Author Archive: SFcrowsnest.org.uk

SFcrowsnest.org.uk is the oldest web site with a focus on genre interests such as books, fantasy, horror, science fiction, movies, TV, anime, manga and gaming. Its contributors publish book reviews daily, many with an interest to teenagers and school-age readers.

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The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (book review).

‘Clockwork Angel’ is the first book in ‘The Infernal Devices’, a new series by Cassandra Clare, set in a steampunk world. Basically, this means that it’s set in a Victorian-esque England with additional urban fantasy and technological elements. In this book, Tessa arrives in London to live with her brother, Nate, after her grandmother, with whom she was living in America, has died suddenly. Things don’t go according to plan and she is whisked away from the dock by Mrs Dark and Mrs Black. With names like that, it’s obvious things are going to get ugly. These two harridans seem to have some knowledge about Tessa that even she doesn’t […]

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Kingdom Of The Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant book 7) by Derek Landy (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Kingdom Of The Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant book 7) by Derek Landy (book review).

If magic’s a disease, the seventh book in the ‘Skulduggery Pleasant series has had an epidemic outbreak on the level of the Black Death. With ‘mortals’ being infected left, right and centre, the problem would be big enough without a door opening to a whole new alternate dimension of reality, not to mention the imposing threats of the other sanctuaries, ready to take charge if the problems are not dealt with soon. ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is a good way to describe the problem when a group of teen-agers becomes infected by magic. If a gang of bullies isn’t bad enough, a gang of bullies packed with the […]

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Dodger by Terry Pratchett (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Dodger by Terry Pratchett (book review).

Taken from the cover: ‘Dodger is a tosher – a sewer scavenger living in the squalor of Dickensian London. He used to know his future; it involved a lot of brick-lined tunnels and plenty of filth. But when he rescues a young girl from a beating, things start to get really messy.’ The book’s dedication reads: ‘To Henry Mayhew for writing his book and to Lyn for absolutely everything else.’ As all good students of Victorian history will know, Henry Mayhew http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mayhew was a researcher and writer who wrote London Labour and the London Poor (1851). The book in two volumes has been described by James Blaylock, one of the […]

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His Majesty’s Starship by Ben Jeapes (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
His Majesty’s Starship by Ben Jeapes (book review).

Whenever a Science Fiction novel is reprinted after a space of a number of years, there is always the question as to whether it has been able to stand up to the stresses of technological development and scientific understanding that has occurred in the intervening time. With books from the old masters, the answer is probably no, but if it is a well-written adventure with a fast-paced plotline it may regarded as a classic, giving insights into the ethics of the society in which it was written. What was once cutting edge might have become blunted but there is enough in the content to still fire the imagination. Others fail […]

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Baneblade (A Warhammer 40000 novel) by Guy Haley (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Baneblade (A Warhammer 40000 novel) by Guy Haley (book review).

The Warhammer 40000 universe is a grim unforgiving place where the only certainty is war and death. Humankind is beset on all sides by aliens so they fight and, in ‘Baneblade’, they fight the Orks. A highly warlike race, Orks are huge muscle-bound creatures that make up for their lack of outright intelligence with cunning, numbers and a knack of being able to convert and use anything they acquire into weapons. Humans use almost forgotten technologies to provide them with an edge against the vast numbers of Orks. One of these is the Baneblade, a huge tank armed with a plethora of weapons. The book opens with the creation of […]

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Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate: Book The Fourth) by Gail Carriger (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate: Book The Fourth) by Gail Carriger (book review).

‘Heartless’ is book four in ‘The Parasol Protectorate’ series, so it goes without saying there are bound to be spoilers about the previous books in this review. I suggest you start reading the reviews and books in the correct order to avoid any unwanted surprises. The previous books in the series being in order ‘Soulless’, ‘Changeless’ and ‘Blameless’. The last book in this series being ‘Timeless’, but don’t be fooled, there are hints of a new series involving the Parasol Protectorate but this time abroad! Lady Alexia Maccon just can’t seem to keep out of trouble, even when she is precariously close to giving birth to a baby. She is […]

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Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate: Book Five) by Gail Carriger (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate: Book Five) by Gail Carriger (book review).

‘Timeless’ is the fifth and final book in ‘The Parasol Protectorate’ series. But don’t worry there are two other series of books set in the same world, one of them set slightly prior to the this series called ‘The Finishing School’ series and the other being set many years after both these series called ‘The Custard Protocol’. As I’ve said before, there are likely to be massive spoilers in this review as it is for book five in a series, don’t read any further unless you want previous books to be spoilt for you. Alexia and her werewolf husband, Lord Conall Maccon, have recently been living quite comfortably in Lord Akeldama’s third […]

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Duncton Wood (The Duncton Chronicles) by William Horwood (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Duncton Wood (The Duncton Chronicles) by William Horwood (book review).

‘Duncton Wood’, William Horwood’s first novel, falls into that niche brand of fantasy that is often referred to as ‘animal’. There’s no other way to describe it really, fantasy set in ‘the real world’ but relating stories through the eyes of fauna. There are levels of anthropomorphism, of course, ‘Wind In The Willows’ sets the animal world as one that co-exists peacefully (or not in Mr Toad’s case) with the Edwardian society around it. ‘Watership Down’ resists the trappings of being human and the animals simply have names taken from plants, speak English and hold a complex belief system. These characteristics are borrowed almost entirely by Horwood for ‘Duncton Wood’, […]

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Out Of Oz (The Wicked Years book 4) by Gregory Maguire (book review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Out Of Oz (The Wicked Years book 4) by Gregory Maguire (book review).

‘Out Of Oz’ is the final book in the series that takes up where Frank L Baum left off. Written by Gregory Maguire, it is both a lovely tribute to the original and an incredible exploration of the themes of popular culture. It creates a an almost elegiac mood with its look at what not only Dorothy did next but also how Oz is driven with destructive civil war and suspicion. It surely is a long way from the Yellow Brick Road and all those jolly songs of the film of ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ and yet it also reflects on that and how we perceive the character of Dorothy […]

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Essential Thor volume 7 by Len Wein and David A Kraft (graphic novel review).

August 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Essential Thor volume 7 by Len Wein and David A Kraft (graphic novel review).

‘Essential Thor volume 7’ collects, in glorious black and white, The Mighty Thor # 248-271 and The Mighty Thor Annuals # 5-6. It opens with Annual # 5, scripted by Steve Englehart, in which the Asgardians have a war with the gods of Mount Olympus. It’s well done and Odin the All-Wise actually demonstrates some sagacity for once. Usually, he behaves like a spoiled six year-old. Len Wein was scripter on the closing issues of ‘Essential Thor volume 6’ and he carries on in this collection. Ray gun mjolnir puts in an early appearance on page three of issue # 248 but is thankfully absent thereafter. Captain Kirk doesn’t hit people with his phaser […]

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