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Ms. L. M. Green (Kent, UK)
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Half-Sick Of Shadows
Half-Sick Of Shadows
Price: 3.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...And then?, 13 July 2012
This book seems, at best, to be half a novel. That's my problem with it. The set-up is there, the beginning is fascinating and amusing, it establishes this dark, dangerous and surreal world in which Edward Pike lives, it draws you in with Logan's clever phrasing, it makes you really, deeply care about the twins and their world, I was engaged, Logan had me! I wanted to know who the time-traveler was and why he wanted to befriend Edward, I wanted to know whether Sophia was truly cursed, I wanted to learn the history of the Manse and the family, and later on I wanted to see Edward develop to his potential and raise his sister up, I wanted to see this strange world Alf came from, I wanted to see him develop a romance with Sophia and/or Edward, I wanted to know everything. I was hooked! And then... Nothing. No answers. No closure. It was as if Logan had written all he felt like writing and where there could have been another 50-100 pages of ending to bring everything together, he just put down his pen and had a nap instead.

He's an author with great potential and a wonderful way with words, but he has a lot to learn about pacing - as well as how not to leave his readers feeling underwhelmed and insulted by a cop-out ending. I picked up this book because it won the Terry Pratchett prize and the blurb sounded great. If Logan publishes again, I'm not saying I won't read it... but I will pay great attention to the reviews first.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2012 12:08 AM BST


Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360)
Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: 12.02

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid RPG, 6 Nov 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I'm about 10 hours into this game. At first, I was disappointed. I began as a human noble, and at first the graphics and voice acting seemed very poor. I kept going, however, and the game gets much better. The story and characters are very interesting, and there seem to be romance options to pursue. Even the graphics seem to improve as the game goes on. I'm enjoying Dragon Age far more than I enjoyed Oblivion, but compared to other Bioware games it feels as though it's lacking something. It will, however, more than tide me over until Mass Effect 2 comes out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2009 4:07 AM GMT


Rocket Dog Women's Snippy Plum Patent Snippy 7 UK
Rocket Dog Women's Snippy Plum Patent Snippy 7 UK

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice shoes, but..., 11 Jan 2009
These shoes look good, and they're far more sturdy than they first appear. They keep my feet warm, and keep the rain out. The only problem is, the first day I wore them, they tore up the back of my heels. Ouch. I'd say if you like the look of them but have soft skin, stock up on blister plasters.


Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
Offered by GAMES CONSOLES BARGAIN
Price: 13.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best RPG for the 360 yet, 11 Jan 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This game is what they had in mind when they invented the word 'epic'. It's a word that gets banded around a lot, but in this case, there isn't another that quite does it.

The characters are all interesting, the plot is intelligent and fast-paced, and the free-roam element can't be beaten - from the word go you can explore an entire galaxy. If you liked Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, you won't want to miss this.


Nation
Nation
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to glory, 1 Jan 2009
This review is from: Nation (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of Pratchett since I was eleven years old and read my mum's copy of Witches Abroad because I liked the cover art, but I've found the last handful of Discworld books to be seriously lacking in his old magic.

Nation is something like a breath of fresh air. The prose has the same sharpness, the same wit and wisdom as books such as Wyrd Sisters or Small Gods. I won't comment on the plot, but there are a lot of very, very ancient questions put into new and unique words that leave the reader torn between stopping to think about what's just happened, and ploughing on to find out what's going to happen next.

The purpose of my review is to say this: if you have fallen out of love with Pratchett's work recently, and are wondering whether to bother with Nation, I strongly recommend you give it a try. I came to it expecting to be disappointed, and my faith was restored. I hope yours is too.


Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Star Wars (Del Rey))
Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Star Wars (Del Rey))
by Michael Reaves
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read, 20 July 2008
I haven't read any Star Wars novels in a while, but was intrigued by the blurb on the cover which led me to believe this was about a Jedi working as a private investigator. I was expecting a mystery story. It isn't, but it is an interesting read.

The main strength of this story is the way it leads the reader to empathise and sympathise with characters who have opposing agendas, and makes you want everyone to succeed. The protagonist - Jedi knight in hiding, Jax Pavan - is the best fleshed out of all the characters, and his story provides an interesting look at the fate of a surviving Jedi after the rise of the Empire. Each of the secondary characters - including Darth Vader's personal aide, an ex-soldier, a sentient droid, and an elite assassin - are equally, if not more, interesting. In multi-threaded books, I usually find myself wishing the writer would spend more time on my favourite character, and I often get bored waiting for them to come back, but not so here. As the threads begin to draw together, each different perspective becomes more interesting, and I found myself drawn into the Coruscant underworld, where the last Jedi are hiding and the resistance is beginning to form.

