, scheduled to be released in September.

Holy cow!  I just finished reading Binding the Shadows, the third book in Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series, and I have to ask: is it really going to be another year before the next one comes out?  Because I don’t think I can wait that long.

With 2013 almost halfway over, I’d like to take some time to talk about the book releases I’m most looking forward to for the remainder of 2013.

So, in order of release date:

For a long time, I’ve had this feeling that women were getting the short end of the stick in literature.  But I didn’t have any way of confirming it.  After all, J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are two of fiction’s most recent success stories.

Then I saw these statistics.

 

A few weeks ago, I read a historical romance novel.  The epilogue took place about 40 years after the rest of the book, and it featured the heroine at the graveside of the hero.  I was livid.

You have to understand, one of the conventions of romance is that the book ends happily for the primary couple.  Yes, we all understand logically that they will die someday (unless it’s a paranormal romance, then that’s a different story), but we don’t want to see that part.  Happily ever after—or at least, happily for now—is the expectation in romance.

It got me thinking about genre conventions.

BabylonConfidentialFanboy Comics' Bryant Dillon reviews the new book from Babylon 5's Claudia Christian.

Fans of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 TV series are sure to be familiar with the brave, tough, and fierce Commander Susan Ivanova, but many may not know of the personal strength and amazing life led by Claudia Christian, the actress who portrayed the beloved character. With the release of her new book, Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, & Addiction, Christian invites her fans to take a fascinating, shocking, intimate, and ultimately inspiring look into the epic journey she’s led off-screen in between her epic adventures on-screen.

 

Good contemporary romance novels are hard to find.  Unlike other types of romances (paranormals, historicals, romantic suspenses), there is often very little plot to them other than the hero and heroine getting together, with some obligatory obstacles in the way.  Also, the genre seems to rely on stock characters quite a bit.  That’s not to say that there aren’t good contemporary romances out there, but I often find myself with a “meh” feeling from many of the contemporary romances I’ve read—which is why I get really excited when I find one I really enjoy.

Kristen Higgins' Until There Was You is just that kind of book.  It’s funny, sweet, and features well-developed lead and supporting characters.

Paper books are dying.

Maybe it’s not quite time to bring the priest in to administer the Last Rites yet, but I’d definitely pay a last visit and make sure you’re still written into the will.  That is to say, paper books won’t be disappearing tomorrow.  I doubt they’ll ever disappear entirely.  But I’d estimate that within the next 10-20 years, most people will look at paper books the way they look at record players or spinning jennys: interesting relics of a bygone era.

Nick Cardy army photoFanboy Comics' Barbra Dillon reviews Nick Cardy: The Artist at War, the latest from Titan Books.

DC Comics fans will easily know the name Nick Cardy.  The prolific illustrator, designer, and comic book artist has been drawing for his entire life, with contributions to Apocalypse Now, Batman, Superman, Aquaman, and the Teen Titans to name a few.  While fans best know Cardy for his decades-long association with DC Comics, readers will soon be able to enjoy his most profound, personal, and never-before-seen creations in Nick Cardy: The Artist at War.