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[ The 100 Morgan, Kass ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014
[ The 100 Morgan, Kass ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014
by Kass Morgan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 100, 28 May 2015
This is a really good YA sci-fi novel; the premise on which the book is based is not a new one, but it has been handled well here. Centuries after the possibility of life on Earth has been destroyed in the Cataclysm of a nuclear war, the remnants of humankind have been living on large ships in space. Now they are attempting to see if Earth could possibly be safe for humans to live on it again; to test the theory, the powers that be decide to send 100 convicted young criminals to Earth on a dropship. While there, their vital signs will be monitored remotely.

The story is narrated through the viewpoint of four of those criminals: Clarke, arrested for treason; Wells, the Chancellor’s son who ensures he is convicted so he can follow the girl he loves to Earth; Bellamy, who fights his way on board to save the sister he’s not supposed to have; and Glass, who wants to stay on the spaceship rather than go to Earth. But life on humanity’s sanctuary in space may not be as safe any longer as it has been. And what awaits the dropship on Earth?

This was a really good novel; it would have been nice to have a bit more action, and a little less introspection and teenage angst by the characters as they relived their earlier lives and the ways in which they had found themselves to this point. But given that the setup has now been laid out in this book, and given the ending of this book, there is a great opportunity for a sequel which promises much, both on Earth and in space. Great stuff.


The 100 - 100 Book 1
The 100 - 100 Book 1
by Kass Morgan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 100, 28 May 2015
This review is from: The 100 - 100 Book 1 (Paperback)
This is a really good YA sci-fi novel; the premise on which the book is based is not a new one, but it has been handled well here. Centuries after the possibility of life on Earth has been destroyed in the Cataclysm of a nuclear war, the remnants of humankind have been living on large ships in space. Now they are attempting to see if Earth could possibly be safe for humans to live on it again; to test the theory, the powers that be decide to send 100 convicted young criminals to Earth on a dropship. While there, their vital signs will be monitored remotely.

The story is narrated through the viewpoint of four of those criminals: Clarke, arrested for treason; Wells, the Chancellor’s son who ensures he is convicted so he can follow the girl he loves to Earth; Bellamy, who fights his way on board to save the sister he’s not supposed to have; and Glass, who wants to stay on the spaceship rather than go to Earth. But life on humanity’s sanctuary in space may not be as safe any longer as it has been. And what awaits the dropship on Earth?

This was a really good novel; it would have been nice to have a bit more action, and a little less introspection and teenage angst by the characters as they relived their earlier lives and the ways in which they had found themselves to this point. But given that the setup has now been laid out in this book, and given the ending of this book, there is a great opportunity for a sequel which promises much, both on Earth and in space. Great stuff.


By Simon Barnard The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy (Special Edition)
By Simon Barnard The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy (Special Edition)
by Simon Barnard
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nazad Conspiracy, 27 May 2015
“Chap with the fangs – five rounds rapid!”

This is the first story in the Scarifyers series. The story features Terry Molloy (well known for his work on Doctor Who, especially as Davros) as Professor Edward Dunning, and Nicholas Courtney (well known for his work as the Brigadier on Doctor Who) as Inspector Lionheart. In this first story set in December 1936, Professor Dunning, a keen writer of ghost-stories of the supernatural, is surprised by a visitor, who seems to be Russian, and who proceeds to throw himself out the window. The Metropolitan Police call in their finest, and Inspector Lionheart makes Dunning’s acquaintance. Lionheart is sceptical of anything remotely supernatural, and seeks rational explanations when further Russian émigrés die impossible deaths. Lionheart and Dunning soon find themselves in terrible danger. Together with Dunning’s Jack Russell terrier Digby, they must try and find out what is happening before it’s too late for everybody.

This is absolutely wonderful. It is a delight to hear Terry Molloy and Nicholas Courtney clearly enjoying themselves utterly in these roles. They have an instant rapport as the characters, and their acting skills lend themselves perfectly to the nuances of their vocal characterisations. The supporting cast does a brilliant job in bringing to life very disparate characters, and the story is complex, intriguing and totally entertaining. There is great wit and humour in the story and in the characters, and I look forward unreservedly to the next story in the series, The Devil of Denge Marsh.

