Tuesday 30 November 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Sentients of Orion 4: Transformation Space - Marianne De Pierres

Release Date: 02/12/10

BOOK BLURB:

Mira Fedor and her friends stand in the eye of the hurricane. Everything is in flux and nothing is as it appears to be. Mira's pregnancy seems to be proceeding at an inhuman pace and the sedate acceptance of this state of affairs by her biozoon, Insigna, is as much an irritation as it is comfort. It seems clear that the extropists' procedures have had an unforeseen effect - but will her child be more than human? Or less? Meanwhile, the galaxy-wide conspiracy that has plagued the Orion League for so long is blown wide open. The conspirators stand unmasked, but is there time to prevent their carefully laid plans coming to fruition? And even if there is, how many of the Orion Worlds will pay the price for their leaders' blindness? The pieces are all in play; all that remains is for each side to commit to its end game. But there's one question nobody has thought to ask: will god play by the rules ...?


REVIEW:

Whilst I wasn’t originally a fan of Mariannes Sentients of Orion series, its really starting to grow on me as he Dunesque series continues to grow apace with the characters pregnancy. It’s fast paced, the characters rounded and Marianne always has a trick up her sleeve to keep the reader guessing as to whats going to happen as she cleverly manipulates what you’re seeing like a talented word magician.

It’s beautifully written, the dialogue is crisp and the pace is the thing that really keeps you glued to the last page as she knows how to excite and calm the reader down. Finally add a great overall plot to the tale and you know that it’s going to give you something a little special which makes this a serious series for a new generation that will continue to build as well as maintain a hard hitting pace. Great stuff from this antipodean author.

Monday 29 November 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: The Necromancer Chronicles 2: The Bone Palace - Amanda Downum

Release Date: 02/12/10

BOOK BLURB:

Death is no stranger in the city of Erisin, but some deaths attract more attention than others. When a prostitute dies carrying a royal signet, Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and agent of the Crown, is called to investigate. Her search leads to desecrated tombs below the palace, and the lightless vaults of the vampiric vrykoloi. But worse things than vampires are plotting in Erisin - a long-dead sorceress is making a bid not only for renewed life but for the throne as well, and Isyllt's former lover is caught in her schemes. As a sorcerous plague sweeps the city, Isyllt must decide who she's prepared to betray - the man she still loves, or the royal family she's sworn to defend.


REVIEW:

Whilst I originally had problems with the first novel in this series (The Drowning City) I had high hopes that the author would learn from the errors of the first. In short, the lack of characterisation in a world that had obviously had a huge amount of time and attention lavished upon its construction.

Here in this title, Amanda has gone back and done her homework to create a more likeable character as well as to allow the reader the chance to revist her world a few years after the original is set. The dialogue is pretty good, the characters a hell of a lot better than their original outing and to be honest its gone to show that Amanda is an author who learns from past errors and picks herself up, looks at the problems and fixes them in later offerings. Definitely a shining star in the making and one that I really will look forward to reading in her next outing. Overall this is a title that is a lot more accomplished for the reader to enjoy and one that will leave them clamouring for more. A great title.

Sunday 28 November 2010

FILM TIE IN: Harry Potter: Film Wizardry

Release Date: 28/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Immerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series, and learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles and Knots are really 'minted', how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, about the inspiration behind Hogworts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. Written and designed in collaboration with the cast and crew that brought J.K. Rowling's celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing filmmaking secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable, facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movies, this collectible volume offers a privileged look at the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.


REVIEW:

With the written series having completed a good few years ago, the films are fast coming to the climax with the soon to be released first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What Transworld have done is take some of the movie magic, added their own blend of wizardry alongside the film’s innovators and created this magical offering.

Contained within this title is a whole set of facts, some great pullout/accessories alongside some almost magical film memorabilia like the Quidditch World Cup programme, the education decree as well as catalogues from places such as Borgin and Burkes Auctioneers and the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Add to this Harry’s Hogwarts invite and you know that it’s going to be a title that will delight fans both young and old. Great stuff.

Saturday 27 November 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Ciaphas Cain 7: The Emperor's Finest - Sandy MItchell

Release Date: 20/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Commissar Cain is called to duty once more, saving a governor's daughter from a planet over-run by rebels. The uprising hides something far more sinister however - genestealer hybrids! The search for the source of the alien threat leads Cain to a drifting space hulk - a far safer place than beside the obsessed governor's daughter. But when the Reclamator Space Marines suffer devastating losses at the hands of the Great Devourer, Cain and his trusty aide Jurgen must go it alone. With the tyranids waking and a group of stowaway orks on the loose, there are no safe places to run or hide, and Cain must use all his ingenuity and cunning to escape the space hulk alive.


REVIEW:

Sandy’s Flashman Hero is back to his old sarcastic ways as he fights for the good of the Imperium as fate has a way of twisting his amazing survival ability into a tale of epic proportion. A cracking read for fans of battle humour, a great sense of plot and backed with solid dialogue and overall story arc. Add to the mix a smattering of self-depreciative humour, a touch of classic radio melodrama and when wrapped up with Cain crossing paths with the Astartes you know that its going to have something for everyone. This, all in, makes this a great title in the continuing series of the Imperium’s greatest unmodified hero and one that will only add to his heroic saga.

I can only guess what Sandy will come up with next but with the way that it’s developed so far you can bet it will only get tougher. On a side note the only real downside is the fact that you know that Cain survives to old age so a lot of the danger is removed from the reader’s thoughts. That said, the fates of Cain’s co-patriots are always in doubt so you’ll be glued to find out who is and who isn’t likely to end up adding to his mythos.

Friday 26 November 2010

NEWS: Deja Review

Hail Mighty Readers,
Here's this months round up of previously reviewed titles that have either been released in PB format or have undergone new binding/artwork. (Covers in review may differ from current incarnation.)

