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J A Vincent (South West UK)

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Destiny: The Taken King - Legendary Edition (PS4)
Destiny: The Taken King - Legendary Edition (PS4)
Price: £24.95

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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Initially I was very worried reading all of the 1 star reviews and I was almost completely put off from reading it but the comments aren't accurate. I can see why they thought the content was faulty as I did when I first received the game but it's just that PSN makes it a confusing process. After you install the game, boot it up and it will give you another small download that will take a few seconds, then after it takes you into the character creation menu go back to the PSN homepage, go to store, scroll down to "Redeem Codes", there you will type in the code provided in your destiny case, it will say to you that it recognises the code as an add on and then shortly after will tell you to either download it or it will glitch out and here is where I believe people are making mistakes. If it glitched for you as it did for me the code will have still been redeemed and you can check by going back to the PSN homepage and scrolling along to "Library", and when you find Destiny in your library it should say 3 Add-Ons underneath, the 3 add ons are the taken king, the house of wolves and the dark below, meaning that the code was successful and has been applied to your version of destiny, if it does not simply go back to "Redeem Codes" and input the code again, when you proceed back to the game you will not yet have any downloadable content acquired until after the first mission and you are back to the main HUB of destiny (the tower), then you talk to the post master and they will give you your dlc items. I hope this helped.
(Review written by my 18 year old son who I bought the game for)

Forgiving Nancy
Forgiving Nancy

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, intense, and profound., 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Forgiving Nancy (Kindle Edition)
There seems to be a quiet revolution going on, within literature. There’s a growing appetite for new writers and the deep sincerity often found in the novels they offer. Janice Cairns’ debut novel, Forgiving Nancy, is one such gem. It’s charming, intense, and in places, quite profound.

Set in the 1980s, the author portrays a captivating scene of Edinburgh life, from opulent hotel restaurants to back streets and refuge centres. This is the story of a young woman’s relationship with the world around her, particularly with the two men who feature heavily in her life, as well as a burgeoning deeper relationship with herself.

At the start of the book, and in fact, for most of the story, Nancy seems insecure, naÔve, and rather shallow, escaping crises in her life by leaping into relationships with men, though never in a manipulative way, for she genuinely seems to experience a version of love. Alas, life and love are usually a little more complicated than Nancy’s perception of things. Any of us old enough to remember the 1980s, have probably learned all the lessons Nancy will come to encounter on her journey, and the novel frequently brought to mind experiences from my own life, which helped me empathise with her various dilemmas.

A compelling ending, which will doubtless leave readers hoping for a sequel, I highly recommend this book and believe it would be a particularly valuable read for adolescent girls, to provoke debate within schools about the difficulty many young women still experience in developing self-confidence as individuals, and the challenges which often arise when we commit to serious relationships, before we even know ourselves.

Return To The Stones
Return To The Stones
Price: £7.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, particularly if you, like me, have affection for the original TV drama, 11 Jun. 2013
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Back in the summer of 2010, I was at a family garden party for a birthday celebration, and my three sisters and I found ourselves talking about TV shows from our childhood.

I could hardly remember anything about the programmes they recalled, I had no emotional attachment to most of those series at all, but I did remember "Children of the Stones" very vividly and with enormous affection. It was a really compelling drama, set quite locally for us (it was filmed in Avebury, Wilts) and given that this was a children's TV series, it was incredibly cool. I would have been about 13 when it was broadcast, in 1977 and I'm sure I wasn't the only teenager desperately hoping for a second series. Sadly it never came.

But imagine my joy, when I discovered last year that Jeremy Burnham had written and published a sequel! Set some 30 years on, Matthew now lives in America with a teenage son of his own, Tom (his ex-wife sounds rather cold and hostile), and the two are invited to Milbury by his father Adam, who, it transpires, had gone on to marry museum curator Margaret (ahhhh, I love a happy ending) though she's sadly died in a car accident a few years ago (ohhh dear, well, they did have some lovely years together.) The renowned astrophysicist also went on to buy the Manor House at Milbury, and lives there with step-daughter Sandra (now a doctor) and her adopted daughter, Khonsu.

Matthew has mixed feelings about returning to the village, and in particular the Manor House, while Tom feels strangely drawn to the place, thanks to bizarre events involving an online virtual game he's been playing.

