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Legacy Code: (Legacy Code #1) (Fractured Era Series)
Legacy Code: (Legacy Code #1) (Fractured Era Series)
Price: £0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Back Story, 1 Jun. 2014
Legacy Code is a rather short novel that focuses on the day to day life of a woman, Era, who lives on a ship that is part of a fleet that has fled Earth. In a sense it reminded me of Battlestar Galactica, but only if we were to fast forward fifty years plus and they still had not found anywhere to colonise. The ships in this fleet were slowly falling apart, and they had to stop at each star they jumped to, and spend decades building a new stargate/jump gate. Awesome concept.

The book is very well written, with plenty of tension, hidden agendas and those beginning to rise up against the oppressive government that runs the fleet. One of the primary themes of the book is Era's pregnancy and the obstacles she faces in that regards. Her husband's job also includes endless risks, causing further stress in her life.

Overall, an engaging, fascinating read, though as other readers have said, the book is rather dark.


Freak of Nature (IFICS Book 1)
Freak of Nature (IFICS Book 1)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars She's a Freak of SCIENCE not NATURE !!!, 24 May 2014
The title of this book bugs me, it annoys me, it frustrates me no end - it eats away at the edges of my sanity and threatens to push me over the edge. I mean, crikey, the book is about a CYBORG - a human-machine hybrid. That means the girl is a Freak of Science. A freak of nature is - 'a person, animal, or plant with an unusual physical abnormality.' Like co-joined twins, or a person with extra limbs or toes, BUT not a person whom scientists have perverted into a freak with cybernetic implants. Arrrrrgh, every time I see the book's cover I want to dump it into Photoshop and hack and slash at the title until is says Freak of Science. How could the author not know this, not see this - worse, how could they not care that they are doing our heads in with a title that's the reverse of what it should be???!!!

Now to the book. Kaitlyn made the mistake of signing that little box saying that her body would be donated to science upon her death. What she didn't figure was that she'd be reanimated as a cyborg, with all her memories of the past removed/blocked. However, she is fully aware that this has been done to her. Now what do ya reckon her reaction to this would be? Wouldn't ya think she'd be horrified, disgusted, outraged, perhaps suicidal or psychotic? But nope to all over the above - not this girl. Her reaction is to pine for and have endless sexual fantasies for a young doctor who's partly responsible for putting her in this condition. I mean, really? She wakes up to find half her body replaced with cybernetics, and this is her reaction? I've heard of people having inappropriate or unrealistic responses and reactions to external stimuli and circumstances, but this! This reaction has got to take the oil. (I can't say 'cake,' cause, you know, she's a cyborg and she don't need to eat 'n all.) But wow, Kaitlyn's such an air head! (Even more so than I am.)

And then, in a tear filled scene, Kaitlyn wails to Lucas, "I'm just a freak of nature!" And I'm thinking, Lucas, here is chance to set her straight, to answer, "No! Not a freak of nature - we did this to you. You're a freak of science." But no, he lets her comment slide, and leaves her (and the reader, ie me!) weighed down by this false ideal that nature has somehow perverted her into this condition. Woe is me, I can't take this!

And don't get me started on Lucas. How that guy could look himself in the mirror every morning when brushing his teeth and setting his hair, I just don't know. After all he did to her, and the things he kept on doing even though his conscience pointed that accusing finger at him. But that was just the first half of the book - after that he gets to make a choice, but which side of him will win out, do you think? His conscience, or his 'I have to do the wrong thing 'cause it's my job' side?

Half way through the book things hotted up (not her body temperature though, that was regulated) and the story took a more interesting turn. And although I thought I had it all worked out, Kaitlyn (you know, the air head) had the audacity to go and surprise me and take the story in an unexpected direction. The book even had a satisfactory ending too, how's that?


Planet Urth (Book 1)
Planet Urth (Book 1)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Stiff and Unrealistic First Person Dialogue, 27 April 2014
Plane Urth is set more than two hundred years into our future, where the surface dwelling humans and animals have been mutated into hideous versions of their previous selves, as a result of nuclear radiation and diseases released during a worldwide war. The few humans who survived the cataclysm by remaining underground, are being slowly exterminated now they have returned to the surface, by the mutant descendents of humans.

