#StarWars Jedi Trial Clone Wars Novel Mini Review

Jedi Trial tells the story of the mission that finally grants Anakin the position of full-fledged Jedi Knight. 
Whilst Obi-Wan is off in the galaxy on other missions, Anakin is appointed to assist Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon as he takes what limited resources are available in this time of war to go and defend the planet of Praesitlyn. The planet is home to the key republic intergalactic communications center and is under attack by an excellently portrayed villain and minion of Count Dooku, Poors Tonith - a ruthless and calculating ex-banking clan turned military commander Muun with a love of a narcotic tea that leaves a black stain over his mouth and makes him seem all the more evil... 
Currently, the planet's only defense is a rebel faction, led by Commander Zozrider Slayke, who puts me in mind a little of Saw Gerrera from the Rogue One film as a battered and bruised militant, who Halcyon must begrudgingly assist - Slayke had once stolen a starship under the command of Halcyon out…

#StarWars The Cestus Deception Novel Mini Review

It's a time of war, and Cestus Cybernetics on the Insectoid Hive planet of Ord Cestus are manufacturing advanced security droids embedded with living material from a force sensitive eel native to the planet. This makes the droids extremely skilled in combat, and under the brand of security droid it's all perfectly legal for them to be sold to whomever they wish, including the dreaded Separatists.

The republic has learned of this, and that the separatists plan on modifying the security droids to make them into battle droids; an army of force sensitive battle droids does not bode well for the republic and by association, the Jedi.

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kit Fitsu are deployed by Senator Palptine as the first plan of action. Obi-Wan is to use diplomacy and politics with the help of his molluscan friend and paper work aficionado, Doolb Snoil. In parallel, Kit Fisto with a small band of clone troopers employs and trains a local militia to make strikes and key locations aro…

Episode 2: #AttackOfTheClones #StarWars novel mini review

R.A.Salvatore has done an excellent job of telling the story of the film Attack Of The Clones in his Star Wars novel. I have a hard time not enjoying novels from the Star Wars universe, but I really was hard pressed to put this one down.

As in the film, the story tells of how the republic, struggling as more and more systems succeed to the separatist movement, grant supreme chancellor Palpatine emergency powers in the Senate who then immediately sanctions the use of an army of the republic; utlizing a clone army conveniently commissioned in secret for the republic by an old Jedi master 10 years dead...

Prior to this, Senator Amidala is leading the debate against the creation of an army for the republic. Her life is in immediate danger by those who would see the motion carried, and the task dutifully falls upon Obi-Wan and his padowan Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin, in this novel was so well portrayed; much better than in the movie. I actually find myself empathizing with him instead of jus…

#StarWars The Approaching Storm mini review

The Approaching Storm is the prequel novel to Attack Of The Clones. The grand republic is crumbling and more and more systems to look succeed from the republic entirely during this period of galactic uncertainty. One such planet is the seemingly insignificant world of Ansion, whose succession would potentially lead to a great number of other systems following suite. 
Ansion is a divided planet, split between the very traditional prairie dwelling nomads and the city residing business folk. Wishing to encroach ever further into the ancestral homes of the nomads    Obi-Wan Kenobi and his adolescent padowan Anakin, together with Luminara Unduli and her padowan Barris Offee are tasked with persuading the secessionist movements that remaining in the republic is beneficial for all those involved. 
The team of Jedi must negotiate with traditionalist nomads to come to an agreement with the city dwellers that can be beneficial for all, to convince the necessary factions to vote remain on this …

#StarWars Outbound Flight Novel Mini Review

Set prior to The Clone Wars in an era of political and economic uncertainty, Outbound Flight is Jedi master C'baoth's pet project of exploration; intending to take a colony of Jedi, force sensitive individuals and colonists to explore worlds in the unknown regions of space.

The story begins with the possibility of the mission perhaps being axed permanently much to C'baoth's disgust, and we are treated to some of the political maneuverings of Senator Palpatine, who even in these early stages in his rise to power is already plotting and manipulating those around him to bring about the demise of the Jedi and solidify his eventual place as ruler of the Empire.

Obi Wan and his just teenager apprentice Anakin Skywalker also make an appearance in Outbound Flight. Following a request from Mace Windu, the pair board the exploration project with the premise of discovering what happened to lost Jedi Vergeer from the story Rogue Planet, but with the secret agenda of monitoring…

The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay Mini Review

I wanted to make my last read of 2017 a seasonal one and so opted for The Santa Klaus Murder as a suitable Christmas themed typical murder mystery.

As is tradition, the entire Melbury family plus a few additions are holidaying at Sir Osmond Melbury's country residence of Flaxmere, all in an effort to maintain Sir Osmond's favour in order to stake a claim on whatever piece of the Melbury fortune they may be entitled to. When then, among the festivities, Sir Osmond's murder at the hands of one of the guests, staff or family in a Santa costume comes about, a tale of deceit, deception and disloyalty is told...

And it's told inventively by using accounts of events from different characters; the bulk is accounted for as musings by the chief investigator, but some of the family are tasked with putting their version of events to paper, which is then used to make up sections of the narrative. 

The conclusion, though not too shocking is quite satisfyingly told, and the story do…

Favourites of 2017

Coming up to the new year the internet is ripe with posts about the best releases from the year, but for ordinary humans like us you may only be playing, reading or watching stuff that may have been out for some time already. So, here's a brief collection of my favourites from 2017. Let me know what you think!

Handheld Game
Console Game
TV Series
Board Game
Handheld Game - Metroid: Samus Returns

My favourite handheld game this year has definitely been on my trusty 3DS. Metroid: Samus Returns is a glorious homage to Metroid 2 on the game boy, utilising the same setting and story but with revamped graphics, sound and gameplay. New abilities and equipment keep the tried and tested Metroidvania gameplay fresh, and I found this really easy to dip in and out of after gaps away from playing. It's quite difficult in places especially with my big hands around the smaller form of the regular 3DS.

I also plumped for the collector’s edition with this game, which is an absolut…