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Sarif Industries (London) "Ryan" (London, England)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I asked for this..., 16 April 2012
Perhaps there isn't much to say, but this is merchandising at its simplistic, elegant best. Great design from the best game ever made; planted on a high quality shirt. Excellent customer service too. If you have a heartbeat and a soul, buy this.

Mutiny in Heaven
Mutiny in Heaven
by W. Lakin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Release the Bats..., 21 July 2008
This review is from: Mutiny in Heaven (Paperback)
"In a country homogenized by Starbucks and Wal-Mart, he knew he'd never find another place where the dead had their own cities and strange people worshipped even stranger gods..."

Mutiny in Heaven centres on young musician Neil Victory, from his childhood in a grim New Orleans orphanage, a brutal murder he witnesses as a runaway, onto his burgeoning career as a rockstar. The peculiar scarring on his back gives a clue to his true birthright - Neil is a Nephilim, a child of woman and angel; one of the first to be born since the great flood of Noah. His mere existence is an abomination; but there are many with an interest in him, and not just those sent to wipe him out.

The fortunes of his band, Angel X Machina, are turned around with the arrival of Mistress Gris, a dominatrix who introduces Neil to X and Iaidon. X is really Zave, the only survivor of the slayings Neil witnessed ten years earlier. Iaidon is of the Abila; the rebellious angels who mated with mortal women to produce the first Nephilim. Condemned to serve in Heaven's most hideous division - the bureaucratic Ministry of Death - Iaidon has once again determined to breed more of his master race and bring war to the Creator. Funding the band's next album, Iaidon seeks to use their music as a way to spread his influence, to corrupt and control humanity.

Heaven meanwhile, dispatches Miam, another Abila and M.O.D Agent, to deal with Neil and the increasing number of unclaimed souls haunting New Orleans. The situation is further complicated by the return of Vine, the man responsible for the death of Zave's family; a killer who's literally afraid of his own shadow.

In the hands of a lesser writer, Whitney Lakin's sophmore effort would have been absurd at best. There are so many wild threads to her tale that the whole thing could have descended into an almighty trash-goth catastrophe. Fortunately, Lakin's is an extraordinary talent, able to combine the sacred with the profane, the ridiculous with the astute, the horrific with the humorous.

Reading Mutiny in Heaven, one has to wonder at the imagination that came up with such an outrageous and original storyline. With very little research or knowledge, one could easily construct a tale of fallen angels screwing goths and chasing serial killers. What Lakin has managed is to craft an exciting, entertaining and intelligent story that should be nonsensical drivel. Being well versed in Judeo-Christian apocrypha has allowed her to keep the plot vital and alive, while the deep-background of her research gives the narrative its weight.

The novel is also very much a love-letter to the city and spirit of New Orleans. Every character is determined to live on his or her own terms: Iaidon with his war on Heaven, Neil doggedly chasing his dream of fame and finding his family; even Vine's need to escape his own dark half. Lakin's New Orleans is less a city of sin but one of self-determination - regardless of how beautiful or terrible you choose to be. It's telling that The Ministry of Death is portrayed as a vast bureaucracy, as we are led to ask: what's more hellish? Iaidon's New Orleans or Miam's Heaven?

Whitney Lakin's debut, A Paintbrush in the Devil's Toolbox, was one of the most enjoyable and original horror novels of recent years. Also one of the most sorely overlooked. It was also only the beginning. With Mutiny in Heaven it's clear that she is going from strength to strength. Her brand of idiosyncratic, thoughtful and (at times) insane fiction deserves far wider recognition.

by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the web..., 6 Jan 2007
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
It's very rare that any item reviewed on Amazon gets less than four stars. Admittedly, most if not all these works deserve it, but with Kiernan's debut we have a genuine work of art that fully warrants five stars.

From the opening (and very apt) Schopenhauer quotation we find ourselves in a world where the innocent dreams of childhood and forlorn hopes of adolescence have faded into an uncertain existence marred by personal demons and our desperate attempts to escape, or at least subdue, them. Everyone in this book is running from something be it figuratively or literally, and this sense of rootlessness and endurance is a key part of the book's success.

