Dark Matter (book review)…

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! That was a total head trip and a half.

While i’m not a subscriber to the multiverse theory, that didn’t detract from the story at all. I was just totally swept along at an amazing pace, i just didn’t want to stop reading. Every spare moment i had for 2 days had my face glued to my Kindle screen reading this – and that’s quite rare for me as i normally only read at bedtime for an hour or so. Very unputdownable!

Definitely a must read for anyone who likes good sci-fi – even if just a little bit. You won’t be disappointed.

Well worth the 99p i got this for as a Kindle deal. 😀

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Dangerous Gifts (Babylon Steel, #2) (book review)…

Dangerous Gifts by Gaie Sebold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book follows on perfectly from ‘Babylon Steel’, with all the usual characters we were introduced to in that book. And it’s much the same kind of fantasy stuff that really isn’t for children as there’s a fair amount of sex and some quite graphic descriptions of interspecies relationships – Babylon is a whore house madam after all is said an done.

I have to say, Gaie has created a really interesting universe with The Planes and there’s obviously a much bigger story going on in the background concerning the rifts between The Planes, which i seriously hope Gaie is going to slowly uncover in further books in this series.

Please, please, please, Gaie, get writing more about Babylon and Co’.

So if you’re not offended by adult stuff mixed in with your fantasy stories the ‘Babylon Steel’ series is definitely a place to visit on your reading list. Enjoy!

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (book review)…

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s one of those ubiquitous books that’s kept turning up on library shelves, charity shop shelves and bookshop shelves throughout my life and yet i’ve always walked away from it – until now.

I’ve always had quite a deep interest in Zen and it always seemed to me that putting it with motorcycle maintenance just wasn’t something i wanted to know about. But now i have a motorbike that needs some maintenance and this book turned up in Kindle daily deals for 99p i thought the time was right.

But oh, how wrong i’ve been all these years. It’s not a book about Zen or how to fix a motorbike while practising Zen, it’s a wholly different thing altogether.

In fact, it’s a road trip book where our narrator takes his son on a road trip on an old motorbike across the USA. But it’s a road trip with a difference.

At it’s heart, it’s a book about insanity, the condition of society and its relationship to technology, and a fair bit of Greek philosophy as well – and it’s all broken up with the story of the road trip. And it’s simply awesome.

With hindsight i’m happy that i’ve never read it until now as i’m much older and it really blended nicely with my own life experiences – having dropped out of a Philosophy degree course for much the same reasons and now many years later i can look back and see things more clearly.

And the ending in the ‘Afterword’ is what truly completes this book. It really is a masterpiece of writing.

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Rouvy – Berlin Beetzsee…

My current best attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Berlin Beetzsee’ route…

Another nice route i had to ride to complete one of Rouvy’s challenges, this challenge was to ride 100km in one go. And this was a good ride to do it on with plenty to look at along the way and not many hills.

#loverouvy

Babylon Steel (Babylon Steel, #1) (book review)…

Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what a great story. I really enjoyed this book. After reading some YA fantasy lately it was definitely time for some grown-up’s fantasy and this really fit the bill.

The only thing i’m unhappy about is that i’m utterly skint until i get paid on Tuesday so i can’t buy the second book until then, but rest assured, as soon as i wake up my computer on Tuesday morning i’ll be on Amazon buying it.

Great writing, great story, great book, what more can a reader ask for?

If you like fantasy that isn’t afraid of getting it’s hands dirty then i’m sure you’ll like this. If, on the other hand, you like the nice fluffy fantasy stuff then just don’t look.

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The First Adventure: Feyland Series Prequel Novella (book review)…

The First Adventure by Anthea Sharp
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m glad i didn’t pay anything for this, the Kindle edition being free, as free is all it’s worth.

I was expecting a lot more about Jennet’s history prior to Feyland #1, which is what this book is supposed to be about. But all it does is gloss over a few things that are already covered in the next 3 books and then when Jennet has her first encounter with the Dark Queen it’s exactly the same, word for word, as the second encounter in Feyland #1. And the bit after that encounter of how she is freed from the Dark Queen by the game’s designer isn’t covered in any depth whatsoever.

I really can’t see the point in Anthea publishing this at all. Total waste of bandwidth and computer memory.

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Giro 1028 Challenge…

75th out of 664…

Once again, not going for fast times and just sticking with my training plan. So really pleased to complete it in 8 hours and come out 75th.

#loverouvy

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness (book review)…

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One incredibly interesting book for anyone who enjoys learning about evolution – and cephalopods, of course.

Written by a philosopher, the writing is really accessible and really engages the reader – unlike a lot of scientists’ approach to this subject – and dives deep into the world of the evolution of large brains and intelligence and how they have evolved along completely different evolutionary paths.

It also explores the world and habits of cephalopods, particularly octopuses, but a fair bit about cuttlefish as well. These really are the most incredible creatures.

Well worth a read.

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The Twilight Kingdom (Feyland #3) (book review)…

The Twilight Kingdom by Anthea Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I quite enjoyed that. As i said about the first book in this trilogy, if you can get over the YA thing and just focus on the Faerie mixed up with VR thing then these books are really good.

As i also said, the worse thing about this trilogy was Tam’s back story and family issues that really detracted from the story in book 1, were a much lesser distraction in book 2 and actually worked with the story in book 3. But the annoying thing was that in order for them to work with the story in book 3 there really was no need whatsoever to make it such an annoying part of book 1, or to be so depressing about it all.

I think that in these days of publishers cutting costs, editors are doing a worse job than ever. A good editor would have made sure that Tam’s family stuff was tidied up and tied in better with the overall story. But it is what it is, and the trilogy is still really worth a read if you’re into Faerie stuff and like the idea of the Faerie realm using a super advanced VR system to bridge to our realm.

There is a second trilogy in this series, which i may come back to in the future, but for now i’m having a break and reading some other things.

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Rouvy – Boccadasse – Chiavari via Boschetto…

My current best attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Boccadasse – Chiavari via Boschetto’ route…

Another nice route i had to ride to complete one of Rouvy’s challenges. A good ride with plenty to look at along the way.

#loverouvy