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S. Wilson (UK)

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Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2)
Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable! (No Spoilers for this book but some for Divergent), 28 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am very late to the Divergent party and now really wish I had been punctual and read the books when they originally came out. I am absolutely hooked to the Divergent world and this second book was unbelievably even more unputdownable than Divergent. I had actually said to myself the other night that I was just going to read the first few chapters and then go to sleep but I ended up reading half of the book as I just had to know what happened to certain characters at a majorly large book plot moment. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian and are one of the rare few like me who haven't yet read the Divergent series then I highly recommend the series and urge you to read it. There are no book spoilers for Insurgent in this review but there are spoilers for the first book Divergent so don't read any further if you haven't read Divergent and don't want to know anything.

Wow what an ending to the first book! This book follows immediately on from the first with no breaks which I love when a series does this as it makes the world feel more real to me. Anyway following the attack simulation which Tris and Four managed to stop with the help of her Father, Marcus, Peter and Caleb the five remaining of them escape the madness on one of the trains headed for the Amity compound. Once there they call upon the Amity to choose a side as now all out war is threatening to take over their city with half of the Dauntless mortified of what the Erudite did to them and they have taken up with Candor and the other half more than happy to continue on with Erudite and their mad leader Jeanine. So will Amity choose a side or stay on the fence? Will Tris and Four manage to overthrow Erudite and Jeanine or has she darker plans for them and their friends? Will Christine be okay and will she forgive Tris if Tris reveals the truth about Will? And just what is the great secret if there is actually one that Abnegation didn't want to fall into Jeanine's hands?

An absolutely amazing read and I have been drawn into the world of Divergent and don't want to come back out. I absolutely love the character's Tris and Four and love the world that Veronica Roth has built. I have read some amazing books this year and this one is right up there with the best ones. I literally couldn't put the book down until after chapter 36 at one point and when you read the book you will see why. Also just when you think Veronica can't surely add any more twists to the book.....erm lets just say she does and Allegiant is set to be another amazing read. A must read book for fans of YA and Dystopian.

Willow Organic Beauty Butterfly Range Rosehip, Almond & Barbary Fig Pink Himalayan Body Scrub 250 g
Willow Organic Beauty Butterfly Range Rosehip, Almond & Barbary Fig Pink Himalayan Body Scrub 250 g

4.0 out of 5 stars Smells Lovely, 28 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This body scrub smells lovely and is really nice on the skin. The crystals are a nice size so not too clumpy within the scrub. The scrub itself is like the name suggests a pink colour and comes in a plastic tub. The scrub is actually only 25% organic which it does state on the label but could possibly be misleading in the main title. I can't comment on value for money as at the time of posting my review there is no pricing information for the body scrub. I love the fact that some of the money from the purchase is going to butterfly conservation and that this is a UK product. My one niggle is that the scrub came just as the tub with some bubble warp around it and it would have been nice if it had been in an additional presentation box. A nice scrub that does leave the skin feeling smooth and clean.

Talon (Talon Saga)
Talon (Talon Saga)
by Julie Kagawa
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragons and Fairies and Vampires Oh My! (No Spoilers), 28 Oct 2014
This review is from: Talon (Talon Saga) (Hardcover)
Is there no end to this woman's writing talent?!! Julie Kagawa has once again drawn me into one of her stunning worlds where I have been totally and blissfully ensconced for the past few days with intermittent bothersome reappearances into my real world. First I read her Iron Fey series (Amazing) which features Fairies, then I read her Blood of Eden series (Again, Amazing) which features Vampires and now I have just read her first book Talon from her new Talon Saga series which is due out in October 2014 which yes you've guessed it was....Amazing.
When I read the synopsis for Talon I thought it sounded really interesting but that there was no way someone can pull off a book with shape shifting Dragons and make me feel any attachment for a mythological creature but I should have known that if anyone could do it, it would have been Mrs Kagawa. I have been absolutely glued to this book and have snuck every spare minute I could muster to read this. If you are a fan of Julie Kagawa books or just a fan of YA, Dragon or Fantasy reads then you will love this book and thank you very much to Harlequin for the ARC.

