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Will Shortz Presents Crazy for Kenken Killer: 100 Logic Puzzles That Make You Smarter
Will Shortz Presents Crazy for Kenken Killer: 100 Logic Puzzles That Make You Smarter
by Will Shortz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Up from the Times books, 12 Sept. 2009
I received this book a couple of days ago.

I haven't managed to do many puzzles yet, it is clear that this book does present a step up from the Times series of KenKen puzzle books; most of the puzzles in the book are larger than the 6 by 6 standard size, in fact there are 25 of each size ranging from 6x6 to the mind-boggling 9x9 puzzles.

For all those reviewers clamouring for harder and larger puzzles, I think this might be the book for you!


Timeline [3CD+DVD BOX SET] [Special Edition]
Timeline [3CD+DVD BOX SET] [Special Edition]
Price: £42.62

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be blown away!, 10 Aug. 2009
'Timeline' is a fantastic compilation covering the full Ayreon catalog, selected by modern progressive music genius Arjen Anthony Lucassen himself.

All seven studio albums are represented and very generously. Trademark Ayreon epics abound and in their full original versions, like Isis and Osiris, Amazing Flight, Into the Black Hole, Day Two: Isolation, The Sixth Extinction, just to name a few. There's also a brand new epic called Epilogue: The Memory Remains that ties the story up and musically harkens back to the hauntingly ethereal Floyd-influenced sound of 'The Dream Sequencer', featuring crystal clear vocals (by a young new singer) and excellent guitar solos (by Lori Linstruth and Arjen himself).

With 3 full CDs (almost 4 hours) of music, nothing was held back so you get plenty of highlights like Waking Dreams, Dreamtime, Day Three: Pain, Dawn of a Million Souls, etc. Along the ride you get treated to the talents of not only Arjen (guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals) and drummer extraordinaire Ed Warby, but a stellar cast of featured guests.

This compilation though focuses exclusively on Ayreon album material; hence, no demos, live tracks, alternate takes, covers or unused songs. The only rarities are the acoustic version of The Accusation (from The Final Experiment's bonus CD), the edited version of Age of Shadows (which omits the We Are Forever section) and the brand new song already mentioned. Therefore, if you have all Ayreon albums already, then you probably won't need this. Also, there are no tracks from spin-off projects, like Star One, Ambeon, Stream of Passion etc.

What to say about the music? An expansive mix of sixties psych and pop, seventies progressive rock and folk, eighties hard rock and metal and nineties aggression and electronica, coupled with some of the most enchanting melodies and best instrumental performances heard in the last two decades. About Arjen itself, not enough credit is usually given to the man, for as much as he is a composer and producer he is also a greatly gifted guitarist (kind of a mix of Vai, Blackmore and Gilmour in one package) and excellent bass, synth and keyboard player. Even his distinctive melodic vocals add a special charm to the recordings.

Rounding out the package is a DVD featuring a selection of live performances (by side projects Star One and Stream of Passion, but only of Ayreon songs), 5.1 mixes, video clips (from 'The Human Equation') and featurettes from the re-recording of Actual Fantasy, launch party for 01011001 and the new track (Epilogue) recording sessions.

There's also a huge booklet with lots of pictures, full annotated lyrics for every song, new Arjen comments. Finally, there's a poster with the full new Jef Bertels cover art on the front and the actual Ayreon timeline on the back, chronologically detailing all the events from the Ayreon mythology (past, present and future) and the related songs to each one.

The only omissions I can think of are Valley of the Queens, Temple of the Cat, Day Seven: Hope and Day Eleven: Love (the last two present as video clips on the DVD, though), but those are only minor quibbles.

So drop it in your stereo, turn up the volume and prepare for a long and Amazing Flight in Space.


Universal Migrator - Special Edition
Universal Migrator - Special Edition
Price: £10.87

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Concept Album, 1 Aug. 2009
Originally released as two single CDs, and now available as a double-disc package, this one was one of Ayreon's best projects.

