Wednesday, 26 December 2012

DVD REVIEW: Total Recall - Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman - Sony Home Entertainment

Release Date: 26/12/12


Prepare for non-stop excitement and pulse-pounding thrills in this “smart, sexy and action-packed” (Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood) action thriller. Colin Farrell stars as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who visits Rekall, a revolutionary company that can turn his superspy fantasies into real memories. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, the line between fantasy and reality blurs as Quaid becomes a man on the run and the fate of his world hangs in the balance.

Co-starring Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston, Total Recall is bursting with mind-blowing action sequences and spectacular visual effects, the ultimate high-energy thrill-ride!


There are times when you want a film that gives you loads of action and has a real science fiction feel. That’s what I expected from this modern remake of what I consider to a fun film of the 90’s. Yet what I got from this was something that was not only sadly lacking but one that really didn’t work on so many levels.

Quaid needed to be vulnerable yet smart, an action hero and a guy that you would care about winning. Yet Farrell really didn’t bring that across for me as a viewer and to be honest that made it difficult to care about what was happening throughout. Add to this a plot that really ddn’t sell itself and felt poorly conceived alongside a sadly lacking script.

All round the effects were reasonable and with a couple of homages to the original within it did raise a smile or two when you spotted them. Yet when you look at it deeply its not a great film and one that I’ll not be watching again for quite some time choosing, my 90’s version instead.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Rock Creek Park - Simon Conway

Release Date: 02/08/12


Former soldier Michael Freeman is now a homicide detective in Washington, D.C. As a huge snowstorm engulfs the city, a late night jogger in Rock Creek Park discovers the brutally beaten body of a once beautiful young woman. She is lying just yards from the palatial home of Senator John Cannon - one of the most powerful and wealthy men in America.

It's clear that Freeman has a delicate case on his hands, and the investigation takes him relentlessly into ever more dangerous territory, like Germline BioSciences - a secretive, cutting-edge research facility funded by the Department of Defense.

And what of the mysterious midnight jogger in Rock Creek Park? Is it really just a coincidence that Scottish bodyguard Harriet (Harry) Armstrong is now working for Germline's Russian director?

With the body count escalating, Freeman and Harry are swiftly drawn into a shadowy world of secrets and conspiracies more shocking than anything either of them could have imagined.

From Washington to the Caribbean and the desolate wastes of Abkhazia, this stunning new novel from the CWA Steel Dagger winner Simon Conway is packed with suspense and intrigue. It will further establish him at the forefront of the new generation of thriller writers.


I love a thriller that takes me on a journey and since we lost Michael Crichton, believable science that keeps the journey moving have been few and far between, that is of course until I read this book by Simon Conway that delves into the mystery of the manipulation of the human genome.

Here within this book you get a high octane thriller mixed with some cracking prose, some wonderful manipulation of the human state and when added to an arc that keeps you glued from the start to the finish, really makes this a book that was a lot of fun to read. Great stuff,

Monday, 24 December 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: Snowmelt River - Frank P Ryan

Release Date: 02/08/12


On the summit of the fabled mountain Slievenamon in Ireland there is a doorway to an ancient land of terrible power. The gate of Feimhin has lain closed for centuries, the secret of its opening long lost. But now four orphans drawn together by Fate must pass through the portal to face their destinies. What they find beyond is the enchanted but war-ravaged world of Tir, a strange land peopled by beings of magic. Here death waits at every corner and they must learn to fight if they are to survive. And they'd better learn quickly, because their enemy, the Tyrant of the Wastelands, is growing in power.


Books that are centred around young characters are usually for the young reader however this title transcends that and takes fans of fantasy into a world of adventure, double dealing, warfare and also personal expansion, its wonderfully written with solid prose and great pace.

Yet for me the real quality of this book is the author’s depiction of the central characters who are not only well rounded but each have flaws yet together make up a stronger whole. It’s cleverly crafted, wonderfully woven and all round really does give you something special.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Sword and Scimitar - Simon Scarrow

Release Date: 01/11/12


Bestselling author Simon Scarrow brings the Great Siege of Malta to vivid and unforgettable life in this gripping standalone novel. 1565, Malta: a vital outpost between the divided nations of Europe and the relentlessly expanding Ottoman Empire. Faced with ferocious attack by a vast Turkish fleet, the knights of the Order of St John fear annihilation. Amongst those called to assist is disgraced veteran Sir Thomas Barrett. Loyalty and instinct compel him to put the Order above all other concerns, yet his allegiance is divided. At Queen Elizabeth's command, he must search for a hidden scroll, guarded by the knights, that threatens her reign. As Sir Thomas confronts the past that cost him his honour and a secret that has long lain buried, a vast enemy army arrives to lay siege to the island...


I love a great historical fiction book and Simon Scarrow is one of those authors I reach for when I want to spend time traveling in the old world as I love his Macro and Cato Roman series, yet when he moved on to tackle the Wellington/Napoleon wars he brought both characters through with dignity taking neither one side or the other allowing the reader to take a journey that would lead to an epic confrontation that would change the face of the world.

That style is exactly what he brings to fore in this confrontation set during the war for Malta between Christendom and the Muslims, its definitely a book that brings everything to the fore allowing the reader to see both sides and how each were manipulated by others for a war not of the warriors making. Its cleverly woven, wonderfully descriptive and yet when you add a cracking lead character alongside some top notch combat this book really does deliver.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

STEAMPUNK REVIEW: Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow - Jonathan Green

Release Date: 08/11/12


Paris. City of lights. City of lovers. City of dreams. Yet if one man gets his way its inhabitants will soon be forced to endure a nightmare such as they have never known. But dandy detective and Hero of the British Empire Ulysses Quicksilver is determined to get in his way; although he has problems of his own to deal with first before he can try to rescue the French capital from its earth-shattering fate. Arriving at a murder scene - with the dead man's blood on his hands - Ulysses is forced to go on the run, so that he might track down the real killer. His intention: to clear his good name, and get back to England in one piece and as quickly as possible; for the love of his life is about to take a most ill-advised trip to the Moon. But that might be easier said than done, for the terrorist known only as 'Le Papillon' is preparing to bring chaos to the capital. When a butterfly flaps its wings, a wise man prepares for stormy weather. And with Ulysses Quicksilver involved, it's bound to be the worst storm on record.


