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since 07/05/2008

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Inferno - Dan Brown 07/07/2013

Journey to hell-Inferno

Inferno - Dan Brown This is the latest book from Dan Brown featuring our favourite symbologist Robert Langdon. Waking up in a hospital in Florence, Robert finds himself with a shot wound and with no memory of the past two days. With the help of his doctor Sienna and Dante’s poem, they set off a journey to find out what happened to him, and search for the “Inferno”. Little do they know that a secret organization is monitoring their every move and will stop them at all cost. This is a fantastic read with lot of action, I was hooked after reading a few pages. Dan knows exactly how to keep readers entertained and focused. At one point of the story, the characters were looking at some writings behind a mask and I found myself turning my kindle around- that’s how hooked I was. The storyline goes at a very fast pace and it keeps me guessing the whole time. There were a few jaw-dropping moment towards the last few chapters. The story starts at Florence which is also one of my favourite cities in Europe and it brings back many good memories while reading it. I feel like I have missed some places in my last visit and would very much love to go back again and do an “Inferno” visit/tour. The story then moves onto Venice which is again a nice city I had the pleasure of visiting in the past. But then t moves onto Turkey which is not what I expected and I now have another destination to add to my holiday list. As a catholic, I am not new to the idea of hell. The bible does not have a lot of account of ...

Entwined With You - Sylvia Day 04/07/2013

Third installment of Crossfire Series

Entwined With You - Sylvia Day This is the third instalment in the Crossfire series and the story picks up right after the events in the previous book. Having found out what Gideon did for her, Eva decides to give Gideon another chance. And to avoid complications, the couple start seeing each other secretly. Eva is found herself torn between two lives. On the outside, she pretends to be the woman who has move on after Gideon . However, in private, they are still a couple who have recently get back together. Gideon, on the other hand, is trying to settle problems from his past. Towards the end of the book, the couple take a big step in their relationship. However, some more problems come their way and Eva is confused as to what the future is going to bring for them. It is quite a good read and the chemistry between Eva and Gideon is still hot as ever. There is considerable amount of “steamy” scene but it’s not getting boring -this could be due to Sylvia’s excellent writing. This book is probably more focused on the two of them than the first two books. We still see the other characters but probably not in great deal. There are also new characters coming into the story. Corinne disappears completely in this book. To fill her place, we are introduced to her husband. We also get to know Deanna the reporter, an old acquaintance of Gideon. As for the storyline goes, it’s probably the book with the least drama amount all three. In previous book, we had the “Nathan incident” but in this instalment, ...

Furano 23/06/2013

The beautiful Furano

Furano Furano is located in the center of Hokkaido, Japan, surrounded nature, Furano has some of the best scenery in Hokkaido. In food, in addition to fruits and vegetables prestigious Furano, it is also famous for its wine and dairy products. For people who love outdoor activities, Furano surrounded by mountains, you can engage in different activities. In addition to boating, hiking, golf, and most of all skiing. I went to Hokkaido last summer and stayed in Sapporo. I took a day trip to this nice village during my trip. In the summer time, there are several fast trains from Sapporo to Furano which takes just over two hours. To facilitate the use of public transport of passengers, during the period from June to October, there are half-day sightseeing tour from Furano bus station which is right next to the train station. Tickets can be purchased from the station. For the morning, I chose the tour Twinkle Bus Furano Lavender tour and in the afternoon I got on the Twinkle Bus Biei Lavender tour. The first stop is the Cheese Factory. The nice weather and resources in Furano is the perfect environment to make good cheese. In addition to traditional cheese, Furano people even made use of local produce including wine cheese and squid ink cheese and other uniquely flavoured cheese. The Cheese Factory also provides a variety of cheese making and cheese tasting workshops. Since we have only half an hour in there, so we can only try some cheese. They are indeed very tasty. I wanted ...

Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G + Wi-Fi 23/06/2013

One of the best inventions in the last 10 years

Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G + Wi-Fi I am a keen reader. With the large pile of paperbacks accumulating in my house, I finally decided to get myself a e-reader. Recommended by fellow colleagues and with the special offer from Tesco Direct, I got the Kindle Keyboard Wifi+3G version over a year ago. It's slim and lightweight which means I can carry it around with me whenever I go, especially on holiday. It felt strange at the beginning as there were no pages to turn but a forward or backward button to move around the book. The Amazon site has good support system and it only takes a few clicks on the site to buy or pre-order the book and less than a minute to download the book down to the kindle. I notice that nowadays, when a new book is released, the publisher tend to launch it in e-reader or hardback format. Paperbacks tend to come out 6 months later. With kindle, I can get the book the day(or even the early morning) that it is released. I use it whenever I can and the battery can last for quite a while provided you turn off the internet when you don't need to download books. It's also possible to put pdf files onto it so I also use it to review any documents I have at work. Apart from the device, there are also apps. Sometimes when I forgot to bring it with me, I use the app to read the books on my phone. The apps is also easy to use and it takes seconds to finish downloading books. There are new models released after I got mine but the keyboard one is the model with the largest memory. I am a very ...

