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John (Manchester, England)

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The Crew (Xbox One)
The Crew (Xbox One)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £17.62

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and repetitive game, 15 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Crew (Xbox One) (Video Game)
The Crew is not an enjoyable game as it is far too difficult and so so frustrating. That however is not why I am giving it one star, the negatives are endless:
*The handling of the cars is a bonkers, all-over-the-place mess with no consistency. Even tweaking all the settings does little to ease this. I've achieved the maximum player level 50 and I still find the handling to be painful. It also takes forever to turn around if you brush against a stone and go flying off the track in a race, which leads me to....
*The 'back on track' feature is no use, it sets you back far behind everyone else and penalises you for using it. It's usually easier to do it yourself.
*I've only managed to join an online 'crew' once, haven't been able to join another one since as it seems there's nobody else online.
*Many of the stats that count towards achievements reset to zero or almost zero whenever you log off.
*The 'skill' missions are ridiculous as they are either really easy (jump, speed) to impossibly hard (follow the line, precision) even from the very first one. There are almost 600 of these things to plough through.
*This has been touted as an MMO - all this seems to mean is that it has online pvp races ( even though it can never find any other players online)
*The 'smartphone' is pointless, and is the icing on the cake of this game's love of endless, repetitive and complicated menus.

I feel I have wasted a lot of hours of my life on this game as you seem to get nothing out of it, no matter how long you play. It seems just to be an enormous game for the sake of it - but it's only enormous because there are 600 repetitive, tedious skill missions to do. And I don't know of anyone who would willingly do a four-hour 'faction' race for next to no reward.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2014 6:50 PM GMT

Poppet: Jack Caffery series 6
Poppet: Jack Caffery series 6
by Mo Hayder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great - as a continuation, 10 April 2013
Poppet by Mo Hayder is, as I knew it would be, a brilliant book. I think if you read this as a standalone novel it will make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, so do read the previous Caffery novels first.
I was so glad when I saw Mo Hayder had released another book, she really is an excellent writer and manages to capture the warm, gloomy, rural atmosphere of Somerset very well - it is definitely refreshing to read a crime novel set amongst winding country lanes and eerie villages than grimy city streets for a change, and as usual Mo's easily readable style had me turning the pages. Poppet does at times feel like it is merely a 'bridge' between two books, however one aspect of the story between Flea and Caffery is actually put to bed, but I can't help wanting more and I'm sure the series will continue for several more books.

Forza Horizon (Xbox 360)
Forza Horizon (Xbox 360)
Offered by Fox Electric
Price: £15.65

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy the DLC!, 24 Dec. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
As this was the first game I bought in about 6 months it had been a long time since I had played anything, which meant that I was so easily addicted to this game that I played it for 4 days straight. I was dubious at first as I don't like the other Forza games (they are not remotely fun), and I am more of a fan of Dirt or WRC-type racers. I was massively surprised by how addictive and fun this game is! It is fairly easy to get at least 800 achievement points in a few days and pretty much finish it.

Despite how much fun the game itself is, I was disappointed with the online mode - it is nothing compared to Dirt Showdown and is a bit of a grind (I only played it to get the achievements). I never stand a chance of winning on these online modes either.
I was also a bit gutted that I stupidly paid about £15.00 for the Rally Expansion Pack. I love rally games but this was a letdown, it's totally different to the rest of the game and I found it hard to get into, the graphics are not as sharp, and the voice assistant says 'turn right' when in fact a left turn is coming up - this happens way too often.

All in all I would say definitely buy this game, it's fun and the achievements quickly stack up, but don't bother with the DLC Rally Mode unless it comes down from costing 1,600 MSP. But even with this and the poor online play it still easily deserves 4 stars.

