Wednesday, 24 June 2015

URBAN FANTASY CRIME REVIEW: The Devil's Detective - Simon Kurt Unsworth

Release Date: 12/03/15
Publisher:  Del Rey


Welcome to hell...

.... where skinless demons patrol the lakes and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls, while the souls of the Damned float on their surface, waiting to be collected.

When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool, one of Hell's detectives, known as 'Information Men’. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?

A stunningly original blend of crime, horror and suspense, The Devil’s Detective is a bold new thriller that will shock and amaze.


A different type of detective story for a different type of setting and one that is not only complex but full of imaginative twists, chock a block with deceptions and backed all up with a principle character who goes from a man who doesn’t care to one who really wants to solve this mystery as it could be his ticket to redemption.

It’s definitely a novel type of book and definitely one that will more than have you glued as each clue is unveiled with aplomb alongside a principle character whose detective work has reasonable deductions, solid leads and of course by the titles end a story that will not only have entertained but given you something that goes to show that multi genre mixing can work extremely well.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Her Majesty's Psychic Service 1: The Hanged Man - P N Elrod

Release Date: 19/05/15
Publisher:  Tor/Forge


On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies--the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James--Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.


A new Urban Fantasy series from an established author and one that really hits the spot as it grabs you from the opening pages presenting a Steampunk version of Sherlock Holmes that works delightfully well. The prose is pretty solid, the dialogue a real treat and when added to a whole host of characters that readers will want to spend time around all round generates something that was a pure joy to read.

Back this up with an arc that has a whole heap of twists and turns alongside an author that thoroughly knows how to throw not only a few spanners in the works but does so in such a way that the reader isn’t quite sure which way its going to turn all round gives you something that’s a real treat.

Monday, 22 June 2015

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Agent of Rome V: Emperor's Silver - Ncik Brown

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  Hodder


Still recovering from his previous assignment in Arabia, imperial agent Cassius Corbulo has been spending most of his time and money on women and wine. Unfortunately for him, word of his achievements has reached the emperor Aurelian's deputy and he is sent north, tasked with smashing a counterfeiting gang.

Cassius tracks the criminals to the city of Berytus, where his investigations are hampered by civil unrest and uncooperative officials, not to mention the personal problems of his servant Simo and bodyguard Indavara. Despite this - and intense pressure from his superiors - the young officer eventually closes in on the gang.

But his enemies will do anything to protect their profits, and Cassius and Indavara soon find themselves fighting not only for the emperor, but for their very survival.


The fifth outing for Nick Browns Corbulo and one that makes not only the reader think about events within but also the cast of characters. Its definitely a book that has some high octane moments, wonderfully woven around a solid plot but as with the others, the thing that really strikes me each time I read one of the series is the character interaction. The dialogue is wonderful, the way that each of the principle cast members add their own strengths and weaknesses to the group and when taken as a whole, allows the reader to see that even the strongest have chinks in their emotional and personal armour at times.

All round another cracking story and one that really does give me a title that is not only a pure joy to read but one that goes to show that by allowing characters to grow rather than staying with a rigid formula gives better results all round for readers to savour. Cracking stuff.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: Legends of the Alfar 2: Devastating Hate - Markus Heitz

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  Jo Fletcher Books


They are the enemies of the dwarves and control the darkest magics, but even then power of the Älfar has its limits. To save their own people, they must enter into an unwinnable war.

Sinthoras and Caphalor, two very different Älfar, watch as their plans come to fruition: the hidden land - the home of the dwarves - has fallen to their army of trolls, barbarians and Älfar, and now the lands of the hated elves are within their grasp.

But the alliance is beginning to crumble as greed triumphs over obedience. And Sinthoras and Caphalor face another threat: an enemy from the empire of the Älfar, thought to be defeated, has resurfaced, and while their best warriors fight in the hidden land, the Älfar homeland lies almost defenceless...

This edition contains bonus material!


Markus’ world continues to grow as the Alfar continue their march on their hated enemies, the Dwarves and as they continue to work, the world darkens. It’s definitely a different type of tale as its told from the darker sides aspects and for me as a reader, that’s always a challenge for an author to not only give the reader characters that they like but ones that they can understand when in previous outings they’ve been the out and out villains.

Treading the boundaries is a fine line and a good many other authors tend to take a step too far either turning it partly comical or keeping the darkness so that you don’t want to spend time with them.

All round, this book is a title that has great prose, a solid arc and where book two by many authors flail a little, this one keeps the throttle going throughout and when backed with solid dialogue kept me glued to the last page. Magic.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Dave Vs The Monsters 2: Resistance - John Birmingham

Release Date: 25/05/15
Publisher: Titan


When a dragon brings down the Vice President's plane and fresh demons emerge across the United States, monster slayer Dave Hooper realises that the Battle of New Orleans was just the beginning. Holed up in a swanky Las Vegas hotel, Dave is enjoying the perks of his newfound celebrity. But deep in the UnderRealms, the monsters are regrouping, and it isn't long before Dave and his splitting maul are hauled into action once more. While his agent fields offers for movies and merchandise, Dave is tasked with ending a demon siege in Omaha, protecting the skies from a dragon horde and deciphering the UnderRealms plans to take over the earth. As an ancient and legion evil threatens to destroy mankind, Dave may not be the hero humanity deserves, but he's the only one we've got.


