Thursday, 28 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 - Namco

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Namco have been keeping us in the loop with secret briefings in regard to the forthcoming Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 title which will be available on the 15 March 2013 on the following formats:
Xbox 360

For Fans of the Sniper Scenario, there's nothing better than that clean headshot, so what have they done, put together a whole host of headshots for the player to get a taste of a job done well:

With luck, we may see you on the field of battle, although you may not see us, Gareth and Lady Eleanor 

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Star Trek: The Video Game: New Screen Shots - Namco Bandai

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
We've been lucky enough to intercept new shots for the Star Trek Game from Star Fleet Command.

And whilst this cinematic looking screenshots are enough to whet your appetite we've noticed a few things from what we've seen.  First of all get a load of the Gorn in this shot:

 Is this to be Kirk and Spock's finest hour or thier last, we've not sure at the moment but there's one thing we can tell you, there's not a piece of Bamboo in sight, or Diamonds or even the chance for Jim to get his Gunpowder formula right.

So all in, can you save Jim, Spock and the rest of the crew?  Their fates are in your hands.

Live long and prosper,

Gareth and Lady Eleanor 

DEJA REVIEW: February 2013

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:


SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Dark Tower 8: The Wind Through the Keyhole - Stephen King

Release Date: 28/02/13


THE NUMBER ONE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER.For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother's death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a 'skin man,' Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime,


OK, you’re up to date and have read the full series of the Dark Tower so you must be wondering what the hell is happening with this new book in the series. So to help sort that out now, it occurs between books four and five.

What unfurls within however is a book that according to the forward you can read without having taken the time with the others, personally I’d argue against that as for me you really need the full flavour to get the most from the title. As usual with King the story hits the spot, has some great twists and backed up with a plotline that can’t but help draw you in and all round, it’s a book that I had a lot of fun with.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

HISTORICAL URBAN FANTASY YA REVIEW: Finishing School 1: Etiquette and Espionage - Gail Carriger

Release Date: 05/02/13
Publisher:  Atom


It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school. Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners-and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's young ladies learn to finish ...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage - in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.


Having sat back and thoroughly enjoyed Gail’s Parasol Protectorate I was more than interested to see how this world and if the authors writing style would translate for the younger audience. What unfurls within is a book of adventure for the young teen reader, it brings the wonderfully inventive world of Gail’s imagination to the reader wonderfully and when added to a lead character that will not only capture the readers heart but be a person that they can identify with all round makes this a cracking title.

Back this up with an overall arc that leaves you wanting just one more chapter before putting it down and overall it’s a book that I’d recommend for not only the young market but also adults who enjoy Steampunk. The only real qualm that I had with the book was the neat way that it was wrapped up towards the end, but overall definitely a series that will make not only a splash but a major strike for the younger reader market. Cracking.

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Child of Vengeance - David Kirk

Release Date: 31/01/13
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster


Scholar. Warrior. Samurai. His name was Bennosuke, son of the great Munisai Shinmen, known throughout the empire as one of the greatest warriors who ever lived. His destiny was to become a great warrior like his father - a Samurai, one of the most feared and respected in the world. But before fame comes action, and Bennosuke must prove himself on the battlefield before he can claim his inheritance. And in his way stands the vengeful Kensaku, son of Lord Nakata, the face of the enemy, a man who is determined to kill Bennosuke. It is a battle between honour and vengeance, pride and reputation. And Bennosuke must look death in the eye before he can call himself a warrior. Before he can call himself Musashi, the greatest warrior of all time...


In recent years its become vogue for historical fiction authors to write stories from pivitol points in history with the key player as the hero and yet whilst a number of them are well known I’ve always wanted to see how well it would translate to heroes that the Western world isn’t quite as familiar with. In this case David Kirk tackles the story of Musashi Miyamoto,.

What this story firstly presents to the reader is a story that has been carefully researched, secondly it brings together strands of history and weaves its way into a tale to dazzle the modern reader and when paired with an author who clearly loves the time as well as culture that is depicted really makes it a hard title to not only put down but leave each night. Add to this bloodshed, treachery and of course political manoeuvring and all round it’s a title that I was more than pleased I took the time to read.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

URBAN FANTASY HORROR REVIEW: The Revenge of Frankenstein - Shaun Hutson

Release Date: 07/02/13
Publisher:  Hammer


There is a fine line between obsession and madness and Frankenstein just stepped across it. Escaping the guillotine Victor Frankenstein is now posing as Doctor. Stein, altruistic patron of the hospital for the poor. But in a secret basement laboratory he is harvesting body parts from his helpless patients, using them in his twisted experiments in a bid to create the perfect man. And this time he has help from a would-be pupil. His pupil seeks knowledge, but Frankenstein desires vengeance against all those who have tried to stop his terrifying work. The first time he tried, it ended in bloody mayhem, but now he is determined that nothing will go wrong. He wants revenge and God help anyone who gets in his way.


