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Read Me (West Midlands, UK)

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Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld)
Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld)
by Kelley Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope theres more..., 21 May 2008
If you've read any of the series by Kelley Armstrong then you may already know that Hope Adams is no ordinary tabloid reporting, Cabal avoiding, werewolf dating girl. Shes also a half demon who thrives on chaos and can up the ante when shes near its effects. In this book Hope gets called in by Benicio Cortez (head of the Cortez Cabal) in order to do some undercover work infiltrating a gang. Sounds simple enough until you throw in Hope's on-off jealous werewolf partner Karl. Then throw in Lucas Cortez (Benicio's son and a handy sorcerer) his wife Paige (witch and moral guidance) and also someone who wants the Cabal leaders dead. Hope has no idea who to trust or how to avoid getting more drawn to her chaos side, when a man is bleeding to death infront of you you aren't really meant to enjoy the vibes.
This is a really good book and a great addition to the series. But thats an important point - if you haven't read the series a lot of whats happening will make no real sense. Also Hope and Karl's first story was in a short story anthology (Dates From Hell) if you missed that then you may wonder where these people have come from!
Its a great book and I love the world that Armstrong has created for her characters, she launches you into the story without really stopping for breath. The dual narration between Hope and Lucas is also a nice way of giving us two sides to events and upping the suspicion and mistrust. As always I look forward to the next book.

The Crystal Skull
The Crystal Skull
by M.C. Scott
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure Indiana Jones does it better...., 21 May 2008
At face value this book should be a good adventure/thriller. Along the lines of find treasure, avoid killers, use treasure to save the world (a little bit Indiana Jones). It does start out like this. Husband and wife team Kit and Stella are searching Yorkshire caves for the legend that is the crystal skull - after finding the secret clues in Cedric Owens' diaries. All good so far, Stella finds the skull but shock horror there is someone with them in the cave who will stop at nothing to steal the treasure.
Interweaved with Stella's story is that of Cedric, keeper of the skull during the 1600s. His role is to protect the skull and find where its world saving end will be based. I have to admit that Cedric's adventures in Spain and the New World wore more gripping than Stella's self absorbed tale. However it is the armageddon averting ending that ended the book which was probably the main let down, if you blinked while reading the end you'll miss it - in fact I probably did because by then I'd just lost all interest in what was going on.
This book had all the potential and the writing style wasn't that bad so I just don't know what went wrong. Perhaps its the fact that there are 12 skulls and you just expect more things to happen. Obviously read it if you're a fan of the author as you probably will like it, but if you're looking for a good thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat reading into the darkness then I'm afraid this isn't it.

Crossed Bones
Crossed Bones
by Jane Johnson
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why aren't there more books like this?, 21 May 2008
This review is from: Crossed Bones (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to this book having been enticed by the cover blurb. I have to say it didn't disappoint. The story begins with the end of Julia's affiar with her friend's husband - his parting gift (accidentally) is a needlework book dating from the 1620s. Written in its margins is the story of Cat a nineteen year old girl living in Cornwall longing for excitement and a route away from a life married off to her cousin Rob. Cat gets her wish in the most unlikely fashion when Berber pirates kidnap her along with many other villagers and plan to sell them as slaves in Morocco. Cat's story is very much the tale of a girl struggling to find a place in the world, whether thats in Cornwall, Morocco or on a pirate ship.
Julia meanwhile is determined to keep this gift that her ex-lover Michael is desperate to get back. She travels to Morocco not only to get away from him but also to follow in Cat's footsteps.
The mirroring of both Cat and Julia with their different journeys was a nice way of building tension and keeping me guessing. As other reviewers have said they are both quite shallow characters - not always illiciting much sympathy from the reader. But the need to know what happened to Cat and find out how her story ends carries the book along at a great pace. My only criticism is that the slightly supernatural element right at the end of the book was unneccesary.
If you want something that has a dash of adventure mixed in with romance, and not too historcial then this could be the book for you.

Where Demons Dare (Rachel Morgan 6)
Where Demons Dare (Rachel Morgan 6)
by Kim Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but..., 5 May 2008
Its been sooo long since the last book that I literally forgot who all the secondary charceters were. I read a lot of fantasy series and the authors have just got to try and speed up!
Anyway - its a great book. As always everything starts off nice and normal, how could a shopping trip go wrong? Well if a demon turns up to kill you thats pretty bad, and then your mom starts flirting with another demon. Rachel's day is not going well. So throw in some Elf issues, a houseful of pixies, a werewolf alpha suggesting pack tatoos and its all back on track.
As the other reviewers have noted the plot sags when the action tails off for a while, but we learn lots of new info in this book so theres plenty of life in the series. I just hope that the on-off relationship between Rachel and Ivy is sorted, the will they won't they always interrupts the plot. As always the book drops another plot bombshell at the end leaving us to wonder how Rachel will cope with the changes in her life, I for one will keep wondering until the next book. I just hope that harrison doesn't keep me waiting too long.