The second title in the series and one that continues to build on the war from the original where the UnderRealm have been defeated by Earth’s Hero Dave. Its definitely quirky and for me the original was a fun read yet instead of expanding the universe in this second outing, the title seemed bent on destroying the principle character into a totally deplorable and thoroughly dislikable guy rather than the hero who we had in the original who had to face the changes on the run.

It’s a bit of an upset for me and whilst I will read the final outing, currently I don’t care whether the UnderRealm enslaves Dave and mankind as opposed to routing for them like I should be. All round I was disappointed with this outing and for me, this title let me down as a reader. A huge shame.

Friday, 19 June 2015

VIDEO GAME TIE IN: Assassin's Creed: Unity: Abstergo Industries Emploment Handbook

Release Date: 25/11/14
Publisher:  Titan


Crafted to resemble a set of Abstergo case files, this immersive and interactive book provides a glimpse into the technology that allows characters to inhabit the lives of their ancestorsa cornerstone of the Assassin's Creed narrative.In-depth and beautifully illustrated, the Assassin's Creed Manual will grant a never-before-seen look at the inner workings of the fictional corporation at the heart of the blockbuster franchise.


Ah, as an infiltrator into the Abstergo family, I was more than pleased when I received my Handbook to help me with my day to day job. Its informative, gives you a lot of information and is accompanied by cracking artwork and script that helps further the AC universe.

Its definitely something that fans will love and as a gamer its little touches like this that really keep me glued to each outing. Back this up with a book written from the Assassin’s foes point of view and you know that the hints within go to show that there is so much more to come. Cracking.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

VIDEO GAME NEWS: E3 Brief Roundup

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Ok so you’re probably wondering why we haven’t had an article up currently about E3, well to be honest whilst we weren’t in attendance we were glued to all the feed coming out and have had a lot to sift through as well as some research to do in order to make sure that we bring you all the most up to date news, especially since some of the titles that were expected to make an appearance didn’t.

Titles such as Scalebound and of course Quantum Break which were two that we were really interested in.  Now whilst you may be worried due to this, don’t be, Xbox have issued a statement that said that this year’s E3 was so packed that not every game would get the time during the event that they deserved so they’re saving these two (along with quite a few other new announcements) for the forthcoming Gamescon in August.  We hope to bring you more on what’s happening at that time.

However at this years E3 there have been quite a few titles that we are more than interested in and hopefully will more than keep you as a gamer twitchy on the trigger fingers and eager to play.

Forthcoming expected titles include:
Fable Legends
Star Wars Battlefield
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Assassin Creed: Syndicate
Tom Clancy’s The Division

With new announcements on the following:
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
For Honor
Dishonoured 2
Fallout 4


Each of them looks pretty good and one that we’re especially looking forward to is the brand new For Honor (Ubisoft)  which allows you and team mates to fight through various battlefields in different times from Knights to Samurais as well as Vikings.  Its pretty novel and whilst I’m not sure on the right stick control for sword play, I l do really like the idea as well as the chance for epic battles where you can face off against so many others.

All round, its been a pretty full show and for me, was something that has left me not only salivating but demanding so much more.  I can’t wait to get my hands on so many of these titles.


HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Into the Fire - Manda Scott

Release Date: 18/06/15
Publisher:  Bantam Press


February 2014: Police Capitaine Ines Picaut is called out to investigate a blaze in the old town of Orleans. This is the fourth in a series of increasingly brutal arson attacks, and at the centre of the conflagration lies a body. An Islamic extremist faction claims responsibility, but Ines and her team cannot trace its whereabouts, or any evidence of its existence. And a partly melted memory card found in the victim's throat is the only clue to his identity. September 1429: Joan of Arc is in the process of turning the tide of The Hundred Years' War. English troops have Orleans under siege, and Tomas Rustbeard, the Duke of Bedford's most accomplished agent, finally has her in his sights. But he knows that killing 'The Maid' - the apparently illiterate peasant girl who nonetheless has an unmatched sense of military strategy and can ride a warhorse in battle - is not enough. He must destroy the legend that has already grown around her. And to do that, he must get close enough to discover who she really is. More fires rage and the death toll mounts while Ines fights to discover what connects an expert in the analysis of war graves, the unquenchable ambitions of the Family which seeks to hold the city in its absolute power, and the discredited historical theories of her own late and much lamented father. When Tomas risks everything to infiltrate the hotly defended inner circle of the Saviour of France, he finally discovers a secret that will prove as explosive nearly six hundred years later as it would do if revealed in his own time. As each thread of Manda Scott's immaculately interwoven narrative unfolds, Ines and Tomas's quests become linked across the centuries. And in their pursuit of the truth, they find that love is as enduring as myth - but can lead to the greatest and most heart-breaking of sacrifices.


Ah Manda Scott, an historical author who not only always finds a way to keep me glued but presents tales in a way that very few others seem to be able to do so. Here, within this book is a tale told from two points of view, the rich world of modern day Orleans with the time of Joan of Arc

Its definitely a richly woven story and when added to her cracking prose as well as characters you want to spend time around generates a book that really won’t let you go until the final page is turned.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

YOUNG READER PUZZLE BOOK: Horris Henry's Big Bad Puzzle Book - Francesca Simon and Illustrated by Tony Ross

Release Date: 07/05/15
Publisher:  Orion Children


This new edition of a classic Horrid Henry puzzle book contains 64 pages of fun - a perfect purchase for the summer holidays. There are holiday howlers to tell, secret messages to crack, crosswords, mazes, wordsearches and spot the differences to solve - all with a uniquely Horrid twist! There's something for every Horrid Henry fan.