I particularly like the music on the first CD (The Dream Sequencer) which is distinctly softer than the second, and is a real candidate (along with the Electric Castle) as being one of the best progressive albums of all time.

Ayreon has mustered a stellar supporting cast to help produce this project - Neal Morse to name just one.

Very highly recommended.


The Complete Chess Workout: Train Your Brain with 1200 Puzzles!
The Complete Chess Workout: Train Your Brain with 1200 Puzzles!
by Richard Palliser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Value Puzzle Book, 30 July 2009
Thanks to Amazon's discount offer this works out about one pence per puzzle,which can hardly be less than good value for anybody's money!

There is a great variety of puzzles which should provide great practice for chess players of all standards. The book seems to be mainly aimed at weaker club players, for whom I would recommend this book the most. However, there is enough in this book of interest and challenge to stronger players too


The Progressive Rock Handbook
The Progressive Rock Handbook
by Jerry Lucky
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference work, 26 July 2009
This book contains the largest list of progressive bands I've seen. OK, there is a rather long winded intoductory chapter or two but the whole book is over 350 pages long and gives many ideas for experimenatation around this field.


Afterglow
Afterglow
Price: £15.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Symphonic Prog, 26 July 2009
This review is from: Afterglow (Audio CD)
Here is a very special treat for all you classic prog fans. Wobbler, a Norwegian band, formed at the end of the 20th Century, made up of members from White Willow etc. "Afterglow" is the self released and self-financed sophomore album from the band. It includes their two (legendary) demos re-recorded, a track that they were working on at the time of their debut "Hinterland" but never completed and two other older, unrecorded tracks as well.

Although the album only clocks in at 35 minutes, you can expect a few long and complex tracks and a lush symphonic sound.

"Hinterland" was one of the best albums favourites of 2005 and this is an excellent sequel. I've only knocked off one star due to the length (or lack of it) of this album


Beyond Reality
Beyond Reality
Price: £20.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Progressive Rock, 20 July 2009
This review is from: Beyond Reality (Audio CD)
The CD "Beyond Reality" is truly a fine example of 24-carat symphonic rock.

The six compositions sound mostly laidback but also contain sumptuous eruptions and fiery accelerations, none more so than the absolutely excellent 'Time Will Tell', the longest on the album and possibly the best track I've heard this year. The music is mid-GENESIS and IQ inspired with soaring keyboards, guitars and (it has to said for so many European prog bands!) decent vocals. There are no weaker tracks on the album to speak of.

Recommended to me by a progressive music supplier who knows his business this might be my favourite album of the year, it's certainly a strong candidate.


The Times: KenKen Book 1: The New Brain-training Puzzle Phenomenon: Bk. 1
The Times: KenKen Book 1: The New Brain-training Puzzle Phenomenon: Bk. 1
by Tetsuya Miyamoto
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simpler Puzzles, 17 July 2009
I agree with the other reviewers.

Ken Ken is a puzzle type most suited to teach children mathematics, although admittedly for this it would be very good. However, they are simply not challenging enough nor diverse to occupy most serious mumber puzzle enthusiasts for long. Most puzzles can be solved in 5 to 10 minutes, just enough to last a couple of underground stops only!

The book is well-produced and at £4 is good value for money, if this is what you are looking for.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing little foldaway stool., 17 July 2009
I bought this for taking on rambles and it's brilliant. It folds away neatly and is not heavy to carry. It seems to be sturdy, I weigh 11 stone and it carries my weight very comfortably, I don't know what the maximum weight it would hold safely would be. My rambling friends all want one!


Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition (PC DVD)
Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition (PC DVD)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Value, 17 July 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The Chessmaster series of programs continues with this, the latest edition.

Whilst I agree that there is not much difference between this and its predecessors, this is phenomenal value for money.

Be warned though, unless you are an experienced player, do not even think of taking on the program without an advantage of some sort of handicap, it's strong enough to take on most professional players and win most of the time.


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