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Jaqaan (West Yorkshire, UK)

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The First Law Trilogy Boxed Set: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings
The First Law Trilogy Boxed Set: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings
Price: £13.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy conclusion, just don't expect wish-fulfillment., 2 Jan. 2014
In the previous two instalments, whilst I liked the books a great deal, there seemed to be little overarching direction to the series, particularly in the non-event that was the end of book two. So in the back of my mind was the niggling fear that this would come to a dissatisfying end. I'd LIKE to be able to report that luckily, thankfully, LAOK gives us a gut-punching, epic, splendidly cliche-defying end to this refreshingly contrary take on the fantasy epic. But that is (literally) not the whole story. Events of great import are dealt with dramatically, but just when you think the series is going to conclude on a real high it all goes slightly wrong.

As the story continues beyond the climax, there is inevitably huge expectation. For surely the only reason to continue in this fashion is to tie-up character arcs, to give meaning to the whole adventure? Its annoying but, without giving away spoilers, each concluding chapter is deeply dissatisfying. You have become so involved with these characters over the course of three books that you just want to know their final destination. Every ending, to every character arc - whilst in a sense true to the story - feels like it breaks the covenant between author and reader. We expected more than this, dammit! The characters entirely dictate the story's direction, with a stubborn refusal to allow a guiding hand to shape the narrative into something more affecting. I've never experienced an author who is so utterly ruthlessness in his treatment of his characters before, a trait which is both wonderful and terrible. In those post-script chapters, when you WANT a little comforting cliche, Joe Abercrombie chooses to confound expectations in his usual manner with something less prosaic. Its a quality of his writing I loved in the preceding books but...well, lets just say character led narratives inevitably defy a neat finale.

So, a depressing ending (to my tastes, anyway) but a great trilogy despite the flaws. The journey was worth it overall. The characters are richly observed and have a relentless, visceral reality to them. As for the plot there is simply no way to predict its twists and turns, but you can guarantee it'll be a bruising ride. A final word on Glokta: such a mericless, cold-hearted, tortured creation really shouldn't be so fun to spend time with, yet with everyones-favourite-inquisitor every bitter quip has enormous appeal; a truly special creation.


The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
Price: £3.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and glorious!, 31 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not only is it a very readable adventure story, a page-turner if ever there was one, it also possesses a remarkable feel of historical depth. I felt completely immersed into the world of The Last Kingdom and I'm thoroughly impressed with how Bernard Cornwell has weaved together the thoroughly engaging fictional character of Uhtred with the factual events of English history. I genuinely want to read further about the real-life period because of this book.

The biggest pleasure, for me, was in the details. Caulking a Danish ship, making charcoal; mundane matters described fleetingly, so as never to slow the pace of the story, yet with a shrewd instinct for the telling detail which brings an entire existence to life in the reader's mind. Of course the focus of the book is more about battles, kings and warlords. Even in the midst of a suicidal 'shield-wall' there are moments that will make you stop and think, taking in the reality of it all.

I remember reading one of the very early 'Sharpe' novels (also by Cornwell) several years ago and being wholly unimpressed, so I was hesitant to read this initially. Consider me a convert: this was a thoroughly gripping adventure. Thank Thor there are more books in the series.


Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
Price: £5.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of the early development of QM., 31 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Accomplished telling of the history of Quantum Mechanics. Gave me a new perspective on how the myriad advances in Physics, throughout this revolutionary period, fit together. Learning about the people behind the science also helped to clarify the importance of debate, opinion and perspective when pushing back the frontiers of what we know. The book highlights some profound philosophical questions too: an edifying read.


Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display

5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong, 6 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had mine for almost three years now. The battery life has degraded slightly, but I do mean 'slightly', I still get two weeks between charges even with heavy reading. I've noted a slight increase in the frequency of ghosting at the bottom of the page, after highlighting or annotating. However, this ghosting isn't anywhere near pronounced enough to hinder reading of the current page. As I have gradually filled my kindle's dictionary with highlights over the years, the speed with which the dictionary is searched seems to have slowed. Despite these signs of age, everything I originally loved about the Kindle still applies. It remains a most treasured possession.


LG 32LS5600 32-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD LED TV with Freeview and DLNA (2012) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (discontinued by manufacturer)
LG 32LS5600 32-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD LED TV with Freeview and DLNA (2012) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (discontinued by manufacturer)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, mediocre sound., 4 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, the picture is fantastic: vibrant, clear, and fast enough for gaming. Sound was very tinny initially and required a great deal of tinkering in the settings menu to get a reasonable output.

We use this TV in a student house where it gets a lot of use for freeview viewing and gaming. Everyone in the house is pleased with the TV: however, were it to be used for lots of movie viewing - where good sound quality is more important - I would feel the need to get separate speakers to improve the output.


Eon
Eon
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas, unengaging writing, 4 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eon (Kindle Edition)
The writing style, particularly the awkward and confusing description of place, failed to draw me in to the story. Characters were mostly unengaging. Despite these caveats the story was worth a read simply for the scale of imagination evidenced.

No a bad book by any means; just not a book I would recommend.


Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger: (Volume 1) (The Dark Tower)
Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger: (Volume 1) (The Dark Tower)
Price: £5.99

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor BUT THE SERIES IMPROVES DRASTICALLY!, 29 Mar. 2012
A dreary and at times pretentious novel, that I struggled to see through to the end. For several years after reading this I resisted continuing the series in book two, 'The Drawing of the Three', but in the end I was just sufficiently curious to continue. Boy does the series improve. The next book is a page-turner, and the third is a truly wonderful read.

I would suggest this book needs to be read, as something of a chore, in order to get the most out of the Dark Tower sequence. If you get past this first hurdle your patience will be rewarded!

Thankee sai!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2012 9:12 PM BST


State Of Play - Complete Series [2003] [DVD]
State Of Play - Complete Series [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Simm
Price: £5.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More TV like this please, 25 Aug. 2009
An excellent production; the acting, direction, score, all adds to the tense, densely plotted script to create a relentlessly watchable tv series. Bill Nighy is perfectly cast: indeed the whole cast really delve into their roles. I genuinely didn't see the twist at the end coming and unlike some other reviewers didn't feel the ending detracted from the quality of the series as a whole. Watch it.


Sandisk MP3 Player Sansa Clip 2Gb Black With Radio feature included
Sandisk MP3 Player Sansa Clip 2Gb Black With Radio feature included

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little audio player, 4 Oct. 2008
Has been completely problem free to use. Downloads music and playlists effortlessly. Recognised instantly by Windows (Vista). The player itself is nice and small, sound quality is great, its intuitive to use. Battery life seems good to me (though I don't exactly keep a stopwatch on it!). All told I am very happy with my purchase. The only flaws are the annoyance of having to charge up the device via your PC's usb port (its doesn't come with a mains charger included) and the charging seems to take forever. Also, the belt clip doesn't seem the most sturdy...its easy to accidentally unclip from the main body of the device.


Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
Offered by sellatronic
Price: £22.46

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls short of the hype, 29 Mar. 2008
With all the glowing reviews I read before buying this game I was expecting something amazing, so perhaps Mass Effect was never going to live up to my expectations, nevertheless I found it to be quite a mediocre effort and not the step up from Knights of the Old Republic that was promised. The game is far shorter than the galaxy map within will initially lead you to believe, besides all the sub-quest you can access from it are virtually indentical and so not much fun. Bizarrly, a great deal of time is spent going up and down in lifts, in which you can't do anything other than twiddle your thumbs. There is very little replay value.

It passes the time...but really, don't you want to be able to say something better than that about a game you'll be spending £thirty+ on?


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