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A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.86

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 14 Mar 2013
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I don't care what people say about splitting the story, lack of plot progression, etc. I absolutely adore the universe that Martin has created as well as the amazingly realistic characters that inhabit it. The story only gets more interesting and complex in this volume. If you're anticipating some massive battle in which everything comes to a head, you'll be disappointed. There are still at least two books left in the series for that. If you're like me and love all the little plots that run throughout the series, you're in for another treat, because Martin's ability to capture the reader's interest certainly hasn't been lost.


Tau Zero (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Tau Zero (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Poul Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking read, 7 Mar 2013
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Tau Zero is a book that focuses heavily on very serious themes, such as the will to survive and disconnection from the world around oneself. But not in the way that we are used to in literature, but rather, on the grandest scale of all! The characters feel disconnected with the universe they inhabit, knowing that any trace of the Earth they left is beyond their reach. Things only get more terrifying from there, in the most absolute sense of the word.

For about the first 120 pages, I really wasn't fond of any of the characters or the author's descriptions. Poul has an annoying tendency to spice in random bits of foreign dialogue and phrases, due to the crew's multi-culturalness. Ironically, the phrasing in the book is often such that it sometimes feels like it was translated from one of these languages. Combine that with the other factors mentioned above, and you get a book that feels a bit clumsy and bereft of purpose at times. The only really interesting things are the developments in the ultimate fate of the crew.

Thankfully, the last third of the book is much better. I felt more able to relate to the main characters and what they were going through. And of course, the plot develops much more quickly and reaches an interesting conclusion, which will really make you think about life and its meaning.

So despite feeling utterly bored by parts of the book, Anderson's fascinating ideas about the universe and relativity ultimately make for a satisfying read.


Blood Music (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Blood Music (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Greg Bear
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, average story, 6 Mar 2013
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Overall I enjoyed the book. Bear presents some very interesting ideas regarding not only biology, but more abstract quantum and cosmological concepts. It's also nice that the majority of these topics are easy to understand, at least on the surface.

Where the book falls down is in its story. As interesting as Bear's ideas are, almost none of the characters are interesting or memorable. Sure, Bear tries to inject some personality into Bernard, Suzy and Vergil (the POV characters we spend the most time with), but they are ultimately secondary to the plot. Of course, this is to be expected in such an 'end of the world' science fiction novel. Nonetheless, I often found myself bored while reading, pushing myself to finish the book to find out the nature of the scenario.

In summary, full of great ideas, but lacking the structure and coherency of a real story.


A Feast for Crows (Reissue) (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
A Feast for Crows (Reissue) (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad that I liked it more than others (minor spoilers), 17 Feb 2013
After having read the first three volumes of the series, I was afraid that A Feast for Crows was going to leave me disappointed, after having seen some negative scores on Amazon. And I have to admit, for the first few chapters, I felt annoyed. All the burning questions I had from the end of A Storm of Swords were completely unanswered because the chapters themselves were following completely new characters that I didn't really care about.

However, Martin soon reintegrates most of the characters we know and love from the first three books. The plot might not advance an awful lot, as others pointed out, but I still found myself interested by almost all of what was going on. Not my favourite book thus far in the series, but still a damned good one.


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