All posts by Darren

REVIEW: Blood Reaver by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

REVIEW SUMMARY: Engaging sequel; overall great read.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The second Installment in the Warhammer 40K Night Lords series finds the 8th Legion struggling for a new ship and a new lease on life.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Well-written; engrossing plot; character development; chaos perspective.

CONS: Perhaps a little light on the thrill of suspense.

BOTTOM LINE: Warhammer 40K at its best. This novel pops with all the savory sexiness that is Chaos in the 41st millennium.

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REVIEW: The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham

REVIEW SUMMARY: Highly acclaimed author delivers a strong and promising start to an epic fantasy series. Fans of George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie take note.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The action revolves around the politics within and without the Firstblood Kingdom of Antea. The kingdom is burdened by a weak king and the possibility of civil war. Court intrigues and skirmishes abound.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Good blend of developing characters, setting, and intrigue; great potential for the series.

CONS: “Hero-less” epic could be a turn-off.

BOTTOM LINE: Daniel Abraham is on the right path with great expectations for this series.

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REVIEW: Firedrake by Nick Kyme

REVIEW SUMMARY: Well-done follow-up to Salamander. The plot, the characters, and the baddies thicken significantly.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A Warhammer 40K Space Marines novel. The magical heart of the Salamander Chapter takes center stage as the quest for the future of their home-world continues.

MY REVIEW

PROS: Imaginative Warhammer 40K SCI-FI with a bit of a Fantasy bent.

CONS:Fight scenes are well situated but a little weak.

BOTTOM LINE: I really liked it. When’s the next one coming out?

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Casting the Eisenhorn Movie

Eisenhorn: The Movie — Coming soon to a theater near you!”

Okay, okay, so maybe that thought popped into my head after one too many Newcastles. But imagine it: Eisenhorn on the big screen. That would be brilliance in a bottle, especially for those of us in the Warhammer 40K know.

It’s got me thinking about who should be cast in the lead role if such a cosmically fortuitous Hollywood undertaking would ever begin.

Taking into consideration the epic awesomeness of such a role as Gregor Eisenhorn, one would have to assume that candidates worth their salt would be lined up around the block to audition. The trick, as Casting Director, is to identify the key character attributes of our once and future Inquisitor and find the actor that best matches. First and foremost among the attributes would have to be an air of seriousness (like a chainsword through one’s sternum), followed closely by a dark underlying charisma, and, last but not least, certain believability when it comes to pounding the heretical baddies. While I can see Rowan Atkinson (channeling his Black Adder persona) wonderfully portraying the character of Commissar Caiphus Cain, he wouldn’t work here.

So, here’s my short list of present day, still breathing, middle-aged headlining actors that might fit the bill (in no particular order):

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REVIEW: The Lost By Dan Abnett

REVIEW SUMMARY: The Lost is classic Abnett. Fierce, fascinating, military heroism at its dark future best. Also, the omnibus format is a great way to immerse one’s self in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Abnett takes Gaunt and his elite Ghosts on an ever darker journey as they participate in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade against the forces of Chaos, including the insane Blood Pact of the Archon Urlock Gaur.

In the first book, Traitor General, Gaunt lead’s a small team on a suicide mission to the Chaos controlled world of Gereon. Who will survive behind enemy lines? In book two of the Omnibus, His Last Command, Gaunt and his team must solve the riddle of Ancreon Sextus as the try to find their place back amongst the Ghosts of the Tanith First and Only. The Armour of Contempt brings us a somewhat fractured and darker episode in which Abnett drops us into scenes of violent and hellish combat that the common Imperial Guard must endure, while also showing us that not all wars maybe be victories after the battles are won. Abnett closes with the darkest novel of the four. Only in Death is where Stephen King meets Warhammer 40K, as the Ghost’s are haunted during their defense of a remote and mysterious outpost on the dust-ridden fortress world of Jago.

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REVIEW: Redemption Corps by Rob Sanders

SUMMARY: Sanders introduces us to a gritty, action-packed “A-Team” for the 41st Century.

MY RATING:

As a fan of the Black Library’s Warhammer 40K series of novels, I continue to be impressed by their recent set of new authors and their debuts. Redemption Corps by Rob Sander is no exception. Centered upon Major Mortensen and Commissar Krieg, the novel introduces us to the Redemption Corps, a sort of SAS or “A-Team” for the Imperial Guard of the Warhammer 40K universe. In between a flurry of varied and vicious (and sometimes confusing) battles, we get to know our two main heroes who were a compelling tandem to follow. The author provides an imaginative story line and adds a measure of Imperial intrigue to the mix, though Mortensen and Krieg seemed to be fairly agnostic, if not immune, to the politics flying around them.

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REVIEW: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Beautiful, strong, interesting prose and story.

CONS: Passive protagonist; quicker ending than expected.

BOTTOM LINE: A poetic escape for readers that leaves you wanting more.

Without a doubt, Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the top fantasy writers of our day. His work provides a lush, well constructed, and often poetic escape for readers of epic fantasy. Under Heaven is no exception to this, having an even stronger dose of the poetic than usual and strong historical fiction undertones.

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REVIEW: Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

REVIEW SUMMARY: An excellent addition to an addictive series.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Well-rounded and evolving characters; deftly designed urban fantasy landscape; appeals to a wide audience.

CONS: Rachel’s second-guessing led to some frustration; the plot may move a bit slowly for some.

BOTTOM LINE: A very enjoyable reading experience overall.

Whether she is swapping summoning names with a demon, or swapping spit with a living vampire, Rachel Morgan finds trouble like others find quicksand. Every new Hollows book lands her in ever deeper predicaments with ever more dark and dangerous challenges to overcome. Working through very dark and very adult situations, Morgan must live with the metaphysical smut that comes with dabbling in the gift of Black Magic as well as with the inner moral conflicts that arise as she realizes her potential as both a witch and a demon. Instead of focusing heavily on the monsters and the plot and the mysteries faced in each novel, Kim Harrison pens a story that delves into the mystery that is Rachel Morgan.

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