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J. M. Norton "dd101"

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Swarm (Star Force Series Book 1)
Swarm (Star Force Series Book 1)
Price: 1.81

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unadulterated Pap, 11 April 2011
Total rubbish from start to finish. I can only assume that the other reviewers are sock-puppets or friends of the author
This book is amongst the worst and totally unbelievable sci-fi I have ever read.
It isn't just bad, its execrable nonsense without a single believable character and fails every common-sense and science test.
Even if you get this book as a free gift don't waste your time reading it.

Stonewielder (Malazan Empire 3)
Stonewielder (Malazan Empire 3)
by Ian C Esslemont
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascination with secrecy leads to disappointment, 11 Jan 2011
Overall the book is enjoyable and worth the money, however the ending is rather badly rushed and, as now seems inevitable in all Malazan books, there is a horrible tendency to deliberately fail to explain things that should be explained. This isn't about revealing future plot, its about answering the most basic questions of why people are doing things, where they came from and so forth.

Mystery is all very well until it starts to obscure the story, and in this case, as with Erikson more recent books, the story is being detrimentally affected by the fixation with hiding things from the reader.

Many things consequently suffer from lack of detail, especially lack of foundation meaning they become superficial and without proper context. The Storm Riders are the best example leaving the reader clueless as to why they have spent so many years battering themselves against a wall they could go around or over with virtual impunity at any time.
Not too mention who, or what, were they after in any case? Yes, we know some tiny portions of this story, but after reading hundreds of pages it would be nice to know why they were bothering, especially as it appears they had the means to go also go through the wall should they so desire (the stone sword).

All in all the fascination with obscure pasts and secret origins is becoming detrimental to both the world itself and the enjoyment of the books, combined with horridly miss-matched timelines and obviously tacked-on epilogues, disappointment was my strongest feeling.

This could have been so much better with more informative foundations, an un-rushed ending and a little less of an attempt to copy Eriksons' style.

Orcs: Bodyguard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder, Warriors of the Tempest (Gollancz S.F.)
Orcs: Bodyguard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder, Warriors of the Tempest (Gollancz S.F.)
by Stan Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.24

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not just bad, but BAD!, 17 May 2010
Do not buy this book unless you are doing research into badly written books.
Seriously, honestly and absolutely - you have been warned!

Empire: Total War - Special Forces Edition (PC)
Empire: Total War - Special Forces Edition (PC)
Offered by rockaway-records
Price: 29.99

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Empire: Total Disaster, 25 Mar 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
As of the latest "patch" 25/03/2009 EMpire Total War remains largely unplayable and, even for the lucky few like myself who can play it without issue, it remains very, very boring.

Creative Assembly have released a largely unfinished product upon the unsuspecting public, a product that is replete with missing features and a multitude of bugs.

Perhaps most importantly it appears that the game was released with absolutely key features simply not working at all - the AI is unable to move troops via ships - this means that the AI will not compete for any of the lands in India, the Caribbean or north America, similarly the greatest faction in the game: GB, will not land troops in Europe, America or India, of if YOU are playing GB then the AI cannot and will not invade you, any of your islands and so on and so forth.

When combined with various trade bugs which means that the computer also doesn't compete for trade posts (a vitally key role in the game) it results in a game that is very boring and very easy.

Roll in a generally passive AI in the campaign map as a whole and a plethora of bugs within the tactical portion of the game and you end up with just not a boring game but a very bad game.

The game reeks of being released untested and unfinished and the slow and somewhat lazy release of patches with, so far, cause more problems than they fix, is just one more nail in the coffin of this game and possibly the entire series.

Never again will I buy a new TW game from Creative Assembly - far better to wait a year until the modding community fix the game and make it playable, and you can pick it up for under 10 from the bargain bucket.

If you do buy this game then you have been WARNED!

Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire)
Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire)
by Ian Cameron Esslemont
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Erikson...., 11 Feb 2009
Better than Erikson? Sacrilege! Surely?

I think that Esslemont has kept all that is fantastic about the Malazan world without falling prey to the trap of "Confucious says" pseudo-psychological meandering that Erikson seems to have fallen into of late.

Don't get me wrong I deeply appreciate the `verse that Erikson has shown us, but I feel that he is starting to take his own pontificating a little too seriously and forcing it upon the reader to the detriment of the story at times.

Esslemont, however, breathes life back into the world and shows us that people can talk normally and even say "no" without the need to expand upon that with a lengthy monologue.

As such the story trips along at a good pace with detail and excitement without burying us in deep thinking and the need to consider our place in the greater universe... Esslemont gets to tie up lots of the loose-ends dripped into Erickson's books as a sort of lure to get the reader to pick up Esslemont books, that, no doubt, adds to the thrill of the central plot as we find out the backgrounds of many characters and plot lines from Erikson's books.

