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Mr. K. Mahoney "Kevin Mahoney" (Punked Books, London, UK)
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Uganda, United States and Europe: The Anti-Homosexual Law of 2014
Uganda, United States and Europe: The Anti-Homosexual Law of 2014
Price: £2.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into the 2014 Ugandan anti-homosexual law, 28 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent and well-balanced account of how the controversial 2014 Ugandan anti-homosexual law came into being. The author, M. L. Stevens, has done a considerable amount of research into this contentious law. Stevens' account is also very even-handed. For instance, although the law was clearly influenced by the visit of a group of American evangelicals to Uganda in 2009, Stevens makes it clear that the law's severity shocked even these evangelicals, and that a great many Western conservative Christians have opposed this law. All in all, this is an excellent account of how this despicable law gradually came about, and a must-read for everyone that supports LGBT rights.


Torchwood: The Men Who Sold The World
Torchwood: The Men Who Sold The World
by Guy Adams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The name's Matheson, Rex Matheson!, 5 Oct. 2011
This is a hugely enjoyable prequel to Torchwood Miracle Day, starring everyone's favourite CIA agent Rex Matheson. The rather explosive opening involves Rex somehow being transported back in time to prehistory. Much like the most recent series of Steven Moffat's Doctor Who, this opening is very redolent of that time honoured question: "How the hell does he get out of that one?" I mean, after all, the Rex Matheson we first meet in Miracle Day, although he's world-weary, he's not as world-weary as this premise would seem to suggest that he is. (Thus, unbeknownst to Rex, he did come across Torchwood prior to the events of Miracle Day.) Having written that, Rex doesn't encounter Torchwood proper, rather it's the detritus of Torchwood that makes him come a cropper, as the cash-strapped British government,ever keen to pay off their (our) debts, arrange to sell off a few weapons that they found in the wreck of the Torchwood hub to the Americans.

Due to an unfortunate accident during this transaction, the potential of these alien weapons becomes all too clear to Cotter Gleason, the CIA special ops agent placed in charge of their procurement. After a bloody gun battle with the Brits, Gleason and his team go rogue, intent on holding the world to ransom with a Ytraxorian Reality Rifle... This semi-organic gun is rather more subtle than say, your average Sontaran weaponry, but no less devastating for that.

Having let his morals bloodily get in the way of a previous assignment, Rex is in some dire need of a result, and as he's in close proximity to Gleason's Cuban base, he's sent on the chase... However, Rex is not the only hunter in this world, as the sinister Mr. Wynter is also after Gleason...

Guy Adams' prose here isn't all that elegant, but then it doesn't need to be, especially as this high octane thriller very much suits Rex's voice (so it's great to experience his buddy banter with Shaeffer, and with a certain CIA watch analyst named Esther Drummond...). Rex is his usual witty self, and there's also some other great humour in the novel, especially with regards to the cheeky cameo of a politician who's not unlike a certain Nick Clegg... We do truly see Rex in all his glory here (although I do think that he could have been a bit faster on the uptake with regards to the resolution). Speaking of the resolution, I thought for a moment that it had gone completely wrong, or that there was a book production error. Fortunately for Guy Adams, his target audience will probably be accustomed to such tricks if they're also readers of the current Doctor Who book range. Guy Adams has a great track history of writing quality books about cult TV shows, with a previous Torchwood novel (The House That Jack Built) amongst his various works. Guy Adams' representation of America is truly authentic, as is his depiction of tough action heroes. Indeed, I'd go as far as saying that The Men Who Sold the World is a more complete work than Miracle Day itself. If the TV series isn't renewed, then Torchwood could have an even better future in book-form, if this novel and Sarah Pinborough's Long Time Dead are anything to go by. If Russell T Davies were to be a bit more ambitious though, then The Men Who Sold the World would undoubtedly make an excellent Bond-style movie.