Poison Study (MIRA)
Poison Study (MIRA)
by Maria V. Snyder
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Obvious...but thats not a bad thing, 28 April 2008
This review is from: Poison Study (MIRA) (Paperback)
This has all the makings of a traditional semi-fantasy trilogy: Castles, soldiers, magicians, forests and poison. The fact that I was so gripped by this that i read it in 5 hours proves that its a good, well written book (also not difficlut to read). Its only with hindsight that I start to think its got elements of many other fantasy novels, mainly Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy (lone girl forced into training in role she doesn't want falls in love with her superior) but we'll have to see how it goes - and I absolutely want to read the next books.
If you want the details - Yelena is about to be hanged for a murder that she did commit, but Valek the Commander's right hand man gives her an alternative fate. Become a poison taster for the Commander. Not a bad deal except for the certain death. Cue many adventures and lots of running round castles and forests.
All in all its a good book, a little predictable, but still very entertaining!

A Lick Of Frost (Meredith Gentry 6)
A Lick Of Frost (Meredith Gentry 6)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has Laurell finally found the plot?, 16 Jan. 2008
Well, I won't give away the secrets of the book but it is certainly better than the latest offerings from LKH. There are no sex scenes until chapter 15 which has got to be a record! This thankfully means that some of the plot has come back. Sadly as usual the plot is mainly court intrigue and politics.
My only real criticism of this book is that it keeps you reading right until the last few chapters when some really major things happen then finishes dead. I know series books are supposed to build tension and keep you on the edge of your seat, but LKH has really lost this - you could easiily read the last few chapters of this and not worry about the rest of the book. Does she actually write 3 good chapters and then just pad the rest out? Hmmm...

Long Way Down
Long Way Down
by Charley Boorman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not the same as LWR, but that ain't a bad thing...., 27 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
So first off Long Way Round was better, its always going to be better because it was their first trip. That doesn't make this book worse, it just makes it different. There is a different feel to this book, you don't get to read about most of the setting up - choosing bikes, finding sponsors, sorting routes out. That was something I missed because it makes it seem a bit too easy to jump on a bike and ride down to Cape Town. Also there is definitely a lot more tension in this book, the arguments and petty squabbles seem to worry everyone alot more.
All that said though, it is a great book, and shows that you should take a risk in discovering things for yourself. The photos in the book are brilliant as usual, and I agree with another reviewer that it would have been nice to have a bit more info about the rest of the team - because it is a huge team effort. Phoning the RAC from Africa proves that!
All in all its a great read for the armchair traveller and Ewan and Charley's enthusiasm shines through all the sand storms, dust and fallings off!

Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
by Jeremy Mercer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.47

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning!!!, 10 Aug. 2007
This is a great book, brilliant to read if you've been to Paris or love wandering around old bookshops. Well worth reading if you want to soak up some atmosphere.

However be warned this is the same book as Bedbugs and Baguettes by the same author, just a new title and cover, therefore buy one of the other but not both!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2011 11:45 AM GMT

The Crossing. Conquering the Atlantic in the World's Toughest Rowing Race
The Crossing. Conquering the Atlantic in the World's Toughest Rowing Race
by Ben Fogle
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two naked men in a boat...., 1 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you missed this when it was shown on tv (briefly in a one off show) then this is the story of Ben (TV host, bit posh) and James (Olympic rower, v competitive) and their race to row across the Atlantic. Its all fairly self explanatory - find a rowing partner, buy a boat, row in straight line, meet friends and family on other side of ocean. But things are never that easy.

This book gives you both sides of the story, and makes it very clear that Ben and James didn't always get on. The arguments, tantrums, bickering and resentments all make this a more honest account of their journey. I like the format of this book, in the sense that you get one account first, then followed on by the others, leading you to draw your own conclusions when sometimes they don't add up.

The actual race itself sounds amazing. The team were very underprepared and no-one thought they stood a chance of even starting, but somehow they made it. Then its all about the hard slog across the Atlantic including highlights of rowing with dolphins and the low points of capsizing in the night.

This is a great book, thoroughly recommended for anyone who is an armchair adventurer.

Point Of No Return
Point Of No Return
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Some classic tracks..., 8 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Point Of No Return (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant cd which I have to buy after my original cassette got chewed up, I listened to it that much!

The Hans Zimmer tracks are very 80s synth - not that that's a bad thing. They work more in context if you've seen and enjoyed the film, but otherwise they are good atmospheric music.

The Nina Simone tracks are priceless however. For any fans of Nina Simone these tracks must be among the best. This is the only album I know of which has Brilliant versions of these - not dodgy live versions or old crackly background versions.

Try this soundtrack as it may surprise you.

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