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PaulC

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Earth 2 World's End Volume 1 TP (New 52)
Earth 2 World's End Volume 1 TP (New 52)
by Marguerite Bennett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Muddled and vaguely incomprehensible, 29 Jun. 2015
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Confused? You will be! I really love the Earth 2 characters, having been a great fan in the JSA days. I have no issue with the way in which the characters have been re-invented for the New 52. However, even as a follower of Earth 2 I am confused,and bamboozled by this offering. Is there action? Yes, plenty. Character development? Not really. Does it all tie together? Not so far and I have no intention of getting further volumes to find out.

Frankly, the use of Darkseid and Apokolips is lazy and does nothing for the credibility of Earth 2. A multitude of questionable plot progression points take place at breakneck speed, which causes one to question what is going on and why. Worst of these is the destruction of the moon by Apokolips with just a slight mention of the impact of losing it on the earth itself.

Frankly, it's muddled, tries to do too much and relies on bringing new characters into play- Wildcat etc- at every random opportunity rather than really seeking to develop the mainstays of the pantheon.

Really wanted to like this as I have enjoyed the Earth 2 series- particularly the Tom Taylor sequences- but I was dreadfully disappointed and shan't be going further down this road.


The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
by JoŽl Dicker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great read, 25 Jun. 2015
Really unsure what to expect, with the mixed reviews and the sheer size of this book. However, despite the comments of some reviewers, I found the book engaging from the very start and after 600 or so pages it still managed to deliver an ending which brought you up short.

Agreed that the writing was not of great literary depth- but who said it was? This is an excellent, intricately plotted 'whodunnit' wrapped in an unusual story structure which really delivers. Don't compare it with Dostoyevsky or Tartt- this is simply a cracking yarn which is great for a summer read.


The Honours
The Honours
by Tim Clare
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two halves, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: The Honours (Paperback)
Well, what to make of this book? It really is a book of two halves. The first 150 pages or so is a very slow picture of an old mansion house, the strange inhabitants and its history, as seen by 13 year old Delphine. There are occasional odd things that take place, but nothing too radical.

Then, all of a sudden, quite literally, we are flung into an otherworldly battle with invaders from another dimension, who have links (to say the least) with some of the residents.

There was a pint where I was going to give this up, then all h**l broke loose and I found myself struggling to keep up with everything that was going on. Now, the extended invasion sequence is well choreographed and does contain surprises galore, but I'm just not sure that I really bought into it.

The prose is really strong throughout, and Delphine makes a really good central character. I just felt that it could be have been more balanced and ultimately more satisfying.


Gun Machine
Gun Machine
by Warren Ellis
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Real surprise, in a good way!, 7 May 2015
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
Well, this surprised me. I wasn't greatly thrilled by Crooked Little Vein and Ellis' comics offerings are of mixed quality at best.

However, this is a really tight and satisfying police procedural with a real difference. The cast, in particular the CSU members are really entertaining and well drawn.

The story develops at a good pace and the process of developing the theories into a solid crime thriller is well conceived.

All in all, a cracking read. Well done Warren!


Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles 11
Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles 11
by Anne Rice
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to her very best, 30 April 2015
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Oh my! What a sublime experience. After a hiatus of over 10 years during which her writing has varied between the awful and the excellent (the latter being the wolves duet) the queen of the damned is back on top form and bringing together the disparate strands of her vampire mythos. We see here many of the characters about whom she has written previously, including Pandora, Armand etc, but there are also new and exciting additions including Benji and Faheed. She has also used this volume to develop the history of the Talamasca in a way few could have determined.

This is not a book for the casual reader who is not steeped in the vampire mythos, Rice assumes a considerable fore-knowledge of the characters and their history, but for an afficianado of her vampire books this is simply a beautifully cut gem of a book. The structure of the book makes the denseness (a word?) of the text and complexity of the inter-relationships easy to manage and extremely rewarding.

This feels very much like her finale to the world of vampires, with the tribe being shaped and Lestat assuming a role at the head of it, but even if this is the case the book has drawn threads together from the last 12 books, with a nod to the witches trilogy, with great skill and apparent ease.

In closing- if you have read the majority of Anne Rice's vampire works you simply cannot miss this.


Grumpy Old Rock Star: and Other Wondrous Stories
Grumpy Old Rock Star: and Other Wondrous Stories
by Rick Wakeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 16 April 2015
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Having seen Rick recently on his tour this book is effectively an extension of the stories he tells live. They are of mixed quality and the book is one to read a chunk at a time, which means that the reader comes back refreshed for the next onslaught of craziness.

My wife has also read this and was heard to remark that it was clear evidence of how dysfunctional the members of YES were at their peak. What is in the book is the 'curry' story, but you need to see the live show to find out about Jon Anderson's painting. Strange indeed, but a really great read from a unique raconteur.


Happy Skalidays
Happy Skalidays
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 16 April 2015
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This review is from: Happy Skalidays (MP3 Download)
What can I say? Anything new by Aaron and the boys has to be grabbed with both hands. Even so, this really is a quality set of Yuletide melodies done in RBF's unique style. Get it and play it in the middle of summer, autumn and spring as well as at the end of the year. It deserves to be heard! Great fun


St Cecilia & The Gypsy Soul
St Cecilia & The Gypsy Soul
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great package, but....only really for new fans, 16 April 2015
Whilst this looks to be yet another great package from the Quireboys, 3/4 of it has been previously released. Halfpenny Dancer is an excellent reworking of some of their best work, and what was the double CD Halfpenny Dancer Live was released via their website only (I think). I don't have a problem with them bringing this music to a wider audience, as it is some of their best for some time, but for long time followers of the band, do I really want to pay £19 for what is effectively one new cd of material? Short answer is ...no.
So, much as I love the band I'm going without my latest fix.

For new fans, however, this is a great, if somewhat confusing package and well worth the five star rating.


NOS4R2
NOS4R2
by Joe Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent creepy alternative universe tome, 21 Mar. 2015
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
This latest book by Joe Hill is by far his most accomplished. The size of the tome may give some cause to consider whether to tackle it, but rest assured it is superbly crafted, very readable and can really suck you into its odd little world.
Great to see a real 'heroine' in Vic- she and her world were rally well defined and you really cared about her.
The concepts are, as usual with Hill, challengingly odd, but, again as before, they really do work.
Hill does grimy alternative 'universe' stuff really well and the use of the Rolls Royce Wraith as a 'vehicle' (sorry) to move the story forward and give it structure is a master-stroke.
Loved it and would really recommend it to anyone who likes to be scared in an insinuative way rather than by way of gross-out shocks.
Excellent


Enter Wildthyme
Enter Wildthyme
by Paul Magrs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Brenda and Effie., 24 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Enter Wildthyme (Paperback)
Well, I really liked Magrs' Brenda and Effie novels so I thought I'd give this a go.

Error. This is a complete mishmash of ideas which individually are clever, but all thrown together results in nothing more than a disappointing and broadly incomprehensible story featuring some really strong characters but others than really should never have seen the page.

All in all a massive disappointment.

Sorry


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