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Mr. R. Coleman (Marlow, UK)
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The Rising
The Rising
by Brian Keene
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Carry 18 certificate !!, 5 Sept. 2007
This review is from: The Rising (Mass Market Paperback)
Before I start my review, I would like to suggest for anyone intending on buying this book to think seriously about buying `City Of The Dead' by the same author at the same time. The reason for this is that this book continues in COTD, and I pretty much guarantee that readers will want to pick up the next instalment as soon as they finish `The Rising'.

I came across this author purely by accident when searching for Zombie novels on Amazon - for some reason I had the urge to read some good old zombie hardcore for a change ! And I am sure glad that I did. Keene's writing in my own opinion seems to take the form of a good story encased with as much gore and stomach churning detail that would be legally available for him to do before he would be encased in a padded jacket and locked in a cell. This book is certainly the most blood filled, intestine dripping story I have ever read and certain people out there may well be horrified at the pure amount of pages taken up by Keene's obsession almost of babies, children and other less unfortunates being mutilated and turning into the un-dead. But then it is not so shocking when you think that those less well able to protect themselves would actually be more susceptible than most.

Unlike Monster Island by David Wellington, I felt this book went into detail about why the dead were returning to life, and Keene also came up with a reasonable explanation for why the head zombie and major `bad guy' OB wanted to create his army of the dead. (More filled out in COTD).

The book is primarily about the struggles of one man to reach his son, who he believes is still alive and hiding out in the loft of his ex-wife's house, along the way meeting up with other travelling companions who aid him in his quest. The heroes in this book are not gung ho types but rather the down trodden and forgotten people that we all pass by in the street - a heroin addicted prostitute, an old preacher, a soldier with a conscience.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the reaction of the army to the outbreak. The general idea that the military would remain sane and unaffected by the momentous events of `The Rising' is clearly destroyed by Keene in this book. Indeed the zombies in this book would on occasion seem to be the better option !!

However, traditional fans of zombie novels and movies may well be disappointed in the amount of living dead - other than human - that populate this book. If you cannot stomach the thought of zombie bunny rabbits, mice, cats and dogs, squirrels, lions, apes, reptiles, boa-constrictor, deer, birds, bats, general road kill and yes..........even a herd of Zombie cows that I had joked about in my review of Wellington's Monster Island, then this novel may well not be for you. Zombies in this book can also talk, drive motorbikes and cars, aswell as firing guns and rocket launchers !

I would normally want to give this book 4 out of five, because I really do not like the idea of creatures other than humans turning into zombies - society I feel would be destroyed in days rather than weeks - but this book is just so addictive that I feel I have to give it the full five ! Incidentally an explanation as to why more than humans turn into zombies appears in the first 40 pages of COTD.

As much as I would like to say this is the best horror book I have read, I would be too afraid of men in white coats knocking at my door, strapping me to a gurney and wheeling me away. But it is an excellent read none-the-less.

Knock. Knock....
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2010 11:33 PM BST


The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4)
The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4)
by Conn Iggulden
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All good things must come to an end !, 22 Aug. 2007
When I was a young lad my mother always tried to inspire me to read historical fiction, like she used to do. I never did, always too buried in adventure and sci-fi novels. It was what could be that mattered to me - not what had been. Though I would stress that my all time favourite movie as a kid was 'The 300 spartans', that the Beeb seemed to broadcast every summer holiday after 'Why don't you' and 'the flashing blade' !!

So a while ago I decided to change that. I decided to interlace my eager habit of post appocalyptic, warhammer and zombie fiction with fiction based on historical events. And the Emperor series is where I began.

For people who want to adhere 100% to history then maybe this series is not for you, and at the end of the books Iggulden states what he has changed and added to make the book more entertaining.

Anyhow, from the first book in the series I was hooked , and read the first three one after the other. The books are all adictive, smooth to read and hugely entertaining. I felt like I truly cared for the characters in this book, and stayed up on many a night to see what happened. The mix in these books between warfare, politcal intrigue and Julius's and Brutus's own life were well mixed.

However, for me, this the last in the series - although Iggulden states at the end of the book he may continue the series to tell the story of what happened to Caeser's assassins at a later stage - was not quite as good as the three previous. The book is about 507 pages long, and it is only in the last 50 or such that Julius starts wanting to become 'King' of Rome, and tells quickly of the plot to kill him. Maybe Iggulden was presurised by the publisher into finishing, but I felt the end was a little too hurried.

