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Friday, September 25, 2015 - 20:20

Castle - Season 8, Episode 1 “XY”

We spoke a lot about this show on our finale round up episode of the podcast.  The season 7 finale felt like a perfect wrap up for this show, and was explicitly written to be one as the writers didn’t know whether the show was getting picked up for an 8th Season.  Luckily for everyone it did, but how do they kick of a new season without the usual cliffhanger resolve...

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Saturday, August 29, 2015 - 21:43

Okay Ladies and Gents, It's the spin off we've all been waiting for...

Well... It's the spin off that I've been waiting for...

Well... It's the spin off that I heard about a few month's ago and then promptly forgot about until it was actually released.

After 5 very hit and miss seasons of The Walking Dead, it's time to see what's going on in the world outside of Atlanta in the Deadverse.

Opening in a church with a Johnny Depp-a-like stumbling about in a Shaun of the Dead / Fear and Loathing fashion we're thrown headlong into the Zombocalypse as it begins.

Initial thoughts: I really hope that Nick isn't a main character as my first impression is that he's pretty much a complete asshole. 

So, all the ingredients seem to be here. Jocks, nerds, a guidance counsellor, broken families and, of course, Zombies.

About 20 minutes in and we're suffering from a severe 28 Days Later vibe as the Atticus Ross soundtrack kicks things up a notch...

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Friday, August 28, 2015 - 20:52

I have spent today trying different ways to review this book.

A straightforward unbiased critique of a young adult's fantasy story?

A potted history of my relationship with the books of this author?

Perhaps a tribute to the writer who has spent over 30 years of giving me a world to wonder over?

I can't do the first of these and do justice to the others. In fact let's make this simple...

Unbiased critique?

Not an option.

So I'm warning you now. If you want to read a scathing review, I'm not going to be able to do it. I don't mean that as a challenge or some sort of belligerent fist-shaking rant either, I'm just stating a fact. 

This is the last Discworld book. But you already knew that. I would go as far as to suggest that for the majority of anyone reading this, you may well agree that it should be as well. The series ends here, the estate of Terry Pratchett has decided that they don't want there to be any more....

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 18:25

I just don't get enough reading done.

It's a horrid, vile and uncomfortable truth I have had to accept since I devoured the first three Expanse books, acquired the fourth part and have barely managed to get past the second chapter due to various intervening delays.  It was, however, whilst driving around and quickly getting bored of my playlists (not an easy task given I still quite like them) that I suddenly decided to start forking out for audiobooks.  And lo, I was saved!  Once more the wonders of science fiction were renewed in my mind's eye as I drift through the countryside with parcels for the internet shoppers of Northern England.

This first review is something of a compilation of books: The Lost Fleet series by John G. Hemry, under the pen name of Jack Cambell, beginning with Dauntless, follwoed sequentially by Fearless, Courageous, Valiant, Relentless and ending the story ark with Victorious, under thel narrative stylings of Christian Rummel...

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Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 18:12

You know when you leave the cinema and there's that uncomfortable silence as folks are still trying to sum up how they actually feel about the movie that just paid to go and see?

Didn't happen this time - it was clear that this pile of garbage was fired out of someones nose with all the force and beligerence of an elephant with a cold.

The Minions Movie left me ffeling not just a little betrayed, but actually sort of inclined toward not caring about the protagonists by no small margin.  Perhaps its because I actually kept finding myself wishing to understand what the three malformed half-wits were trying to convey (which in previous movies had never been a problem, oddly), or perhaps it was because at one point I was actually hoping that ANY of the background characters or even the villains of the piece would take a more proactive role, or perhaps it was as simple as watching a mildly boring kids film that just didn't have the creative panache that Despicable Me...

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 13:38

I would be remiss if I didn’t firstly point out that Seanan is pronounced SHAWN-in and not Shawn Anne. It is her pet hate.

