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Profile for E. L. Woodcock > Reviews

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Content by E. L. Woodcock
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Reviews Written by
E. L. Woodcock "elwoodcock" (Derby, UK)
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The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing
Price: £3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars engrossing thriller, 2 April 2016
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really good, engrossing thriller.


Bathtub Gin 70cl
Bathtub Gin 70cl
Price: £33.05

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice gin, but doesn't really go with tonic, 2 April 2016
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This review is from: Bathtub Gin 70cl (Wine)
Nice gin, but doesn't really go with tonic, which is a disappointment. It has christmassy flavours of orange and cinnamon, so does go very nicely with orange juice.


Malloom® Universal Car Steering Wheel Cover High Grade (Black)
Malloom® Universal Car Steering Wheel Cover High Grade (Black)
Offered by Malloom®
Price: £12.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, basic, comfortable., 2 April 2016
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at first I was worried because it seemed so thick and bulky. It felt wierd in my hands for a few days. But I soon got used to it, and find it perfectly comfortable now.


Fintie Kindle Voyage Folio Case - Slim Fit Premium PU Leather Book Style Cover with Auto Sleep/Wake (will only fit Amazon Kindle Voyage 2014), Vintage Winter Ice
Fintie Kindle Voyage Folio Case - Slim Fit Premium PU Leather Book Style Cover with Auto Sleep/Wake (will only fit Amazon Kindle Voyage 2014), Vintage Winter Ice
Offered by Fintie EU
Price: £12.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty design, but uncomfortable to use, 2 April 2016
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It is very pretty, but I found it surprisingly bulky (although light), and uncomfortable to hold. The cover doesn't fold back smoothly, making it even bulkier to hold while using. And the fastener to take the kindle in and out of the case seemed fiddly and awkward, so I wouldn't often be doing that. I returned it, because I could tell using it was just going to make me angry.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2016 10:04 PM BST


The Book of Speculation
The Book of Speculation
Price: £4.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 5 Feb. 2016
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Family secrets, mysterious books, a falling apart house, rusalkas, freaks, circus shows, a dark curse... and librarians. What's not to love about this book? It's charming and engaging, tantalising and satisfying.

My only slight complaint is how the author tells us, the readers, the answer half way through, but then we have to watch the protagonist frustratingly barking up the wrong tree for chapters and chapters...


Half the World (Shattered Sea, Book 2)
Half the World (Shattered Sea, Book 2)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite Abercrombie so far, 29 Mar. 2015
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I think this may actually be my favourite Abercrombie so far. It's surprising because I was slightly underwhelmed by the first in the series, Half a King. Abercrombie is always entertaining and always readable, but it almost seemed like something he'd knocked out quickly between 'proper' books. Some of the prose wasn't quite up to his usual standard. It was occasionally all a bit obvious.

None of those accusations can be levelled at Half the World. The writing is exemplary, the fight scenes in particular are outstanding, dropping you right into the visceral, terrifying action. Again, I think these are the best he's yet written (and he's written a lot of fight scenes!) It also managed to surprise me in a few key places, signposting the story in one direction, only to whisk you off somewhere else at the last minute.

Abercrombie also does that great and rare thing of showing you believable, compelling character growth. That's perhaps less remarkable in his usual 600+ page epics, but Half the World is significantly shorter than that (I think a large font must account for the 500 page count!).

One detail that stood out for me and made me cheer is that finally Abercrombie has given us a female warrior who menstruates, and has to deal with that as well as everything else. Hallelujah! How overdue is that?

I am also hugely impressed with him because – without anyone seeming to have particularly noticed, he's just casually slipped under the radar a tough, gritty, violent fantasy novel in which more than half the important characters are female. They cover a variety of roles, characters and professions: a Queen, an Empress, a blacksmith, a warrior, various ministers - and not a single one of them could be described as remotely weak, ineffectual or irrelevant (the sexy lamp).

Joe Abercrombie, you're my hero. Give us more of this please?