The book was an entertaining read, though the premise was a common enough story, with a world populated by mutated creatures and post-humans. The protagonist was interesting, as was her back-story, which was revealed slowly throughout the book.

The greatest negative of the book was that it was written in the first person, but there were very few contractions, in the dialogue and the speech. This made the entire thing feel stiff and unrealistic. I would encourage the writers to study everyday speech patterns, and then try to imitate that when writing in first person.

Not a great deal happens in the novel, it is mostly a blow by blow account of two characters simply trying to survive. That of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but the ending was a tad unsatisfying, as it leads directly to the sequel.


A Mighty Fortress (Hymns of the West Book 1)
A Mighty Fortress (Hymns of the West Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable read., 16 Dec. 2013
My initial expectation of 'A Mighty Fortress,' by Faith Blum, was that it would be a journey through the trials and tribulations of a group of poor farmers in the 19th Century American Wild West. So I was most pleasantly surprised when the book introduced the protagonist, a wild red head named Jed Stuart. It quickly became apparent that Jed was in fact one of the book's main characters, and chapters typically alternated between Jed's descent into lawlessness, and the lives of brother and sister Joshua and Ruth.

'A Mighty Fortress' is Christian fiction, but makes no attempt to create a false, rosy picture of life, but shows it in all of its horror and beauty. Joshua and Ruth set a wonderful Christian example. Jed, on the other hand, is a character we could at times sympathize with, and at others despise, and I lamented the fact that he constantly made the wrong choices.

I was pleased that I was unable to predict the ending.

A most enjoyable read.


Apocalypse (The Wasteland Chronicles, Book 1)
Apocalypse (The Wasteland Chronicles, Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Premise but..., 21 Nov. 2013
This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world. A world virtually destroyed after the impact of an asteroid which released alien spores that mutate everything they touch, to the point of creating horrid 'blights' that infect great swathes of land. There were 144 bunkers where the best remnants of humanity attempted to survive, but one by one those bunkers either fell strangely silent or were destroyed by wastelanders. I found the concept behind the story most interesting,

Major Spoiler follows:

Unfortunately, the novel lost credibility when the inhabitants of bunker 108 took a human with purple pus coming out of his wounds into the bunker. Bear in mind that there used to be 144 bunkers, now only a few left. The inhabitants of bunker 108 knew that most of the bunkers had disappeared without even giving off a warning. Yet bunker 108 still willing took this infected human into the bunker, with almost no quarantine procedures put in place. These bunker inhabitants should have been fanatical about quarantine. Yet those exposed to the man were not scrubbed down. And when the man died and began mutating into something else, four staff stood there, with zero protection, and watched him. And of course they became infected, and then walked out of that room and infected the whole base.

Apart from that the story was fairly straight forward and predictable.


The Land of Milk and Honey (The Journey)
The Land of Milk and Honey (The Journey)
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening Journey Through Africa, 5 Nov. 2013
The Land of Milk and Honey follows the journey of the main character as he leaves his tribal village and travels across Africa in search of a life in the city. In the village he was well off, never hungry, and achieved the maximum of a primary school education. But he left this to find a more fulfilling life in the city, but once there, found that his education was insufficient to get a job better than being a porter. He soon leaves that city and begins a journey towards European Africa. He makes two friends on the way.

The book was a real eye opener to the kinds of hardships so many people in Africa are enduring on a daily basis. Going without food for days, having to do the most menial of jobs just to get a few dollars so that they can eat, people stuck in the slums, the dangers of dealing with people smugglers, the arrogance of the rich towards the poor, begging to live, and so on.

One very touching comment was when the characters visited Sudan, and saw firsthand its terrible poverty. "We looked at the faces of children who never understood what was happening to them and couldn't understand why adults couldn't get food on their tables."

The writing style describes everything that happens, so almost all 'telling' no 'showing.' Although well written and well edited, it was hard to get into the story and connect with the characters due to the detached writing style.

The story also travels through much of Africa, and many visits to cities were quite repetitive. I would have liked to have seen the author focus more on some of the incidents, with detailed conversations between the characters, so that the reader could get more involved in the story, rather than describe visits to each city.

I was given a copy of the novel for an impartial review.


