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Paul Anderson (Manchester)
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Exiles (The Progenitor Trilogy, Book One)
Exiles (The Progenitor Trilogy, Book One)
by Dan Worth
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.65

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up half way through, 3 Dec 2012
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I know it may be unfair to review a book on only 45% of its content, but by that stage I'd had enough. There is whole pages that I ended up skipping and the pace of the book is all over the place. The characters are cardboard cut-outs and the technology jars. As does the poor editing. Any reader who is familiar with the genre will be very disappointed in my opinion.

I can't remember the last time I failed to finish a book, but this one really had started to irritate.


Surfing the long summer: 1
Surfing the long summer: 1
Price: 14.64

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched new viewpoint on strategic thinking, 31 Dec 2010
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I thouroughly liked this book. I am a writer and lecturer on strategic management and I have read a great number of strategic texts. This book has a fresh new outlook, an engaging style and well researched examples and illustrations.

The author has designed a new strategic model - a sort of more personalised BCG matrix - to create the idea of 'summer champions'. These summer champions (such as Google, Amazon, Apple etc.) are companies that are continuing to grow and earn above average profits.

The book then tries to explain the reasons for success that are common to these companies. It has numerous explanations and examples and gives real insight to these companies.

At times it can become a little blinkered and near the end of the book it can become repetitive. But I didn't deem this worthy of removing a star from its rating as it might discourage some from buying what is a great addition to the strategic texts out there - especially at such a reasonable price.


The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Myths)
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Myths)
Price: 4.63

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting divergence, 31 Dec 2010
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This is a nice accompaniment to The Odyssey. It doesn't take itself to serious and isn't overly feminist as might be suggested by the preview.

I found it a light and quick read (it is reasonably short). It is an ambitious literary effort in that it ensures that it doesn't try to conflict with the better known version of events and it also attempts to include 'Greek' choruses for the maids.

It loses it's way a little after the return of Odysseus but I think any fan of Homer's story will like this book overall.


Spindrift: The Coyote Series: Book Four: A Coyote Novel
Spindrift: The Coyote Series: Book Four: A Coyote Novel
by Allen M. Steele
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fills a hole in the Coyote plot, 21 Jan 2008
This book explains what happened to the missing starcraft that suddenly turned up on Coyote after being assumed dead for over 50 years. It also covers the first contact of humans and other universal beings.

I found it well paced and, as usual, very entertaining and involving. I did however find that it opened up more questions than it answers and possibly paved the way for more Coyote novels - something I thought highly unlikely after the final Coyote book.

But this a good read that is recommended to all those interested in space travel/first contact fiction.


Confessor (Sword of Truth 11)
Confessor (Sword of Truth 11)
by Terry Goodkind
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd given up after the first few books (small spoiler within), 21 Jan 2008
Everyone knows that the series lost it's way a long time ago but if you've stuck with it then you need to buy this volume to finish it off - and, yes, this does finish it off.

Unsurprisingly it goes out on a whimper and also tries to bring together what previously seemed to be pointless sidelines in the series. But if you're expecting Richard to become the great war wizard we were all hoping for then - and this is what really lets this book down - there's no war and very little wizardy.

A big disappointment overall for a series that started so well and had a clear run with Robert Jordan's illness and death.


The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 20 Nov 2007
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At times I thought that the plot was fairly predictable but it is written at such a pace and the characters are so involving that it is still a cracking read. The lead character is one to rival Jimmy the Hand from the Riftwar series by Raymond Feist.

It is set in what seems to be an equivalent of medieval Venice (as the closest real world equivalent - it even has a local mafia) and involves the antics of a fantastic thief. There is a basic use of magic (though not by the lead character) but this is in no way a book about magic and it's uses.

I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in fantasy novels as well as those who like fast paced thrillers.


The War Of The Flowers
The War Of The Flowers
by Tad Williams
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars A poor attempt at crossover fantasy, 2 Aug 2007
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This review is from: The War Of The Flowers (Hardcover)
I have to agree with the majority of other reviews for this book - it just isn't up to standard.

It's boring (bar the last 100 pages finale), it's unengaging and it's massively predictable.

In my opinion this seems like a lame effort to find a book that will appeal to the generation of young readers who might want to move on from Harry Potter and move on to Tolkien, Donaldson and even Williams himself!

But it is nowhere near as good as any of these and the main character is so lame that I can't imagine a teenager lasting beyond the first hundred pages or so.

So 2 stars for me (I'd have given it one but for a loyalty vote based on Williams' previous high standards)

PS

The foreword apologises for some semblance to 9/11. I for one wouldn't have made the leap between the book and the tragic events of that day. But maybe that's because I wasn't directly affected by them.


The Bone Yard
The Bone Yard
by Paul Johnston
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A futuristic thriller that's quickly become outdated, 20 Jun 2007
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This review is from: The Bone Yard (Paperback)
This is supposedly set in the near future (2021 Edinburgh). But the ideas (written in 1996/7) are already out-dated by modern technology. People still use hand held mobiles, send letters(!), perform searches by looking up books in libraries. There is no email, internet or any of the other electronic communications that we have in 2007 never mind 2021. The only futuristic element is the political theme of social rebellion, republican government and wasteland environment (think Waterworld without the water).

The other factor that REALLY bugged me were the similes/metaphors. Firstly there were far too many of them (at least 2/3 per chapter). I maybe could have coped with that but what really got me were that we were constantly reminded that this wasn't futuristic at all because all the similes were referenced to the 1990's! So we were told that the government were dodgier than 1990's politicians, that the people were hungrier than 1990s Third Worlders, that the party goers were noisier than 1990s students etc. All of which made you come back to the past and reminded you that this was a book written in the 1990s and had little reference to it's supposed time frame.

The central story was fine (though the fantastic twist that I was promised never ever materialised). It's fast paced and sticks to the things we want to know (apart from the similes). This is why I didn't give this one star.


Phantom (Sword of Truth 10)
Phantom (Sword of Truth 10)
by Terry Goodkind
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couls have skipped the last 4 books and gone straight to here, 25 Mar 2007
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For me, this book gets the story moving again. It starts to head towards it's conclusion and some things start to come together.

Because of the winding way that he got here, the author has to make some leaps in believability in order to find some rational reason to bring us back to where it all started (a bit like Bobby Ewings death being a dream in Dallas). No dreams here but I found some of the plotline links to previous stories incredulous.

But having said all that I found this book to have a strong pace and I always wanted to know (and cared) about what happened to each character next. If there hadn't been the previous "fillers" I think everyone would be giving this 5 stars.

So if you've stuck with the series you'll love it for getting things moving forwards again, if you got put off by books 6/7 then skip those and come back to what you know.


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.72

3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very defensive, personal view on atheism, 19 Jan 2007
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This review is from: The God Delusion (Hardcover)
Firstly, I'd like to comment that this book firmly convinced me that I'm an atheist and not an agnostic. I agree with the bulk of the arguments/defences put forward by Dawkins.

However the book seems to me to have been written more as an academic textbook than a book for general consumption. There is an awful lot of defining of terms and limits, covering tracks to fend off attacks, references to the works of others etc. Dawkins also spends pages at a time using the book to counter some personal criticism that he's suffered personally in the past (though it's his book so I suppose he's entitled to do what he wants with it).

It means that some passages become hard work and lose rhythm. The book also seems to peter out rather than finish with a (big?) bang.

But I'd reccomend this book to anyone looking for an alternative view to human life than that provided by religion. Though make sure you do your mental exercises first - you'll need to be wide awake to keep up with Richard's dialect!


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