This month you'll find:
Hearts Blood - Juliet Marillier
Kraken - China Mieville
The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time 12) - Robert Joradan and Brandon Sanderson

If we've missed one please let us know,



Gareth

ARTS AND CRAFTS REVIEW: Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo - Melanie Trede and Lorenz Bichler

Release Date: 25/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Literally meaning pictures of the floating world , ukiyo-e refers to the famous Japanese woodblock print genre that originated in the 17th century and is practically synonymous with the Western world's visual characterization of Japan. Because they could be mass produced, ukiyo-e works were often used as designs for fans, New Year's greeting cards, single prints, and book illustrations, and traditionally they depicted city life, entertainment, beautiful women, kabuki actors, and landscapes. The influence of ukiyo-e in Europe and the USA, often referred to as Japonisme, can be seen in everything from impressionist painting to today's manga and anime illustration.Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was one of the last great artists in the ukiyo-e tradition. Though he captured a variety of subjects, his greatest talent was in creating landscapes of his native Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and his final masterpiece was a series known as 100 Famous Views of Edo (1856-1858). This resplendent complete reprint pairs each of the 120 large-scale illustrations with a description, allowing readers to plunge themselves into Hiroshige's beautifully vibrant landscapes.


REVIEW:

Art work from the east has long since been coveted by western collectors and whilst some of the names aren’t that well known, there is one stands out from a great many. That of Hiroshige, a ukiyo-e artist born in 1797. Within this title is a whole set of beautiful artwork that has inspired artists such as Van Gogh as well as a large proportion of modern tattooist artists. This title is beautifully presented with a great selection of prints recreated from the original woodblocks held within the Ota Memorial Museum in Tokyo and backed with the authoritative voices of Lorenz Bichler as well as Melanie Trede who really brings the artwork to a modern audience.

All in a great title and one that will be treasured by any who have the chance to view this beautiful selection. I can guarantee that a great many pieces may well end up being tattooed in the near future which makes this a spellbinding coffee table title.

Thursday 25 November 2010

TRUE LIFE REVIEW: I Won't Forgive What you Did - Faith Scott and Lynne Barrett-Lee

Release Date: 01/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Born the third of eight children into a life of rural squalor in a farming community in the south of England, Faith Scott's infant world is already more challenging than most. Bewildered by the bizarre and cruel behaviour of her mother and terrified by the violent outbursts of her perpetually angry father, the only certainty in life is that there is none. So when Granddad 'Pop' gives her sweets and does the horrid things he does to her, how is she to know that isn't what all Granddads do? And if it isn't, why does her mother find it funny? Told with honesty and courage, this is the story of a little girl who never stood a chance - who was regularly abused in the most shocking ways by her family and preyed upon by the worst kind of men. Faith went on to have two children in her teens and endured appalling domestic violence but now, after all the suffering, she has turned her life around. Her decades-long journey out of the darkness tells the truth about what happens to abused children when they grow up, in a story that's horrifying and compelling in equal measure.


REVIEW:

Books like this one are always tricky to review. Firstly you have to applaud the person for having the courage to put pen to paper and allow others to share their life story but in other respects some of the tales that make it to print aren’t as harrowing as a number of articles that have appeared in women’s magazines or the principle storyteller really has a lot of problems that really haven’t been addressed.

The latter is the case in this title as Faith really hasn’t addressed a lot of her own issues. Firstly she demonises her own mother as an uncaring woman, doesn’t recognise an undiagnosed case of a mental disorder and when she suffers a lot of the same conditions in her own life as well as inflicting the same sort of damage on her own children she expects sympathy, almost as a you must feel sorry for me attitude.

Faith also wasn’t the classic case of a downtrodden beaten woman with no self-esteem, she managed to get herself a career, passed exams in order to progress and then went to work for social services where she got to go to other people’s homes and see a lot of the problems that were going on in her own, and yet she still did nothing to change it. The book is also contradictory in a number of ways for example she also laid claim to not being able to have a bath and smelling and then made throw away comments about how wonderfully the teachers thought that she was turned out. It doesn’t make sense; you’re either one or the other.

All in its well written but that’s the best thing I can say about it which I suspect is only due to the talent of established author Lynne Barrett-Lee. As the story progresses you don’t feel as sorry as you think you should for the “victim”, instead you end up wondering why she was able to create the book when other titles lay out the facts about the victim’s life and how they turned themselves around. All in, it felt that this book is all about garnering sympathy for a person who seems set in her ways and appears to enjoy having the attention alongside playing a victim.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

WORDSMITHING REVIEW: Where a Dobdob meets a Dikdik - Bill Casselman

Release Date: 29/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Were you taught in school that the English language has no rhyme for the word 'orange'? What about 'month', 'silver', or 'purple'? No rhymes for those either? Bill Casselman says poppycock! Digging into the dim recesses of the English language, he shows that there are valid rhyming words for all of these. Along the way, he explores the highways and byways of English - the world's wackiest language. English rejoices in a teeming trove of lexical gems borrowed from almost every language on Earth. Casselman expands his readers' vocabulary, from the sublime to the ridiculous, reveling in odd, obscure words and in amusing anecdotes about familiar phrases (Do you know the origin of 'For the love of Mike'?) Here's the perfect book to celebrate the wonders, the complexities, and the absurdities of our Mother Tongue. By the way, the word 'sporange' rhymes with orange. It's a small capsule or receptacle that holds spores in certain species of mold.


REVIEW:

Whether you have a passing interest in the origin of words and phrases or are a scrabble nut or writer this book is one that will give you a whole new understanding of some of the languages nuances as well as some interesting factual trivia that could save your bacon in a pub quiz or just to impress that know it all in your life.

It’s definitely a quirky title and one that gives you a fun understanding of some of the changes in modern language. Add to this the authoritative as well as respectful tone of the Bill to guide you through the shark infested lexicon world and you know that its going to be a book that will be worth thumbing through a good few times. Beautifully presented this book is definitely something that will appeal to a great many readers as well as a great gift for that English loving person in your life.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Wheel of Time 13: Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: 02/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unravelling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. Perrin Aybara is haunted by spectres from his past. To prevail, he must find a way to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it for ever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost. The end draws near. It's time to roll the dice.


