Tuesday 18 January 2011

Book Reviews

Towers of Midnight: Book Thirteen of The Wheel of Time
Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Available Now - £20.00 (Hardback), £60.61 (Unabridged Audio Download) and £61.72 (Unabridged Audio CD)
Available from 31st January - £20.00 (Kindle)

Review by Brad Harmer

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin is now hunted by Whitecloaks and an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel'aran'rhiod and find a way - at long last - to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Mat Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The Aelfinn and the Eelfinn have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men's lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the time is coming when he will again have to play a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

It’s hard to believe that we’re finally at the penultimate instalment of The Wheel of Time, and God only knows how I’ve going to feel when November rolls around and it’s really all over. Towers of Midnight is a spectacular episode in the saga. All of the characters get equal coverage, and the sense that “The End” is approaching gives everything a sense of emotional gravitas that is not unwelcome.

The action sequences are some of the best we’ve ever seen (especially Mat’s showdown with the Gholam), and the more cerebral showdown between Perrin and the Whitecloaks is as emotionally charged as it gets.

Sanderson’s work on the series is simply brilliant, and Jordan would be proud.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Several melee weapon and unarmed combat sequences. Frequent explosions, murders and beating. Par for the course for a Wheel of Time book, really.
Sex/Nudity: Some references and partial nudity.
Swearing: “Blood and Ashes” remains a consistent favourite.
Summary: An excellent instalment that reminds you why you fell in love with the series in the first place. November cannot come fast enough. 9/10

Blonde Bombshell
Tom Holt

Available from Thursday 20th January - £7.99 (Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

Blonde Bombshell is the story of a bomb sent from a distant planet, with the intention of a) finding out exactly what went wrong with the previous bomb and b) blowing up the earth. Along the way, however, it learns about free will, kidnapped dogs, the Skywalker twins and – maybe – even finds love.

Like most of Holt’s stuff it’s a pretty nifty idea, and relatively original (well, okay, it’s probably influenced by John Carpenter’s Dark Star). There are some good gags – but Blonde Bombshell just ends up feeling half-inflated. Maybe it’s the paper thin characters that it’s hard to care all that much about. Maybe it’s because all of the twists can be spotted about a hundred pages in advance. Or, maybe it’s that there’s just not enough funny stuff in there.

The gags can raise a smile, but there’s no real laughs here. It feels drab, dreary and, well, let’s just say it’s not one of Holt’s best. Fans of his will probably still enjoy it, but he’s not going to be winning any new ones with this offering.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Sex/Nudity: Some nudity.
Swearing: Occasional, but mild.
Summary: A relatively bland offering from Holt. There are some fun parts, but all too often it feels like quirky for the sake of quirky. 5/10


After a fight that went tragically wrong, MMA champion Dalton Hunt (former world karate champion Tony Schiena) retired from the ring vowing never to return. But when a ruthless promoter discovers there s one fight left on his contract, a clash is set up with The Brick, the fearsome new and undefeated title holder.

Now Dalton must overcome his demons to become a warrior once more and train for the fight of his life. Action-packed and featuring the world s top MMA stars, Circle of Pain pits the greatest from the past and the present with explosive results.

Thanks to our friends at Chelsea Films, we've got three copies of Circle of Pain on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to emotionally14@hotmail.co.uk before midday on Tuesday 25th January, making sure to put "Circle of Pain" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy each!

Don't forget to put "Circle of Pain" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Circle of Pain is available on DVD from Monday 24th January, priced £12.99.


Terrified teens, haunted classrooms, wayward witches and dead cheerleaders...welcome to B-movie heaven as the Horror Channel celebrates the best of high school horror during February 2011.

The 1989 cult classic Heathers makes a welcome network debut on Saturday 26th February. This Michael Lehmann (True Blood) debut has sealed its place in movie history - ranked no.5 in Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Best High School movies and no. 412 on Empire’s list of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

The season kicks off on Saturday 5th February with the network premiere of comedy horror Return to Horror High (1987) which marks George Clooney’s film acting debut as Oliver - an ambitious but unrated actor. Guess who is the first to die?

Satan's School for Girls (2000) has its network premiere on Saturday 19th February and, like Heathers, features Beverley Hills 90210 star: Shannen Doherty. Doherty plays Beth, a student who enrols at an all-girls college to investigate her sister’s suicide. But things don’t go as planned when she is lured into a witchcraft cult.

Lastly, on Saturday 12th February, there’s another showing for James Hickox’s gruesome Detention, which stars David Carradine in his last completed film before his untimely wanking related death. Look out for his "death by seat-belt" scene...

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