The premise of the series is that Dragons live among us and that they are able to shift into Human form in order to blend in with us. There are two main factions in the book; Talon and the Order of St. George.
Talon is the Dragons governance and they are in control of all Dragons in the world (except for rogue Dragons who have broken away from Talon) and are responsible for the safety and placement of all Dragons. Talon will bring a hatchling (baby dragon till they are about 50 years old) up, train them to observe, assimilate and blend in with human society and then ultimately decide as to where within Talon they will continue their training and what role they will play in the future such as become a chameleon and fit in to a high role within the human world.
Ember and her brother Dante are teen Dragons who are just about to enter into their training to decide as to what role they will ultimately play within Talon but first their test, and that is to blend into Human life whilst being watched over by their Human guardians. They have just been introduced to their new 'aunt and uncle' and are enjoying their little bit of freedom in southern California, surfing and hanging out with their new Human friends before their training continues after the summer.
The Order of St. George is a Human military faction of soldiers who's only goal in life is to rid the world of the Dragon demon wyrms which involves hunting down any possible 'sleeper' Dragons and exterminating them.
Garret Xavier Sebastian is one of the Order of St. George's soldiers and he has been given the mission along with his friend and brother in arms Tristan St. Anthony to infiltrate the narrowed down group of suspects in Crescent Beach, find out who the Dragon sleeper is and exterminate them. Garret has been raised within the Order and has been brought up to believe that all Dragons are emotionless, soulless demon wyrms who are fit only for extinction but the green gaze of Ember and her life loving personality soon ensnare him. Could all Dragons be evil or could there be some who are different?
Ember likewise has been brought up to believe that all soldiers of the Order are just Dragon murderers with no redeeming qualities so will she discover who Garret really is and if so will her beliefs stand true in the face of her strange Human feelings for him?
If the two characters were not enough, cue Riley/Cobalt who is a rogue Dragon on the run from both Talon and the Order and claims to know things about Talon that Ember doesn't. Will curiosity get the better of her and why does her Dragon rejoice in his presence?............

Absolutely gripping, page turning story that has left me bereft waiting to read the next book which is due to be released next April and will be called Rogue.

Rogue (Talon Saga)

Mattel Y0404 Monster High - Frankie's Vanity Playset
Mattel Y0404 Monster High - Frankie's Vanity Playset
Offered by Collectors Kingdom
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Frankie Stein's Dressing Table / Vanity Playset, 27 Oct 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Three of my nieces are absolutely Monster High mad at the moment - as with the majority of girls in their years at school. At first glance the Monster High Dolls may seem a little creepy and they are certainly unlike the 'normal' barbie style dolls but I must admit that if Monster High had been out and about when I was little then I would have actually liked dolls (well the Monster High ones anyway) as they are so different and unique plus they are all beautifully made.

I have bought this Frankie Stein Dressing Table/Vanity Set as a present for one of my nieces as she has plenty of dolls but not so many of the play sets. I couldn't resist having a quick peek at the dressing table set before wrapping it and I told myself that "this was for purely checking that everything was included that should be....." - oh how I wish I was a little girl again just to play with the Monster High stuff!

The dressing table itself is approx 28.5cm high to the top of the mirror, 9.5cm approx in depth and 19cm in length. The chair stands at approx 18cm to the top (9.5cm to the seat), 6.5cm deep and 6.5cm wide.

The dressing table has a voltage detail along with skulls and coffins on the background parts, a big skull on the back and a metal industrialised design on the legs and drawer front. The chair is also designed in a voltage and skull effect with a big skull on the chair back. It is mostly in Frankie's signature blue and black but with some pink and silver parts on it. The drawer opens for you to store Frankie's things in it and has a skull handle. The dressing table comes with a little make-up palette with tiny wrench shaped brush, a battery case, a perfume bottle and a hairdryer and electricity recharge plugs for Frankie's neck bolts which also plug into the desk which I thought was a nice little touch. The dressing table also has little shelves built in on one side of the table and the mirror opens to reveal more storage inside it. The set comes with four stickers of Frankie's friends which can be stuck in the corresponding coffin shapes on the background.

This is a brilliant little set for the MH fan and the detail that is included and all the little extra pieces is brilliant. Frankie does quite happily fit in the chair and it has definitely been designed with that in mind so your child can sit their MH dolls at it. A really nice set that appears to be very well made although I shall update this review if there are any problems when my niece begins to play with it.