REVIEW:

As the epic Wheel of Time finally begins its final turn the reader is thrust directly into the long overdue end game that has been revitalised by Sanderson’s interpretation of Jordan’s vision. It’s definitely got great pace, the principle players within rely more on Perrin and Mat and finally give their destiny’s chance to shine.

It’s beautifully creative, it’s got great prose and some seriously great dialogue as it wends its merry way, the only real query that I have is the change in Rand’s characters, he’s changed seriously almost as if he has been replaced with a doppelganger which leaves you wondering what’s going on. Add to this other characters getting the chance to further their own parts in the overall story and you know that the final part is going to be not only explosive but eventful. The final part is going to be not only something special but also has the potential to be something that hasn’t been seen in fantasy before. It really going to be a long wait and one that will be the highlight of that years fantasy releases.

Monday 22 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Plague of the Dead - Z A Recht

Release Date: 13/05/10

BOOK BLURB:

The Morningstar virus. Those infected suffer delerium, fever, violent behaviour ...and a hundred per cent mortality rate. But that's not the worst of it. The victims return from the dead to walk the earth. And when a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead, it escalates into a worldwide pandemic. On one side of the world, thousands of miles from home, a battle-hardened general surveys the remnants of his command: a young medic, a veteran photographer, a rash private, and dozens of refugees -- all of them his responsibility. Meanwhile in the United States, an army colonel discovers the darker side of Morningstar and collaborates with a well-known journalist to leak the information to the public...


REVIEW:

Fans of the modern zombie material such as the Walking Dead and the modern remakes of classic Romero’s will have the chance to get to grips with these fear causing monsters of legend in this title. Kicking off with a blistering pace, the reader is thrust straight to the heart of the matter as the author really starts at high octane and keeps it going. Unfortunately without any real change of pace for this title, the reader soon loses the part where they can’t put it down and really wishes for a softer scene where they can get to know the characters which are unfortunately fairly flat. So much so, that you lose any real will for them to live through the tale often confusing one for another.

All in, it is OK and worth a punt if you’re a bit short of something else to read, however I’d suggest waiting for it to appear in a bargain bin as whilst it was brave and the dead did have the plus points of being able to run, think and learn, it sadly didn’t build to the full potential that could have been realised which left me feeling disappointed.

Sunday 21 November 2010

HUMOUR: The Big Black Book of Very Dirty Words - Alex Munier

Release Date: 29/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Crop Dusting. Premature Evacuation. Prostitot. Rainbow Kiss. Sideways Smile. These words are just a small sample of the enormous world of profanity that you will enter with The Big Black Book of Very Dirty Words . We're talking about over 2,000 of the greatest insults, obscenities, and vulgarities that make you proud to know the English language. We're not cock teasing you when we say you'll discover dirty words that you definitely didn't learn in grammar class. Where else will you learn to swear like a true pimp at any douchebag who crosses your path with an insult like how he's a frakkin' shmonster who isn't batting with a full wicket? So swear as much as you want, and you'll be friggin' sweet. Because with this kickass wordbook, you'll never have as much fun - or be more nasty.


REVIEW:

OK, I’ll admit it, my mind is usually in the gutter and when someone uses an expression for a dirty word that I’ve not heard before I like to know to which it refers. So now I’ve got a great companion to help me steer the streets of slang as well as modern parlance and translation.

Whilst some may say that Alex’s book is a bit childish, its definitely one that is a whole lot of fun (and yes, we did clock you flicking through for your favourite words whilst pretending to fake all innocence. LOL) Good fun and whilst perhaps not to be left within the reach of children it’s a title that is a whole lot of fun for the adult (and a handy gift guide for some of the US television that we’re now that uses expressions that I’ve never heard before) which all in, makes this a great gift for the holiday period.

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Next Queen of Heaven - Gregory Maguire

Release Date: 14/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Strange events are occurring in the small town of Thebes, USA. Knocked out by a falling statue of the Virgin Mary, Mrs Leontina Scales wakes up not quite the woman she was before. What on earth are her sons and her foul-mouthed daughter Tabitha supposed to do with a mad mother who speaks in tongues? Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr needs a rehearsal venue for his gay singing group. Could the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries be his salvation? As the year draws to a close, the Radical Radiants battle the Catholics, a Christmas pageant goes horribly awry, and a child is born...Frantic, funny and farcical, The Next Queen of Heaven is a modern masterpiece from the incredible imagination of Gregory Maguire.


REVIEW:

The latest release from Gregory and to be blunt, one that was a real struggle to get through. Why? Well to be honest with you I hated the principle female character. She was not only obnoxious but also one that really didn’t fit in that well with what the author was trying to do which when backed with a barrel load of swearing meant that it lost any point in being there in the first place. Was the author trying to shock? Possibly. Was the author trying something new? Nope. There are other authors who have written this type of tale better and in all honesty smarter than this writer.

Swearing isn’t big and it isn’t clever. If you’re going to use it, it needs to be in context as well as appearing only as a last resort so that the reader knows that it’s a real time of peril etc. Here it’s just littered into the text almost carelessly which overall loses all point of its use. A great shame as the title did have a lot of potential but if you want witty writing with a great sense of humour backed with some serious plot outline then go for Tom Holt or Terry Pratchett or for something a little different try Christopher Moore. All the aforementioned authors are definitely way above this puerile title.

Saturday 20 November 2010

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Revolution 4: The Fields of Death - Simon Scarrow

Release Date: 11/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

From the bestselling author of THE GLADIATOR and FIRE AND SWORD comes the final volume in his epic quartet of novels about Wellington and Napoleon It's 1810, and both Viscount Wellington and Emperor Napoleon have made great names for themselves as outstanding military commanders. Wellington expands his achievements and enjoys further fame during his years in Spain but knows his most challenging test will be to face Napoleon's mighty army. But when Wellington invades France in 1814 he gains a swift and certain victory. He indulges in a spell of self-congratulation at Vienna -- until news comes of Napoleon's triumphant return. Napoleon, ambitious as ever, embarks on a Russian campaign which ends in disaster and is then defeated at Leipzig in the biggest battle ever fought in Europe. With Napoleon's power waning at long last, Wellington must seize the opportunity to crush the tyrant once and for all -- and so the two giants face each other for the final time, at Waterloo...


