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J. H. Weekes (UK)

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The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire Book 1)
The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire Book 1)
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but strangely familiar..., 2 Sep 2013
I should start by saying that I really did enjoy reading this book, and am very much killing forward to the next one.

That said, throughout I was struck by similarities in concept and style to other authors, such as Steven Erikson (a world built on the ruins of empires past, with millennia of history, plus I kept thinking of the main character as Anomandaris, such was the similarity in their full names), George R.R. Martin (in the quick and unflinching way the conflict is written, and the brutality in death) and R. Scott Bakker (the way the magic system works).

Don't dismiss the book as derivative, however, as it really is a very enjoyable read, and the familiar elements serve to let you slip into it more easily. And whilst it is definitely "lighter" than any of the above, that shouldn't be construed as a negative.

I really am looking forward to the next one.

Bleed Like Me
Bleed Like Me
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.70

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garbage - A Phoenix-like Return?, 10 May 2005
This review is from: Bleed Like Me (Audio CD)
I don't know about anyone else, but I have a dubious personal relationship with Garbage and their music. Their first album was the first CD I ever bought, what seems like such a long time ago, and was ensnared within moments by the opening riffs of Supervixen with it's disquieting moments of silence. Their second was undeniably as quintessentially different from the first as ice is from fire, because that's what it was - digitally tweaked perfection compared to the raw edges of their first, but still an excellent collection of songs that evoked the time. Following these two, I found myself grossly disappointed by the third (although I must admit that it has grown on me over the last few years, even if I don't listen to it very often).
So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I bought this latest effort.
I put it on, and instantly...loved it.
From the very beginning of the first track, there is an undeniable blending of styles from their previous work, but don't let that concern you - it is very different from them all. Certain elements certainly sing clear - from the moody and sometimes anguish-laden guitars, mellowed by the smoke like voice of Manson of Why Do You Love Me - reminiscent of the original Garbage - to the sombre (and I think, moving) It's All Over But The Crying, a sound familiar perhaps from v2.0, this album takes elements of the first three albums and surpasses each of them.
Music should elicit an emotional response, and this, I think, does. OK, so it's a personal opinion, but I defy anyone to listen to this album and not feel something. And even if you don't...well, this CD has something for everyone. From the frenetic guitars to the - well, I want to say 'clever', but that would be to deny the depth of personal feeling that Manson appears to imbue her singing with - lyrics, or the flawless way that they have managed to combine several different styles even within the one album and managed to maintain a resonating unity of flair and elegance. This is a superb album, and I can say nothing more than Buy It.
Oh, and welcome home, Garbage. I'm glad you're back.

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