Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back to Work

Ugh!!! Yes, its December 29th 2010 and Im in the office. Major bummer. Still, its quiet and Im getting a chance to get some writing done as I write out the events of each chapter for my potential number one fantasy best seller, or simply my own personal triumph of writing a book and keeping it forever hidden away on a USB stick never to be published.
So Christmas has been and gone and the misery begins again. One great thing that happened to me over the holidays was that I recieved a Kindle as a present from the wife. I must say its brilliant, although I was suprised at how many books that I wanted to buy which were not actualy available. I finished reading Darth Bane Rule of Two and was pleasently suprised to find that the third in the series, Dynasty of Evil was available on Kindle. A couple of minutes later and it was downloaded and ready for reading. Strange that the two books in the series before it were not available.
So yes, I can seriously recommend buying Amazons kindle reader and I can also definately recommend reading Rule of Two just for the finale. Brilliantly written, as I have mentioned in my Goodreads review, for the first time ever I truly understood how powerful the Sith were and why the Jedi feared them. I now have two books on the go, the first I already mentioned, the second is the new Assassins Creed book which I will post my opinions on at a later date as Im only on the first chapter.

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 2010

So as you know, Im currently playing Dragon Age. Well, I just ordered Mass Effect 2 for the pc. At £13 from Amazon, you know you cant go wrong with that choice. Also ordered a HDMI cable. Will finaly shift the PS3 upstairs and hook it up to my pc monitor. Maybe I'll finally get to play Uncharted 2 and complete it.
I am also currently reading Star Wars Rule of Two. Its my second SW book, the first obviously being about Darth Bane. This one continues his story with his new found sith apprentice. Its very good although the description of the action doesnt quite get the juices flowing. The feel of the charcters on the other hand is described brilliantly. You can feel Banes cold hatred ooze from his every breath. So anybody who is thinking of reading a SW book but doesnt know where to start, go to the beginning with the Darth Bane set.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dragon Age

I've been getting well into Dragon Age on the PC lately. Its fantastic. Got stuck on a section so was forced to go online and look for a walkthrough. I hate resorting to walkthroughs but I had no choice. Despite the fact that I have been playing this for about a month, I found Im not even 15% into the game. Its huge. This is what I call value for money. Too many developers seem to feel that 6 hours of play time is enough for ones £40 these days. Chuck in some online play and its justified. Well, its not as not everybody wants to play online.
Anyway, Im going off track. If you want a massive adventure game with magic and swords, get this. Once this is done with, I think Ill give Mass Effect 2 a go.
My character is a lesbian mage by the way.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Black Prism

Brent Weeks, author of the brilliant Night Angel trilogy brings you the Black Prism, a story about a man who is known as the Prism because he can harness all the colours of the world and use it as magic. There are others who can use certain colours to perform magical feats, some who can use multiple colours. Sounds interesting but I actually found this a little dull. Add that to the fact that it took me reading over a quarter of the book before I got my head around the system. Anyway, the story was good, the characters are okay but I found myself far more intersted in some of the more minor characters than the main ones.
The world was difficult to visualize and maybe my mental magical world dictionary is not vast enough to understand all the words he used to describe things such as luxin and chromeria. I was suprised when I read reviews by some saying they really tried but simply could not get into this book until I began reading it myself. Its the second time this has happened where I expected an authors new work to match the brilliance of their original work. It was an enjoyable enough read all the way through and I am looking forward to the next one, but let this be a warning, just because you liked the Night Angel Trilogy, it doesnt mean you will like this.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I am struggling, yes its true. With what you may ask. Well, theres a couple of things really. First, its this book Im reading. The Black Prism by the fantastic Brent Weeks. Have you ever read a book that you know should be good but struggle to picture the world described in the book in your mind? Well thats me, but add to that the struggle of visualising the magic system he has created which is based on colours and youre left with a feeling of dread every time you go to pick up the book. Its superbly written and Im reaching the half way point now so there is still hope.
My other woes involve a pc that has finally keeled over. I have managed to get it running on older spare parts until I build my new rig. My finally upset is the book I have been writing the last two years. I am now re-writing it, using everything I have learned and experienced about writing and hope to create something far more me. Darker, gritty and a lot nastier.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slight Foxing: Cutting some slack

Slight Foxing: Cutting some slack


On a happier note to my previous post, I purchased DOW2 Mark of Chaos and an expansion for DOW 1, the name slips my mind at the moment. Too stressed with this exchange server melarchy.
I have to say, not dissapointed with the DOW2 expansion. Havent played the DOW expansion yet. That will happen when I complete this one. Bought Bound in Blood for the PC as well this week. Cost 8 quid so cant complain. Hope to get it installed this weekend.
Still reading Brent Weeks Black Prism. Thoroughly enjoying it up to now. Although, the world he's tried to create has caused me a few issues on the imagination front but the characters and story so far are good. Will write a review when its done. Also have Star Wars Rule of Two to read next which is quite exciting.

