Friday, 31 August 2012

And the Winner Is....

The winner of my August Book of the Month Competition to win a signed copy of Gordon Doherty's Strategos, Born in the Borderlands is...... Dean Watson! Well done Dean! I hope you enjoy the book, I'll drop you an e-mail to let you know when I'll send you your prize.

Thanks to everyone that entered, sorry to all those who didn't win; better luck next time. Be sure to check out adam-p-reviews tomorrow to see what my September Book of the Month is going to be! Plus there will be a new YouTube video!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Wolf of the Plains, Conn Iggulden

Publishers: HarperCollins

Pages: 449

Main Characters:

Temujin, Bekter, Khasar, Kachiun

Wolf of the Plains is the first book in Conn Iggulden's epic Conqueror series based around the life and legend of Genghis Khan. I have to say that I read this book a few years ago so this review will only be a short overview. What I will say is that I remember loving this book as it was my first introduction to Conn Iggulden’s work and it propelled me into both his Conqueror series and his Emperor series (both of which are excellent!).

The first book in this series tells us the tale of Genghis’s (Temujin’s) childhood. It starts off with Temujin and his family at the top of their tribe’s hierarchy, after all their father Yesugei is the Khan. Life is good for Temujin; he has the freedom to do what he likes. The only worry he has is his elder brother Bekter and the rivalry they both have over who will be Khan next. However this life is destroyed when their father Yesugei is attacked on his route home from a neighbouring tribe. After his death, Temujin, his brothers and his mother are thrown out of the tribe as power is usurped by Yesuegi’s bodyguard Eeluk.

Temujin must look after his exiled family whilst removing his greedy brother Bekter and avoid the men sent to kill his family by Eeluk. With pure dertermination and grit, Temujin must gain vengeance for his family and retake the throne that is rightly his. He must unite all of the tribes on the Plains to see his plans come to fruition and create the Mongol nation and attack his true enemies the Chin. But will he be able to do it?

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Conn Iggulden’s other books such as his Emperor series or to anyone who has an interest in the Mongols and the legend of Genghis Khan.

For author’s official website click here

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty for absolutely FREE. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

For One Day and One day Only!- Spartacus Competition and Launch of my New YouTube Channel!

Hey guys! Today is the 16th of August and as promised in my earlier preview of Ben Kane's new book Spartacus: Rebellion, there is a surprise for you today! As many of you Ben Kane fans will know, today is the release date for Spartacus: Rebellion and I am giving away a FREE copy of it today and today only! But that is not the only surprise because today is the launch day of my new YouTube channel adampreviews! My first ever video blog (or Vlog) will be of Spartacus: Rebellion!

So if you want to win a FREE copy of Spartacus: Rebellion all you have to do is click on this link to my new YouTube page and watch my Vlog of Spartacus. At some point in the Vlog I will give you a password which lets you enter the competition. When you have the password (and have finished watching my Vlog) head over to my Facebook page ( by clicking on this link here) and type the password as a comment there, that will enter you into a lottery with everyone else in the competition and the winner’s name will be picked out of a hat later this evening, it’s that simple! If you have an account on YouTube you could always like, comment and subscribe to my channel and I’ll enter you into the competition that way.

The winner of my competition will be announced on Blogger and my Facebook page later this evening! I hope you all have as much fun with the competition as I will! Good luck to anyone that enters. If you have any questions just drop me an e-mail at or post me a comment on Facebook.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Spartacus: Rebellion, Ben Kane - Sneak Peak/ Preview!

Publishers: Preface

Pages: 386

Main Characters:

Spartacus, Carbo, Crassus, Ariadne

Well, as promised to all of you Ben Kane fans out there, today I have a little treat for you! A few weeks ago I was approached by Ben's publishing house; Preface, who wanted to know if I'd like an advance, preview copy of Spartacus: Rebellion! Of course I said YES! So here you go, here is my sneak peak/ preview of Ben Kane's Spartacus: Rebellion which will be realised tomorrow the 16th August. And to make it even more of an occasion, I will be giving away a copy of Spartacus tomorrow in a ‘one day and one day only’ competition! (Details will be posted after this post on how to enter.) I hope you enjoy!

