A place to find out author interviews along with book reviews of thier works in the following genres:
science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, crime, horror, history, arts and crafts, hobby, true life, real life, autobiography, zombie, paranormal, demons, vampires, religion and spirituality, thriller, mystery, psychological thriller, spy tory, techno thriller, humour.
Hail Mighty Readers, Our friends at Warner Brothers Interactive and DC have given us an update about the forthcoming Batman Arkham series currently set for release on the 25th October 2013. Not only do you get to play with good ol Bats, but now they're going to be shipping it with the opportunity to take the gameply online to play with friends and foes. Here is a new trailer to showcase the online component that blends the traditional Arkham gameplay with third-person shooter mechanics and is in development by Splash Damage." Anyway, here's the trailer for your perusal:
Release Date: 25/06/13 Publisher: Solaris SYNOPSIS:
Dariusz is an engineer whose career ended years ago; now, a man he's never met sits in a bar that doesn t exist and offers him a fresh start... at a price. Cassandra 'Sand,' to her friends - is a space pilot, who itches to get her hands on the controls and actually fly a ship, rather than watch computers do it for her. The 'Pointers' - the elite 0.01% who control virtually all wealth have seen the limitations of a plundered Earth and set their eyes on the stars. And now Dariusz and Sand, and a half-million ambitious men and women just like them, are sent out to extend the Pointers' and the Market's influence across the galaxy. But the colony fleet is sabotaged and the ESS Adam Mickiewicz crashes, on an alien planet where one hemisphere is seared by perpetual daylight and the other shrouded in eternal night. The castaways have the chance to create society from scratch... but the hostile planet - or their own leaders - may destroy them before they can even begin.
Guy Haley is one of those authors who you’re never quite sure on what you’re going to get. He’s an imagination that takes you on a huge journey looking at the “What If’s” as if they were just a step away, delivering a story that will not only suck you in but keeps you glued to see what happens next.
As with Guy’s usual books the story flows with cracking prose, an almost light-speed pace and when backed with an arc that throws you straight in at the deep end all round makes this a cracking title to escape from the modern world. Great stuff.
Release Date: 18/07/13 Publisher: Mulholland Books SYNOPSIS:
Kyle West is a wanted man. Fleeing the country seemed like the only option when the US Justice Department came after him. But now he's trapped in Cambodia, frantically trying to find a way to clear his name and make it home. His luck seems to change when he meets a fellow American at a bar. Julian Robinson has his own reasons to want to be someone different, and he and Kyle agree to swap passports. The deal seems too good to be true. Unfortunately for Kyle, it is. Because Julian Robinson is not who he seems. And with Russian oligarchs, Chinese operatives and CIA officials on his tail, time is running out for Kyle to find out who he really is...
Whilst this is a debut novel, it is a book that was written by one of the authors of the Safe House Screenplay so you know, if you’ve seen the film, that this title had a lot to not only live up to but a hell of a lot to deliver for the reader market.
What unfurls within is a story that doesn’t let up from the very beginning bringing paranoia, double dealing government agencies, all tied up with a lead character hanging onto the edge of life by the tips of his fingers. Its hard to put down, has great prose as well as a high octane pace and brings it altogether with a storyline that has quite a few twists and turns so much so that you’re never that sure which way the coin is going to land. All round a great book and one that I was more than happy to spend the time with.
Release Date: 20/06/13 Publisher: Gollancz SYNOPSIS:
It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had. And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new-found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer. As with SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALE, Graham Joyce has crafted a deceptively simple tale of great power. With beautiful prose, wonderful characters and a perfect evocation of time and place, this is a novel that transcends the boundaries between the everyday and the supernatural while celebrating the power of both.
I love a story that seems to tackle so many things from your youth as well as bringing a cracking supernatrual story to the reader of today and that’s exactly what this new release by Graham Joyce has done. As with Graham’s writing the prose is sharp, the pace wonderful and when you add the nostalgic value of that year you really get a fuller picture of Britain as seen through the eyes of the youth of the day.
It’s a wonderful read, has some great twists and when added to the authors own identifiable style of bringing it to the reader really gives you something to enjoy. Great stuff.
