Book Review 37 // Mort by Terry Pratchett

Work has got busy which means less time for fun. But I did manage to get through a book! So let's not waste time let's move into the review.

Title: Mort (Death #1, Discworld #4).

Author: Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Corgi

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 243 Pages

Commercial Fluff: In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can't refuse  especially since being, well, dead isn't compulsory. As Death's apprentice, he'll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won't need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he'd ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.


This novel is great! First up we get to finally meet Death and join him on his search of an apprentice. Here enters Mort, an awkward gangly, young boy with no prospect of a future. What happens next is a slight twist on a classic coming of age story. The development of the character Mort is handled really well and really makes the book. We have romance, adventure, awkwardness, humour and curry.

For me this was the first book with true characters and character growth. We got introduced to a very human Death and Mort really became a man. If I had to pick a starting point for a Discworld introduction this would be my pick. If you have not read this title, do yourself a favor and go pick it up. You will not regret it.

Book Review 36 // Horus Rising by Dan Abnett

The books just keep coming! I am really surprising myself with how much I have read this year. So with this in mind I am now attempting to jump between a Discworld book and a Black Library book to help with burn outs and to start getting through some big series of books. Having completed Equal Rights I decided to jump into Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. I have already reviewed a couple of the Horus Heresy books already, but never the opening title so here we go.

Book Stats

Title: Horus Rising (Horus Heresy #1)

Author: Dan Abnett

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 412 Pages

Commercial Fluff: After thousands of years of expansion and conquest, the imperium of man is at its height. His dream for humanity nearly accomplished, the emperor hands over the reins of power to his warmaster, Horus, and heads back to Terra. But is Horus strong enough to control his fellow commanders and continue the emperor's grand design?


This isn't the first time reading this novel so I knew what I was getting into. The best thing about this tale is how well Dan Abnett makes a sci-fi military novel. There is no crazy movie style battles in this book, it's a more straightforward realistic combat adventure. We have a cast characters that are well balanced, believable and made to seem more human than they really are. The main character we follow in this tale is a Captain Loken. At the start he is just a company Captain, but following an early action Loken is promoted to the Mournival- a group of four senior officers whose role is to advise Horus and act like the Primarchs voice of reason or his political tools. But soon Loken starts to realise all is not what it seems. As the story progresses he starts noticing that secrets are being withheld and not all is as it seems with the perfect Imperium of Man.

I really enjoyed the book. It showed a future villain as a hero, the man that could have been. We also see the manipulation starting to happen by the end of the book and how the Word Bearers are starting to become the puppet masters of the Heresy. It's a great intro to this series and doesn't really need you to understand much as it makes good work explaining it. It has definitely ignited the spark to read more of these titles.

Book Review 35 // Equal Right by Terry Pratchett

So comically I had a very popular blog back in the day called The Fallen Princes. It followed purely my adventures with wargaming and tabletop games. Then I lost momentum and the blog felt like a chore, the painting didn't come naturally. So I stopped blogging, years past and the old blog haunted me. It haunted me so much I deleted it. It is a decision I've always regretted. I wish I still had that out blog so I could revisit it and make fun of myself and my writing.

Now jump forward in time to this blog. I thought I could recapture those early blogging days and improve, instead making it a more rounded hobby blog, wargaming, beers, books and comics. I wouldn't force myself to blog instead I would just let it happen. And so far that is exactly what I have done and it seems to be working for me. Though the blog is more focused on my reading than anything else, it has helped me to express my thoughts more and has helped to push me more. Especially on the reading front which is amazing. I believe this book is number 20 of the year and I could not be more pleased with myself. At the start of the year I felt I would not complete the task instead I'm going stronger than ever before. So let's jump into this newest review:

Book Stats

Title: Equal Rights (Discworld #3, Witches #1)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Corgi
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 228 Pages
Commercial Fluff: They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…


My third step into the discworld and my first into the Witches series. I love the fact that it holds strong links to the earlier books (with the unseen university), but I love it more for showing us a completely different aspect of the disc. This story focuses on two characters Granny Weatherwax and Esk. Esk is meant to be the focus of the book as she comes to terms becoming the first female wizard on the disc.

The book plays upon the idea of what men and women can and can't be. With Pratchett jumping on age old ideas and forcing the citizens of the disc to get with the times!

The true highlight of the book is Granny Weatherwax. A witch from Bad Ass (hehehehe). Granny is just as bad as the wizards for a lack of open mindedness. But as the story progress she sees what Esk could be come and helps her to reach her full potential. We also see Granny standing up and taking names throughout the entire story and I can now see why she ends up in so many tales. Low light for me is the ending, all seems a bit rushed. It felt like Pratchett suddenly ran out of pages and didn't fully realise the ending.

Overall a great read and a great intro to Granny can't wait to get to her next tale but I believe next up is Mort and D'eath :)

Book Review // 34 Crossfire by Matthew Farrer (Shira Calpurnia #1)

With my 2018 book challenge complete I am trying to not sit on my laurels and continue reading as much as I can. So with that in mind I picked up Crossfire by Matthew Farrer. This book showcases a different side to 40k and I was excited to jump into it.

Book Stats

Title: Crossfire
Author: Matthew Farrer
Publisher: Black Library
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288

Commercial Fluff: The busting dockyards in the Hydraphur system are home to the mighty Imperial warfleets. They dock, repair, rearm and depart in an endless cycle of war. But even in this heart of imperial space, conflict exists. A great religious festival provides the perfect catalyst for civil unrest, political intrigue and murder in the vast Hive cities. Newly arrived Arbites officer, Shira Calpurnia finds herself in the thick of the action when she becomes the target of a series of assassination attempts. Coping with corruption and betrayal from within the ranks of the Arbites, Shira must discover who is trying to kill her before civil unrest turns to all out heresy. Caught in the crossfire, can she survive the intrigues of the ancient and callous aristocracy of this vital naval base?