REVIEW:

When the original Revolution series was launched it was envisioned as a trilogy. However, in order to achieve this Simon would have to have made a lot of tough choices through cuts to not only the overall story but personal defining character building moments that made the principle characters the men they were.

So it was a brave choice to extend the series to a quartet and to be honest, it was a good thing that he did. The characters not only grow but it increases the crescendo for the battle of Waterloo which, whilst we know what happened through history, was a defining moment as these two huge characters faced each other on the field of battle. Simon’s writing style was made for this conflict, his careful balance of pace with it’s fast battle sequences vie against the moments of personal reflection and have made the overall experience something special. Apt, heroic and above all else a great way to inspire historical research which, when backed up with realistic characters that the reader can not only associate with but also admire this is historical fiction at its best.

Friday 19 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - Charlaine Harris and Toni LP Kelner

Release Date: 18/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

We all know the holiday season can bring out the beast in anyone - but it's especially hard if you're a lycanthrope! Gathered here together is a veritable feast of fears and tears: fifteen of the scariest, saddest, funniest werewolf tales, by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of the full moon, and with a silver bullet close at hand. In 'Gift Wrap', Sookie Stackhouse is feeling mighty sorry for herself, all alone for Christmas - until she meets someone with bigger problems than loneliness ...Patricia Briggs gives us the story of lone wolf David Christiansen, who needs to mend fences with his daughter, before it's too late. In 'Christmas Past', Keri Arthur tells the tale of Hannah, who gets an unmerry and potentially life-threatening Christmas present when the hunky werewolf who dumped her last Christmas Eve turns up as her partner on the hunt for a vampire serial killer. All these and more feature in WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE, the perfect antidote to Christmas mawkishness!


REVIEW:

A series of short stories edited by one of the biggest names in the Urban Fantasy Genre which when backed with the sheer talent and scope of the authors within, make this title a must own. It’s great for the holiday period and will get you in the festive mood and when backed with the fact that each short story is self-contained will definitely put a smile on many an Urban Fantasy Readers face.

Failing all else, the fact that within are a large number of the big names makes this a pretty good bet as a pleaser as well as allowing readers the chance to try some of the authors that they may not be quite as familiar with or just know the name in passing.

Finally, this title is definitely worth the outlay although make sure that the giftee (the reader) has all their creature comforts to hand as they’ll pretty much be glued and possibly even snarl if their reading time is disturbed. With lycanthropy being a transferable disease through bite, making sure to their comfort or you may well find out how true this is. LOL

Thursday 18 November 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Stormlord Rising - Glenda Larke

Release Date: 04/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

The last Stormlord is dead - and war has arrived. The nomadic Reduners have put the Quartern's rainlords to the sword, leaving their cities without water or hope. Shale still lives, despite being betrayed, drugged and sold to his greatest enemy. Yet Shale needs his adversary more than his freedom, as thousands will die if they don't channel the rains together. For Shale isn't a Stormlord in his own right - at least, not yet. Only Terelle could help him now, but she's a prisoner herself and far from home. And a new force is rising in the desert. While kept as a Reduner whore, Rainlord Ryka Feldspar witnesses a power that can move the sands themselves. The Reduners are hailing this power as god-given, and its impact could transform a world.


REVIEW:

The second title in Glenda’s Stormlord series and one that continues to build upon the success of the original which before we go any further, I’d advising that you read before starting this one. What Glenda does very well, for those unfamiliar with her previous body of work, is great characterisation, they’re realistic, they’re fully formed and they past events as well as choices form the events of the present and even influence occurrences in the future. It’s beautifully written, the action fast paced and when backed with the sheer skill of an established author demonstrates why she is one to pick up.

Finally add a great overall story arc as well as a lot of threads to interweave into the next title that could go either way and the reader is left guessing in Glenda’s shades of grey world which makes this an excellent title and one that we can’t wait for the third instalment for.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Belador Code 1: Blood Trinity - Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

Release Date: 19/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Atlanta has become the battlefield between humans and demons. All her life, Evalle Kincaid has walked the line between the two. Her origins unknown, she's on a quest to learn more about her past - and her future. When a demon claims the life of a young woman in a terrifying attack and there's no one else to blame, Evalle comes under suspicion. Now she's on a deadly quest for her own survival. Through the sordid underground of an alternate Atlanta where nothing is as it seems, to the front lines of the city where her former allies have joined forces to hunt her, Evalle must prove her innocence or pay the ultimate price. But saving herself is the least of her problems if she doesn't stop the coming apocalypse. The clock is ticking and Atlanta is about to catch fire ...


REVIEW:

A novel of two authors and one that benefits not only from the experience of the more prolific but also title that also picks up a serious flavour of the other.

It’s a title with strong characters, a smart female lead and one that also leads to forgiveness and understanding. It’s a beautiful novel and when added to some great dialogue as well as a huge overall arc, really makes this novel something different.

Finally, the way in which this title has been created really is going to be interesting to see where this series goes in future instalments and hopefully will build upon the success of this one.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

CRIME REVIEW: Alex Delaware 25: Deception - Jonathan Kellerman

Release Date: 30/09/10

BOOK BLURB:

The ingenious, intriguing and breathtakingly good new novel from the world's number one psychological thriller writer. On a DVD found near her lifeless body, Elise Freeman chronicles a year-and-a-half-long ordeal of monstrous abuse at the hands of three sadistic tormentors. But even more shocking than the lurid details is the revelation that the offenders, like their victim, are teachers at a prestigious LA prep school. If ever homicide detective Milo Sturgis could use Dr Alex Delaware's psychological prowess, it's now. From the start, this case promises to be an uphill climb for truth and a down-and-dirty fight for justice. Alex and Milo must penetrate the citadel of wealth and scholarship to expose the dirty secrets and deadly sins festering amongst LA's elite. But power and position are not easily surrendered, and Alex and Milo may well be walking into a highly polished death trap...


