Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Ammeral     

Film and Book Reviews for 2008

Films released in 2008

The Dark Knight poster    
The Dark Knight directed by Christopher Nolan
5 star rating

In the second instalment of Christian Bale's take on Batman, the caped vigilante of Gotham City takes on The Joker.
The Colour of Magic poster    
The Colour of Magic directed by Vadim Jean
4 star rating

Rincewind finds himself acting as a guide for a naive tourist in this parody of high fantasy. This movie adapts the first two Discworld novels for the screen.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army poster    
Hellboy II: The Golden Army directed by Guillermo del Toro
4 star rating

An elvish prince attempts to raise an unstoppable army to destroy mankind.
Blindness poster    
Blindness directed by Fernando Meirelles
4 star rating

One woman struggles to protect those close to her as an epidemic of blindness sweeps through the population.
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button poster    
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button directed by David Fincher
4 star rating

What would it be like to be born old, and age in reverse?
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian poster    
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian directed by Andrew Adamson
4 star rating

The second film in the Chronicles of Narnia series, adapted from the novels of C. S. Lewis, sees the Pevensie siblings return to a Narnia they don't recognise.
Hancock poster    
Hancock directed by Peter Berg
4 star rating

Can a down and out superhero find a reason to change his lifestyle?
Twilight poster    
Twilight directed by Catherine Hardwicke
3 star rating

Bella Swan is worried about being the new girl in school. But making friends turns out to be the least of her problems when she falls for a vampire.
Mirrors poster    
Mirrors directed by Alexandre Aja
3 star rating

A disturbed ex-policeman takes a job as a night guard in a creepy, burnt-out department store.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder poster    
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder directed by Ed Neumeier
3 star rating

In the third Starship Troopers movie the war rages on and religion comes in the firing line.
The Day The Earth Stood Still poster    
The Day The Earth Stood Still directed by Scott Derrickson
3 star rating

In this remake of the 1951 movie an alien tasked with determining the fate of mankind arrives on Earth.
City Of Ember poster    
City Of Ember directed by Gil Kenan
3 star rating

The subterranean city of Ember is falling apart, so two young people search for a way out of the darkness.
Inkheart poster    
Inkheart directed by Iain Softley
3 star rating

A man has the talent to read fictional characters to life, but can he prevent a freed villain from destroying everyone? An adaptation of a novel by Cornelia Funke.
Jumper poster    
Jumper directed by Doug Liman
3 star rating

Hayden Christensen stars in this film about a young man who discovers he has the ability to teleport at will.
Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs poster    
Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs directed by Peter Avanzino
3 star rating

A pink tentacled monster the size of a planet comes through a rift in the fabric of the universe, in this sequel to Bender's Big Score.
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep poster    
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep directed by Jay Russell
3 star rating

Adopting a pet rock isn't the safest of hobbies for boys who live on the shores of Loch Ness.
The Andromeda Strain poster    
The Andromeda Strain directed by Mikael Salomon
3 star rating

A deadly plague from space threatens mankind in this updated adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth poster    
Journey to the Centre of the Earth directed by Eric Brevig
3 star rating

A scientist takes his nephew to Iceland, where they discover a cave that leads to a lost world hidden in the depths of the Earth.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars poster    
Star Wars: The Clone Wars directed by Dave Filoni
3 star rating

In the midst of the Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker has to rescue a kidnapped Hutt in this animated film set in the Star Wars universe.
The Spiderwick Chronicles poster    
The Spiderwick Chronicles directed by Mark Waters
3 star rating

When his family moves to an old Victorian house, Jared finds a book full of forbidden knowledge about fairies. But is the price of this information too high?
Babylon A.D. poster    
Babylon A.D. directed by Mathieu Kassovitz
2 star rating

A mercenary fights to protect a young woman on a journey through dangerous regions in a post-apocalyptic future.
WALL-E poster    
WALL-E directed by Andrew Stanton
2 star rating

A small, lonely robot cleans up a future Earth devastated by mountains of rubbish.
Ghost Town poster    
Ghost Town directed by David Koepp
2 star rating

After a routine operation a dentist starts to see ghosts, but far from being amazed by them he simply finds them annoying.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor poster    
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor directed by Rob Cohen
2 star rating

In this sequel to The Mummy Returns, Rick O'Connell and his family awaken an Emperor of ancient China and his terracotta army.
Mutant Chronicles poster    
Mutant Chronicles directed by Simon Hunter
2 star rating

In the future, a massive and ancient machine is unearthed that spawns mutants intent only on destroying humanity.
Doomsday poster    
Doomsday directed by Neil Marshall
2 star rating

A deadly virus breaks out and Scotland is cut off from the rest of the world. Years later Eden Sinclair is sent there on a desperate mission to find a cure.
Dead Space: Downfall poster    
Dead Space: Downfall directed by Chuck Patton
1 star rating

The crew of a mining ship unearth a sinister artefact in this video game prequel.
The Dragon Chronicles: Fire and Ice poster    
The Dragon Chronicles: Fire and Ice directed by Pitof
1 star rating

Dragons terrorise a kingdom and a princess searches for a hero in this traditional high fantasy.
Chemical Wedding poster    
Chemical Wedding directed by Julian Doyle
1 star rating

A professor of English becomes convinced he is the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley after an experiment goes awry.