Are you as clever and tricky as your hero Henry? Find out this holiday - we guarantee you'll never be bored again!


There are times when you want to occupy a young mind and would rather give them something to do rather than having them get all their toys out on the floor. Rainy days are a prime example and lets be honest some summers are just so wet that you sadly don’t get to do half the days out you wanted let alone give yourself a break from home which can lead to boredom for your young active minds.

Horrid Henry is a firm children’s favourite not only through his various misadventures on the TV but also through his books that have entertained a generation. Here within this book you get an absolute ton of puzzles that will bamboozle, please and of course get them to think. All round a good bit of fun and one that if you photocopy the puzzles beforehand will last you quite a while.

YOUNG READER REVIEW: Demolition Dad - Phil Earle, Illustrated Sara Ogilvie

Release Date: 07/05/15
Publisher:  Orion Children


This is the story of Jake Biggs and his dad, George. George spends all week knocking down buildings ... and all weekend knocking down wrestlers. He's the Demolition Man, and Jake couldn't be prouder. But when Jake hears about a pro-wrestling competition in the USA, and persuades his beloved dad to apply, things don't quite turn out the way he expected...

This is DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD in Spandex, a hilarious, warm-hearted story from a talented writer.


An adventure for young readers as Wrestling, demolition and a cunning Dad collide in a tale that is not only funny but one that my oldest nephew loved. It was quirky, it was wonderfully written and when added to illustrations that help the reader visualise the story.

Its definitely a story that was fun to read, has some twists and when added all round to a writing style that flowed generated a book that for me is one that will give each of my nephews (and niece) a story that will entertain alongside stay with them for quite some time in much the same way Roald Dahl did for me. Cracking.

YOUNG READER REVIEW: Early Reader: Dinosaurs - David Long, Illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne

Release Date: 07/05/15
Publisher:  Orion Children


Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books. A green Early Reader is a first factbook.

It's never too early to find out about... DINOSAURS.

Did you know that the biggest dinosaurs weighed more than 13 or 14 elephants put together? Or that the EORAPTOR is the oldest dinosaur we know about and could run faster than an Olympic runner?

Discover a world of incredible prehistoric reptiles in this brand new non fiction Early Reader from David Long, with full colour illustrations from Nicola O'Byrne on every page.


Getting your child into reading can at times be nigh impossible however the key to helping them is to find a subject that they will just love to learn more about and for one of my nephews, its deep sea fish as well as Dinosaurs. This new range of books from Orion’s Early Reader series is becoming an ideal set for him. He can’t wait to learn new words, loves looking at the bright illustrations and keeps bringing the book out whenever my parents visit him as he loves showing Gran and Grandad the new words he’s learned as well as informing them of facts that we not only didn’t know but were very interesting.

All round, with a happy young reader in tow alongside a book that has multiple reads within as well as encouraging his love of learning for me makes this series not only a life saver but one that will keep him curious which for me is a huge gift in itself.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

THRILLER REVIEW: The Agent Runner - Simon Conway

Release Date: 23/09/14
Publisher:  Pembury Publishing


Ed found it difficult to explain why he felt such a strong allegiance to Britain, perhaps because he found it difficult to define what it meant to be British. British by birth, foreign by descent and agnostic by conviction, Edward Henry Malik is an MI6 agent-runner. For four years he has been running an agent codenamed Nightingale inside the ISI, Pakistan’s Hydra-headed spying agency. Then, in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden, Nightingale is unmasked and Ed’s world dramatically falls apart. Dismissed from MI6 and with his reputation in tatters, Ed returns to his roots in the immigrant enclave of Whitechapel in London’s East End. He finds a job at a freight forwarding office and unexpectedly falls in love with the proprietor’s daughter. It seems as if he has finally found respite from his demons. But you can’t escape your past. Ed knows too much and he has come to the attention of the Hidden Hand – Pakistan’s legendary spy of spies – Major-General Javid Aslam Khan. From the teeming city of Lahore to the anarchic tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, with a plot to detonate the dirtiest bomb imaginable, The Agent Runner carves a dramatic arc across modern Pakistan and reaches a thunderous climax in the mountains of the Hindu Kush.


OK, whilst we do love a thriller here at Falcata Times a lot of the time they’re written by people who just look at what they think makes a great thriller. Here we have a book that not only hits all the marks for genre fans but one that is written by a man that has lived a military life and knows how the various institutions within work. Whilst for some, this title with its themes may be a little close to the bone, the author has created a thriller that not only will have readers glued to the pages but one that will generate a lot of thoughts as some of the current news articles meet head on within the titles pages.

All round a book that has the clipped prose of a military man that works exceedingly for the title alongside an overall arc that has a great many twists will al round give you a read that whilst making you feel a little uncomfortable as a voyeur all round will hopefully give you a better look at a secret war that many can allude to but few can comprehend on such a scale. Magic.

Monday, 15 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: The Chronicles of the Exile 1: When the Heaven's Fall - Mark Turner

Release Date: 22/05/15
Publisher:  Tor/Forge


A power-hungry necromancer has stolen The Book of Lost Souls, and intends to use it to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld.Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artefact at all cost. However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed.


A fantasy of dark tellings and one that will not only grasp you by the throat but generates a story that will have you denying that its time to close the covers for sleep. It’s definitely a book that I enjoyed reading and when you throw into the mix a writing style that really helped not only push the story through but allowed you to feel fully involved in the world generates something that really will make you take notice of Mark as an author.

