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C. E. MCKEOWN (KENT)
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The Burning Land (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5) (Alfred the Great 5)
The Burning Land (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5) (Alfred the Great 5)
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uhtred's story moves forward, 2 May 2010
Although familiar in style and pace, Uhtred's story is a pleasure to read. Cornwell weaves the tapestry of Uhtred's life thru battles, emotions and warrior-hood that we all love, enjoy and want to devour. Constantly looking towards Northumbria, 'Burning Land' sees Uhtred travlling the length of the country and even over to mainland Europe to fulfill oaths, search for treasure and follow the path spun for him by the spinners at the base of the Tree of Life.

If you have read the 'Alfred the Great' series thus far you need no excuse - continue. I feel the familarity for Uhtred that I did for Thomas of Hookton.

More, please?


The Gro Company Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
The Gro Company Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars banished early mornings..., 2 May 2010
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This device has given us sane waking times back!
I can remember a recent 5 am waking - "I'll give you a 1000 pounds if I can lie in..." :) You've all been there - come on, admit it!

Yes, this will not be unusual to anyone with a little bundle of joy that thinks 5 am is playtime. Our 3.5 yr old daughter is gorgeous, beautiful and everything we dreamed of...but 5 am?! Come on!

This clock is superb. It feels quality, is easy to set and we were very impressed with the LED 'nighttime' and 'daytime' pictures that signify day and night. Our daughter easily understood the concept of stars mean night. It worked the first time we tried it...

We are impressed and grateful. These type of products deserve all the awards and plaudits they get.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Filth
Filth
by Irvine Welsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first but not last, 17 April 2010
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
This is my first Irvine Welsh novel. The direct use of Scottish accent to text can be challenging to begin with - but you do get used to it. Then you are into the roller coaster, no holds barred parallel world that Welsh describes. In this novel, we are presented with DS Bruce Robertson. Outwardly one of the lads, hard working and a policeman of experience. Inside, he is a xenophobic, homophobic, philandering, alcoholic, hygiene challenged, parasite hosting, small minded miscreant. And yet he makes you smile :) This book turns your stomach, whilst simultanously urging you to read more. Welsh manages to cover most depraved elements of humanity within the pages whilst weaving what is possibly a sad story.

If you have the strength of character, single-mindedness and iron will - read and enjoy. How does he come up wth this stuff?


The Strain
The Strain
by Guillermo del Toro
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a worthwhile addition to the genre, 7 April 2010
This review is from: The Strain (Paperback)
This is a very acceptable read. There are some 'new' elements to the vampire story that the authors bring (stingers, viral elements etc) and they add, not detract. I thought the story occasionally slowed but it was OK. There are faster paced sections in the book and also some slower bits - it's a shame the editor did not cut a bit deeper. Maybe it allows scope for the big screen adaption? Anyway, if you are a fan of the genre then the descriptions, story arc and locations will appeal. The detail does not disappoint either (e.g. UVA vs UVB vs UVC). Don't think too deeply and allow yourself to be immersed and you will be rewarded with a reasonably paced horror. A recommended read.


Fat (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Fat (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Rob Grant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars hmmm, 4 April 2010
This review is from: Fat (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I picked this up from within the 'comedy' section of a well known bookstore. I flicked it open in the shop and read a couple of paragraphs and decided I'd give it a go. Not my usual genre but what the hey!

This fictional novel follows three people and their links with obesity - a anorexic, a morbidly obese TV chef and a PR man tasked with selling Fat Farms to the British nation. The stories are independent although do 'touch' occasionally. There is no doubt the author has talent. The satire and comdey do come thru well. The TV chef is a scream and I found most of the chapters around him a good read.

Overall, I did not 'get' the book though. The book was like a snapshot... What was the purpose? It was neither detailed enough or expansive enough to paint a future society. It could not have been about the science as these bits were small and no primary literature was cited (references were from other 'books') and so I struggled to understand where it was leading... I stuck with it thru the book and finished it, but was left feeling a bit disappointed at the end.

The author has talent for writing wittily but I really thought it was going to go somewhere different. Oh well.


Samsung LE22B470 22-inch Widescreen LCD HD Ready Television/DVD Combi with Freeview
Samsung LE22B470 22-inch Widescreen LCD HD Ready Television/DVD Combi with Freeview

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good TV, good Freeview, good DVD!, 2 April 2010
These sets are hard to come by...and there is a reason for that!

We purchased this to mount up on the wall in our kitchen and it fitted perfectly. This is actually our first flat screen TV and we are very impressed. The colours are vibrant, picture clear and sound very acceptable. The unit itself is sturdy and well built. The stand and screen came wrapped in some sort of protective platic stuff that came off easily, revealing the shiny newness you only get with a brand new piece of technology. We plugged the unit in and connected it to the aerial and it did everything itself...found digital and analogue channles, tuned in and locked. Ready to go! The on screen programmer works fine and the Freeview range is all there. The DVD player works fine too. The remote is intuitive and has all the functions on it you need. We played a range of kids' DVDs all without fuss and with great pictures.

