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Matthew Ashworth

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Ballad of the Fallen (Song of the Ancestors Book 3)
Ballad of the Fallen (Song of the Ancestors Book 3)
Price: 2.05

5.0 out of 5 stars The dead shall rise, 16 Jun 2013
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In this installment of the Song of the Ancestors series, the realm of Orum continues to be under threat and this time it's worse than before. All the clans of necromancers have come together as one massive army, wrecking death and disaster in their wake and all having one goal in mind that threatens the existence of the entire realm.

Just as the previous two books in the series, this volume is fast-paced and packed with action in almost every chapter. It does feel like a step up in regard to the tension and the danger that the new enemy poses to the heroes. Although on first impressions the necromantic clans act very similar to the conventional fantasy villains of being pure evil and enjoying every moment of it, they do manage to be a significant obstacle for the heroes to face, managing to push the heroes to the limits and even to unite with their old enemies.

All in all, this is a fun, engaging read that I'd recommend any fan of epic fantasy genre to check out.


The Vampires of Prali
The Vampires of Prali
by Davidson L. Haworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Final battle at Prali, 22 May 2013
This review is from: The Vampires of Prali (Paperback)
This has been a finale to the Prali trilogy, and one thing that's been very noticeable is that the series got darker and more visceral with each new book. It still keeps a somewhat light-hearted and humourous tone in parts, but for the most part it's very plot-focused. There are a number of new characters introduced and of course the new villains too. In the first two books we had a dragon and a wizard, but this time we have vampires. The plot is also tied to the historical time of crusades, although I must admit I wasn't too fond of the depiction of Saracens in this book as they seemed to be hated by just about everyone, even their own allies. The main vampire trio were well developed villains though and had some charisma to them, although I still think Simon Magnus from the previous book was the best villain in the series. Overall, if you like some sword and sorcery fantasy stories, then give this series a try. And finally, there are also lots of short stories at the end of this book, and they are all very different to one another and worth checking out too.


Darksiders II (Original Soundtrack)
Darksiders II (Original Soundtrack)
Price: 7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack, 17 Mar 2013
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When playing Darksiders II, one of the things that captivated me the most about the game was its soundtrack. There is a huge variety of bittersweet melodies here which convey emotion that helped to bring life to the game's setting. A lot of the tracks here are very atmospheric in nature and build tension, but there are also plenty of upbeat battle tracks too. Overall the music is great.

However, there is a reason as to why I didn't give it full 5 stars. Perhaps what could be considered as the game's most iconic track - The Guardian boss theme - is not on it! I am not sure who was putting this soundtrack together, but they forgot to include one of the most memorable tracks in the game. And another really good track that plays in the prologue boss fight (Death vs Crowfather) was sort of omitted as well. You only get about 30 seconds of it in the 'Crowfather' track, but that is nowhere near the full song. Apart from these 2 little shortcomings, the soundtrack is amazing and worth getting.


Chronicles
Chronicles
Price: 6.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicles, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Chronicles (MP3 Download)
Production/trailer music never fails to bring emotion to the listener, and Audiomachine in my opinion is one of the best ones. Chronicles album features 28 amazing tracks, all of which will either get your heart racing or your mind conjuring up heroic scenes, or even both. Whatever the case, the music in this album is perfect to give you energy and inspiration and to keep you going no matter what it is you decide to do. It's perfect for all sorts of situations, whether you're doing a rigorous workout or simply just relaxing.


The Best of Brand X Music
The Best of Brand X Music
Price: 7.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best production music you'll ever hear, 2 Mar 2013
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I can easily recommend this album to anyone who likes listening to production/trailer music. This is a very good compilation, since pretty much every track on it will blow you away. There is a good variety of tracks here: ranging from really heart-pumping and intense ones (like Dragon's Breath, All or Nothing), to tragically gripping ones (like Dogs of War, Eventide), to slower and divine-sounding tracks (like Dawn of Discovery, Never Surrender). The music here is perfect to listen to at any time really, whether you're doing a workout, taking a walk, or just simply want some artistic inspiration. Even if you aren't a fan of this style of music yet, but curious to try it out, I think this is one of the best albums to go for as it will give you a deliciously spicy taste of what this genre is like.


Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC DVD)
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC DVD)
Offered by Fame_Game
Price: 17.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can learn to die, you can learn to survive, 17 Dec 2012
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Dark Souls is a great, dark fantasy RPG. Set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, the game's atmosphere is very intense and immersive, thanks to beautifully-crafted locations and dramatic music that usually plays during boss fights. The flow of the game is kind of semi-linear, meaning that more often than not you have a choice of 2 or more locations to do in your own order of preference and in many of those locations there are branching paths, often leading to shortcuts to the previous locations, hence saving you the time in case you want to go back.

