Blog Post: Reader’s Block

darksoulsI recently finished a run of three fantastic books and because of that I’ve been stricken with what I’ll call reader’s block. You know the feeling when you’ve finished a book that fostered an emotional reaction in you, a connection to it that is deeper than usual – it creates a sense of loss when you finish the final page and disconnect with the characters and worlds you’ve come to love or fear.

This is the sign of a good book, but as a bookworm it is a double-edged sword. Read More »

You must read A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay is a book that I needed to read. I’ve seen it mentioned on my twitter feed for a while, and now I’m kicking myself because I’ve been deprived of one of the best novels that the horror genre has had to offer in years. You really should read this book too. Read on and let me convince you.Read More »

You must read Stranded By Bracken MacLeod

Stranded by Bracken MacLeod (published by Tor Books) drew me in immediately. The book is complex, dark and unapologetically cryptic. The book is atmospheric, tense and mysterious in the tradition of some of the greats in horror fiction. This book will sneak up on you, twist you with dread and suspicion, and then fade away leaving you wondering if it’s truly gone or still out there in the darkness.Read More »

You must read the Ferryman Institute – Here’s why

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl, published by Gallery Books, is a delight to read. The cover and the blurb drew me in while I was browsing books, so I was expecting something interesting. It was Colin Gigl’s excellent plot, world building and characterisation that kept me reading, though. This book is fantastic. It is thoughtful, complex, frustrating and often hilarious. Gigl delivers on every promise the jacket blurb offers, but he enhances it, elevates it, and ascends the book with his strategic use of emotional highs and lows and an enviable control of conflict. This book, suffused with death, becomes more about the gift that life is; something that really resonated with me.Read More »

You must read The Fifth Season By N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, published by the ever awesome Orbit Books, won the Hugo award this year for best novel. Hype often repels me, I have been disappointed before, but the premise sounded great. So, with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, I bought a copy and waded in.

So, straight into it. My impression? This book is wonderful. It is beautifully written, with a vivid but light and accessible style. It is utterly unpretentious, and fiercely intelligent. Read More »

Dragon Quest VII is here!

Dragon Quest VII is finally here. The adventure begins! The long wait for the pal region release on Nintendo 3DS is over. I’ve been dying for some Dragon Quest in Australia and for a while I honestly thought I’d never see it. Other franchises have always overshadowed it and greedily consumed what market share is available; behemoths like Final Fantasy, for example. This lead to a lack of faith in the franchises ability to sell to western audiences. A view that was compounded by the relatively niche demand for JRPGs here and poor sales in the past. I’ve always loved the game style and the stories of this genre. Square was a nexus point for me as a kid for great RPGs. Back before the prevalence of the Internet and the ability to Google things, seeing the emblem of a publisher on a game case that I knew had released good games, of a certain genre, counted for a lot. Read More »

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel – Hype!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Dark Souls III recently. The expansion, Ashes of Ariandel, comes out in a little over a month and I’ve been getting hyped. Anyone who is familiar with the series will know that the expansions are something to be excited about. The first game gave us the Artorias of the Abyss DLC which included one of the coolest and most compelling characters of the game’s lore, Artorias, and the chance to explore Oolacile, which no longer exists in the present timeline of the game – however fluid and open the concept of time is in the Dark Souls universe.

Then there were the expansions for Dark Souls II, which fundamentally improved and reinvigorated that game for me. The Scholar of the First Sin bundle of all three expansions shipped as an entirely different game than the vanilla version. The new locations and boss encounters were incredible, and a step up on pretty much everything in the original game’s content. The game was good, but the expansions and optimisations in Scholar made it exemplary.Read More »

The Lazarus War: Origins – A Retrospective

I haven’t written about the same series twice before. I like to write about them once they are completed, so that I can come at the review and analysis with the full picture and a resolved plot. It is definitely a neater way to do it so I’ve tried to maintain that. This becomes a problem with a series, especially an ongoing one, so I suppose this will be something I face on this blog again in the future. Especially when I read a book that is so good, that gets me so excited about it, that I just have to write about it, to tell people about it. The Lazarus War: Artefact was one of those. You can read my initial review here.

So, I blasted my review off after finishing Artefact, in the afterglow. I was immensely excited by the knowledge that the third book in the trilogy had recently been released. The full trilogy was ready for me to binge on. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but now that I’ve finished Origins, I need to come back to it and write about it again, as a whole. Read More »

The woes of writing: My writer’s war chest

I’m currently working on a manuscript. I’ve had plenty of book ideas in the past but this one is the first that I’ve actually felt might be worth it. If I manage to polish and refine it to the point where it is fit for another set of human eyes, that is. Just writing that feels ridiculously presumptuous and makes me feel small and inadequate.

So anyway, along with the excitement this presents comes all of the negative aspects of writing. Things like the anxiety, the hysteria, the venomous self-criticism, inferiority complexes and the sense that it is all just too big, too ambitious and impossible after all. Then you calm down and it is still incredibly difficult.Read More »

You must read The Lazarus War: Artefact

The Lazarus War is a Sci-Fi trilogy by Jamie Sawyer. The first book is called Artefact, published by Orbit Books.

Artefact is a pure, concentrated page-turner. It is compulsively readable and incredible fun. Sawyer is clearly a huge fan of Sci-Fi subculture, and that works just fine for me. He evokes the tense and powerful Marine group dynamic of Aliens, the interstellar travel and stacked odds of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, while tossing in the awesome notion of armoured space marines fighting repellent and hyper aggressive alien civilisations. It soars.

The first book is an explosion of conflict, intrigue and world building. Read More »