Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Review: The Books of the South by Glen Cook (The Black Company omnibus #2)

More evil gets done in the name of righteousness than any other way.”
                                       -   Glen Cook, Dreams of Steel

The Black Company is a series of books that redefined the fantasy genre. It challenged the line between good and evil, warped its trajectory with pulls from postmodernism. This series became a source of inspiration for many modern day fantasy authors. The book publisher, Tor, re-issued The Black Company series in a set of 4 omnibus collections. I have read the first omnibus and deeply enjoyed it. Today, I will review the second omnibus, titled “The Books of the South”.


At the Battle of Charm, The Black Company prevailed against the Dominator, the victory was bitter sweet. During the battle, many brothers in the Black Company were lost, it's numbers cut down to mere 7 people. After the battle, Croaker, the new captain of the Black Company, decided to take what's remained of the company south, starting a quest to bring the Annals of the Black Company back to its birth place. As the Black Company goes south, what was thought to be a home-coming journey led to surprising encounters and a series of dark revelations...

What I think about this book:

The Books of the South collects 3 books; Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and The Silver Spike. While Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel are direct sequels to the first 3 volumes in the series, The Silver Spike, however, is not.

Overall, I like the books collected in this omnibus, but I did not enjoy this omnibus as much as the first one. For the most part, Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel mostly followed The Black Company's journey south, back to its place of origin. There are a lot of army marching in these 2 books, and I feel this hindered the pace of the story. Although, the mysteries surrounding the origin of The Black Company is interesting enough to keep me reading. Towards the end of Dreams of Steel, the story crescendoed into a torrent of dramas and actions, and finished with a cliff hanger, leaving the readers wanting for more.

The major characters in Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel are Croaker and The Lady, the budding relationship between these two is interesting. In Dreams of Steel, the narrator (POV) changed from Croaker to The Lady. I liked this change, because Dreams of Steel explored The Lady's history, her thoughts and motivations which were shrouded in mystery in the previous books. In this book, The Lady began to recover her powers, and with it she did some pretty nasty things to achieve her goals. This makes the characterization very interesting, because it explored the theme of moral ambiguity by implanting provoking afterthoughts. Meanwhile, The Lady remains a very likable character despite some of her morally questionable endeavors. In general, Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel are worthy sequels despite being slower in pace compared to their predecessors.

The last book in this omnibus is The Silver Spike. This book is not a direct sequel to the main story of The Black Company. The Silver Spike follows the journey of Darling, Raven and Silent, and it revolves around the events in the north which followed the battle at Charms. The narrator (POV) in this book, is an army officer called Case. I find Case to be a very interesting character, he is an excellent POV for the story, because he is just a normal guy who got sucked into conflicts too big for him. It's interesting to see his take on the people, and events as they unfold around him. In many ways, it is good to know the eventual fates of Darling, Raven and Silent since they were major characters in the first omnibus collection. However, I did not like the type of character Raven became in The Silver Spike, and the ending of this book is somewhat anti-climatic. In comparison, I did not like The Silver Spike as much as Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel, nevertheless, I was glad The Silver Spike concluded the story arch of Darling and Raven.

In the end, while I do not think the second omnibus is as good as the first, but the books collected in this omnibus are still rated above average compared to many fantasy books. I was most intrigued by the mysteries surrounding the origin of The Black Company, which is only beginning to unfold here. I am eager to find out what's in store for Croaker, The Lady, and the rest of the Black Company in the next omnibus, titled “The Return of the Black Company”.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook (The Black Company omnibus #1)

Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”                                  -Glen Cook, The Black Company

I love reading fantasy fictions. It is my favorite genre. I particularly enjoy the kind of heroic fantasy written by authors such as Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Mark Lawrence, and George R.R. Martin. I am attracted to this type of fantasy books because they are dark, gritty, and have morally ambiguous characters, where life exists in shades of gray. In other words, these authors dispense the stereotypical fantasy tropes, and write fantasy stories set in worlds like ours and filled with people like us.

