Rather predictable at all the majority turning points and junctions of the book and the story just wasn't as exciting as the previous two in the serie...moreRather predictable at all the majority turning points and junctions of the book and the story just wasn't as exciting as the previous two in the series.(less)
Without saying too much, this book was sometimes a fairly heavy read, but then, the subject is a complicated on, and therefore on occasion, I struggle...moreWithout saying too much, this book was sometimes a fairly heavy read, but then, the subject is a complicated on, and therefore on occasion, I struggled to understand how certain things worked. It could maybe have been a good idea to include some more examples of how the cyphers worked and how the Germans en-cyphered their messages and as to how they were broken.
However, what a story it was. Breaking the Enigma, first by hand, then by the electronic Bombes then finally with the birth of the first computer.
Bletchley is certainly one of the greatest sites of historical importence in the world because of all that was achieved by those who worked there.(less)
I'm not quite sure if I enjoyed this book or not. At times it seemed to drag, and at others it seemed to flow very well. There's no doubt that the mai...moreI'm not quite sure if I enjoyed this book or not. At times it seemed to drag, and at others it seemed to flow very well. There's no doubt that the main character, The Gunslinger (Roland) intrigued me very much and is the perfect anti-hero.
The story too made me think, it's left me wondering what world they inhabit, it's clearly earth, but is it an alternate universe or some weird, twisted future. I guess I'll have to carry on with the series to find out.(less)
I rather enjoyed this. Having enjoyed Band of Brothers and having read the book it was based on, I have started to gather as many biographies and auto...moreI rather enjoyed this. Having enjoyed Band of Brothers and having read the book it was based on, I have started to gather as many biographies and autobiographies of Easy Company men.
It is clear that Dick Winter's didn't really consider himself doing anything out of the ordinary, just his job, which was to lead his men and bring them home. And he evidently did all he could to ensure that he would get home himself and so would as many of his men as possible. It is also clear that, whilst not needing any special praise and shying away from it somewhat he was always comfortable and secure in the knowledge that he was very good at his job.
If I have to make any criticisms of the book, then they are that he could have maybe gone in to more detail about many of the events and battles that Easy were involved in. The book also suffered from the usual 'American' belief that they and only they won the war and that all other nations were inferior, forgetting of course that Europe had been at war for 5 years before D-Day.
Those aside it is a very good book that gives you a personal insight in to the man that inspired many people from what he achieved in the fields of Europe.(less)
A very good way to end a trilogy I enjoyed reading very much.
As is Pevel's way, the book was highly descriptive of Paris and you could almost walk you...moreA very good way to end a trilogy I enjoyed reading very much.
As is Pevel's way, the book was highly descriptive of Paris and you could almost walk yourself through it. Throughout the book it had the feeling of a finale and the end very much lends itself to that effect. Although there was a hint that this universe could carry on in separate stories at a later date.
I can only hope that that is the case, as this was a fantastic fantasy series. Throughout the series dragons were present but never the focal point of the story, or rather, they were but they weren't all that appeared within the walls of the universe. All three books were just a really good foray and a fantastic take on musketeers and medieval France.(less)
This was probably the weakest of the trilogy, however it was still quite an enjoyable book. Morgan has grown and is nearly 50 by the this book and bot...moreThis was probably the weakest of the trilogy, however it was still quite an enjoyable book. Morgan has grown and is nearly 50 by the this book and both his sons -who have a mutual dislike of each other- are grown too and both in the army.
The book ties up some lose ends and rounds the series off well with the continual usage of well known and likeable characters and some tragedy too.
The major criticism I have of the book is the frequent use of french words. I don't remember that from the other two in the series and on one page there were 4 uses of various words in italics. Odd.(less)
I'd never read any Lee Child before and having enjoyed the Jack Reacher film I decided to start at the beginning of the Reacher series.
I have to say t...moreI'd never read any Lee Child before and having enjoyed the Jack Reacher film I decided to start at the beginning of the Reacher series.
I have to say that on the whole I very much enjoyed it.
I enjoyed the style of writing, I'm not usually a big fan of 1st person fiction but this worked quite well. Others have criticised the short, sharp sentences. When in fact, in real life we all use short sharp sentences, especially when emphasizing a subject.
