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Ghostgrey51 (Wales)
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Uncanny X-Men: Revolution (Uncanny X Man)
Uncanny X-Men: Revolution (Uncanny X Man)
by Brian Michael Bendis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post AvX and things are getting very interesting, 10 Aug 2013
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This manifestation of The Uncanny X-Men is the post-AvX team of Scott Summers, Emma Frost, Magneto and Magik, very much fugitives and revolutionaries with Scott as nominal leader, although his word is not law. In addition are new mutant recruits to the cause, most of whom were introduced in the `All New X-Men' arcs but with more depth.
This volume deals with the following themes; the establishing of Scott Summers as a revolutionary icon to new mutants and their human sympathisers, the internal conflicts following the latest Phoenix Episode and the ramifications of the dilution or waywardness of the powers of four once very physically powerful mutants. In addition we see the settling in of the new mutant recruits, a set-to with The Avengers and the verbal confrontation with the mutant `establishment' at the Jean Grey School previously shown in `Here To Stay' but now front this team's perspective.
The story travels in a fairly linear format each theme woven in quite skilfully; the scenes at The Jean Grey School mostly centre on discourse between Emma Frost and The Stepford Cuckoos. I will say no more on this in case I release a dread spoiler, only just to add the occasional use of black and white illustrations for the background is very effective. The Avengers intention is to apprehend this troublesome team (that's all you get-spoilers y'know).
The recruits to Summers' cause are a nice balance of the confused, frightened, worried and cocky. Tempus the `aussie' girl with the power to affect local time is probably the most level-headed of the group at the present, but it's early days.
Couple of minor quibbles: Magneto's `Is he/ Isn' he scenes' were teasingly put together, except that Maria Hill seemed to be portrayed more like a first-day-on-the-job-receptionist than the battle-hardened veteran we're used to. The Stepford Cuckoos also appear to have regressed in illustrations; from the maturing young women of the Utopia arcs back to assertive high school seniors, although to be fair their narratives were well constructed.
Chris Bachwald's interpretations are not my favourite versions of X-men, but again to be fair, the action scenes and facial expressions deliver the goods, so that's me being picky.
A nice blend of dialogue, action and development of themes, coupled with dashes of humour; eg The veterans' slightly callous reactions on return to find the newbies have blundered into the Danger Room when unsupervised (Magik: `I could watch this all day').
Cool cliff hanger too (there's a nice build up to that, but....spoilers.....)
Maybe not a good stand alone, but as part of the post Schism / AvX saga this is an important addition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2014 12:33 AM GMT


The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485 (Essential Histories)
The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485 (Essential Histories)
by Michael Hicks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal reference work for those new to the subject, 10 Aug 2013
The period known as The Wars of The Roses has down the years generated much literature and controversy; I find it most interesting that a period which was essentially another dynastic squabble between powerful nobility and at times barely affected the ordinary populous would still generate much fascination and `heat'. There are many worthy works with their own solidly based arguments, but it is nice to have a book which is a useful encapsulated jumping off point or one for quick reference.
Professor Hick's approach, is to produce chapters which deal with various aspects of the period rather than have a brief introduction of causes, personalities, types of forces and then into a linear narrative. So reader can actually skip from one chapter to another to pick up on an aspect which may warrant their initial attention and then go backwards or forwards as they see fit.
The chapters are relatively brief, but concise; there are a number of reproductions of contemporary paintings and sketches, photographs of the historical sites, simple but effective family tree tables and clear maps illustrating the routes taken at various key stages (I would have preferred more distinctive arrows as to who was who, but that's just me and my `thing' with colours). As is common in the Essential Histories series there are no trademark Osprey plates of soldiers or action.
I am not a very proficient student of this era so I am not going to comment on some of the different opinions expressed in this volume as opposed to others I have read; that is for those more versed in the subject.
On the whole an informative and most useful reference book to this most complicated of periods, recommended for those with scant knowledge and just starting off, or with just a passing interest and of course for those who are wargaming the period an excellent aid to dates and locations.


