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hross42877 (Scotland)

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Bryant & May - Strange Tide: (Bryant & May Book 13)
Bryant & May - Strange Tide: (Bryant & May Book 13)
by Christopher Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.54

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read!, 6 Jun. 2016
Bryant and May never fail to entertain me, their crime solving exploits have given me many hours of happy reading and this, the 13th book in the series is wonderful as always.

I have never been to London but the way it is described in these books make me want to jump on the next plane, it really is the star of these books, well after the dapper May and the wonderfully eccentric Bryant.

Strange Tide takes us to the river, the mighty Thames to be exact. A woman is found, dead, tied up to a post. There seems to be no way for her to have got there but she died in a very public place and nobody saw her sad demise happening.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit are on the case but their two oldest detectives are slowly going off the rails, Bryant has been having hallucinations and it is suspected he has Alzheimer's. He is told to stay away from work, which of course he pays no attention to.

May, is the voice of reason but he has his hands full trying to keep Arthur at home and trying to solve the mystery, as the bodies start to mount up, May and the PCU are stretched to the limit. Can they catch the murderer before one of their own becomes the fall guy?

This book was a brilliant read but out of all the books of theirs I have read so far this one really did get at my emotions as Bryant's mind starts to fail. However like all good crime books, they should never be judged by their covers - Christopher Fowler is an expert at red herrings!

If you haven't entered the world of Bryant and May I strongly suggest you do, don't worry as well you can start at any book as they are easy to get in to without too much prior.

Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

LilGadgets Bestbuds Volume Limited In-Ear Style Headphones With Mic For Children (Includes Carrying Case) Pink
LilGadgets Bestbuds Volume Limited In-Ear Style Headphones With Mic For Children (Includes Carrying Case) Pink
Offered by LilGadgets EU
Price: £19.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for older kids, 30 May 2016
These were given to my 9 year old daughter to use with her Kindle and her Nintendo 2DS.

The first great thing about these was the handy little carry case which was nice and sturdy, and a good way to keep the headphones safe when not in use.

I would say these were built just as well as some adult brands I have seen, my daughter initially did find them a little uncomfortable but this was due to the fact she is not used to wearing such a thing but she soon got used to them and her first proper test was a thirty mile car journey were she found them great to use and we did not hear any noise seeping through from them which is always a plus.

There is a volume limiter on these so no worries about any damage to your kids ears.

My daughter really does love them and she feels so grown up with them on.

Thank you to LilGadgets for sending me kindly a pair in exchange for an honest review.

LilGadgets Connect+ Volume Limited Wired Headphones With Shareport For Children Pink
LilGadgets Connect+ Volume Limited Wired Headphones With Shareport For Children Pink

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The look of the more expensive brands at a fraction of the price., 30 May 2016
These are actually incredibly adorable and they have the look of the more expensive brands at a fraction of the price.

They are currently being rigorously tested by my 7 year old daughter (who is the same size as her 9 year old) sister, she loved them from the get go, as soon as they were out the box they were plugged straight in to her Nintendo 2DS and away she went. Her pal was also there at the time and they both told me that the headphones are very nice and comfy on their heads.

From a parents POV, they come with a handy carry bag which will probably be the first thing my daughter loses but it is good to have to protect them from dirt and other stuff.

The head phones themselves are fully adjustable with incredibly soft leathery material over the ear part, these were a cute pink colour and seem to be very easy to when the usual kiddy dirt of chocolate gets upon them.

As well as the 2DS they were also tested with a Kindle Fire HDX and again they proved to be a hit, I tried a listen myself and the sound quality was good.

I have always resisted buying my kids headphones in the past as some other brands don't look fit for purpose but these look incredibly sturdy and their next test will be a two week trip to America where I am sure they will cope well on the plane

I was very kindly sent these by LilGadgets in exchange for my honest review..

Saga Volume 2
Saga Volume 2
by Brian K Vaughan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, violent, sarcastic, funny, just some of the words which I have to describe the Saga series., 28 May 2016
This review is from: Saga Volume 2 (Paperback)
Sexy, violent, sarcastic, funny, just some of the words which I have to describe the Saga series.

It is such a good looking read, I mean the main characters are all kinds of gorgeous, there is a story but some times I get distracted by how lovely it all looks.

Anyway I better say that volume 2 continues with our new parents Alana and Marko on their journey across the universe with baby Hazel, trying to avoid the bad guys and in volume 2 everyone is trying to get to the author of a book that Alana was reading before she decided to run away with Marko. Confused, it makes perfect sense really - though maybe read my review of book one too!

