Friday, 31 December 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter Book Seven)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
Deathly Hallows (Not the new cover)
Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter
Preceeded By: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Score: 8/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: If only there was one...


Harry Potter. The most famous wizard of the last decade. To be honest, if you don't already know who he is, this review might not mean a lot to you. If you've just seen the films... READ! The books are infinitely better. Read those instead. If you've read the books, well you probably don't need to read this review.

Harry Potter has been reviewed, summarised, and talked about plenty of times, across various media. Everyone knows about it. But now, and this is the reason I was sent a copy of the book to review, IT HAS A NEW COVER.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Last Stormlord (Watergivers Book One)

The Last StormlordTitle: The Last Stormlord
Author: Glenda Larke
Series: Watergivers (aka "Stormlord Trilogy")

Succeeded By: Stormlord Rising


Score: 7/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Probable


This book sounds and looks exciting. It's cover emblazoned with lightning and the silhouette of what appears to be a magic-wielder standing at the forefront. Could this be the titular character that the cover proudly proclaims to be "The Last Stormlord"?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Betrayal (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Book One)

Betrayal (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 1)Title: Betrayal
Author: Aaron Allston
Superseries: Star Wars
Series: Legacy of the Force (NB: not all by Aaron Allston)
Succeeded By: Bloodlines, by Karen Traviss


Score: 10/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Added to my Christmas list already!


I loved the star wars films. From the first time I saw them they were my three favourite films. Then they made three more! Six fantastic movies (let's pretend Episode III was as good as the others). But then I discovered the Expanded Universe, and that's what really makes star wars. And this book is a perfect example.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

NEWS: New Format!

Hi Everyone,

Due to personal reasons, this blog has been sadly lacking of reviews of late. However, I'm hopeful that things are now looking up. December has already seen more posts than the previous few months (not including this one!) and there are two more already scheduled for before Christmas.

In addition, and this is what this post is really about, is the format is changing. As you may have noticed, several things about the layout of the reviews has changed. This is due to me getting used to how the blog works, and new features.

The first thing was that pictures started appearing! Now clicking on these pictures, or the link further below, will take you to the Amazon page of that book (Handy, huh?). I feel like I should tell you that if you DO buy the book, or anything else from amazon between clicking that link and closing amazon, I will get commission. I don't know how much, but if this troubles you, you can just go to amazon the normal way.

Secondly, the template of the blog changed. I preferred the old one, but the main body was too thin. So it had to change.

 And thirdly... There's something called Jump Break - click Read more to find out about it.

Friday, 17 December 2010

DC Comics 75th Anniversary Poster Book

DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book
Title: DC Comics 75th Anniversary Poster Book
Author: Robert Schnakenberg & Paul Levitz


Score: 9/10


This is a somewhat different... type... of book than those I normally review. But I'll give it a go!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Force Unleashed II (Star Wars: Force Unleashed Book Two)

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed IITitle: The Force Unleashed II
Author: Sean Williams
Superseries: Star Wars
Series: Force Unleashed
Preceeded By: The Force Unleashed
Succeeded By: The Force Unleashed III ?


Score: 9/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Definite


The first thing to note is that this book is a sequel. It's kind of obvious from the name, but it would have helped to have read the previous story, or to have properly played the game the previous novel was based on prior to reading this. While it did make sense knowing only the skeleton plot of the last book, I feel that mch of the feelings we had for the characters would have been very much amplified by the previous story, as it is then that we learn most about them (As it is, I've only read summaries of the previous story).

Disregarding the story for a moment, the writing itself is fantastic. The narrative flow is smooth for the most part, and when it does jump, it's deliberate and suspense building.

There are a few sections that I thought didn't fit in with the rest of the Star Wars universe, understandable in what must be one of the biggest fictional universes, but sometimes awkward. The biggest one in this book is the ending, which would drastically change the story of the original Trilogy. Although this simply suggests a sequel to bring the story inline with the rest of the super-series. But other than that, although I remember thinking "That seems wrong" at the time, they were small enough for me to not remember what it was that was wrong.

One line that did seem out of place, was "It's a trap", said by Ackbar, a line that he is famous for saying in the original star wars movies. I feel that it was weird to have him say it here as well. It's a clear reference, and a funny one, but it doesn't fit well with the serious situation of the time. Another character saying it would have been better.