Since when did the genre of fantasy took on this face? Supposedly, it started in 1976, when author Glen Cook published a series of military fantasy books called “The Black Company”. 40 years later, The Black Company has become a cult classic in the genre, and it is widely recognized as Glen Cook's signature works. Tor has re-published all 9 books in The Black Company series, into 4 omnibus collections. I have had all 4 of them on my bookshelf for almost 6 months, and I finally started to read this series. The first omnibus collection is called “Chronicles of the Black Company”. This omnibus, collects the first 3 books to the series, they are; The Black Company, Shadow Linger, and The White Rose. Today, I will review the first omnibus collection.


With 400 years of history and fighting experience, The Black Company is a band of mercenary soldiers with a fierce reputation. They were hired to fight for The Lady, an evil sorceress who ruled the northern empire with an iron fist. In the meantime, the rebel forces within the empire seek to overthrow The Lady as an ancient prophecy predicted the downfall of the evil sorceress. In the middle of this conflict, The White Rose, a powerful heroine who once defeated the forces of evil, is reborn.

The Black Company is sucked into this epic struggle, but very soon, they discovered good and evil aren't always separated by a clear line. Meanwhile, an ancient, sadistic, and powerful entity stirs in his tomb, seeking to rise and once again dominate the world..

What I think about this book:

After I read this book, I can see why The Black Company is held with such high regards in the fantasy genre. It is not hard to see how this series turned the fantasy genre upside down when it was released. The story is really interesting. In the beginning of the book, we were told that The Black Company was hired to fight for the evil guys, but we weren't told why their employers are evil. The same applies for the supposed “good” guys whom The Black Company was against. However, as the story developed, we began to see, that while the “bad” guys weren't very nice, but the “good” guys weren't always good either. In this story, Glen Cook emphasized a point; Often, the conflicts between mortals aren't always as simple as good versus evil. Instead, conflicts often pitch those who have power, versus those who are without it. I heard that Glen Cook is a veteran of the Vietnam war, it seems Cook imbued his own experience into this story, and I think he made some good points about the nature of conflicts.

In terms of writing, admittedly, it took me a while to get used to Cook's style. Unlike most modern fantasy authors, Glen Cook doesn't write descriptive sentences. It seems he is kind of a minimalist when it comes to describing events and scenery. Initially, Cook's style of writing created a huge problem for me, especially in part 1 of this omnibus. Let me explain. The story is narrated in first person, by a physician in The Black Company, named Croaker. However, there are very little descriptions whenever major events took place. For example, there are many instances when battles would take place, but the entire battle scene would be skipped. I finally figured out this was done on purpose, because this book is meant to be appear as military field reports (hence the first person narration). Obviously, the narrator's reports are limited by his visions, i.e. he can't report what he didn't see (it makes sense). Nevertheless, I couldn't help but feel that part 1 of this omnibus is really choppy and disjointed. I constantly had to re-read paragraphs to understand what was happening. Therefore, I did not enjoy the first part of this omnibus.

The book was significantly better in part 2, Shadow Linger. This part is simply brilliant. The story is still narrated in first person by Croaker, but we also get a second story line, where we meet a very interesting character called Shed. He is a cowardly tavern owner who first appeared as a pathetic man. However, as the story went on, Shed's character changed and grew, he faced and struggled with human conditions. Shed's story is so intriguing, I was totally sucked into the story, and couldn't put the book down until part 2 was over. By the end of it, I was sorry to say goodbye to Shed. The writings in part 2 is more cohesive, and it is far better than part 1,

In Part 3, The White Rose, Cook threw 3 parallel stories into the book. The characters in The White Rose are interesting. However, they are not as intriguing as Shed from Shadow Linger. They also struggle with human conditions, but not as deeply and realistically as how Shed struggled. There are certain dimensions in Shed that was missing from the characterizations in The White Rose. Make no mistake, The White Rose still has a good story, but it pales slightly in comparison to Shadow Linger.

Overall, I enjoyed this omnibus, the writings are a bit dense and unusual, but the story of The Black Company illustrates a fine point: The moral problems in this world are not always black and white, but exit in shades of gray. I can imagine when this was released in 1976, it must have kicked the traditional, Tolkien style fantasy tropes in the balls with messages about moral ambiguity. I like The Black Company, the characters are interesting, it has a good story that makes a good point, and I want to read the rest of the series.

