Tag Archives: Michael R. Underwood

MIND MELD: What Are Your Annual Holiday Genre Traditions?

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This week, we asked our esteemed panelists the following question:

Q: What Genre Holiday traditions to you partake in every year? What favorite films do you like to re-watch? What favorite books or stories you like to re-read? What are your favorite Holiday-themed episodes of genre shows (beyond the classic Rankin-Bass stop motion specials)?

Here is what they said…

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BOOK REVIEW: Younger Gods by Michael R. Underwood

REVIEW SUMMARY: A strong urban fantasy novel that shows the author’s diverse tastes and skills in the subgenre.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: Former cultist Jacob Hicks’ relatively innocuous life in New York City gets a kick in the rear as his sister comes to town to start the Apocalypse.

MY REVIEW:
PROS:: A pair of strong characters as family protagonist and antagonist; excellent overall use of New York City as a setting.
CONS: Almost too much worldbuilding and things thrown into the Urban Fantasy blender; one tiny mistake regarding a locale in Staten Island.
BOTTOM LINE: A strong story that introduces a delightfully tasty and complicated urban fantasy world that consistently keeps the reader turning pages.

It’s a classic story as old as time. Farm boy from North Dakota goes to the big city (in this case New York City), gets into big trouble because he is a hick from the sticks. In Michael R. Underwood’s urban fantasy novel The Younger Gods, he even has the adopted last name to prove it. Jacob Hicks née Greene has bigger problems than just managing his classes and his job, and even dealing with the confusing maelstrom of culture that is New York. Jacob’s big sister is coming to town, and she is not happy with her baby brother at all. How does the farm boy, already somewhat adrift in an alien and confusing world, handle family coming to town on top of it?

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BOOK REVIEW: Shield and Crocus by Mike R. Underwood

REVIEW SUMMARY: Underwood switches up from Urban Fantasy to New Weird secondary-world fantasy while maintaining excellent action-adventure beats.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:
PROS:Well drawn characters; excellent action beats; a real underdog superhero resistance vs. oppressive authority through-line; a wonderful cover from Stephan Martiniere.
CONS: New Weird elements do not always quite come through as strongly as they might.
BOTTOM LINE: A very convincing turn into secondary-world fantasy.

Shield and Crocus is a secondary-world urban fantasy novel from Mike R. Underwood in which Wonlar, an old, seemingly humble storyteller, tells stories to children to pass his days. But old storyteller is only a secret identity. Wonlar is really the superhero called First Sentinel. First Sentinel suppresses the one terrible superpower he has, but he uses intelligence, knowledge, scouting of one’s enemies and a lot of gadgetry and tricks to face off against his evil foes.
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MIND MELD: Webcomics You Should Be Reading Right Now

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Be it stand alone comics or an ongoing storyline, everyone enjoys a good webcomic. But I need some new ones to follow and explore. With that in mind, I asked our panelists this question:

Q: Which webcomic should I be reading right now? What do you most enjoy about it?

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Did You Hear Michael R. Underwood on The Functional Nerds Podcast?

Michael R. Underwood, author of Attack The Geek, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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MIND MELD: Epic Geek Debates & Rants

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Geeks are a passionate and opinionated people. Put two of them in a room and more often than not a debate and/or rant will ensue. Sometimes it’s not pretty. With that in mind, we asked our esteemed panel of geeks the following:

Q: What was the first or most memorable geeky pop-culture debate you ever had? Or what’s that one thing you can’t stop ranting about? What was the outcome? Are you still on speaking terms with your opponent? Why are you so passionate about this?

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