Release Date: 26/07/13 Publisher: Titan SYNOPSIS:
Since launching in 2007, the comedy web series The Guild has become an Internet phenomenon, with over 150 million views. Created, written by and starring Felicia Day, it follows the story of a Guild of online gamers who finally meet in real life. Here at last is the official companion to the show that fans have been waiting for, featuring an intro from Felicia, in-depth interviews and scores of photos.
Whilst I haven’t watched a lot of the webisodes of this series I am more than aware of it and the humour as well as the fun that it brings whilst have a dig at MMO’s as “The Guild” meet in real life. It’s a lot of fun to read and whilst it originally started out as something quite small it has an epic cult following now and has produced quite a few songs that will amuse and entertain the viewer.
The book delves into each of the characters, the people playing them as well as taking you through a step by step guide to the episodes/seasons bringing the reader the guest stars that most other programmes could only dream of. All round a whole lot of fun with great photographs which generate something that a fan will just love to own (perhaps more so that a certain characters money bank. LOL)
Release Date: 20/06/13 Publisher: Ravenstone SYNOPSIS:
The crow king is dead, and in the field below all the creatures tremble as the Murder gathers to choose a new king from the rival sons Sintus, Milus and Nascus. When the crows drive everyone from the field to keep the reckoning secret, the quail Ysil, Cormo and Harlequin believe they must simply follow their elders to safety. But when the crows turn against each other, the forest becomes full of danger. In the confusion the last wolf, Asmod, shucks off his isolation and begins to raise an army to claim the kingdom for his own. As hidden truths are brought to light and enormous sacrifices are made Ysil and his friends must make an epic journey and an unthinkable alliance if the lesser animals are to survive.
I love a story that features animals and have keen memories of reading stories like Watership Down, The Incredible journey and of course the wonderful Animals of Farthing Wood series. Well throw into this a touch of Animal Farm and you might just be beginning to grasp the complexity of this cracking release by John Carter Cash.
The story is involving, gives the reader a wonderfully rich world to dive into and when added to cracking prose and the events within really takes you away. Definitely an author I’m going to be watching and a cracking release to start Rebellion’s Ravenstone imprint. Magic.
Release Date: 18/07/13 Publisher: Del Rey SYNOPSIS:
The Arctic Cap has all but melted, oil has run low and Anika Duncan, former mercenary turned United Nations Polar Guard pilot, patrols the region to protect against pollution and smuggling. In a daring plan to terraform the planet, the Gaia Corporation develops a revolutionary new technology, but when they lose control, our best potential solution to global warming may become the deadliest weapon ever known. As a lethal game of international politics and espionage begins, it will be up to Anika to decide the fate of the Earth. Part techno-thriller, part eco-thriller, Arctic Rising is a fantastic dystopian science fiction adventure that will appeal to fans of everyone from Michael Crichton to James Bond.
This book, from the blurb, read like a dream for me as a reader, I was going to get a bleak future, a world turned upon its head as the planets condition worsens and added to the greed of the few promised a tale that would not only keep me spinning through the pages but gripped to each plot twist with whitened knuckles.
It was a story that promised so much but upon reading delivered so little. The pace was lacking, the characters whilst interesting left me without any attachment so much so that I didn’t care about their fates or if they died horribly, the story seemed like it stuttered in places and all round felt like the author couldn’t quite deliver on the premises promise that sold the tale in the first place (like those old 80’s/90’s Video Trailers used to) which in the end left me feeling luke warm about the whole thing.
Release Date: 27/07/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
She was looking for her sister. She found Atlantis. Krina Alizond is a metahuman in a universe where the last natural humans became extinct five thousand years ago. When her sister goes missing she embarks on a daring voyage across the star systems to find her, travelling to her last known location - the mysterious water-world of Shin-Tethys. In a universe with no faster-than-light travel that's a dangerous journey, made all the more perilous by the arrival of an assassin on Krina's tail, by the 'privateers' chasing her sister's life insurance policy and by growing signs that the disappearance is linked to one of the biggest financial scams in the known universe.
If you want a great story that brings the very best of Science Fiction to the fore then by now you must surely have at least tried one of Charles’ books, especially after recently having had so many titles released on the market. As with his usual titles it has great wit, some wonderful twists and when added to top notch prose and an almost intergalactic space travel pace all round makes this a book that really does keep the reader glued. A wonderful addition to his catalogue and definitely something new that new readers can get their teeth into. Magical.
