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F. Knight "fknight83"

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Dangerous Lovers
Dangerous Lovers

3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 13 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dangerous Lovers (Kindle Edition)
Very much a mixed bag, from the unreadably bad to the surprisingly enjoyable.

Blood Warrior - HD Gordon
Enjoyable; a few tropes of the genre and has the potential to be a bit light and fluffy (difficult to say without reading the whole series, which I am intending to do), but with enough original ideas to keep me interested. The characterisation was excellent and the narrative felt very natural. A promising start.

Rivulet - Jamie Magee
The writing was so stilted I couldn't get beyond the prologue plus first couple of pages. Really dreadful.

Switch - Janelle Stalder
This story was really frustrating because it had so much potential, but was so badly executed. The overall plot was good, but the writing was terrible. The characters were all breathtakingly beautiful/handsome; the couples all fell in love at first sight; there was too much surface-level introspection (if I had a pound for every time one of the characters asked themselves whether they could be falling in love with their enemy...!) and not enough deep introspection - for example, Charlotte has formed a friendship with the man who executed her mother, but the reader is never told how she feels about that. Charlotte is working for the tyrant who ordered the execution, but there's no internal (let alone external!) justification of her actions. There was also an apalling number of typos and poor phrasing; this would really have benefited from a professional edit.

Charmed - Cambria Hebert
This was, in my opinion, the best novel in the collection - an excellent story of two people falling in love in spite of one another, with a bit of dark fantasy and adventure thrown into the mix. It wasn't perfect - I have some issues with the ending; the main female character is a bit of an airhead; and motivations are occasionally of the 'it's obvious he's/she's doing this because he likes her' or 'because the plot requires him/her to' variety, but overall I enjoyed this and will definitely be buying the next book in the series.

Dark Waltz - A.M. Hargrove
I only read a few pages of this before deciding it just wasn't for me.

Damaged - Becca Vincenza
Some interesting ideas and enough of them to keep me reading, but I had some fundamental issues with the characterisation - I know it's a romance, but when the MC has just been rescued from a cell in which she was tortured and raped, I had serious issues with her rescuer expressing his love for her so quickly - it felt amoral. The author had obviously tried to slow him down, justify his actions and present the MC as a willing partner, but it didn't quite ring true and the whole thing tasted bad. If you can get past that, this was an okay story.

Violet Tendencies: Sabina Kane
Violet Tendencies: Sabina Kane
Price: £1.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too short and adds nothing to the overall plot, 4 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Desperate for a JW fix I finally forked out the £1.49 for this short story. I was horribly disappointed. I knew it was going to be short, but I didn't realise how short! As it's only available on Kindle I can't easily give a word- or page-count, but I read it in about 20 minutes, and even the 32 pages given on the Amazon sale page is deceptive as the final 20% of the book is the first chapter of Red-Headed Stepchild, which frankly is a bloody cheek!

With regard to the plot, it adds nothing to the overall story arc - everything shown here is described in the later books. You get slightly more detail, but nothing really new.

If the story had been a lot cheaper, or even free, I would have rated this a lot more highly - it has a couple of amusing moments, and does slightly flesh out the scenes which are described in the later books, but in terms of vaue for money I was extremely disappointed, and was left still Jonesing for a JW fix. I can only hope she will be releasing something new soon!

Dr Xargle's Pack
Dr Xargle's Pack

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great books, same old format, 4 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Dr Xargle's Pack (Paperback)
Okay, granted, I bought the Dr Xargle 'Pack' blind, without knowing what exactly a 'pack' is comprised of. (I was hoping for some kind of treasury, all five books in a nice hardback compilation or presentation sleeve, perhaps.) It turns out what a pack actually consists of is one edition each of Earthlets, Earth Tiggers and Earth Hounds, (paperback editions,) done up in sellophane. They even carry the original individual ISBNs. Massively disappointing.