REVIEW:

The 25th Alex Delaware novel and one that proves that a good crime writer can keep the reader glued throughout. The key to this is the subtle art of deception and misdirection which Jonathan does well.

Add to this a good mix of believable characters, solid prose alongside a good standard of pace and the book will definitely please the crime reader.

Finally, whilst many readers may be put off by the fact that this is so far into an established series, I want to assure you that each title is self contained which for new readers is always a good thing and also allows you the chance to find one that’s right for you. All in a great title and one that gave me a good few hours reading pleasure and one that definitely benefits from a night-time read.

Monday 15 November 2010

CRIME REVIEW: If I Never See you Again - Niamh O'Connor

Release Date: 21/04/10

BOOK BLURB:

The Detective: Meet Jo Birmingham. Single mum, streetwise detective, and spiky as hell. Recently promoted, she is one of the few female detective superintendents on the Dublin police force. But with a failed marriage behind her and two young sons at home, trying to strike the right work-life balance has run her ragged. The Serial Killer: When Jo identifies the missing link in a chain of brutal killings, she comes under fierce scrutiny from her male colleagues in the force, especially her boss and ex-husband Dan Mason. But as the body count rises, so do the body parts. As fear stalks the city, it soon becomes obvious both to the police and to the media that a serial killer is at large. A Terrifying Game of Cat and Mouse: And so Jo embarks on a terrifying psychological journey to find out who the killer is, and how he is choosing his victims. Soon she is involved in a deadly game in which there are no rules. Because the killer is waiting for her...


REVIEW:

If you’re looking for a crime story that’s a little different with a new setting, then you really can’t do much better than this offering by Niamh. It’s fresh, it has great characterisation and with traits within Jo Birmingham that many a reader will recognise, she has something that can be latched onto so that the reader has an almost instant connection.

Add to this mix a plot that takes the reader around the streets of Dublin as the character struggles to face events from the past alongside a string of murders that she needs to solve and the reader has a title that will stay with them. It’s definitely different to the many crime stories out there and for that reason is well worth a punt. You won’t regret it.

Sunday 14 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: A Fallen Angels Novel: Crave - JR Ward

Release Date: 07/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

The battle between good and evil has left the future of humanity in the hands of a reluctant saviour and his band of fallen angels. Seven deadly sins that must be righted. Seven souls that must be saved. Fallen Angel Jim Heron has completed his first task: helping Vin Di Pietro to redeem his soul. Now he must identify and battle a demon that can take any form. Worse still, his old boss Matthias wants him to assassinate Isaac, a member of The Firm who's gone AWOL - and Jim's pretty sure he's supposed to save him. But before Jim can get to Isaac to warn him, Isaac's picked up by the police for illegal street fighting. It's soon clear that he is falling for his gorgeous public defender - will their love redeem his soul? Or has the demon Devina, who's determined to see Jim fail, set an elaborate trap?


REVIEW:

With the first novel having set the scene for JR’s world, this title focuses more on character development alongside bringing a new breed of hero to the fight for the mortal world in the everlasting fight between good and evil. It’s beautifully descriptive and with the heroes being more Angels with dirty faces who get into the muck to fight evil on its own terms, definitely allows the reader to keep guessing as to what will happen due to the unpredictable nature of the characters.

It’s a seriously different type of Urban Fantasy to a lot of the ones already out there and a title that will entertain through the action and discoveries of the characters that will enchant the reader. JR really does have a great writing style which when packed with some great dialogue makes this a series that everyone can enjoy. Great stuff.

Saturday 13 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Scarletti Curse - Christine Feehan

Release Date: 07/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

THE BEAST Strange, twisted carvings and hideous gargoyles adorn the palazzo of the great Scarletti family. But a still more fearful secret lurks within its storm-tossed turrets. For every bride who enters its forbidding walls is doomed to leave in a casket. THE BRIDE Mystical and unfettered, Nicoletta has no terror of ancient curses and no fear of marriage ...until she looks into the dark mesmerising eyes of Don Scarletti. She had sworn no man would command her, had thought her gift of healing set her apart, but his is the right to choose a bride from among his people. And he has chosen her. THE BARGAIN Compelled by duty, drawn by desire, she gives her body into his keeping, and prays the powerful, tormented don will be her heart's destiny, and not her soul's demise.


REVIEW:

Christine is perhaps best known for her Dark Carpathian series and whilst its hard for a new reader to get into an established series, its always helpful when a new unrelated title is available.

Here in the Scarletti Curse, is a story of love, jealousy, murder and deception with the Scarletti’s being a cross between the Borgia’s and the Medici encompassing the best as well as the worst aspects of each family.

As usual with Christine, the writing style as well as the story is beautiful woven, the prose direct and the characters crisp as she brings here tale to the fore. The only real downside to this title is the sexual angle which is poorly conceived with a crass ending which would have worked better had the author dropped it and gone for a fade to black moment. A great shame after so much careful planning for the rest of the book.

Friday 12 November 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: The Inheritance Trilogy 2: The Broken Kingdoms

Release Date: 04/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. However, this act of kindness is to engulf Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger - but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?


REVIEW:

Readers may well remember our review of the authors first title, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This title builds upon the success of the first and whilst a lot of the groundwork was already laid down for the reader to understand the world and how it functions, this title continues to educate as well as expand the reality for the viewer.

Back this up with almost human gods with precarious tempers and choices as well as a great overall arc and the author really does do the world justice. Finally, if you’ve not read the original you probably won’t get everything out of this title as many of the readers will as this Young Adult/Adult Fantasy really does have something for everyone from a great sense of pace to deliciously delightful conflict and dialogue. Great stuff.

Thursday 11 November 2010

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Macro and Cato 10: The Legion - Simon Scarrow

Release Date: 11/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

The bestselling author of CENTURION and THE GLADIATOR returns with another action-packed Roman adventure.Trouble is brewing in Egypt. Rebel gladiator Ajax and his men have been posing as Roman soldiers and attacking naval bases, merchant vessels and villages. Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro have been charged with the task of tracking down the renegade warrior before the problem gets out of control. Joining forces with Legion III, they hope to destroy their enemy on the battlefield. But the cunning gladiator has other ideas...


