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Lewis Attrib

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Divine Deception (The Will Traveller Chronicals Book 5)
Divine Deception (The Will Traveller Chronicals Book 5)
Price: £2.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Divine Deception, 21 Mar. 2014
Divine Deception is one of six books in the Will Traveller Chronicals series. Robert, the hero of the tale, gives us a first person account of his adventures after finding himself transported to New World, a technically advanced Theocracy in which he has the identity of a member of the ruling family of despots and consequently granted god-like status.
He sets about exploring this exotic world, and despite the distraction of numerous women who lose no time in shedding their clothes and making themselves sexually available, he sets about righting the evils of the oppressive regime, pressing all the right democratic buttons even if his feminist agenda may be undeveloped.
In terms of style, characterization and even plot I was reminded a good deal of the 'golden age' of science fiction - when A E van Vogt heroes developed super powers and Edgar Rice Burroughs magically transported John Carter straight into the centre of the action on Barsoom. The sex too, through frequent, is not really explicit by 21st century standards.
So expect no profound challenges from Divine Deception, this is unashamedly a fast-paced adventure aimed directly at entertaining open-minded, (and broad minded) readers.


The Calling (Gateway 1)
The Calling (Gateway 1)
by Louise G White
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy & Romance, 18 Mar. 2014
At the start of The Calling a teenage girl returning home from school is traumatized to find her mother being dragged through a portal into a demon realm.
Later she finds herself living in squalid surroundings, confused and hiding from a mysterious agency and an equally mysterious scarred man who both have knowledge of the demon realms.
Many months seem to have passed without her having any memory of them. She has in some way developed powers of strength and invisibility to help her survive. Periodically she is called through portals into various realms to kill entities within who are bent on kidnapping humans.
Two years pass before the 'feral' girl returns to a normal awareness of her existence, but there's confusion of a different sort as she forms an irresistible romantic attachment to a young demon she believes, and hopes, does not share the characteristics of his fellows.
The agency returns and captures her, torturing her for secrets she seems not to understand herself. She is rescued by the scarred man and his associates who may have her interests at heart – but how far can she trust him? Never totally certain who's on her side and who has a hidden agenda she begins training to be become an effective 'Destroyer' of demons, always hoping to eventually find the realm where her mother is a captive.
The Calling is an exciting, intriguing, and highly charged mixture of supernatural adventure and romance which is ideally suited to middle or older teenagers. A sequel is obviously on the cards as the final scene finds the Destroyer trapped in a demon realm with many supernatural questions and romantic tensions still to be resolved.


Meet the Moseleys: Book One: Volume 1
Meet the Moseleys: Book One: Volume 1
by Giovanni Russano
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Stuff, 17 Jan. 2014
The first thing that has to be said here is warning - and possibly that should be in big underlined capitals with a lot of emphasis.
This is strong meat. Not for the easily offended. A mutant story born of Texas Chainsaw forcibly mated with Hills Have Eyes. And from that unholy conception seeing how far the boundaries can be pushed. Giovanni Russano is throwing everything into this novella except for the sort of restrained moderation that would have extremophile gore-fans revolting in the darkest corner of the derelict barn. Just for a start there's explicit language, lesbian rape, gore-splattered horror, perverted, inbred, cult, cannibalism.... I could go on but if you can't guess what the rest might be this probably isn't your kind of book. But assuming this is your kind of snuff then you'll have a whale of a time; and even if it isn't you'll have to admit it's powerfully written at a driving pace. The characters in this first novella of the series don't get developed in depth and can be a little undifferentiated but then most of them don't live long enough that it matters.
The story is marketed as Part One and ends with a hint as to where Part Two is going to head. It'll be no-where nice.
I may have to read Part One again first just to check I didn't imagine it all. Will I read Part Two? Remains to be seen.


The Kings of Cantium
The Kings of Cantium
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal entertainment for Young Adults, 13 Jan. 2014
Kings of Cantium is an historical fantasy - with the emphasis perhaps on 'historical' since the author tells us in an interesting aside that the story is inspired by Iron-age Britain with its hill forts and different tribes. The 'fantasy' side therefore has no Tolkeinesque elves or orcs, though there is a journey and a battle, instead the danger comes from more-advanced Remi invaders - not unlike the Romans but relying on an addictive drug for their advanced abilities.

