Archive for kell’s legend

THE DAYLIGHT WAR By Peter V. Brett – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by stanleyriiks

I’ve been busy the past few weeks working my way through this massive book, so apologies for the delay in posting.

The third volume in The Painted Man series, I thought this would end the trilogy. In some ways I’m sad it’s not, I was looking forward to finding out what would happen, but in some ways I’m glad this epic and brilliant story continues.

For those of you who have not read the first two books in the series, this is not the place to start. The first two books are equally epic and amazing. If you like your fantasy huge, filled to the rafters with brilliant ideas, great characters, intensity, action packed, and filled with mysterious magic, demons and loads more, then you’ll absolutely love these books.

In the first book we discover this world in which every night humans must hide behind warded protection from the corlings (demons) who appear out of the earth. Arlen Bales is a young boy when we first meet him, but Arlen becomes a messenger, a dangerous but privileged position, learning the wards for protection as he must strike out across the townships taking the post with him, his life on the line ever night. Eventually Arlen meets Jardir, the leaders of a tribe in the deep south, a tribe that fights the demons every night, using mysterious new wards, while their women and children hide in an underground city. The two become firm friends until the discovery of an ancient city thought lost, and a magical warded spear.

The second book in the series gives us a full history of Jardir and how he achieved his position. Then how he brings the tribes together and launches a brutal attack on the northern cities.

Of course there more to it than that, but you really really need to read the first two books in the series.

In the third book we see history from the other side, Jardir’s powerful wife, Inevera, was behind many of his decisions and in this book we discover her history. And we see the two sides preparing for the night battle of the “waning” when the most powerful corlings come to the surface to fight. The time when the two sides, the united tribes of the south, and the northern cities, will battle draws ever closer. The characters relationships proving more and more problematic because of it. The daylight war is coming…

The books are not focused on a single character, although sometimes it does seem that way. There are several other characters, all important to the story, and too many to list. The books thus far have given us a massive history, we watch the characters grow and develop, and this is the key to drawing you in. This feels more like watching a life, rather than following a plot.

The people are waiting for The Deliverer to battle the corlings and free them from their constant nightly struggle, but is it Arlen or Jardir? Both of them are building armies, the various characters aligning with one or another of them. Friendship, politics, love and intrigue all fight for dominance.

This is a massive book, and I was conflicted. I wanted to read it quickly and get to the end to find out what happens next (probably the best cliff-hanger in the history of fantasy, giving Andy Remic’s Kell’s Legend a run for its money!), and savouring every single page of brilliance.

Brett is an artist and the page his tapestry. He has woven a tale of magnificence. I can’t wait for the next volume, I need to know what happens next.

VAMPIRE WARLORDS By Andy Remic – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by stanleyriiks

Posted with the permission of Morpheus Tales Magazine.

The third book in the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles sees us back at the dramatic cliff-hanger (literally) of the second book, where the immortal Vampire Warlords are brought back from the Halls of Chaos by the mass genocide of the Vachine race of Silva Valley by Graal and Kradek-ka. Myriam betrays Kell, Saark’s heart is ripped from his chest, and the Army of Iron, alongside the Harvesters, have taken over Falanor.

Kell and Nianna grab up Saark’s body and head down a hole in the mountain of Hill Top, leaving the Vampire Warlords to start the destruction of the entire human race. The Warlords start by turning the humans into vampire slaves as the split Falanor between them, each taking a major city, corrupting it and turning the people into the undead.

Kell cannot sit back and watch. He must fight, because that’s all he knows. Heading North, hoping to find something or someone that will help him, Kell manages to find the least expected army, and must try to drive the Vampire Warlords and Graal’s Army of Iron from Falanor before every human being is killed.

It was a couple of years ago that I discovered Kell’s Legend in Forbidden Planet and bought it because I liked the cover, and it  was a signed copy. It was about three months later that I bought another copy as my local Borders closed, I think it was half price. Little did I know at the time that the book was so worth buying twice. Kell’s Legend is the first book of this series, and it’s now one of my favourite books of all time. One of the most exciting, energetic and inspirational books I’ve ever read. Like the first Conan book I picked up at the age of fourteen. Like the first time I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This is a book that sticks with you, a character who is far from perfect, but all the better for it. A hero that you can love for his grumpiness as well as his courage and determination. The third and final part of Kell’s adventure has more excitement, more action, more energy. It’s difficult to convey the energy and passion that Remic has imbued his books with. I don’t get excited very often (just ask my girlfriend!), but reading these books had me grinning ear to ear, bouncing up and down like a little school boy needing to have a pee.

