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Ashles "ashles" (UK)

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Critical Failures (Caverns and Creatures Book 1)
Critical Failures (Caverns and Creatures Book 1)
Price: 3.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic central idea, 10 July 2014
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Fantastic central idea, delivered without any compromise for younger readers (the humour, language, and often the main characters, are absolutely filthy and the book is all the better for taking the adult approach).
I genuinely laughed aloud many times reading this book (even more so in the sequel).

And you will never think about a simple spell such as "Summon horse" the same way ever again.

Critical Failures II (Caverns and Creatures Book 2)
Critical Failures II (Caverns and Creatures Book 2)
Price: 3.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically funny book. I love this series - it takes ..., 10 July 2014
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Fantastically funny book. I love this series - it takes an extreme premise and then follows each situation to its horribly logical (and thus extremely amusing) conclusion. One sequence involving a half-orc, a masterwork stake, and a vampire is one of the funniest things I have ever read.
Warning - each book contains more bodily fluids than an A&E department on a Saturday night.

The Ancients
The Ancients
Price: 1.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Proving fantasy can be continually reinvented, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Ancients (Kindle Edition)
An intriguing premise in which multiple mysteries are implied leads to an increasingly epic scope.
it is difficult in the fantasy genre (with its reliance on 'magic') to surprise the reader as, in theory, anything is possible. The strength of this book (as with all the best SF/Fantasy) is to set up an internal logic and then surprise the reader within the world's own rules.
Moments such as an exploration of how high the sky might be lead to intriguing and often unsettling puzzles which the main characters must solve.
It's hard to say more without giving away some of the more interesting plot twists.
Overall this is a book that will keep you guessing and does something different with the genre that genuinely works.

Olympus Has Fallen
Olympus Has Fallen
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: 0.00

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pale shadow of Die Hard, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Olympus Has Fallen (Blu-ray)
Die Hard is an excellent film.

I say that because watching Olympus Has Fallen just made me think repeatedly how great a film Die Hard is.
OHF doesn't just emulate the overall style, but actually wholesale steals multiple scenes/situations from Die Hard and then does them worse.

The actual taking of the White house was pretty well done and you're watching it thinking that sort of might work (assuming every single Secret Service agent decided to behave as suicidally stupid as in the film). It was an exciting and brutal sequence. And the other thing I liked was that they were going for a more adult and hard-hitting tone which suits the subject.

But everythng else... meh.
Situations are set up then discarded, some characters are introduced then just ignored and sometimes tension is generated and then allowed to instantly drain off the screen without development.

There is also a supposed twist to what the terrorists intend with 'Hydra' that I had assumed was their plan for the start. Everyone looks all shocked when the plan is revealed, but it's plot-breakingly ridiculous that none of the characters/agencies in the film would have predicted this possibilty.

Would have got three stars but I am deducting a star for the most vomit-inducingly cheesy and pointless speech at the end.

Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics
Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics
Price: 3.49

15 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars because I like Mark Kermode, 10 Oct 2013
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I have bought this book. I haven't read it yet (like 'Graham Chapman') but I am giving it 5 stars because
A) I Like Mark Kermode, have read his previous books and think he is currently the UK's premiere film reviewer
B) It will counteract Graham Chapman's uninformed and rather irrelevant review (for exactly the same but opposing reasons - ie his review said absolutely nothing about the actual content of the book leading me to believe he has not read it)
C) I believe this will demonstrate exactly the point of this book, which is really quite an important message about today's media reviewing culture

Buy this book, read it and appreciate it. I certainly intend to.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2013 1:49 AM BST

MPERO IMPACT X Series Kickstand Case for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - Black
MPERO IMPACT X Series Kickstand Case for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault this case, 16 Sep 2013
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This case does everything I expected perfectly.
It fits really snugly, but was not tricky to put on (due to changing SD cards a few times I ended up having to take this cover on and off several times the first day I bought it, and didn't have any difficulty at all).

It consists of a silicone case that wraps round the phone and then a tough plastic shell (which has the kickstand) which snaps onto it. It fits my S4 Active perfectly and allows full access to all the ports (and the speaker). The IR blaster still works too so you can continue to use it as a remote control.
The volume and power buttons are concealed under button 'bumps' on the silicone case, but work exactly as before.