I’m a huge fan of the Ulysses Quicksilver titles from Abaddon yet whist continuing in the same vein, this book is something that is totally unique, it was crafted by the author following the readers wishes as to what would happen in various parts. Its cleverly done, works wonders for the advancement of the world and with so many different options, it really does go to show the authors skills in allowing the reader to direct is whilst allowing it to appear organic alongside planned.

Add to this some wonderful twists, cracking prose and of course a storyline that just keeps you gripped. All in a cracking novel with a concept that could well catch on. Great stuff.

Friday, 21 December 2012

STEAMPUNK HUMOUR: The Educated Ape and Other Wonders - Robert Rankin

Release Date: 15/11/12


An epic in four movements, this is the third book in Robert Rankin's highly acclaimed meta-Victorian series. Comparable to Pratchett or Douglas Adams, the Father of Far Fetched Fiction has pulled out all of the stops with this riotous tale of wicked women, a dangerous detective and Darwin the educated ape. Lord Brentford has a dream. To create a Grand Exposition that will showcase The Wonders of the Worlds and encourage peace between the inhabited planets of Venus, Jupiter and Earth. Ernest Rutherford has a dream. To construct a time ship, powered by the large hadron collider he has built beneath the streets of London . Cameron Bell is England's greatest detective and he, too, has a dream. To solve the crime of the century before it takes place, without blowing up any more of London's landmarks. Darwin is a monkey butler and he also has a dream. To end Man's inhumanity to Monkey and bring a little joy into the world. Lavinia Dharkstorrm has a dream of her own. Although hers is more of a nightmare. To erase Man and Monkey alike from the face of the Earth and to hasten in the End of Days. Then there is the crime-fighting superlady, all those chickens from the past and the unwelcome arrival of The Antichrist. Things are looking rather grim on planet Earth.


If you’re looking for a book that is different to any other out there then Rankin could well be the man for you, he has a touch of the mad scientist hidden within his mind that also brings the wonders of a possible Victorian age to the readers imagination. He’s quirky, he has quite a twisted imagination and when added to the wonders of what he decides to expose the reader to makes this something that you’ll either love or hate.

Personally I had a good bit of fun taking the scenic tour through this outing and when added to some wonderfully inventive concepts, solid prose and some more than interesting characters really makes this a book that I was pleased I spent the time with.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

FACTUAL REVIEW: Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession - Tyler Stoddard Smith

Release Date: 18/07/12


A Working History of Working Girls (and Guys) Have you ever wondered how Heidi Fleiss came to be the face of upscale prostitution or if Casanova really was the world's greatest lover? How about why Latin playboy Rubi Rubirosa got the nickname "The Ding Dong Daddy"? Anything but judgmental, Whore Stories sheds light on one of our more stigmatized icons: The Prostitute. Featuring the true stories of famous streetwalkers, call girls, rent boys, and go-go dancers, this book offers a revealing look at the men and women who have blazed the bawdy trail of prostitution since the dawn of time. While you may think that you know everything about this occupation, Whore Stories includes plenty of details and even celebrities, such as Maya Angelou and Bob Dylan, that will leave you in awe. From private schools and child preachers to mime fantasies and unfortunate amputations, this book uncovers the truth behind the world's oldest profession.


Whilst this book automatically sounds like a book that will not only grab your attention but keep you hooked, it’s more of a case of it being a Who’s Who of one of the oldest professions, including some hearsay that has never been officially concerned. Don’t get me wrong it is definitely interesting and some of the connotations would have hit a few of today’s modern gossip columns but all round its rather disappointing for a reader who was expecting quite a bit more.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: Dark Legacy of Shannara 1: The Wards of Faerie - Terry Brooks

Release Date: 23/08/12


With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins ...There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dominant power - and it was named the age of Faerie. Ever since this time, a bitter war has been raging between the forces of good and evil. And it was during this age that the Elfstones protecting the Elven race disappeared. They have been missing for thousands of years. Now a clue to their location may have surfaced in the ancient diary of a princess, and it will be the beginning of an adventure that no-one could have anticipated. This is the beginning of a breath-taking new series from the master of modern fantasy Terry Brooks. Returning to his core Shannara world, this spellbinding series will astound both seasoned Terry Brooks fans and those discovering his magical world for the first time.


I love spending time in the worlds of Terry Brooks and when a new series kicks off, you know that I’m there at the front of the cue to get my hands on an early copy as soon as I can. Firstly because they’re a damn fine read for the fantasy fan, and secondly if I don’t get to it quick enough my copy is stolen by a pilfering parent.

What occurs within this book is a story of adventure, of political machination backstabbing and also full of all the wonder that the reader has come to expect. Add to this solid prose, great characters and a whole new set of things to discover which all round made this a real treat to enjoy.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Lady of Shades - Darren Shan

Release Date: 30/08/12


Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he's haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past. What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn't bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London's most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both. Ensnared in an illicit affair that can only be conducted in the shadows, Ed's world is turned upside down as a series of shattering revelations blurs the line between what's real and what's not...


Whilst I’ve had this book for a while, its been one of those ones that been sat on a backburner for a while for a number of reasons, firstly because I was hoping to be highly entertained when I was feeling down, and secondly the plotline didn’t quite grab me but I know that Shan’s writing usually exceeds the books blurb.

What unfurls within this is a book that takes the reader on a journey but not until half way through when things start to make a lot of sense when the plot picks up pace. Don’t get me wrong it does have all the usual Shan whistles and bells including solid pace, great characters and of course a plot line that twists enough to keep you guessing for most of the book, but not being able to really get into it until half way through left me feeling that had it not been a known name, a fair few people may well have quit before getting to the payoff.

All in a reasonable title but it is one you have to keep going with regardless of how hard you find it to begin with.

