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G.H. (UK)

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By Light Alone
By Light Alone
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and convincing premise, 9 Oct 2014
This review is from: By Light Alone (Kindle Edition)
"By Light Alone" explores a future where hunger is no longer a problem - the poor are genetically engineered to photosynthesise, and food simply becomes the indulgence of the rich. However, with this fundamental change comes a whole new world of problems.

The first half of the book offers the perspective of the super rich, as we follow self-absorbed George and Marie holidaying with their children. To their complete bewilderment, Leah, their daughter, is kidnapped but no ransom is demanded and the ramifications begin to change their lives forever. Half way through, perspective then switches to follow Issa, a "longhair" trying to survive in the world of "absolute poverty". Through her struggle, we learn how the other half lives - where ruthless bosses lead the local villages and revolution brews.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It has a clever and interesting premise, and I was convinced whilst I read it. I found the first half focusing on the rich harder going and particularly struggled through the section on Marie. However, it was interesting to follow the two poles of society and perhaps the second half was made all the more engaging because of the difficult characters of the beginning.

I was also initially disappointed at what point the book ended, but on reflection I think it emphasised what the book was really about (vague comment I know, but I'm doing my best to avoid spoilers!). The important point is that despite finishing this book a few days ago I am still thinking about the story, its ideas and what it meant, and I always take that as a sign of a good read.

Typhoon Gift Boxed Ching Pinch Pots (Set of 4)
Typhoon Gift Boxed Ching Pinch Pots (Set of 4)
Offered by Colanders FBA
Price: £9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look great & very useful during cooking, 4 Jan 2014
I was given these pinch pots for Christmas, as I already own the matching noodle bowls in this range: Typhoon Ching He Huang Noodle Bowl in Red, Purple, Blue and Yellow.

For the majority of Chinese recipes I cook, the actual cooking process is very quick and it's the preparing of ingredients that takes time. These pots allow me to have all the different elements at hand, to be chucked in at various stages. They also looked lovely as individual dipping pots when I recently made pork dumplings.

I guess they are a bit pricey for the size, but in the short time I've had them I've already used them a lot. Also thought it was worth mentioning that two of the pots are included in a Typhoon Ching 2 Person Serving Set, which some people may prefer.

Fiskars Avanti Dressmaking Scissors
Fiskars Avanti Dressmaking Scissors
Offered by Amberskies Gifts
Price: £14.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality and should last, 4 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When taking up sewing last year, I was told that if you're going to spend a bit of money on anything, it should be on a good pair of fabric scissors and I'm really pleased that I went for these.

I have been using these scissors for four months and they have worked smoothly on a variety of materials for a range of different projects (dressmaking, cushions etc). They're sharp, comfy to use and I suspect they will last for years.

The Night Circus (Vintage Magic)
The Night Circus (Vintage Magic)
Price: £3.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually absorbing but a few niggles, 10 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not."

I very quickly became addicted to `The Night Circus'. The characters, the surroundings - any visuals were so vivid that I couldn't wait to revisit the world it created. It's been quite a long time since a book has got me so absorbed in its setting and so impatient to find time to read a bit more.

I was close to giving this five stars, but on reflection, there were a few niggles. How the competition would be decided was obvious early on, so the regular wondering about it was a bit annoying. The date jumping was sometimes confusing (but I think that was just me being rubbish at remembering dates). I also felt like the conclusion was weaker than the rest of the book - I wanted something more, something more challenging and lost a bit of interest in the main two (Celia and Marco) because of it.

The visuals are definitely the strength of this book, perhaps to the detriment of other aspects. You shouldn't expect it to recreate a historical period or be the most sophisticated read. For me, it was a bit a fun and a bit of magic to escape to on holiday. I will definitely be trying the author's next book.

Positron: Episodes 1-3
Positron: Episodes 1-3

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever concept, but uncertain about episodic release, 20 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In a near future world, Stan and Charmaine decide to commit to a new social project aimed to solve society's mass unemployment and out of control crime. The community is split - one month they are prisoners in Positron and the other month they are citizens in Consilience. Once inside, everyone always has a job and everyone has a home that their share with their 'alternates'. The catch - once inside, no one is ever allowed out.

Once again Margaret Atwood has immediately sucked me into one of her cleverly thought out dystopian worlds. I have always loved how the relevancy of her work gets me thinking and Positron is no exception. The characters and setting were very vivid and on the basis of Episode 1-3, the concept of Positron is definitely on par with Oryx & Crake and The Handmaid's Tale, but I'm so far uncertain about the style.

This edition includes the first three episodes of the Positron series (Episode #1 I'm Starved for you, Episode #2 Choke Collar and Episode #3 Erase Me), with the fourth episode now released separately (Episode #4 The Heart Goes Last).

I am still undecided on this episodic release. I found that the short length meant I was quickly engrossed, but it does feel more like a TV programme, where at the start of each episode you have a quick reminder of certain details of the story and at the end you have a cliff hanger (though done far more subtly than most things on TV). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but has left me confused about the best way to read this. Would it be more enjoyable to read them one by one with a break in between? Should I wait until all the episodes are out? At the moment, I have just read three episodes in succession and I feel like I've rushed it. The other issue is also price - I will need to keep paying to gain the rest of the story but how many parts will there be?

Overall - an engrossing concept but it doesn't quite feel as flowing as her other works. Whether this is just due to it being released in episodes, I'm undecided. Either way, I will still be trying the next installment.