Release Date: 15/07/13 Publisher: Head of Zeus SYNOPSIS:
An American spy in China. Name: Unknown. Status: Sleeper. He's meant to be laying low, polishing his Mandarin and awaiting further instructions from Washington. But Shandhai is a difficult city to sleep in, especially when his nights are taken over by the seductive but enigmatic Mei - a woman with secrets he'd rather not hear. Then he is tasked with a delicate operation. Infiltrate the core of the Chinese intelligence service. Distinguish friend from foe. Report to a single contact at HQ. Trust no one. Tell no one. Pushed out into the cold, in a city of millions he's suddenly very, very alone. But in Shanghai city you're never truly alone. Faceless strangers linger in the shadows, watching your every move. No one is safe from the Guoanbu. Not even a spy with no name...
To be hoenst with you I was expecting something pretty solid in this spy thriller from Charles McCarry as I’ve loved a lotof the books that Head of Zeus have sent me, however whilst this was set up to be a cracking spy thriller set in China, it was a story that felt more like something written in the past rather than a modern story as I felt that the female characters were not only there as a distraction rather than characters in their own right.
They were flat, they were little more than a sexual diversion and to be honest it left me feeling more than flat at the overall book. Don’t get me wrong, there were some moments of brilliance within, the description worked wonderfully and when added to some of the quick twists did work well, however all round, I was left feeling more than a little underwhelmed at the overall book.
Release Date: 27/07/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
Sharon Li: apprentice shaman and community support officer for the magically inclined. It wasn't the career Sharon had in mind, but she's getting used to running Magicals Anonymous and learning how to Be One With The City. When the Midnight Mayor goes missing, leaving only a suspiciously innocent-looking umbrella behind him, Sharon finds herself promoted. Her first task: find the Midnight Mayor. The only clues she has are a city dryad's cryptic warning and several pairs of abandoned shoes...Suddenly, Sharon's job feels a whole lot harder.
Whilst many seem to love being taken to a foreign country for their Urban Fantasy, I love being transported to our own capital for a magical mystery tour where the normal becomes the unusual, and the mundane becomes weird. As with Kate’s other titles in the series this title takes you on a wonderful journey as the principle character within, Sharon Li, has a huge quest ahead of her, to find the Midnight Mayor alongside averting the current crisis that the city faces.
Its imaginative, has great twists and really does give you something unique to explore and escape the modern world. Add to the mix some cracking prose and an author who loves to weave a story all round gives the reader a story to thoroughly enjoy although to be honest I would advise people to start at the beginning to get not only the full flavour but to full immerse themselves into the experience. Great stuff.
Release Date: 04/07/13 Publisher: Simon and Schuster SYNOPSIS:
Scottish Police are called to a murder scene in Glasgow's Northern Necropolis. The body of a young woman lies stretched out over a tomb in what looks like a ritualistic murder. Her body bears a three letter message from her killer, daubed in lurid red lipstick. In the 1970s, Danny Neilson was the detective working on the infamous Red Silk murders. Still haunted by the memory of the unsolved investigation, he spots a link between the new murders and those carried out by Red Silk - details that no copycat killer could have known about. But Archibald Atto, the man suspected of the killings all those years ago, is rotting in jail, so Danny has to face up to his fear that they never caught their man. Neilson goes with police photographer Tony Winter, to visit Archibald Atto in prison. But Atto will not speak to them unless it is on his terms. As clues begin to surface, they learn that they are dealing with a killer whose agenda is so terrifying and history so twisted that it will take the combined efforts of police forces past and present to make an arrest.
I love a good crime novel and whilst, for many, it’s the Scandinavian crime authors that are leading the forefront at the moment, I love the darkness that the Scot’s bring as they present the cities of the past in all their glory (be it the dark seedy underworld or the lighter heart of the people) within their books.
Here Craig embarks on the third outing for Tony Winters (Crime Scene Photographer) bringing al his abiltiies to the fore in a case that will stay with the reader for quite some time. Add to the mix a family member alongside the usual impressive cast all round makes this a book that not only thrills but keeps you glued to the last page especially with the sharp prose alongside cracking pace all round makes Craig an author you must read. Great stuff.
Release Date: 18/06/13 Publisher: Titan SYNOPSIS:
"World War Z" is the eagerly awaited film starring Brad Pitt. The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to annihilate humanity itself.
