Archive | Fiction

teampreston

Pathfinder Tales: Prince of Wolves Review

Posted on July 26, 2010 by

The Pathfinder Tales are a series of novels set in the fantastic new Pathfinder RPG setting. Having read several tie-in novels for a wide variety of settings/ games I was excited to give this a shot. I think my excitement was well placed; the novel is a lot of fun and a fantastic “first look” in to rich Pathfinder setting.

The author does something we see little of these days (it seems) in utilizing the first-person perspective. Admittedly it took a chapter or so to warm up to it, but it seemed to really work. The first person perspective makes the events of the story seem a bit more personal and the author did a fine job in making some really interesting characters.

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Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile Review

Posted on July 22, 2010 by

It’s come to my own personal attention that there are no longer any things in this world that excite me. It’s not that I am some dispassionate postmodern intellectual existential snob, OK-maybe I am, but it’s not as if my world view doesn’t allow for some joy. And when I got the email from Jacob over at Permuted Press, regarding an opportunity to review “Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile” from Zombie fiction legend, JL Bourne, I danced the dance of a thousand joys; which if you don’t know what that is –well, imagine a fully grown man running around flapping his arms like a 12 year old girl who just got to meet “Edward” from the “Twilight” saga.

Yeah- I will hang my head in shame as I write this. But my joy is still there, you can’t take that away from me.

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teampreston

Nemesis Fiction Review

Posted on July 20, 2010 by

After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor’s Palace, powerful figures convene. Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it has even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor.

The Officio Assassinorum: we’ve been waiting on something like this for decades, and James Swallow delivers it. As expected it involves scheming at the top levels of the Imperium in order to end this civil war as quickly and painlessly as possible – anything to save The Emperor and his Imperium.

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Dead The Ugly Beginning Review

Posted on July 15, 2010 by

I find that as time goes on and I continue reading more and more works in the survival horror/zombie fiction genre that there are good stories, there bad stories and then there are the exceptional ones, that no matter how many times you’ve seen or read the formula-and of course dear reader there is always a formula- you don’t get tired of it. Those works of fiction are the best examples of what the “Zombie” has to offer, and many times it’s the simple disconnection from the everyday, the little glimpses of truth which hold the story up. The idea of modern man faced with the unexplainable horror of reanimated corpses thirsty for flesh, with no rhyme or reason for their new existence,and how they deal with it- those are the greatest aspects of the genre.

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teampreston

Path of the Warrior Review

Posted on July 9, 2010 by

The ancient eldar are a mysterious race, each devoting their life to a chosen path which will guide their actions and decide their fate. Korlandril abandons peace for the Path of the Warrior. He becomes a Striking Scorpion, a deadly fighter skilled in the art of close-quarter combat. But the further Korlandril travels down this path, the closer he gets to losing his identity and becoming an avatar of war.

Path of the Warrior is the first of a new trilogy focusing on the race of Eldar. This is interesting in one respect as the Black Library for ages chose to avoid such novels, wanting to keep the alien races…alien. We’re all human, and the xenos races of the 40k universe should remain so.

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Flames

The Age of Ra Review

Posted on July 8, 2010 by

The Ancient Egyptian gods have defeated all the other pantheons and claimed dominion over the earth, dividing it into warring factions. Lt. David Westwynter, a British soldier, stumbles into Freegypt, the only place to have remained independent of the gods’ influence. There, he encounters the followers of a humanist leader known as the Lightbringer, who has vowed to rid mankind of the shackles of divine oppression. As the world heads towards an apocalyptic battle, there is far more to this freedom fighter than it seems…

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The Ghosts of Manhattan Review

Posted on July 7, 2010 by

Have you ever read a story that you know, absolutely know was a story that you read somewhere else, and then checked and racked your internal databanks and found you were right? Well you would if you opened up “Ghosts of Manhattan” and then scanned your shelves, if you’re like me, and looked strait at your collection of Batman graphic novels. Which, yes I know Batman is in and of him self a representation of the old Pulp novels and Magazines, and basically “The Shadow,” but unlike “Ghosts of Manhattan” Batman has evolved to a place in comics, literature or pop culture that is unprecedented. I could talk the shadowy secrets of Batman and his representations all day and night for a year strait and probably not find a lag in that conversation for more than maybe, maybe a few minutes.

