Ring Side Report-Book Review-The Anatomical Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors

Book Review-The Anatomical Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors

Author– Luis Merlo

Book- ~$3 here https://petersengames.com/the-games-shop/the-anatomical-guide-to-lovecraftian-horrors/

TL; DR– Lovecraft forensics! 90%

Basics-What horrors lurk in the shadows?  The Anatomical Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors is what would happen if a forensic pathologist was let loose into the world of Lovecraft and wrote a textbook of his or her findings.  Monsters from across the mythos are given multi page write ups and each has detailed anatomy drawings showing how they tick. Let’s look at the pieces that are here!

Characters, Setting, and Story-This isn’t a story book.  This is a textbook, but a textbook you will want to sit down and read.  It’s one fan’s gruesome love letter to hard science and Lovecraft in one well done package.  Monsters from across the mythos get pages that you can dig into and see how the creatures work at a detailed level, even down the musculature in some cases.  This is just one Lovecraft lover’s take on things, but it is well done, detailed, and something that serious fans will enjoy.  5/5

Execution-PDF available? Yes!  Hyperlinked? No…   This is a well laid out book as the book itself reads easily, has nice pictures, and is a quick read.  You can find your favorite monster, read about it, and get great pictures that you can use in any horror game you want to run.  I do like what’s here, but I would like just a bit more.  It’s short, but considering my main components are wanting more, I think this is a solid product.  4.5/5

Summary-I’m a scientist and I’ve had to read my fair share of textbooks.  None are nearly as entertaining as this book.  I also love Lovecraft, and I enjoy the two being put into one blender.  If you don’t want detailed explanations of cosmic horrors, then avoid this book.  If you want to see how one fan explains the things that go bump in the night and across the cosmos in an extremely well done manner, then pick up this book.  90%.

Book Bout-Book Review of The Fuller Memorandum


Book– The  Fuller Memorandum

Author– Charles Stross

Voice- Gideon Emery

Book- ~$8 http://www.amazon.com/Fuller-Memorandum-Laundry-Files-Novel/dp/044102050X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420247010&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fuller+memorandum

Audiobook- ~$15  http://www.audible.com/pd/The-Fuller-Memorandum-Part-1-Audiobook/B004V4O9W6

TL; DR– Sit down and learn about the Laundry.  93%


Basics-Bob Howard has been pulling a few too many hours at the Laundry.  He makes a rookery mistakes that shouldn’t happen, and now is sent out on personal leave after someone dies.  However, strange cults across the world never take personal leave.  Can Bob survive an attack on the Laundry, keep his sanity, and learn more about some ancient Laundry secrets?


Characters– Bob’s really Bob in this one.  Moe is Moe, and you also get to learn a bunch more about the other characters in the Laundry with this one.  Based on the previous books, every character is well described for the new readers, and every character stays in character all the way through this book.  Excellently done.  5/5


Setting– I have never been to England and much less to London.  But, Stross does a great job of describing the city and making me see places and geography in my head.  It almost makes me want to go and see if I could track Bob through the city and see the hidden sights Bob describes. 5/5


Story-The Laundry is a book series about middle management always screwing with the people who actually get the work done.  However, I can’t see how anyone might get their work done when they have to account for everything even when they know the penalty for such actions is not being able to get fired?  I’m complaining a bit, but I don’t enjoy the amount of possible threats from inside the Landry.  That kinds of gets a bit boring.  What I did enjoy was the amount you get to learn about the history of the laundry.  Stross does an excellent job of telling bits of Landry and character history over the course of the novel.  I loved that even if I didn’t enjoy the internal threats and bureaucracy as much. 4/5


Summary-I really like the Laundry novels.  Stross does an excellent job of bringing Cthulhu mythos to the masses while still being true to its roots.  I do bet a bit bored with the inter-Laundry problems, but this one is a great read.  I got to learn a bunch about the Laundry and its members.  This was done in some text dumps, but it was done in a smart way throughout the book.  If it’s at least as good as this one, I can’t wait to pick up the next one!  93%.