"World War Z: The Art of the Film" is the official illustrated companion to the movie, and features a wealth of stunning production art, design sketches and storyboards, alongside the full shooting script.
(TM) & (c) 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
I love a great zombie film and whilst I’ve not had the pleasure of reading World War Z at the moment, I’ve heard from others that it’s a story that will not only keep my Zombie need maxed but also give me a story that I’ll just love to spend time immersed in (although I still think Zombies shouldn’t run.)
What is presented within is a book that brings not only the artwork to life but also takes the reader through the creation of the undead (or as I like to call them Fashion Cat Walk models LOL) as they help bring this dark apocalyptic point of view to the modern viewer. Add to this solid commentary and all round it’s a book that I’ll be looking through quite a few times. Great stuff.
Release Date: 18/06/13 Publisher: Titan SYNOPSIS:
When legions of giant, monstrous "Kaiju" started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources. To combat the Kaiju, a new weapon was devised: massive robot "Jaegers", piloted by soldiers of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. This lavish book chronicles the production of the film with concept art, photography, and cast and crew commentary.
Whilst I’ve heard a lot about this film I was interested in not only the concept but also how they were going to bring these monstrous constructs to life alongside figuring out battle sequences for them as Man fights Aliens in this all or nothing struggle. Its wonderfully presented has some great artwork, some top notch commentary and also brings to the fore the artistic impressions of all involved in such a way that the reader feels that they’ve been part of the whole project from start to finish. A great book all round and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, In Honour of the President of Saint's Row, Deep Silver has declared that its Hail to the Chief Week. Yesterday we released the Animal Protection Trailer, so today we move on to the next one:
Hail to the Chief #3: Weapons of Mass Abduction
In addition tothis our friends at Deep Silver have let us know this:
"Publisher Deep Silver revealed today
that the upcoming, over-the-top, open-world action game Saints Row IV has
gone gold and fans are now able to pre-order a season pass for the planned
downloadable content (DLC) for EUR 9,99 / £ 7.99 at participating retailers.
The Season Pass for the much awaited Saints Row IV from developer
Volition will include two brand-new mission packs and the Season Pass-exclusive
“Rectifier” anal probe weapon, which will help you, the President of
the United States, get the ‘inside’ information from your enemies as
you save Earth from a dangerous alien infestation. Included in the Season Pass is the Director’s
Cut of the previously announced “Enter the Dominatrix” DLC, a tongue-in-cheek
vision of what this content was originally going to be like, along with
a second mission pack coming in late 2013. Season Passes will be available for purchase
on all platforms and include upcoming add-on content worth more than
EUR 15 / £ 12. Saints Row IV launches on current-gen consoles and PC on
August 20th in North America and August 23rd in the
rest of the world. "
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at Ubisoft have let us have a look at the latest Splinter Cell: Blacklist Trailer. Here they demonstrate the various tactics that you can use during your missions which will allow you to not only complete them but do so in a style all of your own. (Lady Eleanor will go for Assault whilst I'll be playing with Panther.) It's definitely looking like a pretty hot title and lets be honest here, its a game that you'll get a lot of replay from as you try different skill sets. So here's a sneaky peak for you:
Release Date: 18/06/13 Publisher: Titan SYNOPSIS:
The official companion for the new Man of Steel movie featuring Superman. Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman offers an intimate look at the reinvention of the world's most iconic superhero through the eyes of acclaimed director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy). This unique companion book offers a rich selection of materials, from concept art and behind-the-scenes set photography to director commentary and interviews with key creatives, unlocking the secrets behind giving new life to an immortal hero. Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Superman. Also appearing are three-time Oscar(R) nominee Amy Adams (The Fighter) as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Oscar(R) nominee Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do with It) as her editor-in-chief, Perry White. Starring as Clark Kent's adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Oscar(R) nominee Diane Lane (Unfaithful) and Academy Award(R) winner Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves). Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Oscar(R) nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), and Faora, Zod's evil partner, played by Antje Traue. Also from Superman's native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman's mother, played by Ayelet Zurer, and Superman's father, Jor-El, portrayed by Academy Award(R) winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator). Rounding out the cast are Harry Lennix as U.S. military man General Swanwick, as well as Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy. MAN OF STEEL and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and A(c) DC Comics.
