Monday, 27 February 2017

VIDEO GAME NEWS: Middle Earth: Shadow of War - Warner Brothers Interactive

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Our friends at Warner Brothera have let us know about the forthcoming Shadow of War, here's what they had to say:

"Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced Middle-earth: Shadow of War™, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor™, winner of more than 50 industry awards, including 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards’ Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation in Gaming at the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards and the BAFTA for Game Design. Developed by Monolith Productions, Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ features an original story with the return of Talion and Celebrimbor, who must go behind enemy lines to forge an army and turn all of Mordor against the Dark Lord, Sauron.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War™, players wield a new Ring of Power and confront the deadliest of enemies, including Sauron and his Nazgul, in a monumental battle for Middle-earth. The open-world action-adventure game is brought to life through the expansion of the award-winning Nemesis System. The robust personalization from the first game is now applied to the entire world where the environments and characters are all shaped by player actions and decisions, creating a personal world unique to every gameplay experience.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ will be available for Xbox One, Project Scorpio, Windows 10 PC (Windows Store and Steam™), PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®4 Pro beginning 25 August, 2017. Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ will be available as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.

“Monolith Productions continues to innovate by introducing deeper, more personalised gameplay experiences, coupled with authentic storytelling,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ truly drives the genre forward by taking the Nemesis System to new heights and allowing players to create their own personal journey within Middle-earth.”

“Following the amazing reception to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor™, we massively expanded every dimension of the game, including the world, the story, the RPG systems, the core gameplay and of course the personal player stories of the Nemesis System,” said Michael de Plater, Vice President, Creative, Monolith Productions. “As lifelong fans of Middle-earth, we are so grateful to have the privilege to bring to life the most incredible fantasy world ever created in a new way, for a new generation. With Middle-earth: Shadow of War™, we can’t wait to see the amazing stories players are going to create and share.”

The innovative Nemesis System created unique personal stories through procedurally-generated enemies who remember every encounter and are differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ expands this innovation with the introduction of Followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis Fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.

Set between the events of The Hobbit™ and The Lord of the Rings™, Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ continues the original narrative of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor™. Players will be engrossed in a richer, more personal and expansive world full of epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, even more personalities and a new cast of characters with untold stories.

As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, players can purchase a digital version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ once and play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Gamers can pick up where they left off on another Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, bringing all the saves, game add-ons and achievements with them at no additional cost."

For more information or to join the Middle-earth: Shadow of War conversation, visit or find them on YouTube (ShadowofWarGame), Facebook (ShadowofWarGame), Twitter (@ShadowofWarGame), Instagram (ShadowofWarGame), Twitch (MonolithLive) and our Lithium Community (ShadowOfWar).

NEWS: We're Back

Hail Mighty Readers and Followers of the Calloused Thumbs,
Yes, its true, we're back.  Having recently undergone massive locational renovations (Ok so two bedrooms, a lounge, a bathroom and a kitchen) we are now back in a position to get back to what we love and thats bringing you, our readers and friends, the latest in Books, News and Video games.  

We thank you for staying with us during this period and we'll be bringing you a whole ton of fun over the next few month.

All the best,

Gareth and Lady Eleanor

Friday, 24 February 2017

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Robert Hunter 8: The Caller - Chris Carter

Release Date: 24/02/17
Publisher: Simon and Schuster


After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.

Karen is gagged and bound to a chair in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call, if she looks away from the camera, he will come after her next, the deep, raspy, demonic voice at the other end of the line promises her.

As Hunter and Garcia investigate the threats, they are thrown into a rollercoaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.


The eighth book by Chris to feature lead character Robert Hunter and each offering really takes the reader from the opening page into an almost cinematic story as each page turns. As with his other books the writing is crisp, the prose sharp but above all else its his characters that really bring the whole world to life.

Add to this solid dialogue, a cracking overall arc that adds more to Hunters mythos and all round it was a very satisfying read. Just be aware that some of the subject matter can be unsettling especially if you hear a phone ring at the wrong time. Cracking.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

URBAN NOIR REVIEW: Road Kill - Hanna Jameson

Release Date: 01/12/16
Publisher: Head of Zeus


From the queen of urban noir, a new thriller set in the nowhereland between New York and LA.

Eli and Ronnie are two British ex-cons on the road in America. Their mission is to find Trent, a guy who screwed them over and disappeared. But now, after forty hours driving through yellow desert, eating at lonely motels, what seemed real is no longer certain. Where did Trent stay? What did he do? Did he even exist at all?

Leaving violent killings in their wake, Ronnie and Eli can do nothing except keep travelling. Now, trapped in a nightmarish road trip together, these two men must confront their own personal demons before they can come home.


There are some books that you see where they're going from a mile off and sit back to enjoy the journey safe in the knowledge of certain scenary that's going to appear, then you get titles like this one by Hanna that is a magical mystery tour where nothing is set, no one is safe and the only thing you can be sure on is that its going to be thrilling from start to finish with you not wanting to miss a single scene.

What occurs within is a tale that is high octane blended with the odd lull for you to catch your breath before the author does something unpredictable to throw you onto a new track. It works wonderfully well and with a cracking writing style helps it move along as the pages keep turning. Add to the mix solid dialogue and all round I was a more than happy reader. I can't wait to see what she has in store for future outings.