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Ubulord "Ubulord" (Portugal)

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South China Morning Blues
South China Morning Blues
by Ray Hecht
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Expat's view of life in China, 10 Feb. 2016
Ray Hecht's latest book is a natural evolution of his previous work. Having already started as a very competent writer in his early pieces and in his blog, he keeps improving his style with each book. What does not change is the author's interests in life: drugs, parties and sex. Sex mainly, to be honest. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion R.H. lives in a limbo that is commercially uncomfortable. He writes books about the sexual interactions between men and women. They aren't light and frivolous "50 Shades" style, but he also doesn't make them sophisticated enough (in terms of the depth of the characters) to make them true literary tomes. So the reader is left with a "pièce de résistance" that is serious enough not to be dismissed as erotica but also not literary enough to vie for a place amongst great literary fiction. Living in this literary corner of his own the book is quite good and entertaining but it also leaves in the reader a feeling of "if the author had made it just a bit more profound the overall leap in quality would be huge". It is still a very much worthwhile read as it is, and I definitely recommend it.


Excuse of the Day: Would you believe her?
Excuse of the Day: Would you believe her?
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and well written but it's just a short sample, 7 Aug. 2015
"Excuse of the Day" is a very short piece of dialogue that should serve as an introduction to Tabitha Ormiston-Smith's style of writing. As everything else that I've read from this author it is well written, funny and imaginative but it is no more than a tiny bite-sized piece of literature. If you like this er... how should I call it... sample... what you should really be reading is "Gift of Continence" by the same author. That is a full book and it made me laugh out loud on every other page.


Blood in the Sand: Volume 1 (The Guardian)
Blood in the Sand: Volume 1 (The Guardian)
by M J Kobernus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and sophisticated, 7 Aug. 2015
I read an advance copy of this book several months before release date. Being myself a self published author I have read many works by other authors in the last years, before publication, as we tend to network a lot and to read, comment and make suggestions on each others' books or WIP (Works in Progress).
Blood in the Sand Vol 1 is easily the best advance copy book I've ever read and in my opinion ranks up there with the best fantasy/adventure books written by established authors.
It is a cracking story and a gripping adventure tale, spanning two eras and two continents, all glued together by family ties and just enough of the supernatural to give it an exotic touch but avoiding the excesses of paranormal elements that make so many books descend into tasteless grotesqueness.
As I have found out through reading other people's books and through writing my own, intertwining different threads into one plot is a very difficult task and one which is rarely achieved without the reader feeling that some plot solutions are a bit forced. That is most definitely not a problem with this book, as Mr Kobernus seamlessly brings all his threads to a joint conclusion, not only managing to make it look easy and natural but along the way showing deep knowledge of historical and occult matters.
This is a book I recommend even to people who usually don't tend to read adventure / fantasy books on the grounds that they are no more than cheap entertainment. This book is very entertaining indeed but it is also sophisticated and cultured, and that is a mix that is rarely encountered.
Caution should be exercised by people with deep religious convictions. This is a story that features supernatural elements and the way they are described and developed leaves a strong suspicion that the author may have personal experience in such matters. If he doesn't then he is a hell of a good researcher and makes a great job of making it all sound very credible.


Maya Mound Mayhem (A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 3)
Maya Mound Mayhem (A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 3)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Entertainment, 21 July 2015
When it comes to books, I'm a person of extremes. I mainly like two types of books: intellectual mind twisters and pure entertainment. Maya Mound Mayhem clearly falls into this last category: it is anashamedly pure entertainment. If that's what you're into I'm sure you'll enjoy this one (and all the other books in the series also). And apparently this isn't the end of the series either. I enjoyed reading about these quirky characters and the murder mystery is fresh and interesting. Keep 'em coming Ms. Vandiver!


Bed & Breakfast Bedlam (A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 1)
Bed & Breakfast Bedlam (A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Cozy Mystery, 26 May 2015
If you like an easy read, quick and fun, then this book is perfect for you. The characters are quirky and the mystery is good. Set in the made-up town of Yasamee, Georgia, the story is fast paced and lighthearted. I can't see anyone who's into cozy mysteries not liking this book.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 1/7 (Harry Potter 1)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 1/7 (Harry Potter 1)
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan) v. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling), 8 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Double book review:

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)

These are two very different books, aimed at roughly the same age bracket and both the start of a multiple volume series.

To appreciate Harry Potter's book, one must have acquired a taste for quality writing, attention to detail and subtlety. To appreciate Percy Jackson's one only has to be able to read (a penchant for Greek mythology will also come in handily).