Whilst I’m not always enamoured of the Hammer titles, when an author gets a tale to recreate for the modern reader that they clearly love you know that its going to be something special. Here in his retelling of this Hammer classic, the reader is given a story that they’ll really get behind as Victor returns to doing what he does best. Its definitely a story that will have you clutching the covers, back that up with a sympathetic take on the Baron’s own motives and all round make this a book that I sat back enjoying until sunrise the following morning with the light of day bringing a close to this chilling story.

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Pantheon Series 5: Age of Voodoo and SHORT STORY: Age of Satan - James Lovegrove

Release Date: 26/02/13


Lex Dove thought he was done with the killing game. A retired British wetwork specialist, he's living the quiet life in the Caribbean, minding his own business. Then a call comes. One last mission: to lead an American black ops team into a disused Cold War bunker on a remote island. The money's good, which means the risks are high. How high, Dove doesn't discover until he and his team are a hundred feet below ground, facing the fruits of an experiment in science and voodoo witchcraft gone wrong. As if barely human monsters weren t bad enough, a clock is ticking. Deep in the bowels of the earth, a god is waiting. And his anger, if roused, will be fearsome indeed.


Over recent years, there’s been one series that after reading the concept had me hooked, that of James Lovegrove’s Pantheon series, where the old gods are making comebacks. It is definitely something that had me hooked with the first title in the series and this, the latest is no less addictive as they take on Baron Samedi.

The prose are crisp, the characters fitting into the scenario’s wonderfully and when added to a story that gives you the undead under the malicious power of a Bokor, really works well to give you that wonderful fright as you curl up in bed. Throw into the mix solid action alongside an author who knows how to give the reader what they want and all round another successful book in the series. Magic.

Release Date: 14/02/13


1968. Guy Lucas, son a murdered British diplomat, is sent to an old-fashioned boarding school, where he is bullied and abused. A fellow student persuades him to perform a black mass and plead with Satan to intervene, with horrific consequences. For the next ten years, the shadow of Satan is cast across his life; he flees, across the sea and into obscurity, but tragedy follows him. Eventually, he must confront the Devil, and learn the truth about himself...

Lovegrove takes his ‘godpunk’ series to its next logical next step in a sinister new e-novella that will delight readers of the Pantheonseries as well as fans of classic films such as The Omen and The Exorcist.


With so many other pantheon’s coming to the fore in the various other titles in the series, I had been wondering if James would ever tackle something to do with the darker side of Christianity so when I heard about this short story I was more than hooked to see what would unfurl.

The story is definitely sharp and follows a character throughout a number of years, its quirky, has some wonderful touches of the macabre and when blended with a writing style that fits the short story format wonderfully, really does get to the meat of the tale without having to add extra filling. Back that up with a lead character that is guessing as much as we are and all round it’s a tale that works wonderfully well. Great stuff.

Monday, 25 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Weekly Match Up, Week 4 - DC and Warner Brothers

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Warner Brothers have let us know all about the ultimate battle of superhero supremacy for the upcoming fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.

This week the combatants facing off are:

Superman Vs Sinestro
Green Arrow Vs Hawk Girl

The teaser video that explains the campaign can be watched by clicking on the following link:

To vote on each week’s battle, visit: All the best and may your hero win, Gareth and Lady Eleanor

HISTORICAL URBAN FANTASY: Milkweek Triptych 2: The Coldest War - Ian Tregillis

Release Date: 07/02/13
Publisher:  Orbit


For decades, Britain's warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union - a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. Now each wizard's death is another blow to Britain's national security. Meanwhile, a brother and sister - the subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities - escape from a top-secret facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. They head for England, because that's where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him. As Marsh is once again drawn into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain's darkest acts didn't end with the war. And while he strives to protect queen and country, he is forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.


Having not been enamoured of the first book in the series I was hoping for more from this book by author Ian Tregillis. Whilst events within Europe have changed dramatically from the setting of the original (this being 20 years later) for me I still found the bits that originally niggled me present, firstly the lack of pace within the text, secondly characters that felt quite flat that needed more fleshing out to allow me to gain not only an interest but to care as to their fates and finally that the story, whilst reasonably told, felt quite slow and more a filler than a full planned second book.

