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Paddy samurai maybe 50 books in a year



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    A Robin Hood Novel (part 2)
    Robin Hood,but not as you know him.
    Enjoyable tale about Robin Hood on Crusade told from the POV of Alan Dale. Worth a read if your a Robin Hood Fan.
    Arrows will fly. Swords will swing. Heroes will fall. Legends will survive. And the Holy Land will never be the same.
    1190 AD: Richard the Lionheart has launched his epic crusade to seize Jerusalem from the cruel Saracens. Marching with the vast royal army is Britain’s most famous, most feared, most ferocious warrior: the Outlaw of Nottingham, the Earl of Locksley – Robin Hood himself.
    With his band of loyal men at his side, Robin cuts a bloody swathe on the brutal journey east. Daring and dangerous, he can outwit and outlast any foe — but the crimson battlefields of the Holy Land are the ultimate proving ground. And within Robin’s camp lurks a traitor — a stealthy enemy determined to slay Christendom’s greatest outlaw before the trumpets fade.
    Blazingly paced and richly imagined, featuring a cast of unforgettable characters and packed with fast, furious action, Holy Warrior is adventure at its thrilling, white-knuckle best.”

    If you want to read an extract:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Wolfsangel stands alone just fine as a straightforward, mythology-laden quest narrative set against a fascinating world, but what sets it apart as great, rather than merely good, is its ambition. Intermingled with the earthly concerns of Vali and Feilig are disturbing, otherworldly encounters with Gods and monsters alike which truly elevate the scope and imaginative prowess of Lachlan's outstanding first fantasy. In a genre which so often hopes to cater to all comers, and so rarely succeeds, Wolfsangel does the impossible: it is both the beginning of a saga that positively begs to be told and an accomplished and satisfying tale in its own right. Only time will tell what vulpine wonders await the lovelorn beast at the heart of this powerful narrative, but this much I can say for sure: Lachlan makes a fantastic first impression.
    For a first fantasy attempt,this is pretty damn good.I enjoyed this book alot ,and I am curious to see how the story will develop.The witches reminded me a bit of those in the 13th Warrior,but don't let that put you off.Considered by some reviewers to be a bit gory in parts,but overall a top notch read.Part two is in the post.
    Vikings,werewolves,Norse mythology and dark magic,whats not to like.

    "Savage, dark, strange and unpredictable." (Joe Abercrombie )

    "There are red herrings and twists all over the place, Lachlan creates a growing sense of insanity that makes the mind-blowing final confrontations completely logical in their denouement." (British Fantasy Society )

    "Genuinely strange, eerie, evocative. A classic." (Adam Roberts )

    "A unique take on the werewolf mythos, on the Norse pantheon and on magic itself. An enthralling, mesmerising book." (Mike Carey )

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    The latest in the bestselling Alfred series from number one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell. In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity! First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer. This novel, the fifth in the magnificent series of England's history tells of the final assaults on Alfred's Wessex, that Wessex survived to become England is because men like Uhtred defeated an enemy feared throughout Christendom.

    A very easy and enjoyable read.Bernard Cornwell is brillant at what he does,and that is writing british historical fiction.A lot of people give out about his writing style been too simple etc,but I love his characters and the past histories that he brings to life. His research is top notch and you become immersed in another era ,another way of life.Uhtred of Bebbenburg is one of my favourite characters.On the first page he had me laughing at his cutting observations about the early church.A pagan fighting for one of Christendom's most pious Kings Alfred.If I could live the life of a fictional character ,it would be that of Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
    Roll on...part 6.

    Great review in the Wall Street Journal:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Set in Manhattan in 1703, this spellbinding sequel to Speaks the Nightbird (2002) from bestseller McCammon finds Matthew Corbett, a 23-year-old magistrate's clerk, on the trail of the Masker, a killer who stalks prominent businessmen. Matthew stumbles on the bodies of two of the Masker's victims, including pederast Eben Ausley, the headmaster of the orphanage Matthew once reluctantly called home. Plucky Matthew, who becomes a junior associate of the New York branch of a London problem-solving firm called the Herrald Agency, discovers a possible link to the crimes in the person of an elderly amnesiac patient in a mental asylum who's known as the Queen of Bedlam. Matthew and his cohorts later make a dangerous foray to the headquarters that the villainous Professor Fell maintains . McCammon brilliantly captures colonial New York and closes with a tantalizing cliffhanger that suggests more exciting sleuthing to come.
    Not as good as Speaks the Nightbird ,but still worth reading.It reminded me of a young Sherlock Holmes taking on the evil Prof.Moriarty and his minions. I found Mathew's judgement of the Masker totally at odds with his views in the previous book,were he seemed to think Justice was more important than the Law.Also for me the ending seemed a bit rushed,all tied up with a neat bow.Some of the evil villains were almost James Bond types.
    The Dypso Nympho , the Prussian sadistic Swordmaster ,the half blind albino kid who likes to torture people with a knitting needle, the paedo orphanage master...etc.

