Guest Review: The Sentinels Books 4 – 6

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Marvel, Reviews
Tags: , ,

by RAHeadley

The Sentinels is a series of books written by Van Allen Plexico, http://www.whiterocketbooks.com/plexico/ .

The next three books in the series are titled:

Volume 4: The Shiva Advent

Volume 5: Worldmind

Volume 6: Stellarax

The collected trilogy can be found here on Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Sentinels-Omnibus-Van-Allen-Plexico/dp/0984139273

These books are a continuation of the fantastic superhero novels that began with volume 1, When Strikes the Warlord, continued in volume 2, A Distant Star, and ending with volume 3, Apocalypse Rising.  To get the most out of these next 3 novels, you really need to have read the first 3, which I reviewed recently on Comic Critique here, https://comiccritiqueblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/guest-review-the-sentinels-books-1-3/.  This second omnibus is over 700 pages.  As with the first series, there are more great illustrations in these books as well.

Plexico’s storytelling does not disappoint with these new volumes.  In fact, it appears his skills as a writer have improved.  His descriptions and dialogue are top-notch and you already feel familiar with the main characters.  Whereas the first trilogy was definitely a cosmic level story, this next trilogy really kicks it up a couple of cosmic notches!

I decided to give a bit more info on these volumes than the last ones but there’ll be no spoilers, I hope.

Volume 4, The Shiva Advent, wastes no time in jumping back into action with the Sentinels team with the very first chapter.  The author also provides a very nice listing of “who’s who” in the series at the beginning of the book.  There is also a new character introduced that harkens back to a favorite of mine from the X-Men of the lucky 80’s.  A new menace to the entire galaxy is introduced but it’s not what you think it is.  We also start learning more about the background of the superhero, Ultraa, and see that the origins of 2 others are closely tied to him and to a Great Rival, The Gray Man.  The Great Rivals, those beings of vast cosmic power, begin moving around the cosmic chess board, placing themselves for the next grand move.  The excellent back story to the main villain from the first series, The Black Terror, also begins.  There is so much that begins building in this book, setting the stage not only for the next volume, but for the entire “The Rivals” trilogy.  You can’t miss this one, true-believers!

Volume 5, Worldmind, continues the story with an injured Vanadium in the custody of the Worldmind’s legions.  He is set to stand trial before the great cosmic entity even as the Worldmind threatens to destroy the Earth itself.  The Sentinels must devise a plan to stop the Great Rival with one of their most powerful members, Ultraa, apparently out of the picture.  A powerful new hero is introduced in the form of the Star Knight, who’s real identity is told in a classic comic book origin.  Wolf, of whom we’re never really sure of his allegiances or plans, makes some bold moves that will have lasting effect.  Unfortunately for the Sentinels and planet Earth, another Great Rival, Stellarax – the Star That Lived, is on it’s way to Earth.  This book closes with an unexpected fourth Great Rival bursting onto the scene after a long absence.  This book obviously segues to the next, last, and most powerful story in this series.

Volume 6, Stellarax, is the last part of this space opera story.  It’s all been building to this point and Plexico’s excellent story telling skills don’t disappoint.  In my opinion, this book is the best of the first 6 thus far.  All 4 Great Rivals are getting ready to do battle with the Earth caught in the middle.  The cosmic virus, the Blight, is also spinning out of control threatening to not only consume Earth and the Great Rivals, but the entire universe!  The action as always is phenomenal and seeing our heroes forced to participate in a “Contest of Champions” just reminds us, the readers, of Plexico’s vast comic book knowledge and how well he puts that to the page.  I’m actually not going to give any more details on this book as Plexico puts so much into it that you’ll find yourself staying up late at night to finish it.  He winds this series down to an excellent conclusion.

Esro Brachis, Lyn Li, Ultraa, Mondrian, Vanadium, and the others are so well developed that find yourself experiencing what they experience as you read their stories.  After living with them for 6 richly told stories these people are as much alive and real as Marvel or DC’s longer running characters.

Be on the lookout for Plexico’s next book in the series.  Volume 7, Metalgod, will be available in the not too distant future!

Well done again Mr. Plexico!

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