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Reviews Written by
C. Jack "colinjack" (Edinburgh)

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The Martian
The Martian
Price: 5.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Grew on me, 28 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
My initial impressions of this book were poor, in particular I found the main character pretty annoying and didn't find his witty teenager behavior all that convincing. As the book carries on though he grows on you and the story gets more and more interesting as he continually struggles for survival. Some of it was a bit technical but that's a small complaint.

Price: 3.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner, 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nexus (Kindle Edition)
Its definitely a page turner and has a lot of the elements of early William Gibson books but I couldn't really connect to it (unintended pun). In part it was because the tech was silly and the main characters a bit drab and boring but I also didn't think it was really that well written. Its obviously done the job for other people though so I'm obviously in the minority.

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy)
Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy)
Price: 5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, 11 Jun 2014
As others have said the book starts pretty poorly.

You're thrown right into the middle of the action and the author introduces character after character and idea after idea without giving you the context you need to make sense of it.

It gets slightly better as the book proceeds though, however there were three further problems through the entire book.

The first is that some explanations are poor and rushed, to the point where during key events I actually couldn't understand what was going on. That's a new one for me, I've read some poorly written books but very few where I felt the author was completely failing to explain the events.

The other issue is the behavior of some of the characters, in particular Tamas and his son. These characters are your classic hero types but to give it a gritty edge their behavior is often pretty poor. That can be explained by the brutal world they are living in but I found odd is that the people around them never call them out on some of their worst acts, in fact they don't event mention it.

Lastly the magic system didn't really add up, an example being that the powers of the Privileged were never explained and whilst in one page they'd seem godlike in another their powers seemed pathetic.

Lastly I think its a pity that a self published book that's the start of a new series is so expensive in Kindle format. That is bound to restrict the number of people who will buy it and thus seems a bit short sighted. I'm not taking off any marks for the price though.

Jupiter War (Owner Trilogy 3)
Jupiter War (Owner Trilogy 3)
Price: 4.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alan Saul, Demigod, Complete Idiot, 5 Jun 2014
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I'm a big fan of Neal Asher and liked the series but this book had two problems that I consider pretty inexcusable, especially considering they existed in the previous book.

The first is a lot of it is quite boring, there's only going to be one or at most a couple of encounters between Earth and Saul's station/ship. Asher thus spends large sections padding things out with stuff about about changes to the ship and technologies. That stuff is dull, it'd be one thing if the technology was something tangible like the Proctors but when its just a new weapon or changes to support the new engine it quickly gets tiresome.

The second issue is Saul is supposed to be a demigod but given that how is he put in a situation where he isn't just wiping his enemies away. The answer is we get yet more mutinies and more annoyingly he proves himself to be a complete idiot. I mean he's a demigod but he doesn't work out they could turn the new engine into a weapon and furthermore a delivery mechanism for a weapon. That wouldn't even require a mental leap, people try to weaponise every new technology.

Even more annoying not only can Saul not work it out but neither can his weapon experts, his proctors, his other technology experts. There is literally no-one on board who has thought "hrm, wonder if this warp technology could be used as a weapon".

Its ridiculous, among the most annoying and ludicrous plot devices I've ever read and means the book should be reclassified as fantasy.

Anyway its been a good trilogy but this book, when judged on its own, is not that great.

White House Down [DVD] [2013]
White House Down [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Channing Tatum
Price: 5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly but fun, 2 Jun 2014
It is a load of silly cliched nonsense but that can be forgiven as its also great fun and is lifted by a good cast. Reminds me most of Die Hard which can't be a bad thing.

Last Passenger [DVD]
Last Passenger [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dougray Scott
Price: 7.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 31 May 2014
This review is from: Last Passenger [DVD] (DVD)
Its hard to believe a film set entirely on a train could be enjoyable but this definitely succeeds. Really reallygood.

Traitor's Blade (The Greatcoats)
Traitor's Blade (The Greatcoats)
Price: 4.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really good book, fast paced and intense. It does have its flaws, in particular the Tailor is an irritation and her abilities detract from the end of the book, I also disliked the narration we got early in the book. Those are small problems though and in general the book is well worth a read.

Pacific Rim [DVD + UV Copy] [2013]
Pacific Rim [DVD + UV Copy] [2013]
Dvd ~ Idris Elba
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: 6.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 16 May 2014
Great action scenes and cast completely spoiled by a horrendous script and terrible direction. Even if you are a fan of the genre this will test your endurance.

The Daylight War (The Demon Cycle, Book 3)
The Daylight War (The Demon Cycle, Book 3)
by Peter V. Brett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost its mojo, 15 May 2014
Re-released as a separate entry in Amazon, that can't possibly be so that people can't see all the critical reviews of the book, instead just seeing the suspiciously repetitive 5 star reviews....

The ideas in the book are as good as in the previous installments but there are major flaws:

1. Lots of filler, meaning large sections where nothing very interesting happens. Lots of people talking about whats just happened and will happen next, lots of politics, lots of talk about emotions and love lives, you get the idea.
2. One word is never used if ten would do.
3. Yet again the approach early on is to follow a character from childhood right through to their participation in events from previous books. It worked in the previous two books but at this stage its a little boring and I hope it is not repeated in future books.
4. All this "ent" stuff and pigeon English really grates after a while.
5. Oddly the battle with the demons doesn't seem to be a key focus any more. In fact the majority of the book doesn't even really involve demons, the result being the tension and action from the first book is gone and its been replaced with endless yapping. Its closer to a randy middle ages soap opera than to Painted Man.
6. Since nothing much happens other than chatter you really need strong characters but I thought most were pretty dull in this book. Even the characters from the previous books are beginning to feel a bit 2D and boring. We don't have any story lines as bad as the Jardir/Leesha one though which is progress.
7. There's some un-necessarily gratuitous acts in the book, seemingly just for shock value. I don't mind dark story lines but I'm not entirely sure I like how Brett chooses to handle them.
8. The ending is a big let down. Its nice that around 70-80% through the book something actually happens but then we get to the cliffhanger ending worthy of any low-rent soap opera.

Of all the issues the main one is that, other that in the closing stages, the pace of the book is painfully slow. I find that a little surprising as the first book in the series was so fast paced and exciting and it leaves me wondering if Brett knows where he is going with the books?

I suspect not. That wouldn't necessarily be a big issue if the books kept up the quality/pace of Painted Main but I think he's falling back on the old tactic of writing long bloated books whilst the author tries to work out what to to do next (think Robert Jordan).

So whilst I'm hoping this book is just a blip, I'm not sure.

Tower of Winter (The Traveler's Gate Chronicles Book 1)
Tower of Winter (The Traveler's Gate Chronicles Book 1)
Price: 0.77

2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time, 14 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't mind the main trilogy, it was light weight but readable enough. These stories are a waste of time though, they add very little and they tend to cut off just before getting interesting.

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