The book's big weakness, I think, is the prose, which is often too bland, at times too descriptive, and at other times not descriptive enough. Sometimes plot development is spelled out to the reader to an almost patronising degree, and repeated as each character learns about it. I would also have liked perhaps a little more character development; being told a character has great martial skills and having to take it on faith until the end is weak writing, when it would not have been hard to work in a demonstration or two. Perhaps over-zealous editing is to blame.

This isn't a bad book, but neither is it a great book. Read it if you feel like spending a couple of hours immersing yourself in the seedier side of Coruscant during the early days of the Empire.


The End of Mr. Y
The End of Mr. Y
by Scarlett Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and thinky - good combination, 14 July 2008
This review is from: The End of Mr. Y (Paperback)
This is one of those books that makes you think. It makes you think a LOT more than you'd ever anticipate from reading the blurb on the back. While it does help if you have a basic understanding of physics, philosophy and language, even if you don't this book will make you want to understand them.

The story itself is fairly simple and engrossing. Ariel Manto is interested in everything, especially the writer Thomas Lumas, whose rarest book she finds in a second hand shop, leading to the complete destruction of her former life. The characters are very real and involving, and the weird landscapes Ariel finds herself in are cleverly described and presented.

I finished this book about four days ago, and I haven't quite figured out what to make of the ending yet. "The End of Mr Y" is a puzzle of a book, and it helps not to forget anything you are told, because every chapter - every paragraph - links together in the end. And it could be that the ideas that Ariel quickly dismisses whenever they come up are the ideas that hold true in the end.


The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 July 2008
I find that I take a long time to get through Scott Lynch's books. I suspect this is because there is so much happening in them. There's no excess description here, not a word wasted. Every single character is a work of art, and the plot is complex but carefully structured. There's a very realistic feel to this beautifully described world, so much so that I am surprised to emerge from the novel and find myself living in a world without elderglass towers shark-filled canals.

This novel is character-driven and very emotional, and I dare you not to get sucked in from page one.


The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1 (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1 (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
by Patrick Rothfuss
Edition: Paperback

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting start to a series, 3 July 2008
This book leaves me a little bit confused. On one hand, I found it compelling and could not put it down. On the other hand, it was not actually that good. It's a very accessible story with an interesting structure. I enjoyed the mystery of what could have brought Kvothe to the village where the story opens, and I found his tale very emotive. The university is a fascinating setting, and Kvothe's world is very well fleshed out.

However, over the course of 600 pages, not an awful lot actually happens. I was left with the feeling that the entire story could have been told in half the length without any of the atmosphere or depth being lost.

I found that some of the characters were utterly fascinating - particularly the university professors and Kvothes's mentor, Ben - while others were tedious and/or too perfect. Kvothe himself would have been better spending less time describing his apparently great skills, and the character of Denna is almost painfully clichéd. A woman described as having no female friends because she's so perfect is almost impossible for the reader to empathise with.

And finally, don't be fooled by the product description. None of those feats committed by Kvothe actually happen in this book. I'll be reading the sequel to find out if and when they do (which is probably the goal of mentioning them on the book's cover), but unless it improves on the first I may not follow the series through to the end.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2011 12:42 PM BST


The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One: Book One of The First Law (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One: Book One of The First Law (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Joe Abercrombie BA
Edition: Paperback

48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-read!, 18 Mar 2007
I admit it - I bought this book purely because I liked the cover. It's a bad habit I have, and it doesn't often pay off, but this time it really, truely did. I was stunned to discover I'd just bought one of the finest fantasy novels I've read to date. Abercrombie's prose is deceptively simplistic, but under the surface is an elegance of style that makes it not only easy to read, but pure fun as well.

The Blade Itself boasts the most interesting cast of characters I have come across in a long time. Despite fitting into familiar stereotypes, Logen Ninefingers, Bayaz, and Luthar are still fascinating and fun, but it's inquisitor Sand dan Glokta who really steals the show with his dry cynicism and refreshing honesty. Some of his chapters are startlingly grusome, but I challenge anyone to put the book down in the middle of a hair-raising torture scene. The secondary characters - including Major West and his sister, and Logen's band of barbarians - all have their own stories and voices that make for an addictive tale of swords, sourcery and cynicism.

I'm giving The Blade Itself four stars because, despite its brilliance, it only tells a fraction of the story, and it is impossible to judge the entire saga from the first installment. I look forward to finishing Before They Are Hanged, but I've no idea how I'll wait another year to find out what happens next!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2009 1:14 PM BST


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