That said, what Ian does do well is utilise his world to the fullest taking each opportunity to allow the reader to see the time period through different eyes. All in, for me not a series I’ll be returning to any time soon and whilst for some it may entertain them quite a bit its more a middle of the road series rather than something that stands out on its own.

FANTASY REVIEW: The Daylight War - Peter V Brett

Release Date: 11/02/13
Publisher:  Harper Voyager


Continuing the impressive debut fantasy series from author Peter V. Brett, The DAYLIGHT WAR is book three of the Demon Cycle, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes. On the night of a new moon all shadows deepen. Humanity has thirty days to prepare for the next demon attack, but one month is scarcely enough time to train a village to defend themselves, let alone an entire continent caught in the throes of civil war. Arlen Bales understands the coreling threat better than anyone. Born ordinary, the demon plague has shaped him into a weapon so powerful he has been given the unwanted title of saviour, and attracted the attention of deadly enemies both above and below ground. Unlike Arlen, Ahmann Jardir embraces the title of Deliverer. His strength resides not only in the legendary relics he carries, but also in the magic wielded by his first wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose allegiance even Jardir cannot be certain of. Once Arlen and Jardir were like brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity's enemies prepare, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all: those that lurk in the human heart.


This is a series I fell in love with straight away with the author first outing, The Painted Man. As with the previous two books the authors characters are not only vivid but striking in the readers imagination and whilst the other titles concentrated more on the aspects for other heroes this book is definitely the tale of those Thesan ladies who stood up to be counted.

It has some great prose, vivid descriptive prose and when added to cracking dialogue and an almost cinematic writing style only goes to show how this author has become a firm fan favourite. Add to the mix solid storytelling alongside an author who seeks to give the reader everything they want and all round this is a cracking third book in the series. Great stuff.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

CRIME REVIEW: A Kate Shugak Investigation 4: A Cold Blooded Business - Dana Stabenow

Release Date: 01/02/13
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


KATE SHUGAK is a native Aleut working as a private investigator in Alaska. She's 5 foot 1 inch tall, carries a scar that runs from ear to ear across her throat and owns half-wolf, half-husky dog named Mutt. Resourceful, strong-willed, defiant, Kate is tougher than your average heroine - and she needs to be to survive the worst the Alaskan wilds can throw at her. A COLD BLOODED BUSINESS. It's March. Someone is selling drugs to the employees of a Prudhoe Bay oil field company, and the company hires Kate to go undercover and apprehend the dealer. But coke isn't the only illegal substance being dealt...


Having felt a little cheated with the last book by Dana, I was hoping that this outing would take me back more along the lines of the original outing rather than the last. Luckily for me this was exactly what I got with new characters alongside some old favourites which when backed with a love story, cracking action and of course a lead character that’s been through the wars all round made this a book that I enjoyed.

Add to the mix an author who plays for keeps which when added to some heart stopping moments within the text all round gives you a story that will keep you reading long into the night.

Friday, 22 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Injustice Gods Among Us: Week 3 Battle Results - DC and Warner Brothers Interactive

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
We've just been telexed the latest results for the epic battles that DC asked you to vote on last week.

And to be honest you really have to watch them, its definitely something worthy of the epic heroes and villains within.

So without further ado, here's this weeks first battle:
Aquaman Vs Cyborg   Onto the second:
Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) Vs Solomon Grundy Next weeks battles will be announced shortly but if you disagree with the results, get the game and fight it out yourself. Injustice Gods Among Us is available on:   Nintendo  Wii U   Playstation 3   Xbox 360    on 19th April.  

STEAMPUNK REVIEW: Homunculus - James P Blaylock

Release Date: 22/02/13


It is the late 19th century and a mysterious airship orbits through the foggy skies. Its terrible secrets are sought by many, including the Royal Society, a fraudulent evangelist, a fiendish vivisectionist, an evil millionaire and an assorted group led by the scientist and explorer Professor Langdon St. Ives. Can St. Ives keep the alien homunculus out of the claws of the villainous Ignacio Narbondo?


