Profile for Book Critic > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Book Critic
Top Reviewer Ranking: 942
Helpful Votes: 949

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Book Critic (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30
pixel
Ultrasport Women's Runner Guards Ice Skates
Ultrasport Women's Runner Guards Ice Skates
Price: £43.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative skating experience., 24 July 2014
This review is from: Ultrasport Ice Skates (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love to skate. I don't get to go often and I've never had my own pair of skates and such beautiful skates at that; these look more like high-end trainers than the clunky, scuffed white leather bovver boots I usually get to wear. I've been dying for a chance to get on the ice and test them out and this week, I finally got the chance. They felt very strange at first, they're so much lighter than what I'm used to wearing, with a very firm fit which feels extremely safe, secure and supportive. But, once over the initial shock of the fit and the feel, the sensation is just WOW! It's like having nothing on my feet, I just sailed across the ice: like flying; I've never felt so fast or so light; a veritable Arial - which is a novel experience indeed (I'm quite a chunky lass). It was simply wonderful; I didn't wan to come off the ice; the experience has been haunting my dreams ever since. I'm in love these skates. I cannot wait for the chance to get out and skate on them again.


IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
Price: £33.70

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good grief, these actually seem to work!, 24 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These tablets contain antioxidant vitamins C an E and carotenoids: natural orange colourants, Lutein, Lycopene and beta-carotene. The vitamins are supposed to protect the body from free radicals that damage and age the skin during exposure to the sun. Both vitamins are freely available in common foods, and if you really feel you need a boost, both are widely, and more cheaply, available in every supermarket. Really, it's the colourant additives that you're going to be taking these capsules for. They're supposed to colour the skin and enhance a natural tan and...
I admit I started out a dreadful sceptic on this and I never for a moment imagined they would work. For a start, I'm not someone who tans easily. I rarely burn, but neither do I tan; I might sprout an extra freckle here and there if the sun gets really fierce, but on the whole, I stay my default shade of pale all year long.
I started taking the IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer capsules five weeks ago - you're advised to take them for a month before, and throughout, anticipated sun exposure; I wanted to give them a good run and a chance to start working before reviewing. And I'm surprised, shocked, startled and amazed to report they really have made a marked and visible difference to my skin tone. I haven't developed a deep mahogany Essex girl tan, but neither have I turned Hunniford orange (which was what I feared most, after reading the ingredients). I have, for the first time in my life, got a pleasing, healthy golden tone, which is lovely and highly gratifying, and this is just from regular, everyday exposure (gardening, cycling, walking the dog). Of course, it has been a spectacular summer, but not as spectacular as summers I've spent in Greece and Italy, and I never tanned there at all. I imagine, if I'd taken the time and trouble to lay about and work on it, I could have come out of this with a proper, bona-fide salon-type tan. Such things are not really my style, but I am enjoying the novelty of sporting a proper tan.
So, if you're after a nice tan this summer, I can't promise these will help - some other reviewers say they did nothing for them - but I can say is that they worked for me and maybe they'll work for you, too.


VonShef Espresso and Cappuccino Coffee Maker Machine, 1 Litre, Black
VonShef Espresso and Cappuccino Coffee Maker Machine, 1 Litre, Black
Offered by Designer Habitat
Price: £59.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 24 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First, I have to confess I'm a De'Longhi girl through and through; I love their coffee machines, but I'm always happy to try out a rival and was keen to test drive the VonShef. It's certainly simple to use but alas, is nowhere near as good as my regular machine.
My main complaint is that it feels cheap: it's seems fragile; its detachable parts feel like they will break very easily. I could forgive it its faults if it made a great cup of coffee, but I'm sorry to say it doesn't - the coffee I brewed is acceptable enough, but it lacks that thick, creamy richness I want from an espresso. The steamer attachment - not something I use very often, but if it's there, it's nice to use it occasionally - is equally ineffective; it just doesn't froth the milk well, or heat it properly. The whole machine feel underpowered; lacking in pressure - a common enough complaint at the cheaper end of the market, but I have a De'Longhi espresso maker I bought for not a whole lot more, that makes a really good cup of coffee. Sadly, I have to say that there are MUCH better machines on the market in this price range that do a far better job, and consequently, cannot really recommend this machine.