Conclusion: While the writing is practically flawless, the storyline is quite dependent on the previous story, and although it does manage to give the general impression of "The Force Unleashed I", I would recommend reading that first. The odd occasion exists which seems out of place, but these are few and generally unmemorable. Any Star Wars fan, or any sci-fi fan not averse to extended universe fiction should give this book a go. It's a great, well-written story, with some memorable scenes, and impressive characters.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 1 Male; 1 Female;
Main Antagonist(s): 1 Male
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Science-Fiction
Brief Synopsis (from Amazon):

This is a brand-new novel tying in to the huge "Star Wars" video game that is the follow-up to the blockbuster, award-winning "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" video game which came out in 2008 and has sold over 6 million units. Written by Sean Williams who also penned the number 1 "New York Times" bestselling first installment, this promises to be a thrilling sequel.

ISBN: 978-1848568488
Website: Star Wars SiteForce Unleashed (Game)
Amazon Link: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
First Published: 5th October 2010
Publisher: Titan Books

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Spook's Nightmare (Wardstone Chronicles Book Seven)

The Spook's Nightmare
Spook's Nightmare on Amazon
Title: The Spook's Nightmare

Author: Joseph Delaney

Series: Wardstone Chronicles
Preceded By: The Spook's Sacrifice


Score: 8/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Definite!


It's always more difficult to review a second (although this is actually the seventh) book in a series than the first, or even a second book by an author. This is because the writing style, and pitfalls of an author often change little between books. So If you haven't already, I would advise reading my review of "The Spook's Sacrifice" as well as this one, which will give a more detailed account of the author's style.

On saying this however, there are some marked differences between the two books I've reviewed of the series so far. The main one being is that this book's storyline, while not actually being set in "the County" as the first five were, is much closer to them in storyline than the The Spook's Sacrifice was. By this I mean that while in The Spook's Sacrifice they were on a heroic quest to save the world, Once more they are dealing with local enemies, in fact one they've faced before, and also the fact that there is again distrust between characters, and peoples as a whole, that were more muted in The Spook's Sacrifice. This book felt somewhat more realistic for the fantasy world Delaney has set up.

Speaking of the world he was set up, I would appreciate a map that covered more of the county. I live near the area the county is based on, and it would be nice to see the real towns on a map, such as Kendal. But I do appreciate the geography of the County, and I love the idea of it.

There are a couple of points that went very well, and one that didn't go so well. Beginning with the Spook's failures mentioned in the blurb; It's good to see that the Spook isn't perfect. It helps with the realism and roundedness of the character. Although we have already seen this before, in the Spook's Secret for example, it's also good to see the main character noticing the weaknesses. Similarly, the use of the Dark by the 'good guys' is also good to see. Not because I think they should be dark, but because it represents that not everything in life is black and white. I think that this book generally represented our world a little more than the others, particularly The Spook's Sacrifice, did.

---SPOLIER ALERT: Tom & Alice (Highlight to read)---

Now, the thing that I didn't think went so well was the romantic tension between Tom and Alice. It's been there for several books now, and I'm quite disappointed that they haven't done anything with it. They hold hands every now and again, but I get the impression that the Author's reluctance to take it any further than that is due to the fact it's aimed at children.

While I disagree even that romance should be minimised even in normal children's books, this series has been growing darker, and in many ways more mature, as it's characters age. I don't think that it would be out of place for the two teens to kiss, or be boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, it's something that I hope will happen in the next book.


But overall, this is possibly my favourite of the spook's books so far, and I am eager to read the next, which will hopefully be written soon. Bony Lizzy is a fantastic opponent, and she is restored brilliantly in the book. I look forwards to more returning villains, and new ones, in the future. As before, I would seriously recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy or supernatural novels, adult or child.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 2 Male, 1 Female
Main Antagonist(s): 1 Female
Main Relationships: Hinted Heterosexual
Genre: Fantasy/Supernatural
Brief Synopsis:  (From

The Spook, Tom and Alice return from Greece to find the County under siege – and the Spook’s home burnt to the ground. With his precious library of knowledge destroyed, they seek refuge on the nearby island of Mona. But with Mona in the thrall of a twisted Shaman there is little respite from hostility or denizens of the dark. And as Alice dodges the ever-tightening net of the island’s witch hunters, a more deadly enemy emerges...

Bony Lizzie, freshly-escaped from the Spook’s bonds, has grand ambitions: to take for herself the throne of isle. She has harnessed the services of a tunnel-dwelling buggane, an evil creature which thrives on stealing the animas, or life force, from its unsuspecting victims. With the buggane as her secret weapon can she become an all-powerful Witch Queen?

ISBN: 978-0-370-32981-9
Amazon Link: The Spook's Nightmare
Pages: 401 (hardback edition)
First Published: 2010
Publisher: Bodley Head (Random house imprint)