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John Clayton III (Greystoke)
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Station Eleven
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Not very original and narratively flawed, but overall a good effort, 29 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Station Eleven (Paperback)
I was recommended this by a friend who knows me too well: most people would say "it's a bit like that Omega Man" and I would dismiss the notion of reading it but politely thank them for the recommendation, as the viralpocalypse genre has suffered from latter entries that devalued the currency, but this came to me via a videogame reference, and to a game I love as much for the story as the gameplay - Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us, a post-apocalyptic tale set twenty years after a viral epidemic and which sees a young woman with untapped creative energies rummaging amongst the ruins of North America in search of issues of an elusive comic book, all while trying to contact her missing friends in the course of a cross-country journey made with a much older man with whom she shares a sexless and almost paternalistic relationship.
So yeah, I kind of found it easy to get into Station Eleven.

There is perhaps too much reliance on coincidence to the point you see a couple of twists coming a mile off, but otherwise, this is a solid bit of post-civilisation drama, if a little too familiar to fans of the viral subgenre of post-apocalyptic fiction - the aforementioned similarities to the videogame The Last Of Us being an especially unfortunate example of the kind of creative synchronicity that comes when genres and subgenres come to form of the same pool of creative influences. I am deeply wary of the overuse of The Flashback - or as ponces and snobs like to call it these days, "nonlinear story telling" - and so Arthur and Miranda's story especially feels overlong despite lending the story its title.
Still, I really liked it. It's not much like Omega Man, though.


Edimax EW-7811UN 150Mbps Wireless Nano USB Adapter
Edimax EW-7811UN 150Mbps Wireless Nano USB Adapter
Offered by NORDPC
Price: £7.10

2.0 out of 5 stars It functions, but that's about it, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It works (I imagine they wouldn't be allowed to sell it otherwise), but the stated speeds are not accurate, as I bought this to replace a dated TP-Link plug-in card modem that had finally given up the ghost and the speeds and connectivity with this were significantly lower and less reliable than the TP. If I was uploading or downloading files, internet browsing through Chrome and Firefox was disabled, Dropbox synching took forever - when it finally happened with even smaller image files - and Youtube videos were as stuttering and prone to freezing/buffering as other reviewers have noted. All this is relative to the speeds and reliability of the aforementioned TP-Link modem which wasn't exactly reliable over long periods either, and you can infer my overall opinion by the fact that I got sidetracked writing this review while looking for a replacement for the Edimax, and I'm still waiting for some images to load on this very page as I write this.
There's a tendency to dismiss sub-par tech like this as being "okay for my grandparent to use as they only use the PC for Facebook", but considering that this doesn't seem to allow browsing while doing something else like playing embedded videos, and given the image-heavy nature of the average FB page these days, I don't think this is good enough for even elderly users who can barely turn their PC on.


The Final Silence
The Final Silence
by Stuart Neville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Twelve minus fun equals The Final Silence, 24 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Final Silence (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A decent, if thoroughly unremarkable thriller from Neville, whose previous books have all been much better to be honest.

It's definitely a solid read as far as your regular thriller novels go, but average as far as Neville penned thriller novels go, as he has shown himself to be capable of much better, far more gripping storytelling and characterisation than what is on display here. I just had a hard time caring all that much about what happened to any of the characters, which makes for a long haul of a read let me tell you.

You'll probably enjoy it fine so long as you don't go into it expecting another "The Twelve".


AmazonBasics 10-Inch Black Sleeve for iPad Air / Kindle 8.9 Inch Tablet
AmazonBasics 10-Inch Black Sleeve for iPad Air / Kindle 8.9 Inch Tablet
Price: £5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decent cover for carrying your tablet around in, 24 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's not often I'd get a product that sits at a relatively low price point, not expecting much from it, and come away genuinely satisfied with what it offers, but in the case of this sleeve/pouch/whatever you want to call it... I have been pretty darn happy with it.

I know it's labelled as being for iPad Air/Kindle, but I've mainly been using it to store a cheapo Yarvik made 10 inch tablet I got a while back and while it's a slightly tight fit for that, it houses it nicely and has proven to be pretty solid protection for when I'm carrying the tablet around in my work bag. I've even gotten drenched in a couple of nasty rainstorms that saw the rain seep into my bag and this sleeve managed to keep the water off of the tablet when it happened.

Worth the price easily if you need some simple storage for your tablet, but I wouldn't bet on it stopping a bullet or anything. It isn't made of especially thick material so impact damage should still be of concern.

I'm happy with what I got though.


Philips Disney Princess Children's Night Light and Projector - 1 x 0.1 W Integrated LED
Philips Disney Princess Children's Night Light and Projector - 1 x 0.1 W Integrated LED
Price: £19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute and functional but cheaply designed, 24 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this for my 3 year old niece's room and so far she seems to like it, asking her mum to make sure to put it on before leaving her alone to get to sleep.

How useful it in itself is in helping to get her off to sleep is anybody's guess to be honest, but she likes looking at it, so it's useful as a distracting novelty if nothing else.

The requirement for AA batteries struck me as a bit cheap on the part of Phillips not to include a built in rechargable power source though, especially considering the price point it is set at for a device of this kind.