Stay tuned, next time I will review the second omnibus to The Black Company series, titled “Books of the South”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.
               - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Many books talk about the meaning of life that's driven by death, but few books talk about the meaning of life that's driven by being alive. I think The Fault in Our Stars is one of the few books that belongs to the later, and it is a very good book.

I discovered this book, when a friend of mine, and his fiancee ventured to watch a movie called The Fault in Our Stars. He told me about it, and via the internet, I found out the movie is based on a critically acclaimed novel. After reading the short description about the book. I decided to purchase and read it, because the premise sounds interesting. Why do I find a YA romance novel, about 2 teenagers with cancer interesting? Please allow me to explain my thought...... 

Let's look at it this way. It has taken me 5 minutes to write this paragraph. If the internet statistics is reliable, this means, while I wrote this paragraph, 540 people have died in this world, and I wonder how many of those dead people are younger than I. I can't help but ponder, why does life say those 540 people should die in the past 5 minutes, while I should continue to live? Is there a meaning to all this? This book, The Fault in Our Stars seems to be talking about these questions. Of course, I didn't really expect to find big answers to every big questions about life in one novel. That would be expecting too much, but I was pretty sure this book wouldn't say the meaning of life is 42.

I remember as I opened this book, on the second page under “author's note” section, the author said made-up stories can matter. I deeply agreed with him, that was a good start. We should not underestimate the power of stories. A few hours later, I finished reading this book, and here is my review.


Hazel Grace Lancaster, aged 16, suffered from thyroid cancer. She received a miraculous chemical treatment which kept her cancer under control, buying her a few years. However, she was still very sick. Her mother recommended Hazel to join a cancer support group, to meet other teenage cancer patients, and make some friends. Initially, Hazel disliked the cancer support group, but life is strange. A teenage boy named Augustus Waters appeared at the cancer support group. Hazel and Augustus hit it off immediately, and they were about to rewrite each others' stories...

What I think about this book:

I deeply enjoyed this book. I finished this book (312 pages) in one day, because I couldn't put it down. I was sucked into the story, the characters' lives and their world. I found the writings in this book easy to understand (probably because it is a YA novel), but that is a good thing. Green's style of writing allowed me to pay more attention to the story, instead of spending time to decipher verbose sentences. The story in this book is simple, but it also had a lot of twists and turns that surprised me. There are a lot of humors in this book, I particularly enjoyed the exchanges between Hazel and Augustus, they were tinged with dry humor, they brought out a lot of laughter from me.

People have written stories about people battling terminal illness. People have also written stories about people falling in love. The Faults in Our Stars is refreshing, this is not a typical romance story. Neither is this a story about perseverance against terminal illness. Let me just say, this is a story about being alive. The characterization in this book is brilliant. The characters are vividly portrayed. Readers meet these characters, as they witness these characters' joys and struggles. I particularly admired the portrayal that Hazel and Augustus had a deep understanding they lived on borrowed time (shouldn't we all?), so everything they say or do is genuine, filled with raw honesty. Some might say the characterization is unrealistic, because Hazel and Augustus seem to be overly wise for their age. But I think suffering can make people grow in wisdom, so it can be realistic for Hazel and Augustus to have wisdom beyond their age.

In the end, I did not find big answers to all big questions about life from this book. After all, a truly powerful story is one that makes people ask questions instead of spoon-feed people with answers. As I closed this book, I was reminded of something that's lost to me, due to my busy and mundane lifestyle. I am not going to share what I got out of this book, because I believe this is the kind of book where everyone will get something different out of it. So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on this novel and enjoy it, it's a good book.

P.S. This book is categorized as YA fictions, but I am not sure if this is suitable for young people under the age of 14 (or 15), because there is a sex scene and some use of profane language.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review: The Sounding by Carrie Salo

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.
- Revelation 11:15-19

Mankind has an obsessive fascination with prophecies, especially prophecies about the end of the world. Sometimes I wonder, what fuels our morbid fascination with prophecies about the end of the world?