Monday, 17 December 2012

HUMOUR: T-Rex Trying - Hugh Murphy

Release Date: 08/11/12


"T-Rex Trying: The Unfortunate Trials of the Tyrant Lizard King" - the hilarious internet phenomenon, now a wickedly funny book. Perfect for fans of "Simon's Cat" and "The Book of Bunny Suicides", the collected struggles of Hugh Murphy's ill-adapted predator is the perfect stocking filler or gift for this Christmas. He might be top predator in the Jurassic kingdom, but in modern life, T-Rex's comically short arms doom him to hilarious failure. T-Rex has teeth the size of bananas and eats Triceratops for breakfast, but when it's time to brush his teeth ...T-Rex is 12 metres long and 4 metres tall, but somehow he just can't change that light bulb ...And you can just forget about the vending machine. Containing dozens of never before seen illustrations, "T-Rex Trying: The Unfortunate Trials of the Tyrant Lizard King" is the cute, quirky and laugh-out-loud funny collection of cartoons that will have across the board appeal this Christmas. Hugh Murphy is a 28 year old student at the University of Southern California, Ostrow School of Dentistry. Hugh began his career as an artist selling watercolour paintings of fish in order to pay for his applications to dental school, but has always enjoyed drawing and painting in his free time. He loves science, nature films, his wife, Sarah, and shark week. "T-Rex Trying" began as a joke between Hugh and his brother, and is his first book. Hugh and Sarah moved to Los Angeles from Boston in August, 2010.


I love a bit of comedy and whilst this originally started out as a humorous blog, the book of Hugh’s takes on a new light as we all laugh at the unfortunate condition of T-Rex and his short arms. What occurs within this book is a huge selection of every day tasks that most of us take for granted that poor ol’ T-Rex struggles to manage.

Add to the fun drawings that have a wonderful childishness about them that brings the humour across wonderfully and all round, with just a slight amount of colour, it really gives the reader a good chuckle. The only thing that I’d also have liked to have seen is how the author came up with each of the idea’s within, it would have broken the illustrations up a little and of course given the reader the chance to appreciate each cartoon fully.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

HISTORICAL URBAN FANTASY: Sherlock Holmes Vs Dracula - Loren D Estleman

Release Date: 09/11/12


A mysterious schooner runs aground in an English harbor. Its cargo is fifty boxes of earth; its only living passenger, a black dog. The captain’s body is lashed to the wheel—lifeless, drained of blood. Soon, a rash of bizarre nocturnal crimes terrifies London. It can only be the work of Count Dracula, and only one man can save the city: the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes.


For me, this was a book in the Sherlock Holmes Urban Fantasy series that I came back to after having read others and whilst I still loved the way that the author manged to weave a tale with the great detective into the known fiction of Stoker, I did feel a little cheated that some information that appears later didn’t within this text, especially when you realise from Stokers book that there was a wonderful opportunity to exploit from the final sequence.

Don’t get me wrong, it moves at a good clip, the Count and Holmes are well matched and when you throw Watson into the mix, you get a story that zings along at a solid pace with some wonderful twists. All in a book that I enjoyed spending the time reading and a good way to get a chance to try this innovative new series from Titan.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

HISTORICAL URBAN FANTASY: The Kingdom of Bones - Stephen Gallager

Release Date: 06/12/12


It was my friend, Bram Stoker, who told me of the legend of the Wanderer a man who made a bargain with the devil himself, trading his soul for forbidden knowledge and eternal life.

Once I would have dismissed such tales as mere fancy but I knew what I had seen. And there is no mind so open as that of desperate man.

A dark Gothic Victorian thriller, The Kingdom of Bones unfolds in a twilight world of music halls, boxing booths, and travelling theatrical shows; and pits a formidable Pinkerton detective against a man who fears more than justice.


I love books that not only fulfil what I’m looking for but forge their own path delivering something unexpected. What Stephen produces for the reader is a book of mystery, of intrigue and of course brought together with murder, mayhem and the authors own unique voice.

Add to this a great overall arc with a good few twists, some wonderful prose and when blended with a writing style that just keeps you glued, all round makes this a book that you will just love and a great item to ask for at this time of year when murder may be foremost on your own mind. LOL

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Redshirts - John Scalzi

Release Date: 22/11/12


Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is even more delighted when he's assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better ...although there are a few strange things going on ...: (1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces (2) the ship's captain, the chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these encounters (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed. Suddenly it's less surprising how much energy is expended below decks on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned an Away Mission. Andrew's fate may have been sealed ...until he stumbles on a piece of information that changes everything ...and offers him and his fellow redshirts a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives ...


Yep, they’ve been the butt of many jokes for years but lets face it, life as a Redshirt is never easy especially when you get picked for missions with one of the central ships crew. Here John Scalzi bring the humour of a new recruit who realises his circumstances along with a group of other Redshirts and seeks to find ways to avoid his fate. It’s fun, it takes the reader on a journey and when backed with an obvious love of the source material, the reader is in for a treat, especially on the dark winter nights when life can be a little depressing.

Back this up with an experienced author at the helm to guide you through this wonderful journey alongside top prose, magical twists and of course cracking pace and all round it’s a book that I had a lot of fun with.

Friday, 14 December 2012

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Rocksmith - Ubisoft

Release Date: 28/09/12


Introducing the next stage in the evolution of the guitar game. Rocksmith is the first and only game where you can plug ANY real guitar into your console and actually LEARN while you PLAY.

Nothing plastic. Nothing fake. Just the most authentic guitar experience in music gaming. By plugging your electric guitar into your console, you’ll develop real skills and real styles while playing real music.

Featuring gameplay that automatically adjusts to your personal ability, and innovative game design that makes playing music visually intuitive, Rocksmith will engage experienced musicians as well as those who have never picked up a guitar before in their life.

You’ll unlock mini games to hone specific skills. You’ll be able to choose from a large catalogue of songs in different styles. And you’ll experience it all with an actual guitar. Nothing compares to playing a real guitar. Except playing Rocksmith.

The game will include the brand new Bass mode, offering players the opportunity to play bass guitar on all supported on-disc and downloadable songs.

Not only can players play the bass parts of songs, but bassists of all experience levels can also improve their skills with dedicated bass technique challenges and tutorial videos. Players can even use any 6-string guitar to emulate a 4-string bass. Tracking their learning has never been easier as bass progression is tracked separately from guitar progression.

Last but not least, all songs can be played in multiplayer with one person playing the bass part and the other the guitar part.

Key Features

When we say any guitar we mean any guitar: Whether it’s the guitar sitting in your attic that you have forgotten about up till now, or the guitar you are yet to buy, Rocksmith lets you plug any guitar into your console or computer. Electric guitar or electro-acoustic, as long as your guitar has a jack, you can play. And get plugged in right away as Rocksmith comes with a unique quarter-inch jack to USB cable!

