Profile for C. M. Donaldson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by C. M. Donaldson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,879
Helpful Votes: 211

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
C. M. Donaldson "aka Pearl Barley (pseudonym)" (UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
Do Androids Dream?
Do Androids Dream?
Price: £2.05

4.0 out of 5 stars A well written unusual love story..., 17 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really liked this story. I've read a number of robot stories and this one has a familiar ring to it. The Head of Robotics takes home a prototype, Nick, and asks his long-suffering reluctant wife, Sarah, to help with the robot's speech inflections to get the 'robotic' tone out of its voice as it is a very realistic humanoid robot, difficult to tell from a human being. However, this particular android has been contaminated accidently by human DNA and is remarkably more human than anyone knows, a fact that Sarah finds out the longer she spends in its company.

As time goes on Nick becomes much more than a 'household helper'. The thing is though he is in danger of being disassembled before he has a chance to prove his eligibility as a human and the story picks up pace from there. It's a short story that flows really well and develops into a love story of sorts but it's fraught with uncertainty and risk.


Teleporting to Immortality
Teleporting to Immortality
Price: £0.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad effort, but ..., 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The science behind an extraordinary advanced development was believable in a tale set in the future where teleporting is as commonplace as riding on a bus. A brilliant young biologist has developed a way to use teleportation as a means to prolong life, but the technology is stolen. Of course there is bound to be someone who wants all the glory and will go to great lengths, ethical or otherwise to achieve that goal. Not only that, but the young biologists memory is erased. There begins the adventure. There are some definite good points to this story, the plausibility of the description of life in the future, inroads in technology and a changing in general habits worldwide in the way the world progressed and how mankind evolved. I loved the fact that all food and energy was free worldwide. And education too. There were some other little informative gems in this story which I would say have been well thought-out. The tale does indeed grab you from the beginning and the premise is very good. But now to the negatives: Just as it was gaining momentum, it ended rather abruptly for me. And this short story needs work in the grammar department - for example, in the blurb itself "...World Mafia gets on the way". That should read 'gets IN the way'. There are quite a few examples like this throughout, and I feel the author needs a better proof-reader. All in all, not a bad effort. The ideas behind this work were good ones but I fear the story lacked depth.


The Stone Man - A Science Fiction Thriller
The Stone Man - A Science Fiction Thriller
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't underestimate the genius behind this story ..., 7 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
To describe this tale as a page-turner is an understatement, but of course it was and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish with a mystery developing surrounding the appearance of a creature, dubbed The Stone Man. Why it appeared no one knew. What it was there for no one could guess, but as the story gained pace my heart was in my mouth as the 'dreadful' truth started to unfold. It went, for me, from intrigue, and excitement to dread, anxiety and out-and-out fear. It also invoked the kind of horror that made my own imagination ran away with me. The characters were easy to root for, as human, flawed and vulnerable as you or I, and sheer curiosity kept me going and I didn't want the story to end. But end it did, and what an ending? I, for one, was pleased with the ending (my nerves simply couldn't take any more and I was glad when my heart went back to a normal rythmn once again)

I know my review is sounding somewhat cryptic but I dare not say anymore for fear of letting something slip and spoiling the fun for other readers. All I can say is, it's one of the best books I've read all year and I am over the moon to find other gems by this writer. To sum up, The Stone Man was written with such original imagination and yet a truly human story running through it made it gripping. I also loved the small synopsis at the start of each chapter (that's unusual and I've never seen it before) just to give you a head's up as to what was coming next - it was a very nice touch.

The author managed to turn the subject of a visitor (maybe an alien, who knows) from nowhere into a race against time, getting right into the heads of those involved, and for a scary story there were some very humourous bits in it as well. It deserves a 10 but I can only give it 5, but don't take my word for it, grab a copy and find out for yourself (it doesnt have over 200 reviews in the UK and over 500 elsewhere (at last count) for nothing. The next question is, when's the movie coming out? A word to the author: Thanks!

P.S, if you're interested you can go along to Goodreads and read my running commentary as I progressed through the book.

One last thing: This is how highly I rate Luke Smitherd, I'm the author of a sci-fi lite novel about experimentation into travelling through our dreams The AL-EX Project (ALternative EXistence) (sorry for the cheeky little plug) and ...I wish he'd written it!