REVIEW:

Scarrow’s most well-known heroes, Macro and Cato, return in their 10th outing to face an old foe and one that the readers really are looking forward to them getting their hands upon.

As usual the action comes thick and fast with our epic duo in another war that could see the end of Rome’s time within Africa. It’s bloody, it’s brutal and above all else the reader gets exactly what they want from this title with Scarrow’s indomitable sense of pace keeping the reader in check alongside injection his own touch of battlefield humour to lighten some of the darker aspects within.

All in another good book in the series and one that demonstrates a singular purpose of one of the heroes that may have been lacking previously as his ambition alongside goals start to become his chance to step up not only for the glory of Rome but for his own purposes as well. Whilst you can jump into the series at any point you really have to start at the beginning to get to know the heroes as well as to be able to understand their own sensibilities alongside their growth as they endure, overcome and conquer the enemies of Rome. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Jane Slayre - Charlotte Bronte and Sheri Browning-Erwin

Release Date: 29/04/10

BOOK BLURB:

'Reader, I buried him.' So begins Sherri Browning Erwin's affectionate, funny and brilliantly clever monster mash-up of everyone's favourite literary classic. Mrs Reed and her children are vampires, Lowood is run by a voodoo headmaster who is turning his pupils into the walking dead, Mr Rochester's first wife is a werewolf, and Jane must learn to embrace her destiny as a slayer of evil before she can win her heart's desire. What's not to love? Jane Slayre is the one classic which can give Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a run for its money, and Sherri Browning Erwin's masterful take on a timeless tale will delight monster fans and lovers of Charlotte Bronte alike.


REVIEW:

One of the most recent changes to the genre is to take a modern classic and put a spin upon it. Here within this offering Sherri has paid homage to this tale and taken a serious bite out of the stuffiness within for the current audience. Beautifully constructed, carefully managed, the author not only embellishes the story but adds a whole new twist of flavours for a new exciting fusion. Add to the mix a strong female lead, some great one liners and of course a tale to savour in much the same way as a fine wine.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus - Jonathan Green

Release Date: 11/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Ulysses Quicksilver, dandy, adventurer and agent of the throne. A steam-punk hero on a dark alternative universe where Queen Victoria has ruled for 160 years, sinister powers plot against the

British Empire and dinosaurs roam the Challenger enclosure at London Zoo. This is the world of Magna Britannia, a brave new age of steam populated by heroes and villains, monsters and grotesques.

Volume 1 in this series collect together the first three Ulysses Quicksilver novels: Unnatural History Leviathan Rising and Human Nature.


REVIEW:

Having been a fan from the beginning of this quirky character, I really couldn’t help but rediscover the joy of this dashing dandy of a secret agent in Steampunk Victoriana glory. After all that’s what this title is all about and to be honest whilst some may not be the biggest fan of this literary hero, he’s got a hell of a lot to offer the modern reader in a similar sort of way that Moore brought when he did his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the screen.

Add to the mix that this is an omnibus and you know that it has value for money built in. It’s an ideal stocking filler if you love action and when backed with a hero that readers will just love to hang out with alongside the full extent of everything from Darwinism gone wrong, a touch of reanimator and a whole host of interesting supporting cast and it really is a spiffy read.

Monday 8 November 2010

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars - Gervase Phinn

Release Date: 11/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Following on from the terrific success of A Wayne in a Manger , Gervase Phinn has collected together from his bestselling Dales books his favourite stories about children, and included some poems from his popular Puffin poetry books. In this humorously illustrated book, the stories have one thing in common - the wonderfully funny (and usually innocent) things that children say. Whether they are stories about children who cannot read very well but know the names of many breeds of sheep or children who are more privileged (coming to school in a Wolls-Woyce), they are simply delightful. This heart-warming book will not only enchant you, it will make you look at life through a child's eyes - and that's quite a special thing.


REVIEW:

Well known for his autobiographical titles as well as his public speaking this title brings perhaps some of Gervase’s best anecdotes to the fore in this compact stocking filler title that the reader will enjoy as children go to prove that misunderstanding alongside their own thinking processes can produce comedy gold.

Add to the mix something for everyone to enjoy, an author that’s more than willing to poke fun at himself as well as be honest with the reader about his own past and it’s a title that will endear itself to a great many.

Sunday 7 November 2010

HISTORY: The Crusades - Thomas Asbridge

Release Date: 19/08/10

BOOK BLURB:

In the eleventh century, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed this First Crusade, Islam and the West fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars, both firm in the belief that they were at God's work. For the first time, this book tells the story of this epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims, reconstructing the experiences and attitudes of those on either side of the conflict. Mixing pulsing narrative and piercing insight, it exposes the full horror, passion and barbaric grandeur of the crusading era. One of the world's foremost authorities on the subject, Thomas Asbridge offers a vivid and penetrating history of the crusades, setting a new standard for modern scholarship. Drawing upon painstaking original research and an intimate knowledge of the Near East, he uncovers what drove Muslims and Christians alike to embrace the ideals of jihad and crusade, revealing how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world and why they continue to echo in human memory to this day.


REVIEW:

History, as they say is written by the victors and with recent event’s being compared to the Crusades the modern man can perhaps learn from what has gone before in order to prevent repeated the errors of the past.

That said, events have to be looked at in mind of the time, place as well as the setting and to get an objective view, accounts need to be available from both sides of the conflict. This is what Thomas Asbridge has done within this title. Beautifully written, this look at the many crusades, their leaders and outcomes is meticulously researched, especially when the author does his best to tread the middle ground, almost as if he were reporting from the front line of a modern war.

It’s detail is staggering, the writing authoritive and to my mind perhaps the most comprehensive account of the crusades to date. For lovers of history this title is going to be a must have title especially when backed with the research to become a prize of capture itself.

