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Angry Robot Review: Kell’s Legend: Book One of The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles by Andy Remic

This has to be one of the funnest and most relentless books I’ve read in a while! 🙂

Kell’s Legend follows the story of Kell, a grisly and grisled old warrior who wants nothing more than to forget the old days of blood and death and relax, but is pulled into a massive conflict when forces from the Silva Valley, a place beyond the terrifying Black Pike Mountains, invade.

The characters, action and setting all combine to make this one of those novels you’ll want to talk about with your friends – you’ll probably be saying stuff like, “That dude has the coolest axe I’ve ever read about!” or “The action in this thing is insane!” or even “Wait until you meet the Vachine and their cankers!”

Character-wise, Kell’s Legend is people with many outstanding, larger-than-life characters, the two most interesting (in my opinion) of which were Kell himself and Anukis.

Kell has what seems to be a long, blood-soaked history and Andy hints at just enough to give Kell a real depth and emotional resonance – even though he’s a very sarcastic, grumpy and says-it-like-it-is old guy. His chapters are fun and fast and brutal – there’s always plenty of humor and plenty of blood backed by great pace.

Anukis is also an extremely interesting character – she’s feisty, also stubborn as hell, a relentless and brutal fighter but also sensitive and naive, a blending which endeared me to her right from the beginning.

In the novel you’ll also meet Saark and Nienna, General Graal and the Harvesters and a host of supporting cast;

Saark is hilarious, the epitome of a one-track-mind man who is as dangerous as he is entertaining, and his scenes with Kell are excellent – the dialogue between the two is witty and acerbic and thoroughly entertaining. 🙂

Nienna could have used a bit more, as it seemed to me that the only real reason that she was in the tale was to give Kell a concrete reason to keep on fighting but I’m sure that Andy has got plenty in store for her and that she’ll probably end up stealing the spotlight in the next novel – her journey from an exuberant student to a practically world-weary witness of conflict and death was cool to witness, though. 🙂

General Graal is one sick puppy but makes an awesome bad guy, and the Harvesters are just plain chilling, while the cankers are an incredibly cool – nah, I think I’ll shut my mouth and not tell you too much about these characters and creatures. 🙂 I digged them, and they’re definitely some of the more inventive badasses I’ve met in a novel. 🙂

Moving on to the worldbuilding, Andy has created a world that, even though it seems to have faint echoes of our own, is interesting and unique, especially the world of the Vachine. Andy’s descriptions are succinct and evocative with just the right amount of imagery, and there was no info-dumping to get bored with.

The most interesting aspect for me of Kell’s Legend was the style that the tale was told in – at first I was a bit put off and had to grow used to the drama and sometimes-outlandish manner that the characters spoke and though with, but I came to realize that it was, in fact, perfect; after all, we’re reading Kell’s Legend, and the story is told much the same a story would be told while sitting around a campfire with all the drama and over-the-top-ness that makes telling such stories fun and hearing them told even better. 🙂

All in all, Kell’s Legend was awesome – a fun, hectically fast-paced and brutally action-packed novel with plenty of awesome characters and inventive worldbuilding. If you’re a fan of colourful characters, plenty of blood and gore, and an interesting and memorable take on a phenomenon that you may have had your fill of already (cryptic, I know, but I don’t want to spoil it), then this book is definitely for you and is guaranteed to keep you up late, flinching, cheering and fevered. 🙂 I’m definitely looking forward to being ‘bliksemed’ by Soul Stealers!

9 / 10

My review of the second Clockwork Vampire Chronicles novel, Soul Stealers, will be up closer to the September release date. 🙂 Head on over to Andy’s official web-home here, check out his Angry Robot page here, and order your copies of Kell’s Legend here (Amazon UK) and here (for SA readers).

And here’s the cover for Book Two, Soul Stealers:

If you haven’t yet read Andy’s work (Kell’s Legend was my first), then here are the Exclusive Books links you’ll need to order his backlist (for SA readers):

Warhead, Quake, Hardcore, War Machine, Biohell.

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Angry Robot, Reviews

 

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Angry Robot and Robert VS Redick at Forbidden Planet!

Hey guys and girls of the UK, some great news for you that you’ve no-doubt already heard. 🙂 But you know me, spread the news far and wide I say!

The official UK launch of Angry Robot, the awesome new SF, F and WTF? imprint that’s been steadily building a robot army and bringing us some wonderful new fiction to get lost in, will be on my birthday – the 10th of October! 🙂 So, while I’m here in South Africa wishing I was at the launch to meet the authors and the people behind Angry Robot, many of you will be enjoying great company and even better books at Forbidden Planet! 🙂 I would say I’m jealous, but hey, you wouldn’t really care, right? 😉

And just because I’m not going to be there doesn’t mean I shouldn’t spread the word – after all, the more people read the awesome books that Angry Robot is bringing us, the faster they’ll take over the world!! Mwahahahahaha -ha -huhg -urgh! *clears his throat*

Check out the info below!