One othe thing I would like to point out, is that many people will have bought these novels after watching the TV series 'Rome'. In my own opinion you may be a little confused as the characters do not match the TV series. So in your best interests, leave it a while before letting your imagination take over from the goggle box !

I will certainly read more historicial fiction by Iggulden. But to those people who are writing bad reviews of this book as is it not 100 % accurate I would say to you get a non-fiction book, an author has to be able to take some liberties !!

RIP mom ! I think you'd be proud of your little boys book habits now !


LEGO Star Wars (PC)
LEGO Star Wars (PC)
Offered by scaddingk
Price: £16.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbed by a 3+ game !!, 9 Aug. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: LEGO Star Wars (PC) (Video Game)
So, we all know the story of George Lucas's Star Wars saga, we've all seen the movies, bought and collected the toys - far too many in my own life - and all put our hands to our heads when Jar Jar Binks just did not die horribly in the first thirty seconds of the Phantom Menace ! So how was the greatest story ever told (apologies to Christians throughout the world) going to be translated into Lego ?

The answer ? Superbly ! This is a fantastic little game in my opinion, even though I prefer playing games like Obscure, Doom 3 and Silent Hill - I think working for my company for 23 years is slowly making me realise working for the Umbrella Corp might be a better idea.

It was a total break from the norm, an entertaining and refreshing, silly piece of non-sense. Any game that you can put a moustache on R2-D2 cannot really be held too highly in the Mastermind fraternity !

The game is divide into the 3 movies and you can play your way through any of the three - you do not have to finish them in any order, so you can go straight to `Revenge' , if that's your thing. Each movie is divided up into 5 or 6 sub-levels - these you do have to play in order.

The idea of the game is simply to go through the levels, defeat your enemies, collect lego studs and kits, and achieve `jedi' status to gain super-kit bonus's. As you meet fellow characters, you can take control of them and those you defeat you can buy - with exorbitant amounts of studs - in Dexter's shop after finishing the level, to replay any level with purchased or `met' additional characters. This is where the designers of the game have put a lot of work into the planning of the game, as some of the collectables can only be reached or obtained by characters you meet in later stages of the game. And as much as I hate to say it - this is where Jar Jar Binks really comes into his own.

Other really fun characters to control are the extensively jumping and powerful Yoda, General Grievous with his multiple sabres and Darth Maul - lets face it, we all want to play the bad guy !

The publishers of this game advertise it as being suitable for children as young as 3+, and yeah I guess a very small child could well move the characters around the screen and fight a few battles, but - and I would not put my house on it with new generations - I doubt very much that there is anyway that their eye to controller co-ordination would allow them to finish it. I don't play many video games - if I am honest I am slowly working my way through cheap pre-owned ones - and I have to admit I struggled a little on some of the levels. They will especially not find the Pod-Racing and Battle over Coruscant too easy.

Other good features of this game are that when you die (in exploding lego pieces), you do not have to start the monotonous trek from the beginning of the level again, you simply lose a few studs and carry on from where you left off - in fact if your quick you can pick up what you dropped. Even some of the really useless characters have uses, children that can crawl through vents to collect items, Droids that can fly short distances, troopers that can fire grappling hooks to other high levels. Fighting with Tea-cups ? Two player drop in and out allows Dad to play along too.

I never thought that I would say this, but I found myself totally addicted to 3+ rated game !


LEGO Star Wars (PS2)
LEGO Star Wars (PS2)
Offered by Super-bargains
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbed by a 3+ game !!, 9 Aug. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: LEGO Star Wars (PS2) (Video Game)
So, we all know the story of George Lucas's Star Wars saga, we've all seen the movies, bought and collected the toys - far too many in my own life - and all put our hands to our heads when Jar Jar Binks just did not die horribly in the first thirty seconds of the Phantom Menace ! So how was the greatest story ever told (apologies to Christians throughout the world) going to be translated into Lego ?

The answer ? Superbly ! This is a fantastic little game in my opinion, even though I prefer playing games like Obscure, Doom 3 and Silent Hill - I think working for my company for 23 years is slowly making me realise working for the Umbrella Corp might be a better idea.

