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Reviews Written by
JK "J. K." (UK)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Rattling Railsss
Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Rattling Railsss
Price: £20.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, carry around play-set, lots of fun., 31 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Thomas & Friends, Take-n-Play, Rattling Rails is a portable play-set requiring adult assembly. No tools required. The pieces click together and it's really simple to do. Even better; no batteries are required and I'm all for that!.

The idea behind the set is to find a missing snake who has slithered away from the new Snake Ride Exhibit. To do this Thomas has to ride the 'Snake Ride'. He sits in the snakes mouth and rides up and down or races through a loop. Movement is controlled by a simple lever mechanism. The snakes tail forms a carry handle.

The toy is very lightweight, 975 gms, and quite small, approx. 38.1 x 10.2 x 27.9 cm, so easy for children to move around.

As an added extra there are two collectable figures included; die-cast metal snake and Thomas the Tank engine.

Well made, colourful toy that holds it's shape and isn't too wobbly if kept on a hard, flat surface. The idea behind it is quite basic though, they're just moving a snake up and down, and the danger is the novelty will soon wear off unless Rattling Rails is connected to additional train tracks/accessories. Good starting point if you want to collect Thomas the Tank toys.

Nice for children to carry around in one piece and not have to keep taking it apart and putting it back together.

Suitable for 3+ years and comes with a warning that the set contains magnets "..don't use around items that are sensitive to or affected by magnetic fields..".

Happy to recommend. Three year old great-nephew loves it and felt very grown up carrying the set round to his friend's house. Worth 4* just for that.


Barbie Fairytale Pegasus Unicorn
Barbie Fairytale Pegasus Unicorn
Offered by Midco Toys Ltd
Price: £24.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of colour, lots of hair to brush, has the 'WOW' factor., 30 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Pegasus the Unicorn is a large plastic toy suitable for most Barbie sized 'fashion' dolls. Traditional Barbie dolls with rigid legs are held onto his back by the wings but easily slide off when the wings are moved. Dolls with felxible legs sit better and are more secure.

Pegasus has a pastel purple body, a little bit sparkly, with large pink wings and matching headdress. The toy stands up nicely on it's own. Mane and tale are long and brightly coloured, various shades of yellow and pink, and there's a pretty brush included. Pegasus is certainly colourful.

A toy with the 'WOW' factor. Looks great in the presentation box with a Fairytale castle painted on the back. There aren't many Barbie fans who will be disappointed. My great-niece was fascinated by Pegasus and spent hours brushing his hair and making him fly. For that reason it has to be a 4*. Can't give 5*. Little girls love this range of toys but, and this is just my own personal opinion, they're now churned out so fast the quality if suffering. Not the wonderful, long lived Barbie range I remember from my childhood.


If This Is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women
If This Is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women
Price: £8.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Helm doesn't turn from the horror - neither should we., 30 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ravensbruck, not too far from Berlin, opened prior to the start of the second world war and remained 'hidden' until the Russians liberated the camp six years later. One of the last camps to be liberated Ravensbruck was a camp for women. This is their story.

From it's beginnings the camp was a place of imprisonment for mostly German prisoners. A mixed bunch including prostitutes, those opposed to Hitler, children and criminals. Ravensbruck was a reasonably small community, approx 2000, in it's rural location surrounded by forest and with a beautiful lake used for boating, swimming and the disposal of those murdered within it's confines.

Within a few years the population of the camp had risen to many, many thousands and housed women of different nationalities and from various walks of life. Ravenbrook's real purpose was finally revealed; wholesale slaughter, torture, starvation, enforced labour to the point of death, disease, poisoning, gassing and the final dispersal of human remains. No-one is sure of the exact number of dead. Sarah Helm is quick to point out how little official evidence exists to support her research. Much of the paperwork from the camp was destroyed and Ms Helm has had to dig deep and work hard to gather evidence from a multitude of sources in order to create this account which is beautifully written, meticulously presented and completely harrowing.

I was swept away by this book. The historical and political scene setting is so strongly done. The author makes a excellent job of recreating the grim reality of the victims in comparison with the debauched, hedonistic lifestyle of visiting SS hierarchy and sadism of the female guards. She does it in a way that's without bias and leaves many unanswered questions for the reader to answer for themselves. Credit to the author; she doesn't turn her face from the horror and neither should we.

One of the most important books I've read in a while and though I had to walk away from time to time, it is shocking in it's horror, I was compelled to read every word.

Superb.


The Manhattan Hunt Club
The Manhattan Hunt Club
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy/thriller - don't get involved with secret societies!., 29 Jan. 2015
The Manhattan Hunt Club was originally published in 2001 by Ballantine Books and has now been re-issued for Kindle. I read the novel many years ago and was, at that time, a real fan of John Saul who turned out a lot of these 'pulp horror' thrillers. The Manhattan Hunt Club features principle character Jeff Converse who might, or might not!, have been convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Jeff's fat isn't going to be so simple. Far from finding himself in prison he finds himself inside a labyrinth underground full of twisting corridors and populated by the unloved, unwanted and insane. What's he to do?. Well; if he's going to do anything he has to find out the why and the who of the secret society that sent him into this hell and then he has to find a way to escape. That's only a very brief idea of the plot and there's a lot more to it. I'm not giving away any clues so I'll leave it there. It is very much John Saul and he's writing to his own formula. There are some nicely worked ideas about our attitude towards the homeless and the mentally ill but what should become a dark and thrilling journey delivers little tension or scare factor. Packed with twists and turns, unbelievable conspiracy theories but delivers a decent anti-hero in the shape of Jeff Converse. I'm not at all sure why John Saul's novels are lumped together in the horror section?. They're often more fantasy/thriller. This is another example.