There were however problems with the book, the middle was slow and quite boring. The first 100 and final 100 pages however were excellent. But in the middle I was bored and wasn't interested in the book. Yet I read the final 100 pages quite quickly as the pace ramped up.
On the whole the character of Jack Reacher is brilliant, yet on occasion he seems to become a bit....boring and conventional. When he is hard-nosed and ruthless it makes him a far better character. (less)
This was a pretty enjoyable quick read. Gary was pretty honest through-out it all. Admitted when he overstepped the mark and got carried away with the...moreThis was a pretty enjoyable quick read. Gary was pretty honest through-out it all. Admitted when he overstepped the mark and got carried away with the emotion, but accepted the fact that he had to take the stick from the opposition supporters alongside.
There was annoyances with the book though. How he would refer to everyone using their nickname "Becks" rather than Beckham, or David. "Giggsy", "Scholsey", Butty", "Jammo" for David James, but worst of all was the constant use of "Wazza" for Rooney. God that was annoying. It screamed chav.
I would have maybe liked to see him criticise Fergie at times during the book, but he always seemed to be on his side, and I suppose I can see why he would be, Fergie was the manager that guided the club to it's golden era, and Gary wasn't sold, but it would have been nice if he had maybe played devils advocate once in a while.
However, all in all, I enjoyed the book. It's refreshing compared to lots of autobiographies, he didn't spend all his time apologising. He also laid quite heavily in to the FA and with good reason too. It's a shame more players don't seem to have his passion these days, and don't want to just play football, but would rather take a huge payout.(less)
Casey Stoner was one of my favourite MotoGP riders and I've read quite a few autobiographies/biographies on bikers before. I got in to MotoGP during 2...moreCasey Stoner was one of my favourite MotoGP riders and I've read quite a few autobiographies/biographies on bikers before. I got in to MotoGP during 2006 and during '07 you could just see how exciting his riding was. He was so much quicker than anyone else and his attitude was great. A lot of people didn't think so but he reminded me a bit of Kimi Raikkonen in F1. I like how he always spoke his mind and that carried on in to the book.
It's not often in a book where people will pull no punches and tell you how it was. Plenty of people just gloss over unsavory events or make them not so bad as they were for fear of angering someone. But Casey wasn't bothered by that. If he had an opinion, he shared it. And that's how it should be.
Until reading this I never realised how fractious his relationship with Ducati had become and I myself also smiled when I could see Rossi struggling on the Ducati during 11/12 when previously he said he would make it a winning bike.
It's a shame Stoner walked away from the sport at such a young age, but on the flip side, I have huge amounts of respect for him having the balls to stand up and be counted and speak his mind when so many other people just went along with all the changes in MotoGP. It took guts to walk away from a sport when you're at the top of your game and could easily win more titles. But he didn't enjoy it, so why stay?
Easily one of the best biker autobiographies I've read, purely because he is still saying exactly what he thinks. Shame more people aren't like him too be honest. Sport would be better for it if they were.(less)
I was really excited when I heard that this was being released. And I wasn't disappointed. A lot of books that are add on's to a series can feel like...moreI was really excited when I heard that this was being released. And I wasn't disappointed. A lot of books that are add on's to a series can feel like they've been written for money or just don't fit the style of the rest of the series, but this felt like it was always intended to be written.
Even though Brutus was the enemy in Field of Swords and for part of The Gods of War it was odd seeing him as a full blown enemy for the entire book. The new character of Agrippa was very well written and gave the book a bit of grit.
As with the other books in the series there was a bit of humour and parts that make you chuckle, sat perfectly alongside parts that are extremely serious and quite emotional.
I'm not sure there's any plans for Conn to write more about Augustus but I sincerely hope there are. There's no doubt that the fractious relationship between Octavian and Mark Anthony that was hinted at in this book could provide plenty of fantastic material for future books.(less)
A book stuffed full of car reviews. But, unlike some of Clarkson's 'World according to...' articles, none of them stick with you after you've read the...moreA book stuffed full of car reviews. But, unlike some of Clarkson's 'World according to...' articles, none of them stick with you after you've read the next one.(less)
Supposedly the last of the Ketty Jay books, and one of the best. Probably only beaten by Black Lung Captain. A true return to form after the disappoin...moreSupposedly the last of the Ketty Jay books, and one of the best. Probably only beaten by Black Lung Captain. A true return to form after the disappointment of The Iron Jackal.
