Wednesday, 31 October 2012

NEWS: Deja Review

Hail Mighty Readers,
Here is our monthly summation of titles that we've revieved previously that have now been released as Paperbacks with links back to their original reviews.  Whilst the covers may differ please rest assured that they are the same title.

For this month we have:
04/10/12 WARD, JR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 10: Lover Reborn
25/10/12 ABNETT, Dan - Salvation's Reach
 





Urban Fantasy Titles for Halloween
Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling - Michael Boccacino   
Plague Town - Dana Fredsti 

We hope you enjoy them,



Gareth and Lady Eleanor

URBAN FANTASY CRIME REVIEW: A Witch Hunt Novel: The 13th Sacrifice - Debbie Viguie

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane. One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane. But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections? Eventually, Sir James' quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.


REVIEW:

Whilst I haven’t always seen eye to eye with Debbie’s writing, this title more than grabbed my attention as it brought a whole host of elements to my attention that I just couldn’t ignore, after all when a tale brings crime alongside urban fantasy you know that all bets are off and that anything can happen.

What Debbie brings to the fore is a tale that has quite a few twists, brought together with solid pace and cracking dialogue. Yet whilst this all works extremely well what really made this stand out was the principle character who was a strong woman with brains, some street smarts and of course an attitude that has her facing her own demons head on. It’s definitely a book that I had fun with and one that I had a hard time putting down. All in a cracking title all round.



URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Mist in the Mirror - Susan Hill

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane. One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane. But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections? Eventually, Sir James' quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.


REVIEW:

With the dark nights closing in there are times when you want something to chill you as you have a sneaky read whilst wrapped up in your duvet so having had one title of Susan’s writing prior to this, I’d had my curiosity aroused enough to demand a copy of this book to settle down with.

Whilst that was my initial intention, settling down wasn’t exactly what I got as I found that reading by booklight, with a quite house and the wind blowing hard outside along with driving rain, didn’t exactly help me to relax whilst reading the chilling title that landed.

It definitely had a solid lead character, some great twists and of course did exactly what I wanted by raising the hackles on the back of my neck quite a few times as I made my way through the pages, almost relieved when dawn was creeping through my curtains as I finished off the last few pages.

All in I had a lot of fun with this book and whilst I did have a sleepless night as I couldn’t put it down I really did get what I’d wanted and was more than happy, I’ll definitely embark on another tale by Susan in the future.



Tuesday, 30 October 2012

LADY ELEANOR VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Assassin's Creed 3 - Ubisoft

Release Date: 31/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

Assassin's Creed III is a third-person Action-Adventure game in which players take on the role of an assassin hunting remnants of the ancient Templar order, hiding in plain site against the backdrop of the American Revolutionary War. The game is the fifth overall release in the Assassin's Creed franchise and the first to include significant use of firearms. Features include: an all new assassin character, a link to the modern Desmond Miles character from earlier games, gameplay spread over decades, naval combat, Native American weapons, new physics, animation and weather systems, and intense multiplayer featuring new characters.

A Revolution in Assassins
The American Colonies, 1775: A brave young warrior fights to save his homeland. But what begins as a struggle over territory turns into an extraordinary journey that will transform him into a master assassin - one that will forever change the destiny of a newborn nation.

You are Connor, warrior son of a Native American mother and British father. As the colonies draw closer to revolution, you will dedicate your life to the freedom of your clan, becoming the spark that ignites the revolution into a full blaze. Your crusade will lead you through blood-soaked battlefields and crowded city streets, to the perilous wilderness and stormy seas. You will not only witness history... you will make it. Set against the backdrop of one of the bloodiest Revolutions in world history, prepare to be drawn back into the centuries old battle between the Assassin’s Order and their sworn enemy, the Templars. Unleash lethal new skills and experience a stunningly realistic world created by Anvil Next, a new engine that redefines gaming. Welcome to an entirely new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga.
Key Game Features

A New Master Assassin - As Connor, a Native American assassin, unleash your predatory instincts to stalk your enemies and devastate them with new weapons including tomahawks, rope darts, firearms and more.
Ignite the Fires of Revolution - Fighting from Lexington to Bunker Hill, you are America's first highly trained master assassin. Incite the revolution by working behind the scenes alongside historical icons like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and more.
Explore a Brave New World - Pursue your enemies through massive environments, from bustling city streets to blood-soaked battlefields, and into the far reaches of the American frontier.
Stunning New Design - Experience the power of Ubisoft-AnvilNext, the new engine designed for Assassin's Creed III. Revolutionary physics, animation and weather systems deliver unprecedented realism, while a whole new combat system delivers more intense, gut-wrenching battles than ever before.
Conquer the Seas - Take command of your own naval warship and send your enemies to a watery grave.
Intense Multiplayer - The acclaimed multiplayer system returns with a host of refinements, including all-new characters, maps and modes to deliver the most compelling online experience yet.



REVIEW:

Lets start this out honest from the get go, I’ve been a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed games for a number of years with the original title, starring Altair, being the thing that made me buy an Xbox in the first place. The graphics were gorgous, the gameplay addictive and there was just so much you could do including figuring out which tactics suited your style of play better whilst you were running (or riding) through a landscape that took your breath away.

So when we heard about the second title starring Ezio, I was more than up for the challenge of moving on to Renaissance Italy, they’d increased the landscape, they gave you more abilities and they also worked on giving the player more gameplay with meticulously researched buildings and the ability to swim (you wouldn’t believe how many times poor old Altair drowned whilst I was trying to get some of those flags) with steadily increasing options with additions including guilds and building up your finances through shop purchases. It was innovative, it brought a purpose to collecting money and of course tied it all up with a storyline that was hard to let go.

