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Book Review

Mechanical Failure

Joe Zieja

Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja

I was quite unprepared for Mechanical Failure. While the blurb mentions it as a "sarcastic adventure", such a description doesn't do justice.

Set in the far future after Humanity has spread to the stars and now live in a different Galaxy, mankind has managed to endure Two Hundred years (and counting) of peace. For Sergeant R Wilson military was the perfect career - mostly involved with drinking, avoiding work and hosting epic barbecues. Eventually though Wilson decides to expand...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 18th July 2016
Book Review

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was originally funded as a small kickstarter project and self-published as a result. It was such a hit that it found a big publisher, got nominated for a ton of awards and has been raved about by many, many people. What struck me in particular wasn't just what everyone was saying or how many awards it was nominated for. What raised my interest was the type of awards that were included - it was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award (always one to wa...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 11th July 2016
Book Review

The Long Cosmos

Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett

And so we come at last to the final volume in the remarkable journey that is The Long Earth. It also happens to be the swansong of that singular author Sir Terry Pratchett.

And what a finale it is. The Long Cosmos lives up to the promise the authors have been building with this series, it is quite simply breath-taking. A vision that goes far beyond the boundries that the Long Earth already presented us with and far our into an endless multitude of space.

I've been wai...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 4th July 2016
Book Review

The Kings Justice

Stephen Donaldson

The Kings Justice by Stephen Donaldson

The Kings Justice is one of two new stories released this month from one of the veterans of the Fantasy scene - Stephen Donaldson.

It's a tale of an enigmatic figure known only as Black who goes in search of evil deeds. He has powers that help him route out evil, not least the ability to manipulate people to his will. He can also sniff out the bad and often trace it back to it's source.

The Kings Justice see's Black investigate a murder in the sleepy village of...

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Review written by Ant on Wednesday 29th June 2016
Book Review

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August got me hooked into Claire North's (also known as Kate Griffin and Catherine Webb) wonderfully rich, clever and entertaining stories. As such I've been eagerly awaiting The Sudden Appearance of Hope for some time.

One of the things that really draws you into the authors works is the idea, with Harry August it was this select group of people who exist in a loop, repeating their life over and over again. This time the bright idea ...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 27th June 2016
Book Review

Mongrels

Stephen Graham Jones

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

Mongrels is a book that grips you by the jugular right from the start, a bit like the way a werewolf might. Funny enough that's what Mongrels is all about - a family of werewolves who are forced to travel around the USA avoiding the authorities and others who take a dislike their kind. It's a country that shuns them at every turn and we see this journey, this forced isolation, from the viewpoint of a young boy as he grows up.

His family consist of aunt Libby and uncle Darren...

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Review written by Ant on Friday 24th June 2016
Book Review

Powers

Brian Michael Bendis

Powers by Brian Michael Bendis

A continuation of the story from the comic books, Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim is a standalone novel, that links into the comic book story arc. Fans of the Playstation Network TV series may notice a few inconsistencies in terms of the background of its principle character, Deena Pilgrim, but any prior knowledge of this, or the comic book series, does give a clear image of the characters and their world.

The novel from Kleid and Bendis doesn’t rely on its visual bagg...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Monday 20th June 2016
Book Review

Dark Sky

Mike Brooks

Dark Sky by Mike Brooks

The crew of the Keiko are back. Mike Brooks hammers out the sequel to his epic, sci-fi adventure, Dark Run; Dark Sky, and it truly is an incredible adventure. It continues the rapid-fire wit from the first, harkens back to the space opera/western of Firefly and blends two different perspectives on this rising revolution plot that will have you hooked from start to finish.

The plot picks up where Dark Run left off. After stealing a ton of money from the multiple bank accounts of Icha...

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Review written by Sam on Friday 17th June 2016
Book Review

The Medusa Chronicles

Alastair Reynolds & Stephen Baxter

The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds

A collaboration between Science Fiction greats,  Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds, The Medusa Chronicles picks up the story of Arthur C. Clarke's A Meeting with Medusa a Nebula Award winning novella published in Playboy in 1971. It takes the story of Howard Falcon, from his shattered aftermath into a new era of humanity, where artificial intelligence, sentient primates and further discoveries of alien indigenous life on Jupiter gradually shape the ideologies of human society over t...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 15th June 2016
Book Review

The Complete Double Dead

Chuck Wendig

The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig

The world is a terrible place to live after the zombie apocalypse, but probably for none more so than a vampire.  Without humans, the blood supply is all dried up, unless you find a random animal.  The buildings are decayed and in ruin, with gaping holes the sunlight streams through and providing easy access which makes a sleeping nightwalker a sitting duck for the walking dead.  That’s the reality that the vampire named Coburn wakes up to -- he doesn’t know how long he slept, he just ...

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Review written by Colin on Monday 13th June 2016
Book Review

Night Shift

Charlaine Harris

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

Night Shift continues the story of the rich and rewarding urban fantasy series Midnight Texas by Charlaine Harris.

Harris writes fiction that is comforting, warm and relaxing with a feeling of the familiar. Her characters are people you want to meet and (mostly) befriend. Those who frequent the little sleepy town of Midnight are no exception. A cast who include a talking cat, a witch, a vampire and others who clearly aren't entirely (some even remotely) human. They are fascinating and...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 6th June 2016
Book Review

Creation Machine

Andrew Bannister

Creation Machine by Andrew Bannister

I’m always guilty of making snap judgements of books and their covers. Sci-fi covers don’t tend to help. Andrew Bannister’s The Creation Machine is not going to draw you in with its generic spaceship framed by a generic planet, and the woefully reductive, sensationalist logline of ‘It helped create a galaxy, now it might destroy one.’

Such a good debut really deserves better.

The far future tale is one of redemption, of the futility of rebelling against the syste...

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Review written by Danny on Wednesday 25th May 2016
Book Review

The Malice

Peter Newman

The Malice by Peter Newman

The Malice is the follow-up to one of my favourite fantasy reads last year, Peter Newmans The Vagrant. It's a story set in a post-apocalyptic future where forgotten technology intermingles with demonspawn and twisted lands full of twisted mutants.

It had the dark, haunted flavour of Stephen Kings Dark Tower series and shared the same confidence of voice. Impressive when you consider it was the authors debut novel.

Where The Vagrant followed the mute, enigmatic protagonist of u...

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Review written by Ant on Wednesday 18th May 2016
Book Review

The Fireman

Joe Hill

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is one of those authors who improves with each book and The Fireman is nothing short of spectacular.

A highly contagious spore has begun to spread across the World, a pandemic that see's people break out in beautiful gold and black marks before spontaneously self-combusting. Draco Incendia Trychophyton, more commonly known as Dragonscale infects millions in a short space of time with blazes breaking out everywhere. No one is safe, there is no antidote and seemingly no cure....

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Review written by Ant on Monday 16th May 2016

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
- Stephen King

Book of the month

Nod by Adrian Barnes
Nod by Adrian Barnes
books for 2016

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