    Mathew Corbett is a great character and despite a few minor faults I have with this book,it was an enjoyable would make a great film/series.

    Roll on Mr Slaughter...........

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    I read this book because I was previously impressed by James Carlos Blake. His book “In the rogue blood” is one of my favourites.
    But TBH I am not a big fan of crime novels ,and while I liked this book and its characters, I just was’nt mad about the setting…......prohibition era 1920’s Texas.

    If you like crime novels , then this is worth a read.
    You could see the Coen brothers making a film out of this.

    Blake revisits familiar territory with another story of an outlaw, this time set in Prohibition-era Louisiana and Texas. Sonny LaSalle, the tragic hero, is orphaned at age 18 and decides to take up with his two beloved uncles, lifelong criminals. After a bank robbery gone wrong, he lands in jail, where he accidentally kills a policeman who is the son of a very influential, very frightening man. Sonny is sentenced to 30 years at the Angola penitentiary but soon escapes with his uncles' help. They head to the oil boomtowns of west Texas, accompanied by long-suffering girlfriends and pursued by the revenge-hungry father, whose activities are described in superviolent chapters interspersed with the main story line. This is a fast-moving story with plenty of action and graphic detail but not really the "thriller" it claims to be. The outcome is all too predictable--the love of danger leads the trio straight past any chance at happiness and headlong into disaster. Still, the journey downward will appeal to noir fans.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    The first book of Day by Day Armageddon took us deep into the mind of a military officer and survivor as he made a New Year's resolution to start keeping a journal. The man kept his resolution and brought to us the fall of humanity, day by day. We see the man transition from the life that you and I live to the prospect of fighting for his very survival against the overwhelming hordes of the dead. We see him bleed, we see him make mistakes, we witness him evolve. The highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling underground cult classic, Day by Day Armageddon begins where the first novel left off.
    Day by day Armageddon-beyond exile J L Bourne

    As I have said previously my preferred reading genres are fantasy , historic fiction and some horror. Zombie books are not the type of book I would usually read. Came across a sample chapter for part one of this on line and got hooked. This sequel started off more of the same and I was becoming a little bored Tbh ,when BOOM ,out of nowhere the story kicked off again big time. Some great Twists on the usual zombie, Armageddon routine in this book.
    Bourne is in the US military, and this really shows in the book, with his in depth knowledge of weapons, flying, military tech etc.
    The scenes with the automatic Gatling guns is great and is like something from the film aliens
    Finished off on a real cliff hanger , so part 3 will be ordered as soon as it is available.

    A couple of minor hiccups where J L forgets it’s supposed to be a diary written in real time, but the story is good enough that you can overlook it.
    If you like Armageddon, Zombies / Walking dead etc. give this one a try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    "Sons of Thunder" takes off where "Blood Eye" ended and follows the band of adventurers led by Jarl Sigurd and containing our narrator, Odin-marked Raven, as well as several unlikely companions including an English girl, a priest who has made his life-mission to convert Sigurd and Raven (and through them the fellowship), as well as a Christian English warrior. This time they make their way to the land of the Franks and to Charlemagne's court, visiting a muddy and still village-like Paris of 803 AD and the glittering Aix la Chapelle aka Aachen, capital of the new "Holy Roman Empire".

    On the way they have the usual adventures, great duels, cunning tricks, great banter and blood curling happenings, while the book keeps the "no putting down" breakneck pace of the first volume. Charlemagne makes a very impressive cameo appearance and the meeting between the emperor whose life mission is to convert "the pagans" by fire and sword if needed and the famous "heathen" Jarl is among the many high points of the novel. Skulking in the background, the real "wheelers and dealers" of the court, of whom the famous Alcuin is one of the highest placed, try and manage the things for the "public eye".

    "Sons of Thunders" has three main strengths and I talked a bit about the impressive "world-building" - or "recreation, if you prefer - above, but I cannot overemphasize how well that is done. Many period historical novels tend to gloss over the unpleasant experiences of life in the respective era, but here the descriptions are unflinching, sometimes very graphical, but they never feel exploitative.

    The characters and their constant banter are also well done and we have very distinct personalities emerging. Sigurd is impressive as the battle hardened warrior with a fearsome reputation, but even he has to "manage" his people, so he fights a dangerous duel on fair terms when he could easily have rigged the situation, while later he consults the "fellowship" in each major decision. From his humble beginnings, Raven is emerging too as an incipient "second in command", while the weight of being "Odin's favored" hangs on his shoulders, so he is the one who needs to devise the "impossible trick" when the situation looks desperate.

    The pace of the novel is unrelenting and you literally cannot put it down since you want to see what happens next and while the ending is at a reasonable point, I so wanted more... A strong A and the series is among the best adventure historical fiction today regardless of period.

