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The Serpent Gift
The Serpent Gift
by Lene Kaaberbol
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So close and yet so far, 27 Nov. 2005
This review is from: The Serpent Gift (Paperback)
The Serpant Gift is an impressive work of fantasy, set in an almost plausiable universe close but not quite our own. It is written in the first person from two different perspectives, which is initially confusing but eventually becomes intuitive. Though the initial premise (Shamers who can break hardened sinners by looking in their eyes) sounds cheesy, it is carried off well. The adversary force, the titular Serpant's Gift, starts off solidly and then becomes somewhat out of place as its mechanics of dreams are revealed, and this sets the tone of the book as the masterfully written mystery forces that plauge the beginning of the book become far less impressive when they are revealed, and their resolution is often clumsy.
By far the finest part of the Serpent's gift is its first section, which sets the tone wonderfully as the mysterious father of our heroine, Dina, begins to catch up, to blatent panic from her mother. Neither character is demonised, and though some staggeringly obtuse responces from Dinah's brother breaks the tense atmosphere, the impressive chase is rendered even more potent when we can empathise with both hunter and quarry, and when both hunter and quarry are shown to be imperfect and vindictive. The final revelations of Dinah's father and the nature of the Serpent gift are well-written enough, but fall somewhat short of this excellent beginning, and the portrayel of ruling Draconis family as purely evil is also disappointing.
The climax is far too short, and blatently disposes of several important characters who are no longer needed, or who would get in the way- it is painfully evident that this is the end of the book but not the series. This is what costs it that extra star, for the Serpant Gift is well-written, engrossing, emotive and centred round a powerful clash of identities and forces, which is carried off with great ability. An apparent fear of making heroes
of the heroes is both a gift and a curse, as our very human characters sometimes fall short of fantasy expectations, but this is nonetheless a very fine work.

Hank Williams: Timeless
Hank Williams: Timeless
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.45

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb contemporary tribute to Hank Williams, 15 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Hank Williams: Timeless (Audio CD)
Timeless is a very appropriate title for this excellent tribute to Hank Williams by a superb group of contemporary stars. His generally mournful songs are very successfully brought up-to-date by a series of understated and spot on performances.
Highlights include Bob Dylan in 'Love and theft' mood on 'I can't get you off of my mind' and Emmylou Harris very much does 'Alone and forsaken' in her own striking style. Lucinda Williams is in fine voice too, but the greatest surprises are how good Keith Richards is with 'You win again' and Sheryl Crowe's yodelling. An acquired taste maybe, but Johnny Cash is the perfect choice for Hank William's song about his dead mother, 'I dreamed about Mama last night'.
All in all, a superb tribute to a very good songwriter and full marks to the record company Lost Highway for putting this CD together.


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tongue-in-cheek country - moving at the same time, 15 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Convincer (Audio CD)
Another strong collection of songs from Nick Lowe, mainly in his latter-day country style. Plenty of humour still seeps through with his fine eye for detail; dirty laundry and bits of old pizza get mentioned along with having a hangover and feeling miserable.
Not as good as Impossible bird, but great fun and quite moving at times. If you like country slightly tongue-in-cheek, this is for you.

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