Crown of Midnight: 2 (Throne of Glass)
Crown of Midnight: 2 (Throne of Glass)
by Sarah J. Maas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.47

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic, thrilling and intelligent saga, 2 Aug 2013
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It's a good sign when you pick up Volume 2 of a fantasy saga and don't have to worry too much about the Whos, Wheres, Whys and Whatfors, because the narrative is so well constructed that you can pick up on the main details of Volume 1 as you read. So to start off with, having read Crown of Midnight and enjoyed it so much, I am going to have to get Throne of Glass and read through the two in succession.
This is classed as YA, but is put together with verve and style to fit into Adult fiction as well, its depictions of cruelty, abuse, violence, gore, magics and love (the back of my copy uses the term `swoonsome romance'...oh well) are portrayed at one with detail but in a subtle tone (except when some of the truly nasty characters get their just deserts and even then it's pretty restrained).
Without giving away any spoilers;
The world of this saga is a very unpleasant one of a cruel regime with no redeeming features, the central character Celaena having survived the horrors and brutalities in the Throne of Glass is now playing a very dangerous game as the royal assassin while in a covert alliance with others to defy the king's orders and hopefully destroy his rule. Of course nothing is as simple as that and the story weaves through the web of differing factions, and opportunists in a very easy to follow style; no need for an index at the back. The personal tensions and conflicts arising within the alliance of the heroic individuals is played out in a natural manner of folk under stress and fear.
Celaena is very much a force of nature, skilful and deadly but not a simple cool killing machine, she feels pain, anger and fear, as well as brief moments of joy and comes across at times a very much the young, still maturing woman. Others such as Choal Captain of the Guard and Prince Dorian are given their own space within the book and come across and well-rounded characters with depth. I won't say any more about them for fear of invoking those spoilers.
The main villains are not given much chance to speak for themselves, but that suits the theme of this book as one concerning people fighting against hideous forces.
Very much recommended for anyone who likes fantasy novels and I am fairly certain that if you enjoyed Volume 1 you will not be disappointed this this.
All that remains for me is to place my order for Throne of Glass.


Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 - Season 1 [DVD]
Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dreama Walker

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast of quirky and fearless humour, 1 Aug 2013
Hats off to Mr Colman for his review. That says as much as you need to know. This is simply an affirmation and enthusiasm for a series that managed to be vulgar, sophisticated, incisive and downright funny all in short sharp episodes. I enjoyed the way an episode would be starting off in one direction and then flip to end in quite the opposite; I would add that Dreama Walker's hyper-active alarmingly peppy June stands out just as well next to the other two classic performances. (And if you like the direly comic-strip inhabitants out of Chatsworth in Suburbgatory wait 'til you meet June's parents-always via Skype-).
I've signed up for the DVD


Spider-Girl Volume 1: Family Values (Spider-Girl (Marvel Comics)_)
Spider-Girl Volume 1: Family Values (Spider-Girl (Marvel Comics)_)
by Clayton Henry
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good showing and promise for one of Marvel's marginals, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I seem to recall in an early issue of the (old) New Avengers Spiderman complaining about the number of Spider-Women 'running about out there' and if you are not familiar with them where this Spider-Girl fits in can be confusing. To start off, this Spider-Girl is the Marvel 616 version. Basically Arana is a Latin-American teenage girl who has inherited powers from way-back, Marvel created a promising run of stand alone adventures in their digest series (Arana Volumes 1 - 3), since then she has appeared as something of a protégé of Ms Marvel, as well as teaming up with such as Nomad in the Young Allies series.
In this volume there is a bit of catch-up needed as she has now lost her powers and is 'simply' a very athletic, adept and sharp thinking teen; later in this volume her powers do return, but that ties in with the Spider-Island arc. The main narrative starts off with her fitting into a new home, then coping with the murder of her father, fighting with then teaming up with Red Hulk to track down the perpetrators. The narrative is interspersed with her 'tweets', which neatly highlights her own thoughts and inner conflicts, and there are interludes with The Fantastic Four, Sue Storm in particular as apart of a surrogate extended family. Naturally there is an appearance by Spider-Man which has his trade mark humour and Arana can keep up with the banter too.
Maybe the main story is not one of the strongest you'll come across, but there is plenty of action and characterisation. As I don't have any of the Young Allies, relevant Ms Marvel or Spider-Island books I can testify to this being a pretty good stand alone work.
There is promise and potential, but what with Marvel's fascination with various Avenger and X-men combinations as well as cross-overs with their other 'heavy hitters' (perhaps I could have phrased that one better..) it doesn't look like she'll get another look in, except as a team-member or side-kick- pity.


