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Mr. R. Coleman (Marlow, UK)
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Thunder Road (Deathlands (Paperback))
Thunder Road (Deathlands (Paperback))
by James Axler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark-night !! Deathlands does Batman !!!, 22 May 2009
I have to say in my own opinion that when it comes to ghost writer Deathlands books, they can be summed up into one of three catagories - The good, The extremely bad, and the fillers !!! And this one I would put in the third catagory, but say that it is an enjoyable, if slightly light-hearted story compared to other novels in the past.

For those new to Deathlands, it is a series of books that came out in the 80's, along with a whole outbreak of other post-apocalypse that unlike DL have failed to last the test of time. Indeed this book is number eighty-four in the series, and it seems to me that I am one of the few people in the UK still reading them !!

This particularly story is mainly about Ryan and his companions coming up against a new costumed Nemesis going by the name of `Thunder Rider' , a post-nuclear - if somewhat warped - version of Batman, who after years of family interbreeding sets forth from his own `Batcave-like redoubt on his quest to bring his own version of TV and comic based justice to the world of the new America.

Cawdor and the group get invloved when the vigilante decides to kidnap Krysty and turn her into his new side-kick `Storm-Girl' and go conquering villainy and wrong-doing in a land that has no idea what the words mean ! Obviously, Ryan, JB, Jak, Doc and Mildred go to the aid of one of their own and with the help of the mysterious Tech-Nomads plan to storm the heavily defended base.

I found that the book read very smoothly and I actually enjoyed it far more than other `fillers' in the past, probably because the story line I felt was more outrageous and slightly silly than most of the DL stories in the past. Maybe Gold Eagle though that the series needed a little bit of light humour to bolster the series, or the editor had come up with a story for a ghost writer after watching re-runs of the lone ranger and 2001 A Space Odessey!

I cannot say what the real James Axler (James Lawrence) would have made of this, though I would like to think that he would have seen the funny side of it, so i'll give it a 4 out of 5. But, if your a serious DL follower you may be slightly disapointed with Andy Boots slightly sarcastic look at the DL world !!


Wolverine Weapon X (Wolverine (Mass))
Wolverine Weapon X (Wolverine (Mass))
by Marc Cerasini
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody dies.....atleast twice !!, 18 May 2009
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody dies ......atleast twice !!!, 16 May 2009
By Mr. R. Coleman (Marlow, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

OK, so after foolishly selling all of my X-men comic collection on a well known auction site and needing a missing `X-gap' in my life sadated, I grapped this book off the shelf when I saw it in a local music retailer for £2 ! (Sad aint it when the CD shops sell more DVD's than music now !).

The book (and I am sure fans of the X-men will gather from the title) mainly concerns the transformation from Logan - the kidnapping, the imprisonment, the adamantium bonding process and finally the testing of the new Weapon X. But as expected, our lovable (but not cuddly) Wolverine is not a mutant to be held down forever and fights inwardly against his programming to break free and make his brutal escape - twice !!! (read it and you'll know what I mean). There is also a `dream/remembered' sub-story within the book, telling of Logan meeting Miko in North Korea, whist on a black op's mission, which also serves to give a bit more feel to Logans even further chequered past.

I found the book highly addictive and a real page turner, and it is certainly not just for fans of all things comic related, as the story does not need an encyclopeadic knowledge of the history of the X-men. Though I have to say that I did not know Logan had bone `blades' originally, until I read this novel.

However, this is not also the kind of book that I think should be given to a younger audience as not only do the pages include alot of blood an gore, they also include partial pages of abuse and implied incset - which may or may not have been necessary to the story line.

There were two things about this book that slightly disappointed me though. Firstly was Chapter One Prophecy, which chops and changes in a confused Logan's mind whilst on a `bender' in a bar trying to forget his past and which I think could well possibly put a few people off of reading the balance of the book, which would be a real shame as it gets much better after that. Seconly, the books has two endings - a fake one and a real one. That in itself did not annoy me, but the fact that Cerasini writes about the emotions that each of Logan's victims is experiencing during their `virtual reality' demise may have been better suited to have been written during their actual demise later.

Lastly, Dr Reddy and Dr Able ? Come on give me a break. What next next Dr Willing and Dr Cando !!!

Overall, an enjoyable book, and I will certainly buy the next few in the series to see if I get the same adamantium buzz ! 4 out of 5.


