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Syriat
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Meatspace
Meatspace
Price: 4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny and sad cautionary tale, 3 July 2014
This review is from: Meatspace (Kindle Edition)
We are constantly connected to the internet these days. Be it through smartphones, tablets or laptops we share our lives with friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. Kitab Balasubramanyam is no different as he tweets every waking hour of his life. The only thing that is different for Kitab is his name is unique, or so he thought. When his namesake who arrives on his doorstep from the other side of the world Kitab is forced into Meatspace, the place where things really happen. He begins to see his life differently and living through his brother Aziz’s stories of travelling to New York to doorstep his tattoo doppelganger he begins to start experiencing life in 3D.

Set in London Nikesh Shukla’s second novel sheds a darkly comedic look at our infatuation with social media. Its funny, sad and quite endearing. Aziz and Kitab are great foils and completely believable as they move from the online world to meatspace. The unravelling narrative is believable and yet altogether absurd. What unfolds is a tale of caution and one that makes you question your social media presence.

Fun and heartfelt this is a novel which resonates in today’s smartphone obsessed society. A true delight that is as funny as it is sad and well worth checking out.

This review was provided thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins


Curried Chess
Curried Chess
Price: 3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not as good as standard chess, 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Curried Chess (Kindle Edition)
Curried Chess is an interesting proposition. It includes 10 different versions of chess which use the same pieces and board. Each version uses different endgames or different moves to give the traditional game a slight twist. Some are just very simple alterations of the game (rook moves for all for example). Others have strategic alterations or replace the capture of the king with a different winning goal.

10 variations of chess sounds interesting but reading through things liked barbed chess and some of the other variations you almost want to return to the faithful version. There are a couple of variations which lead you to want to try them but as each version only has two page descriptions its not very enticing. Ultimately its an interesting and very short deviation but you won't be blown away by the imagination and probably be returning to the pure form.


The Killer App: Would You Die to be Young Again?
The Killer App: Would You Die to be Young Again?
Price: 3.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideas over execution, 29 Jun 2014
In the near future British society is in meltdown. The economy is struggling, the environment has been wrecked by us and a new Prime Minister comes to office wanting to make a difference. A businessman and a geneticist team with him to conceive a cloning experiment that they intend to change society and right the ills.
The debut novel by John Writher attempts to bring this science fiction scenario to life. Following the three characters above and having a few twists along the way. The Killer App is a novel that uses this central idea to try and shine a light on some of our current issues and the potential outcomes of them. There is much to enjoy in the story and it is a book that drags you along with the pace. However, the narrative can be clumsy at times with over explanations of motives and a feeling of forced descriptions. It also tells of the experiment and could have told the story on a much bigger scale.
The ideas are very good, the execution a bit sloppy and therefore it feels somewhat like a missed opportunity when it could have been so much more.


The Shape We're In: How Junk Food and Diets are Shortening Our Lives
The Shape We're In: How Junk Food and Diets are Shortening Our Lives
Price: 4.79

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, 24 Jun 2014
We all know that we are getting fatter. This age of convenience and plenty is leading to bigger waistlines, binge and famine diets and less activity. Sarah Boseley attempts to deconstruct this trend and identify reasons why we seem addicted to the wrong types of food.
The book is primarily focused on the food industry with the examination of diet culture firmly put into second place. There has been a lot of research here with Boseley visiting Wales, America, Mexico and other places to find positive and negative stories. The examination of Mexico, now the most obese country in the world, is particularly fascinating. It highlights the story behind their recently adopted sugar tax and why this is the hope the country has to improve matters. She also points her finger at the advertising of food and looks at how we are bombarded with food images which encourage us to eat badly.
The style is right side of hectoring and really does make you think about the food you eat. There are people out there trying to change things and in this book Boseley not only puts herself firmly amongst them but also manages to shine a light on those who have fought hard against the large corporations. We have so little time these days to consider our eating habits. Books like the impress upon us the importance of doing just that.
Review provided thanks to Guardian Faber Publishing and NetGalley


Look Who's Back
Look Who's Back
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Re-rise of the Third Reich, 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Look Who's Back (Kindle Edition)
Look Who's Back imagines that Hitler woke up in the modern era and see the current Germany through his eyes. it attempts to point a satirical finger at the politics, media and everyday life of his country in the first person narrative approach. Rising from grave Hitler becomes a media figure thanks to his feature on a comedy show and this book chronicles his path to understanding the modern world and his media attempts to put his own views across.

For this reader it wasn't laugh out loud funny. However, there were moments that were funny and the book managed to shine a light on the more ridiculous aspects of modern life and in particular the media and the deification of celebrity. However, the narrative isn't entirely believable. A good example of this is the constant reference to how certain aspects of modern life are good because it allows for more German troops.

Hitler was an object of derision and humour for a long time. Many comedians would dress as the Fuhrer and put the comedic boot in. Perhaps Bruno Ganz excellent turn in Downfall turned that around as it was a look inside the horror of Hitler. This book tries the comedic turn and it feels like a step backward at times. It is funny. It is satirically sound. However, it misses the mark at times as, the leading character says on numerous occasions, 'it's no laughing matter'. An interesting concept, an interesting read. However, it just is a bit too forced.