The Lost Art
The Lost Art
by Simon Morden
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, different, but frustrating, 28 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Lost Art (Paperback)
This is a really odd, enjoyable but frustrating book. There are things I really liked about it, and other things that annoyed me.

I loved the basic premise, the set up, the history, the world building - all that. It was inventive, fresh, innovative. It felt like something I hadn't read before, and that's rare enough. I liked how it began as a sort of cod-historical fantasy world, but gradually morphed into sci-fi. I liked the protagonist, Benzamir. But the bulk of my issues with the book are with all the other characters.

For a start, it's not apparent that Benzamir *is* the protagonist until several chapters in. We have a strand following Va and Elenya. We have another strand following Akisi. Benzamir is one more story strand - and after a while he becomes the main one. The story begins with Va and Elenya - so I assumed they were the main characters - but then they're not in it again for a long time.

And they are odd. Not in a good way. I didn't find either of them remotely convincing. All of their sections read as though there's a previous book in the series that I haven't read. There is a lot of history between these two, and it is sort of introduced in dribs and drabs, but I didn't feel it was handled very convincingly or satisfyingly. As the book progressed I began to wonder if the author has ever had any relationships with women, or spoken to them at all...

There was a line about half way through which typified this strange attitude. I can't remember the exact phrase, but the sentiment was: she's a princess, and therefore obviously beautiful and desirable. I really tried to look for some context that would make this irony - but I didn't find any. Also odd is that this information wasn't given until this far into the story - either that she was a princess or that she was beautiful. But after it had been announced it became her defining traits, and all that anyone commented on! And everyone fell in love with her. Because she was a princess. And therefore beautiful :-/ Nevermind obsessive, deluded, and verging on madness...

So that annoyed me a lot. But even so there was a lot I enjoyed about the story. In short, it's good on ideas, bad on relationships. Approach with caution - but do approach.


Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase: Book 1 (Lockwood & Co 1)
Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase: Book 1 (Lockwood & Co 1)
by Jonathan Stroud
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those rare perfect books, 28 Dec. 2013
I LOVE this book. I love the slightly odd narrative structure (it starts in the middle, then goes back to the beginning - which wouldn't necessarily work, but it does). I love the odd timeless setting. There is a veneer of Victoriana about it all, but then there are cars and TV and people wear jeans - but there don't appear to be any computers or mobile phones. In the end, I decided it was a sort of alternate 1970s - but the 70s as written by E Nesbit. Which makes sense in an odd sort of way - the author grew up in the 70s (as did I) probably reading much older children's books.

The characters are great. Although you don't learn a huge amount about either Lockwood himself or George, I am confident their stories will be brought in as the sequence develops.

It's funny in appropriate places. It is REALLY creepy in places. It's exciting. It's inventive, and although very high concept, it is well thought through and convincing. I had no trouble at all suspending my disbelief (and I sometimes do with these sorts of things).

It was also a great relief to read a book about teenagers with no moping, angst, self-obsession of blummin love triangles! I can't recommend it enough. And although I saw exactly how the twist was going to work out, that didn't detract from the fun at all. I enjoyed the journey.

I'm now off to find everything else Jonathan Stroud has written. There are clearly more installments to come in this sequence, and I am looking forward to them with high anticipation.


Thai Vegetarian Cooking
Thai Vegetarian Cooking
by Vatcharin Bhumichitr
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent recipes, 30 Nov. 2013
One of the few cookbooks I still use regularly (alongside Hema Parekh's Asian Vegan). Some of the recipes sound wierd, and there are many that I still haven't tried. But everything I have made has been excellent. I can especially recommend Jungle curry and Drunkard's noodles.


Asian Vegan Kitchen: Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors
Asian Vegan Kitchen: Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors
by Hema Parekh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars every recipe I've made has been excellent, 30 Nov. 2013
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I've had this book for a number of years and made many things from the various chapters - everything has been delicious. I can particularly recommend the coconut-lemongrass rice with mounds of fresh herbs and crispy onions pieces. I have a lot of cook books. Most of them I use a few times, get the hang of a couple of dishes and thereafter just make my own versions of them. This book I get out and use regularly. Highly recommended.


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