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About Raven

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    Happy-go-lucky scamp

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  • Reading now?
    Surface Detail, by Iain M. Banks
  1. I like Abigail as well. Aaronovitch seems to be pretty good at writing feisty females! The foxes are in it; they think they are spies, according to the blurb! I think the previous hardback novellas have been around that price.
  2. New novella next March: What Abigail Did That Summer https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08L5ZP9D7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i2 Looks like it is set at the same time as the main series novel Foxglove Summer.
  3. Detective novels recommendation!

    The British Library has a huge selection of crime classics, most of which are contemporary with Agatha Christie, in paperback/on the Kindle.
  4. That must have been a good workout!
  5. The Last Film You Saw - 2020

    I have been re-watching some of the Studio Ghibli films on DVD over the last few weeks, and now I have Netflix again I can catch up with some of the later ones that I have missed.
  6. Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light

    I've not read the books, but I have see the BBC adaptation (and enjoyed it!). I probably should give them a go!
  7. Ancient books found!

    There are a few specialist books shops in the Charring Cross area of London that might be able to give you an appraisal, if you can get there (Symonds may be one of them!)
  8. Kicking this one off, as September seems so last week! I actually bought my first paper book in several months yesterday; Andrzej Sapkowski's Sword of Destiny (the second book in the Witcher series, which is actually a second collection of short stories following on from The Last Wish, that I read earlier this year). As with all new authors or book series that I start, the moment I buy and enjoy the first book the *naughty word* publishers (in this case, Gollancz) decide to reissue the series with a new set of covers, so this purchase was justified (in my head, anyway) by my needing to get the old version when I noticed it in my local WHSmiths earlier this week (I'm also justifying it on the grounds that as I fancied reading it and my reading mojo has been so poor recently, I was going to buy it!) I'm now about 30 pages in to the first story and it's pretty good!
  9. Free Books

    Splendid job there, sir! There are a couple of books on the list that I would be interested in, were it not for the piles of un-read books I already have dotted around the flat (not to mention the virtual ones I have on my Kindle!) A culling really needs to take place before I even consider adding to their numbers!
  10. Too Much Internet

    Posting that here, I suspect you might get a lot of people replying that they read books!* *Other hobbies are available...
  11. But it's actually a badly written comic.
  12. Case rests, M'lurd.
  13. *cough* it's Corbyn! *cough* I don't blame you for getting it wrong, though, the man is thoroughly forgettable and deservedly so. I resent him thoroughly for his lack of a position on Brexit. You cannot lead Her Majesty's Opposition and be absolutely nowhere on the single biggest issue of the day... Gifted the Tories another 10 years, and that is utterly unforgiveable. (apologies for the rant!)
  14. Raven's Reads

    Well, I did make it to 10 books by the end of June, but then I went through what I think is termed "a fallow period". Not quite sure what has happened to my reading mojo; I completed Inversions and being the first Iain M. Banks book I have read for a long while, and having rather enjoyed it, I went straight on to Surface Detail, which is a very different book - though still enjoyable - but I just ground. to. a. halt... Then, a couple of weeks back the following popped up in the Kindle Deal of the Day, and I just finished it tonight... Doctor Who: At Childhood's End By Sophie Aldred Once upon a time, there was a girl who travelled through time and space in a blue box with an impossibly old man, but one day they parted and went their separate ways in less than cheery circumstances. Many years later, the girl now grown, met up with an impossibly young woman, who claimed to have once been an impossibly old man... Side note: I'm beginning to think this whole COVID situation is starting to drive me crackers... So, a Doctor Who book written by Sophie Aldred about an older Ace (her companion character in the late 90's, for those who don't know) meeting up with the current Jodie Whittaker incarnation of the Doctor. I loved Ace when I was growing up; she was strong, feisty and pretty damn hot - she also famously took out a Dalek with a baseball bat! Her pairing with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor worked wonderfully well, and following on from one of the less successful periods in the show's history they started to turn it around and do the kind of character development with Ace that wouldn't look out of place in the new series. It was therefore disappointing that in 1989 the BBC pulled the plug on the show and we never got a third series with Ace and - crucially for this book - no departure story. Scroll on 30 years and now that tale can be told, and I'm sorry to say its a little disappointing itself. McCoy's Doctor - again, for those not watching at the time - had a tendency to be rather manipulative when it came to those around him, and that character trait is used as the reason for Ace's departure from the TARDIS. Whilst the reason's for Ace's departure are utterly plausible, I can't help being a little sad that is how one of my favourite pairings in the show came to an end. But that isn't the end of the story, it's just the beginning! Ace (or to use her real name, Dorothy McShane) is now the successful CEO of a global charity* that is trying to save the planet, but that's just the day job; in her spare time, she's a cross between James Bond (fast cars and secret lairs) and Marie Curie (if the latter had been into explosives, rather than slowly poisoning herself). Teenagers are going missing from the streets of London, and Ace is on the case, but chasing a thread from the other end of the story, so are the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz. To be honest, it's a bit of a convoluted plot, and one that makes use of one of the less impressive elements of Ace's backstory (and one that already had an explanation to boot!) but that's all fluff; if you are reading this book, it is probably to catch up with Ace and to see how she interacts with a different, female Doctor. The former largely works; Ace being in charge and distant from the people in her life is very believable (and draws an interesting parallel with her former mentor) but for all the good she seems to be doing in the world, she doesn't seem to have been able to move on from her travels with the Doctor. The Doctor, on the other hand, has certainly moved on and the two characters together make an interesting pairing, but not one that is really explored very deeply in this book (without giving anything away, the end of the book is rather abrupt, and it feels as though it is missing some wrap up scenes, especially one that I felt was needed between Ace and Yaz). Overall, there is quite a bit here to like, and there is a good hit of nostalgia for the older fans, but the story itself is rather weak and after the initial, interesting mystery, it devolves into a rather run of the mill resolution. If you are not a fan of Ace, or the current incarnation of Doctor Who, then it's probably not one for you. For my own part, I think it just misses the mark (I don't normally give books ratings out of five, but if I did this would be a solid three). Entertaining enough, but definitely one of the fans. Oh, and if Big Finish don't end up spinning off a series of audio adventures from this, I will eat my baseball bat. *A Charitable Earth, geddit? - you can thank Russell T Davis for that one...
  15. Was slow to get the joke.