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Reviews Written by
hippo "hugh'sbooks" (Belfast)

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Elliot Minor
Elliot Minor
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 6 May 2008
This review is from: Elliot Minor (Audio CD)
I bought this album after hearing the singles 'Jessica' and 'Parallel worlds'. Both are excellent songs but the question was: could they maintain the quality with the album?

Well yes and no. Some songs on the album are just brilliant. As other reviewers have said Elliott Minor have two major strengths: their can execute great harmonies and they can perform classical pieces. Therefore the songs that utilise this are the best.

'The Broken Minor', 'The White one is evil' and 'Silently' (along with Parallel Worlds) are the best songs on the album because they have the ingredients mentioned above. There is some filler (I didn't like 'Lucky Star' or 'Running Away') but there is so much quality they can be overlooked.

Recommended. It is no coincidence that the majority of reviews are five star.

Dark Space (Sentients of Orion S.)
Dark Space (Sentients of Orion S.)
by Marianne de Pierres
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing idea that's poorly executed., 20 Mar. 2008
As the Amazon synopsis explains, Jo-Jo Rasterovich - mineral scout and general waster- discovers a god like being on the edge of space called Sole. What is it and what does it want?

This idea caught my interest and so I bought the book. Unfortunately De Pierres focuses the story on Mira - a Baronessa who has the hereditary ability to pilot ships and Trin, the future Principe (King) and his fall from grace. Their stories interlink and make up the majority of the book.

This is a four book series so it is understandable that De Pierres doesn't want to reveal the central idea completely in book one but even so, to focus the story on the two characters above was a wasted opportunity. Neither are at all likeable, both are self-obsessed whiners, Mira especially, who prattles on consistently about how unfair everything is. When the reader can empathise with the main characters a book becomes much more enjoyable but there is no chance of that occurring here.

If the Author had focused on Jo-Jo and the other main character- an academic named Tekon- who has been chosen as one of the select few to interact with Sole then perhaps the book could have been saved, sadly she doesn't.

However, the biggest problem I had with this book is the undertone of sexism towards men. All the male characters are selfish and aggressive monsters, basically scum. Whilst virtually all the women are martyrs: generous, understanding, caring and warm. The idea that either sex is wholly good or bad is laughable and naive but this is one of the author's key themes and it really begins to grate.

Moreover, as a previous reviewer stated, the novel use of language (a form of futuristic Italian) is maddening.

Overall, this was very disappointing and I'll not be picking up the second book : 'Chaos Space' when it comes out.

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Adult Edition (Harry Potter 6): 6/7
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Adult Edition (Harry Potter 6): 6/7
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely perfect., 24 Dec. 2007
(Contains spoilers for 'Order of the Phoenix' and slight spoilers for 'Half Blood Prince'.)

This entire series is special but now that it's complete I can safely say this is my favourite. I'll re-read all the books but this one the most.


After Sirius' death in book five, Dumbledore invites Harry to help him investigate and obtain information regarding Voldermort's past (or to be more precise- Tom Riddle's past). With Voldermort's Deatheaters returning to him en masse, Voldermort is now ready to return to his reign of terror so Dumbledore and Harry must look into his past to see if there is any way of defeating him. These flashback sequences via the pensieve are terrific and really flesh out the character of Tom Riddle, giving him more substance.

As with each new book a new teacher arrives at Hogwarts. This time it is the larger than life, jolly yet fiercely ambitious Horace Slughorn who Dumbledore has convinced to come out of retirement. Apart from Hermione, Slughorn has now become my favourite character in the series. He is neither completely good or bad, he is complex, flawed and likable. For me he is one of Rowling's best creations.

Rowling has a wonderful ability to simultaneously progress the overall main story (in this book MAJOR events happen) and at the same time put excellent detail into the smaller stories that occur in the book. Each book always has a mystery element to be solved and here Harry, Ron and Hermione attempt to figure out who the 'Half- Blood Prince' is.

Some of the best chapters concern Harry, Hermione and Ron and their day to day troubles within Hogwarts such as Quiddich practice, how they are faring in certain classes now that they are studying the more difficult N.E.W.T course, not to mention their complicated love lives.

Rowling's world is completely absorbing and this was a pleasure to read with its' usual combination of mystery, humour and sadness, all of which is underpinned by the wonderful Characters- old and new.

