1 Jun 2015

Day Four by Sarah Lotz

1 comment:

Day Four

by Sarah Lotz
352 pp (ARC)
Pub: Hodder & Stoughton
Released 21 May 2015
Order on Amazon UK

What it's all about

Day Four follows a number of characters on board a cruise ship that has become stranded in the middle of the ocean. 

No communication with the outside world. Barely any electricity. Dwindling food supplies. And a murder.

The passengers and crew take solace in the words of Celine del Ray, medium to the stars.

But something else is on board the ship - something not entirely human, and not entirely benign.

What's good about it

If you've learned anything from reading the previous installment The Three, it's that Lotz is capable of tapping at your paranoia until you're wary of every shadow.

The story is told through the eyes of a number of passengers and crew on board the ship, and their experiences with the entities on board show a diverse range of characters.

Each has their own personal demons, and these are exploited but the presence on board the ship to further its own agenda.

The narrative style that marked The Three as something different - excerpts from interviews and blog posts - is peppered sparingly throughout Day Four, with the final scenes also reverting to this

You're also left on a loose end - the identify of the malignant entity is deliberately left open to interpretation, as is the final act of the story.

This leaves much potential to expand the universe and make further connections between this and The Three.

What's not so good

Despite its setting, Day Four doesn't have the same degree of claustrophobia that made The Three so special.

Here the closed-in feeling is largely down to the location, whereas the previous installment used unreliable and broken narrative to establish that creeping sense of dread.

Final thoughts

Day Four was a fun read, but it wasn't as good as The Three. I really liked the narrative style of the first book, so going for a more traditional form of storytelling wasn't as compelling here.

Still, it's a well-paced thriller that'll make you double check the shadows before you sleep at night.


Day Four is a solid supernatural thriller that, while entertaining in its own right, doesn't quite reach the same heights of its predecessor.

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

11 May 2015

Cardiff Independent Comics Expo returns in June

1 comment:
After a year-long hiatus, Cardiff's only independent comics show is back!

On Satuday 27th June 2015 at Cardiff Masonic Hall, the Cardiff Independent Comics Expo (CICE for those in the know) will showcase the best and brightest independent comics writers, artists, publishers and illustrators, both locally and further afield.

Boasting guests such as artist Mike Collins, writer Ian Edginton and indie publishers like Bearded Skull comics and Deadstar publishing, the CICE is set to be an indie extravaganza where you'll be able to shake hands with comic creators and find your next favourite read.

Mike Allwood, creator of CICE, is excited to have the expo back in action,
The independent creators are the very soul of our shows.  Every year they raise the bar on the books they produce and to this day continue to push the medium to new levels.  I’m delighted to have the opportunity once again to showcase the rich pool of talent we have in the UK with our small press creators.
The event is also hosting a number of exclusives, including the first issue of Silicon Heart from Sam Rhodes and Kat Nicholson, and graphic novel Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth, from Time Bomb comics.

The show is suitable for all ages, families and family friendly cosplayers too!

Tickets are £5 a piece. Children under 12 go in free with a ticket-holding adult.

You can get tickets and more info over at the official CICE website, and keep up to date on their Facebook event.

You can also check out my Wales Geek Events Calendar for more geeky goings on.

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

4 May 2015

Ready Player One movie quest - month 4 update


This month was a tough one - I just about sneaked in my quota of films for the month. I'm going to need to up my game considerably for this quest to be successful.

In gunter news, I made an appearance on Saturday Brunch Film Review on Radio Cardiff.

I chatted about some new movie trailers, reviewed Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and I also talked about the Ready Player One movie quest - Skip to the 16-minute mark:

Now without any further ado, let's do this!

The Indiana Jones Trilogy is listed as one of the many "Holy Trilogies" loved by James Halliday - p. 62

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

An absolute classic - this is Indy at his archaeological best.

Despite some dated blue screen effects, this is a great looking intro to Indiana's story.

Throw in some great supporting performances from Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood) and John Rhys Davies (Sallah) and you've got a classic watching experience.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I was never a huge fan of this one, probably because there's less archaeological exploration than the other films. Mostly because Willie Scott is completely insufferable.

Still, with Jonathan "Data" Ke-Quan as Short Round, and an epic minecart chase scene, it's still an exciting watch.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Probably my favourite of the Indy films - this one balances action and comedy with great effect.

Add to that some proper treasure hunting and puzzle solving and you've got a great adventure.

My only beef with it is the prequel with River Phoenix. Did Indy really get his hat, whip, scar and fear of snakes all in one goddamn day?!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Halliday once said that he preferred to pretend that the other Indiana Jones films, from Kingdm of the Crystal Skull onward, didn't exist. I tended to agree.
     -- p. 62

Oh dear. Despite the presence of John Hurt, this film was pretty awful.

I did enjoy bits, but with copious CG, ropey accent work from Cate Blanchett (as I noted in my review of How to Train Your Dragon 2, her accents tend to go all over the place), and a pretty bad ending, it's by far the worst of the Indy movies.


"Surely, you must be joking?" Aech said.
"No, I am not joking. And don't call me Shirley."
--- p.40
Yes, I know Airplane! isn't specifically named in the book, but it's such a good film that I watched it anyway.

Spoofs don't get much better than this. Having Leslie Nielson's deadpan performance amidst the ridiculousness around him makes it all the funnier:

"This woman has to be taken to a hospital."

"A hospital - what is it?"

"It's a big building with patients in it, but that's not important right now."

The wordplay in this film is superb - the kind that keeps you chuckling long after you've seen it.


The place reminded me of the town in the movie Footloose. Small, rural and sparsely populated.
--- p.102

I'll say from the outset - I don't like dance movies.

But I'm a fan of 80s Kevin Bacon, so this makes up for it.

With a wicked soundtrack and some good performances, Footloose is a pretty solid toe-tapper.

Plus it doesn't have too much dancing, so I'm cool with it.

What are your thoughts on Kingdom of the Stupid stupid stupid stupid? Do you like it as much as the main trilogy?

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