#StarWars Episode 1 Movie Novelisation by Terry Brooks mini review

Unlike the vast majority of Star Wars fans, I don't hate the Episode 1 movie. It gives me a warm familiarity of nostalgia as an exciting new entry to the Star Wars universe from my childhood, and whilst I acknowledge it's flaws it doesn't stop my enjoyment of the film as a whole despite including the likes of Jar Jar Binks...
The novel by Terry Brooks is an accurate retelling of the plot from the movie, in which the planet of Nabboo is subject to a trade embargo by the cowardly and greedy Trade Federation. The Jedi travel to negotiate with the trade federation and are instead greeted with the beginnings of a plot to invade the peaceful world below forcing the young queen of Nabboo to sign a treaty making their illicit actions legal. 
In their initial escape of the planet, the Jedi, queen and accompanying crew find themselves marooned on Tatooine in the Hutt controlled Mos Espa which is just as much a hive of scum and villainy as we've come to expect from the desert pl…

#SpeccyNation by Dan Whitehead mini review

The ZX Spectrum is before my time, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the prog rock to my pop in my world of gaming, with it's crappy rubber keys and mysteriously beautiful rainbow stripe.

Dan Whitehead however, is definitely a retro gaming origins expert having been into video games since 1982 and writing for a variety of gaming publications and getting stuck in with many gaming related endeavours.

Speccy Nation is a collection of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright horrendous from the history of the Spectrum, include entries about popular releases and obscurities.

What is excellent about this book is the ability for Dan to understand the positive elements about all games, talking about all of their qualities without simply residing to the fact that a game is rubbish, instead discussing the merits or at least the interesting features a game has to offer, from social nuances to the soundtrack to simply the concept in it's own right.

Dan Whitehead clearl…

#Nod by Adrian Barnes mini review

Nod is told in a series of journal entries by aspiring author Paul during this unique concept of an impending apocalypse. Set in Vancouver, the global populace bar a select few are suddenly unable to sleep. The few remaining 'sleepers' all share the same golden dream. Groups of children also sleep, but become silent and introvert and the nature of their dreams is not apparent to anybody. 
Living in a flat in a seemingly functional relationship, the world around them begins to slowly descend into madness, beginning with general irritability and over the days becoming more and more dystopian as people struggle to function on the little sleep they have. The 'awakened' eventually break into strange cults and factions, developing psychosis and unusual social regimes and rituals to help function as they slowly but surely deteriorate.
Paul meanwhile has to navigate the alien landscape without being persecuted by the awakened, so jealous they are of his ability to sleep. It f…

#StarWars The Old Republic - Annihilation Mini Review

Annihilation is the fourth story in The Old Republic series of novels, Despite being of Jedi heritage, our lead character Theron Shan posses no natural affinity or command of the force, yet is talented in other methods of combat and subterfuge in his role as a republic spy. 
Shan teams up with Jace Malcom, commander of the republic military to help neutralise the Ascendant Spear, a new type of imperial battle cruiser captained by aspiring Sith lord Darth Karrid. Karrid is being considered for a role within the Dark Council, the old republic's dark side version of the Jedi council. As Darth Malgus' old apprentice, the council have their reservations, and Karrid is constantly striving to prove herself more capable and worthy of the title of Sith despite her heritage and history. 
Throughout the tale if intertwining characters, all of whom have interesting back stories and histories, the story is often tense, exciting and detailed in it's retelling of these events of the gal…

#LostTribeOfTheSith Star Wars Novel Mini Review

The Lost Tribe Of The Sith is a collection of shorter stories about a group of Sith that get stranded on a remote planet after a catastrophic accident in their ship, Omen.

Set before the rule of two, the Sith clan is made up of multiple factions and families, all striving for supremacy within their new found home exerting their command and subterfuge upon not only each other but the primitive natives and other lifeforms the planet has to offer. Escape is not an option as the world is absent of sufficient resources to make the necessary repairs to their ship.

The short stories are extremely well written and span over multiple generations and the descendants of the Sith families still find themselves in similar competitive scenarios whilst the initial stranded Sith begin to bloom as legend to the later generations.

What's interesting is how the different generations intertwine, and as exciting as the action packed sequences are throughout the smaller stories, the real intrigue lies…

#DawnOfTheJedi Into The Void - Spoiler Free Mini Review

Into The Void by Tim Lebbon is the first entry in the Star Wars Novels Legends timeline, and is set in an eror before laser swords and hyperspace travel. Our main character Lanoree Brock is  a Jeda'ii Ranger, called upon by her Masters on her less visited home world of Tython to investigate and seek out her brother, Dal whom she had thought dead.

Teamed up with an unusual 3 Lekku'd Twilekk named Tre, with a dark past an unusual relationship with the a Jeda'ii master, the pair journey over Tyhon encountering interesting and despicable characters on the way in an attempt to find out for certain what Dal's intentions are and his whereabouts, of course encountering well written and exciting altercations along the way. Blasters and technology are still advanced in this era, but Lanoree wields a traditional sword rather than the famous lightsaber, using it to deadly effect often removing her adversaries heads from their bodies.

The story moves between the investigation and …

Joyotis - Vegetarian Indian Restaurant in Hall Green

Jyoti's, located in Kings Heath on the Stratford Road is a refreshing take on Indian cuisine and one I would recommend to any fan of Indian food, veggie or not. It is exclusively veggie, so if you're too into your meat, then you're silly and should go back to McDonalds. 
It's also half kind of Indian Bakery, selling sweets and puddings and nibbles for you to takeaway. The service was a little cold and stilted to start, but the old timer waiter eventually warmed up and began having some banter. 
I had a lentil curry with chapattis which tasted for lack of a better word, authentic. It was a very thick dish despite being a creamless dish but was extremely tasty. The waiter was also happy to accommodate me when I asked for a mountain of Chillies to accompany my munch. 
The chapattis were also excellent. Support this little unique restaurant, now!