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Mrs. R. E. Chandler "rosie_c" (Berkshire)
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Ridge Racer 3D (Nintendo 3DS)
Ridge Racer 3D (Nintendo 3DS)
Offered by games-wizard
Price: 12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is "Wow", 29 Mar 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I've so far got three 3DS games (including Pilot Wings and Lego StarWars) and this is definitely the best of the bunch. The 3D graphics are stunning, with the road sweeping into the distance. I'm not great at driving games but I found the difficulty curve to be just about right. I particularly liked the feature where you could say how long you wanted to play for, choose your course type, and the game would generate a tournament for you based on your requirements.

My only grip is that you have to keep the console quite still otherwise the 3D effect disappears - not easy when you're trying to drift around corners. But this is really something that you just have to get used to, as it's a new way of playing.


Nintendo 3DS Handheld Console - Aqua Blue
Nintendo 3DS Handheld Console - Aqua Blue

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little console, 26 Mar 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I wasn't going to buy a 3DS at all, but I asked for a demo in GameStation and I then just HAD to get one. I bought Pilotwings, which is much more impressive than I thought it would be (it was the game I demoed) and Lego StarWars III. It does make your eyes tired after a while (so I'm not letting my 5-year-old use it) but the graphics really are stunning. It's just a shame that there aren't many games out for it yet - I'm waiting for Zelda and Rabbids...


Deenie
Deenie
by Judy Blume
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but beware, 11 Feb 2007
This review is from: Deenie (Paperback)
If you are a scoliosis suffer (like I was) then I give you a few words of caution before reading this book. In this country the recommended treatment for scoliosis is surgery - and the insertion of one or two Harrington rods to straighten the spine. I think that very few consultants these days would recommend bracing the poor kids up for years. The prospect of surgery is scary (I should know) but your life will be pretty much back to normal after about three months. For me, it's been 11 years since I had my two rods fitted and most of the time I forget they're there.

As for this particular book, it's certainly an encouraging tale of a very brave girl overcoming a physical deformity, and I can, on the whole, recommend it.


Past Mortem
Past Mortem
by Ben Elton
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller, but don't expect much comedy, 1 Nov 2004
This review is from: Past Mortem (Hardcover)
As a murder mystery this book is very good - easily ranking up there with most of the consumer crime novels on the shelves today. No, it isn't a comedy, but I don't think that Elton was trying to write one this time. But it is a great analysis of the long and short term effects of bullying, and it did raise a chuckle from me on occasion. This isn't a book for the faint of heart. Most of the murder scenes are described in very graphic detail but you'll realise as the story develops that this is necessary, as it is the methods of killing that becomes the focus of the plot. Yes, I did guess who the killer was about two thirds of the way through, but this is not so important because I was interested in how the book's hero, the "short-arsed ginger minger", Detective Inspector Ed Newson, would figure it out and catch the bad guy. I can highly recommend this book, but don't expect a laugh-a-minute whodunnit like Dead Famous. This is more along the lines of the social commentary of High Society and Elton demonstrates an increasingly mature style.


Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 11 July 2004
Well I don't especially like golf and I've never played Tiger Woods or any of the previous Mario golf sims but I love this game. I bought it on the strength of Mario Sunshine and the care and attention that has gone into this lovingly crafted game is obvious. The graphics are stunning and the control system is intuitive - not like some of the sports sims, where you seem to have to mash a random combination of buttons to achieve a particular effect (Dave Mirra for example). There is an autoswing mechanism for the newbies or the younger players but there are also much more advanced swings that you can master to plant the ball exactly where you want. The courses range from the conventional to the wacky and there are some charming animations from the characters ranging from the despair after scoring a double bogey to the joyful leap after getting a birdie. Great fun - can highly recommend.