Doonesbury Collection: Welcome to the Nerd farm (Doonesbury Books (Andrews & McMeel))
Doonesbury Collection: Welcome to the Nerd farm (Doonesbury Books (Andrews & McMeel))
by G.B. Trudeau
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant wry look at Life Political and Social, 30 July 2013
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Trudeau has the amazing ability to pack into an almost soap opera format some of the most incisive views ever produced by a cartoonist. This volume is packed with gems. For example.The normally confident Alex all at sea now that she away from home and facing the high standards of MIT. Mike's quandary over his gay-divorce when there's not one legally available. Duke's slow return to Reality. B.D's sessions with other traumatised veterans. The snap-shots of the Iraq war and the quagmire the ordinary US troops were pitchforked into. Then those signature conversations between a President and his staff, always seen from outside of The White House. Even if at the time of writing this review this collection catalogued events of 6 years they are still fresh managing to be both an historical and timeless commentary on both human foibles and the folly of organisations governmental, business and social.


Fantastic Four Volume 6: Rising Storm TPB: Rising Storm v. 6 (Fantastic 4 (Numbered Paperback))
Fantastic Four Volume 6: Rising Storm TPB: Rising Storm v. 6 (Fantastic 4 (Numbered Paperback))
by Mike Wieringo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another bout of Johnny Storm Fun with a twist or two, 28 July 2013
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This continues the worthy Waid / Wieringo run on the FF. Straight on the heels of Disassembled. Sue has Johnny's powers and realising this is not as easy as it seem,s while Johnny is Galactus' most irreverent and uncooperative herald ever. It says a lot for the skill of the writing that something as grim as the concept of a world eating alien could be made humorous with Johnny being annoying to Galactus ,displaying a complete absence of gravitas in dealing with his task, but at the same time showing a compassion and thoughtfulness not normally encountered.
We then have the FF's attempt to humanise Galactus and teach him 'life-lessons' which sort of works but doesn't (well y'know Glactus) meanwhile due to a miscalculation when trying to sort out Sue and Johnny's powers Ben becomes human and suddenly random folk in New York start developing FF powers (the sight of a 'Thing' nun is never going to grow old).
Throw in the trademark family squabbles and bonding that is the FF and you have a really enjoyable read. Even works as a stand-alone with just a smidge of background knowledge.


Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood - Volume 1
Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood - Volume 1
by Brian Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A harsh trip into a brave new world, 17 July 2013
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The tough hard calls keep on coming for Kitty Pryde as she takes on the role as leader of a group of mutants.
This TPB follows straight on from Divided We Fall United We Stand; as President Captain America offers the mutants a choice either of ‘a cure’ or to make a nation of a parcel of land on offer. This bit of real estate is in deepest remote Utah and is an ex-military test ground for all sorts of nasty. (I am being generous to ‘Cap’ I suppose his choices were limited and ‘Cap’ being ‘Cap’ he would bound to have a lot of old-fashioned faith in good-old-fashioned pioneering virtues).
The book opens with a suicide bomb action on mutants waiting for the cure; the bomber another mutant, Husk, she survives, naturally, this sets a very nervy tone for the whole work, the art work particularly sharp and jagged for this chapter.
Anyway no sooner have Kitty and her group accepted this place named ‘Utopia’ than not only has she the obvious environmental and survival problems to deal with but her leadership and motivations are being challenged by Nomi (now known as Mach 2) a blue haired 14 year old in the Magneto Mode with similar powers. I found this part of the story line sadly realistic; a community under threat fracturing under the pressure and being very critical of an unwilling leader who worked their socks off (s’more dignified than some alternatives) to scrabble this crumb for them; check your histories and current affairs; an all too familiar pattern. Nomi (I hope) is going to be a puzzle, a very minor character in the previous TPB suddenly she’s powerful and very messianic (in a nihilistic sort of way) and maybe not just a pain-in-the-butt uppity ingrate with the gift of the gab; if it’s the latter then later arcs are going to look very odd, her leading tried and tested mutants such a Psylocke..still that’s just speculation.
So Utopia is split, but between all their efforts they managed to create a sentient seed which could solve world hunger and Kitty wants to make a free gift of it, naturally in the Ultimate World no one is going to accept this and say thanks and more suspicions arise. There are also attacks by various militaries, shadowy outfits observing Utopia and a lot of in-house snark. But Kitty and Jimmy find quality time (very short quality time).
An interesting theme carried through from the previous volume is the inclusion of an experienced older mentor to help and advise; previously in a guerrilla warfare environment; Nick Fury. In this arc where PR, business acumen and tech back up are needed up turns Tony Stark in full Iron Man mode.
This volume is smaller than previous but in addition to the above a great deal regarding action and relationships is packed in so no wasted space here. It works well conveying the hard work, the ingratitude and the attempt to crush hopes; Kitty Pryde is turning out to be one of the strongest and most determined although fair minded characters in Ultimate. Although seeming to end on a downer Kitty seems resolved to battle on. Oh by the way we’ve got the clichéd shadowy bunch of suits in a darkened room plotting her downfall, currently reminding me of a Corporate off-shoot of Stryker’s group; for me that was the only dull patch (I have a theory that in the Marvel Omniverse someone is creating these in cloned batches and parcelling them out between the various marvel-verses)
Actually the book ends on a back-story concerning Storm and Colossus during a short time together on the run, following on from the events in ‘Thy Will Be Done’ arc. It covers their growing friendship and separation as told from Storm’s viewpoint; it’s a very poignant and thoughtful back-story, again with a sad but uplifting ending.
If you have been hooked by the ‘new’ Ultimate X-Men arc this is well worth having, and I for one am patiently waiting for the next volume.


