The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell

I’m always on the look out for new-to-me military SF stories and series, it’s one of those sub genres that I almost always enjoy. I came across the Lost Fleet series written by Jack Campbell (the pen name of John G Hemry) last year as I looked for a completed series to get my teeth into. In truth I just didn’t know what to expect, but I soon discovered that I had been missing out big time. Although I read the series on its entirety last year, it was a personal, non-review read. However, it’s a series that I just couldn’t stop thinking about and, with the UK releases hitting our shores this year, I decided to re-read the books to review them, just to let you all know what you’re missing! Continue reading “The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell”

Kraken by China Miéville

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it’s the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he’s been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it’s a god. A god that someone is hoping will end the world. Continue reading “Kraken by China Miéville”

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body – not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers. Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men. And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all – ideally by running away from it. But as he’s discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed . . . . . . especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult . . . Continue reading “The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie”

Criminal: The Sinners by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

Criminal’s most popular character, Tracy Lawless, returns in The Sinners! It’s been a year since Tracy was forced into working for the bad guys, and now made men are turning up dead all over the city, in what appears to be mob-style hits. But since criminals don’t go to the cops for justice… only Tracy can solve this crime. Continue reading “Criminal: The Sinners by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips”

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

The ancient city of Villjamur is threatened by a long-expected ice age, and thousands of refugees from the coming freeze are camped outside its gates, causing alarm and the threat of disease for the existing population. When the Emperor commits suicide, his elder daughter, Rika, is brought home to inherit the Jamur Empire, but the sinister Chancellor plans to get rid of her and claim the throne for himself. Meanwhile an officer in the Inquisition, in pursuit of a mysterious killer, also uncovers a conspiracy within the Council to solve the refugee crisis by wholesale slaughter, and a cultist magician is causing a trail of havoc in his search for immortality and his obsessive quest to gain access into another world. To the far fringes of the Empire is despatched military commander to investigate a mysterious new race of undead that seems intent on genocide of the most gruesome nature. Continue reading “Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton”

White Night by Jim Butcher

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

A series of apparent suicides rings alarm bells with the police. And before he knows it Harry Dresden, professional wizard, is hired to investigate. At the first crime scene he finds an unmistakable magical taint – and a message specially designed for him, referencing the killing of witches. Harry is desperate to hunt down his tormentor and halt the killings, but instead finds evidence implicating his half-brother, Thomas. To Harry, this just doesn’t add up, so he must add clearing his brother’s name to his expanding list. Something that didn’t make the list is subtlety, and Harry’s search attracts the attention of the White Court of vampires …Soon, whichever way he turns, he faces a power struggle that will render him outnumbered, outclassed and dangerously susceptible to temptation. And if he screws up, his friends will die. Continue reading “White Night by Jim Butcher”