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swazijohn (Portugal)

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The Heydrich Sanction
The Heydrich Sanction
Price: £1.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 18 Sept. 2013
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Having enjoyed Denis Kilcommons' 'Dante's Children' and being an alternative history fan, I was looking forward to this one. In the end, I was left uncertain what the author was trying to do. By setting some exact characters, especially the Beatles, from a parallel universe (namely the real one), it was inevitably rather tongue in cheek rather than serious historical fiction.
I did also find the idea of a peacetime 'Heydrich Sanction' something of a stretch - I just don't think Mosley was that stupid or an increasingly detached Hitler that impregnable for this scenario to be a credible one.
So what was it? Historical fantasy?


The Last Queen of England: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #3 (Jefferson Tayte)
The Last Queen of England: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #3 (Jefferson Tayte)

3.0 out of 5 stars Jefferson Tayte for the next Doctor Who, 24 Aug. 2013
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As one who loved 'In the Blood', I have to say that I was rather disappointed by 'The Last Queen of England'.

It had great potential and started off really well but I have to say it got progressively less believable in a number of respects, but not least because the number of 'lives' that Jefferson Tayte has must make him a candidate to be a Time Lord. I also had fun picturing an unfit, overweight 40 year old jumping up from a motorbike crash then running a few hundred metres...

The geneaology is still good, ideas behind the books great - I'd love to see the author focus more on these and cut down on the far fetched 'Dan Brown stuff'.


Heresy
Heresy
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Climbing on the back of Shardlake?, 16 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Heresy (Kindle Edition)
Having purchased this, it lay unread in my Kindle for a while as I was put off by the 'too obvious' riding on the back of CJ Sansom's Shardlake series. Both the styling of the author's writing name and the consistent choice of single word titles do not appear to be coincidence.
Having said that, Heresy started brilliantly and the central character was sufficiently different from Shardlake to allay my earlier concerns. A five star start did tail off in the later stages, but still an enjoyable read and I will probably be getting more books in the series.


Flight Behaviour
Flight Behaviour
Price: £5.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to her best, 14 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Flight Behaviour (Kindle Edition)
When an author has written a book as good as The Poisonwood Bible, it's really tough to maintain those heights. The Lacuna got close and I think Flight Behaviour just about made it. Its not the sort of book you have to read in one sitting, but Barbara Kingsolver's prose is so rich and meaningful that I frequently found myself doubling back to read a page again for fear of missing anything.

Another real plus for me in this book was the central character, Dellarobia. So many novels have a main character who is untroubled by pressures of time or money and able to pursue a course of action at a whim. Not so Dellarobia - rather a very human character, subject to the budgetary and time pressures of farming and kids.

All in all a great book and in many ways a fable for our times - knocking on the door of my all time top ten.


Black Water Rising (Jay Porter)
Black Water Rising (Jay Porter)
by Attica Locke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Black Water Rising, 26 Feb. 2013
The style of this book reminded me very much of Sara Paretsky's VI Warshawski novels (with a black male lawyer instead of a white female PI, with an added strand of black consciousness thrown in).

As a debut novel, it was a powerful start and I look forward to more by Attica Locke.


Running the Rift
Running the Rift
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Running the rift between emotions, 13 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Running the Rift (Kindle Edition)
This book was quite a powerful achievement. For the author to write about an issue as tragic as the Rwandan genocide in the form of historical fiction which also encompassed many other human emotions including joy and love was daring to say the least. I had expected (and looked forward to) more focus on the running in the second half of the book but its absence was more than made up for.


Dominion
Dominion
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This emulates Fatherland, 25 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Dominion (Kindle Edition)
At the end, the author praises Robert Harris' Fatherland as the best alternative history book ever written - an analysis I would have shared from what I have read. However, I would go one further and suggest that Dominion has now wrenched that honour away.
I've read a couple of Shardlakes and Winter in Madrid and enjoyed them, but for me this is CJ Sansom's finest book. It was an ambitious step into an alternative, if related, genre but it worked and worked well. The alternative universe that he creates is both very plausible and well thought through. His decision to cast a number of real life political figures into this is clearly a controversial one but I have to say that it worked for me.
There is one feature of the book that I am critical of, however. I won't state it specifically as it could be a bit of a spoiler but a rather large "Well why didn't they just do X?" does loom large across the plot. For me, the plot was secondary to the continually unfolding alternative 1952 that was being painted, so its not going to stop me giving it a full five stars.


Partitions
Partitions
Price: £6.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, heartwarming historical fiction, 15 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Partitions (Kindle Edition)
The 1947 partition of India and Pakistan was one of those pieces of history I had never picked up on - this book was an excellent way to fill that gap. The author's credentials for tackling the subject matter are impeccable and a little bit of further research on the topic appears to confirm its realism.

The style reminded me of Michael Morpurgo, in its ability to tackle a traumatic topic in a very human way. Writing the book from the perspective of the children's dead father was a technique that worked extremely well for me. I will be recommending it to a number of friends.


Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Previous Generation - 5th)
Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Previous Generation - 5th)

4.0 out of 5 stars New, smaller Kindle, 15 Jan. 2013
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On the one hand, I was not very happy about needing a new Kindle because the ink display on my last one packed up after just 15 months - out of warranty but got 20% discount on the replacement.
Regarding the new, smaller Kindle, I've only had it a few days and yes, I like it. It has a good solid feel to it, very handy to use, I prefer the press in on/off switch to the old slide mechanism. As for only having the keyboard as an on screen display, I'm not missing it as the keys it retains are the only ones I would use for 98% of the time


Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy Book 2)
Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £4.68

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dumbing down of history, 16 Nov. 2012
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Having very much enjoyed Fall of Giants, as well as virtually all of Ken Follett's other works, I had long awaited the second part of the trilogy. I can only say what an enormous letdown - I thought I was reading the history of the 1930s as a comic strip. Or maybe I had bought the Jeffrey Archer trilogy by mistake?

The story has now reached Spain and I've just given up - I can't bear to see the Spanish Civil War treated in the same way. Ah well, at least I only wasted 20p.


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