The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
by Tom Rachman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the making, 27 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A strange, mysterious story about a lost child's wanderings in the world; a girl who grows up loved, but at a distance; who doesn't like to finish a book because "it was dispiriting to witness her printed companions concluding their lives with a blank space at the bottom of the final page", but who finally learns that to love and accept love, and to see a relationship through to its natural end, is the only way to truly live.
The storyline is broken into three distinct periods of Tooley's life, lines that cross, break and re-join, like the relationships she shares with the five main characters who share and define her life: dull, conscientious Paul, frightened by life and lonely-by-choice; polar opposite of selfish, self-obsessed, irresponsible Sarah, who seems more than a little mad; adorably dorkish local boy Fogg, who works at World's End, Tooley's Welsh bookshop, and who might be a little bit in love with his employer; charming, capable, sociopathic Venn - an avatar for the themes of this book, so like a Venn diagram, defined as 'all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets' - For sets, read lives; separate lives that cross, intersect, merge, and all, it seems, with the user Venn at its centre. And then there's Humphrey Ostropoler, whose life is even more of a lie than that of Tooley, Venn and Sarah. Humphrey is not Tooley's real father, but might as well have been. If Tooley is the soul of the story and Venn its mind, then Humphrey is its beating heart.
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is a very literary novel in every respect: the narrative is peppered with quotes and bookish themes. Books are virtual characters, and the characters are everything: they are the plot, and the plot is quite complex, but the writing carries it so well, is so readable, that you hardly notice the switches and turns and scattering of clues like tin tacks. The writing is magical; it weaves a spell with its enchanting cast who held me captivated for the three days it took to read this wonderful book; lost in their world - or is that worlds, because each one of them is a world unto themselves; like snails, they carry their universes with them. These characters were as real to me as my neighbours; they still populate my thoughts. The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is the best thing I've read since The Goldfinch. It's a book I can imagine reading and re-reading on a regular basis. I'm already more than a little bit in love with everyone in it.


Bosch Isio Cordless Shrub/ Grass Shear
Bosch Isio Cordless Shrub/ Grass Shear
Price: £53.95

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superheroes!, 26 Jun 2014
I have a very large garden with a ridiculous amount of hedging. Usually, at this time of year, I'm scrambling about with hand trimmers (won't use the big hedge trimmers when the birds are nesting) and topiary shears, trying - failing - to keep on top of things. It's practically a full-time job; it's exhausting; it gets me down. These little trimmers look like nothing, they're so small and light, I never imagined the transformative power of these deceptive little shears. OK, they're no good for the heavy stuff, that's not what they're designed for. They're trimmers, and they trim splendidly, keeping the pesky, untidy, hanging-down stuff neat and pretty without disturbing the wildlife. They're small and specific enough to make great topiary shears, too. A little hard on the hands after long use - pressing two switches down can be a little awkward occasionally, and it definitely develops the muscles - but the safety aspect of the second switch is appreciated,and you soon get used to it; it's nowhere near as hard as wielding hand shears for hour after hour.
The grass trimmers are useful too. they're not as life-changing (no, I mean it. These shears have transformed the way I garden, and the garden is a huge part of my life) as the hedge trimmers, but they are invaluable for lawn edges and trimming around pots and all those places the lawnmower can't reach.
The batteries are phenomenal. Are they alien technology? They seem to last forever off a charge My trimmer have had almost daily heavy use for a solid 6 weeks now and I just plugged them in for their first charge last night - an event that prompted this review.
In short, if you are looking for hedge trimmers/topiary shears for *light* work (these are not made for cutting hedges, they are trimmers, neateners), I cannot recommend these - very reasonably priced trimmers - highly enough .


