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aglaecwif "Old English Lin" (Worcestershire, UK)

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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander)
An Echo in the Bone (Outlander)
by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Where did the storyline disappear to?, 6 Jan. 2015
Oh dear! That about sums this book up for me. In comparison to the previous books this is poor fare indeed. It needed a very ruthless editor's pen for a start to cut away all the repeated descriptions of army camps and other minutiae of daily life - yes it was dirty, smelly and not like now. We get that. It doesn't need to be endlessly repeated. And some of the twists in the storyline are getting to the point of downright unbelievable. As a writer myself I do appreciate that sometimes you need to tweak fate so that characters can be in a position to witness something of historical importance, but these aren't tweaks - they're up there with the fairy wand being waved. How many ship-wreaks/storms/fires are Jamie and Claire supposed to survive?
It's telling, I think, that DG is meeting with another writer who has landed a lucrative TV deal and is now stringing out his series, George R R Martin. In both cases they seem to have lost sight of who their readership is, because those loyal readers who started off years ago have a maturity which does not necessarily want the soft-porn sex scenes all the time. Jamie and Claire have a good sex life, great! Now get on with the story! And the most unbelievable scene in that sense comes at the end of the book when Claire fears Jamie is lost at sea. I won't give a spoiler, but it really is beyond believable on so many levels!
I also agree with another reviewer in that DG may have her American details right, but her Scottish episodes grate with those of us who actually know Scotland. And sometimes something as simple as reference to a decent map would have put things right, so no excuse at all!
So a very poor novel from someone who once upon a time I rated as one of my favourite writers, to the extent that I seriously doubt whether I shal buy future books. What a shame!


The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle): 2
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle): 2
by Patrick Rothfuss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Having just finished this I have to say it suffers ..., 10 Nov. 2014
Having just finished this I have to say it suffers from second book syndrome. With such a cracking story as The Name of the Wind it was always going to be hard to follow it, but there are times when this books gets a bit rambling. I also found myself wondering at several points where this story was going to. Granted, these wanderings were pulled back, and it became apparent that these digressions were intended to fill out Kvothe's skills, but sometimes it was definitely stretching the point out longer than was needed. And I also found myself wishing some of these wanderings had been replaced with more on Bast at the inn and filling his character out more, instead of which he is dropped tantalisingly into the story every so often then forgotten about. Kvothe's narration of his life shows his life in all its mundanity, but occassionally Rothfuss gives us too much of the daily routine and too little of the story. It's still worth a read, but I hope he tightens the story up for the next book.


iTALKonline PadWear BLUE Executive BOOK Wallet Case Cover Shield Slot for Amazon Kindle 4 (4G) Global Wireless 3G 6" 6 inch 2011 Model
iTALKonline PadWear BLUE Executive BOOK Wallet Case Cover Shield Slot for Amazon Kindle 4 (4G) Global Wireless 3G 6" 6 inch 2011 Model
Offered by iTALKonline-UK
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought as a present and was a good buy.


Pentax X5 Bridge Camera - Black (16MP, 26x Wide Angle Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tilt LCD
Pentax X5 Bridge Camera - Black (16MP, 26x Wide Angle Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tilt LCD
Price: £189.33

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent value for money, 6 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have long missed my old style SLR cameras, but haven't been able to afford a digital one, yet having used the Pentax I now don't feel the lack so much. I dearly loved my old Pentax and this one is living up to the brand reputation!

I chose this model because it has an eye-level view-finder, and I have to say that it works very well. On my point-and-shoot compact I'd got used to using the viewing screen on the back simply because I found looking through the EVF ended up with bits cropped off - there's no such problem here. You really don't need the screen except for viewing what you've taken, or for using the very useful facility of being able to move the screen out and to an angle to take awkwardly placed shots (such as round corners or down at ground level or over heads).

There's a feast of shooting options which suit pretty much anything an amateur photographer is ever going to need - beach, snow, night-time etc - and although I haven't used all of them yet, the ones I have used have produce very good results.

The only thing which shows that it's not a more expensive camera is that the autofocus could be a little faster on moving objects, but that could be that I've not got the measure of setting it up for such shots yet as much as the camera. (First time out I was trying to take photos of running dogs on a beach, and probably should have tried a couple more modes to find which works best). The quality of the images is excellent, though, and it copes with close-ups very well.

