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Review: Alien 3 Audible Exclusive

alien 3 audible book review

Introduction

Alien 3 is an Audible adaptation of William Gibsons unmade script for the film, featuring Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen. The whole thing is voice acted with plenty of sound effects that really add to the atmosphere.

It recently came out and I’ve been meaning to get around to listening, and now I have, I think it’s time for my review.

Liked

The performances in this book are fantastic. Just like other Audible performances, this does not disappoint when it comes to quality. The actors are brilliant and really help to bring the story to life.

There’s also a lot of nostalgia attached to this with two of the original actors returning to voice the characters from Alien. This was a nice touch and they both sound fantastic.

There were some new ideas here and we got to explore a little more about the universe that the trilogy takes place in. I enjoyed the idea of there being another faction of space and tensions between these two forces. A lot of the ideas aren’t massively fleshed out, but they’re fun when they crop up.

Disliked

To be honest there was quite a lot to dislike about this. As spot on as the performances were, things just didn’t work that well.

Unlike other Audible editions of the Alien franchise, this one didn’t leave me with a full mental image of what things looked like. The hybrid for example, what is it? What’s it look like?

The way these performances are done leave little time for description, but after a very descriptive monologue from Bishop we could done with that again after the first hybrid. Maybe a run down of what it’s like vs a Xenomorph? It just felt a bit lacking which is disappointing.

Also, what was going on with the guy from weapons division? It’s like they decided they need the classic bad guy from Wetland Yutani, but his motives for his actions were unclear. Was he trying to trap everyone and keep the Aliens alive until the colonists got there? Was he trying to stop it escaping? I’ve no idea.

Too short! This isn’t always a bad thing as these performances are excellent quality, but when the pacing is off like it is here, it leads to a very cramped ending. There’s a lot of build up that plays on nostalgia and then everything goes made in the last half hour. Nothing really happens apart from what seems to be setting up for another story to follow.

Infection? So we have Aliens that are like zombies? I really didn’t like this direction, and they did precious little with the idea. It just kind of happened and never got explored like most of the new ideas in this performance.

Conclusion

Honestly it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this which is wrong, I really did have a good time listening, it’s just that Audible has had some amazing Alien franchise performances that outstrip this by a mile.

I got to the end and felt this is just an introduction to a whole new story that is going to follow, but this was purely set up. That’s not a bad thing, but compared to other stories that really built their characters and the places they were in, it just doesn’t live up.

If you’ve got a few hours to spare and enjoy Alien, then it’s worth giving a go. The performances are fantastic and it’s an OK story that leans heavily on nostalgia. I had a good time listening, you’ll just need to have lower expectations and not hope that this truly makes amends for Alien 3. Maybe it’s just a cursed title?

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Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher)

Being a fan of The Witcher game series I decided to give the stories, written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a try, and I can say right from the start that I wasn’t dissapointed. The book contains a series of short stories, following our main character, Geralt of Rivia. There’s a main story in the background, that gradually unfolds, but this is really focused on the short stories, and they are all entertaining.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Witcher series, it follows Geralt who is a Witcher, a monster slayer who travels the country slaying bizzarre and interesting creatures. Witchers are taken from a young age and mutated, giving them supernatural abilities which aid them in their job.

If you’ve played the games, then you’ll be used to Geralt’s personality, and this is one thing that absolutely shines throughout the book. There were moments that had me laughing out loud, and other moments where I really found myself feeling sorry for our protagonist. Throughout the short stories I found Geralt becoming more and more likable, to the point of rocketing to one of my top favorite characters from any book!

He’s no longer disillusioned with grand ideas of being a hero and that theme is captured fantastically well throughout.

If there’s one blemish on this otherwise fantastic read, it’s that the writing occasionally feels a little odd. I’m not sure if it’s just the style, or the fact that this is a translation, but I couldn’t help but find myself having to re-read parts, correcting them in my head as I read. It’s not a huge issue as it doesn’t crop up much, but there are a few niggling little abnormalities that crop up.