So, Spartacus: Rebellion is the sequel to Ben Kane's Spartacus: The Gladiator and picks up the story straight after the end of that book. It sees Spartacus's slave army divided. His biggest competitor for control of the army; Crixus the Gaul, has left with his fighters, leaving Spartacus severely crippled because much of his fighting force has been removed. To make things even worse, Crixus is beaten and killed in his first battle against the Romans, meaning that the Roman forces in Italy can now focus on removing and destroying Spartacus's men!

But, there is still a chance to escape Italy forever. As Ariadne's prophecy said, Spartacus should head East out of Italy and into his homeland of Thrace. However, getting his army to follow him will be tough! The men are content with pillaging Rome; after all it was the Romans who enslaved them, why should they not get some revenge? Also, under Spartacus's rule the slave army has never been defeated, who's to say they couldn't go on and beat every army sent against them or even sack Rome itself? These are the problems Spartacus faces with his men. Plus the other two clan leaders in the army Callus and Gannicus have plans of their own. Both want to remove Spartacus as the leader of the army; he is becoming too powerful and arrogant, leaving them out of important decisions, sending out spies without telling them and leading the battle without asking for their advice! It is time they took control of the army and marched on Rome themselves like their ancestors did. But they must wait for the right time to remove Spartacus, his wife and his loyal followers before they can usurp control.

Meanwhile, the Senate is in disarray! Every force sent to deal with Spartacus has been defeated! It is no longer just a slave rabble that is running around the countryside but a full scale Rebellion! One Senator, Crassus, feels like he is the man who can hunt down Spartacus and defeat him. After all, he is the richest man in Rome and can put any resource at his disposal, but this is not the reason why he thinks he can beat Spartacus, but because he knows him.

All those years ago in the Ludus of Capua, Crassus would never have expected the Gladiator who had won the death bout put on for him to be heard of again. Yes, the Thracian was spirited and a good fighter but his destiny was to die in the sands of a Colosseum! Not to become the leader of the biggest threat to Roman security since Hannibal! Crassus knows he has greatness in him and that he is not just a rich merchant but a leader of men. He knows that if he can outmanoeuvre and defeat Spartacus he will have achieved that greatness!

What will Spartacus do? With Crassus biting at his heels will he be able to persuade his soldiers to leave Italy forever and fight new wars in foreign lands? Or will he turn south, confront Crassus and come up with a new plan to escape Italy?

This was another great book from Ben Kane. Like Spartacus: The Gladiator it was filled with action, battles, love and betrayal. It was really fast paced; I read it in only a few days! But to be fair, I expect these sorts of things from Ben’s novels. What I found really surprising about this book and what I really liked about it was how Ben develops the two main characters, Spartacus and Carbo. In Spartacus: The Gladiator I always saw Spartacus as the unlikely hero that I love to read about in historical fiction. He was a slave, exiled from his Kingdom and training to become a Gladiator, the lowest of the low in Roman society. Yet, he had a brilliant tactical mind which managed to free him from the Ludus and which eventually made him the leader of the slave rebellion. Whereas in Spartacus: Rebellion, Kane evolves him into the general, a leader of men who puts his soldiers before his family and his friends. This sees Spartacus make decisions that he might not have made when he was in the Ludus.  There are times when we see glimpses of the old Spartacus but mostly he is cold and hard. Which I thought was great because he would change as a person because of the pressures put on him in command.

On the other hand, in Spartacus: The Gladiator Carbo is the one who should have been a leader. He was from a wealthy Roman family and was young and arrogant. It should have been him leading a brigade of Cavalry in the Roman army and not some Gladiator fighting for his life! However when he enters the Ludus he is humbled and in Spartacus: Rebellion he becomes the follower, always looking to protect Spartacus and receive his praise. Again I think Kane did a great job evolving Carbo into this role.

So there you go, this was my sneak peak/ preview of Ben Kane’s Spartacus: Rebellion, I hope you enjoyed it! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Roman fictional writers such as Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and Anthony Riches. Of course if you read Spartacus: The Gladiator and enjoyed it then you should definitely read this book!

