Kai Meyer – Pirate Curse (The Wave Walkers Trilogy #1)/ Die Wellenläufer

Die Wellenläufer

© Loewe Verlag

Hardcover
published: 2006
publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Loewe Verlag (German)
pages: 320

Blurb:

The Pirates of the Caribbean have a name for kids who walk on water — they call them polliwogs. As far as fourteen-year-old Jolly knows, she’s the last polliwog still alive — and this special talent makes her invaluable to the pirate captain who raised her.
When someone sets a trap for Jolly’s ship, she alone escapes. Washed up on a tiny island, she meets Munk, who has been raised in hiding. Munk longs to go to sea, but his parents are afraid of pirates. They have forbidden Munk to reveal his true identity — he, too, is a polliwog.
But pirates are not the only threat in the Caribbean. Evil forces are stirring, and a demon from the sea attacks and murders Munk’s parents. Was the demon really after Munk? And Jolly, too? Why are the polliwogs so valuable, and who’s willing to kill to possess them?
Jolly and Munk must sail with a strange crew of outcasts, led by the mysterious Ghost Trader, to avenge their loved ones and try to stop an ancient, malevolent force known as the Maelstrom. What it will cost both teens, no one can tell — in this thrilling fantasy from the extraordinary Kai Meyer. (Goodreads)

In (Very) Short:

+ wonderful middle grade adventure book with pirates
+ kids who can walk on water
+ fast-paced, thrilling and a fantastic story world

My Opinion:

This wonderful adventure story is not only a good read for the middle grade reading group but was very entertaining for this old person 🙂

I listened to this novel as an audiobook and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Kai Meyer is one of Germanys successful fantasy authors, who has also dabbled in other genres, yet I really love his childrens’ books.

Jolly and her friend Munk are the last two children who can walk on water – called polliwogs. Though Jolly grew up on a pirate ship – she has to escape that ship once it was attacked by poisonous spiders. So, when she met Munk, they not only discover that they are both polliwogs, but that the oceans and the sea is slowly starting to change and monstrous creatures start to appear. Evil forces are stirring and are hunting the two kids. In order to survive, avenge their loved ones, and safe the world, Jolly and Munk travel to a strange place with a quite a strange crew.

The novel is fast-paced and the explanations of the world are incorporated into the story without taking the tempo out of the narration. Yet they satisfied curiosities. I enjoyed the characters and their development though I did not always understand their occasional blindness. Munk was a little annoying at times, but since he spend his entire life on an island by himself, I could understand him. The mixture of strange outcasts – who else is accompanied by a pitbull-man – was wonderfully eccentric and fun to read. All together I could not stop the audiobook and quickly continued with the next installments.

Bottom Line:

A fast-paced adventure pirate novel – what is not to love.

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Kai Meyer – Seide und Schwert (Wolkenvolk Trilogie #1)

Seide und Schwert

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Carlsen
veröffentlicht: 2010
Seiten: 416

Klappentext:

Das Mädchen Nugua wächst im China des Jahres 1760 unter Drachen auf. Doch eines Tages sind die Drachen spurlos verschwunden. Nugua macht sich sofort auf die Suche nach ihnen. Sie begegnet unsterblichen Magiern, œ iegenden Schwertkämpfern – und Niccolo, einem Jungen mit goldenen Augen. Auch er sucht die Drachen. Denn nur ihr Atem kann sein Wolkenvolk vor dem Untergang retten. Nugua und Niccolo merken schnell, dass sie nur gemeinsam eine Chance haben. (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ Auftakt zu einer Trilogie um Drachen, China und Völkern die auf Wolken wohnen
+ interessant konstruierte Welt
+ eine Mischung unterschiedlicher Hauptfiguren

Meinung:

Seide und Schwert ist der Auftakt zu einer Trilogie. Da ich ein großer Freund von Abenteuergeschichten für Kinder bin, war ich schon sehr gespannt auf dieses Buch.

