If I ever start a rock band, I will name it Bobbins the Angry Mouse.
Our first album will be called The Incredible Journey. There will be a three minuIf I ever start a rock band, I will name it Bobbins the Angry Mouse.
Our first album will be called The Incredible Journey. There will be a three minute guitar solo that blows the minds of all the rock kiddies on every track. These kiddies- especially the five year old- will want to hear it again and again. NME will herald us to the ends if the earth and give this release four stars, losing points only because there are goats and not yaks and never once in the background does a yeti peak out. The drummer will set the beat using Zildjian pigsticks.
When we are a smashing success people will wonder, how did they do it? I will reply, "How? But of course- the Alex Milway."...more
This Reilly Steele CSI serial killer thrilla is set again a tropical backdrop of a Tampa film festival. So, here is how the Villain would haveC S Why?
This Reilly Steele CSI serial killer thrilla is set again a tropical backdrop of a Tampa film festival. So, here is how the Villain would have pitched the idea for The Watched in Hollywood:
Hey baby, loves ya! You're looking fabulous, come by my beach house and I'll do the cooking. We'll kick back some Coronas and you can call me your old mentor. Now everybody loves gory slasher stories, ami right? Of course! If you're into forensics you wanna see guts strewn everywhere in technicolor. Yeah Scorcese!! With a bit of McG. I know just the thing.
Take that up and coming blonde Reilly Steele who's getting so popular but imagine her out of gloomy provincial Ireland. Set her up for an American audience! Solves a bunch of grusome murders and gets a steamy pretty love interest off on her holiday. Maybe with some science and emotional backstory shit, you know, people love that stuff. Build some tension, throw in FBI obstacles, a redhead, an aspiring stuntbabe, lesbians. And hey! Even if it's a bomb we can write the whole trip to Florida off as an expense.
Did I mention plenty of young beautiful people in bikinis? And wacky incredibly unlikely, sophisticted killings, some involving buckets of acid and kinky costumes? A Whodunit with Microscopes. Loadsa repetition in case attention lapsed and people didn't catch something impotant. Oo! and sexual tension!? It's set in Clearwater but don't worry: there won't be a single negative reference to Scientology. Maybe Tom Cruise would-? No-? OK I haven't thrown you the best bit yet.
Time travel! Readers are ready for-? no-? Well ok I was just joking. Ha ha! We'll overlook the reality that even the simplest of successful murders or films requires a lot of groundwork and preparation. We'll throw some Reilly slo-mo ten mile jogs on beach sand, no one will notice that one bad guy can never pull off all these incredibly contrived scenes within hours of one another, getting them all perfect on the first take. Without raising any suspicion! But how? Oh erm. Give him an unusual weapon. Maybe a cattle prod? Yeah! Like that Guadalcanal Diary song! I've got a cattle prod! Got a cattle prod! Daddy I'm a man who loves his work! With scienctific shit and glamor and a love interest. Ha ha!
Hey, where are you going? You think it's a fun idea it it'll never hang together? thanks for he beer? What do you mean thanks for the laughs? No! Don't go! I was actually serious that this- grrrr.
Warning! The best character in Adam Blade's First Hero is not even in the novel.
I read this book to my nine year old, who loved the fantasy and frienWarning! The best character in Adam Blade's First Hero is not even in the novel.
I read this book to my nine year old, who loved the fantasy and friendship of the original Beast Quest series. Chronicles of Avantia rejects all that imagination and roots around in a juvenaliac mire of graphic violence, guilt and gloom. Whenever there came a description of villagers being slaughtered or people boiled alive, I would make up a bit about Sheepie, Tanner's pet superhero sheep. Now that beast had some fun and adventures!
Instead of old ladies being impaled, the First Hero I read had a heroic sheep who head-butted the stock bad guy Gor right outta town. Some inventive dialogue turned the attacking army from bland targets into comical dolts. It got a few laughs. Tanner's wary love interest had a belt full of throwing pastries instead of axes. Ridiculous, yes, but no less stupid than the original text. And don't underestimate the deadliness of a week-old donut. Rock hard, baby!