Anyway, a lot of apocalyptic movies and books are inspired by end of the world prophecies. The Sounding, is author Carrie Salo's debut novel. It is partially historical fiction, but mainly a supernatural/religious thriller about the end of the world. The premise of the story is based on the book of Revelation from the Bible. Unlike many apocalyptic novels I've read in the past, The sounding is the most intriguing book in this genre. Today, I will like to review this book and share some of my thoughts about it.


The book of Revelation contains some truly terrifying images about the end of the world. It also speaks of a final prophecy, where 7 angels await to sound the trumpets at the God's appointed time, leading to the battle of Armageddon, and ultimately God will dwell eternally with his people, where he will create the new heaven and the new earth.

What will happen, if the last trumpet is sounded too early?

In the 21th century, Father Christ Mognahan belongs to a society known as Hetairia Melchizedek. This is a secret society within the Catholic church that studies Biblical omens. As a member of this society, Chris was drawn into an investigation of a particularly gruesome murder; on a college campus, a student was found murdered where his face was literally burnt off. Chris' leader believed this murder signified a terrifying omen, where the order of prophecies mentioned in the book of revelation, was going to be disrupted. If so, humanity could be caught unprepared, and doomed by an early Armageddon.

As Chris investigated this gruesome murder case, he soon found himself fighting a battle of good versus evil. Where a group of allies joined his course. Among them, the hope lies with a young woman, whom they believe was sent by God Himself to prevent the final trumpet to be sounded which would lead to an early end of the earth.

What I think about this book:

At 470 pages, The Sounding is a medium length novel, but I finished reading this book in 2 sittings and I enjoyed this book immensely. I would describe this book, as The Da VinCi Code meets The Exorcist, it is an outrageously entertaining read. The Sounding is a book that succeeded in many areas; from the story, the character, the writings, to the well researched historical/theological elements that were carefully weaved into the fibres of the story.

First of all, the author crafted this story with masterful skills. It has many surprises hidden in several chapters in this book. The subplots are intricately layered on top of the main story. The ending of the story ties everything together to a very satisfying conclusion. The story is also told at a really good pace. It is fast, but not too fast so you can get to know the characters, and savor the flavors of the world in this book. The characterization is brilliant. The cast of characters in this book are interesting and described vividly. The way they are portrayed made them feel like real people. Their characters, personalities and actions are believable and realistic. Each character has his/her own strengths, weaknesses, and their own journey of personal development as the story unfolds. If you read this book, you will care for these characters, and that's always a sign of good storytelling and a good book.

The author also did a great job at world-building in this book. The story in The Sounding is quite epic, and spread over several locations: America, the Vatican City (and Necropolis), and Jerusalem. In this book, every locale is described vividly with rich texts, bringing an atmospheric, haunting and immersive reading experience. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was there, seeing and feeling what the characters were experiencing in the story.

The story in The Sounding is also supported by well researched Catholic/Jewish theology, and historical facts. They are carefully laid into the story, bringing forth a sense of realism. There are a lot of references to the Bible in this book, but it does not feel preachy. Instead, Christianity was knitted carefully, and masterfully into the background of the story. It is refreshing to see a thriller that portrays Christianity as the force of good, rather as a tool to generate controversy to gain popularity. While some people might cast negative lights upon the idea of a supernatural thriller inspired by the Bible. However, in my opinion, I found this book explored the nature of faith, doubt, and suffering, in very honest and powerful ways, and this book is not in conflict against the Christian religion.
When I finished reading this book, I was thoroughly impressed. This is one of the best thrillers I've ever read. The Sounding is a captivating book, it has a good mixture of horror, action and romance. I look forward to reading more books by Carrie Salo, I hope she will keep on writing books.  

P.S. A word of caution. Some parts of this book contains profane language, and some graphic scenes which may disturb sensitive readers.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Review: The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase #1)

  The lost island of Atlantis, is one of the most enduring legends in the history. Since Plato first mentioned Atlantis more than 2000 years ago, the story of Atlantis has drawn immense interests from both historians and explorers alike. Today, the story of Atlantis is commonly considered as a work of imagination, but many fiction writers still spin tales and stories inspired by the mythos of Atlantis. For example, in The Hunt for Atlantis, a mystery thriller, author Andy McDermott weaved a fine, modern-day “Indiana Jones meets James Bond” style story, which revolves around the mystery of Atlantis. Let's have a look at this book.