The bad guys are not all bad but some are a little freaky, I mean you have Prince Robot IV (human body, TV head), The Stalk (80% eight legged freak, 20% sexy woman) and plenty of other crazy looking maniacs pop up too.

Marko's ex-girlfriend appears too, teaming up with bounty hunter The Will and his best sidekick ever Lying Cat as they hunt down our star crossed lovers.

It is such a wonderful ride, Saga, full of bloody beauty, it literally is a graphic novel, very graphic so if you are squeamish it is not for you but if you are strong of stomach and full of need for a freaking great sci-fi ride then hop on to this series.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
by Joseph Fink
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD....., 21 May 2016
If you are a regular reader to the blog you may have noticed my wittering about the Welcome to Night Vale podcast of late, I have been binge listening to the podcasts every night on my half hour drive home and they are totally amazing, they appeal to my crazy side.

I have now read the book and listened to about thirty five podcasts so I thought I had better share why I freaking love Night Vale and just because I feel like it, I shall be interviewing myself as to exactly what this crazy ass town is about.

Heather, first tell me where is Night Vale?

Well Heather to be honest I have no idea exactly where, well I kinda do but I was threatened by the Sheriffs Secret Police, well I might have been....I'm kinda fuzzy on the details.

It could be roughly here.....

Sheriffs Secret Police, that sounds a bit crazy!
Why are they secret, surely they have a big ass police station?

Mmmm, well the thing is that the police are secret, imagine ninjas. They fly around the sky in one of the many types of helicopters that buzz the sky above the town. Rumour has it that their police station is actually floating, hidden in the cloud above Night Vale.

What's with all the helicopters?

To be honest I don't know but I do know they come in a myriad of colours, there are black ones that may be a menacing government agency, yellow ones from who knows where and I believe the secret police have blue ones. Occasionally a strange helicopter appears, this does not go unnoticed believe me as the residents of Night Vale are well informed by the silken voice Cecil of Night Vale Radio.

Cecil, sounds nice tell me about him!

Well he is the host of the radio show which I listen to on my daily travels in the form of a handy podcast, this saves me having to travel to Night Vale. Cecil, dear Cecil, what a guy, I could listen to his voice all day long, imagine warm chocolate, rich velvet, smooth jazz, you get the idea.

Cecil from his studio tell us about the latest happenings in town such as the most up to date sighting of the man in the tan jacket, reminders not to go in the dog park, news about the school board which is governed by the menacing glow cloud, any news he is on it like a car bonnet.

His favourite subject has to be though the divine Carlos, a scientist who arrives in Night Vale and sets Cecil's heart a flutter with his smouldering looks and sciency ways. Their Ross and Rachel love story is adorable and Cecil really gets a giddy as a school girl, it is so sweet.

Hold up, rewind, never the sweet love story, WTF is the glow cloud?

ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD, ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD......Sorry what was I saying, yes the glow cloud, well it is a cloud and it glows, it is very interested in education and is head of the PTA.

Ok, well that kinda makes no sense whatsoever, what about this dog park?

Well, it is best to avoid it, like stay away, BEWARE!, the hood less figures hang around there and your safety really cannot be guaranteed if you go in but if you want to know more ask radio intern Dana who has first hand experience.

You know what Night Vale sounds really really dangerous!

Ha, no of course not, well it is maybe best to lock your doors at night and be careful in the Desert Flower Bowling Alley as there is a big problem with an underground city under lane 5. Also best to avoid the feral dogs that sneak around town too. Apart from that it is so wonderfully safe, just don't visit on street cleaning day or when there is a sandstorm or possibly during the Summer Reading Programme.

Are you telling me reading is dangerous in Night Vale?

Not reading but the library should be avoided at all costs, the librarians are not to be messed with. Entering the library may cost you more than book fines it may cost you your life.....

Okay so no browsing the library, is there anywhere safe to go?

Well possibly not but hey it is an experience, imagine the crazy love child of a Town Called Eureka, Twin Peaks and a s*** load of crazy pills.

Well I love a Town Called Eureka.....

Well, I only use that reference because Eureka was totally bonkers and full of mad scientists, imagine a scale of 1 to 10 with Eureka about 5, Night Vale would be about 100 - also if you have visited Charlaine Harris in Midnight, Texas you will also appreciate the sheer bonkerness. The residents really make this town, my favourites apart from obviously Cecil would have to be Old Woman Josie and her houseful of Erica's (they are angels, I know, awesome right!!) plus I do have a soft spot for that glow cloud.