If you’ve missed the first and the second books and want to dive into the third it’s very possible you’ll have a great time. But you’ll still be missing out. The first and second books are fabulously rich with drive, action and experience. Never have I been so riveting with a book as at the end of Kell’s Legend when I reached the final page, lying down in bed (where I do most of my reading), and I jumped up and down and screamed and shouted that I had to buy the second book (which wasn’t out at the time), and was left fidgety and nervous for several hours afterwards as I tried to calm down.

Ok, so now Kell is seemingly invincible, but Remic remedies this by making him all the more human emotionally, and filling in a rather distasteful back-story.

The secret to these books is that Remic draws you in, he makes you feel, he tricks you, he hurts you, he draws you in further. Reading a Remic book is not like reading, it’s like playing the most immersive video-game, or watching the best film, you believe you are there, you feel every cut, every crash of steel, every heartbeat, every gasp of breath. The excitement comes from this interactive experience, which is beyond what other writers do.

Andy Remic is a nasty genius who wants to kidnap you and take you for the ride of your life.

I urge you to read the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles. If you only pick up one fantasy book in your life you should read Kell’s Legend and you will certainly pick up the Soul Stealers and Vampire Warlords. You won’t be able not to.

Angry Robot should offer a money-back guarantee with Andy Remic’s books, their money would be perfectly safe.

An amazing book in a truly outstanding fantasy series. I hope, I beg, I pray, I beseech Mr Remic to provide us with more tales of Kell. Books really don’t get much better than this. A thundering fantasy thriller. A rip-roaring action-adventure. A suitably exciting conclusion to an epic and massively entertaining series.

http://www.angryrobotbooks.com/

SERIAL KILLERS INCORPORATED by ANDY REMIC – Prologue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2011 by stanleyriiks

This book is dedicated to

th3 m1ss1ng

with love and funky vibes, bruvs.

 

PROLOGUE

HEAVEN S(C)ENT

 

SLOWLY, I OPEN the skinning razor, marvelling at the craftsmanship of this delicate yet lethal antique blade. I smile. This is my brother, my soulmate, my working tool without which I cannot perform. Without which, indeed, I have no function. No purpose.

I place the shining crescent against reptilian flesh. I press to cut, to slice, my breath rising in pace with anticipation, but back away at the last moment.

No. Not yet. It’s not yet time.

I breathe deep, a low long hiss like a snake. I savour the moment, the long soothing ride like the instant before ejaculation when you hang in the balance, careering out of control, feeling barely human and feeling more alive than alive.

If only you people knew; if only you understood. But you’re mis–programmed, un–encoded, deviated and twisted from a perceived normality you no longer appreciate. Yeah. Fucking deviated. That’s right.

Now… to work.

There is one I must find. He’s out there, in the real world. In your real world, at least.

He is one of you. One of your… breed.

And his name?

His name is Callaghan.

 

I have three addictions in life. Whisky, adrenalin and sex.

Whisky is what kills bad memories. Adrenalin – well, I’ve always had a love of fast cars, killer bikes and snowboarding. And sex? Hell, sex is the evil that always kick–starts my pain.

And that’s why I’m here, standing on the eighteenth floor balcony of Glasgow’s Riviera 5–Star, staring down at the Clyde with my balls cupped protectively in both hands as the cold does its best to turn me into a corpse. I’m naked. Shit. That’s not good.

Let me introduce myself.

My name’s Callaghan, I’m a hard drinking, womanising, no good son–of–a–bitch. I live for today, take any designer drug in the world, fuck anything that moves and steal anything that doesn’t… and to hell with consequences! Baby, I’m the man who put head into hedonism. Sex into sexuality. The cunt into cuntinental. And… as I stand here, skin tinged blue, Glasgow lights fluttering like pearls scattered over velvet, the wind shrieks a surreal mocking laugh at my dangerous predicament in a rhythmical wail. A song for the condemned. Yeah. That’s me. Condemned.

I glance down at my own trembling, worthless carcass; can idly observe the wind has turned my fingers rigid, skin a network of disintegrating lace. My feet sit splayed on a plate of cracked ice and I’m vibrating so hard it hurts. I think my teeth will judder from my stupid, jack–hammer skull.