When Matt and Sandra are reunited for the first time since their teenage days, both are instantly aware of a great bond between them again, and similarly, Tom and Su discover they have a lot in common also. Against such a heavy backdrop of science, those tender little moments, where characters are pondering their human feelings for one another, help us connect with protagonists, and genuinely care what happens to them.

Somewhat inevitably, as soon as Matthew and Tom arrive, unusual things start happening again, and before long there's a whole new mystery engulfing them, and us, and another scary one, at that. Tension builds, as the chapters unfold and everything reaches a weird and terrifying climax, on midsummer's day, with lives in peril, once again.

A compelling read, particularly if you, like me, have affection for the original TV drama, with lovely little cameos from Mrs Crabtree and Dai, this novel left me pining for a film adaptation of the sequel. Set decades on, I would imagine, in theory, many of the original cast would be able to play their original characters. What a lovely reunion that would be, though as I write, I have no idea what ever became of Peter Demin who portrayed Matthew and Katharine Levy who played Sandra. What a treat, to have them all together again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2013 9:52 AM BST

Children of the Stones: The Complete Series [DVD]
Children of the Stones: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gareth Thomas
Price: £7.69

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some things from the 1970s were remarkably cool - and this series was one of them!, 11 Jun. 2013
While much about the 1970s was indisputably awful (orange nylon y-fronts, vinyl sofas etc) some things were remarkably cool and have surely stood the test of time. A lot of drama was very well made and incredibly creative and exciting, we're going back to a time of course, before almost everything became somewhat formulaic, as it seems to be now.

"Children of the Stones" was a brilliantly written and directed, children's drama, set in the fictional village of Milbury, with its fascinating ancient stone circle. Filmed at Avebury, Wilts, down the road from Stonehenge, the drama focusses around astrophysicist, Adam Brake (Gareth Thomas) and his teenage son Matthew (Peter Demin) who come to the village one summer to study the stones, and quickly establish something very strange is going on with the locals.

Originally broadcast in 1977, and like previous iconic ITV children's series, "Ace of Wands" (1970-72), the drama has a genuinely sinister feel, and stands out as being quite radical for its target audience. It doesn't patronise viewers, as many kids' shows did then and still do, instead it invites them to open up their minds and let their imagination run free and as a result, it's utterly compelling. (I'm sure I wasn't the only 13 year old longing for a second series!)

A second TV series never came, sadly, though a sequel novel "Return to the Stones" was published last year by Jeremy Burnham, which is a good read if you remember the original TV series with affection and fancy a trip down memory lane.

It would be wonderful if the sequel were filmed now, and being set some 30 years on, would be feasible, presumably, for the original cast to play their parts once again, though I have no idea whatever became of Peter Demin or Katharine Levy (who played Sandra.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2016 3:04 PM GMT

Quantum Success: The Astounding Science of Wealth: The Astounding Science of Wealth and Happiness
Quantum Success: The Astounding Science of Wealth: The Astounding Science of Wealth and Happiness
Price: £4.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising early chapters, til it starts going on about God!, 19 May 2013
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Clients often mention they're considering buying a motivational manual and ask me if I've read it, and if so what I think of it. Mostly, my thoughts about these titles are, that the individual who benefits most, is often the writer, particularly in the case of books that are aggressively marketed and have some celebrity or other endorsing them - you all know the titles I'm talking about, right ;-) Indeed!

I'm usually curious though and will look up the title and read reviews, particularly poor reviews, a book's genuine weak points will get picked up by a number of reviewers and say more than the endless list of 5 star reviews where people claim their lives were miraculously turned around even before they finished the manual. "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is", my grandma used to say, and she was the wisest and most content woman I ever knew. And guess what, she never charged anyone for coming to her house and sitting down with a cup of tea and a piece of cake for a good old chat.

Having read the negative reviews, I'll tend not to waste my money on the titles suggested, feeling positive human relationships, and secure attachments to actual people is probably a better way to build lasting self-esteem than abstract teachings from a writer.

But this title didn't seem obviously bad from the outset, so I bought it and thought I'd give it a go. If it turned out to have merit, I'd endorse it to others, if it didn't I wouldn't.

It does have an incredibly positive start and I found it very readable and genuinely interesting. And then I got to Chapter 3, which, after telling me I needed to let go of my attachment to negative powers from my childhood - critical or abusive parents, teachers and others, which, as a therapist myself, I certainly concur with - it started telling me I was a child of God and I should put all my faith in him!

As a humanist, I completely switched off at this point. As a therapist I wondered why the writer didn't think people could fulfil their potential without replacing one set of authority figures, with another. I mean there's a kind of irony in that, right? That's kind of suggesting, something will always have power over you, but if you replace your old "Gods" (parents, teachers, peers etc) with the author's idea of a religious "God", then you'll be on the winning team and you'll never struggle to pay your gas bill again.

"If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is."

I am more of the opinion, that true inner power and self-belief comes from within us, not attachment to religion or these cult-style manuals, which tend to require you to follow the doctrine without ever questioning any of it - very much like a religious cult, and dismissing the people who used to have power over you and replacing them with new leaders whose teachings must be followed (and often practised every day, if you want to remain part of the club).

Life as a human being, isn't abstract, it's very real, very physical, and I believe positive attachments with other human beings you can relate to and learn, over time, to build trust with, is a more genuine - albeit harder and less instant - way to achieve happiness and a sense of being respected and loved. So I'll continue to advise people seeking a more rewarding experience of life, to join local groups and meet people who have similar interests and to build up a friendship network over many months and years.

Though of course, this is just my own opinion :-)

Mayday [DVD] [2013]
Mayday [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Peter Firth
Offered by FILMNIGHT
Price: £9.26

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant direction and exceptional performances make this contemporary thriller compelling to the end, 4 May 2013
This review is from: Mayday [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Something has happened to television drama over the last twenty-five years, there's definitely been a dumbing down in the way productions are presented. Everything from soap operas to crime series and costume dramas, appear more and more, to be written to a formula, because, presumably this guarantees good ratings. Someone has obviously decided viewers like stories they can flop out on the sofa and watch for fifty minutes without having to think too hard, without developing a personal relationship with protagonists as layers are tantilizingly revealed over a period of time. So those of us who love to dive into contemporary productions that have depth and emotion and twists and turns, compelling us to keep watching while aching for that climactic conclusion, rarely get a feast as satisfying as "Mayday".

At a surface level, this is the story of the disappearance of beautiful, young Hattie Sutton, due to have been crowned May Queen as part of the local community's pagan parade. But right from the opening scenes, something feels strange, eerie, reminiscent perhaps of those spooky dramas from the 70s, "The Wicker Man" or those bizarre "Thriller" episodes where creepy things happen in remote villages made up of people who share a very limited gene pool. In other ways, it's a very contemporary setting and the contrast between these two elements becomes intriguing, like a community operating on two different levels. Brilliant direction, camera work and score all contribute to this sense of something faintly supernatural, but it's cleverly done, so that we always have one foot very much in the reality of these people's lives. Like all good thrillers, the suspense is emerging largely from the paranoid corners of our own minds, and that's what makes it so personal, we're investing something of ourselves in these characters and their own personal stories.

The wonderful direction (Brian Welsh) is equally matched by great casting, with many exceptional performances, including Tom Fisher, as Seth, the reclusive, druid-like character who lives in the woods, and Sam Spruell, as Steve, his somewhat ambivalent carer and brother, and self-appointed leader of the search party looking for Hattie. Lesley Manville, delivers a powerful portrayal of Gail Spicer which takes us through a whole journey of complex emotions, and young actors Leila Mimmack and Max Fowler are remarkably compelling as indie-goth-chick Caitlin and Linus, the loner boy next door, who oozes kudos and from the outset seems wise beyond his years. All give award worthy performances. Acting is at its best, I always think, when a peformer can tap into some aspect of a dark character's psyche which the audience will connect with and feel some level of empathy for, and this is achieved in abundance, by the cast of "Mayday". Each character has a shadow side which leaves us slightly suspicious of them and what they might be capable of, but we also develop compassion for them along the way, as their vulnerable side becomes gradually revealed to us.

The story reaches a thrilling conclusion, which has us guessing right up to the end, and there is the smallest chink of light through a crack in the door, which has the potential to lead to a second series many will be hoping for, because "Mayday" is such a beautifully produced, genuinely original drama.

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