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Monica Valentinelli

Vampire Week: Night Myst Review

Posted on June 23, 2010 by

NIGHT MYST is the first book in a vampire series by Yasmine Galenorn. Written in the first person point-of-view, the premiere novel of the Indigo Court focuses on Cicely Waters: who she is, who she was and who she might become in the midst of a deadly power struggle between two, different types of vampires.

At this point, I’d like to point out that while I’ll make every effort not to include spoilers, there may be some in this review. Consider yourself warned. As a reader, I often approach a new vampire series with some amount of hesitation, because vampires, in my mind, should be monsters.

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Flames

Vampire Week: Still Sucks To Be Me Review

Posted on June 22, 2010 by

First off, I’m going to tell you, do not read this book without reading the first book in this series – Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe). Since I didn’t read the first book, I had to make some assumptions about what was previously written – hopefully most of my assumptions are correct. Although I tried not to divulge too many key points in the book in my review, there are some spoilers here, so reader beware.

This is a story about a teenage girl named Mina who, having just turned into a vampire, learns that her family has to move away from California. So, the Vampire Council (VC) plans the “death” of her entire family in a tragic accident, reinvents their family history…

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teampreston

Malekith (The Sundering) Review

Posted on June 18, 2010 by

Usually I review advance copies from BL, but this one I went and bought because I missed it previously and enjoyed The Shadow King, part 2 of The Sundering.
The subject of this novel poses an interesting problem – a challenge for the author as well as the reader, I found. For those unfamiliar with Warhammer lore, Malekith is a very dark character. Son of the Uber High Elf king Aenarion – who was at once great and terrible due to his drawing of the Sword of Khaine – Malekith is destined to become THE ultimate villain for the race of elves for millennia to come (along with his twisted mother Morathi). Knowing this the author has to tell a tale we will read. To do that, we have to somewhat sympathize with the main character; this is a tall order.

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Steven Dawes

Bigfoot War Review

Posted on June 3, 2010 by

I’ve been put through the literary meat grinder recently with good books like Darkness on the Edge of Town and On the Third Day. So I figured it was time to read something a little lighter of subject; something not quite so epic this time around. You know, something frightening… but fun! To that end, my reviewer’s copy of Bigfoot War couldn’t have come in the mail at a better time!

I’ve never read a Bigfoot horror story before; to be honest, most of my experience with Bigfoot comes from either watching Harry & the Henderson’s or watching the car crushing eponymous monster truck. I knew nothing about author Eric S. Brown either, but fortunately he spilled his own can of beans in the book’s introduction.

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teampreston

The Chapter’s Due Review

Posted on June 2, 2010 by


War is unending in the life of a Space Marine. After defeating Tau forces, Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines has returned to the Chapter’s homeworld of Macragge, but there is little respite. The Ultramarines are thrust back into battle, and this time the enemy is the Chapter’s greatest nemesis. The traitorous Iron Warriors, led by renegade Warsmith Honsou, have gathered together a massive and brutal warband. Their target is the realm of Ultramar. Their objective is total annihilation. It is a final showdown between legendary Space Marines, and Uriel Ventris must take on the might of Honsou if he is to save his Chapter’s homeworld.

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The Suicide Collectors Review

Posted on May 28, 2010 by

So I decided to take a break from my normal routine here, and review a book that doesn’t fall under the realm of “zombie fiction” , I know dear readers- it’s a scary world out there when you decide to jump- but I if you can’t broaden your horizons, even just a little, you are doomed to a life of sedentary devotion, and well- I looked around and saw that the book had never been reviewed which is a shame because it’s fantastic, so might as well, right? Onward ho!

Albert Camus, the mid twentieth century writer and philosopher, who penned the fantastic piece of literary work called “The Stranger” along with the concept of “the absurd” in post modern, existential philosophy also released a book entitled “The Rebel” which was an essay on man in revolt, or at least that’s what the byline says.

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teampreston

Helsreach Review

Posted on May 20, 2010 by


When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in an Imperial temple. Determined to sell their lives dearly, will the Black Templars hold on long enough to be reinforced, or will their sacrifice ultimately be in vain.

