Thursday, 12 November 2015

I've Moved!

Hi all, just a quick note to say that I’m no longer going to be updating The Fictional Hangout at least on blogger. You can instead find a new and improved TFH over on Wordpress here, so remember to update your bookmarks and links! I’ve imported all the reviews from this site onto that one but have not gotten around to correctly formatting them all, so at least for the moment, if you’re interested in my older reviews then by all means feel free to use this site, it’s not going anywhere, it just won’t be updated. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Hundred #1: The 100 by Kass Morgan (Hodder & Stoughton)

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries - until now.
Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to re-colonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves - but will she ever forgive him Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

Friday, 30 October 2015

7 Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween

I’m fairly new to the horror genre, having previously, before this October, shied away from it. However, with Halloween fast approaching at the start of the month I decided to participate in a Challenge to watch 31 movies over the course of October. You can find the full details of the Challenge here as well as a link back to the original, but it’s given me an opportunity to watch a lot of movies that I wouldn’t normally have seen otherwise and as a result, allowed me to put this list together. Whilst not everything presented here is a definitive list, I've tried to go for a blend of not only classic movies, but also more modern ones as well as those that you may not have seen before, including one notable foreign film. So if you're a horror fan looking for a movie - or seven - to watch over Halloween, keep reading to see what films I've selected. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Apocrypha: The Dying World #1: City of Burning Shadows by Barbara J. Webb

Hiding from the past, from the horror of his life as a priest after the gods disappeared. 
Hiding from his emotions, denying the nightmares that haunt his sleep and the anger that fuels his days.

Most of all, hiding from the truth—that no matter how much he keeps his head down, no matter how he clings to the echoes of everyday life, his city—his world—is dying.

When a new technology offers salvation to his desperate city, Ash must reach out to people he left behind and step back into the world that almost killed him. But coming out of hiding now could be the worst mistake Ash has ever made.

Because there are monsters in the darkness, feeding the chaos, watching the city burn. And once those monsters know his name, Ash will never be able to hide again.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Alchemy Wars #1: The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis (Orbit Books)

My name is Jax.

That is the name granted to be by my human masters.

I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world - and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.

I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.

But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.

I am a slave. But I shall be free.

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Song of the Shattered Sands #1: Twelve Kings In Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Gollancz)

In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai, but she's never been able to do anything about it. This all changes when she goes out on the night of Beht Zha'ir, the holy night when all are forbidden from walking the streets. It's the night that the asirim, the powerful yet wretched creatures that protect the Kings from all who would stand against them, wander the city and take tribute. It is then that one of the asirim, a pitiful creature who wears a golden crown, stops Çeda and whispers long forgotten words into her ear. Çeda has heard those words before, in a book left to her by her mother, and it is through that one peculiar link that she begins to find hidden riddles left by her mother.

As Çeda begins to unlock the mysteries of that fateful night, she realizes that the very origin of the asirim and the dark bargain the Kings made with the gods of the desert to secure them may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai. And yet the Kings are no fools-they've ruled the Shangazi for four hundred years for good reason, and they have not been idle. As Çeda digs into their past, and the Kings come closer and closer to unmasking her, Çeda must decide if she's ready to face them once and for all.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

MINI-REVIEW: Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon Publications)

I share some brief opinions on Slow Bullets, a short story by science fiction writer Alastair Reynolds,  published by Tachyon Publications.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Scarlet Star Trilogy: Bloodrush by Ben Galley

I return to the SPFBO, starting with Ben Galley’s fantasy/western self published novel, Bloodrush, the first book in The Scarlet Star Trilogy, which is currently available to buy, and was the victor from Bookworm Blues' selection of novels.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Assassin's Creed Unity (PS4)

The latest Assassins Creed game, Unity, is the first PS4 game to be reviewed for this site and continues Ubisoft’s series, this time switching the location to Paris during the French Revolution.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig (Del Ray)

I offer my thoughts on Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, the first novel set in the Journey to The Force Awakens in Disney’s new, and canon Expanded Universe, focusing on life in the Galaxy after the events in The Return of the Jedi, and published by Del Ray.

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Tabit Genesis by Tony Gonzalez (Gollancz)

I offer my thoughts on Tony Gonzalez’s science fiction novel from Gollancz Books, The Tabit Genesis, a space opera book that’s currently available to buy now.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Top 10 Returning Shows Coming Soon - The 2015 Edition

To correspond with yesterday’s Top 10 New TV shows coming soon, I thought I’d also put out a list of top 10 returning shows coming soon. As usual, this is in a random order, and only include the shows hitting at the end of 2015.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Top 10 New TV Shows Coming Soon - The 2015 Edition

 In the first part of this feature in the run up to a new load of TV shows hitting networks, I look at Top 10 new series to look out for. I’ll also be covering the Top 10 returning series to look out for as well, so you might want to stay tuned for that in the near future. The list below isn’t in any particular order.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader (Orion)