Having said that, the individual stories are great fun - very witty, and amusing for big earthlings as well as little earthlets. Dr Xargle is a five-eyed, many-tentacled green alien professor who guides his class through the idiosyncrasies of various aspects of earth life, as he sees it. As a cat owner my favourite is the book of earth tiggers, which has given my family such linguistic treasures as 'Meatblob', 'Old green gibble in dustbin gravy' and 'Stinkpods'. I enjoyed reading these books when I was little, and have bought this 'pack' for my baby son. If he is a good boy, I might let him have them back!

BT Freestyle 3200 - DECT Cordless Phone - Twin Pack
BT Freestyle 3200 - DECT Cordless Phone - Twin Pack

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased, 6 July 2008
I bought a pair of these phones about two years ago, and have never looked back. They are simple to use, do not interfere with my wireless broadband, seem to have a neverending talk/standby time and have all the extra features I want - (phone book, speakerphone, etc.) They also seem to be indestructible - I've knocked them over pretty much once a week for the last two years with no ill effects.

However, there are a few small niggles.
1) The handsets are independent, so you have to programme numbers into the phonebook twice.
2) Every time the battery goes flat you have to re-set the clock, but as the battery lasts forever this rarely happens.
3) After many, many months I did eventually manage to wear out the batteries to the extent that they would only last for about a 20 minute conversation. However, when I opened up the back I found it just runs on rechargable AA batteries, so it was really cheap and easy to replace - no mucking about trying to find a compatible part.

In short, I would recommend this product to anyone. In fact, I'm thinking of buying one for the mother-in-law.

The Best Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
The Best Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
by Guy de Maupassant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely beautiful, 18 Mar. 2006
Guy de Maupassant's strangely beautiful stories vary from uplifting explorations of moralistic living, through humorous parodies of the middle classes of 19th century France and their foolish attempts to better themselves, right through to the most critical revelations of the baseness of human existance, often revealed in the self-same stories. They are at once depressing and uplifting, cynical and idealistic, humorous and thought-provoking. The one thing that each story has in common is that it leaves the reader with a new insight into the human condition.
This collection contains:
Boule de Suif
Two Friends
Madame Tellier's Establishment
Madamoiselle Fifi
Clair de Lune
Miss Harriet
The Necklace
Madamoiselle Pearl
The Piece of String
Madame Husson's 'Rosier'
That Pig of a Morin
Useless Beauty
The Olive Orchard
A Sale
Two Little Soldiers

Cat Ballou [VHS]
Cat Ballou [VHS]
Offered by pkeylock
Price: £6.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Just Wow!, 13 Aug. 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cat Ballou [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Cat Ballou tells the story of sweet, innocent schoolteacher Catherine Ballou (Jane Fonda) whose father is murdered for his water rights. She hires the infamous gunslinger Kid Shelleen to help her get her revenge, only to find that Shelleen is a drunk. Picking up various deadbeats along the way, including two cowardly cattle-rustlers on the run from the law and a Native American who had worked on her father's ranch, Cat goes looking for revenge. The action is supported throughout by Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye singing 'The Ballad of Cat Ballou.'
A fantastic film, way ahead of its time, with Fonda playing a feisty and intelligent lead, a rare thing in a film of this age and genre. The action is hilarious in places, Kid Shelleen in particular stealing a lot of the laughs, and Frankie Ballou's murder is genuinely moving. This has been one of my favourite films since I was a child, and can be watched again and again by an audience of any age.