The prose is sharp, the characters engaging and when added to dialogue that helps the story move forward all round made this a book that I didn’t have the inclination to put down what so ever. Al round a great read and a world that I just didn’t want to leave. Great stuff.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: Trial of Inentions - Peter O'Rullian

Release Date: 14/06/15
Publisher:  Tor/Pan Macmillan


The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god - and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind - in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures. But there is dissent. One king won't answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse. Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war. And his choices may reshape a world.


OK, after a recent set of books that left me feeling a bit disappointed when I opened this title I really found myself not only immersed into a world of adventure but one where I just loved the careful world-building that had gone into it. The use of magic was wonderfully creative, the manipulation of circumstances delightful and when you throw in not only action sequences but a character who is trying to halt war by using brains over brawn all round goes on to make this a read that was hard to put down.

Back this up with a subtle grey scale tone over all (rather than it being plain black and white) left me feeling that this delightful book was a bright light in the fantasy stakes and is a novel that readers should sit down and take notice of. Finally back this up with great prose, solid storytelling as well as cracking dialogue as well as characters that I wanted to spend more time with all round left me feeling more than happy as the final page turned. I can’t wait to return in the future. Cracking.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: A Quantum Mythology - Gavin Smith

Release Date: 19/03/15
Publisher:  Gollancz


Praised by Stephen Baxter and Adam Roberts, reviewed ecstatically by SFX magazine, Gavin Smith is one of the brightest stars of space opera.

In the far future, many years after the loss of earth, humanity has changed. Strength is the only way to survive. And the most vicious man alive has a new con in mind...

Here and now, a man with unnatural powers hunts down a killer with impossible abilities. Infused with a barely-understood alien technology, the two are merely pawns in a bigger game...

A long time ago, the last tribes of Northern Britain face an unimaginable enemy. Demons risen from the sea, absorbing and twisting everything they touch. But there are some among the tribes who have power, who will fight...

And all of these times are connected...

Gavin Smith's new epic space opera is a wide-ranging exploration of the past, present and future of mankind.


Continuing on from Gavin’s Age of Scorpio title, the book delves into a the continual bleak outlook where even the darkness of the surrounding void seems brighter than the future and yet, the book then takes a step back with its second plotline that keeps the reader glued as we see how events of the “now” would go on to effect the time of the future.

Its well written, the prose sharp and when you add high octane action as well as an author who really doesn’t want to leave the reader a moments peace all round gives you something to truly enjoy. A great read and one that I’m pleased I took the time to do so with.

Friday, 12 June 2015

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Batman: Arkham Knight TV Trailer and Bloodbowl 2: Campaign Trailer

Hail Might Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
With E3 just a few days away we're all getting pretty excited but to keep you in the loop we've been asked to bring you the new trailers for Blood Bowl 2 and Batman: Arkham Knight.

After an introduction to the Chaos and Human teams in their gameplay videos, Blood Bowl 2, the sequel to the video game adaptation of Games Workshop’s famous board game that combines American football with the fantasy world of Warhammer, reveals its release date, two additional races, and a new video dedicated to its solo campaign!

We can now officially announce that Blood Bowl 2 will be releasing September 22 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game was delayed by a few weeks compared with its initial release planned this June, in order to ensure that players would enjoy the most polished foundations for the next generation Blood Bowl experience as possible. As a thank you for your support and patience, players will receive an extra Blood Bowl 2 race (including its own AI, design, skills, and their Star Players): the Lizardmen or the Wood Elves during pre-order campaign on consoles and PC. PC players who will pre-order the game on Steam will also be able to enjoy the multiplayer beta demo a few weeks before the release of the game.


More information is coming soon with regards to the pre-order bonuses and the different offers available, but until then, enjoy a video outlining Blood Bowl 2’s campaign game mode.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today unveiled the new TV spot for Batman: Arkham Knight. The video features highlights from Rocksteady Studios’ much anticipated video game, set to the brand new track “Mercy” from Muse’s seventh studio album, Drones. According to Matt Bellamy, the record “explores the journey of a human: from abandonment and loss of hope, to indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to eventual defection from the oppressors." Reminiscent of The Dark Knight’s own journey, it will inspire fans to be the vengeance, be the night and be the Batman.

URBAN FANTASY SHORT STORY COMPENDIUM REVIEW: Dark Detectives - Edited by Stephen Jones

Release Date: 20/03/15
Publisher:  Titan


CRIMES OF TERROR AND DARKNESS! In the battle between good and evil, the supernatural investigators form the first line of defense against the unexplainable. Here are eighteen pulse-pounding tales featuring uncanny sleuths battling against the weird, written by Clive Barker R. Chetwynd-Hayes Basil Copper Neil Gaiman William Hope Hodgson Brian Lumley Brian Mooney Kim Newman Jay Russell Peter Tremayne Manly Wade Wellman Featuring the entire Seven Stars saga by Kim Newman, pitting the Diogenes Club against an occult object with the power to ultimately annihilate mankind!


A compendium of dark Urban Fantasy that really gives the reader not only the goosebumps but a deliciously dark selection that allows readers to try authors that they may not have had the money to before. It’s a very well put together title with tales for all tastes and when you add some cracking editing alongside a plethora of top notch authors all round gave me a book that I loved to spend time with.

Back this up with the option of having a book that will give you a great way to spend lunch breaks or even journey time with and all round it’s the type of book that may just save your sanity from the real world.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: Gerry Anderson's Gemini Force 1: Black Horizon - M G Harris

Release Date: 17/04/15
Publisher:  Orion Children


After the tragic death of his father, Ben Carrington's mother teams up with a wealthy entrepreneur to form an elite, top-secret rescue organisation - Gemini Force.