Then we hit the third outing, this time with Connor Kenway, (birth name Ratonhnhaké:ton) taking the player to the American Colonies during the Revolution. This time, a whole new set of skills, a selection of new weapons with the player managing their homestead to earn finances as well as my favourite part of taking to the High Sea’s in your own ship, fighting it out with cannon.

Add to this a top notch storyline, a lavish new fighting style backed up with so many choices to make and you know its something epic, but I’ve yet to mention one thing, the scale. You thought the other games were big? This one is one and a half times the size of Rome, its epic, there’s so much to see, so much to do and of course new routes to find to achieve your objectives with the simplest straight forward one not always being the best way to hit the area that you’re trying to reach.

Finally throw into the mix tree running and hunting and all round this game is one that will keep you playing for quite some time, so much so that as of the time of writing this I’ve already logged a lot of time (but I’m a girl who loves achieving each objective) and still have a huge amount of things left to do. So much so that I haven’t even looked at the multiplayer options yet that include a variety of options from hunting your friends throughout the landscape or capture and holding land. It’s definitely one of the games of the year without a question and when added to scale, playtime and graphically it’s definitely a game that holds a knife to your throat demanding that you own a copy.

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Mad River - John Sandford

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what's-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers' cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn't realize what's about to happen next.


REVIEW:

If you love a crime thriller then you must have surely taken time to read John Sandford. No? Well to be honest neither had I until this title landed and to be honest whilst it was a slow starter I really got behind the lead character Virgil Flowers. He’s definitely a one off and the way that the author weaves the tale really brings it out into something unique.

Add to this a solid set of twists, logical steps as our hero seeks to catch his prey and when backed with some wonderful turns of phrase and a no nonsense point of view really keeps you hooked to the final page. All in definitely an author I’m pleased to have discovered and one that I’ll be embarking on further adventures with.



SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Warhammer 40K: Dark Vengeance - CZ Dunn

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

In the grim darkness of the far future, mankind fights a desperate battle for survival amongst the stars. Foremost among its protectors are the Space Marines, genetically engineered superhumans, trained to be the ultimate warriors.

The Dark Angels are among the foremost Space Marines, the First Legion of old. Devastated millennia ago by a dreadful schism, the Dark Angels are constantly on the hunt for the mysterious Fallen, former brothers who have turned from the light of the immortal God-Emperor and embraced the dread powers of Chaos.

Newly ordained Company Master Balthasar of the Dark Angels leads his forces to the world of Bane’s Landing, the resting place of the ancient and powerful Hellfire Stone, in pursuit of the Chaos Space Marines of the Crimson Slaughter. Kranon the Relentless, the evil lord of the Crimson Slaughter, seeks to use the stone to summon forth his daemonic masters and usher in an age of darkness. As the Dark Angels race to stop him, the scene is set for a mighty conflict between the loyal Balthasar and the traitor Kranon.


REVIEW:

Whilst I love novella’s there are times when I feel that an author has bitten off a little more than they can chew and to be honest that’s the case with this one by CZ Dunn which for me is told from too many points of view and felt more a case of selling GW’s new range of figures rather than concentrating on giving the reader a solid example of why the worlds involved are so wonderful to spend time in.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing does move at quite a clip and when added to a huge amount of action backed with some interesting characters should have had all the elements to make this something solid but when you remember that it is a novella then you do wonder if it’s more action and less about a solid storyline other than giving it enough of a foothold to link the sequences together.

All in it is an OK book but I prefer a little more substance and a few more twists than were presented within rather than an overly linear tale told from too many perspectives.



Monday, 29 October 2012

THRILLER REVIEW: The Sentinel - Mark Oldfield

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

Madrid, winter 1953: the snow lies thick on the ground and Comandante Guzman of the Brigada Especial is preparing a dawn raid. His job is to hunt down opponents of Franco's regime and destroy them. Feared by all in Franco's Spain, Guzman takes what he wants: food, drink, women. That is about to change. Guzman is going to find himself on the wrong side of Franco, and on the wrong side of history. It's not the first time Guzman has been on the wrong side. But there's no one left alive who knows about that...until he gets a message from a dead man...Madrid, 2009: Ana Maria Galindez is a forensic scientist investigating a mass grave from the Franco era. Now she is hunting for the hidden ledger of secret policeman Leopoldo Guzman - a man who disappeared without trace in 1953. But there are those who would rather the secrets of Guzman's ledger stay buried. Galindez' pursuit of the past has revealed a battle for the present...


REVIEW:

A new publisher and one that doesn’t believe in pulling punches with its first batch of releases and boy, am I glad for that. Here in this title by the author is a story that brings Spain to life for the reader, he brings the dark seedy underside into the light and when blended with the historical backdrop which the author adds in vivid technicolour really brings this story to the fore.

Add to this a cracking sense of pace, wonderful characterisation which when backed with a story that will keep you gripped from start to finish really makes this a very impressive title for me. I really hope that someone picks up the film rights to this as with all the twists and turns within backed up with the rich storytelling really makes this something that movie lovers will get a blast from.



