Posts

#TheLastOfUs #LeftBehind mini review

Image
I played The Last Of Us: Left Behind on PS4 a while after playing the main story, which I was completely besotted with, on PS3.

Firstly, it looks completely stunning. It definitely still has that sheen that comes with most games that have been given the PS4 HD treatment, but the environments, lighting and facial animations are all beautifully detailed. The clickers in this seemed less scary - they're more obvious and seem to move in less varied predetermined patterns, making them more predictable. I also found that they were more inclined to bite your face off, even if you were crouched down, not moving and being completely silent. Only a small niggle.


The story is set after an event in The Last Of Us that leaves Joal gravely injured, and sees Ellie making tracks to retrieve medical supplies to sort him out. She must navigate an abandoned mall searching for supplies whilst avoiding or tackling a hostile group of humans. More often, the encounters with humans feel more tense than t…

Penderyn Whiskey Tour - Wales

Image
As an avid Whiskey fan in an entirely non pretentious capacity - moving toward the realm of amateur-connoisseur should there be such a thing. Whiskey is my tipple of choice and Penderyn is one I have tried before and enjoyed a lot. I was rather happy when a recent trip to Wales meant I could do the factory tour of Penderyn and sample myself a few more varieties. The admission is reasonable but cheaper if you book online in advance.


The only other distillery tour I've done before was the Jameson tour in Dublin, Ireland. Not for better or worse the Jameson tour feels more polished and rehearsed; there is a quality to it that makes it feel like a museum experience in a similar vein to that of touring the Cadbury factory in Bourneville. The museum experience in Ireland is larger with more merchandise and a larger more touristy bar at the end of it. 

The Penderyn tour however is a much smaller affair; I felt the information around the distillery to be detailed but I didn't really g…

#ThePortableDoor (J. W. Wells & Co. #1) by Tom Holt mini review

Image
The story of Paul Carpenter attending a rather unusual interview in a rather unusual building for a rather unusual firm with some very unusual employees that eventually leads him to accept a post in a very unusual job as junior clerk for a company where everything is not quite as it seems...

If nothing else though, Paul is just glad to finally have some semblance of a job. Not only that, but serendipity has brought him into a job working alongside a girl from the interview he finds himself inexplicably falling for. Yet is it serendipity bringing these two unlikely people together, or is there some other worldly malevolence playing with Paul and Sophie's lives...

Things just keep getting stranger and stranger, and as one thing leads to another and the truth about the job and the firm Paul has joined slowly begin to make themselves apparent, our unlikely star finds himself solving a mysterious conspiracy within the company with help of the titular device; A Portable Door - a time a…

#DoctorWho Dreams of an Empire by Justin Richards #MiniReview

Image
Firstly, the collection from which this book is a part of is a gloriously presented set; each story's cover has been resigned for this 50th anniversary release with a lovely white cover with a arty representation of each doctor on the covers. They do look stunning, and each story contains a foreword by the author about how they came to write their Doctor's novel and any challenges they may have faced throughout the writing process.


One of the challenges, Justin Richard's writes, is how this Doctor is so facially animated on screen it was going to be difficult to translate this to a written story. I think however Richards has done a superb job of this; The Doctor comes of as supremely intelligent yet eccentric and despite his often firm words often makes me smile just because of his general cheeky and slightly bumbling demeanor. At one point Richard's describes the doctors grin and it just made me outwardly smile and feel quite warm and fuzzy. I thought his companions t…

#DeadMansBlues by Ray Celestin Mini Review

Image
Dead Man's Blues is the second out of an eventual four Ray Celestin Novels that will make up the City Blues Quartet. Occurring a few years after the events of the Axeman's Jazz, this story is set against the backdrop of prohibition Chicago, ripe with gangsters, booze runners and illicit underground bars. Al Capone calls the shots and Louis Armstrong provides the soundtrack and the two underpin the three stranded plot superbly whilst the whole culture of the time feels consistently prominent throughout the entire story. I often found myself spotifying a radio channel based on Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues, laying back in the unusual West Midlands sunshine and absorbing multiple chapters at a time. All I needed was a revolver and a trilby to really become one with the reality. 

The story focusses around three at first unrelated strands: a gruesome murder investigated by Jacob, a crime scene photographer who couldn’t make it as a cop because of a leg disability; a missing socia…

#StarWars #RepublicComando #HardContact by Karen Traviss mini review

Image
The first in the series of Republic Commando novels from the Star Wars universe sees a group of commando troopers thrust together due to the unfortunate circumstances of war. Each being the sole survivor of their original teams, they find themselves thrust into a new squad of strangers and sent to infiltrate a new chemical research facility and extract the leading science officer from the world of Qillura.

As they crash land upon the planet, one clone trooper is cut off from the rest of the group, convening with Jedi Padowan Etain Tur-Mukan; a self confidence lacking student Jedi who is struggling to stay alive after her Master was killed on the planet. She and clone trooper Darman develop an interesting relationship in the book. It's not one of romance, but of mutual respect. Darman helps Etain to bring out her inner confidence and leader whilst Etain comes to understand Darman not simply as a clone, but as an individual. The entire subject of the morality of using clones for an a…

#MeTalkPrettyOneDay by David Sedaris mini review

Image
After only recently discovering David Sedaris through BBC Radio 4 Extra and enjoying his story telling on there, I decided to give one of his books a go.

Broken in to two halves, the book is a collection of stories from David's life and his humerus observations about events and the world around him. The 2nd half is from his brilliant perspective has a French student living in Paris.

There are so many funny tales in the book, from his exploits into performance Art and Drugs, often at the same time; his fascination with Taxidermy and yes Mr Taxidermist, though I am after a stuffed owl I definitely do want to touch the human body part you have stored in a bag behind the counter, but how could you have possible known that about me? His struggles with his incredibly aggressive French teacher in Paris have laugh out loud moments and his broken not quite correct grasp of the language that inspires the title really had me chuckling.

Though not always laugh out loud, Sedaris is an extreme…