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2008 4:45 PM BST

Floating Dragon
Floating Dragon
by Peter Straub
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating and unfulfilling read., 24 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Floating Dragon (Paperback)

Every thirty or so years a series of brutal murders and catastrophic events devastate a small town caused by some unknown evil force within the town. Four families originally settled the town and now a descendant from each has returned to the town and the massacres are becoming worse than ever. Can they combine to defeat this force?


As many people have said, the plot has many parallels with Stephen King's 'It'. I'm not sure which was written first (and therefore who inspired who) but King's book is the better of the two.

This is a tough read. Many times I had to force myself to continue to read on which is a very bad sign, a book should just flow but there are some very dull info dumps within the book. The story is told from different time periods and the novel switches to different characters and their particular story and point of view. The problem with this of course is that some characters are fleshed out better than others and when the story deviates from them you become disappointed.

The main problem however is that the evil force within the book just isn't tangible, compare this to 'IT' where the image and scenes with Pennywise the Clown stay in the mind.

It's not all bad though. Some of the main characters- namely a young kid named Tabby Smithfield and an old writer named Graham Williams are interesting to read about and you can empathize with their plight to an extent.

Overall this is not a great read but Straub does have something about his writing, there is a germ of a good idea here, it's just not executed well. So if the synopsis interested you, I'd recommend King's 'IT' and if you want to try Straub go for 'Shadowland' or 'The Hellfire Club'.

The Mask
The Mask
by Dean Koontz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gem, 30 Jun. 2004
This review is from: The Mask (Paperback)
Dean Koontz has written so many books, but this is first i've read. I 've been looking for an alternative from Stephen King. I think Koontz can fill his boots.
This is about a loving, warm childless couple, eagar to adopt, however something seems to want to stop them, near miss after near miss follows. Then they meet Jane, a cool but lost kid with amnesia but who warms to them. The perfect set up.. right?
This is all out horror. The story is short and tight, with only a handful of characters but this adds to the story because you feel for them. Koontz is great at setting a scene, there are a number of chilling ones mostly involving Grace, an elderly woman who plays an intregal part in the book.
The book ends quite suddenly, but this isn't as bad as it sounds because Koontz ties almost all of the threads together just before and leaves you with enough to think of. Stories that drag on become monotonous.
I can't wait to read further Koontz books and highly reccomend this one.

Hearts in Atlantis
Hearts in Atlantis
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Low men, 30 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Hearts in Atlantis (Paperback)
Almost all of King's books have a link to the Dark Tower, some subtle, some blatant, this is one of the latter. Being a Dark Tower fan i read it for the purpose of filling in some blanks but to say this is only a Dark Tower Book isn't doing it Justice.
The book is five short stories set in the 60's but all tie together nicely, Bobby Garfield the lead guy in the First story shows up in the last set years later for example.
The first Story, the long men in yellow coats is the Dark Tower story, the Longest and the best. The foundation is Classic King: Smart, likeable kid, living with his strict and aloof mum. Their lives change when Ted, an elderly, charming and friendly man moves into the apartment above them. Bobby and Ted hit it off and Bobby soon becomes entangled in Ted's past and what he's hiding from.
Like most Quasi Dark Tower stuff (for example Little sisters of Eluria in Everything's eventual) this story has two levels: Fans of the former will see the link but people who just want to enjoy this story can, the plot is rich enough.
Bobby and Ted make a great partnership, I hope i see more of Ted in The Dark Tower series.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version [VHS] [2002]
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version [VHS] [2002]
Offered by stephensmith_426
Price: £12.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the three, 12 Feb. 2004
I've watched all three in the cinema and i truely think this is the best of the lot.
As previous reviewers have stated, the extra few seconds in scenes and completely new ones give the film an added richness that is greater than the mere added minutes it gives to the film.
I've never read the books so need the gaps to be filled in for me. Thankfully the story flows much better than in the cinema release although it is resonable to see why some parts where cut.
A larger comedy element shows in this version: Merry and Pippin on their adventures with treeberd and legolas and the dwarf have a running contest as to who can kill the most Orici.
The story of Rohan is really moving. Here, is where Jackson shows why he such a sought after Director, the cinematography here is fantastic showing both the settlement and the the fantastic helms' deep. The side story of the King and wormtounge is excellent, i feel that Brad Dourif who gave the performance of the latter was super and should have been used more.
The scope of this film is daunting with three fairly seperate stories on going, Frodo and the Ring being the core one, Gollum is a joy and his trait of having a spilt personality is shown with ease and class, the battle of Helms' deep is the opus of the film and doesn't dissapoint and Pippin and Merrys' adventure isn't bad either.
Finally, a note about the VHS Version, obviously the extras from the DVD are not on this but if you're simply looking to enjoy the extended version then i truely reccomend it.