Sunday, 28 October 2012

MUSIC REVIEW: Wake the Union - Show of Hands

Release Date: 15/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

England's finest roots duo weave a touch of Folk, a hint of Blues and a tiny pinch of Country into their new studio album. Born out of a love of both English and North American acoustic and roots music, 'Wake the Union', the eagerly awaited new Show of Hands studio album takes a journey through the heart of two landscapes united by a common tongue and musical heritage. Produced by Mark Tucker, the 15 tracks feature themes and styles that alternate between the two countries. In the first three songs the Knightley/Lakeman co-write 'Haunt You' tells a tale of a tormented seafarer, whilst the new Knightley-penned track 'Company Town' shows a Tom Waits influence and the festival favourite 'Now You Know' implores a lost love to return to the West Country to rekindle a relationship. Celebrating 20 years as a unit with a 4th sell-out appearance at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this year, Steve Knightley and Phil Beer have enlisted an impressive array of guest musicians on the recording including Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, BJ Cole, Andy Cutting, Bellowhead's Paul Sartin, Cormac Byrne and Canadian Leonard Podolak, and as ever Miranda Sykes adds her wonderful double bass and vocals.


REVIEW:

For a number of years I’ve been following Show of Hands as I’m a huge fan of their type of music having grown up in the Lake District with a few folk clubs. So having enjoyed previous titles they’ve produced, I was looking forward to the latest one and have to say that for me its one of their best to date. That takes you through the full emotional spectrum whether you want the emotional turmoil presented within “Katrina” or “Coming Home” through to the heartache with “Cruel River” and “Seven Curse”s alongside anger in the “I Will Haunt You.”

Yet for all that the Album has its uplifting tracks and the wonderful musical talent goes within through a very unique combination of Blues, Folk and a touch of Country that brings the best of all together. All in this is a top notch album that includes tracks that you’ll sing along to as well as listen to the lamentation. Great stuff and an album that will be listened to quite a few times.



THRILLER REVIEW: Ghost Hero - SJ Rozan

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

They call him the Ghost Hero. Chau Chun is a renowned artist and controversial painter. And rumours of new work by him has the media in a frenzy - and sees Lydia Chin and Bill Smith hired to follow the whispers to their source. They soon discover that Chau has been officially dead for over twenty years, killed in the Tianamen Square uprising. Are Lydia and Bill really chasing a ghost?


REVIEW:

Unlike other thrillers out there, this tale is one that works more on the mental side of things and whilst a lot of people prefer the huge action sequences something that makes an author stand out is how they manage to engage a reader when what are thought of as key elements for any genre are removed.

Whilst the action is a little light within, it’s the characters that really shine for me within the authors writing, I can vividly imagine them, I’d like to go for a drink with some and when added to the multifaceted attributes that each has really makes this a story to make you sit up and listen to. Add to this crisp, sharp prose, a wonderful sense of pace and of course some magical sleight of hand all go together with a couple of twists to really deliver a cracking novel. Great stuff.




Saturday, 27 October 2012

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Red Rain - RL Stine

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

First came the hurricane. The red rain began to fall. The blood of its victims. And the twin angels emerged...

Lea Sutter is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trapped on an island during a hurricane, she barely escapes alive.

Out of the carnage, two boys appear - innocent, angelic and thrilled to be adopted by their new mother.

But these are no ordinary children. They bring the gift of death - and they want to share it with the whole town.

What do you do when evil enters your home?


REVIEW:

To be blunt I was expecting quite a lot from this book, not only because its been a few years since RL Stine was last released but because I felt that the brand of horror he brought to people of my sisters age would have ben brought bang up to date to scare the hell out of them as adults.

Sadly this wasn’t the case as for my money this felt more like a cash in than a real attempt at getting a serious tale out there. The characters were laughable, the story one I’ve heard something similar before and when added to what appeared to be any lack of humanity within the lead character that should have exhibited some sort of intelligence and all in I felt really cheated. It’s a great shame all round and if you have to read this wait until its in a charity shop, at least that way you’ll be doing some good with your money.



Friday, 26 October 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Empire 5: The Wolf's Gold - Anthony Riches

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

Fresh from their victory in Germania, Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia, on the north-eastern edge of the Roman Empire, with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines of Alburnus Major contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the marauding Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of a barbarian invasion. Beset by both the Sarmatian horde and more subtle threats offered by men who should be their comrades, the Tungrians must also come to terms with the danger posed by a new and unexpected enemy. They will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and their own skins.


REVIEW:

It’ll come as no surprise to many that I’m a huge fan of the Empire series by Anthony, it has everything I want in a roman historical fiction story, you want hard fought battles against the odds with blood alongside glory, you got it, you want complex characters, you’ve got that as well, but back that up with some real twisted kick ass politics and the machinations of the roman red tape machine and you really get something spectacular.

Add to that an author who makes you feel that you’re in the front line up to your neck in the brown stuff alongside the Tungarians and you know it’s going to be an adventure that is not only hard to put down but one that will have you checking carefully if “faithful” friends have made it through.

Finally throw into the mix a hidden arc underneath of the deeper fate that Mithras has in store for our Centurion hero and all in you know damn well it’s going to be a long wait for the next outing. Great stuff.



Thursday, 25 October 2012

URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE REVIEW: Renegade Angels 2: A Hunger So Wild - Sylvia Day

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

From the internationally bestselling author of BARED TO YOU (Crossfire trilogy), A HUNGER SO WILD is the second red-hot paranormal romance following the sizzling A TOUCH OF CRIMSON. If you fell for Gideon Cross, wait until you meet the men who really are out of this world...Elijah Reynolds is the most dominant of lycans, a rare Alpha whose skill for the hunt is surpassed only by his primal sexuality. When the lycans revolt against the iron fist of angelic rule, he steps in to command, becoming both enemy and coveted ally in the conflict between vampires and angels. Vashti is the second most powerful vampire in the world, a lethal beauty with a path of devastation in her wake. Tasked with proposing an alliance between vampires and the lycans who killed her mate, Vash approaches Elijah, whose need to avenge the loss of his closest friend calls for Vash's death even as his passion demands her surrender. Soon, their enmity erodes beneath an all-consuming desire. Elijah has never encountered a woman whose warrior spirit and fierce sexual appetite rivals his own, while Vash is faced with the one man strong enough to be her equal. But as war looms, each must decide where their loyalty lies - with their own kind or with the enemy lover they can no longer live without...


