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Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England)
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The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Walking Dead Series)
The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Walking Dead Series)
Price: £3.42

3.0 out of 5 stars Background rather than revelation, 6 Oct 2014
Not bad but the first book was an origin story whereas most people know what will happen at Woodbury. The first bit is the strongest where survivors are trying to band together and keep alive, characters are given some depth and we start to care about them. Finally they make it to Woodbury to find that 'safety' means different things to different people.

So an easy read but with not much insight or depth.


Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
Price: £9.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, 6 Oct 2014
The second part of the Danny Baker autobiography is another fantastic read. This vaguely covers the period of him breaking into TV until before his cancer incident. While generally about his career and his anecdotes, it is also very much about his roots his family and life as Danny Baker. And that is where it really shines as peripheral characters such as his dad, his dog and even his tortoise are brought to life to very funny effect.

There is no pumped up self-worth here, Mr Baker kind of falls into things and lives his life on a day by day basis with minimal planning or forethought. If he has money, he spends it, if he wants to buy his first house, it just falls into his lap through luck and circumstance. Just when he runs out of work…another opportunity appears.

At heart he is a journalist and a writer and he tells his story very well here. It is funny and you are left in no doubt that you are seeing the ‘real’ Danny Baker. The blend of stories from his life and the stories from the world of celebrity merge perfectly as we see an individual who is often surprised by what life gives him, but grabs it with gleeful enthusiasm. High points are, as usual, his Dad but also a true insight into Paul Gascoigne which gave me a deeper view of the player than I have ever had before.

Have to say that at just over 250 pages and a cover price of £19 this is quite expensive but there is a lot of gold in these pages and it is a fantastic read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2014 11:23 PM BST


Webbox Chicken Fillets, 100 g, Pack of 15
Webbox Chicken Fillets, 100 g, Pack of 15
Price: £29.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Chicken Haribo, 6 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are quite strage - my best description would perhaps be chicken Haribo! They have the same texture and feel and Haribo, almost if chicken fillets have been magically transformed into Haribo. The dogs loved them, almost too much. They tried to wolf them down whole with a little bit of that choking noise, so for future deliveries we cut them into bits and launched them in smaller pieces.
Where I struggled was to understand their place in life, you wouldn't replace a meal with these and in their uncut form seemed to be too large for a snack or treat. So I might have gone three stars on this, but the way our dogs went for them suggests to me that they liked them very much indeed.


#2sides: Rio Ferdinand - My Autobiography
#2sides: Rio Ferdinand - My Autobiography
by Rio Ferdinand
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A legend speaks, 2 Oct 2014
Enjoyed this, just wish it had been a bit longer. Rather than a typical chronological view of his career this is a series of chapters dealing with specific subjects. Ferdinand comes over as driven, articulate and intelligent. He does not pull punches but does try to provide balanced views. This is demonstrated with his views on David Moyes who he does describe as a very honest and decent guy, but who was not tactically up to the requirements of a club that expects to win, not just survive. Likewise his views on race and the Suarez incident provides his side of the story and the detail on the John Terry affair. Some interesting views on the various Engalnd managers and, of course, Fergie. Plus some United legends such as as Scholes, Keane and Ronaldo.
Light mention is made of his doping ban and his gambling problems and these were key elements of his story and it would have been interesting to have had a bit more.
I applaud Rio for not taking a lazy approach to this book and for actually expressing some opinions rather than just boasting about his career and a game by game story. It did feel that it was not a typical autobiography cash in and did provide depth to what makes the author tick.
Having said that I feel he had much more to share and at well under 300 pages this is not great value for money if we look at the full cover price. But Rio Ferdinand is a United and England legend and I did find his views and perspective far from bland.


The Magician's Land
The Magician's Land
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy, 2 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Magician's Land (Paperback)
So an immensely interesting and satisfying trilogy concludes. Not one to dip into, they need to be read in order.

Lev Grossman has taken the concept of Narnia and Harry Potter and given it a dark and adult twist that constantly counter-balances the twee aspects of the magical world Fillory with how real humans would interact with it. The series asks you to question what real people would do with magic, especially when those people have typically human personalities and flaws.

This final book finds our lead character, Quentin, banished from Fillory and back in the real world. There are two main threads to the story and one minor one. The main thread is Quentin and what happens to him, teaching back at Brakebills, getting involved in a heist and an obsession with a ghost. Meanwhile back in Fillory the human Kings and Queens are coping with the potential end of everything. The (very interesting) sub thread is a diary showing how Fillory was discovered and how it came to become a series of books.

It is hard to do this trilogy justice, it is stunning. Well written and clever with plenty of asides and references that make you smile while admiring the sheer quality of what you are reading.

