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Showing posts from April, 2013

After America

The world changed forever when a massive wave of energy slammed into North America and wiped out 99 percent of the population. As the United States lay in ruins, chaos erupted across the globe. Now, while a skeleton American government tries to reconstruct the nation, swarms of pirates and foreign militias plunder the lawless wasteland where even the president is fair prey. After America is the second book in The Disappearance series by John Birmingham. Without Warning, the first book, was published earlier this year by Titan Books and the last book Angel of Vengeance is already out as well. The Disappearance series is a new take on the apocalyptic story but in my opinion the series is not truly an apocalyptic story per se. As the name of the series implies, there were disappearances. An unknown energy force wiped out only the inhabitants of the North of America leaving virtually everything else still intact: cars, homes, supermarkets, electricity and even the internet. So there is


The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy. But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened… Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension. For Seraphina hides a secret – the secret behind her musical gift – and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger… As you can see from the dragon on the cover and make up from the synopsis above, dragons play an important role in Seraphina. Now Seraphina is intended for the Young-Adult audience and for me the first series that spr

Ack-Ack Macaque

In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque’. The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence.   A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins encircle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon. The Ack-Ack Macaque idea first featured as a short story in the magazine Interzone and has been turned into a full length book and published by Solaris this year. And it is amazing. It is hard t

The Last Minute

9.21am: business as usual on a high street in England. 9.22am: the explosions are heard for miles around, and in the early confusion there is talk of a gas leak, a plane crash, and even terrorism… The people of Heathwick had been preparing for Christmas unaware that many would die, and the rest would be transformed for ever. Travel with them, second-by-second, through the hopes, fears, love, worries, gossip, cruelty, kindness and trivia that dominated their final minute before tragedy struck. And in the everyday story of an ordinary street, look for clues to what happened, and why. I was browsing for new YA books to read and I came a across The Last Minute, I for one am a bit of a sucker for a catchy cover art (sorry). So with a explosion being shown on it, I read the synopsis and as you can read above it is actually quite catchy. Trying to show the ordinary lives in a England shopping street as they unconsciously live their last minute. I did believe this boo

Sword of Fire and Sea

Three generations ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat’s great-grandfather gave up an imperial commission to commit social catastrophe by marrying a fire priestess. For love, he unwittingly doomed his family to generations of a rare genetic disease that follows families who cross elemental boundaries. Now Vidarian, the last surviving member of the Rulorat family, struggles to uphold his family legacy, and finds himself chained to a task as a result of the bride price his great-grandfather paid: the Breakwater Agreement, a seventy-year-old alliance between his family and the High Temple of Kara’zul, domain of the fire priestesses.  The priestess Endera has called upon Vidarian to fulfil his family’s obligation by transporting a young fire priestess named Ariadel to a water temple far to the south, through dangerous pirate-controlled territory. A journey perilous in the best of conditions is made more so by their pursuers: rogue telepathic magic-users called the Vkortha who wil

Wingheart: Luminous Rock

Magnus Wingheart never knew about the world of Arkane. He never knew about the past his older brother, Drake, had kept hidden from him, nor that his parents had died at the hands of an inhuman enemy in a city he had never known to exist. When that enemy resurfaces, sixteen-year-old Magnus, Drake, and their former guardian, Cecil Handel, become ensnared in a deadly hunt for an elusive object they know almost nothing about. Their only escape entails confronting their pursuer—the immortal madman Daimos Recett, the pivotal figure in a grand scheme that arches across the realms of existence and threatens all of Arkane. Wingheart:Luminous Rock is the debut book written by teenage author Benjamin Gabbay, now 17 years old, this book was published before Benjamin turned 17! There is one author of whom I had quite the pleasure in reading a book with a similar history, those of Isamu Fukui the Truancy series. One thing that caught my curiosity of this book was the small text that


Earth, 2508 A.D.. Humans populate the six arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. The oppressive Unified Authority controls Earth’s colonies with an iron first, stamping out revolt with a powerful military made up almost entirely of expendable, mass-produced clones. Private First-class Wayson Harris was raised in a Unified Authority orphanage among thousands of clones, bred to be the ultimate soldiers. But unlike the other Marines, programmed to obey first and think later, Harris has a mind of his own. When he fends off an attack from a rogue general, Harris is thrust into the middle of a galactic conflict that forces him to question his existence as a weapon of the U.A. and the cost of rebellion.   The Clone Rebellion: Republic is the first book of The Clone Rebellion series written by Steven L. Kent. For some readers talk about clone rebellions often refers to Star Wars but, just to let you know, these books do not reference and are not part of the Star Wars universe. The C

My first run!

Late last year I decided that I wanted to run a marathon in 2013, I picked the marathon of Amsterdam (20th of October 2013). So I started to run a bit and found out I actually had quite a good condition, with cycling to work and back each day, 22km a day. My first training run was a bit too enthusiastic where I severely sprained my ankle, so after some recuperation time, 6 weeks of down-time, I finally could pick up the training again.  I did want to get to know how such an event felt like so I signed up for a 10km run in Rotterdam (14th of April 2013) and the half-marathon in Leiden (26th of May 2013).  My training schedule aimed for prepping for the 10km I already had some nice runs and decided to take the timeframe of running it between 45 and 55 minutes. There was another one in the 10km run that was 55+ minutes.  And today was the day. Looking back on the run itself I must say that eventhough I can easily run the 10km, this was different. Were it the nerves? I don't know

Stephen King 2013 adaptations

2013 has, as far as I know, two major releases in store from two great books by Stephen King. The is the release of the remake of Carrie, the second being the series adaptation of Under the Dome.  Carrie MGM and Screen Gems announced in October of 2011 that they were going for a remake of the highly acclaimed novel and movie of Carrie, Stephen King' first novel. Carrie was first published in 1974 with the first movie adaptation following up in 1976.  Like I have mentioned many times over Stephen King' works were the first ones that I read when I started with fantasy. Carrie was I think my fourth book of Stephen King that I finished and it has always left a definite impression.  The new trailer was released earlier this week and shows, in my opinion, a lot of promise to blow new life into one of the classics of Stephen King. And of course, with the planned release of the movie the  18th of October 2013 , this does invite for a fresh review of Carrie!  Here

Scourge of the Betrayer

Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies – or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself. Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe… and Arki might be next. Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an hist

Truancy: Origins

Fifteen years ago, the Mayor of the Education City was presented with an unwelcome surprise by his superiors: twin six-month-old boys. As the Mayor reluctantly accepted the two babies, he had no way of knowing that they would change the city forever… Raised in the comfort of the Mayoral mansion, Umasi and Zen are as different as two brothers can be. Umasi is a good student; Zen an indifferent one. They love their adoptive father, but in a city where education is absolute, even he cannot keep them sheltered from the harsh realities of the school system. But when they discover that their father is responsible for their suffering, affection turns to bitterness. Umasi and Zen are thrust onto two diverging paths. One will try to destroy the City. The other will try to stop him. Truancy Origins is the prequel to Truancy written by Isamu Fukui . Truancy, which I read earlier this year, was written when Isamu Fukui was still a senior in high school, and I was impressed. Truancy Origin