- R 194
Exceptional crime novel
CDB onReviewed by
After a shoot-out in a condemned New York building, Detective John Tallow discovers an apartment filled to the brim with guns of every make and caliber, each of which can be linked to an unsolved homicide. Together with two antisocial CSIs, Tallow attempts to find the killer while trying to avoid becoming a casualty in the political games played by his superiors.
Gun Machine features some of the most unforgettable characters ever to flow from Ellis' pen. The two CSIs, Bat and Scarly, are especially well developed and memorable, their interaction with Tallow resulting is some of the best dialogue in the book. Another notable part is the vivid descriptions throughout. Ellis is better known for his graphic novels and here he has succeeded in duplicating the comic frames using words alone. The end result is a very well-written book filled with remarkable characters and a plot that keeps the reader engaged throughout.
The only negative here is that some aspects of the the ending felt somewhat contrived and saying more would only result in spoilers. It is a small irritation in an otherwise brilliant book, but it is enough to keep Gun Machine from getting 5 stars.
- R 104
Dewald W onReviewed by
- R 194
A Wise Man's Read
Reviewed by Craig L on
Patrick Rothfuss has created a world that is exciting, intelligent, beautiful and magical. The Name of the Wind is a fantasy that kicks off in a small village tavern that is run by a quiet stranger with red hair. As the tale begins, stories of a hero with red hair surface while talks about the evils surfacing in the land are told around the tavern. A writer who is interested in the hero and his stories knows the hero's true identity is. The story follows the hero telling the chronicles of his adventures while the writer captures them.
Kvothe was young, intelligent and a musical genius who traveled with his family and a traveling group of performers. One night, the entire group is killed in mysterious circumstances. This sets Kvothe off on a mission to learn all he can about the people involved and to attain the power and strength to face them.
Kvothe manages to get himself into a school where he finds love and friends, creates enemies and learns about the secret powers of the world that are attainable to him. From here, creative and mystical adventures with unbelievable resolutions surface. All while Kvothe comes closer to his goal and finds more enticing secrets to keep his faith in his goal attainable.
The tale is beautiful, magnetic and will feed the soul of the artistic, the adventurous and soft hearted all at the same time
If this book sounds good to you, the second one in the trilogy (The Kingkiller Chronicles) is as good and exciting and I cannot wait for the third. This is a world I wouldn't mind finding myself in for real.
See the second book here:
Give it a shot.
- R 217
Great pace - stunning ending
Reviewed by Andrew K on
Fallen Dragon is one of his few stand-alone novels, but he adapts to this format very well and the book is masterfully paced.
Enough time is spent on character development for you to really understand and care about their motives, but the action stays fast enough (and the sequences innovative enough) to keep you turning pages.
The book has one of the best end-twists I've read. It integrates perfectly with the storyline up until that point, so even though I could not see it coming at all, it felt completely in sync with the rest of the book.
Great science fiction by a master of the genre. Absolutely worth a read.
- R 301
Great Local Suspense
Monique B onReviewed by
Oh, I do love a creepy, well-constructed horror story. The Three kicks off with the world being rocked by four simultaneous plane crashes. Upon hearing of the survival of three children, conspiracy theories start popping up ranging from the coming of the apocalypse to an alien invasion. It does not help that the children start acting a little... bizarre!
Told in the form of a collection of first-hand accounts of the events following the plane crashes, The Three took some getting used to initially. But, luckily it does focus on select central characters in the story. I enjoyed this style, as it kept me guessing and wondering how much I could believe that particular account.
There is a great subtlety to the horror in The Three. I found it was more implied and the unknown aspects that the reader is left to piece together adds to it. It would make a brilliant film, I think.
I did enjoy how well-researched this novel is in terms of culture and superstition. There was a nice local touch of course and the religious and and traditional aspects were completely plausible. Nothing felt like it had been fabricated from thin air, which is the mark of a good storyteller.
The Three is an amazing page-turner with enough plausibility that readers who steer clear from traditional horror fiction will still enjoy it.
I am really looking forward to seeing how it is going to do internationally, as Sarah Lotz has the makings of a female, South African Stephen King.
- R 174
A Fun, Unusual Read
Monique B onReviewed by
I didn't tuck into Bone Season right away, rather letting it mellow on my shelf for a few weeks. I felt that, if this book met the hype, I wanted to really savour the experience of reading it for the first time.
Well, Bone Season certainly was worth setting aside the time for.
Firstly, the author is a master at building a concrete world for her characters to have their adventures in. It is fresh and I loved the clairvoyance concept.
Paige is a strong-willed main character who follows in the wake of Katniss and Tris. She is capable and does not rely on anyone else to save her. I love this and we need more heroines like her in YA.