The book has it all, typical Frey antics, drunkeness and gambling. Arguments and crew leaving, heartbreak, Trinica and Frey's romance and Ashua has become a full member of the crew. Without writing too much, I have to say, that having now read all the books in the series, that Bess was my favourite character. At points in this book she really is like a little girl and it's almost heartbreaking at points as she seems lost and abandoned.
Frey also has a realisation, he knows who he loves and he knows how he will win her. He also makes a heartbreaking choice, and one that leaves the reader feeling his pain of loss.
And Harkins finally finds some bravery in this book, stops hiding away and stands up for himself and becomes more than a side character, but a hero.
All the threads of the various stories from the previous three books have been some-what sewn up and resolved. But I sense that there is a lot left that the Ketty Jay could do, albeit in a different way with a different crew. (less)
More of the same from Clarkson. Great for an easy read that's guaranteed to make you laugh. Be warned, if you're not a car fan, this Clarkson book isn...moreMore of the same from Clarkson. Great for an easy read that's guaranteed to make you laugh. Be warned, if you're not a car fan, this Clarkson book isn't for you as its all car reviews.
The only criticism I have of this book is that the "part 2" could have been left out. It was just 40 or so pages that didn't add to the book.(less)
Now, before I write my review, I should say that, generally, I'm a big fan of Gavin Smith's work. I loved Veteran and enjoyed War in Heaven. But The A...moreNow, before I write my review, I should say that, generally, I'm a big fan of Gavin Smith's work. I loved Veteran and enjoyed War in Heaven. But The Age of Scorpio was awful. It wasn't even worthy of a 1 star review, and if you could give a book half a star then I would have.
The blurb on the back of the book is almost misleading. The character Eldon Sloper lasts for around 100 pages, if that. There is no mention of Church beacons in red space (that I can recall). But I will say, starts out generally pretty well.
The book has a feeling as though its been written by Gavin and M.D, Lachlan, which is no bad thing. The three interweaving timelines are an interesting concept, past, present and future. However, that's pretty much where the good parts of the book cease to exist.
Some of the characters are fairly well developed, some are poorly done. The two main antagonists in the future, Scab and Vic are laughable. Britha in the past starts out well but grows unlikeable as the book goes on, Beth and du Bois in the present start out interesting and end the book as the two best characters.
The violence in the book, especially in the future is cringe worthy and almost embarrassing to read. Time and time again a person has half their body is destroyed or they even die only to resurface whole again a few pages in due to the nanites in their bodies or by being cloned. After just a few chapters it just becomes tedious and repetitive and loses the effect it could have if it happened only once or twice. The reliance in the book on tech that could heal, or dull the pain or give you knowledge was just far too great.
So many aspects that I'm sure are vital to the story or universe are left unexplained within the book, meaning its impossible to fully understand what's going on. It's as if this is the second book in a series with everything else having been explained in previous titles. Having read the entire book I've no idea was S-Tech or L-Tech is. Not a clue what a P-Sat or S-Sat is, and for the life of me I can't understand what a blood-screen is. This all means that when you get to a part where these various things are mentioned you stop and wonder 'where the hell were they introduced'.
The book becomes so monotonous that your mind has a tendency to wander whilst reading. Before you know it you've read two pages and not taken a word in and are forced to go back and read it all again. Because so many things are left unexplained, whenever something is introduced (and not explained), you think you've drifted off again so go back to read the previous page and you realise that whatever it is hasn't ever been explained and the book makes less sense than it did previously leaving you confused, annoyed and frustrated.
With about 60 pages to go, the previous 440 become totally irrelevant, pointless and flawed. One of the main characters in the past, Fachtna, suddenly transforms into an all killing beast and his sword has the capabilities to cut through metal like butter. Which begs the question, why did he just not kill all the bad guys early on by using this? This aspect actually made me angry that I'd bothered reading the book.
The final thing I shall mention that was a constant annoyance, was Gavin's reliance on the oblique. Time and again things had multiple names which were separated by an /. It was as if he couldn't decide what to call something, so just gave it as many names as he could. Once or twice a book is fine, but almost every chapter is just laziness.
I'm sorry Gavin, as I said, I loved Veteran and enjoyed WiH and recommended everyone I know buy them. I've met you and you're a really cool guy and I was so looking forward to this, but it was just tedious drivel.(less)