I squint miserably as short terriers of snow snap my face. I grimace, coughing ice–air, and wonder how long I’m going to have to wait, freezing, dying, and eventually I hear a noise inside the apartment and my thoughts drift back to Him. And Her.

Him. Vladimir. The bastard.

I half turn, scowl at the balcony doors with their delicate wooden shutters which, despite opulent triple–glazing, fail to muffle the sounds of grunting as Vlad mounts and ravages his beautiful wife. Only a few moments ago it was I – yes I – who brought her moaning and screaming and thrashing to a bed–thumping skin–tearing head–pounding teeth–grinding arching sweating heaving multiple fucking climax.

I try to close my ears to her mocking echoes of pleasure.

She better be faking it, I think sourly. But I know she isn’t.

‘That son of a bitch.

I press iced fingers over my flapping mouth in horror as staccato words leap unbidden from twitching lips. What are you doing? I scream silently at myself, an internal mockery. The brainless, contemptuous of the insane. Do you want to get caught? And of course I don’t, because as much as I like fucking Vladimir’s wife, and as much as she thoroughly enjoys being fucked by me, and yes, much as I hate Vladimir with a venom more deadly than any rattlesnake… well, I have to admit it, Vladimir Katchevsky, former Bucharest gang–lord running guns between Romania, the UK and the Middle East in a cleverly constructed triangulation of players, contraband and excessive finance, is one superbly evil and dangerous bastard of a bastard. Carrying twin Techrim 11mm pistols he’s killed thirty–four people to date. Thirty four that I know about… dangerous information – of which I’d rather be ignorant – and obtained through intimate drunken bedside chit–chat with the pretty and prettily voluptuous Sophie. Ahh Sophie! She of the velvet hair, opal eyes and wide, generous (yeah, very generous) mouth.

‘Shit, shit, shit,’ I mutter as I move to the balcony rail, burnished steel supporting square panels of toughened glass. The view below is sweeping, grand, a dark pastel vista stuttering beneath huge folding blankets of snow that whip first one way, then the other.

I lean against the rail, and it’s so cold it almost strips the skin from my fingers. I yelp and suck digits, injecting warmth. The muscles in my jaw tighten in anger. I glance back at the closed doors and the heat and love and sex – and death – within.

I am tempted to try and sneak through the room. Then I remember the 11mm Techrims.

Options? Well, arse–hole, in about three minutes you’re gonna freeze to death. Try and head through the hotel room and Vlad will beat you senseless – and, if you’re lucky – fill you full of 11mm rounds. But if you’re unlucky…

I shiver. I’d heard the stories.

So then. Avenues of insanity? Despite jumping, the only other option available to my skinny naked rump is to climb down.

The wind slaps me like an irate lover.

Savages me. Beats me. Rapes me.

Bare feet pad across marble and I glance down again, wishing this was all a bad dream and praying the horror would go away. I grit my teeth, try to be brave (but it’s hard, so hard!), grasp cold metal and lift my face to inhale fresh bright snow. I blink away tears and cock my leg over the steel bar, trying my best not to drag dangling vulnerable balls against liquid nitrogen. I wobble and shake for a few seconds, and my other leg manages the treacherous traverse.

And there’s me, stood on the bastard side of oblivion. I say to myself don’t look down, don’t look down because I know it’s the thing you’re supposed to say. But I look down anyway and whimper like a little girl as I realise, shit, I can’t do this. I just can’t do it. But I have to. I must. Or I’ll die.

I shuffle along the ledge. It feels like a 2mm concrete strip under fat stupid tip–toes. But hey, it’s 2mm I’m thankful for. Better 2mm than 11mm, right? I try to lick my lips but cracked skin brings an agony of burning.

Inside the hotel room Sophie wails a long, ululating song of pleasure. Yet more rhythmical thumping ensues.

Around me, the snowfall increases in density. Cold settles across my shoulders like a vellum shroud. My foot slips, toe–nails rasping harsh on concrete and sending sparks of pain igniting my shin. I struggle like a rape–victim, find my footing and grin like a masturbating baboon. Flurries of snow pulse across the sky, obscuring most of city. I’ve always loved Glasgow, but I never wanted to die there.

I slide my hands down the frozen rails and meticulously adopt a squatting position – like a Tibetan monk taking a shit over The Abyss. I fight my stubborn frozen knees onto the ledge and my penis, despite being horrifically retracted to resemble a limp worm in the snow–light, slaps painfully against a glass panel.

