Thursday, 10 April 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Mordheim: City of the Damned Questions Answered: Rogue Factor



Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Rogue Factor have kindly taken the time to respond to some of our game queries to do with the forthcoming Mordheim: City of the Damned.  We can't wait to get our hands on the title and with the sheer volume of warbands to play, we're going to have a hard time picking our favs.  (Although to be honest I think that I'm going to go a little Ratty for the first time.  LOL)

So, without further ado, Vincent Gallopain, Rogue Factor's PR Manager answers our questions:
Falcata Times:  With the board game of Mordheim stopping officially a decade ago (it’s been up to the fans to develop since) what makes now the right time for it to step onto the VG Platform?

Vincent Gallopain:  Good question! I think that we literally “created” that timing. When brainstorming ideas for our first project there were a lot of tabletop game license ideas that emerged. Out of the lot, Mordheim was the one game that the whole team really enjoyed playing in the past, so we decided to pitch our vision of a videogame adaptation to Games Workshop… and it quite stirred their interest.

FT:  What is the biggest challenge of bringing what was essentially a board game to the VG platform?


VG:  In order to deliver the unique feeling of the board game to a videogame adaptation, we started by breaking down what makes Mordheim so appealing. From the chaotic doomed city to the hardcore rules, we isolated each and every layer of uniqueness. That being said, you should not expect the videogame to be an exact replica of the board game though, we are making something new with the intellectual property. So keep in mind that Mordheim: City of the Damned will be an adaptation of the board game, not a digital version of the board game per se.

FT:  How different are the various warbands that you can play and how do you stop one being more powerful than another? (For example in the board game the Shadow Warrior band was considered too powerful and banned in a tournaments.)


VG:  Just like in the board game, every warband has its specialties. We can't discuss about every detail at the moment, but we can already tell you about the four first warbands present in the game at launch: The Human mercenaries from the Empire, The Skaven Clan Eshin, The Sisters of Sigmar and The Cult of the Possessed. So far we have no plan to add any warband that wasn't part of the original game or its official expansion by Games Workshop. Therefore, you don't have to worry about the warband you mention as it was a player's creation.

FT:  What are some of the design options will the gamer have? IE can they choose the paint scheme of their troops, insignia etc.


VG:  The customization details are still in discussion but we can already tell you that the players will be able to play around with colors to give their warbands a unique look.





We hope tha this has more than piqued other gamers queries and we can't wait to see how the title develops,




Gareth and Lady Eleanor

CRIME FICTION REVIEW: The Detectives Daughter 2: Ghost Girl - Lesley Thomson

Release Date: 10/04/14
Publisher:  Head of Zeus

SYNOPSIS:

It is a year since her father's death, but Stella Darnell has not moved on. She still cleans his house every day, leaving it spotless as if he might return. Terry Darnell was Detective Chief Superintendent at Hammersmith police station, and now Stella has discovered an unsolved case in his darkroom: a folder of unlabelled photographs of deserted streets. The oldest photograph dates back to 1966. To a day when Mary Thornton, just ten years old, is taking her little brother home from school in time for tea. That afternoon, as the Moors Murderers are sent to prison for life, Mary witnesses something that will haunt her forever. As Stella inches closer to the truth, the events of that day begin to haunt her too...


REVIEW:

To be honest I read Lesley’s debut last year, the Detectives Daughter and whilst I wasn’t fully enamoured with the principle character as I couldn’t really get a handle upon her, I thought that there was enough there for me to give the second book a go.

Unfortunately for me, the problems that I had with the original remained in this the second book in short the principle character again. That’s not to say that the story wasn’t carefully constructed, it was and the tale did generate some solid leads alongside twists but at the end of the day, when I can’t stand a lead character I have a hell of a job keeping going. All round, I’ll probably give Lesley’s next book a miss however if the character does become more amenable to the reader I’ll definitely pick it up.



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Prepare for Space Battles with Entropy - Artplant


Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Artplant have let us know about a new MMO that we think a lot of our readers will have  good bit of fun with, Entropy.



Here's what they had to say:

Artplant, the award-winning studio behind Battlestar Galactica Online, has launched the first major feature update for Entropy, its ambitious interstellar space MMO. ‘Hostile Takeover’ introduces an innovative faction conflict system that allows players to fight for control of the star systems across Entropy's frontier. 