Nina Wilde, age 28, is an archaeologist like no other. She is the only archaeologist in the world who knows how to find the fabled island of Atlantis. When Nina presented her theory to the academic world, her proposal was dismissed as a wild goose chase. After Nina's proposal was rejected, Kristian Frost, the famous multi-billionare and business tycoon, contacted Nina and voiced support of her theory. Funded by Kristian Frost, and fitted with proper equipment, Nina, together with Frost's beautiful daughter Kari, and Eddie Chase, a hired bodyguard, this trio set out on an expedition to uncover the lost island of Atlantis, to unravel a ten thousand years old mystery. What will they find?

In the meantime, an ancient, secret organization known as the Brotherhood is determined to protect the secret of Atlantis at all costs, even if it means resorting to violent methods...

What I think about this book:

I stumbled upon this book by accident, when I was browsing at my local library. The description on the back of this book sounded appealing to me, because I enjoy reading mystery thrillers in styles similar Indiana Jones movies, so I decided to borrow this book and try it out. The result? While this book has its share of weaknesses, but I am glad I tried it.

In my opinion, while this book was a fun read, but it falls short in certain areas.. Firstly, there are almost no character development. The protagonist, Nina and Eddie, didn't really develop as the story progressed. Despite all the dangers they went through, Nina and Eddie's characters didn't grow but stayed the same at the end of the story. Secondly, the dialogues between characters are sometimes cliched. Another thing, while this book does have some twists in the story, but these twists are often predictable. Lastly, while the action scenes are intense, but they are also unbelievable, and sometimes quite absurd. However, having said all of these, The Hunt for Atlantis is fun, entertaining and a ride of thrill. It is action packed, the pace of the story is extremely fast. If you read this book, you will not be bored. This book also has plenty of mystery elements, building suspense and keeping the reader engaged. The premise of the story is not original, it has been done before, but it is still interesting. I mean, who hasn't had their imaginations sparked to life upon hearing the fabled tales of Atlantis?

Overall, I like The Hunt for Atlantis, and apparently this is the first book in a 10 books series. I am glad I discovered this series, and I am definitely interesting in reading the next installment for Nina and Eddie's adventure. In short, I would recommend this one to fans of books such as The Sigma Force series by James Rollins, or Jack West Jr. series by Matthew Reilly. If you enjoy mystery thrillers written by authors such as James Rollins or Matthew Reilly, you would probably enjoy The Hunt for Atlantis too.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: Night of the Hunter by R.A Salvatore (The Companion Codex I)

About 7 years ago, I picked up R.A Salvatore's Dark Elf trilogy and Icewindale trilogy. These books follow the adventure of a courageous and noble dark elf called Drizzt Do'Urden, who left his homeland and the evil culture of his fellow dark elvenkind, to seek a new life and a place where he can belong to. The character of Drizzt Do'Urden touched me, he was interesting, noble, and durable. The story of Drizzt, and his 4 friends (together known as Companions of the Hall) is one of my favorite fantasy stories of all time. However, I gradually lost interest in Drizzt books as the series continued beyond the 8th book. I finally stopped reading the Drizzt Saga altogether, after the 16th Drizt book.

When R.A Salvatore announced The Companions, the first book in The Sundering series. It was marketed almost as a “reboot” (so to speak) to the Drizzt series. I read The Companions, while it was good, but it just wasn't the same as the first 6 Drizzt books, something was missing. With the announcement of The Companion Codex I: The Night of the Hunter, I decided to give Drizzt books another try. Today, I will like to review Night of the Hunter.


Following the story from The Companions. Drizzt, Bruenor, Cattie Brie, Wulfgar and Regis are finally re-united. Companions of the Hall is once again, assembled and ready for another adventure. Their first quest, is to rescue Bruenor's loyal shield dwarf, Pwent, who is damned by vampiricism. Seeking to put Pwent to rest by purging his vampiricism, Companions of the Hall set out on a journey to Gauntlgrym, where Pwent was last seen.