Yeah, thanks God,’ I mutter, tears freezing to my cheeks. I try so hard not to feel bitterness. I fail. ‘Thanks a shit–load, dickhead. Perhaps you’d like to make my life even harder, eh?’

I attempt to peer below me, below the balcony to which I cling. But the world is a shadow, zig–zagged with snow. I perform a strange backward shuffle, feel a momentary weightlessness as knees slide uncontrollably over the icy ridge and I emit a comedy squawk, funny to everyone except me, and then proceed to hang there, dangling, biceps and shoulders straining, rocked and buffeted by a merciless storm.

Fear is a fist of lead in my mouth. The balcony crushes my forearms and I feel numbed fingers sliding. My chin touches the balcony lip and I hang for a few moments, eyes at floor level, able at last to witness the luxury bedroom so recently vacated. I can see naked feet. Vladimir’s feet. They are joined by smaller feet, beautiful feet, Sophie’s feet. Feet which have lovingly caressed me, pampered me, stroked me towards moaning, groaning, beautiful ejaculation. Shit. And there they are: perfect, sculpted, the last damn thing I’ll see before I –

die.

I blink. I kick my legs, but hey guess what, it’s not my lucky day and whaddya know? I can’t reach the fucking lower balcony. I just cannot believe this, cannot digest this damn basic bad luck. I kick around aimlessly for a while, thrashing like a hang–victim, just knowing I have to reach the lower balcony because there’s no way I can climb back up and nowhere else to go. Except maybe down. By the quickest and most direct route. Yeah. As the Cal flies, so to speak.

This chills me. Chills me more, anyway.

I stop kicking and hang limp, a butchered carcass in the slaughter house.

I hear Sophie’s laughter, a ghost–wail sent to taunt me, haunt me, and make mockery of my foolish bloody existence.

I look up, snow settling on my skin and making eyelashes flutter.

What did I do to deserve this, God? What? What? What? But I know the answer to that very bitter question. It’s a simple one. And the answer is: everything.

I’m an absolute bastard.

That’s the simple honest truth.

I admit it openly to myself and I nod (or would had done, if my chin wasn’t bearing my bodyweight). I fuck anything that moves. I drink myself stupid. I take any drug on offer – and hey, don’t I just enjoy that social kudos? I treat my friends and family like shit. In fact, worse than shit, because I don’t even pause to scrape my sole after a good stomping.

I abuse my money, my power, my job, and I (whisper it in horror) defraud the tax man. I am a perfection of narcissism. A child of capitalism. A whore of the contemporary world. But listen, man, I’m just the way the world made me, right? A product: of social deviation, mental deprivation, and psychological masturbation. Everyone’s fucking doing it. So that makes it OK. That makes it sane.

‘Cal?’ The voice belongs to Sophie and I snap out of my dying reverie. I remember the pain in my arms. And bizarrely, I feel suddenly vulnerable with my useless shrunken tackle dangling over the void. My legs swim around a little, as if treading treacle porridge. ‘Callaghan? Where the hell are you?’

‘Down here,’ I growl through a throbbing jaw.

Sophie steps onto the balcony wrapped in a silk gown. Her face registers shock when she is witness to my bungling attempt at non–escape. That look at least gives me a tiny moment of pleasure; seeing her panic. It’s her fault, after all! She damn–well promised me Vlad was out of the country.

Sophie moves forward, hands outstretched to help me climb back up… and I congratulate myself at rescue, thinking, Thank God, yes! Thank you God, I owe you a double whisky! Hey, maybe even a triple! However, The Big Man has his own sordid agenda.

‘Petal, what are you doing out here?’

Sophie alters her rescue trajectory – so that she leans against the rail, turning to smile at her husband. I watch thick–set boots step onto the balcony behind her elegant, smooth legs. I glance up. The boots are all the huge, scarred Romanian is wearing.

‘Just getting some fresh air, my love. You make me so… breathless with your wonderful love–making!’

Vladimir flexes powerful hairy shoulders, takes exaggerated gulping lungfuls of Scottish chill, and laughs a booming laugh from the cavernous cavity of his broad, bullet–pocked chest. ‘Ahh, you behave a little strange tonight, no? Come inside, you will freeze to death out here.’

‘I’m OK, my sweet little Vladdy (I want to be sick!), I just need a moment to regain my composure.’

Yes baby yes! I cheer.