The heroine, Isa, comes from one of the first tribes to be conquered by the Remi and to try and save her people sets off to find help from legendary Cantium, a once powerful but now almost forgotten kingdom To describe what she finds would be to introduce spoilers but it's not exactly what she hoped for.

Kings of Cantium is a short book, novella length, and so it's not an over-demanding read. For this reason I'd recommend it as ideal for Young Adult readers, especially since the fighting is not too graphic and wanton advances are easily repulsed. It's the first of a planned quartet with an epilogue suggesting it won't be an easy ride for Cantium.


Chasing Pretty
Chasing Pretty

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth the Chase, 6 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Chasing Pretty (Kindle Edition)
This was a very pleasant surprise. After a slightly slow start it soon developed into a compelling read. Told from the point of view of 17 year old, high school student Ashlyn her problems at first seem ones to envy - a flawless beauty, a limitless credit card, a smart Lexus to drive to a school where they don't mind she skips endless classes and goes out to lunch on lobster. It seems like material girl heaven.

Unfortunately generous Daddy is so busy working as to be invisible, Mother is a manipulative drunk, her ex-boyfriend and his football team friends are macho louts, her looks make the other girls at school bully her, the school counselor is ineffectual, her private therapist just about keeps her ticking over. Okay, now resist the temptation to shout 'Just sort yourself out, girl!' - she's a teenager and if she doesn't seem to deal with her problems particularly well it's because adolescence is a different world. Chasing Pretty is a novel aimed at young adults and my guess is the character and the story will appeal to droves of them. They'll certainly find enough to entertain them. Especially after new boy Zeus arrives at school to provide a will-they won't-they romantic interest. Zeus comes from a family of hippies and his bohemian mother knows a lot about magic. The accidental conjuring of an ideal boyfriend for Ashlyn is the most underplayed part of the story - everyone oddly takes this miraculous appearance for granted, but then this is the age of Harry Potter.

It doesn't stop at high-school angst, romance and magic though, the latter part of the story develops into a fast-paced thriller that traps Ashlyn in mortal danger. In summary there's something for everyone and though it's a 'Young adult' I suspect anyone young in spirit will find this well-plotted and richly charactered book a hugely entertaining read.


Porterhouse Blue: (Porterhouse Blue Series 1)
Porterhouse Blue: (Porterhouse Blue Series 1)
by Tom Sharpe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Private Pleasure, 6 Jan. 2014
Long before I'd ever set foot in Cambridge I worked in London and always read paperbacks commuting on the Underground. London Transport is a place where you want escapism, I read a lot of science fiction and also comedy, so a parody of the Ivory Towers of Academe looked like it might distract me from the rush-hour Tube. Well almost all the books I read then I've forgotten, but Porterhouse Blue sticks in the memory because of the acute embarrassment it caused me. You try not to make an exhibition and a fool of yourself in public don't you, you try not to choke and turn red in the face, accidentally guffaw spit on the person opposite, fall off your seat, poke your neighbor in the ribs, suffice it to say I did not keep my cool, this book is uncontrollably laugh-out-loud FUNNY. Read it, read it, read it, but for God's sake read it locked in a room on your own.

(Like a lot of humourists Sharpe is not kind to his subject, so I was pleased when I later did get to know Cambridge that's it's really nothing like the dystopian farce depicted here. It's actually much more like Terry Pratchett's Unseen University.)


Chess With Carrizo
Chess With Carrizo
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chess With Carrizo, 19 Dec. 2012
Texas husband and wife ranchers battle Mexican bandits in a no-holds barred action thriller. Good locations, tough characters, a very enjoyable read. (Despite my constant misreading of the villain's name as chorizo.)