Essentials PDF-to-Word Convertor (PC CD)
Essentials PDF-to-Word Convertor (PC CD)
Offered by PNA247
Price: 5.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and economic very good value, 17 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having tried a more prestigious firm's software and did not get the results I required I followed the very helpful reviews on this product.
It was very easy to install and did the task required swiftly and effectively. I did not get the exact result I was looking for but had a very helpful e-mail reply to my enquiries, which led me to conclude the problem I was meeting was caused by the age of the PDFs I was working with and not any short comings with the software I had purchased
My problems aside I would recommend this product as inexpensive and very user friendly .


Ultimate Comics X-Men: Divided We Fall - United We Stand
Ultimate Comics X-Men: Divided We Fall - United We Stand
by Brian Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The War Goes On, 17 July 2013
Firstly; if you are unfamiliar with the Ultimate World then this is not for you; this story is part of an arc which goes way back in its origins, to take one point of reference Ultimatum; a time when Mageneto flooded New York most of the old x-men were killed and Reed Richards went into melt-down.
In current tale the USA having suffered one too many major catastrophes has begun to separate and in the current climate is underscored by a near open war against the Mutant community, in particular in the South-West of the US (now a quite separate `nation'). Hiding literally underground in New York Kitty Pryde has become one of the prime movers; she convinces her disparate group; Iceman, Rogue, Jimmy Hudson (Wolverine-son of) to follow on a trail of liberation of mutants in the south-west. This will lead to encounters with militias, sentinels, a break-out from a concentration camp for mutants, a show down with William Stryker (who naturally will not stay dead) and (my quotes/comment) `Well Kitty Pryde look at you. All grown up'. Our favourite(ex?) SHIELD officer turns up lend support.(No spoiler really his face is on the cover). The general tension of the X-men situation is conveyed very well, there are arguments, distrust, and at one stage Kitty has a flip in her perceptions and nearly turns back to New York before getting back on track.
The art is not my favourite but it conveys the action, the emotions and the tensions very well so that's just personal taste. The narrative moves logically and stays in context with previous recent Ultimate X-men arcs and ties in the concurrent Ultimates arc same place same time same situation. Characters are settled in familiar roles. Rogue is still not truly trusted and feel isolated, Wolverine II will terminate you if Kitty is not on hand and Iceman (Bobby Drake) is a guy often out out of his depth and wishing it would all go away. Husk is introduced, Storm is back and a more balance version of Quentin appears. Naturally with a break out mutants from a camp you will a number of characters familiar from Marvel 616 in varying roles and relevance
I enjoyed this book, but as I said you would need to be familiar with the previous X-men stories and have read the recent Ultimates to get the full depth (nice marketing Marvel-throw out the bait and reel us in!).
This does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger (yes I am hooked..oh well)


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