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EvilEdna "eviledna" (UK)

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Solaris
Solaris
Price: 1.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch the film, read the book, 15 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Solaris (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant! I saw the film and didn't understand it at all, but I heard so many good things about the author I thought I would give this a try. What a revelation! The book is spellbinding, epic in breadth, paced to perfection and with characters so well formed you feel like you could go out and meet them. Without giving anything away, this is so unique in the SF genre I can't really compare it to anything else. Everything is unexpected; is everyone mad or is there really some super-intelligence at work type thing. Some of the descriptions are a bit over long (hence docking of a star), but I really wish there were more of this authors book available on the kindle (especially Mortal Engines), but I know it relies on publishers generosity. My advice is anyone who enjoys old-style epic sci-fi should add this to the list of 'must read' novels.


The Anubis Gates (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
The Anubis Gates (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Price: 4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book, poorly transribed, 11 Jun 2013
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Bought because I wanted to try a 'steampunk' novel and apparently this was a good one. Was sadly disappointed... it's not a bad book, but it's not what I would have considered steampunk. One annoying thing is the kindle edition is poorly transcribed - many time 'th' is interpreted as 'm' which made some parts difficult to get through and really detracted from the enjoyment of the book. The book itself seemed a both rambling and predictable with too many storylines to keep track of and I found I constantly needed to go back to remind myself where characters were first introduced which is quite annoying. I think as a 'historical mythological history' type book would be OK with those caveats, but my review is somewhat influenced by my preconceptions of what I was expecting. Not a book I would recommend to a friend and one I am unlikely to read again.


Singularity Sky
Singularity Sky
by Charles Stross
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 May 2013
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This review is from: Singularity Sky (Paperback)
Having really enjoyed the 'Laundry Series' by the author I thought I would give some of his other works a try. This was the first one and I must say I did not really enjoy it. It seems to be space opera in one volume - I love space opera, but this is too condensed. Also there are too many pages devoted to how a captain orders his crew to move ships (think most submarine films you have seen). In places Mr. Stross is guilty of slinging together random sciency words which have no business being together.

There are some good bits of the book - especially the towards the star, but after about 1/3 if the book it becomes a hard slog; slow paced with just too much detail. Overall, I would have to say I don't recommend it, but if you do decide to read it, you may well have a different opinion - it's a bit of a marmite book I think!


Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Price: 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to psycho-linguistics for sf fans, 16 Feb 2013
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I really wanted to give this 3.5 stars, but went to lower end because of personal preference. The story is good, and definitely different from most other SF (although I m sure I have read similar books in the past). It espouses the importance of understanding and communication when in a war. If I had not recently come across the field of psycho-linguistics (yes it really is a valid research field) I might have thought this book somewhat better.

As a story it is almost classical with one 'super-being' (just how I envisage her, not how she is described in the book) and her adventures across the galaxy in search of her goal. The description of how she gathers together her crew are I think the highlight of the book. The make-up of the crew and how the ships are navigated are quite unique and take a little time to grasp and is really quite a clever idea. The build up to the ending also seems quite contrived and bears almost no relationship to the start of the book, giving me the impression that the author had a good ending, and good beginning and a good idea, but didn't know how to combine them into a flowing story.

Personal Summary: A good book for its time with some novel ideas, but I do not feel enriched or up-lifted after reading it.


The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2)
The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2)
Price: 5.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SF/Fantasy cross over that almost works, 14 Jan 2013
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Having read Quantum Thief I was really looking forward to reading this, and I got 2/3 of the way in before I started to realise this really is not the hard SF of the first book. It seems to be an attempt at merging fantasy and sci-fi in the far future (think Warhammer 40k with plot). And even when the author tries to justify the fantasy in science terms, it is really a bit contrived and I was left feeling there needed to be more explanation or left as fantasy.