So you mentioned a book? Is it safe to read?

Yes, it is perfectly safe it follows the story of Jackie who owns the pawn shop and what happens when she meets the man in the tan jacket, her visit to KING CITY and all sorts of stuff. She is joined in her travels by Diane Clayton and her interesting son Josh who being a teenager is quite the handful. It features all the wonderful weirdness from the podcast and happily Cecil appears too! The publishing types say this about the book.....

Night Vale is a small desert town where all the conspiracy theories you've ever heard are actually true. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.
Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked 'KING CITY' by a mysterious man in a tan jacket. She can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City before she herself unravels.
Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.
Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: 'KING CITY'. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures . . . if they can ever find it.

It is a great read and if the Sheriffs Secret Police are reading this which I am sure they are I happily give it 5 out of 5!

Ok Heather I am sold, I love crazy plus the fact I can listen to it as well as read it seems awesome, anything else I should know?

If you view the world with a serious mind, then this is not for you, if you can happily deal with spider wolves, malevolent clouds, killer librarians and all manner of crazy shit then this is for you.

Night Vale of course has a website here and a whole host of amazing merch that you can buy here. Also they go on tour too all over the world.

Visit Night Vale......ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD......

Resurgence (Silver Blackthorn Trilogy)
Resurgence (Silver Blackthorn Trilogy)
by Kerry Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great end to the series, 9 May 2016
I don't know about you but when a series has been consistently good there is always a fear that the last book will fall flat, it happens. Thankfully this, the third book in the thrilling dystopian Silver Blackthorn series is once more an excellent read.

Following on from Reckoning and Renegade, Resurgence makes for a satisfying read, following Silver, her friends and family as they try to keep under the radar of those who want them out of the picture notably the Minister Prime and King Victor.

I want to make sure this review is spoiler free, so don't expect any answers to questions from book 2!

But what I can tell you about Resurgence is that after everything Silver has been through in books 1 and 2, well she gets a lot more thrown at her and her friends, people will be lost, new friendships will be formed. Will Silver's story have a happy ending?

Kerry Wilkinson proves once more that he is a dab hand at the dystopian genre, this series as well as its British setting has been full of all the perfect aspects of dystopia, strong characters, menacing governments plus a hint of romance thrown in to the mix.

Resurgence did not disappoint and I hope Kerry delves in to dystopia again soon.

Thank you to Pan MacMillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

City Of Shadows (An Inspector Danilov Historical Thriller, Book 2)
City Of Shadows (An Inspector Danilov Historical Thriller, Book 2)
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good crime novel, 8 May 2016
This is my first novel by M J Lee and the second in the Inspector Danilov series.

Beautifully set during the 1920's in Shanghai, a city that is melting pot of culture and crime.

Like all good stories we have the main storyline which involves the murder of the Lee family who have been brutally executed within their own home. Inspector Danilov finds himself involved with cracking this case.

Danilov starts to investigate the murders of the family even though it is not technically his case, together with his fellow officer Strachan they try to solve this horrific crime.

A nice touch is the parallel storylines in the background which include Danilov's search for his missing wife and son as well as his relationship with his daughter who has come to live with him.

As a setting, Shanghai at any point in time is a striking setting but the 20's setting is just perfect, the mixture of the characters backgrounds, Russian, Scottish, Chinese makes for an interesting combination.

This is a gripping story from start to finish and like all good crime novels is atmospheric with menacing bad guys and no clue of whodunnit till the end.

Thank you to Neverland Book Tours for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

David Bowie: Starman
David Bowie: Starman
by Text by Laura Coulman Illustrations by Coco Balderrama
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice tribute, 7 May 2016
This review is from: David Bowie: Starman (Paperback)
There was no denying that David Bowie was a legend and depending on when you grew up, you may have your own favourite era of Bowie.

As a child of the 80's, my Bowie is Dancing in the Streets with Jagger and dancing with Aborigines in Let's Dance.

This new colouring book not only shows him in all of his iconic poses it also shares a little insight in to the Thin White Duke.

Each illustration is accompanied by quotes and info about David following his illustrious career, there are 30 pictures ranging from Ziggy Stardust to Labyrinth to my Dancing in the Street era Bowie.

As for the paper, I always prefer to use gel pens and it is perfect for them and of course pencils will also give a great result but like all books of this nature maybe do a test on an inconspicuous area before hand.

This is a nice book and a fitting tribute to Bowie, a great present for any Bowie fan.