Wolverine: Weapon X (Marvel Classics)
Wolverine: Weapon X (Marvel Classics)
by Marc Cerasini
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody dies ......atleast twice !!!, 16 May 2009
OK, so after foolishly selling all of my X-men comic collection on a well known auction site and needing a missing `X-gap' in my life sadated, I grapped this book off the shelf when I saw it in a local music retailer for £2 ! (Sad aint it when the CD shops sell more DVD's than music now !).

The book (and I am sure fans of the X-men will gather from the title) mainly concerns the transformation from Logan - the kidnapping, the imprisonment, the adamantium bonding process and finally the testing of the new Weapon X. But as expected, our lovable (but not cuddly) Wolverine is not a mutant to be held down forever and fights inwardly against his programming to break free and make his brutal escape - twice !!! (read it and you'll know what I mean). There is also a `dream/remembered' sub-story within the book, telling of Logan meeting Miko in North Korea, whist on a black op's mission, which also serves to give a bit more feel to Logans even further chequered past.

I found the book highly addictive and a real page turner, and it is certainly not just for fans of all things comic related, as the story does not need an encyclopeadic knowledge of the history of the X-men. Though I have to say that I did not know Logan had bone `blades' originally, until I read this novel.

However, this is not also the kind of book that I think should be given to a younger audience as not only do the pages include alot of blood an gore, they also include partial pages of abuse and implied incset - which may or may not have been necessary to the story line.

There were two things about this book that slightly disappointed me though. Firstly was Chapter One Prophecy, which chops and changes in a confused Logan's mind whilst on a `bender' in a bar trying to forget his past and which I think could well possibly put a few people off of reading the balance of the book, which would be a real shame as it gets much better after that. Seconly, the books has two endings - a fake one and a real one. That in itself did not annoy me, but the fact that Cerasini writes about the emotions that each of Logan's victims is experiencing during their `virtual reality' demise may have been better suited to have been written during their actual demise later.

Lastly, Dr Reddy and Dr Able ? Come on give me a break. What next next Dr Willing and Dr Cando !!!

Overall, an enjoyable book, and I will certainly buy the next few in the series to see if I get the same adamantium buzz ! 4 out of 5.


Doomsday [DVD]
Doomsday [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rhona Mitra
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £2.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Female Snake Pliskin Road Warrior meets Robin hood in a car advert !, 30 April 2009
This review is from: Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
OK, I'm gonna make this review as quick as possible ! This movie can be summed up as :

Escape from New York meets Mad Max meets Robin Hood with an advert for a new brand of car thrown in !!!

I doubt that anyone actually having see the movie will disagree. It was a movie that started out with promise, had some good ideas and visuals, but eventually went no-where. It was alomost like the makers either ran out of cash or edited a 3+ hour movie.

The rip-offs from other movies seemed to come thick and fast, and Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell should in my own view be sueing for scenes from the Road Warrior and Escape NY !

A couple of hours of entertainment, but more found to be critical able than memmorable !

HOWEVER - this movie still contains extreme gore and scenes of Cannibalism !


A Morbid Taste For Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael (The Cadfael Chronicles)
A Morbid Taste For Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael (The Cadfael Chronicles)
by Ellis Peters
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleaseing read, but overshadowed by age., 3 Feb. 2009
First book of the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael.

OK, so I freely admit coming to the novels of Brother Cadfael somewhat late in their publication history - actually some 30 years or so - and I probably may have avoided the series altogether if I had not found the first 4 novels in a local charity shop for 25p each, but I freely admit to having enjoyed a change in my more normal historical reading content (Ancient Rome fiction).

I think that when the novels were originally published way back in the 1970's, they would have appeared and appealed to readers of historical fiction and been enjoyed in the way that readers nowadays may not find so appealing. Novels now tend to be alot more violent and probably a little more detailed, through the use of the author or his/her lackey searching the internet for that extra spark of historical depth. So after reading so many detailed and blood drenched fiction I found it a `slightly refreshing challange' to attempt to read a book about a group of monks in the 12th century ! I guess also that being a bit of punk rocker in the 70's, a book about monks was the last thing on my mind !