Curse of the Mistwraith (The Wars of Light and Shadow, Book 1) (Wars of Light & Shadow)
Curse of the Mistwraith (The Wars of Light and Shadow, Book 1) (Wars of Light & Shadow)
by Janny Wurts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant start to an epic series, 3 Jun 2004
I picked up this book on the strength of Janny Wurts' collaboration with Raymond Feist on the Empire Trilogy, a series which I greatly enjoyed as an enrichment of Feist's Riftwar Saga. Having never heard of Wurts before I was pleasantly surprised to find her an author of such a weighty tome as Curse of the Mistwraith, being the sort of person that considers a story of less than 500 pages to be a mere novella. Once I'd got past the difficult opening chapters I found myself swept away with the story.
On first impressions Curse seems like a fairly typical tale of a band of unlikely heroes in a quest to beat the bad bad mistraith, known as Deshthiere. But it gradually becomes clear that the necessity to clear the skys of Athera of a sentient fog is only the start of a vast and complex story. The true tale lies in the feud between the half brothers, Lysaer - the Lord of Light - and Arithon - the Master of Shadow.
The Wars of Light and Shadow series really is one of the best conceived series in modern fantasy. Janny claims to have spent about 20 years planning the series before she even started it, and it shows. Her Cycle of Fire series, while good, reads like a practice work compared to this. Some readers have described her as too wordy and at times, perhaps, she does use a more complex word where a simpler one would do, but I think her use of advanced vocabulary just enriches the experience of the reader.
You will experience the agonies of Arithon as he tries to come to terms with a fate that he abhors. You will also develop sympathies with Lysaer, the unwitting tool of Deshthiere - Janny does her best to make you appreciate how much a tool his is and also how great a ruler he could have become had he not been enmeshed in Deshthiere's curse.
This book forms a prelude to the Wars of Light and Shadow series and sets the scene by describing the origins of the mistraith, how it might be undone, and the consequences of trying to defeat it. The following books - Ships of Merior, Warhost of Vastmark, and the Alliance of Light triogy fully explore the consequences of the events in this book. I dare you to read Curse and not want to rush out and buy the rest of the series.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2013 12:29 PM GMT


Erasure
Erasure
Offered by Free Express
Price: 12.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 23 Jan 2004
This review is from: Erasure (Audio CD)
OK everybody on Amazon describes albums/films/books etc as the "best ever". To convince you that I'm serious, I own around 200 cds ranging from the cheese-pop of Britney to the heavy metal of Metallica via Vivaldi, Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys. Therefore I think that I'm qualified to say that this literally is the best album ever written.
Firstly, it stands apart from the other Erasure albums by its sheer consistency and melodic genius. No it isn't crammed full of the dance classics like Wild is, and perhaps it doesn't have some of the energy of The Circus, but it is a thing of beauty. My advice is to buy a good set of headphones and lock yourself in a room with this album. Just listen to it. Take in the Intro and be swept along into Rescue Me. Be captivated by Rock Me Gently and I dare you not to be moved by the epic Stay With Me.
So they say the Beatles invented the concept album - but Erasure has perfected it with this. I don't think they'll ever beat it, which is a real shame. Andy Bell has a voice like an Angel and Vince is a genius, as he showed us first with Depeche Mode and then with the outstanding Upstairs at Erics with the amazing Alison Moyet. But "Erasure" will be remembered as his defining work. Buy it and be amazed.


The Witches of Chiswick (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Witches of Chiswick (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Robert Rankin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barking, crazy, brilliant, 30 Sep 2003
This is the first Rankin book I have read, and I'll certainly be going out to buy some more. True, I'm new to the Guru's Guru, Hugo Rune, and I've never heard of Barry the time sprout, but this did not curb my enjoyment of this great book.
The basic premise is that Will, a skinny boy from a 23rd century Brentford where everybody is obscenely fat and the church is corporately funded, uncovers a conspiracy by the Witches of the Chiswick towns-womens Guild. The witches somehow managed to send the super hi-tech Victorian era back into the dark-ages on the eve of the year 1900. But some evidence still remains, such as the Baggage wrist-watch visible in one of the Victorian paintings that Will has been renovating. Then que a mad-cap journey backwards and forwards in time as Will, chased by foul-smelling Terminator robots from the past, tries to prevent the evil plot without wiping out his own existence.
Yes, the book is mad, and most of the characters seem to conveniently forget that terrible things are about to happen to them, but it's great, really really great. Read this book now. For me, I'm heading off to buy some more.