I had tried reading this book a few years ago and had never finished it. So I decided to dust it off and give it another go. Unlike most of the 40k novels this doesn't involve a war or aliens or even Space Marines. This book instead follows Shira Calpurnia an Adeptus Arbitors (ie a Police/detective) and the story starts with her arrival on the planet of Hydraphur. This story is very much a detective novel, with new clues being discovered every chapter until the final reveal.

We are treated by the author to a great female lead and an impressive opening couple of chapters (I especially loved the descriptions of the chapels and shrines of the different Adeptus), but as the story continues it seems to lose momentum. Soon we are jumping from scene to scene chasing down a plot that has lost it way. Though it had a strong start I can now see why I didn't finish it the first time. But I am glad I continued to the end.

Overall a solid read. Not my favourite due to the slow pace. I am happy to have finished it and I am sure I will attempt the other tales in the series.

  • Descriptive environment which brings the city to life.
  • Strong female character in the form of Shira Calpurnia.
  • Pace slows down.
  • The continued use of Culture Shock throughout the story.

Beer Review 62 // Blood Brothers Unify or Die

Welcome to Brew Review. With the summer now over and autumn chilly days settling in it is time to start drinking all the stouts. It's also a great time to finally start emptying the fridge out, so I can restock it in time for Xmas. Up first is Blood Brothers' Unify or Die aged for a year (or forgotten for a year).


Name: Unify or Die
Style: Spiced Stout
Brewery: Blood Brothers
Country: Canada, Toronto
ABV: 7%
Commercial Fluff: Full bodied and gluttonous, this stout has been infused with locally roasted coffee, cinnamon and vanilla to create a beer appropriate for dessert... or any occasion.

Own Opinion

Label: It's their generic Hand logo. Though cool looking I would love to see more of their cooler labels.
Pour: Thick black pour with a wonderful mocha head. This is what I love about stouts, just looks delicious.
Aroma: Sweet notes of vanilla. chocolate and coffee.
Taste: Sweet chocolate, very smooth beer as you drink more and the brew warms the coffee flavours build and a gentle heat from the cinnamon joins in.
Would I buy it again: Yes! This was a great beer and aged really well! This brewery is on my must visit list for whenever I next visit Toronto (is it shocking that the last time I went was about seven years ago!).

I am so happy for it to be stout season again. What is everyone else drinking today?

Book Review 33 // The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Note to self - Always save your work before clicking away.

As you may guess I wrote this review once already today, then the laptop died and I discovered I hadn't saved. So here is take two.

It is with great pride that I announce I have completed my 2018 challenge to myself. In the waning days of 2017, I decided it was time to challenge myself and my dyslexia to read and blog about eighteen books. Now some may think well eighteen isn't that many, well it was for me. I feel I average at best six books a years so I was tripling my best score. But here we are in the first week of October and I am blogging about book eighteen of 2018.

Want to see which books I read this year? Then follow this handy link: Books of 2018

Now let us jump into book 18 of 2018.

Book Stats

Title: The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2)

Author: Sir Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Corgi

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 241

Commercial Fluff: In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world...


So we are reviewing my eighteenth book of the year! What a great book to finish this challenge with. Now for those who missed the first book The Colour of Magic we are introduced to the world of the disc but more importantly two characters: Rincewind a bumbling, failed but comically brilliant Wizard and Twoflower the Disc's first tourist. As the first book finishes this pair were left in a dire situation with Rincewind falling to his death over the edge of the disc. Here starts the second book.

I felt the start was a bit forced with Pratchett using the spell that is trapped in Rincewind's head to save the character. Soon after though the story really gains pace and you feel like you are on adventure with talking trees/hired thugs/crazy wizards and sun cults. The main premise of the book is that the disc is moving towards a Red Sun and as it gets closer the more crazier the people of the Disc get. Soon Rincewind and Twoflower are wrapped up in the middle of a power struggle for the soul of the Unseen University and that the only way to save the world is for Rincewind to read the eight spells of power.

I enjoy how Pratchett is able to combine tales from folklore, myths and biblical sources but putting on his own twist to make them truly his.The best example is Cohen The Barbarian, a warrior who is out living his own legend and is now an aged and ruined old man. We also get to travel to the realms of the Dungeon Dimension and Death's domain (I can't wait to reach Mort) along with discovering a high advance race who travel between realms within a magical shop!

The tale wraps up their adventure with a nice bow, with Rincewind leading the repairs on the Unseen University whilst Twoflower is heading back to his homeland with his picture box. This is a sad end to such a great adventure. I can safely say I'm hooked, so expect much more Discworld reviews coming this way. Next up will be Equal Rights (the first of the Witch series). But the next review will be back into the Grim Dark worlds of 40k.

Beer Review 61 // Resting Brew Face by Mikkeller

So my bad. Haven't reviewed a beer since July. Don't worry though as I have been drinking plenty. I could make lame promises of posting more but I feel that would be a lie. I need time to post as well as being in the right frame of mind. So until that becomes more readily available we will have to make do with random batch blogging.

Now back to the beer. I recently travelled to Albany NY state and came across Oliver's Beverage. Now this place is well worth a visit and had a crazy amount of beers on it shelves. After a good hour of walking and looking I settled on buying a load of Mikkeller and Evil Twin beers. So for a little while the beer reviews will be all about these breweries.


Name: Resting Brew Face
Style: NEDIPA ( New England Double India Pale Ale).
Brewery: Mikkeller San Diego
Country: USA San Diego
ABV: 9%
Commercial Fluff: "RBF was created to be a reflection of the epitome of New England style IPA’s. Without the use of any bittering hops, the beer’s juicy hop aroma prominently features sweet, tropical melon characteristics that are supported well by a slightly robust body.  This particular batch finally reached it's proper gravity so expect the deliciousness of past batches but with an extra kick."

Own Opinion

Label: Henry and Sally have the perfect faces going on. It is a great label perfect for the beer name.
Pour: Thick, orange, full white head. Looks chewy.
Aroma: Tropical juice bomb, peach, pineapple, guava. So much fruit.
Taste: Sweet, orange peel, grapefruit, pineapple. Quite bitter finish.
Would I buy it again: Yes! This was a great beer, if I knew how good it was going to be I would have bought more than can. One to look out for.