Ben is determined to become part of the team, but can he prove he has what it takes to face dangerous situations and save lives?

Impossible rescues. Maximum risk. This is Gemini Force 1.


A tale originally conceived of by Gerry Anderson and one that thanks to his son, saw the light of day with author MG Harris. Obviously this is a young adult novel and having spent a lot of my childhood with all the GA classics from Fireball XL5 through to Stingray, Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Terrahawks as well as Captain Scarlett, I owe this man a hell of a lot for my entertainment.

So to have the chance to relive some of that vigour I was lucky enough to be sent this book. What I originally notices was that essentially it is Thunderbirds for the more modern era but what really worked well with it was the way that the principle character came across, he had real world school problems that needed addressing, emotional issues and when added to an arc that allowed him to blossom as well as further the aspects within, all round generated a tale that I was more than pleased I took the time to read.

All round it looks like a solid start for a new series and one that I’m definitely going to be passing on to other family members to enjoy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Empire VIII: Thunder of the Gods - Anthony Riches

Release Date: 02/04/15
Publisher:  Hodder


The eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire

With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries.

Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts.

And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.


Anthony is an author that for me is a must have. I love the way his characters come to life, the way that he manages to weld beautiful storytelling with cracking top notch action and then blends it all with prose that just stand out from anything else.

Back this up with dialogue that furthers the reality of the characters alongside an overall arc that keeps giving as the principle character not only room to emotionally grow but also furthers his own goals for vengeance and all round you know that you’re in for a real treat. I just can’t give enough praise for this author.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: The Defenders of Shannara: The Darkling Child - Terry Brooks

Release Date: 09/06/15
Publisher:  Orbit


From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks—the second stand-alone Shannara novel in the Defenders of Shannara series, following The High Druid’s Blade, easily accessible to new readers.

Paxon Leah has joined the Druid Order as a paladin, tasked with protecting the Druids with the aid of his magical sword. But Paxon’s toughest assignment will come when he must track down a young musician with newly-manifested magic before a rival sorcerer can corrupt the boy.


Having been a huge Shannara fan for years, I always love the chance to return to Terry’s world to spend time with not just the characters but events that help shape it. Whilst many of the books are tied in to various series, this is the authors only second stand alone (although personally as a reader I still reread the whole set fitting the new one into the correct place in the timeline.)

As usual with Terry you’re drawn in with cracking prose, solid storytelling and perhaps best of all flawed heroes who seek to uphold their ideal’s whilst not only remaining true to their ideal’s but managing to grow despite what their choices throw at them. Its definitely a series that will have you cheering, have you reading long into the night alongside giving the reader the chance to share their successes and of course their losses.

Its definitely a series I can’t help but love but when you also add the way that Terry manages to add extra layers to what we already know, generates quite a unique experience. Absolutely cracking.

Monday, 8 June 2015

HISTORICAL CRIME REVIEW: Flavia Alba 3: Deadly Election - Lindsey Davis

Release Date: 09/04/15
Publisher:  Hodder


In the blazing July heat of imperial Rome, Flavia Albia inspects a decomposing corpse. It has been discovered in lots to be auctioned by her family business, so she's determined to identify the dead man and learn how he met his gruesome end.

The investigation will give her a chance to work with the magistrate, Manlius Faustus, the friend she sadly knows to be the last chaste man in Rome. But he's got other concerns than her anonymous corpse. It's election time and with democracy for sale at Domitian's court, tension has come to a head. Faustus is acting as an agent for a 'good husband and father', whose traditional family values are being called into question. Even more disreputable are his rivals, whom Faustus wants Albia to discredit.

As Albia's and Faustus' professional and personal partnership deepens they have to accept that, for others, obsession can turn sour, and become a deadly strain that leads, tragically, to murder.


Ah a book that might feel like a timely read for those of us in the UK although to be honest whilst I do enjoy reading the Alba titles, I did feel that this one felt a little flat and sadly suffered from a few problems. Firstly, that there were way too many people with the same name so that you had problems telling which one was who.

Secondly I found quite a few errors within the text and as such left me wondering what had happened to the editing time that books normally go through and perhaps more importantly I was left feeling that I had no real stake in the title as there would be no consequences for the principle character so that he had no real point in exercising his remarkable abilities in such a stifling summer.

All, whilst it was a solid enough read, against a lot of Lindsey’s other work this is perhaps one of the weaker titles and whilst against a great many others it still stands heads above their writing, to find so many problems with one text may well have readers asking why so many errors got through which in turn, can ruin their own enjoyment.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Brunetti 24: Falling in Love - Donna Leon

Release Date: 09/04/15
Publisher:  William Heinemann


In Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon’s first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli – then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca.

As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers. But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses – on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment – it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker. Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help. Familiar with Flavia’s melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flavia’s fears may be justified. In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.


Ah a crime book that delivers what I love, a solid story with cracking characters and in particular with Donna’s writing a wonderfully descriptive look at Venice and those who live there. Its definitely a series that I always look forward to and when you add solid prose alongside a lead character that you just love to spend time with all round makes this a book that’s a real guilty pleasure and a cracking escape from dreary Britain.

