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H. Pierce (UK)
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Smiler's Fair (The Hollow Gods)
Smiler's Fair (The Hollow Gods)
by Rebecca Levene
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Start To A Fantasy Adventure, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Smiler's Fair is a fantasy adventure that manages to combine some of the traditional elements of the genre, with an additional number of twists and turns, that keep you captivated as you accompany the characters on their journeys.

Levene has created a full history for the people of her world. She has set it against a complex, varied and, at times, surprisingly unique way of existing. Things do not stay in one place here, they continually have to move, and with good reason too. Maybe you will read it to find out why, and it may just surprise you a little.

The book does not shy away from sex, violence, blood and gore. It is definitely not one for anyone who is easily offended, or upset. It is also not the most fast-paced start to a string of novels, but I believe that this is necessary in order to set up all the pieces of such an epic tale. You cannot rush in with guns blazing, when you need to layer the details that will be used in later novels.

Smiler's Fair is really a good solid read, and quite clearly underpins the beginnings of a new epic fantasy series. I look forward to reading the next instalment. Levene is carving out a name for herself, in the fantasy genre, and I will be keeping an eye out for the rest of this series. I hope that you enjoy the story as much as I did, for it really is a strong start to a whole new fantasy adventure.


AmiGami Cat Figure
AmiGami Cat Figure
Price: £6.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute Addition To The AmiGami Family, 1 Mar. 2015
This review is from: AmiGami Cat Figure (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
AmiGami products are a lovely way of crafting without the need for glue, or sellotape. No glitter sprinkles flying around your house either. The AmiGami Cat Figure set includes plenty of colourful paper pieces, that just need to be pushed out from the holding paper. There is a sticker sheet included, some pegs, some caps, and a curling tool.

The idea is very simple. The child decorates the cat with the paper pieces and stickers. These can be curled, if desired. The pieces are all different shapes and designs, so it is up to the individual to create a look they like. The stickers are reusable, so they can be moved at a later date to create a different look. The paper attaches to the cat with the plastic pins, and kept in place with a little heart cap. The whole thing is very straightforward, and my six year old daughter had a lot of fun creating a design.

There were some extra pins and caps included with this set, which was useful for my daughter to use on the doghouse set, as it didn't have enough supplied with it.

Overall, the AmiGami cat figure is a nice addition to the collection. A mess-free way to craft and design a toy, and one that your little art fan will enjoy!


AmiGami Dog and Doghouse Set
AmiGami Dog and Doghouse Set
Price: £15.56

3.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Pegs For The Holes..., 1 Mar. 2015
This review is from: AmiGami Dog and Doghouse Set (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The beauty of AmiGami products is that the whole thing can be done without the need for glue, or sellotape. No glitter sprinkles flying around your house either. The AmiGami Dog and Doghouse set includes plenty of colourful paper pieces, that just need to be pushed out from the holding paper. There is a sticker sheet included, some pegs, some caps, and a curling tool.

The idea is very simple. The child decorates the dog, and the doghouse, with the paper pieces and stickers. These can be curled, if desired. The pieces are all different shapes and designs, so it is up to the individual to create a look they like. The stickers are reusable, so they can be moved at a later date to create a different look. The paper attaches to the doghouse and dog with the plastic pegs, and kept in place with a little heart cap.

The whole thing is very straightforward, and my six year old daughter had a lot of fun creating a design...until she realised that there were not enough pegs for the holes...laugh all you may, but it is a very frustrating situation when you cannot finish the design you had planned. Why would they not supply ample pieces for the set?

My daughter ended up using stickers to cover the spare holes, and because she had pinned the pegs to the doghouse, there was only one left to pin anything to the dog. She still enjoyed her finished product, and she may well re-decorate it at some point. I do, however, feel that it was an oversight on the part of the manufacturer to fail in supplying enough parts.

Overall, a clean craft activity that is fun to do. Could be improved with the addition of some extra pegs.