So, please do get a copy of this if you love the other titles I have mentioned here. It is something new that does not rely on romantic tropes to carry the plot through. It has a brave heroine and a great, well-conceived world. Just do it. Read it. And thank me later. :)
- R 796
I couldnt put it down
Angus M onReviewed by
- R 1,118
Roy P onReviewed by
- R 381
Gripping, thrilling, a must for die hard Meyer fans
Anne F onReviewed by
- R 917
One of the Best Versions of D&D!
Justin A onReviewed by
Plus, as part of the open licence d20 system released by Wizards of the Coast, you don't have to stop your adventuring there, as you will be able to use this book with countless of other d20 products printed by numerous other games development companies.
- R 687
An Eagerly Awaited Addition to 5th Addition D&D
Justin A onReviewed by
- R 179
A fresh take on old subject matter.
Reviewed by Diné B on
The book is written from Hazel's point of view. She is a sixteen-year-old teenage girl with terminal thyroid cancer who befriends and falls in love with Augustus, a seventeen-year-old cancer survivor himself. Their bittersweet journey together takes them all the way from Indianapolis to Amsterdam and back, with some hilarious and joyful moments along the way, but also some deeply painful ones.
As I mentioned, the thing that pleasantly surprised me is that the writing is not sentimental or clichéd. Accompanying Hazel and Augustus as they grapple with deep issues - such as the finiteness of life, the meaning of their existence, and their relationships with their parents and their healthy friends - really gives a fresh perspective on what it's like to live with an terminal illness. John Green's writing masterfully allows the reader to share in the characters' struggles.
Some of my friends have commented that Hazel and Augustus are far too intellectual and mature for teenagers, even teenagers who have come face to face with cancer. And it is true, they make statements like "Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you." and "We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either." But I don't think these philosophical moments, perhaps unlikely to happen with real-life teenagers, ruin anything about the story. In fact, it only adds to the beauty of it. In short, I definitely recommend this read.
- R 138
A Hard Act to Follow
Monique B onReviewed by
While Divergent does in some ways leverage of the success of Hunger Games, I feel it surpasses it in many ways.
Tris is a consistant character who is all to aware of her own flaws. She is thrown outside of her comfort zone but never compromises on who she is. In my mind, this is what makes her one of the best YA role models for teens to date.
Unlike many other YA novels who try and emulate other bestsellers, Divergent's main focus is on the story and the world-building and not on the budding, complicated romance. Tris is still able to function without her love interest by her side. He is not the be all and end all of her world. I appreciate this, as this is the message sent across to so many teens. That we need to be loved in order to be important and feel worthy. Yes, I am looking at you Bella Swan!
There is action enough to satisfy even the male readers! (As a side note, I know of a lot of guys who have seen the movie and loved it!) And gore! Veronica Roth spares no details in making the gritty reality of her world come to life.
I do not want to give anything away. Divergent is the best Dystopia out there and any others are simply following in footsteps too big to fill.
- R 140
Art of Murder review
TG onReviewed by
Detective Chief Inspector, Jack Pendragon, is first drawn into the case after the gruesome murder of a well-known figure in London’s art world – in his own gallery. Before rumours of homosexuality can be properly investigated, the killer strikes again, in an equally grisly manner, with this victim another member of the Who’s Who club of London’s art industry.
It starts becoming clear that the mindset of this murderer bears some striking similarities to that of the infamous Jack the Ripper of the 1880s; only the present-day murderer doesn’t seem too bothered about the gender of his/ her victims. Pendragon realises that the only way to stop the killer would be to throw himself into the art circle, mingling with artists and journalists, uncovering disturbing secrets along the way.
In a sub-plot, a writer claiming to be the original Jack the Ripper – a man employed as an illustrator for a newspaper – pens letters to his boss’s wife, detailing his journey and self-reflection that led to his acts of murder – and the mysterious disappearance of her husband.
Just when Pendragon starts seeing a pattern, the killer strikes again, this time targeting a priest and delivering a huge curveball to the investigation. Thrown off track, Pendragon has to think outside the box if he is to come anywhere near solving the case.
The Art of Murder is very engaging, as are the characters, even if the identity of the killer is somewhat obvious as the story unfolds. It offers a refreshing alternative to the usual murder-mystery novel by playing on the art theme and its very descriptive accounts of the horrific murders. The short chapters were appealing, as were the interspersed 'Jack the Ripper' letters, allowing the reader to follow a story within a story. An interesting read.
- R 276
What all woman dream about, well, almost...