Torchwood: Long Time Dead
Torchwood: Long Time Dead
by Sarah Pinborough
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will make your eyes pop!, 6 Sept. 2011
I've never read Sarah Pinborough before, but I do know that she's an up-and-coming horror writer who is currently being published by Gollancz. Indeed, the first few pages of Long Time Dead had me chuckling, as I saw that she'd named a couple of minor characters after members of the Gollancz team. So, hats off to BBC Books for getting another such accomplished author to write for their Doctor Who/Torchwood range.

Long Time Dead sees the very welcome return of Suzie Costello to the Torchwood world, and it's not long before this revived bad girl is being very bad indeed... The last time we saw her, it looked as though Suzie had finally been killed off for good. However, despite having blown a sizeable hole through her own head, she'd already previously come back from the dead. Indeed, Torchwood creator Russell T Davies had apparently planned to resurrect her occasionally, however this was scuppered when Indira Varma became pregnant prior to the filming of the second series. Now that she's been seemingly regenerated in Long Time Dead, Suzie appears intent on adding as many people as she can to her previously deceased state...

However, following the destruction of the Hub at the end of Children of Earth, its wreckage is being extensively searched by the Department in their quest for any useful or dangerous alien technology that they can find. (In a nice tie-in with Miracle Day, one box of alien artefacts from the wreckage is labelled under the name of "Colasanto", and there's also a subtle reference to David Jones, Jo Grant's beau from the classic Doctor Who adventure The Green Death amidst plenty of other Torchwood nostalgia). Once the bodies start piling up, the police inevitably get involved, allowing for a few nice cameos by a certain Andy Davidson. (In Long Time Dead, Andy suspects that his sudden promotion to sergeant may well have been down to the events he witnessed during Children of Earth, rather than due to his own inherent talent at police work.) As a sergeant though, Andy's too junior to lead the police investigation, so this burden falls upon the troubled shoulders of DCI Tom Cutler.

The police are perplexed, as along with Suzie's seemingly motiveless murderous spree, there are also a bout of suicides in Cardiff involving people that have no recent history of mental trauma. It turns out that something dark and truly fearful has escaped from the rift...

Like Bill Pulman's character in Miracle Day, Oswald Danes, Suzie Costello starts out as a very unsympathetic character. However, such is Sarah Pinborough's skill as a novelist, and her sublime characterisation and plotting, that you'll be really rooting for Suzie at the end of Long Time Dead. Indeed, Long Time Dead is a lot better than many TV Torchwood adventures, so it would be great if Sarah Pinborough were ever given the opportunity to write for the small screen.


Doctor Who: Paradox Lost
Doctor Who: Paradox Lost
by George Mann
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paradox regained, 29 Aug. 2011
Paradox Lost is another one of those timey wimey narratives that have proliferated in Doctor Who novels of late. Having landed in the late 28th Century, the Doctor and his companions are confronted by the mangled body of an android, which has been in the Thames for a thousand years. The android warns the Doctor that he must stop Professor Gradius' time experiments, or else a malevolent alien race called the Squall will consume the world. So, the Doctor decides that he must travel back to the early 20th Century to confront the Squall, while entrusting Amy and Rory to stop Gradius' time experiments.

Although the Doctor receives help from a Professor `Angelchrist', I don't think that the plot of Paradox Lost has otherwise much to do with John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, from which George Mann has evidently derived his title. I suppose the demonic Squall could be regarded as being akin to rebel angels. However, since the Doctor is their main adversary, if George Mann was attempting a pastiche of Paradise Lost, then this would mean that the Doctor is a kind of messianic figure in this narrative. Indeed, it's no doubt a truism that the Doctor is a kind of stand-in messiah in our secular age, a distinction that he shares with many other fantastic heroes (although I'd argue that the Doctor is by far the best role model). So although there is a bit of sacred imagery and metaphor employed here, Paradox Lost is by no means a religious narrative, despite the resurrection of one of the characters at the end.