Book Review 32 // Rebel Winter by Steve Parker

Well that didn't take long! In less than a week I completed book Seventeen of my Books of 2018 challenge. Now was it because it was a epic book or a short read? Guess we need to look at the stats first:

Book Stats

Title: Rebel Winter
Author: Steve Parker
Publisher: Black Library
Format: Paperback
Page Count:
Commercial Fluff: On the brutal battlefields of the 41st Millennium, the life of an Imperial Guardsman is harsh and short. On the snowy wastes of Danik's World, a regiment of Vostroyans is ordered to hold their ground to protect the retreat of other Imperial forces. When their own orders come to move back, they discover they have been stranded behind enemy lines. Cold, hungry and running out of supplies, trapped between rebel forces and hordes of orks, can the Guardsmen ever fight their way back to safety?


This book I discovered in my Mum's house after a resent visit back home. I remember buying it way back in the day because I wanted a Vostroyan army for 40k. For those not familiar with 40k: Vostroyans are an Imperial Guard force from the setting of Warhammer 40k. They hail from a factory world (imagine no grass, just factory after factory) and they specialise in urban warfare and have a lot of similar qualities to Eastern Europe and Russian culture. Now lift all those qualities and throw them on a world suffering from a never ending winter, due to volcano eruptions. These guys are not in their comfort zone.

The story beings in a Courtroom with the main character on trial following his latest military campaign. Through this character's memories we are then transported back to the campaign to experience it first hand. We learn of how this once populous world suffered a natural disaster that plunged it into the never ending winter. We also find out that due to a lack of aid, there was a military coup that has lead to this war. Here enters the Vostroyans, believing themselves to be superior they land planetside to crush the coup. Only problem is the rebels retreat north forcing the Vostroyans to begin a war of occupation. Slowly as the war grinds on the Vostroyans spread further out securing abandoned towns and looking after refugees. It is at this point a new foe enters the war, mankind's oldest enemy Orks. Throughout the book it is hinted whether the Orks arrived by chance or did the rebels invite them? Either way it doesn't really matter as the story progresses the Orks become more of a background occupational hazard. The Vostroyans themselves are well rounded characters but with there being a whole company of them it is hard to truly care for them and you ultimately end up worrying about only three or four of them.

In a classic war/action adventure the Vostroyan Company is cut off and must fight it's way across an unforgiving landscape hounded by Orks and rebels. We meet characters and then watch them die, we experience heroic levels of bravery on one page then never hear of a character again. Overall a few negatives but I did enjoy this book, hence why I finished it so fast. Ultimately it felt like an intro novel and the ending left the tale unfinished. How does the war end? Why are the Orks there? Why is the ********* so creepy? What happened next to the survivors?

Unfortunately it seems like we never find out as eleven years have passed with no follow up.

This book is the perfect train read and I recommend to fans of 40k. Especially Vostroyan fans. Next on my reading list: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. 

Also if you use it I have started up on Good Reads so join me over there: Beers with Peps

As always thanks for reading this.

Book Review 31 // Scourge the Heretic by Sandy Mitchell

Welcome to September! Now the summer holidays are over and the children are heading back to school. Soon leaves will change to Orange and my favourite season will be upon us Autumn. I was lucky enough to enjoy a quick weekend break recently, during this time I was able to finish book sixteen in my Books of 2018!

Unsurprisingly I am delving into the Grim Dark worlds of 40k. It's just a franchise I really enjoy, be it the sci-fi or just the wide scope for adventure it just works. So without further ado let us jump in:

Book Stats

Title: Scourge the Heretic

Author: Sandy Mitchell

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 416 pages

Commercial Fluff:

When an Ordo Hereticus warband is sent to investigate an inter-planetary people-trafficking operation, they soon find something much more sinister than people being smuggled…


So let's begin with some basics. This tale is set-up in a sector of the galaxy known as Calixis. Those who are new to 40k may not know about it, but it is an area designed purely for the 40K roleplaying game Dark Heresy (a now defunked Fantasy Flight Game). The idea behind the game was to be a character who worked as a henchmen for a powerful inquisitor. Here enters this book.

The way the story is written and portrayed is almost like a game written up into fan fiction. The team (aka player characters) are sent in to investigate a smuggling ring and as they discover more, the more the story unfolds. What should be a straight go in and bust the bad guys suddenly becomes a full on detective series that could span the entire sector.

The cast of characters is the classic character archetypes: A Psychic (Wizard), An Arbite (Leader Warrior), Two Guardsmen (archer and Barbarian), Assassin (Rogue) and a Techpriest (Priest), led by an all powerful Inquisitor (NPC). As the story progresses we get weird love stories, backgrounds and and some pretty well thought out characters.

The planet the adventure is set on is the best part for me. I love the idea of deep mines that a mutant population work over, a population prone to psykers, a military prison under attack and rich nobles lording it over everyone in their noble household made of glass to make the most of the weak sunlight.

Throughout the book there are hints of bigger plots and sinister villains and we are left with a story designed to be spread over at least one or two more books. With a pretty open ending we are left wondering what will happen next, unfortunately the second book is extremely hard to find. Overall an okay read that can lead you to a lot of fun playing Dark Heresy and I hope to one day find the second book.

End of Summer

We just came back from our final Summer trip of 2018!

The Road to Burlington is stunning.
Over the Labor Day weekend we travelled from Ottawa to Albany to Boston to Burlington to Ottawa. It was a great way to end what has been a busy and hot summer!

After crossing the oh so friendly border into the USA we arrived at Albany NY. First time here and realistically the last. Very much a working town and though I'm sure there are nice parts we didn't really get to see that side. We arrived early evening visited a grocery store and then Oliver's Beer Store. This place was the highlight, just row upon row of beers. I found a huge stockpile of Evil Twin and could have blown the whole budget there.