Get Plugged In: Rocksmith will include a unique quarter-inch to USB cable that is the first of its kind, and will allow users to plug any real guitar with a quarter-inch jack directly into their Xbox 360®, PlayStation 3®, or PC. Developed exclusively for Rocksmith, this guitar cable is 11.25' and turns the guitar’s signal from analog to digital, allowing it to be recognised and played through video game consoles for the first time.

Real time adjustment levels: from beginner to rock god!: You love a challenge, but hate being overwhelmed. Rocksmith understands this, and knows exactly how far to push to keep you entertained. With addictive gameplay that adapts continuously to your personal skill level, you will automatically progress from single notes to complex chords at your own pace. Eventually you’ll be playing 100% of the actual guitar parts from the songs and the game will challenge you to step away from the notes on screen and play songs from memory. Imagine that. A video game that will get you stage-ready.

Bursting with Hits: One of the most satisfying moments for any guitar player is hearing yourself play your favourite song for the first time. Rocksmith has amassed an amazing library of songs from different music genres allowing players to experience those moments first hand. Whether you like classic rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Lynrd Skynrd or if you’re more into current chart-toppers such as The Strokes, Muse, Radiohead and The XX, we have you covered. And with our growing tracklist from metal to indie rock available for download, you will always find a song that suits your mood.

There’s always a way to develop your guitar skills and overcome your difficulties: Having troubles with the solo of your favourite song? The riff-repeater option is your saviour. It will isolate the song part of your choice, and let you repeat it over and over … until you eventually ace it! Want to improve your finger dexterity? Learn chords? Improve scales? For all of these and more, there’s a specific mini-game that will help you get it in Guitarcade. Rocksmith will turn your guitar into a controller, for instance, while shooting ducks in the Ducks mini-game you’ll actually be learning how to shift from fret to fret without even realising!

Turn your TV or computer into an amplifier: No need for an amplifier anymore, with Rocksmith your TV or your computer IS your amplifier and will let you try and play with loads of in-game pedals, amplifiers and cabinets. String pedals together with nearly infinite combinations and tweak your sound until you’re satisfied. Whether it’s a crunchy distortion, a vintage tremolo or a psychedelic reverb, we have it covered to make sure you can achieve the sound you’re looking for.

Play in multiplayer: Plug in a second guitar to go head-to-head with friends to see who can earn the highest score, or have fun playing cooperatively as lead and rhythm guitars. Also, all songs can be played in multiplayer with one person playing the bass part and the other the guitar part.

Brand new Bass mode: The game will include the brand new Bass mode, offering players the opportunity to play bass guitar on all supported on-disc and downloadable songs. Not only can players play the bass parts of songs, but bassists of all experience levels can also improve their skills with dedicated bass technique challenges and tutorial videos. Players can even use any 6-string guitar to emulate a 4-string bass. Tracking their learning has never been easier as bass progression is tracked separately from guitar progression.


As a guitarist, I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills and whilst I play a folk style with fingerpicking, I’ve always wanted to learn how to rock out. What this game from Ubisoft does is allow the user to connect their electric guitar to their game console and learn everything from tuning to chord patterns as well as lead guitar.

Starting out with simple options, the game picks up and allows you to learn through repetition alongside giving you the chance to check out your skill with a “live” audience. It’s well done, has plenty of tunes to play with and with Ubisoft putting out updates for you to grab when you want, and really makes this something special. It’s a great game, and with the options available will be something that will keep you going for some time. Definitely a way to encourage young players to keep going rather than giving up so if you’ve bought an electric guitar and perhaps given up, get this to get you restarted you won’t regret it.

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Supercrooks 1: The Heist - Mark Millar, Lenill Francis Yu

Release Date: 24/10/12


When the market is flooded with competition and the authorities are on your tail, what's an all-American super villain to do? Go to Spain, of course! Johnny Bolt convinces his villainous pals to pull off one last heist but will culture shock get to them before the policia do? And when Johnny's target is revealed as the greatest super villain of all time, things go horribly wrong...


If you’re looking for something that blends superheroes with Oceans 11 then you really have to get this cracking Mark Millar Graphic novel that waves an intricate plotline alongside cracking artwork in a high octane thrill ride to obtain millions of dollars from a retired super villain. Its got everything you’d want from some serious kickass heroes through to double dealing malicious thoughts that really keep you guessing throughout as to whom is playing who.

Back that up with great storytelling with solid prose and a cast of characters that were fun to be around which all round made this a real joy to read.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: Warhammer Fantasy: Time of Legends: The Rise of Nagash (Compendium) - Mike Lee

Release Date: 11/12/12


Nagash is the first necromancer and the supreme lord of undeath. He wrested the secrets of dark magic from the elves and perverted them to suit his ends. When the priest-kings of Nehekhara stood united against him, he broke their armies and sacked their cities. He raised the largest army of the dead the world has ever known and became an immortal dark god. His deeds are legend. This is his story.


Whilst this book is a compendium of the three Nagash books that have come before (Nagash the Sorcerer, Nagash the Unbroken, Nagash the Immortal) it’s a great way for you to pick up the series for a very reasonable price leaving the recipient of this with a huge volume to savour without having to wait between books.

The prose within is reasonable and whilst in places I did have difficulty with the series, it is never the less a huge accomplishment to get the events alongside story right for one of the most reviled villains of the Old World. Add to the mix, some solid twists, an author who knows where he’s going and likes to lead you (torch in hand) and all round it’s a great addition for any fan of the undead or the Warhammer Fantasy World. Great stuff.

FACTUAL REVIEW: Thomas Beckett - John Guy

Release Date: 05/04/12


From the winner of the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award and the Marsh Biography Award John Guy, comes Thomas Becket, a lively and enlightening new study that brings a colossal figure of British history vividly to life.

Behind the legend, there was a man.

In 1120 the wife of a Norman draper's merchant gave birth to a baby boy in London's bustling Cheapside. Despite his sickly constitution, middle-class background and unremarkable abilities, he rose within the space of thirty-five years to become the most powerful man in the kingdom, second only to Henry II himself.

At his height, he led seven hundred knights into battle, brokered peace between nations, held the ear of the Pope and brought one of the strongest rulers in Christendom to his knees. And within three years of his bloody assassination, he was a saint whose cult had spread the length and breadth of Europe, and a legend who remains as controversial and compelling today as he was during his life.

The story of Thomas Becket is the story of an enigma, as well as of one of the most tumultuous periods in English history. Drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters and first-hand accounts, John Guy has reconstructed a psychologically compelling, stunningly nuanced and utterly convincing account of this most remarkable man, the dramatic times in which he lived and the pivotal role he played in his nation's history.


