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Fergus McCartan profile

Place of birth: UK
Now living: Australia

3 favourite authors

3 favourite books

3 favourite films

Fergus McCartan's 53 reviews

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is, without a doubt, one of the most multi-talented writers alive today. I don’t say this out of a sense of personal bias, but with a degree of objectivity. Not only has he written fantastic comics, intelligent children’s stories and detailed novels about the nature of godhood (even if I didn’t personally enjoy them all)...

8.8/10

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The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (The Cinder Spires)

Hidden away inside ancient whorled walls and safe from a perilous world, masked by mist and filled with ravenous, horrifying creatures, humanity survives and thrives in the enduring and rooted Spires of Albion and Aurora.When the merchant airship Predator takes heavy damage from an Aurora warship, Captain Grimm, once Naval Commander, dish...

9.0/10

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The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

As anyone who’s seen my previous reviews will know, my absolute ideal in speculative fiction is decency in adversity. Throwing a character that does not have special powers or super human abilities out into an unknown and unfriendly world and seeing how they cope. Finding The Goblin Emperor in a list of books which highlight everyday nice ...

9.0/10

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Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn)

Several hundred years have past since the rebirth of Scadrialand, its peoples emerging from the long dark earth and stepping into the light of a new world, a world of balance, where perseveration and ruin can coexist in harmony.The time of Allomantic and Feruchemical powers is waning, as steel and technology take its grip on a newborn lan...

9.0/10

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The Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett (The Discworld Series)

There is Chalk in my bones and Sea in my veins, wave under hill I am part of the Land. I see what needs seeing and do what needs doing, I am Tiffany Aching and I am a Witch.The Land cries and the doors are unguarded, those once fought and feared are returning; flee the glamour, the laugher and the dream. Fear the night, the moon and the f...

7.0/10

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Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell (Mike Oberon)

Hot Lead, Cold Iron introduces us to a new hero named Mick Oberon, a Harry Dresden, and Marlow-esque Fae private investigator living in 1930 prohibition Chicago (now if that has piqued your interest you’d best keep reading). I...

7.0/10

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Day Boy by Trent Jamieson

Mark is a Day Boy. In a post-traumatic future the Masters - formerly human, now practically immortal - rule a world that bends to their will and a human population upon which they feed. Invincible by night, all but helpless by day, each relies on his Day Boy to serve and protect him. Mark has been lucky in his Master: Dain has treated him well. ...

9.0/10

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Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim series)

Death comes for us all, young, old and everything in between.  However, he usually doesn’t come hand on heart, trapped in undying flesh, asking for your assistance.  Well in this case no heart at all, as someone has just stolen it. Who do you call when you just want to sleep that final sleep and make the world right once more, th...

7.0/10

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Age of Iron by Angus Watson

The biggest - but not the least - compliment I can give this story is it felt real or that you felt real in reading it. I know that doesn’t make much sense, maybe it's better to say there is an authenticity to how Angus Watson has written his words and portrayed the time period.The story is told skillfully, if in a direct, blunt...

7.5/10

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No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Arthur Wallace)

What would Kurt Russell do? With this line alone what other introduction do you need?Well, he could write this book, but he didn’t, Jonathan Wood did, so maybe the question should be, 'What would Jonathan Wood do', which kind of answers itself.Serial killings, a Secretive Government Agency and more horrors from beyond...

8.0/10

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The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R Green (Secret Histories)

If you are a fan of the Nightside books you are going to love Eddie Drood in the Secret History novels. Eddie Drood aka Shaman Bond (yes, it's on purpose) is one of the Drood families Secret Field Agent, protecting humanity from itself and everyone and anything else that comes along.  The Droods, all powerful, all knowing, all screwed u...

8.0/10

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A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovok...

8.5/10

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Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar)

Bobby must face the consequences of his actions, route out a traitor in Heaven ranks and maybe, just maybe save the love of this life or afterlife depending on your viewpoint. So, not much to worry about then.For the most part Sleeping Late brings all the story's threads together nicely, throws in the Big Bad behind Bobby's troubl...