If you are a fan of the Malazan world then these books are essential and a great read.

Do not fear that by reading another author you will be reading a lesser author, Esslemont is as good, if not better, than Erikson at giving you all the thrills alongside plenty of character, laughs and death and destruction.

Should Erickson be looking over his shoulder?

If he is then I suspect he wont have seen Esslemont already go past him.

Appleseed - Ex-Machina [DVD] [2007]
Appleseed - Ex-Machina [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Shinji Aramaki

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but..., 11 Feb 2009
Ex Machina is a visual step up from the original Appleseed however a clear step down in terms of plot and depth.

Whilst love and detail has been poured into the production quality and depth of the visual effects (in some cases too much of one detail and not enough of another creating some odd and rather glaring unevenness in detail) then whatever extra effort was put in to that portion was taken out of the plot and script.

Ex machina is rather shallow and rather than expanding on the world of Appleseed it contracts into a sometimes gaudy stand-alone that left me with little desire to see any sequel - quite opposite to the original Appleseed which though of lower technical brilliance, was a far more engaging movie.

Appleseed Ex machine is "OK" but unlike the GITS series which expanded upon the its respective `verse through subtle and sustained plot developments, this leaves one feeling a little ripped-off and distanced from the depth that we know the `verse has in its paper form.

Crossroads Of Twilight: Book 10 of the Wheel of Time: 10/11
Crossroads Of Twilight: Book 10 of the Wheel of Time: 10/11
by Robert Jordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.79

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly, deeply, awful, 28 Nov 2007
Bad? Nope, that doesn't do it.
Terrible? not that either?
Awful? Getting warmer.
Woeful? Hmmm, close.
Boring? Definitely but no cigar yet.

Insipid? Tedious? Vapid? Plodding? Banal? Unstimulating? Apathetic? Stagnant? Monotonous? None really, truly, deeply, thoroughly encapsulate this book.

Bear in mind just how tediously, mind-numbingly boring previous books were, then multiply that by a hundred - only then will you be on the path to grasping the sheer turgidity and waste of paper that this book represents.

Sadly only by reading this utter tripe will you fully comprehend just how bad it is.

It's only good point is that it makes all other books seem better.

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback

12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear another Jordan in the making, 2 May 2006
George RR has produced a very poor book in this latest "Half a book" and it has largely spoiled my enjoyment of the previous books as well as putting me off buying the rest of the series.

The writing is laborious and the advancement of the various plots is turgid at best. Add in the fact that only half the characters are covered and that long waiting period for this "Half a book" and it all adds up to a rather poor showing all around.

GRR Martin labours over many of the characters without truly advancing their sub-plots or the overall storyline, I found myself yawning with boredom in many places and felt that the book was not only very poor but was falling into the Jordan habit of reiterating earlier content and story seemingly just to fill pages. Far too much fluff and not enough story, boring and, worse yet, the actions of some of the characters are entirely unbelievable.

Cersei Lannister is probably the least believable of all the characters and Martin's cumbersome attempts to make her fall from power believable fail miserably - the character's actions are unconvincing and look like they have been shoe-horned into place in order to fit a deeply struggling plot without bothering to make the actions at all convincing.

Poor and unless the remainder of this "Half-a-book" is scintillating I fear that it will mark the end of GRRM for myself (and possibly many others). We've got one (boring) Jordan, we don't need another.

Blood Follows
Blood Follows
by Stephen Erikson
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it if you can..., 10 Nov 2002
This review is from: Blood Follows (Paperback)
Korbal Broach and Buchelian.
Two of the most "dubious", though much loved, characters in any fantasy series.
Decidedly dangerous, if not down right deadly, of few (if any) morals and not adverse to the odd bit of necromancy, bodysnatching and murder on a scale to make Jack-the-Ripper look positively amateurish.
It's a love and hate relationship on a par with that of themselves and their long suffering servant Emancipator Reece.
In this great novella we discover just how poor old "mancy" ends up with the Terrible Two and witness, once again, the trials and tribulations of being two of the most "unwanted" men in Eriksons world.
Great read, great author.... Erikson fans should buy this as a "must have".

A Storm of Swords
A Storm of Swords
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Death and destruction with a plot that makes you angry., 16 Aug 2000
This review is from: A Storm of Swords (Paperback)
Martin continues to surprise the reader with twist upon twist - characters are once again falling like autumn leaves... but not the ones that you expect too.
Few "fantasy" books are bold enough to stray away from the "one hero - one plot" theme, but Martin not only does this but does so successfully.
At one point i sat staring at the pages saying "Nooo! You can't do THAT!" and had to go and calm down before I could continue.
This is no "namby pamby" fantasy series and I'm simply glad Im only reading it and not living it.
Highly highly recommended.

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