Murder In The Library (Book 3 Dekker Cozy Mystery Series)
Murder In The Library (Book 3 Dekker Cozy Mystery Series)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite light-hearted and entertaining actually..., 14 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've finished it with a smile as it was indeed an entertaining cosy mystery. I like stories where the main characters are older folk and to my mind the story flowed well. I loved all the food talk unlike some reviewers. What's wrong with a side dish of irrelevent banter and culinary descriptions about their meals since both of our characters love to eat? And yes in my mind's eye they were probably rather rotund and unattractive, but not that unusual. I suppose it's safe to say they chomped their way through this mystery to find the killer of their friend The Colonel, when it looked impossible that someone could get in and out of the premises without being detected yet leave The Colonel dead in a room locked from the inside. In this story I really connected with the sleuths and praised their attention to detail. I was also pleasantly surprised at the ending which was quite clever. I thought several times that I could identify the killer but I was thankfully wrong. I can't praise the author too highly and I'm encouraged to read their other works. The editing needs work though.


Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula: The Adventure of the Solitary Grave: The Supernatural Casefiles of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula: The Adventure of the Solitary Grave: The Supernatural Casefiles of Sherlock Holmes
Price: £1.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Totally authentic invoking nostalgia, 20 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a dyed-in-the-wool Sherlock Holmes fan, I was very pleased with this story. It had a definite Conan Doyle feel about it, and tapped easily into the legendary Sherlock Holmes methods of deduction in this original story about Holmes' encounter with Dracula. It had a touch of the supernatural about it with dark undertones, but was so very well thought-out. These 'unusual' elements took the story to another level with the excellent flow of the story as a whole. For a make-believe tale, it made you believe all events were in fact true and plausible. It was a quick, entertaining read, for which I gladly give five-stars and my only tiny gripe would be that I'd have preferred it was part of an anthology of tales by this Conan Doyle imitator (that's a complement by the way). I will certainly be looking out for more of the same by Christian Klaver.

(Oh yes, as mentioned in other reviews, the editing needs work).


The Wrong Stuff, K'Barthan Trilogy: Part 2 - ebook
The Wrong Stuff, K'Barthan Trilogy: Part 2 - ebook
Price: £2.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it ten stars..., 23 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was an absolute delight, equally as enjoyable as Few Are Chosen, the first in the trilogy. The story continues surrounding the exploits of The Pan and his rescue mission of The Chosen One who doesn't realise she's chosen, nor does she appreciate the full implications. And the scene shifts between the paralel universe and London, which was unexpected and intriguing. I want to avoid spoilers suffice to say that Lord Vernon is still on the warpath with his evil intentions, looking to gain what he thinks is his but The Pan stands in his way...again! The rollercoaster ride in this tale is nail-biting in places (fabulous) and there are some edge-of-your-seat moments here. The story takes a romantic curve and new characters are introduced integral to the development of a tale that is seamlessly packed solid with adventure, mayhem, mystery and humour. I'm avidly awaiting the next instalment


Few Are Chosen, K'Barthan Trilogy: Part 1 - ebook (The K'Barthan Trilogy)
Few Are Chosen, K'Barthan Trilogy: Part 1 - ebook (The K'Barthan Trilogy)
Price: £0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pan of Hamgee cracked me up..., 6 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At first I thought what the hell is The Pan of Hamgee, and more precisely what is a Hamgean? (Obviously I hadn't read the prequel). Then you let your mind do a quick brain flick into fantasy mode and it all starts to become clear. The Pan is a hapless, hopeless creature, and you can’t help but start to enjoy a completely unconventional and original fantasy tale riddled with humour about his desperate exploits and antics.

When he initially burnt down his employer’s apartment by accident, and feared a dirt-nap with concrete boots amongst the fishes (Big Merv is a highly feared gangster after all) and yet managed to escape, The Pan had me hooked. You couldn’t help but root for him.

How many incidences can one person find themselves in where they are pursued, threatened, beaten up, incarcerated then they flee, get caught again, manage to escape, get caught again by an adversary worse than the last one, take another thrashing and still survive another day is beyond me, but that’s the sum of The Pan’s existence. He is nimble, quick and tricky, and he’s also a self-confessed coward who has made his ability to escape tight situations (usually of his own doing) into a fine art. Trouble is, he often falls from the frying pan (no pan pun intended) into the fire, and as an outlaw anyway, there is a price on his head and many who would claim his hide for the reward. He’s not very good though at keeping out of trouble, and his mouth engaging before his brain is partly the root of all his woes. And that is what made this novel all the more amusing, and amazing.