7.0/10

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The Skull Throne by Peter V Brett (The Demon Cycle)

To start with I want everyone to bear in mind that The Warded Man and The Desert Spear were and are great books. They have a texture, colour and vitality that entranced me in a new world so completely that I rushed through both instalments in a matter of days after purchasing them. However, The Daylight War was a dilemma for me, it was a lacklus...

7.0/10

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The Vagrant by Peter Newman

The Vagrant is the debut novel of Peter Newman, a post demon apocalypse novel set in a dying fantasy world. It was a hard book to get into, presenting a steep learning curve and mashing up a bunch of different styles in an eclectic fashion, but once I got into the book the journey became absorbing and I found the payoff to be immensely satisfyin...

9.0/10

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Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London series)

I’m not always in the mood for urban fantasy, which is why sometimes these books stay on the shelf a little longer than I may have intended, or preferred. But nevertheless, I will always return to them, eventually, and begin to merrily delve back into the world of (if I have my preference) magical London. Foxglove Summer by Ben...

6.5/10

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The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage Trilogy)

In 2014 I read both of Brian McClellan’s ‘The Powder Mage Trilogy’ books – ‘Promise of Blood’ and ‘The Crimson Campaign’. I loved both of them, though by the end of the second book it had started to lag somewhat. Regardless, that momentary lapse had obviously not stuck with me, as I only just remem...

9.0/10

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Managing Death by Trent Jamieson (Death Works Trilogy)

No rest from Death, no sleep everlasting. Death, boundless, hungry and eternal stirs, gnawing and biting, filling every moment and breath with the sound of beating hearts and an end to life. Steven de Selby, newly elevated Regional Manager of Death struggles with his new responsibilities, all of which is not helped by the God of the Stirrers gro...

8.0/10

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Hidden by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

Released late 2014, it’s taken me a little bit longer than I would have liked to get to ‘Hidden’ by Benedict Jacka. But prowling around my library the other night, looking for something fun to read, I spied Hidden, living up to its name amidst a pile of ‘to-read’ books. I quickly sped through the last few chapters o...

7.5/10

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Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson (Death Works Trilogy)

Steven de Selby’s job is to guide the dead to the underworld and as you can expect, things never run as smoothly as they should. Explosions, walking dead and the occasional apocalypse, but when Death is your business, business is always booming.Death Most Definite is the first book in the Death Works series, it follows the prem...

7.5/10

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library Series)

I have never before in my life wanted to write in someone else’s created world more than I do now that I have read Genevieve Cogman’s ‘The Invisible Library’.And, as a writer, that is essentially the highest praise I can think of giving a piece of fiction.When I first read the blurb for The Invisible Library...

8.8/10

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Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia

Initially, I did not think I would enjoy this style of book (vampires, werewolves etc.) but I was pleasantly surprised when I did. I had lifted it at random from the shelf at my favourite bookshop, Pulp Fiction, read the blurb and immediately had my interest piqued. In the end what actually pushed me over the edge was something a little sillier ...

8.0/10

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Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth Series)

First and foremost, I wish to apologise to Terry Goodkind. I am sorry for the words I am about to write, but they come from a fan and a reader who once loved and took great pleasure in The Sword of Truth series, from Wizard’s First Rule to Confessor.  These books encompassed everything they were meant to, they were magical, dark and c...

2.0/10

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The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle)

The only way that I can legitimately start this review is by saying that I am unsure of what I think of this book.As with any right-thinking fan of fantasy literature, I loved ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss. I raved about the skill of the writing, the lovingly crafted words, and the magical storyline.Unlike ...

10.0/10

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War Cry by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files)

Graphic novel reviewA war is raging between the vampire forces of the Red Court and the White Council - a war that the wizards are losing. So desperate are the Council that they've dragooned the experienced and the outcast to reinforce their thinning ranks of Wardens. One of these draftees is one Harry Dresden, Chicag...

6.0/10

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Shattered by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles)

For nearly two thousand years, there was only one Druid left walking the Earth - Atticus O'Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword kept him alive while pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he's got company.Atticus's apprentice Granuaile is finally a full Druid herself. What's more, Atticus has de...

