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Book Review

Hex

by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Thomas Olde Heuvelt won last years Hugo award for his novelette The Day the World Turned Upside Down. Reading Hex I can see why.

The idea is incredible — A woman named Katharine is killed as a witch in the 16th Century and then begins haunting the woods around the village of Black Spring where she lived and died. Eventually the army march the woods and find the vengeful spirit, restricting her powers by sewing up her eyes and mouth. All those present die. Centuries pass and the vill...

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reviewed by Ant on Sunday 01 May 2016
Book Review

The Guns Of Ivrea

by Clifford Beal

The Guns Of Ivrea by Clifford Beal

The Guns of Ivrea is a seafaring fantasy adventure that immediately establishes its author, Clifford Beal as eminently knowledgeable in his chosen subject area and a strong storyteller to boot.

Our plot revolves around the fortunes of Nicolo Danamis, a pirate in the same vein as Sir Francis Drake, in that he is state sponsored in his actions.. He has achieved his position by being the son of a great pirating adventurer and when first meet him, the burden of this legacy weighs heavil...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Thursday 21 April 2016
Book Review

Bigfoot Loose and Fin Fancy Free

by Randy Henderson

Bigfoot Loose and Fin Fancy Free by Randy Henderson

Phineas (Finn) Gramayare has an unusual occupation. He's a part-trained necromancer, returned to the mortal world after being exiled to the Fairy realm for 25 years for a crime he didn't commit. Finn has decided to use his connections to offer a match-making service for magical creatures as a side-business.

His time in the Fairy realm has made it's mark in a number of ways, not least with the fact he has a Fey Spirit called Alynon trapped in his head. Finn also feels like he's misse...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 18 April 2016
Book Review

The Year of the Flood

by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is the second novel in Margaret Atwood's post-apocalyptic series and follows the viewpoints of Toby and Ren, members of a religious cult. The book tells the story of some of the events leading up to the cataclysm mentioned in the previous novel Oryx and Crake and there is a good deal of crossover with Jimmy (Snowman) and Crake given some cameo roles. If you haven't read Oryx and Crake I would recommend reading that first — although it's not essential and the way Atwood s...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 11 April 2016
Book Review

Artificial

by Jadah McCoy

Artificial by Jadah McCoy

Artificial by Jadah McCoy is the authors debut and the first book in a planned series called The Kepler Chronicles. Set in 2256, the story unfolds on Earth’s first colony amongst the stars, the aforementioned Kepler.

As humanity traversed through the deep dark of space, they decided to entrust their well-being to artificial life they’d created to endure the vast loneliness of the journey, androids. Unfortunately, they didn’t take into consideration how their creations might feel abo...

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reviewed by Lisa Trott on Friday 08 April 2016
Book Review

Medusa's Web

by Tim Powers

Medusa's Web by Tim Powers

Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers follows the story of siblings, Scott and Madeline, required to stay for a week in their aunt’s house by her recently amended will. Their cousins Claimayne and Ariel, who live in the house are less than pleased by this requirement.

The story has a creepy atmosphere, Scott and Madeline don’t know what is going to happen next or why they have been told to stay there, which keeps the reader guessing also. As the story unfolds it is hard to know who is aiming...

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reviewed by Karen Fishwick on Wednesday 06 April 2016
Book Review

Nod

by Adrian Barnes

Nod by Adrian Barnes

Like all the best novels, Nod develops from a simple premise. Imagine that the vast majority of people around the world suddenly stopped being able to sleep. No deep sleep, no cat-naps and no snoozing at all. It's only a matter of time before society collapses. How many times have we had a bad nights sleep and felt tired the following day, or even a series of poor nights (any parents will understand this).

The human body needs sleep, it needs to switch off from all the myraid sensua...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 04 April 2016
Book Review

Landfall – The Tales of Albion

by Peter Newman

Landfall – The Tales of Albion by Peter Newman

Fresh from the publication of The Vagrant and all worthy plaudits assigned to this, Peter Newman’s next book, set in the world of the Albion Online MMORPG is a very different affair.

We follow the trials and tribulations of Tia, her daughters and her crew as they first arrive in Albion, having had their ship, the Sturdy Girl shot out from under them by an unprovoked attack by Augustus Cornell, a retired military officer, leading another expedition to the new land.

As with ...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Saturday 02 April 2016
Book Review

The Splintered Gods

by Stephen Deas

The Splintered Gods by Stephen Deas

Book six of the Memory of Flames series picks up right from the moment book five – Dragon Queen ends. This time we’re in the ruined aftermath of Zafir’s ride to destroy the city of Dhar Thosis and Baros Tsen T’Varr is contemplating the ruination of his plans.

This is not a book to read without the rest of the series as there are references to all sorts of things from across the . Once again, it has a swollen quality to it, but for different reasons. Deas is trying to pull together t...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Thursday 31 March 2016
Book Review

The Snow Leopard

by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Every so often I like to lift my head above the science fiction and fantasy world and read something unconnected. Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen was the choice this time, a classic novel of discovery.

Matthiessen was a literary giant, the only writer to win the National Book Award for both fiction and non-fiction. Winning the 1979 Contemporary Thought Award and 1980 General Non-Fiction award for this very book along. He also won the 2008 Fiction Award and the 2010 William Dean Ho...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 28 March 2016
Book Review

The Whispering Death

by Sara Jayne Townsend

The Whispering Death by Sara Jayne Townsend

Live roleplaying, ritual sacrifice and 14th century magic. There’s a lot of buttons being pushed right upfront in Sara Townsend’s very English hobby horror.

We begin amidst a woodland adventure with our main characters introduced in a blur between real (fictional) life and their fantasy characters questing through a forest in the dark. There’s a clear sense of Townsend writing from experience here as the mechanics are laid out carefully to set up the plot which will become the main ...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Thursday 24 March 2016
Book Review

The Human Division

by John Scalzi

The Human Division by John Scalzi

John Scalzi is a household name as character-driven sci-fi goes. The Human Division, 5th in his Old Man’s War series detailing the fate of the Colonial Union and it’s increasingly tenuous relationship with the Earth, is actually the first I’ve read. This sequel to Zoe’s Tale concerns the new diplomatic priorities of the Colonial Union as they try and stabilise their fractured alliance with Earth and stay on the right side of the alien federation known as The Conclave. Out-gunned, out-‘manned’...

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reviewed by Danny on Monday 21 March 2016

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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