Die beiden Hauptfiguren Nugua und Niccolo sind auf der Suche nach den Drachen, die über Nacht plötzlich verschwunden sind. Dabei haben beide unterschiedliche Beweggründe. Während Nugua nur mit Drachen aufgewachsen ist, steht Niccolos Volk kurz vor dem Untergang, da sie den Atem der Drachen brauchen, damit ihre Land auf den Wolken sich nicht auflöst und alle in den Tod stürzen. Zusammen begeben sie sich also auf die Suche nach den Drachen und kämpfen das ein oder andere Mal ums Überleben und die Wahrheit.

Ich kann noch immer nicht so ganz einschätzen, ob es sich hierbei nun um einen Fantasyroman handelt und alles nur erfunden ist, oder ob die Geschichte auf chinesischen Mythen oder Legenden beruht. Auf jeden Fall ist die Erschaffung der Welt bzw. die Welt in der die Geschichte spielt, sehr interessant, vielseitig und fremd. Es ist spannend mit den Figuren die Welt zu erkunden und zu versuchen ein Bild zusammenzusetzen.

Obwohl die Figuren sehr nett sind, kann ich leider keine richtige Beziehung zu ihnen aufbauen…gelegentlich gehen sie mir ein wenig auf dem Keks. Die arme Socke im Drachenkostüm ist mir da noch am sympathischsten.

Der Auftakt ist unterhaltsam. Ich bin gespannt wie es weiter geht, was nun mit den Drachen passiert ist und ob Niccolo sein Volk retten kann. Allerdings werde ich nicht sofort weiterlesen. Da Buch ist zwar nett, hat mich aber weniger gefesselt als Die Wasserläufer von Kai Meyer. Das mag mit Sicherheit daran liegen, dass die Geschichte an sich ruhiger und langsamer entwickelt und nicht ganz so handlungsorientiert wirkt.

Fazit:

Ein unterhaltsamer Auftakt mit einer interessanten und fremdartig wirkenden Welt.

In English:

This novel is set in China and centers around the sudden disappearance of dragons. Niccolo and Nugua are thrown together as both look for the dragons – Nugua because she grew up with them and Niccolo because the breath of the dragons keeps the city on the clouds (on which he lives) up on the air. His home is about to plummet towards earth and her home is gone. Together they face many challenges and fight for their lives and the truth.
I am not sure whether this is a fantasy book or based on myths and legends. It is enjoyable to discover the story world. Though the characters are nice, I could not relate to them without really knowing why I can’t. Still, the story is entertaining, yet not fast-paced, the world is fascinating and strange, and the characters interesting, yet distant. I am interested to see how this story evolves and if they actually find the dragons and the truth.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month Febuary

I am pretty pleased with this reading month given that I somehow don’t really have the time nor the nerve to sit down quietly anymore. Yet I still manage to listen to my fair share of audiobooks.

  • Books: 3
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Pages (only books): 720
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 3066
  • Minutes listened: 1910 min. (over 31 hours)

Books:

Victoria Aveyard – Red Queen

Red Queen was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Though I could see some of the twist and turns coming, it was a captivating read. The world creation was interesting (and I can’t wait to get to know more about it), the characters were fascinating and divers (even if I did not connect to all of them), and the protagonist’s dilemma developed from a rather one-dimensional point and perspective to a multidimensional one. A really enjoyable and entertaining fantasy novel.

red queen

Antje Szillat – Tohu Wabohu: Nichts für müde Krieger (#1) & Tohu Wabohu: Nur für echte Cowboys (#2)

This children’s book series is not only a wonderful book for boys (and I would say girls too) but is narrated with and through small comic strips in between longer texts. The comics, however, do not just support the text but actually continued the narration before returning to a piece of text again. The illustrations were charming and the protagonist and his horse were adorable. Each book centers around an adventure in which the protagonist and his horse save the day.

Tohu 2 - Nur für echte Cowboys

Audiobooks:

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp/ Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I have read the Percy Jackson series quite some time ago and I really enjoyed it. Now I have turned to the German audiobooks (because they are available in our library) and I do enjoy them too. Though I do not laugh as much as I did with the English version. Still, they are fun, entertaining, thrilling, and Percy is still very loveable – though I do miss the sarcasm…but that might also be due to the narrator.