It was a total break from the norm, an entertaining and refreshing, silly piece of non-sense. Any game that you can put a moustache on R2-D2 cannot really be held too highly in the Mastermind fraternity !

The game is divide into the 3 movies and you can play your way through any of the three - you do not have to finish them in any order, so you can go straight to `Revenge' , if that's your thing. Each movie is divided up into 5 or 6 sub-levels - these you do have to play in order.

The idea of the game is simply to go through the levels, defeat your enemies, collect lego studs and kits, and achieve `jedi' status to gain super-kit bonus's. As you meet fellow characters, you can take control of them and those you defeat you can buy - with exorbitant amounts of studs - in Dexter's shop after finishing the level, to replay any level with purchased or `met' additional characters. This is where the designers of the game have put a lot of work into the planning of the game, as some of the collectables can only be reached or obtained by characters you meet in later stages of the game. And as much as I hate to say it - this is where Jar Jar Binks really comes into his own.

Other really fun characters to control are the extensively jumping and powerful Yoda, General Grievous with his multiple sabres and Darth Maul - lets face it, we all want to play the bad guy !

The publishers of this game advertise it as being suitable for children as young as 3+, and yeah I guess a very small child could well move the characters around the screen and fight a few battles, but - and I would not put my house on it with new generations - I doubt very much that there is anyway that their eye to controller co-ordination would allow them to finish it. I don't play many video games - if I am honest I am slowly working my way through cheap pre-owned ones - and I have to admit I struggled a little on some of the levels. They will especially not find the Pod-Racing and Battle over Coruscant too easy.

Other good features of this game are that when you die (in exploding lego pieces), you do not have to start the monotonous trek from the beginning of the level again, you simply lose a few studs and carry on from where you left off - in fact if your quick you can pick up what you dropped. Even some of the really useless characters have uses, children that can crawl through vents to collect items, Droids that can fly short distances, troopers that can fire grappling hooks to other high levels. Fighting with Tea-cups ? Two player drop in and out allows Dad to play along too.

I never thought that I would say this, but I found myself totally addicted to 3+ rated game !


Monster Island: A Zombie Novel
Monster Island: A Zombie Novel
by David Wellington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Hungrily' enjoyable if you don't think too hard !!, 3 Aug. 2007
There are times in your life when your sick to death of reading historical fiction, science fiction or even adventure novels, and just need a good dose of zombie nonsense to clear your mind. And being one of the original Romero 'Dawn Of the Dead' slow moving zombie generation this story really hit the spot for me at the time I bought it.

The book is written from the perspective of two people. Gary the 'thinking' zombie - who tranformed himself into a zombie when realising the end of the world was nigh, and Dekalb, an UN inspector send to look for HIV/Aids drugs in New York with his army of schoolgirls, in exchange for his daughter being held by Somalian gangsters. (it reads better than it sounds)

The book is extremely enjoyable, reads smoothly and Mr Wellington has come up with quite a few new novel approaches to the Zombie Genre. It is also very amusing and funny in places, without ruining the story line

However, readers of this review will note that I gave it 4 stars, and I feel I must explain my reasons for this. The book is split into 3 parts, and in my own opinion is divided as such - 1. Gary the thinking mans Zombie, 2. Gary discovers Mael and his Eygyptian mummies. 3. Gary wants to run the living dead show ! Part one - hugely enjoyable, part Two needless introduction and death of Mael. Part Three. Reasonable if questionable ending.

I really did not like the idea of zombie pigeons, or zombie cats for that matter. If animals and birds turned into the living dead, mankind would truly be screwed as they completely outnumber us. Imagine a herd of zombie cows running amok !

I also found myself turning back to reference other chapters. First gary is not breathing, then he is. How can he talk with no breath ? The introduction and mindless dribble of the living dead tree at the start of the second part was for me a waste of 7 or 8 pages. Zombies growing to 10 feet tall and expanding because they are no longer having any bowel movement !! And surely if the Mummies camce back to life - why weren't the streets crowded with dead from the cemetery ?

I was also confused a little by the end. However, from picking up a copy of Monster planet the story contines in book three.

