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Life as a data entry temp is great. Your job satisfaction is through the roof. What could be better than entering data for an hourly wage? If you time it right, you even get paid for going to the toilet. Result! The only cloud on your horizon is the blood gathering under your chair. You are shocked to discover that the company you work for is using your blood to power a portal to another world - they are literally bleeding you dry. There's no other option, you must set out on your own adventure and ultimately face The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain!
The Fighting Fantasy series of books captured the minds of a generation. These second-person adventure books were driven the choices the reader made - fabulous adversaries like orcs and wizards were to be fought by the reader as they chose their route through the book. Sadly, all of these young adventurers have grown up to find that the real word is a rather a dull place to be. The only dragons they face now are their uppity line managers and they curse their fellow commuters rather than forest-dwelling crones. But help is at hand, however, as The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain, a hilarious parody of the fantasy adventure genre, opens an office door back into the mystical world of our imaginations.
On one hand a skillful comic account of the drudgery of modern life, and on the other a thrilling adventure populated by creatures of myth and legend, this book is the perfect present for the masses of twenty- and thirtysomethings who look back on the world of choose your own adventure with such affection.
Published: 12 Sep 2008
In the brave new Japan of the 1870s, Taka and Nobu meet as children and fall in love; but their relationship will test the limits of society.
Unified after a bitter civil war, Japan is rapidly turning into a modern country with rickshaws, railways and schools for girls. Commoners can marry their children into any class, and the old hatred between north and south is over - or so it seems.
Taka is from the powerful southern Satsuma clan which now dominates the country, and her father, General Kitaoka, is a leader of the new government. Nobu, however, is from the northern Aizu clan, massacred by the Satsuma in the civil war. Defeated and reduced to poverty, his family has sworn revenge on the Satsuma.
Taka and Nobu's love is unacceptable to both their families and must be kept secret, but what they cannot foresee is how quickly the tables will turn. Many southern samurai become disillusioned with the new regime, which has deprived them of their swords, status and honour. Taka's father abruptly leaves Tokyo and returns to the southern island of Kyushu, where trouble is brewing.
When he and his clansmen rise in rebellion, the government sends its newly-created army to put them down. Nobu and his brothers have joined this army, and his brothers now see their chance of revenge on the Satsuma. But Nobu will have to fight and maybe kill Taka's father and brother, while Taka now has to make a terrible choice - between her family and the man she loves ...
Published: 7 Jun 2012
Inspired by the Emmy Award–winning title sequence that opens each episode of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros is guaranteed to thrill the show’s legions of fans.
Featuring stunning pop-up recreations of several key locations from the series, including the formidable castle of Winterfell, the lavish capital city King’s Landing, and the Wall’s stark majesty, this book takes readers into the world of the series like never before.
Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros features five stunning spreads that fold out to create a remarkable pop-up map of Westeros, as well as numerous mini-pops that bring to life iconic elements of the show, such as direwolves, White Walkers, giants, and dragons. All the pops are accompanied by insightful text that relays the rich history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, forming a dynamic reference guide to the world of Game of Thrones.
Visually spectacular and enthrallingly interactive, Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros sets a new standard for pop-up books and perfectly captures the epic scope and imagination of the series.
Published: 10 Apr 2014
Published: 15 Jul 2013
2041, and for all the advances science and technology have brought, our world is under attack from rampant climate change, uncontrollable mass migration, cyber-terrorism, fragmenting societies and insidious governmental secrecy and paranoia. And then the unthinkable happens - the Earth, our planet, seems to be turning against itself - it would appear that the magnetic field, which protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space, is failing . . .
Fearful of the mass hysteria that would follow if the truth were to become known, world governments have concealed this rapidly emerging Armageddon. But a young Iranian computer genius stumbles across what is really going on, the secret is out, and it's a race against time to put in place an outrageous, desperate last ditch plan to save the world: to reactivate the earth's core using beams of dark matter. As a small team of brave and brilliant scientists - each a maverick in his or her own way - battle to find a way of transforming the theory into practice, they face a fanatical group intent on pursuing their own endgame agenda: for they believe mankind to be a plague upon this earth and will do anything, commit any crime, to ensure that the project fails - and so bring about humanity's end...