REVIEW:

If you love hot romance, sensual tension backed up with Vampires and Werewolves then you have to read this series by Sylvia Day which, on its second outing really has set things up to sizzle from start to finish. Throw into the mix perceived vengeance, an untested alliance and of course double dealing all wrapped up in a fast paced action piece and you only really touch the surface which when backed with cracking lead characters will set your heart alight as the tale unwinds.

Back this up with smouldering looks, hot romance and of course the discovery of the unknown and all in the reader is in for a treat. However the only warning I’m going to give you is don’t pick this book up without having read the first as otherwise a lot of the details may pass you by. All in a solid read if a little abrupt on the conclusion leaving the reader in the lurch and demanding more.



ART BOOK REVIEW: The Emperor's Might - Ed. John Blanche

Release Date: 25/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

Forged by forgotten science and driven by their eternal duty, the superhuman Space Marines are mankind’s foremost defence against a dark and brooding universe. Honed by years of the most rigorous training and equipped with the finest weapons and armour, the Adeptus Astartes hold back the darkness, protecting the Imperium from the alien, the witch and the traitor. Packed with previously unseen illustrations as well as a host of classic images chosen by Games Workshop’s Art Director John Blanche, this full-colour artbook provides an unrivalled look at the fighting forces of the Imperium.


REVIEW:

I was lucky enough to meet John on a tour of the Games Workshop facility a number of years ago, noticing the friendliness for all members of the company and in particular an adapted giant with las cannon on his desk. For me, it went to show that this was a guy with not only a sense of humour but one who knew the worlds of the Black Library Universe so well that he could adapt from one to another with ease.

So perhaps when compiling a whole host of artwork for the 40K Universe there would be none better than this proverbial art giant to bring it all to the fans with some classic images that help define the worlds alongside some newer pieces that really help bring new elements to life.

Its cleverly edited, the pieces each stand out on their own and when looked at collectively I don’t have a clue as to how he managed to decide what would make it in as its crammed to the rafters. Back that up with heroes of all chapters making appearances alongside some beautiful pencil sketches alongside the colour and it’s a book you’ll go back to time and again for inspiration. Cracking.



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Coldbrook - Tim Lebbon

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

The world as we know it has changed forever. The reason is Coldbrook. The facility lay deep in Appalachian Mountains, a secret laboratory called Coldbrook. Its scientists had achieved the impossible: a gateway to a new world. Theirs was to be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, but they had no idea what they were unleashing. With their breakthrough comes disease and now it is out and ravaging the human population. The only hope is a cure and the only cure and the only cure is genetic resistance: an uninfected person amongst the billions dead. In the chaos of destruction there is only one person that can save the human race. But will they find her in time?


REVIEW:

It’s time to turn on the nightlight and read long into the night with the latest offering from Tim Lebbon demonstrating why as a horror hound he’s one of the best to run you to ground and gnaw on your leg whilst the zombie horde approaches as here within this book is a story that has not only a lot of original elements but brings the best of the Zombie Genre to the reader with enough grotesquery to bring the most ardent horror fans retching to their knees.

Add to this top notch genre defying prose, some wonderful forward thinking and overall a book that feels cinematic throughout its pages as the revelations will have you glued to the final page. Back that up with an authorly style that’s identifiable alongside some cracking characters and all in I was more than sated. Great stuff.



Tuesday, 23 October 2012

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Assassin's Creed 3: Launch Trailer - Ubisoft


Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Well in the countdown for AC3 we've managed to get our hands on the launch trailer and lets just say that the game not only looks epic, but will be the one to beat this year.

So much so that we've just watched it back to back three times just to make sure that we get a full look at all that beautiful scenary as well as the various ways that they've brought the old world to life in their one third building of the cities involved.  

Whilst we realise the temptation as well as the impatience for this long awaited game is hitting fever pitch, we hope that this will sooth your worries in time for its launch on 31st October  :


 
Hope you enjoy it as much as we have,    Gareth and Lady Eleanor

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: No Man's World 3: The Alleyman - Pat Kelleher

Release Date: 11/10/12

SYNOPSIS:

It’s been four months since the Pennine Fusiliers vanished from the Somme and found themselves stranded on an alien world.
The Tommies have been surviving on this bizarre planet populated by lethal foliage and hostile human-like insects while desperately trying to find a way back to Blighty.
In The Alleyman, while Lieutenant Everson tries to discover the true intentions of their alien prisoner, Lance Corporal Atkins and his Black Hand Gang are on the trail of Jeffries, the diabolist responsible for their predicament. And above it all, Lieutenant Tulliver of the Royal Flying Corps soars free of the confines of alien gravity, where the true scale of the planet’s mystery is revealed. To uncover the truth, however, he must join forces with an unexpected ally.
A blazing mixture of genre-shattering SF, meticulously researched history, and powerful storytelling, The Alleyman is the third in this enthralling and exhilarating series.


REVIEW:

All series have something to offer the reader and for me, this one has taken all the elements that I loved as a child in 2000AD and brought them under one compilation with a story that not only keeps me guessing to the final page but one that brings all the old Action comics back to life as the Penine Fusiliers seek to find a way to return to our own world.

Its definitely something unusual and for me there’s nothing else out there that comes close to the imagination or the scope that Pat Kelleher brings to the reader. It’s sort of Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter meets Flash Gordon with a solid helping of Charlie’s War thrown in. Add to this a cracking pace that won’t give you time to breath, a few novel sleight of hand twists within backed up with a variety of characters that you just can’t help but want to spend time with and all in a little piece of heaven was in my hands. Magical.



