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Profile for Marcus Allgood > Reviews

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Content by Marcus Allgood
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Marcus Allgood (Jersey)

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Arrows of Fury: Empire II (Empire series)
Arrows of Fury: Empire II (Empire series)
by Anthony Riches
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel, 20 Jun. 2010
Having been a fan of Bernard Cornwell, Scarrow's Eagle books, Iggledon's Genghis series, (and more recently) Kane's Forgotten Legion books and Sidebottom's Warrior of Rome books, I was delighted to come across Anthony Riches whilst wandering around in a bookshop, quite by chance. His first, "Wounds of Honour", was a real page turner, and "Arrows of Fury" (the second in the series) does not disappoint. There is character development in this book betweeen Marcus, Ruffius, Dubnus and Juluis, and one feels real comradery between the four men and their quest to train the Syrian archers.
Perhaps my one point of criticism would be the over use of violence for the sake of violence. A lot of it seemed to be needless and often it did not add to the story line. I understand that Riches spent many years writing his first book and found writing the second one more difficult - certainly he has done a good job with it and I am really looking forward to reading the third one. Scarrow's books have become tired and his series could have perhaps been sewn up a while ago; Sidebottom's second "Warrior Of Rome: King of Kings" was was no match for the first "Warrior Of Rome: Fire In The East"; and Kane's "Silver Eagle" showed massive improvement in storyline, character development, and writing ability from "The Forgotten Legion". I would put Riches and Kane on a par in terms of readability and ability to create a page turner. Both have a final book to bring out and I will buy both and enjoy my comparisons between these new authors!

Warrior of Rome, Part 2: King of Kings
Warrior of Rome, Part 2: King of Kings
by Harry Sidebottom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first, 20 Jun. 2010
I enjoyed the first of Sidebottom's books in this series as a light read; hence I bought the second one. Unfortunately there has been no improvement in terms of writing style and plot line - quite the reverse in fact! For example, the character development of Bastilla has been mimimal and he does not come across as the strong general that he is meant to be portrayed as.
There is an extraordinary amount of detail regarding Rome, its culture, its army and its enemies, and whereas this is very interesting to those who want to delve deep in to Roman lifestyle, it is to the detriment of the characters. Could Sidebottom not have reduced this level of political detail to focus on what I thought was the point of the book - the fictional characters he is writing about?
Will I buy the third? Probably, but not in hardback. I hope that more of the style of the first can be captured in the third - and the details of Rome can be reduced so that we begin to really care about Bastilla et al again!
Not a bad read...but not the exciting follow up to the first book that I was expecting.

VTech Kidizoom Plus Multimedia Digital Camera (Pink)
VTech Kidizoom Plus Multimedia Digital Camera (Pink)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indestructable!, 5 Jun. 2010
The camera is easy to use and very strong - it has withstood being thrown and bounced and dropped and fought over(and I even fished it out of the sink recently and it appears to be OK...it was only in the water for a matter of seconds but it might have been disasterous in something not as strong! I WOULDN'T recommend dropping the camera in water on purpose though)
It can take lots of photos without the need for an extra memory card - I have seen up to 800 on it so far and think it might store more than this. The games are good fun and the camera is pretty easy to use by even quite young children. Some three year olds we had over recently found it easy to master within minutes of picking it up.
The photos can be edited and enhanced relatively easily and the quality of the photos is really not too bad. As for the price - well, I think it is well worth the money. It does use up batteries quite quickly but the life of the batteries can be extended by turning off the sound and effects when reviewing pictures.

Petzl Tikka2 XP -
Petzl Tikka2 XP -

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent head torch, 5 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Petzl Tikka2 XP - (Sports)
This is very compact and lightweight, as well as being incredibly powerful. The design is good and it's easy to use, as well as being strong enough to withstand a considerable amount of water spashing off the roads and heavy rain. The torch is more powerful than the one on the Tikka Plus, which I had before investing in this one and that my wife still uses, and fortunately the XP2 model doesn't use up its batteries at the rate of knots. I'd say it'd be a great torch for those who use head torches frequently and do not want a great weighty thing attached to their forehead!
It's not too pricey - and I notice that it comes in a more "female friendly" purple/iris colour too so might get one like this for my wife to use when we are out on evening bike rides.
Great value.

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