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R. Clarke "shorttricky"
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Wintersmith (Discworld Novels)
Wintersmith (Discworld Novels)
by Sir Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice to have hope for a Pratchett book!, 18 Nov 2006
I've been so disappointed in Pratchett recently - the "proper" Discworld novels have completely lost their way - but this series has been a treat. These hark back to the early Discworld books, with a small cast of characters, and one story, not thousands of them trying to intertwine.

This continues to tales of Tiffany Aching and her Mac Na Feegle in their battles against the personification of winter itself, who takes an unwelcome shine to Tiffany. The joy in this book is that it stays simple, and allows the characters to grow at a pace that feels natural. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have worthy roles to play, without ever overpowering young Tiffany, and it continues to build the witch mythology nicely ("Boffo" takes over as my new favourite witch idea...).

It's certainly not his best; this feels a little drawn out in the middle, and very rushed towards the end - this was certainly a book that could have been 20/30 pages longer comfortably. But still, it's a treat to read a Pratchett book and enjoy it again, it's something you don't get from the proper books anymore.


Thud!: A Discworld Novel
Thud!: A Discworld Novel
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

12 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I long for simpler times..., 18 Nov 2006
I've actively dreaded the last few Pratchett books, because they've been so disappointing, and this one didn't offer me much hope. And when I'd finished it, I really couldn't say anything better about it than "Time passed".... This is not as bad as some of the more recent books (Monstrous Regiment being the stand out example of badness), but it doesn't offer anything.

It's another Ankh-Morpork book, which is now starting to feel boring - with no variety, it's becoming a very dull place. Pratchett seems to have completely run out of ideas, so with every new book, Ankh-Morpork becomes more technologically advanced - but it feels forced, not a natural progression - you feel as though there will be a pixie powered IPod in the next book.

He also seems to have no new character ideas, so like Maskerade, Feet of Clay and Going Postal, the Watch just gets bigger and bigger, with a new load of pointless characters that you don't have the time or energy to give a damn about. Even more recent characters like Angua are dumped into the background, and you could almost forget that Carrot, Vimes and Nobby were in the Watch, let alone that they were founding members....

The story leaves a lot to be desired as well - it's better than some of the more recent books he's done, but it feels forced, like he had to have a book out for September, and this would do. This is by the numbers writing, and it's frustrating to read. If you want to read a good, new Pratchett, read the Mac Na Feegle books - they do everything the "proper" discworld books have forgotten about, and they're a joy to read in comparison.


Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
by Mark Waid
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DC epic!, 15 Dec 2003
This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
The first thing that everyone will notice about this collection is Alex Ross' amazing artwork, but trust me, there is one hell of a story there as well! This apocolyptic future of the DC universe makes the whole idea of superheroes more real and very unsettling at the same time. Waid's use of the preacher as a moral compass gives an interesting insight on how we would see these nearly-gods, and he manages to make the more powerful characters more human and vunerable, allowing their characters to have flaws.
Of course Ross' art complements the story beautifully; his visions of the DC heroes are amongst the best ever done, and with Kingdom Come he cements his position as one of the greatest comic artists ever. You'll never look at Captain Marvel the same way...
As a nice bonus, there's a "deleted scene" re-included, and an epilogue has been added; it's not vital to the story at all, but is just a nice little touch to finish it. If you don't have this book, buy it now; if you have the comics, buy it anyway!


Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl [VHS] [2003]
Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl [VHS] [2003]
VHS
Offered by Xtra Group
Price: 3.47

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't see it happening with an Alton Towers ride..., 24 Nov 2003
Having been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride several times, I did much head scratching when I heard about this film. I could not see any way you could turn a ten minute ride (with no story) into a two hour film.
Well more fool me...
To anyone that is planning to convert a ride, here's what you do; get a crazy director, and pretty cast, and shove the whirlwind that is Johnny Depp in the middle, and let it all run riot!
The story's suprisingly good, and certainly has the feel of the ride; Orlando Bloom has a blast (watch out for the Depp impression); Keira Nightley is quite delicious, but gets the chance to prove she's not just window dressing; but it is Depp who is truly awesome; the director lets him run riot and he puts in one of his best performances ever, and runs Michael Keaton's Beetlejuice close in the race for best charater ever.
There's lots of fun snippets for people who've been on the ride, and this film is certainly suitable for kids and adults alike. Bear in mind that 12 is a fair rating though; I'd certainly keep this away from the younger children in the family.
All in all, this film is a blast; roll on the sequel!


Fox Trot En Masse (Foxtrot Treasury)
Fox Trot En Masse (Foxtrot Treasury)
by Bill Amend
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars It's funny because it's true!, 24 Nov 2003
Fox Trot is the comic adventures of the Fox family; Roger (wannabe sports star) and Andy (tries to write during the chaos) are the long-suffering parents; Jason (computer geek, hates Paige), Paige (likes shopping, hates Jason) and Peter (loves sport, would help if he was better at it) the children. Their adventures range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but what makes it great reading is the fact it's not totally unbelievable!
If you like Dilbert or Calvin and Hobbes, you'll love Fox Trot; it's presented in newspaper strip format (Sunday strips shown full colour), this is a good long book for the money, and one you'll certainly come back to time and time again.


Monstrous Regiment (Discworld Novels)
Monstrous Regiment (Discworld Novels)
by Sir Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett's past his best..., 24 Nov 2003
Five years ago I was beating down bookshop doors to get my hands on the newest Pratchett book; not any more. Pratchett has been going downhill for the last couple of years, struggling to keep old characters fresh, and the new characters just don't hold the interest. So it was with trepidation I approached Monstrous Regiment...and I was still disappointed! This book is just bad; essentially it's a re-write of "Mulan", the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join the army. The problem is that the humour's just tired now, and it reads like Pratchett's just writing a Watch story without the Watch (but with characters very similar!). The twist's in the plot are so well telegraphed and so predictable that by the end you just don't care any more.
There are two good things about Monstrous Regiment; Vimes (who makes a brief appearance) has all the fun he's not been allowed to in the past few Watch books, and it's short, so you won't waste too much time reading it...
This book is only for Pratchett completists; new readers should go for the earlier Discworld novels, or the children's discworld stories, "Maurice.." and "Wee Free Men"; they're a much better exhibit for his work.


Abhorsen
Abhorsen
by Garth Nix
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.45

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out, Garth Nix is on the rise..., 6 Nov 2003
This review is from: Abhorsen (Hardcover)
"Abhorsen" hits the ground running, leaping into action directly after the events of "Lirael". From the explosive opening chapter to the heart-stopping finale, Nix shows he is no mood to let up on the pace and drama of the previous two books. This is a work of genius, with adventure and danger guaranteed to get the hardest heart pumping; and yes, we finally see all the way to the ninth gate. Any loose ends from the previous books are tidily resolved, and Nix answers all the questions he's made you ask along the way...of course, he leaves a couple of new ones as well!
Keep your eye out for this man...this trilogy might be finished, but there are more stories to tell yet.


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