Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review - Liz Williams - Winterstrike

Greetings Guys and Girls.

As promised I'm back with the first of many reviews

I decided to start with the first book I read before the little visit form the gremlin lifeforms and in this case that is Liz Williams's Winterstrike.

Liz is not an unknown name in the sci-fi arena having written several successful novel in several series. Winterstrike being her newest creation.

First of all I have to admit that this was not exactly my type of novel. It was a decent read, entertaining and interesting at times but over all not a repeat read for me.

Liz takes us deep into humanities future, man has colonized mars and in fact for a period of time lost contact with earth and completely forgot our origins.

Through Genetic science and in some aspects the misuse of it man has completely left the picture leave a world ruled by women. The plague of man is of such a dangerous nature that it is in fact illegal for any female to be seen in contact with a man.

The story primarily revolves around the cousins Hestia Mar, a secret spy for the Matriarchy, and Essegui who is on a mission to find and help her sister Shorn who has gone missing a year after her imprisonment for being seen with a genetically modified male.

For Hestia this is a dangerous mission, going against the Matriarchy as she discovers some dark secrets about their beloved leaders. One that takes her to the stronghold of a rebel group of men lead by a female warrior that died a thousand years ago, and eventually all the way back to earth where she makes some startling discoveries.

Essegui on the other hand undertakes a journey ending up with the same rebels but discovering very dangerous secrets about her family and her own sister Shorn who seams to be losing herself in some for of genetic transformation. She must come to accept difficult facts not only about her family and what they have done, including stealing a part of her soul, but also about herself and her limitations.

Both these characters go thorough some character development but I do believe they could have been developed a bit more.

The world Liz creates for us is truly unusual and strange and I found it difficult to grasp at times. A bit more detail into how some technologies worked could have facilitated this but overall for the majority of the book I failed to understand just how the mechanics of the machines and the essence of ghosts interlinked.
Yup that's right the machines are powered by ghosts and you use your soul to interface with them. Freaky!

If your looking for a really out there type of sci-fi novel then this should appeal to you, but for me the lack of insight into the workings of the world, the relatively slow progression of the book, and a rather disappointing and bluntly open conclusion was a rather big disappointment.

Still the almost medusa-like bad guys, or girls in this case, along with the Centipede Queen and her followers were some impressive additions to the story. Also the method of space travel was disturbingly cool.

Well I have decided not to score the books I read anymore, the review itself should allow you to decide if you want to read it or not.
Instead I will just say Interesting to read, it has its ups and downs but personally not a contender for my top list.

Non the less, well done Liz!

Two sequels are planned for Winterstrike as can be concluded from the ending of the first book, but their release dates are not known as of yet.
You can however find an interesting interview held with Liz here
Or if you decide you would like to give Winterstrike a go our SA readers can find it HERE
US readers can find it HERE and UK readers can grab there copy HERE

For now Be Fantastic and see you all soon with more reviews and interesting additions.


Monday, January 25, 2010


As promised i have quite the list of reviews to publish but i will not be over eager and put them all up and over load your mind.
First up is my review for Liz Williams Winterstrike, the review will be coming your way in the next day or two.
Never thought someone would take the saying "And women shall inherent the earth" so literally, or in this case mars!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Life into Horror

The amazing Angry Robot group has signed on a new Horror author, Gary McMahon, to their label who promises to deliver quite the read.
For the full story you can find it here on Dave's site
or alternatively you can go straight to Angry Robots site and find the article here.

Book to Movie Deals

Well guys and girls here is some of the first news I have for you today.
Movie deals.
With the latest trends in adapting Books to the silver screen several new books will be coming to the big TV in 2010 and post.
Apart form the teeny-boper hits of Twilight 3 - Eclipse and the first half of Deathly Hallows (whats up with that?) some more classy productions are also being launched.
Firstly is the deal to bring Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth to the silver screen. You might remember the review i did for that just after mid '09. It might be able to give us a decent movie going experience for a change.
Not much i could find out on that subject apart from that the first drafts for the screenplay being in production, but will be keeping an eye out for that and informing you as more comes our way.
Secondly Terry Brooks novel Magic Kingdom for sale - Sold which forms part of the Landover series sounds to be almost done with production and could see the light of day later this year. Along with the Elfstones and the Sword of Shannara which have been in production for quite some time now, but unfortunately still has no release date.
There is also the new version of Alice in Wonderland that will be hitting cinemas sometime later this year.
Towards the end of the year we can also look out for the launch of the next installment of the Narnia series, Voyage of the Dawn Trader.
As for 2011 so far i can say i am definitely looking forward to see The Hobbit. From the few sneak peaks that have been released it definitely looks to be a pleaser.
Now then there are also a few other well loved classics that are being given a new life but more on them as the information becomes available.
For now i say Happy reading!

"Their here!", well i am at least

Now after a very long and brutal absence I am back and ready to inform.
Due to some pesky gremlins, pixies, goblins and what ever other form of misfortune you would like to blame I was stuck without access to the 3 w's.
But i never stopped reading, so as you can guess i have quite a few reviews stacked up to publish and who knows what other insightful and informative inscriptions i have to upload.
As for my plans for where to go with the blog from here well lets keep that a surprise for now.
But you will soon start to see the trends as they unfold.
As for the original blog, as Dave said he will be returning to that, but we are still keeping in touch and will definitely be supporting each other.
For now I say be fantastic, and enjoy your read.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Change is Coming

Hey everyone, I thought I'd give you all a heads-up about the changes coming to the blogs. :-)

As many of you may know, this was not the first blog I ran. I originally started blogging about and reviewing SFF over at my first blog, and I started this blog because I wanted to play with the options Blogger had, thinking that it would lead to a bigger, better blog. Alas, I was wrong. :-)

In the three month period that this blog has been running, it's accumulated just over 2700 hits. I thought this was pretty okay, but I also knew that there was lots of room for change and growth. I got a surprise, though, when I checked the stats of the first blog - in the same three month period, the old blog accumulated just over 30000 hits! And that was with me updating content sporadically, and then it was only writing-related stuff. So it became immediately obvious to me that the old blog was the blog everyone knew and kept on visiting; it was also the old blog that everyone had linked to, had put in their blogrolls, etc so in retrospect I have no problem saying that I was an utter fool to have thought that I could launch a new blog and enjoy as much success and attention as the old blog did. :-)

Success and attention that will probably increase! You see, a quote from my (old blog) review of Jasper Kent's Twelve has been included on the mass market paperback edition (which should already be on shelves everywhere, except in SA - we've still got a couple of weeks to wait), and I've also been mentioned in the acknowledgements of a highly anticipated book that'll be out shortly. So, making the jump back to the old blog seems like one of my better decisions of late. :-)

The other question that needs answering, I s'pose, is what will happen with this blog?

Well, David Jooste will be taking over this blog; if you need a reminder (which I'm sure you don't) David joined the old blog as a fellow reviewer some months back, and is definitely one of the reasons that my old blog and this blog were as successful as they were. :-) So, David will probably be changing things up a bit here, adding and taking away stuff until he gets the blog the way he wants it. You can expect him to keeping on reviewing SFF but the blog will be entirely his, to do with as he wants. :-)

David has got a whole slew of reviews coming up, so brace yourself! :-)

And until then, be sure to add us to your Google Reader and

be EPIC!