Set in a brilliantly-imagined near future world of dazzling technologies, AIs and augmented realities, eminent scientist and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili's thrilling debut novel draws on cutting edge science to tell a nail-biting story of what might be . . .
1081. And so the bloody battle for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire begins.
Within the city of Constantinople itself, three venal factions will go to any lengths - will, it seems, kill any who might stand in their way - to seize the throne.
And outside the city's walls, twin powers threaten a siege that will crush the once-mighty empire forever.
To the west, the voracious forces of the most feared Norman warlord are gathering. While in the east, the Turkish hordes are massing - theirs is a lust for slaughter.
And in the midst of this maelstrom of brutality and betrayal, Hereward and his English spear-brothers prepare to make what could be their final stand . . .
It seems that renowned zombie expert Dr Stanley Blum kept a detailed record of the vital work that he and his crack medical team conducted in their desperate bid to find a cure for the epidemic that is devastating the world. This is his notebook and it doesn't make comfortable reading.
Here he documents the unique biology of zombie organisms for the first time, Notes taken during his dissection of immobilized but still functioning zombies include graphic depictions of the internal workings of these once-humans, and reveal in grim detail the zombie anatomy and offer shocking insights into how these creatures function. This is not a book for the fainthearted. And what soon becomes tragically clear is that Blum and his staff were caught up in a race against time...for they too start to succumb to the zombie plague.
We can only guess at the fate of Dr. Blum. But now that his notebook has been made available to the UN, the WHO and the wider world, we can only pray that Blum's scientific discoveries offer some hope for humankind on earth against the plague of the living dead...
Lovers, colleagues, family - Tilly has always been brilliant at pushing people in and out of her life exactly as it suits her. Then along comes Geoffrey, gentle, compassionate, generous to a fault, with his miserable little children and his manipulative ex-wife.
Tilly's own expertise in the arts of deception and avoidance should be enough to make sure she's always one step ahead of Geoffrey's disastrous, crumbling family. But time and again she finds herself staying, brought down by their cowardly backsliding and their barefaced lies.
How has she managed to stay so long in a relationship she knows perfectly well has to be doomed? More importantly, how can Tilly plan her permanent escape?
Anne Fine's sixth novel is a coruscating comedy written with her trademark wit, insight and grimly dark humour about the ties that bind more savagely than any other - those of families.
Deep within a cave system at Parchin, an Iranian military complex 30 kilometres south-east of Tehran, and hidden from the prying eyes of Western surveillance satellites, scientists are hard at work on a secret device. They are acting on the orders of a renegade group within the hardline Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, dismayed at their government’s recent overtures to the West. Their work contravenes the international nuclear pact, and aims to propel Iran into the elite club of nuclear-armed nations, provoking chaos in the Middle East and threatening the West’s oil supplies.
Britain’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service know something is up – they have an agent in deep cover inside the programme. But to hand over his information face-to-face he needs to get out of Iran by crossing the border into Armenia. And so Luke Carlton, now a fully-fledged SIS officer, heads to a remote Armenian monastery to debrief him. But the mission goes bloodily wrong. Luke has to be extracted, leaving two dead bodies behind him. Then an opportunity to recruit someone with close personal access to the leader of the IRGC hardliners arises – and Luke, eager to redeem himself, is chosen to bring her in. Going into Iran undercover is dangerous enough, but the nightmare begins when a senior British government minister on an official visit is kidnapped, his close protection officer killed and Britain presented with a terrifying ultimatum. It seems the Iranian hardliners have the upper-hand, unless Luke Carlton - on the ground, on his own and unsure who he can trust - can turn the tables. And he's got less than 48 hours in which to do it...
From the mountains of Armenia, to the deserts of Iran, from MI6 operations rooms to the salons of Abu Dhabi, the crowded cafes of Tehran and finally the underwater world of a Royal Navy submarine in the Strait of Hormuz, Luke Carlton is embroiled in a pulse-pounding race against time in Frank Gardner's explosive and frighteningly realistic new thriller.
Jack 'No Middle Name' Reacher, lone wolf, knight errant, ex military cop, lover of women, scourge of the wicked and righter of wrongs, is the most iconic hero for our age. This is the first time all Lee Child's shorter fiction featuring Jack Reacher has been collected into one volume. Read together, these twelve stories shed new light on Reacher’s past, illuminating how he grew up and developed into the wandering avenger who has captured the imagination of millions around the world.