The kickstand is great - it folds completely flat when not in use, and when required easily flicks out and has a lever to lock it into place - you can then easily watch it propped up landscape or portrait - in both instances I found the angle very good.

Overall when the cover is fitted the phone feels a hundred times more safe and secure (without a case the excellent S4 active does feel a little less 'sturdy' than some phones). I bought this phone to be waterproof and shock resistant - it's already waterproof and with this case it now feels shockproof too.

Tiny issues:
The only slight downsides (which I see as pretty much unavoidable with a case such as this, but worth mentioning):
- Due to the thickness of the case the angle for the IR blaster is slightly reduced, so to remote control the TV you have to point a little more directly at the area of the TV where the IR receiver is
- The case thickness means that pressing the three main buttons on the front needs to be done at a slightly different angle, but it's not a big problem (and necessary as it provides a good protective raised rim at the front of the screen so if you drop the phone the glass should be protected)

Game of Thrones - Season 1-2 Complete [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Game of Thrones - Season 1-2 Complete [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: 38.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series and Blu Ray, 12 Jun 2013
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Aside from the sheer brilliance of the series itself, this Blu ray shows what Blu Ray is capable of when produced by people who care.

There is an option while watching to be able to select information on the characters, location and background story (which is scene specific) - for a world as complex and detailed as the one in Game of thrones this is a fantastic addition. Also I love the fact that it only opens up information and stories when appropriate, so you learn about the backgrounds and characters logically in conjunction with the events occurring in the series (although I believe there is the option to open it all up if you so wish).

And it plays fine on the playstation 3.

Plextor PX-B120U USB Slim Top Loading External Blu-ray Reader
Plextor PX-B120U USB Slim Top Loading External Blu-ray Reader

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I wanted from this product, 11 Jan 2013
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I cannot really fault this item. I wanted a blu-ray player with which I could watch Blu-Rays and DVDs from my little netbook on the train using a single USB port for both power and data transfer. And this fits the bill perfectly.
It might be a tiny bit larger than I expected, but it's pretty light and the discs fit in with a very solid lock (on the train I have sometimes rested the player badly and it has rocked around a fair bit, but I have never had any playback issues).
Best of all the drain on the battery has been minimal (I haven't really noticed a significant impact on battery life versus playing video straight from the hard drive and that surprised me).
It's also great that you don't have to use the software bundled, but can use any video software you like (I really like KMPlayer and it has worked faultlessly with this player).
I accidentally threw the provided software disc away and was worried I would not be able to use it with a new laptop I plan to buy soon, but I called the helplinb and they were extremely helpful and explained it would work with any software, it is just an external drive.
Sometimes you buy something on Amazon, it is good value and simply works exactly as you had hoped. This is one of those products.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2013 11:01 PM BST

Bluetooth Headset
Bluetooth Headset

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply didn't work, 29 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bluetooth Headset (Electronics)
Sadly this product didn't work at all for me. I have an iPod classic which this is supposed to work with, but I plugged it in and nothing happened - no blue light, no connectivity, nothing.
I tried calling the supplier and only got an answer phone. I tried emailing them and have heard nothing back.
My last resort will be to package it back up and return it and hope they either send a woking model or refund my money. The product is a great idea but pointless if it doesn't work.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2011 4:39 PM BST

A Short History Of Nearly Everything
A Short History Of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Hardcover

135 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryson turns his big brain to the big subjects, 9 Jun 2003
I've always enjoyed Bill Bryson's books. He could write about the dullest, most depressing seaside resort I've ever visited and make me want to go back just to revisit it through his eyes. His skill is his desire to research an area so thoroughly that you see it in another light entirely.
He has brought this skill to bear in amazing ways - making the history of the English language (Mother Tongue) or English versus American culture (Made in America) absorbing and hilarious reads, even making a dictionary of tricky and often misused words a great book to sit down and read page by page (Troublesome Words).
A Short History of Nearly Everything is far and away his most ambitious book. I personally love books like this, and if I had a wish list of authors I would like to sit down for 3 years to try and make sense of the heaviest scientific questions I could think of, and try and make the answers enlightening and amusing, I would pick Bill. This man could research the inside of a ping-pong ball and come up with fifty amusing factual stories about it. When he's dealing with the history of the universe... I just wish the book were longer. Or part of a series.
I don't wish to sound selfish, but every moment Bill Bryson spends not writing books like this is just an annoyance to me.

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