Monster High Freaky Fusion Recharge Chamber & Frankie
Monster High Freaky Fusion Recharge Chamber & Frankie
Price: £33.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Voltageous, 27 Oct 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This set is brilliant and the recharge chamber really does work and make Frankie's hair stand up which I was extremely doubtful it would do prior to seeing it for myself. I will point out that it doesn't stick up anywhere near as much as one of the product pictures shows it to (the one where most of her hair is up in the air) but it is a true likeness to the other product picture with her hair sticking up. I shall post some pictures of the recharge station and Frankie onto the review later.

Freaky Fusion is a new range of dolls and accessories from Monster High and the new DVD Monster High: Freaky Fusion [DVD] [2014] has just been released this month. The premise of the film is that during the Bite-Centennial the students travel back in time to learn about Frankie's scaritage but a lab accident from inside the newly discovered Monster High Catacombs Accessory fuses eight of the students into four new freaky fusions. Can Frankie and the new Hybrid students help her friends return to normal and stop a doomed experiment before it destroys the school--or worse? Whilst trying to save the students and return them to normal Frankie loses her 'spark' and so her friends set out to save her by way of the recharge station so now your child can reenact that part of the film for themselves and charge Frankie up.

There is a small amount of assembly required for the recharge chamber which basically is inserting the batteries, putting the pink tubes onto the top of the chamber and slotting the chamber itself onto the stand. You will need 3 AA batteries for the station and a Philips/Posidrive screwdriver for the battery compartment. There are five little coloured skullettes that you can either dot around the base of the recharge station or can use to accessorize Frankie's belt and these are removable so you can swap colours around whenever you want. The rest of the recharge station is already built so it really is minimal assembly.

The recharge station can either be used to re-create Frankie's recharge from the film and her hair actually does stand on end or as a bedroom decoration/light. There are no fans that make her hair stand up that I can see like another reviewer has suggested and the unit actually works via static electricity. The recharge station has four different coloured lights; red, green, blue and white and you can change the colours by pressing the skullette button. To make Frankie's hair stand on end you hold down the skullette button on the front and to change through the colours you press the skullette button to cycle through them. The lights will automatically turn off after approx 5 minutes or you can cycle through the colours as after the white colour is the off option.

The recharge station is approx 39cm to the top of the pink tubes or approx 32.5cm to the top of the coffin. It is approx 15.5cm wide at the base and approx 22cm wide at the widest point at the top part of the coffin and approx 9cm deep from the back of the coffin to the front of the doors.

The Frankie Stein doll is absolutely gorgeous and one of the prettiest Frankie Stein dolls I have seen (and I have bought a ton of MH dolls including different types of Frankie Stein ones over the last few years for my three nieces who love them). She stands at around 28cm tall including heels or 27cm without (this seems to be normal approx height for the MH Dolls). She seems a bit bluer than other versions of her I have seen but this could be to do with her stitches also being coloured blue when normally they are more a silver or white colour and that her lipstick is blue for a change. Frankie wears a black dress with blue, yellow and green electricity voltage detail on it. Her arms, legs, knees, elbows and wrists are jointed and so fully poseable although she can't stand on her own. She has blue lightning bolt earrings in, her normal neck bolts in silver and yellow high heel court shoes with lightning bolt details in the heel. She also has a silver belt which is removable along with her dress and shoes. Her hair is blue with black and gold streaks in it and is styled so that it is straight without her normal fringe.

Frankie is the daughter of Frankenstein but unlike him she has been created with an attractive body. Frankie is one of the main characters of Monster High and a really sweet girl. Her one flaw is that her stitches sometimes come undone and therefore her limbs will fall off at the most inopportune times! Frankie is best friends with Draculaura and Clawdeen although gets on with everyone and she has a pet dog called Watzit who was made out of several dogs for her by her father.

