The Deep: into the depth of human endurance

Typically reserved and inward-looking, this intriguing Icelandic docu-drama treads much the same water (sorry) as Robert Redford’s All Is Lost romp. But while the latter is a ripping yarn of high-tension on the high seas, The Deep is far more remarkable because it’s a credible re-telling of actual events. The Deep explores the unlikely survival…

Sandman Overture: endless delight

There was always a fair chance that this, a return to the eternity of the Endless, could have been a massive disappointment. It’s not. Five stars, no hesitation. Sandman: Overture is every bit as beautiful and brilliant as Gaiman’s original ground-breaking series. In some ways it’s even more densely layered with hidden meaning; there’s a…

Valhalla Rising: Norse noir

Don’t watch this looking for a Hollywood-style sword-n-savagery action flick (although there is plenty of bloodily realistic hacking, maiming and killing). This is not the Mads Mikkelsen you know from Hannibal. This is experimental, art-house, risk-taking film-making. It is weird and beautiful and brutal. It’s also minimalist, surreal, philosophical and prone to showing extended clips…

Walk In The Flesh: slick high-tech thriller

Heads up: Despite its title, and Amazon’s tendency to classify this book in the ‘horror’ category, this is not a zombie romp. Far from it. This is a near-future action thriller with a high-tech twist and an equally high body count. It introduces a near-invincible uploadable assassin who can jettison his meatware once a kill…

True Lies at the core of crime fiction

Ahead of author Frank Westworth’s appearance at the BooksOnTyne literary festival, we asked readers of his crime-thrillers what subjects they’d like to discuss on the night. The theme of the evening is ‘True Lies’ and the tactic of telling the truth through fiction, but almost immediately the conversation veered off towards sex, intimacy, witty dialogue,…

Lost Girl: truly terrifying

It’s not the fictional aspects of Lost Girl which will keep you wide awake at night, enduring endless dark hours between sweat-soaked fever dreams. It’s the entirely possible predictions of what might happen in the next 40 years that should snap you out of complacent daydreams. Forest fires blazing out of control across whole continents.…

An Android Awakes: a new ghost in an old shell

In this possible future, an android spins a series of interlinked stories in which mockingbirds are rarely killed, and locusts pick over the bones of what was once humanity’s space-faring destiny. This substantial softback is neither a normal text-only novel, nor a comic-book style graphic novel. It’s a blend of both, where Karl Brown’s crisp…