Lady Oracle
Lady Oracle
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely classic Atwood, insightful as ever., 13 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Lady Oracle (Paperback)
'Lady Oracle' tells the story of serious feminist writer Joan Foster, (the Lady Oracle of the title) and her secret life as gothic-romance writer Louisa Delacourt, from Joan's life from a chubby child, her conflict with her mother who wants the perfect daughter, her battle to lose weight, bizarre affairs, (one with a Polish Count and another with an artist named 'The Royal Porcupine',) eventual marriage to the pasteboard Arthur, and the bizarre way in which she leaves the mundanity of her marriage to quite literally begin a new life.
The novel opens with the fantastic line 'I planned my death carefully; unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it' and goes on to explain that the narrator has faked her own death in order to escape both her stillborn marriage and a blackmail attempt by the mysterious Fraser Buchanan.
It then continues with vivid, moving, and highly amusing accounts of her childhood. The narrator was a fat person until her late adolescense, and here Atwood gives a voice to the underrepresented and oppressed overweight of today's society. Joan's battles with her mother, of which her body was the battleground, are telling of a society where it is unacceptable to be anything except a perfect ten.
Atwood then alternates the narrative of the story with extracts from the gothic romance her narrator is writing: 'Stalked by love.' It is in these extracts, and the narrator's thoughts on them, that Atwood's trademark insightfulness truly flourishes, as even the most militant feminist finds herself confessing that what they really want is a Rochester. I particularly like the quotation 'Escape wasn't a luxury for (my readers), it was a necessity ... and when they were too tired to invent escapes of their own, mine were available for them at the corner drugstore, neatly packaged like the other painkillers.'
What more can I say? This gives a fantastic insight into the world of the fat woman in modern society, and makes the reader of romance novels consider their guilty pleasure in a new light. Atwood at her thought-provoking best.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2011 11:19 AM BST

An Introduction to English Language: Sound, Word and Sentence
An Introduction to English Language: Sound, Word and Sentence
by Koenraad Kuiper
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource for students of any level, 13 Aug. 2004
This book sat on my shelf untouched until about a month before my exam, when I finally thought 'bout time I did some revision' and read it cover-to-cover. It's divided logically into topics which provide you with an overview of all aspects of sound production, phoneme, syllable, word and sentence construction. It is progressive in its difficulty whereas most text books throw you in at the deep end, provides clear and easy-to-understand explanations which made me grasp concepts that had previously eluded me, and ends each chapter with a couple of short exercises which root the information firmly in your mind. I wish I'd read this earlier in my course; then maybe I wouldn't have struggled so much through the lectures!

Changer Of Worlds (Worlds of Honor)
Changer Of Worlds (Worlds of Honor)
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.50

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two great stories, one mediocre and one huge disappointment., 9 Aug. 2004
In 'Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington' Weber offers a view of Harrington's early career after the fashion of Forester's 'Hornblower' series in the style we have all come to love. Although Harrington's apparent inability to do anything wrong does become unbelievable at times, this is nevertheless a hugely enjoyable story.
'Changer of Worlds' offers a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into the treecat society, and also allows the reader to examine the characters of Nimitz/Laughs Brightly and Samantha/Golden Voice in a way that would be impossible within the structure of one of the full-length novels with Harrington as the focaliser.
'From The Highlands' was an adequate story, but when combined in a collection with such strong stories this was a let-down. Although not bad, this novella failed to capture my imagination and dragged on for far longer than I felt was necessary.
'Nightfall' was a huge disappointment for me, as it was simply an extract from one of the full-length novels, when I had been anticipating a new piece of work. I don't recall which novel it was, but the short story re-tells the attempted 'disappearance' of Esther McQueen by the Havenite government and her resulting coup over Fontein and Saint-Just.

Worlds of Honor (Worlds of Honor (Weber))
Worlds of Honor (Worlds of Honor (Weber))
by David Weber
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'The Stray' is painful to read!, 9 Aug. 2004
Everyone else reviewing this book seems to have a problem with the final story 'Deck Load Strike', but the one which sticks out in my mind for sheer appallingness is 'The Stray' by Linda Evans. It's very rarely that I am unable to finish a story, but the style in which Evans writes is so clumsy and 'amateurish' that it was actually painful, and after a dozen pages I couldn't take any more. It is beyond my comprehension why the editor chose to open the collection with such a turkey!
Many people also seem to be advocating Weber's 'The Hard Way Home', however I felt this was far from being his best work, and tended towards schmaltzy sentimentality.
By far the best story in the collection is Jane Lindskold's 'Queen's Gambit', which strikes the perfect balance of evoking sympathy for the characters without becoming blubbery schoolgirl mush.

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