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C. Clarke (ca, usa)
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The Accidental Sorcerer: Book 1 of the Rogue Agent Novels
The Accidental Sorcerer: Book 1 of the Rogue Agent Novels
by K. E. Mills
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quick and light read but nothing to recommend in it., 14 Jan 2010
I received "The Accidental Sorcerer - Rogue Agent" for Christmas. I read it in very little time- it's a very light read. It could be a story from a children's book but it is dressed up with some torture and feelings of guilt and responsibility that maybe do push it slightly more towards adult than teen.

Gerald Dunwoody is the third class wizard at the heart of the tale. The setting is some sort of alternate world sometimes recognisable (with health and safety inspections even in factories that produce wizard staffs) and sometimes fantasy (I did mention the wizards, right?). The mix of a modern setting with magic is slightly satirical and works quite well but it is underdeveloped as we are whisked off in no time to a small kingdom where next to no effort has been put into world building. There is a huge palace populated by about four named people (and one of them is just a servant that is given nothing to do except possess a name). Quite disappointing.

The characters are very few- there is the hero of the tale and three members of the royal family in the aforementioned kingdom. There are also two friends to the hero, one of whom is an annoying bird that berates and belittles women despite being female herself. It was a strangely uncomfortable read from a female author putting words in a female character without a voice speaking out against it. There is nothing remarkable about any of the characters but they tend to be likable enough except for the one you're meant to dislike anyway.

The plot is your typical one about a rubbish wizard being thrown into the deep end and discovering he isn't so rubbish after all. As I said, there are some attempts at darker fiction and in a way it is effective but there is better stuff out there so read that instead.


Waterproof Black Camera Case for Canon 1200D,1100D,700D,650D,600D,550D,70D 60D,50D,7D 6D 5D,SX50,SX500, Olympus E620 SP820 E5 E3,Nikon D7100,D7000,D5300,D5200 D5100,D3300,D3200,D3100,D90,P520,P600,L830,Fuji Finepix SL300,SL1000,HS50,HS30,8600,S6800,Sony Alpha H200 H300 H400 HX200 HX300 HX400 A58,A65,A77,Panasonic Lumix G6,GF6,GH3,FZ72,FZ62,FZ200,Pentax K5,K30,K50,K500 DSLR
Waterproof Black Camera Case for Canon 1200D,1100D,700D,650D,600D,550D,70D 60D,50D,7D 6D 5D,SX50,SX500, Olympus E620 SP820 E5 E3,Nikon D7100,D7000,D5300,D5200 D5100,D3300,D3200,D3100,D90,P520,P600,L830,Fuji Finepix SL300,SL1000,HS50,HS30,8600,S6800,Sony Alpha H200 H300 H400 HX200 HX300 HX400 A58,A65,A77,Panasonic Lumix G6,GF6,GH3,FZ72,FZ62,FZ200,Pentax K5,K30,K50,K500 DSLR
Offered by BV-electronics
Price: £11.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal, 31 Dec 2009
I bought this for my Canon 1000d. It fits well with room for a spare lens and small bits and pieces (memory cards, battery etc).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2010 12:50 PM GMT


The  Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles)
The Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles)
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is just the beginning..., 5 Aug 2009
Given that this book is part one of two, it is exceptionally good. Without that understanding though, you may wonder why it only really starts to get exciting right at the end with the rest of the book being gentle set-up.

Robin Hobb's writing style is beautiful. Slightly flowery but never too ornate for clarity, it soothes and calms me. The writing in this book flows particularly well with characters and places coming alive through careful descriptions.

Her world is, in my opinion, her strongest selling point. The realm of the Elderlings has been carefully constructed in other books (it is probably helpful though by no means necessary to have read at least the Liveships before this one) and is continued here. The life cycle of the dragons is given a strong focus and there are delightful peaks at Elderling relics, magical objects from a lost time. It feels unique in the world of fantasy as it does not draw on medieval times but a more prosperous era of trading and travel with a Puritanical society.

The characters themselves aren't as fresh as those in her other books (for example, the Liveships series with the pirate Kennit) but they are presented with the potential to be magnificent after a bit of growing up. A strength of this book is the multiple point of view storytelling which allows for the same character to be seen from different perspectives. The cast is quite small though and it takes very little time for them to become embroiled in the same plot making it easier to follow than many other sprawling multi-pov fantasy books. Plus her depiction of how dragons think is fantastic.

The book covers themes of marriage, sexuality, deformity, appearance, society, emancipation... and I daresay I have missed many. The plot is simply the formation of a ragtag band, including dragons, travelling to find a better place.

Overall I highly recommend this book and other books by Robin Hobb. Her writing is lyrical and her worlds original.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 3: Wolves at the Gate (Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse))
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 3: Wolves at the Gate (Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse))
by Georges Jeanty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but unfulfilling, 5 Aug 2009
The Buffy season 8 comics are a great nostalgic trip with familiar characters, Buffyspeak and callbacks to the tv show. This volume raised some smiles with me and I enjoyed it as you would comfort food. However, far too much seems to be done as a gimmick without much consideration for the characters (flash in the pan romances of which there are two (arguably three) in this volume both of which made me wonder what the point was meant to be).

It's no "Angel After the Fall" which feels like a necessary continuation of the tv show. It's just a nice jaunt into familiar territory. Probably essential for a rabid fan but for me I think this book just proves that the series is going nowhere special and is probably just being written for the money and not for the love.


Angel: After The Fall Volume 4 HC: After the Fall v. 4 (Angel (IDW Hardcover))
Angel: After The Fall Volume 4 HC: After the Fall v. 4 (Angel (IDW Hardcover))
by Joss Whedon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.87

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional and Invaluable continuation of the tv series, 4 Aug 2009
The four volume "After the Fall" series is a masterpiece proving that spin-off comic series can be as brilliant as the original and not just a money-making tie-in. Brian Lynch understands the themes of Angel and the ideas in the series resonate as strongly as the very best episodes did.

The concluding book contains five issues plus the original concept for issue number one which is an interesting look at what could have been. The end is satisfying and brings a conclusion to issues from the tv series. At the same time it brings the characters to new places from which they can begin new adventures.

Lynch did a perfect job on this. Some of the art seems rushed unfortunately but there is the odd panel with high emotion that more than makes up for the rather sketchy ones.


Sennheiser CX300 Eco Ear Canal Headphones Silver
Sennheiser CX300 Eco Ear Canal Headphones Silver

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The first set of earphones I have ever hated, 5 Jun 2009
"Are they comfortable?"
Yes, there are three different sizes and I found the medium ones were perfect. They sit well inside the ear forming a good seal which blocks out a fair bit of the noise from your surroundings.

"Sounds odd if not a little dangerous."
Yes, very strange experience. But at least it means being able to hear music and podcasts clearly without the sound being very high. However it also means being able to hear yourself breathe and chew and swallow and the noise the cord to the earphones makes is not pleasant. Plus I found it made me more prone to travel sickness though whether this was due to the sensory deprivation or low frequency sounds, I do not know.

"So, not so good for someone that doesn't travel well?"
Nope. I also won't be using it to listen to things on my laptop as it seems to amplify the white noise and distort some sounds in a peculiar way.

"You obviously don't like them."
Well observed.


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