7.0/10

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The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim series)

Rivers of blood, Armageddon and a resurrected enemy Stark personally made sure was dead. Welcome to L.A.. The Old Gods are at the door and they want the squatters out. One problem, all of Stark’s favourite stuff is there, his DVD's, his guns and his girlfriend, and as they say possession is nine-tenths of the Law.The best line i...

6.0/10

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Skin Game by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files)

In the absence of justice and a choice Harry must withhold vengeance against his greatest enemy? Bound as the Winter Knight to Winter’s Law Harry must settle Mab’s debt, committing theft and robbery from the most secure vault in the Nevernever. Unwillingness to comply to the letter of the agreement risks violating Mab’s word, h...

9.0/10

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The City by Stella Gemmell

The City is ancient and vast and has been waging almost constant war for centuries. At its heart resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime - and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a few have come to a desperate conclusi...

7.0/10

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The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage Trilogy)

The Crimson Campaign is the second in the Powder Mage Trilogy and much like The Promise of Blood, it is simply fantastic. Gods, overt and introvert, magic, a struggle for survival and desire for revenge, bundled up across three main story arcs.In the first, Tamas struggles to survive after a massive defeat at the hands of the Kez, trapped...

8.0/10

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The Wrong Goodbye by Chris F Holm (The Collector)

Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.Because of his efforts to avert the Apocalypse, Sam Thornton has been given a second chance – provided he can stick to the straight-and-narrow.Which sounds all well and good, but when the soul Sam’s sent to collect goes missing, Sam finds himself off the straight-and-narrow pretty q...

8.5/10

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Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan (Millenium’s Rule)

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen&#...

7.5/10

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The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams

The very best of Tad Williams is a collection of 17 different stories that will appeal to old and new fans alike.  Whether you like Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Crime or Horror there is a story here for you. Williams has delivered another well-conceived and written book, that if nothing else is a great introduction to his works for new fans.It w...

8.3/10

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Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar)

Bridge off stone, upon the flame,Path of ash for those unclaimed,The door ajar for those not shun,Angels love not undone.Lords abound in Perditions realm,Run little Angel, run to Hell,Her love for you, cold and fleet,You heart may break once you meet.Angel broken, Noble defeat,Loves grasps ...

8.5/10

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Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage Trilogy)

The alchemy of gunpowder fused with the magic of sorcery. In a time of upheaval, resurgence and corrupted Royalty Privileged, one-man’s love for his lost wife and his country burns and fuels a new order where all can be treated equally.Sometimes to build new you must burn the old.Legends long hidden may rue the day when Old G...

8.6/10

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The Big Reap by Chris F Holm (The Collector)

"Being the good guy can be hell, well maybe good is a little subjective. Figure out who the Brethren are, kill them and save the world. Did we mention he works for he Devil and Adams first wife Lilith is his boss and the Brethren have been alive for 3000 years?"It’s easy to point to the things I had issue with The Big Reap...

8.0/10

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Hex and the City by Simon R Green (Nightside series)

People say you make your own luck, good or bad.  Sometimes John is the luckiest guy in the world, especially when Lady Luck herself comes a knocking. The only problem is Lady Luck is really a floozy, and you were fresh out of cash and who can say no to some luck.  Case accepted, John must track down the secret of the origins of the Nig...

7.5/10

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Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (A Reckoners Novel)

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Is it a 1990’s Rock band? No, its tyrannical super-human dictator, hell bent of crushing the will of the masses! Ridiculous name and all.The best way I can description the world Sanderson is laying out for us is a bastardised smash up of Watchmen and Superman’s DC Universe. This is neither a good o...

7.3/10

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Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London series)

"A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his...

7.5/10

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Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim series)

Some monsters only know damnation, pain and death, but this one is looking for something a little more; revenge for a life sentenced to Hell and a love lost. Returned to a world where Angels walk the path of righteousness with a sword and brutality. The Sandman is going home and plans to look up some old friends.There is an introduction a...

9.1/10

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Magician's End by Raymond E Feist (The Chaoswar Saga)

So, what started with "Magician" twenty five-odd years ago reaches its "End". The journey of Pug and Tomas concludes with a host of characters making an appearance from all the series. Those appearances are either in the thoughts and words of those who have made it to this last novel or actually feature in a series of small v...

