Monday, 19 January 2015

Review: The Devil's Fire by Matt Tomerlin

Matt Tomerlin's The Devil's Fire is the first novel in a series of three, telling the story of Katherine Lindsay whose husband is brutally killed in front of her before she herself is dragged aboard a pirate ship. It is set in the somewhat over-used time period when Nassau was the pirate haven in the Caribbean. Forced to share a cabin with a pirate captain for several months, Katherine begins to get used to the life at sea. But the shadow of her dead husband is ever-present...

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review: Black Sails First Season

Black Sails is a Starz produced series telling the story of events leading up to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. The protagonist is Captain Flint, the year is 1715 and the setting is mainly Nassau on the New Providence Island of the Bahamas - the historical pirate haven from 1713-1718. In addition to Stevenson's pirate captain, the show stars historical figures such as Anne Bonny, Benjamin Hornigold, Jack Rackham, and Charles Vane.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Review: Family Pack by Michael Jasper

Michael Jasper's Family Pack tells the tale of Tommy Rolins who has abandoned his studies in order to take responsibility of an unplanned child in a relationship that doesn't really work. As the parents are struggling with their money problems and their failing relationship, a bloody murder takes place in a nearby forest - a forest that Tommy considers his own territory and where he spends his nights prowling as a werewolf every full moon...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

My Top Five Reads of 2014

At the turn of a year, it is fun to look back at everything that you've read over the past year. The nice statistics offered by Goodreads tell me that I read a total of 76 books - including traditional novels, but also graphic novels and one or two short stories that were published on their own.

Picking out my five tops reads is not such an easy task, since quite a few of them ended up receiving 4 or 5 stars from me - and I also have an urge to avoid the obvious choices and pick out the ones that surprised me in a good way. So, although the books below are hereby selected as my 5 top reads, they are not necessarily the 5 best books that I read. If that makes any sense...

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Review: The Noble Pirates by Rima Jean

Rima Jean's The Noble Pirates is a tale of a woman participating on a booze cruise with her friends when a sudden storm removes her from her own time of 2011 and throws her through time in to the year of 1719 and into the hands of pirates. I did not expect much from a time travel pirate novel, which sounded suspiciously too much like a romance novel to boot, but I was very pleasantly surprised by what it turned out to be.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Christmas Drabbles

I took part in a Christmas Drabble competition organised by The Cult of Me blog. I've never considered drabbles - stories of 100 words, no less, no more - my forte, but Christmas was a topic that drew me in to try what I could do. One of my drabbles, Memories, was chosen as one of the 12 Drabbles of Christmas, but I thought it might be a fun idea to share all my entries with you - especially since the winning entry is related to one of the focus areas of this blog and all of them could be seen as historical fiction.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Review: Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas' d’Artagnan Romances consist of three novels: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. The last of these is a problematic novel because it has been published in several vastly different editions that divide to novel into separate books in different ways. I recently started reading the Project Gutenberg version, which cuts the novel up into four parts. I reviewed the first part, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, some time ago, so it is now the high time to move on to the next instalment: Ten Years Later.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Review: The Musketeers First Season

The Musketeers is a BBC series based on the characters of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, but taking the story to new directions and re-imagining the characters and history itself with relatively free hand. But, what could have been a confused mess and as uncomfortable to watch as the similarly envisioned Young Blades from ten years ago, actually turns out to be rather a decent adventure series. For a history enthusiast, it has quite a few problems, of course, but - then again - every film and TV series set in historical era usually does.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Review: Wolves (2014)

Werewolves have been somewhat out of fashion in the movies for a long while, but they have howled their howl every now and then from the chorus of zombie screeches and vampire... snarls. David Hayter's Wolves is the latest attempt to bring back the weres and while its early minutes are somewhat unpromising with the Twilight overtones, the story has a bit more up its sleeve than your average teen romance.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Accolades for My Werewolf Story: Susiveri

Since I've been using this blog to review several werewolf-related novels and short stories, I hope the readers will excuse me for tooting my own horn when it comes to my very own werewolf short story. Last summer, I saw an advertisement about the biggest scifi and fantasy short story competition in Finland, one that was organised for the 29th time by Tampere Science Fiction Seura (~ Tampere Society of Science Fiction). I hesitated only for a moment before I started translating my unpublished werewolf story into Finnish in order to enter the competition.