Ben Kane fans remember to check out adam-p-reviews tomorrow for a ‘one day and one day only’ chance to win a copy of Spartacus: Rebellion!

For author's official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty for absolutely FREE. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 13 August 2012

I've done it, I've bought an iPad!

After been on Blogger now for nine months I have been thinking of ways I can improve my Blog to push it forward into the future. This got me thinking of my laptop and how I have to use multiple web browsers and social media sites to update, post and comment on my blog. This process can lead to hours of uploading and modifying because I've had my laptop for about four years and it is starting to get sslllooowww (and let's face it, four years for a laptop is pretty old!) It made me think, should I invest in a new one? I could do with one for my Blog and for University, so re-investing in a new laptop seemed like a good idea. However, looking into buying a new laptop showed me that I couldn't get one any better than the one I already had with my price range! I was back at the drawing board! That was until my girlfriend asked, 'why don't you get an iPad?', it was like a light-bulb had been lit in my head!
The iPad third generation's Retina screen, pretty awesome!

Since the original iPad was released in 2010, I have always dabbled with the idea of buying into the Apple craze. About a year ago I bought an iPhone 3GS which I absolutely love! However until now I have always seen an iPad as going too far, that I never really needed one because I had an iPhone. But now, with adam-p-reviews up and running, I need all of my Blogging sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads) all in one place. I need something light that I can carry around with me so I can type up some reviews or make notes on wherever I am . Something I can use as a digital screen for watching videos online or reading ebooks for my dissertation. I think the time is now right, I think I now have a reason to use an iPad.

But which one should I buy? I knew that both the iPad 2 and the new iPad have roughly the same performance so my decision  couldn't be swayed by that. What I did know was that the third generation iPad has the new Retina display which is better for watching movies and viewing photos. I have to say, I am a bit of a YouTube fan so watching my favourite YouTube commentators in HD was a big draw to me buying the new iPad.

Another big draw to the new iPad was that it has a much better camera than the iPad 2 and it can record in full 1080p HD, which was also a huge draw for me because I will be putting that camera to use for Blogging purposes!

As you  probably can guess, I went and bought myself a third generation iPad and I love it! It has everything I need in one place. But the main reason I am writing this post is for advice! I want to know if any of you, my fellow Bloggers, have or know of any good apps for Blogging and video editing? If you do, tell me what you use, why you think it makes your Blogging life easier. Or are there any apps you’ve bought that are terrible and would like to warn other Bloggers away from? Let me know by giving me a tweet @adam_p_reviews or commenting in the box bellow! Cheers guys!

My new iPad :)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Falstaff's Big Gamble, Hank Quense

Publishers: Strange World Publishing

Pages: 215

Main Characters:

Hamlet, Othello, Falstaff

Falstaff’s Big Gamble follows the tale of three of Shakespeare’s most well-known characters; Hamlet, Othello and Sir John Falstaff. But what is unusual about Falstaff’s Big Gamble is that these characters are not based within the medieval world as Shakespeare originally intended, but in a world of fantasy where Dwarves, Trolls, Elves and Men all co-exist together!

Hamlet is the young Dwarvan Prince of Denmarko. The Kingdom is run by his Uncle Clodio and his mother Gertie. Hamlet was always suspicious that his mother re-married his Uncle only days after his father’s death but has had other concerns on his mind. The chief amongst these is whether he should start his own bee-keeping business and what to do with the honey the bees will produce.

One night, on a midnight stroll around the castle, Hamlet is approached by the ghost of his father. Well, not really his father, his father was a Dwarf and this ghost is an Elf?  The ghost of his father (who’s not really his father) explains that all is not as it seems in Denmarko and that Hamlet’s real father was murdered and demands that his one and only son avenges his murdered soul! Poor Hamlet is left with another conundrum, should he avenge the murdered soul of his father or should he look after his bee business or hire someone else to do it?

