book reviews, spoiler free

Overlord Spoiler Free Review

dfkqw_miOverlord by SianJefferson

Rating: XXXXX

Published December 2018 by Sian Jefferson

“Bring in the Evil Gauntlet!”
“The what? Look I don’t want to be rude or anything, but if you’re going to eat me then maybe we can skip the “torture by Evil Gauntlet” thing?”

Kit Thornwood does not fit in.

Not only is he the least heroic person in Heroestown, but he’s also a secret magic user. And now he has punched the mayor in the face.
On the run, Kit finds himself the unwitting new master of the Dark Tower, Stronghold of the infamous Overlord. 
Delighted to finally fit in, things quickly escalate when Kit discovers that balancing between being an evil overlord and not actually doing anything evil is a lot harder than he thinks, especially now there’s a whole town of heroes out to get him too!
Heroes! Minions! Swords! Dragons! Magic! Romance! Sarcasm!
Get ready for an epic clash between good and kind-of-sort-of-evil!

You may remember back in September last year I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at a sampler of the newest book by Sian Jefferson, Overlord just before the Kickstarter went live. Now five months later, the project was sucsessfully backed and books recieved! I’ve been pretty excited about this for a while and I was overjoyed when it turned up, not to mention the extra goodies it came with! Four exclusive prints from various guest artists (including some of my favourites!) a “Bastion of Evil” sticker (which was the name of my backer tier) and a super cute and shiny “Dark Tower Tour with Gibbet” badge! After marveling over the gorgeous extras I dove straight in and read the whole thing in one glorious sitting!

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The brilliantly timed wit and humour I mentioned in my review of the sampler is still ever present throughout and there’s a great balance between that and some of the more serious parts of the book which I enjoyed, I literally laughed out loud at some of the little extra bits here and there like the old lady hanging from the castle ramparts yelling “SNORE” and making dollies or the minions in general because they are fantastic. Kit was a great character, he knew he didn’t fit in with the others in Heroestown and I really felt for him, I think the appeal of the minon characters for me comes from their no nonsense acceptance of him and the moment he finally feels like he’s somewhere he could belong. Kit is an absolute precious, soft boy and I just want to hug him but he stands up for what he believes in and defends those he loves or are under his care.

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Once again the art is fantastic, Sian’s style is defintley suited to this kind of story, it’s not too over fluffy, ‘cartoony’ or a little weird without being too gritty which is a perfect middle ground for me too after being put off of a lot of great sounding stories by their “adventure time” style art that’s a little too much for me. Sian’s use of colour adds a whole other level to the story and it’s scenes, especially the opposing blues and reds, not to mention the use of ‘sound effects’ which I feel really added to the action scenes especially, the art in this book is a complete feast for the eyes!

My only critisicm is that I found it a little short, I would have loved more devlopment on both sides from Kit and the heroes, but honestly this is probably just because I’ve been spoilt and read a lot of multiple issue books at the moment giving them a lot more room for more content. Overlord is still a well rounded, enjoyable book I think I maybe enjoyed it a little too much and was a little gutted when it was over, can we please have an entire minion book next please? I adore them! The story was great with some pleasing twists and turns which I always love and I highly reccomend checking it out, you can buy your own copy now from Sian’s Etsy here. I would absoloutely back a sequel if that was something the creator wanted to do as well (PLEASE).

Sincerley,

A very happy Kickstarter backer who may be just a little in love with Kit and would like to adopt some minions.

 

book reviews, spoiler free

NPC Tea Issues 1-5 Spoiler Free Review

NPC_Tea-236x360NPC Tea (Issues 1-5) Written and illustrated by Sarah Milman

Rating: XXXXX

Published: 2016 onwards (Still ongoing)

“Oh, is it a secret?”
“A badly kept one, but still: if you breathe one word about this to anybody –”
“You’ll what? Kill me?”
“With my bare hands”

NPC Tea is about Cardiff’s least popular tea shop, Y Ddraig, run by a perfectionist elf and a disgruntled fire summon. When a magicless human discovers Y Ddraig’s secret and a type of banned magic rears its ugly head, caddies upon caddies of rotting tea become the least of their worries as the entire city of Cardiff is threatened with destruction!

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I’m STILL reading/listening to A Queen of Air and Darkness and I needed a break, I hadn’t been feeling well recently so I gathered up all my indie/self-published comics I’ve been trying to get around to reading or rereading and I’ve spent the past week catching up. It has been GLORIOUS and over the next couple of weeks, I’m planning on reviewing my favourites and a couple of new ones that are on their way thanks to some amazing Kickstarters I backed earlier in the year.

First up is a comic that kind of sucked me back into this style of book and that is NPC Tea by Sarah Milman. The premise alone pitched to me by Sarah back at MCM Expo a few years back had me intrigued! I’ve always loved worlds where high fantasy and contemporary can mix with a nice dollop of magic stirred in and NPC Tea is all that and more! These books capture that perfect balance where this is still fantasy but set in a modern world which just gets me far too excited when thinking about all the Dungeons and Dragons stories I’d love to see in this world!

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Other than the synopsis one of the first things that drew me to these was the art style and I apologise to anyone who is even remotely artistically inclined for my ineloquence here but not only do I love the style in which these comics are drawn but the use of colours throughout the pages absolutely enthrals me, they are a pure joy to look at and not only do they help establish to whom and when events are happening they convey SO much more and honestly I’m so here for it. Not to mention the illustrations themselves are fantastic and Sarah’s work has this brilliant comedic timing where the written words and the illustrations join in such a way as to really enhance each other.

Even with the art aside the story moves along nicely and we get a bit of info, to begin with, to set us up and then as the characters learn and uncover more we, the reader do as well which I find especially satisfying. The characters of NPC Tea are beautifully diverse, they all have their own individual look, style and feel established very early on and the staff at Y Ddraig are honestly my favourite little dysfunctional family. As the issues move along we get closer looks at a good few of them and learn more about how they became the people they are without taking away from the main story too much. Personally Hannah the human is my favourite character and I love to see how she reacts to all the different situations cropping up around her, she’s kind but sassy and firey too!

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Overall I’ve found this series an absolute delight and the wait for the next issues are slowly eating away at me. Originally slated for eight issues I’m also really hoping we get more, perhaps a second story arc? I can’t imagine letting them go!

The first issue was released in 2016 with the second following in 2017 and issues three, four and five successfully kickstarted in 2017 and 2018 with rumours of six and seven not being too far off in the distance now! You can check out Sarah’s shop here where you can buy issues one to five now!