The twelve stories include a brand new novella, Too Much Time.
The other stories in the collection are:
James Penney's New Identity
Guy Walks Into a Bar
Deep Down, High Heat
Not a Drill
All of which have previously been published as ebook shorts.
Added to these is every other Reacher short story that Child has written:
Maybe They Have a Tradition
No Room at the Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner
TO DO LIST
1) Buy hummus
2) Pay Pilates teacher
3) Find prostitute for son...
When it comes to sex, even the best laid plans come unstuck – in the stickiest way possible
As a crossword-addicted English teacher, Lucy never expected to be arrested for kerb-crawling. But her autistic twenty-year-old son Merlin is desperate to lose his virginity, and a prostitute seems like the only option . . . only Lucy picks up an undercover policewoman instead.
Let off with a suspended sentence, Lucy resigns herself to the fact that her son will never have sex, let alone find love… until the morning she miraculously discovers Merlin in bed with a girl.
But is tough, tattooed Kayleigh just taking Merlin for a ride? If so, why? And what has brought Lucy’s snake of an ex-husband wriggling back into their lives?
As all her best laid plans for Merlin’s happiness chaotically unravel, will Lucy ever be able to cut her son’s psychological umbilical cord and start to live her own life? And will the funny, quirky and marvellously magical Merlin ever find real love?
With plenty of comic twists and emotional turns, Kathy Lette’s riotous yet heartrending novel tackles the taboo subject of sex for the ‘differently abled’ – and shows us that when it comes to sex, we all have special needs …
77AD. Gaius Valerius Verrens is an honoured member of Emperor Vespasian’s inner circle, but the enmity between him and Vespasian’s son Domitian means that, even in Rome, danger is never far away. Meanwhile, in the outer reaches of the Empire, in Britannia, trouble is brewing.
The governor, Gnaeus Julius Agricola is preparing to march his legions north and Valerius is Agricola’s chief legal adviser and deputy governor. It's the opportunity he seeks to move his wife and son out of reach of Domitian’s wrath. But Britannia is where Valerius cut his military teeth and whetted his sword - and he will soon discover that the ghosts of his past are never far away and are more dangerous perhaps than Domitian.
The massacre of a Roman garrison and suspicious death of the legate of the Ninth Legion throw Agricola’s preparations into confusion. Now his eyes turn west to Mona, the Druids Isle, where the Celtic priesthood still harbours hopes of ridding Britannia of Roman rule. But to deal with the druids and their savage Ordovice protectors Agricola needs a soldier he can trust at the head of the ‘unlucky’ Ninth. Only one man in the province has the experience and the ability . . .
So a reluctant Valerius must put aside his scrolls and pick up his sword once more and march beside the eagle of the Ninth. It’s only as he stands on the shoreline opposite Mona that he understands any glory his new legion wins is likely to be fleeting and tainted - and that he has placed his family in deadly peril.
Moll thought she could keep her family safe . . .
Eighteen-year-old Moll Chambers works her fingers to the bone doing all she can to support her family. With an ailing father and a wayward mother, Moll is the only one who can look after her siblings, Bo and Sissy.
But Manchester is an increasingly dangerous place to live, overrun with a ferocious rivalry between gangs of so-called ‘scuttlers’: young men and women bent on a life of violence and crime. And they have her brother in their sights. Soon even Moll can’t protect Bo from the lure of the criminal underworld.
Then the scuttlers looked her way.
When she herself falls for the leader of a rival gang, Moll’s choices place her and Bo firmly on opposite sides of the city’s turf war.
With her loyalties now torn in two, and tragedy lurking round every corner, will Moll be able to rise above the conflict and protect those she loves the most? Or will stepping out with a scuttler spell ruin for them all . . . ?
MANCHESTER MOLL is an absorbing saga that will tug at your heartstrings, perfect for fans of Dilly Court, Rosie Goodwin and Maggie Hope.
'A real race-through read. Bolton's writing is pacy, and features a brilliant twist I wish I'd written.' Clare Mackintosh, bestselling author of I See You (in Shortlist)
'For once, the description "impossible to put down" is fully merited, for this is an absolute page-turner' Daily Mail
'With Dead Woman Walking, Sharon Bolton exceeds her own high standards of excellence. It grips from the start . . . The plot merges skilfully, with many splendid twists along the way' The Times
Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.