Dörte Hansen – Altes Land

This German author has centered her story around two women from different generations each fleeing, each trying to find a home, each struggling with their past. While one protagonist fled their home in WWII and never felt home in a town she has lived in ever since, the other flees her live and family after being left by her husband. The character-driven story was captivating and thought-provoking.

Tohu 1 - Nix für müde Krieger

Lucinda Riley – Das Orchideenhaus/ Hothouse Flower

My very first Lucinda Riley novel was surprisingly entertaining. Not that I did not think I would like the author, since I heard only good things about her. However, I am always a little nervous or reluctant when I dive into a new audiobook genre. The first books always determine whether I want to continue with it. So far I have mostly listened to historical fiction, crime stories and young adult and children’s books.
I really enjoyed the story that was set in two different times. The writing was fluent and effortless, the narration well-paced and intriguing, and the characters vivid and sympathetic. A wonderful start into the genre and the writing of Lucinda Riley.

Kai Meyer – Die Wasserweber (Die Wellenläufer #3)/ Pirate Wars (The Wave Walkers #3)

The final installment of the Wave Walkers trilogy was gripping, surprising, and fun. As per usual the story was fast-paced and action packed. I was happy to meet my friends again and accompany them on their final adventure as well as sad to let them go at the end. It was a wonderful conclusion to a great middle grade series.

Sabine Weigand – Die Silberne Burg

My historical novel this month was centered around a young Jewish woman who tries to escape a horrible past and husband and to make a living for herself in the middle ages. It is amazing how many times she was down on the ground and she picked herself up again. I enjoyed the author’s novels since they entail enough historical data and facts, yet do not overwhelm and bore the readers with those. The information is dispersed and keeps the narrative pace steady (if that makes any sense).

Kuschelflosse 1

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse und das unheimlich geheime Zauber-Riff

This audiobook is a wonderful children’s book about the fish Kuddly and his friends who are searching for a magical reef and an old turtle who will grant a wish. The friends start on adventure that is exiting, a little dangerous, and that lands them in an urchin population census. A wonderful and fun book with a great message. I loved it.

My Reading Month January

A new year and I am still reading less than I want to, but I listen to a lot more audiobooks. My way to work is a little longer and the house work does not seem to decrease, therefore my hours of listening to audiobooks have increased quite a bit this month. In addition, going through all the personal paper work and cleaning those files cabinets out is a lot more bearable with a nice audiobook.
I digress, so let’s get started.

  • Books: 2
  • Audiobook: 8
  • Pages (only books): 736
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 4864
  • Minutes listened: 3404 min. (over 56 hours)

Books:

Martin Wehrle – Sei einzig nicht artig.

This non-fiction book is maybe something like a self-help thing, though it does not tell you how to do anything really. Basically, this book illustrates how many of your choices have been somehow made by other people in your life or by society as a whole and not by yourself. You don’t always (or sometimes never) choose things because you want them or like them but because of what is expected of you – and you don’t even really notice it. Or some things you notice, but it helps that someone else points them out to you again. Anyway, I really enjoyed this read. This does not mean I am going to change my life or my habits or my thought patterns right away, but at least I think a little about it. Sadly, this is written by a German author (yeah for readers who read German), and I doubt this will be translated into English. I am sure, though that there is a similar book on the English-speaking book markets.

dem pharao versprochen

Marliese Arold – Dem Pharao Versprochen

Another German book this month was written by one of my favorite children’s book authors. After I started reading and listening to her magic girls series (about witches, who were exiled into the human world and now have to hide their witch powers so they are not discovered), I came across this story set in Ancient Egypt. Anchesenamun, the sister and wife of Tutanchamun, is a the center of this story as she and her best friend are thrown into the intrigue and politics of the Egyptian court. Not only is she barely teenager, she is also in love with someone else and if that is discovered it could cost them their lives. I enjoyed the setting of the story, since I loved reading novels set in Ancient Egypt when I was younger and I thoroughly enjoy Ancient Egyptian mythology. It was a nice story for young girls, that did lack a little bit of action for me. Since it was more a story dealing with emotions rather than an adventure story, I had a few difficulties to relate to the main character, but then again I am quite a bit older than the intended reader.