    Part 2 of a top notch rip-roaring saga.Historical fiction at its best IMO.You become immersed in their world,you become part of their band of heathen rampagers.
    Great characters ,great banter and well researched material make this worth reading.If you like historical fiction,wild Norsemen attacking the early church,both verbally and with the sword then give this a try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Part 3 in the series.

    If you like Roman Historical fiction,give this series a try. Sidebottom (unfortunate surname) knows his history and gives a well researched account of lesser known aspects of the Roman empire.Top notch characters with lots of action,part 4 is waiting on the shelf. My only gripe ,does'nt anyone do trilogies any more Don't get me wrong this is entertaining stuff,but I am reading so many book series now and they never seem to end.Also have some new authors I want to try.

    Mesopotamia, AD 260 Betrayed by his most trusted adviser, the Roman Emperor Valerian has been captured by the Sassanid barbarians. The shame of the vanquished beats down mercilessly like the white sun, as the frail old emperor prostrates himself before Shapur, King of Kings. Ballista looks on helplessly, but vows under his breath to avenge those who have brought the empire to the brink of destruction with their treachery. One day, maybe not soon, but one day, I will kill you ...But first he must decide what price he will pay for his own freedom. Only the fearless and only those whom the gods will spare from hell can now save the empire from a catastrophic ending. Ballista, the Warrior of Rome, faces his greatest challenge yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

    When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

    It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

    But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

    Great stuff,lots of LOL moments for type of humour.
    Prince Jorg is a murderous,wise cracking, sociopath ,who kills people at a whim and hears voices in his head.He has massacred innocents,gutted peasents , raped their daughters and burned their villages.
    Hope the ending where he rids himself of the dark influences in his head,does'nt lead too many changes in his personality
    A refreshing change from the usual fantasy . I enjoyed this book big time and look forward to part two.A great first attempt overall,but I would like to see more characters developed futher in future books.

    "Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is the best fantasy read I’ve had since Alan Campbell’s Scar Night. ."
    Neal Asher

    "Dark and relentless, the Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner."
    Robin Hobb

    "Excellent and dark. A Great new talent."
    Conn Iggulden

    "Prince of Thorns is the best book I’ve read all year."
    Peter V Brett

    [FONT=Roman[/B]"This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel."[/FONT]
    Robert V.S Redick

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    "I loved the Revolution," says Rodolfo Fierro, the main character of Blake's new historical novel. "It set free the man I truly am. It let me do what I do best as well as it can be done." With these noble sentiments out of the way, Fierro gets down to what it is he does best: slaughtering?rich and poor, male and female. The ex-convict and train robber certainly was in the right place at the right time. During the roughly 10 years the Mexican Revolution tore across the land, it unleashed a human catastrophe unparalleled in that country since the Conquest. Fierro teams up early on in the action with Pancho Villa the bandit/revolutionary, one of the few who seem to revel in love as much as in death. He, for example, dislikes torturing prisoners, because it takes too long. "The time you spend torturing a man is time you could spend dancing and making love," he tells Fierro, who has just witnessed fellow revolutionary Emiliano Zapata's followers roasting an old man to death. Blake (The Pistoleer) blends fact and fiction into one of the few novels that risk political incorrectness by frankly describing the murder, betrayal and deceit that turned a revolution against dictatorship into a civil war that cost the country nearly a third of its population and left psychological scars that last to this day. He deftly follows the political twists and turns that prod Villa to continue as a leader even after his beloved Francisco Madero?Mexico's first president after the dictator Porfirio Diaz?is brutally betrayed and killed by vying revolutionary factions. This is not for the faint of heart, but then, neither is revolution.

    A Book well worth reading if you have an interest in good historical fiction . Blake recreates the life of Pancho and the Mexican revolution brilliantly. Shows Pancho ,warts and all,the atrocities ,the battles and the politics.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.
    Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honor on the battlefield. Obsessed with redemption and addicted to violence, he's far past caring how much blood gets spilled in the attempt. Even if it's his own.
    Prince Calder isn't interested in honor, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power, and he'll tell any lie, use any trick, and betray any friend to get it. Just as long as he doesn't have to fight for it himself.
    Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins any more, he just wants to do the right thing. But can he even tell what that is with the world burning down around him?
    Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts, or even the strongest arms that prevail…
    Three men. One battle. No Heroes.