Thanks to Plexus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

by Naomi Novik
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming fantasy with a subtle hint of menace and wee hint of romance, 2 May 2016
This review is from: Uprooted (Hardcover)
Straight away I knew Uprooted was going to be good, you usually know, don't you when a book is going to be a winner.

You start of full of that new book excitement and before you know it its two am and you are halfway through it, forgetting about the fact you have to be up for work in a matter of hours.

Our leading lady Agnieszka lives in a charming, small village on the outskirts of a large wood. The wood is not full of shafts of sunlight and pretty flowers, it is full of dark corrupted power, a power that swallows everything in it path and is creeping closer to her village.

Agnieszka, her family and friends have their own anti-hero, the Dragon. A wizard, he keeps the community safe from the wood and its evil reaches but this safety comes at a price, he takes a young girl from the village to serve him for ten years.

Of course the time has come for the next girl to be chosen, and as she is of age Agnieszka is one of the girls that he has to choose from but she knows she won't get taken, her best friend Kasia is a better choice.

Beautiful, clever, kind, she is perfect, she knows herself she will be taken, now that makes her sound a bit vain and full of herself but she isn't, she is just lovely. So it does come as a shock when the Dragon picks Agnieszka.

Travelling to the Dragon's home Agnieszka fears that she will be used and abused, but a note from a predecessor but her mind at ease and she begins to forge a life with her strange house mate.

To be honest they hold such contempt for each other that I was thinking she might poison him with her attempts at cooking but as they sort of bounce of one another and the Dragon comes to realise that he doesn't intimidate Agnieszka.

The Dragon teaches Agnieszka to use magic and she proves to be an able student, maybe too able as she demonstrates that she is a strong wielder of the power she is grasping. Their relationship changes considerably too and his character changes from a stuffy, arrogant, aristocratic wizard in to the dark and brooding young man that he is (or was, he is a wizard after all, his wizard driving license has quite an age on it), sparks fly between them as Agnieszka is proving to be his equal.

They are no longer servant and master, he becomes Sarkan to her, throwing away his dragon façade his walls come down and he lets her in, yes there is romance but it does not spoil the story and it is definitely not insta love.

Uprooted takes us deep in to the dark wood where strange things are stirring, strange things that have the power to take and possess people and they are creeping ever further to the edge of the wood taking more and more victims and spreading the wood ever further.

Agnieszka and Sarkan find themselves fighting against the power but have they met their match? Will they be strong enough to defeat it?

This was a delicious read with a consistently gripping storyline, I loved the characters especially Sarkan who I pictured as a Tom Hiddleston when he has long dark hair lookalike (Loki/Crimson Peak/Only Lovers Left Alive), he totally did a 360 in my opinion of him but Agnieszka was a great character, selfless and so brave, I kinda hope to hear more from this world as I felt a little bereft when I got the end.

Anyway as a charming fantasy with a subtle hint of menace and wee hint of romance, you cant go wrong with Uprooted.

Thank you to MacMillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest

Sleeping Giants: Themis Files Book 1
Sleeping Giants: Themis Files Book 1
by Sylvain Neuvel
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy and Giant Robots = Great Read, 24 April 2016
Quite frankly I am at a loss as to how to describe this book, so much it has taken me several months to get around to writing this review. Several reference points came to mind most notably Pacific Rim, a film that I actually prefer with the dialogue muted but it did have kick ass huge robots.

This book starts with a young girl falling down a hole and landing on a big ass hand. A big ass hand made from metal, buried deep under ground and the start of a mystery that is about to baffle scientists for years to come.

The girl who landed on the hand is Rose and as an adult she is now a physicist whose aim in life is to figure out where the hand came from.

The book is told in discussions with an interviewer, a guy who appears to be high government or possible above the government, he reminded me of those shadowy dudes you saw in the X-Files like Mr Cigarette Smoking Man. Anyway this guy seems to be a bit of bad ass with a very big vested interest in the hand.

I don't want to spoil the story for you as it is genius but lets just say that the hand is the tip of the iceberg and the books takes us on a global journey as more bits of its puzzle are found. It takes us to meet a group of people whose lives are thrown together to make sense of the puzzle.

This is an epic story and yep I have been helluva vague about it but it is sci-fi mystery at its best. The way it is written in the interview/diary makes for compelling reading, this story never felt boring or strung out, it was constantly entertaining and superbly written with something for everyone, yep there is even a hint of romance.

I also must mention it has one of those endings that truly makes you go WTF? WTF? just happened, an ending that means there must be more. That means waiting on another book and I am not patient!!

Thank you to Del Rey for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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