Rosemary and Rue is the first in a series of books telling the tale of October Daye. October, or Toby for short, is a half Daoine Sidhe and her mother, a full fae, thought her name was quite normal. Prior to this book she established a happy life with her husband, had a daughter and works as both a PI in the mortal realm and a knight errant to the local fae Duke. In the prologue, Toby is sent on a mission for the Duke to save his wife and child from his twin brother. In an unfortunate turn of events she is turned into a Koi carp in the Japanese Tea Gardens, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

After 14 years have passed Toby returns to her normal form and life has moved on. Divorced from her previous existence, she denies her fae origins and retreats to a monotonous mortal life working on checkouts on night shift. Her origins do not want to be...

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 20:41

Where were we ?

Jonathan Strange enchanted in a mystical energy sapping vortex, Arabella, Lady Pole and Stephen Black are all still enchanted, Norrell is under the influence of Lacelles, and all the mirrors in England are broken. Oh, and let's not forget Vinculus swinging by his neck from a tree.

With all of this going on, someone needs to take the rap. Step forward Sir Walter Pole, who resigns from the government for releasing magic on the general public in his attempt to bring his wife back from the dead.

Speaking of Lady Pole, there's a small piece of her on the way from Strange via an ex-publicist courier. Drawlight, who is now utterly pitiful, runs into Lacelles who finishes off their partnership permanently. Despite Lacelles best efforts to hide his treachery, the battered and tatty magical  cards that Childermass owns reveal all, there's a confrontation and Childermass leaves Norrell's service with nothing more than an enchanted finger and a...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 22:24

Two Magicians.

One going bad, one going mad.

Norrell's mean streak comes to the fore. How do you stop the publication of a book to rival your own? You make every copy of it disappear. This is after he has read it of course and is moved to tears by how fantastic it is. He is now at the point of no return. He is going after Strange to stop the unleashing of the things that he wouldn’t tell anyone about...

Then he threatens the imprisoned Drawlight with magical torment if he doesn't find Strange.

What a nice chap...

On the mad front, we're in Venice, where Strange is on the run and acting out his plan to summon a fairy by making himself insane. He runs into the Greysteels, Flora and James, daughter and father, who have been visiting an acquaintance of the crazy cat lady persuasion.

Flora is captivated by magic, Strange by the madness that they describe in their tale of the “indisposed” Mrs Delgado.

Strange takes it upon himself to do...

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Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 15:38

According to the blurb Orctions is a game for 3 to 8 players and takes about 90 minutes to play. And like all great games Orctions combines fun with strategy. Based around 6 Orction techniques and a worker placement mechanic Orctions blends a fantasy world of Orcs with classic Roman Gladiators.

I picked this up at the Board game expo in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago at it's release. Incidentally if you didn't go to the expo make sure you go next year, it was epic. :)

First of all I must say I am impressed with build and art quality, the box and every thing in it has a very nice feel and looks pretty dam good. The rules were a nice easy read (something that can be easy to mess up with complicated rulebooks sometimes) BUT if I have a small niggle it's the order of some of the rules, I felt that during some of the gameplay hunting for certain rules slowed things down a touch.

Onto the game play itself; 90 minutes? A group of four fairly experience game players...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 19:43

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you start an episode.

Usually the Battle of Waterloo would be the climax of a show  Here we have thousands of troops, battle squares, siege, storming of castle gates etc. Some brilliant effects are in play here, money has been spent and it all shows.

In all of this carnage we find Strange at his military duty, putting out burning buildings and squishing French soldiers. The battle is won, the Napoleonic wars are over, Strange goes home. 

All the stress has taken its toll now though and all Strange wants to do is settle down with Arabella, finish his book, have a kid or two and fade into obscurity. 

Unfortunately, though, Napoleon wasn’t his only foe.

Norrell and his new best buddy Lascelles are trying to stop Strange's book because their own has suffered because of a scathing review. 

The Gentleman has summoned the sinister Moss Oak, now in the form of Arabella for nefarious purposes...

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