AmazonBasics A100 USB-Powered Computer Speakers - Black
AmazonBasics A100 USB-Powered Computer Speakers - Black
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful little speakers, 26 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Considering the size of them - they are really quite tiny - and the probably price (unknown as I write this, but as an Amazon Basics product, it's not going to be high), the sound quality is simply tremendous, as good, of not better, than more expensive speakers I've used. The volume is great, the bass tones are unusually good for a speaker of this size, I can detect no distortion even at the highest volume. I honestly can't think of a bad thing to say about these sterling little speakers, I love them.


A God in Every Stone
A God in Every Stone
by Kamila Shamsie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing but feels unfinished, 26 Jun 2014
This review is from: A God in Every Stone (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An engaging story with a strong sense of place and time and beautifully told. Most of the characters are strong - all but Vivian; I don't know if Kamila Shamsie was trying to relate a sense of early 20th century English stiffness and reserve in Vivian's personality to distinguish her from the people around her, but it didn't work; all I was left with was a sense of emptiness and distance around Vivian, who should shine as one of the most interesting people in the story. The Indian characters were much better drawn, they had life and soul; I felt I knew each and every one of them in a way I never did with Vivian. The plot held me for a long time, but seems to peter out rather than climax and the end is simply weak, and spoiled the whole experience of reading this book. It felt incomplete, as if the author was rushing to a deadline.A God in Every Stone is still a good read, there is much to recommend here, but it is far from one of Kamila Shamsie's best.


In the Light of What We Know
In the Light of What We Know
by Zia Haider Rahman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What is going on???, 26 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On one hand, this book is everything I'd hoped it would be, a far reaching, sweeping, multi-national novel about our times and troubles, with a load of theory and maths thrown in. It starts well. But. It's massively over ambitious. I liked the idea, I liked a lot of the writing, but the story simply isn't strong enough, and the characters are not strong enough to carry the ideas; after a while the voices all become one and you're never quite sure who is speaking. The story grasshoppers confusingly, with no focus, no end in mind; it never seems to be going anywhere, and there are far, far FAR too many footnotes!


The Babylon Gene
The Babylon Gene
by Alex Churton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Too much going on, 26 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Babylon Gene (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think I'm going to have to stop reading thrillers. They sound so good in the blurb, but so rarely do they do it for me. The Babylon Gene is a case in point, there's so much interesting STUFF going on: ancient cultures, religious mystery, twisted science, muscular academics, conspiracy and freemasons - If anything, there is rather too much going on, too many horses pulling the cart and the author doesn't quite have the skill to keep control. The reality of the read never lives up to the promise, the plots are stretched to the very limits of credulity and the writing is often (to my mind) a bit silly. The Babylon Gene was definitely much more enjoyable than the last thriller I read, it has plenty to get you thinking - mainly about the people, places and history - but it doesn't quite mesh together as a novel - especially not a spy thriller, especially not a thriller of the Dan Browne stamp; there's plenty going on, but not enough plot. It's not a bad read, it's just nothing like as good as it could have been.


Your Life Plan: How to Set Yourself on the Right Path and Take Charge of Your Life
Your Life Plan: How to Set Yourself on the Right Path and Take Charge of Your Life
by Erica Sosna
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable journey to a better life, 26 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
How to sort yourself out and get your life moving using the Joseph Campbell method: see your life as a quest and yourself as the hero of the tale: your life is Star Wars and you are Luke Skywalker; go out and destroy the Death Star/be extraordinary in the office. No one can say it's not an original concept for a self-help book. It works - sort off. At times, the concept is stretched paper thin. Most of the time, this is just your average, motivational, kick-up-the-arse, sort yourself out sort of book, with the usual layout: short, divided paragraphs, easy to remember slogans and affirmations. It's one of the better ones; it certainly made me think. It was a far more entertaining read than most books of this type. It definitely made me want to attend on of the author's workshops.


Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30