Sheepie won't be making a return. I was lucky to coax my son to the conclusion of his book- he requested reading something else rather than finish the rest of the series. If you have inadvertently picked up this pile of turgid slurry yourself, I only hope that a certain free-roaming brave and cheery sheep charges into your copy and brings along a bit of life. It's easy! All he ever says is "baaa!" It is more interesting and challenging than what "Adam Blade" filled fifteen chapters with....more
SHTMP provides excellent insights into the techniques, lives and limitations of investigators who carry neither a badge nor a gun. There are thousandsSHTMP provides excellent insights into the techniques, lives and limitations of investigators who carry neither a badge nor a gun. There are thousands of PI novels released every year, but this is the only book I have ever read about an investigator from within the corporate world. This is all new, and the fact that it is based on a true story is a definite hook.
I wish an editor had taken a red pen to the prose and turned the 400 pages into a solid, fast-moving 200. The current text is repetitive, inconsistent and confusing. Why would the CIA appear from nowhere to fly our narrator abroad, race him around with a beautiful woman in a high-powered car, have him sit shotgun while an ex-KGB giant snaps photos of the identity thief, then drop him home and never again enter the story? Why would his boss reveal Vietnam horror stories, retire from the company and then two years later be hanging around the office discussing the investigation's budget? A few axes are ground repeatedly and the bad guy never has his soapbox to offer a defence, rationale or confirmation of several looming questions.
Three stars as Snow does a great job with the content and really knows his field. ...more
Despite his name, Cricket Martini-Curls was a tea man. He despised how fellow members of the criminal aristocracy assumed he could be appeased with onDespite his name, Cricket Martini-Curls was a tea man. He despised how fellow members of the criminal aristocracy assumed he could be appeased with one of those vermouth concoctions. Fools! One would think that the magnificent Martini-Henry rifles which had conquered half the world would have made a lasting impression. Two cups of Tetley’s, leaves couriered from the most underhanded tea shop in Edinburgh?, soothed his temper sufficiently that chief henchman Simcoe Alehops dared to approach his decommissioned Soviet Balzam-class intelligence ship’s command chair again.
"Apologies, sir, but there was a call on the sat phone. A distressing incident at your son’s school."
Ah, young Karl! Probably put a few of the older aspiring criminal geniuses into Schola Sceleratorum’s infirmary again. A generation of supervillains would long remember Karl’s cunning in battle and superior physical prowess- a miniscule price for any momentary trouble with the headmaster. "Proceed, Alehops. Spare no detail."
His henchman shifted from foot to foot, appearing ready to duck behind the radar console. "The academy requires a small tuition increase to cover recent damage. Very small. Well. Doubling, in fact."
"What?" Martini-Curls vaulted from his command chair as if the boat had been struck by a missile. "How? Why?"
"It seems," Alehops quivered from behind cover, "it’s all the fault of a student from Legatum."
"Legatum Continuatum!" Britain’s hated secret academy for young detectives. Every underworld kingpin’s nemesis was an alumnus of that exclusive school. Cricket Martini-Curls longed for nothing in the world so much as to cause its towers to crumble. Many of his peers had tried. None yet had been able to penetrate its defences or out-manoeuvre its faculty of goody-goody investigators to slay its brood of teen detectives.
"The student’s name is Amanda Lester. A descendant of Sherlock Holmes’ vile law enforcing halfwit, Inspector Lestrade."
"Amanda Lester, eh?" Martini-Curls hurled his teacup, missing a damned cat who leapt to the salvation of the comms station with a hiss. "Tell me more."
"The Moriarty family has compiled extensive files," Alehops shared eagerly. Blixus Moriarty, Cricket’s old roommate at Schola Sceleratorum! The world had not forgotten his illustrious great-great uncle, the lucky worm. "Amanda Lester, age twelve, transferred in this past January. Initially she had difficulty settling in to Legatum, with its classes on pathology, toxicology, disguise and other crime-fighting skills. I understand that detective work held no appeal for her. She aspired to be a film director like the famous Darius Plover, back in her native Los Angeles."
Film. As if endless enigmatic species of myxomycetes did not promise warty plasmodia enough for a lifetime of fascinating scientific study! Martini-Curls simply could not understand the youth of today. "We have a mole inside Legatum, do we not? Could our sleeper not sabotage this fish-out-of-water Lestrade and undermine the morale of the student population?"
Alehops furiously consulted his notes, white cat hair flying about. "Ah! Yes, sir, there are observations here that could only have been gathered by someone planted inside the school! Amanda Lester faced challenges considerable enough to make most children despair, but with the help of friends like Amphora Kapoor, Nick Muffet, Ivy Halpin and Simon Binkle she... well, obviously must have triumphed over those challenges if she was able to obliterate your son’s-"
"OBLITERATE?" Martini-Curls screamed. Schola Sceleratorum, obliterated?
