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Search tags: W.-N.-Herbert
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review 2018-10-22 11:04
The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage - James Herbert

by James Herbert

 

James Herbert can always be relied on to present an interesting story and this is one of his best. A couple looking for a house of their own are drawn to a remote cottage called Gramarye ("magic'' in old English) in the New Forest. It's a little over their price range but in need of serious repairs, leaving room for a little negotiation. Midge, the wife, is adamant that she must have this cottage and suddenly the money to make the difference appears in a rational way. She is an illustrator of children's books and the husband, Mike, is a session musician. Jobs arise in their usual haphazard fashion. The one unusual aspect of the transaction is that the previous owner had some odd criteria for whom the cottage could be sold to detailed in her will.

 

Mike is a city boy, but Midge grew up in the country so she adapts to the lifestyle change fastest. Mike takes a little longer to warm to remote life, especially when unexplainable things start to happen.

 

Things get a little weird from the start and progress as the story goes on. To explain further would require too many spoilers, but I can say that someone else wants the cottage for their own purposes. Discovering the nature of those purposes is an important part of the plot.

 

My favorite character was a little squirrel named Rumbo. I have no objection to most of the human characters, but this little guy was a heart stealer. All I'll say about the ending is that there was plenty of action and drama, though the magic aspect deviated into the sensational. It made for a very entertaining read all the way through.

 

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review 2018-09-01 23:00
A STAR THAT BLAZED BRIGHT THEN FELL FROM SIGHT
Helmut Wick: An Illustrated Biography of the Luftwaffe Ace and Commander of Jagdgeschwader 2 during the Battle of Britain - Herbert Ringlstetter

This is one of the best illustrated biographies of a renowned fighter pilot that I've yet read. This book is replete with a wealth of fascinating photos that spans Helmut Wick's life, from his birth in 1915 in Mannheim, Germany, thru his flight training days, and on to Wick's rise as the Luftwaffe's premiere fighter ace culminating in his death in aerial combat near the Isle of Wight on November 28, 1940. There are also 3 appendices at the back of the book containing a list of Helmut Wick's confirmed (and unconfirmed) aerial victories, a "brief description of the aircraft types shot down by Wick", and illustrations of aircraft Wick flew as well as those of the enemy he faced in combat in 1939 and 1940.

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review 2018-08-18 15:04
Islamic Thought: "Dune" by Frank Herbert
Dune - Frank Herbert


A great book full of grand themes.

Time has only made it grander in its vision. I mean, there was a time when Islam wasn't the great, dangerous "other" to Western eyes. Moderate Islam had an appeal to the west, for example, Goethe's west-eastern Divan. Dune stands in this tradition. It describes a world which is full of Islamic thought. It is world in which Islam probably pushed aside Christianity to become the world's leading religion. In demographic terms, Herbert will most likely turn out to be correct. Also, Paul Atreides is a soldier as well as a religious leader, that means, he is not a Jesus figure (who was not a soldier); he is a Mohamed, the leader of a state and of a religion. Then there are the themes of climate change, genetic engineering, the artificiality of religion, which were prophetic. Herbert had a keen eye for the themes that would dominate the next decades (centuries?)

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-07-26 13:16
Finale
Suicide Squad #40 - Rob Williams,Jack Herbert

Both Hack and The Wall's storylines wrap up as Amanda Waller has to decide between her family and the Squad.   

 

Once again, just loved this whole storyline, which had multiple subplots to keep it going.   

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review 2018-04-07 06:16
Navigators of Dune by Herbert, Brian, Anderson, Kevin J.(May 17, 2016) Hardcover - Kevin J. Herbert Brian & Anderson

Another of the ever-expanding books in the Dune universe.

 

First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that all the plot lines, all the situations, themes, and everything in all these books sprang forth fully formed in the original book Dune. Dune is a masterpiece. That is all.

 

This one is no masterpiece, but it's fun. An interesting take on the Butlerian movement and a setup for the world of Dune. I think this second series (Great Schools, starting with Sisterhood of Dune) hews closer to the original intent of Frank Herbert's idea of a Butlerian Jihad (and the fundamental underpinnings of his universe) than the first series did.

 

The characters seem like unstoppable forces hurtling towards each other: Manford Torondo, Josef Venport, Norma Cenva, Valya Harkonnen, Anna Corrino, etcetera. I was excited to get to this book and see the denouement of how all these folks would interact.

 

Yes, the ultimate ending was predictable, as is usually the case with prequels, but some of the twists and turns weren't

 

 

in the very end, I actually even started to sympathize with Erasmus.

 

I understood Norma Cenva's motivations,and she was a major motive force for the other characters. Did a good job at answering my question why the Spacing Guild didn't just take over everything in the original Dune series.

 

I maybe even a little grieved for Josef Venport, and his stubbornness. I was surprised at the depths to which Valya Harkonnen sunk, and I really wasn't surprised at all that Vorian Atreides rode off into the sunset the way he did.

(spoiler show)

 

So anyway, that was a book. On to the next one.

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