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Reviews Written by
lyra "lyra" (bedford uk)

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Skin Game (The Dresden Files, Book 15)
Skin Game (The Dresden Files, Book 15)
Price: £6.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Laciel returns!, 31 Jan. 2015
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Jim Butcher promised a return of Lasciel in one of his books and guess what. Lots of interesting older characters return in Skin Game and though the plot is quite linear, the book does sustain interest. I'm also curious whether Butcher has been I reading up Scott Lynch's Gentlemen iBastards series.
Hmm what to say to avoid spoilers....plots and counter plots abound as you would expect from a task directed by Mab. A few more recaps from Mr Butcher than I am used to in this series but otherwise a great holiday read. I am hoping its a blip.


Ghost Story (The Dresden Files series Book 13)
Ghost Story (The Dresden Files series Book 13)
Price: £4.31

5.0 out of 5 stars A Curious twist, 31 Jan. 2015
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I still feel that The Dresden Files are getting consistently stronger even though I dropped a star or perhaps half a star on this one. Butcher develops an existential and moral element to his narrative in this book and I did enjoy the change of pace. He does draw from other novels and cultural references, but the signposting is pretty obvious. I really enjoyed the fact that with time passing and circumstances changing, the side characters had moved on without Dresden: Butcher is good at exploring consequences. Mort, Butters/Bob and The Ragged Lady/ieds were particularly well developed. I also really enjoyed the double twist at the end.

So why does it lose a star? Two points: since Dresden is now a ghost, his interaction with the world was necessarily limited. He is free to hop round more, but each relationship feels insubstantial - which I guess is part of the point- however this does impact on my emotional engagement. The other factor was that I felt Butcher had crammed just a little too much into the novel. Some of the action seemed spurious- were Nick, Daniel and Fitz all necessary? I am a little nervous that Butcher is moving towards an overly episodic style (a la Patrick Rothfuss) in his desire to create his mega world.

Since Butcher tied up all the ends so neatly, I am also worried that we will now lose the human characters and just delve into the Winter Court. I like Dresden working with people not just monsters.


Cold Days (The Dresden Files series Book 14)
Cold Days (The Dresden Files series Book 14)
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A increasingly strong series., 31 Jan. 2015
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I like the complexity of this new series and these may well be a4+ but I can' the help wondering if Butcher should have stopped at the end of season 1 with Changes. The pace is different to the first series; Butcher is building up events and back stories again, but this is more complex than the early books. Dresden is still central to the plot, but I'm not always sure he behave consistently and I do think Butcher is bending some of his own premises, downplaying some of the power aspects to give himself room to manoeuvre.

Still a solid entertaining in a series that doesn't take itself too seriously.


A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends Book 1)
A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of an evening, 31 Jan. 2015
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If you are reading a sample of this, ignore the prologue as it really is better written than the rest of the novel. Amber turns up at a dark mysterious Scottish house to find herself in the middle of a supernatural community. This is a novel that seems to have no idea what it wants to be. The prologue is UF the romance is more absurd PNR and the narrative keeps drifting into pointless petty 'witty' exchanges that do nothing for the characters and totally detract from the plot. Not really sure why I kept reading.


Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7)
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7)
Price: £4.48

5.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 31 Jan. 2015
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If I'm honest I wouldn't look for this level of violence in a UF series but given where the series is heading, a confrontation with Hugh and showdown with Roland, I can see it is justified. Irritatingly, Kate comes across as unnaturally helpless and dependant in the first section for a character who has built her existence round self reliance and survival . What saved it was humour, strong characterisation, including some intriguing new ones, and a lack of overt romance in much of the novel (excluding the whining). However Ilona Andrews does include a very explicit sex scene to make up for that. So if you are handing this over to under 18s be warned. Again, I would prefer more subtlety; they are clearly pandering to the romance readership here (and perhaps warming up for Burn for Me), but at least it doesn't permeate the whole novel. I enjoyed the ending and felt Ilona Andrews managed the climax well (I'm referring to the narrative, not Kate and Curran) but <spoiler>I still can't work out the purpose of the witches' jumper. Did it just keep Kate warm in the water? </spoiler>Having said that I think the Ilona Andrews team put out reliably good reads. Not sure why the UK cover of the Kindle edition seems to have a picture of Jordan on it, but hey, perhaps that' s just me.


