Monday, September 29, 2014

The Secret World Chronicle

The world is used to metahumans. They have been around since World War II and, employed by ECHO (an organisation run by Nikola Tesla's grand nephew), take care of the world, fighting crime. But when the Thule Society resurfaces and brings along giant war machines, it seems ECHO and the metas have met their match.

I downloaded the Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey as part of a Humble Bundle and I had no idea what to expect. The first few pages in, I had a gigantic Avengers deja vu - it is set in a world of super heroes and there are some similarities. But in the end, the series finds its own feet and it stands quite well on them. I am a sucker for Nazi villains and the series hit just the right pulpy tone to make it work. There are a LOT of characters and the book shifts in its point of views from chapter to chapter, that may take some getting used to. But the characters leave an impression and quickly come alive.

If you like superheroes, then do give the Secret World Chronicle a try. It's a fast, fun ride and I loved the various superpowers the authors came up with. The most charming is Doctor Doom, who turns everything and everyone in his vicinity into part of a 1940s hard boiled novel. I really want to find a way to steal this for one of my roleplaying games. The series is based on a pocast, by the way, and you can listen to that here

There is just one thing: the German in the book is simply awful. There is a typo or grammatical error in pretty much every sentence (even when it's only two or three words...) and sometimes it's just plain wrong. My absolute favourite made me laugh aloud on the subway. One of the Nazi troopers has three black gangers in his sight and shouts: Würfel, schwarze Hunde. And yes, Würfel does mean die. But as in six-sided cubes or wood or plastic, not as in stop living. That was completely hilarious and an excellent example of why it's better to ask a native speaker, use a good dictionary or at least translate your sentences back if you must use online translators.

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