Whilst I’m a huge fans of films, the viewer on really gets to see the final product on the screen and not all the hard work that has gone before, so when I get the chance to review books that bring information to the fore that take you not only into the world that they’re trying to produce buy the minds of those within it’s a title that I have a lot of fun with.
Here in this title the reader is treated to the training regime of the principle actor, the original artwork in creating Krypton, comments that bring the whole thing to life and images of the cast as they bring it all to life. It’s a great book, one that has a lot to offer the reader and for me, more than made up for the sadly lacking Man of Steel Novelisation.
Release Date: 18/06/13 Publisher: Titan SYNOPSIS:
The official novelization of the new Man of Steel movie featuring Superman. The movie, from director Zack Snyder and slated for release on June 14, 2013, stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Also starring are Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Lawrence Fishburne and Russell Crowe. TM & A(c) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s13)
There’s quite a few times when I get the chance to sit back and read a book for a film that I’d not only love to see but had saved up the finances for an epic trip out. So avoiding all the hype, the trailers and other peoples points of view I sat back to embark on what I was hoping was going to be an epic new era for the Man of Steel.
What unfurled within the book was a story that was disappointing, the reader never really got to grips with Clark or the other people within relying on peoples past associations of what has gone before to fill in the blanks. The storyline was quite weak and to be blunt you could tell from start to finish that it was purely an action movie as that was what most of the descriptions within were. Sadly this felt rather flat and I suspect it will work a lot better in a visual medium than it did within these pages. A great disappointment.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at Ubisoft have released a 13 minute Trailer of Gameplay for the forthcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Not only is it beautiful graphically but really smooth, just look and see (or sea as the case may be. LOL)
Like us we hope you'll be excited at these in game graphics as well as preparing to sail the high sea's and make your fortune.Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is available 1st November 2013 on the following formats: Nintendo Wii U PC Playstation 3 Playstation 4 Xbox 360 Xbox One
Release Date: 25/04/13 Publisher: Lion Fiction SYNOPSIS:
Set in 17th century and 21st century London, the Enlightenment-era court of the Hapsburgs, China during the Qing Dynasty and ancient Egypt, Bright Empires is a five-volume fantasy. In The Skin Map, Kit Livingstone and his great- grandfather, Cosimo, are brought together to find a map originally tattooed on the skin of its author, a seventeenth-century explorer who had discovered the secret of access to other worlds and parallel universes. Malign forces are also after the map and, to the surprise of all, the map proves to be not the end of the quest but its beginning. A far greater prize remains, and a much more dangerous search will need to be undertaken.
I love a story that gives me something not only different but promises an adventure along the way and very early on in my reading life I discovered Stephen Lawhead who found a way that not only brought everything together for me, so for years whenever he’s had a new title out I’ve always loved to sit back and have some guilt free pleasure that takes me back.
Here in this new offering is a book that gives the readers characters that they’ll enjoy spending time around, they’re fascinating and with a lead hero like Kit, brings you into the fantastical in such a way that it’s a natural step. Add to the mix the authors usual style of pace and prose all round should have delivered something spectacular however for me, it felt almost as if it should have been a short story or novella rather than being extended into a full length novel as there were parts when the pace just died off and left me floundering. All round a shame and perhaps not this authors best but still entertaining enough.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, In Honour of the President of Saint's Row, Deep Silver has declared that its Hail to the Chief Week. As such there's going to be a set of trailers released. Here is the first one, so sit back and prepare for our feature presentation:
Hail to the Chief #2: Animal Protection
And in case you missed this one Hail to the Chief #1: Saints Force One We wish you all the best with this, Garethe and Lady Elenaor
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: Jonathan Cape SYNOPSIS:
This is the story of M. Francisco Fabrigas, explorer, philosopher, heretical physicist, who took a shipful of children on a frightening voyage to the next dimension, assisted by a teenaged Captain, a brave deaf boy, a cunning blind girl, and a sultry botanist, all the while pursued by the Pope of the universe and a well-dressed mesmerist. Dark plots, demonic cults, murderous jungles, quantum mayhem, the birth of creation, the death of time, and a creature called the Sweety: all this and more waits beyond the veil of reality.
To be honest this is a book I put off reading for quite some time. Not because I thought that it was going to be bad but at the moment I’ve had so many titles from established names land that I had to figure out priorities. Sadly this was one of the times when I went against my gut that said “Try the new guy;”
So when starting this, I started to kick myself for putting it off so long. The writing is sharp, the characters not just believable but wonderfully rounded and fully fledged and when added to an overall arc that puts Steampunk in Space really gave me a story that I couldn’t put down (so much so that I finished at 4:30 AM.