Server Woes

Oh how I'm struggling to setup up this new test environment for the company. Server 2008 with Exchange 2010. The purpose? To upgrade our existing 2003 server with exchange 2000.
Well, all I can say is what a load of shit.
How am I supposed to do this on an eight year old bit of kit? My nan used to be able to run faster than this thing can load up. And more importantly, what the hell do I know about Microsoft Exchange. Arent there Exchange experts out there who get paid bucket loads of money to do this work?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dark Ladys Chosen

I do like Gail Z. Martin, I really do. Although her books may be a little too predictable, I find them fresh, not overly complex and highly gripping and enjoyable to read. Her last book, the Dark Ladys Chosen is all of these things and anybody who likes a good Fantasy read will love her work.
Monday will see me finally begin reading Brent Weeks new book the Black Prism. Looking forward to it, just a shame its so damn massive, getting it out of my bag on the tube is sure to annoy some people. Oh well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chronicles of the Necromancer

Im absolutely loving Gail Z. Martins Summoner series at the moment. Im re-reading the third book in the series as the fourth has just been released.
I was frustrated with it the first time around as the book ended and left its readers hanging for a year unttill she wrote the conclusion. I hate that. I prefer to wait until they're all written before I buy a book especially when there is not even an end to a subplot. Complaint over, Gail Z. Martin is a master story teller and is somebody who probably grew up loving Halloween as she captures the dark winter feel of spirits and ghosts perfectly. The main characters are highly likeable, even the women in it are no mere damsels in distress and are quite willing to pick up a sword and fight having been trained from childhood for war. The vampire characters are very likable and give you that real goosebump feel thanks to her brilliant descriptions. Much better than the first two in the series, the third is excellent and I cannot wait to get stuck into the fourth book, Dark Lady's Chosen.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Top Ten

Since finishing Joe Abercrombies Best Served Cold, I can officially say that he is now in my top ten list.
For those of you that care, here they are.

Trudi Canavan
J K Rowling
Robin Hobb
Raymond E. Feist
Brent Weeks
Simon Scarrow
Joe Abercrombie
Eoin Colfer
Stuart Hill
Gail Z. Martin

Friday, September 3, 2010

Best Served Cold

Reading Joe Abercrombies Best Served Cold now and Im half way through it. This man will go down as one of the greats, his style of story telling is very gritty with a very dark humour behind it all. His First Law Trilogy was excellent yet I am finding this standalone book even more enjoyable. As in the trilogy, he puts together a crew of unsavoury characters consisting of criminals, murderers and psycos, pretty much a medieval Reservoir Dogs crew. Its excellent and is now in paper back.
I also have the highly anticipated Black Prism by Brent Weeks to read once this is finished as well. If its as good as his last trilogy then theres no chance of being dissapointed. Will let you know what I think of it when Im done.

Are reviewers right?

Im having a hard time agreeing with reviewers at the moment. I have just completed the Kane and Lynch 2 campaign on PC and found it to be an utterly brutal, gritty and raw shooter yet from the reviews I have read, this is meant to be an unplayable hash of a game. Yes there are a few bugs but put them aside and you have one of the most unique looking shooters around. I dont know what reviewers are looking for in a shooter, maybe they want everything to play like COD or some other personal favourite of theirs but Im tired of constant FPS and War releases. I like 3rd person and over the shoulder shooters. I like top down shooters and I like first person shooters. They dont all need to be made the same.
This was a fresh idea based in the slums and the high rises of Shanghai and I loved it.
I am also playing Mafia 2 on the PS3, another game that has been given a hard time by reviewers. Graphically it is stunning, the environments atmospheric and Im enjoying it hugely.
Its been a long time since I woke up in the morning thinking about a game I played the night before yet Mafia 2 had me thinking in the morning, wanting to pull a sicky so that I could spend the day sat in front of the tv with a huge back of twiglets and a Dr Pepper doing nothing else but playing the game.
The playability of the game is great, so once again, what do they want? A GTA clone? Its very story driven as is GTA, but maybe not as free playing. Im not a great GTA fan, completed GTA 3 and got bored with the rest. We are not all the same, everybody has unique tastes so always remember, read plenty of reviews as 1 review is just 1 mans opinion, nothing more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Im Playing

Left 4 Dead 2 and loving it. Already downloaded a few new campaign maps and theres nothing better than having a good laugh with your mates whilst killing a few zombies.
I have also been playing Avatar on the pc. Stunning environments and some cool weaponry are not enough to keep you coming back for more, which is a shame as the game looks great. The gameplay just is not varied enough and was seriously let down by the dull flying sections. Even getting kitted up with a mechs becomes boring after a while. Running around as a marine is a lot more fun than playing as one of the Na'vi which loped about robotically. Its a shame but its still worth a go at the budget price I got it for.
Looking forward to downloading the demo of Kane and Lynch 2. Thought id try that first before buying just in case it wont run on my pc.