Players contracted with one of the game's three mega-corporations can now work together to destabilise star systems controlled by their rivals and create opportunities for attack, or protect their own star systems from the actions of opposing players. This ongoing conflict culminates in battles fought in and around heavily defended space stations to decide the fate of entire star systems.



“I love the way that the feature is making every action meaningful,” says Jack Wulff, Entropy's producer and chief executive officer of Artplant. “Your journey shapes the universe around you. Our players have been requesting more focused and meaningful PvP events, and with support for up to a hundred players in the same match, we expect some truly epic battles."

Early access can be obtained here:  http://store.steampowered.com/app/255500

Hopefully we'll see you in the epic battles to come,


Gareth and Lady Eleanor

VIDEO GAME NEWS: The Evil Within Gameplay Trailer - Bethesda

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our contact at Bethesda has managed to obtain the latest trailer from the forthcoming "The Evil Within."

Here's what they had to say:
"We’ve just released a new gameplay trailer for The Evil Within, the new survival horror game from legendary game director, Shinji Mikami. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and will be available in North America on August 26, 2014, and throughout Europe on August 29, 2014.



Developed by Shinji Mikami and the talented team at Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within embodies the meaning of pure survival horror.Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story are combined to create an immersive world that will bring you to the height of tension. With limited resources at your disposal, you’ll fight for survival and experience profound fear in this perfect blend of horror and action.

While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners encounter a mysterious and powerful force. After seeing the slaughter of fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead. Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what’s behind this evil force.
For more information on The Evil Within, visit or recently updated site at www.theevilwithin.com."



We hope you're getting as excited about this as we are.

All the best,



Gareth and Lady Eleanor.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Wolfenstein: New Order, new trailer - Bethesda

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our Allies at Bethesda have managed to get the latest trailer for Wolfenstein: New Order, our from occupied territory.  The game will be launching simultaneously in North America, Europe and Australia on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC!

And now for your enjoyment the trailer:


Currently under development at MachineGames, Wolfenstein: The New Order, the first-person action-adventure shooter, reignites the franchisewidely recognized for pioneering the first-person shooter genre. Set in the 1960s, the monstrous Nazi regime has used mysterious advanced technology to win World War II. They now rule the globe with an iron fist. Wolfenstein: The New Order sends you across Europe on a harrowing mission to bring down the Nazi war machine. 

Finally remember that as an added bonus, everyone pre-ordering the game will be invited to access the DOOM beta with their copy ofWolfenstein: The New Order. For more information on the DOOM beta access pre-order bonus, as well as applicable terms and restrictions,please visit:: www.wolfenstein.com/DOOM."

We hope you're as excited as we are,    




Gareth and Lady Eleanor

Monday, 7 April 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor News and Release Date - Warner Brothers Interactive

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Warner Brothers Interactive have let us know about the latest updates for the forthcoming Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Firstly we have the release date which is currently set for the 7th October 2014 for the following formats:
PC
PS3
PS4
Xbox 360
Xbox One

So far its looking like a game that we're both (Lady Eleanor and I) are going to be vying for play time with and comparing our experiences and skills against each other.  (She's more a charge in and smack the hell out of things, whereas I like to snipe where possible.)

In addition to  this we also have the latest trailer:




And we've been told about a pre-order bonus:
Fans who pre-order  Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will get access at the game’s launch to  The Dark Ranger exclusive bonus pack. Available at all participating retailers, the pack will provide exclusive content and challenges for players including:  
  • Dark Ranger Character Skin
    • Begin your own quest for vengeance with a new Dark Ranger character skin that embodies Talion's darker side
  • "Test of Power" Challenge Mode
  • Face Sauron's Captains and defeat them to earn powerful Runes and gain a head start in the game
  • Test your speed, skill and strategy and measure yourself against your friends on the leaderboards 
  • Access to Exclusive Leaderboards for "Test of Power" Challenge Mode
    • Test your speed, skill and strategy and measure yourself against your friends on the leaderboards in this challenge mode



    Hopefully this will have whetted your appetite so remember to keep your blades sharp and your wits sharper.


    Gareth and Lady Eleanor

VIDEO GAME NEWS: New Bot and Gameplay Trailer Revealed for Transformers: Universe - Jagex




Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,

Our friends at Jagex Game Studio have managed to let us know about some of the latest news in thier forthcoming Massive Online Tactical Action game (MOTA) Transformers Universe.  

