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ChrisKnight

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Under Heaven
Under Heaven
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 18 July 2014
This review is from: Under Heaven (Paperback)
A lovely story, beautifully written.
I really enjoyed the setting (pseudo oriental/Chinese) and the feel of the book - it transports you to a magical place of honour, assassins, intrigue, emperors and concubines, and it captivated me. The main character is very likeable, and he becomes saddled with a cleverly devised dilemma. The story feels like a love story set within a chess game, but it isn't too lovey dovey and the author gets the balance pretty much spot on in my opinion.
A definite recommendation from me


Anathem
Anathem
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 July 2014
This review is from: Anathem (Paperback)
Just finished Anathem and I loved it. For the average reader it is a heavily maths/logic/philosophy based future-set novel which a little surprisingly veers into sci-fi. A little mentally challenging in places (to me!) but clever sci-fi often can be.

I avidly devoured it and really enjoyed it, despite it being a big book (900+ pages in paperback). I thought the initial third, set in the convect, was especially well done and it really captured my imagination and transported me. My interest tailed off by comparison (after the excellent beginning) in the later half of the book but it was still very readable and gripping enough. In all, no reservations in giving it a 5* and recommending to all my sci-fi enthusiast friends.


Origins (Spinward Fringe Book 0)
Origins (Spinward Fringe Book 0)
Price: 0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't go wrong, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If I had paid for this book, it would probably be a 4 star rating. But it is free, decent enough and a good size. What is there to complain about?

The book is a very readable space romp, centred around a versatile crew and their unique ship. It is a good page turner and I devoured it at a fast pace, and enjoyed it. To be critical it is all a bit too good to be true, and reminds me of say Firefly (which is a definite positive!) but populated and staffed entirely by Star Trek: Next Generation characters. Everyone and everything in the heroes' camp is too squeaky clean, super-competent and shiny, and slightly implausible Even the plot twist of someone being not quite who we thought they would be leads to no animosity, no change of behaviour, everything out in the open and everyone happier and better off for it.
Having said all that, it is the best modern free book I have downloaded and read to date...


Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow
Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow
Price: 4.31

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good one, 8 April 2014
This is a definite 5 star fantasy book. It is very good reading, and a BIG book that packs a lot of story in. Could easily have been 2 or 3 books on its own, but I am very pleased it is one well priced tome. Very much looking forward to the sequel.

The story is pretty familiar - young boy grows to become legendary warrior. There are various attempts on his life along the way, and he starts to discover his masters only ever tell him part of the story, and the King and his court is a nest of vipers. Along the way we slowly learn the truth behind his parents lives, and slowly learn about the hidden threats and secrets that will drive the plot in subsequent books.
An enjoyable and gripping read. Some very minor niggles can be excused since this is a debut novel and I hope the author goes from strength to strength.


Bitter Seeds (The Milkweed Triptych)
Bitter Seeds (The Milkweed Triptych)
Price: 5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre and not much fun, 27 Mar 2014
This book is definitely 'different' but wasn't as much fun, or as interesting, as I hoped it would be. I will give it 3 stars, mainly for an original premise. I won't bother seeking out the rest of the series though. Too many better more rewarding books to read.

It reads as fairly standard WWII spies versus the enemy type fiction, but the characterisation to me is too simplistic and cliched. There isn't enough fine detail in the writing and its a bit too 'Boys Own' for my liking. We just don't get to the real feelings and motivations, beyond some pretty broad brush stroke stuff.
The main premises are around German wonder-science on the one hand (the 'evil' X-men as mentioned in other reviews) and British 'dealing with Outsiders' Warlocks. Both these sides were actually poorly explained, and I was disappointed that the 'magic' side was just negotiating/buying services at an increasingly awful price that we were reluctantly willing to pay. The characters (German and British) were pretty much a standard set of stereotypes and the main hero the most disappointing of all, with nothing much to offer


The Red Knight
The Red Knight
by Miles Cameron
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.91

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 25 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Red Knight (Paperback)
I thoroughly loved this book, and can't wait to read the sequel.

