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AgreeableSquid

AgreeableSquid
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Member since: 24.03.2012

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      29.03.2012 19:28
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      A refreshing fantasy novel with its fresh look at magic and a stunning, realistic world.

      I first came across The Final Empire in Waterstone's. It was the cover that caught my eye, the brilliant grey and blue on white. It's a very fitting cover for the content in all honesty.
      It's available in paper copy and also as a digital copy.
      For those new to the fantasy genre, old fans of fantasy or those looking for something a bit different, give this book a go. It deals with fresh ideas and Sanderson has created a believable world that, if put into practice, would work. There is a food supply, economics, a judical system, everything a society needs to run.

      The writing -
      My favourite thing about this book are the characters. They are fully fleshed out, believable, have emotions and human reactions to events. They all have their own quirks which do influence the story in little ways. It's like you could walk down the street and meet them, they're crafted so well.
      My favourite is Breeze, the self-styled gentleman who always has a quip ready for any comment made.

      The story itself is brilliant and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and wanting to read on. The ending was well put together and not at all lacking.
      Sanderson writes beautiful descriptions that are neither over the top or lacking in detail. If he wants you to hate or distrust a character, he will give you ample reason to. He is a master of the word and it was a joy to keep the pages turning.

      The only problem I had were the five groups of metals to remember. Although he does go over them and their effects frequently, I had to keep flicking to the back of the book to find out what each metal did. However, you will learn them all and recognise each with little trouble soon enough. Sanderson has created a different magic system that does not involve fireballs or lightening and it is refreshing. If you're sick of magic from fingertips, this is for you.

      Overall?
      I recommend this book completely. It's a page turner. Although 672 pages, don't let this put you off.

      Sanderson's writing transports you to another world that is similiar enough to ours to be comforting but also different enough to be interesting. I believe it would also be suitable for teenagers looking for something a little more challenging to read or something different.


      Five stars all the way!


      Good news! The Mistborn series is a trilogy!

      Also on Ciao! under the same username :)

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      27.03.2012 18:39
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      Old and new fans of Dan Abnett's work will not be disappointed with his excellent writing.

      If you have read anything else by Dan Abnett, you will already know the quality of his writing. If you have never picked up a Dan Abnett novel, this is as a good place to start as any. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to both fans of Warhammer 40K and people wanting to get into the books. There is nothing extremely graphic, but there is a fair bit of violence and the odd swear word. However, these things do not feel shoe horned in just because it could be but rather add another layer to the worlds and make them more believable.

      The Writing Itself -
      His writing is rich and his descriptions vivid and well crafted. You cannot help but be submersed in the world of Warhammer 40K, the lives of normal people away from the frontlines. The characters in Eisenhorn are varied, realistic and non-cliched - You will care for these characters. The plot throughout was crafted well and there were enough twists and turns in it so you are not figuring everything out half way through.

      Favourite Thing? -
      The thing I liked best about Eisenhorn was that it took you away from the front lines and to planets where battle has never been seen. The book gives you the view of a "normal" person's environment and everyday life, even though Eisenhorn is doing his job as an Inquistor from the Ordos Xenos. Also, Dan Abnett is able to keep you hooked and turning page after page. He builds suspense very well too.

      Worst Thing? -
      In my opinion, the ending felt a little rushed and there were several loose ends. The worst thing about it overall was that it ended. I got to the end and wanted more of Eisenhorn's character because he was so well made.

      Also on Ciao! under the same username :)

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        25.03.2012 19:02
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        I loved this book. Is a good addition to anybody's bookshelf.

        The Martian Chronicles was on the reading list for my prose module at university. Science fiction is my standard fare when it comes to reading and I was not disappointed with this.

        For those of you maybe looking to get into reading science fiction, I whole-heartedly recommend you pick this up! For those of you who are already fans of the science fiction genre, you will not be disappointed. You may even find it's a nice change of pace from normal science fiction fare.

        The writing -

        There is very little science to come to terms with. The stories revolve more around the people than the how or what of living on Mars. I found this refreshing as in other science fiction novels there is a lot to remember or understand. The writing is fluid and very easy to read - no complicated words or phrases. It is written from multiple view points which means that the story does not become stale and if you're don't like a particular set of characters.

        This book is a quick read and you'll be done with it in a day or two.

        The characters are fully believable for the environment they are in and carry along their stories wonderfully.
        Overall?

        This is a must read. Although some may be disappointed with the lack of science to explain certain things, the stories of the people will make up for it. Bradbury has made the impossible seem possible. His manipulation of the environment makes for an excellet read and truly shows his skill with the written word.

        Also on Ciao! under the same username :)

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          25.03.2012 15:09
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          An excellent collection for any poetry fan to have on their bookshelf!

          This book was on the reading list for my poetry module at university. It is a collection of various poets writing under a wide range of themes: Body and soul; Roads and journeys; Growing up and In and out of love, to name but a few. I believe that due to the large range of themes dealt with, there is something for everyone.