The Gathering Night
The Gathering Night
by Margaret Elphinstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convincing and inspiring - bringing the Mesolithic to life, 25 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gathering Night (Paperback)
Between Grandmother Mountain and the sea, Alaia and the rest of the Auk people live off the land. But when her brother goes hunting and never returns, the fragile balance of life is upset. Half starved and grief-stricken, Alaia's mother follows her visions and goes in search of her lost son. Soon strangers from a distant tribe appear seeking shelter, but can their stories of a great wave and a people perished really be believed?

`The Gathering Night' is set in Mesolithic Scotland, a world ingrained in nature and dictated by its peoples spiritual and social beliefs. The story is multi-narrative, told by those involved in the events as they pass on their tale to the next generation. It focuses on Alaia and her family as they encounter loss and new life, make enemies and gain friends, and the deal with the impact of shamanistic visions and decisions.

I'm trained in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology and I'm passionate about making these periods more accessible and tackling the misconceptions that surround them. As the author states in her afterword, in human evolutionary terms the Mesolithic is not that long ago. Mesolithic people were genetically and cognitively the same as us and a hunter-gatherer lifeway represents the vast majority of the `human story' so far. With the large proportion of evidence coming from stone tools and animal bones (particularly in the UK), it is easy to see why this period remains so enigmatic and difficult to relate to. With this book, the author has taken on her own interpretation of archaeological evidence and combined it with the rich social and ideological information we have gained from recent hunter-gatherers, and she has brought the Mesolithic to life.

I found this book to be an absorbing, convincing and inspiring look at the Mesolithic and would highly recommend it for those both new to and familiar with this period of prehistory.

Sleek Gadgets - Purple Polka Dots Series Flip Case Cover for Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 4 S 8GB, 16GB
Sleek Gadgets - Purple Polka Dots Series Flip Case Cover for Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 4 S 8GB, 16GB
Price: £4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate pictures, but great protection, 28 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had this case since late December (3 months) and it's provided great protection. My phone fits snugly inside the plastic frame, being easy enough to remove but tight enough to keep the phone in place.

In terms of wear, no fraying as of yet. A couple of dots in the corners now look cracked and I guess this will spread in time.

My main issue is that the seller's pictures are inaccurate (please see the photos I have added).

The seller pic shows smaller dots, my case has two large dots per row. There is a white plastic frame, so the sides of the phone are covered in white. The inner lining is not purple, but the same colour as the dots. The shade of purple is also brighter and a bit pinker.

The case does its job and is good value, but was not exactly as advertised.

UPDATE EDIT 11/10/13 - I am just about to replace this case as the pattern is looking worn and tatty. It does however still provide the same protection.
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by Barbara Ewing
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars No more reader's block, 16 Mar 2013
This review is from: Rosetta (Paperback)
As a child, Rose becomes fascinated by words, Egypt and hieroglyphics, but soon sees her passion drift away with the expectations of marriage and social positioning. Some years later and increasingly unhappy, Rose finds herself once again looking to the mysterious world of Egypt and her far off dream suddenly becomes very close and very real.

I've been struggling to get into a book for months and `Rosetta' has finally got me reading again. I love how personal and individual the story is, yet at the same time, how it maintains a much wider context of British/French tensions, war and revolution.

The characters were distinct and vivid and I quickly became attached. I particularly enjoyed the many interesting female characters, which provided great insight into the challenging social and legal position of women at this time. I genuinely cared about their outcome and disliked the characters that got in their way.

I also feel like I've learned a lot about the period, but because it was through an engaging story, it's happened without effort. I enjoyed all the little details of the Rosetta Stone discovery and deciphering, Napoleon's savants and so on.

'Rosetta' is not historical fluff, but a genuinely interesting insight into the period, with a vivid set of characters and situations that got me hooked. I will definitely be trying another of Barbara Ewing's books soon.

Snips Pharma Frigo First Aid Clear Plastic Box, 3 Litre, White/ Red
Snips Pharma Frigo First Aid Clear Plastic Box, 3 Litre, White/ Red

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality & practical, 13 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm really pleased with this box - it looks great and it's practical. I guess you could say it's pricey for a plastic box but I can't imagine that I'm ever going to need to replace it.

The two layers allow you to keep everything organised and I like the clear plastic because you can see what you need without rummaging through the layers. It looks exactly as pictured, though the second image could be slightly misleading as it doesn't twist open, but instead there are clips either side of the box which allow you to completely remove the lid and top layer.

Approximate dimensions:
Height 10.5cm
Length 23.5cm
Width 16cm

I've knocked off a star because the top clips are stiff, which isn't too much of a problem for me but I know someone like my nan (who has arthritis in her hands) would struggle to open it. The clips are the only concern I have for long-term use, but they seem pretty solid.

Offered by Gadgetsonline
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty & does the job, but short life, 13 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is based on use between April - December.

I really like the design and have received many compliments. The blue is a bit duller than the picture, but I actually prefer that! Despite being cheap, I don't think it looks it.

The case is cardboard covered in the leather look design and is not padded. I have used it for the past eight months and have no marks or damage on my phone - this is despite dropping it a few times on hard surfaces. I can't fault the protection it has given my phone.

The magnet on the top came out about a week ago, but it's now glued back in place and I think the main reason it fell out was because I fiddle with it all the time. The spots are now wearing away at the bottom of the phone and where you open the case. The corners are also beginning to peel. It's mainly in the past month that it's begun to look scruffy.

Overall this case has been brilliant protection for my phone and though I'm sure it would continue to do the job, the scruffiness has got to the point that I want to replace it soon. Pretty design, great price & I'm still glad I bought it, but it doesn't last.

(P.S. I bought this at a lower price because it didn't include the screen protector, so I can't comment on the quality of that)

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