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A. Tickle "Alex C-T" (UK)

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End Game
End Game
by Matthew Glass
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow build, great climax, 26 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: End Game (Paperback)
I have definitely enjoyed reading this book more the second time around and I'm in no doubt I will be picking it up again in the future.

Initially this book was slow to start. I'm not very interested in economics so the long sequences which seemed to focus entirely on Wall Street banks and finances bored me. However what this book did do was throw the climax at you. Like literally throw it at you. One moment you hearing how the economy is in a minor slide with everything under control. Next its a second recession and Chinese Aircraft Carries are heading across the Indian Ocean to confront American forces.

Well written with a very good understanding on the way modern crises develop. The political plot of this book is everything. It is practically the entire premise and isn't done in a way as to be overwhelming either.

As an International Relations graduate I may have enjoyed this book more than others but I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in global politics; and economics for that matter.

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (Book 1) (Lost Fleet 1)
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (Book 1) (Lost Fleet 1)
by Jack Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Distraction, 26 Oct 2012
I've been looking for some military science fiction for awhile now and was delighted when I stumbled upon this. I'm still delighted because it was exactly what I wanted and will probably purchase the whole series.

Having said that I agree that it is not a fantastic book. For a start rather glaring grammatical and typing errors spoiled it for me. I'm not sure it was proof read properly and for me that ruined it abit.
The plot is obvious, but I enjoyed the descriptions of space battles and the fusion of science into military thinking. Few characters are explored in any depth outside the protagonist but I found myself relating to them so thus enjoyed it. It was also very short; which disappointed me a great deal. But assuming the rest of the series is a similar length then I'm putting that down to a commercial decision. This book could do well by being twice as long.

I'd recommend this book if you just want something to distract you. Nothing to heavy just a, more or less, good read. If you want some serious science fiction I'd highly recommend you look elsewhere.

Beyond The Shadows: Book 3 of the Night Angel: Night Angel Trilogy Book 3
Beyond The Shadows: Book 3 of the Night Angel: Night Angel Trilogy Book 3
by Brent Weeks
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A new Favourite, 6 May 2011
Ah so much to say. This is one of the few books which has physically shocked me to the point that I've had to put it down and come to terms with it. It is also one of the few books to have properly touched me after reading it.

I've read and bought these books in about the space of two months. Whilst I haven't devoted my entire attention to them this trilogy established itself as my primary aim early on.
The Third book is a justifiable end to what I would call a developing masterpiece. Comparing books one and three it is easy to see what Weeks has managed to achieve throughout his writing. To call this book action packed might be a slight understatement and whilst this does hinder the plot with the rushing of character progression I think its justified.
The end scenes invoke that 'final mission' 'glorious victory' 'big team win' feelings without it being overly cheesy or pathetic. Weeks doesn't shy away from sadness or grief and every character gets its fair share with a great number of twists as well. Weeks leaves you wanting more from this even as a number of characters are left untended towards the end. Even with action we don't see directly Weeks creates a great narrative for them the account of Solon and his Stormriders is a perfect example of this.

My favourite character is probably Momma K, she's just so easy to admire. If anyone would have been a great queen it would have been her. This isn't to say that I don't question my fondness of Vi either but what I love about this book is the seeming equality of its heroes. For every great male theres an equally great female which to me makes for a better sense of bonding than simply a great work by one person.

I'd greatly recommend this to fantasy fans and possibly even outside that genre as well. Though I think only fantasy fans would have the stomach to read the entire trilogy.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Epic. In every sense of the word., 3 Feb 2011
I bought this book after reading the first of the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. Weeks had listed GRRM as one of his principal influences and when I spotted this in the shop I bought it.
With due deference to Weeks GRRM is undoubetledley a master of storytelling. This book is truly epic and as everyone else has listed it as comparable to Lord of the Rings I don't hesitate to do the same.

None of the characters are what I'd call good. In fact this is probably one of the first books where I've been confused as who to back. I don't know who I want to succeed. Those who I initially thought Heroes have been clearly shown as other. Even the innocent have been called forth as Kings when I expected them to be loyal.
There was one line on the front of the book which made my decision to buy it. "Characters so vile they could eat the Borgias" which came from The Guardian review. I loved it. Not a couple of chapters in a 7 year old gets thrown from a high window. Its usually movies that make me look around in shock but this book managed it with ease. I had to put it down to come to terms with it.
Needless to say I very soon picked it up again.

The epic scale of creation here is almost to hard to imagine. Whilst some (rather helpful) maps are provided with the book there are whole continents and cultures we experience and some we don't that don't get any coverage. It was sometimes hard to keep this epic scale of proportion in mind but I loved the fact I had too keep flicking back to the maps to keep track of movements.
Whole cities, cultures, continents and dynasties are effortessly created. It is certainly high fanatasy but without the Orcs, Elves and Dwarves so common in similar high fantasy. Admittedley Dragons are a big theme, but we don't see any until the end they've been reduced to background creatures for most of it. GRRM even creates the ghostly and rather disturbing Others.

I have enjoyed many books but not so many that I immedietley picked them back up to read again. I cannot wait till I buy the next in the series. This has got to be one of my favourite current books. And as its so epic I'm almost certain it'll be one of my all time favourties. If you need to get lost in a book then Westeros is certainly big enough and thats not even taking into account Dothraki or the other continents and places mentioned.

