Darth Maul Prequel Novel Preview

Every month Del Rey Books release a very generous 50ish page preview of some of their upcoming releases. This time, if you’re a Star Wars or Transformers fan, then you’re in luck.

Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown is set before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, in which Darth Maul still had his own legs. It’s written by Joe Schreiber who made a splash with his “zombie Stormtroopers” novel, Star Wars: Death Troopers. You can read a gripping excerpt right here, and if you like transforming ‘bots, then here’s a preview of Transformers: Retribution. Below are the covers and official descriptions for the novels, both of which go on sale on January 28.

Maul Lockdown

Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, this new novel is a thrilling follow-up to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis.

It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.

Transformers Retribution

For decades, Transformers fans across the globe have marveled at the mighty clashes of Megatron and Optimus Prime, and speculated about their arrival on planet Earth. Now, in Transformers: Retribution, the prequel to the Transformersanimated series, the epic odyssey of these two great warriors is finally revealed as Autobots and Decepticons battle one another . . . and the most diabolic foe they’ve ever encountered.

Aboard the Ark, Optimus Prime leads his Autobots through deep space, searching for the AllSpark so vital to their home planet, Cybertron. Megatron’s not far behind, and his Decepticons are itching for war. But a mysterious planet conceals an enemy far more cunning and powerful: the Quintessons. Masters of tyranny, technology, and twisted double crosses, the Quintessons are out to enslave both Autobots and Decepticons. Their deadly bag of tricks includes fiendish trials and a secret link all the way back to Cybertron, where Shockwave is wreaking havoc with supercomputer Vector Sigma. In the coming conflagration, Star Seekers, Wreckers, Alpha Trion, and Sharkticons all have their parts to play. For none can dodge the Quintesson juggernaut of evil, and none will escape the cataclysmic life-and-death battles that will catapult Autobots and Decepticons to Earth.

Drawn + Quarterly’s Upcoming Releases

Publisher Drawn + Quarterly have just released the list of diverse goodies they’ll be releasing in 2014. Possibly the most diverse publisher of graphic novels from days gone by, and comics creators from around the world, D+Q always have an eclectic list of goodies.

Check out their full list of upcoming releases right here for something other than the typical American/superhero approach to sequential art. Pascal Girard’s Petty Theft sounds interesting (“What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.”) Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet’s Beautiful Darkness, and the funny Benson’s Cuckoos by Anouk Rickard look very interesting too.

The best part is – you can read a few pages of these releases at the link above! Yay!

Pascal Girard Petty Theft

Listen To Switchfoot’s New Album For Free

Switchfoot have been around since 1996, and are one of my favourite bands. Their 9th studio album, Fading West was released last week and you can listen to all of it for free over at the excellent site, Relevant.

Fading West Album


There’s also a film related to the album featuring the band on tour, which is now available on Video on Demand services, and hopefully on Blu-ray/DVD in the near future.