Harry Potter is very well written, using a language that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible to younger readers, a no mean feat. It is also the epitome of Britishness. There is a posh quality to it, an underlying assumption that readers must make an effort and have cultivated some sort of "good" literary taste. This is a book that goes well with shoegazing, faded wallpapers (the ones on actual walls, not the digital ones) and unbelievably bad sartorial choices. On the weak side (yes, I know it sounds odd, but I was being appreciative...) the book is slightly boring, doesn't have that much of a plot and sounds more like a diary than an adventure story.

Percy Jackson is pure American entertainment industry fodder. It is competently written, but just so. It is imaginative and evolves at a regularly fast pace. It is a page turner (which Potter struggles to be) and is easily enjoyable. In a sense, and within the constraints of both books being roughly the same genre and for the same public, they are the opposite of each other. This is a book that goes well with Aerosmith, baseball caps and deluded world views.

In the end both books get four stars but for very different reasons. Rick Riordan's book reaches the epitome of everything it sets itself to be, but its goal is one that, even if honed to perfection, is never worth more than four stars. Rowling's book aims higher but doesn't quite get there, so fails to earn the last star, which it could have earned had it managed to be more of a page turner without losing any of its present qualities.


Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Book 1)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Book 1)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Double Review for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan) & Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling), 8 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Double book review:

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)

These are two very different books, aimed at roughly the same age bracket and both the start of a multiple volume series.

To appreciate Harry Potter's book, one must have acquired a taste for quality writing, attention to detail and subtlety. To appreciate Percy Jackson's one only has to be able to read (a penchant for Greek mythology will also come in handily).

Harry Potter is very well written, using a language that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible to younger readers, a no mean feat. It is also the epitome of Britishness. There is a posh quality to it, an underlying assumption that readers must make an effort and have cultivated some sort of "good" literary taste. This is a book that goes well with shoegazing, faded wallpapers (the ones on actual walls, not the digital ones) and unbelievably bad sartorial choices. On the weak side (yes, I know it sounds odd, but I was being appreciative...) the book is slightly boring, doesn't have that much of a plot and sounds more like a diary than an adventure story.

Percy Jackson is pure American entertainment industry fodder. It is competently written, but just so. It is imaginative and evolves at a regularly fast pace. It is a page turner (which Potter struggles to be) and is easily enjoyable. In a sense, and within the constraints of both books being roughly the same genre and for the same public, they are the opposite of each other. This is a book that goes well with Aerosmith, baseball caps and deluded world views.

In the end both books get four stars but for very different reasons. Rick Riordan's book reaches the epitome of everything it sets itself to be, but its goal is one that, even if honed to perfection, is never worth more than four stars. Rowling's book aims higher but doesn't quite get there, so fails to earn the last star, which it could have earned had it managed to be more of a page turner without losing any of its present qualities.


Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 8 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" is one of the best books that I've ever read. It is odd, fascinating and well written. It has humour and wit. It is entertaining and cultured.
Unfortunately it is so dependent on issues that were hot at the time of its release that it is also a book doomed to inevitable oblivion.
Other books have been written and forgotten because they made no sense outside their timeframe. Some, like "Gulliver's Travels", although very much a product of their times, have survived because they found a new lease of life as something very different from what initially made them successful.
I fear "Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" will not be granted such life extending opportunities. All the more reason to read it now, while it still makes sense. After humanity has moved to the next version of the Internet, after a generation is born that doesn't know the meaning of the words Google and Amazon this book will become gibberish.


Gift of Continence (Fiona MacDougall Book 2)
Gift of Continence (Fiona MacDougall Book 2)
Price: £2.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheekily humurous, 8 April 2015
This is rowdy and real funny. I'm the sort of person who can find some books to be amusing but rarely laugh when reading one. Can't remember the last one that made me laugh. Now wait, actually I can. It was "The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy". Not that this book has anything to do with THGttG appart from the fact that they both made me laugh out loud.
I did feel a bit uneasy laughing though. This is girly humour. I think women are the target readership here and I'm not one of those "sexuality is a spectrum thing" sort of guy. I make it a point of honour that I'm firmly on the male end of the scale and still I laughed aplenty (in deep baritone outbursts obviously).
The only weak point for me is the ending. It is way over simplistic and it feels like "coitus interruptus". When you're gearing up for a sophisticated climax suddenly the story is cut off abruptly in a way that is neither funny nor witty. Everything else in this book is perfect though.


Mars Origin "I" Series Boxed Set
Mars Origin "I" Series Boxed Set
Price: £3.83

5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong on this one, 14 Jan. 2015
I just found out about this box set. I've read all three books as they came out and I've rated them all 5 stars so I guess I should rate the 3 book box set 15 stars. On the other hand it's always a bit irritating to find the same stuff for which you paid standard price on a cheaper promo. I'll impose a 10 star penalty for that. I guess it's 5 stars again then...


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