Reviewed by Amalia A on
Clara Bishop's story is filled with adventure, drama, love, mystery and romance. Clara is the woman every woman reading this book dreams of being. The one that in the end plucks up the courage to take what life has dealt her, and change her whole world because of it. She finds answers to the mysteries, and more importantly, she discovers herself again.
The chapters are filled with fun, comedy and mystery, which keeps the reader constantly guessing and wanting more.
- R 369
Thrilling historical fiction!
Carlisle J onReviewed by
Set in the time of Michaelangelo, St. Ignatius of Loyola, King Henry & Anne Boleyn (with these characters all featured in the book, to name a few), this tantalizing tale is centred around a momentous chess tournament featuring the best players in the world who have all been invited to Constantinople to compete by the Muslim Sultan. The English delegation includes 13-year-old princess Elizabeth (yes, THAT Elizabeth, who eventually becomes Queen of England).
Without spoiling too much of the plot, Elizabeth and her mentor/teacher get involved in the investigation of a series of murders which are occurring during the tournament. It's a simple-sounding storyline, but it's infused with so much layers of deception and thrills and it's quite fast-paced in its own right. Plus the plot also features insights of life in the 1500's, especially concerning the Muslim world and Christianity and parallels are drawn that are prevalent in today's uncertain times.
All in all, I really enjoyed it, any initial trepidation on my part was all for naught!
- R 1,122
The ultimate set for the Calvin and Hobbes fan
Jonathan B onReviewed by
Presented in two pages of three strips each per week, with the Sunday strip taking up a page in itself, the collection takes you back the the golden age of newspaper cartoons. Calvin and Hobbes were without doubt one of the greatest strips of this period and (together with The Far Side) took the art and humour of the weekly newspaper cartoons to a new level of greatness, something that has not been done since.
The book is introduced by the author himself who tells his version of the Calvin and Hobbes legacy, from his humble begingings as a student cartoonist, through his battle with the pressure to merchandise his creation to the eventual descision to bring the strip to an end after 10 wonderful years.
Interspaced between the strips are various pieces of Calvin and Hobbes based artwork, from a depiction of a giant (possibly Transmogrified) Calvin destroying his home town to an amazingly drawn bedtime story of Calvin dealing with the dreaded Monsters under the Bed.
If you are or were a fan of Calvin and Hobbes this collection will have you reliving so many of its wonderful memories. If you are a newcomer to the pair, this collection will allow you to experience one of the wonders of the modern age of cartooning.
- R 184
Discworld gets darker
Francois M onReviewed by
Snuff is the darkest Discworld novel I’ve read so far. The humor is toned down quite a bit, but I think that is because it deals with some very serious issues – murder, slavery, human (species!) rights, the class divide, smuggling and corruption. There are still some brilliantly funny moments scattered throughout the novel. Young Sam’s fascination with poo and all things poo related resulted in quite a few sniggers. There are also some funny references to Twitter and even Jane Austen gets the Pratchett treatment.
The plot is engaging and progresses at a fast pace, like any decent crime novel should. Vimes has to struggle with his own darker nature throughout the novel, but he comes to realize that while there are similarities between him and the criminals, his control of his darker side and his unwavering belief in justice is what makes him such a good watchman.
The story culminates in a daring chase aboard a string of barges where Vimes has a final showdown with the criminals. In the end justice is done in more ways than one…
It’s not a light, easy read like most of the other Discworld novels, but the issues Snuff deals with and the social commentary it provides is very apt and relevant in today’s society.
- R 282
An otherworldly thriller like no other
Francois M onReviewed by
The cast of characters are engaging and well-crafted, each broken in their own unique way. The story revolves around the cynical Detective Gabi Versado and her teenage daughter Layla, but there’s also TK, a homeless man trying to atone for his past; Jonno, a journalist who is desperate to make a name for himself and the Detroit Monster, a killer unlike any other. You can't help but empathise with the characters; even the killer is deserving of pity, if not compassion. Initially it’s difficult to see how these disparate storylines would come together, but Beukes manages to deftly weave them into a breathtaking, surreal finale that both satisfies and dumbfounds.
What makes Broken Monsters unique is how the supernatural seeps into the world of the real. How the empty, abandoned spaces of Detroit play host to something otherworldly that crosses the boundaries of the real and unreal. A dream made flesh crafting flesh into dreams. Broken Monsters is a dark, insomnia inducing thriller that will have you dwelling on its meaning for days. Interwoven in the narrative is a complex and thought-provoking look at life in the internet age and how social media impacts our humanity. All of this is portrayed in Beukes’ distinctive genre-defying style.
