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C. O'Neill
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Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)
Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

4.0 out of 5 stars RH back on form., 15 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After giving up on the Rain WIld Chronicles half way through (I couldn't take any more 1D characters or those nausiating dragons) I was please to hear that RH was returning to the world of FitzChivalry. The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies are some of the best writing I have come across and it's clear from this new series that RH truely loves wrting about this character.

Characters are more distinct, it's easier to relate to them, and there's a genuine concern when the pace (finally!) picks up.
Be warned, this book is a slow burner, it takes an age to get going. But despite this I was engrossed from beginning to end, and left wanting more. I'm hoping for a bit more adventure and intrigue in the forthcoming books, but this is a great return to form for RH.

The rating: 4-stars... two things bothered me which meant losing a star. 1) The use of the 1st person for both Ftiz and Bee was a tad confusing as you were oftentimes halfway down the page before you can deduce which character the PoV is from. 2) Typos. Seriously, the book is riddled with them. I blame the editors or publishers. RH has enough typing to do than having to check and re-check everything. But so many typos are distracting and smack of "rushed to publication".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2014 8:58 AM GMT


Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Headphones Classic, for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black/Silver
Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Headphones Classic, for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black/Silver
Price: £29.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sturdy enough, 11 Mar. 2013
As with most reviews I cannot complain about the sound quality in these headphones, they are superb. (here comes the but...)

...but they just aren't sturdy enough to last. I'm an occasional user and for most of their life they have been in their bag in the front of my backpack. The opening in the bag is a little too small, meaning tugging the headphones out and stuffing them back in with some force. After a time a clicking was noticed on the left side (wiring?), and then the cheap foam covers for the earpieces tore and came off. The "comfort" lock is fiddly and temperamental. They have lasted a while, but now I realize I need something a bit sturdier whilst still being portable.


Tabby McTat
Tabby McTat
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read, 3 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Tabby McTat (Paperback)
My 2½yr old loves this, he calls it Caggy McCat!! The story is beautiful, with lots of interesting characters who develop and grow as they story unfolds.

The illustrations are beautifully rich in detail (did everyone spot the gruffalo?!), and my son loves pointing out the different things he discovers in the images.

I've marked it down one star because the rhyming pattern is a little drawn out. It's loosely based on the rhyming scheme of Limericks, but often the rhyming partner of a word can appear many lines later, and the rhyme is lost, making the sentence appear a little out of place. (eg. the list of items after "plenty of things to do" means that the rhyming partner is 6-8 lines away.)


Logitech Harmony One UK - Advanced Universal Remote Control (discontinued by manufacturer)
Logitech Harmony One UK - Advanced Universal Remote Control (discontinued by manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly incredible remote., 23 Jan. 2012
I have been using the Harmony One for a week now and it's my first venture into universal remote controls.

My set-up is:
TV - Hitachi plasma
Surround sound - Yamaha AV receiver
DVD - Toshiba
Freeview - Humax PVR

For these I had 4 remotes, most of which I used just for the on/off buttons or to change the input sources. The freeview remote got most use.

I installed the software and plugged in the remote, added my "devices" (TV, DVD, AV, PVR) and it stepped me through the set-up of the remote, only asking for 3 infra-red inputs from the freeview remote to recognise its configuration. It then asked how I use my devices; what channel is the TV set to, how do I control my sound etc. for each "activity" (watch tv, watch dvd, ...)

Within 20mins the remote was fully functional. "Watch TV" turns on the TV, the AV receiver and the freeview box, all to the correct inputs. "Watch DVD" turns off the freeview box, turns on the DVD player, and changes the sound and TV to the correct inputs. All with a press of a button - or more precisely, with a touch of the touch screen.

The remote is HIGHLY customisable and I'd recommend for you to take time after the initial setup to make the most of the functions this remote offers. Such as:
When I watch TV, I've changed the touchscreen to show the following - a button which brings up the list of Recorded Programmes and a button to switch from TV to Radio (through the PVR). Below this, the 4 colour buttons. Yes, I know that not having hard buttons for the colours is a bit odd, but the touchscreen is very capable and I've adjusted easily to looking for the buttons there.

In addition to that, I filled the "favourites" screens on the remote with channel icons (freely available from iconharmony dot com in the correct image sizes). This both looks and works brilliantly!
I also added an activity to listen to digital radio through the PVR, without having the TV switched on. Again, I loaded some favourite stations onto the remote so I can switch channels without having to switch the TV on.
All of these changes can be done on the software, and stored online, and when ready, plug in the remote and sync it.

Overall this is one amazing device. It feels light but sturdy, the button configuration is excellent, all the main buttons are easy to reach, the touchscreen is very responsive and the charging dock is a real winner (no more hunting or swapping batteries when they run out!).

The other remotes have now been consigned to the loft!!


