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Heavenly Body II (Sunny England)

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A Ship of War: Charles Hayden Book 3 (Charles Hayden 3)
A Ship of War: Charles Hayden Book 3 (Charles Hayden 3)
by Sean Russell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Charles Hayden 3!, 21 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't know why Amazon persists in describing this as 'Charles Hayden 1', when it is the third book in the series.
Comparisons with other Napoleonic seafaring yarns are inevitable, but as an avid reader of such stories, I prefer to take each series on its own merits and I try to avoid thinking "That bit is straight out of Patrick O'Brien" and so on, as no author could hope to avoid a certain similarity; they are, after all, essentially books about the same thing, and a certain formula is pretty much inevitable, if not mandatory.
Russell's descriptions of life at sea are excellent. In his storms you can taste the salt spray and feel the rain lashing your face. His battle scenes are vivid, exciting, powerful and tragic. The leading characters are by now very well developed. None are perfect 'hero types'. Even Hayden, with his talent for finding out the enemy and his peerless sense of duty and honour, is plagued with doubts about his decisions and feels the weight of command very heavy upon his shoulders.
In this episode we find Hayden and the crew of the Themis in dire straights, being hotly pursued by a French squadron in filthy weather. Charged with bearing vital intelligence to England with all haste, he cannot resist when a French frigate is sighted. He is once again keen to avoid any suggestion of shyness and pays the price.
The battle, storm and chase scenes are interspersed with starkly contrasting scenes of a comfortable English country estate in early summer, where his estranged love is spending time with her family, getting over Hayden's alleged betrayal. Unknown to Hayden, he has a rival for Henrietta's affections...
Russell plays these contrasting worlds very well. Just when the reader needs a break from holding his breath as Hayden and crew face certain death, we are we whisked to a comfy drawing room where Henrietta and her sisters play out their own little drama. Just before the reader begins to think "OK, I've read enough 'Pride and Prejudice' stuff now, we are back at sea, facing the angry French, intent on our destruction, and an angry sea, with similar ideas.
I suspect this is a lesson learned from Patrick O'Brien, who devoted almost an entire book (Post Captain) to domestic affairs and almost put me off reading any more. (I thank God I persisted).
I have rambled on enough. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the others in the series and look forward to the next. They are very well written, full of excitement and great characters. I heartily recommend this excellent series.

By Tank: D to VE Days
By Tank: D to VE Days
by Ken Tout
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, realistic WWII memoir, 20 Dec 2012
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This review is from: By Tank: D to VE Days (Paperback)
I am a big fan of wartime memoirs and I can't believe I have let this one pass me by until now. In my humble opinion, this ranks as one of the best.
Tout takes us on a journey filled with terror, fire, death and injury. His descriptions are gritty, honest and at times poetic. For example, the feelings of a tank crew that is 'lead tank', approaching a bend in the road in enemy-held Normandy, are vividly depicted. So much so that the reader may find the hairs on the back of the neck rising at the thought of the imagined 88mm gun waiting around the corner...
People deal with stress and fear in different ways, and while Tout is brutally honest about his own fears, he also pays attention to the reactions of his comrades, with touches of soldiers' humour, gentleness and humanity. I loved this book and will no doubt read it again. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in warfare, the human experience and senseless waste of war, or anyone who just likes a good true-life adventure story. Simply quite Brilliant.

