Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord by Van Allen Plexico Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord

Ultraa… Pulsar… Vanadium… Esro Brachis… Who are… the Sentinels? From the moment Lyn Li foils an attempt to kidnap her from her own college campus, she is plunged into a new world, and a new life. Working– and battling– alongside a brilliant inventor, a famous super hero, and an enigmatic alien powerhouse, Lyn will confront the monstrous menace of the Warlord an

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    Percival Constantine

    Aug 07, 2012

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Have you ever had a book you weren’t sure you would like, but then once you started reading it, you couldn’t put it down?

    That’s what happened with the first volume of Van Allen Plexico’s Sentinels series. I’ve known this author’s name for a very long time, had it come up many times in the writing circles I run in. But until now, I’d never read anything of his. And despite all the positive reviews about the Sentinels series, I was a bit gunshy.

    You see, when it comes to original superheroes, it re

    That’s what happened with the first volume of Van Allen Plexico’s Sentinels series. I’ve known this author’s name for a very long time, had it come up many times in the writing circles I run in. But until now, I’d never read anything of his. And despite all the positive reviews about the Sentinels series, I was a bit gunshy.

    You see, when it comes to original superheroes, it really is hit or miss with me. When superheroes first appeared. there was some hook to them. Superman was…well, Superman. He was the first, the big one. Batman was an evolution of characters like the Shadow, mixed with the burgeoning superheroes. When we came up to the Marvel heroes of the early 60s like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, etc., they all had these great hooks to set them apart.

    But now, it’s 2012. If you’re a fan of superheroes, you’ve got over seventy years of stories to choose from and chances are you’ve read more than a few. So if you’re trying to get people with a new hook, you’ve got a pretty tall order. Most of the times, people think they’ve got a good hook, but it’s really not and the characters aren’t well developed.

    Plexico, however, takes a different route. He knows that you know all these stories. He knows that there’s no hook you haven’t heard. And instead of trying to find the next hook, he does what writers of all other mediums do — he makes you care about the characters instead.

    And really, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? How many times have you seen the basic hero legend retold over and over? How many times have you see the lone warrior story? If you show someone Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars, Brick, and then ask them to read Red Harvest, chances are they will get a very different experience each time, despite the fact that it’s basically the same story. And when it comes to superheroes, I doubt you could come up with a super power that hasn’t already been thought up. But does that matter? Are there many differences between the abilities of James Bond and Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne? Not really, it’s the characters that make them different.

    And it’s the same with superheroes. The Sentinels does not have a unique hook. There aren’t any reality TV shows or hidden conspiracies or trying to overthrow the existing order or anything like that.The Sentinels are superheroes who fight supervillains, pure and simple. But if you’re expecting a cheap, Avengers/Justice League knock-off. you will be pleasantly surprised. Because despite the superficial similarities with popular comic book heroes (and while they’re there, they are very much in passing — I doubt you’ll confuse Ultraa with Superman or Esra with Iron Man), what sets Plexico’s Sentinels apart from the numerous other books is that he focuses on his characters as characters, not as powersets. Even the Cavalier, who is set up from his first appearance as unlikeable, becomes someone you can relate to. And that’s a real testament to Plexico’s characterization skill. Even when Plexico hits the familiar story beats (and I won’t detail what they are because I don’t want to spoil them), there’s a sense of originality because of the great development he’s invested in these characters.

    And because of these characters, I could not put this book down. When it comes to books, some take me longer to finish than others. On average, I take about a month or so to finish a book. I finished all 236 pages of this book in a week. Whenever I had some downtime, my first inclination was to read more of Sentinels, and I found myself thinking about it even when I didn’t have the time. It’s rare for a writer to inspire that kind of dedication in a first-time reader.

    Needless to say, immediately after I finished this book, I bought the next in the series. And that’s a rare thing for me. Not long before this, I finished The Gunslinger, the first book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. But I have not yet bought the second book. Yet I already bought the next Sentinels book.