Othello is a Dark Elf who has just gained the position of Chief of Homeland Security in the free city of Dun Hythe. Othello was lucky to get such a prestigious job. After plumping his resume somewhat, Othello is looking forward to starting in his new role. That is until his duties are explained to him by the Major of Dun Hythe, Glyniss. Not only must Othello look after the Security of the City but he must also run the troublesome Troll Patrol, re-build the city’s wall, train the poorly equipped Militia, remove the threat of unemployed soldiers within the city AND destroy the pirate threat to Dun Hythe’s shipping! The task is more than Othello signed up for and things are going to get worse!

Othello’s wife Desdemona is a native to the city of Dun Hythe. Throughout their marriage Desdemona has referred to her mysterious Grandma who lives in the city. Othello later finds that Desdemona’s Grandma is the Godmother of the city and that Othello is in her debt, a place no one wants to be!

Sir John Falstaff is a chancer. Winning his knighthood in a rigged game of cards from a drunken noble, Falstaff uses his ‘skills’ to con the rich and wealthy in an attempt to get rich quick. After arriving in the city of Dun Hythe with his half-pint page Poulet, he hears a new Chief of Homeland Security has been anointed and comes up with a plan in which he can con the Chief and make a small fortune. Falstaff convinces Othello that he can solve the piracy issue by hiring some of the soldiers in the town to use as a pirate hunting force. Othello agrees and gives Falstaff the funds to hire the soldiers. But instead of catching pirates, Falstaff becomes one himself and preys on the ships of Dun Hythe! Is this the full-proof plan that Falstaff has been looking for or will he take a Big Gamble which could see him become richer than his wildest dreams?

Falstaff’s Big Gamble is an obvious spoof/parody of some of Shakespeare’s most famous works. I decided to read this book because it sounded like a fun book to read but I was worried that it might be abit cheesy.  To be honest, at the start of the book it was! The first chapter of Hamlet asking ‘to be or not to be' a bee-keeper really made me think ‘the book’s going to be like this all the way through, really cheesy’ and this was backed up by the ghost of Hamlet’s father, who wasn’t really his father. But to my delight, Quense does make a really good plot/story line in this book. The book is also funny without been cheesy. There are some real ‘gags’ in there but they are used at very precise times and are not bombarding you in every paragraph (which I thought they were in the first paragraph), which made this book really fun to read.

I think the thing I liked most about Falstaff’s Big Gamble was that Quense made these really famous and well known characters seem totally new and his own. I think this was helped by his world of Gundarland which I really enjoyed reading about. I will say that there were some points in the book where Quense seems to use quotes from Shakespeare’s plays and at times I don’t think they were integrated that well. They reminded me of reading history essays where students have use a direct quote to try and prove a point, they stand out as been written by a different author.

 Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this book. It reminded me of a mix between Shakespeare (obviously) and the Lord of the Rings! I think if you are a fan of either of these novels/authors you will enjoy this book. Although if you are a diehard Shakespeare fan, maybe take it with a pinch of salt! If you would like to purchase a copy of this novel it is available on and I’d also like to say thank you to Hank for supplying me with a copy of his novel.

For author’s official website please click here

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty for absolutely FREE. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 6 August 2012

Legionary, Gordon Doherty

Publishers: Smashwords

Pages:  390

Main Characters:

Pavo, Gallus, Sura

Legionary is the second novel I have read by historical fiction author Gordon Doherty. After reading Gordon’s first book Strategos, Born in the Borderlands (which I’m giving away!) and really enjoying it, I decided to give Legionary a go. Legionary is based in the western half of the Eastern Roman Empire (or what later becomes known as the Byzantine Empire) in the 4th century AD at a time when the might of Rome is diminishing and its leaders are at threat from within its very heart and from the fearsome Goths on its borders. During this political instability, the new religion of Christianity is starting to bury its roots in Constantinople and the rest of the Empire. At Christianity’s head is Bishop Evagrius, a devious old man who wants to be at the top of Byzantine rule.

