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Christopher Allen "goldstandardpersonaltraining" (linlithgow, uk)
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Lucifer
Lucifer
by Michael Cordy
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Lucifer (Paperback)
This book has recently been repackaged as "THE LUCIFER CODE" in an attempt to jump on the whole "anything with code in sells itself bandwagon". This is a really great shame, as it really isnt another one of the Da Vinci clone holy grail stories that are now 10 a penny on the bookshelves.

This book stands out on its own as a really good novel without a mention of the holy grail, jesus or his wife and kids. It does however have a mild religious theme, but is as much about human greed as it is about religious salvation. The central theme is not the most original, but it is handled very well, and presents it in a fresh way, with plenty going on in the background too. The characters are well introduced and fleshed out just enough for you to care, without telling you what they had for breakfast on every page. Some of the over complicated optical concepts may get confusing for some of the less technically minded, but this is only a minor gripe. It seems that all areas of the story are interesting both on their own and as part of the whole plot with the action sequences not being too overbearing and unfeasilble. The twists are generally good, with even the predicatble ones not being annoyingly so and the final showdown is quite enigmatic in its own way which I found quite a nice touch as although it explains itself to a degree, there is still an air of uncertainty in both the main character and also the reader's mind.


Giotto's Hand
Giotto's Hand
by Iain Pears
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading!!!, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Giotto's Hand (Paperback)
This book is called "Giotto's hand", it is based around art theft, involves an art dealer and an art detection agency and is written by an art historian. SO WHY ISNT IT ACTUALLY ABOUT ART??

Ignore the reviews on the cover relating to anything regarding art history, this is very simply like an episode of Midsomer murders, with some extra europeans added in a presumed attempt to add some glamour. That aside, it really wasnt too bad overall, and it was very short and easy to read.

I would suggest that Pears isnt the most accomplished or imaginitive of authors, but he at least made a decent job of a very standard formulaic murder mystery. Having studied art history myself I really wouldnt have guessed that the author was connected to the art world, as the only vaguely arty themes are a few old atists names and a couple of dates here and there-nothing a complete novice couldnt find out very easily should they want to write something similar-with no real insight into...well, anything arty really... which was quite disappointing. It was also quite easy to guess who was behind it all as the book is only 260 pages long and it gets where its going pretty quickly as a result.

However, I did enjoy reading this book and I am going to be trying Iain Pears other books before dismissing him out of hand as this showed some promise in parts.

One final note Mr. Pears-you have about 10 characters in total in your book so is it really neccessary for the 3 main people involved to be called George, Gordon and Geoffery as this can get confusing at times without a surname!


Digital Fortress
Digital Fortress
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Brown-but maybe not for everyone, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Having read Browns 4 novels (to date) this was my pick of the bunch. However, it is based around computers which may be off putting for some. This neednt be however, as Brown explains all of the technical and mathematical concepts reasonably well so even a relative techno-phobe can still happily follow the plot.

As with Browns other books, there are 2 stories happening simultaneously, which keep the reader interested with the European plot particularly exciting. The office based plot is decent enough too, however, it does suffer from "Dan's Disease" in that the familiar style of Brown leads you to work out the goodies from the baddies pretty much from their introduction, in that if youre supposed to believe theyre good, they're reaaly not-and vice versa in a kind of literary pantomime, with the turn happening in the blink of an eye rather than clues being subtly introduced gradually (strange how Brown seems not to do subtlty despite his novels being generally overly long for the needs of the story.

If you can overlook this, then you will not be disappointed with this effort, which refreshingly has no real rant at any government or religious parties (which can get quite tedious Mr. Brown by the way)

10/10-the best of a good bunch


Angels And Demons
Angels And Demons
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read this one first!, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
If you've already read the Da Vinci Code, then i feel that you are likely to be quite disappointed with this substandard effort, as I was myself having done this very thing. It starts off well enough, with the opening gambit quite exciting (although the technical descriptions and explainations seem to serve Brown's intellectual ego more than actually adding anything to the plot). However, as the story progresses, it seems to get more and more infeasible and over the top, with the characters becoming characatures of themselves by the end. The first half I would say is as good as Brown's other works but again with the 4 novels so far-the formulaic approach he has to his storytelling makes plot twists predictable and at times lazy. The secondhalf however plunges rapidly from the sublime to the ridiculous, as scholarly Robert Langdon suddenly becomes "Action Jackson" in a series of bizarre stunts which leave the reader bemused and disillusioned with a once promising thriller.