George Mann, appropriately enough, is well versed in Doctor Who. For instance, there is the suggestion, at the end, that the Doctor has gone off on a short jaunt to Totter's Lane to dump off some rubbish, which is a nice subtle reference to the very beginning of the Doctor's televised adventures. In addition to this, there is a gentle hint to the devastation that will be caused by solar flares in the 29th Century, which has featured in several of the Doctor's adventures. George Mann also does a nice line in speculation, as his theory as to why the TARDIS console is made up of bric-a-brac is due to the Doctor having to replace worn out parts with whatever junk he has to hand. Professor Angelchrist would appear to be an early prototype of the Doctor with regards to his UNIT role, albeit he is very much human. The Doctor soon appropriates his motor car however, in another reference to the Pertwee era, since this vehicle is quite akin to that incarnation's favourite roadster, Bessie.

Paradox Lost starts off at a nice even pace, before the middle section really ramps up the action to a pleasing scale. However, I thought that the resolution was a bit uneven in places. The Squall are hell-bent on consuming the Doctor's mind, much like at least one other alien entity in recent Doctor Who novels, so there is a bit of repetition from this point of view which the editor of the book could perhaps have pointed out, although this element is quite integral to the resolution of the plot. George Mann's representation of the Doctor and his companions is mostly excellent and spot on. I very much liked the fact that this wasn't a Star Trek style of temporal paradox narrative, as the great majority of the `people' who die in the book do indeed stay dead (with one sentimental exception). Indeed, it was good to read Rory's anguish at the devastation that he and Amy unwittingly wrought in the book. The paradox itself is of sufficient timey wimieness to satisfy even the most ardent Doctor Who fan.


Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel
Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel
by Jonathan Morris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't even blink when reading this book!, 9 Aug. 2011
Touched by An Angel is another brilliant addition to the Doctor Who book range. The main protagonist is Mark Whitaker, a man who's still haunted by the death of his wife in a tragic car accident in 2003. (We Doctor Who fans love our nostalgia, so I couldn't help but think that Jonathan Morris chose to name his hero after David Whitaker, the TV series' original script editor, who wrote the first novelisation, Doctor Who and the Daleks, which also opened with a car crash). The main reason why I decided to skip ahead and read Touched by An Angel before some earlier books in the range is due to the fact that it featured the Weeping Angels on the cover, and I was fascinated as to how Jonathan Morris would convey these iconic beasts in his novel. The recently released trailer to the second part of series 6 also added to my excitement about this book, as it reveals that the Weeping Angels will feature in the TV series again. It's also worth noting that Amy is wearing the same red check shirt that she wore in her ganger guise, which (if intended) is a handy way of dating the events in this novel.

Continuity does indeed play a huge part in the plot of this novel, as Mark is sent back in time by an angel at the start of the book. However, instead of being sent hundreds of years into the past (as the Angels were wont to do in Blink), they only send Mark back 17 years into his past. This concerns the Doctor greatly, as it means that Mark could very much interfere with his own future. Not only that, but his intimate knowledge of the recent past means that he's a much greater threat to the development of humanity than someone ignorant of the intricacies of history being sent back 100 years. However, to complicate matters, Mark's future self has sent him instructions which he must follow to the letter, or else this will create the kind of temporal paradox that the Angels love to feed on. Thus, one of the glories of Touched by an Angel is that it lets us see Steven Moffat's greatest monsters in yet another new light, revealing them to be much more adaptable and cunning than they first appeared to be in Blink (although some of their methods also derive from The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone from series 5). The Blinovitch Limitation Effect (a plot device first mentioned in the classic series) also gets a tasty look-in.