Revolutionary War
Revolutionary War
by Rob Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.18

1.0 out of 5 stars Well, this isn't very good, 20 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Revolutionary War (Paperback)
I'm not sure who this is aimed at, as for modern audiences it just seems to be a bunch of reheated tropes from Paul Cornell's Captain Britain and MI:13 series and some of the ropier "people are brilliant!" Dr Whos of recent years, while for fans of Marvel UK, I'm surprised that so many seem fine with what is essentially the same storyline repeated over and over: old characters that are a bit naff get thrown under the bus so that the more recent - yet inexplicably enduring - British Wolverine-in-a-suit Pete Wisdom (known to US audiences but never a part of Marvel UK stories) can save the day.
The installment I was most looking forward to was the Knights Of Pendragon, but it seems to have been replaced with some kind of illustrated version of the KOP Wikipedia page, as it has little to nothing to do with the original beyond some brief nods to its visuals and concepts, as the Arthurian legend/environmentalism polemic angle of the original has been completely abandoned in favor of the more Marvel Adventures-style "the Green Knight is the power of faith!" except no it isn't - the Green Knight central to Knights of Pendragon lore is quite specifically the power of the land. Not the land as people see it, but the primal power of the landscape that, when it makes itself known to humanity, its ways and means seem brutal and cruel. Very disappointing, missing not just the point of the original tales, but also their almost-Lovecraftian tone of environmental horror in favor of the now-standard and insubstantial flippancy.
On the other hand, the installment I least anticipated was Motormouth, but that was great fun, doing the reinvention thing in fine style with the once-teenaged heroine reinvented as a middle-aged mother of two stuck in a dead-end flat and relying on charity and state handouts to survive. Americans simply can't do poverty in their superhero tales (or comics in general), so it's great to see British creators show them that superheroes aren't just a middle class fantasy trip (another mistake the KoP installment makes).
The rest is forgettable stuff, especially the Super Soldiers issue where everyone goes under the super-bus, and the villain reveal being yet another tired cliche in turning a campy character into a super-menace, which was something comics were actually making fun of when Marvel UK was going strong, so perhaps it's some kind of clever metacommentary rather than just the hackery it seems to my jaded 2014 eyes.
I'd give this zero stars if I could, but I really did like Glen Dakin's Motormouth issue, which captured the energy of the original comics.


Judge Dredd: Trifecta
Judge Dredd: Trifecta
Price: £11.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, 1 Oct. 2014
While the conceit of a crossover with other stories from the originating anthology was decent enough - if appropriated from earlier UK comics such as the younger readers title Sonic The Hedgehog (not the Archie series) - the execution suffers from an unfortunate disparity between the individual stories that results in an uneven gestalt.
The main Dredd strand is strongly-plotted and manages to garner mileage from the usually unconvincing "Dredd is heavily injured" trope, while the Low Life section is heavily reliant upon coincidence and the readers' tolerance for the continuous accidental successes of its buffoon protagonist Dirty Frank, though this approach in itself is admirable as it requires tight plotting to maintain. The problem for me was the Simping Detective strand, which I found smug, unfunny, and often unbearable, and I found myself skipping the main character's narrative captions after the first few episodes and didn't miss a story beat because of doing so, giving me the impression that much of this plot strand was padded out more than it needed to be. I am also struggling to understand why the pun "Simping Detective" has been used on anything in the 21st century, as it ceased to be relevant about twenty years before the end of the 20th century - I know there's a running joke about 2000ad being dated and bought only by men in their fifth decades, but this seems to stretch the point a little too far.
Trifecta seems to have been very well-received even by outlets like Comics Alliance who as far as I can tell don't report on 2000ad at any other time, so I suppose a cynic might suggest that they were either grasping for content or were the subject of good PR work when they were gushing praise for what is in all honesty a work that's only about 50-60 percent good and not a patch on other Dreddworld epics such as the recent Day Of Chaos, which I gather this story is a sequel to of sorts. The overall lack of consistency would dissuade me from recommending this to any newcomers to Dreddverse stories when there are numerous versions of America or The Apocalypse War available, but I would give it a middling rec to those already familiar, as the format lends it a curiosity value that they might find charming.


Galt Dr Miriam Baby Mobile
Galt Dr Miriam Baby Mobile
Price: £16.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly simple mobile that does it's job, 25 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Galt Dr Miriam Baby Mobile (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Got this for my 3 month old nephew's cot and after a couple of weeks use he seems to be responding well to it, staring up at it when it's switched on when I've visited with him. It holds his attention well enough and seems to get him off to sleep easy enough when he's tired according to my brother, so it does what it needs to far as I can tell.

It's a real no frills package, but it's easy to assemble and mercifully doesn't require batteries. So at the price point being asked I'd say it's worth a go.


Weetabix Chocolate Breakfast Drink 250 ml (Pack of 8)
Weetabix Chocolate Breakfast Drink 250 ml (Pack of 8)

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasantly smooth breakfast accompaniment, 27 Mar. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not too bad at all. I've never really been much of a choccy milk drinker, but I have enjoyed the occasional bottle of Yazoo in my time and these Weetabix drinks compare pretty favourably there. For better or worse, the chocolate taste isn't overly strong I thought, but the smooth texture of the liquid together with the flavour does make for a pretty pleasant experience on the whole. There isn't much drinking in a single bottle unsurprisingly, but as a supplement to my morning cereal the past week it's proven pretty satisfying.

I'd try again for sure.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2014 7:55 PM BST


Peppersmith tingz 100% xylitol sweets - Strawberry and Vanilla 15 g (Pack of 18, Total 450 Sweets)
Peppersmith tingz 100% xylitol sweets - Strawberry and Vanilla 15 g (Pack of 18, Total 450 Sweets)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly bland and unsatisfying, 27 Mar. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Did not think much of these to be honest. The actual sweets are very small and seemingly intended to be eaten in handfuls rather than individually. The feel and texture of the sweets when sucking on them is a bit dry and chalky for my liking with the flavour not being especially strong. Think sugar free Polo mints for an idea of what these feel like on the tongue.

There are better fruit sweets out there... hell, there are better sugar free fruit sweets out there, so it's hard to really recommend these with that in mind.

You can do better.


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