Man Of War: (Matthew Hervey Book 9)
Man Of War: (Matthew Hervey Book 9)
by Allan Mallinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars The first time I ever cried while reading a book, 17 Sep 2011
The plaudit often given to authors of historical novels: "The heir to Patrick O'Brien", is as over-used as it is often undeserved. However, with Man of War, Mr Mallinson is getting close, very close. I must admit to being slightly confused when, in 'Company of Spears', our hero's particular friend, Laughton Peto, was given a whole chapter to himself. Here was a clear departure from what had gone before, and I wondered if more was to come. Now I see the point of this departure.
In this book, the characters become very developed, to the point that I feel I know them very well. In fact, I'd love to have shaken Hervey and tried to prevent him making a big mistake in his personal life! Without spoiling the story too much, there is a scene towards the end during which tragedy befalls one of the characters. Now, I wouldn't describe myself as particularly 'well read', but I have read a good deal, and I can honestly say this is the first time the written word has reduced me to tears of emotion. I had to put the book down to compose myself before continuing at one point, such is the power of the story-telling here. A very, very well written book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sniper One: The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege
Sniper One: The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege
Price: £3.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for those of a nervous disposition, 15 Jun 2011
I picked this up for a quid at a boot sale and I wish I could go back and give the guy some more money! I have read military history and first hand accounts for most of my adult life (from 'The Recollections of Rifleman Harris' to 'Pheonix Squadron' and 'Tornado Down') but this is the first account of the Iraq War that I have read. I can only imagine that the others will be a disappointment after this. I couldn't put this down. I dreamt about it at night. I laughed out loud about the dating web-site prank. I felt I was on the roof of CIMIC house with the snipers from Y Company. A brilliant and compelling read from the very first page to the very last. I take my hat off to Sgt Mills and the Y Company boys.
A word of warning though: don't read this if you don't like the 'F' word...

Spartan Gold: FARGO Adventures #1
Spartan Gold: FARGO Adventures #1
by Clive Cussler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it, sorry., 15 Jun 2011
This was my first Cussler book and it looks like I chose the wrong one. I bought this book upon its release. I picked it up because of the U-Boat on the cover (a favourite subject of mine) and the references to Napoleon Bonaparte in the blurb (another of my obsessions) meant I had to read it. I genuinely wish I hadn't.
I already knew Cussler was an internationally celebrated author so I felt very let down by this effort.
Having seen the third Fargo adventure in the shops, I came to this page to check out the reviews of this one to see if I was alone in hating it. I'm relieved to see I am not alone.
One reviewer says the Fargos are the 21st Century Harts (from Hart to Hart) and that is absolutely spot-on.
The fargos are so irritatingly perfect that when they were breaking into the evil Russian guy's house I honestly wanted them to get caught, tortured and despatched into the icy sea! Reading this book was like navigating a video game or, dare I say it, watching a movie.
I wouldn't dream of being rude about Mr Cussler's work, and I don't doubt that he is a million times better at writing than I am, and now I see I have had a bad introduction to his work, but I probably won't read any more of him. Life's too short.

Price: £8.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn it up loud & proud!, 5 Dec 2009
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
I know very little about classical music and even less about band music, but this is wonderful to listen to. The choice of tunes for this album is pure genius; a mix of hugely famous movie themes, eternally beloved classics and even a medley of stirring naval music.
From the first track, Where Eagles Dare, emotions are stirred by the electrifying sound of this most famous of military bands. 633 Squadron will have you humming along; I Vow to Thee My Country will have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck; The Dambusters will have you booming out "Durr dur dur dur dur de dur dur" like a fool; The Great Escape and Colonel Bogey will have you whistling merrily and then the beautiful and emotive Nimrod will cause you to feel tears pricking at the corners of your eyes.
This is an album for anyone who has ever served or dreamed of serving and for anyone who, like me, is deeply moved by The Cenotaph every year. It is an album for anyone who loves good music, be it classical or otherwise.
And above all, while listening to this you know you are listening to the Band Of The Coldstream Guards!
I've just ordered two more for my Dad and father-in law.

USB Access Point (Nintendo DS & Wii)
USB Access Point (Nintendo DS & Wii)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Discontinued by Nintendo, 22 Oct 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Do not buy this product if you are running Zonealarm Internet Security!
Nowhere in the information for this product does it state there are problems with this product when using with a firewall. The instructions supplied with this product don't mention it either. Only when the frustrated user turns to Nintendo's support website and scrolls through loads of information is this little gem discovered: "Important Note: In order to use the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, Zone Alarm Internet Security Suit (sic) must be completely uninstalled from your computer. Simply disabling (turning off) this program will still not allow a successful connection."

If you have no firewall or are happy to switch it off (or delete it in the case of Zonealarm!) you will have no problems running this product, however you may find your PC destroyed by malware/viruses etc...

Nintendo's support website currently states the following: "Please note: The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector has been discontinued until further notice."

I wonder why???

Mine will be going back to Amazon once the posties go back to work!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2010 7:56 PM GMT

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