The basic summary of the story : After a supposedly miraculous healing of one of their bretherin, the abbot and the monks of Shrewsbury Abbey decide to try and aquire the remains of Saint Winifred of Wales to boost their prominence, in the absence of any other saintly relic in their location. Cadfael - being from welsh stock himself - decides to go along with the party as mediary and to ensure that no foul play takes place in the obtaining of the `decaptited vigins old bones'. So when one of the local and most prominent people opposing the move is murdered, Cadfael takes it upon himself not only to console the victims daughter, but to solve the actual murder itself.

I would have to admit that the murderer themselves is not actually revealed until towards the very end of the 250 page book, and as in alot of detective works the actual protagonist is still guess work up until that moment. And I also must say that my guess was wrong.

I would also challenge anyone who has seen the TV series, not to be picturing the excellent Derek Jacobi as Cadfael when reading this novel, and whilst I can honestly say that on most occasions the book is always better than the actual screen adaptation, I felt that Mr Jacobi brought the character to life a little more than the actual author - well in my opinion anyway. I guess maybe also being able to put a face to the main characters - but old age and memory loss failing to retain the TV endings - helped in making this more enjoyable.

I do not have many critcisms of this book, though I would say that occasionally I felt that the style of writing seemed slightly a miss to me, maybe the author was trying to give it a more 12th century writing feel, which then reverted back to normal after a few lines.

I would certainly say that I enjoyed the story enough to go ahead and read some more of the series and pick up more at the 2nd hand shop, but, enjoyable as the book was I will probably only pick up the next one when some of the novels I look forward to reading more have been read. Overall enjoyable but slightly dated in my opinion. 4 out of 5.


Duty Calls (Warhammer 40, 000: Ciaphas Cain)
Duty Calls (Warhammer 40, 000: Ciaphas Cain)
by Sandy Mitchell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Bad day At The Death Avoidance Office !, 3 Feb. 2009
Sandy Mitchell's (Alex Stewart) anti-hero Commissar Ciaphas Cain once again pulls on the great-coat and role of `Champion of the Imperium', in this fifth publication of his memmoirs - well, that is is you choose to ignore the other short stories in other places !

As I have said before in reviews of `Cain's' books, I like the character because he is not the all out, gung-ho, let's use an Orcs leg to batter the the Chaos filth to a pulp hero, that many of the other Blacklibrary/Warhammer novel pages seem crammed with. Not so much the anti-hero as the `anti-Gotrek' - which is kind of one extreme to the other (but lovable none-the-less). It would certainly be the only way that I myself would be a hero, though Cain would probably be in my shadow if a Tyranid arrived instead of the postman !

The main story - though full of little sub-plots, twists and nasty suprises - is basically about Cain and the 597th, being drafted in to help defend the planet Periremunda from a potential outbreak of Tyranid activity (simply put, space -bugs to those not in the know, but then it is unlikely you'd be reading this if you had never stepped in a Games Workshop shop (?)). And as in the other 4 previous novels, nothing is quite as is seems, and its not long before Cain and crew (don't you just love body-odour challenged Jurgen) start to realise just what they have really let themselves in for. Tyranids, Chaos cults, rogue Techpriests and Inquisitors, assationation plots, all challenging our hero to find new, reasonable and `face-saving' ways to be as far away from the call of the after-life as possible.

Once again the characters all act to form, the storyline changing regularly and smoothly with dramatic events - or death avoidance challenges seen though our hero's eyes - and the light-hearted comments from both Amberley and Cain made the novel highly adictive.

Whilst I would not really say this is the book people who are new to Warhammer 40K should start with, it is possible to read it on its own, but it does refer back to events in some of the previous novels. References to the `Caves of Ice' Necron tomb and the Orc battle in `Death Or Glory' and others may confuse those that have not read the previous books.

I found myself at the end of this book wanting to read more of the adventures of Inquisitor Amberley Vail and her collection of weird and wonderful, rag-tag side-kicks - Mott, Yanbel, Pelton and Zemelda. And personnally I would go out and buy it tomorrow if I knew it existed, which it probably does - in Games Workshops monopoly of 8-adult sci-fi adventure gaming - so plesae don't avalanche me with e-mails on it.

It was also a nice touch - though many may have over looked it - that the main adversary and protagonist seemed to be named after a Bond villain, Ernst Stavros ! Though I don't think the Tyranid in the basement would have been as cuddley as a furry white cat ! Still, another excellent page turner, and I'll certainly go out and get the next one in the series. 5 out of 5.