Then we were onto to Boston to stay with family. I love Boston, the only thing I need to locate is a model nerd shop and then I would most likely never leave. We explored Trillium and Fort Point along with Jamaica Plains, then Saturday we chilled hard playing a couple of Board games. Sunday was all about the food with brunch in Jamaica Plains, then beers, pasta and snacks at the family home, along with a three hour epic game of Catan.

Monday (labor) day rolled round and we journeyed to Burlington. Once more a City I love to visit, great breweries and coffee shops. Here we visited a few beer stops and drank loads of coffee..Waking Tuesday marked the end of the adventure as we headed back to Ottawa.

But now the leaves are turning orange, the temperatures start to fall back to a liveable amount. Which means only one thing time to kick the hobby into action. Here are the plans for the cooler months:

1) Kill Team - I've got some built but now it's time to paint them. This project is mostly to distract me from Aeldari and paint something different, this may also involve a gaming board.
Cult of the Kraken arises. 
2) Aeldari - I want to get the Spirit Host finished and a full list written out and then get the Eldritch Raiders started (aiming 1000pts).
Classic tiger stripes heading this way.
3) Drukari - Wych Cult here we come! This is a bold new project starting with 1000pts and going up!
Technically Storm Guardians but you get the idea.

So what is everyone else's plans for the cooler months? Drop me a comment as I want to know.

Book Review 30 // The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Boom! With this title I am now on book fifteen for my Books of 2018. I know for some readers it's not much of a feat but for me it is amazing; not only am I reading more, I'm writing more too. I've noticed an all round improvement in my concentration and a growing keenness to grab a book. It's becoming hard to not pick up a new title with every visit to a thrift store.

Enough about me, time to write about book fifteen. With this I return to a high school favourite of mine. The Colour of Magic. Written by Sir Terry Pratchett in 1983 (the year of my birth). It soon became a favourite read of mine and the setting is not only imaginative but also pretty crazy. Here are the stats.

Book Stats

Title: The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1)

Author: Sir Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Corgi

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 228

Commercial Fluff: The Colour of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins -- with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet


Now this is a book I haven't read since I was youngster. Though I loved the series I stopped reading them in my twenties for reasons unknown and I was excited to open up this thrift store copy. Straight away I am reminded why I enjoyed it so much, the book is just crammed full of all things, fantasy and sci-fi. Throughout the tale we are treated to wizards, assassins, pirates and dragonriders! The theme it would seem for this book is mainly Tourism and the destructive influence it can have on others. It is about showcasing the discworld as much as possible.

The book itself is in fact split into four parts. The first is set in Ankh-Morpork (this worlds version of London with a hint of Rome). Here we meet Twoflower's a wealthy but bored foreigner seeking adventure in the city. For all his well-meaning behaviour he can't help but find himself in constant trouble, especially if it means the locals separating him from his gold. Luckily for Twoflower he soon makes a friend by the name of Rincewind, an Unseen University drop out aka failed wizard. Rincewind reluctantly becomes Twoflowers' travel companion and guide. It's from this setup that we get the other stories as it follows the pair from the centre of the disc all the way to the edge!

What makes this book a good read is Pratchett's humor. Yes some of it is in the style of a cheesy british sitcom, but every few pages I guarantee you will at least smile. Pratchett's writing imagination is second to none, with him taking the standard fantasy themes and making them purely his own. In this book alone we deal with a thieves guild, translucent dragons created by thought, alien space trolls made purely of water, luggage with a hundred feet that never says a word but has some of the best scenes in the book. You are left amused, confused and dazed as the tale continues but at no point do you wish to stop. It's very addicting to read Pratchett and I fear I have become a addit.

I completely loved the book. It's reignited by passion for adventure on the discworld and so now I am searching for the next tale. So expect more reviews soon. Thanks as always for reading.

Beer Review 60 // Abattoir by Bloods Brother

I'm back with a beer review! This time traveling to Toronto, I was gifted a few bottles and a funky glass so just had to dive in!


Name: Abattoir
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Brewery: Blood Brothers
Country: Canada, Ontario.
ABV: 8.5%
Commercial Fluff:
A mixed fermentation farmhouse-style ale, a portion of which was aged in Chardonnay barrels. Dry hopped with El Dorado, Wai-ti, Waimea, and Mandarina Bavaria hops, this strong ale features aggressive Brettanomyces funkiness and mild oak.

Own Opinion

Label: Creepy Pig head straight out of a horror film!
Pour: Murky but bright yellow pour with a thick white head. Looks delicious.
Aroma: Has a sweetness to it with the classic barnyard funk smell we all expect. There is also a spicy note along with green apple.
Taste: Surprisingly enjoyable. I'm not a big saison fan but this one has a sour note to it, which greatly helps out. Overall grassy hay, fresh, a little citrus and a finish of brett. Very dry and crisp finishing and was pretty easy to finish.
Would I buy it again? Yes. Super refreshing, moreish and just a damn tasty beer! Can't wait to try more.

What are your thoughts? Let me know either on here, facebook or google+ (yes I still use that). As always thanks for reading.

Book Review 29 // Annihilation Squad by Gav Thorpe

Welcome back to my nerdy corner of the Internet. Guess what I've finished another book! This book signals number 14 in my Books of 2018, leaving me with four books to complete before year end. It was also the perfect time to finish the Last Chancers omnibus, with GW releasing Kill team this weekend. If you didn't know this title is the third in the series, following on from 13th Legion, and Kill Team (follow the links to read the reviews) and follows Lieutenant Kage and his role within the Last Chancers. A group of military criminals, given the choice "die for the Emperor or die a traitor".

