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C. McCloskey "Auntie C" (Bawlmer, Merlin, USA)

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Soldier Five: The Real Truth About The Bravo Two Zero Mission
Soldier Five: The Real Truth About The Bravo Two Zero Mission
by Mike Coburn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, presents the whole picture, 4 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I think this is the last of the Bravo Two Zero books that I have or will read.
This presents a more balanced view of the affair.
Chris Ryan's book was so biased it was laughable.
Andy McNab's was a good introduction to the topic and
The last book, written second-hand by a friend on behalf of Vince Phillips was almost clinical in its attempt at accuracy.

That said, all of these books reveal that the SAS, for all its extensive training, still let a patrol go off with either too much kit or not enough kit of the right kind, with insufficient intelligence.
Mike Coburn's book gives you the broader perspective. Too bad I didn't get this until the fourth book.

If you are into the Bravo Two Zero heroism you have to read this book, if only to get the whole picture.

by Andy McNab
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A great BOY READ, 7 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: DropZone (Paperback)
It's always been difficult to find books that boys will read, no less something that they will set aside their games systems for.
So I was delighted to pick up Andy McNab's Boy Soldier series and now this Drop Zone series.
This is the first book in the series and it engages you straight away. Like all of McNab's books, you are thrown into the deep end with techno-babble and expected to pick it up quickly. This is the first book in the series so you learn about skydiving along with the hero but there is no quarter asked or given - when he makes his first drop you are right there with him.
Saying anything more will give away major plot points.
All I will say is that when I showed up at the door with a new McNab, I was greeted with 'Is that another Drop Zone?'
Keep 'em coming, Andy!

Cailin, Maryland, USA

PS Readers from the States will have to google British slang to keep up; at the very least the teen US readers will have to do so.

Red Notice
Red Notice
by Andy McNab
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.57

4.0 out of 5 stars New character - YES!, 7 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Red Notice (Paperback)
I have been following the NIck Stone series for quite a while and was a little cautious about the new character introduced in this book. Not to fear - Andy McNab has done it again.
Tom Buckingham is the opposite of Nick Stone - upper middle class, deemed 'Posh Lad' by his mates in the Regiment, he is a self-assured, confident man. Where Nick Stone fell into the Army because he had few other options, Tom deliberately chose to be a soldier. He had the best education money could buy and was destined for the Bar or the City or some other white collar job, but he knew that he was, at heart, a soldier. So this is a man with options who could opt-out at any time but chooses this lifestyle. In previous generations he would have been the aristocratic son who chose the military and because an officer. Tom chooses to be a man of action, enlisting in the ranks and rising by his own efforts. He is a more positive man than NIck Stone, but with a commitment to his girlfriend, Delphine, he has a lot more to lose and much more at stake.

Character aside, this was a page-turner. The thriller was set primarily in the world of the Channel Tunnel, meaning I could relate to it more than some of the more remote locations of the Nick Stone books.
I knew what was going on with Delphine way before Tom (thanks for the hints, Andy!) and totally empathized with her career-vs-guy issues. Sometimes the love interest is used to pull us into the plot and is then thrown away (i.e. killed) but she survives the trauma, having gained a much more immediate understanding of what it is that Tom does and who he IS.

It will be interesting to see is Andy McNab can write the continuing story of a committed couple with one partner in the Regiment. He has written plenty about the casual affaires and relationships - can he describe what it takes for such a relationship WORK?

Love it, can't wait for the next one.
Four stars only because I can't read it again immediately, I have to let the plot points fade a bit.

Cailin from Maryland, USA (ordering on because Andy's newest aren't available on yet).

The Fortifications of Malta 1530-1945 (Fortress)
The Fortifications of Malta 1530-1945 (Fortress)
by Charles Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.02

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Congrats!, 21 April 2009
This is the first book that has mentioned and explained the Victoria lines, a defensive wall built right across the country. Think of this as the Hadrian's Wall of Malta. Fabulous! If they treat an obscure fortification like this (it was obsolete less than ten years after it was completed) then I can trust the author on other, greater issues.
Unlike guidebooks that show you fortifications as tourist attractions, he shows you all the defenses of Malta in context - the items that were built at a certain time for a certain reason in a specific style. As the book progresses you get to see Malta's fortifications in their historical layers. You also see lovely full-color illustrations of maps and cutaways to let you see the inside of the various forts and batteries.
I'm more interested in Malta than military fortifications, so some of the terms went over my head. Nonetheless it was an engrossing read and well worth the trouble to get it (I'm in the States and had to order it from

The Mdina Touch
The Mdina Touch
by Edward J Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.80

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixup?, 21 April 2009
This review is from: The Mdina Touch (Paperback)
I purchased this book from because it isn't available in the States and I'm interested in Malta (lots of stuff on Malta in the UK).
I'm a little confused. I'm a couple of chapters in and the author seems to have confused or combined the Knights Templar and the Knights of St John, two distinct orders, one of which is extinct (Templar), the other of which still exists today (St John). The knights of St John, the Hospitallers, are also known as the Knights of Malta, and were known initially for tending to the sick after battle, something that has never been associated with the Knights Templar.

I will keep reading but with a skeptical eye - if he got this wrong, what else has been distorted?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2009 11:26 PM BST

by Ken Follett
Edition: Audio CD

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DT Bonanza, 6 April 2009
This review is from: Whiteout (Audio CD)
OK, I'll admit that I bought this audiobook for the reader (performer) David Tennant (DT). And I wasn't disappointed. He uses his natural Scots accent for the narration but goes into all sorts of accents for the different characters. I was particularly impressed by the family scenes, where there is a jumble of characters all talking over each other but you can still tell who is who by voice speed (one is loud and fast, another is sweet and soft-spoken, etc.). And he lets it rip in all the action scenes (car crashes, etc.) in a way that makes me wonder why Hollywood needs all those special effects when DT makes it all seem so easy?
The book was kinda confusing, starting up all sorts of threads that don't come together until the end. Persevere and it will all make sense.
All in all, if DT does more books I'll be doing more buying.
BTW, this book has an American reader when sold in the US so, if I just wanted to hear the book I could have picked it up at my local library. This version was worth the extra trouble to order it from the UK.

Quite Ugly One Morning
Quite Ugly One Morning
by Christopher Brookmyre
Edition: Audio CD

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accents R Us, 6 April 2009
This review is from: Quite Ugly One Morning (Audio CD)
Loved this audiobook. I purchased it because of the reader (David Tennant) and wasn't disappointed. It was a performance, not a read. First, you get all the accents. After all, the accents help distinguish one character from another in a way that isn't necessary when you are reading the book. DT uses a wide range of voices, from high in the register (women) to very low for the men (some grumbling in the cellar). I can't judge on UK regional accents but these were distinct enough that I could tell pseudo home counties (?) English to the tough inner cities accent of the thugs.
Best part of it was the profanity - lots of it, and no punches pulled. I would have glossed over it if I were reading it in a book (OK, character is mad... skip forward) but you couldn't ignore it here.
I haven't read the book so I can't judge on the abridgement, but as a bit of theater it's great - just like a radio play. A lot of fun to listen to on my long commute.
If you are a DT fan, this is a must-buy.
It was unexpectedly funny, so now I have to look for more (print) books by this author.

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