I’m a huge reader and to be honest with a strange family connection to the subject of the title I really did want to find out more about him. I know the basics of his passing and angering the king but finding out about his childhood and how things shaped the man to come was definitely worth spending the time delving into and discovering.

Whilst a certain percentage of this is supposition based on historical research you can only get so close to a person without interviewing them in person. As such John Guy has done a solid job of making Thomas Becket come to life for any reader of this title. All in a solid book and one I’m pleased I took the time to read.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

SCIENCE FICTION AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Warhammer 40K: Bloodquest: Prisoners of the Eye of Terror - Ben Counter

Release Date: 06/12/12


Travelling across the daemon world of Eidolon in search of the stolen Blade Encarmine, Blood Angels Captain Leonatos and his battle-brothers are saved from death by another servant of the Emperor, Murius Aquinam. To their surprise, they recognise his name – he fought alongside the Blood Angels four thousand years ago. Can he still be trusted after four millennia in the Eye of Terror, or is he as much of a threat as the servants of Chaos that they fight?


I love an audio book that not only brings together great vocal talent but wonderful storytelling and that’s exactly what I got from this title published by the Black Library, it has a wonderful pace, top notch prose but for me it’s the dialogue and the vocals that really make this title stand out. Each works extremely well and if you’re looking for something to help full up those Christmas Day Blues or perhaps even to enjoy whilst either painting your newly acquired miniatures or gaming, then this CD is definitely one for you.

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: The Cursed Earth Saga, The Day the Law Died and The Dark Judges - John Wagner et al

Release Date: 02/02/12


A ROAD TRIP THROUGH HELL! Mega-City One, 2100. A deadly plague developed during the brutal 'Great Germ War' has reached the futuristic metropolis of Mega-City Two, located on the West Coast of the USA. Charged with delivering a life-saving vaccine to the citizens of the disease-ridden city, Judge Dredd and a small crew of Judges, war droids and the lawbreaking biker, Spikes Harvey Rotten, must travel a thousand miles across the radioactive wasteland known as 'the Cursed Earth.' It is a near-impossible journey hate-filled mutants, rampaging monsters and crazed war robots populate the hellish stretch of terrain. Many men have attempted to cross it and most have failed. But Judge Dredd is the best there is!


I love spending the time with my head wrapped up in a graphic novel and when I have time to return to the cursed earth travelling the road with MegaCity One’s hardest judge then you know its something that I’m going to do.

What occurs within this title is the full Cursed Earth Saga that really brings all of the flavour of this epic tale to the reader, with artwork that brings the heavy action to the fore as Dredd sets out to save Mega City 2. Whilst I have loved spending my time with this book, one criticism that I do have is that for me the writing is too small to keep reading for any length of time, so when you do make sure you have a bright light and a set of glasses to help you out.

Release Date: 11/06/12


It is a dark time in the history of Mega-City One. Having employed blackmail and coercion in order to topple the balance of power within the Justice Department, the tyrannical head of the Special Judicial Squad Judge Cal has managed to secure the position of Chief Judge. The crazed Cal has enlisted the help of an army of reptilian alien mercenaries known as the Kleggs, appointed his pet goldfish as deputy Chief Judge and framed Judge Dredd for murder in order to maintain power. But Dredd is the kind of Judge who doesn't go down too easily and together with a rebel army made up of other Judges and citizens, prepares to fight back. Can Judge Dredd succeed against all odds and defeat Judge Cal before he destroys the entire population of Mega-City One?


Within this title Dredd sets out to free Mega City One from the tyrannical rule of the Chief Judge and all that really needs to be said is that this book really stands out on its own for readers. It has a great storyline, some wonderful tiwsts which when blended with cracking artwork really grabs the reader and holds on.

As with the others my only criticism is that for me, the writing is too small to make it easy reading, but other than that its still a wonderful addition to any 2000AD fans collection.

Release Date: 13/09/12


An all-time-classic in a small paperback format. Judge Dredd's ultimate nemesis has arrived. His name is Judge Death, and in his eyes, all life is a crime! the super-fiend from Deadworld proves to be an implacable enemy, and Judge Dredd must work with Psi Judge anderson to save Mega-City one from a city-wide death penalty. Fearsome characters that have mainatained their popularity throughout the years thanks to the fantastic designs of Brian Bolland, the Dark Judges are determined to end all life in Mega-City one once and for all!


Dredd’s toughest opponents return in this cracking compendium that brings Anderson from Psi Division into her own as she battles the minions of justice from a long dead society. Its definitely a tale that really will grab you and keep you glued as the wonderful artwork blended with high action gives you what you crave. Add to the mix some solid storytelling and all round it’s a real gem, however as with the others the text is too small and you’ll need a bright light to make it easier to read.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

HISTORICAL CRIME FICTION BOOK COMBAT: Shadows in the Night - Jane Finnis, Wine of Violence - Priscilla Royal, One for Sorrow - ME Mayer

Hearing about an inner war being waged within Head of Zeus for the Champion of their three Historical Fiction recent releases we thought that we’d throw all three into the arena, give them their weapons of choice and see who would emerge victorius, however as ever, in following the whims of the crowd we thought that we’d allow each champion (Nic, Head of Zeus’ Digital Manager for Mayer, Geo, Production Editor championing for Royal and Mathilda, HoZ for Jane Finnis), the blank slates each to make the case through their authors. Here are what we thought to the books:

Release Date: 29/11/12


BRITANNIA, 91 AD: A raw, frontier province lying at the northern edge of the Roman Empire. Its fifty years since the legions invaded, but the land still simmers with tension, especially in the north. But in the Oak Tree Inn on the road to Eburacum, both Roman and Briton are welcome. Innkeeper Aurelia Marcella fled the devastation of Pompeii to build a new life here, and though her roots are Roman, her heart belongs to Britannia. Then a messenger is brutally decapitated outside her Inn, a crude message scrawled on his body: ALL ROMANS WILL BE KILLED. GET OUT OR DIE. An act of rebellion, or something more sinister, something more personal? Amid shadows and deception, Aurelia will have to face the possibility that someone she knows and trusts her and her family dead...