Book Stats

Title: Annihilation Squad

Author: Gav Thorpe

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 256 pages

Commercial Fluff:
Lieutenant Kage, convict of the 13th Penal Legion and probably its longest surviving recruit, has once more come to the attention of his ruthless old commanding officer, the Colonel. Joined with a brand new team of Last Chancers, Kage is sent on a suicide mission to the war-torn planet of Armageddon to hunt down and assassinate one of the most dangerous traitors to the Imperium - former planetary overlord Herman von Strab. However, the Third Armageddon War is still raging fiercely and the Last Chancers will have to fight through orks, rebels and even the planet itself if they are to succeed in their mission.


As already mentioned this is the third and final book in Gav Thorpe's Last Chancers series and showcases the 13th Penal legion.

Once more the story is told and seen through the eyes of Lieutenant Kage. Kage is a convicted murder, who has somehow managed to survive two suicide missions with the Last Chancers. But it seems he is finally becoming unhinged.

The book follows the same path as the other two books. Colonel Schaeffer has a top secret mission for the Last Chancers, and it's one that they aren't supposed to come back from. We get to see them train, end up somewhere they shouldn't be and then complete the final mission with some personal lost.

Plus side of this tale is the setting. This time we get to travel the ground of Armageddon and visit the jungles and industrial hell holes of this amazing war world.

Like the last two books it does have it weak points. Firstly the cast, once more I found myself not caring for the other Chancers. They are purely filler and are almost forgotten by the end of the book. They seem to be there purely so Kage can comment about them, making this a real missed opportunity to expand the lore. It's a pretty dark tale which is saying something from the grim dark future of 40k, but the ending seem rushed and not fully filled out.

Overall the series was a good solid read and I do recommend it. It is always fun seeing the Astra Militarum overcoming insurmountable odds and this last book delivers. Four out of Five for this easy read.

Book Review 28 // Kill Team Gav Thorpe

Hot on the heels of the 13th Legion review comes the sequel Kill Team. I was surprised by how quick I was able to read this, not sure if it was a sign of an enjoyable book or if my reading is actually starting to improve. What it does signal is the completion of book thirteen of my Books of 2018 series. So with five months left of 2018 I need to complete five more books. I feel energised and ready to do this.

With the Sunday morning motivation completed let's get into the review.

Book Stats

Title: Kill Team
Author: Gav Thorpe
Publisher: Black Library.
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 256 pages
Commercial Fluff:

"In the second volume of Thorpe's Last Chancers series, Lieutenant Kage, a convict soldier of the 13th Penal Legion, languishes in an Imperial detention center when his old commanding officer returns with a deadly assignment. Kage must whip into shape a new team of the very worst the Imperial Guard has to offer before leading them on a mission to assassinate a warmongering enemy general."


As I read the Last Chancer series back to back the first thing I notice is the shift in storytelling. In the first book we have short style missions, characters that we grow to like and then a epic final showdown. In this one we get one big prison break, some training montage and then a final showdown. I found myself rooting for Kage and even feeling a bit sorry for him, dumped by the colonel and left to rot in a prison. Kage becomes a desperate and broken man. This all changes when the Colonel returns to his life and puts him in charge of a ragtag team of misfits. Here enters a cast of characters that to be honest weren't worth learning the names of.

Highlights of this book for me in no particular order are (watch for spoilers):

  • Kage, broken beyond repair, no chance of redemption in the Emperor's/Colonel's eyes and now possibly psychic?
  • The Tau Empire from an Imperial view point. It was great to see inside their crafts and ride along in the cities. Doesn't seem this Greater Good is all that Good (see what I did there!)
  • The Alien bar, feel like Gav was watching some Star Wars whilst writing this. Loved all the different aliens described in this scene. I just wish GW would explore these options more often.
  • The death of Brains- as the saying goes curiosity kills the cat..
  • The Inquisitor, what is he up to? Did he manage to save some characters from book one? Will we find out?
  • Commander Brightsword - nice tie in to the Farsight release that was happening at the time. Though he died to easy it was nice to a villian taken down. Time for the Tau to get cloning again.

Sure it wasn't a perfect book, with some sections feeling more like an 80's action movie and what should have been a scary villain being defeated with ease. But I really enjoyed it. One of the quickest books I've read and it's filled me with excitement for Annihilation Squad and the chance to visit one of the most iconic Worlds in 40k - Armageddon! Bring on the Orks Waaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

Beer Review 59 // (Extra) Terrestrial Imperial Brown Ale

Attempting to get better at posting beer reviews and more content in general. With that in mind here is this week's entry for the blog. Keeping things Canada this week with an offering from Wellington Brewery discovered in the local LCBO. Let us dive in:


Name: (Extra) Terrestrial Imperial Brown Ale.
Style: Imperial Brown Ale
Brewery: Wellington Brewery
Country: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
ABV: 8.2%
Commercial Fluff:
From the depths of outer space, comes an (Extra) Terrestrial, a heavily fortified imperial brown ale with a maximum payload of american hops. We’ve taken our award-winning recipe for Terrestrial India Brown Ale and made it double, using twice as much roasted malts and more than enough bitterness to satisfy the most discerning hop-heads. This imperial brown ale clocks in at over 90 IBU, dry hopped to create an intense flavour supernova of citrus and lemon. You can’t escape this black hole of hops!

Own Opinion

Pour: The pour is super dark, you would think it black. After further inspection it is a very dark brown. The head is pretty small producing tight bubbles of a light tan colour, it ultimately dissipates quickly.
Aroma: Lots of caramel, herby, earthy notes and a good helping of chocolate.
Taste: Not as sweet as I had expected. Throughout there are flavours of caramel, dark fruits like raisins, dark chocolate and earthy notes. The earthiness really help balance out the sweeter notes.
Would I buy it again? No. Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this beer, I'm in fact very glad I tried it. There is just no real draw for me. I think I prefer my brown ales in the lower abv's so that I can enjoy a few. The flavour though interesting wouldn't have me reaching for another bottle.

What are your thoughts? Let me know either on here, facebook or google+ (yes I still use that). As always thanks for reading.

