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Paul D (EXETER, United Kingdom)

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LEPOWER LED Clip on Light, Dimmable Eye Cared Bed Light, Reading Light with 360° Flexible Neck, Color Temperature Changeable, 8W (Black)
LEPOWER LED Clip on Light, Dimmable Eye Cared Bed Light, Reading Light with 360° Flexible Neck, Color Temperature Changeable, 8W (Black)
Offered by Prodigy3
Price: £21.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Light for Reading, 10 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great light, love the options for cold or warm light, bright or dim. I am using this for reading at night and couldn't be happier. The neck bends into place, so it's easy to get balanced light on my book. I'm sure will also come in handy genrally for my desk too. An excellent, well designed and well made product.

Monoprice 102820 100 ft 14AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Oxygen Free Pure Bare Copper Speaker Wire Cable
Monoprice 102820 100 ft 14AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Oxygen Free Pure Bare Copper Speaker Wire Cable

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality speaker wire and well priced, 16 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very good quality speaker wire and pretty easy to work with. I found these by Monoprice to be just the right thickness, any thicker and they might be a problem for tight areas, and the sound quality from them is worthy of a medium to high-end sound system.

1byone Shiatsu Deep Kneading Pillow Massager with Heat and Car Adapter for Neck, Shoulder, Back, Waist, Legs, Arms, Foot Massage
1byone Shiatsu Deep Kneading Pillow Massager with Heat and Car Adapter for Neck, Shoulder, Back, Waist, Legs, Arms, Foot Massage
Offered by 1Byone Products Inc.
Price: £56.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portability and ease of use are its key benefits, 14 Sept. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The 1byone Shiatsu Massage Pillow is good once you learn the best way to use it for your own needs. If it's not positioned quite right the spinning heat balls can hurt, and the automatic rotation reversal, though stated as being a good thing, can sometimes be distracting and prompt further adjustment depending on if you're using it on your back, neck or legs etc. However the best thing about this massager is the fact that it's very portable. And, no I wouldn't advise you use it while driving, the kind of portability I'm talking about is of the ease at which you can set it up at home. I already have a well-known massager that sits in my chair and runs the length of my back, but it's a pain to keep getting it out and strapping it in, so much so, that as pleasurable as that massage can be, I don't set it up regularly due to the bother. However with this pillow you can set it up so quickly and that means I shall likely use it a lot more. Obviously the negative point about this pillow is that you have to manually move it down if you want to massage your whole back, but that's something I am willing to trade off for the added accessibility and ease of use.

As for the quality, I'm impressed with the materials that have been used, and as other reviewers have stated, there is no awful smell that comes with some, in fact the materials smells quite nice. It also comes in a box which is handy for storage and portability of the massager.

Overall then this marks quite highly and I am happy with my purchase. The pillow massager has the added plus of being portable and really easy to set-up, and it works just as well as the HoMedics back massager that I already own, in fact the massage balls heat up even more intensely than the HoMedics one I have for deep kneading. The only negative is the lack of options it comes with. You can have it run with or without heat, or turn it off, but that's it. It would have been nice to have been able to turn of the auto-rotation reverser and a timer would have been a nice touch, but I guess that would perhaps push the price up. As it is it turns off after twenty minutes of use as a safety feature. If it weren't for those small negatives I would have happily given it five stars.

Poison City: Delphic Division 1
Poison City: Delphic Division 1
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Poison City is a splendidly written novel that never takes itself too seriously, 11 Aug. 2016
The first thing the dog does when I walk through the door is sniff the air and say, ‘You forgot the sherry, dipsh***.’

The opening line of Poison City, Paul Crilley’s debut novel written solely for adults, more than hints at the fact that this is a novel not to be taken too seriously. Crilley has written for many different genres and mediums over the past seventeen years, from television and comic books, to young adult novels, but this is apparently breaking new territory for him.

The front cover of my advanced proof copy has a line that reads, ‘He has a wand. But don’t you dare call him Harry Potter.’ This is perhaps clever marketing, a way of drawing in those grownup Harry Potter fans, and lets face it, that’s an awfully big market, but believe it or not, I’ve never read a word of Harry Potter, so I’m afraid I can’t say if this novel would satisfy that particular demographic.