Saturday 6 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Best of Tomes of the Dead - Al Ewing, Matt Smith, Rebecca Levene

Release Date: 11/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Tomes of The Dead: tales of the hungry dead, roaming the earth, bringing a charnel plague to humanity. Tomes of The Dead: where graveyards yawn and zombies push up through worm-ridden soil as undeath wakes rigor mortis stiffened limbs. Tomes of The Dead: the very best in zombie fiction from some of the finest talents working in horror today.

Volume 1 in this series collects together The Words of Their Roaring, I Zombie and Anno Mortis


REVIEW:

As a fan of the Tomes of the Dead series by Abaddon, I always love the excuse to delve into the world that they’ve created and watch the undead wreck their havoc. What makes this perhaps one of the better series is that they don’t constrain themselves timeline wise to the modern world which is easily proven in titles like Anno Mortis that’s set in the Roman Empire.

Within the reader gets three of the best of the series to date with authors like Al Ewing, Rebecca Levene and Matt Smith. Each of the titles has something different to entertain the reader from a Zombie Detective to a Romeroesque London and topped with a Gladiatrix who just won’t stop. Which when added to the of sheer value for money, will give the reader a real treat from some of the top talent in the genre today. A great title and one that we really loved to reread….bbbbrrraaiiinnnssss.

Friday 5 November 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Nemesis List - RJ Frith

Release Date: 05/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Humanity has expanded into the stars but at the price of its freedom. An autocratic and overbearing Government now rigidly controls every technical and scientific advancement. Deviation is punishable by death. Out on the edges of space, criminals thwart the law, making money out of illegal tech, their ships jumping from galaxy to galaxy to avoid detection. Ex-soldier Frank Pak doesn't care about politics or breaking the law, he just wants to keep his ship running. When he's offered a contract to escort a runaway back home to his loving family - he doesn't ask questions. But his cargo is more dangerous than he realizes. Jeven Jones is no ordinary passenger. A result of illegal human experimentation, he's a fast-tracked evolutionary leap into future. Thanks to his ability for perfect recall and a series of mental skills that he has no control over, Jones is a wanted man. The Government wants him dead. A fledgling revolution want to use him to unlock every advancement the Government has ever denied them. If Jones lives he'll start a war. If he dies the entire future of humanity dies with him...


REVIEW:

New talent is something that needs to be not only nurtured but carefully cultivated. Such is the case with this offering, the debut, of RJ Frith.

Winner of the UK’s biggest Science Fiction Writers Competition, The War of Word’s, it’s easy to see why. Whilst it has a futuristic setting, which is richly crafted, for me, it is the characterisation that really stands out. Jake/Jevin/Jones is a wonder. He has the smarts, he is manipulative but above all else it is his sense of self that readers will latch onto.

The dialogue is great, the setting expansive and above all else RJ knows how to a manipulate a story like a weaver masters a loom, presenting a rich tapestry of spacescape’s with threads of destiny cleverly woven within the plot. Add to an almost godlike game of chess where characters try to figure out if their key players or pawns and this gives the reader an almost epic set of worlds ripe for exploration. Finish off with politics, revenge and hidden truths and it is all set to go supernova.

Thursday 4 November 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Amortals - Matt Forbeck

Release Date: 04/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Today you die. Today you are reborn. Today you hunt the man who killed you. It's Lee Child vs. Altered Carbon in a high-tech blast of tough-as-nails future thrills. Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept - with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan "Methusaleh" Dooley is brutally murdered, he's brought back from the dead to hunt his killer, and in doing so uncover a terrible conspiracy.


REVIEW:

This offering is a strange tale firmly in the realm of science fiction as Forbeck’s vision of the future blends elements from films such as Surrogates and The 6th Day.

It’s definitely a novel tale that certainly has an unusual outlook, bringing a possible future to the reader today within this techno thriller alongside an excellent sense of pace. However, the downside to this offering is initially the principle character himself. Dooley is difficult to get a handle on and for the first part of the story is aloof to the reader which unfortunately makes him unlikeable. Yet as the story progresses the author helps the reader to not only sympathise with the hero but clearly, through dialogue, demonstrates that he is a man out of his time through the clever use of modern references.

It is well written and will definitely give the reader an adventure to enjoy yet unfortunately I cannot quite give up on the notion that I’ve read most of the conventions within this title before. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice piece of escapism but when you add a pretty swift ending to the tale with everything tied up in a neat bow, I did wonder if the story had ended up more as a screenplay originally than a story and was adapted to fit the brief.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Thomas Usher 1: Pretty Little Dead Things - Gary McMahon

Release Date: 04/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

THOMAS USHER HAS A TERRIBLE GIFT. Following a car crash in which his wife and daughter are killed, he can see the recently departed, and it's not usually a pretty sight. When he is called to investigate the violent death of the daughter of a prominent local gangster, Usher's world is torn apart once more. For the barriers between this world and the next are not as immutable as once he believed.


REVIEW:

I’ve really got a bit of a soft spot for titles that blend what some would think of as opposing genres. Sometimes, it’s a radical new fusion, at others a failed experiment. Here in this offering from Gary McMahon is a tale where crime, gumshoe and the supernatural are set to collide.

It was definitely an interesting read, the characters believable (if not completely likeable) with an acceptable dialogue between the players which when backed up with a bittersweet ending definitely make it something different. Gary should be applauded for his effort which was not only brave but presented a different type of tale to the norm. Yet unfortunately, its nothing that I haven’t really read before with authors like Mike Carey, Justin Gustainis and Charlaine Harris each doing this type of tale a little better with more likable characters. I hope that Gary will learn from the errors within this title and improve on some of his weaker area’s as I look forward to seeing what he turns up next time. It is a reasonable offering and if you’re at a loose end it will keep the reader satisfied to a certain level but currently he’s not quite ready to take on some of the more established writers but the promise is definitely there.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

NEWS: Harry Potter Update



Hail Mighty Readers,
Our friends over at Bloomsbury wanted us to give you the heads up on the new Harry Potter Website that they've wizarded up.

