30 Mar 2015

The Three by Sarah Lotz

The Three
by Sarah Lotz
480 pp (ARC)
Pub: Hodder & Stoughton
Released 22 May 2014
Order on Amazon UK

What's it all about

The Three is a supernatural thriller filled with conspiracy and rising terror.

Four planes crash simultaneously across four continents and a single child survives each crash.

The world is whipped into a frenzy by these 'miracle children', but then the dying message of one of the victims reveals a sinister side to the survivors, sinister religious factions begin to take control.

What's good about it

The Three is written as a collection of transcripts and first-hand accounts from witnesses and key players surrounding the event known as Black Thursday.

This is used to great effect and ramps up the tension, especially with Paul Craddock's scenes. His mounting despair and confusion while looking after one of the survivors is made creepier by the "found footage" style narrative.

As global public opinion turns the children from little miracles to harbingers of the apocalypse, you begin to feel a sense of which way the wind will blow.

However, it doesn't prepare you for the punch in the gut at the book's climax that leaves enough questions unanswered for you to come up with your own conclusions.

Lotz uses a string of unreliable narrators to great effect. Your opinion of who The Three really are will ultimately depend on which of the protagonists you side with.

What's not so good

Because The Three lacks a singular narrative, there are pacing issues with some parts of the book.

The sub-plot in Cape Town ultimately feels a little lacklustre by comparison, and some of the scenes surrounding Bobby Small did little to heighten the tension.

Final thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed The Three. It read a lot like Lost mixed with Paranormal Activity. The selection of first-hand accounts from an eclectic mix of characters helps to keep the tension high as the world stands on the brink of self-destruction.

If you like high-concept thrillers with a hefty dose of ambiguity thrown into the mix, then The Three is definitely one to read.


The Three is a thriller filled with conspiracy and intrigue that leaves as many questions open as it answers. It's tense, creepy and a hell of a lot of fun.

Disclosure: The publisher provided me with an ARC of the book for the purposes of this review.

About Jamie

Jamie Gibbs is a self-confessed fantasy geek with a penchant for 80s pop culture nostalgia and obscure movie quotes. He is also a Nu-Whovian and a Ravenclaw.

Follow him on: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

27 Mar 2015

WIN AN ART PRINT! Cardiff Comic Con 2015 retrospective


Cardiff's biggest geek event has come again! Once again I got an early bird ticket for the Saturday, but didn't go on a Sunday (anticipated hangover from a stag party on the Saturday evening).

Hundreds of people turned up and so began several hours of geeky goodness.

Want to jump straight to the competition? Shame on you, but here you go.

Talks and guests

This year saw the usual array of actors from Doctor Who, Star Wars and Games of Thrones make an appearance.

The two main guests - James Marsters and Iain Glen - cancelled a few days before the convention and so this year was somewhat lacking in star power.

I attended the Doctor Who and Harry Potter panels on the Saturday.

The Doctor Who panel had Dan Starkey, Sonita Henry, Matthew Doman and Nathan McMullen.

With the exception of Dan Starkey, the other panelists were either bit parts or cameos and didn't have much at all to say when questions were asked. It was all rather awkward.

The Harry Potter panel (Jeff Rawle and Jessica Cave) was better received once the audience warmed up to ask questions.

I think part of the issue was that the compère for these talks immediately opened up the floor for questions without warming up the audience or guests beforehand.

A few opening questions from the compère (as with previous cons) lets the guests start telling stories and anecdotes and gives the crowd a chance to think of a question.

Indie publisher scene

Again, the indie publishers and artists were up on the second floor with the cosplay zone.

Showmasters did a better job at letting people know about it with hourly announcements (which would play through all speakers - even the ones in rooms where talks were going on).

I made a beeline to illustrator Andy Wright of Real Tidy Designs and bought a bunch of his steampunk portrait prints, which are awesome.

I also won a goody bag for being the first one to answer a question he posted on Facebook. Given how fast I ran to the stall I'm not surprised I was first there!

I didn't get much chance to talk to many of the other indie publishers this time around, which was a shame.


The standard of cosplay just gets better and better with each con.

People really stepped up their game this time around. Here are some of my favourites (all cosplay photos are used with permission from Shaun Gibbs Photography).

Agent Simmons from Agents of Shield

Ash from the Evil Dead 2

Harley Quinn and Arkham inmate from the Batman Universe

Final thoughts

I had a great time at Cardiff Comic Con - the event has an atmosphere and a buzz that's infectious.

With the announcement that Cardiff Independent Comic Expo is making a comeback this June, it seems like the smaller creators are going back to a dedicated arena rather than be marginalised by the larger con.

While it felt that this year's con was a little lacklustre compared to previous events, it's still the Welsh geek highlight of the year. And that's nothing to be sneezed at.

I'm looking forward to the next con in November (where I'm toying with the idea of cosplaying as Captain N: The Game Master).

Did you attend Cardiff Comic Con? Share your experiences in the comments!

Win an art print from Real Tidy Designs!

I'm giving away one of the steampunk/Lovecraftian prints I bought from Real Tidy Designs.

Here's a description of the scene from the artist:

The Music Box
An artefact of ancient origin. Some say it is the fabled box of Pandora others that is from before man walked on the earth. When opened the person who listens to its ethereal music is lost forever in a mist of visions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
All you have to do to enter is Like the Mithril Wisdom Facebook page and leave a comment about what character you have or would dress as at a Comic Con.

You also get bonus points for tweeting about the giveaway!

This is only open for people in the UK, and it'll close on the Friday 10th April.

Good luck!

About Jamie

Jamie Gibbs is a self-confessed fantasy geek with a penchant for 80s pop culture nostalgia and obscure movie quotes. He is also a Nu-Whovian and a Ravenclaw.

Follow him on: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

11 Mar 2015

Temporary hiatus - Let's do some tidying up

Just a quick note to say that Mithril Wisdom will be out of action for the rest of March, maybe even April.

There's a fair bit of housekeeping that needs to be done, as well as a bit of work on figuring out where the focus of this site should lie.

As Bilbo Baggins once put it,
I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.
--- The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tokien
Please bear with me while I do some tinkering in the background and tighten a few bolts.

Hopefully I'll be back with a neater, cleaner and more focused site.

Thanks for your support so far!


[image source]