As I said - read it and enjoy it for what it is. Complete and utter New York zombirific stuff. Just turn your mind to zombie jello when you start thinking too hard about any of it !!!


Salvation Road (Deathlands)
Salvation Road (Deathlands)
by James Axler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Bit repetitive !!, 17 July 2007
OK, firstly I love the Deathlands series and I really hate to slag off what some people are gonna love. But in 'MY' opinion this is another of the worst books in the series. I found myself finding this book more and more repetitive - to the well, to the well, to the well. I found the story weak, and without giving it away if you ain't read it - the ending seemed too blunt ! This 'ghost writer' needs the heave-ho. I felt this book could have been easily set at any time, in any series, with any characters and those hoping for a bit of a bit of imaginating sci-fi/adventurism I think will be severely disappointed. Sorry ya all, but if I have to do this book again it will be the audio - which will hopefully be edited !


Breakthrough (Deathlands)
Breakthrough (Deathlands)
by James Axler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The boys in black are back !, 17 July 2007
I always wondered what happened to the parallel shadow earth, and this book takes up the story of the over populated worlds high flyers trying to get another foothold into the Deathlands. I loved it and could find very little fault with it. The story I felt flowed freely and the characters were back to there normal selves. The only slight thing I found disappointing was that I felt that there should have been far more panic in the minds of the companions in getting out of the rad-pit hell hole that they found themsleves - this place kills man ! I also got a little confused in how the hell Ryan and crew got to the read-out they wanted to be in. And a dimension full of Ryans ? Whoa - now that would be story ! Keep turning out books like this and new readers will always jump on the wagon.


X-Men - The Last Stand [2006] [DVD]
X-Men - The Last Stand [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.47

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Encylopedic Fans will love to hate it, 16 Jun. 2007
As a young boy growing up in the 70's and once a month going to the shop to get my 10p monthly fix of Uncanny X-men, I could only dream about movies where my heroes came to life. Now the only dream I have about X-men is `how to retrieve all the 400 issues I had to sell on E-bay to pay for my kids' !

So when I heard that the X-men movies were coming out I really looked forward to every one of them.

So, the first movie was OK, it set up the franchise but was nothing overly special for the fans, the second I felt was slightly better, but this - the third - in my own opinion is really going to have fans loving it and hating it at the same time. I think maybe like me they will love the X-men comic type fights and seeing their beloved characters come to life, but they are seriously going to hate all the deaths of major historic X-men and be really miffed by other favorite's losing their mutant powers. This film I would guess would certainly end future movie franchise of this X-men. Well........unless like in all comic books the heroes are not really dead, merely whisked away to fight side by side with Kazar or something.

Directors and producers of these kinds of movies - jumping on the comic book band wagon - should try and stick a little more to what the fans would be expecting, something they grew up with, not killing their life's hobby stone dead !

The introduction of Beast (Kelsey Grammer) for me was the real highlight of the movie, but still did not make up for the absence of X2's Nightcrawler or the under utilized Angel, and I would loved to have seen more Sentinel too !

But at the end of the day, it is still a hugely enjoyable movie, young fans will love it, older ones will love to pick out the inaccuracies in it. But just sit back - turn of your encyclopedic knowledge of X-men - and enjoy it for what it really is - a summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter and it drove me mad !!

Maybe Ian Mckellan (Magneto) is a big X-men fan, and to sum this movie up I would ask fans to look at his face at the end of the movie and tell me if their own feelings were not mirrored in his face !


The Eagle's Prey (Roman Legion 5)
The Eagle's Prey (Roman Legion 5)
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Paperback

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decimation !!, 11 Jun. 2007
In my own opinion, this - the fifth in the Eagle series of books about the adventures of Centurions Macro and Cato - is by far the best piece of Scarrow's writing to date. I admit to enjoying the first three, but felt a little let down by the fourth which I felt seemed to be inspired by Scarrow sitting down one Christmas after a healthy helping of X-mas pudding, watching the annual re-run of Zulu on the TV and then adapting it into The Eagle And The Wolves !

The book mainly concerns the aftermath of the disastrous attempt of the third cohort - under the leadership of the perpetual back-stabbing Maximius - to delay Caratacus from escaping from the main body of the legion, and ending the war with the rebellious Britain's as early as possible to keep the name of Claudius respectable in Rome.