In the mist of the desperate time, there is a young slave boy named Pavo who is under the rule of a cruel master- Senator Tarquitius. However, Pavo is saved from the Senator’s cruellest punishments by a prophecy whispered into the Senator’s ear by a mysterious old woman, stating that he cannot lay a hand on Pavo. After Pavo is wrongly accused of theft, Tarquitius banishes him to the depleted and pitiful Border Legions. Tarquitius knows he cannot harm Pavo but knows life expectancy in the Border Legions is only a few years. This gives Tarquitius an excuse to wash his hands of the troublesome young slave!

Freedom is strange to Pavo. He now has something to live for and looks at life in a new way. That is until he reaches Durostorum, on the Danubius River (the centre for the Border Legion’s activities) and is assigned as a recruit to the XI Claudia under the supervision of Centurion Brutus. Training is hard and Pavo is plagued by problems from his past. But he does make friends with a charismatic Thracian called Sura, who makes his time as a recruit much easier.

After his initial training, Pavo is thrown into his first campaign. But this is no normal patrol, it is an order from the Emperor himself. The XI Claudia are to march into the lost Kingdom of Bosporus and remove the Goths there, bringing it back under the control of the Empire. But, everything is not as it seems in Bosporus. Pavo’s primus pilus (Chief Centurion) Manius Atius Gallus was sent there on a reconnaissance mission and discovered a horde of unidentified riders raiding and destroying the Gothic people in Bosporus. The mission reeks of treachery but it is an order from the Emperor and must be obeyed.
What the XI Claudia discovers in Bosporus is not just a threat to them but a threat to the Empire itself. Pavo, Gallus and Sura must act quickly to prevent this mysterious horde over running the borders, whilst uncovering a traitor from within the Emperor’s court!

This was another good book from Doherty. Again like Strategos, the detail Doherty pours into the book is amazing. Describing what each type of soldier wears, where they would fight in a battle-line and with what weapons they would use makes this book so good because it is so easy to visualise the characters and their surroundings. I also thought the plot was gripping! There were not just the brilliant battle scenes to keep me entertained but the conspiracy and mystery behind the dark riders added another dimension to this book, making it more than just a typical historical-fiction book.

 But, there were some parts of the book that I found a little repetitive and predictable. These often were when Pavo and Sura got into trouble, or had a dagger pointed at their throat. They always seem to be saved by some unexpected occurrence! Like a Centurion arriving, or a hidden relief force which hadn’t been addressed before. Doherty does explain after how these occurrences happened but I did find them tedious when (especially near the end) they kept happening.

Another part of this book I found confusing was the characters of Centurion Brutus and Gallus, they both seem to have the same role in the book, both play a fatherly role to Pavo, both at first despise him and both end up loving him! Which makes me think did they both need to be there?

Even though there were these small issues I did really enjoy this book and am looking forward to its prequel Viper of the North to be released later this month! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Roman history. It was interesting to read a Roman historical- fiction book based in the Eastern Roman Empire instead of been based in Rome, Britannia, Gaul or Iberia. If you would like to buy this book it is available from or for an e-reader at

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty for absolutely FREE. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Book of the Month Competition- August

Well it's the 1st August and that means that there is a new book as my Book of the Month!

Like last month's book, this one is another treat! This month's book of the month is... Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty! I really enjoyed reading this book and am currently on another of Doherty's novels Legionary because I loved Strategos that much! Plus the copy I am giving away is SIGNED by Gordon Doherty himself!

So if you would like the chance to win a SIGNED copy of Gordon Doherty's Strategos, Born in the Borderlands for FREE, all you have to do is click on this link to my Facebook page, ‘like’ my page and then write a comment saying you would like to enter the competition. Or you can enter through the widget below! If you are not on Facebook but are a member of Blogger, you can enter the competition by following my Blog directly through Blogger by clicking on the ‘join this site’ button on the right hand side of the page. It's that simple!

Remember it’s FREE to enter and it will not cost you a penny to get the book in the post. So why not have a go? You could win an excellent book, signed by Gordon Doherty himself for FREE!

Good luck to everyone that joins, I hope you’ll have as much fun with the competition as I will. I will be choosing the winner on the 31st August. For further details on the competition such as how the winner will be chosen and when the winner will be announced please click here.

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