• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, August 29, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 35 - Jailbirds and Chameleons

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The investigators finished the last session by escaping from the fire at the Nairobi Star, only to be confronted by a very angry man with a large elephant gun, the barrel of which was still smoking from the shot he had discharged above their heads.

"I've had enough of you Mrs Smythe-Forbes!" he shouted, his face turned ruddy under his slouch hat. "Your stories are ruining my business with your lies, and I won't take it any more!".

Mrs Smythe-Forbes tried vainly to placate the man, who turned out to be Colonel Endicott of the Endicott Game Lodge. He blamed Smythe-Forbes and her stories about the deaths near his lodge for a severe downturn in his safari business. Now wasn't the time to resolve the issue however, as the flames from the burning Star offices rose higher into the night sky.

Umm, oops!
"There's a fire! The building is on fire!" Colonel Endicott shouted, suddenly noticing the conflagration behind the investigators. Within a few moments the Colonel, Smythe-Forbes and the investigators had managed to organise a few locals and were vainly trying to douse the flames with buckets of water. In the distance a bell could be heard ringing, and soon after a horse-drawn water tender arrived, complete with hoses.
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The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

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The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy, #3)The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a disappointing end to what was overall a slightly disappointing trilogy of books. There are some great ideas here, and I enjoyed the post-apocalyptic setting which at least offered something different, but there were too many problems to overlook that spoilt the experience. In fact, I found myself really struggling with finishing the book and only forced myself to as I wanted to start a new one. I wish I hadn't bothered.

The already cliched characters become even shallower, and the plot is full of so many holes you could use the book as a colander! Add to that the terrible bolting on of some lazy Christian theology (can vampire-myth writers come up with something new for the origin of their monsters please? The bacterial/viral angle was so much more interesting) and I just lost interest in the unsympathetic characters.

The less said about the ending the better. It made no sense and I guessed what would happen ages before I got to it. Two stars, and that's a little generous.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 34 - Out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan

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Following the exertions of their journey from Mombasa, George and Jacob were resting at the Highlands Hotel when a loud knock came at George's room door. It was two men from the King's African Rifles demanding entry. George greeted them and was told that he had to go with them; they were to take him to the hospital where he would be questioned alongside his companions about the fire on the train.

After collecting George the soldiers went next door and apprehended Jacob as well. They were marched down the road to the Highland Breeze Hospital where an official named Corporal Neville Witteringham was waiting in the ward where Hubert and Sebastian were recovering.

The King's African Rifles
Once they were all gathered the Corporal began questioning them about what had happened on the train. He took statements from them all, then concluded by warning them to keep their noses clean and not cause any trouble in Nairobi. The only other witness, the salon car porter, was dead, and so the authorities were having to take the matter seriously. Hubert mentioned that he had seen the porter smoking in the water closet!
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Monday, August 04, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 33 - The Fires of Africa

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The investigators took the time on the journey from Sydney to Mombasa to rest, recuperate and study their notes following their narrow escape from the City of Pnakotus last session. Travelling on a Baffrey's line steamship they spent a week in Singapore due to some technical issues with the ship, then headed on to Bombay and finally arrived in Mombasa.

Mombasa travel guide, 1925
This city was Arabic in nature, with those famous narrow and redolent alleys, elaborately decorated balconies, mosques and minarets, muezzins and veils. The famous merchant city and former slave-trading centre was ancient, only a few centuries newer than Cairo itself. About 30,000 lived there on the edge of the Indian Ocean, combining bits and slabs of Arabic, African, Indian, Portuguese, and British ways of life. Pre-colonial traders built Mombasa on a coral island just offshore, for purposes of defence. A railway causeway and foot-traffic ferries connected island and continent.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

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The Fall (The Strain Trilogy, #2)The Fall by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit I struggled a bit with this book. I stopped reading it halfway through and got distracted by some Lovecraft (an easy thing to get distracted by), and I only picked it up again due to boredom (and it didn't compare particularly well to the Lovecraft I had been reading either).

The problem is that the story just isn't that interesting, the writing style isn't particularly dynamic and some of the dialogue is extremely hokey. After the interesting twist on the vampire mythology unleashed in the first book this one didn't seem to go anywhere, and took a long time to do it.

The book did pick up towards the end, and it was great that by the end of the book things had changed so drastically for all the characters and the world they inhabit. It's the promise of a changed world that has me reading the third book in the series now. If the big changes hadn't happened at the end of The Fall I don't think I would have bothered, though the book does seem like a long set up for the final novel as a consequence.

Let's hope that The Night Eternal redeems the series somewhat.

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