Trespass Women's Clancy Ski Jacket - Limeade, Medium
Trespass Women's Clancy Ski Jacket - Limeade, Medium

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase, 31 Jan. 2015
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I bought this jacket in the Black Friday sales period and have waited for 3 months before I reviewed it. I wanted a lightweight padded jacket rather than a bulky coat to wear to work (rather than for skiing). I have to say I am delighted by it. Excellent price (less than £30). The shell seems water repellent though I have not put it through heavy rain. The lining is a lightweight soft but fairly substantial fleece great for wearing on top of relatively lightweight jumpers. There is an abundance of pockets and zips (great as I have given up taking a handbag to work) and the hood is really useful-though zipped so you could remove it. The colour makes it visible and night and it is lightly tailored. I am a size 10 for tops but usually a size 12 for jackets; the size 12 is a perfect, fairly slimline fit. If you want the jacket to fit over bulky fleeces or jumpers you might want to go a size bigger. The sleeves are a good length (I am 5'6") wth an inner and outler seal and the sleeves also have a light lining. Windproof and much warmer than my heavy waterproof, though I suppose if I wanted to be out in the current snow for any length of time I would think carefully about adding a layer.


Darkness Fades (Darkness Falls Book 3)
Darkness Fades (Darkness Falls Book 3)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging enough conclusion to the trilogy, 31 Jan. 2015
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Pretty consistent writing (and editorial misses) in the final book of the series. The too-ing and fro-ing of the various viruses and antidotes remains fairly vague, as does the transition from all out assault to victory in the final pages, nevertheless I was invested enough in the characters to let that go. A satisfactory close to the trilogy, and an entertaining weekend read, though a high level of violence makes it a questionable YA despite the age of the protagonists.


Darkness Breaks (Darkness Falls Book 2)
Darkness Breaks (Darkness Falls Book 2)
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid sequel, 31 Jan. 2015
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Good level of suspense maintained in the second novel of the trilogy. Kayla tries to work out her role as world saviour, whilst trying to recollect her memories, avoid a range of mutated nasties, and decide if she is attracted to either or neither brother. Convincing post apocalyptic world creation but a high level of violence for a YA novel. I was engaged enough to go straight to book 3.


Darkness Falls
Darkness Falls
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 31 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Darkness Falls (Kindle Edition)
I didn't really have high hopes for this book since it was a freebie and a shot in the dark. During the first 10 or so pages I was irritated by a number of Americanisms and errors, however, there was something about the writing that intrigued me so I thought I'd give it a chance. If you can accept that a self published novel may have errors and focus on the story you may be pleasantly surprised: the narrative is complex, a fairly original twist on a post apocalyptic world of vampires and 'enhanced' beings with strong characters and a vividly created dark world. Post apocalyptic UF with hints of romance and YA characters is probably the closest description I can give it. The style is dark with little humour and although the basic plot line is a race against time to save the world, there are enough twists and turns in the character's fates to keep this interesting. I read this over a weekend and didn't hesitate to buy books 2 and 3. A bargain from a writer who knows how to tell a good story.


Slaughterhouse-Five
Slaughterhouse-Five
Price: £3.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous anti war, war novel, 20 Jan. 2015
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A satirical fable about the futility of war which is part autobiographical, and which uses sci fi elements as a metaphor. Best read slowly, it is a beautifully crafted book, poignantly written and structurally brilliant. A masterclass in how to play with narrative structure, it reminded me of Tristram Shandy and The Time Travellers Wife (the latter of course written much later) and yet I have read nothing quite like it.
The narrative circles around the bombing of Dresden with multiple times, perspectives and narrators.
Vonnegut is able to produce powerful yet simple images on each page. A sentence that encapsulates the novel? You could make an almost random choice from any page it is so well crafted. Try
"They got up to discover the door was unlocked."
True, and false and simultaneously both. Unpick that.


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