The Cleansing (DCI Tom Caton Manchester Murder Mysteries Series Book 1)
The Cleansing (DCI Tom Caton Manchester Murder Mysteries Series Book 1)
Price: £1.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 19 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've read a LOT of crime novels in my time, and had started to get a bit tired of the genre and read other things. This book, however, I found to be absolutely brilliant. Some reviewers on Amazon have said that the descriptions of Manchester, its streets and sights, are overdone - but this is exactly what Peter James does with Brighton in his Roy Grace novels (the promotion he gave the hideous Brighton Pavillion in Not Dead Yet was nauseating). Much of it is referenced near the start of the story anyway.
I live in north Manchester so maybe my interest was higher than someone from outside the region, as I know nearly all of the places and streets mentioned, which really helped me to immerse myself in the story. As another reviewer has said, you can also look on Google maps if you get confused, as all of the locations are real. After reading books set in other places and cities I've never been to, it was great to read a book set near my home, that I could actually relate to!

Probably the best 98p I've ever spent, and now I'm going to read the next one.

Braun Oral-B TriZone 3000 Three-Mode Rechargeable Toothbrush (Packaging Varies)
Braun Oral-B TriZone 3000 Three-Mode Rechargeable Toothbrush (Packaging Varies)
Offered by HealthXpress
Price: £54.98

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me it's the best, 22 Aug. 2012
I bought the Oral B Trizone 3000 because my Professional Care 3000 was a few years old and getting a little weak even though I kept it fully charged, and because I knew it was exactly the same model as the Professional Care, but with the new head included (and a new bright green colour).

I have, in the last couple of years, tried 2 Sonicare models (which I find are too abrasive and make my teeth sensitive), 2 older Oral B models, and the Asda and Boots own-brand electric toothbrushes. I always come back to my 3-mode Oral B because it is the ONLY toothbrush I have found that has a decent 'sensitive' mode, ie. not too strong. I really need this mode for my top front teeth as they are bonded fillings and very prone to cracking. (The sonicare was still too harsh even in 'sensitive' mode).

It's the same as the Professional Care 3000 but was definitely worth it because the new heads are great.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars As addictive as a games console, 20 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The new Amazon Kindle is an absolutely brilliant device and I am glad that this will not be a U.S.-only product any longer. I was initially skeptical and put off buying my Kindle for months and months, I just thought it could never be better than a book, and what's the point? Books do the job after all.

I ordered a Kindle on a whim, and boy am I glad I did. The delivery was, however, so slow that after 4 days of saying 'not yet dispatched', I cracked and paid extra for Expedited delivery - which arrived the next day. All was was forgotten the moment I started reading and lost myself in my first Kindle book though (The Leopard by Jo Nesbo - only available in a bulky hardback in the shops).

The pages fly by unnoticed, my thumb no longer gets sore struggling against the pressure of the book's spine in my hand, and the Kindle can be held for hours in one hand while the other holds my drink. Since buying my Kindle about a month ago, I have read double the amount of books that I would have read in physical format, as you can select the text font, size and line spacing that suits you so that every reading experience is a comfortable one.

The negative reviews of Kindle are mostly petty - yes it may break, but then every single other electronic device in the world may break at some point. And giving the Kindle a low rating for 'poor' customer service from Amazon is silly, as far as I am aware Amazon's service is among the best and that is not a review of the product.

All I'm waiting for now is a Kindle store en Français for

Look To Windward (Culture series Book 7)
Look To Windward (Culture series Book 7)
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 12 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the fourth Iain M. Banks novel I've read. It wasn't my favourite, but neither was it the worst (the awful Use of Weapons gets that award), but is nowhere near as good as the first 2 novels in the Culture series. I do have to agree with some negative reviews that this book is rambling in places and does have a rather pointless second storyline featuring a creature called Uagen, which I quite enjoyed but it didn't really relate to the main story, and it was such extreme sci-fi that the whole idea of it was a little hard to put together.

That being said, it managed to keep me hooked despite being a slow-mover with little action. The story centres around a 'Chelgrian' on a suicide mission to destroy a Culture world in revenge for the deaths of millions of his own people, and really does have more relevance today than when it was written (back in 2000 I think, before the world became obsessed with terrorism).
Much of the book is dedicated to describing the decadence and enormity of the Culture civilization and does provide a little more of its history than I previously knew. All this is written with such tremendous detail it is actually quite fascinating to read, and the Kindle pages flew by in many places.