Monday, 22 October 2012

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Rocksmith additional DLC Classic Rock Pack - Ubisoft

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
OK, so you've heard about Rocksmith, already own it or are getting it for Christmas so what extra things can you do?  

Well we assumed you looked at the great list of Tracks that you can learn and rock out to?  No?  



Tracklist
  • Best Coast - When I'm with You
  • Blur - Song 2
  • Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
  • Dan Auerbach - Want Some More
  • David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
  • Eric Clapton - Run Back to Your Side
  • Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
  • Incubus - I Miss You
  • Interpol - Slow Hands
  • Jarvis Cocker - Angela
  • Jenny O.Well - Ok Honey
  • Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
  • Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
  • Little Barrie - Surf Hell
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
  • Muse - Plug In Baby
  • Muse - Unnatural Selection
  • Nirvana - Breed
  • Nirvana - In Bloom
  • Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Go with the Flow
  • Radiohead - High and Dry
  • Rapscallions - California Brain
  • Red Fang - Number Thirteen
  • Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook
  • Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch
  • Soundgarden - Outshined
  • Spoon - Me and the Bean
  • Stone Temple Pilots - Vasoline
  • Stone Temple Pilots - Between the Lines
  • Taddy Porter - Mean Bitch
  • The Animals - House of the Rising Sun
  • The Black Keys - I Got Mine
  • The Black Keys - Next Girl
  • The Boxer Rebellion - Step Out of the Car
  • The Cribs - We Share the Same Skies
  • The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
  • The Dead Weather - I Can't Hear You
  • The Horrors - Do You Remember
  • The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
  • The Rolling Stones - Play with Fire
  • The Rolling Stones - The Spider and the Fly
  • The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness
  • The White Stripes - Icky Thump
  • Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Good Enough
  • Velvet Revolver - Slither
  • White Denim - Burnished
  • Yellow Moon Band - Chimney

Well Ubisoft have now gone one better with the announcement of thier first DLC of Classic Rock to download from your console of choice (out now for the Xbxo 360, and on the 31st October for PS3)

It contains:

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”
  • Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”
  • Boston – “More Than a Feeling”
  • Heart – “Barracuda”
  • Blue Öyster Cult – “(Don't Fear) the Reaper”
  • The Blues Brothers – “Soul Man”
  • The Police – “Message in a Bottle”
  • The Police – “Roxanne”
  • The Police – “Synchronicity II”
  • Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Queen – “Fat Bottomed Girls”
  • Queen – “Keep Yourself Alive”
  • Queen – “Killer Queen”
  • Queen – “Stone Cold Crazy”
  • Otis Redding – “(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay”
  • FILM AND VIDEO GAME NEWS: Assassins Creed Film - Ubisoft and Regency



    Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
    Our spy network has let has have this update in regard to a possible Assassin's Creed Film.

    Here's the latest info:
    "Deal Builds on Attachment of Michael Fassbender

    Today, Ubisoft® and New Regency announced that they are partnering on the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed® film.
    Ubisoft Motion Pictures, the film and television division of Ubisoft, will develop the Assassin’s Creed film in close collaboration with New Regency. The development of a screenplay is beginning immediately and the project is being fast tracked as the creative pieces come together, while allowing Ubisoft to maintain control of key elements of the movie’s creative direction. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

    “Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”

    The partnership with New Regency comes hot on the heels of Ubisoft Motion Pictures attaching distinguished actor Michael Fassbender to the Assassin’s Creed film.

    “We wanted to do everything we could to secure the rights to Assassin's Creed, which Ubisoft has maintained with such care and quality over the years,” said Brad Weston, president and chief executive officer, New Regency. "Having just finished working with Michael on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (with Plan B) made the partnership even more irresistible."

    Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in January 2011 to expand the audience of Ubisoft’s successful video game brands by bringing them to film, television and Web series.

    In addition to the Assassin’s Creed movie, the studio also is in production on the Rabbids TV series, a collection of 78 seven-minute CGI episodes based on the insane, hilarious and silly stars of the video game franchise of the same name, in partnership with France Televisions and Nickelodeon. Ubisoft Motion Pictures also has two additional feature-length films in development based on the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon video game franchises.
    "

    HISTORICAL ROMANCE REVIEW: Inferno Club 5: My Scandalous Viscount - Gaelen Foley

    Release Date: 09/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    To London society, the Inferno Club is notorious for its scandalous pursuits. In private, these warriors would risk their lives for king and country. Sebastian, Viscount Beauchamp, lives by a code of honour, and now honour dictates he must marry Miss Carissa Portland. He has no regrets over stealing a kiss from her - a fitting punishment for putting her delectable nose where it didn't belong. But now, caught in a compromising situation, he knows he must make her his bride. Carissa is not a gossip - she's a 'lady of information.' But even she can't flaunt Society, and while her head tells her that Beau's a notorious scoundrel, her heart - and her body - are captivated by his dangerous charm. But when Carissa next goes snooping, the secrets she uncovers about the Inferno Club may prove even more hazardous than falling in love with your own husband. The fifth novel in a sumptuous new romance series by New York Times bestselling author Gaelen Foley will make you blush with delight.


    REVIEW:

    I haven’t read any of the other titles in this series, so my review is going to be based on jumping in at the deep end here and hoping that I’m not dragged to my doom but overall I found this book entertaining enough. It had romance, some solid twists and whilst I wasn’t enamoured of the principle heroine, I did find myself hooked at the ways that the two characters got themselves into trouble as well as finding ways to escape the various elements.