TOMY Stack n Play Lighthouse
TOMY Stack n Play Lighthouse
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bath Toy, 25 Oct 2014
This review is from: TOMY Stack n Play Lighthouse (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really good bath toy that stands at approx 27cm high including the Lighthouse Keeper Dog and approx 18cm wide at the green base. The green base floats in the bath and your little one is then able to stack the three stacking cups, light top piece and Dog on top to build a floating Lighthouse. When you place the Lighthouse Keeper Dog on top of the light top piece it lights and flashes gently along with plays a little sea sort of shanty for approx 10 seconds. You don't need to push the dog down on the piece you just have to gently place him on top and the music also has a little sea sound effect of seagull's in the background to the music being played. A really nice toy which has been a hit in the tub with both my son and baby daughter. The age recommendation advises 18months plus but my baby daughter is much younger than this and has been playing with the stacking cups quite happily and I can't see any small pieces that may be a danger to a younger baby so would think this was suitable for little ones. The three stacking cups all have holes in them so that your little one can play with them in the bath as little sieve type toys too. One thing I will say is that the Lighthouse Keeper Dog looks a little odd if I am being honest and maybe would have been better in a browner colour than the yellowy beige he is but the rest of the Lighthouse pieces are nice shades of their colours and not the garish looking shades the product pictures make them look like.

Frozen [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Frozen [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £17.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 3D Effects Are Brilliant!, 25 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as my son is obsessed with Frozen (along with how many millions of other children!) and there has also been an offer on for Disney films whereby effectively you buy one and you get another free on Amazon. The Frozen disc set comes with one normal Blu-ray disc along with a 3D Blu-ray disc and I have watched both now multiple times!

Obviously most people know about the premise of the film and so I am not going to re-hash what all the other reviews say however I haven't seen a review here where anyone actually mentions about what the 3D effects are like on the disc and whether it is worth getting the 3D version as opposed to the normal non 3D version. Well the 3D version is fantastic and I can thoroughly recommend it. Not only do you have the normal 3D effect whereby the characters on the screen stand out within the screen against the background but there are lots of points within the film whereby the 'true out of the screen and halfway across your living room 3D effects' come into play.

Right at the beginning of the film at the title menu the snowflakes pop right out at you and in the very first scene where the men are cutting up the ice I literally jumped when one of the ice knives popped right out of the screen towards my face! Disney has really made the 3D amazing on this and not over done the 3D having it popping out of the screen all of the time but at key moments such as the rain in the storm scene where it feels like it is raining in your living room, more snowflakes across the air in front of you at most snowflake scenes and especially during the main song and Elsa's glove flying out of the television during Let it Go. Other scenes like the Ice Castle's light pendant popping out of the screen and the beautiful effects of the icicles tinkling in your living room as Sven plays with them has made this one of the nicest and well done 3D films I have watched and so if you are wavering between just getting the Blu-ray version on it's own and thinking of getting the 3D but aren't sure how well it has been done then I can confirm it has been done beautifully with lots of pop out the screen 3D moments and the normal 3D is fantastically done throughout. Obviously the film itself is amazing but it truly is magical with the 3D effect.

Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable! (No Spoilers), 23 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yes I am very late to the Divergent party and having now finished this book last night I really wish I had been punctual and read it when it originally came out! I am absolutely hooked to the Divergent world and the book was literally unputdownable. I am already halfway through the second book Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2) which I only started last night after finishing Divergent and wow the series impossibly is getting better the more I read. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian and are one of the rare few like me who haven't yet read Divergent then I highly recommend the series and urge you to read it. One other thing is that I normally always read the book before I watch the film but in this instance I ended up watching the film first and I have to say well done to the producers who have (unlike many films of highly popular books) actually stuck to the book with only a few minor theatrical changes/add ins.

The book is set in a post apocalyptic Chicago where the survivors have split into five groups or factions as they call them:-

Abnegation for the selfless
Dauntless for the brave
Erudite for the intellectual
Candor for the honest
Amity for the peaceful

