Books: No Dominion

No Dominion by Charlie Huston I really enjoyed Already Dead, the introduction to Joe Pitt and the Vampyr Clans of Manhattan, and so was really looking forward to the second book, No Dominion. What I didn’t realise was how good it was going to be. Joe is going through tough times after the first book, where he burned bridges with the Coalition, the largest and richest of the Vampyr clans, and now has no regular job or any money or access to fresh blood (which needs to be obtained in discrete fashion to keep the vampyrs from getting noticed). When […]

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Book Review: The Devil You Know

By Mike Carey I expect that most well-read comic book readers probably came across Mike Carey first via the Lucifer series from Vertigo, a spin-off from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, about the fallen angel after he gave the keys to hell to Morpheus – he must be a brave (or desperate) man to work on something related to Gaiman’s landmark comic book series. Subsequently, he has moved onwards and upwards, working on a long run on Hellblazer and now writing Ultimate Fantastic Four and The X-Men. In between all this, he’s managed to find time to write prose novels, of which […]

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Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As I’ve mentioned, I enjoy the Harry Potter series. I enjoy the world that JK Rowling has created and the characters that fill it. The attention to detail, from the huge history to the names of people and spells, and the placing of a world of magic next to the context of the modern world of the mundane are wonderful. Therefore, I was looking forward with anticipation to how it would all come together in the final book. I was amazed by the hype and coverage that surrounded the release of the book. The media coverage was particularly impressive and […]

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Books: McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales

Edited by Michael Chabon, written by various (obviously), illustrations by Howard Chaykin A collection of short stories by top authors? Yes, please. A literary buffet for sampling the skills of different wordsmiths, with some nice art by the stylish Mr Chaykin. Somebody had a good idea there. Glen David Gold provides an amusing little tale of an elephant and revenge. Elmore Leonard and the Old West is a sure-fire winner, and this little story of justice is no different. Neil Gaiman’s Closing Time is a classy ghost story, told in his usual charming style. Nick Hornby provides an odd tale […]

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Book Review: Dead Witch Walking

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison This book was the first time I made use of the Amazon recommendation function to try a new book. Having bought Already Dead, their information gathering programme decided I should try other books involving detective work and vampires (and witches and pixies, oh my) and came up with the Rachel Morgan series, the first of with is Dead Witch Walking (all of the titles are puns – The Good, The Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms – which is cute). Rachel Morgan is a witch, a former […]

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Book Review: Already Dead

Already Dead by Charlie Huston The high concept of this book is hard-boiled vampire detective. Great idea but it needs the execution to make it work – and that is exactly what Huston brings to this great story. Joe Pitt is vampire (or ‘Vampyre’, as Huston has it) in Manhattan, but he doesn’t belong to any of the clans that rule sections of the island. Most of the city is ruled by the Coalition, from 14th street up to 110th (where the Hood takeover), with the rest of the lower end split up into various clans (the Society, Family, Enclave, […]

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Book Round-Up: Purity of Blood, Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, Waking Dragons

In my attempt to catch-up on the reviews of the things that have been entertaining me during my most recent sabbatical, here are a few notes on books I’ve been reading (which are hopefully better than my rather rubbish commentary on the Queen & Country novels; those books are even better than my misguided attempt to summarise them in three paragraphs). Purity of Blood (An Adventure of Captain Alatriste) by Arturo Perez-Reverte This book was a Christmas present from a friend. It is an historical novel by a former journalist, translated from the original Spanish, written in the first person […]

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Book review: Queen & Country novels

A Gentleman’s Game and Private Wars by Greg Rucka Queen & Country, from Oni Press, is a great comic book series, with a complex leading character in Tara Chace, that looks at a more realistic view of the world of modern espionage, specifically the Special Operations Section of the British Secret Intelligence Service. It was a shame that the series went on hiatus while Rucka wrote these novels and ended up as one of the architects of DC’s weekly series redefining their universe, 52, but it was worth it when I read these books. The first, A Gentleman’s Game, is […]

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Running On Empty

I got nothing today. I feel bad about it. I didn’t know what to write about. I think it’s because I’m more a reviewer than anything else. I love talking about things I have seen or read; it’s something I’ve always done. When I was younger, I wanted to be Barry Norman (no relation) doing the Film programme on BBC1. What a great job: being paid to watch films and then talk about them. Fantastic. Obviously, life didn’t work out like that, hence this blog. And the reason for this post is that I haven’t seen a film or read […]

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