Reflected in You - Sylvia Day 12/05/2013

sequel for Bared to you

Reflected in You  - Sylvia Day I’ve been waiting for this after reading Bared to you. Luckily for Kindle readers, we get the book earlier and I started reading it straight after it was delivered to my Kindle. The story picks up the morning after the event in the last chapter of Bared to You. Gideon and Eva decide to make an effort to make their relationship work but their past keep crawling back to haunt them. It was a very good read and I found it difficult to put it down. In this second book you do see Gideon and Eva behaving more like a couple, going to double dates and even therapy session. They still fight but you can see both of them are taking it very seriously. Still a few steamy scenes but I think their main purpose is to show us the connection and the trust between the two of them. Sylvia really knows how to keep your attention. I have to admit, having read book 1, I was eager to find out more about Gideon’s dark past, that’s why I just kept going and going. However, she did not reveal a bit about it till the last two chapters. Also, after “Cary’s incident”, Gideon changed his attitude towards Eva and it just got me hooked even more-why why?? The cliff-hanger at the end of the book is so clever. It partly explains some of the events in the previous chapters and leaves readers wanting more. Seriously I could never have guessed that!! The addition of crime thriller elements really spices up the story. I am starting to think the reason that Sylvia leaves towards the end of the story to reveal ...

Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare 12/05/2013

Final installment of Infernal Devices

Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare This is the final book of the Infernal Devices series. The story starts with the big fight in the Lightwood mansion, followed by the attack to the Institute with Tessa being kidnapped by Mortmain. With no help from the Clave and Jem getting ill, Will sets off to rescue the woman both he and Jem love deeply. The pace of the story goes very quick in this book and I enjoyed every pages and was completely hooked. Apart from the fighting, we continue to see how the political situation is evolving in the shadowhunter community. The letters between the Consul and the Inquistor reveal a lot of what’s going on. On the other hand, Henry’s portal invention is so cool ( I keep wondering if this is the machine they use to get to Idris in City of Glass) and it’s good to see from this series, the first generation of many of the “gadgets” used by the shadowhunters in Mortal Instruments. Apart from the main love story of Jem-Tessa-Will, we also have the pairs Gideon & Sophie and the surprising Ceceily & Gabriel. I find it quite funny that Gabriel and Will having hated each other since childhood are finally becoming friends and “relatives-in-law”. We finally, after much wait, find out about Tessa’s heritage and the love triangle takes a shocking turn in this story. Given his illness, I knew from reading previous books that I will probably see Jem die in this book. However, Cassandra gives us something which I did not expect. I notice that when Cass plans her story line, she like to put ...

The Infernal Devices 2: Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare 12/05/2013

Book 2 Infernal Devices

The Infernal Devices 2: Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare This is the second book of the Infernal Device Series. The story picks up around 2 weeks after the event in the previous book. Tessa has settled into the London Institute. However, trouble is coming their way. They are still clueless on the plan Mortmain has in mind. In order to find out more about Mortmain’s plan, Jem, Tessa and Will set off to Yorkshire to investigate. While still unsure of Will’s feelings for her, Tessa is finding herself getting closer to Jem. On the other hand, Charlotte, as head of institute, is having the pressure from the political situation in the shadowhunter community. This is a very good sequel and lots happened in this book. Firstly, it answers our questions on why Will behaves the way he does, keep pushing people he loves away. His search for information about his curse also brings us to some backstory of Magnus and Camille. Magnus is such an interesting character and he does seem to have most of the funny lines. Secondly, I believe is probably the theme of the book, is the relationship between Will and Jem and also their love towards Tessa. If book 1 is about Will, this book is definitely about Jem. We really get to know him, his illness and his past with Will. I have to say I start to like him more than Will. He is very different to Will, always kind and gentle, the good boy who is the opposite of the bad boy portraited by Will. It’s funny that they are so different from each other and that they become parabatai. Will staying by Jem’s ...

