The Monthly Question: April 2017

Story is an important part of many video games. Whether exploring the lore and open world of The Witcher, letting Naughty Dog take us on a ride in The Last of Us, or making choices that change the universe in Mass Effect, these games would not be the powerhouses they are without their story. Luckily we don’t have to always shell out $60 or thirty hours for a great story. It may have been a while, but there are these things called books that can also take us on a wild ride.

To shine a light on some great books, I asked the PS Nation writers:

What book or comic would you recommend to the PS Nation readers?
Andy Richardson (PSN ID: andyscout)
My recommendation would be Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. This manga would seem, at first blush, to be another in the line of shounen battle manga, like Bleach, Naruto or DBZ. However, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer sets itself apart from other battle manga in a number of ways. Because the protagonist is older, a college student rather than high school like many battle manga, the overall tone is more adult. And unlike the endless manga which are designed to continue running forever, or until they become unpopular, Lucifer is written with a set plot and ending in mind from the get-go.

The story follows a boy, Amamiya, who wakes up one morning to a talking lizard that informs him he has been selected as one of the Beast Knights. The Beast Knights have been awakened to protect the princess and stop a giant hammer from smashing the Earth. Amamiya has no desire to fight but when he meets the princess, Samidare, she tells him that she wants to stop the Biscuit Hammer so she can destroy the Earth herself. Amamiya pledges to follow her and they begin to gather the Beast Knights who don’t know of Amamiya and Samidare’s plans.

It’s a fun manga with some good action and humor. The overall plot is pretty simple but there are a lot of character moments and growth for the main cast. It’s well worth giving a shot for anyone looking for a cool graphic novel. There are only five double-sized volumes too, so it’s a pretty easy one to collect.

Interested? Here is the Amazon link to Volumes 1 & 2 of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.

Want to explore a new universe? Check out Rey’s Mass Effect Andromeda review.

Glenn Percival (PSN ID: Torgo)
The obvious choice here is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

Check out the five books of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

Rey Barrera (PSN ID: sindred)
This is not The Lord of the Rings, with absolute respect, but the author grew up with those books.

I started reading the Dark Elf series when I was in high-school and I still keep up with them today. These stories do not initially revolve around some evil villain or a token or power.

They are extremely personal stories that revolve around one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, Drizzt Do’ Urden, and the trials he must endure living in a culture that does not share the same principles as he does. The character has broken past his literary bounds and even made it into a few video games, including the Baldur’s Gate games on PlayStation 2.

The first book in the series, Homeland, is a fantastic read, and one that I will never forget. It’s also one of the very few books that I have read multiple times.

Here is the link to Homeland: The Dark Elf Trilogy, Part 1.

For those looking for a challenge, read Sarahy’s Rain World review.

Ben Palmer (PSN ID: CNPalmer)
PS Nation Book Of The Month Club… seems a bit pretentious for this motley crew of reviewers and writers, but let’s give this a shot.

Personally, I would say take two hours and read the Tao of Pooh and/or the Te of Piglet. Both explain the way things ought to be and true to form, don’t burden you with the enjoyment of the experience. These aren’t as esoteric as The Gift but explain ideas using some of the most popular children’s literary characters in the world.

To do a little soul searching check out The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.

Chazz Harrington (PSN ID: ChazzH69)
I once had loads of hardback books but a lack of both time and money meant a drastic change in my reading habits. I now mostly use Audible on my phone instead. I have tons of recommendations but narrowed them down to these three:

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Some excellent stories told in a fantastic way.
Ubik by Philip K. Dick – A brilliant 1969 sci-fi novel that still (mostly) holds up today.
The Fear Saga by Stephen Moss – I first listened to Fear the Sky on Audible and was instantly hooked. I look forward to Hollywood butchering it in the future.

For those who would rather listen than read here are the audible links: The complete Sherlock Holmes, Ubik, Fear the Sky: The Fear Saga, Book 1

Story is great but mechanics are important too. Here is Michael’s review of the stylish roguelike Loot Rascals

Michael Cwick (PSN ID: The1stMJC)
I’m not much of a book reader because I like to pretend I’m too busy to sit down and read, but it’s probably my terrible attention span’s fault. I used to read comics since the shorter format allowed me to breeze through issues with ease and consume a ton.

One of my favorite comic book franchises is Brian K. Vaughn’s The Runaways. Set in the Marvel universe, it’s a story about a group of misfit kids that find out their parents are all super-villains.

Shocked by the discovery, the children decide they’d rather runaway than be raised by criminals. Together they discover that they have special abilities and cross paths with Marvel heroes along the way. It’s a story about growing up and discovering who you are and it was the first time Marvel had introduced new young original characters in years.

I highly recommend checking the series out. It’s no longer running so it’s easy to start and finish which is rare for a comic. Plus, it was announced that Marvel and Hulu had ordered a series pilot and hopefully that goes well.

Brian K. Vaughn is a fantastic writer. Check out volume 1 of The Runaways.

Matt Engelbart (PSN ID: WithSwordAndGun)
My favorite series of all time has to be Ender’s Game and the books that follow it. I am sure many people are aware of Ender’s Game because of the movie but trust me the movie did not do it justice in portraying the pain and trials Ender was put through to prepare for war with the buggers.

There is also a trilogy for each of the two wars that happened before the original book, the Shadow series that shows what happens on Earth immediately after the novel, and another series that follows Ender after the original novel.

There are a few additional novels that fill in gaps here and there as well as a few short stories. Overall I have never experienced such an expanded universe besides maybe Star Wars.

Pro Tip: Most libraries have audio books now. I have not had much time for reading lately. Using an app on my phone, I can check out audio books for free from my local library. Check out the website for your local library to see what app they use. This is been great for long car trips and my marathon training.

The adventure begins with Ender’s Game.

Your Turn
These are our book recommendations. What are yours? Tell us in the PS Nation Forums.

Thanks as always to John Payant for editing.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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