Audiobooks:

Kai Meyer – Die Muschelmagier/ The Pirate Emperor (The Wave Walkers #2)

I enjoyed this novel as much as the first in this pirate adventure series. Jolly and Munk continue to save the world, yet their magic and power affects both quite differently. This part follows Jolly a little more and we get to read less about Munk, which I personally did not mind since I was getting on my nerve. However, the narrator was fantastic as always and the story thrilling.

Eva Stachniak – Der Winterpalast/ The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great

I have listened to quite a few historical novels, but this is my first set in Russia. The story follows a young girl who works at the royal court and becomes a spy. She also becomes friends with a young and unsure Sophie – later Catherine the Great – whom she is dedicated to, only to learn that there are no friendships at court. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the setting. I remember some of the historical facts from school, but this made me want to catch up on my Russian history.

Petra Durst-Henning – Die Champagner Königin

Isabelle has married a man her parents did not approve of, when he inherits a vineyard and the move to France. The young woman is enchanted by the landscape and the possibility of a bright future. Yet nothing is a pretty as it seems: a rival is already waiting to destroy them and fate strikes a devastating blow. It was a nice and easy story, that was entertaining and enchanting (I felt a little mesmerized when listening to the descriptions of the landscape). A good audiobook.

Sabine Ebert – Die Entscheidung der Hebamme

The is the third installment in the series about a midwife in the middle ages. Old rivals always return, fate strikes again and again, and cruelty seems to reign supreme. It was a good story, at times it felt a little jumpy as they try to cover quite a large time span. I just need a little break from the series and I am sure the main character would need that too. How much can happen to one poor person.

Der Winterpalast die rebellin

Lena Johannson – Die Ärztin von Rügen

I was in a historical novel mood, as this was my forth in a row. Yet all of them set in different times or at least different countries. This was a rather slower audiobook as this was not so much about action and abuse of the female character (as many novels set in the middle ages are). Anne has lived and worked with her father (a doctor) all her life. But when the train comes to Rugia a lot more doctors come along and not all of them are pleased to see her work as a doctor’s assistant. And then there are two young doctors who do not mind her at all. It was a lovely and slow book, that was entertaining, yet I could see so many things from afar long before she noticed any of it – which made me a little annoyed at her but also took away some of the excitement.

Ursula Niehaus – Das Heiligenspiel

Another novel set towards the end of the middle ages centers around the young woman Anna who is neither pretty nor desirable and surely not loved by her mother. She manages to live a somewhat comfortable and happy life when rumors start to swirl and make her out to be a saint. She tries to explain and rectify those assumptions, yet people don’t believe her. With those rumors and the changes in her life, envy comes crawling out of the woodwork. It was a good read, though I could not relate to Anna and I had difficulties with the development of the story and thus her life. There seem to be too many coincidences that always put her in awkward positions, yet there was nothing she could have done either. I just seem to have difficulties with the lack of control she had and the missing desire to have control.

Ulrike Schweikert – Die Herrin der Burg

I haven’t noticed how historical novel heavy my audiobooks were this month. Another historical novel set in the middle ages centering around two half sisters who are thrown into the turmoil of a brewing war. Though the premise was interesting and the book had good reviews, I had quite some issues to get into the story: to many places, names, and characters. It was confusing and it took me a while to figure out what was happening with whom and who belonged to which side. I can honestly say, that I still don’t know for sure. Maybe I should have read this one instead of listing to it and maybe I should have freshened up on my history lessons from school before starting this novel.

Trudi Canavan – Die Rebellin/ The Magician’s Guild

Trudi Canavan is great. I have read this book some time ago in English and now I listened to the German audiobook version and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fun, entertaining, and narrated and translated well. I really like Sonea and I could not stop listening, just as I could not stop reading back in the day. The story world is great, the characters likable, the story well constructed. I loved it again.

My (late) Reading Month August

August was a good reading month – I did listen more than I read, but all in all it was good. This time I will start with a little statistic and will then turn to the titles.

  • Books: 3
  • Audiobooks: 6
  • Pages (only books): 939
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 2995
  • Minutes listened: 2231 min. (over 37 hours)

Books:

Jessica Fletscher and Donald Bain – Coffee, Tea or Murder?