Unnatural History (Pax Britannia)
Unnatural History (Pax Britannia)
by Jonathan Green
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The result of Doyle, Verne and H.G. Wells meeting on a train !, 3 Feb. 2009
I saw this book advertised in the back of the first Abaddon book I bought - Smith's excellent `The Words Of Their Roaring' - and when I saw a picture of a T-rex running around Victorian London I thought I would have to give it a try. But for some reason, none of my local shops ever seemd to want to stock it, so I waited in great anticipation until finally finding it in a charity shop.

Now though I have to say that the expected story conjured up in my minds-eye did not quite live up to the actual pleasure of read - don't get me wrong, its worth a read but not quite what I thought it might be.

The book is basically about the escapades of `private eye/detective' Ulysses Quiksilver, hired by a scheming politicitian to try and solve a murder/theft from London's Natural Hitory Museum. However, nothing is as it seems, and quickly the investigation turns into a chase to uncover the scandalous truth and stop the 160 year old Queen Victoria and her patronage devolving into a primeval soup !

This book seemed to me to be the result of what would happen if Jules Verne, HG Wells and Conan Doyle ever had met on a train and came up with a story to pass the time away. Though if the classical writers had ever published a work of a semi-mechanical 160 year old Queen Victoria, I am sure they would have been immediately transported to the `Tower' !

My problem was that I found it hard to picture a Great Birtain that had conquered the stars and had robotic policeman yet still used steam as its main source of power, Zeppelins and horse and cart. Maybe my powers of imagination are not quite as immaginative as the writers, but I found the mix of modern and the old just a bit too distracting from the actual story line. It was like a return to the old black and white movies like `First Men On The Moon' !

It is all very well to have an arch nemesis of a `dandy' hero - after all Holmes had his Morriaty - but to have the sudden appearance and expect readers to just accept him is asking a little. I felt it would have been far better to have just introduced Kane as the hired muscle in this book and leave it at that and to re-appear in future novels.

I would also like to say that at times I felt the writer could not decide if to give this book a serious story line or a comical one. The idea of a Neanderthal walking around London in a suit and our hero bringing down a rampaging T-Rex with a blade from his walking stick seemed to be verging a little on the humourous.

However, I would still give the author, the character and tha Pax Britannia world a second chance. 4 out of 5.

Incidenatlly, if anyone out there really wants to read a silly book about people being munched by a T-Rex, please read Carnivore by Leigh Clarke - enjoyable but pure unscientific clap-trap !!


Gladiatrix
Gladiatrix
by Russell Whitfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gladiator meets Sadistic Jilly Cooper !!, 3 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Gladiatrix (Paperback)
Gladiatrix is Russell Whitfields first novel, and is a story set during the reign of Emperor Domitian, where a Spartan Priestess is taken into slavery and forced to fight for her life as a Gladiatrix in Asia Minor, forming both loving relationships and making mortal enemies along the way. Whilst at first hating the life, the main character `Lysandra' begins over time to appreciate the roaring of the crowds and the opportunity to show what Spartan women are made of, whilst despatching both friends and Gladiatrices from other schools in the blood soaked sands of the arena.

The characters are well rounded and well thought out. The settings are fairly convincing and Whitfield certainly has done enough research to give the novel a historical feel. Readers of Iggulden, Scarrow, Saylor and Manfredi should enjoy this - though I think the `Gladiatrix makes Gladiator look very tame indeed' comment of Scarrow on the cover was just a little bit too over the top.

The only a couple of things let the novel down slightly for me, one being the author seemed to change his mind on where he was going with the end of the story - the sudden demise of nasty Nastasen and the obtaining and detailed training of slaves to fight in a bout of Gladiatorial combat that would field armies of thousands ended up going no-where. With only twelve pages to go readers may well be thinking how on earth Whitfield is going to find a suitable end to the previous 420 pages. And secondly I also felt it getting slightly repetitive in places when Lysandra repeatedly thought about her love for Eirianwen and her Spartan superiority over others.

Readers out there considering buying this book, I would suggest not to buy this novel if you are easily offended and not broad-minded, as this story contains some quite graphic descriptions of rape, acts of gay oral sex, prostitution and the subjugation of women. At some points I felt that Whitfield had picked up a `gentlemen's' top shelf magazine to put a bit of extra spice into the book. Indeed, if anyone has ever read John Norman's sci-fi `GOR' series, you may well feel that this is a 21st century Gor novel set in ancient Rome !! (Some out there will know what I am talking about).