    It’s well written, the prose sharp and when backed with an author who appears to know her market audience well, definitely delivers on everything that you’d want in a historical romance. All in a solid enough title and whilst I preferred the other title I read recently to this one I have to say that I’ll more than dip a toe in next time.



    VIDEO GAME NEWS: Assassins Creed: Liberation: Story Trailer - Ubisoft

    Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
    Our friends at Ubisoft have let us know about the additional Assassin's Creed game for the Playstation Vita called Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (out 31st October 2012.)

    Featuring Aveline, an Assassin of mixed French and African heritage, seeks to save her people during the birth of a new nation.

    As such we've got the game story trailer to tempt you even more, what it did for us was make increase the desire for the PS Vita:



    Game Blurb: Introducing Assassin’s Creed III Liberation, the stunning new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga designed exclusively for the PlayStation Vita. In 1765, events leading to the American Revolution are heating up in the north whilst Spanish forces plan to seize Louisiana in the south. Standing in their way is Aveline, a deadly Assassin who will use every weapon and well-honed skill in her arsenal to win freedom for her land and her people. Whether silently eliminating her enemies with lethal chain kills or luring them into deadly traps, Aveline strikes mortal fear into the hearts of those who stand in her way. As an Assassin, Aveline soon finds herself on an unforgettable journey that will take her from the crowded streets of New Orleans to voodoo-haunted swamps and ancient Mayan ruins. Aveline will play a pivotal role in the turbulent birth of a new nation as she fights for freedom not only for herself, but for her fellow citizens. Key Feature
    • A Cunning New Assassin
      • Hunt down and eliminate your enemies as Aveline, an Assassin of mixed French and African heritage
      • Use your skills, instinct and weaponry, including a machete, poison-dart blowpipe, and duelling pistols, and fight to liberate a new nation
    • Experience a Life like World
      • Feast your eyes on a richly-detailed world and enjoy ground-breaking physics, animations, and a new combat system thanks to an all-new game engine
      • Outmanoeuvre your enemies in the Louisiana Bayou with an innovative tree navigation system before eliminating them with deadly precision from above
      • Dive deep underwater in your search for lost Mayan treasures, but beware of the menacing animals which lurk in the hostile wilderness and humid swamps
    • Designed Exclusively for the PlayStation Vita
      • Take full advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s dual touchpads, motion detection, and built-in camera to execute slow-motion chain kills, pickpocket unsuspecting victims, and pursue your enemies. This is no mere port; it’s an immersive experience designed purely for the PlayStation Vita

    Sunday, 21 October 2012

    VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Dishonored - Bethesda

    Release Date: 25/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    Dishonored is set in Dunwall, an industrial whaling city where strange technology and otherworldly mysticism coexist in the shadows. You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder, you become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. In a time of uncertainty, when the city is being besieged by plague and ruled by an oppressive government armed with neo-industrial technologies, dark forces conspire to bestow upon you abilities beyond those of any common man – but at what cost? The truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city, and the life you once had is gone forever.

    KEY FEATURES:

    Improvise and Innovate: Approach each assassination with your own style of play. Use shadow and sound to your advantage to make your way silently through levels unseen by foes, or attack enemies head-on as they respond to your aggressiveness. The flexible combat system allows you to creatively combine your abilities, supernatural powers and gadgets as you make your way through the levels and dispatch your targets. Improvise and innovate to define your play style.

    Action with Meaning: The world of Dishonored reacts to how you play. Move like a ghost and resist corruption, or show no mercy and leave a path of destruction in your wake. Decide your approach for each mission, and the outcomes will change as a result.

    Supernatural Abilities: Teleport for stealth approaches, possess any living creature, or stop time itself to orchestrate unearthly executions! Combining your suite of supernatural abilities and weapons opens up even more ways to overcome obstacles and eliminate targets. The game’s upgrade system allows for the mastery of deadly new abilities and devious gadgets.

    A City Unlike Any Other: Enter an original world envisioned by Half-Life 2 art director Viktor Antonov. Arkane and Bethesda bring you a world where industry and mysticism collide, creating an atmosphere thick with intrigue. The world is yours to discover.



    REVIEW:

    OK, you’ve been blasting your way around various titles, you’ve punched your way to victory and of course you’ve used your sword to save the world from an evil foe but what’s next for you? Well if you’ve been paying attention to the word on the gamer’s lips then you’ll have heard about this title.

    It’s got everything you could want, a mission to get revenge, challenging scenario’s and the chance to upgrade you equipment alongside powers as you progress. It’s definitely challenging and you’ll find yourself replaying various levels to see if you could do it better each time, and for the hardcore gamer out there trying to accomplish each mission with a minimum death toll alongside making the most of your stealth ability.

    Add to this a wonderfully inventive Steampunk world, some cracking characters and vocal talent that really enhances the experience. Add to this mix solid graphics, numerous routes to each goal and atmospheric music and all in it’s a game to truly enjoy. Definitely a magical experience and for me it’s going to be one of my games of the year. Cracking.

    HISTORICAL ROMANCE REVIEW: The Lady Risks All - Stephanie Lauren

    Release Date: 09/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his code of honour - until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have. Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability - until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny. Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore ...or keep. Filled to the brim with passion, glamour and intrigue, discover the latest novel by Stephanie Laurens: the queen of historical romance.


    REVIEW:

    I love time in the depths of the past with some historical fiction, and whilst I can usually be found deep on the fields of war, battering my way through shield walls or charging on the forlorn hope with some of the rifle regiments, I do occasional like to indulge in a little romance to give me something a little different. After all as a person who writes for fun, you do learn a hell of a lot by dipping a toe in genres you wouldn’t normally try.