Of the 4 Dan Brown books to date-this is the one to avoid.


Deception Point
Deception Point
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Deception Point (Paperback)
Unlike Angels and Demons (also by Dan Brown), this book took a while to get interesting, but once it got where it was going it was every bit as fast paced and exciting as Browns other works, but once youve read one, theyre all pretty much variations on a theme. This means that you do tend to see the so called twists coming and can usually get a pretty good grasp of what is unfolding a good few pages early. However, i dont feel that this detracts too much from this book overall, although it does slightly suffer from being overlong for what is quite a simple concept.

The political based sub story is quite a good little distraction in itself and keeps you interested when the thrills and spills on the ice get a bit frantic and implausible (which they do at times) but its still a decent read if this kind of thing is your idea of a good time.

Brown does seem to have a bit of a problem with NASA, but does make some interesting statements regarding the relevance and function of the agency, but does leave you to make your own mind up with the facts he presents. I feel this is a bit more macho than some might expect after the da vinci code or angels and demons with the action getting a bit gung-ho towards the end.


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY VERY GOOD INDEED, 13 April 2006
Now, we all know that this is the most famous book since the bible itself-but if you can ignore all the fuss about the theme and the plagiarism and all the controversy (wich is all a bit childish and pointless in my opinion) then what you get is a very enjoyable read.

Granted its not a wholly original concept (wink wink messrs baigent and leigh-you didnt think you actually stood a chance surely??)but it is extremely fast paced and keeps you wanting to read more with virtually every chapter finishing with a cliff hanger. Its maybe a bit over long-indeed, a theme of Browns books is that he feels the need to show how clever he is by over elaborating on some details which isnt always neccessary or introducing another concept related to (but not really relevant to) the plot. However, the story is clear and progresses logically, with the reader never getting lost, despite the many sub stories, which is good in itself, and you do actually find yourself becoming involved with the characters and settings.

The only small problem I had was the ending, which was all a bit too neat and convenient (thousands of years of history, mystery and intrigue all neatly sorted in 500 or so pages) but people like a happy ending eh?

I think the prople who really hate this resent Brown making so much money, rather than the so-called exploitation of religion and while this isnt exactly high art, its certainly a very worthy modern classic. Just go into it with an open mind!


Blast From The Past
Blast From The Past
by Ben Elton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.62

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At least it was short!, 23 Jan 2006
This review is from: Blast From The Past (Paperback)
If you like a good story-dont bother. If you like well rounded characters-dont bother. If you like a good ending-dont bother.
If you like plot twists-dont bother. If you're idea of a good book is something you can read in 3 or 4 hours without taxing your intellect then go for it. This is such a poor book. I have never written one of these reviews before, despite having read some excellent, indifferent and shockingly bad books in my time, but this one was so poor I felt compelled. I got this book in a job lot and as it was sitting gathering dust I thought I'd give it a go-not having read any of Ben Elton's books before but admiring his comedy writing in the past. There is very little point to this book, the story is wafer-thin. The characters are all cardboard cutouts with no depth whatsoever and appeared to change their patterns of speech and vocabulary at will, making them wholly unconvincing. The plot is extremely predictable, making the twists as twisty as a straightedge and the ending is truly terrible. The book is not even particualrly well written. It appeared that the story couldve been written in 10 pages. It was all filler no killer.
Elton could have indeed summed this book up himself in his script for blackadder goes forth when edmund reviews baldricks poem "the german guns":
It started badly, tailed off in the middle and the least said about the ending the better! Indeed Elton himself seemed all to happy to recyle his own old stand up gags at various inappropriate points.
I can only wonder if it was not for the name of the author, would this have been deemed worthy of publication at all??


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