Books = Good | Games = Bad !

An interesting response to a new British Cohort Study by Mark Taylor of Nuffield College, Oxford. The project analysed data from 17,200 people, looking at which activities they did in their spare time for pleasure at age 16 in 1986, responses were checked against the jobs they were doing at the age of 33, in 2003. The resulting headlines show the various interpretation of outcomes:

It's a timely study as sales of electronic books overtake physical versions in the US, adding further to the hazy divide between spare time activities.

Overall I'd suggest it's a welcome study, but doesn't teach us too much, a passion for reading (in any format) will stand you in good stead.


The Lord of Tears by James Lovegrove

The Lord of Tears by James Lovegrove is the sequel to The Lord of Void which  I reviewed last year. It is book 3 of the 5 book series, The 5 Lords of Pain, in which young Tom Yamada must save the world by defeating five demons.

After a short re-cap the action begins. 18 pages of the first 40 are given over to a epic battle against a host of Shinobi Ghosts. This is one example of some tricky language. It helps describe the Tokyo setting very well,  but words like Konnichiwa, Harajuku and Yoyogi may put off a few struggling and reluctant readers the book is ostensibly aimed at.

Lovegrove obviously knows his stuff, there is a nice reference to Death Note manga, And I think he may have also read some Alex Rider books, Tom has his own mind just like the youthful spy.

We learn a little more about the Yamada family history and meet some interesting family members. Including Mai who blackmails him to let her fight in the contest. Tom is hugely conflicted; he knows he should be preparing for the fight but the sense of normality is such a relief. In the end Tom's 'pride' forces his decision to fight. In battle the Lord of Tears is super quick, Tom can't get near him, and he must use his brain to defeat him.

It's pretty dense, long book for a Barrington Stoke publication, and lots of puzzles are going to need solving in the final two stories. I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out.


Barrington Stoke Books

I have been reviewing Barrington Stoke books for some time now. It is very rewarding and I don't plan to stop doing the reviews, but I am going to change my approach a little.

Barrington Stoke have been sending me pre-release copies for review. I am going to focus on these, and dip into the back catalogue occasionally. So to get me started I have:
I'm really looking forward to checking these books out - hot off the press!