The website also relaunches the signature editions of the series (which to be honest will add a lot to that collector's shelf), games to entertain (such as Magical Matches and the Harry Potter Connection) and theres even interviews with Joanne (the author) posters, bookmarks and desktop wallpapers to keep you magically protected.

To find out more please visit: Harry Potter

Or to join the Facebook Page

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Warhammer 40k: Tomes of Fire 2 - Firedrake - Nick Kyme

Release Date: 01/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

When Chaplain Elysius of the Salamanders is taken captive by Dark Eldar, he faces a fight for survival at the hands of these cruel aliens. The Firedrakes of 1st Company attempt a daring rescue mission, but much more is at stake than the Chaplain's life. He holds the key to secrets buried beneath Mount Deathfire, secrets that could reveal the damnation - or salvation - of their home world. The Salamanders must penetrate the Port of Anguish and defeat the xenos threat there if they are to unveil the mysteries within the Tome of Fire. Meanwhile, Dak'ir battles to survive the brutal Librarian training, and in his visions lies an even darker future -


REVIEW:

The second book in the epic Tomes of the Fire Trilogy featuring the Salamander Astartes. Beautifully written, Nick brings the full scale war of attrition to the table as treachery, destiny and vengeance vie for dominance amongst this space marine chapter.

It’s dark, it is gory and above all else it is a story that will have fans clamouring for Nocturne (sadly currently scheduled for late 2011) sooner rather than later, as the Emperor looks on as the fates clash from all angles. Who will survive and triumph or if it’s going to be a phyrric victory we can’t guess, all we know is that Kyme plays for keeps and the cost will be high.

CRIME/MYSTERY REVIEW: Best American Mystery Stories 2010 - Ed Lee Child, Otto Penzler

Release Date: 01/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Featuring twenty of the year's standout crime short stories handpicked by one of the world's best thriller writers, Best American Mystery Stories 2010 showcases not only the very best of the crime genre, but the best of American writing full stop. Within its pages, literary legends rub shoulders with the hottest new talent. Contributors in the past have included James Lee Burke, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly, Alice Munro and Joyce Carol Oates. This year's guest editor is Lee Child, the creator of Jack Reacher and a simultaneous bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.


REVIEW:

One of the mediums in the publishing industry that feels like its not used to its full potential is that of the compendium. With financial times being what they are, readers tend to stick to what they know spending their hard earned cash on established as well as firm favourites over someone that they might have heard good things about.

Here in the compendium is the readers chance to try some top talent in the mystery genre. Whilst each story has been handpicked as well as published before they are brought together here for the first time and released in the UK by Corvus. It’s got some gems, it has a lot of serious talent and above all else the reader has got some serious reading time ahead of them. Add to the mix that it’s all short stories and the reader can quite easily delve into these on those boring trips to work or even in a lunch hour. Great stuff and above all else is a title that I’m giving a thumbs up to for UK readers. Get to know what is selling well in the US and see why these authors are names that have staked their place in the genre.

Monday 1 November 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Warhammer 40k: Horus Heresy: The First Heretic - Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Release Date: 01/11/10

BOOK BLURB:

Amidst the galaxy-wide war of the Great Crusade, the Emperor castigates the Word Bearers for their worship. Distraught at this judgement, Lorgar and his Legion seek another path while devastating world after world, venting their fury and fervour on the battlefield. Their search for a new purpose leads them to the edge of the material universe, where they meet ancient forces far more powerful than they could have imagined. Having set out to illuminate the Imperium, the corruption of Chaos takes hold and their path to damnation begins. Unbeknownst to the Word Bearers, their quest for truth contains the very roots of heresy -


REVIEW:

The Horus Heresy series is one that the Black Library has had to get right, after all the series focuses upon the key moment in mankind’s history where thing go asunder, brother turns against brother and readers have been demanding a greater sense of the events for years. So, in order to bring this part of the civil war to the reader, they’ve split it into various stories from some of their best writers bringing only the cream of the crop to the table. Having turned out a descent level of writing in a short time with a number of titles, Aaron gets his shot to tell a tale that could cement his reputation amongst the fans. So what did the readers get for their money?

Within this offering you get solid military fare, seriously bloody combat, double dealing and politics backed up with an overall feel that should make this a serious contender against a number of other titles within this series. It has some great characterisation, the dialogue is acceptable and overall it’s a story where there are some seriously golden snippets of info to be filed away/exploited for a later that could return to bite a few on the backside. It is well written, it is a story that I enjoyed but my one bugbear is when you know the history of some of the players, it does take a large part of the tension out from the tale as things unfurl. That said, it’s still going to be something readers will enjoy and hopefully will be something to help give people a taster of exactly what Aaron can do when unchained from constraints.

FANTASY REVIEW: Warhammer Fantasy: Empire Army: Warrior Priest - Darius Hinks

Release Date: 01/10/10

BOOK BLURB:

Warrior Priests are the holy crusaders of the Empire, crushing daemons, witches and heretics alike with righteous fury. These bold men wield death and damnation, with warhammers held high and the word of Sigmar on their lips. They provide the final bastion against the forces of darkness that would run rampant and forever turn the hearts of men. Jakob Wolff is one such warrior, and sets out to track down his brother, whose soul has been tainted by the Ruinous Powers. Family must be put to one side as he battles to prevent the Empire from sinking into Chaos, with only his strength of arms and the purity of his beliefs to call upon.


REVIEW:

Having written a number of short stories for the Black Library’s worlds alongside working on titles like The Witch Hunters Handbook as well as Liber Chaotica, this, his first full length Warhammer novel takes the reader into a tale of vengeance, discovery and above all else honourable redemption.

It’s beautifully written with a cast of dark eyed, hard as nails veterans backed by some softer initiates who help the reader acclimatise to the dark war torn world around them.

Back this up with a kickass plot, stunning combat alongside a warrior priest of almost legendary proportions and I suspect that readers will soon demand their own Wolfe to lead their forces on the Battlefield. Harsh, dark and with combat moments almost Gemmellesque, it’s a tale that will fulfil man a readers demands.