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Profile for Mr. Simon L. Head > Reviews

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Mr. Simon L. Head "Shed" (Old Windsor, Berkshire United Kingdom)

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The Fell Sword (Traitor Son Cycle 2)
The Fell Sword (Traitor Son Cycle 2)
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars strategically superior, 19 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Be assured: this is well worth experiencing. It's as good as Game of Thrones but handles the military side of the story with even more skill. Compelling, well-written and made of stern stuff.

Big Snake: Big Snake (HB): The Hunt for the World's Longest Python
Big Snake: Big Snake (HB): The Hunt for the World's Longest Python
by Robert Twigger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you and doesn't let go, 20 May 2010
I've read most of Robert Twigger's books now, and half-way though this one I may be enjoying it the most. It has all the impressive hallmarks of his reasoning: getting married, need money, check out Poetry prizes, discover prize for really big snake, fly to jungle. The courage of his convictions is also well seasoned by any number of academic asides gleaned from his research. I love the way he recalls snake facts to bolster his nerve and survival chances when traipsing through the jungle in the dark. Equally engaging is his packing for the trip - really big maglite and strong snuff. Twigger is bookish but not library-bound; fairly gung-ho, but humanly vulnerable. It's great stuff. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I am.

The Left Hand of God
The Left Hand of God
by Paul Hoffman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but uneven, 13 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Left Hand of God (Hardcover)
Attracted by the promises of other reviews, I've just finished reading The Left Hand of God. The first chapters are excellent - Cale and his environment are gruesomely drawn and the characters and their interactions are believable and compelling. As I read on though, I started to notice more and more instances of 'skipping' in the sense of a nudged record. Frequently, the author delivers a major development in a sentence and the texture I had previously been enjoying ripped. The emotions of characters are handled sloppily - we're allowed to linger over a vivisection but not falling in love. Arbell is kidnapped as inexplicably as Vipond is introduced or Cale develops a conscience.
Hoffman handles the macabre well, and perhaps the gory bits will be enough for some. I felt cheated by the promise of an engrossing and believable world being spoiled by careless geography - Memphis is supposed to be the hub of an empire but seems to exist just on the opposite page from the Sanctuary - and untidy references to our own world. The world of the book becomes a mish-mash of labels; the slang feels tacked on and citing real world names such as Jesus of Nazareth, Treetops and Delphi alongside the thinly disguised 'Materazzi' and some more imaginative coinings eventually just smacks of inconsistency.
Perhaps all the empty promises of this book (Riba and her stone? Antagonists? Why is Cale important?) will all be delivered when we buy the sequel. I'd be happier to do so had this book been more tightly plotted and suffered fewer identity crises.

Gardens of the Moon (Book 1 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
Gardens of the Moon (Book 1 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
by Steven Erikson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £3.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpen your teeth, 23 Oct. 2008
Not so long ago, I stumbled into Robin Hobb's Assassin sequence thanks to the reviews on Amazon - Gardens of the Moon promises the same consuming immersion. This is richly constructed, deftly woven, tightly plotted, vividly coloured fantasy. It musters many of the traits I enjoy in this genre - with a panoply of convincingly powerful or embittered characters - but is singularly distinctive. The handling of Magic and Deities are the barbs that keep you hooked upon the interplay of the sharply written characters. The scape is huge - whoever summarised the book on Wikipedia should be congratulated - but I was always returned to characters before I had forgotten them or grown too familiar with others. That there are many other books in the series has mapped out the next yard on my bookshelf very satisfyingly. Don't waste any more time reading my drivel: throw yourself into the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox: 6
Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox: 6
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars By Angus Nicholson, 7 Oct. 2008
Artemis Fowl is a fantasy book about a teenage criminal mastermind who discovered subterranean fairies. It is an action-packed book filled with wacky characters and jokes.
The plot is about Artemis having to travel back in time to find a cure to save his mother. The cure is a lemur which Artemis had killed when he was ten-years old because Mother had spent the money that Artemis was going to use to help try and get back his father who was taken by the mafia. This was a childish piece of revenge and he's now going to have to retrieve it from his younger-self's clutches.
Artemis, until recently, had been a criminal sought on becoming the most powerful one in the world until he discovered that that wasn't the most important thing in life. Now, he had a new outlook on life and was using his brains, power and wealth to help the environment and he had now given up his criminal lifestyle. You see that Artemis is now a family man with two younger brothers and is set on making his family's life as enjoyable as possible.
The storyline was brilliantly thought out with characters from the different books reappearing. However, you started to become slightly confused as you began to wonder who was from the present and who was from the past, so it started to turn into mayhem. Once having discovered where you were in the book (after reading it back a few times), it was a very entertaining read. The story kept going at a fast pace so you were always on the edge of your chair. I was gripped from start to finish so the author succeeded in that department yet the plot became, in some places, too thick to handle.
Overall, it was a great book and I would happily re-read it over and over again as it was a vastly enthralling experience.

No Title Available

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different in a great way, 24 May 2006
You don't know me is the story of John, a teenager coping with the usual ups and downs of school and some less usual difficulties at home. The book is written quirkily, with John's imagination describing things the way he sees them. Why he sees things in the way that he does - and how he describes them - is why you end up being so interested in what he's going through.

The characters are great, John doesn't have super powers or amazing friends but is a believable and likeable narrator. The fact that answering questions in maths or asking a girl out hold as much terror for him as his mother's violent, criminal boyfriend somehow rings true; this isn't a book about teen-age issues written by an adult, it's one boy's story - and a good one.

Spoilt, selfish, beautiful Gloria is predictable, if enjoyably hateful, but on the whole the quirky characters are fun to read about. John never asks you to pity him and deflects most of the unpleasantness of his circumstances with humour, making the book funny to read as well.

The fact that the ending is moving proves that you have become involved with John's story; this is a really interesting and worthwhile book.

The Power of Five: Evil Star
The Power of Five: Evil Star
by Anthony Horowitz
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's getting dark..., 3 May 2006
Evil Star sees Matthew compelled to face up to the threat of the old ones again, prompted by his own fear of his powers as much as the enigmatic Nexus. He travels with Richard to Peru to a second gate, hinted at in the ancient diary of a mad monk. Immediately he is separated and on the run from the unmagical dangers of gun-carrying hi-jackers and corrupt police. He finds himself in a filthy slum and his only ally is someone who he caught trying to steal from him...

Evil Star develops the plot of Raven's Gate excitingly, although the evil of the witches is missed, the sense of menace is just as strong as Matthew gets closer and closer to the gate. One more of the Five is revealed, but little else (although we learn that the Nexus is not all that it seems either.) It is just as readable as the first book and leaves you wanting to read the next just as much. Horrowitz treats his readers with respect and doesn't spare his audience any grisly scenes because they're not adults. The characters are strong and the plot pacy and often unexpected, though clues for a character being a traitor are perhaps dropped too early in the story.

If you liked Raven's Gate, you'll enjoy Evil Star even more, and if you haven't read either, what are you waiting for?

Eragon: Book One (The Inheritance Cycle)
Eragon: Book One (The Inheritance Cycle)
by Christopher Paolini
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very human dragon, 30 Mar. 2006
Eragon is an involving story. There are tense battles and craggy characters, but most compelling is the book's telling of the relationship between Eragon and his dragon, Saphira. If you do not usually like fantasy stories, there is more than enough to enjoy in the descriptions of how important friendship and understanding are, particularly in difficult times. When you add the elements of adventure in the plot, you have a book that is worth reading and recommending to everyone.
If some passages are written overly ornately, I was not deterred in the slighest from wanting to know what was happening to any of the characters in the story.

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