Beer Review 58 // Nickel Brook Cuvee (2016)

Wow I've not done a beer post in so long! Let's jump straight back onto the horse on review a big hitter today. This bottle was long forgotten in dusty basement and was a joy to find on a resent clean up. Here are the details:


Name: Nickel Brook Cuvee (2016)
Style: American Strong Ale / Barrel Aged
Brewery: Nickel Brook
Country: Canada (Ontario)
ABV: 10%
Commercial Fluff: Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Our '16 Cuvée is a complex mixture of sweet malts, fruits, herbs and spices. We then blend this beer with ale aged in bourbon barrels for a year. To take our '16 Cuvée to another level of complexity we added a mix of bacteria for tartness and brettanomyces for a bit of funk to the barrels.

Own Opinion

Pour: From bottle.
Sight: As seen in picture it pours a reddish colour, with a very thin white head.
Aroma: Straight away sweet fruity aromas, backed up by caramel and finished by the bourbon.
Taste: Tastes like a boozy xmas fruit cake. The type your Grandma bakes, sweet fruits, scotch flavours and bourbon, plenty of bourbon.
Would I buy it again? Most likely not. It was an enjoyable beer but now I've had it, I doubt I need to again. Now on the search for the 2017 version.

Got an opinion? Would love to hear it!

Book Review 27 // 13th Legion by Gav Thorpe

Wow it's a steamy, hot, humid day here in the Ottawa capital, last night was Canada Day and temperatures sored! What it meant for me was the ability to finish book twelve of my Books of 2018. As the recurring theme continues I have completed a sci-fi novel, set in the Warhammer 40k Universe, written by one of my favourite authors Gav Thorpe. Gav Thorpe along with Dan Abnett have a unique ability to bring these worlds to life for me and help me escape my own for a while. So let us jump into an early title of Mr. Thorpes.

Book Stats

Title: 13th Legion

Author: Gav Thorpe

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 288

Commercial Fluff: Across a hundred blasted war-zones, upon a dozen bloody worlds, the convict soldiers of the Thirteenth Legion fight a desperate battle for redemption in the eyes of the immortal Emperor. In this endless war against savage orks, merciless eldar and the insidious threat of Chaos, Kage and the Last Chancers penal battalion must fight not only to win but to survive!


Even for the grim, dark future of 40k, this book is grim, dark! No noble one dimensioned Space Marines here or even a lovable rogue of the Imperial Guard. Instead we follow a bunch of murders, traitors and scum of the 13th Penal Legion, lead into battle by Colonel Schaeffer. Throughout the tale we see them fight aliens and then each other, as their only true friend is themselves. You'll even at times find yourself rooting for an alien to off certain characters, but I feel that was what the author wants you to feel. But ultimately they aren't all bad and you start to even like some of them for a bit, that is until you are reminded that they are murderous criminals, who don't deserve the Emperors forgiveness.

This story has a great base, a penal legion lead by a zealous commander who would rather see his chargers dead than given a pardon. Think Dirty Dozen and you aren't far off. The author is also given the freedom to play with characters from many different backgrounds, as the legion is collected up from different prison worlds scattered throughout this sector. This leads to interesting array of characters, be them nobles, hive scum or even genetically modified soldiers. The story itself is written from the viewpoint of a Lt. Kage; a hardass Hive Worlder who murdered his way into the Penal Legion and refuses to die in a suicide mission. It is though his telling of events that we learn the 13th legion fought in the Second Tyrannic War. It is also hinted that the legion consisted of close to 4,000 troops at the start, but by the time of this tale only 250 are left and most of those are now mentally unhinged.

Once settled into the main cast of characters we are bouncing to flavorful warzone to flavourful warzone, watching the bodycount rise until we are only left with 12 members. It is then disclosed that all the fighting and suicide missions was organized by the Inquisition, in order to find the most badass troops out there. It is also now that we discover their final mission. Infiltrate and destroy the City of Coritanorum. This once proud Imperial Held city, has fallen to an insidious control of a Genestealer Cult! I don't want to ruin the ending so go grab a copy and read for yourself.

Overall a great read. I really enjoyed the detailed fight scenes and unusual locations we got to visit through the story. The interactions between cell mates, seemed realistic and not forced and the final twist at the end though expected was well worth the wait (you'll see). It's also worth mentioning that it is great to see how far Gav Thorpe's writing has come since this time. I actually enjoyed the book so much that I have begun the next book in the series Kill team - which concern sneaky Tau!

Until next time.

Sector 102 // K. Cattrall Fishmen

There's been a lot of book reviews here recently (which is great for me), but I feel I need to get some miniatures back up and running. So with that in mind let's delve back into the out of print world of JDMG and head back to Sector 102, Mega City One. Now these are models I've had for a long while! They were all bought simply because I love fishmen monsters. But I lacked inspiration to do anything with them, that was until I read a tale in the Judge Dredd megazine. From this one story I've designed a whole gang around these lonely models.
Here is a page clip from the meg that inspired me:

Judge Dredd – The Call Of K. Cattrall Part 2 – By Arthur Wyatt and Paul Davidson

Info: Dredd and Psi-Judge Zheng are looking further into the decapitation of Zac Gammell, CEO of Gammell Industrial. When they come across an alien/mutant fishman race....

Now I'm a huge fan of Lovecraft and Cthulhu so straight away I got into this story. The artwork is also very beautiful.

So now with my inspiration I started digging in my cupboard of figures (it's quite a big cupboard), in there is a long forgotten mini of an out of print Dr Who Fishman model, who acted as my muse. So with my imagination running wild and this figure in hand I looked for more models to add. Within moments I had a collection of eight figures in a variety of poses and a River Troll. So what could be better than painting them and writing up a set of rules. So without further ado.....