When it says 'Prepare to Die', you have to take those words seriously, because dying is part of the game. The game is designed in such a way that players should expect to die frequently and to learn how to pick themselves back up and learn from their mistakes. It's a tactical game in that regard, because every enemy and every boss requires the right approach, and until you approach them with the correct mindset, they will keep beating you again and again. Dark Souls is not a button basher. It's not about how fast you can hit the attack button, but more about your timing, patience, concentration, and battle strategy.

Another interesting aspect is how players can leave messages on the ground, hence allowing other players to see them and this way indirectly interact with each other. Many of those messages are helpful warning signs, but at times there'd be some which are meant to mislead you, so player discretion is required at all times.

At the moment I'm about halfway into the game, so my review is solely based on what I've played so far. If you're looking for a relaxing game, then most likely Dark Souls is not it, but it is certainly worth a try if you like something challenging and intense.

Lastly I'll mention that PC version isn't such a good console port, so using a gamepad/controller is highly advised.


The Human Condition (Song of the Ancestors Book 2)
The Human Condition (Song of the Ancestors Book 2)
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and conflict return, 30 July 2012
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The Human Condition is the second book in the Song of the Ancestors fantasy series. The realm of Orum is recovering and the peace had returned to the lands once again. However, slowly but surely trouble starts to stir up, at first merely in the hearts and minds, and then on a bigger scale. I liked how there was a steady build up to the main conflict in the story, especially the fast-paced cut offs between viewpoints of several main characters, leading to the beginning of this conflict, which erupts into several really epic battles. There was a healthy mix of different action scenes in this book - small scale fights, medium scale, and large scale clashes between armies, as well as fights against mythical creatures and even a short chase scene in the dungeons.

Many of the characters from the first book return here and are now developed even further. We experience their greatest aspirations and deepest fears. There are also some new characters, which I found to be well-developed as well. We get to witness this civil war of the different races from the viewpoints of each one of them. Overall the book is very fast-paced and should please anyone who likes books filled with fantasy action.


Indentured (The Mystic Saga Book 1)
Indentured (The Mystic Saga Book 1)
Price: 0.77

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When mystery and sci-fi meet, 2 July 2012
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Indentured is one of those books that grips you from the very beginning and does not let go. In fact, the more you read, the more interesting it gets. I felt that it successfully mixed sci-fi with elements of mystery and thriller. The book is about a group of people from the 21st century who wake up on a spaceship many years into the future in bodies which do not belong to them and with no idea how they got there and what is needed of them from the crew of the ship. They are just told to obey, and whenever any one of them defects, they get severely punished. The story provided good twists along the way and kept going at a very nice, fast pace. Overall a great read and I am curious to know where it leads from here, so I am definitely going to check out further installments in the series.


K'aa: Warrior of D'Alshon. The First Three Tales. (K'aa Warrior of D'Alshon Book 1)
K'aa: Warrior of D'Alshon. The First Three Tales. (K'aa Warrior of D'Alshon Book 1)
Price: 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Start of a fun adventure, 22 May 2012
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This book consists of 3 short stories which are all part of the same story arc, like episodes of an adventure TV show. The story is about a mighty warrior K'aa, who is granted a second chance at life by a demon Ul Myantasha, but in return he must feed the demon a 1000 souls of those who are slain by his hand. On his travels K'aa comes across all sorts of foes - thieves, bandits, wizards, demons, and so on. The action was really abundant and the scenes themselves were given a lot of vivid detail, allowing the reader to pretty much see, hear, touch, smell, and taste everything that was happening in the battles. This was assisted with lots of witty dialogue, and what I enjoyed the most about this book was how K'aa was constantly speaking and arguing with Ul Myantasha in his head, creating a rather funny friend-foe relationship between them. Now I am guessing the adventure doesn't stop here and that there would be more installments in this series, so I am greatly looking forward to them.


King's Envoy (Artesans of Albia Book 1)
King's Envoy (Artesans of Albia Book 1)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Realms, 16 May 2012
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King's Envoy: Artesans of Albia is a brilliant epic fantasy novel. The story begins with a really intense action scene that completely immersed me into the setting, and then it does its magic with really well developed characters and chemistry between them. As the reader goes through the story, they get to know the story's world bit by bit and how it operates, ranging from 5 different realms of existence, each with its own intelligent race, the political interactions between these races, as well as the ranks of those who can utilise magical abilities. The book keeps building up throughout, especially in the second half, delivering lots of tension and adventure, and we really start to understand what's at stake. Looking forward to book 2.


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