A Murder, She Wrote novel about a flight to London and the death of one of the participants. Good as always.

Emma Grey – Schuld war nur der Tee

Crime story set in England – mysterious deaths of seemingly random people, an unkown substance and a police officer with problems, a past, and alcohol.

Kai Meyer – Seide und Schwert

A fantasy adventure set in China with people who live on clouds, dragons, and the undying (and no not vampires).

Audiobooks:

Hape Kerkeling – Ich bin dann mal weg

One of Germany’s most famous and popular comedians on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – it is not a comical book but it sure has some comical moments.

Rita Falk – Dampfnudelblues und Schweinskopf al dente

Two regional crime stories set in a small town in Bavaria: each crime is a little more absurd than the one before, but quite hilarious and funny.

Derek Landy – The Faceless Ones/ Die Diablerie bittet zum Sterben

The third installment of the Skulduggery Pleasant series – this time fighting the faceless ones, needing more than a little humor to survive this disaster. (We’re not retreating, we’re advancing in reverse 🙂 )

Susanne Fröhlich – Aufgebügelt

A chick lit for the older more mature chick: about being left, leaving and finding new beginnings.

Iny Lorentz – Das wilde Land

The third book in an emigration saga of a family who fled Germany to make their way in the new world and finding a place there.

My Reading Month June/July

Since I did not manage to write a monthly summary for June, I have combined both June and July this time and I was surprised how much I read and listened to in these months.

During the past months, I listened to more audiobooks than I read physical ones and I have to admit, that I did start to enjoy to watch an occasional TV series again – I have limited my TV watching due to my project worked which focused on TV series. But now, I spent some time with the good old Star Trek Next Gen – which I loved when I was younger and still love. Oh the good old times. But back to business.

In June, I read two books and I listened to six audiobooks – two of them being children’s stories about an hour long.

Books:

Octavia Butler – Parable of the Talents

This is the second book in a duology and it was a good and interesting read. I really enjoy Butler’s writing. I don’t want to spoil so I will refrain from summarizing and it is quite complicated to do anyway. As I said, the story was good, but I could not relate to either the protagonist nor her daughter.

Rae Carson – The Bitter Kingdom

The last book in the series was as fast-paced and exiting as the ones before. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and their developing relationships and the new characters. I did not see some of it coming and I always waiting for some twists that never came. Great conclusion.

The Bitter KingdomStorm Glass

Audiobooks:

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Hexer und die Henkerstochter

The fourth book (or audiobook) in the series. A historic crime novel centering around murder and is solved by a grumpy executioner. It was interesting, fascinating (I really enjoy all the middle age day-to-day facts), thrilling, sometimes funny, and sometimes a little sad. Great book.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Die Schlacht ums Labyrinth

I have read the books several times and I came across this audiobook in German, so I picked it up. I wanted to see if I like the story translated into German and I enjoyed it. I have to say that I like the original a little better (at least the book version) but that is maybe due to my familiarity with it. Translations are always tricky. But it was done really well.

Bibi Blocksberg wird Prinzessin

Bibi is one of my childhood friends, and the audiobooks centering around this characters are the ones that I listened to repeatedly. This time the little witch (the main character Bibi) is suddenly turned into a princess and has to find her way back to her time line. Fun and entertaining.

Sabine Martin – Die Henkerin

Another historical novel: this time a young woman witnesses the murder of her family and in order save herself she hides as a boy living with and learning to be an executioner. But than she meets the person who murdered her family and she has sworn to avenge them. It was a good read, though it was a little jumpy between different perspectives and times, it was still good to follow and interesting.

Die Zeitdetektive – Freiheit für Richard Löwenherz

The story about 3 time traveling friends who visit different times in order to learn more but then get caught up in an adventure. This is always fun and filled with interesting historical facts that I have either learned in school and long forgotten or that I really did not know. Well done and I think really great for kids.

Kai Meyer – Die Wellenläufer

The last audiobook this month is a fantasy adventure about pirates and two children who can walk on water. This is again another wonderful story that is great for children and that was fast-paced and fascinating. Who does not love pirates and who wouldn’t want to walk on water. Really enjoyable.