    Van’s got me hooked. Fortunately, I’ve got quite a bit of material to catch up on.
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    Shaun Duke

    Oct 23, 2008

    rated it
    really liked it

    What do you get when you combine pulp-style fiction and superheroes? A tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously and yet manages to entertain on the same campy level as a Bruce Campbell film. Think the campiness of Army of Darkness and you’ll have a good idea what Plexico’s world of super heroes is like. (This is a compliment, because I absolutely love Bruce Campbell).

    Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord starts off in a world very much like our own. Lyn Li is a college student who harbors a spe

    Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord starts off in a world very much like our own. Lyn Li is a college student who harbors a special gift, but she doesn’t want anyone else to know; she just wants to be normal. But we all know how well that’s going to work, right? Her best friend, of course, suspects something is up, though: after three TVs mysteriously explode in Lyn’s presence it’s hard to argue that she’s entirely innocent and normal. Then a strange man tries to kidnap her and all hell breaks loose. Soon she finds herself training with Esro Brachis–a legendary inventor–and Ultraa–the city’s biggest superhero–to control her powers and to battle The Warlord, a god-like being who wants to unite all the alternate universes into one and turn everyone into his slaves. And that’s not exactly going to work for Esro, Ultraa, and Lyn…not at all.

    This is what I would call a good airport book. It’s quick, it’s relatively simple, and it’s fun. It’s designed to be action-packed and entertaining and I think it does a good job. Readers of comic books may find this to be a good jump-novel from the visual medium to the more literary medium–meaning one who primarily reads comics might find this a good novel to start with if trying to get into the super hero literature out there. Comic fans will also notice plenty of similarities to Marvel and DC universes here, although the characters in Plexico’s work are unique in their own way–mostly personality.

    The story moves pretty quick, being a book of only 221 pages. It digs right in and keeps pretty steady throughout: lots of action, lots of superhero battles, explosions, and other goodies. The pulpy feel comes through strongest with The Warlord, who, in typical “bad guy” fashion, likes to monologue here or there and spout campy and rather humorous lines about world domination and the like. You should go into reading this book with the right mindset: this isn’t a serious book; as far as I am concerned it’s not meant to be taken seriously like a Margaret Atwood book. I imagine the folks who read Mur Lafferty’s work or Matthew Wayne Selznick will enjoy Plexico’s work too (which makes sense since they’re all published by the same publisher: Swarm Press).

    I had some minor complaints about the writing. While the style is, in my opinion, more simplistic and pulpy, I get the sense that some of the sentences and what not could have been edited to be more, shall we say, snappy. Certain phrases here or there didn’t seem to fit or read somewhat amateur (for lack of a better phrase). Some of the dialogue was also set up a bit strange, but you get used to it after a while. There was also one minor inconsistency in how the author named the Warlord: sometimes it was “Warlord” and other times “the Warlord”. I also was a bit iffy on the circular plot: things sort of came back to the starting point, but I suppose I understand the reasoning for this because it does fit well into the circular plots of comic books, where bad guys get recycled over and over–come on, we’ve all seen X-men and Spiderman and what not.

    Leaving the complaints to the side, I think the snappy dialogue will help draw in urban fantasy readers and the comic book feel will draw in all those comic nuts. Those of you who read neither may find the fun, pulpy feel to be a fresh break. For everyone else, consider giving this one a look It’s a quick read, fun, and much more entertaining than that crappy Daredevil movie, or Elektra for that matter. In fact, I can almost guarantee that Plexico’s novel will not cause seizures due to being a mediocre attempt at a superhero-romp; lightning, explosions, interdimensional travel, evil villains with insane powers, and distinct characters make this a worthy addition to an ever growing field of superhero fiction.
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    Grant Gardiner

    Oct 29, 2012

    rated it
    really liked it

    Shelves:
    bought

    *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 A

    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.

    For many more e-Pulp reviews check out my book page at http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/…
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