Saying that, Hannu Rajaniemi does maintain his impecable story telling. The book starts with 2 distinct threads which gradually and inexorably intertwine to produce a fast passed finish, one thread being hard SF featuring out hero, Jean le Falmbeur, while the second is based on some far future earht (probably). There seem to be few inconsistencies, but as with the first book, if you are expecting any background to the world Hannu has conjured up, you will be disappointed. That said, it is worth reading The Quantum Thief first - this one would leave you even more confused and exacerbated at the lack of world development and I suspect would enhance your reading of this book.

Personal Summary: Great story but mix of SF/F does not mesh well in this, and some plots seem a little contrived.


The Snack Thief: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 3
The Snack Thief: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 3
Price: 3.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Series gets better and better, 5 Jan 2013
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Still having some issues with translations, but stories get better and better. Not deep and meaningful, but fast and fun. Well worth a read!


Earthfall (Earthfall 1)
Earthfall (Earthfall 1)
Price: 1.54

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, done better elsewhere, 29 Dec 2012
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Bought in sale so only 99p. Would have felt ripped off at full price. Story is short, unoriginal, derivative. Saying that, the story itself is well written but lacks detail to allow readers to visualise the story. Basically, its an alright short story, but a poor novel or novelette.


The Shape of Water: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 1
The Shape of Water: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 1
Price: 3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars You've seen the TV Series, Now read the book!, 12 Dec 2012
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Accidentally turned on the TV to UK version of Inspector Montalbano and was immediately hooked. The scenery, the characters, the stories, the food; all truly brilliant. I was speaking with some Italian friends (including Sicilians) about it and they recommended reading the books - they were the ones who sent me the amazon links. And after reading the 1st two I have to say they are thoroughly enjoyable reads. Camilleri's style if very funny and very well measured. I think seeing the series first really helped since some of the 'Italian-ness' might have been missed. Again, speaking to friends, you also realise there is a definite difference between Sicilian and Italian and this comes out wonderfully in the books. I woudl suggest reading this first as it sets up a lot of the background, but I suspect after that you can read in any order. Can't recommend highly enough - only thing better would be reading it on the beach in Porto Empedocle (Vigàta).


Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Price: 1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars M'eh - recommended, not really my cuppa tea, 25 Nov 2012
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I find this really difficult to review. This is a brilliant attempt to do film noire as a sort of sci-fi book, but for reasons I can't explain it fell short for me. It didn't really hold my interest in the way of books which I really enjoy. There is really a lack of SF IMO; far more detective story. I found it a somewhat disjointed book; there were a couple of themes going throughout the book, but it reads more like 4 or 5 short stories with a few short chapters to join them together. Characters seem to drift in and out with me having to look back through the book to find where they were first introduced. The book also mixes some great twists with a high level of predictability - you think you always know whats happening next, but 10% of the time you will be completely wrong and there seem forced bits of dialogue that are used to try and explain the twist.

Overall, I would definitely say it's worth a read, but more if you like a detective story set in the mid-future than if you want HC Sci/Fi.


Bill, the Galactic Hero (BILL THE GALACTIC HERO)
Bill, the Galactic Hero (BILL THE GALACTIC HERO)
Price: 2.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As funny as I remembered it, 31 Oct 2012
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The first in the series, Back in the day, I bought two of this series in paperback. After reading these I was determined to get the whole series, but alas they rapidly and inexplicably went out of print. I love this book. Satire, humour, irony, low wit, high wit, medium wit, existentialism and violence rolled into one decent story. The fist book takes you through the Hero's recruitment, investiture and indoctrination into the military to fight the 'evil' Chingers. A quick tour of the galactic capital and his first action as a fusetender and rolled together in this book. If you are looking for an in depth social commentary, deep characterisation, or any form of seriousness, go elsewhere. If you are just looking for good, light-humoured fun, then this is for you. Its not Douglas Adams funny, but pretty damn close. I look forward to reading the series and if this review encourages one other person to read the series, I wil have spent my time well.


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