Thursday, 18 June 2015

A clash of kings

A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Animorphs #1 The Invasion



Animorphs
Animorphs
#1 The Invasion
K.A. Applegate
 "Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He may tell you about the night he and his friends saw the strange light in the sky. He may even tell you about what happened when they realized the "light" was only a plan -- from another planet. Here's where Jake's story gets a little weird. It's where they're told that the human race is under attack -- and given the chance to fight back.

Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco have the power to morph into any animal they choose. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil that is greater than anything the world has ever seen..."

All the Pretty Horses



All the Pretty Horses
All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy
 "The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself.  With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood"

The Maximortal



The Maximortal
The Maximortal
Rick Veitch
 "Seven years before The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier and Clay, Rick Veitch married the larcenous history of the comics business to the outrageous themes and characters of his infamous Brat Pack universe, creating one of the most startling and uncompromising visions of the super-hero archetype ever put to paper."

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Transmetropolitan



Transmetropolitan
Transmetropolitan
Warren Ellis
& Darrick Robertson

   A warning up front, this review is an overview of the entirety of Transmetropolitan and contains minor spoilers and plot points from throughout the series’ run. If you don’t want to have the series spoiled I’ll leave you here with my basic thoughts.
   Transmetropolitan is a fantastic piece of work. With hilarious characters and a wild, anarchic sense of humour but also a lot of genuine heart.
   It’s sleazy cyberpunk style is given substance by an intelligent politically fueled narrative that any comics fan should check out some time.
  
   Now, if you’re already familiar with the series or aren’t too concerned about spoilers, we can continue to the main review…

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Felix the Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails



Felix the Cat The Great Comic Book Tails
Felix the Cat
The Great Comic Book Tails
 Edited by Craig Yoe 
& Don Oriolo
 "Well over two-hundred pages showcase Felix's magic carpet trips to surreal lands, time's past, and into Toy Land, as well as his hilarious domestic adventures."

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015 || Maskerade



Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015
Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015

   I, like many others, was devastated a few weeks ago by the sudden death of Terry Pratchett.
   I’ve been a fan of  Pratchett’s Discworld series for a couple of years now and have made my way through the first eighteen books in the series, adding many of the later books to my TBR shelf.
   With more than seventy books under his belt, he was certainly among the most prolific authors of the modern age. He has written stories across multiple genres, and age groups, and his Discworld series has gone on to become one of the world’s most loved fantasy series, even if it spends its time poking fun at that very genre.
   He was responsible for some of the funniest stories and memorable characters ever committed to the page. He was a great talent and will be sorely missed.

   I was deeply saddened to hear of his death, but decided to face it the way I think he would want his fans to….by having a laugh.
   And what better way to do so than with a Discworld book?

-----------------------------------------------------------

Maskerade
Maskerade
Terry Pratchett
 "THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT...
The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar eveil mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress...
At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing.
So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evenin's entertainment with murders you can really hum...)"

   Maskerade is the Discworld equivalent of Gaston Laroux’s Phantom of the Opera, a story which, due to the over saturation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, I really can’t stand, which made the parody of this book all the sweeter.

   The book sees the witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg travel to Ankh-Morpork to claim royalties for a cookbook written by Nanny Ogg “The joye of snacks” which has become a major publishing success due to the recipes’….aphrodisiac qualities. While there they check in on Agnes Nitt, (a young woman from Lancre, recently moved to Ankh-Morpork in an attempt to start an acting career) to try and convince her to join the coven. While meeting her, they find themselves wrapped up in solving the mystery of the opera ghost, a masked figure who watches the play from a private box, and has begun to murder the cast members.

   This was the most enjoyable Discworld novel I’ve read in some time. The witches are ranked high among my favourite characters in the series and I always enjoy the interactions between them and, of course, their interactions with the flummoxed citizens they come into contact with.
   This book was no different, with Nanny Ogg taking a position on the catering crew for the opera and Granny Weatherwax frittering away her book profits on an elaborate ruse to get to the heart of the opera, there’s a lot of hilarious moments with these two.
   I must confess though, I missed Magrat, who added a sense of normality to the group, the straightman to the other two witches. Nonetheless, the book still worked well without her.

   The real star here though, is the opera itself, the ridiculous world where overweight fifty year olds play handsome young soldiers, where nobody knows the words to the songs or can follow the plot but nod along appreciatively because the songs are good.
   It perfectly captures the pomp and pretence of the world of opera and those who inhabit it, all the while, clearly carrying a real affection for the world. Forever laughing with the subject, never at it.

   And it’s exactly that which makes the Discworld series so enjoyable. Terry Pratchett may be the finest writer of dialogue there’s ever been and he might be able to write a gag for every line, but there’s a genuine love for every subject he tackles. A passion which leaks into the text, turning these stories into more than simple parody books.

   Terry Pratchett had a true skill for writing, and while he may be gone, we can be thankful for the slew of work he left for us to enjoy. Giving us something to laugh at. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Game of Thrones



A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
 "Kings and queens, Knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men. All will play the Game of Thrones.
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond.
The Game of Thrones. You win, or you die."