I loved this story and read it avidly night after night, wondering what kind of ‘doo-doo’ The Pan would find himself in next. I also loved the inclusion of strange artifacts, appliances and flying vehicles, and the discovery of a unusual portal. This story is set in a parallel universe and I was blown away by the imagination of the author. Thus, I have already sought out the sequel and continue to enjoy the antics of The Pan as his troubles escalate. The story has been described in the many reviews this has received, so I won’t go into it at length suffice to say it's just a brilliantly intriguing story with a great deal of imagination surrounding the quest to find The Chosen One, with creatures from different planets and a great deal of humour thrown in.


Location, Location, Damnation (The Brackenford Cycle Book 1)
Location, Location, Damnation (The Brackenford Cycle Book 1)
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous fun!, 4 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sci-fi lite author of The AL-EX Project (ALternative EXistence)

There are many parts in this book that are just hilarious. It reads like an adventurous romp with the uncanniest goings-on, and really compels the reader to turn the page. You take an ordinary guy who discovers he's got a secret power that he didn't even know about, nor does he know how to control it and his mind can't take it all in. From the off he's not sure how to handle things, then we know when he's sure because he'd much rather forget all about this new phenomenal development and get on with his dull and mundane life. And so enters centre-stage our reluctant hero, and truly they have to drag him kicking and screaming to 'do his duty' because there are nefarious creatures and a demon to be slain and he has the power to overcome this evil whether he likes it or not. And by all accounts, he's the only one who can do it.

Add a touch of danger and he's ready to turn tail and run at sights his eyes can't quite comprehend. I loved the narrative, at every turn he's just about ready to run for the hills.

Some of the humour was just so ridiculously funny and I like ridiculous fun! As our Trev learns the background to his secret power and is shocked that his own grandfather also had the power but omitted mentioning it, it's only a matter of time before it becomes necessary for him to hone these powers quickly, charging him with the task of becoming a saviour fighting good against evil and whereas you would think this would be a serious tale, it's in actual fact a veritable laugh a page.

The journey to the end is a delight, an adventure and an escapade with our hapless Trev making it up as he goes along.

This was entertainment at its best. It was imaginative and I loved the inventiveness of the other-worldly creatures - there's a ghost, talking swords and Oscar who can do more than just cough up furballs. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Will Trev triumph or will he get slaughtered? With every page turn it was a close call. You couldn't take anything for granted.

The first line grabbed me at the start "Trev Irwin didn't believe in ghosts...which made it something of a shock when he saw one!"

I rest my case!

Halfway through I wanted to give it five stars, now I've finished it, I'm sorry I can't give it a 10.


A Well-deserved Murder (Trevor Joseph Detective series Book 7)
A Well-deserved Murder (Trevor Joseph Detective series Book 7)
Price: £1.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-deserved four star rating..., 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was not too complicated with good development of the characters. It would just so happen that the neighbour being complained about the most - a thorn in the side of her other neighbours - ends up dead. Not only that but everyone seems to have a reason to kill her. Our Sergeant Peter Collins in charge of the case has a particularly trying job to do because it was his own cousin, who incidently lived next door who complained most bitterlyk, now in frame, with all the evidence pointing directly at him.

Fortunately (is that the right term?) there are others who could have committed the dastardly deed, so it's not so cut and dried even if it's touch and go for a while. The investigation uncovers other illicit secrets and it's a case of weeding out the wheat from the chaff, or in this case the real evidence from the red herrings.

I enjoyed this novel. It was entertaining and intriguing and I would certainly read more from this author.


Creme de Banane Giffard 25% 50cl
Creme de Banane Giffard 25% 50cl
Offered by Drink Finder
Price: £10.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious stuff, this..., 6 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Creme de Banane Giffard 25% 50cl
I was introduced to a lovely cocktail with this ingredient in it, and simply had to try it myself at home. I'm extremely pleased with the product, and enjoyed many a delicious cocktail over the Christmas period. It lasts a fair while too as you only need to pour a very small amount.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7