Profile for Gillian Jack > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Gillian Jack
Top Reviewer Ranking: 65,557
Helpful Votes: 191

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Gillian Jack (Edinburgh, Scotland)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
The Vanishing Witch
The Vanishing Witch
by Karen Maitland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

4.0 out of 5 stars If you've enjoyed Maitland's previous novels, 6 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Vanishing Witch (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another enjoyable mixture of historical and supernatural fiction from Karen Maitland. This time, the setting is fourteenth century Lincoln and follows a typically wide cast of characters including cloth merchant Robert and his family, the mysterious Catlin, the river boatman Gunter. As the story unfolds we see how their lives come together.

If you've enjoyed Maitland's previous novels, you will probably enjoy this one too. It features her trademark mixture of dark, magical elements with a gritty historical setting and varied cast of characters. One of her strengths is her nuanced characters and portrayals of people from different walks of life in the past. This isn't a story of noble and court life that many historical novels focus on, but numerous "ordinary" people.

This is a dark tale, perfect as the nights draw in.


Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Price: £55.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was somewhat disappointed with this. On the plus side, it certainly will go through a large number of pages in one go but there are a few downsides. It's huge and heavy- storing it is a nightmare. Most importantly though, it's not always easy to tell when it's gone through all the pages. I had to re-punch several documents (this is a bit of a nuisance but the guide works well so I didn't end up with overlapping holes). After about 70-ish pages' worth of punching (not all at once), one of the punching boards snapped into 3 pieces, meaning I need to buy more if I want to use the hole punch as it does not come with any spares. This seems like poor quality for something with a price tag of over £50: I do not possess super-human strength and so doubt I was pressing on it unusually hard.


Rapesco Supaclip 60 Dispenser with 8 Clips
Rapesco Supaclip 60 Dispenser with 8 Clips
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy, functional, 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice little tool for when you need something more permanent (and less likely to fall off) than a paper clip, but not as permanent or damaging as staples. It has been said a few times here that bulldog clips are just as good, and you don't need a tool to fit them which is, of course, true. The only benefit this has over bulldog clips is that supaclips add a lot less bulk.

Overall, it's handy and neat but far from vital. I'll use mine but if it were to get lost I doubt I'd bother to buy a new one.


A Lovely Way to Burn (Plague Times Trilogy)
A Lovely Way to Burn (Plague Times Trilogy)
by Louise Welsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.69

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Way to Burn, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Louise Welsh continues to avoid pigeon holes as a writer and produce high-quality work in diverse genres. This is no exception. This is a gripping, intelligent thriller with, as ever, well-drawn characters and tight pacing. The combination of dystopian thriller and murder mystery is skilfully handled. Recommended.


Case Logic Griffith Park Backpack for 15 inch Laptop - Black
Case Logic Griffith Park Backpack for 15 inch Laptop - Black
Price: £37.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly spacious, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was expecting a rather compact bag and that wasn't incorrect, but I have found that it will accommodate a surprising amount of stuff. There are laptop and tablet pockets in the main section of the bag, with several additional pockets in the front, as well as several on the outside. Items like laptops and tablets feel secure and cushioned. It will easily accommodate leads, cables and portable keyboards etc, as well as papers and notebooks. I use mine primarily for uni and can fit what I need in it.

In fact, I can even get my 17inch laptop in here. It's a tight fit, and it won't go into the laptop pocket, but it will squeeze into the bag. It's not ideal, and I wouldn't recommend it as a solution for those looking for a bag for a laptop of that size, but this may reassure those wondering if smaller equipment will fit in. I would certainly consider buying the bigger version of this bag to carry the larger laptop.

The only drawback I have found, and this is fairly minor, is that the straps tend to loosen. They are not held tightly to the length you set them so you find you have to adjust them frequently if you prefer them tighter. It's not brilliant for bulky items either, but it's not intended for that.


The 5 Minute Researcher: Doing better research is steps away
The 5 Minute Researcher: Doing better research is steps away
Price: £1.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Unhelpful, 20 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unfortunately, this book offers no real insight or any advice beyond the obvious. It reads as if the author's first language is not English which only makes matters worse.


A Burnable Book (John Gower 1)
A Burnable Book (John Gower 1)
by Bruce Holsinger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting tale of medieval intrigue, 20 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This impressive debut novel is set in London in 1385 and the hero, Gower, is a compelling character. Holsinger's real achievement, though, is his vividly portrayed medieval world. This is a London of back streets, grime and genuine intrigue, rather than the sanitised royal courts which feature so heavily in many lesser historical thrillers.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The quality of historical fiction varies widely, and I was happy to find that this book is one of the better ones (perhaps even one of the best). Comparisons to C. J. Sansom are inevitable for any author of historical thrillers based in England: this book is superior to Sansom's generally over-rated work.

Highly recommended. I look forward to more fiction from this author.


Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation - 45 Warm Almond
Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation - 45 Warm Almond
Price: £9.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good!, 27 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was surprised at how much I liked this foundation. "Whipped creme" sounded like a gimmick and I didn't have particularly high hopes for it but was pleasantly surprised.

It has a nice, light consistency and blends in very well. It gives a light-medium coverage with a matt finish and left my skin feeling soft. It felt very light on as well- I forgot I was wearing it. There's no greasiness or weight to it.

I'd definitely buy this again.


Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book
Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book
by Steve Bowkett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Archi-Doodle, 16 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
While there is some gentle teaching here -- you'll find mention of Bauhaus, the Pompidou Centre and De Stijl -- this is primarily an activity book which invites you to learn architectural design through experience. Each two-page spread features architectural sketches and leaves plenty of space which you are encouraged to fill in. On one page you will plan a new bridge; on another you'll add to the New York skyline or replace the roof on Sydney Opera House. No need to worry about the budget.

The cover says "For architects of all ages" and this is true. Professional architects might enjoy this book as light relief, yet it is quite accessible to high school kids who have an interest in drawing. More serious than Keri Smith's books, it retains a sense of fun. If you like the idea of inventing your own buildings but are put off by dry architectural textbooks, this is a great introduction. It will make you think while you sketch.


VANGUARD Alta+ 233AP Aluminium Tripod with PH-22 Pan Head
VANGUARD Alta+ 233AP Aluminium Tripod with PH-22 Pan Head
Price: £117.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Stable, sturdy and handy., 24 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was my first tripod. I'd wanted one for a while but couldn't justify the expense. The instructions for this one are poor, relying on pictures with no words, but it's still fairly easy to set up even if you're not familiar with tripods.

This one is fairly robust tand reasonably sturdy. It's pretty versatile: the removable central column is handy and the legs can be set to 3 angles. It's made of heavy plastic and aluminium and is therefore quite light to carry, but not exceptionally so. However, it is pretty big when fully extended so it doesn't pack up very small. It's not, therefore, ideal for travelling abroad (I had to leave it behind as it was far too big and heavy to accommodate). For non-air travel, the bag is fine with a long shoulder strap.

The tripod proved to be fairly stable managed to remain so even with my rather heavy telephoto lens. Even with the legs fully extended, it feels stable and I left my camera on it without concern.

All in all, it's pretty good.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4