KS3 Spanish Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
KS3 Spanish Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Aimed At Years 7-9 (Ages 11-14), 25 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Spanish interactive vocab tester is a handy little revision tool to have around, when studying basic Spanish in years 7-9, aged 11-14. It contains a small book that outlines the key words for each section of the syllabus. These words are grouped together in the areas of interest, which is useful for having a quick glance at a specific topic. The pack also includes a Dvd-rom, which allows the user to listen to the correct pronunciation of each word.

The more 'interactive' part of the set, is the ability to create your own revision word lists, and set them as mp3 formats . These can then be listened to whilst walking, tidying your room, painting your nails, or travelling. This is a very useful feature, and is worth bumping the set up to a full five stars.

Overall, I think it is a really decent vocabulary tester, but it is best used in conjunction with further Spanish KS3 study guides if you wish to gain further knowledge on the language. The ages it is recommended for are from approximately 11-14. My six year old has actually been enjoying listening to the words, and testing herself. She has, however, been studying Spanish for a year and a half, and she is very keen to progress further. KS2 children are now seeing languages being taught in routine lessons, so parents of primary aged children may find this set as useful as we have ourselves.


GCSE French Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
GCSE French Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Individually Created Vocabulary Testing, 24 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The French interactive vocab tester is a handy little revision tool to have around, when studying for GCSE level French. It contains a small book that outlines the key words for each section of the syllabus. These words are grouped together in the areas of interest, which is useful for having a quick glance at a specific topic. The pack also includes a Dvd-rom, which allows the user to listen to the correct pronunciation of each word.

The more 'interactive' part of the set, is the ability to create your own revision word lists, and set them as mp3 formats . These can then be listened to whilst walking the dog, or travelling. This is a very useful feature, and is worth bumping the set up to a full five stars.

Overall, I think it is a really decent vocabulary tester, but it is best used in conjunction with further French GCSE study guides if you wish to gain further knowledge on the language.


Philips Sonicare HX9361/67 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Pink
Philips Sonicare HX9361/67 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Pink
Price: £124.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sonicare Yet!, 23 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sonicare toothbrushes are my absolute favourite, and no other brand I have tried has come close to the clean feeling experienced when using Sonicare. The DiamondClean HX9361/67 is no exception to this rule, and is apparently proven to remove even more plaque from your teeth than ever before.

There are five modes of brushing available when using this particular toothbrush. These are:- Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care, and Sensitive. I have tried all five modes at different points, but I much prefer the 'White' mode. This particular mode features a 2 minute and 30 second clean, that aims to reduce tooth staining within a week. My teeth literally felt amazing after the first go on this mode, and they do look a little whiter too.

Whilst using my new toothbrush, I had a fleeting thought about whether the Sonicare could in any way affect my fillings...I want my toothbrush to prevent any new fillings, not cause my existing ones to loosen! Thankfully, Philips have tested the Sonicare DiamondClean on fillings, crowns, braces and veneers. and found no ill effects on any of them.

One feature that I particularly like about the DiamondClean, is that the toothbrush indicates the passing of every 30 seconds. In this way, you can ensure that you move to the next quadrant of your mouth with each new alert. With the 'Clean' setting lasting for two minutes exactly, this is ideal. With the 'White' setting, I use the remaining half a minute to go back over the front teeth.

The toothbrush itself is well-designed. The handle feels nice and it isn't too heavy. You can charge the DiamondClean by popping in straight into the enclosed glass storage beaker. It acts as a wireless charger. The toothbrush also comes with a great travel storage case, that has a USB charger, so that you can easily take it on your travels too!

One last thing to note about the DiamondClean Sonicare is that the charge holds amazingly well. I have got a full week and a half out of one charge. I even got a weeks usage straight from the box, as it was already charged upon arrival. Bearing in mind that I use the longer brushing mode of 'White', it means that the standard 'Clean' setting should give you a full two weeks of use per charge! Not many toothbrushes can do that.

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance of the Philips Sonicare HX9361/67 DiamondClean. It works fantastically, charges well, and the extra features of the USB travel case, and charging beaker, are just the icing on the cake. A fabulous product, and highly recommended.