There is a minority that consider this as a slight on Narnia or Potter but it isn’t. It asks grown up questions of both of the two series and has enormous fun with the concept.


Rosarito Beach (Agent Kay Hamilton Novel)
Rosarito Beach (Agent Kay Hamilton Novel)
by M. A. Lawson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.23

4.0 out of 5 stars thriller with pace, 2 Oct 2014
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An interesting one from the author of the (very entertaining Joe DeMarco series). Here, under a slight variation of his name, Mike Lawson gives us a strong female protagonist thrown into a story with considerable pace.

Kay Hamilton is a DEA agent, passionate about what she does, ambitious and a little bit self-obsessed. She manages to capture the little brother of a ruthless Mexican cartel leader and the fallout from that is considerable in the fact that the bad guy will stop at nothing to get his brother back. And he is ruthless with endless resources at his disposal.

At the same time, a stranger turns up on Hamilton’s doorstep that will change her life forever.

So we have a strong character (with flaws) and a very action packed pacey thriller.

I very much enjoy the author’s other works, but I hope to see more of Kay Hamilton soon.


The Eight Curious Cases of Inspector Zhang
The Eight Curious Cases of Inspector Zhang
by Stephen Leather
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 2 Oct 2014
I bought these as short e-books in the order they came out and this is a paperback collection of those stories. And I have to say this is a very well produced book that has a high quality look and feel.
These are fun stories, variations of locked door mysteries that are easy and entertaining to read but also get you thinking a little. Have to say I only guessed the mystery/solution in one of the eight so a lot of thought has gone into these to make them clever and challenging.
Having a main character that comes from a different culture takes you out of your comfort zone in your expectations of how you expect a detective to behave, Zhang is quiet and dignified but a very believable individual.
The Zhang books are the author having fun and inviting you to share in that fun and, to be honest, it's hard not to.


The Iron Castle (Outlaw Chronicles)
The Iron Castle (Outlaw Chronicles)
by Angus Donald
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 30 Sep 2014
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The sixth in a series that keeps on giving and shows no signs of slowing down at all. Yes, the series is loosely based on the legend of Robin Hood but it has moved on to cover the Crusades and in this one the battles in France between King John and Philip of France. The main thrust here is the siege of Château-Gaillard where Robin and pro-King John barons hold out for a rescue by the King that would never come. The story is told by the real hero of the series, Alan Dale who is an honest God-fearing man who has the strength of loyalty to Robin.

The author is a master story-teller and this series is very special indeed. Here he seamlessly gets so much into the novel, a story with pace, real characters and conflicts, the historical aspect and of course the siege itself. I do read a lot yet every time I pick up one of Angus Donald's books I am reminded what a true art it is to write historical fiction to this standard.


Born to Exile
Born to Exile
by Phyllis Eisenstein
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars gentle fantasy, 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Born to Exile (Paperback)
Written in 1977 this is a gentle and thoughtful fantasy. I was also slightly shocked to see that the magical talent described here is the same as appeared in the Jumper films and books some 30 years later, I’d love to know what the author thought of her ideas being reflected by another author.

Anyway, Alaric has the ability to teleport himself but hides this in a world where any sort of witchcraft is punishable by death. His skills as a minstrel get his into a castle but his mistake is to fall in love with a princess and have his skill exposed. It is almost a book of three parts as following this adventure he travels to a village hiding a dark secret and then he finds himself on a journey to discover his origins and the strange family he comes from.

It is a short but well written book with an engaging lead character and it avoids overuse of his magic. It felt slightly old fashioned in the telling but I liked that aspect. The cover(s) may appear whimsical or more pointed towards the ladies but this is still a worthwhile, easy, read.


AIRBURST (THE COLD WAR CHRONICLES OF MAXWELL TAYLOR MOSS Book 4)
AIRBURST (THE COLD WAR CHRONICLES OF MAXWELL TAYLOR MOSS Book 4)
Price: £2.61

4.0 out of 5 stars Full throttle thriller, 30 Sep 2014
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Written in 1987 by an author who knows his stuff, with not only an USAF background but considerable racing experience. So this is the fourth Max Moss story, one that started in the excellent “Recovery”. These stories are all set during the Cold war and evoke memories of those worrying times. This one is about nuclear terrorism but there are some aspects of the story that are years ahead in their approach, we have issues about an independent Palestine we even have (remember this is from 1987) experimental drones flown by pilots from the ground. As always we get to see Max do what he does best as he blends with the cutting edge technology.

Yes it is typical of books written around that period but it is also a very entertaining nostalgic thriller.


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