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Reviews Written by
Mark Higginson
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Men's Typhoon Strong Windproof Folding Umbrella
Men's Typhoon Strong Windproof Folding Umbrella

1.0 out of 5 stars DOES NOT WORK AS AN UMBRELLA, 6 Dec 2012
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Oh dear. In the few outings we have had together this brolly has let me down every time. The issue is in the construction. The umbrella is kept open by a flimsy plastic catch that the collar slides over when you open it up. The problem is that given the tension on the umbrella a gust of wind or an over-exuberant step jogs the catch and causes it to disengage - which collapses the umbrella on your head. The fact that the whole functionality of this product rests on the quality and reliability of that catch is a fundamental flaw. You end up having to hold it open which is not ideal. I'm thinking that compact umbrellas such as this are best avoided.


The Half-Made World
The Half-Made World
by Felix Gilman
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The half-realised novel, 22 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Half-Made World (Paperback)
The ideas that comprise this story would have worked wonderfully as a novella. However for me the characters and plot are stretched too thin, which makes it all the worse when you enter the closing chapters and realise that there will be no satisfactory conclusion to the story. I feel that if the intention is to make a book part of a series this should be made clear; had I realised this I would have probably given up after the first few chapters. The world is sketched rather than fully-formed and ends up feeling like wandering through the set of a Western with nothing behind any of the facades. Disappointing.


The Ice Bear
The Ice Bear
by Jackie Morris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated, 31 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The Ice Bear (Hardcover)
Jackie Morris is a fantastic artist. Don't think of this as a book just for children; her books are wonderful things to receive at any age.


The Court of the Air
The Court of the Air
by Stephen Hunt
Edition: Paperback

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity..., 10 Jan 2010
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This review is from: The Court of the Air (Paperback)
Had a decent editor reined in the author this could have been great; fast-paced action in an imaginatively realised world. Instead the reader is on the receiving end of a torrent of half-thought ideas, many seemingly borrowed from elsewhere ('The Invisibles' springs to mind). Ultimately unsuccessful, a real shame as there was a lot of potential here.


The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files
The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files
by Charles Stross
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, clever and a lot of fun..., 10 Jan 2010
Trashy, smart, well-paced and fun. Pretty much perfect and a great twist on the spy thriller using elements we're all familiar with along with a dose of Cthulhu-esque horror. Shame about the short at the end, this should have been left out as it really isn't up to the same standard as the novel.


Counting Heads
Counting Heads
by David Marusek
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.41

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An incoherent and rough sketch..., 10 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Counting Heads (Paperback)
It is a rather dull puzzle trying to comprehend why the glowing recommendations on the dust jacket fail to bear any resemblance to the contents of this novel. I managed to read to around the halfway point before skipping through to the end; something I almost never do and only because I was still struggling to find answers, any answers, as to why the quoted reviewers found this story appealing. The author favours short, flat sentences, a technique he is not a skilled enough writer to pull off. The result is a mere sketch, both of the characters and the world they inhabit and not a very well drawn one at that. The plot, which is summarised in a more exciting fashion on the back of the book than within, is a lukewarm mix of ideas that have been better executed elsewhere. The weak ending, left it seems with the intention of a sequel, is the final insult to the reader who has given over their time to wading through this. I had high hopes for this debut; being charitable perhaps this is his 'The Big U' and we'll see better work from him in the years to come.


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