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Angela "I love to read, particularly sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and the classics. I'm a librarian and have a long commute so get a chance to read lots"

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Basement Style
Basement Style
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £33.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Copy - Finally, 16 April 2013
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This review is from: Basement Style (Audio CD)
I first bought this CD when it came out back in 2001 after I read a glowing review of it Kerrang! magazine and a comparison to The Clash was used.
I've loved it since I first heard it and have seen the guys live many times.
I had to re-buy this as I haven't been able to find my original copy for over a year and it's been driving me mad. Glad I've managed to get hold of it again.


Reign: Genesis
Reign: Genesis
Price: £3.71

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent First Novel, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Reign: Genesis (Kindle Edition)
First of all, I would like to thank the author for giving me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not often asked by authors to review their work so when I am asked I'm slightly wary in case I hate the book and I inadvertently hurt someone's feelings. After reading the synopsis and other reviews for this book (which range in ratings - something I consider a good thing as if they were all 5* ratings I would be rather suspicious of the bias) I thought I would take Wergin up on his offer and give this a go.

The book is set in modern day and although described as a survival in a post-apocalyptic America, it really doesn't have that urgent and despairing dystopic feel for me so I viewed this as more of a governmental conspiracy theory and the initial breakdown of modern society.

The story itself is interesting but I found the character descriptions to be rather vacant and blasé so I could not empathise with them at all. In fact, I could have cared less about them as their physical descriptions were just a bit too much for me and rather tiresome to read about; I don't care how the light shines on someone's hair and how perfect their backside is, or how you can lose yourself looking into their eyes. These are unimportant details for me and I felt the character descriptions held the story back.

The pace of the book, once it got going (about 20% in), was great. I really enjoyed reading about the escape to Safe Haven and the inevitable cabin fever problems that this could cause. There was plenty of action to keep the story moving along nicely and I even started to like the main protagonist, Owen. (view spoiler). I enjoyed the conspiracy theory direction that Wergin took and I enjoyed how Owen became a one man army and started blowing s*** up (view spoiler).

What I really don't understand about this book, and what made me seriously question that I was in fact reading the same book, was the `other beings' bit that was explained near the end (chapter 40 I believe). This `other beings' bit was only hinted at once during a fight scene and it was a `blink and you'll miss it' sort of moment, or in my case it was a `what the h**l was that?!' kind of moment and a section I had to reread to make sure I hadn't gone mad.

Now don't get me wrong, this particular chapter was very well written and interesting, but I just don't see what it had to do with the rest of the book. It felt like an afterthought in trying to make the book a bit more `sci-fi' (which it certainly is not) and was therefore tagged on to the back of the book to help set up a sequel. I feel this particular chapter did not mesh with the rest of the book at all and really do not understand its origins. It would work great as a short story on its own but I don't think it belongs in this book.

There were quite a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes scattered throughout the book and I feel it would greatly benefit being professionally proofread. Silly things like "per say" instead of "per se", "too" instead of "to", quotation marks not correctly closed, etc. etc. All things which can be easily fixed and would vastly improve the book.

Overall, this was a decent book with plenty of action. A bit disjointed at times (and a section that made no sense to me in the context of the story) but generally well executed.


The Mole People Beneath the City
The Mole People Beneath the City
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Short Story, 8 April 2013
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Fun and rather creepy short story by Light. I always love it when a recommendation by a virtual stranger on the Internet works out well (thanks Andrea!)

I would be interested to see if Light expands the idea of the Mole People and the city underground, there is definitely something good here to work with to develop this world.


Primal Shift: Part 1: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller
Primal Shift: Part 1: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller
Price: £0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to a New Series, 8 April 2013
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In a similar style to the superb Yesterday's Gone: Season One series by Sean Platt and David Wright, Hayes has started an episodic post-apocalyptic series.

The set up is very similar to Platt and Wright's series, where we are introduced to differing characters from across the United States and how they initially cope with the events that are occurring around them. As such, I felt very at ease with the set-up and I like the use of releasing the story in parts as it entices you to read further to find out what happens (good marketing trick that, especially if done correct, as is the case here).

I enjoy Hayes' writing and have read a couple of his short stories before buying this one after a recommendation. I tought this introduction to his new series was very good and I look forward to reading the rest and find out where Hayes will take it.


The Bunker Diary
The Bunker Diary
by Kevin Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Brooks' Best, 8 April 2013
This review is from: The Bunker Diary (Paperback)
Another excellent book by Brooks. I'm a big fan of his work and personally I think this is one of his best (alongside Naked and iBoy). His writing is always so gritty and realistic which I find refreshing in the YA market. In fact, it seems almost insulting that Brooks is categorised as a YA author as his writing is always so much darker than what is stereotypically perceived when "YA" is ever mentioned.

