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Murf61 (Newry, N.Ireland)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Cult Fiction: A Reader's Guide
Cult Fiction: A Reader's Guide
by Andrew Calcutt
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference, 5 Nov. 2009
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Some 230 authors are profiled here and range from literary geniuses (James Joyce, Doris Lessing) to more popular modern writers (Stephen King, Anne Rice). There is something for everyone and many authors, particularly American ones, were new to me. There is a brief life history combined with an overall review of their output and their best works are highlighted at the end (Must read) with similar authors listed (Read on).

I enjoyed the format, not too detailed but with sufficient information to give a clear idea of what the writer was (or is) about. There are also some handy lists in sidebars throughout e.g. C is for Cyberpunk, L is for London, which give the reader further avenues to explore.

This is an excellent reference for more 'offbeat' writing and has opened new avenues for reading to me. It is particularly good for quality science fiction, an often overlooked genre.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in non-mainstream fiction and an open mind.


Gladiatrix
Gladiatrix
by Russell Whitfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lame ending, 5 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Gladiatrix (Paperback)
Bought this on the basis of the great summary on the back. Book started out well but mid-way through deteriorated into a predictable romance. Like other reviewers I found the ending disappointing and unsatisfying. Would not read this again


Raising Atlantis (Atlantis 1)
Raising Atlantis (Atlantis 1)
by Thomas Greanias
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of action!, 8 Oct. 2009
If you like your thrillers with a large dose of legend and mythology thrown in, then this series is for you. Raising Atlantis follows the usual pattern; disparate group brought together to solve ancient puzzle with religious and political conspiracy overtones. However, while the overall plot may be formulaic, the actual execution is very good. The characters are well-formed and there are enough twists and revelations to keep even the most cynical reading on.

I enjoyed this book and was entranced by the descriptions of Atlantis itself. The author eases you into first suspending your disbelief then being sucked into the characters' reality. I read a lot in this genre and Raising Atlantis stands out from the crowd. Nice short sections so great to read on the train/tube and the writing is above the usual standard so you don't drown in cliches.

The next book in the series, set in Washington DC, shows a considerable depth of research into architecture and fremasonry and again is an excellent thriller. I am now looking forward to reading number 3: The Atlantis Revelation.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfy trainers!, 1 Sept. 2009
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Love these trainers! They look good, feel great and are like walking on air. Highly recommended :)
Prompt delivery too.


Ark
Ark
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel with some thought-provoking ideas, 30 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Ark (Paperback)
Stephen Baxter is probably one of the best speculative fiction writers around, and 'Ark' should enhance his reputation. Baxter has written several evolutionary novels before; this time he speculates how humans would adapt to life on a spaceship. He picks up almost exactly where 'Flood' left off so you really need to read this first. If you already have, then you are in for a treat.

The book covers the lives of Holle and Kelly from childhood; Grace's childhood taking place during 'Flood'; and all three women after the launch of Ark One. There is plenty of action and drama and some uncomfortable issues are explored. Overall I was gripped by the storyline and characterisations.

Baxter is improving as a writer with each new book and it is in his characterisation that it shows. I particularly liked his telling of events from the womens' perspective. Not many male authors do this well though I wish more would try.

I have given this book 5 stars as I had to read it in one sitting - I just couldn't put it down. Gripping, enthralling and dramatic in parts, 'Ark' is a great read and I for one hope the story continues... I want to know what happens next!


The Host
The Host
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly enjoyable!, 15 July 2009
This review is from: The Host (Hardcover)
I hated Twilight! However, the plotline of The Host appealed to me, so ordered it. Once received I just couldn't put it down. So different from Twilight - no saccharine heroes here.

The basic premise is the Earth has been invaded by parasitic beings who take control of their human hosts. Melanie is strong enough to maintain a presence in her Host and so begins a tale of survival. Freedom and what it means to be human are explored here and while the writing may be aimed at a late teenage reader, it is a great read for all.

Don't be put off by the fact that the same author wrote Twilight. This has more depth and plenty of action too.

A good book for a wet weekend!


Kethani
Kethani
by Eric Brown
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 7 Jun. 2008
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This review is from: Kethani (Paperback)
I received this book at 7.45 this morning and was totally engrossed for the next 5 hours. Now I have finished, I want to read it again! This is a beautiful story of humanity being 'helped' by seemingly benign aliens to achieve immortality and venture out into the stars. It reminded me of the Uplift series by David Brin in that respect, but the Yorkshire setting surprisingly softened the tone.
What can I say? I was totally blown away by Eric Brown's book and I would recommend it to anyone who is despairing of the human race and the mess we are creating of our home. A utopian get-out clause maybe, but a hopeful dream of human potential is one worth holding on to.


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