I love a book that not only takes me back in time but goes to show that the more we think that we’ve changed the less we actually have. This mystery from Jane Finnis is a book that was originally released in America in 2003 yet hadn’t made its way over the ocean to us until new publisher, Head of Zeus, brought it to us.

What unfurls within is a book of twists, murder. Mayhem and of course all a lead character that just steps off the page into the readers imagination. Whilst the book does take a little while to get into, when you do, you’ll be hooked. All round a great beginning and a whole set of adventures I can’t wait to embark upon.

Release Date: 29/11/12


MEDIEVAL MYSTERY: AD 1270. On a remote East Anglian coast stands Tyndal Priory, which belongs to the Order of Fontevraud where monks and nuns live and work in close proximity. Twenty-one-year-old Prioress Eleanor of Wynethorpe has just been appointed prioress by King Henry III over the elected choice of the priory itself. Young and inexperienced, Eleanor will face a grave struggle - in a place dedicated to love and peace, she will find little of either. THE WINE OF VIOLENCE: It is late summer in the year 1270. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs over the land. In the small priory of Tyndal, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to routine. Alas, the day after the arrival of the new prioress, a brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens. Now Eleanor must not only struggle to gain the respect of her terrified and resentful flock but also bring a murderer to justice.


As a reader, I love a book that delivers the key ingredients that I’m looking for within a genre, in this case, twists, intrigue and murder most foul. Yet for wanting all this, the item that remains at the top for all my choices no matter the genre is a lead character that helps me not only adjust to the time in to which the story is set but gives me foibles and character traits that all me to not only associate with them but also means that they’re personable enough for me to want to hang around them.

What occurs within is a story that not only delivers what the reader wants but gives them a story that not only has you guessing throughout but also demonstrates how the newly appointed Prioress finds a way to make her own authority take hold of her new charge, it has great pace, some wonderful prose but for me the lead character is a woman of many shades who not only battles a mind of wits with the established of her charge but also has to fight a war of emotional turmoil as another new arrival twists her inner desires. All in a great story and one that I was more than happy to spend time with.

Release Date: 29/11/12


DEATH IN BYZANTIUM: At the heart of what is left of the Roman Empire, lies a city simmering with intrigue & treachery. Amid this maelstrom stands John, a slave who has risen to become the right hand of Justinian, the greatest of Byzantium's emperors. With violence and murder commonplace, it is John's skills as an investigator that the Emperor prizes the most. ONE FOR SORROW: It is AD 527 and when the body of a high ranking treasury official is found in a filthy alley behind a house of ill repute, John embarks on an investigation that will stir the ghosts of his past and threaten his life. Amid rumours of soothsayers and priceless holy relics, he will follow a trail that twists and turns through the splendour and the squalor of sixth-century Byzantium. Before he reaches its end, John will defy the Patriarch of Constantinople, risk the wrath of an unmerciful Emperor and incur the undying hatred of his infamous Empress, Theodora.


Do you love intrigue, double dealing, policitical machinations all wrapped around a life or death mystery? You do. Well look no longer, this book by ME Mayer really will hit the spot as it takes you back to ancient Byzantium where the Roman Empire hangs on with its fingertips against a world ranged against it.

Its quirky, it has some wonderful imagination but for me the real kicker here is a lead character that more than introduces us to this world of constant danger. Back this up with wonderful pace, some great twits which when backed with an author who loves to keep you guessing, all round makes this a book that was a solid title to read.

So to sum up, whilst all three books are of a high quality, for us, we had to side with Geo and Priscilla Royal as her lead character really gave us that extra bit of mystery, wonderful inner turmoil and of course generated an overall mystery that we just couldn’t put down. Cracking books all three so please, take the challenge yourself and see what you think.

Monday, 10 December 2012


Release Date: 30/11/12


Beyond the reach of civilization lies a lawless island ruled by violence. This is where you find yourself stranded, caught in a bloody conflict between the island’s psychotic warlords and indigenous rebels. Struggling to survive, your only hope of escape is through the muzzle of a gun.

Discover the island’s dark secrets and take the fight to the enemy; improvise and use your environment to your advantage; and outwit its cast of ruthless, deranged inhabitants. Beware the beauty and mystery of this island of insanity… Where nothing is what is seems, you’ll need more than luck to escape alive.

Key Features

THE ULTIMATE OPEN WORLD - Create your own FPS action and adventure. Customize your weapons, your skills and your approach to each mission, whether you favor intense run-and-gun action, stealthy close-up takedowns, or long range sniping.

AN ISLAND OF DANGER AND DISCOVERY - Explore a diverse island playground, from mountain ranges to swampy grasslands and white sandy beaches. Discover relics, hunt exotic animals, play mini-games, and travel fast by land, sea or air. Fight your way through the island’s towns, temples, river ports and more.

UNCOVER A MEMORABLE STORY AND AN INSANE CAST OF CHARACTERS - Encounter an engaging and disturbed cast of characters as you take a gritty journey into the dark side of humanity, written by a Writer’s Guild award-winner.

PLAY WITH FRIENDS IN A FULL CO-OP CAMPAIGN - Team up for a 4-player standalone story campaign that will challenge you to be your best and work together to prevail. Experience the island through the eyes of a wayward crew in their own quest to survive against the odds. Play online or split-screen.

A DIFFERENT BREED OF MULTIPLAYER - Far Cry 3’s innovative multiplayer rewards skill and team play. To level-up, players must support each other by boosting with battle cries, reviving teammates, and calling-in team support weapons. After each match, choose to punish or show mercy for your foes in fun and twisted ways with interactive cut scenes.

USE THE MAP EDITOR TO CREATE AND ACCESS NEW CONTENT - The powerful and easy-to-use Far Cry map editor is back, with new and improved features. A community of mapmakers ensures a constant stream of new content, with the best showcased for the world to enjoy. Using map template tools, you can make amazing maps quickly and easily.


OK, after Assassin’s Creed I was looking for a first player game that would let me carry on with the sneaky skills I’d developed and give me something that would not only challenge me but would allow me to take the game the route I wanted. So when I heard about the new Far Cry title I quite fancied it, after all I’d played the first and had a lot of fun sneaking through the jungle, craftily picking off enemies and loved what it offered.

So what does the new game give you?

