Thursday, 20 September 2018

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Wormwood Trilogy 1: Rosewater - Tade Thompson

RELEASE DATE:  20/09/18


PUBLISHER:  Orbit

SYNOPSIS:
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless - people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumoured healing powers.
Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn't care to again - but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realisation about a horrifying future.


REVIEW:
I love books that take convention and add some new pieces ot the puzzle and to be honest I've been enjoying Afrofuturism for quite some time (N K Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor) and this novel is no exception.

Taking place in Nigeria in 2066, the book brings the land to life for me in my imagination, the cultures within, the supporting cast and perhaps best of all a lead character that I wanted to spend time around as he weaves his way through double dealing and danger to get to the truth.

its well written, the prose is wonderful and when added to solid storytelling alongside dialogue that helps you get closer to the characters all round gives you something  a little special.  Back this up with some clever twists and turns alongside foibles for the cast all round makes this futuristic outlook a must read for all genre fans.  A great book and one that I'm pleased to have had recommended.

Friday, 7 September 2018

FANTASY REVIEW: Poison wars 1: City of Lies - Sam Hawke

RELEASE DATE:  23/08/18

PUBLISHER:   Bantam Press

SYNOPSIS:
I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me . . .

Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.

His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.

Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising . . . and angry.

This fabulous epic fantasy debut will appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie and Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb and Mark Lawrence and all points in between.


REVIEW:
I've been hearing a lot of good things from various friends at Bantam about this book for quite some time, so I was more than happy to dive in when a copy landed upon my doorstep. 

What Sam brings to the fore, in this her debut book, is a tale that has a lot of the elements that I love in modern fantasy, intrigue, double dealing, ruthless ambition blended with solid action sequences and of course morals that give the characters within not only their own codes but their own outlook on their existence that leads to more than some interesting points of view.

The book is delightfully written with great prose and pace that keeps the story moving, also reflecting on presenting a believable world and when you add into this characters that feel fleshed enough to pass on the street, all round makes this a book that was not only hard to put down but for me presented a title that was so much of a highlight that I'm sure it will make my top five books of the year.

I really can't wait to see what Sam has in store for future outings and if the following match this one for quality and development, all round will make her a firm name on fan's buy lists for quite some time to come.  Trust me, get this title now, I really can see the book getting optioned for something soon and personally is a book I can't recommend enough to fantasy fans.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

FANTASY REVIEW: The Age of Dread Trilogy 2: Magefall - Stephen Aryan

RELEASE DATE:  06/09/18
PUBLISHER: 
ORBIT


SYNOPSIS:
When magic is feared, the mages must learn to fight for themselves in this powerful sequel to the standout epic fantasy Mageborn by Stephen Aryan.

The land is in turmoil. Mages are hunted by men and gods alike. Even their own kind betray each other in the name of safety and protection.

With their last refuge fallen, two young mages must conspire against a god to show the world that their abilities aren't a curse; they are the only way to ensure lasting peace. Under the threat of anti-magic fanatics, Wren struggles to find her place as a leader and to keep her people safe as they build a new home. While Danoph searches for answers on a spiritual journey, determined to find out who he really is and where he came from in an effort to calm the coming storm.

Their world has turned against them, yet only they can save the world.


REVIEW:
The second book in the series and to be honest you can tell that its the middle  book in the trilogy because it feels to have a lot of filler within the pages to me.  That's not saying its bad, the writing is solid, the characters are definitely interesting but for me its the pace that leads me to feel this way as it seems to meander in some places.

All in, I am still enjoying the series and this book has helped add a little extra flavour to the world as well as allowing more character development and I suspect that the way that these events will unfurl will end up with one hell of a climax where we discover that the villain isn't quite as black as we suspect.

NEWS: We're Back!!!!

Hello,
We're back after a summer hiatus and to be honest we've got a whole heap of treats to come for the rest of the year. 

We've got some cracking game news and reviews, some top notch book titles to come as well as keeping you up to date with everything and hopefully some fun idea's for gifts.

Enjoy the blog,


Gareth and Lady Eleanor

Thursday, 19 July 2018

BOOK NEWS: Pre-Order Bonus - Penguin Random House

Hail Mighty Readers,
Our friends at Penguin Random House have let us know about this fab offer for those who pre-order Timothy Zahn's forthcoming book (out the 26th July) Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances through this special site:

Pre-Order Page

With it you'll not only get this galactic release but also a Pin of Thrawns Rank to add to your own special collection.  We cannot wait to add this to our normal everyday civvies to let the people know that we too have achieved rank in the Imperial Navy.   The only question is, can you do the same.  I mean just look at how cool this pin is:


So rank up an join today, remember:


All the best,


Gareth and Lady Eleanor

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY CRIME REVIEW: Witchmark - CL Polk

RELEASE DATE:  19/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Tor/Forge

SYNOPSIS:
C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!
In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.
Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn't leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can't hide what he truly is.
When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles' healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient's murder. To find the truth he'll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he's ever seen.


REVIEW:
I love a book that's a bit different to a lot of whats out there and whilst its starting to become a bit of a trend to have a crime novel in a fantasy setting, this title from CL  brings cracking world building to the fore alongside characters that are fully rounded whom you'd love to spend time with, so much so that putting the book down will be a real hardship.

Add to this great prose, some top notch twists alongside some political machinations to help muddy the waters alongside the characters trying to fight for their own beliefs and desires which colours the story and all round you have a cracking novel that leaves you desiring more.  A cracking example of a story done well and with the building that has gone into the piece, plenty of scope for future outings.  A real joy to read.

Monday, 25 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE REVIEW: The Psy Changling Series: Ocean Light - Nalini Singh

RELEASE DATE:  14/06/18
PUBLISHER:  Gollancz

SYNOPSIS:
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love . . .

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment - taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling . . .
Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret that Bo could never imagine . . .
But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back - even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy.


REVIEW:
It's no secret that I've not been the biggest fan of some of Nalini's previous titles but this one seems to be back on the money giving the readers what they want as well as exploring some new area's that have been teased at in previous outings.

As you'd expect the characters are what really sells the books and lets face it a bit or romance with a person who is not completely of this world is a dream for many.  The story is engaging, the plotline wonderful and whilst some typical Urban Fantasy alagories do make appearances, the dialogue and bonding of the principle players is what sells it.

All round a welcome return to form for me and I really look forward to seeing what will occur in future outings especially if we get to delve more into the unknown cultures within her world.