    What this book by Stephanie presented was a tale of a Rake who whilst previously had appeared in a more minor role was given the starring part opposite a cracking leading lady. It had everything you’d want from a wonderful sense of romance, deep emotional turmoil and when backed with an author who knows how to twist the readers emotions really gave as good as this type of title does. All in a great way to spend some time and a title I was more than pleased I took the time to savour.



    Saturday, 20 October 2012

    VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Of Orcs and Men - Koch Media

    Release Date: 25/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    In a brutal world at war, where the Empire of Men seeks to expand its domination and impose its beliefs, Goblins are systematically persecuted and slaughtered, while Orcs, if not killed in battle, are destined to be enslaved.

    Play as Arkaïl, an elite Orc soldier of the legendary legion of Bloodjaws, a league of warriors devoted to victory in the war against Humankind. As a veteran group of warriors who have seen the most brutal of battles, the Bloodjaws are appointed to complete a mission that could change the course of the war: kill the one man responsible for all of the bloodshed, the one who has, for years, exhorted the human masses to loath and fight the green-skinned people... the Emperor himself.

    Goblin, Styx will soon join you to aid you in your mission. He is everything Arkaïl is not. While Arkaïl focuses on power, due to his incredible strength, Styx benefits from darker powers and stealth abilities, making him the perfect assassin. From the filthy alleys at the foot of the Great Wall to the depths of the Empire of Men, your heroes will face the greatest dangers throughout their epic quest.


    REVIEW:

    Originally this title came onto my radar a while ago and since I’m a fan of the Greenskins I’ve always wanted a game told from their point of view in much the same way that it’s come over in books from authors like Stan Nicholls and Mary Gentle.

    Which is exactly what this game brings to the table. Its set in an imaginative world with the Orc’s fighting a losing battle, hounded from their own lands by the Empire of Men who out of desperation launch one final assault financed by the Emperor’s enemies. Here you play as the Orc Warrior Arkhail and his sneaky goblin assassin guide Styx which brings all the elements of a well told story together with some twists blended together with solid combat sequences where you fight it out using a similar technique as was employed within Dragon Age and Koch’s own Game of Thrones where with each level you can pick new skills as well as being able to bump your stats.

    At first you will find it a little disorientating as you figure out your fighting style choices alongside working out which armour and weaponry suits you better. But for me the key elements that really sell this is the character interaction alongside the storyline. It was great fun to play especially watching them develop however one of my major problems was the fact that Arkhail would go berserk and leave you unable to do anything until his rage burnt out. It did effect your choices and even the option to use burn some of the rage for hit points really didn’t effect it much as one swipe later it bumped up even higher than it was before you tried to use it and whilst all in, it was a whole load of fun my other major gripe was that I felt that the game was a little too short with me completing it in less than a weekend.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had tons of fun handing out Greenskin justice but when you’re paying top whack for a game you expect it to last for quite some time.

    CRIME FICTION REVIEW: The Crime of Julian Wells - Thomas H Cook

    Release Date: 01/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    Julian Wells was a writer of dark non-fiction works that detailed some of the worst crimes of the 20th Century. Was it this exploration of man's inhumanity to man that caused him to take his own life? When his body is found in a boat drifting in a pond in Montauk, New York, his best friend, the literary critic Philip Anders, begins to reread his work in order to prepare a eulogy. This rereading, along with other clues, convinces the critic that his friend has committed a terrible crime, and that it was as punishment for this crime that Wells took his own life. Anders' investigation sparks an obsession with unravelling the mystery of the man he thought he knew. His journey towards understanding leads him from Paris to Budapest, spans four decades, and takes him deeper and deeper in to the heart of darkness that was Julian Wells...


    REVIEW:

    To be honest with you, I found this book quite hard going, as its something that requires the readers attention throughout and whilst it is beautifully written, I did find that with some of the repetitive descriptions in regard to the principle character I lost my chain of thought and missed some of the key parts due to my distraction.

    Don’t get me wrong it has a wonderful sense of pace, some cracking turns of phrase but when I get distracted when I’m trying to read that really doesn’t bode well for the book staying with me or for me to get the pay off. All in a reasonable book and one I will try to reread in the future to see if it was just a case of being in the wrong frame of mind upon the original reading. I can wait but see.



    Friday, 19 October 2012

    SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Star Wars Essential Readers Guide - Pablo Hidalgo, Chris Trevas, Jeff Carlisle

    Release Date: 19/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    From the original movie tie-in novel through the monumental "Fate of the Jedi" series, legions of devoted readers have helped expand science fiction's most celebrated film saga into a page-turning print sensation. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of these sweeping "Star Wars" adventures is presented in one beautifully illustrated volume.


    REVIEW:

    With so many books out there in the Star Wars series its become quite difficult at times to work out what appears where and when in the immense history of this phenomena. So to be honest I was more than thankful when this guide from Titan appeared. Not that I can’t quite remember what occurs when but I have at times thought that certain events had occurred in other titles and mixed up the odd plot line with another book.

    What this companion does is split the tales up in the various era’s in which they appear with wonderful asides including storylines unused. It’s a wonderful companion and to be honest I’ve had to buy a duplicate copy as I’m loathed to let my brother anywhere near this. Add to this cracking illustrations, a knowledgeable history of the world to which the tales pertain and of course all wrapped up in easy to access sections make this a cracking title to own for any Star Wars fan. Great stuff.