"When I said tuition fees doubled," Alehops danced with practiced agility, dodging everything Cricket could throw at him, "I meant, doubled by a scale of ten. I don’t know the word for when they add an extra zero to the price."
"Yes, they simpletoned the bill. Place needs to be rebuilt, really."
Martini-Curls grabbed the nearest Chinchilla Persian and wound his arm back, but the spitting beast’s claws dug deep into sleeve and flesh and made it impossible to throw. Cricket felt like a fool, hopping around the bridge screaming expletives and flailing a cat. Simcoe Alehops eventually set a hot cup of relaxing tea at his command chair. Cricket collapsed, grudgingly appreciating that his chief henchman was not altogether worthless. "You handle the expenses for my son’s school, Alehops. Please tell me that you were trying to extort an inflated sum from your employer, like any competent criminal would."
Alehops blushed again. "I was, sir. Not quite ten times an increase. It’s eight."
"Damn that ingenious Amanda Lester!" Martini-Curls quietly savored a sip, belligerent Persian still clinging to his forearm. "This ship cannot afford any increase! Can you conceive how completely I have invested into this sugar opportunity? And today’s smuggling operation?" Rats squeaked in surprise. Cats stopped chasing them. The battered heads of the full crew swiveled at that too-loud pronouncement. "Mu-ha, I meant," Cricket recovered, "of course you’ll all be paid! Back wages and everything. Mu-ha! Alehops, please report the favorable news."
"Good news? Of course, sir, if you wish! It is not all easy sailing for Amanda Lester. She has weaknesses. Her best friend is blind. That should be a doddle to exploit. Her weakness for cute boys, too! Her relationship with her parents is notably strained. That is an area where adversaries like ourselves can cause her pain. Plenty of opportunity for conflict, unless she grows and develops."
"Excellent!" Martini-Curls drained his cup. Simcoe had ducked behind two of the larger mercenaries. "What now? Expound, Alehops, or be damned!"
"A second call came through, from our del- erm, smugglers," Alehops proffered. "I’m afraid they’ve been nabbed by detectives ashore. They rang requesting you to organize a solicitor."
"Dimwits! And the slow lorises?"
"For the vetting process, the buyer brought her own veterinarian, sir. All had a bad dose of monkey pox, I’m afraid. Wouldn’t part with a cent."
All those eyes stared unblinking again. "What, the scope of exotic pet smuggling is second only to illegal narcotics!" Martini-Curls vehemently defended. "There’s a lot of money in monkeys. Usually. Just not this time."
"So we’re not getting paid?" Simcoe dared. The crew menaced a step closer.
Schola Sceleratorum had a semester-long study of the Technique and Application of Mu-ha-ha-ha. Martini-Curls had earned one of his few A’s. He demonstrated now that his skills remained undiminished. The crew were visibly reassured. "Of course you will get your due! Mu-ha! On a completely unrelated note, look off to our port bow! No, your other port! Left, ‘port’ means ‘left’! Do you see that? Keep looking out to sea, quell! There, on the horizon, I see a purple rainbow approaching."
Pocketing the ship’s precious orange crystal, Cricket crept through the hatch and into his escape craft. Motoring across rough swells at speed, he realized he had forgotten his bug-out bag stuffed with bundles of tea and Swiss francs. Tears streaming from the salty gale, Cricket Martini-Curls vowed revenge against that meddling girl.
The cat on his sleeve growled and eyed him malevolently. ...more
Space aliens arrive early in Conquest and bomb the text with info dumps. These aliens are tall tan dudes with no eyelids, and they come bearing the poSpace aliens arrive early in Conquest and bomb the text with info dumps. These aliens are tall tan dudes with no eyelids, and they come bearing the power to cure cancer, joke about haggis and change point of view several times in the same chapter. Some are good guys. Some are very, very bad aliens indeed. The good ones hook up with the human resistance and introduce YA readers to wormholes, nano bots, androids, psychic powers, blast rifles and other SF staples of the literary world. There's a smooch or two, evil giant generic frog foot soldiers, wicked space witches, some discussion about morality and several good twists once the action takes off.
Critical Mick says: set phasers on fun! Charlie Parker might be on this same planet, but the tone and content of Conquest is worlds away from Connolly's other writing....more