Everything's Eventual
Everything's Eventual
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 1 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Everything's Eventual (Paperback)
This is the first short story book that i have read from King and if the previous few are as good as this then i'm in for a treat.
There are fourteen stories here and not one lasts more than say 80 pages, meaning they truely are what they say.
As would be expected, some are significantly better than others. Stories such as 'luckey quarter' and 'all that you love will be taken away' are short if not sweet but are enjoyable. There are some which are outright Horror such as 'the road virus heads North'and '1608'which are about a haunted/possessed painting and Hotel room respectively.Check out 'riding the Bullet' as well about a kid who hitchhikes and gets more than he bargined for. 'The man in the black suit' goes right to the source of evil describing how one boy unfortunately meets the devil one day.
Two of the best shorts here are 'Lunch at the Gothem cafe' and 'L.T's theory of pets' (Kings' personal favourite)which are both about Divorce but are really well written and disturbing that you'll fly through reading them.
The reason i bought the book is because i love the Dark tower and King doesn't let the fans down here as another piece of the jigsaw of Rolands' past is placed. 'The Little sisters of Eluira' is set just before 'the gunslinger' and a fair while after 'wizard and glass'. Roland enters a deserted town but after a while is fighting for his life as something much sinister in the town threatens it. As King says himself this story can be enjoyed as a stand alone story so if you're not a DT fan, don't let that put you off. The title story 'everythings' eventual' also has DT connections but the main point to the piece is about how a gifted young man is manipulated and covertly forced to harm people.
There are however a few truely poor stories here, the worst being about deja vu, the concept is good but doesn't come across well. Likewise,'the road virus heads North' when compared with say 'riding the Bullet' and the brillant 'autopsy room four' is a very poor effort.
That said, the majority are fantastic and i highly reccommend it.

Environmental Law 4e
Environmental Law 4e
by David Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £46.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost complete., 19 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Environmental Law 4e (Paperback)
This book is extremely detailed in the topics that it covers.For a standard Law degree this book could help a student a acheive a very high mark indeed. It uses case law analysis, mentions alternative Academics to broaden the scope and breaks down legislation well.
However, the layout that Butterworths favours when producing its' textbooks makes it a little cumbersome and slightly dull to read due to the small text. That said the substance is very good.
All but one of the main topics that the standard Environmental module requires to be covered are here: Environmental principles, types of pollution (especially water pollution), waste Management, human rights and the environment and Environmental impact assessment. However one major topic missing from the list is nature conservation. It is covered but not quite comprehensively enough.
The E.U context is naturally important so the important Directives and case law are covered well.
Overall, this is a good textbook,the detail will enable a high mark but, this is not the book that will simply get you through the module, a more straighforward book would be a better alternative for that.
I also think that Bell is a superior text book and the new edition is out soon.

Bring It On
Bring It On
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking debut, 19 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Bring It On (Audio CD)
I must confess, i wasn't fussed about this series of fame academy, but in fairness Alistair did seem like one of the few genuine ones there.
He performed Bring it on in the final and i was hooked by that song right away, its' hard to get out of your head. The rest of album maintains this quality.
I think that ten out of the fourteen songs where written by the man himself and that in itself deserves respect but add to that the quality of the actual songs and its' obvious that Alistair is on the good side of line of Artists that come from these type of shows.
In my opinion Bring it on is the best song on the album but its' followed closely by songs two and three painkiller and oblivion, their all up tempo so thats' probably why i like them so much, but there are some good ballads look out for you and me tonight.
There are four covers, these are songs that Alistair performed on the show. The B-Side to Bring it on is my lovers prayer with Robin Gibb and its' quite good but from the covers i love wherever you will go. This song by the calling is fantastic in its' own right and Alistair puts his own style on it well.
Overall this is highly recommended, there are a few fillers but the great songs more than outweigh this!

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