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New Ladies Retro Chiffon Vintage Dress Long Boho Maxi Beach Skirt (UK 8-12(Tag L), Red2)
New Ladies Retro Chiffon Vintage Dress Long Boho Maxi Beach Skirt (UK 8-12(Tag L), Red2)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiny and not as advertised., 11 July 2014
I'm 5'3" and a UK size 8-10. This was too short for me and too tight on the waist. I ordered the large, but it was still absolutely tiny. It also doesn't really look like the picture, colour-wise. The stripes that look grey are actually bright blue, the lemon is more like a neon yellow and the whole skirt is very see-through. There is some lining underneath, but it's so flimsy you can see right through that too. The "belt" pictured is just a piece of string with a couple of beads on it that is separate from the skirt altogether. Disappointed.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1 HC
Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1 HC
by Jheremy Raapack
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read, 7 Dec 2013
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I'm a big comic book fan, but I'm not a gamer, so when I heard this was happening, I just kind of switched off to it. I assumed it would be so tied in to the game that I wouldn't have a clue what was happening. But it was recommended to me be several people and I am a sucker for a new Justice League story, so I decided to give it a go.

I needn't have worried about the game tie in. The comic is a prequel to the game and as far as I can see (never having played the actual game), has nothing to do with it. So it's not just one for the gamers.

I would have given this 5 stars had the artwork been more consistent, but it was all over the place. One moment Wonder Woman looks like Wonder Woman, the next she looks like Rob Liefeld drew her (if you're not familiar with Rob Liefeld, that was not a compliment), the next she looks like a Japanese anime character. Superman doesn't fare much better. He looks everywhere from teenager to old man and back again. In the future if they could pick an artist and stick with them, that would be great. I'm happy to read a novel when I don't want to see art, but in comics, the art is hugely important. I feel it's disrespectful to the reader not to treat it that way.

The plot does save it though. I love Superman. Really love him. This means constantly having to deal with people looking down their noses at me while saying things along the lines of "big blue Boy Scout", followed by me wasting way too much of my day arguing with them. Well, he's no Boy Scout here. Someone is finally exploring the true reason Lex fears Supes - he's a god amongst men and the only thing stopping him from taking over the world is his moral compass. When something beyond tragic happens to him, off goes the moral compass and Superman decides enough is enough.

With many heroes (especially Wonder Woman) on his side, but some not (most notably Batman), a struggle begins that is an absolutely fascinating struggle between right and wrong, "gods" and mortals.

Wonder Woman acts a few times in ways I personally feel are out of character for her, but given her strong presence here, I'm willing to overlook it.

Overall, I recommend this one to comic fans and newcomers alike (but please sort out the artwork situation!)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2014 12:34 PM BST

Aquaman Volume 1: The Trench TP (The New 52)
Aquaman Volume 1: The Trench TP (The New 52)
by Ivan Reis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Arthur gets the respect he deserves., 7 Dec 2013
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Aquaman has had a tough time of it. He's the King of Atlantis, rules the seas, has super strength and can communicate telepathically with sealife. Yet for some reason, he's always been seen as a bit of a joke. With the New 52, all that has been set to rights.

I have plenty of criticisms of the New 52 (Diana's new origin story for starters), but here, they have excelled themselves. DC are sometimes criticised for letting the action take over the character development, but that isn't an issue here. The basic premise is that Aquaman and his wife Mera decide to make a life for themselves on land. But it's not easy for them. He is constantly reminded that people see him as a joke and Mera struggles deeply with making the adjustment from Queen of Atlantis to regular girl living in the human world.

The action comes in the form of an ancient race of very hungry sea creatures from beyond the deep who want to use humans as food. But this is sort of incidental. What's really to love here is getting to know Arthur and watch him finally get the storylines and character development he deserves.

The art work is fantastic and fans of Green Lantern will already know that Geoff Johns doesn't disappoint.

There are some character/writer pairings that are considered the "definitive" collection - Gail Simone with Wonder Woman, Walter Simonson with Thor, Grant Morrison with Superman - I think in time, Geoff Johns with Aquaman will earn the same spot in history as these pairings.

Cashmere Scarf 100% Pure ladies scarves Wrap Shawls Free P&P NEW women (Brown)
Cashmere Scarf 100% Pure ladies scarves Wrap Shawls Free P&P NEW women (Brown)
Offered by The Little Market Shop
Price: 15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 7 Dec 2013
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I ordered this as a Christmas present and I have to be honest, I was a little skeptical that I'd be getting an authentic cashmere scarf at this price. But it came this morning (well within the promised delivery time) and it's absolutely gorgeous. I ordered the brown and it's a very deep, rich colour - it almost looks multi tonal. It's sooooooo soft too. I think I'm going to have to order another one for myself!

by Joe Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still enjoyable, 10 Jun 2013
This review is from: Horns (Paperback)
Ignatious Perrish (Ig) is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, who died a year ago. No charges have ever been brought, but everyone, including his own family, believes him to be guilty. On the anniversary of Merrin's death, Ig goes out on the mother of all benders, urinates on the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns. He soon discovers these horns have the power to make people reveal their darkest secrets to him and after having some fun with it, he inadvertently begins to discover more than he bargained for about Merrin's murder. In between present day chapters, the tale flashes backwards to Ig's teenage years, telling the story the will eventually end in tragedy to explain what is happening to Ig now.

The story is a great idea and the sprinklings of humour are very well done. However, where it loses me is when it suddenly diverges to flashback and stays there for chapter after chapter with no warning. There is no segue, leaving the jump feel out of place. There is also a fair amount of what seems like filler. I feel the book could have been a hundred pages shorter without really losing anything. There is excessive description of people and events that aren't actually relevant to the tale. I found myself skimming quite a lot.

This isn't a mystery as we know whodunnit fairly early on. I suppose it could be a coming of age tale, but the flashbacks feel too disjointed for that to be fully realised. It seems like a book that could have used a firm hand from an editor. The sudden changes in setting, time, place and tone don't really work for me and made it difficult for me to settle in to the story and properly care about the characters.

The ending felt rushed and didn't offer anything that felt like a resolution for me. Not that I need everything wrapped up in a neat little bow, but we'd been expected to sit through a lot of ups and downs and excessive description for very little pay off.

With all that said, I didn't actually dislike this book. It had many strong ideas, the premise was interesting and the Perrish family were very well realised. It just felt like it kept "almost" being excellent, but stayed at "quite good" instead.

I've enjoyed Locke & Key - Hill's graphic novel - and I am happy to read more from the author. Hill is clearly a talented writer with a head full of creative ideas. This one maybe just wasn't completely for me.

The Gargoyle
The Gargoyle
by Andrew Davidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful, 18 July 2010
This review is from: The Gargoyle (Paperback)
The Gargoyle is the story of an unamed narrator who, when the book opens, is in the burn ward of a hospital having suffered devestating burns all over his body. From here, he meets the enigmatic Marianne Engel, a metal patient who claims to have been his lover in a past life. Thus begins a journey through the ages, rich in description and vivid in imagery as the supernatural and the mundane merge and our narrator and Marianne explore a life together.

I'll start with the negative to get it out of the way: this book is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. The narrative gives voice to every character who has a tale to tell and as such, some readers may find themselves wishing it had been more stridently edited. Those of you who are fans of Murakmi books like The Wind Up Bird Chronicles won't find this a problem, but I can see where some might find it a little frustrating.

I'm not usually a fan of overly descriptive books, preferring to imagine scenes in my own head, but of course, there are always exceptions. This book is one such exception. The descriptions of the burns our narrator suffers are not for the faint of heart but one cannot resist the pull of such vivid imagery. The descriptions of the sumptious feasts Marianne brings to the hospital literally left my mouth watering.

There are stories within stories here. In particular, the story about the Japanese glass blower left me breathless, such was its bittwersweet beauty.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is one for the ladies. Yes, it's a love story - in fact, it's several - but there is nothing "chick lit" about it. This is an incredibly well written journey into the lives of two very three dimensional characters and it deserves to be read.

Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.77

4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a vampire story., 12 April 2010
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This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
Like many people, I read this book because I had seen - and loved - the film. Usually I would advocate reading the book before watching the film, but in the case of Let The Right One In, I think the reverse is probably a good idea. The film is ambiguous about many things (Eli's true relationship with Hakan, Oskar's relationship with his father, Eli's history etc) and the book will fill in all those gaps nicely.

I love vampire stories, but Twilight had me despairing that all the good vampy tales were gone. Let The Right One in proved me so very wrong.
This is a vampire story, yes, but with the protagonist being only 12 years old and more concerned with finding a friend in his lonely life, it takes on whole new depths. Oskar is an outcast, bullied mercilessly at school and dealing with an over-protective mother and an absentee father. Eli is a 220 year old vampire who also looks, and in many ways mentally *is* 12 years old too.
What follows is a truly heartwarming tale of friendship and trust in the midst of some pretty gut-wrenching horror - both things are balanced perfectly.

