The Hangman’s Daughter by Gavin Smith

the-hangmans-daughterThe Hangman’s Daughter by Gavin Smith is my latest review over at SFFWorld. Some really good mil-SF going on here, and a nice change to have such an interesting anti-heroine as the protagonist. Great stuff.

I remember when Gavin Smith’s debut novel, Veteran, hit the shelves, and with it came this confident and action-orientated voice that was much fun to read. For reasons that escape me, I never did get around to its sequel, War in Heaven, and while I did try Age of Scorpio, I just couldn’t quite get into it. However, Smith’s latest novel, The Hangman’s Daughter (the first book in theBastard Legion series) jumped out at me the moment I heard about it. Military SF with a twist and some very interesting characters to go along with a plot that begged to be read – this book has pretty much everything I could ask for. And it delivered the goods too…

The publisher touts The Hangman’s Daughter as one for lovers of Suicide Squad and Aliens, both of which ring true as the pages turn, and due to this it will appeal to many readers looking for that bit of SF action, while delivering more than is apparent at first glance. Some great worldbuilding, a varied cast of characters, and a take-no-nonsense anti-heroine make this a novel that is well worth checking out. Recommended.

The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 3 by Sandy Schofield and Stephani Perry

aliens-omnibus-vol-3I was a little behind in getting to the third Aliens Omnibus, but get to it I did! As you can see from my full review at SFFWorld, I did have issues with both novels, but especially with Labyrinth. I’m looking forward ot the next omnibus though, whatever it may bring!

The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 3 collects two novels from two different authors: Aliens: Rogueby Sandy Schofield, and Aliens: Labyrinth by S.D. Perry. I’m a big fan of the Aliens universe and have, on the whole, enjoyed the previous two omnibuses despite issues with the last novel. I had hoped that this third omnibus would deliver some great stories, but unfortunately that wasn’t entirely to be the case…

So, another mixed bag for this omnibus edition. Aliens: Rogue has issues, but it ultimately works well, yet Aliens: Labyrinth fails more or less consistently throughout its story. I’m glad I’ve read them both, and I’ll be eager to pick up the next omnibus regardless, but it’s hard not to be disappointed when one of your favourite fictional creations is mishandled.

The Long Road Home Omnibus

the-long-road-homeI’ve been somewhat lax in my Dark Tower re-read of late, mainly due to the operation and subsequent recovery. I’m only just starting to get up to speed on everything, and almost up-to-date on the backlog of reviews. As for this one, well, The Long Road Home was a good story, and a great first original comic run – you can check out my full review at SFFWorld. Looking forward to the next one.

The Long Road Home continues events immediately following The Gunslinger Born, with Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain heading back to Gilead with Maerlyn’s Grapefruit, a magical orb that can have very adverse effects on those who become obsessed with it. With the death of Susan Delgado, Roland is struggling to deal with this loss, and Maerlyn’s Grapefruit only adds to the woes of the ka-tet as Roland enters its depths, leaving his body in a coma while they are chased by a posse from Mejis. While within the realm of the Grapefruit, Roland must fight for his very sanity in order to return to the world of the living…

February & March 2017

I know these updates are supposed to be monthly, but you’ll have to forgive my radio silence since the end of January. I’d been waiting for an operation date since last June and it finally came through for Feb 23rd – suffice to say that preparation time and recovery time meant that any free time I hoped to have vanished. All went well and I’m well on the road to recovery now, but it’s been a combination of mega busy in the run up to the operation, then quiet and uncomfortable afterwards. I had expected to devour books as I recovered, but found that my concentration wasn’t up to it, so I’ve been gorging myself on films and games. Hopefully all is going to be back to normal soon! Continue reading “February & March 2017”

January 2017

I always look forward to January: new year, fresh start. It’s typically the month that I read lots of books while the dark nights continue to plague my energy and motivation. This January was no different, and I hope that some trends continue throughout 2017 while others die as the days get lighter and longer… Continue reading “January 2017”

Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

last-yearThis week I reviewed Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson over at SFFWorld. Wilson is an author that I’ve not been reading for long, but one that has quickly become a favourite due to his character-focused take on SF – much like another of my favourite authors, Eric Brown. Last Year was a great read that I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did…

Robert Charles Wilson’s latest novel, Last Year, is a strange one: a near future SF novel set in an Illinois of 1876. With the invention of quasi-time-travel and instigated through the use of a multi-storey high ‘mirror’, tourism to the late 19th century is open to 21st century inhabitants. An interesting idea, especially given that the past the mirror opens to is no longer the one of that world, instead an alternate history that diverges from the moment the mirror is opened. Set entirely in the 19th century, Last Year is an SF novel that shouldn’t work quite as well as it does.

I really like what Robert Charles Wilson has done here, giving a character focused SF story that works on many different levels. While the time-travel technology of the near future isn’t explained in any great detail, the world feels thoroughly fleshed out, and also surprisingly familiar. The finale of the novel won’t come as a particular shock, though how it all ties together to feel more intimate than events would suggest is a wonder. Highly recommended.

Now on Facebook

I decided to go ahead and make a page over on Facebook for the site, so please head on over and like away! While I’ll be linking to here and SFFWorld.com when my reviews go up, I’m also aiming to use it as a more general platform for all my random thoughts. It likely won’t have an abundance of content on a daily basis, but there may be a nugget or two every so often that may be of interest…

The Gunslinger Born Omnibus

the-gunslinger-bornI decided last week that 2017 would be the year I read & re-read Stephen King’s Dark Tower universe. I’ve read all the books, though it’s a few years since I last immersed myself in them, but haven’t read all the comics/graphic novels that are set within this milieu. The Gunslinger Born is the first of these – one I did read way back in 2007/8 – and it’s good to revisit it once again. A great starting place for my journey, that’s for sure. Head on over to SFFWorld to see my full review!

The Dark Tower is Stephen King’s Magnum Opus, a seven book series that follows gunslinger Roland Deschain on his quest after the Man in Black, and then onwards to the Dark Tower. While the core books focus specifically on Roland’s quest, there are other stories the fit into this milieu:The Little Sisters of Eluria, a novella set before the events of the first book, The Gunslinger; and The Wind Through the Keyhole, a novel within a novel, set prior to the fifth book, Wolves of the Calla. And, of course, there is the focus of this review: the comic book series published by Marvel and with input from King.

The other main aspect that I must talk about is the art. Not only is it fantastic in its own right, it fits in perfectly with both the setting and story. Jae Lee and Richard Isanove have excelled, each page presenting such a fitting portrayal of characters and events. In this omnibus edition there is also bonus artwork included – the alternate and deviant covers for each of the issues – and it’s a great addition to an already excellent collection.

What I Read in 2016

Another year in reading to look back, on what a year it’s been. I’ve surpassed my previous best of 128 reads last year and got up to 135 books read this year. I’m not quite sure how I managed that as it works out to be a book every 2.7 days! This was the year where I decided to read mainly science fiction, and to pick up books based solely on if I liked the sound of it. Read on for the stats… Continue reading “What I Read in 2016”