++ Sector House 102 ++
++ To all Senior Judges ++
++ Subject: Unknown Alien/Mutant life form ++

"Be on the lookout for an Unknown Alien/Mutant life forms. Believed to be survivors from Dredd's K. Cattrall case. Already linked to 5 murders in Sector 102. Approach with caution and shoot on sight"
K. Cattrall Fishman
Class: Illegal Minion Credits: 95
Move: 5" AG: +0 Shoot: +0 Melee: +0 Melee Dice: 4D Will: +0 Arm: +3 Hits: 2
Weapons: Razor Sharp Claws ( Damage 1 AP -5)
Special: Leathery Skin (Arm +3), Slimy Scales (Count as Suction Pads)

K. Cattrall Fishman leader
Class: Illegal Hero Level 1 Credits: 145
Move: 5" AG: +0 Shoot: +0 Melee: +2 Melee Dice: 4D Will: +0 Arm: +3 Hits: 3
Weapons: Razor Sharp Claws ( Damage 1 AP -5)

Special: PSI score 4 Leathery Skin (Arm +3), Slimy Scales (Count as Suction Pads)
Talents: Skilled and Deadly, Concussive Blast

Type: Infantry Illegal Minion Cost: 30 Credit
Move: 6" Agility: +0 Shoot: - Melee: +2 Melee Dice: 3D Will: +0 Armour: +2 Hits: 1

Heighten Senses: Smooth-Hounds gain a +2 bonus to Will checks made against enemies using Sneaky Does It Talents.
Bite: 1 Damage -2 AP

Big Guy
Type: Infantry Illegal Minion Cost: 105 Credits
Move: 3" Agility: -2 Shoot: -1 Melee: +4 Melee Dice: 1D Will: +0 Armour: +3 Hits: 6
Weapons: Razor Sharp Claws ( Damage 1 AP -5)
Special: Leathery Skin (Arm +3)
Bulky: Once a Big Guy gets going, there is little that can stop him! If two consecutive Move or Melee actions are taken in the same turn, then the second action must be made in a completely straight line, but he will move an additional D10+2". In addition all Close Combat attacks will ignore all Armour except against vehicles and have a damage score equal to the Big Guy's remaining hits. Big Guy's can only move in clear terrain.

Fat: Can't climb ladders, ride in normal vehicles but can sit in the back of a van or lorry. Can only move through doors wide enough for the base and is immune to knockdowns.

As you can tell it's still early days on this project and I want to make more Big Guys and a pure leader hero version. But let me know what you think and maybe do a bit of play testing for me. As always until next time.

Book Review 26 // Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore

As mentioned in yesterday's post I am back from my holidays and attempting to catch up on some blogging. The joy of holidays away is getting some much needed reading completed. So not only did I complete the Praetorian of Dorn, I also managed the third book in the Alien series. If you haven't seen the other reviews follow these handy links-

What this does mean is that I am now at book Eleven of Eighteen for my Books of 2018! Seven books to go to complete my challenge and six months to complete it by. With that in mind let's jump into this review.

Title: Sea of Sorrow

Publisher: Titan Books

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 352

Commercial Fluff: "As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker’s job is to make sure the settlements on LV178 follow all the rules, keeping the colonists safe. But the planet known as New Galveston holds secrets, lurking deep beneath the toxic sands dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has secrets of its own, as Decker discovers when he is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation. Somewhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe—a living Xenomorph. Decker doesn’t understand why they need him, until his own past comes back to haunt him. Centuries ago, his ancestor fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on the Destroyer…Ellen Ripley."


For those who don't know the series Sea of Sorrows is a sequel to Tim Lebbon's opening novel Alien: Out of the Shadows. The tale happens roughly 300 years later in the Alien timeline. Early on in the story we get introduced to Decker, a descendent of Ellen Ripley (yes the movie heroine). It is also revelled early on that this hive of Xenomorphs can detect his dna and his link to Ripley. Making him a prime target whenever they attack. Expect why me!? and it's coming straight at me!

Overall the story is really good. Action scenes are spread out and well paced (an issue with some Alien Novels). Whilst once again Weyland-Yutani is the real villain of the piece as they continue to attempt to capture one of these foul beasts. The cast of characters is large and I do find myself not caring when they start getting killed off. Only a few of the side characters get any real background info delivered about them so it is hard to care, but if they all got page time then this tale would be longer than Lord of the Rings!

The ending seems to arrive nicely packaged and wrapped in bow. The events of this book ultimately will be covered up and one day forgotten (a bit like me) by Weyland-Yutani. Unfortunately for me it left to many unanswered questions. Why did the ship crash there? Why were these aliens collecting Xenomorphs? How can they remember Ripley's genes? How could the company forget they once had resources in that system? Is it the planet seen in Alien: Covenant?

If you are an Alien fan and want a bit of a mindless read then this book is for you. If you have read it drop me some comments.

Book Review 25 // Praetorian of Dorn by John French

I'm coming back fresh from a holiday in the UK. The time there flew past to quickly and maybe a blog entry about that adventure will come another time. The big note worth mentioning is the fact my phone completely died on me so my only reading material I had was this book and one other. The first book to get reviewed is Praetorian of Dorn. This book represents book Ten in my quest to complete my Books of 2018. Let's dive in!

Title: Praetorian of Dorn

Author: John French

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 400

Commercial Fluff: "As the first assault on the Solar System begins, the strength of the Imperial Fists and the seemingly impregnable fastness they have built is tested at last…

Recalled from the Great Crusade after Ullanor, Rogal Dorn and the VIIth Legion were appointed as the Emperor’s praetorians – but only after the Warmaster’s treachery was revealed did the full extent of that sacred duty become apparent. Now, the Solar System comes under attack for the first time since the war began, and many of the seemingly impregnable defences wrought by the Imperial Fists prove inadequate. With all eyes fixed firmly upon this new threat beyond the gates of Terra, who in turn will protect Dorn from the enemy within?

At last, Rogal Dorn and the VII Legion take centre stage in a Horus Heresy novel! And it's a doozy, as the assault on the Solar System begins. Or does it?"


I was excited to see this novel in the library so scoped it up straight away. It is book number 39 in the series, yes I am still jumping all over the timeline like a bad Back to the Future spoof. The real excitement for me came from the fact that it is written by John French. I really enjoyed his Ahriman novel so was excited to read another novel by him.