Throw into the mix a debut that puts a number of established names to shame and all round if you only read one Steampunk debut this year make it this one.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, We love the Lego titles out there but now they've gone one better, you don't just have the epicness of the usual superheroes but also get to play not only with but as, the big boys, yeah thats right, you get Hulk, Fantastic 4's The Thing, Rhino to name but three, its going to not only be huge but epic.
Still not sure, well look at this trailer:
Hopefully you'll be looking forward to this as much as we are, after all you've got Marvel, a whole host of heroes and of course lego, whats not to love about the whole thing?
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
WILL WAR SET THEM FREE? Trouble, treachery and magic seem to follow Cat Barahal wherever she goes. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen away her husband. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother's murder. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee and her half-brother Rory aren't even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets. Rebellions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue. Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them.
Having loved the second book in the Spiritwalker series I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on this the third book to continue the adventure in Kate’s wonderful world. As with the previous offerings the characters are great, the title has some great twists and when added to a story that will keep the reader thoroughly happy all round makes this a great tale. Throw into the mix a wonderful romantic addition top notch pace and all round I was a more than happy reader. Great stuff.
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: SYNOPSIS:
For generations, the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt - was humanity's great frontier. Until now. The alien artefact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure outside the orbit of Uranus: a gate that leads into a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artefact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.
There are some authors that as a reader you cannot believe that they’re so prolific. As such James (aka Daniel Abraham, MLN Hanover) really gives the reader a story to enjoy. The prose is sharp, the cracking pace wonderful and when added to a set of characters that really make the universe a joy to visit all round makes this something to behold. A cracking book on so many levels and as such I really do wonder who the author made a deal with to keep delivering cracking reads with each release.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at The Bureau have sent us exclusive TV footage of the alien invasion from the 1950's. We hope that this will help convince you to take up the fight against these invaders and show them what earth people are capable of when riled:
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
MAGIC WILL NOT BE ENOUGH The Lady of the elves has been slain and King Kieri injured by the iynisin, a corrupted race of elves whose poisonous touch means grisly death for all who stand in their way. As the Lady's elves retreat to bury their dead, strange discoveries are made in the palace, revealing old secrets about the ancient alliance between humankind and elves. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Tsaia, young ---Prince Camwyn begins to exhibit dangerous signs of magery. Discovery of magical blood so close to the king will put his brother's rule in jeopardy, but he has nowhere to turn when even his own family might put him to death for treason.
To be honest whilst I do enjoy sitting back with a cracking fantasy I was left wanting with this book. Not that the characters weren’t fun to be around but because not only was the pace lacking but the details for a lot of the sequences were sadly missing.
Don’t get me wrong Elizabeth does give you a solid enough title but when you’ve sat back and read three other parts you expect the author to keep it going with the same attention to detail as the others. All in a solid enough book and whilst the story has moved forward I’ve not enjoyed this one as much as the others.
Release Date: 20/07/13 Publisher: SYNOPSIS:
In a Kabul ravaged by violence and corruption, Murder Squad boss Osama Kandar still believes in integrity, a code of honour, and loyalty to old friends. But the apparent suicide of a businessman called Wali Wadi changes everything.
As Kandar’s routine investigation starts to suggest murder, the Minister for Security attempts to foil his every move, motivating him even more to solve the alleged crime.
Meanwhile, a Swiss-based secret organisation known as The Entity is doing everything in its power to terminate Kandar’s investigation, even if it means putting an end to his life and those of innocent civilians. Wali Wadi’s murderer must not be found, whatever the cost.
At the same time, Entity analyst Nick Snee is looking for a man named Leonard Mandrake, who has information that The Entity is desperate for. When Snee discovers that Mandrake’s information is related to Wali Wadi’s death, he joins forces with Kandar to find out what everybody is after, and why so many lives are being destroyed in the wake of the Mandrake Affair.
What they discover is far more important than either could have possibly imagined.
To be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to get with this book as it had elements of a solid crime story alongside aspects of a crackingh spy thriller vying for the lead. What unfurled was a book with not only a high body count but one that really did live up to what the reader wants to give them a high octane ride.