    Top notch read IMO. Abercrombie’s main characters are brilliantly portrayed, and even though this is a fantasy world , you can relate to it and events surrounding these heroes, cowards, villains and ordinary folk caught up in this epic 3 day battle. A lot of the main characters are shades of grey, rather than the usual black/white (good or bad) types, which makes it all the more believable. I found myself thinking “what would I do in similar circumstances”. Also the battle scenes are so well written that you will find yourself cheering for both sides at different points in the battle.The Cinematic gore splattered battles convey the chaos, carnage and futility of war, and make you feel as if you are caught up in the midst of the filth, gore and terror.
    Great banter between the characters , thought provoking and witty dialogue with some great insights into the human condition all add up to a cracking read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    "Powers' first new collection since 2005 assembles five stories and a novella, where he exhibits his extraordinary talent as a fantasist and his uncommon imaginative power." — (September 20, 2011)

    "During a 25-year career that includes several highly praised novels and many awards, Powers has earned a reputation as a reigning master of adult contemporary fantasy.... Whether the subject is disillusioned priests or vengeful spirits, Powers is always ready with a surprise around the next narrative corner. A delight for fans and nonfans alike." —Booklist STAR on Strange Itineraries

    "Most fantasy authors aim at persuading you of the reality of their invented worlds. Mr. Powers makes you doubt the reality of your own. . . . That's what creates a true frisson." —Wall Street Journal (October 8, 2011)

    "Powers writes action and adventure that Indiana Jones could only dream of. And, just when it threatens to get out of hand, there's a dash of humor and irony that keeps you reading for the joy of it." —Washington Post

    "Powers knows the ways we get haunted - by ambition, loss, greed, and heartbreak - and you finish reading this handful of beautifully crafted tales wishing he'd tell us more." —Locus (August 2011)
    As a long time Tim Powers fan I found this book a bit of a hit and miss affair. A collection of 6 short stories , most of which I found to be just ok. Two that I really enjoyed were “A journey of only two places “.This is a cracking little tale full of athmosphere , and a nice twist at the end. My favourite was “A time to cast away Stones”, this for me was Tim at his best , top notch IMO. Although a stand alone story , this is following on from his book “The Stress of her regard”. A book that I have not read yet, but is sitting on my shelf. Following this taster I have bumped it up my list and hope to read it after my current book. Overall I found the book to be an expensive read (I bought the limited edition) given the content. But it’s an easy read so I will read it again in the future to see if I change my opinion on the other stories.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    'A chilling masterpiece that weaves fact and fable. Bedtime reading? Only if you don't need much sleep...' BEST 'Humphreys' elegant prose and command of his obscure subject matter creates an uncompromising, extraordinary journey into the brutal times and tortured soul of an oft-misunderstood ruler whose reign became synonymous with terror'

    Vlad Tepes AKA Dracula,has long been a figure of fascination for me.His ruthless single mindedness turned Wallachia from a corrupt and lawless state ,into a prosperous and ordered land. He then took on the mighty Ottoman Empire,bringing to them chaos and terror,hugely out of proportion to the size of his resources. A controversial figure, revered and reviled in equal measure by the opposing sides,I have always wondered at the mindset of Vlad and how he reconciled the horrific acts he carried out with his conscience. I know it was a different era and cruetly was rife,but Vlad seems to have brought it to a whole new level. The graphic descriptions of impalement bring home the horrific deaths suffered by his victims.Was he using impalement as type of psychogical warfare to mitigate his enemies superior forces?.
    Humphreys suceeds in humanising him,and gives us a plausable explaination on Vlad and his actions. Loved the twist at the end.This is a great read,well researched and well written...............a real page turner.
    Expect plenty of gore and blood,after all it is .........Dracula.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    This is a complex adult fantasy and will not suit those looking for a light read. Powers weaves a wonderfully unique tale of historical fiction, incorporating fantasy and horror with historical fact . The story revolves around the real life characters Lord Byron and Percy Shelley . Powers gives us a fantasy explanation of the events/decisions in their lives, including the controversial circumstances of Shelley’s death. What I like most about powers is that with his unique historical fantasy , he makes the most outlandish imaginations seem reasonable and factual. Some of the elements he includes are the Romantic Poets and their muses (The Nephilim). The Austrian invasion of Venice, The Graiae( the Gorgons 3 blind sisters) and their mythical eye, The Italian Carbonari ,etc, etc. Diverse historical and mythical elements that powers crafts into a believable tale.
    This is a well researched book , after reading it I went online to find out more about Byron, Shelley , Trelawney etc and could find no major errors in the facts/events around which he wove his story
    While not my favourite Tim Powers book this is a rewarding read .
    This is a literary novel in the classic sense: long, leisurely, meticulously crafted, and full of allusions to literature and cultural motifs. The plot spans six years and multiple countries, although the story, altogether, forms a sweeping epic beginning at the dawn of time. Powers never drops big expository boulders on his readers’ heads, though — the complicated mystery of the lamia, or Nephelim, whose “regard” for their beloved victims is so destructive, unwinds bit by bit as the tale progresses. Readers will need to pay attention and keep a good memory for small details, because even the tiniest may be an important clue.