Well to be honest it’s pretty huge, and that’s not an understatement. It has lots of hunts you can do (to help upgrade your equipment and earn money, allows you to use whichever tactics you like (be it the sneak and run or the full out assault) gives you side missions to further your own goals and to be honest gives you quite a lot of gameplay time with a wonderfully interactive environment. Add to this, skills that you can upgrade as you level up, with something to suit everyone (cleverly added via the various animal totems) which when used in conjunction with your gameplay style really makes it something unique.

Throw into the mix solid voice acting, some great animations and all round I was more than happy, the only thing I’d have liked to have changed would have been to have Robert La Sardo as Vaas, that sort of crazy is something that whilst done well in the game would have really made the character one to stand out for many players. All in great stuff.

FANTASY REVIEW: The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide - Terry Pratchett

Release Date: 08/11/12


Greetings, adventurer! We lay before you this most comprehensive gazetteer encompassing all the streets of Ankh-Morpork, as well as information on its principal businesses, hotels, taverns, inns, and places of entertainment and refreshment, enhanced by the all-new and compleat map of our great city state. Our city has grown well beyond its ancient walls, but the remit of this commission from the honourable Guild of Merchants was to 'map the city', the pulsing organ of commerce and culture, the heart as opposed to the body, and this we have done. In spades. We ask that when you pore over this glorious work you spare some thought for the humble cartographers and surveyors who made journeys into the darker corners of our metropolis - no less dangerous than the wilds of Skund or Bhangbhangduc. To some the only memorial is the map you now possess. Others, in their quest for knowledge, paid the highest price that scholarship demands, which is to say, a day off in lieu. And so we dedicate this map and these accompanying words to the officers, councilors and members of the Merchants' Guild and to all who will find in its pages paths yet to tread and places yet to explore within the magnificent wonder that is the city of Ankh-Morpork.


"When dragons belch and hippos flee
My thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of thee
Let others boast of martial dash
For we have boldly fought with cash
We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes.
We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose.
Morporkia! Morporkia!
Morporkia owns the day!
We can rule you wholesale
Touch us and you'll pay." (First Verse of We Can Rule You Wholesale, the National Anthem of Ankh Morpork)

If you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, this quirky book is going to be a great item to pick up as its not only a guide to the city but includes a giant map to help you find your way round. Full of Pratchett’s humour alongside a whole range of fun added (including Adverts for Morporkian Businesses) this book is a great addition to the world as it really brings it all to life.

Finally throw into the mix a “travellers guide” and all in it was something that I had not only a lot of fun perusing, but one I’ll use quite a few more times when rereading my favourite books. Great stuff.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

FACTUAL REVIEW: A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof - Roger Clarke

Release Date: 01/11/12


This title is a natural history of the supernatural from Roger Clarke, lifelong investigator into England's creepiest real-life ghost stories. 'Is there anybody out there?' No matter how rationally we order our lives, few of us are completely immune to the suggestion of the uncanny and the fear of the dark. The subject of whether ghosts exist has fascinated some of the finest minds in history and it remains a subject of overwhelming interest today. This is the first comprehensive, authoritative and readable history of the evolution of the ghost in the west, examining as every good natural history should, the behaviour of the subject in its preferred environment: the stories we tell each other. What explains sightings of ghosts? Why do they fascinate us? What exactly did the haunted see? What did they believe? And what proof is there? Taking us through the key hauntings that have obsessed the world from the poltergeist of Cock Lane through the true events that inspired "The Turn of the Screw" and the dark events of Borley Rectory right up to the present day, Roger Clarke unfolds a story of class conflict, charlatans and true believers. His surprising castlist ranges from Samuel Johnson to John Wesley, and from Harry Houdini to Adolf Hitler. Inspired by a childhood spent in two haunted houses, Roger Clarke has spent much of his life trying to see a ghost. Written as grippingly as the best ghost fiction, "A Natural History of Ghosts" takes us on an unforgettable hunt through the most haunted places of the last five hundred years and our longing to believe. Reviews: "This splendid book ...[is] a compelling read...Clarke manages to give goose-flesh and a giggle while informing the reader - an enviable feat". ("Scotsman"). "A highly enjoyable (and disturbing work)...I am in awe of [Clarke's] intrepidity". ("Guardian"). "An intriguing, shivers-down-the-spine book". ("The Lady"). "A gripping history that traces the scientific and social aspects of ghostly sightings". ("Telegraph"). About the author: Brought up in haunted houses, Roger Clarke was the youngest person ever to be invited to join the Ghost Society. His stories were published in the "Fontana Books of Ghost Stories" when he was just fifteen. Today he is a journalist and film critic for the "Big Issue", "Observer" and "Sunday Times". But this is the book he has always wanted to write.


So you love ghosts? Want to hear what someone who investigates them thinks? Wondered how much has been reported over the years? Well this book by Roger Clarke takes the reader on a journey that delves into the mystery that has had us all fascinated for years bringing accounts of respectable people to the readers attention as well as allowing you to make up your own mind.

All in it’s a solid book and one that readers of the supernatural will love, the only downside is the maintaining of the archaic language in places which may well turn some perspective readers off.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

FACTUAL REVIEW: Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies - Ed. Hallie Rubenhold

Release Date: 08/11/12


The history of the scandalous 18th-century bestseller, 'Harris' List', an infamous guidebook of prostitutes which detailed addresses, physical characteristics and 'specialities' and sold over 250,000 copies over 20 years.


Trying to find some Christmas gifts are always going to be tricky and to be honest I love it when I find something that’s not only quirky but something that I find interesting. That’s exactly what you get in this modern edited version of the “Pimpmaster of England”’s collection brought to the modern reader by Hallie Rubenhold.

It’s based on a popular printed series from the 19th Century bringing the advantages of some of the street girls for the gentlemen of the time which goes to show that nothing sells like sex even way back then. The guide is a book that I found fascinating and when added to the quirkiness factor could make quite an interesting gift for the history fan in your household.

Friday, 7 December 2012

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Rise of the Guardians - Namco Bandai

Release Date: 30/10/12


Let your imagination soar in Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game as you play as one of the classic childhood legends, including: North (aka Santa Claus), Tooth (aka the Tooth Fairy), Bunnymund (aka the Easter Bunny), Sandman, and Jack Frost. In this action-packed adventure game, each Guardian has their own set of upgradable and extraordinary abilities that will help you take on the evil spirit “Pitch” and his infectious nightmares. Along the way, you’ll unlock new powers and spellbinding special moves that will increase your character’s strength and skills throughout the game, plus you can unleash cool team attacks with your fellow heroes. With drop-in-and-out multiplayer action supporting up to four players on consoles, you and your team of Guardians will work together to protect the hopes, beliefs and imaginations of children all over the world!

