Book Review – No Hero by Jonathan Wood

My review of No Hero by Jonathan Wood over at Fantasy Book Review. 8/10

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Jonathan-Wood/No-Hero.html

What would Kurt Russell Do? With this line alone what other introduction do you need.

Well, he would write this book, but he didn’t, Jonathan Wood did, so maybe the question should be, ‘What would Jonathan Wood Do’, which kind of answers itself.

Serial killings, a Secretive Government Agency and more horrors from beyond than you can shake a leg at, or throw a Tango and Cash quip at. No Hero is a great addition to the Urban Fantasy genre. It’s fun, quirky and engaging in the best tongue, cheek and tentacle kind of way.

Arthur Wallace, veteran cop comes face to feeler with sword wheeling women, headless bodies, creatures of destruction and more government oversight than a public servant knows how to deal with. Accepting a promotion to the weird, wild and wonderful world of MI37, if ever there was a time for W.W.K.R.D, its now.

Wallace while coming across a little immature as a character, appeals to my 80’s action hero core, throwing punches and one-liners with ease, as well as providing an amusing narrative to the reader.   The supporting characters, Clyde the magician, popping batteries like candy is the nerd who can pack a serious magical punch. Gothic Tabitha, is goth and all knowing, theone stop shop for information, keeping Arthur in and out of trouble. Kayla is the muscle, a super scottswoman with a sword. She would eat Conan for breakfast, no lamentations required.

The story in No Hero is fast paced, increasing ever forward towards its final conclusion. If you like your Dresden, Nightside, Lovecraft and 80’s action hero, then this is the book for you.

For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.

Book Review – The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R Green

My book review of The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R Green over at Fantasy Book Review 8/10

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Simon-R-Green/The-Man-with-the-Golden-Torc.html

The names Bond, Shaman Bond. Have Torc will save world, no martini required, I’m a becks man.

If you are a fan of the Nightside books you are going to love Eddie Drood in the Secret History novels. Eddie Drood aka Shaman Bond (yes, it’s on purpose) is one of the Drood families Secret Field Agent, protecting humanity from itself and everyone and anything else that comes along. The Droods, all powerful, all knowing, all screwed up, are the hidden protector of man, armed with magic, science and their Golden Torc’s, nothing can stand in their way, not even themselves.

For every darkside there is a light, and the Secret History’s is this light, except when it’s dark, which is most of the time really. Taking place in the same universe as the Nightside (with a few cameos in later books), every weird and wonderful horror conjured by Simon R. Green is equalled in weirdness and flavour, giving the reader that head scratching Lovecraftian buzz.

A dark fantasy with its tongue planted firmly in its own cheek, all the things you loved about James Bond are mixed with the wild and insane magic and whirlwind of melodrama you could ask for in a Flemmingesk and Fantasy tale.

Eddie is just one of those characters you love, always in over his head, an idealist with a practical do what needs to be done edge. Whatever can go wrong inevitably will go wrong and at the worst possible moment. Throw in some on the nose, witty, satirical lines and you have nailed Eddie Drood.

At times I did find a slight repletion of concepts as Green drives home the family history and lays out the world to the reader, and with a history over 2000 years old there is a lot to cover. While not the sexiest element, it does lay a good foundation for the later books.

I started this series two weeks ago and I am now onto book four. Simon R. Green’s Nightside and Secret History novels are on my list of book you sit down with on a lazy Sunday and read start to finish in one sitting.

Sorry no Money Penny, SPOILER, Ethel does turn up later.

For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.

Book Review – A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

My review of A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall over at Fantasy Book Review. 8.5/10

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Alex-Marshall/A-Crown-for-Cold-Silver.html

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.

Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner. [OFFICAL BLURB]

The first time you pick up A Crown of Cold Silver your first thought is whoa, this is one spicy meatball, simply it is massive, and I mean Sanderson Word of Radiance large. This book puts the epic in Epic Fantasy.  But, don’t be afraid, pull up a chair, send the kids to the Grandparents and drop the dogs off at the kennels. Settle in for the weekend in a comfy chair because you’re not going anywhere until it’s done.