    Full indepth review to be found here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    “As expected, the warfare is ferociously bloody, the sacrilege pointedly barbed, and the story expertly paced. Heck, we’d even extol Uhtred’s budding spells of sober reflection about life and love—if we weren’t certain he’d slice an ear off for saying so.” (Entertainment Weekly for Sword Song )

    “Compelling.” (Publishers Weekly )

    “Gripping. . . . Mr. Cornwell’s ‘Saxon Stories’ subvert myths of national origin as few would dare. They are ‘unofficial histories’—and all the more realistic for that.” (Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal )

    “Cornwell…writes morally complicated and intricate stories, and he’s won a following not just among readers but also among fellow writers.” (Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review )

    “[M]asterful. . . . The surprise is that Cornwell’s love scenes are as deft as his action scenes, though far fewer, of course—all driven by a hard-shelled, sporadically soft-hearted, always charismatic protagonist.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

    “Bernard Cornwell does the best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present.” (George R. R. Martin )

    “There are bloody battles and political machinations and plenty of meticulously researched historical nuggets to keep readers interested. The story is likely to appeal to anyone who has enjoyed George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.” (Christian DuChateau, CNN
    Top notch historical fiction IMO. Gritty, action packed,while at the same time being informative and humorous.Also has some great battle scenes ,great characters ,and lots of intrigue . I love this series about Alfred the Great and the foundation of England. Uhtred , the main character around whom the series revolves, is one of my favourite characters ever. A Pagan who fights for Alfred , with a irreverent yet insightfull attitude to the early church. Cornwell does a ton of historical research ,and this shows throughout the book.
    Overall an easy read that is highly entertaining and educational at the same time.

    Bernard Cornwell interviewed by RR Martin see editorial reviews at below link.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    This is a short novel which I read over three nights. Set in a post nuclear world 150 years after the bombs fell. Lack of resources forces a clan of human survivors to leave their subterranean refuge. Following a radio message offering them hope they take on the arduous trek to safety through the nuclear badlands, while been hunted by the mutated vampires.
    I love Armageddon stories and this is an interesting take on the usual fare , but IMO this needed to be fleshed out a lot more. While no where as good as the Necroscope series , this is still an ok read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    This is my first book by Parker and overall I found it to be an good read. Although classed as fantasy, I could see this book appealing to a lot of readers of different genres.
    It is basically the story of a powerful dysfunctional family , banished from their homeland and at odds with the locals in the colony where they live. The main character Gignomai mec’Oc I found highly entertaining , although it was Luso his brother that was my favourite. Theres some great dialogue in this book ,the meeting between Luso and the Mayor in his store reminded me a bit ,of the opening scene in the filmThe Inglourious Basterds”.
    Gignomai ‘s punishment of his family did’t gel for me ,his father maybe. His brothers I felt were no more guilty than him. He does admit this in the book ,but for me his murderous actions did’nt gel with the rest of the story.

    Not my usual type of read but overall well worth reading imo.

    Full review here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Brilliant!.This is turning into a fantastic series.This one IMO is the best so far.A real page turner,even when I was'nt reading it,I was thinking about reading it and counting the minutes till I could pick it up again.
    Think Hannibal Lector meets the Last of the Mohicans meets a young Sherlock Holmes and you get a rough idea what it is about.These books are begging to be made into films.My favourite book ,so far this year.
    Part 4 The Providence Rider is already ordered.:D

    The world of Colonial America comes vibrantly to life in this masterful new historical thriller by Robert McCammon. The latest entry in the popular Matthew Corbett series, which began with Speaks the Nightbird and continued in The Queen of Bedlam, Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery.

    The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York. Along the way, Slaughter makes his captors a surprising--and extremely tempting--offer. Their response to this offer will alter the course of the novel, setting in motion a series of astonishing, ultimately catastrophic events.

    Mister Slaughter is at once a classic portrait of an archetypal serial killer and an exquisitely detailed account of a fledgling nation still in the process of inventing itself. Suspenseful, illuminating, never less than compulsively readable, it is, by any measure, an extraordinary achievement, the largest accomplishment to date from one of our most gifted--and necessary--writers.
    As soon as he found the glasshouse with the peppers , I knew the old folks were kebabed:D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    This is a historical novel featuring Cesare Borgia,Leonardo Da Vinci ,Niccolo Machiavelli and a lady that inspires Leonardo's Mona Lisa.Overall it is a very easy read and revolves around about six main characters.

    Leonardo and more particularly Cesare, are two characters that I have always had a keen interest in,so I was looking forward to this book.While this is an ok read and has a good feel for the period involved it did not live up to my expectations.

    It sounds like a Renaissance replay of Stoppard's drama Travesties: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia, all testily holed up in the besieged castle of Imola in 1502. But it happened. Paul Strathern wrote a book about the weird conjunction of these giant planets.
    Black converts their encounters into high-spirited, zestfully crafted fiction. His novel switches between soliloquies: the artist, the politician, the warlord, along with the mercenary Vitellozzo and Dorotea, the mistress of Borgia who knits the strands of plot and personality.
    With a few wobbles, Black gives each a credible voice while conveying the true stories of their blood-soaked, vision-driven epoch. His swaggering patchwork of creative and destructive egos snares the spirit of the age.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    This book features three short stories and a few brief encounters based on the character Michael Gallatin from McCammons book The Wolfs Hour (1989).The short story "The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs " was my favourite overall.I bought the limited edition copy from SP and while I enjoyed the book overall I would view this as an aperitif,and was left hungry for a more substantial meal.
    The book ending leads me to believe that there will be more Gallatin adventures in the future.I for one can't wait,bring it on.
    Its a long time since I read Wolfs Hour and it seemed to me that there was a lot more werewolf action in the original story.While I was slightly dissapointed on one level by Michaels reduced bloodletting the stories included were good enough for me to overlook this

    For In-depth review,see below..........