Having enjoyed the Aylesbury Skull by James, I really couldn’t wait to get started when this title landed yet after a few pages I was left wondering what I was so excited about as I was left trying to remember what had made this something that I had been counting down the days for. It was slow, the concept something I’ve read before and whilst it does pick up for the last part it really wasn’t a book that left me as fulfilled as the previous.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good bits of action in here and with a suitable cast within it really should have been so much more, yet in parts it felt more clichéd than anything else especially when the main villain was concerned. Sadly this isn’t one a book that I’ll be telling readers to start with but it does what you want and is on the same level as a good few others out there but as for standing out, sadly not so much.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Bioshock Infinite new trailer - Take 2 Interactive

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
We hope that you're getting as excited about the forthcoming Bioshock Infinite as we are.  

Lady Eleanor has been currently on the rampage through the previous two decimating everything in her way regardless and robbing for the best equipment possible to continue her rampage.

Currently we still have just over a month to go (26th March 2013) until its release and just help ease that itch to get your hands on a copy, we've been sent a new trailer:
With luck this will have helped your addiction but with a cracking world to explore, new concepts to unleash as well as unveil you know damn well that its going to be the best title yet.  Here's hoping that it'll sate Lady Eleanor's desire for carnage. All the best, Gareth and Lady Eleanor

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Namco Bandai and Paramount Pictures Announce Free Star Trek Ticket

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
In a time when we're all watching our pockets, it can come down to either getting that brand new game or a trip to the cinema.

Yet being a huge Trek fan leaves you wondering which way you're going to go, well, worry no more as we've just heard about this exclusive offer from Namco Bandai and Paramount Pictures:

"Namco Bandai UK and Paramount Pictures offer exclusive tickets to see Star Trek In To Darkness for all pre-orders and day-one purchases of Star Trek The Video Game
Paramount Pictures and leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Partners UK, today announce a pre-order and day-one purchase opportunity with all UK GAME stores.

The partnership allows any purchaser of STAR TREK THE VIDEO GAME on any format an exclusive complimentary ticket to this year’s hottest movie Star Trek Into Darkness, which releases in cinemas everywhere in May 2013.

Working with Hollywood Movie Money, upon pre-order or day-one purchase the customer will receive a unique code where they can redeem it instantly online via a special microsite. The redemption will award a full adult ticket to any Cineworld cinema in the country. Any additional seating or upgrade will have to be purchased at the cinema chain. The promotion will be available whilst ticket allocation and box office remains. Pre-orders are a focused push for this activity and guaranteed to secure your free ticket.


FANTASY REVIEW: Glass Thorns 2: Elsewhens - Melanie Rawn

Release Date: 19/02/13


Touchstone, the magical theatre troupe, continues to build audiences. But Cayden is increasingly troubled by his elsewhens, the uncontrolled moments when he is plunged into visions of the possible futures. He fears that his Fae gift will forever taint his friendships; his friends fear that his increasing distance will destroy him.


Having been left with a Meh feeling to the original, I really wanted to try the second part to see if the world building alongside the characters picked up. Its always tricky to read a second part when the first left you feeling a not only a little cheated but that you needed something extra especially from an established author.

Sadly for me, this book really didn’t pick up the series as much as I’d hope it would. The characters still didn’t feel fully rounded, the situations still felt forced and for me sadly this really led to the book dragging.

That said, Melanie has continued her remarkable world building by allowing the reader to see how others perceive the characters alongside their abilities and whilst it isn’t all smooth sailing, it really adds to the atmosphere. Sadly for me this book is just average (like the predecessor so I’ll be sticking to my original thoughts that if you want to read the author please go with her Dragon Prince trilogy over this, its vastly superior.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Release Date: 14/02/13


This is a powerful, unique and compelling novel about twin sisters and their fight for survival in a world on the brink of chaos, "The Farm" by Emily McKay is as addictive as "The Hunger Games" and "The Passage". For Lily and her twin sister Mel there is only the Farm...It's a prison, a blood bank, a death camp - where fear and paranoia rule. But it's also home, of sorts. Because beyond the electric fence awaits a fate much, much worse. But Lily has a plan. She and Mel are going to escape - into the ravaged land outside, a place of freedom and chaos and horrors. Except Lily hasn't reckoned on two things: first, her sister's ability to control the horrors; and, secondly, on those out there who desperately want to find and control Mel. Mel's growing power might save the world, or utterly end it. But only Lily can protect Mel from what is to come..."The Farm" takes you into a terrifying future where civilization has ended, and leaves you there - fearful, gasping and begging to escape. "Equal parts "Resident Evil" and "Hunger Games" - and just as thrilling "The Farm" is a gripping dystopian tale that pits humans against humans in the race for survival in her remarkable and haunting world. I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next installment!" (Chloe Neill). Emily McKay loves to read, shop, and geek out about movies. When she's not writing, she reads online gossip and bakes luscious desserts. She pretends that her weekly yoga practice balances out both of those things. She lives in central Texas with her family and her crazy pets. She also co-writes young adult as Ivy Adams.