After some serious passing of the buck by Maximius, Narcissus decides that a decimation of the legion would be best and the novel details the results, the escape of those facing death, the chase by the surviving members of the third cohort and the eventual final show down with Caratacus in the Marsh lands.

I found that when Macro and Cato's legion were facing decimation I could just not put the book down until I knew what was going to happen - and we all knew that one of our illustrious duo were going to draw the short straw.

Being a lecturer on Roman history the details of Roman society, political intrigue and army life in the legions are superbly written as usual and exactly what I have come to expect from Scarrow`s earlier novels. Scarrow's addiction to detail, mixed with adventure, political intrigue, friendship, blood and gore once again do the business for me.

The only down side I can see in this book, was that I wanted to know what happened to Figulus after he returned to Vespasian, and how much trouble Plautius got into politically after events of the final few pages of the book.

I would also like to thank Scrarrow for not flogging the British part of this series to death. The end of this book sees the duo departing for shores anew and new adventures - too many writers these days seem to flog a series to death just to sell books.

As a final note, I would like to ask the publishers of these novels to stop using Elizabeth Chadwick's praise on the back of these books. THERE IS NO LOVE in these novels (OK, Vespasian`s for his family, but...)!!! So if you pick this book up and think its romance, just ignore her !!

Excellent.


LEGO Star Wars (Xbox Classics)
LEGO Star Wars (Xbox Classics)
Offered by STOCKTASTIC
Price: £13.21

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbed by a 3+ game !!, 11 Jun. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
So, we all know the story of George Lucas's Star Wars saga, we've all seen the movies, bought and collected the toys - far too many in my own life - and all put our hands to our heads when Jar Jar Binks just did not die horribly in the first thirty seconds of the Phantom Menace ! So how was the greatest story ever told (apologies to Christians throughout the world) going to be translated into Lego ?

The answer ? Superbly ! This is a fantastic little game in my opinion, even though I prefer playing games like Obscure, Doom 3 and Silent Hill - I think working for my company for 23 years is slowly making me realise working for the Umbrella Corp might be a better idea.

It was a total break from the norm, an entertaining and refreshing, silly piece of non-sense. Any game that you can put a moustache on R2-D2 cannot really be held too highly in the Mastermind fraternity !

The game is divide into the 3 movies and you can play your way through any of the three - you do not have to finish them in any order, so you can go straight to `Revenge' , if that's your thing. Each movie is divided up into 5 or 6 sub-levels - these you do have to play in order.

The idea of the game is simply to go through the levels, defeat your enemies, collect lego studs and kits, and achieve `jedi' status to gain super-kit bonus's. As you meet fellow characters, you can take control of them and those you defeat you can buy - with exorbitant amounts of studs - in Dexter's shop after finishing the level, to replay any level with purchased or `met' additional characters. This is where the designers of the game have put a lot of work into the planning of the game, as some of the collectables can only be reached or obtained by characters you meet in later stages of the game. And as much as I hate to say it - this is where Jar Jar Binks really comes into his own.

Other really fun characters to control are the extensively jumping and powerful Yoda, General Grievous with his multiple sabres and Darth Maul - lets face it, we all want to play the bad guy !

The publishers of this game advertise it as being suitable for children as young as 3+, and yeah I guess a very small child could well move the characters around the screen and fight a few battles, but - and I would not put my house on it with new generations - I doubt very much that there is anyway that their eye to controller co-ordination would allow them to finish it. I don't play many video games - if I am honest I am slowly working my way through cheap pre-owned ones - and I have to admit I struggled a little on some of the levels. They will especially not find the Pod-Racing and Battle over Coruscant too easy.

Other good features of this game are that when you die (in exploding lego pieces), you do not have to start the monotonous trek from the beginning of the level again, you simply lose a few studs and carry on from where you left off - in fact if your quick you can pick up what you dropped. Even some of the really useless characters have uses, children that can crawl through vents to collect items, Droids that can fly short distances, troopers that can fire grappling hooks to other high levels. Fighting with Tea-cups ? Two player drop in and out allows Dad to play along too.

I never thought that I would say this, but I found myself totally addicted to 3+ rated game !

As a final note I would just like to add `4PR28U' and `LD116B` !!!


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