I review the ninth novel in the bestselling Jason Bourne series, The Bourne Dominion, written by Eric Van Lustbader and continuing the works begun by Robert Ludlum. The book is currently available to buy in paperback and online and was first published by Orion in 2011.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp (Del Ray)

I review Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp, one of the most recent entries in the new canon Star Wars expanded universe, putting the focus on Darth Vader and the Emperor. It is published by Del Ray.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)

I review N.K. Jemisin’s brilliant The Fifth Season, the first book in The Broken Earth epic fantasy series from Orbit Books, published in August 2015 and currently available to buy in the UK and the US.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Great Self Published Fantasy Blog Off Winner Announcement!

In this post I announce my finalist for the next round of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off, as well as talk about what you can expect on the blog going forward.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight - The Riddler's Gambit by Alex Irvine (Titan Books)

I turn my attention to one of the two Batman: Arkham Knight related novels, The Riddler’s Gambit, set in the same universe as the Arkham games, written by Alex Irvine and published by Titan Books, this book acts as a prequel to the video game. Both the game and The Riddler’s Gambit are currently available to buy.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden (Del Ray Books)

I review Christie Golden’s Dark Disciple, one of the most recent entries in the new Star Wars Expanded Universe, published by Del Ray Books and looking at events during the era of the Clone Wars.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Cross My Heart by James Patterson (Cornerstone Digital)

I share my thoughts on James Patterson’s twenty second Alex Cross novel, Cross My Heart, one of the most recent entries in the bestselling thriller series, with the UK Kindle Edition being published by Cornerstone Digital.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Great Book Haul - July 2015

I thought I’d share the status of my current book haul, the novels that I’m currently reading at the moment, and the next few on my TBR pile to give you an idea as to what to expect with reviews in the upcoming month or so. As well as these books I’ll be working my way through the Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off, and you can probably expect the next status update either late July or early August with the next round of books that I’ve cut. So without further ado, if you want to know what's in store, keep reading.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Mitch Rapp #4: The Third Option by Vince Flynn (Simon & Schuster)

I review my first Vince Flynn novel, The Third Option, the fourth (in chronological order, second by published order) novel in the Mitch Rapp series, with this edition published by Simon & Schuster in 2011, although the novel itself was first published in 2000.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Battlestar Galactica Season 4 (SyFy)

I review the fourth and final season of SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica, starring Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, James Callis, Michael Hogan, Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, Lucy Lawless and more. This season compromises of twenty two episodes, and this review will include full spoilers for the entire series. So you have been warned.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Great Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off: State of Play - #2

Well, I did promise that I’d have the second State of Play in my Great Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off up this weekend, and it doesn’t come with the best of news for competitors with several books being ruled out of the running. I am slowly developing a shortlist so far of books that I will consider for my final nomination, but for now, these are the lists of the books that are 100% ruled out, for various reasons or another. If you read on, you'll also get some advice (that should hopefully be helpful), a link to the first State of Play Article as well as the full list of books that I was given to cover.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Machine Awakes by Adam Christopher (Titan Books)

I review The Machine Awakes by Adam Christopher, the latest novel in his science fiction Spider Wars series from Titan Books, currently available to buy.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Games I Brought In the Steam Summer Sale

With the Steam Summer Sale currently in its last day (estimated finish time 10am Pacific), I thought I’d share what I’ve purchased over the previous week or so in the form of PC Games. I’ve left out a game that I’ve been given as a gift (namely because I’ve already reviewed the Xbox 360 Version, mainly got this for the expansion), but these are my picks from the Summer Sale, limited by budget and computer compatibilities. The games below are listed in a random order, and it is important to note that these are not reviews, merely observations. Full reviews will come further down the line. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sid Meier's Civilization V: Complete Edition (PC)

I cover the complete edition of Sid Meier’s Civilization V, a turn based strategy game currently available in the Steam Sale for PC, but only for a limited time.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Knopf/Orbit)

I review Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife, the latest standalone novel by the author of The Windup Girl. This dystopian thriller is published by Knopf in the USA and Orbit in the UK, and currently available to buy.

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Red Queen's War #2: The Liars Key by Mark Lawrence (Ace/Harper Voyager)

I share my thoughts on the second novel in The Red Queen’s War trilogy by fantasy author Mark Lawrence, entitled The Liar’s Key and published by Ace in the USA and Harper Voyager in the UK. Currently available in the USA it is not released in the UK until 18 June. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

10 TV Shows To Catch Up On This Summer

In a new article, I highlight the ten TV shows that are worth catching up on this summer. If you’re looking for something different and exciting to watch beyond the normal staples like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, this article’s for you. I’ve tried to offer a diverse selection and we’ve got a variety of crime, science fiction, horror and period dramas to be found within. Hit the break to find out what these shows are, and they're mostly in a pretty random order and I've kept this as spoiler free as possible.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Shadow Campaigns #2: The Shadow Throne by Django Wexler (Del Ray)

I review the second novel in The Shadow Campaigns series, The Shadow Throne, a military flintlock fantasy novel from Django Wexler, published by Del Ray and currently available to buy in both the USA and the UK.