‘Then I will stand out here with you, you crazy, horny, sexual wife creature,’ he nuzzles her, runs a hot tongue down her cheek, ‘and we will both enjoy a refreshing cigarette, no?’ Vladimir disappears to get his smokes.

Oh shit, I groan.

‘I’m going to fall!’ I hiss at Sophie through clenched teeth. ‘Keep the dumb bastard inside!’

Vlad reappears with a packet of Sobranie Blacks, taps one free and manages somehow to light the smoke against the wildness of the storm. I catch a tantalising whiff, and nicotine craving sends me mad. God, what I would give for a smoke right now! A dying man’s last request? You bet. As if we ever get that luxury.

Sophie guides Vlad back inside by taking hold of his cock and  fluttering eyelash promises, and there is a distinctive click as doors shut. My arms are seriously numb and I curse a hedonistic lifestyle promoting muscular weakness as I struggle with slippery metal bars. I kick like crazy as I grunt and push and heave, and by some bastard miracle manage to get my elbows onto the balcony ledge. I take a moment to savour the irony of the situation, and acknowledge my grinding emulation of sex would have made quite a comical sight from below. Jackass? You bet.

Before the sweat can dry on my ice–rimed back I fight my way onto the balcony and hurl myself wearily over the rail to lie, shivering like a clubbed seal on the slick marble. I want to sob. So much pain! Instead, I curl into a foetal position, rock onto my knees, stagger to my feet and press myself against the door.

I’m coming in you bastards, whether you’re watching or not! I realise I have little option. I giggle to myself – in lunacy, and in idiocy. Now I’ll have to face the cobalt eyes of those Techrims. Shit and black death.

Slowly, my cumbersome sausage fingers fumble. I ease the patio door open and slide within accompanied by a gust of winter. But Vlad and Sophie don’t notice because they’re hard at it again, Sophie clawing her husband’s back and drawing blood, both of them wriggling and pounding like feeding thrashing eels in jelly.

I stand, allowing the welcome warmth to flood into iced limbs. It is an orgasm I never expected. I clench my jaw to stop teeth juddering. I totter forward a few steps and halt, shivering, wondering whether I have the time to search for my clothing… then I see the black gleam of a Techrim 11mm pistol on top of the TV and it brings me jarring back to reality. The gun has a terrible, worn look about it. Like it’s been used. A lot.

Despite everything (including stupidity) I don’t want to die.

I make a grab for where I think my clothing might be, then drop to my hands and knees and make for the door. I stand again, see the white oval of Sophie’s face peeking over Vlad’s shoulder. She is staring fixedly at me through the gloom, and suddenly starts to scream and claw in the throes of a covering ecstasy… as I open the door and ease free, closing it on well–oiled hinges.

I breathe… once more.

I stand in the corridor as the enormity of the last thirty minutes club me in the back of the head. Nausea swamps me and for a couple of minutes I lean against the wall, wheezing, debating whether or not to throw up. Then I realise my still highly dangerous location; I pull on DKNY jeans and my Dolce & Gabbana silk shirt with the black lace cuffs. I pat car keys in my pocket and head bare foot down the long corridor –

as the door at the far end opens to disgorge a muscular black–suited individual – could only be one of Vladimir’s bodyguards – bulky and struggling to hide sub–machine gun hardware beneath expensive Italian tailoring. He strides towards me purposefully and I consider urinating.

I keep my head down, mooch past the slab and risk a covert glance back but the man isn’t even looking at me. I’m just some rich drugged arse in jeans and slime heading for the bar. A stoner junkie dickhead worth not even a second glance. Threat? What threat? Not in the face of an Uzi!

I stumble through regulation fire–doors and into the lift; the journey nauseates and I shuffle like an armless leper into the hotel foyer. I locate the toilets and heave the remnants of a sautéed steak into a luxury basin. I spend a few minutes cleaning up, then stare at bloodshot eyes in the mirror. They are somebody else’s. Somebody who’s just crossed No Man’s Land. They stare back at me, accusing; as if to say you fucking idiot lunatic.

I head from the Riviera, pad down sweeping marble steps and locate my yellow Porsche 911 GT3. The blip of the alarm is a welcome friend and I sink into embracing leather, lock the doors – and breathe with release. My hand strokes yellow leather highlights by the handbrake. Ahhh. It’s good to be home, baby.

‘My God, that was close.’

I shiver, and for a while contemplate the concept of mortality.