The only reason I've given 4 stars instead of 5 is because the rather large supporting cast has the author changing perspectives just a tad too often.
To be fair though, it's not really the author's fault the book is marketed the way it is. If you read it as more of an ensemble piece than just expecting it to focus entirely on Oskar and Eli, then this shouldn't pose any problems for you.
And the other characters are in themselves very interesting. There is no absurd glamour here: these are real people, the types who are usually overlooked by Hollywood - and pretty much everyone else - but Lindqvist brings them to life and gives a potent voice to people who usually don't get one at all.

This book is at its darkest when dealing, not with the supernatural, but with the evil humans are capable of. However, those of you who like a few good scares and "Ewwww!" moments from your vampire novels will not be dissappointed.

The real strength of the book lies in the subtle, yet powerful way the author handles each character's relationships with those around them.
The horror works terrifically, but the poignancy is just perfect.

I strongly recommend this.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 April 2010
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To my mind, this is Murakami's best book. And considering the quality of work Murakami puts out, that is really saying something.

The story is divided into two parts: The hardboiled wonderland where our protagonist is immersed in a strange world of minds that are used as encryption keys and dangerous INKlings who live to steal important data; The end of the world, where our protagonist must separate from his shadow and learn to read dreams from the skull of the mysterious creatures who live around the town.

I don't want to give away too much more about the plot because it would spoil it. This is one of those books that you need to read for yourself without knowing too much about it at the start.

Murakami excels at description and writes in two entirely separate voices for the wonderland and the end of the world, painting such a vivid picture of each that it's impossible not to get completely absorbed.

Many of his usual themes run through this book: identity crisis, the id, love/lust, and his old favourite, reconcilling two halves of a whole (I'm sure there's a better way of describing that, but I hope those of you familiar with Murakami's work will know what I mean).

This book has pretty much everything. It's sci-fi, it's fantasy, part noir thriller, sprinklings of a love story. It's exciting, touching, poignant and, in places, very funny.

If you've never read any Murakami before, this is an excellent place to start. If you have, then this book should be your next stop.

It's even more rewarding with re-reads too.

The End Of Mr. Y
The End Of Mr. Y
by Scarlett Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, poorly executed, 8 April 2010
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This review is from: The End Of Mr. Y (Paperback)
Having read PopCo and finding myself interested, then bored, then irritated by the author's incessant preaching about things that have little or nothing to do with the story at hand, I was hesitant to try The End of Mr Y. However, I thought it would be unfair to judge an author on only one book, so I decided to give it a try.
Well, now I know: Scarlett Thomas is not a very good writer.

The plot sounded so intruiging (as did the recommendations from Douglas Coupland and Philip Pullman, which after reading left me baffled as to why they would put their names to it).
Ariel Manto - an anagram of "I am not real", how clever! - comes across a book that leads her into a strange world of homeopathy and 4-Dimensional consciousness. But not without consequences.

Thomas raved about homeopathy in PopCo for no apparent reason, failing to see the irony in using her "art" as an excuse to advertise a product that must be paid for in a book about the evils of capitalism, and in The End of Mr Y, she clearly decided to use it as a flimsy plot device in order to rave on about it some more.

In fact, most of her writing consists of her raving on about things in a style that would be better suited to a daily blog than a novel.

The plot seems interesting enough to start with, if one is willing to ignore her laughable similes and sidestep her displays of just how clever she is because she's read a few Dummies Guides to a few subjects and wants you all to know that ever so desperately.

But by the time we reach the entire chapter pointlessly devoted to a dinner party that is quite possibly the best example of why writers are told "show don't tell" I've ever come across, my interest waned.

It was a chore to get through the rest of the book. The plot became ridiculous, the characters far too cut-out to make up for it, and the author's incessant ramblings about everything from her - sorry, Ariel's - politics and views on sex to her proud as punch Derrida quotes.

That rants about Artificial Intelligence were baffling too. It seems whatever Thomas is thinking about, she just slaps right into her latest book, regardless of how relevant it is.

I've given this two stars for the idea and the jacket design. The writing itself merits a zero from me.

Apparently, Thomas works as a literary critic. That probably explains the good reviews in the broadsheets, because they certainly weren't given for writing skills that would fail even a creative writing class at the local nightschool.
If this were written by a teenage girl, I'd understand. If I was reading it as a teenage girl, I'd like it, having not read enough to realise how derrivative Thomas is or how bad the writing style is.
But Thomas is an adult and so am I and why anyone has called this book intelligent is beyond me.

If you think Dan Brown is a genuis, you'll probably enjoy this.

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