Here we have a brand new trailer as well as a couple of Bot Reveals:  








Here's the first bot reveal, Autobot, Catapult:
She moves in the shadows with the strut of a notorious gunslinger and reads cross-winds like a circling hawk. Place Catapult at long range with her Phase Chamber primed, sniper rifle cocked and license-to-terminate activated; she'll drop her mark grill-down in the dirt for keeps. A mysterious loner, the only trace this Autobot exists is a tag scratched into every 'Con she dispatches to the scrapyard.

And if you play with the Decepticons you get, Shellshock:
Retirement was never one of Shellshock's plans: he's been holed up in his armory feverishly waiting for the call. Faceplate-deep in munitions and customising his beloved miniguns, he ensured burst rates, muzzle velocities, calibers and cartridges all got a little love. A career killer, you won't have to ask him twice to rejoin the fight. Put this slayer in mid-range with a directive for destruction and Shellshock will have a blast every time.



Beta Testing is still open (which you can sign up for it here.)
For more information visit their website and remember Transformers Universe launches in June.


Let the Oil and Energon flow,







Gareth and Lady Eleanor

Friday, 4 April 2014

DVD REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Mayhem: Season 2 Vol 1 - Paramount Home Entertainment

Release Date: 31/03/14
Publisher:  Paramount Home Entertainment

SYNOPSIS:

The first five episodes from the second series of the children's CGI-animated cartoon tracing the origins of the sewer-dwelling, superhero foursome Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. The episodes are: 'The Mutation Situation', 'Follow the Leader', 'Invasion of the Squirrelanoids', 'Mutagen Man Unleashed' and 'Mickey Gets Shellacne'.


REVIEW:

OK, I’m of the generation that remembers these half-shell heroes originally and lets be honest, they were damn awesome way back in the 90’s. So with the new film coming out in August, I wanted to see what our favourite ninja’s were to the new generation (and I ended up watching this with my nephews.) What occurs within is a tale of pure kickass action and whilst the animation has gone over to CG these days, its something that not only entertained the nephews but myself as well whilst I got introduced to the brand new villains that weren’t about from the old days.

All round I was more than entertained and lets be honest, if you’re younger family members are looking forward to the new film as much as my lot are, these new series DVD’s may well save your sanity as well as help to educate you in all things turtle.

All in a great bit of fun and for £7 you can have a lot of peace of mind. Well worth it.



Thursday, 3 April 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Elder Scrolls Online Infographic - Bethesda


Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
With The Elder Scrolls Online launching tomorrow, we had some fun receiving and reading through the infographic from Bethesda.  It contains a lot of weird and fun facts and lets face it, if you've seen South Park's World of Warcraft Episode one of the facts that they've included here will more than make you laugh.

(Please click on it to see the full info.)

The Elder Scrolls Online launches tomorrow for the PC and Mac with the Xbox One and PS4 versions coming live in June.

Sadly Lady Eleanor and I won't be marching through with you on the PC as we're waiting to double team on the Xbox One.

Hopefully the testing for Xbox One will go well, and if we manage to get early access we will bring information to you readers about how well it works (or doesn't) as well as getting in depth with how the next gen copes with the demands of this wonderfully colourful world.

All the best,



Gareh and Lady Eleanor

CRIME FICTION REVIEW: By It's Cover - Donna Leon

Release Date: 03/04/14
Publisher:  William Heinemann

SYNOPSIS:

By Its Cover is the much anticipated twenty-third instalment in Donna Leon's bestselling crime series, where Commissario Brunetti is better than ever as he addresses questions of worth and value alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra. When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn't quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library's regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library's chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone. However, when Franchini is found murdered in his home, the case takes a more sinister turn and soon Brunetti finds himself submerged in the dark secrets of the black market of antiquarian books. Alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra, he delves into the pages of Franchini's past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.


REVIEW:

Donna Leon was an author that I came across a while ago. I loved the way that she brings Italy to life for me, the way that the characters add a depth of flavour to the tale and of course when mixed with double dealing alongside corruption, really kept me glued to the story.

It’s a wonderfully dark story, brings the elements within carefully to life which when added with an author who believes in showing rather than telling all round gave me a good few hours of reading pleasure. Delicious.