- R 294
Everything a SF fan could want
Francois M onReviewed by
While Asher’s novels are known for their fast pace and focus on action it doesn’t mean that he neglects characterisation. The myriad of characters are all well fleshed out and engaging. There are a lot of things happening at once and, initially, it can be slightly confusing trying to keep track of what’s happening to whom. It soon becomes second nature though and once you are drawn into the storyline you don’t notice it at all.
Most of the action takes place on the planet of Masada, a brutal wilderness planet populated by creatures straight out of nightmare. Asher has an immense imagination that brings forth an intricate ecosystem teaming with horrifying creatures like the hooder, siluroyne and nonsense spouting gabbleduck. The world he creates is both fascinatingly believable and astoundingly hostile to human life – a perfect setting for a rebellion.
The main plot revolves around the population of Masada rising up against the religious Theocracy that rules their world. Religion is used as a tool to enslave the general population while those in the upper echelons enrich themselves and feast on the spoils bought by the lives of the workers. This dim view on religion might irk some people, but I found it thought provoking and in some instances quite eye-opening.
The Line of Polity has it all – high tech weapons, AI and golems, terrifying monsters, brutal battles and huge spaceships. It makes for very engaging reading.
- R 349
Nancy Drew type novel!
Lu-Marie (Sugar & Snark) onReviewed by
I found myself instantly intrigued and mesmerized by these fantastic characters. Jared and Ash are the hot boys from a mysterious family and you can’t wait to find out what their back story is! Angela is a bit like me, she can sleep anywhere, anytime lol – I could really identify with her. And then you get bubbly Holly that is in for anything as long as it is an adventure. A terrific host of characters!
I love the cover, it is mysterious and doesn’t have the typical girl in the ballgown with some brooding man behind her. It is simple yet beautiful.
Now as you can see I love this novel, well I love the first 90% of it, that is why I can only give it 4 stars. The ending felt rushed and it is as if the characters just upped and changed their personalities. I was lost and confused at the end, it was as if all these amazing characters just went off script. The sort-of cliffhanger only added to it :(
I will most certainly read the next book and I hope the characters pull me back in!
Some Quotes I want to share:
“Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date?” Dad asked tragically. “Wearing that? Wouldn’t you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey.”
“Jared told her he used to be an exotic dancer in San Francisco.” “My body is a gift from God,” Jared said gravely. “Except for my hips, which are clearly a gift from the devil.”
- R 967
Reviewed by Andre S on
Very nice board, works like a charm. Installed SuSE 13.1 no issues.
Total of 4 processors activated (14896.44 BogoMIPS) - two cores plus hyper threading
IO speed of the board is probably the only limitation, which is more than reasonable fo the size, power usage, etc.
Graphics is actually pretty good for typical office use etc.
Very, very stable, has reached uptime of in excess of a week twice, and I am still playing with router, iptables, kernel, config!
- R 217
A ultimate tale of survival
KJ M onReviewed by
The Martian is an absolutely stunning read that showcases the perils of space exploration, but also the human tenacity for survival, for compassion and for expanding our horizons even if it's an extremely risky thing to do. This is the ultimate tale of survival. Captivating from the first page until the very last. Even if science fiction isn’t something you normally read you HAVE to read this.
With his wit and great sense of humour Mark Watney is a character you'll absolutely love. Highly recommended!
- R 207
Best Punisher tale not written by Garth Ennis.
Jason P onReviewed by
In the aftermath, Frank Castle has taken it upon himself to hunt down the surviving superheroes since he accidently caused the worldwide situation and in the process was rendered immune to it.
Writer Jonathan Maberry, as it turns out, is one of few writers who truly understand Frank Castle. His laconic, no-nonsense portrayal is on point. His ruthlessness is a perfect fit for the killing fields that once was New York City. His physical abuse of Deadpool (a character of whom I’m not particular fond) is the source of some dark comic moments.
Goran Parlov provides the art, effectively emphasising a bleak hostile environment where only the strong or the cunning survive. His busy but uncluttered drawing style is a perfect fit for the singularly focussed character that is The Punisher. It’s no surprise really; after all, he does come on board having previously worked on the PunisherMax series.
The end result is a tale of a killer who tragically finds himself exactly in his element. Where the X-Men, the Avengers and other superpowered beings have fallen, he thrives.
- R 220
A Must Read for ALL Dragonlance Fans!
Justin A onReviewed by
As a huge fan of the fantasy genre, I had high hopes for the Dragonlance Legends trilogy when it came out, and I was NOT disappointed! It is well written, expertly plotted and a real "rip snorter" of an adventure story. I would highly recommend it to all fantasy fans, but with one reservation... Read the original Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy first! This will give you an even better overview of all of the main characters and allow you to understand fully the intentions and feelings of all of the protagonists in this second Dragonlance trilogy.