The Cabana Cookbook
The Cabana Cookbook
Price: 8.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 10 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you like a cookbook that's attractive, colourful and has recipes that make you want to try them then this is for you. It is a barbecue themed Brazilian cookbook that covers a lot of the original as well as traditional Brazilian fayre. It also has salad's cocktails and sauces. There are some recipes that have alternative methods if they are BBQ based, which is helpful. Instructions are generally easy to follow and the plates that have recipes that go together are great if you are preparing a Brazilian themed meal.

I have tried a few of the recipes and loved the results. I keep wanting to try more. Its colourful and fun with some humour in between the recipes as well as some facts about Brazil. As a starter on Brazilian food I love it and would recommend it as there aren't many difficult to create recipes but they are all rewarding.


Battlefield 4 (PS4)
Battlefield 4 (PS4)
Price: 33.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Game But.., 27 May 2014
This review is from: Battlefield 4 (PS4) (Video Game)
Battlefield 4 is a potentially great game. Online it has huge maps, massive players, tanks, aircraft etc it really does come into its own. Its an FPS which rewards a bit of thought when you are playing as just running and shooting rarely works. The changing terrain is good. However, it still has problems with its servers and matchmaking. Rubberbanding still exists as does not being able to get on a server or joining a match at the end (pointless). This would be ok if this wasn't a problem on previous versions of Battlefield. EA should have sorted this by now. So a 4 star game due to the online experience.


Tigerman
Tigerman
Price: 6.02

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 25 May 2014
This review is from: Tigerman (Kindle Edition)
Lester Ferris is a man without ties. He is the British presence on the doomed island of Mancreu. Surrounded by a fleet of ships that he can’t touch, threatened by ecological disaster he can’t stop and walking the line between the different factions without being able to take a side Ferris is a man without a mission. However, his burgeoning friendship with a young boy and the death of a friend starts the path towards a combustible end which the island seems pre-destined to fall. This is the story of a man who discovers that he wants to be needed by more than queen and country.
The third novel by Harkaway has the usual mix of the funny, ridiculous and manic circumstances and is populated by a supporting cast of characters who, as ever, have varying motivations. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of those and all the characters. However, the way in which Harkaway keeps the momentum driving forward towards the various set pieces is a delight. The main character is a great focal point of the story and his is a tale well told in a believably bizarre world. This is the story of what it is to be a hero and a parent and how those things are never quite as you would expect them to be.
What makes Harkaway’s novels so endearing is that they have a real resonance. You connect with the characters and feel their circumstances and pain. Ferris is a great focus and his story resonates with you and makes you understand his dilemma’s and fear for his decisions. The inventiveness of Harkaway is equal to his previous novels here and it is a fitting follow up to Angelmaker. The mix of a surreal situation, strong set pieces and invention means that this is a book to recommend.


Sony PlayStation 4 and InFamous: Second Son (PS4)
Sony PlayStation 4 and InFamous: Second Son (PS4)
Offered by Staraxe Ltd
Price: 406.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Package, 17 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So after buying a PS1 and PS2 I went for an xBox 360 in the last round of consoles. For some reason (maybe the complete proliferation of FPS on xBox, maybe the hope of a next gen Last of Us) I chose PS4 this time around. I also got Infamous Second Son as the package. I am very pleased so far.
The PS4 is a well designed console with little noise (oh the joy after an xBox). It was easy to set up and has great potential. The online experience is pretty good and the applications and utilities seem to work. There needs to be more of them. I also like the new Dualshock controller. Its got a nice feel to it and the touchpad seems to function well when game utilise it.

Infamous Second Son itself is better in reality than it looks to appear in video's I have seen. The graphics are good, gameplay is good with a decent learning curve. The cut sequences are well done. It does need a bit of shaking up every now and again as it can get repetitive. However, the experience of playing through doesn't take too long, its not exactly GTA5 in terms of scale. However, there is enough here to enjoy and the powers etc keep the game going.

As a package its one of the best games so far with the best console so far. Watch Dogs may have this beat but right now its a good purchase.


The Rough Guide to Cancun and the Yucatan: Includes the Maya Sites of Tabasco & Chiapas
The Rough Guide to Cancun and the Yucatan: Includes the Maya Sites of Tabasco & Chiapas
by Zora O'Neill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Our planning guide, 17 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So after deciding to go to Yucatan we purchased this book to help us plan our trip. I usually go for the Lonely Planet books but this time I have been able to really use this one. The individual sections on each of the areas are good and there are good colour sections about Mayan life and Yucatan food. As well as highlights at the front there are highlights for each of the geographical locations that the book is split into. The detail about the ruins is there but I'll wait until I get there to see how accurate and useful they are. The only slight criticism that stops it getting five stars is that the accommodation options listed are not many in some sections. it could do with a few more options or reviews. We have used it as a starting point but not exclusively. Otherwise this has served us well in the planning stages and we look forward to using it when on holiday. An update of how useful it is will follow


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