Back this up with a solid arc and enough suspense to keep the title ticking over and all round I was a more than happy reader, although if you’re into the real gritty dirty crime type title you’d be best sticking with the current crop of Scandinavian work out there.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes - Dave Gross

Release Date: 02/06/15
Publisher:  Tor/Pan Macmillan


Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan are no strangers to the occult. Yet when Varian is bequeathed a dangerous magical book by an old colleague, the infamous investigators find themselves on the trail of a necromancer bent on becoming the new avatar of a strange and sinister demigod-one of the legendary runelords. Along with a team of mercenaries and adventurers, the crime-solving duo will need to delve into a secret world of dark magic and the legacy of a lost empire. But in saving the world, will Varian and Radovan lose their souls?

From bestselling author Dave Gross comes a fantastical tale of mystery, monsters, and mayhem in PATHFINDER TALES: LORD OF RUNES, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.


To be honest, I’ve been a fan of Pathfinder for quite some time, however sadly for me, the writing in this title felt sadly lacking. There wasn’t the excitement for me that the roleplay game brings to the table and all in, sadly felt that rather than improving on what has already been established that it was more of a cash in than something to further what is already there.

Add to this a plot that was fairly basic, didn’t have a whole lot going for it and sadly for me characters that were a little too predictable and all round I was disappointed.

Friday, 5 June 2015

FACTUAL REVIEW: Admiral Collingwood: Nelson's Own Hero - Max Adams

Release Date: 12/03/15
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


Admiral Lord Collingwood, the eldest son of a Newcastle merchant, went to sea in 1761 at the age of thirteen. In his nearly fifty years in the Navy he rose to become a fine seaman, a master of gunnery, a battle commander the equal of his friend - and rival in love - Nelson. He was also an accomplished writer and wit, a doting father, inveterate gossip and consummate diplomat and strategist.

Collingwood's service took him to Boston, where he lived and fought during the American War of Independence; to Antigua, where he and Nelson both fell in love with Mary Moutray; to Corsica; Sicily; and Menorca, where he began as a young midshipman and ended his career as the effective viceroy of the Mediterranean.

ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD is an intimate portrait of a forgotten British naval hero and a thrilling portrait of the glory years of the age of sail.


Considering the importance of men like Admiral Collingwood, I felt that this book was more than a little flat for me as a reader. He was a man with a sense of humour, a man who had worked his way up and when added to the fact that he was a contemporary as well as a rival of Nelson’s all round meant to me that his book should have really stood out.

Yes the author did their research, yes the piece had all the information required, but when you write a biography of someone as magnetic as Collingwood, you need to add more than a little polish to allow readers to grasp not only his brilliance but also to get a fuller flavour of the man himself.

HISTORICAL CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins - Antonia Hodgson

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  Hodder


Spring, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is dragged through the streets of London to the gallows at Tyburn. The crowds jeer and curse as he passes, calling him a murderer. He tries to remain calm. His name is Tom Hawkins and he is innocent. Somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him. It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy with Kitty Sparks. Life was good. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was 'bored and looking for adventure'. He should never have offered to help Henrietta Howard, the king's mistress, in her desperate struggles with a brutal husband. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man. Based loosely on actual events, Antonia Hodgson's new novel is both a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea and a standalone historical mystery. From the gilded cage of the Court to the wicked freedoms of the slums, it reveals a world both seductive and deadly. And it continues the rake's progress of Tom Hawkins - assuming he can find a way to survive the noose...


Ah, as a reader of Historical Crime, I love to spend time in the past with characters who not only feel real but demonstrate that no matter when you look in on the human condition that in some ways we’re all still as primitive as well as suffers of the same problems with just the technology changing.

Antonia returns to the time period of her first book “The Devil of Marshalsea” and goes on to further the story of Thomas Hawkins, a player and gamer who has now left the debtor’s prison to which he was within on the previous outing. Here you get a cracking murder mystery, a character who hopes for the intervention as we travel backwards and forwards as we see what has led him to his present predicament.

Its wonderfully rich, has some cracking supporting cast members and when you add good prose, cracking dialogue alongside an arc that readers will just love to spend time with leaves you in no doubt that Antonia’s world is not only rich but one you’ll want to spend plenty more time in.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Children of Time - Adiran Tchaikovsky

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  Tor UK


The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?


Adrian is an author I discovered when he released his epic Shadows of the Apt series. I loved the way he brought across a complex fantasy world that had such depth with a friendliness in such a way that you felt that you’d actually discovered a new culture all of your own. It’s a feeling other fans have echoed and whilst I will always return to that series as a pleasure read when I’m feeling down, I wanted to see how this new Science Fiction title would work and if it would have not only the same depth but also deliver what I love in a tale, a story of complexity but most of all characters that I want to spend time around.

Here within this book, the reader is treated to all this and more as the reader is treated to a futuristic battle for survival as the planet they seek to call home is in a different state from when Mankind terraformed it many years before. It’s a book that raises questions for us all to answer and as such makes the reader think of their own choices given the circumstances. Well written and as usual a joy to read, I can’t wait to see what Adrian will return with next time.

FICTION REVIEW: Plague Times Trilogy 2: Death is a Welcome Guest - Louise Welsh

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  John Murray


The second instalment in the thrilling new Plague Times trilogy from the author of A Lovely Way to Burn. Magnus McFall was a comic on the brink of his big break when the world came to an end. Now, he is a man on the run and there is nothing to laugh about. Thrown into unwilling partnership with an escaped convict, Magnus flees the desolation of London to make the long journey north, clinging to his hope that the sickness has not reached his family on their remote Scottish island. He finds himself in a landscape fraught with danger, fighting for his place in a world ruled by men, like his fellow traveller Jeb - practical men who do not let pain or emotions interfere with getting the job done. This is a world with its own justice, and new rules. Where people, guns and food are currency. Where survival is everything. Death is a Welcome Guest defies you to put it down, and leaves you with questions that linger in the mind long after you read the last page.


