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Reviews Written by
DebB (Oxfordshire, England)

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Smoke and Mirrors: Blackhollow Academy Book 1
Smoke and Mirrors: Blackhollow Academy Book 1
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well written ,engaging heroine, but slightly unbelievable realationship, 14 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read this easily, didn’t find it lagged, or got boring - my attention was engaged and stayed engaged to the end. Good main female character, good realistic depiction of living in poverty, not too much school-bitchiness/bullying. Quite what the difference between a sorcerer and a magus was I didn’t really get, nor why they were so terrifying to the magi. Yes there’s a bit of explanation towards the end, but now I think about it I’ve no idea what Kimberly can do other than good illusions…
A fair few chapters are from Cornac’s perspective, so you get an outside view of Kimberly, which is good.
The baddie is suitably bad, and the (very, very) close shave Kimberly has with him is well written.

SPOILER

But, after a bit of distance I find myself finding the central relationship unlikely, and unbalanced. She’s 21, he’s ancient. She’s undertrained and has little idea of her potential, he’s super-dooper mighty powerful and feared by all. She’s a typical modern young woman, he dresses like a Victorian gentleman and sells antiques. I do wonder what they actually have in common… When we have the “You lied to me, I’ll never speak to you again” break up, I did wonder if Cormac had ever had a relationship before. She was behaving at least in character, but he suddenly went all modern young man - and the binding? Really? An all-mighty dragon binding himself irrevocably to someone so young and untested? Hmmm, not so sure really.
So I’ve cooled a bit, but I liked Kimberly and her determination to succeed - that was well drawn.


Rapesco Staple Remover - Heavy Duty for staple removal from card and cartons
Rapesco Staple Remover - Heavy Duty for staple removal from card and cartons
Price: £5.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - does the job without fuss!, 11 Jan. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Does just what I needed! I regularly receive bundles of papers, up to 1cm thick, that have been stapled in one corner. I like to read my papers flat, and my “normal” little staple remover can’t cope with the bigger ones, so battle commences between the staple, my knuckles and a letter opener. My knuckles often come off the worse…
First bundle arrived today since I’d got this device, so I set to, and it was easy. No tearing, no blood, just the staple removed.
There’s a bit of a knack to it, and you need to be on a firm, flat surface for best effect, but this is great.


The Art of Deception
The Art of Deception
Price: £1.52

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging swords and magick novella with intelligent, capable lead characters, 10 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a novella, or a novelette as the Amazon blurb calls it - a new one on me! It’s a quickish read, but that said, it’s also an engaging read that holds the attention well. It has an intelligent and very capable heroine backed up by an equally capable hero - no whining wimps, or hot-house flowers here - these two are well matched. I was initially slightly concerned that it was going to be a book about a clever woman outwitting a not so clever man, but Hrabnic (easier to say that it looks) more than holds his own when it matters.
There’s quite a lot of death, a fair degree of trickery and illusion, nothing too gory or explicit - just enough to flavour the tale. There’s enough description to allow the reader to create their own view of the book’s world, but not so much you start skipping descriptions of local vegetation or cuisine. Short books have to get the balance right, and this does. That said, given this is all from Hrabnic’s point of view, I have no idea what he looks like. But the laydees seem to like him!
This isn’t an author I know - I came to this story via a recommendation by Ilona Andrews on her blog - and if she rates it, I decided it was worth a punt. I enjoyed this and will look out her other stuff.


Scotch Decorative Packaging Tape on Easy Start Dispenser, Black and White Criss Cross Design, 48mm x 12.7m (141-PRTD2)
Scotch Decorative Packaging Tape on Easy Start Dispenser, Black and White Criss Cross Design, 48mm x 12.7m (141-PRTD2)

5.0 out of 5 stars Parcel tape with a difference, 16 Dec. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Parcel tape that's a bit different. Useful dispenser that just about works, but there's nowhere to safely stick your trailing end when you're not using it. A minor quibble.


Romertopf Chicken Brick/Clay Baker Small
Romertopf Chicken Brick/Clay Baker Small
Offered by Good Thymes
Price: £35.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant way to cook meat, 16 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wonderful - I struggled to find one of these original unglazed versions after my old one hit the floor after 30+ years and needed replacing. The unglazed ones get better with use. Wonderful for meat - we use primarily for chicken and lamb. Meat comes out tender, moist, and your oven's clean.


+1.50 Designer Style Round Reading Glasses Tortoise Brown Frame Men Women Unisex - Retro Vintage Classic + I-Sential Case & Cloth
+1.50 Designer Style Round Reading Glasses Tortoise Brown Frame Men Women Unisex - Retro Vintage Classic + I-Sential Case & Cloth
Offered by I-SENTIAL
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made, substantial frames that feel as thought they'll last well, 16 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nice solid quality feel to these, they fit well, do the job - what's not to like?


Post-it 76 x 76 mm Super Sticky Notes - Cube Daffodil (Pack of 270)
Post-it 76 x 76 mm Super Sticky Notes - Cube Daffodil (Pack of 270)
Price: £4.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful size, good bright yellow, stick well, 16 Dec. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very yellow! Good size that holds a decent amount of writing. Good adhesive


Wired Mouse, SOWTECH 3-Button Optical USB Wired Mouse Mice for Mac Laptop PC - Black
Wired Mouse, SOWTECH 3-Button Optical USB Wired Mouse Mice for Mac Laptop PC - Black
Offered by Yftech-eu
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic mouse that does what a mouse should, 11 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Useful basic mouse that does what you want - clicks appropriately, scrolls up and down, a bit light but perfectly useable.


The Novice: Book 1 (Summoner)
The Novice: Book 1 (Summoner)
by Taran Matharu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for the younger YA market I think (Minor spoilers in review), 1 Nov. 2016
Hmm - one aimed at the younger end of the YA market I think. I'm not young (!), but often read YA books, and some are wonderful… This one hasn't grabbed me, and I have a number of issues with it:
Peeve number 1:
This is sooooo stereotypical - dwarves are short and have beards, elves are tall with pointy ears, the enemy are Orcs, the rich are all b**tards, the poor downtrodden…
Peeve number 2:
We’re told that winning the war depends on the battle mages; there’s an implication these are rare, so what do they do with the few potentials they find who aren’t from the ruling classes? Treat them like utter muck, push them through training in stupidly short times, set them up to fail, in short do everything they can to build resentment and hatred.
Peeve number 3:
The first child sired by a man with potential will inherit that potential, provided it’s also the woman’s first child. So a potent man could sire hundreds of potent children. Do they? Do they heck.
Peeve 4:
This is a joyless book. I get that our hero and his friends are living cheerless lives, but there’s no laughter, no warmth, no let up from the cold and misery.
Peeve 5:
This is a book dominated by males - apart from one teacher, who hits a… snag… part way through, and the elf lass, this is all about boys.

There’s a clear long plot line, the pace rolls along, the dialogue is unclunky, the scene setting fine, the sense of privilege versus lower class/caste is okay, but I can't say I've enjoyed this, and I won't be reading on with the series.


Hermesetas Mini Sweeteners Original, 1200 Tablets
Hermesetas Mini Sweeteners Original, 1200 Tablets
Offered by ASTIR CARE
Price: £4.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, after-taste free sweeteners, 27 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are hard to find in the smaller shops these days. These are what my other half has been using for decades, he doesn't like the others, he says these don't leave an aftertaste. The dispenser usually works fine from first to last - all fine


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