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    "Creepers" is the slang term for urban explorers: history and architecture enthusiasts who share a keen fascination with exploring abandoned buildings and tunnels. The Internet reveals hundreds of thousands of urban-explorer contacts throughout the world. But for every group that decides to publicize itself, there are many who don't – because urban exploration is illegal and so unsafe it can be deadly. Authorities impose serious jail terms and/or fines to discourage it. Creepers liken their adventures to the covert-ops military expression for invading hostile territory: infiltration. As"][/URL] indicates, the objective is "places you're not supposed to go".


    A change of pace for me. I was in the mood for a quick easy read so I picked up this Thriller by Morrell. Although I have never read Morrell’s most famous book I have over the years read about 6/7 of his books and found them to be enjoyable/entertaining reads. If I was to rate this book in terms of other thriller writers I would say this is a few steps up from Cussler but not on par with Ludlum, with a little bit of horror added in.
    If your in the mood for a “switch off your brain” thriller give this a try.

    Frank Balenger is a New York Times reporter doing a Sunday magazine profile on urban explorers, better known as creepers. It's an illegal activity but a very popular one, in which adventure seekers invade crumbling old structures in search of thrills and perhaps a glimpse of the past. Frank joins a team of four as they prepare to enter the long-shuttered and mysterious Paragon Hotel. They surreptitiously enter as darkness envelops the city, planning to emerge before dawn none the worse for wear. At least that's the plan. Initially they encounter the expected assortment of crumbling furniture, magazines, and rats, but soon they realize they are not alone, and their counterparts are not friendly people…………………….

    PS: one of the reasons I read is I love reading is learning something new. Aside from fantasy I usually pick up new and interesting facts from most books.If true, I look forward to checking out the info about Orson Wells “Citizen Kane” even if it does ruin future viewings for me .

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Part 3 of the Outlaw Chronicles and my favourite so far.An entertaining read revolving around Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart ,but told from the POV of Alan Dale.As said in previous review it's Robin Hood but not as you know him.
    Angus Donald leads you into the familiar forests of Medieval England...and then all hell breaks loose! Far from the figure of popular legend, Donald's Robin Hood is a brutal, cunning warlord who will let nothing stand in his way. A fresh, lively and welcome take on one of the world's most famous outlaws. And yet, it stirred in me a nostalgia for all the great stories of my childhood; those that thrilled me, inspired me and shaped who I am today. Complex heroes, craven villains, brutal fights...King's Man is a boy's own romp that flies like an arrow from a yew bow .Giles Kristian

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    I liked this book.But as someone else said previously in a review "This is a good history lesson but not a good Novel".
    I have read lots of books about Rome and its enemies, about Hannibal,Atilla,Vercingetorix etc. While I had heard previously about Pontus ,I did not know a lot about Mithridates.This is a highly informative book and brings to life the amazing killing machine that was a roman legion,while at the same time humanising the so called barbarians. Cutis explains the internal politics of Rome while showing us the tactics/diplomacy used in expanding their empire.He also explains how as little as 3 legions could wipe out 100,000+ or 200,000+ enemies.
    If you like books about Roman history,and are interested in the "barbarians" POV , give this one a try.

    To the Romans, the greatest enemy the Republic ever faced was not the Goths or Huns, nor even Hannibal, but rather a ferocious and brilliant king on the distant Black Sea: Mithridates Eupator VI, the last king of Pontus, known to history as Mithridates the Great. At age eleven, he inherited a small mountain kingdom of wild tribesmen whom his wicked mother governed in his place. Sweeping to power at twenty-one-years-old, he proved to be a military genius and a man intent on ousting the Romans from the Black Sea coast territories. For over forty years, Rome sent its greatest generals to contain Mithridates, but time and again he embarrassed the Romans with devastating defeats. Each time Rome declared victory, Mithridates considered it merely a strategic retreat and soon came roaring back with a more powerful army than before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    A high-tech adventure thriller about a life-or-death search for a 100-year-old time capsule. Sometimes the past is buried for a reason.
    David Morrell's Creepers was a publishing event in 2005, a powerful, edgy, dark thriller by a master of the genre. A New York Times best-seller, it won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award and earned numerous critical raves. Scavenger, Morrell's latest novel, takes us in a harrowing new direction: a desperate high-tech scavenger hunt for a 100-year-old time capsule. Frank Balenger, the resolute but damaged hero of Creepers, now finds himself trapped in a nightmarish game of fear and death. To save himself and the woman he loves, he must play by the rules of a god-like Game Master with an obsession for unearthing the past. But sometimes the past is buried for a reason.
    Scavenger is a brilliant, frightening hunter-hunted tale that layers modern technology over the dusty artifacts of earlier times. The result is a surreal palimpsest, one that contains the secret of survival for Balenger and a handful of unwilling players who race against the game's clock to solve the puzzle of the time capsule, only to discover that time is the true scavenger. Morrell's trademark action sequences are embedded with fascinating historical clues that make Scavenger a thrill-a-minute page-turner as well as a mesmerizing literary experience.

