Review: PRAETORIAN OF DORN by John French (Black Library)

FrenchJ-HH-PraetorianOfDornThe Heresy arrives on Terra

Recalled from the Great Crusade after Ullanor, Rogal Dorn and the VIIth Legion were appointed as the Emperor’s praetorians – but only after the Warmaster’s treachery was revealed did the full extent of that sacred duty become apparent. Now, the Solar System comes under attack for the first time since the war began, and many of the seemingly impregnable defences wrought by the Imperial Fists prove inadequate. With all eyes fixed firmly upon this new threat beyond the gates of Terra, who in turn will protect Dorn from the enemy within?

The 39th novel in the Horus Heresy series finally brings the traitors to Terra. This is a really interesting, well-constructed novel, featuring plenty of subterfuge, close combat and big set-piece battles. If you’re a fan of the series, and have been following it since the beginning, I’m sure you’ll appreciate how this novel moves the story of the Heresy forward. Continue reading

Review: THE KILLING KIND by Chris Holm (Mulholland)

holmc-h1-killingkindukpbAn entertaining thriller introduces us to an interesting new anti-hero

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he’s not so bad a guy.

Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life — and beloved fiancée — and set out on a path of redemption…or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts: he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he’ll make sure whoever’s coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living — but a great way to make himself a target.

It took me altogether too long to get around tor reading this series. I thought it sounded great when it was first announced; and, now that I’ve read it, I’m glad to report that it didn’t disappoint. This is an interesting, fast-paced first instalment of a cool new series. Continue reading

Cover Reveal: THE REMNANT by Charlie Fletcher (Orbit)


Above is the rather good cover for Charlie Fletcher‘s third Oversight novel, The Remnant. Due to be published in March 2017 by Orbit Books in the UK and North America, the cover fits very nicely with the first two (below). Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the chance to read The Oversight and The Paradox, but I fully intend to do so. In the meantime, here’s the synopsis:

“The Oversight is most dangerous when most reduced. There are many dead and gone who did not remember that.”

The Oversight of London has been sworn for millennia to prevent the natural and the supernatural worlds from preying on each other.

Now, at its lowest ebb, with its headquarters destroyed and its last members scattered far and wide, this secret society will battle for survival and face the harshest foe it has ever met: itself.

I’m looking forward to reading all three of these. Hopefully soon.


Guest Post: “New Voices” by Mark Morris

morrism-authorpicThe horror genre is in fine fettle at the moment. In fact, I can’t remember a time when the work being produced has been more wide-ranging, inventive and exciting. This is not only due to the fact that established names like Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon, Joe R. Lansdale, Adam Nevill and Stephen Volk are continuing to produce excellent work, but is also because a huge influx of new writers has ensured that if the genre was a bar or a club, then it would be the coolest, most vibrant place in town in which to hang out.

Some of the genre’s newer writers seem to have become instantly successful, and it’s wonderful to see the likes of Josh Malerman’s BirdBox, Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney, Catriona Ward’s Rawblood, Nick Cutter’s The Troop and The Deep, and Sarah Lotz’s The Three and Day Four on sale in supermarkets and piled up on promotional display tables in Waterstones.

What’s also heartening is that writers who have been around for a while, their work illuminating the small presses and gaining praise, honours and fans along the way, now seem to be breaking through into the mainstream too. Continue reading

Quick Review: CANADA by Mike Myers (Doubleday Canada)

myersm-canadaAn endearing, informational memoir

Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: “no description of me is truly complete without saying I’m a Canadian.” He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.

His hilarious and heartfelt new book is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment. It is Mike Myers’ funny and thoughtful analysis of what makes Canada Canada, Canadians Canadians and what being Canadian has always meant to him. His relationship with his home and native land continues to deepen and grow, he says. In fact, American friends have actually accused him of enjoying being Canadian — and he’s happy to plead guilty as charged.

A true patriot who happens to be an expatriate, Myers is in a unique position to explore Canada from within and without. With this, his first book, Mike brings his love for Canada to the fore at a time when the country is once again looking ahead with hope and national pride. Canada is a wholly subjective account of Mike’s Canadian experience. Mike writes, “Some might say, ‘Why didn’t you include this or that?’ I say there are 35 million stories waiting to be told in this country, and my book is only one of them.”

This beautifully designed book is illustrated in colour (and not color) throughout, and its visual treasures include personal photographs and Canadiana from the author’s own collection. Published in the lead-up to the 2017 sesquicentennial, this is Mike Myers’ birthday gift to his fellow Canadians. Or as he puts it: “In 1967, Canada turned one hundred. Canadians all across the country made Centennial projects. This book is my Centennial Project. I’m handing it in a little late…. Sorry.”

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book. I had high hopes, of course, that it would be an amusing look at Myers’s Canada, and it certainly did contain that. It is also a more-general memoir. Every chapter, though, even when covering Myers’s time in the UK or US, is filled with references to Canada (Toronto in particular) and how the country has shaped his character and comedy. It is amusing, intelligent and quite endearing. Continue reading

Guest Post: “If We Met Aliens Tomorrow, Would We Notice?” by D. Nolan Clark

ClarkDN-1-ForsakenSkiesEver since we realized there were other stars out there — and other planets — we’ve been obsessed with the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Stories of meeting beings from other worlds fill up the box office and the bestseller lists, and pretty much everyone on Earth agrees, there must be life out there somewhere. As years go by with no contact, however, some are starting to wonder why it’s taking so long.

The answer may simply be that like anything involving the huge distances and faint signals of space, meeting aliens is hard. In fact, it’s quite possible we’ve already been contacted — and we didn’t notice. Here are four scenarios that could lead to us missing out on the greatest moment in human history. Continue reading