A Robot In The Garden
A Robot In The Garden
by Deborah Install
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars An Uplifting Journey Of Discovery, 21 Feb. 2015
This review is from: A Robot In The Garden (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tang is a robot who needs fixing. Ben is a man who is almost completely broken. Neither fully appreciate how their lives have reached this point, or how exactly to change them...

Ben finds Tang in his garden, and sets out to discover a way to fix him. During their journey together, Ben finds out a lot more about himself as well. The pair travel to many far off destinations, in the hopes of being able to get the parts needed to fix Tang. There are many amusing moments, and some fairly emotive ones too. Things don't always go to plan, but they learn to cope with this together.

Overall, the story of Ben and Tang is a strong tale of self-discovery. It takes the reader on an uplifting journey, and keeps you gripped from the start, I highly recommend it.


Dance of the Dark Heart
Dance of the Dark Heart
by Julie Hearn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Dark Story Of Magic And Romance, 19 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dance of the dark Heart tells the tale of Jack, a baby who was left in a goatherd's shack one night. Scratch, the goatherd has no idea what to do with this unexpected and creepy little arrival, and soon palms him off on a couple who have recently welcomed their own bundle of joy to the world. At first the two babies seem adorably close, but Jack carries magic inside his dark self. Sam and Annie begin to find Jack a little disturbing too.

As time passes Jack and Janet are set to follow their own destinies, but Jack hungers for his childhood friend. He needs Janet more than anything else, and nothing must get in his way. Jack is an icy, dangerous being. Janet may be able to thaw his heart, but at what cost to her, and to everyone around them?

Julie Hearn has spun a dramatic and darkly mysterious tale, that sweeps the reader up within the first few pages. It is fast-paced and gripping throughout. I highly recommend this book for young adults and adults alike, particularly those interested in historical fiction, or fantasy. You are sure to enjoy every minute of it. I look forward to reading more by the author.


A Heart Bent Out of Shape
A Heart Bent Out of Shape
by Emylia Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.96

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 19 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hadley has led a fairly sheltered existence, so when the opportunity arises to spend a gap year in Switzerland, she naturally jumps at the chance. What follows is the tale of true friendship, tragic loss, and a vivid sense of life itself. First tastes of love lead Hadley into some dubious situations, and as she aims to hunt down the truth behind the death of her friend things take a bleaker turn.

The novel is well-written, but sometimes the descriptive passages slow down the pace of the whole story progressing. I am not suggesting that the descriptions are not beautifully expressed, but that they could perhaps have been slightly more spread out, in order to keep the tale striding forward. Hadley herself is a reasonable main character, but she comes across as unrealistically mature for someone who has supposedly led such an uneventful life thus far.

Overall, it was a good read, but not one that I will be likely to revisit any time soon.


Five Days Left
Five Days Left
by Julie Lawson Timmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Days...It's Not Enough., 19 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Five Days Left (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The title implies that the story is going to be an emotional one, and it really is. What I hadn't realised was that it was two heartbreaking tales in one book.

It is the tale of Mara, who has five days left to tie up everything. Five days to spend with her husband and daughter, to say her goodbyes to friends, to organise all her things, until her final moment. Five days, five precious days. Mara can change the five days, but should she? Surely it is the best thing for everyone, given what they face.

It is also the tale of Scott, who has five days left with Curtis, before he must say goodbye. Curtis legally isn't his to keep, but losing him is beyond unbearable. Only five days to do everything with Curtis...it isn't enough.

Scott and Mara have 'connected' online. Forums are wonderful places to discuss all that you are thinking, without it falling on those who know you in 'real' life. Mara hasn't told the forum members of what she has planned, however.

Five Days Left is utterly heartbreaking, bittersweet, and jam-packed with a sense of family and love. It will move you to tears many times before you turn the final page. I highly recommend this moving tale of life, love and loss. I will be keeping an eye out for future works by Julie Lawson Timmer.


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