In this quest, Companions of the Hall would have to travel through the Underdark, a place full of Drows, who would love to see Drizzt dead..

What I think about this book:

Night of the Hunter is a fun, and quick read. This book manages to re-capture some of the best things about the first 6 Drizzt books; the heart warming friendship and bonds between Drizzt and his 4 friends. In this book, the members of Companion of the Hall return with more maturity, yet with a renewed vigor for life and adventure which makes the story vibrant.

This book also has lots of chapters about politics and intrigues in the Drow society. While I found these chapters did provide insight into the lives and motivations of the Drow people, but they also disturbed the flow of the story. Personally, I would have preferred less chapters on political intrigues, and more chapters on adventures of Drizzt and his friends.

The action scenes are very well written, Salvatore proves once again, why he is one of the best fantasy authors out there when it comes to writing action scenes. He has a way of using words to paint images, filled with heart pounding actions, into a reader's mind.

I like Night of the Hunter, while the pace in this book has some minor problems, but by large, this book re-captures some of the feelings from the early Drizzt books. The return of Companions of the Hall is exciting and refreshing. I can hardly wait to find out what will happen in the next installment.

Movie Review: X-men: Days of Future Past

In human conflicts, one man's hero is anther’s villain.

I could be wrong, but the sentence above, describes a point of what I've thought X-men, a 50 years old franchise, has been trying to illuminate for more than half a century. That out of fear and uncertainty, people turn to the safety offered by certainty, where certainty becomes a shield of self preservation, a hammer to bash down that which they cannot understand. In the world of X-men, the "hero" for one group, Magneto, who uses extreme methods to fight for the survival and freedom of mutants, becomes a villain in the eyes of its opposing force, represented by those humans who fear the mutants and wish to extinguish them. Great battles follow, until both groups wipe each other out.

Or, is there an alternative way according to Charles Xavier, the leader of X-men?

In X-men: Days of Future past, it explores this premise once again, with an intriguing storyline and exhilarating actions. Let's have a closer look:


In the future, X-men assembles to battle the Sentinels, advanced machines designed to wipe out both mutants and humans. However, even with their extra-ordinary super powers, X-men found themselves overpowered by the Sentinels. As more and more people die in the hands of Sentinels, the X-men team came up with a final, desperate plan. They would send Wolverine back to 1973, on a mission to change history and prevent the Sentinels from ever being made.

Should Wolverine fail, the Sentinels would eventually wipe out both mutants and humans. Can Wolverine succeed?

What I think about this movie:

Since year 2000, Marvel has released 7 X-men movies. Days of Future Past is my favorite X-men movie up to date.

This movie is all round good entertainment. The story is interesting, for a time travel story, the plot in Days of Future Past is not overly complicated, but it does not mean it is without meanings. Indeed, my opinion, the premise of X-men sets itself up to reflect the truth behind great conflicts in the human history, the past, the present, or the future. In X-men, lying underneath all the spectacular fights between superhumans, is a premise that illuminates the the nature of human conflicts, it extends into politics, religion, down to every facet of the human experience. Another interesting aspect about X-men, is that it seems to be saying, at the end of the day, while there are good and bad actions, but even people who do bad things, often don't see themselves as carrying out bad actions.  In fact, they often believe they are actually doing good things! When I left the cinema, I paused, and reflected if I have ever acted like Magneto in my own life.

I wonder if sometimes, we all act like Magneto in our own lives.

On top of an interesting story, Days of Future Past drives audience to the edge of their seats, with heart pounding actions. The fight scenes are well choreographed, and enhanced by good use of CGI. I watched this movie in the normal 2D platform, because I read another review, where the reviewer suggested that the 3D post conversion of this movie is not that impressive. However, I have not seen the 3D version myself, so I can't really review this part.

Overall, X-men: Days of Future Past is a solid movie, it has an interesting story and good actions. It is good enough to warrant that a trip to the cinema will worth your time and money.

P.S. If you watch X-men: Days of Future Past, make sure you stay until the END of the credit, where a scene shows the new villain for the next X-men movie. Let me just say, long time fans of X-men have lots of reasons to be excited about the next X-men movie.