Monday, 31 March 2014

NEWS: Deja Review - March 2014


Hail Mighty Readers,
Here are this months book reincarnations (covers may not match the new incarnation), please click on the cover to go to that titles review:





 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Assassin's Reign - John Murray

Release Date: 13/03/14
Publisher:  John Murray

SYNOPSIS:

The forces of King Charles are victorious; their Parliamentarian enemies in deep crisis. In the west, the crucial port city of Bristol has fallen, and Royalist eyes fall quickly upon neighbouring Gloucester. Its walls are weak, its garrison under strength, and its governor - Sir Edward Massie - suspected of harbouring sympathy for the King. Stryker and his men are with the army as it converges on Gloucester, still reeling from the loss of a close friend at the bloody Battle of Stratton. Ordered to infiltrate the rebel city on a mission to discover whether Massie will indeed surrender, Stryker reluctantly embarks upon his most desperate mission yet. But Gloucester's defenders are more resolute than any had imagined, and catastrophe soon befalls him. With his life seemingly forfeit, Stryker is spared by an unlikely saviour; Vincent Skaithlocke, his former commander. The mercenary has returned to England to fight for Parliament, and offers Stryker his protection. As old friends adjust to life fighting for opposing sides, Stryker begins to question his own loyalties ...but a chance discovery makes him realise that all in Gloucester is not what it seems, for a hidden menace threatens his own life, and that of King Charles himself.


REVIEW:

The fourth outing for Captain Styker and one that really will test not only the mettle but the heroes limits as the author weaves a staggeringly addictive story. The prose is sharp, the pace wonderfully diverse and when the reader gets to the heart of the matter they’re in for a treat as our heroes latest mission will pull him in many directions.

Back this up with some masterful storytelling, cracking supporting cast members with a firm grasp of weaving historical records into the tale to give it depth all round generates a series that HF fans just have to read.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

CRIME FICTION REVIEW: Stone Cold - CJ Box


Release Date: 13/03/14
Publisher:  Head of Zeus

SYNOPSIS:

Everything about the man is a mystery: the secluded ranch in the Black Hills, the women who live with him, the secret philanthropies, the private airstrip, the sudden disappearances. And the persistent rumors that his wealth comes from killing people. Game warden Joe Pickett owes Wyoming's Governor a favour, so he can't refuse the clandestine order to head north and find out what Medicine Wheel County's reclusive multi-millionaire is up to. Joe's not the first investigator to arrive in Medicine Wheel, but after his predecessor burned to death in a hotel fire, will he be the first to leave alive? As winter's first storm closes in, Joe will that there's more than one stone-cold killer stalking the Black Hills.


REVIEW:

Life is not only hectic but complex for series hero Joe Pickett as events from past exploits catch up with him pulling him in all directions. Not only does this latest adventure throw him back into unsavoury company of Governor Rulon but the return of Nate Romanowski.

Its fast paced with top notch action and when thrust into a community that likes to keep its own secrets really does give the reader the chance to explore the tale from the principle players point of view as investigations pry away at the darker side. Its cracking prose and of course when added to a stunning background from previous exploits will more than please readers looking for solid crime fiction.

Friday, 28 March 2014

YOUNG ADULT CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Theodore Boone: The Activist - John Grisham

Release Date: 27/03/14
Publisher:  Hodder

SYNOPSIS:

Theodore Boone, young lawyer, has had a lot to deal with in his thirteen years, everything from kidnapping to murder. But he's come through it all and, with the law on his side, justice has always prevailed. Sometimes, though, the law doesn't seem so just. His friend Hardie Quinn is about to have his family home bulldozed to make way for a bypass. Hardie is not the only one affected: other homes, businesses and schools lie in the path of the road. Theo has to tell his friend the bad news: for once, the law isn't on his side, and there's very little anyone can do to end the destruction. Theo joins the campaign to stop the road. But when he stumbles on a terrible secret about the corrupt men behind the plan - a secret it is illegal for him to know - Theo must figure out how to keep the developers from breaking the law...without breaking it himself.


REVIEW:

Another Young Adult story from an established adult author that goes to prove that their skills are just as captivating for a younger audience as they are for older fans. The tale does what Grisham does best bringing cracking characters to the fore as the investigation wends its way with wonderful touches that young readers will more than identify with.

