31 October 2011

My copy of Aurelian is finally here!


This took a while but my copy of Aurelian and Hive of the Dead are finally here! Look forward to reading them both.

Aurelian by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Aurelian by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
After the destruction of Monarchia and the Emperor’s reprimanding of the Word Bearers Legion, the primarch Lorgar spent many long years searching the stars for the universal truths of the cosmos – when he finally came to gaze deep into the Eye of Terror, with grim inevitability he found that the Eye stared back. Now, guided by the daemon Ingethel, he undertakes a spiritual journey into the heart of Chaos itself and sees that the entire destiny of mankind and the Imperium could rest upon just a few nexus events. As the Great Crusade burns itself out in treachery and deceit, Lorgar weighs the cost of his ambitions, and sets his course for eternal damnation.

Hive of the Dead by C Z Dunn

Hive of the Dead by C Z Dunn
The forces of Chaos are moving against the Imperium once more, and only YOU can stop them! The first in a new series of Warhammer 40,000 adventure game books, Hive of the Dead casts you in the role of an Imperial Guardsman, fighting for survival upon the plague-ridden world of Subiaco Diablo at the beginning of the Thirteenth Black Crusade. Face all the horrors of Abaddon’s legions, including Death Guard Chaos Space Marines, the walking dead, and foul warp-spawned daemons. Will you make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of mankind, or will your name be forgotten with the rest?

27 October 2011

Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb by MJA Ware


When life gives you lemons, kill zombies -- turns out lemon juice neutralizes the undead.

After a failed attempt at running away, best friends Nathan and Misty return home expecting to face angry parents. Instead, they discover the military has destroyed the bridges out of their rural town and everyone's fled--except a small horde of the living dead. The stress of flesh-eating zombies may be more than their already strained relationship can handle.

Even with the help of the town geek and lemonade-powered Super-Soakers, there's not enough time to squeeze their way out of this sticky mess. Unless the trio eradicates the zombie infestation, while avoiding the deadly zombie snot, the military will blow the town, and them, to pulp.

Their only shot is something with a lot more punch. Something like the Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. But even if their friendship survives, there's another problem: Someone has to lure the undead into the trap.

I'm a big fan of the zombie genre, so I jumped to the chance when MJA Ware offered the book Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb to me for review as I thought it will be a great story to get me in the mood for Halloween.

Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb is targeted at all ages so it is not as horrific as The Walking Dead but has enough gory scenes to satisfy zombie fans.

It may sound strange at first to hear that lemon juice can be used to destroy zombies but the story does offer a surprisingly plausible explanation for it. Well at least more plausible than the dead rising from their graves.

I enjoy the characters a lot and come to love the three of them. Nathan maybe a little clueless but is handy in a fight with zombies. Misty, the girl next door is the only one who can keep Nathan in line. Their relationship is typical of childhood friends and if the story isn't targeted at the younger audience, I think they might have ended more than just friends after their life changing experiences together. Last but not least is the brain behind it all, Kali, who never gave up no matter what situation they were in.

Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb is a quick fun read filled with humour and zombie slaying action that I'm sure all ages will enjoy.

24 October 2011

Postmortal / The End Specialist by Drew Magary


John Farrell is about to get The Cure.
Old age can never kill him now.
The only problem is, everything else still can . . .

Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.

I picked this up after hearing an excellent interview with the author on Boing Boing's podcast. Magary mentioned in the interview that he got the idea for the story from anti-aging advertisements and wanted to explore a world where everyone stops aging. The story is told from the view of John Farrell in a series of easy to read, blog entry like memoirs. At the beginning when John gets his cure, everything seems rosy as people get to live out their dream forever but as the story progresses we begin to witness the more sinister side of things.

What impressed me the most was the amount of thought Magary put in to list out the possible consequences of an unaging population. First we have the issue of a population that grows out of control which leads to people hoarding supplies as resources grow scarce. While other countries begin lock down and self nuking exercises to reduce the population. At the same time there is a group of extremists that oppose to the cure and do everything they can to ruin the lives of the Postmortals.

As the world become more bleak, people begin to dread living forever and this give rise to a new industry known as End Specialization. Basically the government hires End Specilialists to do their dirty work and give people who no longer want to live a final sending off. Through John, we get to meet a number of characters and find out why living forever may not be such a great thing.

I think this novel works great as a dystopian story that investigates what will happen to the world if everyone gets to live forever. However the characters just didn't quite do it for me. John is great and seems like an everyday man but I just didn't care enough about him in the story and he seems to turn out ok no matter what obstacles were thrown at him.

Despite the cons, this book is still very well worth picking up, just to read through Magary's ideas.

8 October 2011

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders—will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

I saw this book back in December 2010 listed on the Top Dog Reads list on Goodreads. I was intrigued by the premise of a dog living multiple lives and decided to give it a go. The story is pretty simple, and is told from the view point of a dog that lives multiple lives trying to understand what his purpose is in this world. Each time he reborns, he would still remember his previous experiences and he would use these experiences to help him in various situations.

The main arc of the story is spent with the dog as Bailey and the boy Ethan. Cameron would describe in detail how they grew up, played and went through difficulties together. Anyone who's ever own a dog will definitely relate to this part of the story. It sure brought back many memories of me and my dog and all the great times that we had together.

Even though this entire story is told from the viewpoint of a dog, I enjoyed how the dog is still predominantly a dog. He acts like a dog and thinks like a dog. He might understand some human words like sit or fetch but still get confused where he is allowed to pee or what he's supposed to do.

Through the different lives, we explore the place that dogs have with us. Are they wild animals, best friends, work colleagues or pets that we can throw away? No matter how we treat them, the dogs ultimately want us to love them like they do us.

If you love animals and especially dogs then you will love this book. However I should warn you that there are a few heart wrenching scenes in this book and they may make you cry.

EDIT: I just want to say how chuffed I am to receive these signed book plates from Bruce.