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Film Column #4: A Most Violent Year, Dr. No, Fight Club, From Russia with Love & Mad Max: Fury Road

In the fourth film column, I start my attempt to watch all of the James Bond films before the release of the upcoming Spectre movie, starting with Dr. No and From Russia with Love. Also covered is Mad Max: Fury Road, A Most Violent Year and Fight Club, all of which like usual, I watched for the first time.

Friday, 29 May 2015

The Soulseer Chronicles #1: Marked by Sue Tingey (Jo Fletcher Books)

Sue Tingey’s debut novel, Marked, is an urban fantasy published by Jo Fletcher books and is the first book in the Soulseer Chronicles, and currently available to buy in the UK.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Scandal Season 1 (ABC)

I offer my opinion on the first season of ABC’s hit Shonda Rhimes created show, Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Kaite Lowes and more. Compromising initially of seven episodes, Scandal began its run on April 5, 2012 and has recently concluded its fourth season.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Telltale's Game of Thrones Season 1x01 "Iron From Ice" (PC)

I review the first episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, an episodic graphic adventure story, based on the television adaption of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, following a similar structure to that of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, A Wolf Among Us and Tales From The Borderlands, featuring voices of actors and characters from the HBO show.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Film Column #3: Inside Llewyn Davis, In The Loop, Neighbors, The Two Faces of January & Unbroken

Here’s the third instalment of my Film Column, featuring brief reviews of the last five movies that I’ve seen, as I cover Neighbors, Inside Llewyn Davis,  Unbroken, In the Loop and The Two Faces of January. This also marks the start of a new font that I’m using (Georgia, if anyone’s interested), for the blog on what should be a permanent basis.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Tor UK/Del Ray)

I share my thoughts on the newly released epic fantasy young adult novel by Naomi Novik, Uprooted, published by Tor UK and Del Ray in the USA. It’s currently available to buy now.

Monday, 18 May 2015

House of Cards by Michael Dobbs (Harper Collins)

I review Michael Dobbs’ House of Cards, a political thriller responsible for two TV series adaptions, including the award winning Netflix Show of the same name starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Published by Harper Collins, I won this through a Goodreads Giveaway.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Film Column #2: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Children of Men, The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, Miller's Crossing & Mud

In the second instalment of the Film Column, I continue to look at the last five films I’ve seen in alphabetical order. This time around, I’m looking at, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Children of Men, Miller’s Crossing, Mud, and The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies. There are light spoilers for The Hobbit but everything else is spoiler-free.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Sins of a Sovereignty by Plague Jack

I review Sins of a Sovereignty, a self published fantasy novel by Plague Jack, the latest novel to be covered as part of the Great Self Published Fantasy Blog Off.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Elementary Season 1 (CBS)

Sherlock Holmes gets an American makeover in the first season of CBS’s modern-day take Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aiden Quinn, Jon Michael Hill and Natalie Dormer.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Copper Promise #2: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams (Headline)

The second novel in Jen Williams’ The Copper Promise Trilogy, The Iron Ghost, is a fantasy novel published by Headline Books and is currently available to buy in the UK.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Film Column #1: Fast & Furious 6, Westworld, Jersey Boys, Unforgiven & Dracula Untold

In what should become a regular column on this blog, I look at the last five films that I’ve seen that haven’t been given full reviews and offer a paragraph on what I think of these films, along with a star rating. The films covered in the first entry are Fast & Furious 6, Westworld, Jersey Boys, Unforgiven and Dracula Untold.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Murdered: Soul Suspect (Xbox 360)

Developed by Airtight Games and Published by Square Enix, Murdered: Soul Suspect is a third person adventure stealth game that follows the plot of a dead Detective looking to solve his own murder, against the backdrop of the town of Salem, Massachusetts, where the supernatural is a very real thing indeed.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

22 Jump Street (2014)

I share my thoughts on 22 Jump Street, an action comedy sequel starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and directed by Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Blackheart Legacy #2: Vowed by Liz De Jager (Tor)

I review Liz De Jager’s Vowed, the second book in the young adult urban fantasy series The Blackheart Legacy, published by Tor Books.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off: State of Play #1

 As I’m participating in the Great Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off, I thought I’d offer an update on how I’m doing with my progress and talk a little about the books that I’ve received to review.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Focus (2015)

Still in cinemas, I was able to catch a screening of Focus, a film that mixes crime, romance, drama and dark humour together to create a mildly entertaining movie, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, and directed by Glen Ficarra and John Requa.