So, Jonathan Morris very much utilises all the intricacies of time travel here, which splendidly enhances the the thriller elements of Touched by an Angel. Jonathan Morris also chooses the locations of his drama's set pieces very well, as the Angels don't look all that much out of place in a churchyard and a museum. And when they do invade a student disco, it's very much to comic as well as thrilling effect. Jonathan Morris' depiction of our regular cast of heroes is excellently executed, as it should be by the writer of the official Doctor Who magazine comic strip. Although I did think the scene where the Doctor punched Mark was a bit out of character; however, I guess this could be evidence of series 6's "Dark Doctor" here, and he did also (uncharacteristically) punch Bracewell in Victory of the Daleks. (I guess Rule No. 11 could be that "The Doctor sometimes punches people, and even occasionally resorted to Venusian aikido in his younger years".) Something I enjoyed a lot more than this unusual bout of fisticuffs on the Doctor's part, was Jonathan Morris' depiction of early 90s student life, especially since it's quite similar to that I enjoyed myself (Jonathan Morris and I are roughly the same age).

However, the real joy of Touched by an Angel is the inevitable emotional angst that travelling back in time causes Mark, especially with regards to one momentous decision... Perhaps Mark's final encounter with his wife is a bit too sugary and implausible, but it's very excusable as it allows for an excellent joke regarding the Doctor's own bungling (or possibly intended) intervention in Mark's life. Jonathan Morris brilliantly brings the rather flawed Mark Whitaker to life with such aplomb, skill, and resonance that I, for one, would be very happy if he were ever chosen to write for the TV series.


Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook
Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook
by James Goss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.98

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exterminatingly good!, 19 July 2011
The Dalek Handbook is a very comprehensive guide to everyone's favourite Skarosians. The Daleks have been ever-present during the near 50-year run of Doctor Who, firstly appearing in the Timelord's second adventure, The Daleks. Of course, the famous story (retold in this book) is that Doctor Who`s producers didn't want BEMs ("Bug Eyed Monsters") in the programme, but had to run with The Daleks as it was the only script ready for production, and thus the whole impetus of Doctor Who changed forever with their arrival.

Since the Daleks have been in the programme for 50 years, it can be quite difficult to present a coherent history for them. This is mostly due to the fact that the show's original producers didn't let continuity get in the way of a good story, and also because they had no idea that they had created such a long lasting institution. Steve Tribe and James Goss do a very good job of recounting this history, although I did take exception to their surmise that the race of Dals mentioned in the original story must have been usurped by the Kaleds (the race that created the Daleks in the later adventure Genesis of the Daleks), as I would have thought that this inconsistency could have been explained away by them just having two names, just as our enemies in the Second World War could either be called Nazis or Germans.

Steve Tribe and James Goss make it abundantly clear just how influenced Terry Nation was by Nazi Germany in his creation of the Daleks, as they were doing Nazi salutes with their plungers way back in their original adventure, long before Nyder sported an Iron Cross in Genesis of the Daleks (a medal which has Germanic, rather than Nazi origins, although overwhelmingly associated with the Nazis since Hitler reintroduced it as a decoration in the Second World War). Interestingly enough, the authors relate that Terry Nation's original script featured a third alien race which had assaulted both the Dals and the Thals... However, this is very much a factual book, so criticism is very much on the back burner. Thus the similarities between The Daleks and George Pal's 1960 adaptation of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine are not brought to light (e.g. the word `Morlock' is not a million miles away from `Dalek', and the stolen fluid link is a rather obvious replacement for the purloined time machine of the film).

There are several splendid anecdotes, such as the time when Doctor Who`s original producer, Verity Lambert, ran into the man who had the license to make Dalek merchandise, who was hence considerably far richer than her... There's also the revelation (to me anyway) that Terry Nation's plans for a US Dalek series were quite advanced, to the point that he'd written an actual script called The Destroyers (which was recently adapted into an audio adventure by Big Finish). It's also great to see the sketches created in the wake of the 1996 Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie, which envisaged a redesign of the Daleks far more radical than that of the current production team with their `new Dalek paradigm' (one which I heartily criticise in Steven Moffat's Doctor Who 2010). In addition to this, it's very interesting to learn that Russell T Davies was planning to use the human spheres from The Sound of Drums (the Toclafane) instead of our favourite Skarosians in Robert Shearman's 2005 script in case permission to utilise the Daleks didn't come through in time for the revived series.