What Im reading

Finished Manfredi's Alexander last week. Only read the first book so far but found it suffers the same as the rest of his books (in my opinion). The character depth is far too blunt and I find I never really have any feeling of attachmentto them. The only one of his books that pulled me in was Spartan. Needless to say, I will be reading the two follow on books when I get round to them but unlike many trilogies I have read, I feel no urgency to read them.
Have just started reading Joe Abercrombies Best Served Cold. I loved his First Law Trilogy and the Bloody Nine is one of my favourite all time book characters. So far, the intro to this book is fantastic. Pulled me in straight away with his dark and gritty twisted humour, typical style of his writing and the violent descriptions are exceptional. Its still early days yet but I get the feeling this book will not dissapoint.
I have also ordered Brent Weeks new book called The Black Prism which I am very excited about as I thoroughly enjoyed his Night Angel Trilogy. Should be a good month for reading.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Its been a tough few weeks, building servers, writing, reading and playing C&C3. Got it for a fiver, serious value for money, bang.
Ah, its sad times when you wake up constantly feeling tiered. A week off this year for a holiday just wasnt enough. Lets hope I get my book finished by the end of the year and maybe, just maybe get lucky for once and actualy manage to get published and get out of a lifeless job.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Games in Development

Just wanted to mention some of the games Im most excited about at the moment.
Shogun Total War 2 is being created as I type. The original was the first and best for me. I still play it now, maybe its something about Japan's history which I love that draws me to the game.
Kane and Lynch 2 is another game Im excited about. Okay, the original got slated because of all the bugs, but once they were sorted, a raw and brutal game was found waiting for me.
The final one I want to mention is Starwars Force Unleashed 2. I loved the original, dont care what you say, I thought it was great and left me with a mass hunger for all things starwars, until the wife gave me a slap and told me to get back to work. Anything else I should mention?
Im playing Uncharted 2 onthe PS3 at the mo and Left 4 Dead 2 on pc. Both excellent games and I highly recomend them. Ignore them at your own peril.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Left 4 Dead 2

I am now playing Left 4 Dead 2 and what a classic piece of gaming it is.
If you like online gaming, shooters and zombies, check it out.

Ambassadors Mission

Just completed reading Trudi Canavans latest. Considering its the sequel trilogy to my favourite ever fantasy series, The Black Magician Trilogy you can imagine how eager I was to get started.
Well, I needed to finish Blake Charltons excellent debut novel Spellwright, which by the way does not dissapoint. Excellent excellent read, great characters, cool story and the most unique magical system since Harry Potter. Anyway, finished that then had to finish Simon Scarrows rather brilliant Eagle in the Sand. Is there anybody harder than Centurion Macro? I dont think so. Well, finally got to read it, and I have to say, although not as good as the original, its still an excellent read. Most of our favourite characters are back, some more than others but they are all in there, just a bit older. I found it a little too slow and some of the characters Trudi has concentrated on are not my favourites. I always had a soft spot for good old Rothen but hes hardly in it. Without giving much of the plot away, Sonea now has a son who is all grown up. the book is based 20 years after the finale of the first series. He goes to Sachaka and you can guess the rest. If you love Trudis work, then like me you will love this. If you dont know her work, then you do not know what you are missing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cost of PCs

It costs more to build a pc than it does for me to buy one. Thats not right is it?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Its a struggle

Been struggling to write anything today. I believe the term, feeling sorry for yourself has something to do with it. Need to pull my finger out and just get on with it. Things don't get done by themselves.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Uncharted 2 on budget

Anybody who's played Uncharted will know that it really is one of the most amazing games ever created. Well, before xmas, I had the choice of the excellent Batman Arkum Asylum or Uncharted 2. I opted for Batman and was not dissapointed. Was one of those rare games that I bothered to play to the very end. The only other games I've done this with in recent times were Uncharted, Metal Gear and Assassins Creed 2. Before that was probably Tekken 3 on the Ps2.
Anyway, back to the original point I want to share is that Uncharted 2 will be re-released at less than 20 quid in the next few weeks.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blake Charlton

Just recieved Blake Charltons Spellwright. Quite exciting considering the reviews the book has recieved. Need to finish off the excellent Mistborn series by Brian Sanderson first though. Another week and I will be done.
Once Blakes book is read, its back to regular reading of the fantastic Simon Scarrow as we follow Macro and Cato's brutal careers as centurions through the history of Romes struggle to expand and maintain the empire.
I do believe Im going to use this new blog of mine to give my opinions on the books that I read and maybe even some that I have already read. Thats a lot of books.

Games or Books

Not sure which one to feature.
My personal opinions on books I've read or pc games?