When I originally heard about the premise for this book I placed it as one of my highlights for the first quarter of the year, so when it landed it was a title that I put to one side to savour when I was feeling down. Finally I cracked the cover and settled down to enjoy a story of horror, of feeding and of course characters trying their best to survive in a harsh world.

Yet for all that, a tale is only so good as the conflicts within be they personal, emotional or of danger but a book that faces way too many from inter-character arguments really struggles for me to not only keep me glued but also to keep the pace moving along with the story arc. Don’t get me wrong, the premise had a great concept behind it (as has been used in passing in titles like Stephen Hunt’s Court of the Air) but when the argument just keeps interfering I really want to take a break and have the vampires take a chunk of out them.

All round sadly lacking in the delivery for me but it is something that might work better for the Young Reader market rather than the adult with so many personal conflicts to be resolved but when I want something to raise the chills taking me on a high octane chill factor, this title was lacking.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

DVD REVIEW: Resident Evil: Retribution - Sony Home Entertainment

Release Date: 28/01/13


The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice (Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.

Special Features:

• Director and Cast Commentary
• Director and Producer Commentary
• Drop (Un)Dead: The Creatures of Retribution
• Outtakes


Whilst I was originally a big fan of the Resident Evil Franchise, the more recent films have failed to impress me, its not because of a lack of budget or effects but more for the fact that a lot of it feels like its there to confuse with some weird twists without providing any real credible idea’s. Don’t get me wrong, I still love watching Alice kick butt, I still love watching the various characters fight the mutated but when it really isn’t doing much for the viewer other than to provide weak links between combat its really time to call it a day.

All round, its more of the same and if you just want something to watch that doesn’t require much brain power its an entertaining enough film to enjoy with a few beers and a pizza, but if you start looking too deep it falls apart. All round, definitely pleased that I saw it and I’m hoping that the next one will be the last in the franchise as this title appears to have set itself up for a real combative conclusion that may well take us all back to the originals with some new monsters (I want more of those Popokarimu (the flying things you see at the end.)

Monday, 18 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Week 3 Injustice Battle Arena - DC and Warner Brothers Interactive

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Warner Brothers have let us know all about the ultimate battle of superhero supremacy for the upcoming fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.

This week the combatants facing off are:

Aquaman Vs Cyborg
Green Lantern Vs Solomon Grundy


The teaser video that explains the campaign can be watched by clicking on the following link:
To vote on each week’s battle, visit: All the best and may your hero win, Gareth and Lady Eleanor

NEWS: Art Gift for Falcata Times - Isis Sousa

Hail Mighty Readers,
When we opened our email the other day we were absolutely stunned with a wonderful gift from talented artist Isis Sousa. 

Having mentioned that Lady Eleanor (our Game Girl and Horror Reviewer) was a huge fan of Bettie Page as well as gaming and books, we received this little item.

As you can see its absolutely gorgeous and Lady Eleanor has wasted not time in wanting it to appear at the bottom of all her reviews along with a paragraph about herself.

For more artwork by Isis, please check out her website, or if you're a prospective artist, her book (reviewed here) which will give you all sorts of hints and tips to take your work to the next level.

VIDEO GAME MUSICAL INTERLUDE: Skyrim: The Dragonborn Comes - Malukah

Hail Mighty Readers,
Well we're looking forward to a number of updates to do with the immensely huge Skyrim and to be blunt, its pretty hard, however whilst waiting we do every so often look for items on interest online and came across this remarkable lady, Malukah, we hope you enjoy:

All the best, Gareth and Lady Eleanor

ARTS AND CRAFTS REVIEW: Stitched Safari - Tomomi Maeda

Release Date: 07/01/13

Create lots of loveable pets and animals from around the world!

Simple step-by-step instructions make it quick and easy to create miniature animals with felt. From elephants and polar bears to cats and sheep, these adorable projects are perfect for all ages!

All you need is some felt, a handful of stuffing and a few simple stitches to get started.


OK, I love things that are not only fun to play with but also allows you to get your arts and crafts on. This book by Tomomi Maeda really does all that with a full range of creatures that you can make for not only your own zoo but also household pets. But what makes these so incredible is a stitch pattern, wonderful instructions and of course a step by step guide to make each of the animals within.

