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Catherine (London)

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MaddAddam
MaddAddam

5.0 out of 5 stars A sad but well-written wrap-up of the Oryx & Crake stories, 6 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
It was great to finally catch up on what happened to Toby, Ren, Snowman the Jimmy, and the rest, so long after The Year Of The Flood. I remember finding Toby's little quirks and wry way of thinking enjoyable in TYOTF but in MaddAddam I felt her character was given even more depth and it made me sympathise with her. I loved the exploration into Zeb's life before, during and after the Waterless Flood, I loved the way all the characters' lives were intertwined, and I loved the voice Atwood gave to the pigoons and the Children of Crake. Everything about this apocalyptic future charmed me despite the setting, and I have to commend Atwood for making that possible at all. I never would've thought that I might actually like to have been there with Toby and Zeb, making the best of an awful situation, but I think I would.

The ending broke my heart, but that is all I'm going to say about it.


Angelfall: Penryn and the End of Days Book One
Angelfall: Penryn and the End of Days Book One
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had potential, too much cringeworthy romance, 6 Mar. 2014
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The premise sounded interesting - I'm so glad we're shot of those sparkly vampires - and the backstory had a lot of potential. The angel politics, the apocalypse, etc was what drew me in, but unfortunately there was less of that and more of a romance between Katniss Everdeen and Edward Cullen with wings. Surprisingly I liked the gorey descriptions, possibly because it felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the growing romance.

Don't read the following paragraph if you don't want spoilers!

The "witty quips" between the main protagonists made me cringe, a lot of the story seemed to draw from other YA novels (male protagonist thinks female protagonist is dead and therefore feels the need to be reckless and forfeit his life, somewhat strong female protagonist has a young sister to protect, no father, and a mother mentally incapable of looking after them which has toughened up said protagonist)... It all sounds very familiar. I felt positive about when the heroine apparently mercilessly "kidnapped" the anti-hero for questioning, but then came the barrage of inner monologue about how he is so utterly beautiful.

All in all, a good idea with the plot but would've been better without the excessive romance. I perservered because I had hopes that it would not just turn out into a romance story but from the way the first book ends, I had to reserve judgement for the overall series after reading the sequel.

As an addendum, if you're one of those who are offended by the portrayal of angels as anything but God's kind and beautiful shepherds, this is not the series for you. One thing I actually particularly liked was the author's spin on angels.


API Freshwater Master Test Kit
API Freshwater Master Test Kit
Offered by Pet Supply Company USA
Price: £24.35

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of kit every fishkeeper needs, 18 Jun. 2013
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Any budding or experienced fishkeeper needs a test kit, and I have to say that the API master kit is fantastic value. It beats going down to your LFS (local fish shop) every time you need to check your water parameters. Also reagent drop tests are much more accurate than strips, so don't waste your money on those. I have had my test kit for over a year now, and it's still got plenty of use; I've not even run out of the nitrate reagents yet, despite needing to use 10 drops per bottle (the most of all the reagents).

Pros:
- Mostly accurate, more so than any strip test.
- Lasts a long time, as long as you're doing them correctly and following the instructions.
- Good to have to hand, for when you notice problems with your fish, as most issues can be explained by poor water quality.
- Provides a standard pH as well as a high range pH test, which is handy for me as I have quite hard, alkaline water which just shows as 7.6 on the standard test.

Cons:
- The nitrate test can get a bit difficult to read when you exceed 40ppm, as the dark oranges - reds are all very similar. However I know that if the nitrate test has reached those colours, I will do a water change. This might be more of a problem for someone who has 40+ppm nitrates coming straight out the tap.
- The ammonia test is notoriously difficult to tell between the 0ppm and 0.25ppm results. Even in my fully mature tank, my ammonia test sometimes strikes me as being a bit too pale to be the golden yellow that denotes 0ppm, though as long as it's not properly lime green and the fish seem fine, I do not see it as an issue.
- The test tubes are made of glass so you have to be careful not to drop them! I have only recently broken one of the four tubes after a year and a half, but you can always buy replacements so it's not that much of a con after all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2013 11:51 AM BST


iMP Meerkat Pup Console Case (Nintendo 3DS/DSi/DS Lite)
iMP Meerkat Pup Console Case (Nintendo 3DS/DSi/DS Lite)
Offered by MEDIA-MOST-WANTED
Price: £6.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy and adorable, 18 Jun. 2013
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I was torn between a choice of cute animal on the front but in the end I picked this baby meerkat, and god it's adorable. It is perfectly functional, with three slots to hold your DS games, which I find very useful as I don't want to take my 24 game card case with me to most places. My 3DS slides right in and feels very protected as the material is just thick enough. The only thing I don't get is why the little paws stick out but that's not even a con really, just makes me curious about that aspect of the design.

The only actual con I can think of is that you should probably be careful if taking your DS out in the rain (for whatever reason) as it is not completely sealed (there are gaps to the sides). Other than that, everything's grand.

Overall I am glad I bought this!


vTube for YouTube [FREE]
vTube for YouTube [FREE]
Price: £0.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awful, 18 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: vTube for YouTube [FREE] (App)
Sometimes videos didn't rotate when I turned my screen, and I was constantly bombarded with adverts right in the middle of a video I was trying to watch. I only wanted an app to watch Youtube videos on my Kindle but when searched, they were all "MP3 downloader" or "video downloader" type apps, so I picked this one based on the fact that it said it was also a "viewer". If you are not planning on downloading any videos or songs from Youtube, don't bother with this. You can literally only see the middle third of the video you are trying to watch. In the end, I have just bookmarked the mobile Youtube page instead, since I cannot download Flash onto my Kindle Fire to watch videos on the desktop version of the site.


