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An unexpected journey to a future past

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-19

Wow! This was so different and so good and so unexpected and so masterfully done that I am downloading the second book without hesitation. This is a great story told from the unusual perspective of, a Jewish female maths wiz living in a fictional 1950’s America. This plucky young woman works hard to overcome crippling insecurities and misogyny in a fight to put women in space. The stakes are incredibly high, but her struggle feels real. It has the charm of early sci-fi novels from the golden age, that sucked me right in. After a year of reading hard core sci-fi and space opera this was a completely refreshing read. Loved it!
All in all, a warm, charming and well told story.

Good practical explanation of the Lean revolution

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-15

This is very much a practical walk through of the benefits of lean and constant process improvement set in a fictional, difunctional IT operations department. Despite the contrived nature of the fable, the characters and their business challenges are common enough to carry the narrative. Yes, it gets a little bit clunky, corny and forced at times but the principals are so solid that the cracks can be ignored. The ending is a little too neat for me but I suppose there is a need at the end for a summary and conclusion. I enjoyed it and thought the constant comparison of IT operations with manufacturing was very sensible. One thing that I did like was that the "kool" Sensei character would always take the principal protagonist to the local manufacturing plant when he wanted to impart some "Lean" wisdom. So any time they went to the plant I knew it was time for me to pay attention.
All in all, a good read with lots of practical examples of introducing the Toyota model into IT operations.

Well written and engaging characters but not for me

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-07-15

I liked the writing style and the character development but following a paperweight around a post apocalyptic US Canada border is not my idea of a good read.

Now that's how you write a techno thriller

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-05-15

Love every minute of this book. Just downloaded the third and final installment to my Kindle. Unfortunately there is no audio book version of the third book.

The Wise Man's Fear (Part Two) cover art

Can't wait for the next one!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-03-15

I liked this a lot. The move of the central action out of the university to three other location made a lot of sense and allowed the world building to expand and fill out. Really looking forward to the next one.

Just keeps getting better

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-02-15

After the slowest start of any book I have ever read, now that it had got going it is a brilliant read. lots of interesting characters and a plot with more twists and turns that an Alpine pass. The central mysteries of the Chanderian and Denna still remain.

The Russian revolution in space

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-01-15

A welcome return for all his fans (me included) to the void. The story was fun, but as someone with a knowledge of the Bolshevik victory of 1917 the story took on a fun dimension. Trying to spot the characters from history and the events mimicked in the story.
All the main players were there,, Lenin, Trotsky and we even get the void equivalent of the storming of the Winter Palace! Loved it!

A excellent start to a very ambitious series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-10-10

One of the best, most inventive and mind bending books I've read in years.

If you like your fiction formulaic, procedural and devoid of complexity; then move on - nothing to read here! However, if, you want a challenge, then this is definitely the series for you.

Quicksilver is a seamless blend of; historical themes, locations, religion, philosophy, world changing events, mixed with a who's who of scientific greats from the 17th century. All of these components blended into a plot which revolves on; intrigue, commerce and power.

The book follows the life of Daniel Waterhouse a scientist, member of the Royal Society, friend of Isaac Newton, and son of a religious fanatic.

The true genius of this book is that the reader is never allowed to drift, with Stephenson constantly changing characters, locations and even jumping forward and backward in time. He manages all of this without breaking the flow of the narrative.

In the hands of a lesser author this mix could result in a boring historical tomb. In Stephenson's hands the book brims with interest. There is action aplenty, particularly during an engagement with pirates off the coast of Massachusetts and in the desperate search of a son for his mad father during the great fire of London. Drama and political intrigue with the mystery of French silver flowing into London. Despair and tension as Daniel walks across a deserted London cleared of people by the black plague on an elaborate scavenger hunt.

Quicksilver is also very funny - from explosions caused by mistaken identity to hilarious Puritan moral dilemmas resulting from condoms made from sheep intestines.

Simon Prebbles narration is top notch. Simon has the ability to give each person a slightly different accent or inflection making character identification easy, without turning the story into a pantomime of silly voices. The excellent voice work really shines through in the new enhanced audio format.

15 people found this helpful

Froody

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-10-09

I have just finished this absolute gem of a story. I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation ? how could someone match Douglas Adams unique style and sense of humour. Within minutes all of those worries had evaporated and I was totally captivated. It just kept getting better and better!

Eoin Colfer has done a wonderful job of writing a new story set in Douglas?s original universe ? he populates it with all of the original characters. The main characters (Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian) make a return, but also many of the ancillary creatures and items get a mention. Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster‎s, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six, all get a mention - Hitchhiker fans will feel right at home. The guide entries ? which for me, was one of the best parts of the original books, are back; funny, clever and as pun laden as ever. These little guide gems are liberally pepper throughout the book and seem to appear every couple of minutes.

The pace of the narrative is impressive and never seems to drag. The return of one of my favourite characters from the original books (Wowbagger, the grumpy immortal alien whose mission is to insult everyone in the universe) is a real treat and Eoin takes Adams minor character and fleshes him out into a very interesting and comical character as well as being a love interest for one of the original characters. There is also a very interesting weaving of some of the characters from Adams Dirk Gently books into the story, which worked flawlessly and just added to my admiration for Colfers literary skill.

Colfer also introduces his own new character, the wonderfully named Hillman Hunter - a great character in his own right but also as the perfect foil for Zaphod.

In brief a good plot and a great read with many laugh out loud moments! Hitchhiker fans will not be disappointed.

16 people found this helpful