Yes its going to take time to create but the results are so rewarding especially when I saw my nephews ignoring the plastic animals that they have and each demanding their own felt animal to play with. (As such I now have a huge order of a set for each of them to be completed as soon as possible.) So whilst in some respects I love this book, in others I may have overdone things with my promises. So thanks Tomomi. LOL

Stitched Safari is available from StichCraftCreateUK.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

FANTASY REVIEW: Warhammer Fantasy: Gotrek and Felix: Road of Skulls - Josh Reynolds

Release Date: 17/01/13

Gotrek and Felix race to the dwarf hold at Karak Kadrin, finding it besieged by one of the grand armies of Chaos under the command of Warlord Garmr. When King Ungrim Ironfist speaks of the legendary 'Road of Skulls' and of the hated foe's attempts to open a portal into the Realm of Chaos, Gotrek senses that a great doom awaits him - though it may not be the one he would choose for himself. As the king's own son leads his army of Slayers to fulfil an ancient prophecy, it seems that Garmr's hour of victory may be at hand...


The Slayer Fortress faces a battle for their races very survival with Gotrek and Felix at the heart of it all. It’s got high octane action, some solid twists and to be honest a lot of this for me was very reminiscent of David Gemmell’s Legend. The prose works extremely well and when you add to the mix characters that really shape the world that they inhabit you know damn well that it’s going to be anything but a walk in the park.

Whilst this is Josh’ s first full book featuring perhaps Warhammer’s most famous duo he brings the character to the fore in a larger than life style. It works wonderfully well and when you add to the mix a story that really is going to shape the fates you know all round that its going to be a long wait for the next outing.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

LADY ELEANOR VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Dead Space 3 - Electronic Arts

Release Date: 08/02/13


Scavenge the violent wilderness, build devastating weapons, and take down the terror together.

Dead Space 3 brings Isaac Clarke and merciless soldier John Carver on a journey across space to discover the source of the Necromorph outbreak. Crash-landed on the frozen planet of Tau Volantis, Isaac must comb the harsh environment for raw materials and scavenged parts. He will then put his engineering skills to the ultimate test to create and customise weapons and survival tools. The ice planet holds the key to ending the Necromorph plague forever, but first Isaac must overcome avalanches, treacherous ice-climbs, and the violent wilderness. Facing deadlier evolved enemies and the brutal elements, Isaac can choose to team up, not only for his own survival, but for that of mankind’s. Play together with a friend or go it alone as Isaac Clarke using the seamless new drop in, drop out co-op functionality. Each mode offers unique story elements and gameplay.


Team up and take down the terror together
Play the full campaign in online co-op or single player
Easy drop-in and drop-out play
Head planet side and experience a hostile new environment
Discover underworld cities and accept side missions
Explore the frozen terrain and search abandoned encampments
Uncover the past and embark on a thrilling expedition to save mankind
Discover the source of the Necromorph terror and fight to fend off the extinction of the human race


Dead Space is a game that whilst I didn’t get on board with originally, I was more than hooked when the first one was given as a gift quite a while ago, I loved the atmosphere of the dark, bleakness of space with undead mutations seeking to devour you with every move you make, so when I had the chance to get my hands on the latest outing I jumped at the chance.

What you get here is a game of two parts, one set in space, the other planet side where the bleakness of both contrast and yet add so much more to the development of the worlds within, it has great graphics, some cracking monster battles and when added to quite a few new features really brings it all to the fore with a lot of different solutions available.

But let’s take each in turn:
1: Graphics and Sound
I loved the graphics with this, they were detailed, had smooth movement and when added to huge landscapes alongside carefully details backgrounds really added the claustrophobic feeling that any survival game brings. Add to this solid sound for weapon fire and monster cries and all round I was a more than happy player.

2: Gameplay
This is a game that you’ll spend quite a lot of time exploring, (I did as I was doing all the optional extra’s that I could) and is definitely worth a replay at the end to enter area’s that you couldn’t on your first walkthrough, there’s all sorts of dangers, the game keeps your adrenaline up and when added to a whole host of construction options (dealt with separately here) really gives the player the chance to personalise it to Nth degree.