I locate Malboros and ignite an evil smoke with shaking fingers. I inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. A rhythm of addiction. My head flutters with trapped butterflies. I feel sick again. Not in the fucking Porsche! I fire the motor and pull away, hands locked claws on the steering wheel as I contemplate and relive my close encounter with Mr Death. Then I laugh, a long hard yapping which seems to go on and on and on and has little to do with humour. It’s a brittle laugh. Like glass shattering.

‘Yeah.’ I nod like a nodding dog, and smoke like I’m on fire. ‘At least I got away with it!’

 

Snow dropped on surges of snapping wind and skittered like lace across black tarmac. A Mercedes CLK with tinted windows roared into life. Lights found ignition. Wheels cut economically through the slush as it accelerated discreetly after the dwindling tail–lights of the Porsche 911 GT3… away from the frozen banks of the Clyde and towards the beckoning M8 motorway beyond.

 

The full novel is available as an ebook from www.anarchy-books.com

For more information on the ultra talented Andy Remic  go check out www.andyremic.com

Serial Killers Incorporated PROMO VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXANP6GMzRQ

A review of Serial Killers Incorperated by Andy Remic will appear in the April Issue of the FREE Morpheus Tales Supplement! www.morpheustales.com

KELL’S LEGEND By Andy Remic – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by stanleyriiks

How do you create a possible successor to one of the greatest fantasy characters to ever live? I’m obviously talking about sword and sorcery legend Conan. The Cimmerian Barbarian has entertained readers for eighty years, and film goers for thirty. There hasn’t been a new Conan novel for a long time, but if you read any of the Tor novels you’ll find them remarkably similar – a plot on rails with very little imagination.

Conan is a prototypical fantasy barbarian, with well-known characteristics that many have tried to emulate.

Kell’s departure from these characteristics is what makes this story work so well. He’s a grumpy old man, a warrior past his prime and discarded by society, hiding away in a small northern town where he makes soup and is visited by his granddaughter, Nienna. After one such visit, the ears of the old warrior prickle as he hears screams. His door is kicked in by albino warriors who bleed white blood when he kills them using his trusted blood-bond axe, Ilanna, and the fight is on to save Nienna. It soon becomes clear that the albino soldiers are part of an invading army, and Kell is joined in his cause by a seducer and popinjay Saark, who’s more interested in saving his own skin and bedding Nienna or her friend Kat.

The invasion is led by General Graal, a leader of the Vachine, a race part vampire part machine. Graal is a cruel and twisted warrior who will stop at nothing to capture the entire human race, so that he and his people may feed.

Kell is a hero for the modern era, complete with idiosyncrasies, a deep and troubled history, and dealing with his own set of problems whilst struggling desperately to survive. The other characters in the novel are also very well drawn, and as the world gradually expands on their voyage, so too does the world become more detailed.

This book isn’t read as much as it is experienced. It draws you in deeply in the first hundred pages and then, as more and more dangers are thrown at our band, you feel you are surviving with them. Remic isn’t afraid to kill off a great character or throw in another challenge to spice things up and ramp up the tension. You can’t help feeling like you have to hold on tight just to stay on for the ride. It’s that tension and excitement that make the book stand out. There is real danger here. In most fantasies you know that the main characters are always safe because they have to appear in the next book, but although this is Book I of the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, it’s not the Tales of Kell chronicles and you really do believe that at any moment another character could be killed. There’s an evil and twisted streak to Remic, which not only gives us added danger (and a little torture), but also provides the grim humour that is sadly lacking for many modern fantasy novels.

Okay, so it’s not perfect. For a start, you have to wait for the second instalment. (Grr! I have no patience.) There are far more typos than you would expect from a major publishing house and this can be bothersome, but not overly so. Also, the start of the story is a little slow, but only for the first couple of chapters and then it’s full speed ahead!

Kell’s Legend is a rare book. It’s one of those reads that makes you sit up and slaver with excitement. It has the page-turning quality of a thriller, the depth of an epic, the kind of protagonist that comes round one in a lifetime, and a story that twists and turns like a snake. It’s imaginative, brilliant, exciting, amazing, and truly inspiring. Yeah, I really did fucking love this book!

The cliffhanger ending will leave you on the edge of your seat begging for the next instalment. This series has the potential to be truly legendary and I really can’t wait for the next chapter.

This review appeared in Morpheus Tales 8 Reviews Supplement:

www.morpheustales.com/reviews.htm