Praetorian of Dorn seems to finally give us a real tale involving Dorn and his Fists. Having spent most of the Heresy hidden on Terra it is nice to think he is finally getting some action. But wait he isn't the main character of the book! Instead we spend most of the novel following Archamus; leader of Dorn's Huscarl Bodyguard. It was great that French took the time to flesh out his character with flashbacks, that aided in building a character you could enjoy. Archamus is one of the oldest in the Legion and is a veteran builder and warrior that is now thrown into a style of war he was not built for and must start waging a war in the shadows.

This book is fall of intrigue and plot openers. It shows that the Alpha Legion have been playing a very long game, with agents seeded throughout the galaxy. This opened my mind to the following question: Was another rebellion in the planning before the Heresy? Why would the Alpha Legion seed warriors away on Terra? It also seemed that they were there before the outbreak of the war, so why are they there?

And this is what French wants us to question (I think). Paranoia is the focus of the novel, what exactly are Alpha Legion up to? Are they heroes, villians or a bit of both? Why did they make such a bold play and what if any of it was real or faked? I'm left wanting more, more Alpha Legion, more intrigue, more answers. Damn you French you have me hooked.

GO read this book and leave me your thoughts below.

Comic Review 31 // Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson

I'm on a real Alien kick at the moment. Having reviewed a few comics now alongside a few books too. So whilst I was returning Alien: Salvation I was happy to stumble across this classic piece of graphic novel history Alien: The Illustrated Story- believed by many to be the best movie to comic adaption ever made. So guess what, I picked it up and read it like a madman. So let us jump in!

Publisher: Titan Books (2012) Original Published 1979

Title: Alien: The Illustrated Story

Writer: Archie Goodwin

Artist: Walter Simonson

Pages: 64

Commercial Fluff: Vacant. Two space helmets resting on chairs. Electronic hum. Lights on the helmets begin to signal one another. Moments of silence. A yellow light goes on. Electronic hum. A green light goes on in front of one helmet. Electronic pulsing sounds. A red light goes on in front of the other helmet. An electronic conversation ensues. Reaches a crescendo. Then silence.

And when the silence is broken... the crew of the Nostromo must grapple with a terrifying life force they cannot leash, nor even comprehend - the Alien!

The stunning color graphic novel of Ridley Scott's legendary sci-fi thriller!


Wow what a great read it does live up to the hype. If the film had not been made and instead just existed as this graphic novel I would be raving about how great this is. As it stands it helps boost your knowledge of what you saw in the film, it even helps improve roles like Ripley as the warrant officer and allows time to absorb some of the technical jargon that would otherwise get skipped in a film.

Since being old enough I have maybe watched Alien a hundred plus times and I never get sick of watching it. It is a film that you know what is going to happen but you can't turn away. You build a bond to each character and then you are forced to watch the xenomorph kill them and take them into the darkness. It is a film about humans surviving in the harshness of space, friendships built within a confined space, strong female leads and the need to overcome the fear of the dark. All this is beautifully portrayed within this comic by Goodwin's writing.

Simonson's artwork though dated by today's standards is beautiful (try to find the uncoloured edition for a real treat). Everything has purpose, be it movement, from the smoke and wind effects used on the planet's surface or the way the chestbuster escapes Kane's torso on the kitchen table. No detail is left poorly used. Then add in great ink work and the story comes to life again and we are forced to relive poor Dallas' demise in the air duct, scene by scene.

Seriously go buy/borrow this book you will not be disappointed and it will reinvigorate your love of the franchise.

Comic Review 30 // Aliens: Salvation by Dave Gibbons

My quest for cheap comics continued this week as browsed through my local library and came across another great comic. Once again we delve into the Dark Horse Publishings Alien Franchise and discover what crazy shit the Aliens are getting up to now!

Publisher: Dark Horse Publishing

Title: Alien: Salvation

Writer: Dave Gibbons

Artist: Mike Mignola

Pages: 56 (yes this is short)

Commercial Fluff: MIGNOLA! GIBBONS! NOWLAN! One of the most memorable Aliens tales ever told, now available as a premier-edition hardcover! When the most pious crewman aboard the Nova Maru is forced to abandon ship with his mad captain, the two are marooned on an inhospitable and remote world-and they're not alone . . . *Back in print for the first time in over a decade!


Written in a time before Predators and Engineers this classic tale of Xenomorphs, pits humans against humans, humans against the company and finally humans verus Xenomorphs.

The tale begins on board the Nova Maru a cargo ship carrying an unknown package across the universe. In an unexplained accident the cargo gets lose on board and a seriously injured and freaked out Captain Foss immediately abandons ship, forcing Selkirk- one of his crew members, at gunpoint to go along with him. Sealing the fate of the other crew members who are sadly never seen again and easily written off.

The two men then crash the escape shuttle on the nearby planet, where everything seems to want to kill humans or at the very least make them sick. The rest of the tale is more about Foss who is injured and mentally unstable and Selkirk, a god-fearing man. Soon with food scarce and Selkirk starving the unthinkable happens but I will leave you to discover that part. The story then follows Slekirk's need to survive and the 58 pages finishes pretty quickly.

The biggest issue with this tale is the shortness of it at 58 pages. The initial spaceship scenes are rushed and unfocused, much more time could have been spent on that and the disposable crew in general. I also felt the xenomorph were under played, they just weren't scary and there are scenes were they are slaughtered in droves. They became to much of a background character for this to be a true Alien comic.

Mignola's art is interesting, I understand why people love it and it does help the storytelling but for me I have to say I'm not a true fan, sometimes it felt cluttered whilst at other times it seemed bare and lacksture. It seems like a love hate relationship for me.

Regardless of the above negatives Aliens: Salvation brings me back to simpler days of Xenomorphs, when they could be anywhere ready to strike. A true representation of the darkness that humanity fears. Interesting use of religion through out and overall a good comic just needed more space to expand and explore and of course more scary aliens! 3 out of 5.

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