3: New Features
OK whilst there’s a lot of the same appearing here to link the other games, there are some new and pretty neat features.
Firstly you have the Bench, (OK that’s not new) where you construct, deconstruct and create your own weapon options to not only maximise your efficiency but also to suit your gameplay. (Personally the two I use are a Double Handed Rapid Fire Gun with under slung grenade launcher and a Shotgun with under slung electrical charge for close combat situations.) Each player will find something that they like and learning what mods do what is not only a learning curve but one well worth taking your time with. (There’s even an option to go in, make the gun and try it out before continuing your game.)

Add to this the usual suit improvements (including various environmental options such as a Snow Suit and Archaeological Suite), slowing the foes down with your kinetic power alongside with multiple problem solving to hit the next part.

All round I had a lot of fun with this, both on my original play through and on my secondary (which I’m still doing), although split onto two separate discs, the game plays seamlessly, has some great twists, some magical cut scenes and of course twists along the way to keep you guessing what’s going to happen next. All round definitely a game to buy and one that whilst occupying you for 20+ hours on your original play through is definitely something that you’ll return to time and again. For me it’s a game that others will have to live up to and with the new features allowing you to scavenge and assemble your own weaponry really gives you that feeling of doing your damnedest to survive.

Lady Eleanor is Falcata Times Mistress of Mayhem, be it in the Horror Genre or on the console, she gives it her all and loves to blow the hell out of anyone who gets in her way.  You can often find her perusing the game sites to get the latest gossip on what’s arriving next or checking out the latest movie/book releases to see what grabs her attention.

In addition to this Lady Eleanor is a lifelong fan of pin up and in particular the Fetish Queen of the 50’s Bettie Page and whilst the name is an alias, its due more to her love of a song by the same title by the group Lindisfarne rather than her dominating presence when she lays down the law.

(Artwork by Isis Sousa for Falcata Times)

Friday, 15 February 2013

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Week 2's Epic DC Battles Results Announced - DC and Warner Brothers

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
We've just been telexed the latest results for the epic battles that DC asked you to vote on last week.

And to be honest you really have to watch them, its definitely something worthy of the epic heroes and villains within.

So without further ado, here's this weeks first battle:
The Flash Vs Shazam  Onto the second:
The Joker Vs Lex Luthor Next weeks battles will be announced shortly but if you disagree with the results, get the game and fight it out yourself. Injustice Gods Among Us is available on: Nintendo Wii U Playstation 3 Xbox 360  on 19th April.  

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Star Trek Video Game Making of Trailer Available - Namco Bandai

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Bandai Namco, have let us know about the Making of the Star Trek Video Game trailer that they've released.

Its definitely looking interesting and with it being part 3rd Person Shooter, Part Stealth as well as containing Ship to Ship battles, we think its going to be one hell of a game.

In it you play Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise and beleive us that from the look of things its going to be an almost cinematic experience.  Defintiely one to watch out for.

If you want to join the federation Star Trek the Video Game is out 26th April for:
Xbox 360
Playstation 3

And just to whet your appetite, heres the trailer:
We hope to see you on board, Gareth and Lady Eleanor

SCIENCE FICTION GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos: Fourth Faction - John Wagner, Flint Henry, Colin MacNeil, Staz Johnson, Ben Willisher

Release Date: 14/02/13


Legendary Judge Dredd-co-creator John Wagner has written the longest, most eventful and world-shattering Dredd-epic of his career. Mega-City One has seen nothing like this since the Apocalypse War, and this time things are looking even darker. With the much-loved mayor of Mega-City One presumed dead by the citizens, an election has been scheduled to choose his successor. Cadet Judge Hennessey has predicted that something terrible will happen on the Election Day and she may be right. East-Meg assassin Nadia has arrived in the Big Meg, looking for a scientist who has created a very dangerous virus... This is the first of three volumes chronicling Day of Chaos


To get myself in the mood to watch the new Dredd film I was more than happy to read this graphic novel that landed. Yes it has some nostalgic moments for me but when you add artwork from some of the graphic novels heavyweight division into this then you know that its going to not just hit you deep down but be a graphic novel that you’re going to savour.

Throw into the mix cracking stories, some wonderful twists and of course a judge who doesn’t like to lose and all round it’s a graphic novel that for me really doesn’t get any better. If you were to pick one to read for world night (as The Dark Judges is nominated) then I’d definitely suggest this one, the size is ideal, the text much more legible and when added to the wonderfully colour artwork really makes this a cracking title.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

NEWS: Falcata Times Offers Guest Blog and Interview to Charity

Hail Mighty Readers,
A few days ago we let you know about the "Evil for Crestline" campaign, well because we believe in it so much we've donated two seperate lots of a Review and Guest Blog here on Falcata Times.

