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Bayonets Along the Border (Simon Fonthill Series)
Bayonets Along the Border (Simon Fonthill Series)
by John Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fonthill rides again., 10 Feb 2014
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I've been a fan of John Wilcox's Fonthill books for many years and they never disappoint. They are great fun and well written. The argument could be made that they are formulaic, in the mould of Sharpe. What sets these books apart from other historical adventures is the choice of period. Fonthill's adventures take him through many of the major, and not so, events of the British Empire. For someone who is not that familiar with the period they shed light on the highs and lows of the empire. This book is no exception, and being set in Afghanistan and the infamous Khyber pass it resonates with modern events.
Wilcox clearly knows his history and conveys the flavour of the time well, if perhaps filtered through the more modern liberal eyes of the main characters. Fonthill has doubts about his countries Imperialistic attitude and tends to be more at home with the natives of the time than some of the officers. This does not lessen the book's tale which is full on adventure from page one.
For fans of the series, or just historical adventure this is a great read.


Fire Across the Veldt (Simon Fonthill Series)
Fire Across the Veldt (Simon Fonthill Series)
by John Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fonthill rides again, 20 April 2013
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It's always a pleasure to read a new story of the adventures of British adventurer Simon Fonthill and his indomitable companion Jenkins 352 and this latest adventure set around the Boer wars is no disappointment.
At first glance you might be mistaken for this is a Sharpe rip off but this is not true, although fans of historical adventures will certainly enjoy the book. Wilcox has chosen a rich and fascinating period of British Imperial history but avoids gung ho stereotypes and his thorough research shines through without bogging down a rip roaring adventure. Fonthill like Sharpe manages to appear in many key historical scenes but they tend to be a backdrop to the story and unlike many historical stories this never seems contrived or forced.
I always enjoy a book which entertains as well as giving me insight into history and this certainly succeeds. I hope to read many more adventures soon.


Hawkwood (Regency Crime Thrillers)
Hawkwood (Regency Crime Thrillers)
by James McGee
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reprint, 16 Mar 2013
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As other reviews state, this is a reissue of Ratcatcher, not a new entry in the series. I was very disappointed by this but when I contacted amazon they organised a full refund including postage. They also promised to update the product info. Considering this was not their fault but blatant marketing by the publisher I was very impressed by amazon. That said its a fab book and worth a read if you haven't read the original.


Gladiator: Street Fighter
Gladiator: Street Fighter
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better than book 1, 26 Feb 2012
I was not very impressed by Scarrow's first outing into children's fiction as I thought it was a very watered down attempt to write his normally excellent adult stories for the children/young fiction market. I love his Macro & Cato books, they are well paced, capture a real flavour of the era and have strong characters. I don't think Gladiator had any of this, and in a market where children's books are often better written than adult ones it felt like a token effort. However as a fan I was prepared to give book 2; Street Fighter a chance. It was much better thankfully. I like the way he took a well documented period (the triumvirate of Ceaser, Crassus & Pompey) and wrote about it from a different viewpoint and gave each character their own motivation without making them either too 'evil' or heroic. Our hero sees more than one side of each and changes his opinions of them as he discovers their deeper nature. Added to this are some good action and a simple but enjoyable plot. I think Scarrow has found the write pitch for a young fiction novel. Hopefully the series will continue to improve.


Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone Novels)
Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone Novels)
by Michael Brandman
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Killing the Blues, 16 Sep 2011
As a fan of Robert B Parker's work I started to read this with mixed feelings, firstly I was pleased to see more of Jesse Stone but concerned that nobody could imitate Parker's elegant and brisk writing style or his great use of dialogue. I enjoyed the first few pages, it was well written but seemed too descriptive and Jesse's dialogue didn't quite feel right.I wasn't put off by this though as the book had a feel of the Jesse Stone movies starring Tom Selleck, who is far older than the Jesse in the books and plays Jesse in a different way to the written character although keeping the feel and heart of the books.It was actually watching the films that got me into reading Parker's work.
At this point I read the cover blurb about Michael Brandman and was intrigued to find he was the writer for the film versions. As I read on it was clear that Parker's Stone was evolving into his and Selleck's version rather than trying to copy and continue Parker's (Jesse even moves into the house he inhabits in the films). This seems a very good and respectful way of passing on the torch.
Once my initial reservations about the new voice were overcome I devoured the book in one sitting.
It was a great read and I hope Brandman is well enough received by Parker fan's to keep writing the series. He certainly has the pedigree for it.
SPOILER ALERT One fun change in the stories, which is telling of the new voice, is that Parker was a dog fan, they appear in most of his books with both Spenser and Randall having dogs,now though Stone adopts a cat!


Gladiator: Fight for Freedom
Gladiator: Fight for Freedom
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to standard, 22 Feb 2011
As a fan of Scarrow's books, both the Roman and the Napoleonic quartet I was looking forward to this. Sadly it really is poor. He has written this by the numbers and doesn't seem to be aware of the standard expected from young fiction these days.
Whereas his books about soldiers Macro and Cato use the history and it's characters as a rich backdrop here historical figures are key to the plot and it all feels a bit contrived.
This feels a quickie series to cash in, even the cover is very generic. Scarrow is capable of much better.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2012 2:22 PM BST


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