All in all, hassle free, great quality and with a single unit on the wall we can watch TV, play DVDs or whatever. A great Samsung experience!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2011 5:32 PM BST


A Thousand Suns
A Thousand Suns
by Alex Scarrow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More great writing, 1 April 2010
This review is from: A Thousand Suns (Paperback)
Alex Scarrow has a great ability to weave a yarn with pace, cliff hangers and a believable plot. This is my third Alex Scarrow novel (having previously devoured all his brother's (Simon Scarrow) Roman fiction. He has a great style. If anything I'd say I finish his novels too quick! This one was read across 3 days...

A great premise...Germany actually won WW2 but noone ever found out. The scene is set thru the discovery of an almost perfectly preserved B-17 bomber in shallow waters off the US coast. The book flicks back between the modern day discovery of the plane and the photo journalist trying to understand the scene and relevance (whilst suddenly being tracked by spooks) and the mid 1940's German development of the atom bomb and the flight crew tasked with delivering it to the US target that would change the war.

The novel is descriptive and builds tension well. We get to understand the German perspectives, the flight crew and the scientists developing the bomb. We also imagine the Truman war room and the fear sparking between military officials as the relisation that an A-bomb could be on its way to America.

An entertaining book that takes you into the fiction, moves with pace and is believable. An author to watch out for and a great book that would make a great film. Recommended!


Sword Song
Sword Song
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars sword swinging goodness, 1 April 2010
This review is from: Sword Song (Hardcover)
This is a great series by Cornwell. He has woven a rich, authentic and vibrant story around Uhtred that grows with each novel. In this latest novel, we see Uhtred still sworn to Alfred (and hating it) whilst new adventures (kidnap of Alfred's daughter) and characters arise. The most pleasing aspect for me is the development of Uhtred. We are truly understanding him now. He is a warlord, in a hard world, surrounded by Christians whilst worshipping the 'old gods', protecting his family, upholding his oaths and trying to do the right thing! I really like Uhtred!

This story narrates the constant harrying by the Danes and we get our fist glimpse of Alfred's vision of a united island called 'England'...

A great story, a great novel in the series and a fantastic character in Uhtred. Recommended for those who love their historical novels to contain viking, swords and song!


New Super Mario Brothers (Wii)
New Super Mario Brothers (Wii)
Offered by Level99Games
Price: £24.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for all ages, 27 Mar. 2010
We bought this when it was first released (late Nov09) and only now do I feel we can review it properly. This is a GREAT game. Mum , Dad and 3 yrs old all play together with equal ease and skill. The simplicity of the controller interface allow a game from the first play. As you advance, the intricacies of interacting moves (carrying each other, jumping off each other), special moves (synchronised stamps, yoshi moves) along with skills provided by items (penguin suit, heli-suit) make for a remarkably rich and enjoyable series of levels and worlds.

The graphics are great. cartoonish and easy on the eye that the Wii easily copes with. There are more secrets and hidden areas than you can shake a stick at! In fact only recently we discovered that when you are tiny there is a hidden coin area inside a pipe on W1L4! This game just keeps surprising!

Highlights:
- Multiplayer is awesome
- Interactions are so fun
- New items are brilliant
- The game is completable within a few months with our 3 yrs old...then you can go back for the completist in you...
- Minigames are fun

Lowlights:
- Not enough levels with the yoshis
- The games slightly pauses when one of you dies (?)
- More coloured mushroom characters would have made our 3 yr old year :)
- More minigames

Overall a super product well worth the price. We must have had so many hours of play I cannot begin to count! Our final word: on Youtube we saw a W9 that is unlocked only when you have all big coins...wow that is tough...but our target for the year!

RECOMMENDED FOR THE FAMILY!


Prey
Prey
by Thomas Emson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great follow up..., 18 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Prey (Paperback)
I'm surprised that this is the first review for this novel as it is a worthy read! The author follows on from the first book (Maneater) well. Laura Greenacre is now based in New York and 'existing'...a nothing job, trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible. John Thorn and his daughter are trying to live 'off the radar' in Wales...but the tides are turning against Laura, John and his daughter. A number of years after the Trafalgar Square incident, Ruth Templeton is out for revenge for the loss of her son and family as the London werewolves.

This book is a great follow up. It really is like a continuation...next chapter. Same writing style, generally the same characters and a new story trajectory based on revenge. I liked the matriach Ruth and we really get to see her domineering and relentless drive to destroy Laura and John. The book moves globally - Russia, Spain, America, UK...although the climax is a Times Square mirror image of the original London-based end to Maneater.

I really like Emson's style. He is engaging, descriptive, immersive and detailed. If you like your fiction with a supernatural twist. Buy Maneater and Prey and read them in order! Recommended.


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