Lascal Buggyboard Maxi
Lascal Buggyboard Maxi
Price: £53.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Son loves it, 10 Jan. 2012
My 2½yr old loves his Buggy Board. When son #2 came along we debated about getting a twin buggy or using our existing MyChoice 3 pram with a buggy board attached. And we're so grateful we chose the latter. It's easy to assemble and fit, and thanks to the long reach of the MyChoice handlebar, it's easy for my son to pop his head up in front of the handle and for us to push without constantly catching our feet on the board.

It doesn't get the full 5 stars for one reason - There should be a way to quickly lock the board into the "up" position. The included lanyard and clip is a bit of an afterthought and not a good solution.


Intempo Digital PG 02 DAB/FM Radio with alarm clock, sleep and snooze - Silver
Intempo Digital PG 02 DAB/FM Radio with alarm clock, sleep and snooze - Silver

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a great radio, 22 Nov. 2011
I am constantly surprised at how DAB radios fail to provide sufficient preset buttons and this one is no exception. My analogue radio receives about 10 channels but can store up to 20. This DAB can receive about 50 channels, but only 4 memory buttons (WHY!!!). Switching to a non-preset station is cumbersome, especially with the clunky "thunk thunk" buttons. Setting the alarm is a real faff, and the aerial is flimsy. Sound is clear.


Giraffes Can't Dance
Giraffes Can't Dance
by Giles Andreae
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot find any love for this book, 7 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Giraffes Can't Dance (Paperback)
Something about this book rubs me up the wrong way. The illustrations are great but both my wife and I feel sad and disappointed at the end of the book. Our son enjoys it, so I guess that's what matters. The text is a little stilted and repetitive ("I am dancing, yes I'm dancing, I am dancing", Gerald cried. - Yeah, we get it, you're dancing, well done.). But I feel the book is sending out the wrong message. It finally dawned on me last night what it is that bothers me, and it's this:
The giraffe never says that he would ever like to, or would love to dance. He simply goes along to a jungle dance and is mocked and taunted by everyone there. So he leaves, saddened, but with the help of a cricket learns how to dance, and then gains praise from those who made fun of him. This doesn't express a sentiment of individuality, or a celebration of being different. And so what if he can't dance, or is a little clumsy, he may have other talents that make him special and unique. Why try to impress those who mock you?
In the end I feel sad that the giraffe was taunted into proving himself to selfish, thoughtless animals who didn't care that they were hurting his feelings.

But like I said, my 2yr old enjoys it, and his opinion is what matters here!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2013 3:35 PM BST


Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 2)
Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 2)
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slight return, 12 Sept. 2010
This book follows on directly where the Dragon Keeper left off. Right from the beginning it feels less like a book but the next chapter, and sadly it seems that little has improved from the first book.

The story is still more to do with self-discovery and emotional hardships and readers hoping for a solid book detailing the return of dragons to the world will be sorely disappointed. Although better than the first, this second book still lacks the intrigue and excitement that peppers her earlier work.

Reduce the font, reduce the margins and these two books should really be squeez3ed into one, to make an interesting if not a touch smaltzy read. We all know Hobb can do much better than this, so I wait in hope for a return to form.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2011 10:03 PM BST


Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1)
Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1)
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth and excitement., 2 Jun. 2010
My bookshelves are overflowing with Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm books, but I have always found it hard to bond with any of her dragon books. This latest offering is, for me, no exception.

The novels (Liveship Traders and this series) lack the depth of story and character that made the Farseer and Tawney Man trilogies must-reads. The dragons tend to be pious, pompous and arrogant with little insight into what really drives them, making it hard to relate in any way to them, or be overly concerned about their plight. That's not to say a character needs to be likable in order to bond with them, the Soldier Son Trilogy is proof that you don't need to like a lead character in order for you to be completely engaged by the novel.

Some of the book feels very wooden, in particular some of the characters are very predictable: Alise, an independent woman trapped in a loveless marraige seeking adventure and the thrills of passion; Captain Leftrin, a gruff captain, rough around the edges but with a warm heart and kind soul. The birdkeeper banter at the start of every chapter is mildly interesting but doesn't add to the narrative in any significant way.

And there is a general lack of excitement. No intrigue, no devious plots, no life-or-death moments. It's very much a simple story about disabled dragons seeking their homeland. Very little actually happens in this first book, and the poor editing and proof-reading leads me to believe that the book was rushed to the shelves before sufficient "body" was added.

BUT, it's a very engaging read, hard to put down and sufficiently interesting to warrant buying Book 2. But this is far from Robin Hobb's best work....by quite some distance.


Russell Hobbs 14805 Precision Heat Digital Steam Iron With Ceramic Sole Plate 2400 W
Russell Hobbs 14805 Precision Heat Digital Steam Iron With Ceramic Sole Plate 2400 W

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Leaked all the time, 14 Dec. 2009
Truly awful product. After four months of leaking through the filler cap and handle when standing the iron on end, it's finally shorted itself out. Also, it was impossible to know how much water was in the iron as the tank wasn't seethrough, and there is no internal light despite the Russell Hobbs website saying that there is one. No means of wrapping the chord around the iron either, so it habitually unfurled in the cupboard.
I won't even bother getting a replacement from RH, and I'll never buy one of their products again.


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