The story begins with some great opening chapters, introducing you to Zosia a retired legendary General and now Mayor of a small mountain hamlet, slaughtered mercilessly for no apparent reason. Setting out to find answers and seek righteous retribution, old bones once more carry the heavy vengeful weight and fire of a general thought and hoped dead, down a long bloody road.

The plot is fast paced and you eat up the pages easily. It does taper off in sections for the first quarter, as we are introduced to the other characters, but kicks into gear once for the rest of the book. This is where is gets really good.

Zosia is a strong female protagonist (and I do like a strong female lead), she’s an old force with an inner strength and a dark humor, a humor which is also reflected thought the rest of the story and her villainous captains. They are a war hardened, taking life as it comes bunch, even with a few new additions to the campaign, there is a well written familiarity (good and bad) in the group which helps the reader along very nicely.

The world is inhabited with a good mix of races and cultures, Gods, monsters (physiological and physical) and demons.  It has it all and you’ll love each element of it. The story as a whole is self-contained with plenty of room for further books, and I do hope there is more. While only a small negative and still very good, I did find the people and world elements at times coming across as recognisable and familiar, small aspects I have read before in other stories. These little flashes thankfully do not detract from the story as a whole.

A Crown of Cold Silver reminded me a little of The City by Stella Gemmell in its structure and construct and Joe Abercrombie books in its dark motifs. If you like your Sanderson, Gemmell and Abercrombie then this is the book for you. Interested, you can even read the first seven chapters online.

For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.

General Muttering – River Song young to old episode list

I have been meaning to do this up for myself for an age so I can sit down and watch in the order River experience the Doctor in.

Doctor_Who_Logo

  • A Good Man Goes to War, S06E07 – Baby & River Song.
  • The Impossible Astronaut, S06E01 – Little Girl.
  • Day of the Moon, S06E02 – Little Girl.
  • Let’s Kill Hitler, S06E08 – Mels.
  • Closing Time, S06E12 – River Song.
  • The Wedding of River Song, S06E12 – River Song.
  • First Night, Mini-episode (Night and the Doctor) – River Song.
  • Last Night, Mini-episode (Night and the Doctor) – River Song.
  • The Pandorica Opens, S05E12 – River Song.
  • The Big Bang, S05E13 – River Song.
  • The Time of Angels, S05E04 – River Song.
  • Flesh and Stone, S05E05 – River Song.
  • The Angels Take Manhattan, S07E05 – River Song.
  • Rain Gods, Mini-episode.
  • Silence in the Library, S04E08 – River Song.
  • Forest of the Dead, S04E09, – River Song.
  • The Name of the Doctor, S07E14 – Memory of Rover Song.

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Book Review – Shadow Stalker Separate Paths Ep 10 by Renee Scattergood

Episode 8 300 dpiAuren finally meets Shai, Kado’s daughter, but she is too weak from her months of torture to escape the reconciliation center. Makari takes over Shai’s cleansing sessions, but that means Auren will face daily torture again. To make things worse, Makari disappears and Auren is given a task that means taking the life of someone she loves.

Face to face with Shai, Kado’s daughter Auren resolves to rescue her alongside herself and her father.  Shia is beaten after long months of torture, but not broken.  Auren’s arrival gives her the strength to hold on.  The glimpses of Shia are a good parallel to what Auren would have faced if not for Makari and provide a strong comparison point to her own suffering.

Compassion and strength are required as Auren’s father lays a terrible promise on her, she must survive at any cost.  Stark choices in dark times are a good staple of a strong tale and while Auren knows this to be true, she will do anything she can to avoid.

With no other choice Auren must ensure Shia is strong enough to escape and travel, entrusting her care and recovery to Makari,  leaving her in the hands of more zealous guides.  There is a strength in fear and helping others which shines through in Auren actions and her desire to help Shia.  These styles of characters are always a pleasure to read, they grow in strength with each page and story.

Escape and a release, lose and freedom await Auren and Makari.  Separated Auren and Markari must find there own path before meeting once more.

Purchasing links:

Smashwords
Kindle

bratpicRenee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has also published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.

You can also read a review of Shadow Stalker Ep 9 Turning Tides here.

If you wish to learn more about Renee, you can by visiting her site http://reneescattergood.com as well as read my interview with Renee here.