The Red Knight is a classic fantasy novel with chivalry, knights, fantastical creatures and wizardy. The chivalry and knights are widespread, with more than average levels of fascinating detail on the weapons and lifestyles of the knights. You can really tell the author properly cares about the authenticity of the arms and armour from his re-enactment roots. Magic is not so commonplace and tends to keep itself concealed. The setting seems not to be on Earth (although the land is named Alba) and the religion appears to be Christianity, with plenty of references to Christ and saints. The fantasy creatures are fairly standard, with daemons, wyverns, trolls and then irks and boglins, the latter being over-sized insectoid vermin from what I can gather.
There are some nice touches, as well as some reassuringly familiar tropes and plot arcs, and I loved it. The author avoids over complication of the plot and has some nice ideas, which keeps readability very high. I would put the book right up there at the Abercrombie, Sanderson (Way of Kings), Erikson, Rothfuss end of the scale for readability and enjoyment, not quite shoulder to shoulder with those guys but not far off at all. Highly recommended.


Great North Road
Great North Road
Price: 1.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, 3 Jan 2014
This review is from: Great North Road (Kindle Edition)
Probably 4.5 stars out of 5 from me. Very good and a very satisfying read. A mixture of stories, expertly and intriguingly woven together into a very good tale. I think it is a real credit to PFH that he didn't split the 1000+ page book into two or three, and milk the readers for extra revenue etc. Great to read a big big book that is gripping and involving all the way through. On several occasions I thought I had the story and ending sussed, only to be proved wrong. All in all, pretty satisfying and definitely recommended.


The Devil Delivered and Other Tales
The Devil Delivered and Other Tales
by Steven Erikson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not enjoy, 30 Dec 2013
I am a big fan of SE's Malazan series, and thought I would give this a go, since I like his writing. That was however a mistake; 2 of the 3 stories were very strange and I did not particularly enjoy them. The first of the three was OK, with glimpses of SE that I would recognise, but still very different to his Malazan writings in content and style.
I knew this was modern fiction, rather than epic fantasy, but still did not enjoy it, or find much to connect with in the stories.


The Daylight War (Demon Cycle 3)
The Daylight War (Demon Cycle 3)
by Peter V. Brett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a patch on the first two, 27 July 2013
To me this was hard going, after the first two excellent books in this series, and hence is very disappointing. This book (The Daylight War) feels like a very poorly edited collection of fan-fiction, and the first three hundred pages feel like all filler and needless back story. The book could be half the size and much much sharper.
As it is, we have no real plot development for most of this book, but the author seems intent on putting distance between all his characters, presumably to give some elbow room for various divergent quests in books 4+. Every character seems to upset, argue with, surprise, threaten, underestimate and misunderstand pretty much every other major character, in turn, plus the author seems to have spiced the books up with plenty of pillow-dancing all round. All pretty needlessly imho. Then once the book is suitably thick the author throws in a couple of big battles and a surprise plot acceleration to finish on a cliff-hanger.

To me this book disappoints after the first two excellent volumes, and really takes the shine off what started as an excellent story. I hope he knows what he is doing with book 4, otherwise this will be a huge shame.


MB320C Barba Beard Trimmer with Ceramic-Coated Blades
MB320C Barba Beard Trimmer with Ceramic-Coated Blades
Offered by Surelifehealth
Price: 22.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great, 13 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have only used this a handful of times, but it works great. Choose the length you want to trim to, and away you go. The only thing to flag is that despite all the care in the world, you will scatter trimmings far and wide - they are not caught or sucked up at all by the trimmer, which is fine and as expected, but they do cover a wide area...
I haven't had the product long enough to comment on battery issues, but everything is fine for me at the moment.
Product feels good quality and is a joy to use


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