Back this up with wonderful prose and a high octane pace all round gives you something special to savour. Definitely a cracking book and my favourite JG title to date.



Thursday, 27 March 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Batman: Arkham Knight: New Screen Shots - DC, Rock Steady Games and Warner Brothers Interactive


Hail Might Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Warner Brothers, DC and Rock Steady Games have released some new screenshots for the forthcoming game Batman Arkham Knight.  Also included is a shot of the new super villain Arkham Knight.

So, for your viewing pleasure these brand new shots.  We really can't wait to embark, and yes, the cardboard batterangs have reappeared...  







Please remember that if you preorder you'll also get to play Harley Quinn. as well as the fact that this title is next gen and will only be released on the following formats:  
PC's 
PS4
Xbox One

All the best,  



Gareth and Lady Eleanor

SATIRE REVIEW: Look Who's Back - Timur Vermes

Release Date: 27/03/14
Publisher:  MacLehose

SYNOPSIS:

Summer 2011. Berlin. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of ground, alive and well. Things have changed - no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman. People certainly recognise him, though - as a brilliant, satirical impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable, happens, and the ranting Hitler takes off, goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own TV show, becomes someone who people listen to. All while he's still trying to convince people that yes, it really is him, and yes, he really means it. Look Who's Back is a black and brilliant satire of modern media-bloated society, seen through the eyes of the Fuhrer himself. Adolf is by turns repellent, sympathetic and hilarious, but always fascinating. Look Who's Back is outrageously clever, outrageously funny - and outrageously plausible.


REVIEW:

I originally heard about this book from a publisher and whilst I was a little wary in regard to the subject matter, I thought that it would be more than interesting to see what could occur in an alternate history timeline especially with the modern advances in technology.

What this book is, and the reader has to remember, is that it’s a satire, which whilst it may not always come across as such with the translation, is something that can and will at times scare the reader as they can see how things that we take as every day now can be turned to further a cause as well as a get a message across.

The Hitler within the pages is a person that the reader will find fascinating, the way he has to adapt to our world, the way he see’s modern problems and the way in which a mind can twist words to play not only to the reader but also to the other cast members within. All round, it’s a book that is quite easy to read multiple pages of, has what feels like a firm hand on the modern world and all round gives the reader something to not only think about but to question which overall is perhaps the main point of a satire.



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Wolfenstein: New Order Co-Ordinated Worldwide Release - Bethesda

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our Allies at Bethesda have managed to let us know that Wolfenstein: New Order, will be launching simultaneously in North America, Europe and Australia on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC!

Hopefully you're as excited as we are, so here's hoping you'll join us on a co-ordinated strike on the day of release.

Currently under development at MachineGames, Wolfenstein: The New Order, the first-person action-adventure shooter, reignites the franchisewidely recognized for pioneering the first-person shooter genre. Set in the 1960s, the monstrous Nazi regime has used mysterious advanced technology to win World War II. They now rule the globe with an iron fist. Wolfenstein: The New Order sends you across Europe on a harrowing mission to bring down the Nazi war machine. 

Finally remember that as an added bonus, everyone pre-ordering the game will be invited to access the DOOM beta with their copy ofWolfenstein: The New Order. For more information on the DOOM beta access pre-order bonus, as well as applicable terms and restrictions,please visit:: www.wolfenstein.com/DOOM."

We hope you're as excited as we are,    




Gareth and Lady Eleanor

FICTION REVIEW: Kindred - Octavia E Butler

Release Date: 27/03/14
Publisher:  Headline

SYNOPSIS:

On her 26th birthday, Dana and her husband are moving into their apartment when she starts to feel dizzy. She falls to her knees, nauseous. Then the world falls away. She finds herself at the edge of a green wood by a vast river. A child is screaming. Wading into the water, she pulls him to safety, only to find herself face to face with a very old looking rifle, in the hands of the boy's father. She's terrified. The next thing she knows she's back in her apartment, soaking wet. It's the most terrifying experience of her life ...until it happens again. The longer Dana spends in 19th century Maryland - a very dangerous place for a black woman - the more aware she is that her life might be over before it's even begun.


