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J. Copping (Belgium)
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Men of Bronze
Men of Bronze
by Scott Oden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A rip roaring read, 3 Dec 2011
This review is from: Men of Bronze (Paperback)
This book is great fun. The template for the story seems to come from a super hero comic with the main character possesing almost superhuman strength but plagued by guilt and personal doubts while facing his nemesis who dogs him throughout the story. Although some of the characters are superficially drawn and ancient Egypt serves sometimes as a rather two dimensional backdrop it is clear that Mr Oden can write. This is a genuine page turner with some unexpected twists and I enjoyed it right through to the end. This is excellent holiday reading and I will certainly be picking up another Odin book before long.


Assegai (The Courtneys of Africa)
Assegai (The Courtneys of Africa)
by Wilbur Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, 29 Aug 2011
I'm a Wilbur Smith fan and I think I have read every book he has written. WS, at his best, is when he is writing historical novels set in Africa. His descriptive powers are outstanding and his love of the continent and its history is very clear. However, when it comes to plot and character development, you are in the brace position. This book provided few surprises but it was a page turner and a nice comfortable read. The real irritant for me was a missed opportunity for a real WS classic. Without giving too much away, the book's final chapters deal with the outbreak of World War 1 in Africa with our hero attached to a regiment of colonial light horse, an airship and a German plot to support a Boer uprising against the British in South Africa. All of this is discussed in the last few pages of the book when it had the makings of a wonderful story in its own right and exactly in the WS style. For this reason I have given the book 3 rather than 4 stars. Otherwise I would highly recommend this as great light holiday reading.


This Is Craig Brown
This Is Craig Brown
by Craig Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for dipping into, 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: This Is Craig Brown (Paperback)
As other reviews have made clear, at its best, this book is comic writing at the very highest level. For me some of it doesn't quite hit the target but when it does, and it does frequently, it is a joy and some of the descriptions and paraody will stay with me for a long time. However, I would highly recommend this more as a book as one to dip into rather than read right through at one go.


The Pirate Wars: Pirates vs. the Legitimate Navies of the World
The Pirate Wars: Pirates vs. the Legitimate Navies of the World
by Peter Earle
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining read, 10 Jan 2011
A thoroughly entertaining read that does exactly what it says on the tin by seperating fable from fantasy. Luckily the truth is every bit as interesting as the fiction. I learnt much from this well written book. Highly recommended.


Shatter
Shatter
by Michael Robotham
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: Shatter (Paperback)
This is my first Michael Robtham book but it certainly will not be my last. This is a gripping read with an intricate and believable plot and exceptionally well drawn characters. I found this a deeply absorbing book which kept my close attention until the end. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read his other books.


Killigrew RN
Killigrew RN
by Jonathan Lunn
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Bond' of the high seas, 4 Nov 2010
This review is from: Killigrew RN (Paperback)
This is a cracking read. The story is more like a James Bond novel set in the Victorian era rather than the historical fiction I expected; there is plenty of action with some rather unlikely plot twists, coincidences and lucky breaks (including bad guys that like to tell Killigrew their plans before they fail to kill them). However, the story is well written with the chief character, Killigrew, nicely drawn with enough flaws and one-liners to make him enjoyable. Other characters are also well drawn which bodes well for the rest of the series. I'm looking forward to the next book which I hope will be as enjoyable as this one. Highly recommended.


The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad
The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad
by John Simpson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.88

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 25 Oct 2010
This is the first book I have read by John Simpson. I was already a fan given his excellent reporting from across the world's trouble spots. I was not disappointed. He writes eloquently and interestingly about the conflicts while never ignoring the fact that he cannot distance himself sufficiently to report objectively. He does not hide this and makes no attempt to cover up his own mistakes. This is not a history of the Iraqi conflicts (although there is a lot of interesting historical detail) but a wonderful personal account. I would highly recommend this.


Dawn of Empire
Dawn of Empire
by Sam Barone
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read, 24 Oct 2010
This review is from: Dawn of Empire (Paperback)
I read some of the reviews here on Amazon before ordering this book. I can understand some of the adverse comments. At times it seems as if a 20th Century liberal/feminist has been taken back in time to take the lead in a sword and sandals epic. However, the story is compelling, the writing is good (at times a real turn pager) and some interesting characters are developed. This is definitely a good holiday read and I will happily read Sam Barone's next book.


Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths About World Affairs
Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths About World Affairs
by Chris Patten
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.60

5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and lively read, 5 Oct 2010
This is a wonderful book which tackles a number of foreign policy issues including many in which Chris Patten was in the thick of action. He writes in a very entaining, and often witty way, with a number of thoughtful insights into modern diplomacy and the role of Britain and the EU in the modern world.


Billy Ruffian
Billy Ruffian
by David Cordingly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 4 Oct 2010
This review is from: Billy Ruffian (Paperback)
I was not sure what to expect but, as a napoleonic nut, I read nearly every napoleonic book I come across. My fear was that this book would provide a lot of technical detail about Bellerophon and little about the lives of the people who served on her. In fact this is a well written book which manages to bring together the story of the ship and her crew in an entertaining way as well as providing insights into the Royal Navy and the war against France. I also learnt much about Napoleon's last days that was new to me. A must for anyone with an interest in the history of the Royal Navy of this period and the final days of Napoleon.


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