The story is told through the first person narrative of Gideon Tau, but everyone calls him London Tau. He has a dog who is his guide, and early on we discover this dog not only likes to drink lots of sherry, he also talks and says exactly what’s on his mind, no matter how politically incorrect. Tau works for Delphic Division, a secret division within the South African Police Service that investigates the occult, or anything out of the ordinary, a kind of X-Files if you like.

The story takes place in Durban, South Africa, where there is the world of the Dayside and the Night. In the Dayside things are pretty normal and familiar, but the Nightside is the home of the occult where the orishas, vampires and demons hang out, among other strange incarnations. Tau often handles cases where those from the Nightside are causing a threat to the safety of those in the Dayside. Armitage, Tau’s boss, who is a rather fierce but likeable woman in charge of Delphic Division, receives the news of a brutal murder thought to be committed by someone from the Nightside. The victim is a ramanga, basically a vampire, so both Armitage and Tau head out to investigate why it was killed by one of its own.

This case does indeed turn out to be very revealing. Each step of the way, Tau finds himself in increasingly hard to escape scenarios and the ramifications of his actions, and of the threat facing the city of Durban, creates a thrilling chase for the truth that eventually leads to the one thing that has plagued him day and night for years, and that is the name of his daughter’s killer. But of course that’s not all that is at stake. The safety of the world, and of the Dayside, may ultimately rest in his hands with a simple choice, one that might just prove to be too much for Tau. Will he make the right choice? Will he choose love over the fate of the world?

Poison City is a splendidly written novel that never takes itself too seriously, and is full of invention and imagination. I love the idea that there can be a being that swallows others’ sins, that Tau’s own tattoos can turn into dragons and help him out of a fight, that he has a talking dog, and further into the book, the fact Crilley has the courage to turn the bible on its head and reimagine not only the limits of human's existence, but to also extend that into new and unique theories on Gods and angels.

But of course this is only fiction, and those things are only good if they are both believable and fun, and I think Crilley just about pulls it off. There were times towards the end of the story when the action, though varied, got a little Hollywood clichéd, and read more like a film than a mystery woven with fresh fabric, but give him credit, he has made some likeable characters with this story, and has managed to end it both in a satisfying way, and with a little dangling carrot of unfinished business. This sets it up nicely for the next in the series, and who knows how successful this series will be, or how far it can go? All I can say is with this first instalment; it’s off to a pretty good start, if not quite yet on fire.

Poison City is released by Hodder & Stoughton on, 11th August 2016. I received this proof copy for free from a goodreads giveaway, in return for this unbiased and honest review, according to FTC guidelines.

Tastes Like Fear (D.I. Marnie Rome 3)
Tastes Like Fear (D.I. Marnie Rome 3)
by Sarah Hilary
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrill ride to enjoy, free from Harm!, 23 Jun. 2016
'Safe, he was safe.
There are places, you know.
She hadn’t believed it, until then.'

This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Hilary, and though Tastes Like Fear is the third in the D .I. Marnie Rome series, there is no need to have read the other two instalments, as there was no problem reading this as a standalone. Having said that, if you plan to read the entire series, it would make sense to read them chronologically.

D .I. Marnie is a strong character and I sensed it was a character that Hilary had already laid the groundwork for in the previous two books, and that is something that a series such as this benefits from. In this book, D .I. Marnie and DS Noah Jake are investigating a traffic accident that was caused by a young girl in the middle of the road. Eyewitness accounts claim that the girl was already a little beaten up, even though she wasn’t actually hit in the accident. The investigating pair fear for the girl’s safety, and even though they find she doesn’t fit the description of May Beswick, a missing girl they’d been investigating for the last twelve weeks, they still need to find her before she comes to harm. It is this little dangling carrot that sets them off on an ever deepening and intriguing search for the truth, and the belief that many of the missing girls from the area could somehow be linked back to the accident and the girl who caused it.