Allegiant (Divergent, Book 3)
Allegiant (Divergent, Book 3)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Anti-climatic and Lacking in suspense, 2 Nov. 2013
Note, contains spoilers.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent, I was so looking forward to Allegiant. However, I did not find the novel an enjoyable read. I did not like the chapters alternating between Tobias and Tris, though I guess it was understandable considering the ending. One reason was that I could barely tell the difference in the tone between the two, and I also felt that the first two novel's flowed better because it was Tris alone narrating. I felt that 'Under the Never Sky' did the perspective shift chapters much more successfully.

And compared to the first two novels, I found Allegiant to be anti-climatic and almost completely lacking in suspense. For example, the Death Serum scene was about a single page. The scenes with serums in the first two novels were long and suspenseful. And the scene which so many readers hate so much, regarding the demise of a central character, was rushed and vague. I also felt that too much information was dumped through conversations held in the first half of the book that seemed to have little other purpose.

I understand that the first novel is being turned into a movie, for which it is well suited. I cannot see how Allegiant could be turned into a movie unless it was changed significantly, for there is no substance to it. Repetitive talks about being 'genetically damaged,' spending most of the book milling about in the Bureau without achieving anything, and nothing being done with the divergents who emerged.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the novel was that the previous book made it look like the divergents would save the world from endless strife, perhaps emerging as leaders of a post apocalyptic, fallen world. Yet when they did come out, nothing special was done with them at all. Not even with Tris who could resist all simulations. It cheapened the first two novels, making me wonder, what was the point of it all?

One good point about the novel was stressing that 'genetically damaged' people are still just as whole as 'genetically pure,' and that we cannot justify people's bad behaviour by saying that being 'genetically damaged' was the reason.

A good theme running through the book was that although people damage each other, this is not a reason to despair, for people can help to heal each other of those damages as well.

The reason for the reconciliation between Caleb and Tris was one of the highlights of the novel, I felt.


Dust: (Wool Trilogy 3) (Wool Trilogy Series)
Dust: (Wool Trilogy 3) (Wool Trilogy Series)
Price: £5.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Conclusion to the Series, 13 Oct. 2013
Dust was an awesome conclusion to the excellent 'Wool' trilogy, a dystopian future where earth's lone survivors are hidden away (trapped) in 140+ level deep silos, each oblivious of the others existence. As usual, you can't predict where the story will go, and there were some rather massive surprises. The book followed the progress of Donald and his sister Charlotte, Juliette and Solo, and a host of other characters. Dangers and threats were ever present, from religious fanatics, the powers that be at Silo 1, and of course from the micro nanites that had the power to destroy/disolve everything they came in contact with.


Nemesis
Nemesis
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Put it Down, 13 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Nemesis (Kindle Edition)
have to have a bit of a winge about Nemesis by Louise Marley - I made the mistake of starting to read it while I was supposed to be doing other things, and spent the next many hours doing nothing but read. The novel is a complex yet extremely engrossing murder mystery as the main character, Natalie, attempts to solve a murder. An attempt that blossoms into an obsession that takes over her life for fifteen years. The novel alternates between past and present, revealing tidbits of new information in each scene, with each part revealing a piece of the puzzle of what happened those fifteen years ago. Brilliant book.


Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play
Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play
by Hock G. Tjoa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Glimpse into late 1940's China, 9 Oct. 2013
'Heaven Is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play' by Hock G. Tjoa, was a most enjoyable and informative read of a most tragic period of Chinese history, of a time when China was recovering from the ravages committed by the Japanese army during World War Two, only to plunge into the civil war as the Communists rose to power. The play gives us a glimpse of everyday life in this time, by letting us experience it through the goings on within a teahouse that had survived decades of power struggles and wars.

I felt very sorry for the shopkeeper as he poured his life and years into the teahouse, only for the vultures of a corrupt government take advantage of him time after time. I lost count of how many times he had to fork out bribes, to cops, agents, and others, just to keep in business or to keep them away from his customers.

And all the while the shopkeeper is preparing to re-open the teahouse. As I read I began to wonder if he would even be able to re-open the teahouse before running out of money. There is a broad spectrum of characters, from many walks of life, and watching them interact with each other is a treat.

Disclaimer - I was provided a copy of the play by the author for an unbiased review.


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