Each of the main characters is caught inside their own little dramas, but Kiernan skilfully pulls all these strands together to weave a complex and unrelenting tale of unknown terrors and brooding malevolence.

Surprisingly I never realised how lacking most contemporary horror was until I read this. This book has some genuninely horrific moments in it without having to resort to over the top gore or outre theatrics. Everything fits, the sense of realism is perfectly matched to the books more supernatural moments. This is a real world, as close as possible to the one you're reading this in, caught on the page and infected by dark and devasting forces.

One of the many criticisms this book receives is that it is lacking in exposition. But this is part of the novel's (and Kiernan's) power - we're left hanging, able only to try and fill in the gaps, to try and concieve of threats that are beyond the promise of sanity let alone reality. No one understands, truly, what is happening to them. All they know is that they are dying, one by one, and that the focus seems to be on the troubled (and quite brilliant) Spyder Baxter.

Silk isn't light reading. But if you have any interest in the exceptional, the intense and the simple pleasures of a great story filled with fully realised and engaging characters, it should be on your reading list. Hell, it should already be on your bookshelf.

Of course it's natural habitat is open, and in your hands. And the good news is that with each subsequent work Kiernan only gets better...

Yes, Virginia [Digipak]
Yes, Virginia [Digipak]
Offered by Popcorn and Candy
Price: £12.98

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sing for the teachers who told you that you couldn't sing..., 2 Jun 2006
This review is from: Yes, Virginia [Digipak] (Audio CD)
I should warn you not to go into this album with certain expectations. I did, hoping to find an album full of "Good Days" and "Girl Anachronisms". It isn't. This was disappointing to me, I'd loved the previous album so much that I just wanted more. But wait! What's this? Having taken the time to actually, y'know, listen to this album, I found it to be one of rare delights and frequent surprises.

There's a bold opening - "Sex Changes" - which is equal parts entertaining, irreverent and possibly the funniest song about gender issues since The Kinks' "Lola". "Backstabber" is Amanda Palmer's pissed-off righteousness at its finest, as is "Modern Moonlight" and "First Orgasm" stands as the weirdest and kinkiest of all on display (and that's saying something). It ends with first single "Sing", which is a song of rare beauty and magnificence. Essentially a rallying cry to the disaffected, a call to reclaim voices lost. You'll be weeping as well as grinning, following Palmer and Vigilione 'Pied Piper-style' through the album's denoument.

This isn't the same album as the debut. It's a more balanced and mature work, and stands as a testament not only to the duo's musically ability but Palmer's craft and talent as a lyricist and (dare I say it), poet. And it achieves this without sacrificing the crucial elements of fun and insanity that made The Dresden Dolls such a joy to listen to in the first place.

The Downward Spiral [Deluxe Edition] [HYBRID SACD]
The Downward Spiral [Deluxe Edition] [HYBRID SACD]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £33.27

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the many imitations..., 24 May 2006
This album is a true piece of art. Seriously, they're gonna be playing this in art galleries in a hundred years time. An original and captivating work that surprises and delights as much as it rocks and rages. Now expanded as a two-disc edition, there is even more to savour. Wonderful remixes that aren't just filler, demos and b-sides that are better than most bands album tracks; "The Downward Spiral" stands head and shoulders above it's many, many imitators. And now it stands just a little bit taller

Offered by Mo's Music & Media
Price: £9.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars down the rabbit hole..., 21 April 2006
This review is from: DRINK ME (Audio CD)
I bought this album without ever hearing a note. Imagine my joy when I found this to be rare and enthralling. It has a stamp of originality and pure expression all over it - Katiejane Garside's voice is perfectly calibrated to the subjects of the songs, especially "Siamese Almeida"; which is the very sound of psychological collapse and righteous fire. I do enjoy the follow up, "Butcher and the Butterfly" but this is by far the superior work. Unrestrained and uncompromising. Buy it

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