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review 2019-01-13 20:01
The Great Zoo of China
The Great Zoo of China - Matthew Reilly

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

CJ Cameron and her brother Hamish are included in a group of VIPs to see a new Chinese zoo. This is no ordinary zoo, several decades in the making, it showcases a creature no one thought existed, dragons. Things do not go to plan during the initial tour and of course the dragons wreck havoc on the group, looking to break out of the zoo environment. The group looks to evade danger which is not limited to the dragons as the Chinese will stop at nothing to contain the threat to their investment.

This was a hugely enjoyable thriller that was fast paced, fun and had great characters. Whilst you require some (or a lot of) suspension of disbelief, there's enough science and tech info to make it engaging and I really enjoyed Reillys take on dragon mythology.

CJ was a well drawn character, lots of great backstory on how she was disfigured and her work in her field of reptiles. Her brother Hamish is an entertaining secondary character and interjects some humour into proceedings but it's the dragons themselves, especially Lucky that steal the show and hook you into the story.

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review 2019-01-11 14:23
Great Courses: The American West
The American West: History, Myth, and Le... The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy - The Great Courses,The Great Courses,Patrick N. Allitt,Patrick N. Allitt


What I love most about Professor Allitt is that he is a Brit teaching American history to Americans. He has no baggage, nothing to defend and he has no qualms about telling it like it is. Manifest destiny and the taming of the West is sadly our contribution to the list of genocides and Allitt reminds us of this. He explains but he does not apologize for or attempt to justify the actions and behavior of those who settled the West. His lectures are rich with reading from primary sources, particularly journals.

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review 2018-12-24 20:56
What Einstein Got Wrong (audio)
What Einstein Got Wrong - The Great Courses,The Great Courses,Kay Hooper,Kay Hooper

A interesting series of lectures by Dan Hooper as part of The Great Courses series.

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review 2018-12-13 16:22
The Great Dune Trilogy
The Great Dune Trilogy - Frank Herbert


















The thing about Dune is that the story revolves around a desert planet that's filled with big deserts with big and nasty worms, so it's naturally to this day still badly accepted by the society that prefers Star Wars and Star Trek kind of movies. But that doesn't mean it's bad, in fact, in my humble opinion, Dune Trilogy is one of the best science fiction Trilogies ever written besides Alien and Isaac Asimov's Foundation. It pretty much brings everything every science fiction buff wants to read about inside of a science fiction novel, and it offers a truly great storyline and a well-crafted fictional Hero, one that shall most definitely keep your interest into the novel, and keep you wanting and searching for a whole lot more. Luckily for you, there is more of the Dune world on the bookshelves inside of a book store, but I suggest you read this Trilogy first, because it's amazing, characters inside it are amazing, and the storyline isn't just truly great but also truly spectacular.

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review 2018-12-11 15:00
Ruthless Pursuit: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

(Original review, 1981-04-30)

“The Great Gatsby” is essentially a love story. Daisy turns out to be as unattainable to Jay as Beatrice was to Dante but this being the US, the hero doesn't elevate his idol to muse status; instead he embarks on a ruthless pursuit that ends up destroying him.

It's difficult in the present era of throwaway relationships to comprehend the extent of Gatsby's romantic obsession. The questions are: 1) would he have taken to crime had Daisy returned his love and told her wealthy family to go to hell and 2) did he love Daisy precisely because she was a romantic chimera, a glamorous woman who represented a rarefied world he wished to conquer?




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

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