I found quite a few of the images of the classic series' adventures to be very grainy, letting down what is otherwise a very lavishly illustrated book. I guess the editors of the book were attempting to get away from the more polished (but overly-familiar) publicity photos from these adventures by adding in many actual screenshots, but these screenshots could have done with a great deal of enhancement in order not to detract from the quality of the book. Steve Tribe has a great track record as an author of factual Doctor Who books, and James Goss (editor of the BBC's Doctor Who website) similarly knows his stuff, but their prose is quite dry. Indeed, I feel that James Goss' prose really comes to life when he's writing fiction, especially his recent excellent Doctor Who novel, Dead of Winter. Yet you can't beat a lovely dose of nostalgia, which this book provides in ample amounts, even to the point of recounting the Daleks' many comic book adventures. Ah, for the days when Abslom Daak was wont to cut through the Daleks with a chainsaw!


Doctor Who: Dead of Winter
Doctor Who: Dead of Winter
by James Goss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead of Winter is one of the best Doctor Who books that I've ever come across, 13 July 2011
One of the first signs that something different is happening here is that a great many of the novel's chapters are written in the first person, which provides an excellent insight into the minds of our favourite characters from an unusual perspective (with perplexing memory loss as an added ingredient for the TARDIS crew, a device that elegantly reduces the risk of any spoilers to zero). Dead of Winter is set in 18th century Italy, so it's quite appropriate that much of the novel is written in the form of letters, as the epistolary novel was very much in vogue at this time. James Goss also makes full use of the fact that this is a novel to play a few tricks on us regarding the identity of various characters, which works very well in prose, but couldn't happen on TV.

Once again, there's an adrift alien at the heart of the mystery, which is a trope that Steven Moffat's Doctor Who seems to like revisiting. Dead of Winter`s also very much in keeping with the current run of Doctor Who novels with regards to its casual references to British popular culture, and for a having a child at the core of the story. There's also a lovely nod to the TV series, as Dr. Smith tells Maria (the aforementioned child, who's been abandoned by her mother) his secret name... Which all leads to a rather lovely and ingenious twist in the plot. James Goss also has some rather nice references to Amy Pond's menage a trois with Rory and the Doctor in the TV series. Also, very much in keeping with my view of the current series, Rory expresses some misgivings about the Doctor's methods, as he investigates just how Dr. Bloom is curing patients with TB over a century ahead of time... In an addition to this, there's quite a few doppelgangers hanging around, which adds to the drama and the mystery, although (fortunately enough) they're not of the `ganger' variety. There's another echo with the current series with regards to a deadly incident that very much affects the Doctor... And, I don't know, with all the fog, the duplicates, and the sea, James Goss may also be harking back to the Horror of Fang Rock from the classic series of Doctor Who. James Goss certainly knows his stuff, as he should do, since he's run the BBC's Doctor Who website. However, there's not a hint of nepotism in Albert DePetrillo's commissioning of this book, since James Goss is a damn fine writer whose novel has been published on its own sublime literary merits. Indeed, James Goss' Dead Air achieved the mighty accolade of Audiobook of the Year of the year in 2010, which is a very mighty achievement for a Doctor Who book. In addition to this, James Goss writes a blog called The Agatha Christie Reader, and his love of her work also finds its way into Dead of Winter via some subtle asides. What complicates things even further is the disappearance of the TARDIS, which turns out to be due to a little used facility of the Doctor's time vessel... And there's the rather neat revelation that the Doctor doesn't actually speak English! Who are the mysterious ghostly figures that rise up from the sea and dance with the patients on the shore? And why does Prince Boris' manservant have a habit of floating inches from the ground? You'll find out all this and more in the rather excellent Dead of Winter, which is far more fantastically lively and thrilling than its title would suggest.


