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Pete (bristol, United Kingdom)

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The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld Novels)
The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sad, 27 Aug. 2015
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A fitting end to the Discworld tales. This is all you could hope for from Sir Terry Pratchett's last book. Funny, sad, poignant, Feegles, what could one ask?


Hearts of Stone
Hearts of Stone
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I would have liked more time on the German officer's conflicted loyalties and ..., 14 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Hearts of Stone (Hardcover)
Every now and then Simon Scarrow takes a break from his marvellous Roman adventures and explores a different theme. In this case it is the story of Greek resistance fighters during the German occupation of Lefkas. This is not really a typical WWII action story although Scarrow includes some dramatic and fast paced battle scenes. This story is about the people and the impact of the occupation on the island's people, particularly three people, on of whom is German, who knew each other before the war. It is told mostly from the viewpoint of an ageing female resistance fighter as she recounts her traumatic exploits to her granddaughter. There is a typical evil SS officer but part of the story is also seen from the perspective of a young german officer who spent time on the island before the war and who tries to reconcile his friendships with his loyalty to the Reich.
This is an enjoyable book and an engaging read but the relationships sometimes feel superficial and stereotypical. I would have liked more time on the German officer's conflicted loyalties and his growing frustration with his countries pacification policy.
As a book which explores the awful situation under German occupation it made me want to learn more which is a good thing.


Eagles at War: (Eagles of Rome 1)
Eagles at War: (Eagles of Rome 1)
by Ben Kane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Kane's best., 28 May 2015
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In this the first book of a new series Ben Kane tackles one of the Roman armies worst disasters. We follow a series of engaging and well rounded characters, from a new recruit to a grizzelled centurion as they march across the Germanic frontiers. The pace is fast, the characters believable and the action bloody but never unrealistic. Ben Kane's historical knowledge is excellent and the story is peppered with intriguing little details about life as a Roman soldier on campaign, hardly surprising as the author has regularly marched in full kit himself for charity.
An excellent read and I look forward to the second in the series.
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Treachery In Tibet (Simon Fonthill Series)
Treachery In Tibet (Simon Fonthill Series)
by John Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Wilcox certainly spins a good yarn and unlike so many other historical adventures he ..., 18 Jan. 2015
I always look forward to a new Fonthill adventure and I hope more keep coming, even though the characters are well into middle age. John Wilcox certainly spins a good yarn and unlike so many other historical adventures he has chosen a period in time which is both fascinating and virtually untouched by other authors. In this case the Simon Fonthill, wife Alice and Jenkins 352 are involved in the British Invasion of Tibet in 1903. As with many of the adventures this is an event I knew nothing about and Wilcox clearly knows his stuff, I always feel I've learnt something at the end of each book. The story is full of action and adventure, briskly written with the occasional bits of humor over the characters exploits. My only complaint, and it's a minor one really, is that as Fonthill is following the progress of the army in this adventure the story's pace is dictated by the actual events which means the middle is very slow. In the other books Fonthill and 352 are only vaguely attached to the army so are normally off adventuring, with the historical events providing a backdrop for them. They appear at key events as the story is woven into the facts. The events are seen through their eyes and the pace never lets up. In Treachery they are tied to the British army's March into Tibet, lots of little adventurers and dangerous incidents keep them busy but they have no real goal or adversary. Some of the historical events, rather than being seen through our hero's eyes are narrated (very well) by the author. This serves to slow the pace and feels less engaging. The last third of the book returns satisfyingly to the usual adventure romp.


Bayonets Along the Border (Simon Fonthill Series)
Bayonets Along the Border (Simon Fonthill Series)
by John Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

5 of 5 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: £19.99

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

2 of 2 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

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Killing the Blues, 16 Sept. 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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