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare 12/05/2013

Prequel of Mortal Instruments

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare I picked this up after reading the Mortal Instruments series. The story is set in Victorian London, not too long after the peace treaty between Downworlders and the Shadowhunters was signed. Tessa Grey has just arrived in London to live with her brother after the death of her aunt in New York. To her surprise, her brother is missing and she is drawn to the unknown world of shadowhunters. She gets to know the shadowhunters in the London institute during her search for her brother, which also reveals that he is working for the Magister. The magister has some evil plans against the shadowhunters which will involve Tessa. Apart from getting to know more about herself and her new found powers, Tessa is finding herself falling for William, one of the shadowhunters in Institute. Is Will the one or not? This is an incredible read and I could not put it down. Setting the scene in Victorian London is interesting and very different from New York as in Mortal Instruments. The families mentioned in this book are related to the ones in Mortal Instruments. It’s interesting to see the great-grandfather/mother of the characters from Mortal Instruments, the way they used to live and fight etc. Unlike Mortal Instruments, the story is told from the perspective of Tessa, someone who is not a shadowhunter, which is again different from Mortal Instruments as told by Clary. Her shape-shifting is quite wow! This book gives a good balance between the downworlders and shadowhunters. Well, one ...

Mortal Instruments 5: City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare 10/03/2013

Book 5 Mortal Instruments

Mortal Instruments 5: City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare This is the fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. The story picks up right after the events in the previous book. Jace has gone missing with Sebastian who has come back to life. Clary and the gang decide to their own search after the Clave decide to give up the search after 2 weeks. They realize that the ritual that brought Sebastian back to life has linked both Jace and Sebastian together in body and soul. To save Jace and find out what Sebastian’s plan is, Clary decides to infiltrate the pair. On the other hand, Simon and the gang with the help of Magnus has been searching for ways to separate Jace and Sebastian, and a way to kill Sebastian without killing Jace. It is a very good read and kept me entertained throughout. I like the idea of the rings for Simon and Clary to communicate and also the “house” which can travel through different dimensions as a hideout. And we also get to know about the Iron Sisters-the weapon makers for the shadowhunters. Apart from an exciting storyline, the author also explores more on the relationships between some of the major characters. We can see further development between Simon and Isabelle, Magnus and Alec and even for Clary and Jace. Isabelle has always been the girl who refuses to give or love but you get to see she is slowly warmed to Simon and they finally become close. I also quite enjoy reading the relationship between Alec and Magnus and the conflict Alec faces when thinking about the future of their relationship. ...

The Mortal Instruments 4: City Of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare 11/01/2013

Beginning of yet another great trilogy

The Mortal Instruments 4: City Of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare This is the first book in the new Mortal Indstrument trilogy. The story picks up a few weeks after the Mortal War. Clary and the gang are back in New York and she has started her training as shadowhunter and also having a relationship with Jace. Simon on the other hand has found himself in an awkward situation dating both Isabelle and Maia. However , a new enemy has arrived and Jace is in the centre of it all. This is a great start to this new trilogy and I quite like the fact that the story begins with Simon and told from more of his perspective. In this book we get to see Simon comes to terms with himself being a vampire and the decision he has to make to stay in shadowhunter world or his own vampire world. It's a story of recognising who you really are and make peace with it. It's also good to see Alec and Magnus becoming a serious item. In previous books we get to know a few clans of downworlders such as warlocks, fairy,vampires and werewolves. It's good to get to know more about the demon world and having one as the main antagonist. Cass makes a good use of the legend of Lillth which fits so well with the story. Overall the story is very well written and there is a big cliffhanger at the end which leaves you wanting more and moving on to the next book is a must! ...

City of Glass - Cassandra Clare 11/01/2013

Very good final to a trilogy

City of Glass - Cassandra Clare This is the third and final book in the first trilogy of the Mortal Instruments series. The story picks up right after the second book. A big gathering of Clave is held in Indris to discuss the next step against Valentine's plan. Clary however has another plan to go to Indris to find Regnor Fell to find a cure for her mother's condition. Soon Clary and the gang found themselves at the blink of war between demons and the shadowhunters. This is a great read and a page turner and it kept me entertained throughout. We have heard of Indris in the last two books and finally we get to see the City of Glass. We also get to know more about the political situation in the shadowhunter world. New characters are introduced in this book such as the Penhallows, Luke's sister Amatis and even Sebastian who turns out to play a key part in the story. The overall plot of the story is great and it's good to see the downworlders and shadowhunters work together to fight the demons. I quite the idea of the rune connecting the two groups so thatt they can share powers. The conversation between Clary and Jocelyn fills us in all the gaps about the back story of the circle and the uprising. In the final chapters we also get to see the Mortal Instruments in use which kind of completes our knowledge of the legend of the shadowhunters. As for relationships, well finally I was so relieved for Jace and Clary- I had such a big smile when I get to that part of the story. Simon also has an interesting story ...

