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B. Francis

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ResultSport® Waterproof KeySafe Bag with Armband for Watersport - Fishing, Canoeing, Flyboard, Jet Skiing, Kayaking, Kitesurfing, Rafting, Rowing, Sailing, Skurfing, Surfing, Wakesuring
ResultSport® Waterproof KeySafe Bag with Armband for Watersport - Fishing, Canoeing, Flyboard, Jet Skiing, Kayaking, Kitesurfing, Rafting, Rowing, Sailing, Skurfing, Surfing, Wakesuring
Offered by ResultSport
Price: £14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Broke after about 10 uses, 6 Oct. 2013
I used this for surfing on a trip I just got back from. It was great at first but after a few uses when I got out the water the pouch had leaked and my car keys were swimming in their own private paddling pool! I had double checked the seals before going in. Luckily I do not have an electronic car key, but if I did I would have been stranded out of my car in a foreign city walking around in a wetsuit....

When the Lion Feeds
When the Lion Feeds
by Wilbur Smith
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly one of the best novels written., 15 July 2007
This review is from: When the Lion Feeds (Paperback)
I've just finished this book for probbaly the fifth or sixth time, i forget which, and it is still as good as the first time i read it about six years ago.

I've since read every one of Wilbur's offerings, so how funny that his first published book should be arguably his best.

Put simply, it's just a great, great story. It has it all. War, Violence, love and tragedy. It paints a beautifull and realistic picture of late 1800s South Africa.

That's all that needs to be said really, just read it for yourself, you won't be dissapointed.

The Sunbird
The Sunbird
by Wilbur Smith
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best, 15 July 2007
This review is from: The Sunbird (Paperback)
I've been reading Wilbur Smith almost excluively for seven years now. I've read all of his novels, most of them twice. He is an incredible author and this is one of his best books; definatly in the top five and a contender for his best stand-alone book.

The best thing about The Sunbird is that it really makes you feel for the characters, in particular the main character, Dr Ben Kazin.

It's split up into two different sections. The first is set in the modern day and deals with Archeologists uncovering an ancient city. The second section goes back in time and describes the the downfall of the city, introducing characters parrallel to those found in the first half.

This isn't something Smith usually does but here it has worked really well. What brilliant tales of strife, violence, love and war he spins! This is one of his best. It'll make you want to believe it actually happened. I lost several days of a holiday to this book and i can't say i regretted it.

The Quest
The Quest
by Wilbur Smith
Edition: Hardcover

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's missed his fans by a mile., 15 July 2007
This review is from: The Quest (Hardcover)
I would say that the quest is not a bad book, but it is so far removed from the others as to almost alienate large sections of his fanbase. I have read all of Wilbur's books and this one stands alone as a fantasy novel rather than the well researched historical adventures that i am used to.

If you are into fantasy then the book is quite a good read; Smith describes fantasic and colourful scenery and characters.

The problem is that almost all of Smith's fans aren't. If you are used to the realism of his great books like When the Lion Feeds and Birds of Prey then you will barely believe what you are hearing. To an average Smith fan, the plot is outlandish and at times laughable. It's sad to see that so many people hate this book, because it really isn't all that bad, but Taita is one of Smith's most loved characters, and perhaps his first dive into fantasy shouldn't have used him as the Guinea Pig.

There are also quite a few consistancy problems with the earlier novels in the series which serve to annoy long term fans. (When did Wilbur decide that Lostris' baby name was Fenn?!)

Wilbur Smith has set a very high standard for his novels, and this one does indeed fall short of it, however i get the feeling that if this was his first book there would be lots of fantasy fans giving it four stars rather than the miserable ones and twos it's getting. He's done a very brave thing jumping into the genre of fantasy, but it looks like it's not going to pay off for him unfortunatly.

Also it's really, really, really long! It could be a series in itself - Perhaps that would have worked better; a fantasy series about the fight against the lie...

Nice try Wilbur, but lets have a good old African adventure in 2009 before you put all your fans off for good. I'd like to see what happpens to the Courney family after Blue Horizon!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2010 3:02 PM BST

Icky Thump
Icky Thump
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to the hype and adds a lot on., 5 July 2007
This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
It's an album which certainly had high expectations before it arrived, and I'm pleased to say it meets up to them very well indeed.

Get Behind Me Satan had quite a lot of songs based on piano playing but this isn't the case here. It's a largely guitar based album with a few notable exceptions.

The White Stripes are often compared to Led Zeppelin and you can see why. For perhaps the first time they have demonstrated their ability to play a wide variety of music styles. Gentler blues numbers like 300mph Torrential Outpour Blues go alongside the traditional White Stripes sounds found on Bone Broke. Again in parallel with Zeppelin, they've delved into a bit of folk. Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn is reminiscent of The Battle of Evermore. It's a brilliant song and one you can't help but to sing along to. It stirs up thoughts of country living and rolling hills.

All in all a magical journey through a variety of music styles, with some classic White Stripes punch thrown in to boot. There's a reason why it's gone straight to number one...

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey ( XPLOSIV PC DVD ROM)
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey ( XPLOSIV PC DVD ROM)
Offered by Genius Factory Shop
Price: £14.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Graphics and Storyline!, 5 July 2007
Dreamfall is visually great and has a top notch story line, but if you are expecting a point and click style adventure game like its predecessor The Longest Journey then think again.

First off it's worth saying that your enjoyment of the game will be much greater if you have played, liked (and preferably completed) The Longest Journey. The twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia are complicated places, and if you aren't familiar with them then Dreamfall will leave you wondering what in the name of the balance is going on...

The game follows a couple of weeks in the life of Zoe Castillo. Solving puzzles, sneaking past guards and some somewhat limited fighting is the order of the day. It reminds me of the Shenmue games in a way because it is very dependant on the storyline; much more so than the gameplay. Don't get me wrong, the gameplay isn't bad, but without the brilliant storyline and quality voice acting it wouldn't be much of a game. There is a lot of dialogue. Sometimes it seems more like you are watching a film than playing a game. There are some sections where you don't actually have to do anything other than walk around and listen to people for perhaps 30 minutes at a time. If you can't stand listening to dialogue then you probably won't like Dreamfall.

The graphics are superb; they really are eye candy of the highest level. I particularly like the water and particle effects, and all the characters are really well modelled and animated. Even the randoms. What is really great to see is some of the locations from The Longest Journey put into glorious 3D. As soon as you arrive you think, "Wait, I've been here before..." There's an instant sense of familiarity and you even find yourself knowing in which direction a certain place is based on your memory of the 2D drawings that April Ryan walked over.

I don't have the best system, (NVIDIA FX 5200, 512mb RAM and a Celeron 2.55 GHz) but I was still able to play the game on high graphic quality settings with minimal loss of frame rate.

One criticism I would have to make is that almost all of the puzzles are quite easy. It seems obvious what you have to do most of the time. I didn't find myself stuck even once. It's not a bad length but I was wishing I could have played it for a bit longer when it ended. The ending is pretty open so I guess there'll be a sequel on its way. There is little or no replay value...

All in all an intriguing game with brilliant graphics and storyline, but not too much to offer in the gameplay department. It's a must if you enjoyed The Longest Journey and the Shenmue series.

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