Doctor Who: Borrowed Time
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time
by Naomi Alderman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beg, borrow, steal some time to read this, 13 July 2011
It wasn't so long ago that BBC Books scored a coup by publishing a Michael Moorcock Doctor Who novel, The Coming of the Terraphiles. That was an okay book, but I was even more delighted when the latest load of Doctor Who review copies arrived, as one of the authors' names really leapt out at me. Could `Naomi A. Alderman' be the `Naomi Alderman' who won the Orange Prize for New Writers with her debut novel Disobedience in 2007? A quick scan of the accompanying press release revealed that it was indeed so. Naomi Alderman was also named by Waterstones as one of their Writers for the Future in 2007. I find it really exciting that BBC Books are able to commission authors of such extraordinary calibre, following the lead of the TV show, which has recently called on the talents of Richard Curtis and Neil Gaiman. Could Doctor Who be in danger of becoming part of the literary establishment? I certainly hope so. To make things even more stellar, Borrowed Time is partly dedicated to Naomi Alderman's cousin, Samuel West, who may or may not be the well-regarded actor of the same name who incredibly appeared in the lamentable Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover Dimensions in Time for Children in Need in 1993 only a couple of years after starring in Howards End, and who also played the Time Lord Morbius in a Big Finish audio adventure. Needless to say, all this pedigree allowed Borrowed Time to jump quite a few places on my to-read list!

It takes Naomi Alderman a couple of chapters to get going, but once she does, she really hits the ground running. Her characterisation of the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are spot on. The henchmen Symington and Blenkinsop appear to have stepped right out of The Matrix (the Wachowski movie, rather than the Time Lord databank), especially when they become `duplicated' and start hunting down the Doctor and his friends as a horde. However, Mr Symington and Mr Blenkinsop turn out to be quite literally loan `sharks', with the added propensity of biting chunks out of anyone that gets in their way, and they're a great example of how Naomi Alderman takes a simple idea to its logical (and somewhat surreal) extremes. The main plot is just as clever, featuring several employees of Lexington International Bank who have borrowed just a bit too much time from the aforementioned henchmen as they attempt to get at least one step ahead of their colleagues. Since time is the commodity that's being traded, it's not long before the Doctor becomes embroiled in the events at Lexington Bank. However, despite the fact that Amy knows the Doctor abhors dodgy dealings with time travel, she can't help but take Symington and Blenkinsop up on their offer to allow her a rare opportunity of visiting her parents. Since the novel's set in 2007, one would have thought that she'd run the risk of bumping into herself, but fortunately, the `real' Amy appears to have spent a great deal of time away from home in Leadworth in 2007. It's just as well that Symington & Blenkinsop's watch has a Blinovitch Limitation Limitation though.

In some places, especially with regards to the explanation of compound interest, Borrowed Time comes dangerously close to following Doctor Who`s original remit of being educational, to the extent that even a financial market is brought vividly to life (albeit a temporal one). Yet Alderman's novel is also very much a thriller, and her well-thought-out plot will have keep you royally entertained as you rapidly flick through its pages. Borrowed Time is also very funny, and it's very evident that Naomi Alderman knows her Doctor Who lore. As she writes in the acknowledgements, Naomi Alderman's first exposure to Doctor Who was a video of The Robots Of Death [1978] [DVD] [1963], and you can't really go wrong with an introduction like that. To my delight, Naomi Alderman also utilises the vworp, vworp noise to representation the landing of the TARDIS, something she's borrowed from the Doctor Who comic strips (if only the subtitles for the TV show would do the same!) Borrowed Time is a very clever satire on both our current 24 hours a day culture, and the 2007 banking crisis, since the novel's events are set just before the beginnings of this calamity. Indeed, in my opinion, Borrowed Time could very well be the best novel written yet on the banking crisis!