Harm is his name, a man holding the girls in a makeshift home, making sure they keep clean and well-fed, even if that means eating a diet consisting of tinned-fish and other salty preserved-foods. The girls don’t mind at first, not when he first takes them in, he leads them to believe they can leave at anytime, that he is their saviour and not their enemy, but they soon find out that’s not the case. There is a strong psychological note to this as well; as we find that Harm makes them feel important, he makes them his own innocent girls until they don’t feel they could face the real world again, not even if they wanted to.

Some girls do escape, but in the worst possible way. May Beswick’s body is found first, shortly followed by the discovery of Ashleigh Jewell. This sets Marnie and Jake on a race against the clock, to find the killer before more bodies turn up dead, but it is never clear who might have actually killed them, or if it has anything to do with Harm at all. There are some nice alternating chapters in the book where some of the victims in the house give first person accounts of their experience in Harm’s little hideaway, and through them we get to see the other side, the things that not even Marnie and Jake know about, but these accounts do not give too much away as to the identity of the killer, and from the start it’s never clear whether it is Harm himself, or someone else entirely doing the killing. Hilary casts doubt and suspicion on many of the characters in the story, and I for one was kept guessing to the end, some that panned out correct, and some of which I never saw coming.

There are many twists to the story and we encounter a lot of different characters along the way, but I never lost track of where the story was going, which is credit to Hilary’s tight crafting of the story and clever use of characters to move the story forward in a believable way. If you love thrillers and crime fiction in general then you will certainly love this book. I found it both gritty and believable, especially the dark places where Harm keeps his girls, where the atmosphere is at times palpable, and often claustrophobic in its rendering of a world beneath the surface of the everyday people going about their lives. So even if you haven’t read the previous two instalments, this book will certainly whet your appetite for more.

I received this book for free and this is my honest and unbiased review, according to FTC guidelines.

Tenebrae Manor
Tenebrae Manor
by P. S. Clinen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, gothic, atmospheric - A novel of dark genius!!, 10 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Tenebrae Manor (Paperback)
Imposing, sinister and infernal, Tenebrae Manor stands perched upon its hill, a beacon of darkness...

There is much to be said for the darkly gothic imagination. Some writers manage to evoke powerful images and lasting characters, but what’s even more interesting and exciting is when a writer decides to pay as much attention to atmosphere as to the story. I’m thinking Poe, and I’m thinking of course Lovecraft. Two fine writers who didn’t just scare, didn’t just write to tell a story, they wrote to douse the reader in lasting imagery and to be dunked in a literary tapestry so rich and so atmospheric, that the stories seem to take on a life of their own. And so much to my surprise, I was absolutely delighted to find, Tenebrae Manor, to be all such things.

Bordeaux is a friendly demon; dressed in a burgundy coat, pale faced, with two blood red branch-like twisted horns on his head, who is very particular about the way he looks, not that anyone will see him outside of Tenebrae’s considerably large grounds, sheltered by the surrounding dark woods. The manor itself is a thing of antiquity, a ruinous building that many strange and memorable beings call home. Among them there is, Usher, an oafish and ugly monster sewn together like Frankenstein, Edweena, a female vampire, Arpage, an ageing composer who lives in the attic, two rascals, Comets and Deadsol, a mute chef in the basement, and a young girl called Madlyn, who serves the head of the household, the lazy and ever-fattening Lady Libra. They all have their problems, but Tenebrae Manor is the only place in the world this strange set of characters call home, and something is happening to it. There is a sense of impending doom in the air, and Bordeaux is the first to be concerned by it.

While outside walking around the Manor, Bordeaux finds the remains of a dead wood golem and fears they are getting closer to their only sanctuary. The golems are slow moving but can be dangerous if not dealt with quickly, they can wrap their branches and vines around things, and in greater numbers could even spell the end of Tenebrae. Bordeaux raises his concerns with Lady Libra, but she appears disinterested and can only seem to turn her mind to food. Things get worse, there is a sweltering heat over the manor caused by a spell put on by Lady Libra, and Bordeaux is preoccupied by the demands she has for her birthday celebrations. As the story progresses many story strands unfold and the relationships between these oddball set of characters starts to get strained, adding to that the golems become more and more bothersome and we as reader start to feel the pressure brewing like a melting pot waiting to explode.

