John Middleton

(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   (REAL NAME)
Madmenised
Top Reviewer Ranking: 956
Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (729 of 827)
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUST

 

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 956 - Total Helpful Votes: 729 of 827
Sea Lord by Bernard Cornwell
Sea Lord by Bernard Cornwell
First of all, I know absolutely nothing about sailing, so maybe Cornwell got it all completely wrong. But I understand that is not the case, and in any event, for the average (non-sailing) reader the sailing complements the plot rather than gets in the way. Bernard Cornwell is a great storyteller, and while this may not be his best known work, its fast and fun to read.

John Rossendale tells the story from a first person POV, and its well done, managing to keep reveals behind the curtain in a realistic fashion until the appropriate time. Besides the nautical aspect of the adventures around the English Channel, there is also family trouble, venal lawyers, stolen property and a… Read more
Kyrik and the Wizard's Sword by Gardner F. Fox
Kyrik and the Wizard's Sword by Gardner F. Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars Kyrik vs what? #3 of 4, 8 July 2014
Ok, the cover alone gives this away as a Conan pastiche/homage/rip-off. In the school of Frazetta, semi-clothed barbarian, un-clothed sacrificial lady, giant snake. But despite the fact no such scene appears in the book, itís the tagline that actually the most inaccurate thing about the cover: at no point does the "Wizard's Sword" become anything other than a big magic sword picked up in a wizard's tower. Kyrik uses it as a sword, "fights with" it even, but its not an adversary.

In fact, I'm not sure there is much of an adversary at all here: this is standard quest tale in which the wandering king Kyrik finds a new woman (his old one off is conveniently off… Read more
Selected Stories by Fritz Leiber by Fritz Leiber
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved some of this book, and skimmed some of it out of duty, but there is no doubt it is a fair reflection of the range of Fritz Lieber's work and personality. All his big loves, themes, issues and characters are here: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, the Changewar, theatre, cats, San Francisco, moderately kinky sex, and Germany. Most stories are some blend of horror, fantasy, sci-fi or just plain weird: strangely, I found I tended to like the earlier tales over the later ones. Of those I loved, Ill Met in Lankhmar is classic, Smoke Ghost is chilling, the Girl with the Hungry Eyes is a modern vampire tale, and Four Ghosts is touching.

I'd read some of this before, 20 plus years… Read more