The characters within were interesting, the prose snappy, alongside great pace and when added to the use of political machinations, murderous turmoil and topped with various governments agencies mudding up the waters all round made this something that I absolutely loved. Great stuff.
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
MAHALA - CITY OF CONTRASTS. LIGHT AND DARK. HOPE AND DESPAIR. Rojan Dizon just wants to keep his head down. But his worst nightmare is around the corner. With the destruction of their power source, the vertical city of Mahala is crisis. Riots are breaking out, mages are being murdered and the city is divided. But Rojan's hunt for the killers will make him responsible for complete anarchy. Either that, or an all-out war. And there's nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible. THE ADVENTURES OF ROJAN DIZON A tale of corruption and dark magic set in a world that's both vertigo-inducing and awe-inspiring.
If you’re looking for something a little different in the Fantasy genre then Francis Knight is an author that you have to try, she’s created a wonderful inventive world and a whole concept of magic that really hasn’t been touched upon before. Yet for all the work that has gone into this, the real triumph is her characters, they’re vivid, are easy to picture and as the tale unfurls are a whole set of people that you really can’t help but want to spend time with.
Add to this solid prose, a kickass plotline and when added to an arc that really doesn’t let up from the word go all round gives the fantasy reader something to really get their teeth into. A real joy to behold. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at Ubisoft have let us have a look at the latest Splinter Cell: Blacklist Trailer. It not only looks spectacular but also looks like the game that you'll have fun working your way through utilising your own methods alongside preferred tactics to make the most of the objectives. It's definitely looking like a pretty hot title and lets be honest here, its a game that you'll get a lot of replay from as you change your style as skill sets are learned but have a look at this, the latest trailer:
All round a cracking looking title and I suspect that my style of play will be different to Lady Eleanors, here's hoping that our head to head game challenges work well together.
Release Date: 27/06/13 Publisher: Orbit SYNOPSIS:
For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O'Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he's being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt - Artemis and Diana - for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, his apprentice Granuaile and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha De Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide and seek, the game plan is ...run like hell. Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok - AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living - and still have a world to live in.
Over the last few years Urban Fantasy has been hit with a fair number of classics and to be honest one of my real treats (alongside a new Jim Butcher Dresden Files title) is the ever prolific Kevin Hearne who gives me not only s kick ass story but a whole host of characters that I love to spend time around from a 2000 year old Druid through to meddlesome gods out for vengeance.
As usual the pace is ideal, the plotline gripping and when added to an authors writing style that just keeps the reader wanting more, all round makes this series something that you just can’t help but love. Great all round.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at The Bureau have let us have some footage from their Xcom Declassified Files that go to show the battle that rages in the US against the Xenos foes back in the 50's. We hope that you'll take up the fight and show these invaders what earth people are made of:
May their deity have mercy on thier souls and we look forward to hearing how you progress in your own struggles. Gareth and Lady Eleanor
Release Date: 04/07/13 Publisher: Pilrig Press SYNOPSIS:
Based on the acclaimed radio series, this is an extremely funny satire on modern society. Brian Gulliver is lost in strange lands where he encounters wondrous beings and peculiar civilisations. In a country ruled by doctors, Brian must eat five vegetables a day - it's the law. He can only get food on prescription. Every form of human foible can be blamed on a syndrome or condition. There is no right or wrong, only 'symptomatic behaviour'. Brian escapes from the doctors into a forest, where he's captured by intelligent pigs who put him in a human farm. (Luckily for Brian, it's free range and organic.) Brian is a rare breed, so the pigs put him out to stud. Being compelled to have sex with a random stranger isn't as much fun as he'd hoped. Brian has to rethink his ideas about what sort of beings we eat, and why. As Brian roams from realm to realm his moral compass goes haywire. In one country, fame is a currency which can be exchanged for goods, in another, marriage is banned because of the harm it does to children. Satirising everything from marriage and celebrity culture to altruism and religion, Bill Dare leaves little safe from his uncompromising wit. You'll laugh, you'll think, you'll be taken on a great adventure.
To be honest I came at this from a completely fresh perspective, I’ve not heard the radio play, I’ve not come across Bill Dare before and yet all round when I started reading this I was utterly flawed with cracking humour, a wonderful turn of phrase and a tale that translated well from Radio to Book Format.
