Thursday, 15 October 2015

Book Review in 300 Words or Less - Vulkan Lives

Still getting through them...what more can I say  :)

Horus Heresy: Vulkan Lives by Nick Kyme

I have a love/hate relationship with Salamanders novels. I used to have a Salamanders army so they always have a special place in my heart however I don't really like Nick Kyme as an author and he is responsible for all the Salamanders fiction. So with that in mind I approached this book with wary trepidation.

The story is set around two scenarios; The first revolves around Vulkan's imprisonment and subsequent torture by Konrad Kurze, the second is around the exploits of a group of Dropsite Massacre survivors trying to find a new purpose in their existence after the loss of their Primarchs.

Having your primary character trapped in a cell for an entire stroyline doesn't really set a great foundation for action or exhilaration, but I thought Kyme kept it interesting enough with the conflict of characters between Vulkan and Curze. The dialogue between them at least helps offer an insight into the role they played in the greater brotherhood of the Primarchs.

The story following the band of Dropsite veterans had moments that got me really excited. In the drawn out game of cat and mouse played between them and the pursuing Wordbearers we see the first Wordbearer character showing dissent with the change his Legion is undergoing. I thought this helped build a lot more humanity and realism into a Legion who, up until now, seemed a very one-dimensional substance. Unfortunately for me the ending for this sub-plot was extremely disappointing and left the whole thing a bit flat.

Overall I thought it was a worthwhile read being one of Kyme's better novels. Salamanders fans will definitely get something out of it and I think there's enough in there about the other dropsite legions to keep everyone else interested too.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Book Review in 300 Words or Less - The Zombie Survival Guide

I've still got a number of Horus Heresy books to read but I wanted a break for a little while so I went searching around the bookshelf for something different. I came across this book which was a Christmas gift to Sam (she's a big Walking Dead fan) and thought it would be worth a read.

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

I'm not quite sure what genre this book fits into. Mockumentary is the first word that comes to mind but in a book form. It's quite well written, it conveys the whole zombie scenario in a very believable manner. I originally thought the book would be quite tongue in cheek but it's written more as deadpan comedy or possibly satire. If you were a few clowns short of a circus you could actually believe zombies are real from reading this book.

The book covers what to do in different levels of a zombie outbreak ranging from just a few roaming zombies to a shambling horde of undead. It provides info on the best weapons and equipment to use in protecting yourself from a potential zombie attack and the best places to hole up if caught in the middle of said attack. It gives clear lists of crucial survival equipment you should have stored in case of a zombie outbreak and even provides an 'Outbreak Journal' for you to help catalogue actions leading up to an outbreak once you notice something suspicious.

Most importantly though the guide dispels the myths Hollywood has created around zombie attacks and how to deal with them. It highlights the ineffectiveness of flame-throwers, chainsaws and fragmentation grenades, it spells out the fallacy in using a boat as a refuge and it articulates why the most inhospitable places on earth are in fact the best places to be during a zombie attack.

All-in-all I found this to be a very amusing read. I did feel a little self-conscious about reading it on the bus where people might think of me as one of those crazy, survivalist, conspiracy theorists but having now read the book I can honestly say it was well worth the public humiliation.