The Way Of Shadows: Book 1 of the Night Angel: Night Angel Trilogy Book 1
The Way Of Shadows: Book 1 of the Night Angel: Night Angel Trilogy Book 1
by Brent Weeks
Edition: Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting lost is the best way to explore, 3 Feb 2011
I bought this book on a whim. I hadn't read anything new in awhile and was looking for a new series to lose myself in.
I'll be honest it was the cover and then the blurb which attracted me. I was expecting a rather lacklustre piece I could put down at any point. Something not to hard on the mind, just something to pay attention to when I had nothing else to do.

To my pleasure this turned out to be something I willingly sacrificed doing work among other things. I'm a big fantasy fan. This stems from my love of the Final Fantasy series. This book almost effortlessley creates and entire world. We don't even get to see or hear about all of it in the first novel. I'm a big fan of maps and am always flicking back so I can give myself a mental picture of the area's being described.
In my opinion the truly amazing part was the creation of whole new cultures and customs. The "wetboy" as being different to an Assassin. I was slightly dissapointd by the occasional jump of years but can easily understand why it was done.
With this is mind the book did have some flaws. At times the writing was similar to teenage novelists but I may be ignorant of the intended audience.

My favourite part of this book is without a doubt the characters. All major characters receive intense attention and depth. Even minor characters receive similar scrutiny. This goes from similar "wetboys" to characters such as the Sethi Ships Capatain.
Character construction or in some cases revalation goes on throughout the book offering up many interesting twists and turns to what you perceive as being the truth. Brent Weeks has no qualms about revealing the cruelty of human nature even if some of his characters to strive to be noble and just. Even the heroine gets terribly scarred. I love this because the characters are what I construe as being true to life. The best part is that with the exception of few these "evil" actions usually get justified or excused by the narrative. You can almost understand the logic and reasoning behind said actions.

As a whole I dislike obvious use of magic. However the use of magic is so entwined and ingrained that sometimes it becomes a nuiscance that some people are unable to use magic in what is a book packed with it. Those characters unable to use it have a tendency to be the more heroic but thats a limited concept. The un-magical characters can be just as cruel as everyone else. I applaud that as sometimes there is an unneccessary use of awe to emphasis the use of magic. This acceptance is another reasons I think the books is excellent.

I would certainly recommend this to any fantasy fan. I would also remind people that if they're expecting a story of princes and castles that this book is going to shake the foundations of those expectations. Its a fantastic read I couldn't put it down and would always make time to fit in a few hours reading during the day. If your looking for somewhere to literally lose yourself then Midcyru is certainly the place.

Parasite Positive
Parasite Positive
by Scott Westerfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh look at Vampires?, 11 Jan 2010
This review is from: Parasite Positive (Paperback)
(I have never written a review before so take anything I say with a pinch of salt)

This is in my opinion a completley new look at the Vampire Genre, theres no magic involved and everything has a rational explanation.
Vampires are the victims of parasites something of course hinted at in the title
Instead of being creatures of myth and legend whose powers cannot be explained, its all down to Science and more specifically biology.

This is brilliant, the vampires of Twilight can't explain thier existence, can't explain why they are strong or fast or interested in blood. Parasite Positive provides explanations to all of these questions and backs it up with scientific evidence. There are several extracts in the book that is devoted to the explanation of different parasites and thier effects. This is needed for a full understanding of the story.

Apart from the sciency stuff, theres an intriguing plot. Theres an entire hidden world, and one which has its own problems and mystery's. There are several interesting revelations even if the ultimate enemy is a bit anti-climactic. The ending is definetley a set-up but it couldn't really be anything else.
Theres a subtle romatic element which isn't really manifested until the last chapters of the book alongside the rest of the revelations.

On the whole I loved this book, I couldn't put it down from the moment I started. If your a fan of the tragically romantic vampires of the Cullen type then you might be in for a surprise.
This isn't a book for teenage girls who are dreaming of falling in love with a vampire its a book for those who want a throughly good read.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2)
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2)
by Cassandra Clare
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a book I couldn't put down, 14 April 2009
The genre and the themes behind this series of books really excites me. I think its a brilliant world to explore and imagine.

However whilst I like both City of Bones and City of Ashes and am looking forward to City of Glass, these are not books I couldn't put down.

There are moments when I will put other things on hold to read the rest of a passage but a few more moments when I will ditch the book in favour of something more engaging.
Its not that the book doesn't engage my imagination, but I can't help but feel that we've been here before. Certain elements within it are just part of a very long and sometimes repetetive love story.

To me this book is just a bit too much like a teenage rom com. The love story between Clary and Jace just feels like it revolves around the same problems of forbidden love. Also with Simon unrequited love which is not returned. We already knew how both of them felt in the first book and this one hasn't done much to explore the issue between them.

But as I said before I like this book. Whilst I may dislike certain parts of the plot and storyline this is a book I have come back to again and again. The subplot love story between Magnus and Alec offers releif from the main one.
The family issues of nature over nurture and very interesting and well explored.
All this alongside Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies and Shadowhunters makes for a good if not a great read.

In my opinion the world the characters are living in could be explored a bit more. Its not somewhere I could easily get lost in. The characters and they're relationships aren't exactly clear cut especially now Simon is a Night Child. However sis transformation was a bit anti-climactic as he now has a vampires benefits and can live in the sun.

Fans of this genre will certainly enjoy this book and I would certinaly reccomend it.

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