Master of Crows Radiance

So, after a quite successful June I had an even better July. It took me a little to get into the swing of things. I did not start to read until well into the month and I managed to read most of the books within a little more than a week. A little time off is something really beautiful. Well, in July I managed to read 7 books (two of them novellas) and listened to 4 audiobooks. A great month.

Books:

Grace Draven – Radiance

I have been circling this book for a while as it had great reviews so far. I was in the mood for some fantasy and I really enjoyed the story. Two people of different species were married in order to ensure peace and trade agreements between their two courts and both think the others are extremely strange and hideous to look at. The story was nicely paced, entertaining and the characters were not flat, though not fully developed either. Towards the end it was quite sexually explicit (which surprised me a little since I did not read anything before going into this book) but it was only short and did not dominate nor hinder the stories fluidity.

Maria V. Snyder – Storm Glass

I have loved the Study trilogy with Yelena and Valek. Now this trilogy focuses on Opal a character from the first trilogy. It was a good read, though it was a lot more annoying that Opal just seemed to stumble from one incident and accident into the next. She never saw things coming and her naivety was getting onto my nerves a little. Still, it was interesting and I am curious to see how it continues.

Grace Draven – Master of Crows

After Radiance was an enjoyable read and this e-book was quite a bargain, I started to read this. The story was OK, and the premise interesting. I liked the world creation, though I would have liked some more build up. However, this one was very explicit and centered a little too much around any form of procreation. If you are still under aged: don’t.

the assassin and the pirate lord The Assassin and the Desert

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Desert

I finally continued to read some Celaena Sardothien stories. Since the stories/novellas build on each other, I will not talk about the content. It was an interesting story with a few more or less surprising twist and turns. You could see them coming, but they were not obvious. It is interesting to see how she develops after what happened with the Pirate Lord and how things slowly change.

Nina Blazon – Laqua: Der Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

I needed some children’s adventure story and I picked up this gem by a German author. Two children have to spend time at their grandmothers in Venice and strange and evil things start to happen. An old force is trying to possess the children’s aunt. Can they stop worse from happening? A fun and entertaining read that made me want to go to Venice and start reading more adventure books set in Venice, yet I did not have any with me at the time.

Richard Stark – The Handle

This is a crime novel that was recommended and gifted to me by one of the members of my committee who attended the defense of my dissertation and since that was about crime series, we started to talk about crime fiction and the Parker novels. It was an interesting read from the perspective of the criminal. It was short, quick, entertaining, a little hard-boiled-esque, and a great in between novel. If you like the hard-boiled writers, give this one a try.

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Underworld

The next novella in the Throne of Glass series was as entertaining and again build up on the ones before. It was interesting to also see the emotional and personal struggle of Celaena to come to terms with who she has become and who Aborynn really is.

The Handle Nina Blazon - Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

Audiobooks:

Bastian Bielendorfer – Mutter ruft an

This book is somewhat of an experience report about the authors unique and yet sometimes surreal mother. It was a good book, although it took me some time to warm up to him. A nice audiobook for in between.

Marliese Arold – Magic Girls: Gefangen in der Unterwelt

I have read the first books in physical form and now I have come across the third book as audiobook. The story was captivating and thrilling (even more than the previous ones), there was a lot of mystery that is not yet solved, and it is closely connected to the previous book. I only had some issues with the reading – the voices in which some of the characters were read, were quite annoying.

Iny Lorentz – Die Kastellanin

This is also a second book in a series written by a German author or better a duo. It is a historical novel focusing on adventure, political conspiracies and murder. It was beautifully read and thus captivating. Enjoyed it very much.

Sabine Weigand – Die Seelen im Feuer

Another historical novel that centers around the witch burning mania in the middle ages. It was interesting to see how and why they were accused and burned. Sometimes it was a little descriptive for me, but I am very sensitive. So it might not bother someone with a tougher skin or stomach 🙂

So this is or better was my very long monthly summary or summaries in this blog. I am quite happy. I hope the next one will be as successful and I hope that I finally manage to get my blog up to speed again. I am currently also working on another project and it is a lot more complicated to keep track of things.