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Charles Gray

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Schrödinger's Gun: A Tor.Com Original
Schrödinger's Gun: A Tor.Com Original
Price: £0.75

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent 2nd outing, 23 Feb. 2015
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I looked forward to this new one from Ray Wood after enjoying his debut last year, the powerful "In the sight of Akresa". I wasn't disappointed; Schrodinger's Gun was very different but still managed to pack a novel's worth of world-building (actually multiverse-building), with emotions, frustrations and humour as well as a good old-fashioned whodunit. The main protagonist is a detective who has been "altered" surgically so that she can now position herself in apparently any version of events, all the better to catch the bad guys. The possibilities this throws up are surprising and in places heartbreaking, and as for the denouement!....well you'll hopefully get there yourselves soon enough!

I'd love to see a full-length novel from Wood, but happy to devour short stories like this one meanwhile, and I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys stretching their imagination.


Inspired by Steely Dan T shirt - Deacon Blues (X-Large)
Inspired by Steely Dan T shirt - Deacon Blues (X-Large)
Offered by Old Skool Hooligans
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars but delighted to say that since I've lost some weight I ..., 16 Feb. 2015
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My fault it's a little too big; I ordered XL out of habit, but delighted to say that since I've lost some weight I could have gone for just large...that said, quality of the shirt seems very good. After a couple of washes it's kept its colour and shape well.


A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St Mary Book 2)
A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St Mary Book 2)
Price: £1.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun & Games in the mists of time, 16 Feb. 2015
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Light-hearted and humourous in places, very moving in others. Max is a time-travelling historian who gets to check out real historical events with sometimes tragic and often hilarious results. Highly readable and surprisingly educational, I'd recommend this series wholeheartedly.


Royal Republiq Mens Cast Sole Noos Derby 101122-145-1029 Hazel Brown 8 UK, 42 EU
Royal Republiq Mens Cast Sole Noos Derby 101122-145-1029 Hazel Brown 8 UK, 42 EU

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Feb. 2015
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Perfect fit - very comfortable and I like the look. arrived 1 day early too, so top marks!


Maggie for Hire (Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 1)
Maggie for Hire (Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 16 Jan. 2015
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I found this after reading one of Kate Danley's other books (The Woodcutter). This one's very different but brilliant just the same; the Maggie in the title can cross between dimensions from the real world to the "other side" where the nasties are based. This ability makes her perfect for her job which is tracking down bad guys like vampires and even genies (who knew they were bad guys?)....Maggie's a wise-cracking dame (the word feisty is over-used), who with the help of a tall gorgeous elf, has to rescue some powerful artefacts in order to stop her evil uncle from killing her and her family and destroyng the world (almost certainly in that order!)
Often exciting and pretty much always hilarious, I can recommend this book (and the others in the series too) if you want an easy and engaging read and are OK with suspending your disbelief for a little while.


The Woodcutter
The Woodcutter
Price: £1.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent twist on the fairytales we all learned as youngsters, 2 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Woodcutter (Kindle Edition)
Excellent twist on the fairytales we all learned as youngsters. An interesting take on some of the characters that people those stories, and it was well written and credible (considering it's fantasy). After reading this one, I've discovered some of Kate Danley's other work, and can happily recommend that too.


Bloodstone
Bloodstone
Price: £3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good yarn, 2 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Bloodstone (Kindle Edition)
A touch of the Stephen King about much of this involving tale; no, Nate Kenyon doesn't quite have Mr King's touch, but he does tell a good story very well indeed. The 2 main protagonists, Billy Smith and "Angel" are both damaged (alcoholic and drug-addicted prostitute) and are NOT friends, since Billy has kidnapped Angel and taken her with him on the run. They've both been having similar dreams, compelling them to find their way eventually to the picturesque and historic little town of White Falls, where all is not as it seems.
Gradually, Billy and Angel make their peace with each other to the point where they realise they're falling in love, but the course of true live doesn't run smooth for them. The other characters we meet are well drawn, even the unsympathetic ones, and the story is well put together - saying any more would risk spoiling it for other readers; it's a very easy read, took me less than a day and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of suspense.


The Hidden Relic (The Evermen Saga Book 2)
The Hidden Relic (The Evermen Saga Book 2)
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good development of the series, 4 Dec. 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed this 2nd book in the series (now started the 3rd and it looks promising too). The author creates a very believable fantasy world with characters who, even if they're a bit frustratingly impetuous at times, do have some depth to them. I'd certainly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre.


Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard Book 2)
Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard Book 2)
Price: £3.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Could do Better, 2 Nov. 2014
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This is the 2nd in the series about Scarlett Bernard, a "null" who works as a crime scene clean-up person for the Vampires, Werewolves and Witches of Los Angeles. When she's close to them, they revert to being human and have no special powers. It's a nice new angle for the genre and certainly an enjoyable yarn, but this one left me a little frustrated for not fulfilling its potential. Scarlett's character seemed a bit too unsure of herself much of the time (OK, she'd gone through quite an ordeal in the last book, but even so....). Other characters could have been better developed too - particularly the Will (werewolf) and Jesse (human cop) story. Jesse's a bit too good to be true; he and Will both have a thing about Scarlett but it never really develops beyond the "will she - won't she" stage for me.
All concerned, even the Vampire leader, are trying to protect Scarlett from the almost comically evil Olivia, herself a null and at one time Scarlett's mentor, now somehow she's managed to turn herself into a vampire and is therefore not quite as dead as everyone thought. Olivia is behind a spate of murders of witches, but is also baiting Scarlett et al to investigate and find her. Of course they eventually do and I won't spoil the ending any further. As I say a fun read, but I'd have liked to see more development of some of the characters. I'll look out for the next in the series since it still has potential, but will be looking for better next time.


Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Just lovely, 21 Oct. 2014
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Warm and amusing (actually laugh-out-loud funny in places), this is a series of letters from Nina to her sister after she's moved to the big London as an au pair in the 1980's. The family she lives with seem to be an artistic, bohemian and quite colourful bunch, with a fairly hectic lifestyle involving neighbours including Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett.

At times I'd have loved to see some of the replies Nina's sister sent back, or indeed to know whether she did reply, but even without those, this was one of those books that one could dip into pretty much anywhere in the book and find something to make a cold day feel a little warmer.


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