Monday, May 16, 2016

Wrath Of The Lemming Men

Wrath Of The Lemming Men: A Penny Dreadful Review

            Enormous, suicidal rodent aliens. An android that Jane Austen wrote. A deserted amusement park. It can only be Isambard Smith’s latest adventure: Wrath Of The Lemming Men, by Toby Frost.
            Captain Isambard Smith’s crew must go undercover to investigate a shady corporation. They track the information they need to a planet that in no way shape or form mocks Disneyworld by way of a bloody battle at the British Museum (not the one on Earth). Meanwhile, a large angry rodent creature vows vengeance on Suruk the Slayer, which is perfect because Suruk has also vowed vengeance upon the large angry rodent creature. It is silly, absurd, and quite British. I adore Wrath Of The Lemming Men and I adore the bizarre mind of Toby Frost.
            An utterly nonsensical addition to a really ridiculous series, I give Wrath Of The Lemming Men four gears out of five. I loved it, I laughed out loud, and I’m going to read the next book. What more could one ask of a series?

Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,

Penny J. Merriweather

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Winter Freak Show

The Winter Freak Show: A Penny Dreadful Review

            A boy called Toby escapes the cruelties of the Workhouse and nearly freezes to death on the December streets of London. He is rescued by the proprieter of a Freak Show so fantastical that is must be magic. Every year, the Winter Freak Show travels the world, entertaining children and families with incredible feats. They end their tour in London. This year, though, something is different. Someone is kidnapping children, and suspicion falls on the freak show’s proprietor, Nicko.
            The Winter Freak Show is a fun little Christmas adventure by Daniel Parsons. It’s an excellent choice for readers of chapter books, though I wish it had some illustrations. Some parts of the adventure I felt needed some elaboration, and some parts were so sweet and poignant I almost cried.
            Overall, I would give The Winter Freak Show three gears out of five and a round of applause. According to the cover, it is the first in a series entitled Twisted Christmas. I would love to find out what happens to Toby in book two!
            The Winter Freak Show is put out by the whimsically named Onion Custard Publishing and is available in select stores and online (of course).

Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,

Penny J. Merriweather

Monday, May 2, 2016


Mysterium: A Penny Dreadful Review

            I played a board game unlike any other I have ever seen. The artwork was atmospheric and creepy. The gameplay was engaging and challenging. Best of all, we solved a mystery and laid a ghost to rest (well, we did the third time we tried).
            I played Mysterium, a Polish game that is essentially psychic Cluedo (Clue in the USA). One player, being the ghost, sends the other players visions which are clues to the identity of the killer, the location the murder was committed, and the murder weapon utilized. The visions are cards depicting dreamlike images that the rest of the players, playing a psychics, must interpret. For instance, a card depicting cakes flying above a manicured garden might point to the killer being a chef or the location of the ghost’s death being the kitchen. Or perhaps it has nothing to do with the cake at all, and the real clue is the garden! The assembled psychics guess at the answers and the ghost may only reply by rapping on the table.
            Mysterium is a challenging game to play, but it is also extremely rewarding. The setup takes a little while, but once one understands what must be done, it is a fantastic experience. The art is gorgeous, with sinister suspects and a gothic haunted house. Though it is set in the 1920s, the look is pre-war, if not earlier. I adore this game. I wish we’d played with candlelight and eerie music.
            I give Mysterium five gears out of five. It was an incredible game. I have never played anything like it, but I hope to play it again.

Your correspondent from the game shop,

Penny J. Merriweather