Unfortunately mine didn't come with a user guide, which I suspect was a packing fault, but the camera is well laid out enough that you can work most things out for yourself. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a camera which does more than the modern compact but isn't in the market for a digital SLR.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2015 1:18 AM GMT


The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John
The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John
by J.C. Holt
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Written a long time ago, this is still academically sound and stands the test of time. An execellent assessment of the northern baron in the time of King John which covers areas which are still too often overlooked. An essential reference work.


Blue Lightning (Shetland Book 4)
Blue Lightning (Shetland Book 4)
Price: £3.77

4.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to confess here that I bought and read this after watching the TV series. That said, I found this to be substantially different to the script, and I can't work out why the TV company felt the need to make so many alterations, because this is the superior storyline. Even the motive and murderer were changed, but here make much more sense. There is also a wonderful evocation of place (Fair Isle) and the people who live there. Definitely worth reading even if you watched the episode because you still won't know the ending!


The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military)
The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military)
Price: £6.17

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a very broad sweep, not detailed biography, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are looking for a good biography of William Marshal, this isn't it. Brooks spends so much time filling in the background of the times in which Marshal lived (including an awful lot on Henry II) that there's very little of 'the greatest knight' at all. Even this background history is given in the most general terms, so anyone with a basic grounding in the times of the Plantagenets will find little new here.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2014 10:56 AM BST


Canon PowerShot A1400 Digital Camera - Black (16 MP, 28mm Wide Angle, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD
Canon PowerShot A1400 Digital Camera - Black (16 MP, 28mm Wide Angle, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD

3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as its predecessors, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this after having a Canon A1200 stolen, but this has none of the flexibility of the old camera in terms of choice of modes. This is just a very basic point-and-shoot camera. I also have to say that the focusing when close to objects is poor despite it having a macro. Probably as robust as its predecessor but I'll be keeping this as a back-up in future, not as my main camera.


A Quest of Heroes (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring)
A Quest of Heroes (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring)
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars so many stereotypes!, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After some of the comparisons made about this writer I had high hopes of what this would be like - what a disappointment! The boy Thor yearns to join the elite guard, and despite the blocks put forward by his bad brothers (boo-hiss!) he barges into the guards' training area and get gets taken on anyway, inexplicably drawing favour from the royal family (Why? He's a petulant trouble-maker?). Thor has magical powers (with a name like that? Oh my, surely not!), but he's also lacking in any quirks or foiles which might make him likeable to any adult reader. But then the rest of the cast of characters are much the same. The king's family are like a walking identikit parade of stereotypes - the oldest illegitimate son is the 'best' of them all, the gay son we are told is accepted for his sexuality, but is such an obnoxious and spiteful personality that he's still the 'bad gay one'. And so it goes on... and on... and on! I actually got to a point where I wondered whether each of the characters exists on a playing card somewhere, which got shuffled and spread out to make the plot. The only plus is that the writing itself is technically competent, but in terms of plot and character any comparison with Tolkien, George R R Martin, and other greats is just laughable.


The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Book 1)
The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Book 1)
Price: £2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an original take on a standard theme, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This could so easily have slid into being another stereotypical story of 'poor boy makes good', or worse, ' boy joins elite guard and discovers he has magical talent'. Yet from the start Soren is an engaging lead who it's easy to feel for, and who is something more than the photofit kind of two-dimensional character found in other books of this kind. Yes, Soren does get hauled out of the dirt to unexpected glory, but he has to earn his rewards and often the hard way. Yes he does get to be taught at the best military academy, but he remains an outsider in a convincing way - someone who has already seen too much of the realities of life to be able to be comfortable with the petty squabbles and family feuds he sees. And there's more than one twist of fate as he learns how he's been manipulated.

There's enough swordplay to keep the story moving on at a goodly pace, but also sufficient character development to raise it above being merely a series of fights. I particularly enoyed the way that having achieved the targets he gets set, Soren regularly finds that the results aren't what he might have expected. The stereotypes are nicely set up and then neatly sidestepped before becoming worn. If you enjoy the classic kind of fantasy story then this is well worth a read. It's certainly a promising start to a set, and I shall definitely be buying the next in the series.


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