Clive Byerley

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-17

There's Always One!

In an excellent series there will always be a "Friday afternoon" edition that lacks the pace and excitement of the rest. This is it for me. Drawn out, over-detailed and lacking contrast in characters. I stuck with it but only out of loyalty. If you've read all the rest then okay; if not go for another in this very readable set.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-22-17

There's always a runt in the litter.

Not up to the usual standard. Soft ending. Very well read by a master of his craft.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-21-16

How to Make Science Fiction Dreary!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Boys who are not well read in this genre aged fifteen to eighteen.

What could Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stop writing by the numbers Learn to show, not tell.

How could the performance have been better?


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The concept was promising but this book was written by a committee - and it certainly shows.

Any additional comments?

Don't buy it!

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-30-16

For Sheol's Sake, Get On!

This genre of fantasy is not usually for the adult reader. It seems designed for fifteen year old boys whose experience of the world is restricted to Marvel comics and to yet more books like this one.

The basic premise is the old time-worn trope of coming of age and throne of naive boy surrounded by more of the same. The scenes move at an agonising pace in which time every conceivable emotion of the characters has to be teased out and described for an audience who has no experience of their own. Settings are tediously and minutely described to fill a book that, given a strict editor, could be rendered as a novella, or the whole tedious series turned into one passable novel.

Plot turns are guessable ten pages previous; the cliched dialogue could all be skipped in a book, less easy in a recording. Scenes where someone has to say, "But what I don't get is...." Then even more pedestrian explanations follow in the rare case that the reader missed something.

It is the role if a good editor to correct pace, cut description, hide the surprises and move the book along; this novel has had little editing - or if it has then the gods only know what a dreary and spun-out concoction it must have been! GIVE THIS ONE A WIDE BIRTH!

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-16

Tedious Crap

Idea starts off okay but then the tedium sets in!! If you are stranded on a desert island maybe this will save your sanity; failing that give it a wide birth!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-06-16

English Romp with Humour and Candour.

Even if you are fresh from another dimension and therefor don't know the delightful Celia Imrie you'll love this honest account of the daily life of a successful ( but refreshingly ungushing) English actor. Imrie becomes your best friend as she shares her laughter and pain. Go with her; take the journey; you'll be so glad you did!

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-16

Vintage Gunther!

This time set on the south of France Bernie tangles with former Nazis and current spies. Yes there's a woman and deceit, tension and violence but a superb performance and masterly plotting ensures freshness and a gripping episode in this ongoing Bernie Gunther saga. Highly recommended.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-16

Excellent Evocation of Peron's Argentina. Gunther rides again!

The brilliant interpretation we have come to expect; flawless characterisation and fluid and fluent reading. Gunther stumbles on to the truth with chaos and danger all around him. A welcome change of scene with fascist Argentina and the many Nazi war criminals in hiding there. Vintage Kerr and brilliant Jeff Harding!

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-16

Great Idea Ruined by Cliché and Interpretation

I was initially attracted by the premise of the lonely star ship as the last hope of an imperilled Earth. The dialogue is a string of clichés taken from Novel Writing 101 class.Pedestrian and predictable; too long in getting going. The early scene in the pub in Scotland was a joke! How did this tripe get published? The

narration started of as passable, though with less differentiation of characters than I expect from an Audible book, THEN,OH THEN, the truly execrable Scottish accent! It is SO BAD as to make further listening impossible; garbled and unintelligible,surely the producer should have stopped it and settled for normal American. I'm asking for my money back. Can't get past this: story ruined😭.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful