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Gingerbread Man
Gingerbread Man
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars OK... but predictable, cliched, and a little cheesey., 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Gingerbread Man (Kindle Edition)
My wife downloaded this to my kindle instead of her own by mistake. I gave it a go though after seeing the reviews. I'm not sure whether I should have bothered really.

Kids getting kidnapped and killed / Cop with psychological problems / Small town where nothing bad ever happens / Woman with psychological problems / bizarre coincidences relating to said woman / blossoming relationship between psych problem man and psych problem woman / possible suspect that is too guilty looking to be guilty / twists that are so naff that you can see what's going to happen way in advance / mad rush before the next kid dies / sharp intake of breath (unless you predicted who it was ages before) as the killer is revealed... and so on... it's just sooooo predictable.

It's not a particularly "bad" book, it's actually fairly enjoyable in a cheesey way. I found myself imagining it being played out as a straight to TV movie with bad acting and poor production values. There was no tension, no suspense, no surprise at cleverly placed twists. It was too predictable for any of that to be given a chance.

It's OK, but extremely forgettable.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS)
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A future classic., 28 Nov 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The Zelda games have always been great. I've played them since Links Awakening was released on the GameBoy in the early nineties and loved them all. Ocarina of Time on the 3DS was a masterpiece so this new adventure has some large shoes to fill.

Firstly, A Link Between Worlds (ALBW) reverts back to the old "view from above" style instead of a rotating fully 3 dimensional world. Some may scoff at this as a step backwards but I think that what matters is whether the game plays well. Fancy 3D graphics do not make a game great. However, even with the top down view ALBW still looks gorgeous. There is still a certain old school look about it but it has been given an update with smooth, clear graphics and plenty of detail and colour. The 3D can be used to make it look a little more solid instead of flat but it is not needed. In fact, I think the developers even modified the game slightly so that certain parts of the game would still work well when played on the recently released 2DS which doesn't have the 3D ability. Personally I think it looks fantastic whether you have the 3D on or not.

The sound is great and is up-to-date with the music being just as brilliant as ever. There's not much more to say other than it's a great game to listen to as well as play.

Now the most important bit... the gameplay. No need to worry at all in this department as it plays beautifully. The controls work incredibly well. I never found myself struggling to get past a certain area due to awkward, fiddly controls. The thumb stick moves link around, the d-pad moves the view to see things that are slightly off screen, the ABXY buttons use items and weapons, the shoulder buttons use shield and dash abilities, and the touch screen is used to select which items to use and view the map and equipment details.
The adventure itself is fun to work through and Links ability to go flat on walls like a painting certainly works. I was worried that it would be a lame idea but it adds a new dimension to puzzles, (literally). The puzzles are mainly the same sort that have proved to be successful through the Zelda series... hit switch to activate platform, find hidden key to open locked door, raise and lower water levels etc... any Zelda fan knows the drill. I found that the puzzles ranged from pretty obvious to slightly frustrating, but were never brain bendingly difficult. There needs to be a certain challenge, but not to the point where you just get annoyed and never play it again.
There are also a few mini games and challenges to find along the way as to be expected from a Zelda game. These are fun and add something a little different to do when you're stuck or between dungeons.

I will say that ALBW doesn't feel anywhere near as BIG as the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) or Twilight Princess but I think that is purely down to the reverting back to the top down view. You don't get the epic scale feeling as you do in a huge 3D cavern. However, that doesn't mean that this is not a great game. In fact I would go so far as to say that it is one of my favourite Zelda games. Those who NEED fancy graphics to enjoy a game may not agree with me, but looks aren't everything.

Zombie Fallout 7 For The Fallen
Zombie Fallout 7 For The Fallen
Price: £3.21

5.0 out of 5 stars New twists and turns. Bring on book 8,, 13 Nov 2013
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It was a sad moment when I finished Zombie Fallout 6 and thought that was the end of the series. Fortunately, Mr Tufo decided to continue it by writing part 7 and it's a brilliant continuation of the series.
With the death of Eliza the zombies are no longer under her control so things start to change slightly. Zombie behaviour begins to alter in a worrying way which means that Mike Talbot and his group need to work differently too.

The main characters return and continue with their usual comical banter which should make fans of the series laugh just as much as previously. However, there is also a degree of sadness too and because fans have grown to love the central figures they feel more real and therefore the sadness feels real. It's not a case of just another person suffering in a horror story and then moving on to the next victim.

Other characters make a return in plots running alongside and merging into that of Mikes. These other side stories are really well written into the main story. The story of Trip is great with plenty of laughs alongside the tension of the apocalypse. You can't help but love him and carry on turning the e-pages desperately hoping that he comes out of each scrape in one brain addled piece... somehow. Doc and Porkchop also make a return. Probably the most hated human in the series, Mrs Deneaux, is also included and her story starts to get very interesting indeed. It seems she has quite a back story to learn about. The way these stories pan out adds whole new possibilities for future additions to the series which could go on and on for ages... which is great.

Mr Tufo also does his usual trick of linking all his books together. There is reference to his book about Dr Hugh Mann in Fallout 3.5 and even the excellent non-zombie themed Callis Rose. There is also possibly a tiny link to the Book of Riley stories. I'm not certain but it seemed like a clue as to what happens to Riley and her crew. It was a just a comment aimed towards Justin. I imagine that Mr Tufo won't want to give too much away though as it would spoil future Riley books.

Yet another great book by Mark Tufo. He just seems to get better and better as he writes more and more. Bring on book 8.

Lego Friends Turtle's Little Oasis 41019
Lego Friends Turtle's Little Oasis 41019
Offered by JustBricks
Price: £5.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Fab little pocket money Lego set, 8 Nov 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Lego Friends is fantastic. It's perfect for girls and these small sets are just right for pocket money size toys, little extra treats for the kids or christmas stocking fillers.
And as always it's well made and will last years, (assuming it doesn't go up the vacuum cleaner!).

Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow
Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow
Price: £18.17

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great toy for girls.... Not so much fun for Dad as the target!, 8 Nov 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Having bought the Nerf Rebelle Bow and loved it my daughter wanted the crossbow too. I'm sure it was so that she could shoot me six times faster. Oh well, I suppose that's what Dads are for.

It's really well made and should stand up to being bashed about a bit. It's also easy to use and apparently looks "dead cool" and "well awesome".

I think these Girly Nerf toys are a fantastic idea, especially with the whole Hunger Games phenomenom. My mini Katniss Everdeen loves them and I'm sure I'll not be too psychologically damaged by repeatedly getting shot by little sponge darts.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2013 12:48 PM GMT

Lycan Fallout:  Rise Of The Werewolf
Lycan Fallout: Rise Of The Werewolf
Price: £2.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to a new horror series with old favourites., 23 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mark Tufo's Zombie Fallout series was fantastic. I'm yet to read book 7 at this time but definitely will get it. So where could Mark go next. He's done zombies, aliens, a mind controlling teenage girl, and even talking dogs, cat and baby.

Werewolves would seem to be the next step and this new series picks up on the story of Mike Talbot a loooong time after the events of Zombie Fallout 6. It appears that the zombie problem has died down and mankind has started to build itself up again. There are towns scattered around fighting for survival with Mother Nature, a step back in technological know-how, and each other. Along with the hardships of this new world comes a new threat in the form of Lycans and their slave werewolves. Needless to say there will be lots of bloodshed.

Mike is just as he was previously. He's still a shoot first ask questions later, type of guy and needs holding back a bit by old favourites Azile and Tommy, as well as by a few other new characters. There is also a link to BT even though he is long since dead. The chatter between characters is just as funny as ever and the new story line seems as though it is going to be just as strong as the zombie themed one. Those are the two things that made the zombie series so engrossing and so I look forward to reading more of this follow-on series.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Assortment
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Assortment
Price: £14.99

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An opportunity for girls to get in on the Nerf action., 15 Oct 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
My daughter has a couple of Nerf guns already as a result of playing with them at friends houses. They're predominantly aimed at boys though. The fact that there is now a range of "girly" Nerf toys put a massive smile on her face. The bow is the one that she opted for after saving her pocket money and she loves it. So far she has practised her aim on helium balloons from a party, stuffed toys placed around the house (she was tranquilising them to take them to the vets), the Nerf target board, and me.
I have to admit to having a go with it myself as well and it works well, so long as you pull the string back enough. If not, the dart just falls to the floor a few feet away from you and makes everyone else laugh. As with most Nerf toys is is well made and should stand up to a bit of a bash every now and then. It looks great too with the twirly girly patterns and nice colours.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2013 10:39 AM GMT

The Fallen (The Enemy Book 5)
The Fallen (The Enemy Book 5)
Price: £3.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! It's all just starting to come together., 26 Sep 2013
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Having waited a year for this book I couldn't wait to get my teeth into it. The previous four books in the series are excellent and this instalment is no less brilliant. You really do need to have read the previous books to understand the story and characters though. Don't try reading this if you haven't.

Set just after event from The Enemy and running simultaneously to events in The Sacrifice (The Enemy) the surviving kids that reached the Natural History Museum now have new problems to contend with. Not only do they have to get along with a new group of kids that are initially suspicious of them, but there is also someone sabotaging their safe haven, (read The Enemy to learn about who this is).

The museum kids have a bit of a science division set up and are trying to work out what is causing the illness in adults, possibly even to find a cure. They are, however, not fighters. This is where Blue, Maxie, Big Mick and the rest of the gang come in. They can provide the muscle and security needed on an expedition suggested by the lead `scientist', Einstein. He wants to go to a scientific research facility near Heathrow to get medical supplies and research equipment to use in their labs at the museum.

As with most events throughout this series things are never easy and the trip across London gets a bit messy. The sickos cause problems as normal and the two groups of kids argue about how to do things and who should be in charge. A clash of personalities amongst teenagers... Who would have thought it possible?

Once at the facility there are more new problems and mysteries to work out. Who is at this place? What are they? Are they safe? It's a rather strange turn of events and at first I was unsure whether Mr Higson had maybe taken things a bit too far down the weirdness route. However, things are explained and it is worth reading this book just for these new additions to the already amazing character roster.
The character list is brilliant in that you feel different things towards them all. Love, hate, pity, sadness, respect... you want the good guys to succeed and the bad guys to get their just deserts. None of them ever feel like they don't serve any purpose in the story.

The series is quite a gruesome one and has had more than its fair share of blood and gore splattered scenes. The Sacrifice had slightly less of it though and this book is along the same level. Again, it seems to focus more on the kids working together and creating groups of differing skill sets than on constantly killing sickos. It's this building of the central characters that makes the series so brilliant. Some of them change as events unfold, some of them don't. Some are natural leaders, whilst others just like to think they are. Some put on a brave face whilst being inwardly terrified, and others are just in it for the fight and don't appear to be afraid of anything. Constant battling would just get tedious. The people need to be interesting to keep your attention, and they certainly keep your attention here. All these groups of people mean there are various plots running simultaneously. All of them are great and I can't wait to find out how they pull together. This book makes a start on this in a welcome event that led to an intriguing twist.

As I understand it there are to be seven main books in total, so I'm guessing that the stories are going to really start coming together in the next two books. Unfortunately, that means waiting another year for my fix of kids vs. sickos.

Also, see if you can spot and work out the anagram that Mr Higson has used for the name of something.

The Book Of Riley A Zombie Tale Pt. 3
The Book Of Riley A Zombie Tale Pt. 3
Price: £0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to a great series., 17 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Who would have thought that a series of zombie books where the main characters were animals could be as good as it is. Books one and two really need to be read to understand what is happening but they're worth reading.

Riley, Ben-Ben, Patches, Jen and Zach continue on their journey having escaped Las Vegas at the end of The Book Of Riley ~ A Zombie Tale Pt. 2. They now also have Mia with them but have the added problem of being chased by the bad guys from book 2. Needless to say it all starts to get a bit nasty. More zombies... more guns... more blood... more sadness... more of what makes this series of bite sized books so good.

This time there seems to be a bit more story telling from the viewpoint of the bad guys but that doesn't mean there is not enough action from our favourite dogs... and cat. Ben-Ben continues to be the cute, dumb, bacon loving little thing that he his but also shows that he can turn on the aggression when he needs to. Patches is still the snooty cat that likes to tell dogs how inferior they are to her. And the star of the show, Riley, maintains her place as top animal protecting what is essentially her family. Zachs ability to talk with the animals hasn't added a great deal to proceddings, but it's fun so who cares?

It's a great little book and I can only find one tiny little fault in that the companions seem to be suffering from Miss Marple syndrome. Everyone nice that they meet seems to end up... Well, I'll say no more other than that it would make a nice change if one of the people they come across were to have some good luck possibly. It's an extremely minor gripe though and I can't wait to see what happens in book 4.

Victorian Girl - Kids Costume 8 - 10 years
Victorian Girl - Kids Costume 8 - 10 years
Offered by Theme Fancy Dress
Price: £9.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Great costume for price. Get bigger size though if unsure., 16 Sep 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We got this for our 8 year old daughter to wear on a school trip and to use when playing dressing up. There's not really much to it and therefore not much that could be wrong with it. It seems fairly well made and should endure the general activities of children wearing it. The lacy trim is stitched in place well and doesn't feel like it will rip at the slighest touch, and the little bonnet is cute and not too tight that it will be uncomfortable to wear.

It looked great when she tried it on and she should definitely look the part on her school trip.

All I will say is that it is a small fitting. Our 8 year old daughter is average height and is slim. I imagine that the 8-10 year size that we got could be fairly tight on someone 9-10 years old.

I'm impressed though. For the price we paid it's really good.

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