          The collection is a good starting place for those of you who, like me, want to get into poetry but have no clue where to start. With the wide range of poets herein, it will not take you long to find somebody you like.
          I would also recommend it to those of you who enjoy poetry already, especially if you are looking for something a little different. Perhaps it will open up a whole new world of poets for you, or simply provide you with more poems by old favourites.

          Structure?
          The layout is simple and easy to navigate. Each chapter beginning provides a few quotes on the topic and an introduction too. Although the font size for the introduction is quite small, you can just skip it over as it does not tell you how to read the poems or if there's anything to look out for specifically.
          As for the layout of the poems themselves, they are in simple, clear font and there may be two to a page, or even three. The poets are credited at the end of each poem.

          Overall?
          This collection is a must for those new to poetry and those who have been immersed in it for years. It is well organised with themes arranged in their own chapters. The poems are not sorted by poet name or in alphabetical order, so you can just flick through and pick a poem to read which I find enlightening because of the huge range of styles provided.

          For those of you looking to write your own poetry, this is a brilliant place to start because of the wide range of techniques used from the poets themselves.

          A must have.

          Also on Ciao! under the name username :)

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            24.03.2012 19:55
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            A challenging read, but an excellent example of stream of consciousness.

            This was on my reading list for my course at university. Upon opening the book I was immediately struck by the lack of puncutation in some places and the overuse of it in others. This book is not everybody's cup of tea - it certainly was not mine!
            The book is supposed to detail out Tristam Shandy's life. If you can follow his narrative, I take my hat off to you!

            The writing -
            As this was written in the mid 1700s, it has those peculiar turns of phrase that are very outdated now but which at the same time are very charming. Writtin as a stream of conciousness the subject can be changed without a moment's notice and punctuation can sometimes be lacking.

            There are some pages which have no writing on at all - One is painted black and another has a marbled effect. These are used to back up some point he has just made.

            The writing will jump from subject to subject which can be very confusing at times if you have missed a small detail.

            The character of Tristam Shandy is likeable but not entirely believable to somebody from our time - this was written in the mid 1700s afterall. He is an example of how a gentleman should have been back in this period.

            Overall -
            This is a challenging book. I did not enjoy it too much because of the rapid change of subject and how heavy the writing was in places.

            However, it is an excellent example of stream of consciousness and I would recommend it to anybody looking to write in this particular style.

            Also up on Ciao! under the same username :)

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              24.03.2012 18:40
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              A beautiful read for anybody looking for something a little diffferent.

              I will begin by stating that this is not a book for children. It is macabre in places and some of the concepts dealt with, I feel, would be too complex for children to understand. I think older teens would be able to gets to grips with it though.
              Kraken is an urban fantasy set in London. As the title may suggest a lot of it revolves around giant squid. It's a beautifully crafted story filled with realistic characters that you will come to care for.

              The writing itself -

              Mieville has a very fluid writing style which means there is very little filler to contend with. Things happen in this book - things happen to the characters that make them develop. The descriptions are well thought through and there are very few cliches to contend with. Mieville includes a couple of pop culture references that the reader will get.

              However, the writing can be heavy in some places and I did find words that I had never come across before. It is very macabre in places which may put some people off. However, these scenes are not forced in and instead add a layer to the characters in question.


              Overall?

              If you like reading something that is a little different, give Kraken a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be re-reading it again. The locations in London were well researched and you may even recognise some of the places mentioned. I really enjoyed Mieville's writing style as it was very fluid and he is very good at bringing loose ends together. I will warn you that Kraken is macabre in places, especially in regards to the characters Goss and Subby. However, do not let this deter you as it adds another layer to the narrative and they are not shoe-horned in but rather woven in with great care.

              Also on Ciao! under the same username :)

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                24.03.2012 17:37

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                Simple recipes that make delicious food, a must-have all round.

                This recipe book, in my opinion, is simply wonderful with its wide range of cuisines and courses to choose from, and easy to follow instructions. From pies to pasta dishes, from curries to coconut macaroons, there is something for everybody.
                My personal favourite is the spaghetti bolognese which is never watery on the plate - an old classic that is simply delicious.

                Students?
                As a student, I have found several of the recipes - macaroni and cheese, spaghetti bolognese and quick chicken curry, to name but a few - are tasty meals that do not leave you out of pocket. They are also easy to prepare and will teach you basic cooking skills. There are even desserts included that make a nice change from cartons of ice-cream or chocolate biscuits - such desserts include: coconut macaroons, custard tart and lemon curd roll to name a few.

                Final Thoughts?
                I would wholly recommend this recipe book to anybody looking for old favourites and new things to try and even to people looking to enhance their cooking skills.
                The only qualm I have with the book is that there are little notes on the sides of some recipes - giving little tips or different things to try - which are sometimes difficult to read because of the font used.

                Also on Ciao! under the same username :)

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