What is apparent from the start is the richness of the language used by Clinen throughout, for rarely does his prose and vivid description fail to be anything but beautiful. And talking of the description, he manages to soak his prose deep in atmosphere and render startling images with subtlety. He doesn’t bombard us with complex images, yet he has a penchant for easing the reader’s mind into a world steeped in darkness, where even the description of motes of dust in the hallway seem to bring this world alive with a vibrancy and weight akin to that of something you’d find in a tale by Lovecraft or Poe. I could also sense that Clinen perhaps drew some inspiration and style from Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series.

By the end of the story I realised relatively little had happened over the course of this fairly long book, but I didn’t care. What did happen was this here reader was drawn into a world full of odd yet strangely likeable characters, and when I say drawn, I mean every part of me was put under Clinen’s spell, every fibre of my being seemed to find itself wrapped up in the thick and addictive nuances of his world. I urge you to seek out the riches of this world too, for I am glad to have found a writer of such depth and wonder, and I’m glad to have taken a trip to Tenebrae Manor, a place to which I shall certainly return.

I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest and unbiased review according to FTC guidelines.

iPhone 6S / iPhone 6 Case. REAL WOODEN Premium Protective Cover. Unique, Classy, Sophisticated & Stylish BOIS De ROSE WOOD Bumper Accessory for Apple iPhone 6S / 6
iPhone 6S / iPhone 6 Case. REAL WOODEN Premium Protective Cover. Unique, Classy, Sophisticated & Stylish BOIS De ROSE WOOD Bumper Accessory for Apple iPhone 6S / 6
Offered by iATO International

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy, refreshingly different case that mixes nature with technology, 30 May 2016
First off, the market is full of different iPhone cases, so what is so unique about this product is that it offers something a little unusual, by offering a case that has been made from real wood. Okay, it's not exactly thick wood, but the feel of the case is very nice, mine being Rose Wood, and it looks absolutely superb. I love the meshing of technology with that of nature, and this case does that perfectly without being clunky or heavy. In fact as it goes this is a very lightweight case, while still feeling like the inside of the case is strong enough to protect the iphone from scratches and scrapes if dropped. It also fits very nicely and makes the iPhone look very sleek. This isn't a case that shouts look at me, but I like that, for instead what you get is a case that is subtle and classy, and on that makes the iPhone look even better. As you would expect the case also provides all of the necessary holes for access to iPhone ports, camera etc.

As for the packaging the case comes in, that is also very sleek. You get a cardboard slipcase that just pushes out at one end and the case comes wrapped in plastic inside this box. There is also some silica gel to prevent dampness and moisture buildup in transit. The packaging reminds me of Apple's own, by being hassle free and easy to get into. So I applaud iATO for what is a very classy case. I would also like to commend their after sales care, as they send an email once the item is being shipped, and are at hand to help should anything go wrong with the product.

I received this item for free for an honest and unbiased review.

3-Pack Screen Cleaner for your iPad, Laptop, Computer, Macbook and Mobiles. Smart ECO friendly alternative to Screen Wipes.
3-Pack Screen Cleaner for your iPad, Laptop, Computer, Macbook and Mobiles. Smart ECO friendly alternative to Screen Wipes.
Offered by Tatstar UK
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great set of cleaners for your mucky screens!, 15 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent item, works perfectly. One side is great for getting rid of fingerprints, the other ideal for getting rid of more stubborn marks. Both sides do a good job of getting rid of dust as well. I use mine for my two Kindle Fires and on my Macbook Pro. I gave one to my father and he uses it for his IPad and is very happy with it too. He leaves a lot of finger marks on his screen and has found this cleaner an ideal way of getting rid of them with little or no fuss. You get three in the pack, one big, then two smaller ones. One of the smaller ones has a handy keychain on it, though I removed mine as I prefer to put it in my laptop bag rather than on a keyring, though moving it was no problem. All in all then a great product and was just what I needed. Highly recommended!!

