Archive for August, 2011

Review – Dark War is Delightul

August 18, 2011 - 10:10 pm No Comments

Dark War (Matt Richter 3)
Author: Tim Waggoner
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count: 406pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
The third book in the Matt Richter series starts with a bang in an alternative dimension Nekropolis (the city that runs through all the Richter novels). Self willed Zombie Matt, girlfriend and half vamp Devona and universe jumping Darius hop across a dimension to save The House of Dark Delights from a Hyde Plague. The ‘Hydes’ are the “physical incarnation of everything cruel and selfish . . . and given free reign to whatever they pleased and to whomever they pleased”. That’s just the opening action and indication of the bizarre world that Richter and co inhabit.
At some point in the past, all of the demon kind, vampires, werewolves, zombies and all supernatural creatures left Earth (which can still be travelled to) and set up home in Nekropolis, a city with five different domains ran by five different Dark Lords. Richter is an active member of Nekroplous society; a homicide detective and self willed zombie who has an unfortunate habit of losing bits of himself on a regular basis, relying on the magic of Papa Chatha to literally keep himself together. When Papa Chatha goes missing, Richter must investigate where the magic worker and other magic users have disappeared to.
At its core, Dark War (Angry Robot)
is a supernatural police procedural. However, Wagonner’s world building is phenomenally imaginative, featuring a grotesque B-Movie Zoo, a collection of underpaid and overworked Frankenstein Monsters created by Industrialist Inventor Victor Frankenstein and Agony De-Lites, vehicles composed of “flesh-tech formed from the bodies of a dozen sadomasochists.”
It is brilliantly ingenious stuff full of images that will stay with the reader for a long time. There are also plenty of laughs and Richter as a zombie PI who knows less than he thinks he does makes for a great first person narrator. It really is a great book with lots to feast your metaphorical eyes on.
If you want to know more about Angry Robot’s latest projects take a look at their website.
If you like the look of this book then check out Dark War (Angry Robot)

Review – Changeless – Parasol Protectorate 2

August 15, 2011 - 9:26 pm No Comments

Author:  Gail Carriger

Publisher: Orbit.

Price:  £7.99 (Paperback) £4.79 @ Amazon

Page count:  299pp

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

The second book in the Parasol Protectorate, Changeless (Parasol Protectorate)
carries on shortly after the events in the first novel Soulless, with heroine Miss Alexia Tarabotti, still supping tea and eating tarts. Now however she is ensconced as Lady Maccon atWoolseyCastle feeding a pack of werewolves & soldiers whilst balancing the demands of her new role as mujah to QueenVictoria’s Shadow Council.

Married life is carrying on as normal for the preternatural that is until her husband Lord Maccon dashes off toScotlandto try and reform his old pack. At the same time Lady Maccon starts to investigate the ‘humanization’ of supernaturals who are losing their powers, the trail also leading toScotlandand Maccon’s old pack.  To make matters worse, Alexia is followed on her task by her scatty friend Ivy, annoying sister Felicity, a French hat maker/possible spy and her escort Tunstell, whom Ivy has taken upon herself to fall in love with, despite him being an actor.

As with the first novel, this one is full of sharp wit, fun adventure, Alexia’s steely personality, amusing insights into her fledgling marriage and a good dose of Steampunk entertainment. It isn’t Lavie Tidhar but it’s still excellent enjoyment and the punchline is quite a shock. If you enjoyed the first novel, you won’t be disappointed.

 

If you want to know more about Orbit’s latest projects take a look at their website.

If you are interested in this book you can buy it by clicking here Changeless (Parasol Protectorate)

 

 

FANZINE – Andromeda’s Offspring Issue: 1

August 12, 2011 - 2:48 pm No Comments

The new fanzine Andromeda’s Offspring is now available to download on the new FANZINE page.

Go and have a read and see what you think…

Review – Quality Caretakers!

August 10, 2011 - 8:23 pm No Comments

The Caretakers

Author:  Adrian Chamberlin       

Publisher: Dark Continents Publishing

Price:  $19.99 (Paperback) £0.86 Kindle @ Amazon

Page count:  345pp

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

Described by Adrian Chamberlin in an interview at Adrian Chamberlin « Read Horror, as “British as Fish & Chips”, The Caretakers is indeed a thoroughly British horror set inCambridge.

In the midst of the midwinter feast atCambridge, four strangers discover a secret that must remain a secret for the sake of humanity. 

Meet Andy Hughes. Andy is a man with a dark past and an even darker future. His search for a missing student will lead him to a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining.
Meet Jennifer Callaby, Andy’s estranged girlfriend, who discovers the awful truth of The Caretakers.

Meet Rob Benson. Rob is a van driver who discovers a dead wild boar in the back of his van. This man with a van is in for quite a shock as the boar just won’t stay dead!
Meet Jason Franklin – a prisoner who holds the key to the fates of them all, and may well be their only salvation.
This novel is a disquieting horror that questions the nature of evil. Bringing the four main protagonists together the writing is reminiscent of early Stephen King, where character is crucial to the progression of events.   

The novel contains great description, realism and action. However, it is the dialogue that springs out in this novel, Chamberlin having honed this art to perfection.

This is a worthy horror debut and I predict good things for Chamberlin. Well worth checking out, particularly at such a bargain kindle price!

If you want to know more about Dark Continents’ latest projects take a look at their website. They currently have a great E-book summer sale on.

Review – Soulless – Parasol Protectorate

August 10, 2011 - 7:23 pm No Comments

Author:  Gail Carriger        

Publisher: Orbit

Price:  £7.99 (Paperback) £4.79 @ Amazon

Page count:  373pp (includes excerpt from Book 2)

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

There is naught like treacle tart and a cup of tea to keep a soulless preternatural spinster of 26 years happy.  Unfortunately for Miss Alexia Tarabotti, her tea and tart are rudely interrupted by a rove (hiveless) vampire with no social graces or etiquette who tries to attack her at a ball and ends up on the painful end of a wooden hair pin. 

Even more unfortunately, QueenVictoriasends gruff yet handsome werewolf Lord Maccon to investigate the death of the vampire. It appears that there have been a number of disappearances amongst rove vampires & werewolves too. Despite her obstinate protestations, Lord Maccon refuses to let Miss Tarabotti become involved in the investigations. As subtle as a sledgehammer, the spinster nevertheless believes she is the woman for the job.

Blending a splash of Steampunk, historical drama and a hint of romance between Maccon & Tarabotti, Soulless (Parasol Protectorate)
is like a 19th Century Torchwood with Maccon as a straight Captain Jack.  The novel had me laughing and smiling throughout. It is a light easy read that is researched well for the period, though Miss Tarabotti occasionally comes across as more 1920s than 19th Century. However, this minor quibble aside, she is a strong entertaining female lead who refuses to accept the position that polite society dictates. The humour is spot on and the romance blend is just right, avoiding sickly sentiments and feeling real throughout without an overkill of sex so common nowadays.

All in all I thoroughly recommend this novel to readers wanting to find something with plenty of comedy and a supernatural edge. Bloody good fun.   

If you want to know more about Orbit’s latest projects take a look at their website.

If you like the look of this book, check it out at Soulless (Parasol Protectorate)