Audiobook Extra- Gideon Emery is Bob.  And, he also does a great female voice with an accent as Moe is in this novel a lot.  Well done! 5/5

Book Bout-Book Review of The Jennifer Morgue

Book– The Jennifer Morgue

Author– Charles Stross

Voice- Gideon Emery

Book- ~$8 http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Morgue-Laundry-Files-Novel/dp/0441018149/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420067745&sr=1-1&keywords=the+jennifer+morgue

Audiobook- ~$15 http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Jennifer-Morgue-Audiobook/B003E8AA2I

TL; DR– A twisty turny international affair  95%%


Basics-Bob Howard still works for the laundry.  Now instead of fighting domestic terrorists and interoffice politics, he’s dragged into the world of international super spies by being paired with sexy she sea devil trying to stop a plan that will not only fight a crazy American billionaire but the most devious of evils-POWERPOINT!


Characters– Stross writes some great characters.  The sexy she spy Ramona Random is well done.  She starts off standoffish, but through some show/don’t tell you learn a ton of her background.  The second main character Bob Howard is done well.  There are a few moments where he does some stuff that seem out of his character.  It’s not horrible by any means, but there are a few moments like when Bob and Ramona go swimming together that I feel he doesn’t feel quite right. 4.75/5


Setting– The setting is the Caribbean.  Bob doesn’t spend a ton of time at the office, and that really only helps the setting.  Bob gets to go somewhere without florescent lights, and he takes us with him.  Since this place is new to me, I felt like I was taken on a new and exciting trip. 5/5


Story– The story of this book is a fun one.  It’s full of all kinds of twists and turns following all the old cliché’s of a Bond novel.  Some of these twists you won’t see coming, and that makes it all the more fun.  There are a few dull moments that are not as fun, but overall you will enjoy this one. 4.5 /5


Summary-I love the Laundry books.  Stross does a great job of bringing the Lovecraft and mixing it with the science.  That’s a fun combination.  This story has several different perspectives that all build a great cohesive tale together.  It’s a fun romp that will twist and turn, and you will enjoy every minute of it. 95%.


Audiobook Extra- Gideon Emery does a good job being Bob Howard.  He sounds English enough and as much of a technogeek as Bob is.  Well done. 5/5


Book Bout-Book Review of Rise of the King


Book-Rise of the King- The Companions Codex #2

Author– R. A. Salvatore

Voice- Victor Bevine

Book- ~$14 here http://www.amazon.com/Rise-King-Companions-Codex-II/dp/0786965150/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419984295&sr=8-1&keywords=rise+of+the+king

Audiobook- ~$20 here http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Rise-of-the-King-Audiobook/B00NFO4TH8

TL; DR-Best Drizzit Book so far! 93%


Basics-The orcs are on the move!  Can Drizzit stop the orc hoards with their drow puppeteers and grapple with the moral implications of orc right and wrong?  Can Drizzit save the Silver Marshes or will the world fall into the clutches of Loth?


Characters-I’ve written about Drizzit before.  He’s not my favorite fantasy character, but this one doesn’t just focus on him.  He’s here in this book, and he’s in the spot light just the right amount.  This book is truly an ensemble cast with both enemy drow and distant humans all taking a turn in the spot light.  It’s a well done book with lots of different characters.  A character might only get five pages of screen time, but you do feel like that person is a whole.  It’s not perfect, but it’s done really well. 4.5/5


Setting-It’s R. A. Salvatore and Drizzit.  Of course the Realms gets a great treatment.  The Silver Marshes and Sword Coast are being dragged through the mud, but it’s still well done Forgotten Realms. 5/5


Story– Here’s where everything comes together.  Salvatore is using lots of different characters to tell lots of different perspectives on the same story.  He’s using the best show don’t tell I’ve seen from him in a while.  Instead of letting Drizzit monologue about “Can orcs be good?” he’s got lots of people running around as a giant plan is coming together.  What hamstring all this is that the book is set in the past.  Drizzit and his creator Salvatore are both telling another side of the history to a DnD encounters season.  It’s well done, but you know Drizzit will win, the Sword Coast is ok, and his friends will be fine.  But, it’s still a fun ride.  4.5/5


Summary-Honestly, it’s taken me a bit to love the Drizzit story.  I stared reading Salvatore because he writes for the realms.  I love the Forgotten Realms, and to know what’s going on, I had to read his stuff.  But, now after books like this one, I have to say, I’m pretty happy I stuck it out.  This might not be the best place to start reading Drizzit books, being the middle of a series and all, but this book made me the happiest to read.  I’m now on board with this series and Salvatore’s writing.  I can only hope the next one is just like this one!  93%.


Audiobook Extra- Victor Bevine has to cover a ton of ground for this one.  If a book only has one character, then a reader only has to cover one voice.  Salvatore wrote a bunch of different characters, and Victor rose to the challenge.  Well done!  5 /5