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Reviews Written by
Simon Redfern "redpants"

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The Death of Achilles: Erast Fandorin 4
The Death of Achilles: Erast Fandorin 4
by Boris Akunin
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erast Petrovich - back to sleuthing, 19 Aug. 2005
Erast Petrovich Fandorin must surely be crowned as the world's greatest detective. Only 26 and yet he has solved some of Russia's most difficult and violent cases, shown valour on the battlefields of Turkey, saved an ocean liner and developed ninja abilities in Japan. Now he is back to tread the mean streets of Moscow in this fourth book.
This is a real page turner. Akunin has forensically developed Fandorin's character over the last four books, and the translations by Andrew Bromfield are humourous and meticulous. The books are being published in an intriguing order, which means that we read about Fandorin's exploits without knowing some of his past history. For example we know he spent time in Japan, following Death on the Leviathan, but have yet to have seen any record of his exploits there.
Fandorin is beautifully crafted, that is one. The cases are difficult, twisted and carefully plotted, that is two. The atmosphere of pre-Soviet Russia, with its formality and rule book, is wonderfully constrictive, that is three.
Overall a brilliant detective novel, which is reinventing the genre and providing new twists and intrigue in a fully realised historically accurate world.

The Traveller (Fourth Realm Trilogy 1)
The Traveller (Fourth Realm Trilogy 1)
by John Twelve Hawks
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype, 17 Aug. 2005
I had just finished reading The Algebraist by Iain M Banks, and was really looking forward to getting into The Traveller. I lasted 3 chapters. It's not often I don't finish a book but I just felt I couldn't continue. The style is mechanical, the backstory is handed to you on a plate, the characters seem one dimensional. One trick is to read the dialogue (of which incidentally there is a huge amount) and to see if you can distinguish between the voices. It was impossible with this book. Maya sounds like Thorn sounds like Boone. In the end this is unsustainable, stilted and highly unsatisfying.
Really disappointing, grid or no grid.

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