This edition contains the full story of The Nazad Conspiracy, the full soundtrack to the story (by Edwin Sykes), and concludes with a short story set on Christmas Eve 1937, when octagenarian Arthur Fright is reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to himself, and is surprised to hear voices emanating from his chimney.


The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy by Simon Barnard on 19/02/2007 Special edition
The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy by Simon Barnard on 19/02/2007 Special edition

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nazad Conspiracy, 27 May 2015
“Chap with the fangs – five rounds rapid!”

This is the first story in the Scarifyers series. The story features Terry Molloy (well known for his work on Doctor Who, especially as Davros) as Professor Edward Dunning, and Nicholas Courtney (well known for his work as the Brigadier on Doctor Who) as Inspector Lionheart. In this first story set in December 1936, Professor Dunning, a keen writer of ghost-stories of the supernatural, is surprised by a visitor, who seems to be Russian, and who proceeds to throw himself out the window. The Metropolitan Police call in their finest, and Inspector Lionheart makes Dunning’s acquaintance. Lionheart is sceptical of anything remotely supernatural, and seeks rational explanations when further Russian émigrés die impossible deaths. Lionheart and Dunning soon find themselves in terrible danger. Together with Dunning’s Jack Russell terrier Digby, they must try and find out what is happening before it’s too late for everybody.

This is absolutely wonderful. It is a delight to hear Terry Molloy and Nicholas Courtney clearly enjoying themselves utterly in these roles. They have an instant rapport as the characters, and their acting skills lend themselves perfectly to the nuances of their vocal characterisations. The supporting cast does a brilliant job in bringing to life very disparate characters, and the story is complex, intriguing and totally entertaining. There is great wit and humour in the story and in the characters, and I look forward unreservedly to the next story in the series, The Devil of Denge Marsh.

This edition contains the full story of The Nazad Conspiracy, the full soundtrack to the story (by Edwin Sykes), and concludes with a short story set on Christmas Eve 1937, when octagenarian Arthur Fright is reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to himself, and is surprised to hear voices emanating from his chimney.


The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy
The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy
by Simon Barnard
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nazad Conspiracy, 27 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
“Chap with the fangs – five rounds rapid!”

This is the first story in the Scarifyers series. The story features Terry Molloy (well known for his work on Doctor Who, especially as Davros) as Professor Edward Dunning, and Nicholas Courtney (well known for his work as the Brigadier on Doctor Who) as Inspector Lionheart. In this first story set in December 1936, Professor Dunning, a keen writer of ghost-stories of the supernatural, is surprised by a visitor, who seems to be Russian, and who proceeds to throw himself out the window. The Metropolitan Police call in their finest, and Inspector Lionheart makes Dunning’s acquaintance. Lionheart is sceptical of anything remotely supernatural, and seeks rational explanations when further Russian émigrés die impossible deaths. Lionheart and Dunning soon find themselves in terrible danger. Together with Dunning’s Jack Russell terrier Digby, they must try and find out what is happening before it’s too late for everybody.

This is absolutely wonderful. It is a delight to hear Terry Molloy and Nicholas Courtney clearly enjoying themselves utterly in these roles. They have an instant rapport as the characters, and their acting skills lend themselves perfectly to the nuances of their vocal characterisations. The supporting cast does a brilliant job in bringing to life very disparate characters, and the story is complex, intriguing and totally entertaining. There is great wit and humour in the story and in the characters, and I look forward unreservedly to the next story in the series, The Devil of Denge Marsh.

This edition contains the full story of The Nazad Conspiracy, the full soundtrack to the story (by Edwin Sykes), and concludes with a short story set on Christmas Eve 1937, when octagenarian Arthur Fright is reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to himself, and is surprised to hear voices emanating from his chimney.