Fimir 100% Bubble Free Guaranteed Anti-Glare Screen Protector Film Mask (Black). For the 1st and 2nd Gen. Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet 7". Not Compatible with the 7" or 8.9" HD version Kindle Fire. (IMP66B)
Fimir 100% Bubble Free Guaranteed Anti-Glare Screen Protector Film Mask (Black). For the 1st and 2nd Gen. Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet 7". Not Compatible with the 7" or 8.9" HD version Kindle Fire. (IMP66B)

5.0 out of 5 stars Honestly no bubbles!, 18 Jun. 2013
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I was a bit dubious when reading that it is "100% bubble free guaranteed", but after reading other reviews I thought I'd give it a go. I'd just ripped off a rubbish £5 screen protector that was bubbly all over despite having wiped the screen thoroughly before applying it, so it couldn't be any worse than that. When it arrived, I was surprised to see that it seemed to be made of a more... solid material, if that makes sense; it didn't look flimsy. I used one of the wet wipes provided to wipe my screen, then wiped it dry with a cloth that came with my old screen protector, and on went the Fimir. Success! No bubbles whatsoever, and anti-glare to boot (very handy when I'll be taking my Kindle out on holiday). I'm also impressed by the fact that it is washable and reapplicable, though I've not needed to do that yet. £6.95 well spent, if you ask me.


Eheim Classic 2213 External Filter
Eheim Classic 2213 External Filter
Offered by Pet-Bliss - Delivering WORLDWIDE
Price: £70.98

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small and simple but excellent, 18 Jun. 2013
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I bought this on recommendation, and at £30.98 delivered it was a complete bargain, despite being the basic (non PLUS) version. Everywhere else sells the basic version for £50+, and the PLUS version for £70+. I bought double tap connectors separately, as well as some extra media, and the total cost was only about £55~.

Pros:
- It is very quiet, which is compulsory for me as the tank it's used for is in my bedroom.
- Very easy to set up, despite having somewhat confusing instructions (what's with all the pictures but no words?).
- It's a very powerful little thing and the flow is perfect for my 2ft tank.
- There are no baskets in the media section, so I can shove in whatever I want without being limited to what I can use or by space taken up by the plastic, as is the case with some other externals I've used.

Cons:
- The Eheim hoses and accessories are a bit of an eyesore, what with being green, but that was easily remedied by buying clear hosing and lily pipes.
- As it was the basic version, it did not come with double connector taps, which although are not completely necessary, I preferred to have as it prevents me making a horrible mess when doing filter maintenance.
- Again, as it was the basic version, the only media provided was one blue sponge, one white sponge and one carbon sponge, which isn't nearly enough to fill the basket. This was not a problem for me as I had plenty of ceramic rings, bioballs and sintered glass to fill it up with, as well as spare filter floss from my other tank, though I did also buy some extra sponges.

All in all, I am very pleased with the Eheim 2213, and hope that it will last me the 20+ years that it has done for others.


25W Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater
25W Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater
Offered by All Pond Solutions
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, not shabby, 23 Feb. 2012
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It takes a while to start doing anything to the water temperature, to the point where I wasn't sure if it was working or not. Since the indicator light doesn't seem to work (as in, does not light up at all), I had to unplug and feel near it to see if it was giving off heat - couldn't. Tried touching it - slightly warm, more like tepid. This was after being put in for about an hour. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now, as it's still new; perhaps it'll heat up quicker after more use. Also the wire with the plug is impractically short - my plug socket is about 2-3ft away from where the tank is, directly below and behind the tank, and yet I've now had to put books, magazines and a small box underneath to push the extension lead closer (because I don't want the extension just suspended in the air). I've given it 3 stars for now, because apart from the indicator light not working, it heating slowly (although I'm not sure if this is standard, this is my first heated tank), and the cable being too short, it seems like it'll do the job, and for £8 I guess this'll do.


American Gods
American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What got me into Gaiman, 4 Feb. 2012
This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
After driving down to Cornwall for a sun-and-sea camping holiday with the ladies, I realised I'd forgotten to bring a book, which was unusual for me since I'm a complete bookworm. I blamed it on the rush and panic of getting to the campsite on time and making sure we had everything. Luckily, one of my friends had brought two along with her and offered me American Gods. I'd not heard of Neil Gaiman until this point. I am so thankful that I was introduced to Gaiman's wonderful world of fiction. I could not put this book down, partly because I have a great interest in mythology, and partly because the prose was written in such a captivating way. I found the story very interesting, and the way Gaiman cleverly intertwined mythology of many cultures, along with 'modern gods' such as Internet, and Media. American Gods has ended up being one of my favourite books of all time. All time.


Penn Plax Bubble Wall (18")
Penn Plax Bubble Wall (18")
Offered by Essex Marine Aquatics
Price: £3.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully bubbly, 4 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This bubble wall was just what I needed to give my tank that extra bit of aeration. My goldfish love playing in the bubbles, and it was incredibly easy to set up; you'd have to be a complete moron, or a baby, to not understand how to put it together. I love that you can add one another piece if you want! Since upgrading to a 3ft tank, I might get an extra attachment or two to extend the bubble curtain all along the watchtower I mean tank. Looks lovely, helps aerate the water: win-win for all. Definitely worth the purchase.


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