Beatrice Prior is a member of abnegation but had never felt that she belonged there as she doesn't feel she is selfless enough especially when compared to her parents and brother Caleb. Each year all 16 year old's take an aptitude test by way of a simulation scenario which determines which faction they belong to and then they can either choose to stay with their current faction or choose to join another. If they choose to join another faction they leave their family behind and have no contact with them as the city's motto is "Faction before Blood". When Beatrice takes her test it shows that she has an aptitude for three factions; Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite and the woman administering the test advises Beatrice that this is very dangerous and she must not tell anyone her results. On the choosing day Caleb shocks Beatrice and her family by choosing Erudite but Beatrice still makes the choice that she wants to make and chooses Dauntless. Beatrice later finds out that she is Divergent which is a very dangerous thing to be as Divergent's don't tend to live long in Dauntless and so she has to work to hide this through the initiation process. Beatrice changes her name to Tris on entry to Dauntless and it is her that she meets her instructor Four and they seem to have some sort of link to each other. Only the top ten initiates make it into Dauntless and their initiation process is the hardest of all of the factions so can Tris make it into Dauntless and hide that she is Divergent and is there something between her and Four and what is he hiding himself?

An absolutely amazing read and I have been drawn into the world of Divergent and don't want to come back out. I absolutely love the character's Tris and Four and love the world that Veronica Roth has built. I have read some amazing books this year and this one is right up there with the best ones. I am already halfway through Insurgent which has a few shock turns in it to say the least and I am dreading reading Allegiant as know that this will mean the end of the Divergent roller-coaster. A must read book for fans of YA and Dystopian.

Philips Foldie On Ear CitiScape Headband Headphones - Black
Philips Foldie On Ear CitiScape Headband Headphones - Black
Price: £47.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft, Comfy and Well Padded, 23 Oct 2014
The headphones themselves are really nice and look lovely with the gold writing on them. I don't like in-ear headphones and try to avoid them whenever possible as I find them uncomfortable and the cushions around the ear on these headphones are soft, comfy and well padded so even after wearing for some time I haven't felt like I have the 'red ear effect' you sometimes get with on-ear headphones.
They are foldable which is brilliant although a bit disappointing they don't come with any sort of bag to store them in even if it was a cheap cotton one. I really like the design even if the colour isn't what I would have personally chosen and the lead is made of a fabric rather than plastic lead and therefore doesn't appear to tangle as much. The headphones are as with every headphone adjustable and fit really nicely and the headband is very nicely cushioned too. I am not using these with my phone to make calls but more to listen to music and so can't comment on the microphone but the music I have listened to has been clear even when loud and so I think that these are a really nice pair of headphones just not the colour I would have chosen. I actually received these headphones in a different colour in error (Green and Brown) instead of the black ones but the headphones are identical apart from that.

Littlest Pet Shop Spa Style Set
Littlest Pet Shop Spa Style Set
Price: £14.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Littlest Pet Shop Say Ahh to the Spa Set, 22 Oct 2014
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I actually received this play set in error instead of the main play set; Littlest Pet Shop Style Set. This say ahh to the spa set is an add on to the main play set and there are several other add on pieces such as a playroom and bedroom set so when linked together they all make one big Littlest Pet Shop and resemble a sort of pet hotel. I would imagine that if this was an add on to the main set that this would increase the fun and play-ability of this set and would actually be very good but on it's own it's not that great with limited play and my niece lost interest in it quite quickly hence the star marking. If I was to score it alongside the main set which I can't as I don't have it then I think it would have warranted a higher marking as I would have scored it as a full play set with the other part.

Anyway onto the say ahh to the spa set. It is basically a room which is open on one side with plastic side panels and there is also access to the room from the top roof part which opens if needed. The set comes with a little dog called Zoe Trent, little bath, sink, stool and mirror main play pieces and smaller play pieces such as a hairdryer, scissors, spray bottle, brush etc. The set comes with little plastic parts in the shapes of bows, paws, hearts etc and stickers with the idea being you can stick the little plastic bits in the window pieces and use the stickers to personalise the spa room.

The room is very easy to build and consists of some large black frame pieces, the floor, the roof and a cardboard back piece which has a foldout piece to make a sort of shelf piece which I can see ending up ripped and would probably have been better to have made this a plastic part too. The instructions are picture instructions and aren't that great as they don't advise which way around some bits go such as the plastic glass parts but can be worked out.

As I have said I think this would make a really nice play set and I would have scored it higher if I was able to see it working with the main part and I think my niece also would have thought higher of it so if you are buying this as an add on piece to the main part I think you will be pleased with it but it buying this on it's own I think you may be disappointed as it's play is very limited. I received this playset free from Amazon in exchange for an impartial honest review.

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