The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics)
The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics)
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read, 15 Jan. 2011
It's all in the title - this is hands down the best book I have ever read.
It appears to be a Sci-fi novel, and it really only owes that to the fact it is set in 'the not too distant future'. However there is a frighteningly relevant aspect to the story - one of human suffering and the use of women as commodities by powerful men.

It is the story of how an extreme religious party has seized control of a large portion of the US through devastating warfare, and forced its people to give up their lives and become prisoners or soldiers. The wars have made many people infertile, but women who are still fertile are forced into breeding with healthy males in positions of power. The main character, Offred, is one of these women.

The way the happiness and freedom of 'the time before' is described, compared to what has happened since the government was overthrown, is harrowing to say the least. There are more than a few references to Naziism here, and it is a worrying example of what definitely could happen in the West in the future at some point, although not necessarily involving religion.
In the period of post-war totalitarianism which The Handmaid's Tale is set, women basically have no rights. They are forced to cover their bodies and heads with a big red dress to show they are still fertile and are being used in this way, they cannot look at or talk to any other male than the one they are assigned to 'breed' with, can only speak when spoken to, and have to completely forget that they existed as an individual previously. Their lives are completely controlled by the government and the men who surround them, and if they do not obey the rules they are executed or sent into forced labour. As shocking as this is in such detail it is described within the book, and to us in the West, there are definite echoes of the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia today.

Read this and you will never forget it.

by Roger Jon Ellory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must, 31 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Candlemoth (Paperback)
Although this was the first book Ellory had published (I think), it is the last of his I have gotten around to reading after going on a bulk-buy when I'd read A Quiet Belief in Angels and A Simple Act of Violence and decided I couldn't let this great author's other books pass me by. None of Ellory's books relate to one another so it isn't necessary to read them in order.

Some have commented that this started out very blandly, even amateurish, I didn't really find that at all. For me, Candlemoth was similar to A Quiet Belief in Angels and A Quiet Vendetta (the latter being my favourite) in that it is the story of a man recounting his tragic life, filled with nasty characters, lost loves and a paranoid sense of being followed day in day out, so not a crime novel as such. I can't say I was surprised with how the book ended, but I tried not to think of the ending the story progressed because I didn't want to ruin it (whatever you think, you will be surprised by what happens though). The last 70 pages, with Daniel's execution nearing, are so beautifully written I had to re-read them, and I found them quite disturbing and upsetting. My jaw literally dropped at the twist near the end, and I found myself looking back over the story and thinking 'ah...'.
Whilst not quite the masterpiece that A Quiet Vendetta is, Candlemoth stirrs the emotions and really makes you think. It is also full of historical facts which can sometimes meander on and have no connection with the story, however they are still fascinating.
It blew me away.

A Quiet Belief In Angels
A Quiet Belief In Angels
by R.J. Ellory
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 7 Nov. 2010
I would recommend this book to anyone, not just those who like crime fiction. This is more of a tragic life story about a boy who's childhood is plagued by the killings of little girls in his area, and who grows up to be a troubled man and winds up with even bigger problems. For me, this isn't a crime novel, and is quite different to Ellory's other novels (of which I have read The Anniversary Man and A Simple Act of Violence - the latter being my favourite). I realised I was getting totally lost in this book, but I think that has more to do with Ellory's sometimes beautiful prose than the plot keeping me on the edge of my seat. The author seems to know a great deal about life and crime in America, and I would be interested to know why he not only sets his novels there, but imitates American style (usually very well). If I didn't know Ellory was English, I would have assumed this book was written by an American. In my opinion it is probably about finding success in the biggest market, which I'm sure will happen with the forthcoming movie of A Quiet Belief in Angels, for which Ellory has apparently written the script. I do think this book is too good to go unnoticed abroad.

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