Doctor Who: The Way Through the Woods
Doctor Who: The Way Through the Woods
by Una McCormack
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Werefox? Therefox!, 13 July 2011
Una McCormack's The Way Through the Woods unburies that old storytelling yore of the dark woods that seemingly swallows people whole, for all those who enter the woods will never be seen again... It's a device that I myself have utilised in my own short stories. So, on first appearances, The Way Through the Woods appears quite hackneyed. Although men and women from the town of Foxton have vanished in the woods over the centuries, Una McCormack just concentrates on a few women who have disappeared in this manner, and to be honest, on first reading, I lost track of which woman was which, and wasn't all that involved in the narrative. In addition to this, the story pivots around an abandoned and broken down spaceship, a motif that's really been done to death in Steven Moffat's Doctor Who. So, it seemed to me (on first impressions) that The Way Through the Woods was rather a let-down when compared to Una McCormack's Doctor Who debut, The King's Dragon, which was quite good. Doctor Who: The King's Dragon

Such was the quality of her Gallifreyan debut however, that I decided to give The Way Through the Woods a thorough re-read, and I'm very glad I did. For one thing, Una's characterisation of Rory is spot on (the Doctor and Amy not quite so, but nearly), and for another, her references to the 2005 series of Doctor Who were very good (I particularly liked her cogent explanation of the fact that Rory both is and isn't the Auton Roman centurion who guarded Amy while she was trapped in the Pandorica). There's also a nice scene later on when an image of a Roman soldier causes Rory to blush (although he's not quite sure why, as he's lost his memories), as this is something will appeal to adult readers. The Way Through the Woods is also very educational; for instance, I'd never heard of the nickname `Conchie' before reading this book (short for `conscientious objector'), and I'd previously thought that the pub closing hour introduced during World War I was 11pm (Una points outs that it was actually the far more restrictive 9.30pm). The theme of the First World War also runs through the narrative in a much more subtle way than in did in it did in the 2007 episode of Doctor Who called The Family of Blood.Doctor Who - Series 3 Vol. 3 At first, I also thought the naming of the alien as a `Werefox' to be quite old hat, and redolent of the overabundance of anthropomorphic creatures that have faced the Doctor in the recent past. However, I then read Una McCormack's acknowledgement at the end of the book to Fairport Convention "for recording Reynardine". Since `Reyn' is the name of the aforementioned Werefox, I had to look this up, and discovered that there are actually ancient tales of a Werefox called Reynardine that steals away maidens to his castle in British folklore. This explains why so many women feature in this book - which, of course, is not a fault - the fact that I lost track of who was who was down to my not paying adequate attention when I first read The Way Through the Woods. So, if Una McCormack is guilty of anything with regards to this book, it's that she's perhaps a bit too subtle, and too modest to point out just how clever she's been in this very good book.


Paper Heart [DVD]
Paper Heart [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Cera
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.93

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Got better as it went along, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Paper Heart [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First of all, I wasn't sure what to make of this film, as it mixes drama and documentary. Charlyne Yi goes on the road with her documentary team all over North America to find out about love, mainly because Charlyne doesn't believe that she'll ever be in love. This isn't admittedly the kind of film that I would ever watch, although I do like independent cinema. So, I was quite disenchanted with the early part of the film, as I didn't really care what happened to Charlyne, and the 'real-life' people she interviewed were not that engaging. But then my thoughts gradually began to change. Charlyne Yi is quite a 'cutesy', quirky kind of character, who is quite likeable. I wasn't a great fan of her would-be love-interest, Michael Cera, at first, but I then realised I was empathising with Charlyne when Michael walked out on her in the restaurant, and during the scenes where she's walking around Paris, despondently alone. I especially liked the poignant interview Charlyne did with two gay guys, and the story about how the the two court workers hitched up was very amusing also. The cardboard theatre animations of lovers' stories also got better as the film went on to its rather explosive finale! I watched this film over a few days, so I grew to very much like Michael Cera's music, which I thought suited an independent film very well. So, I did enjoy it in the end, but I don't think that 'Paper Heart' worked so well throughout its runtime.


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