I can't go in to any depth discussing this novel as it would cause far too many spoilers for potential readers. All I can really say is that his characterisations are superb and even though the events in this book all occur in the one location of a bunker, his world-building is still exceptional. Also, in true Brooks style, we are left with an open ending which serves to raise more questions than it answers, but that is one of the main reasons why I love his writing so much. He makes you think about the bigger picture and this story certainly lingers on well after finishing it.

If you like your YA with a bit more horror and realism then I would highly recommend this one.


Quarantine: A Novel
Quarantine: A Novel
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Historical Fiction, 13 Mar. 2013
Read from September 10th to September 13th 2012

I'm a fan of historical fiction and I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find a book that I enjoy within this genre as so many do disappoint. This one did not disappoint me at all.

I read Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks in 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed it so I do like to look for books with a similar theme.
`Quarantine' fitted that description and lived up to my expectations. It was very well written and Smolens' prose was excellent - his characterisations were realistic and his world-building well done. There was plenty of action in this book and so much descriptive ailments caused by the plague that it really isn't for the faint of heart. I was impressed with Smolens' knowledge on medical care that would have been popular in the period this book was set and for how his introduction to more modern procedures caused debate between the characters. I also liked the fact that Smolens' gave a reason for the quick and vast spread of the plague (a theory yes, but one that I feel bears much weight).

Overall, an interesting and fast-paced read. I will be on the lookout for more books by Smolens in the future.

*An advance reader copy was kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley*.


Wool (Wool Trilogy Series Book 1)
Wool (Wool Trilogy Series Book 1)
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 8 Mar. 2013
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This was pretty awesome. Utterly engaging, one of the best cases of world-building I've come across, and rather frightening in parts. Certainly not perfect but by far one of the better books I've read in a long time.


Chasers: Number 1 in series (Alone)
Chasers: Number 1 in series (Alone)
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 6 Mar. 2013
2.5*

Read from December 20th to 27th 2012.

This was a very easy read (it only took me so long as Christmas activities got in the way).

Phelan is a good writer but parts of this book I found rather boring and repetitive. Some scenes are skimmed over which would be really interesting to read if Phelan had gone in to more detail instead of rushing it, such as the exploration of a decaying city or the exploration of apartments in an empty skyscraper. These scenes felt like filler to a back story but if they had been given more attention they could have added extra depth to the book as a whole, and certainly would have helped with the world-building which felt a bit flat to me.

When I requested this I was expecting some kind of dytopian featuring vampires. What I got instead was no explanation at all as to what caused everyone to become so thirsty (and not just for blood but for any liquid, so does this make vampires? Not in my opinion), and no insight or hints are even given as to what caused the initial breakdown of society. We are given conspiracy theories by the survivors in the book, but it is all conjecture and there is nothing to back it up with. I was really disappointed when I finished the book and realised that I, as a reader, would be given no explanation whatsoever.

There is a fair bit of action in this book to keep (younger) readers entertained but a lot of it felt quite strained to me. The (blood)thirsty people featured in this book, nicknamed `chasers', didn't really provide anything new or terrifying with their shambling as they try to find a liquid source, and their rather sporadic acts of violence were not described with any originality.

The `twist', as such, I figured out fairly early on in the book so was not surprised at all by that or by what happened at the end. Saying that, I think younger readers would love this, especially as a first foray into this genre, as it is rather despairing and provides plenty of action to keep them entertained.

Although written well, I was generally disappointed with this book as a whole as I was expecting more from the synopsis. For me, this would be a much read if more attention to detail was given to the `exploring' sections of the book and if an explanation was given about what was causing the infection. Although disappointed, I think this would be a good starting point for younger readers to be introduced to this particular genre and have even recommended my local library to purchase a copy.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Present, 4 Mar. 2013
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I bought this for my mother as she was after a new handbag.
Normally I like to buy bags in person as I like to check the stitching and general quality so I was relieved to find this bag was good quality when it arrived.
The only down side to this bag is that there is no inner pocket so I'm going to see if I can make one myself to fit inside.


Entangled
Entangled
by Cat Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, 4 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Entangled (Paperback)
I enjoyed this one.
Grace, the protagonist, was annoying and grated on me more than I expected but I still felt sorry for her and understood her behaviour throughout the book.
The 'twist', as such, I had already figured out pretty early on but was still good to actually read it and see how Clarke was going to reveal it.
There wasn't a character I didn't particularly dislike at all throughout this book, which is somewhat of a rare occurance for me. My favourites were Devon and Sophie though; background characters but they were written with such depth and realism.
I will definitely be on the lookout for the rest of Clarke's work.


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