The Fifth Sorceress: Volume I of the Chronicles of Blood and Stone
The Fifth Sorceress: Volume I of the Chronicles of Blood and Stone
by Robert Newcomb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money, 24 Sep 2003
Let me be blunt. This book is badly written, has a plot full of holes and is not worth any of your valuable time. Even the basic concept of the story is flawed. I should have been warned by the fact that the lead character is called Tristan, but I always was a sucker for a pretty front cover...
The premise goes that 300 years ago the wizards (who are good) narrowly defeated the sorceresses (who are bad) in a war. But instead of executing them, the wizards took them out into the ocean, from where nobody has ever returned if they sailed out for more than 15 days, and left them to die. Naturally the sorceresses survived and spent the 300 year gap plotting revenge and breeding themselves a race of winged demons.
Then enter Prince Tristan, who behaves like a stroppy teenager despite being just days from his 30th birthday. On his birthday the King will abdicate and he will become King. But guess what - he doesn't want to be King. He'd rather spend his time throwing knives into trees. And then we have Wigg, the great Wizard who should have executed the sorceresses 300 years ago but didn't because the wizarding order doesn't condone murder. He has his suspicions that the sorceresses might be about to make a come back, but instead of sending the royal family into the hills to hide, he allows the "abdication ceremony" to go ahead, and, surprise surprise, the sorceresses and their winged minions turn up and wreak death and destruction on all but poor Tristan and the inept Wigg, who manage to escape, and Tristan's sister, who is captured. At this point, instead of packing up and heading for the hills, Wigg decides to give Tristan a history lesson and explains in a very long-winded and boring way how magic works and how the sorceresses were defeated in the war.
Around about here I gave up on the book. Despite being quite violent, it was not engrossing. There was far too little action and far too much dialogue. And every time Wigg raised his "infamous eyebrow" I just wanted to cringe. I find comparisions between this rubbish and the works of George Martin and Terry Goodkind to be insulting. If you don't belive me then have a look at some of the reviews on the American Amazon site. Or you could try reading the book, but I really wouldn't bother.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mood darkens, 24 Jun 2003
The lastest offering in the Harry Potter saga shows us a frustrated and angry Harry still reeling from the events at the end of "Goblet of Fire". After Harry had returned the dead body of Cedric Diggory to the Hogwarts grounds and declared to all who would listen that Voldemort was back, Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, refused to believe him, despite the support from Dumbledore. "Order of the Phoenix" contiunes this story thread, where the ministry of magic does its best to pursuade the Wizarding world that Harry is an attention-seeking and possibly dangerous teenager, and Dumbledore is a loon.
Rowling creates the brilliant Professor Umbridge, who is brought in from the ministry of magic to teach Defense of the Dark Arts, but infact is really there to keep an eye on the teachers at Hogwarts. If you were looking for someone to hate more than Snape or Malfoy then Umbridge is your gal. We also learn much more about Harry's parents and Harry's relationship with Voldemort, and receive some startling revelations about Aunt Pertunia and Mrs Figg. Snape looms ever meanacing in the story - his character becomes more and more intriguing as the series progresses. Is Dumbledore right to trust him? And is Harry right to hate him?
"Order" is a much darker book than even its predecessor "Goblet". I'm not sure that very young children will like this, taking into account its massive weight and more mature themes, but older children and teenagers should lap it up. I really hope that Rowling doesn't take another three years to write the next one because I NEED to know how the story ends. Whether the story will go down in history or not depends on the quality of the final books in the series. But events in this book suggest that the grand finale will be stunning.


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