    The follow up to Creepers ,and an quick easy read. While not as good as Creepers IMO ,overall it was still an ok thriller. It was the details that Morrell researched for the book that I found to be of interest. Ended up online finding out more about the “Doomsday vault” in Norway, ”letterboxing” and “Geocaching”. .
    Apart from the main story the author also makes some interesting and thought provoking observations about God ,Video gaming, virtual time versus real time. etc, along with explaining the history and nature of time capsules. One reviewer said that they could see Video gamers been well satisfied by this book, as a gamer myself I cannot say that I agree. I enjoyed the story up to a point, but felt there was something missing.
    On the positive side , you will end up been educated despite yourself, and it is an enjoyable way to learn about new things.

    While checking it out online I came across this site for Geocaching in Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Discover the fate of the original black Magician, Pug, and his motley crew of agents who safeguard the world of Trigia, as prophecy becomes truth in the first book of the last ever Midkemian trilogy. THE KINGDOM BESIEGED The Darkness is coming! The Kingdom is plagued by rumour and instability. Kingdom spies in Kesh have been disappearing - either murdered, or turned to the enemy side. Information has become scant and unreliable; but one thing appears clear. Dark forces are on the move!....

    Before reading this, I had decided that this would probably be my last Feist book. As a long time fan ,apart from an odd spark of the old Feist I have been disappointed by his last few books ,which IMO were not up to his earlier standards.I would have an even lesser opinion of most of his later collaborations with other authors. This one is better than his previous book and shows a glimmer of the old Feist , but I am not sure if it is enough to convince me to continue reading him in the hope that things will improve. Midkemia needs a change IMO. The indestructible Pug and Thomas need to bow out and new characters, locations need to be introduced, maybe a change of timeline would help ,how about a few centuries before Pug was born?. IMO Pug is done to death , and has nothing more to contribute apart from a grand exit. How about writing from a different POV, the dark elves maybe?, Kesh?. Whatever Feist decides I would hate for this series to end with a wimper,or overstay its welcome .

    Edit:Magician's End ?.Just found this online,so maybe Pugs days are numbered after all?.
    A Crown Imperiled (2012)The book was released in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2012 and in Australia on February 1, 2012.

    It was released in the United States on March 15, 2012.

    First editions in all three countries have an error in the later parts of the book. Pug, a pivotol in all of Feist's Riftwar novels, appears in two places at once due to an editing error.

    [edit] Magician's End (TBA)No announced release date, Not yet published

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Part 4 of 10.The Matthew Corbett series.

    RR Martin, Gemmell , Feist , Abercrombie, Rothfuss , Cornwell are among my favourite authors that have produced some fantastic series ,but McCammon’s Matthew Corbett series is fast becoming my favourite .I am not saying it is better than the others ,only that it is the perfect series for me at this moment in my reading life. A refreshing change from what I have read previously while at the same time been highly entertaining and a very easy read. While adult in content , it kind of reminds me of the excitement I felt when I first started reading as a teenager. The “whats gonna happen next” stay up all night book.
    McCammon has introduced a huge range of diverse and interesting characters in the various books , the villains are James Bondish, being suitably unique ,evil and excentric, yet at the same time they fit perfectly into McCammon’s brilliant world weave that is colonial America. The supporting characters are well developed and you empathise with them and cheer them on in the trials and adventures. In this book we learn more about Prof Fell , and I for one like the way McCammon is developing this emperor of crime. The clues to his identity
    and the tragic circumstances of his family life
    are humanising this faceless crime lord and making him a more interesting and complex character than first thought.
    As said previously,you could see this book series been made into Film or a HBO series, and actors/actresses falling over themselves to play these fantastic characters.
    My only minor criticism is that sometimes I feel that McCammon tries to fit too much into each book , leaving you with the feeling that the endings are a bit rushed. Just add another few more chapters Robert :).
    As you can tell I like this series a lot, and I am looking forward to the future instalments. Hopefully McCammon won’t run out of steam ,and the main character Matthew Corbett will continue to develop.
    Roll on part 5.
    The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying--and trying very hard--to get his attention. That someone is a shadowy figure from out of Matthew's past: the elusive Dr. Fell. The doctor, it turns out, has a problem of his own, one that requires the exclusive services of Matthew Corbett.
    The ensuing narrative moves swiftly and gracefully from the emerging metropolis of New York City to Pendulum Island in the remote Bermudas. In the course of his journey, Matthew encounters a truly Dickensian assortment of memorable, often grotesque, antagonists. These include Sirki, the giant, deceptively soft-spoken East Indian killer, Dr. Jonathan Gentry, an expert in exotic potions with a substance abuse problem of his own, the beautiful but murderous Aria Chillany, and, of course, the master manipulator and 'Emperor of Crime' on two continents, Dr. Fell himself. The result is both an exquisitely constructed novel of suspense and a meticulous recreation of a bygone era. Filled with danger, narrative surprises, and an almost tangible sense of place, The Providence Rider is historical fiction at its finest and most developed. It is the novel that McCammon's many devoted readers have been waiting for. They will not be disappointed.