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments) - Cassandra Clare 08/01/2013

Second book of Mortal Instruments

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments) - Cassandra Clare This is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. The story begins with Clary starting a new relationship with Simon while Jace concentrates on his demon hunting as a way to ease the pain of not being able to be with Clary, as they are brother and sister. Soon, the Clave has sent the Inquisitor and Jace is arrested for connection with Valentine. At the same time, children of different groups of downworlders have been murdered across the city and the gang find themselves racing against time to stop Valentine’s next move. This is a good read and I was hooked all the way through. Book 1 is mainly about Clary while in this book, there are a few storylines going on. We get to see Simon turning into vampire, in other words, he is no longer an outsider to Clary’s world. We also get to know some new characters such as Maia in Luke’s werewolf pack, the fairy court and the Queen. Book 1 is about the Mortal Cup and there is no surprise that the second book is about the second instrument the Sword. We also get to see more on the character development and their relationships. With Simon turning into a vampire, there is a change to the dynamics of the triangular relationship between him, Jace and Clary. As oppose to hating each other in previous book, both Simon and Jace gradually understand each other and they kind of come to peace with the fact that they care the same girl. We also get to understand more on the connection between Jace and Valentine and Jace with the ...

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare 08/01/2013

An excellent urban fantasy

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare I am always a big fan of supernatural series and this is the first book of the Mortal Instrument series. I came across this series in an online article as being the next big movie franchise after the Twilight series. It tells the story of Clary, a normal teenage girl in New York who came across a murder while clubbing with her best friend Simon. However, no one seem to notice the murder and slowly she is drawn to the world of shadowhunters who are special demon killing groups to protect humans. She gets to know the shadowhunters siblings in her area Isabelle, Alec and Jace. Soon after that, her mother has gone missing and she finds herself in the middle of a war between the shadowhunters and Valentine, her real father. The key of this war is an ancient artefact called the Mortal Cup which has been lost and Clary is the main piece to this puzzle. This is a very interesting and entertaining urban fantasy and I was hooked from the very beginning. Cassandra has indeed created a unique world. I would say it’s kind of like a mix between Harry Potter and Buffy the vampire slayer. It’s an action-packed adventure with some romance packed in between. Similar to Harry Potter, Cass has unique names for different groups of creatures: shadowhunters(nephilm), downworlders(vampire, werewolf, fairies, warlocks) and mundate(humans). The shadowhunters have their own ruling body called the Clave. They use tattoo-like runes to protect themselves with the use of stele(like magician’s wand) ...

Before I Go To Sleep - S. J. Watson 30/12/2012

Before I go to sleep

Before I Go To Sleep - S. J. Watson It is the debut novel of SJ Watson. I was recommended this book by a colleague and was expecting something similar to the movie 50 First Dates. However, it turned out to be very different. It tells the story of Christine. Every day when she wakes up, it’s a completely new day for her. With no recollection of who she is and her past due to the amnesia she suffered since an accident, she spends each day finding out her past and record it all into a diary. However, the truth she’s been told by her “so-called” husband appears to be very different to what the fact is and it’s time for her to find out the truth. The story picks up slowly at the beginning with the reader following Christine’s journey every day. However, those who love solving a puzzle/mystery, once you notice something is not adding up, that’s the point you get hooked to it. That’s certainly what happened to me. There is a lot of build up to the end and I could not put it down until I found out the truth in the end. As a first novel, it’s very well written and a very good read. The author has also done a lot of research on the anatomy of the brain and how our memory works. During the sessions between Christine and her doctor Dr Nash, we get to know quite a lot about the physiology of the brain which is quite interesting. On the other hand, we can understand the frustration the family face of patients with amnesia or even Parkinson disease. Memory is part of our life and part of who we are, part of what defines ...

Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist 03/11/2012

Let the right one in

Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist Being a big fan of vampire novels, I decided to give it a go a while ago. Set in a working class suburb of Stockholm, it tells the story of schoolboy Oskar. Not long after the arrival of Oskar’s next door neighbour Eli and her father Hakan, murders in the area shocked the community. Oskar slowly gets to know Eli who is keeping a big secret. It is a very well written book, packed with action and a lot of drama . The author split the book into small sections, with each part telling the story of a particular character or characters within the community. However, as you read along, it does not feel messy and the various storylines flow nicely together. This is not your usual vampire novels. Set in a suburb of Stockholm, the author’s aim is to investigate the various social problems in society. First of all, the relationship between Hakan and Eli depicts the issue of child abuse. They have a complex relationship. On one hand, Eli is using Hakan to procure blood for her and Hakan is doing this in order to be intimate with Eli. However, as you read along, you will notice that it’s actually more than that. They have a mixed father-daughter and lover relationship. The thinking going around Hakan’s mind before he procure blood for Eli sounds so real, just like the mindset of typical paedophile. Eli is a very unique character with the mindset of a centuries old vampire locked in the body of a little child. She/he was a victim of abuse back in the day when he was still human. ...
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