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review 2018-03-28 22:17
A pedestrian pastiche of a steampunk mystery
Affinity Bridge - George Mann

Fog-enshrouded Victorian London is hardly a safe city in this steampunk thriller.  A “revenant plague” runs rampant through the East End, turning the infected into decaying cannibals.  A mysterious glowing policeman is strangling people to death.  And an airship carrying fifty passengers crashes, yet the clockwork automaton piloting it has vanished without a trace.  To solve these crimes Scotland Yard turns to Sir Maurice Newberry, anthropologist turned Crown investigator.  With the aid of his assistant Veronica Hobbes he apples his intellect (and the occasional fist) towards untangling these mysteries and defeating the Empire’s enemies.


George Mann’s novel is a mystery that evokes the atmospherics of a familiar setting refreshed by its steampunk elements.  Yet the book is hampered by pedestrian writing that turns it into little more than a pastiche of familiar elements.  The plot itself is primarily a rush of events, with character development implied rather than undertaken.  The main protagonist comes across as a pale imitation of Sherlock Homes (must every Victorian detective be an opium addict?), while his relationship with his assistant seems to be little more than a Victorian derivative of the Mulder-Scully dynamic.  It all makes for a book that, while an entertaining read, is not one that has much to distinguish it beyond the many other works in the field.

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text 2018-02-07 18:50
Double date
Batman (2016-) #37 - Tom King,Jordie Bellaire,Clay Mann,Mikel Janin,Raul Fernandez,Alvaro Martinez

Batwoman was allowed to date girls by the higher ups at DC, but she wasn't allowed to do so to celebrate her engagement, since she wasn't allowed to get married. 

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text 2018-02-07 18:41
Batman (2016-) #36 - Tom King,Jordie Bellaire,Clay Mann,Seth Mann

Batman and Superman are nagged to talk about the upcoming wedding by Lois and Catwoman. 


No one talks about why Batwoman wasn't allowed to get married to her girlfriend because it wasn't a straight wedding. 



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text 2018-01-02 17:57
My top reads of 2017 - the runners up!
Last Breath: A gripping serial killer thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Erika Foster Book 4) - Robert Bryndza
A Stranger's House - Clare Chase
The Liar - Jennifer Wells
The Cold Hard Truth - Amanda Leigh Cowley
The Cows: The Hottest New Release for 2017 - Dawn O'Porter
The Lost Children - Helen Phifer
Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café - Richard Dee
Murder Game: A gripping serial killer thriller you won't be able to put down (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 3) - Caroline Mitchell
Saving Sophie: A gripping psychological thriller with a brilliant twist - Sam Carrington
The Monk of Lantau - Mann Matharu
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review 2018-01-01 00:00
The Girl with Seven Names
The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee,John David Mann What an interesting story and its so hard to believe that in this day and age that a whole nation of 25.5 Million people could be so cut off from the rest of the world and its leader could controll and dictate everything about peoples lives from birth to death.
I had read a couple of books on North Korea over the years and came across [b:The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story|25362017|The Girl with Seven Names A North Korean Defector’s Story|Hyeonseo Lee|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1435968828s/25362017.jpg|45105689] and another book which I felt were both worth reading.

This book is easy to read and Hyeonseo Lee is certainly a lady with a lot of courage and if you enjoy reading about different culture and traditions then this is interesting and a great insight into one young woman's struggle to gain freedom. I watched a couple of you tube clips of this lady giving talks and she certainly is an inspiring and interesting woman and her book is an excellent insight into life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships.

There were times in the story where I struggled with the authors choices and found myself wondering why she made some of the crazy choices she did and yet the more I though about it the more I realised she wasn't brought up as I was where making choices is something I take for granted, in her world life is dictated to you and you dont get to crave your own path in life so therefore choices and decisions must be very difficult to make when its never been part of your life.

Each chapter ends in a sort of cliff hanger which I found a little bit pointless as the book didn't need to be written in this format as the story is so compelling in itself but its only a small thing and doesnt take a way from the book.
The one thing this book really brought to light is just how confusing and challenging life in the free world can be for those who make the journey and the guilt and worry over family left behind.
An easy and insightful read and I think this would make a wonderful bookclub read for those looking for something a little different.
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