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 17,926 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ixoy

    Edit:Magician's End ?.Just found this online,so maybe Pugs days are numbered after all?.
    As is Midkemia's days - it's the final Midkemia book that Feist is going to write. The end! And you have to stick with it now after decades and 20+ books...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then a deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire–this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    ACACIA is a thrilling work of literary imagination that creates an all-enveloping and mythic world that will carry readers away. It is a timeless tale of heroism and betrayal, of treachery and revenge, of primal wrongs and ultimate redemption. David Durham has reimagined the epic narrative for our time in a book that will surely mark his breakthrough to a wide audience.

    Acacia is a captivating and entertaining epic fantasy read Imo. This was a gold nugget for me, as I had heard nothing about this series prior to discovering it on line. Overall the story reminds me a bit of the RR Martin’s A song of Fire and Ice series. This is not as deep as Martin’s epic series, and does not have as many story lines or characters . I would not see this as a negative ,as Durham weaves a great tale of intrigue, war, magic, betrayal all set in a well developed fantasy world. While some of the characters are the standard fantasy characters, Durham does more than enough to make them his own .The cliffhanger ending along with the numerous hints about future encounters with the unknown enemy, make reading the rest of the series a foregone conclusion for me.
    This is a top notch read, and a bonus for me is the series is available complete. ;)

    If you like fantasy ,I would recommend that you give this a try.

    Part 2 & 3 arrived in the post this morning :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    While not perfect,this is still a top notch read.Lawrence's humour is my type of humour,so I enjoyed this book big time.Not as LOL as part 1,but it does not disappoint.
    A minor gripe was Jorgs
    continuously outsmarting his enemies with his last minute plans which always seemed to work out

    A major plus is that I love Lawerence's writing style,some of his writing is almost poetic.
    In the long ago,in the gentle days,Brother Grumlow carved wood,worked with saw and chisel.When hard times come carpenters are apt to get nailed to crosses.Grumlow took up the knife and learned to carve men.He looks soft,my brother of the blade,slight of build,light of colour,weak chin,sad eyes,all of him drooping like the moustache that hangs off his lip.Yet he has fast hands and no fear of a sharp edge.Come against him with just a dagger for company and he will cut you a new opinion

    IM0 ,overall this is great fantasy,and I for one, can't wait for part 3.:D:D:D

    If you have any interest in Fantasy,make sure to give this series a try.
    Essentially, King of Thorns is a novel that solidifies Mark Lawrence’s place as one of fantasy’s most talented authors. Rather than follow a proven formula, Mark Lawrence has taken a risk by introducing new concepts, new characters, evolving the protagonist’s abilities and throwing a dash of empathy into his profoundly evil character. And you know what? He pulled it of and then some. Best of all; it’s all told through prose that flow with such poetic beauty that there are times you find yourself shaking your head, mouth agape whilst mumbling ‘wow’.

    If you want to find out more check out this review.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    A western of the old style. If someone had said to me prior to getting this book, would you like to read a western from the POV of a young adolescent girl and her widowed mother ,I would have said thanks, but no thanks.
    The reason I picked this up because I had previously read Legion by Altimari and enjoyed it big time. This is a gentler read that grows on you , and draws you in. It may even tug the odd heart string, if you let it. Closer in style to Louis L’amour, rather than McCormack, James Carlos Blake or George G Gilman.
    The hero is a clean cut straight forward good guy , who does the right thing, and stands up for those who cannot defend themselves. But for all that ,still a believable character from a bygone age.
    Despite it’s “western” setting, it is a book that because of its content/writing style, will appeal to all genders and age groups.
    Apart from the bit of flag waving at the end , it was still overall ,an enjoyable , short, and easy read.
    Manolete, last of the great Apache chiefs, has broken out of the reservation, and terror sweeps southern Arizona. Ranchers scramble for their weapons in the certainty that Manolete and his braves will now seek a terrible revenge. In a small town in the path of the Apaches, eleven-year-old Katy Malone and her widowed mother are living a quiet life when a cavalry officer rides into their world. On the eve of retirement, Colonel Red McGregor pauses for a moment to water his horse…………………..
    As previous reviewers have said, you could see this been a film.