Join Forces with Your Favorite Characters From the Film – Play as one of the classic childhood legends from DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming feature film, Rise of the Guardians, including: North, Tooth, Bunnymund, Sandman, and Jack Frost.

Battle Pitch in an Epic Adventure – Take on Pitch and his evil nightmares in a deep and intuitive adventure combat game that includes new original enemies designed specifically for each Guardian’s realm.

Unique Abilities and Upgrades – Unlock power-ups such as weapon upgrades for your character. Plus, earn unique new abilities including special combat moves like a snowball attack, summoning a swarm of miniature tooth fairies, and more!

Explore Legendary Guardian Realms – Experience the imaginative worlds from Rise of the Guardians, including; Tooth’s Palace, North’s Workshop, Bunnymund’s Warren, and many more.

Team up in Multiplayer – Swap between any of the characters in drop-in-and-out four-player squad based multiplayer action on consoles.


With this hitting the cinema for the Christmas market, you know that when theres a chance for a game, Dreamworks is going to take it. What they’ve produced is a game that has a lot of fun blending bright, colourful graphics, with a storyline that young players will love whilst also bringing elements of Gauntlet in (with the various characters to choose from) in a game that whilst fun on your own, makes for a lot more when playing with friends. (Tested when playing with my nephews and twin.)

All in whilst its quite repetitive and simple in certain respects, it’s a game that will be picked up quite quickly and is fun for the younger gamer, for the older, its not offering that much but all round a nice bit of family fun for Christmas.

FANTASY REVIEW: Blood and Bone - Ian C Esslemont

Release Date: 22/11/12


In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted another expedition in a bid to tame the neighbouring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity who some name the Queen of Witches and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata. Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs - but it was the voices from that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers launch their invasion of this jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission. To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail men call the Grey Ghost. This warrior leads these tribes on a raid unlike any other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands. While word comes to K'azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer? Could it be the goddess herself...


I’ve been a huge fan of the Malazan world since I was introduced to it by Stephen Erikson’s epic Book of the Fallen series. But in addition to this the world was co-developed by Ian C Esslemont who has brought his own take on the events that shaped it with his own series. Whilst originally I wasn’t as enamoured as I had been with Stephen’s each subsequent tale has built upon the success and lessons learned from the former, so much so that for me, each book is superior to the last.

Here we have great prose, a wonderful sense of pace and when backed with a story that has a huge arc where nothing is what it seems or what the casts life expectancy is going to be. Wrap that all up with some magical sleight of hand and all in the reader is in for a treat.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Metro Last Light: Commander's Survival Diary - THQ

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends  at THQ, have sent us the third mini live action movie for forthcoming game Metro Last Light

This time we're taking the Commanders point of view and as you can see, its definitely something to more than make you want to grab your weapon and survive in this bleak future.

Metro: Last Light will be released on the 13th Jan 2013, for the following formats:
Playstation 3
Xbox 360

Here's what the game blurb:
It is the year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever. As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour… Key Features:     A gripping, story-driven first person shooter, Metro: Last Light is the hugely anticipated sequel to 2010’s critically acclaimed classic Metro 2033.
    Experience thrilling combat with an exotic arsenal of hand-made weaponry against deadly foes – both human and mutant – and use stealth to launch attacks under the cover of darkness.
    Explore the post-apocalyptic world of the Moscow Metro, one of the most immersive, atmospheric game worlds ever created.
    Fight for every bullet and every last breath in a claustrophobic blend of survival horror and FPS gameplay.
    Next generation technology boasting stunning lighting and physics sets a new graphical benchmark on both console and PC.

    Wage post-apocalyptic warfare online, as Last Light delivers an intense multiplayer experience amongst the dark Russian ruins.  

We look forward to fighting by your side in the dark future.  Ваше здоровье!   (Vashee zda-ró-vye!)

FANTASY REVIEW: Warhammer Fantasy: Time of Legends: Blood of Nagash 1: Neferata - Josh Reynolds

Release Date: 06/12/12


Neferata is a queen without a kingdom. Lahmia has fallen, her vampire children have scattered and she is reduced to draining blood from the beasts of the mountains. After a chance encounter with a party of dwarfs, she sets her sights on a capital for her new empire – the stronghold of Silver Pinnacle. She calls her allies to battle – but can she truly trust Ushoran, Lord of Masks, and his bestial Strigoi vampires?


The Queen of the Vampires comes into her own in this, her part of the Time of Legends Series that is not only wonderfully written but also delightfully complex as she plays a game of cat and mouse with the infamous Nagash. It’s full of horror, bloody combat and of course a whole section on her discoveries during the years when the Great Sorcerer slumbered.

Throw into the mix some cracking sleight of hand, personal goals alongside defiance and all in fans of the Vampires will more than enjoy spending their time within the pages. Finally back it all up with a wonderful storytelling style, solid prose and a lead character that’s deliciously complex and all round it’s a great addition to the growing series.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

THRILLER REVIEW: Origin - JT Brannan

Release Date: 25/10/12


For millennia it has lain there undiscovered. Now the time has come... Research scientist Evelyn Edwards always knew the Antarctic held deep secrets but the discovery of a 40,000 year old body buried under the ice caps surpasses even her wildest expectations. But just as her team begins extracting the body the dream turns into a horrific nightmare as they are targeted for death by someone who wants to keep this secret buried. Evelyn barely escapes with her life... On the run, alone and desperate, she turns to her ex-husband Matt Adams, a former member of an elite government unit, for help. Soon, they find themselves caught up in a frantic race against time, which takes them from Area 51 to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, as they try to uncover the biggest conspiracy of all time before it's too late for everyone... If mankind thought it knew its origins, the time has come to think again because its every belief is about to be challenged...


I love a thriller that gives me a story that takes me on a high octane adventure and whilst some of the elements stretch belief hugely, it is definitely a book that delivers on what it promises on the cover. It’s well written, it has solid high action prose and when backed with a pace that is hard to put down generates a read that really is a ton of fun.

Throw into the mix a huge conspiracy which when backed with an author who obviously enjoys taking the reader on a journey of imagination and all round it was a book that I was pleased I took the time to read. Great stuff.