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Reviews Written by
L. M. Cowan (England)
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Farundell
Farundell
by L R Fredericks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Farundell, 13 May 2013
This review is from: Farundell (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Farundell' was not quite like anything I had expected it to be! A slightly bizarre mixture of post-war, English country house drama entwined with something magical and metaphysical.

Although a little slow in places, the story is populated with intriguing characters and full of interesting twists and puzzles. Paul is a likeable protagonist and his journey through the story is often beautifully described.

An intriguing and intelligent read - if a little winding and unusual!


The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, 13 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having thoroughly enjoyed 'Cloud Atlas' I was keen to try out another title by the author and while I didn't enjoy this book as much as 'Cloud Atlas', it still certainly has a lot to recommend it!

'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet' clearly shows off Mitchell's fantastic imagination and writing talent, with an amazing, well developed range of characters and an intelligently constructed plot.

However, much like 'Cloud Atlas' the first third of the book was somewhat of a hard slog and while it does become much stronger and more gripping as it goes along, it remains a challenging read.

An intelligent, imaginative and enjoyable read, if at times a little too complex for it's own good!


The Demon King (The Seven Realms Series, Book 1)
The Demon King (The Seven Realms Series, Book 1)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars The Demon King, 13 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'The Demon King' is a traditional fantasy tale, with a 'coming of age' theme at its heart.

While it was a little slow to get started it gradually picks up pace, developing into a solid plot. The characters are well developed, interesting and I think, what really make this book work!

An interesting start to a series with potential.


Earthfall (Earthfall 1)
Earthfall (Earthfall 1)
by Mark Walden
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Earthfall, 20 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having enjoyed Mark Walden's series H.I.V.E., I was excited to read 'Earthfall'.

Unfortunately, while the plot is solid and creative, it lacked pace and I couldn't emphasise with the characters as they didn't seem to develop or grow throughout the story.

An okay read but not one I would come back to in the future.


Avenger's Angel
Avenger's Angel
by Heather Killough-Walden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.65

3.0 out of 5 stars Avenger's Angel, 20 April 2013
This review is from: Avenger's Angel (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The mythology of this story was fascinating and I usually enjoy this genre, however 'Avenger's Angel' just didn't work for me.

While I can certainly understand why it has so many positive reviews; the characters were interesting creations and the plot had a good pace; I personally found it difficult to empathise with the characters and the idea of the predestined relationships unexpectedly rankled.

An okay read but I wont be looking for the sequel.


The Demi-Monde: Winter: Book I of the Demi-Monde
The Demi-Monde: Winter: Book I of the Demi-Monde
by Rod Rees
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.51

3.0 out of 5 stars The Demi-Monde, 19 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With the premise of a virtual world full of history's most notorious characters used for training soldiers for warfare, I found the idea of 'Demi-Monde' fascinating, original and creative.

However, for me, it wasn't quite executed successfully. I found it difficult to empathise with the main characters and found the style of writing a little frustrating. The plot does move along quite well and there are some unexpected twists along the way but not enough to hook me into the series.

An interesting and clever idea but I wont be looking for the sequel.


Philosophy (ATM)
Philosophy (ATM)
by Julian Baggini
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Great short guide to key philosophical ideas!, 17 Feb 2013
This review is from: Philosophy (ATM) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've enjoyed reading other short guides to philosophy, such as the 'Very Short Introduction..' series, in the past and found them thoroughly informative and interesting so when I saw this new title I jumped at the chance to learn a little more about this fascinating subject.

What really made this work interesting for me was that, instead of exploring philosophy via the history of its ideas - as is usually the case, Baggini focuses on the key philosophical themes. In doing so we are presented with a great, detailed overview of philosophical ideas - their development, context, arguments for and against and importantly, the reason why they are relevant in our lives today. I also enjoyed the 100 Ideas section at the end of the book which provides opportunity for further reflection or investigation.

Overall, a great introduction to philosophy that is both accessible and insightful!


12-21
12-21
by Dustin Thomason
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.67

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A smart, suspenseful doomsday adventure..., 17 Feb 2013
This review is from: 12-21 (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As predicted Doomsday, 21.12.12, nears Chel Manu, a Maya expert, is presented with a mysterious Mayan Codex smuggled from Central America into the U.S. Before she can explore its significance however, she is called to the hospital to translate for a unknown man who is dying from a rare and very contagious disease. Dr Gabriel Stanton is also called in to tackle the outbreak and together he and Chel must use their expertise to unravel the secrets of the codex and the disease to prevent the prophesied end to the world.

'12 - 21' is exactly the kind of story I would expect from the Co-author of the excellent 'Rule of Four' and writer of the great TV series 'Lie to Me'. That is, a smart, intelligent and believable narrative that is entirely gripping and original! The story is told from three main points of view - that of Chel, Dr Stanton and Paktul, author of the mysterious ancient codex. With a blend of science, history, myth and belief '12-21' quickly intrigues and invests the reader in the outcome of the characters and the world.

A timely, intelligent and suspenseful first solo novel - recommended!


Wool (Wool Trilogy 1)
Wool (Wool Trilogy 1)
by Hugh Howey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.21

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new dystopian novel!, 17 Feb 2013
This review is from: Wool (Wool Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In a dystopian future, humanity is resigned to live in a Silo, buried deep below the earth with only one window to the outside world. While this window shows the world to be uninhabitable there are still those who hope, those who have learned a dangerous secret, those who want outside...

The version of 'Wool' I received was split into five individual books, although some versions come as one complete novel. All five books are tied together through the mystery of outside and the secrets closely held inside the Silo by those in power. The first book is narrated by Holston, the sheriff of the Silo whose wife was recently sent 'to cleaning' or in other words was sent outside at her own request. The second book is told by the Mayor of the Silo as the secrets touched upon in book one begin to unravel further. Book three - five are narrated by Juliette, a top mechanic and the true heroine of the story.

'Wool' is a fantastically original, dark and gripping yarn, spun expertly by Howey. The world created is deeply rich and the characters are well developed - it's easy to get wrapped up in the story's many twists and intense periods of suspense.

Highly recommended!


No Peace for the Damned
No Peace for the Damned
by Megan Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

3.0 out of 5 stars The Damned - Book 1, 17 Feb 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Magnolia Kelch belongs to a formidable and violently cruel, supernatural family. For years she was tortured at their hands as their fear of her power forced them to try and end her life. When she eventually escapes she finds herself caught up with a secret organisation, 'The Network', who are determined to expose the Kelch family for the monsters that they truly are.

'No Peace for Damned' has a fascinating cast of characters and presents a number of intriguing mysteries. The descriptions of Magnolia's torture are graphic and disturbing, providing a context and contrast to her burgeoning relationships with the Network team.

Although I enjoyed the book and read through it quickly, I probably wont be looking to read the sequel. It's possible that as an introductory book, it just wasn't fleshed out enough to make me care enough for the characters and want to know more. I found this to be a good story but unfortunately, not one that has me hooked on the series.


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