The Sweats has returned and for me made this a cracking fictional title as the world as we know it descends into chaos. Wonderfully written this rich story takes the reader into a believable future where the darkness of mankind wars against those who are left as life is not only cheap but can be bought or sold by the strong.

All round it’s a cracking story and with the way that the author brings it over to the reader, quickly draws them into the world. The dialogue works wonderfully well but for me, the best part was the principle character, I loved the way that he was accessable for readers, the way that we’d all feel if the world changed as we know it and when added to the authors descriptive ability made this a hard to put down title. Magic.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

FANTASY REVIEW: The Grim Company: Sword of the North - Luke Scull

Release Date: 12/03/15
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


It is the Age of Ruin, a time in desperate need of heroes. But heroes are in short supply. The only candidates - a motley company at best - are scattered to the four winds.

Former rebel Sasha has now become an unwilling envoy between the powerful. Eremul the Halfmage languishes in disgrace, his warnings of approaching war falling on deaf ears. Yllandris, sorceress of the High Fangs, servant to a demon lord, has become that which she most despises. Davarus Cole, assassin of the immortal, lies on the brink of death. The legendary champion Brodar Kayne carves a bloody path towards his enemy of old in search of the woman he thought dead...

In this, the second blistering instalment of Luke Scull's critically acclaimed trilogy THE GRIM COMPANY, past and present collide, plunging the Age of Ruin further into darkness...


The second Grim Company title and one that brings more bloodshed, death and of course high octane action to the fantasy reader as our hero’s march on. As with the previous it’s a title that gives the reader a huge cast, some solid twists and of course a fair few twists and turns that many won’t see coming.

Back this up with good prose, dialogue that just trips off the page as well as an addictive pace and all round the reader will be more than happy with this book. Definitely something in the vein of Barclay’s Raven series and one that will more than strike a chord with Cook’s Black Company fans.

FANTASY REVIEW: The Return of Ravanna 1: Pyre - David Hair

Release Date: 04/06/15
Publisher:  Jo Fletcher Books


Mandore, Rajasthan, 769 AD: Ravindra-Raj, the evil sorcerer-king, devises a deadly secret ritual, where he and his seven queens will burn on his pyre, and he will rise again with the powers of Ravana, demon-king of the epic Ramayana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of Aram Dhoop, the court poet.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, teenagers Vikram, Amanjit, Deepika and Rasita meet and realize that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries, and fight an ancient battle... one more time.


I love a journey that take me into something I’m not that familiar with and in this case this title by David Hair takes me on a journey into the mythos of India. Its quite refreshing to be thrust into something I know next to nothing about and when you add two timelines merging into the storyline, all round generates a book that I had a pretty good time reading.

That said however I did find in some places it dragged yet for the overall tale, it did feel pretty solid and with a clear love of the subject matter the passion of the author shines through. I’ll look forward to seeing what the second title hits back with.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Warner BrothersInteractive and Lego Announce Extra Features with Lego Dimensions

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Lego and Warner Brothers Interactive have let us know two pretty cool things.  Firstly they've confirmed the following as part of the Lego Dimensions Universe:

The Simpsons™,
Doctor Who,
Jurassic World™,
Midway Arcade,
LEGO® Chima ™,
Scooby Doo! ™

DC Comics,
The Lord of the Rings™,
The LEGO® Movie™,
The Wizard of Oz™,
LEGO® Ninjago™,
Back to the Future

And secondly, but for us the most important news, that each lego vehichle and gadget can be built and rebuilt and then re-rebuilt (3 in one uses).  (Whcih for us was a real part of the charm of lego in the first place.

Here's what they had to say:
"It was also revealed in a new trailer that every LEGO vehicle and gadget can be physically built and then rebuilt twice for a total of three different objects that do entirely different things in the digital game for massive variety. Once players earn a building achievement, they will get in-game instructions that show them how to use the same physical LEGO bricks to rebuild vehicles and gadgets into different objects that provide all-new abilities.

For example, the LEGO vehicle bricks that come in the Starter Pack can be used to build the LEGO Batmobile that enables players to activate accelerator switches. The Batmobile can be rebuilt and transformed into the LEGO Batblaster which adds Sonar Smash, a sonar gun that has the ability to break LEGO sonar bricks.  The vehicle can then be rebuilt again as the LEGO Sonic Batray which adds a special attack in the form of a missile barrage.  Players can fuse an upgraded vehicle to the LEGO Toy Tag, enabling them to take it and any new abilities with them to a friend’s game or wherever they’d like to play. Players can do this with every vehicle and every gadget from every pack."

Here's the trailer for you: 

We can't wait to start playing and to be honest I know that Christmas Day will be quite busy in my parents house when my nephews and niece land.  Especially when my Dad borrows Lego Dimensions, although to be honest, I don't know if the kids will be allowed to play as "They won't appreciate it on as many levels as I do."  (Both from my Brother and my Dad.).


HISTORY FACTUAL REVIEW: Kohima - Arthur Swinson

Release Date: 12/03/15
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


On 7 March 1944 Tokyo announced that the Japanese invasion of British India had begun. By mid-month, the Japanese 31st Division had crossed the Chindwin River in northern Burma, advancing on a wide front towards Imphal and Kohima. In bitter jungle fighting from early April, the British Fourteenth Army under Field Marshal Slim held the Japanese assault on Kohima Ridge. By late June the Japanese were in headlong retreat.