The Art of Falling
The Art of Falling
by Kim Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully stark, and deceptively deep debut!!, 10 May 2016
This review is from: The Art of Falling (Paperback)
'This is for falling which is so close to failing / or to falter or fill…'

The Art of Falling is an impressive debut from Kim Moore who has previously been published in TLS, Poetry Review, Poetry London and elsewhere. She has an MA from Manchester Metropolitan University and is already a winner of several awards, including the Independent Book of the year for her pamphlet, If We Could Speak Like Wolves, poems from which also make an appearance in this collection.

The Art of Falling is split into three parts, and though varied in style and subject, a central theme of falling does seem to thread through all of the poems. And the Soul, the first poem in the collection is inspired by a line from Plato in which Moore starts off, 'And the soul, if the she is to know herself / must look into the soul and find / what kind of beast is hiding.' The poem is lyrical, well structured and it struck me as a beautiful way of kicking the collection off, and it left me wondering, what kind of beast is hiding between Moore’s words? Poetry often renders painful memories into form, and in the poem, My People, she doesn’t evoke whimsical memories, but rather a more deliberately sardonic and realistic take on her people’s character and history. In the first part of the collection she covers many subjects, ranging from regret and wanting to turn back time, to learning an instrument, to the life of scaffolders, seeing a psychic, and finally to the poem that gave the collection its name. The Art of Falling, is a sublime poem which brilliantly plays off the theme of falling and showcases Moore’s ability with rhythm, line and form.

The second part of the collection entitled, How I Abandoned My Body To His Keeping, is themed around violence and hate, and the desperate desire to escape it. In these poems, Moore channels a desire to be more powerful and safe from the physical powers of a man. In the poem entitled, The World’s Smallest Man, such desires are best demonstrated in the lines, 'till you are less than a grain of salt / so small you are living on my skin. / And, once I breathe, I breathe you in.' These poems deal with raw emotions and of human frailty in the face of violence. In the title poem of this section I was impressed by the descriptive power and stark images evoked by such lines as, 'The birds could have fallen from the sky like stones and I wouldn’t have noticed.' Fittingly the section is finished off with a poem entitled, Human, in which Moore imagines the man who has nothing in his life but the words that were inspired by his own cruelty, 'I imagine you reading about yourself in the safety of your car,' in which Moore closes, 'I want you to read these words, I try to make you human.'

In the last section of the book we have the poem, If We Could Speak Like Wolves, in which Moore compares the complexities and simplicities of animal nature against those of human beings and marriage, 'if I could rub my scent along your shins to make / you mine.' The standout poem in this section for me was, The Dead Tree, in which Moore talks of a tree’s soul released by a final lightning strike, and the wonder of where that lost soul might end up, 'Here is the tree, struck by lightning / five terrible times and it survived / until the last, when it dropped / every leaf it had and would ever have / down to the ground in fright.' The last poem in the book is, New Year’s Eve, which is a wonderful way to end the collection, leaving the reader to reminisce about their own New Year’s Eve, and the renewed dreams and future hopes associated with that time of year, 'the waiting for midnight, talking to strangers / as what’s left of the year drags itself off.'

From the surface this is a very accessible collection of poems, yet Moore isn’t afraid to dip her feet into the colder subjects of the human condition, and many of her poems are deceptively deep. Her voice is direct, uncensored, and her observations of the world satisfyingly bleak and full of truths, though not free of hope. The mention of stones in a few of the poems in this collection made me think about falling and the weight of human emotion, a weight that gravity will always bring back to the earth, so falling therefore is perhaps a fate no one can escape. This is an impressive debut from Moore and one that begs repeated reading, for poetry of this quality should certainly rise, not fall.

I received this book for free in a goodreads giveaway, and this is my honest and unbiased review in compliance with FTC guidelines.

Design Toscano Kissing Kids Boy and Girl Statue
Design Toscano Kissing Kids Boy and Girl Statue
Price: £34.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great statue, looks authentically stone, 30 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A beautiful statue that so far has held up well to the weather, and the little weathering is does have only serves to enhance the look of it and makes it look more like genuine stone. As it happens it's made from resin and doesn't feel too heavy, but that is no problem, for when looking at it, even closely, it looks like a much more expensive statue than it is.

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