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Demon



The Demon
The Demon
Hubert Selby Jr.
 "Harry White is a man haunted by a satyr's lust and an obsessive need for sin and retribution. The more Harry succeeds - a good marriage, a good corporate job - the more desperate he becomes, as a life of petty crime leads to fraud and murder and, eventually, to apocalyptic violence."

Monday, 23 March 2015

Poor Things



Poor ThingsPoor Things
Alasdair Gray
 "Satirizing the classic Victorian novel, Poor Things is a hilarious political allegory and a thought-provoking duel between the desires of men and the independence of women, from one of Scotland's most accomplished authors."

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Losers: Endgame



The Losers: Endgame
The Losers: Endgame
Andy Diggle, Jock
& Colin Wilson
 "The seemingly unstoppable C.I.A. mastermind Max is about to play his final hand, and he's sitting on a whole pile of aces. With a brand-new country under his feet and a nuclear arsenal within his reach, Max is going all in—and the stakes are nothing less than the global balance of power itself.
As all the other players are folding, though, the Losers are still holding their cards—and they've got one last chance to raise the bet. But calling Max will cost them dearly, especially considering the joker they're about to be dealt."

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Losers: Close Quarters



The Losers: Close Quarters
The Losers: Close Quarters
Andy Diggle, Jock & Ben Oliver

 "The Losers' pursuit of rogue C.I.A. mastermind Max has led them to London, where a potential trove of information on their quarry's financial dealings awaits them at the money-laundering offices of Cayman Credit Internationale—provided they can get past the Company-sponsored welcoming committee.
Following the money will only take them so far, though. To find out what all that cash is for, the Losers will need to head out to sea—and what they discover both above and below the waves will raise the stakes of this deadly game to a whole new level."

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Losers: Trifecta



the losers trifecta
The Losers: Trifecta
Andy Diggle, Jock, Nick Dragotta & Alé Garza
" It hasn't been easy, but the Losers have finally picked up the scent of their betrayer Max, the man who's seemingly behind every one of the C.I.A.'s worst extralegal activities. Naturally, the trail takes them straight into the hottest of the world's hot spots, the Middle East, where even the relatively peaceful Gulf kingdom of Qatar proves to be full of cloak-and-dagger shenanigans—with AK-47s replacing the daggers. Add a side trip into oil- and corruption-rich Turkmenistan, and you've got the makings of a perfect holiday getaway, at least for disaffected ex-Special Forces types.
Once the deserts have given up their secrets, though, it's back in the air for a long flight to London. And there's no better way to pass the time than by finally hearing the full story of how the Losers were born—in death and fire, high in the Hindu Kush."

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Losers: Double Down


The losers
The Losers
Double Down
Andy Diggle, Jock & Shawn Martinbrough
 "On their last roll of the dice, the Losers came out ahead and put a major dent in the illegal cashflow of their former employer, the C.I.A. But to stay ahead, they've got to keep pushing their luck—and that means tracking down Max, the ghost-like C.I.A. agent whose existence is hidden even from Company insiders."

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Losers: Ante Up



The Losers, Ante Up
The Losers 
Ante Up 
Andy Diggle, Jock
 "The Company thought that it had taken care of the Losers. After they saw a little too much at the wrong place and time, their chopper went down in flames with no survivors and plenty of deniability—and the Losers went down in the records as just another team of black ops foot soldiers tragically lost to one of the C.I.A.'s shadow wars.
But the Losers were just playing dead—and now that they've seen what the Company is really up to, they're through with games. Now it's time to take the fight back to its source."

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Book of Other People



the book of other peopel
The Book of Other People
Edited by Zadie Smith
 "By any measure, creating character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight and realism if such a thing exists is not the point. There are as many ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples."

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Atlas Shrugged



Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand
 "This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators?
Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor — and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.
Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life — from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy — to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction — to the philosopher who becomes a pirate — to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph — to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad — to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels." 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Hellfire: Plague of Dragons



Hellfire  Plague of Dragons
Hellfire
Plague of Dragons
Tom Wood & Robert Weinberg
  "Hellfire: Plague of Dragons" is a lavishly illustrated adult fantasy book that explores the world of dragons through the discovery of a lost manuscript and artwork by a 14th century French Knight, Sir Robert of Averoigne, recently found in the Historical Museum of New York. His illuminated manuscript reveals the story of an unknown plague of dragons in Europe that killed tens of thousands along with the Black Death. The tale of the invasion by dragons has been untold and unrecorded - until now"

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Spot of Bother



A spot of bother
A Spot of Bother
Mark Haddon 

"At fifty-seven, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels, listening to a bit of light jazz. Then Katie, his tempestuous daughter, announces that she is getting remarried, to Ray. Her family is not pleased - as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has 'strangler's hands'. Katie can't decide if she loves Ray, or loves the way he cares for her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by the way the wedding planning gets in the way of her affair with one of her husband's former colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.
Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind."

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Train Man



Train ManTrain Man
Nakano Hitori
Translated by Bonnie Elliot
 "One day a shy otaku computer geek mentioned on the message forum how he had met a girl on a subway train."
_||O

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Top 5 Best and Worst books of 2014


Top 5 Best and Worst books of 2014

Another year is over and it's time to look forward to another great year of reading. But it's also a time to look back at all those great memories of the last year, and even those not so great memories. 

Here's our picks of the 5 best and worst books covered here on the blog over the past year. Be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments below.