Kohima ranks for strategic importance with Alamein, Midway and Stalingrad. The increasing dominance of Allied airpower in the region in the aftermath of the battle was a major factor in turning the tide of the war in East Asia against the Japanese.

Drawing on documents and diaries from Japanese as well as Allied sources, Arthur Swinson, who served at Kohima, not only presents a thrilling and fascinating tale of heroism and combat action, but also analyses the political background to and long-term impact of a clash described by Mountbatten as 'one of the greatest battles in history'.


Whilst many think of the second world war being mainly Africa and Europe, my Grandfather was stationed in India with the RAF. Here in this book the author details around the Burma campaign which to many of those in the know was seen as vital as battles such as El-Alamain, so rather than read through the book myself, I passed it onto my grandfather who had a lot of knowledge about the campaign. Here’s what he told me:

All in, the book is well written by an author who has clearly done their research to bring the piece to the market does so in such a way that it is easily accessible for the reader. The title brings the reader into the campaign showing the real human cost emotionally as well as physically. Add to this a piece that doesn’t stint on detail of this attrition war alongside the light of heroism of those who fought and all round it’s a book that really will hit hard for the reader.

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Dragons of Heaven - Alyc Helms

Release Date: 02/06/15
Publisher:  Angry Robot


Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather. She also got his preternatural control of shadows and his enduring legacy as the legendary vigilante superhero, Mr Mystic. After a little work the costume fits OK, but Missy is far from experienced at fighting crime, so she journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather. She becomes embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the allegedly mythical nine dragon-guardians of all creation. When Lung Di - Lung Huang's brother and mortal enemy - raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier. It's a superhero novel, a pulp fantasy novel, with lashings of kung fu, immense kick-ass dragons and an unfailingly sympathetic heroine - yes, it's another wonderful Angry Robot title.


If you’re after something a little bit strange and weird then you might want to give Alyc’s book a try. Within the author blends Eastern mysticism alongside Heroic adventure as two different cultures crash for readers of Western Fantasy. Its definitely quirky, has some good twists alongside adding a principle character that readers will enjoy spending time with.

Back this up a solid arc, decent dialogue and a supporting cast that has you questing motives alongside long term schemes and all round it is a book that will leave you wanting more. Cracking.

Monday, 1 June 2015

SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY REVIEW: Wolfhoud Century 3: Radiant State - Peter Higgins

Release Date: 19/05/15
Publisher:  Gollancz


With his loving evocation of a dark and fantastical realm that owes much to the myth and history of 20th-century Russia, and his rare ability to combine poetic writing and kinetic plotting, Peter Higgins has created one of the most original and critically lauded works of recent years. Adored by critics and authors such as Hannu Rajaniemi, Ian McDonald and Richard Morgan the Wolfhound Century novels now reach their extraordinary conclusion.

In RADIANT STATE we discover both the glory and the true horror of Joseph Kantor's plan for the Vast and its people. It is a plan that transcends the boundaries of the world. And out in the depths of the endless forest that borders the Vast the mighty fallen angel and the powers of the earth itself will still have a part to play. Will Vissarion and Maroussia survive the violence of the end game?


As a reader who spends a lot of time hopping from one world to another, there is something delightfully delicious when you find a series that is so complex that its nigh impossible to describe to others without giving too much away. I love the way that you’re driven into this rich tapestry of a series and when the author knows how to twist and turn the world to suit the agenda’s of the characters alongside those in power, you know damn well that what you expect is probably the last thing that’s going to happen.

All round this series has been one that has been worth all the time and effort I’ve put into it as I’ve gotten so much from the authors writing. The prose is crisp, the characters pretty outstanding and when you add the machinations and double dealing into the fray alongside a writing style that just draws you in deeper, all round made this something that outstanding. Great work.

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Australia 1: Way Down Dark - James P Smythe

Release Date: 02/06/15
Publisher:  Hodder


The first in an extraordinary new YA trilogy by James Smythe, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

There's one truth on Australia: You fight or you die. Usually both.

Seventeen-year-old Chan's ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. They never found one.

The only life that Chan's ever known is one of violence, of fighting. Of trying to survive.

But there might be a way to escape. In order to find it, Chan must head way down into the darkness - a place of buried secrets, long-forgotten lies, and the abandoned bodies of the dead.

Seventeen-year-old Chan, fiercely independent and self-sufficient, keeps her head down and lives quietly, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the violence and disorder. Until the day she makes an extraordinary discovery - a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so would bring her to the attention of the fanatics and the murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger.

And a safe return to Earth is by no means certain


When an author has written adult fiction prior to attempting a young adult book, there are a fair number of itmes that they cannot translate the work so that it has not only a solid storyline but also allows readers to stay not only gripped to the twists and turns but presents it in such a way that it has enough detail to keep you informed without overstocking it to interrupt the storytelling.

What the author does exceptionally well is this title is bringing their protagonist across to the reader, she’s smart, she’s savvy and when you have it all thrown into a rather small world of a spaceship really helps give the readers a claustrophobic cramped feeling that demonstrates that no matter how far you try to run, sometimes its not just enough.

All round, the book was one that I had a lot of time for. I loved the descriptions, the prose and of course the plot weaving that worked exceptionally well for me. Back this up that it not only will please YA readers but a good few adults and for me, that’s the sign of an author with not only a cracking idea but one that translates for readers of all ages.