While I am familiar on a basic level with the Black Templars I don’t know all the details of the major characters, so walking in to this novel I’m almost a BT newbie.

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Steven Dawes

Darkness on the Edge of Town Review

Posted on May 19, 2010 by


Let’s start this one by taking a trip in the way back machine about several months ago. While hanging with a buddy of mine, I came across his just read copy of Urban Gothic by Brian Keene. I’d never read any of Keene’s work before, but after reading the back of the book and being given the thumbs up from my pal, I read it for myself. It was a blunt and gritty ride on the horror express that I dug mucho and vowed never to enter a vacant house again. It even became one of my earliest reviews posted here on da’ Flames. Since then I’ve gone on to collect and read a few more of his books and have become quite the little fan.

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teampreston

Call to Arms (Warhammer) Review

Posted on May 14, 2010 by

Dieter Lanz is a young recruit to the 3rd Hochland Swordsmen, otherwise known as ‘the Scarlets’. His regiment is called into battle when an orc army starts to rampage across the countryside, and when the Scarlets are defeated, Hochland is threatened with collapse. As a desperation measure, legendary general Ludwig Von Grahl is brought out of retirement – he is the last hope to stem the vicious green tide.

It wasn’t until I watched Star Wars, Episode One, The Phantom Menace when it dawned on me what bothered me about this novel.

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Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) Fiction Review

Posted on May 13, 2010 by

When I was in college there were a few things that I actually studied, apart from where the closest coffee shop was and where I could get a fresh pack of smokes.( authors note: don’t start kiddies, blah, blah, blah) Anyway- I also studied journalism and what, at the time, the institution called “mass communications.” Which is a really pathetic way to say that I studied the news, the media, and how it was all changing, so way, way back in the fall of 98 I was sitting in this really drab room in a really drab building and thought to myself, what am I doing? I missed my original opportunity and I can say that until as of late I have yet to make back up the ground I have lost since. But what I do remember from those years was that Journalism is and should always be the pursuit of one thing and one thing only: The truth. Which brings me to the original point of this review, a bold new horror novel from Orbit Books: Feed by Mira Grant.

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Steven Dawes

On the Third Day Review

Posted on May 11, 2010 by

I became an instant fan of David Niall Wilson’s work when I had read This is My Blood a few months ago. Since reading and reviewing this new personal favorite book of mine, I’ve kept in touch with David here and there. During one of our chats he’d mentioned one of his latest books titled On the Third Day and its subject being deep-rooted in religious themed horror, much like This is My Blood. I was immediately intrigued and I set off to read it as soon as possible.

My original intention was to read it during the week of Easter as the novel revolves around Easter Sunday. Sadly however, this was not to be as my laptop went ill for a few weeks, delaying my reading it (or any of the other books in my E-library waiting to be read and reviewed.)

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Megan

Neverland Fiction Review

Posted on April 30, 2010 by

Remember those long hot summers that never seemed to end? Remember the people your parents said you had to like – even though they quite clearly did not – because they were your relatives? In Neverland, Douglas Clegg has captured these feelings and added a gruesomely scary twist that keeps you turning the pages.

The story starts off as it means to go on, focussing on the main character, Beauregard Monroe. He’s 10, and about to embark on his family’s annual vacation at his grandmother’s house on a swampy island in the Deep South that even the locals leave for the summer. The heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes, make themselves felt even in a chilly English spring (where I’m reading), as I turn the pages the sultry, sleepy heat flows forth.

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Tide of Souls Fiction Review

Posted on April 23, 2010 by

When the water levels rise, so do the hungry dead.

This is the premise for Simon Bestwick’s outing for Abaddon Books zombie apocalypse themed, “Tomes of the Dead” series entitled Tide of Souls. The Story Surrounds a polish ex prostitute that has been trained by her father in special forces hand to hand combat, a recently called back to duty British squad commander whose a born leader but who has a dark secret in his past, and a marine biologist that might just have all the answers as to why the dead and the water levels around the earth have risen and taken over, so long as they can keep him upright and off the bottle.

Let me say this, “Tide of Souls” is possibly the best book that Abaddon books has published to date.

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