I would also like to thank the author for putting in his acknowledgements - several times - that the work is a piece of fiction and should be considered as such. Too many reviewers take offence when a writer takes liberty with characters and historical fact, and to those people I would say just pick up a non-fiction book.

When all is said and done, this first novel by Russell Whitfield - which I think feels a void that other writers have failed to capitalise on - is both entertaining and an encouraging start to what may be a good career in writing. It is certainly a book that would give me and many other consideration about buying future work by the author.
5 out of 5.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2014 9:46 PM BST


Carnivore
Carnivore
by Leigh Clark
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Unscientific Clap-Trap !!!, 24 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Carnivore (Mass Market Paperback)
When I found this book in the local charity shop, saw the cover and read the back, I could not help but want to read this book. I mean, a T-Rex running amok in the Antarctic ? And to be honest, this book does exactly `what it says on the tin'.

Basic story : A dinosaur egg is found buried in the ice, 65 million years after being frozen. And after being irradiated with radio-active waste, sets about eating all of the inhabitants of the Deepcore Antarctic station.

If you can accept the way Leigh Clark seems to disregard all the laws of biology, cryogenics and physics in his generation of the T-rex from a mere small egg the size of a melon, to a fully grown, 20 foot high, 1600 lb adult dinosaur within a few days. If you can accept a man would willingly go into a cage to feed a hungry T-Rex without any form of defence. If you can accept a man with a leg amputated just hours before can get up on crutches and drag an unconscious man out of a room and then prepare for a 36 hours trek in the ice and a woman can form a paternal bond with T-Rex. And if your willing to accept a dinosaur can bring down two aeroplanes by jumping on the wing and shoving its head in a cockpit after take-off. Then you'll enjoy this book for what I feel it is - hugely enjoyable, un-scientific Clap-Trap !!!

Whilst the story line did get a bit monotonous at times, there being only so many ways that a man can be eaten by a T-Rex, I found it worthy of a read, the book is certainly fast moving. I'd class it more comedy-horror than SF/Horror, and indeed if it was a movie, you'd jump and then laugh as the inhabitants get picked off one-by-one. Well, I say one by one, but Clark seems to fill this book up by having about a hundred people living at the station - and you know the minute one of the survivors gets name he's dino-meat in the next paragraph !

By the way, anyone who wants to read this without reading it fully, should just read the Chapter Titles ! 4 out of 5 - just because it amused me ! (But 1 out of 5 for serious fiction lovers !!).

PS...If you ever read this review Mr Clark, I think you may have overdosed on the word `Katabatic' !


Arms of Nemesis (Roma sub Rosa)
Arms of Nemesis (Roma sub Rosa)
by Steven Saylor
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greed, Power and Slaughter !, 19 Dec. 2008
I have to admit that when it comes to reading books in a series, I am one of those people who tend to get, save or collect a few and then read them all in a row in order to get some consistency and ongoing relationship with the characters - also without having to wait for the next one in the series being brought out in `cheapy' paperback format !! (Cheapskate!) So I found this book not only enthralling for the story, but also entertaining to follow the progression of `Detective' Gordianus, his adopted son Eco, his wife and the rest of the Roman household occupants.

Basic story overview ? Gordianus is awoken in the middle of the night and whisked off with his son Eco to one of the private estates of the rich - but never-the-less- `ill-fated' Marcus Crassus. On the suspicious death of one of Crassus's employees and family members, Crassus has ordered the entire slave retinue - men, women and children - to be slaughtered within three days unless the truth comes out - and maybe not even then if a slave is proven to be guilty.

Like all mystery novels in this genre, the author has filled this book with a variety of richly illustrated characters who all seem to have had a reason for murdering the victim. From poets, philosophers, soldiers, engineers, artists and slaves, everyone could be the mysterious killer. The actual full events do not come out until near the end, and though I could spoil it for you and tell you who did it, I will just say it was not the butler - or was it ! There is certainly no easy guessing the end of the story like the `House Of Vestels'.

Like his previous novels Saylor's research has paid off in the writing of this book with Roman history coming to life with vivid imagery, and as I have said before in reviewing his material, if you like Iggulden, Scarrow or Mannfreidi, your pretty much guaranteed to enjoyed Saylor.

Another good effort that, that has seriously left me looking on well known auction sites and seconds hand shops for more, though why the bookshops fail to stock his work is beyond me. 5 out of 5.


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