A Book Of Bones: 21st century gothic

This gargantuan beast of a book concludes a story arc which began some six volumes ago in The Wolf In Winter. Far from being bare bones, A Book Of Bones is an extended, immersive and intense reading experience which delightfully disrupts commercial publishing conventions. For one thing, this is a 700 page epic – a…

The Fish That Climbed A Tree: criminally weird

If you like the quirky combination of cold-blooded murder and life-affirming integrity, then give this off-the-wall novel a whirl. It’s inventive, original and utterly unpredictable, a bizarre blend of metaphysical meandering alongside a cracking crime-thriller. ‘The Fish…’ also features a simply brilliant beginning – one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read, in fact…

Hellblazer: The Family Man

John Constantine. Hellblazer. Hellraiser. Misanthrope, mage and meddler; arch manipulator and much more besides. This trade paperback compiles one of his earlier adventures, a story arc which first spluttered its sleazy self onto the shelves in comic book form back when the 1980s finally expired and a brash new decade strode onto the scene. ‘The Family…

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…

The Red Phone Box: darkly magical, indeed

In this ambitious anthology, there are many Londons. And many possibly realities. And other places. Humans who transform into cats (or vice versa). An Egyptian god with the head of a lion and the passion of a satyr. Blood-sealed mystic circles. All are under threat, from deities ancient and awful and some wonderfully modern, in…

Masters Of Blood And Bone: full-on dark fantasy

Shocking and gripping from the get-go, this tightly wound tale of gods and monsters had me hooked from the opening pages. The writing veers from slick, Tarantino-style dialogue and rapid narrative to surreal, bewildering sequences, which gradually coalesce into an ambitious plot involving ancient deities, their appalling servants, demons of the abyss and the apocalypse…