After reading this I can say with absolute certainty that I’ll be checking out the next book. I didn’t really expect much, but I can certainly see where the games get their fantastic story telling moments from. If you’re a fan of The Witcher series, or just fantasy books in general, this is definitely worth giving a go. I absolutely loved it from start to finish!

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Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1 – Vader

Star Wars Darth Vader Graphic Novel

So, I decided to take a look at Marvel’s Darth Vader series, hoping that it would capture the Darth Vader we all know and love and explore some of his backstory. Instead I got something that read more like the annoying Anakin Skywalker from the prequels.

Now, it’s not a bad read, it’s just not a very good one. The story follows Darth Vader after the destruction of the first Death Star, and as you can imagine, Emperor Palpatine is not happy! This should lead to some pretty interesting stories, but instead we get some boring political games between the two dark lords of the Sith.

What I did enjoy about Darth Vader was how much of an unappreciated character he was throughout. He’s treated as an archaic tool by the characters around him, something that should be disposed of, a simple weapon, and this makes things a little more interesting.

Vader clearly doesn’t trust the Emperor, and the feelings mutual. The Emperor is up to something, and Vader want’s to find out what his plans are, while he puts together his own secret force. This takes the story in a direction which brings some new supporting characters on board (relatively annoying ones) and ends with some more characters seeking to replace Darth (they are even more annoying!) Ultimately, the story is pretty generic.

Now the art, that’s pretty good. Some of the scenes look fantastic and the appearance of Vader is captured perfectly. His emotion is drawn incredibly well considering he’s always wearing his armor and helmet, and the reader really gets a feel for what the Sith Lord is thinking and feeling.

The question to ask at the end of all that, is this worth reading? Honestly, probably not. I’m not sure if it’s heading in a better direction, but so far it’s felt extremely weak. The art and style is great, but that’s about it. For something that focuses on such a great character I find it disappointing that his adventures are so generic… so bland…

Fingers crossed things will get better. There are hints towards the end that the Vader we know and love is coming back, so let’s see where that takes us. This is just the opening after all!

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Progress so far

Well it’s almost been a month of being published and so far so good! Feedback from the book is great, glad everyone who has read it has been enjoying my story so far.

A Thousand Hearts broke into the top 10k selling books, not sure if that’s a great achievement in terms of sales but I’m pretty happy considering the huge number of books selling out there.

Onto the second book in the series, Fallen. I’m 10% of the way through the first draft so I’m on schedule so it shouldn’t be too long until the book is ready for my beta readers. Everything is on track to have the second book ready to be published this year so fingers crossed nothing huge comes up and interrupts the writing process, it has been known to happen to me in the past 😛

As always, if you haven’t checked out my first book yet, take a peek at the following links!

Thanks for reading.

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Rebirth – Where to buy

So my first novel has been out for a little while and it is beginning to hit new store shelves, both virtual and physical so I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of where you can pick up my book!

eBook Format

Amazon USUK
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Apple iBooks
Google Play

Paperback

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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A Thousand Hearts – Michael and Katerine

ATH Michael and Katerine

Another little doodle I did of Michael Nolan and Katerine Lesigne from A Thousand Hearts. Had some great fun playing with this on my Galaxy Note. Not long now until the book is out! Just a couple of weeks.

The book is now being formatted to fit ebooks and also print. Once I’ve got the completed files back it won’t take me long to get the book out. The wait is almost over.



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Updated Cover

Here it is, the final cover! Worked with a fantastic couple of people. Designer and editor were absolutely brilliant, Cynthia did great work on my blurb and Rene did amazing work with the cover.

Design: http://www.phycel.com/

Editor:  http://www.cynthiashepp.com/

So here they are! The images of the finished cover!

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My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light

Now I’m a big Wheel Of Time fan. When this book hit the shelves I was there first thing when the shops opened to pick up my copy so I could get reading straight away but soon found myself disappointed. Continue reading “My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light” »