Books published in 2008

The Gabble And Other Stories poster    
The Gabble And Other Stories by Neal Asher
5 star rating

This collection of short stories set in the Polity universe features man, machine and alien testing the limits of what they will do to survive.
The Way Of Shadows poster    
The Way Of Shadows by Brent Weeks
5 star rating

A young man becomes an assassin to escape a life of poverty. But can he bear to leave all his friends behind?
Empire in Black and Gold poster    
Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky
5 star rating

A small group of agents take on the might of the encroaching Wasp Empire in this unconventional fantasy.
Beyond The Shadows poster    
Beyond The Shadows by Brent Weeks
5 star rating

Kylar finds out that his extraordinary powers come at a price. The third in the Night Angel trilogy.
Last Argument of Kings poster    
Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
5 star rating

In the third book of The First Law the kingdom faces war. But Superior Glokta wants to know who is really pulling the strings.
Principles of Angels poster    
Principles of Angels by Jaine Fenn
5 star rating

A young man without family gets entangled in a plot that threatens his city in this far-future thriller.
Quantum poster    
Quantum by Manjit Kumar
5 star rating

How the discovery of the astonishing quantum world threw physicists into turmoil.
The Hunger Games poster    
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5 star rating

To save her sister, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take part in a brutal tournament in which only one person can emerge alive. The first book in The Hunger Games trilogy.
Little Brother poster    
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5 star rating

When the state begins to remove the civil rights of ordinary people, a young man takes on the system.
The Painted Man poster    
The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett
4 star rating

Demons rise out of the ground at night to feast on people. The first book in the Demon Trilogy.
The Iron Hunt poster    
The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu
4 star rating

Tattooed warrior Maxine Kiss is going to need more than a scary look to keep the demons at bay. Luckily her ink has a life of its own.
Bad Science poster    
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
4 star rating

Ben Goldacre blows open the world of scams, quacks, and the misreporting and misunderstanding of science.
The Sweet Scent Of Blood poster    
The Sweet Scent Of Blood by Suzanne McLeod
4 star rating

A Sidhe fae takes on a host of supernatural threats in this modern murder mystery. The first book in the Spellcrackers.com series.
Of Quills and Kings poster    
Of Quills and Kings by Joel Reeves
4 star rating

In a world of demonic hedgehogs and cannibalistic giants, Jonathan Quintain is a young man who can forget about a quiet life.
Shadow    
Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks
4 star rating

In the second part of the Night Angel trilogy Kylar Stern tries to leave the life of an assassin behind him.
Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void poster    
Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void by Simon Logan
4 star rating

In a nightmarish urban dystopia five very different people search for what matters most to each of them.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard poster    
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
4 star rating

These fairy stories, mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, have been told to young wizards and witches for centuries.
Breaking Dawn poster    
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
3 star rating

Bella Swan is about to get married, but what kind of life can she expect if she weds a vampire? The fourth in the Twilight series.
Shadowmagic poster    
Shadowmagic by John Lenahan
3 star rating

Conor is a normal student who finds himself transported to a land of myth, legend, and backchatting topiary.
House Of Suns poster    
House Of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
3 star rating

Millions of years into the future, the fate of the galaxy may depend on the lost memories of a damaged robot.
Brisingr poster    
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
3 star rating

The third instalment of the Inheritance cycle sees Eragon and Saphira attempting to keep some of their promises.
Jeff Hawke: Overlord poster    
Jeff Hawke: Overlord by Sydney Jordan and Willie Patterson
3 star rating

In this collection of stories first published in the 1960s, can Jeff Hawke talk his way out of trouble with the Overlord?
The Ice Crown poster    
The Ice Crown by Sean Beech
1 star rating

A young prince sets out to discover what happened to the lost crown of the Lands of the Moon in a bid to unite his people.

In This Year

The author Arthur C. Clarke died.


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Unreviewed books

Small Favour cover    
Small Favour by Jim Butcher
The tenth book in the Dresden Files.

Revelations cover    
Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz
Vampires search for dangerous silver bloods amongst their ranks, whilst Schulyer van Alen has to choose between love and duty. The third book in the Blue Blood series.

From Dead To Worse cover    
From Dead To Worse by Charlaine Harris
The vampire community is on the brink of imploding after a major disaster leaves a power vacuum, whilst werewolves are being picked off. The eighth Sookie Stackhouse novel.

Ravensoul cover    
Ravensoul by James Barclay
An old warrior is shocked when a man who should be dead turns up and claims to be a friend who died a decade ago. The fourth book in the Legends of the Raven series.

Unreviewed films

Over Her Dead Body cover    
Over Her Dead Body directed by Jeff Lowell
A woman meets her end before her wedding, and becomes a ghost. But she has to do it without a manual, whilst her intended dates someone she feels is unsuitable.

Meet Dave cover    
Meet Dave directed by Brian Robbins
A human-shaped spaceship lands on Earth, where its crew try to fit in and save the planet whilst finding a way back home.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer cover    
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer directed by Jon Knautz
A plumber with anger management problems accidentally releases an ancient evil whe he is fixing a boiler in a spooky old house.