Uni-ball Eye UB-157D Rollerball Pen Fine 0.7mm Tip 0.5mm Line Black Ref UB157BLK [Pack 12]
Uni-ball Eye UB-157D Rollerball Pen Fine 0.7mm Tip 0.5mm Line Black Ref UB157BLK [Pack 12]
Offered by OMGHOWCHEAP LTD
Price: £9.52

4.0 out of 5 stars My favourite pen, 14 Dec. 2012
not the most stylish of pens - the bar code etc printed on the side alongside the 'made in japan' info stop it from being anything except wholly functional. But they are a reasonable price for the quality (how can it be economical to ship plastic pens halfway around the world? It's a mystery to me.) Among the good points are a transparent strip to show remaining ink level, a consistent and reliable ink flow, a light weight while being very comfortable to hold (possibly too small for a very large hand), a sturdy clip and well-fitting cap. Overall it has that indefinable quality that encourages good, or at least legible, handwriting. Definitely my favourite reasonably-priced pen.


Samsung RV520 15.6 inch Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i3 2330M 2.20GHz, RAM 4GB, HDD 500GB, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit)
Samsung RV520 15.6 inch Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i3 2330M 2.20GHz, RAM 4GB, HDD 500GB, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value and performance, 11 Dec. 2012
Different opinions about books and films are understandable but people's very different experiences of the same laptop model are surprising. Some reviewers for instance praise the Samsung RV520's screen. But for me this was the weakest aspect. It's a good size and excellent for word processing etc but when watching video a small change in viewing angle results in disturbing changes in colour and contrast - almost to the point of solarisation. Compared to my (obviously much smaller) phone and tablet screens it's very inferior. Aside from that my only complaint is that it seems to react to accidental contact between the palm and the trackpad more than some other models. (The trackpad is slightly offset, obviously designed for a right-hander).

To balance this out it does have lots of good points - excellent performance for the price, and the i3 processor with 4Gb of memory easily handles anything reasonable asked of it. Windows 7 while it's available it is a big plus for me - I don't want 8 without a touch screen. Fan noise is almost absent except during heavy video editing, and even then it's not distracting.

Keyboard is reasonable. Speakers are a long, long way from hifi (but are stereo contrary to another review - not that it makes much difference on a laptop chassis). Three USB ports are just about enough, but it's surprising how easy it is to stick a usb plug into the immediately adjacent ethernet socket and then wonder why it doesn't work.

On balance, nothing's perfect and at this price point you have to expect compromises - and if you can live with the screen you could do a lot worse than buy a RV520, preferably with Windows 7 and hopefully discounted because of the need to ship Windows 8.


French Powder Mystery (A Hamlyn whodunnit)
French Powder Mystery (A Hamlyn whodunnit)
by Ellery Queen
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars French? Oui, Peut-etre, 11 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Because Ellery Queen began his career before I was born, and some of his many books aren't easily found now, I encountered his fiction out of chronological order, starting somewhere in the middle when the detective was at his peak, and obviously avoiding the later ersatz "Ellery Queen" works which had been franchised out to other writers.

Like many golden age authors Queen's aim was to engage, entertain and bamboozle his readers rather than presenting them with a cold slice of reality. To help give his early works a brand identity he incorporated exotic foreign places in the titles, keeping this up for the first nine books. (Did he invent this series-naming marketing ploy since used by many other mystery writers?)

The first of these early novels I found was The Egyptian Cross Mystery (1932, fifth in the series). It's a substantial story which at least has some sinister foreigners playing a significant role. But I was frankly disappointed when I came across the very first in the series, The Roman Hat Mystery (1929) and discovered it had nothing to do with the eternal city but referred only to an invented, and rather mundane, "Roman Theater" in New York. For a while I felt cheated, especially as even for New York I didn't consider it a first-class mystery, but it prepared me for the fact that The French Powder Mystery is set nowhere near La Belle France but involves French's Department Store, again in New York.

But apart from any mis-selling in the title a big plus is that the style and authorial technique have progressed apace from the flawed Roman Hat (dashed off apparently to win a novel writing competition). Here the plotting is more confident (and convoluted) than in the previous work, the major characters more developed with Ellery coming to the fore instead of being a backstop for Inspector Queen, the whole thing confirming that here was a detective who would stay the course.

So if you like clues, obfuscations, puzzles to solve, and at least a fighting chance of working out who done it, (and, it must be said, can forgive the politically incorrect racism of the Thirties), then this is one for you.


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