    LADY ELEANOR TRUE CRIME REVIEW: Capital Crimes: Seven Centuries of London Life and Murder - Max Decharne

    Release Date: 04/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    "Capital Crimes" tells the shifting story of crime and punishment in London through vivid re-creations of a series of murders that stretches from the killing of Roger Legett, a notorious 'questmonger', during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381, through to the hanging of Styllou Christofi in 1954. Some of the murderers, such as the political assassin John Bellingham, are still remembered. Others, including the eighteenth-century highwayman John Davis, are largely forgotten. But all their lives and fates have much to tell us - about London's changing underworld, about the slow evolution of policing in the capital, and about the sometimes strange workings of the law. Above all, they provide a fascinating sideways view of London over the centuries - from the crime-ridden alleyways of the Georgian capital to the supposedly respectable suburbs of Finchley, where the notorious 'baby-farmers' Amelia Sach and Annie Walters operated at the beginning of the twentieth century. Illustrated throughout with contemporary engravings and photographs, this is an essential read for all devotees of London - and of crime.


    REVIEW:

    As a fan of true crime I love it when a new book lands that brings the seedy hidden underbelly of a cityto life, a chance to see that its not just a modern thing but something that exuded from beneath for centuries, since groups of people decided to live together for protection alongside profit.

    So all in, this book should have been something spectacular, yet whilst it had some stories from London that I’ve heard before alongside others I hadn’t it felt more like a text book than a title to read for the pleasure, the sensationalism that I’d have expected was missing and rather than increasing the notoriety it seemed to dumb it all down into pure facts rather than giving the reader a story to stay with them.

    All in an OK book but not one I’ll be reading again in a hurry.



    Thursday, 18 October 2012

    SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Hydrogen Sonata - Iain M Banks

    Release Date: 04/10/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization. An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence. Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.


    REVIEW:

    To be honest this is a book that took me quite a bit of time to get through, not because its huge (it is) but purely for the fact that I was sitting there enjoying the journey that the author gives the reader with each story. The writing as usual is crisp and when you add solid prose alongside quirky, interesting characters this felt like it should have been one of the best books in the Culture series, but something was missing, some small element that should have propelled this higher in my reading estimation, almost as if some of the passion wasn’t quite in it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, I had a fun time embarking on the adventure but when the behind the scenes aspects seem to overshadow the arc it feels like it disappoints. All in a solid enough book and one that I was pleased that I took the time to read but against some of the others, in particular the earlier books I don’t think it’s one of the best in the series.



    Wednesday, 17 October 2012

    VIDEO GAME NEWS: Assassins Creed 3 Multiplayer Trailer and Hacked History - Ubisoft


    Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
    Our Guild Brothers at Ubisoft have been tempting and taunting us with some new features for the new Assassins Creed Gems (out in 2 weeks time.)



    Firstly, for your viewing pleasure is the trailer for the Muliplay option where you can embark on Wolf Pack Mode, Hunting others as well as a game where you can capture area's that you have to defend:







    Then on top of this, the main site has been displaying Hacked History where slices of Eden have been appearing within paintings of the time in which the game is set.  Whilst the first two are complete, you can visit the third and see if you can help detect the anomaly here.

    Hopefully like us you're counting down the days, and without it being too much longer we hope to see you on the field of battle nad perhaps we'll even be in your Wolf Pack, just keep a careful eye on your backs as for us the "Glimmer" option looks ideal.




    Gareth and Lady Eleanor

    URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Renegade Angels: A Touch of Crimson - Sylvia Day

    Release Date: 27/09/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    From the internationally bestselling author of BARED TO YOU (Crossfire trilogy), A TOUCH OF CRIMSON is the first novel in Sylvia Day's sensationally sexy Renegade Angels series. If you fell for Gideon Cross, wait until you meet the men who really are out of this world...Adrian Mitchell is an angel of immense power and an insatiable desire for the one woman he can't have. The head of an elite Special Ops unit of the Seraphim, his task is to punish the Fallen - angels who have become vampires - and command a restless pack of indentured lycans. But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals - losing the love of his life again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found his beloved Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body with no memory of him. This time he won't let her go. With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson only knows she can't resist her fierce attraction to the smouldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught in the middle between an angel lover, an estranged vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There's more at stake than her love and her life - this time she could lose her very soul...


    REVIEW:

    I love a good Urban Fantasy tale and when you get a new series that encompasses all the races that have become popular in recent years it’s always going to be a challenge to make sure that they’ve been blended well and that one isn’t all powerful. Whilst this is all taken into consideration within this book, the biggest problem that I had was that I didn’t really get a solid handle on the principle characters, they didn’t seem to gel well enough and for me as a reader especially when a coupling the like of which is hinted at within the blurb should be there to help make the ties stronger.

    Sadly when added to the fact that the characters didn’t feel strong enough to stand on their own to me as a reader and I was a little disappointed. Finally add to the mix a conclusion that felt more than a little fast and sadly I felt a little disappointed.



    Tuesday, 16 October 2012

    URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Fallen Angels 4: Rapture - JR Ward

    Release Date: 25/09/12

    SYNOPSIS:

    Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too ...As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover's memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you're trapped in a no-holds-barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels's heart at risk, what in heaven - or in hell - will it take to save them both?


    REVIEW:

    This series has been one that I’ve always made time for as I like the idea’s the characters and of course the whole idea as to how an unseen game is played out with the soul’s of mortals. Whilst this title departs from the previous the tale is on the whole one that will keep you interested from the start to the finish. The characters stand up to be counted and when the principle player is fully revealed as to who they are, its not only a bit of a shock but a title that allows the reader to get the full effect from what has gone before.

    Add to this a solid level of writing and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a completely glowing review but there is a negative side to the title. For me, it felt that some of the background passion that has gone on to give this title a real kick was missing and with a principle player that wasn’t completely there for the reader to completely love, did leave me feeling a little flat, back that up with a few clunky turn of phrases and whilst it was still decent it didn’t quite feel up there with JR’s usual style.