The Book of Shane: First Impressions

I enjoy reading from the antagonist’s point of view. The sections involving the Original Party from Avalon: Web of Magic were some of my favorite in the series. Learning about their motives, making them more human instead of “BWAHAHA I’M DOING IT FOR THE EVILS” — that is what I go for.

Spirit Animals needed this kind of depth. I don’t really care for any of the Protagonists, because none of them have much character. The Antagonists, though … they had some promise. An entire army that’s been brainwashed by a Godlike Cobra? Who wouldn’t want to read about them?

So imagine how pleased I was when The Book of Shane was announced. Finally, we get to see why some stupid kid decided it was a Good Idea to collect all the McGuffins and free a Sealed Evil in a Can. Granted, I was also a little miffed because four more short stories were added to my recap schedule … but what can you do?

The Book of Shane was written by Nick Eliopulos, who contributed “The Rise of the Reptile King” for Tales of the Great Beasts. That was my favorite story in the collection, so I’m glad to see he gets to write more about the not!Australians. The omnibus edition of The Book of Shane also includes a prologue chapter by Tui T. Sutherland, author of Against the Tide (one of the better books in the series) and the awesome Wings of Fire series (which I highly recommended). I’m not recapping the prologue because it’s basically Mulop the Godlike Octopus going, “So, who the hell is Shane?”

The recap schedule for The Book of Shane is going to be a little screwy, because the stories were released in between the main series books. So here’s how things are gonna go down:

  • “Venom”: recap starts next week (technically, I should’ve recapped this before Rise and Fall, but the end spoiled the big reveal from that book)
  • “Vendetta”: will be recapped after “Venom”
  • “Vengeance”: will be recapped after The Evertree
  • “Venture”: will be recapped after “Vengeance”

Unlike past recaps for this series, I get to do a cover comparison! Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to discuss.

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“Venom” features Gerathon, everyone’s favorite Godlike Cobra. Behold her defensive display!

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“Vendetta” features Halawir, Godlike Golden Eagle, Bird of War, and 100% A Dick.

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“Vengeance” features Grahv, Shane’s saltwater crocodile. I don’t think he actually appears in this story, though, for Spoilery Reasons.

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“Venture” features the crown of Stetriol, which plays a major part in the story. Sadly, every edition of this cover comes with that ugly green sticker. Sorry about that.

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The omnibus edition is a palette swap of the “Venom” cover. Note how Tui T. Sutherland’s name is front and center here, even though she only wrote the prologue. I guess her name sells more books.

What to expect from this recap:

  • Fun in not!Australia!
  • Talisman abilities revealed!
  • Redemption for the Designated Villain!
  • Shane’s adventures post-main series!

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Next time: A Designated Villain unknowingly repeats history.