7.5/10

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Nightingale's Lament by Simon R Green (Nightside series)

Taylor is the name. John Taylor. My card says I'm a detective, but what I really am is an expert on finding things. It's part of the Gift I was born with as a child of the Nightside - the hidden heart of London where it's always three a.m., where inhuman creatures and otherworldly gods walk side-by-side in the endless darkness of the...

8.0/10

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Cold Days by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files)

In the Heart of Winters domain 'Artcis Tor' Harry recovers from his injuries after Mab returns him for the edge of death.Mab's rehabilitation techniques could be considered unique; constantly trying to kill Harry Mab is merciless and devote of compassion. Harry must heal quickly or be replaced as the Winter Knight. As the Wint...

7.0/10

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Taken by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

A convenient twist of review-deliveries, recently finished books, and a desire to hold off finishing an advanced copy of a book I won’t name yet, left me picking up the recently arrived ‘Taken’ by Benedict Jacka, the third book in the author’s Alex Verus novels. The fourth comes out later this year, and I will soon have a...

7.8/10

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Cursed by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

There is not a lot that I can say ‘generally’ about Benedict Jacka’s series of Alex Verus novels, so I will copy and paste a section from my previous review for ‘Fated’, before moving to some specifics to do with ‘Cursed’ (if for no other reason than I really liked my review of Fated).It’s p...

7.8/10

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The Fate of the Dwarves by Markus Heitz (The Dwarves Trilogy)

For the last time, the dwarves are going to war - and the outcome will decide the fate of their race. There has been no word from the brave warrior Tungdil since the vicious battle at the Black Abyss. Dragons, magicians, and the malevolent älfar have advanced far into the kingdom of Girdlegard, ruthlessly seizing vast areas of land. The dwa...

6.0/10

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To Green Angel Tower by Tad Williams (Memory Sorrow and Thorn)

The land is cold and bitter as The Storm King's grip holds sway.Simon and Binabik must solve the final mystery of the great sword Memory in order to use it power to stop the Storm King. Can the Weird of the Swords be solved?Joshua must rally his forces and prepare for this last stand; brother must face brother.Long forgo...

8.5/10

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The Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams (Memory Sorrow and Thorn)

In Osten Ard, the evil of the Storm King covers the land and the country is riven by war. Nature, unbalanced by the tide of evil, slips into a permanent winter. Simon, once a kitchen boy, now a hero hiding in the troll stronghold of Yiquanuc, has prophetic dreams. Only he and his companions can save the land, but to do this he must embark on the...

8.8/10

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Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Come one come all to greatest city in the world.In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all.In London there are geezers on ever street corner and every urchin and tosher is an angel with a dirty face. Home to Her Majesty, Fleet Street, the Square Mile and Dodger - known to...

9.3/10

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Fated by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

Hidden in the lanes and byways of Camden London sits a shop, just a little shop, but if you know where to find it and have need of something a little magical, then the Arcana Emporium is the place for you. The owner already knows you are on the way; being able to see into the future helps with that.Alex Verus has hidden from the world for...

7.5/10

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Battleaxe by Sara Douglass (Axis Trilogy)

How do you review a classic that has preserved for 20 years? The simple answer is you do not. You remind people of the quality of the work and the sense of the story that Sara Douglass gave us in the first of the Axis Trilogy. Battleaxe was and is still a steadfast epic fantasy novel, no less true now than when it was first released.Battl...

9.1/10

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The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams (Memory Sorrow and Thorn)

The Dragonbone Chair chronicles the coming of age of Simon of Hayholt; from scullion boy, to sorcerer's apprentice and beyond.  The book is broken into three story arch's: Simon Mooncalf, Simon Pilgrim and Simon Snowlock.  The story encompasses the peoples of Ostren Ard and the return of one of the elf-like Sithi, the Storm Kin...

8.5/10

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Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings (The Belgariad)

Magic old and new awaits the world when Riva’s Orb is stolen from its Guardian. Sleeping Gods that should be left to lie begin to awaken with consequences for all. Prophecies ruin and dominions eye will fall upon the men of the West if Ancient Belgarath, Polgara and Garion can’t return the Orb to its rightful place.Let’s...

8.8/10

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