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L. Sinclair "Shakalooloo" (Exeter, UK)
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Unwritten Volume 9: The Unwritten Fables TP
Unwritten Volume 9: The Unwritten Fables TP
by Peter Gross
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Distraction, 6 Aug. 2014
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This collection contains five issues, including the extra-sized fiftieth. They comprise a 'crossover' of sorts with the characters from that other Vertigo comicbook series, 'Fables'. As is the nature with most such crossovers, the result is not satisfactory for fans of either story.

The Fables literally hijack Tom from the mission he embarked on at the end of the last volume, diverting him onto a tangential quest that carries no significance to him or the carefully nurtured plot of the previous eight volumes. And by the end, he's right back where he started, ready for Volume 10.

This volume could be skipped without impacting the narrative of 'The Unwritten' in any way. If you like 'Fables', this may be worth it for the chance to see the characters at their darkest hour, but it also has little in the way of repercussions for the main story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2014 11:49 AM GMT


Fabled Lands : Lords of the Rising Sun
Fabled Lands : Lords of the Rising Sun
by Dave Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accompanied by Appropriate Art, 9 July 2014
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As a Dave Morris gamebook, the quality of the writing goes without saying. I just want to make special mention of Russ Nicholson's interior art for this volume. He has adapted his signature (and excellent) style to a more traditional Japanese manner, and it is a revelation, nailing the precise line-art of the era. It is truly beautiful.


Necklace of Skulls (Critical IF gamebooks)
Necklace of Skulls (Critical IF gamebooks)
by Dave Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dave Morris' Crowning Contribution to the Genre, 29 Jun. 2014
One of the best gamebooks ever. It features the underused Mayan mythology as its backdrop, and uses a completely non-random system, so success or failure is wholly dependent on the reader's choices. Yet there are several different ways through the adventure; this is not the sort of book where death is randomly handed out if the reader did not pick up an esoteric item earlier on. Triumph feels earned, yet there are reasons to go back even after victory has been achieved to see what other means were available.


Hawkeye Volume 1 Oversized HC (Marvel Now) (Hawkeye (Marvel Now!))
Hawkeye Volume 1 Oversized HC (Marvel Now) (Hawkeye (Marvel Now!))
by Matt Fraction
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 7 Jun. 2014
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Reviews of the series itself can be found all over the internet, so go and read those for that information. This is for the book.

It is oversized, bigger than regular US comics, but smaller than UK. It has a dustjacket, and under that the cover has a distinctive bullseye design.

Collected within are the first twelve issues of the Hawkeye series, plus the issue of Young Avengers Presents that Matt Fraction wrote with Alan Davis featuring Hawkeye and Ronin.

Extras include a sketch gallery by David Aja, cover concepts, page processes, Matt Hollingsworth's descriptions of the colouring process and music playlists for issues 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 &11.

Buy it.


Transformers PRIME deluxe KNOCK OUT figure
Transformers PRIME deluxe KNOCK OUT figure
Offered by PHAZE 3
Price: £19.99

1.0 out of 5 stars A Knockout Knockoff, 7 Jun. 2014
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For a character on the show that is so obsessed with his own appearance, it's really sad that Knockout has one of the worst toys from Transformers Prime.His colouring is drab and uninspiring, and in vehicle mode his internal transformations are clearly visible through his windscreen.

In robot mode he lacks the distinctive shoulder silhouette, instead managing a rather hunched pose. When seen from behind, no attempt has been made to make him look like a robot at all, seeming very basic.

For an accessory he comes not with the chainsaw depicted on the packaging, but a staff, which comes in two pieces which it is more than happy to return to at the slightest prompt.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that this is a horrible representation of the character.


Black Sails: Season 1 [DVD]
Black Sails: Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Toby Stephens
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates!, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: Black Sails: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This series gets more plot development done in one episode that most others do in a season. I had assumed that some items brought out in the first episode would serve as running arc plots in the background, but I was wrong. This show isn't afraid of taking some big risks with the characters to surprise the audience, and is one of very few that manages to evoke a genuine sense of uncertainty about how well things are going to go for our favourite characters.

Oh, and don;t let Michael Bay's name at the top of the box fool you; he's just producing, and had nothing to do with the content!


Transformers: The Covenant of Primus
Transformers: The Covenant of Primus
by Justina Robson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £48.75

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Packaging, 22 Dec. 2013
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The box is a nice Autobrand symbol that opens up, yes, with transforming sound effects, and can be mounted on the wall. It's in silver, unfortunately. Red would have been preferred, right?

