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Reviews Written by
Simon Binning "Simonbin" (Bath, UK)

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Marius' Mules: Prelude to War
Marius' Mules: Prelude to War
Price: £0.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A good, quick read, 20 Sep 2014
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This book contains three short stories which take place between Marius Mules VI, and the next volume. They are really a positioning device to allow the author to focus on the main element of the next work - no secret that that will be the revolt led by Vercingetorix- without having to fill that book with unnecessary detail. If you take it as such, it is a good read. Two of the stories deal solely with characters we have come to know from the earlier books, and explain what happens to them during this time. The third story, although related to characters in these books, details an important historical incident which will also have an affect on some of our characters.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I don't have a problem with these short 'in-fillers'. Yes they are short, but as long as that is made clear in the description - which this one is, although I aknowledge some others are not - then you know exactly what you are getting.
I'm now waiting for episode VII


Marius' Mules VI: Caesar's Vow
Marius' Mules VI: Caesar's Vow
Price: £1.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, from a great series, 20 Sep 2014
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This is another good volume in the series. I won't go into details of the plot, but it is another gripping adventure for Fronto and his friends and enemies! The author has a clear grasp of the characters involved, and they continue to develop as the series progresses.
My one gripe about this episode - and the reason for only four stars - is that, for me, there were too many new characters introduced in this story. This meant that you hardly had time to work out who was who, before they started dying - or becoming very important, and you therefore did not have enough invested in them to care. I know that this was part of the point, because Fronto had the same problem, but for me, it meant less engagement than normal.
However, still a good read, and I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment.


Kenny and Me: Bananas Forever
Kenny and Me: Bananas Forever
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and charming account of a friendship, 18 Mar 2014
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This book doesn't really give any great insights into either Kenny or Cleo, but it does give you an account of their friendship and love for each other. Both come out of it well, and you feel an empathy for them. At times very funny, occasionally moving, it is well worth reading.


Rubicon (Gordianus the Finder Book 7)
Rubicon (Gordianus the Finder Book 7)
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Addition to the Series, 17 Mar 2014
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For those of you who are already addicted to the Roma Sub Rosa series, this is another great episode. For those of you yet to have the pleasure, I urge you to read the series in order, as they really do combine to create a fantastic over-arching story.
This episode tells another great story - a bit slow at first - with a surprise that I, at least, did not see coming. Each book further develops the main characters: by this book, we know them quite well, but they can still throw up new traits.
The way the author fits his stories into real history is well-handled, and his writing is intelligent and subtle. Unfortunately I have to say that there were far too many spelling and grammatical errors in this kindle edition, but this seems so common these days it hardly seems worth complaining.


Sword Of Rome: Rubicon
Sword Of Rome: Rubicon
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good addition to the series, 19 Oct 2013
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This is one of a series of short stories.
Like the others, the story moves along at a fast pace, with the main characters slowly developing over the series.
For me, the stories are a little too short, and a little under-developed, but they are still a good read.


Bomb Girls - Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
Bomb Girls - Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
Price: £4.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book on a sadly forgotten part of WW2, 19 Oct 2013
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This book tells The stories of some of the thousands for women who worked in munitions factories in the Second World War. It starts with a few chapters giving an introduction to munitions factories, and how and where they operated, and then tells individual stories of some of the women who worked in them - the vast majority of the workers were women.
The book is very good as far as it goes. Unfortunately, for me it has two major downsides. Firstly, it is written by someone who is campaigning for recognition for the people who worked in the factories. Now I have no problem with that campaign; their contribution was not, and even now has not been, fully recognised. However, it does get a bit tiring when the campaign is mentioned for the umpteenth time.
Secondly, the individual stories become a little bit repetitive. I realise that the number of women involved who were still alive when the book was written was dwindling all the time, but they all seem to come from the same background, and their stories are all very similar. You can almost predict what is going to be said.
Having said all that, this is an important book, because it does give a voice to these women, and puts on record what they did and what they achieved.


Sword of Rome: Gladiator
Sword of Rome: Gladiator
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good short story, 12 Sep 2013
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This addition to the author's 'Sword of Rome' series is as readable as ever. These books are simple stories, told in a straightforward way, and are always entertaining. This one is no different. Just good entertainment.


The Racing Factions: A Crossroads Brotherhood Novella from the bestselling author of the VESPASIAN series (The Crossroads Brotherhood Book 1)
The Racing Factions: A Crossroads Brotherhood Novella from the bestselling author of the VESPASIAN series (The Crossroads Brotherhood Book 1)
Price: £1.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A good addition to the author's Vespasian series, 12 Sep 2013
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This is a short story involving one of the main characters in the author's Vesparian series.
It is a great read, and adds to the background from the main stories. It is well thought out, well plotted, and an easy read.


False God of Rome: VESPASIAN III
False God of Rome: VESPASIAN III
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A solid instalment in the series, 4 Sep 2013
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This instalment in the author's tale of the life of Vespasian is a bit of a mixture. As some other reviewers have pointed out, it does get very explicit at times: I was not offended by the detail, but felt unsure as to whether it was actually necessary. Yes, I can understand that the author had to impress on us that Caligula was so much more morally bankrupt than the rest of Rome, but I think it could have been done in a more subtle way.
Unlike some other reviewers, I think his treatment of early Christianity, and Paul in particular, made an interesting sub-plot. They would indeed have been seen by the authorities as a group of trouble makers - one amongst many - and dealt with accordingly.
Overall, an interesting read, and a good addition to the series. It did seem at times as though the author was filling time until he could get back to Vespasian's military career, which I suspect will follow in the next volume.


The Maid's Tale: A revealing memoir of life below stairs (Lives of Servants Book 2)
The Maid's Tale: A revealing memoir of life below stairs (Lives of Servants Book 2)
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars A good example of it's kind, 17 Aug 2013
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This simple book is the story of one woman's time in service between the wars.
Rose was born to a poor family, who decided for her that she would be better off working in service. She relates, in a simple and straightforward way, her experiences of working for a number of familes in a time when the class system, and those held captive by it, was about to be changed forever. The First World War, and the growth of the Labour Party and the Trade Unions, were allowing the working classes to value themselves, and realise that they had real power to change things. The process was really completed by the Second World War, and the lives of the rich - and their domestic staff - would never be the same again.
Rose was in service at the end of this process, and her observations on her own life, and those of her fellow domestics, and their employers are really worth a read. She starts off as a naive girl, who gradually learns the ins and outs of service, and how best to deal with her situation. Ultimately, she escapes the drudgery, and although never rich, finds a life that was obviously happy and fulfilling.


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