(Athena) BY (Banville, John) on 1996
(Athena) BY (Banville, John) on 1996
by John Banville
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Athena, 26 May 2015
This is the third book in the `Frames' trilogy (the others being `The Book of Evidence' and `Ghosts'). By now, the protagonist has changed his name, reinvented his life and started anew. He finds himself apparently working for a man whose persona shakes him to the core. Morden is deep, inscrutable, with a "boxer's big, splayed nose" and eyes like a "panther glance". His sidekick Francie the fixer is an "S-shaped, shabby, faintly grinning, glitter-eyed, limping character, tallish, thin, concave of chest ..." And Prince, the dog seems to have a mind of his own as well. Do these men know of Morrow's (for that's what he calls himself now) past? What do they really want from him? And who is `A'?

The narrator is his usual self; obscure, not really confirming that what he tells is is true or just as he may have misremembered it. Taking the tale sideways, as if he's afraid to look it straight in the eye, we slowly approach the core of his narrative. In this third book the tone of the narrator seems as obscure as his past; unreliable, wilfully ambiguous, allusive to classics, unclear, or is he just unsure of what he's recalling? Do we ever get to know? The tale told is personal; it seems addressed to somebody, but we must wade our way through the obscurities, the self-questionings, the byways of the story into other stories, to try to get to the core of the tale itself.

I don't feel that I enjoyed this book quite as much as the first two in the trilogy, but taken as a whole the three books are absolutely unique; master classes in the use of the English language, in the way that an author can take a narrator and make of him what he will, play the reader to the last word of the last book of the trilogy and still make him want more. Exhilarating.


Athena: Written by John Banville, 2010 Edition, (New Ed) Publisher: Picador [Paperback]
Athena: Written by John Banville, 2010 Edition, (New Ed) Publisher: Picador [Paperback]
by John Banville
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Athena, 26 May 2015
This is the third book in the `Frames' trilogy (the others being `The Book of Evidence' and `Ghosts'). By now, the protagonist has changed his name, reinvented his life and started anew. He finds himself apparently working for a man whose persona shakes him to the core. Morden is deep, inscrutable, with a "boxer's big, splayed nose" and eyes like a "panther glance". His sidekick Francie the fixer is an "S-shaped, shabby, faintly grinning, glitter-eyed, limping character, tallish, thin, concave of chest ..." And Prince, the dog seems to have a mind of his own as well. Do these men know of Morrow's (for that's what he calls himself now) past? What do they really want from him? And who is `A'?

The narrator is his usual self; obscure, not really confirming that what he tells is is true or just as he may have misremembered it. Taking the tale sideways, as if he's afraid to look it straight in the eye, we slowly approach the core of his narrative. In this third book the tone of the narrator seems as obscure as his past; unreliable, wilfully ambiguous, allusive to classics, unclear, or is he just unsure of what he's recalling? Do we ever get to know? The tale told is personal; it seems addressed to somebody, but we must wade our way through the obscurities, the self-questionings, the byways of the story into other stories, to try to get to the core of the tale itself.

I don't feel that I enjoyed this book quite as much as the first two in the trilogy, but taken as a whole the three books are absolutely unique; master classes in the use of the English language, in the way that an author can take a narrator and make of him what he will, play the reader to the last word of the last book of the trilogy and still make him want more. Exhilarating.


Athena by Banville, John published by Vintage (1996)
Athena by Banville, John published by Vintage (1996)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Athena, 26 May 2015
This is the third book in the `Frames' trilogy (the others being `The Book of Evidence' and `Ghosts'). By now, the protagonist has changed his name, reinvented his life and started anew. He finds himself apparently working for a man whose persona shakes him to the core. Morden is deep, inscrutable, with a "boxer's big, splayed nose" and eyes like a "panther glance". His sidekick Francie the fixer is an "S-shaped, shabby, faintly grinning, glitter-eyed, limping character, tallish, thin, concave of chest ..." And Prince, the dog seems to have a mind of his own as well. Do these men know of Morrow's (for that's what he calls himself now) past? What do they really want from him? And who is `A'?