Barbie Colour Me Cute
Barbie Colour Me Cute
Price: £23.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paint your own pup and co-ordinate Barbie's outfit., 28 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Barbie Colour Me Cute (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quite a plain Barbie with puppy, vanity stand, wash bowl and sponge. The idea is to fill the little bowl with cold water, ice cold if possible, and use the sponge to paint patterns on the white parts of the puppy and Barbie's white top. Warm water washes the colour from the dog and leaves it white and ready to re-paint. Barbie's top fades back to white as it dries. You have to wait for it to be completely dry before you paint again.

The idea is to match the puppy with Barbie's outfit by creating your own pattern/design.

To be perfectly honest it's a bit fiddly and clumsy. There's little room to paint and the sponge is bulky, looks like something you'd apply your eye makeup with, but there won't be many Barbie fanatics who'll feel disappointed. Has a certain 'WOW' factor in the new plastic packing with salon design background. The excitement might not last for long. Not enough room or range of colour for children to get really creative.

Plain but pretty doll, cute dog and the vanity unit is a nice accessory for other games.


Barbie in Princess Power Super Sparkle 2-in-1 Doll
Barbie in Princess Power Super Sparkle 2-in-1 Doll
Offered by MedClub
Price: £19.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pink, purple and sparkly super hero Barbie., 27 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Princess Power Super Sparkle Barbie is recommended for the 3 years plus age group and has her own DVD available from the 16th February 2015. The doll has two identities. You can dress her as a princess complete with tiara or press the diamond shaped jewel on her top and she spins around to reveal her Super Sparkle outfit underneath. You can then convert her skirt into a 'super hero' cape and her tiara into a mask. It's simple and straightforward to do. Her legs are jointed at the knee for better flexibility but the arms are rigid, just moving up and down. Inside the box with the doll; skirt/cape, wrist bands, boots and tiara. The colour scheme is pink, purple and sparkly. My granddaughter, 5 years, loves playing with the doll and is intrigued by the long, red highlights in her hair. We both find keeping the cape in place fiddly but yes; I'm happy to recommend to Barbie enthusiasts because this Barbie is just a bit different and her bendy legs are a great improvement.


Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £10.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product for tackling tough jobs., 26 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Works like magic. You don't need to use a lot and there's no need to scrub the surfaces where you've applied the spray. Just rinse very thoroughly with warm water. In problem areas the product can be left for five minutes for optimum results. I've never needed to leave it for more than 3 minutes. Reliable, powerful and does a particularly good job in and around the shower.

You do need to be a bit cautious when using the spray. The 'Active Bleach' formula is strong and capable of stripping colour from textiles and other surfaces. Read the instructions carefully.

Great cleaning product. Leaves the bathroom spotless in minutes with very little effort. Recommended.


McAfee Total Protection 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]
McAfee Total Protection 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]
Price: £25.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent anti-virus software - does slow down your computer., 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My review copy of McAfee Total Protection 2015 consists of a cardboard folder with basic information and a website address plus a plastic key card with registration key number. No disc. You basically go onto the McAfee website and enter your keycode in order to download the software.

You might find yourself prompted for personal and financial information for the purposes of auto-renewal and you might want to think about that. You certainly want to chat with McAfee about how and when they'll take the cost of the renewal from out of your bank or off your credit card. You should also ask them how you cancel if you chose not to renew next time before you're charged.

Installation couldn't be easier and once up and running the protection is quite robust and solid. I've been a McAfee user for a number of years, (on three operating systems; Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), and always found it to be reliable. The problem of devices slowing down during a full scan still lingers on. I'm also not a fan of the frequent pop-ups to update me as to what McAfee is doing in the background. It's down to personal taste. In general I'm OK with this software and have found McAfee customer service helpful.

What I don't like is the heavy handed auto-renewal. One year should mean one year. I know what I'm getting into because I'm a regular user but for a new user I think this could very much put them off or certainly make them wary.


Hidden
Hidden
by Emma Kavanagh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, hard hitting crime fiction with a difference., 24 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Hidden (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Complicated murder mystery tracing the random, or maybe not!, shooting of people in a hospital. What follows is a 'whodunit and why' crime thriller with most of the tension coming from 'Shooter' who is possibly still at large and preparing to strike again.

Each chapter has it's own heading eg, "Charlie: Monday 25 August, 11.30 p.m", "Aden: Monday 25 August, 11.30 p.m. Six days before the shooting." There's a lot of different time frames, plus four different narrators. The plot unfolds from the time of the shooting to the the times before and immediately after the event. There's plenty of movement, the detail comes at you non-stop and it's certainly a challenge.

Emma Kavanagh knows what she's talking about, ex military and police psychologist, and the psychology/police/firearm elements of her novel are well written and believable. This author has a highly descriptive writing style and enjoys painting the scene. It's very detailed and there's a good sense of reality given to what would have been a chilling event. I enjoyed how much time and space is given to highlight the emotions of people attempting to survive and rationalise an event that will change them forever.

Not a bad novel and quite absorbing. Any negatives?. I found the differing time frames and swapping around of narrative voices somewhat distracting.

I would read this author again.


Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick, Nude Attitude 4.2 g
Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick, Nude Attitude 4.2 g
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thick formula, hardly any shine, doesn't last., 24 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered this Revlon lipstick in a natural shade 'Nude Attitude' and it's not necessarily nude, has a sandy tint, but where's the attitude?. There's little or no shine. I expected more gloss even from a matte lipstick. Once applied the texture feels like thick lip balm though the lipstick is easy to apply and does have a soft formula. Lipstick is personal to the user and, in my own experience, I found this one dries out quickly and has little staying power. Half a cup of coffee and off it came. I can't get too excited. Looks and feels like an expensive lip balm.


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