What the winners will get:
"An unbiased review of your book at Falcata Times. This is open to all authors (including self-published) though books must be in English. Books will need to be delivered in mobi (Kindle) or hard copy.
In addition to this you will also get a guest blog to appear on the day of review with the blog being exclusively yours for the day."

So if you fancy this prize, head on over and bid:
Auction 1
Auction 2

Best of luck,

Lady Eleanor and Gareth

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Zombie Wedding Extension Date from Deep Silver

Hail Guy's and Ghouls,
We know that you're feeling the love in your undead hands out there today (mainly because of that heart you've just ripped out of the nearest blood bag), but we wanted to let you know that our friends at Deep Silver have extended their Zombie Wedding Dead-line for a little while longer.

Here's what they had to say:
"Deep Silver today announced that it is extending the closing date for applications for the Dead Island Riptide zombie wedding to 14 March 2013.

In return for becoming the official Dead Island Riptide zombie couple, Deep Silver will host a Dead Island Riptide-themed zombie wedding ceremony and send the winning undead couple on a luxury Caribbean honeymoon.

Deep Silver has been overwhelmed by the entries from engaged couples looking to be zombified for a Dead Island twist on a traditional beach wedding ceremony. Standout entries so far include Emma and Ivor who filmed a mini-zombie apocalypse:

a slideshow charting the long-distance undead relationship of Megan and Jason 
and an audition featuring some hilarious blood-swallowing outtakes from Harri and James 

Applicants are encouraged to post a message or record a short video message to YouTube explaining why they are the ideal undead candidates for the ceremony, and to share the link via the official Dead Island Riptide Zombie Wedding page on Facebook

For a guide on how to apply, Deep Silver has put together this YouTube video: 

A panel from Deep Silver will then review all applications and contact a shortlist of candidates to see if they have what it takes for the ultimate undead accolade. The new closing date for applications is 14th March 2013, with the winning couple being announced at the beginning of April.

For further information and full terms and conditions, go to the official Facebook page:

Gamers will be able to take on the zombie hordes once again when Dead Island Riptide is published by Deep Silver in UK on 26 April 2013 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and for Windows PC."

So just to recap, here's you chance for a zombie wedding, so if you were in the Caribbean and some devottee of Baron Samedi has ripped out your heart before the wedding, this should be a walk in the park for you to win.  

(Incidently if you somehow forgot that its Valentines Day, you can visit Dead Island Riptides Facebook page and send an E-Card, with a selection to choose from appearing throughout the day.)

Best of luck,

Gareth and Lady Eleanor

SCIENCE FICTION STEAMPUNK REVIEW: The Emperor of All Things - Paul Witcover

Release Date: 14/02/13


"Tempus Rerum Imperator: Time, Emperor of All Things" 1758. England is embroiled in a globe-spanning conflict that stretches from her North American colonies to Europe and beyond. Across the Channel, the French prepare for an invasion - an invasion rumored to be led by none other than Bonnie Prince Charlie. It seems the map of Europe is about to be redrawn. Yet behind these dramatic scenes, another war is raging - a war that will determine not just the fate of nations but of humanity itself...Daniel Quare is a journeyman in an ancient guild, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. He is also a Regulator, part of an elite network within the guild devoted to searching out and claiming for England's exclusive use any horological innovation that could give them an upperhand, whether in business or in war. Just such a mission has brought Quare to the London townhouse of eccentric collector, Lord Wichcote. He seeks a pocket watch rumoured to possess seemingly impossible properties that are more to do with magic than with any science familiar to Quare or to his superiors. And the strange timepiece has attracted the attention of others as well: the mysterious masked thief known only as Grimalkin, and a deadly French spy who stop at nothing to bring the prize back to his masters. Soon Quare finds himself on a dangerous trail of intrigue and murder that leads far from the world he knows into an otherwhere of dragons and demigods, in which nothing is as it seems...time least of all.


I love a book that blends big plotlines, cracking prose and rounds it all off with a principle character that you just can’t help but get behind. What Paul Witcover produces in this book is nothing short of miraculous considering the influences and hype behind it, but when you blend top notch action with a new take on peril, all round really generates a lot of interest.

Yet for all the praise I give this, readers have to be aware that this is a little of a slow starter leaving the reader wondering what they’re in for. But please, trust me, stick with it. Its definitely worth your time and when you reach that final page, you’ll be clamouring for more. All in a right little cracker.