The narrator is his usual self; obscure, not really confirming that what he tells is is true or just as he may have misremembered it. Taking the tale sideways, as if he's afraid to look it straight in the eye, we slowly approach the core of his narrative. In this third book the tone of the narrator seems as obscure as his past; unreliable, wilfully ambiguous, allusive to classics, unclear, or is he just unsure of what he's recalling? Do we ever get to know? The tale told is personal; it seems addressed to somebody, but we must wade our way through the obscurities, the self-questionings, the byways of the story into other stories, to try to get to the core of the tale itself.

I don't feel that I enjoyed this book quite as much as the first two in the trilogy, but taken as a whole the three books are absolutely unique; master classes in the use of the English language, in the way that an author can take a narrator and make of him what he will, play the reader to the last word of the last book of the trilogy and still make him want more. Exhilarating.


Athena
Athena
by John Banville
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Athena, 26 May 2015
This review is from: Athena (Paperback)
This is the third book in the `Frames' trilogy (the others being `The Book of Evidence' and `Ghosts'). By now, the protagonist has changed his name, reinvented his life and started anew. He finds himself apparently working for a man whose persona shakes him to the core. Morden is deep, inscrutable, with a "boxer's big, splayed nose" and eyes like a "panther glance". His sidekick Francie the fixer is an "S-shaped, shabby, faintly grinning, glitter-eyed, limping character, tallish, thin, concave of chest ..." And Prince, the dog seems to have a mind of his own as well. Do these men know of Morrow's (for that's what he calls himself now) past? What do they really want from him? And who is `A'?

The narrator is his usual self; obscure, not really confirming that what he tells is is true or just as he may have misremembered it. Taking the tale sideways, as if he's afraid to look it straight in the eye, we slowly approach the core of his narrative. In this third book the tone of the narrator seems as obscure as his past; unreliable, wilfully ambiguous, allusive to classics, unclear, or is he just unsure of what he's recalling? Do we ever get to know? The tale told is personal; it seems addressed to somebody, but we must wade our way through the obscurities, the self-questionings, the byways of the story into other stories, to try to get to the core of the tale itself.

I don't feel that I enjoyed this book quite as much as the first two in the trilogy, but taken as a whole the three books are absolutely unique; master classes in the use of the English language, in the way that an author can take a narrator and make of him what he will, play the reader to the last word of the last book of the trilogy and still make him want more. Exhilarating.


Trial of the Valeyard (Doctor Who)
Trial of the Valeyard (Doctor Who)
by Alan Barnes
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trial of the Valeyard, 25 May 2015
The name of the Valeyard casts dread into the mind of any fan of Doctor Who, for it was he who prosecuted the Sixth Doctor in the Trial of a Timelord stories, back in 1986. Who was the Valeyard? What did he want, and why was he so determined to see the Doctor fall? These questions permeated the Trial of a Timelord season, and still remained mysteriously vague after that storyline had ended. This story is a chance to revisit the Valeyard, his past and his motivations. This Big Finish audio story was first available in 2013 only to those Big Finish purchasers who had a subscription, but has been made available for general purchase since December 2014. It features the last performance of Lynda Bellingham as Inquisitor Darkel, before the actress’ tragic battle with cancer.

The Doctor has been hijacked in the Tardis, and finds himself in a space station. He quickly realises that somebody has brought him here for a purpose, and refuses to join in. But curiosity quickly gets the better of him, and he finds himself in a trial room with Inquisitor Darkel presiding. This time it’s not the Doctor who is on trial, but he has been specially requested to be present – as Counsel for the defence.

This is a brilliant 60 minute story. It features only four cast members – Colin Baker as the Doctor, Lynda Bellingham as Darkel, Michael Jayston as the Valeyard, and John Banks as the Hermit. Although there are other characters ‘present’ in the background and the action, you only ever hear these four players. And they carry the complex and engrossing story perfectly. It is wonderful to hear Michael Jayston reprise the role of the Valeyard – dark, brooding and malevolent. There are dark secrets afoot that the Doctor and the Valeyard have their own reasons for hiding or sharing, and the Timelords themselves are not prepared to let anyone stand in the way of them protecting their own secrets. A complex story of intrigue, bluff and ultimate revelations unfolds before the spellbound listener. Utterly enthralling, and totally recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2015 3:27 AM BST


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