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Invite everyone you think will enjoy the company of great authors (Dan Abnett, Andy Remic and Colin Harvey) to celebrate the UK launch of Angry Robot! The more the merrier! 🙂

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And there’s more!

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The excellent Robert VS Redick, author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Rats and the Ruling Sea, as well as friend of the ward-master, Peter V Brett, will be at Forbidden Planet too – and here’s the cherry on the icing for sure: Want to get your hands on The Rats and the Ruling Sea before the official publishing date? Well then you better be at Forbidden Planet on the 16th of October!

The event will begin at 6 and go on through to 7 (that’s the evening, yes folks, not even I would wake up that early in the freezing UK!), but you better get there early to avoid having to fight your way through other rabid fans. 🙂 Don’t want to wait until the 29th of October to get your copy of the second book in The Chathrand Voyage (that is the new official publishing date)? Then make a point of getting to Forbidden Planet on the 16th of October! 🙂

Also, if you just can’t make it to the signing (I’ve got an excuse, I’m on a different continent), you can still order your copies of The Rats and the Ruling Sea and should get them well before the 29th. 🙂

And finally, here’s a little something that I saw that’s truly wrong – if you’re on Facebook, a fan of Robert and his work, then join the fan-page! 🙂

Rats and the Ruling Sea TPBR PFP CS3.indd

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Angry Robot, Announcements

 

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Angry Robot: Signings and a Competition!

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Some great, great news from Angry Robot! First of all, the signing of two, new-to-Angry-Robot authors! 🙂

Here’s the info:

Press Release

6th April 2009 • For Immediate Release

J Robert King & Andy Remic sign to Angry Robot

ANGRY ROBOT have been busy signing more brilliant authors for its upcoming SF/F/WTF?! imprint, due to launch in July 2009. No flannel, here they are…

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Award-winning US author J ROBERT KING has been snapped up for two novels brimming with wild creativity and extraordinary ideas. He calls his books “metaphysical suspense” – don’t worry, that just means they blow your imagination apart while at the same time freezing your blood. Rob’s debut for Angry Robot, the fabulously named THE ANGEL OF DEATH, does exactly that.

The Grim Reaper becomes strangely fascinated with a human cop investigating the deaths caused by a serial killer that Death has been following. But Death is a killer too, of course, and is not above the law. It’ll be published in the UK, US and Australia in September 2009, as a mass-market paperback.

This will be followed early next year by DEATH’S DISCIPLES. The sole survivor of a terrorist attack on a plane starts to hear the voices of the dead passengers. But what they’re telling her is far worse than what she’s suffered already.

King’s recent Sherlock Holmes novel for Tor, The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls, attracted a mass of critical attention, as did his Mad Merlin trilogy for the same publisher. And he can ride a unicycle, though maybe not while typing. Find out more at jrobertking.com

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From the UK, meanwhile, we’re delighted and just a little scared to welcome ANDY REMIC to our ravening horde. His reputation as the hard man of British SF is well-deserved. Now he’s taking the tough guy stylings of Quake, Spiral and his recent Combat-K novels into fantasy, for a brand new trilogy that sees him, in one mighty bound, become the natural successor to the much-missed David Gemmell.

KELL’S LEGEND, due September 2009 in mass-market paperback, introduces Kell, grizzled veteran warrior much at odds with a civilised world where humanity has become soft. When a new foe arises to threaten the cit y of Jalder, only Kell remembers that to live, you have to fight, and fight dirty. But how can one man hold off against the Vachine, the terrifying clockwork vampires of legend?

SF Signal said this about Remic’s books: “A roller-coaster of fun… fun and fast-paced @$$-kicking action.”

Fantasy Book Critic agreed: ”Every once in a while a novel comes along that surprises the hell out of you. That was the case with “War Machine” by Andy Remic. Imagine my surprise when “War Machine” became my favorite science fiction novel of the year. Yes, you heard correctly. Gary Gibson’s “Stealing Light”, Peter F Hamilton’s “The Dreaming Void”, Neal Asher’s “Hilldiggers”, Josh Conviser’s “Empyre”, Richard K. Morgan’s “Black Man/Thirteen”, Matthew Jarpe’s “Radio Freefall”; “War Machine” topped them all and no one is more shocked than I am! …I loved every testosterone-fuelled second.”

Join the battle at andyremic.com

More information on Angry Robot can be found at angryrobotbooks.com

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And now for the competition! 🙂 See that Angry Robot above this? All you have to do is come up with a cool name for him – that’s right, just name the Robot!

The winner, drawn by the folks over at Angry Robot, will be winning a set of the first 7 (that was not a typo, I really did type) 7 novels from the Angry Robot imprint! Sound awesome or what? So go ahead and follow this link through to Angry Robot’s competition-page, read the rules and fill in your details with the Robot’s name! 🙂 Couldn’t be easier! I might win something, too, so enter here! 🙂

Note: South African readers – YOU TOO MAY ENTER!! 🙂

And last but not least, do you want to see a real honest-to-goodness Angry Robot? Just click here and watch. 🙂

Be Fantastic!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Angry Robot

 

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