Category Archives: Book Reviews

Seventeenth Week Predictions

Chelsea join Swansea on the list of manager-less clubs after sacking Jose Mourinho.  Brilliant Arsenal play Man City, who are looking shaky at the back, and a solid Stoke side take on the attacking talent of Crystal Palace.  Here are my predictions.

Chelsea v Sunderland – 2-0

Everton v Leicester – 1-2

Man Utd v Norwich – 0-1

Southampton v Tottenham – 1-3

Stoke v Crystal Palace – 0-0

West Brom v Bournemouth – 1-2

Newcastle v Aston Villa – 2-0

 

Watford v Liverpool – 1-3

Swansea v West Ham – 0-1

Arsenal v Man City – 2-1

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Eleventh Week Predictions

This week the matches include Mourinho’s Chelsea versus Klopp’s Liverpool and Swansea versus Arsenal (the Swans done the double over Arsenal last season).  Here are my predictions.

Chelsea v Liverpool – 0-1

Crystal Palace v Man Utd – 2-1

Man City v Norwich – 5-0

Newcastle v Stoke – 0-2

Swansea v Arsenal – 2-2

Watford v West Ham – 1-2

West Brom v Leicester – 0-1

Everton v Sunderland – 2-0

Southampton v Bournemouth – 3-0

Tottenham v Aston Villa – 4-0

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The Dragon Path, by Helen Moss

The worthy sequel to The Phoenix Code, The Dragon Path is the second book in the Secrets of the Tombs series, based in China.

Before leaving for China, Cleo and Ryan are told by Cleo’s grandmother, Eveline May Bell to return a green jade ring to the Dragon Path.  She tells them of how she followed a group of archaeologists when she was a child (she lived in China) and how she watched them excavate it.

“‘There were dragons down there,’ she murmured.  ‘Fire breathing dragons . . .'”

A Frenchman was meant to have filmed it all so, in search of explanation, Cleo and Ryan go to The History of Archaeology Museum in the hope he might have donated his work there.  They find a film of routine excavations but the 5th film out of the expected 6 is missing.  A friendly archivist finds it and promises to email them a digital copy when they arrive in China.

It would ruin too much of the suspense to say what happens in the film but I will say this – there is a lot of fire, death and dragons.

It is a worthy successor to the Phoenix Code and has a thrilling historical element, with wonderful suspense.  It made me laugh out loud at least twice and has a bit so funny it made me hysterical.  My one criticism is the criminal side is definitely not as good as the thrilling villainous element of the Phoenix Code, but the Dragon Path makes up for it in its wonderful mysterious plot.

Buy the Book Here!

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Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker is  Anthony Horowitz’s first book in his Alex Rider series.

After his uncle’s death in a supposed car accident, fourteen year old Alex discovers that all is not as it seems – a man with a gun turns up, escorting a blank-faced man at his uncle’s funeral, everything in his uncle’s office disappears, and when Alex finds his uncle’s car, he discovers it sprayed with bullet-holes.

After a narrow escape from a Lefort Shear crusher and nearly being shot in the car breakers yard, his uncle’s employers, the Royal and General Bank, ask him to come to their office to talk about his uncle’s will.

Alex manages to get into his uncle’s office but the files there were absolutely nothing about banking, his uncle’s supposed occupation.  The files there have titles like counter-terrorism, interrogation techniques, and uranium smuggling. Then he is shot with a tranquilizer dart and wakes up in the SAS training center in the Brecon Beacons.

He is told his uncle was a spy working for MI6 Special Operations and he is asked to complete the assignment that his uncle was shot on.  He is told that his legal guardian will be sent back to America if he refuses.

He is told he will be going to Cornwall, where Middle Eastern multimillionaire Herod Sayle is making his new Stormbreaker computers. Sayle’s going to give one free to every school in the country but MI6 think he’s to good to be true.

After rigorous SAS training he is presented with a collection of brilliant gadgets by Mr Smithers, his gadget master.

He arrives at Sayle Enterprises disguised as Felix Lester, winner of a competiton where the prize was to be the first child to use the Stormbreaker computer.

Read the book to find out whether he survives the deadly Portuguese Man o’ War jellyfish, the machine-gun toting guards, the nuclear powered Chinese submarine, Kawasaki four by four quad bikes armed with flamethrowers, and a deadly, fatal virus.

Buy the book here!

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The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters, by Enid Blyton

This book has quite a weak plot, in my opinion, although it is a good read.  In the “Five Find-Outers – and Dog” series there are two quite good books but unfortunately there are two quite bad books that follow.

The best thing about this book is its bags of humour – “red headed boys running all over the place” driving Mr Goon crazy!  Unfortunately I have not many more good things to say…

First in my long list of blips, errors and criticisms; on the anonymous letters the postmark is “Sheepsale 11.45” and according to them, as the person knows the Peterswood people so well, the letter sender must have got the 10.15 bus.  Er… a couple of problems with that: Wasn’t there cars in 1946?  Couldn’t they have gone on and posted the letter on Sunday?  Just because he knew the Peterswood people well, does it mean he can’t live in Sheepsale?

Also, this whole book lacks motive: why risk prison for just being spiteful or because of something that happened years ago?

This is just a silly error: at the start of chapter 13 Pip said they wouldn’t annoy Mrs Moon, the cook, if they play Fatty new noisy game, woo-hoo-colly-wobbles in the playroom, because she wouldn’t here away down in the kitchen.  In the middle of chapter 15, however, it states that the kitchen is right under the playroom, so they would certainly be heard if they started rolling around and groaning (all part of Fatty’s game!) in the playroom.  I’m very puzzled.

Nearing the end of the book, old Clear Orf aka Mr Goon is cycling along, finds a sack of clues and thinks Fatty put them there to spoof him, and gives all the clues to him – a few problems (sigh) with that as well; when people are cycling along on a bicycle, they don’t usually dismount at every bush and look under it for sacks of clues.  Also, one of the clues was a bus timetable with the 10.15 bus underlined – if the letter-sender gets that bus every Monday, even before the anonymous letters started, she hardly needs to remind herself what bus to take, and anyway, why does she have to hide an innocent-looking bus timetable in a bush?

The solution was blindingly obvious to me, yet, as with all the Find-Outer books (with one exception, which I will come to in my reviews soon), I still enjoyed reading it.

Buy it here…The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters

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