REVIEW:

As a huge fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon I’m always on the look out for something that has a similar flavour but also takes its own path as worlds not only collide but gives the reader a heart rending tale where you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen.

Here within this book Octavia really gives the reader a story that not only fulfils an emotional aspect but one that really takes you on a journey as the dark past comes to not only life but generates something special. The prose is reasonable, the pace solid enough, but for me, it’s the vivid characters that Octavia creates within that really kept me glued. I loved the way that the characters emotions made them believable and how they developed alongside the story. All round a tale that I enjoyed as it was something a little different for me. Thank you for a wonderful read Octavia.



Tuesday, 25 March 2014

SCIENCE FICTION CRIME REVIEW: The Happier Dead - Ivo Stourton

Release Date: 13/03/14
Publisher:  Solaris

SYNOPSIS:

The Great Spa sits on the edge of London, a structure visible from space. The power of Britain on the world stage rests in its monopoly on "The Treatment," a medical procedure which transforms the richest and most powerful into a state of permanent physical youth. The Great Spa is the place where the newly young immortals go to revitalise their aged souls. In this most secure of facilities, a murder of one of the guests threatens to destabilise the new order, and DCI Oates of the Metropolitan police is called in to investigate. In a single day, Oates must unravel the secrets behind the Treatment and the long-ago disappearance of its creator, passing through a London riven with disorder and corruption. As a night of widespread rioting takes hold of the city, he moves towards a climax which could lead to the destruction of the Great Spa, his own ruin, and the loss of everything he holds most dear.


REVIEW:

Whilst a lot of readers can be put off a crime novel when Science Fiction is involved, you really have to give it a go as its not that far fetched giving readers the chance to see a believable world of tomorrow where the rich stay richer and the poor are downtrodden as the march of progress is slowed./halted for the rich whilst the poor are treated worse than dirt.

Its captivating, it has an almost Victorian feel and when added to a principle character who is thrust into a world he is more than uncomfortable in really keeps the reader on their toes. Back this up with great prose, some cracking author sleight of hand and a mystery that really keeps you glued as events unfurl all round opens the reader to a cracking new world for future exploits.

Monday, 24 March 2014

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Andromeda's Fall - William C Dietz

Release Date: 03/01/14
Publisher: Titan 

SYNOPSIS:

Hundreds of years in the future, Cat, one of the last surviving Carlettos, is on the run. And, like countless others before her, she finds her sanctuary among the most dangerous of society's misfits. Welcome to the Legion. Cat Carletto becomes a Legion recruit Andromeda McKee. A woman with a mission - to bring down Empress Ophelia - or die trying.


REVIEW:

If you want cracking action, a huge cast and of course some real kick ass characters to spend time with to get away from the real world, then you really have to give this title by William C Dietz a go. The principle character, whilst it took a while to get to, felt realistic to me, I loved the way she was rounded and how the author managed to make her vulnerable as well as thrusts her into the unknown within this epic storyline.

Add to this good solid pace that gives the readers cracking hard core action and then lulls to recover and absorb what has gone before. Its well written, has some wonderful turns of phrase and when adding into the piece some cracking dialogue all round gives you that real hit of something wonderful.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Enchantment Emporium - Tanya Huff

Release Date: 17/01/14
Publisher: Titan

SYNOPSIS:

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life. So when her Gran leaves her a "junk" shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary - trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...


REVIEW:

To be honest I’m a huge fan of Tanya’s writing and whilst I’ve loved a lot of what has gone before I found this book not only uncomfortable but one that confused me on so many levels as it didn’t really make a lot of sense, almost as if Tanya was drinking from the same liquid source as a certain UF author with a penchant for the erotica.

The characters whilst interesting, didn’t really flesh out as much as I normally like with Tanya, the storyline felt convoluted and when added to magic that really didn’t seem to have any rules alongside with a family so messed up that Jerry Springer wouldn’t take them all round left me feeling disappointed with what I normally assume to be an author on my safe list.

All round I felt let down, hugely upset at not getting what I went for in and all round wondering if this is the shape of things to come for Tanya’s future titles. If so I’ll be bailing.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Red Rising Trilogy 1: Red Rising - Pierce Brown

Release Date: 28/01/14
Publisher:  Hodder

SYNOPSIS:

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left. Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda. Ender's Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the first in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.


REVIEW:

OK, you want something that is not only different but really hits the spot. You also want something new that you’ve never seen before and all wrapped up with a debut author so that you’re not sure what to expect. Sound a little bit too far-fetched to achieve? Well normally I’d say yes, but for me Hodder have pulled a blinder by obtaining what I think could and will be a title to set your standards by with this debut that just blew me away.

What you get within is a hugely complex tale with characters that are not only realistic but make choices that have huge repercussions for all involved be it for good or ill. Add to this a world that feels wonderfully real and one that the reader can step into and lose not only hours within but will also be left emotionally drained upon completion. All in, and whilst this may seem like a wild claim for many but all round, I feel will do for Science Fiction what George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series has done for Fantasy. You really have to read this book this year.

Friday, 21 March 2014

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Assassin's Creed: Unity Teaser Trailer Released - Ubisoft





Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Ubisoft have managed to sneak this alpha footage from the forthcoming Assassin's Creed: Unity title.

Here's what they've had to say:
"We have been working on the new Assassin’s Creed for more than three years and although we weren’t quite ready to show you our full vision for a next-gen only AC, it seems Abstergo are trying to force our hand!  So here’s a true first look at in-game footage from Assassin’s Creed Unity. Stay tuned – we’ll have many more exciting details for you in the months ahead!"




Currently there's not much known but from the footage we know that its set during the French Revolution.  


All in, it looks like its going to be a pretty sweet next gen title and if this is Alpha, we can't wait to see what the final version looks like.




Gareth and Lady Eleanor

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Murdered: Soul Suspect Limited Edition Announced - Square Enix


Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Square Enix have let us know about the latest trailer to do with the forthcoming Murdered: Soul Suspect, which has been on our radar since the first trailer earlier in the year.

Here they tell us about the limited edition of the game:
"As Ronan digs deeper into the investigation of his own murder, both he and Joy realize Salem has been hiding a secret far darker than they ever anticipated.
Watch the trailer to find out what lies buried in Salem and see the newly announced Limited Edition version of Murdered: Soul Suspect.




The Limited Edition will include a copy of the journal used by Ronan and Joy to hunt down the killer and features written and visual clues about the murders terrorising Salem. It will also include free access to an Interactive Digital Strategy Map. With the aid of the map, you will be able to seek out hundreds of collectibles, detect side quests and find all of Salem’s haunting landmarks. The map will be accessible via computer or tablet.

The Limited Edition will be available while stocks last. At participating retailers only. Please check with local retail."


Murdered: Soul Suspect will be released on the following formats on 6th June 2014:
PC
Xbox One
Xbox 360
PS4
PS3

We hope you'll uncover the truth as we do,


Gareth and Lady Eleanor

VIDEO GAME NEWS: New In Game Footage from Wolfenstein: New Order - Bethesda

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Bethesda have managed to smuggle new footage from Wolfenstein: New Order, out past the Nazi's and into our hands.

Here's what they've had to say:

"We’ve released two new videos for Wolfenstein: The New Order. In the latest installment of the Bethesda Underground video series, ‘Know Your Devs’, MachineGames’ narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Bj√∂rk discusses his proudest moments while working on Wolfenstein: The New Order, including writing the Chapter 3 train sequence  – one of the many standout moments in the game.  We’ve also released a video of the train scene he created – entitled On a Train to Berlin. Check out B.J. Blazkowicz as he first encounters one of Wolfenstein’s most-sinister villains, Frau Engel, on a train from Poland en route to Eisenwald Prison.




Currently under development at MachineGames, Wolfenstein: The New Order, the first-person action-adventure shooter, reignites the franchisewidely recognized for pioneering the first-person shooter genre. Set in the 1960s, the monstrous Nazi regime has used mysterious advanced technology to win World War II. They now rule the globe with an iron fist. Wolfenstein: The New Order sends you across Europe on a harrowing mission to bring down the Nazi war machine.

Wolfenstein is slated for release in Australia on May 22nd and throughout Europe on May 23rd on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. As an added bonus, everyone pre-ordering the game will be invited to access the DOOM beta with their copy ofWolfenstein: The New Order. For more information on the DOOM beta access pre-order bonus, as well as applicable terms and restrictions,please visit:: www.wolfenstein.com/DOOM."

 
We hope you're as excited as we are,  



Gareth and Lady Eleanor