The story blends all the best of fantasy, some real world philosophy and, when blended with humour, really generates a book that will entertain on so many levels. Add to the mix a friendly authorly voice that not only leads you by the hand but makes you pleased that you took the journey all round makes this something spectacular.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at Ubisoft have released a new trailer for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, that focuses on the naval aspects of the game but hey have a look yourself:
Like us we hope you'll be excited at these in game graphics as well as preparing to sail the high sea's and make your fortune.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is available 1st November 2013 on the following formats: Nintendo Wii U PC Playstation 3 Playstation 4 Xbox 360 Xbox One
Release Date: 04/07/13 Publisher: Hodder SYNOPSIS:
I am everything no longer forgotten. I banish forgetting. My seed has grown and become prophecy. Truth walks the world above. Magic is risen to the world once more. In Cornwall, they have seen it rise: in an angel of death and endless, unseasonal snow. Across the ocean, on a remote Canadian island, the blood and offerings and smoke of England seem nothing more than distant rumours of hysteria. Until the girl disappears. And the whale comes. And The Plague spreads. And nothing is as it was before.
The second book in a fantasy series unlike any other as James returns to the world he created in Advent that not only continues to build upon the invention of the original but really delivers a story that is not only gripping but one that continues to build upon the mystery that the reader will just love to unravel.
Add to the mix solid prose, characters that you really can’t get out of your head as well as a storytelling style that not only envelops the reader but draws them deeper into the world all round makes this a book that is nigh impossible to put down.
Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs, Our friends at Warner Brothers Interactive have let us know about the latest trailer for the forthcoming Mad Max title next year. It looks as dark as the fillms and is defintiely something that we can't wait to utilise to wander the wastelands. So what do you think?
Release Date: 04/07/13 Publisher: Hodder SYNOPSIS:
Condemned to a hovel, beaten by a merciless commander, crushed by the weather and forced to survive on starvation rations: no one looking at Paul would ever guess that he is heir to one of Roman Britain's wealthiest families. But Paul had his reasons for joining the army and fleeing the family he loves. But when rumours of a barbarian uprising from beyond the Wall begin to circulate, Paul realises that his family is in grave danger. With only the former slave-girl Eachna for company, Paul deserts the army, for which the penalty is death, and undertakes a hazardous journey across Britain where danger lurks round every corner. Epic in scope, rich with historical detail, THE LION AND THE LAMB is a novel of Roman Britain on the cusp of the Dark Ages, when all that stands between her citizens and oblivion is one family.
I love diving into historical fiction, marching with either the roman legions or the English Troops during the 100 Years War or seeing a time from the characters point of view. It gives me time to ponder events and has often caused me to dive into history books to see the time from a sterile point of view wanting to learn more about the living culture at the time. I love antiques that have had a real sense of use about them so to get a book that isn’t about the glorious battle side of things has to rely on bringing so much more to the fore as otherwise pace can lack.
With this title it’s a book that sadly lacks from this issue, it can go rather well at some points but at others seem to lose direction and steam to keep the readers attention and with characters that I didn’t develop attachments for, all round left me feeling flat about the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong its beautifully researched but at the end of the day if you lose the reader they won’t want to spend time with you in future.
Release Date: 04/07/13 Publisher: Solaris SYNOPSIS: ''What's the first thing you think of when I say 'angel'?'' asked Mallory. Alice shrugged. ''I don t know... guns?'' Alice isn't having the best of days: she got rained on, missed her bus, was late for work. When two angels arrive, claiming her life so far is a lie, it turns epic, grand-scale worse. The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; an age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. the angels must act to restore the balance - or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory - a disgraced angel with a drinking problem - alice will learn the truth about her own history... and why the angels want to send her to hell. What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding and can she trust either side? Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn t just hell's demons that Alice will have to defeat...
OK, I’m going to start this review out with a warning. This is Book Two of the Blood and Feathers series. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, read this if you haven’t read the original. Why? Well you’ll have missed not only one cracking book, but the development of characters that continue to grow within this, the second outing that will leave you not only demanding more but preparing to storm the bastions of Solaris’ offices in order to get more.
As with the original the story its action packed, the author knows how to twist the readers emotions and when you add solid politicking between factions into this really leaves you on a high. All round this is a series that really does put Lou on the map and if you’re looking for an urban fantasy angel series that will keep you glued then really get onto Lou’s wagon now.