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War Lord (John Constantine, Hellblazer) Mass Market Paperback – 31 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star Books (31 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416503439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416503439
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,011,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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John Constantine, a working-class British magus, is rumored to be a magical adept by some, a con man by others. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brighton Resident on 12 Feb 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The writing is poor. The plot is dubious. Hellblazer is great as comic books where the art does a lot of the talking. For a novel they require a better writer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Hartnett on 24 April 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I carelessly bought this thinking it was a graphic novel rather than just a novel, but read it anyway. It's not bad, fairly classic Constantine adventuring, but his dialogue (especially the internal dialogue) seemed stilted and I'm not sure whether that's the writing or just that it looks odd in novel form.

Still, he was definitely more John-like than Keanu!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The bar is set higher for media tie ins 13 April 2006
By David Agranoff - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not sure what book some of these people were reading. While not exactly perfect John Shirley's novel takes what could have been a standard boring Comic book tie-in and raised the bar. This novel spans the globe and takes Constantine out of his stomping grounds puts him at the center a demonic attempt spread conflict in the middle east.

As fan of the comic since the first issue and of the author I was very excited about this book. Warlord not only meant all my high expectations but exceeded them.

If you are familiar with John Shirley the author it might help you understand who is at the helm here. Shirley is considered by many to be the godfather of cyberpunk with his mind bending `City come a-walkin' and more recently with apocalyptic thriller `Demons' which took issue with environmental destruction and corporate responsibility in way no one imagined a horror novel could.

Vertigo appear to be more clever than many of the people posting reviews because this kind of political challenge is a great way to move Constantine into the novel format. Constantine always challenged the boundaries of taste, we've been there and done that. By working with ongoing political nightmares that are still evolving in Iraq and in Africa this novel courageously explored issues that few authors have the guts to do.

An early chapter that involved a suicide bomber in Iraq is by far one of the most powerful pieces of fiction I have seen painting us a picture of issues that are in the news(at least in the foreign press). The writing itself is inventive and engaging. Indeed the setting is not typical for the character but my question is must all media-tie in novels be boring carbon copies of the source material? I think not.

The suggestion that you could put any hero into this story sounds like the words of a person who has not read the book. Could you see James Bond teaming up with ghosts of psychic Iraqi- war vets? Could you picture John Rambo doing rituals to conjure demons? This was a Constantine novel. Rich in Constantine's history, early in the book Shirley did a great of outlining his history the idea that Shirley didn't research his history or make it a part of Constantine's world is simply Bollocks.

I found myself dog earing pages that moved me and that doesn't happen when often when you read media tie-ins. Thank you Vertigo for hiring a writer of John Shirley's caliber. You have raised the bar for Constantine and for media-tie ins in general.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't put it down. 14 April 2006
By C. Simpson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not familiar with this series, so I don't know or care much about whether the author is following what has gone before. I really enjoyed this book. The character developement is well done; the author does an effective job of getting inside the characters' heads and hearts. Another strong point was the weaving of different plot lines, reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I enjoyed the mix of topical subjects (the Iraq war)with the age-old "good verses evil" (ancient gods). A good ride, as I stated earlier, I couldn't put it down. My only small complaint was with some of the military hardware....what is a 16 millimeter machinegun? Well, there wil always be a Trekkie out there somewhere, complaining that "Captain Kirk would NEVER do that". Or something. Enough quibbling, it's a fun book. Take it for what it is.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It's fiction, dude! 7 April 2006
By jdkuchen - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One reviewer stated: "Much of the military hiearchy, rank and equipment is poorly researched." Dude, its a horror/sifi/fantasy novel based on a comic book about some neo-noir exorcist hunting demons! The next time you want to bore yourself with weapon and rank details, browse the "military history" section or attend your local NRA meeting. "War Lord" is a nice and enjoyable piece of genre fiction that at least tries to say something meaningful about the current geo-political situation. More than I expected from any comic book novelization.
17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
JAR HEAD 3 Mar 2006
By Thomas E. O'Sullivan - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
WAR LORD is a strange mix.

On one hand it's trying to be accessible to anyone who might pick it up without knowing anything about Constantine, or may have only seen the film (and that John Constantine is labeled by Shirley as a "parallel" Earth version of the Constantine featured here, and in the VERTIGO comics line), or may have only a passing interest in the subject - for those people, WAR LORD will be a quick read. But for those who've been with John for the long haul, literally to Hell and back, then WAR LORD will be a often difficult and rough read.

The main problem is that it's less John Constantine and more John "Bond" with Constantine running the gambit of boats, helicopters, guns (and more guns) and tanks, with John and his strange band of brothers being chased off of and out of one form of transportation, shoreline, house or catacomb. John is always on the run here, moving from one set piece to the next, one close call after another and not really doing anything but just rolling along with the shambling mess of the plot, arriving in the nick of time, or being nicked just at the right moment. There's enough going on here to fill two novels if Shirley took the time to ease up off the gas and give us some time to admire the view - as it is, it's just an adventure novel - with Constantine standing in for Jack Ryan or Dirk Pitt. It's has magic (John's abilities are on the rise here), adult themes, language and some clever moments that keep you turning the page... but by the end you know you've been cheated.

It's just a long plank walk to a short drop and weak splash of an ending. You never feel John or any of his traveling magic band (of brothers - I must remind you, although it would have been very funny if John was literally part of a "magic band" on tour in Europe... hey, Shirley, let's see that parallel version of Constantine some time) are ever in any danger at all. The villains gab, talk and spit cardboard about their grand plans, none of which makes much sense or even seems worthwhile. And while John is well realized here, he's also leashed too tightly - he never cuts loose once.

But, I give two stars to this book for adding to the "seen it, done it, and read it all before" story with on the spot topicality in dealing with the US lead invasion of Iraq. It's well done, makes its point without going over the top, and it's a real shame that this story did not take place in the middle of the occupation of Iraq (John is in Iran when the story opens - another novel idea, quickly dropped), and end there as well. As it is, it's just IN THE NEWS NOW wallpaper, and a missed opportunity.

For fans, a few moments. For those new to the series - do your homework first, and then give it a try.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Fun Read - One that stays true to the Constantine mythos 23 Sep 2006
By Modern Review and Culture - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book for fans of Hellblazer - that's Hellblazer the Comic book. Forget all about that movie and harken back to Jamie Delano and Garth Ennis, back when folks were doing something with this character. John Shirley is a visceral writer who's prose is sharp and exacting, he tells a great romp of a story that leads J.C. thru a very current tale of war and horror. The reviewers that are bent on trashing this book seem to be sychophanticlly dogmatic about their own misguided perceptions of the character. This novel would have made an excellent story-arc in the comic itself. It's a great read. Enjoy it!
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