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Angelmaker
Angelmaker
by Nick Harkaway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Angelmaker (Paperback)
A unique mixture of urban fantasy, boys (or girls) own adventure and crime novel, complete with a cast of poorly characterised "lithe bisexual heroines". What more could you want?

Angelmaker charts the coming of age ( he's a late developer) of Joe Spork: struggling horlologist, all round nice guy and son of London's most notorious gangster. It's also the story of superspy Edie Banister, and her struggle against archvilian Shem Shem Tsien, and his plans to destroy the world in a most original manner.

In short, its well written, well plotted and, well ... delicious!


The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel)
The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel)
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not just a cool title, 24 Oct 2012
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In The Hydrogen Sonata, Banks continues rounding out the less well developed corners of his Culture universe. While in Surface Detail it was the virtual realities, this time, he turns his attention to the ubiquitous, but ever mysterious, Banksian phenomenon of Subliming.

It's the End Days of the Gzilt civilisation, "cousins" of The Culture. The final count down to The Outloading has begun. But secrets, greed and meglomania look set to disrupt the whole process. It' s a good thing that Culture Ship Minds are there to interfere.

There's a generous dose of intership humour, occasional diving beneath space-time skeins and such, some displacement shenanigans, a lot of being generally superior, and a good deal of shooting. Oh, and a four armed heroine and a really, really old bloke (but the ships steal the show).

I'm not saying you'll come out any the wiser as to what this Subliming business is. However, I certainly hope the Culture remains untempted by the lure of the Great Enfolding for a few more books.


Kraken
Kraken
by China Mieville
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloated and confused, 11 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Kraken (Hardcover)
As with several of the other reviewers, I'm a huge China Mieville fan, so I was pretty disappointed with this book. I almost stopped reading it half way through, but I battled on to the end.

By chance, I happened to be reading it concurrently with this summers other urban fantasy-horror crossover, Charles Stross' "The Fuller Memorandum". The difference couldn't be more marked. While "Kraken" is bloated, confused, and reads like Mieville is making it up as he goes along, Stross' latest "Laundry" novel is tight, self consistent and a thrilling read.

China Mieville is a brilliant author. I can only assume pressure from his publisher got the better of him.
My advice is to give "Kraken" a miss, and read "The Fuller Memorandum" instead.


The Dervish House (Gollancz)
The Dervish House (Gollancz)
by Ian McDonald
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 9 Aug 2010
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McDonald has set pretty high expectations with his last two books, but this one doesn't disappoint.

The Dervish House unfolds in a compelling near future Istanbul, a heady mix of history, cultures and ubiquitous nanotechnology. It tells the intertwined stories of six characters, spanning five days of an Istanbul heat wave: a gas options trader with a get rich quick plan, an antiquarian commissioned to find a fabulous mythical artefact; a retired Professor of Economics wounded by ethnic persecution and a love lost, a troubled mystic who sees djinn and talks with saints, a "Marketing Consultant" called in to save the family nanotechnology start-up, and a boy detective with the coolest nanotech toy ever.

With treasure hunts, terrorist plots, wheeling and dealing, and a high tech shoot out, the Dervish House is fast paced and a real page turner. True to style however, McDonald's characters are well rendered and believable, his ideas first class and his writing is complex and mature.

A wonderful book!


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