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text 2018-03-07 18:14
Reading progress update: DNF on page 20.
A Question of Proof - Nicholas Blake

After 20 pages I´m certain that this book isn´t for me.


One of the teachers of the boarding school has an affair with the headmasters wife. The way Nicholas Blake (a.k.a. Cecil Day-Lewis) writes about this affair, he seems to be pretty okay with it - while I feel the need to gag whenever I´m reading about adultery described in such way. Thanks to Google I have found out that Cecil Day-Lewis had an extramarital affair himself with a woman named Rosamund Lehmann, so this might explain it. I´m still disgusted by it, though.





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text 2018-02-21 04:54

Is anyone else getting super delayed notifications about comments to their posts?


Or is it just me?


*suspicious side eyes*

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text 2017-10-15 10:59
The Linux Server Encyclopaedia: "Anonymous" by Roland Emmerich


Sorry to interrupt, but what is it about the nature of our species that is to so attracted to conspiracy theories? We can trace this as far back as Homer and plenty of modern examples as well.
If I had a crystal ball I think it may well show a 2416 Ox/Cam luminary frothing at the bung as he expounded on the impossibility of an illiterate uneducated Lennon seen as the co-author and author of his celebrated works. I took an interest in the claims of the Earl Of Oxford after the film Anonymous made its preposterous contribution in 2011. I was particularly interested in the fact that the denialists draw so much confidence from their claims to have discovered hidden ciphers in epitaphs and ancillary texts. The Oxfordian method of unwinding these hidden messages (they are never ciphers) involves little more than separating all the letters and making words out of them as if they were a Scrabble bag with two dozen blank tiles. Oxfordians tend to stop as soon as they have found what they want. I was able to go a bit further, whilst sticking rigidly to their 'method'. As a result, I can offer a few new ideas about Shakespeare's favourite books which not even Professor Jonathan Bate may not have considered.
If you're into conspirancy theories, read on.


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review 2017-09-23 00:00
A Question of Allegiance
A Question of Allegiance - Peter Vollmer

I may not have been the very first one, but I was certainly among the earliest reviewers of the novels of South African writer Peter Borchard a.k.a. Peter Vollmer. My reviews began with 2011’s Relentless Pursuit, continued with 2012’s Diamonds Are But Stone, and 2015’s Left For Dead. Of special interest was his 2015 Per Fine Ounce, a continuation novel featuring a character named Geoffrey Peace created by fellow South African novelist Geoffrey Jenkins, a writer with notable connections with Ian Fleming.

In my earlier reviews, I observed that Vollmer is a more than worthy successor to the very successful Jenkins as both writers share much in common. For one matter, both are very adept with descriptions of both characters and settings. Both can take the reader to international locations sketched in vivid detail, no matter what era of history is being used. Both can give the reader fast-paced thrill-rides in stories difficult to pigeon-hole into any particular genre.

A Question of Allegiance is narrated in the first person by Matthias Aschenborn, the son of a well-to-do Southwestern African farmer and businessman with strong roots in Germany. The story opens as the Nazis are coming to power in the Fatherland, and Matthias and his brother George travel to Germany hoping for a university education there. However, Matthias is conscripted and he is trained as an aviator destined for service in the Luftwaffe. He quickly realizes he’s a natural at flying and begins a romance with his trainer’s daughter, Wiebke Osterkamp. George also has a romantic relationship, but it’s problematic as Ruth is a Jew. The issue of Jews in Nazi Germany is a constant concern in the first chapters of the book as none of the Aschenborn’s support the Nazis and have many Jewish friends and business associates.

Thereafter, much of the book reads like Aschenborn’s wartime memoirs as he sketches his adventures in battles in Spain, Russia, and then back to Germany. Some passages show him a man women seem to find irresistible and some sections describe grisly war atrocities. In the waning days of the war, the Russians capture him and transport him to a Russian gulag, sentenced to 10 years hard labor. To say more would take this review into the realm of spoilers. I will say there comes a point where it seems this book is really two novels in one.

Clearly, the main audience A Question of Allegiance should appeal to should be readers who like historical fiction, especially those interested in the European theatre of World War II. But you don’t have to be an aficionado of the era and setting to appreciate the very human saga of Matthias Aschenborn, especially as he doesn’t simply tell us what he did, when, and where, but also shares his feelings and thoughts and reveals the why’s of his actions. These “whys” likely were the same for many Germans swept up in the hard tide of history.

Even after all these years, for many Peter Vollmer remains an unknown quantity. A Question of Allegiance may be the book to change all that.

Wes Britton’s 2011 review of Relentless Pursuit was posted at:

Wes Britton’s 2012 review of Diamonds Are But Stone is up at:

Wes Britton’s 2015 article,” The Re-Boot of PER FINE OUNCE: A Continuation Novel That Isn’t What You Think” was published at:

Wes Britton’s 2015 review of Left for Dead is up at:

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Sept. 23, 2017 at:

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review 2017-07-03 00:00
A Question of Honor
A Question of Honor - Matthew Angelo A Question of Honor - Matthew Angelo Book – A Question of Honor
Author – Matthew Angelo
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 108
Cover – Great!
POV – 3rd person, dual character
Would I read it again – Maybe
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Romance


I really enjoyed this one. It was a super cute, fantasy novel with a LOTR essence that felt comfortable in pace and style.

I won't lie, there were some issues. I had an uncorrected proof, however, so I didn't let these issues lean too heavily upon my rating. There were some editing issues, with spelling mistakes or missing words here and there, as well as some confusion about the POV (sometimes starting off as one character and then becoming another) with a few mistakenly labelled characters, to boot (such as labelling a speech as being by Ash when it was really Havyn who said it) Thankfully, most of the time it was easy to work out what was meant, so it wasn't too big of a problem and I don't doubt that these issues will have been corrected in the final copy.

I have to applaud the world building. There were so many new terms, so much complexity and thought in the world building, that I was staggered. Yet it never felt too overwhelming or overdone.

I loved that we started the story with a Prologue that gave Arcanus, the God of Magic and All Knowledge, his own POV. Then, we finished with that again, in the Epilogue. That was brilliant and also let us see something of the people who were pulling the strings of humans/Elves etc like Ash and Havyn.

There was a whole lot of diversity here, too, from elves, mages and orcs to gay, straight and gender-neutral characters. There were also a whole lot of creatures, mostly familiar to readers already, in the form of elemental spirits, golems, dragons, necromancers and dwarves. I loved how they were all interwoven together in this fantasy world, linked in ways that were both familiar in some ways and original in others.

I actually really liked the POV format, where the characters had one scene each, trading off between Ash and Havyn for every other scene, so that we could see what was happening in chronological order, while not missing out on the finer details. Yes, the Prologue set up the point of the book and the basic plot, but I loved seeing it all come together as Ash and Havyn experienced the summons, then the fight and the victory. I also loved that they both had one person in their lives who knew their secret, before they ventured off to war, and how it made them reflect on their relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and, although it needed some work when it comes to editing, I think the final product would have been just as equally justified of the 4 star review. With great world building, good, strong characters and an intriguing plot that was original and interesting to follow, I really enjoyed it and would love to read more from this 'world'.


Favourite Quote

“Even though he wanted to talk and help Ash, he knew he could not force him to do anything. Instead, he laid his hand on Ash's arm for encouragement and smiled. He hoped submitting to his leadership may help. If not, a fireball later might.”
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