She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.
Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .
'Bolton is a gripping storyteller with fine, haunted characters' Peter James
'Crepuscular, uncanny mystery' Guardian
'Bolton establishes a forbidding atmosphere . . . A slippery, devious narrative in which things are not always what they seem' Crime Scene
Introducing Luke Carlton - ex-Special Boat Service commando, and now under contract to MI6 for some of its most dangerous missions.
Sent into the steaming Colombian jungle to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Luke finds himself caught up in the coils of a plot that has terrifying international dimensions. Hunted down, captured, tortured and on the run from one of South America's most powerful and ruthless drugs cartels and its psychotic leader thirsting for revenge, Luke is in a life-or-death race against time to prevent a disaster on a truly terrifying scale: London is the target, the weapon is diabolical and the means of delivery is ingenious.
Drawing on his years of experience reporting on security matters, CRISIS is Frank Gardner’s debut novel. Combining insider knowledge, up-to-the-minute hardware, fly on the wall insights with heart-in-mouth excitement, CRISIS boasts an irresistible, visceral frisson of authenticity: smart, fast-paced and furiously entertaining, here is a thriller for the 21st century.
'A fitting end to a trilogy that fans of Bernard Cornwell should devour. The big set-piece battle that completes the book is one of the best that I have ever read.' Antonia Senior, THE TIMES
Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oathsworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath-breaker King Gorm - the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill - he must earn riches enough to build an army.
Many believe Sigurd to be Óðin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster, and when a daring assassination attempt goes wrong, Sigurd finds himself a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum. Bound like a slave, his luck having seemingly deserted him, Sigurd is taken to the sacred temple at Ubsola, a place where the blood of human sacrifice flows to appease the gods.
It is at Ubsola that Sigurd will face the sacrificial knife. And it is here that he will find a powerful relic, the great spear that was said to have once belonged to Óðin himself. With such a spear in his possession Sigurd might now assemble a host strong enough to challenge King Gorm and wreak the revenge he craves.
For, like Óðin, Sigurd will be the Wild Huntsman tearing through the sky on his fearsome steed, and the rage of his passing will be the sound of wings of the storm.
With Wings of the Storm, one of our finest young historical novelists brings his extraordinary Viking saga - an adventure to that is sure to satisfy any 'Game of Thrones' fan - to a triumphant close
When Lucy’s parents are killed in a train crash, her kindly uncle steps in to look after the little girl – to the initial apprehension of his wife and her son. However, Lucy’s sweet, spirited charm slowly wins over her new family, and as she overcomes the trauma of her childhood, she grows up inspired to become a doctor, just like her father.
But studying medicine in London takes Lucy far from her home in Hull and the people she loves, and she has to battle to be accepted in a man’s world.
With the dark clouds of the First World War gathering on the horizon, an even greater challenge approaches. Can a woman find her place on the front line of battle? Will Lucy be able to follow her dreams – and find love – in a world shattered by war?
Times move on for the Adams family in east London, and as business prospers, there are new worries to deal with. A young woman arrives who is intent on ruining Sammy Adam's winter fashion show, and Sammy must deal with her unwelcome attention. Boots has to find a solution when one of his female employees tells him about a sinister visitor, and he also does some match-making. But he doesn't realize that his family are being observed, as out of the shadows come dark and mysterious figures from the past who intrude on Boots, Polly and the twins, and his adopted daughter Rosie. Meanwhile Rosie has her hands full as her daughter Emily continues to rebel against everything around her.
How will the Adams family cope, as trouble seems to lurk around every corner?
It's 1959, and Boots Adams and his wife Polly are helping to celebrate the retirement of barman Joe at their favourite Camberwell pub, when they witness with horror a sudden and vicious attack on Joe by a knife-wielding young thug.
Is this a sign of the times? Is contempt for old traditions and enthusiasm for everything new and fashionable going to threaten the Adams family and their easy-going existence?
While young Gemma is courted by one of the young men who works for her father, her twin brother James finds himself affected by his girlfriend's intriguing family secrets. And just who is the mysterious young woman who arrives from Finland to study at Gemma's college?