The book within is not the encyclopedia one might be hoping for from the name - for that you'd want either Transformers: The Ultimate Guide or Transformers Vault: The Complete Transformers Universe - Featuring Rare Collectibles. Both of those have faults of their own of course, but they are more comprehensive than this... tome.

It is a work of prose. It details the history of the Cybertronian people in the 'Aligned' continuity, not from the original tv show or comicbooks, but the Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360) video games and Prime cartoon. The backstories of both of those are contradictory in places, and this book attempts to meld the joins a little. It fails.

The origin story within is a solid tale, with the creation of the Transformers by Primus and their first battle against Unicron. Each of the thirteen Primes is an interesting character, even if the identity of the thirteenth does seem a little off to me, adding way too much mystical destiny to an established character who needs not such embellishment to be awesome.

The Great War is covered over briefly, covering the two video games and details which may well serve as the plot for the third, should one be published. Rounding it out is a (very) brief summary of the Prime cartoon.

Assumptions are made throughout. If you have not played the games or seen the cartoon, sudden references to Trypticon or Dark Energon will be mystifying, as they are not explained, merely sprinkled throughout the text under the assumption that the reader knows what they are. It sticks out especially badly given how well the opening chapters, where presumably the author had the most free rein, flow naturally.

There are also annoying little retcons and inconsistencies, with timelines not quite matching up - as an example, Shockwave creates the Dinobots after the Ark has departed, but as anyone who has played Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Xbox 360) knows, Gimlock and co. were certainly around during the battles of the exodus...

There is nice art sprinkled around, illustrations of each of the thirteen, concept art from the videogames and a few old-school style battle scenes, but nothing special. Thick quality paper really brings out the detail, but the large margins also mean there's very little to a very expensive book. And when much of that book is just summarising stories from elsewhere...

The writer's style is odd in places, with the characters all sporting the same voice and abbreviated slang terms, indistinguishable from one another in the text. Scenes appear to be chosen at random to be spotlights, distracting from the narrative rather than enforcing the themes or events.

Altogether, very disappointing, and possibly even frustrating depending on how much of a Transformers purist you are. It avoids getting just one star as the opening chapters and illustrations are actually very good, and would have benefitted from being expanded into a novel rather than being lumped together in this cheap cash-grab.


Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment
Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment
by Roger Stern
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Added Ampersands, 21 Sept. 2013
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Triumph & Torment, is a reprinting of a, what, twenty-four year old book? The new version is in a more 'traditional' comicbook size format, ampersands in the title and has the cover image re-coloured with fancy modern digital techniques.

On the inside, however, they've retained the original colouring. Great, right? Only, they haven't properly accounted for the change in page size. The original had large black borders on every page, so surely the easy way to shrink it down to fit to the standard would be to remove those, right? No, they shrink the border as well, leaving the art at a smaller size than originally intended. Gah.

Still, the story is (as the back cover proudly states) "perhaps the greatest Doctor Doom story ever told", with Victor teaming up with Doctor Strange to go and beat up Mephisto. The new edition also has some extras: a reprint of the first story to mention Doom's yearly battle with the Devil, an old Strange story where Doom shows up for a page, a couple of Sub-Mariner stories that happen to have been illustrated by Mike Mignola and a selection of covers and pin-ups. Those last are pretty great; in addition to various pictures of Doom and Strange chilling/posing, there are two adverts. One is from the Latverian tourist board, and the other is for Latverian Express card. Brilliant.

So, while the main source material may have suffered slightly (the paper's less good quality, naturally), there are enough extra bits in there to make the whole package pretty nice.


Atlas Infernal (Inquisitor Czevak)
Atlas Infernal (Inquisitor Czevak)
by Rob Sanders
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get yourself a Thesaurus, 6 July 2013
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I could not finish this book. The story takes seemingly forever to get started, and the rambling writing style seems insistent on getting as many long words and obscure references in as possible. Maybe the author for trying to make the whole thing seem archaic and baroque, but it's merely distracting and disrupts the flow something chronic.


Emperor's Mercy (Bastion Wars)
Emperor's Mercy (Bastion Wars)
by Henry Zou
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Right: ONLY War, 6 July 2013
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This book isn't bad, but it isn't quite what one may be expecting. Being a novel starring an inquisitor, a reader (such as myself) may be forgiven for expecting it to be structured similar to a crime story, with an ongoing investigation and subterfuge. Instead, the inquisitor in question spends most of his time on the battlefield, fighting one of the wars for which the 41st millennium is so famous.

So think of this more as Gaunt's Ghosts than Eisenhorn, and you'll be fine.


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