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Edain "Edain" (UK)
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byteStor Pro 32GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Black
byteStor Pro 32GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Black
Price: £9.22

2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, but why?, 18 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was concerned about the quality of this as the plastic feels very thin and I'd be worried about its ability to withstand being kept in a pocket or bag. It seems like it could be easily crushed.

It comes formatted as a single VFAT partition and is 28.86 GiB[30.99 GB] in size. Is this common with USB sticks, to pay for 32GB but get a smaller amount?

Write speeds measured were around 16-17 MB/s for writes on USB3. Read speeds measured were around 75-76 MB/s for reads on USB3.

It seems to exist as a kind of low budget option, but when USB sticks are already so cheap and there are better products for the same money, does it really have a place in the market?


Creature Teacher
Creature Teacher
by Sam Watkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.79

4.0 out of 5 stars No surprises, 15 April 2015
This review is from: Creature Teacher (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My son (6) enjoyed this. He liked Jake, a sort of everyman character who takes the lead to care for the creature. Mr Hyde is a great character, and my son agreed he'd like a teacher like him. Personally I thought the other kids in the class were a bit one-dimensional - smart one, sporty one, artsy one, bullying one, although the inclusion of 'totally weird one who allies with nice kids and bullies as it suits him' was a refreshingly realistic addition! - but then I'm not the target audience and children probably prefer the simplicity at that age. The plot isn't particularly twisty, just the usual plod through simple near-misses of discovery, but again I may just be tired of the trope having read a lot of similar books lately. It's a fun school yarn.


Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Skin Rejuvenation Concentrated Serum 40 ml
Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Skin Rejuvenation Concentrated Serum 40 ml
Offered by Gordons Direct
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, substantial serum., 8 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was on the lookout for a new serum - I've been using the Boots one, but I find it a bit thin and watery. The first thing I noticed about the Nivea one is it's thicker and more substantial, and your skin feels a lot smoother and plumper after use. It creates a nice base for makeup, though I do think a separate day cream/moisturiser is needed, and I think it does a much better job than rival products at toning down redness and easing discolouration.

It is rather heavily scented with that traditional Nivea scent, reminding me of high school, but that's the only real downside. A really good serum.

Can't say much about it anti-aging properties, as I don't believe in those.


Hatley Girls OVL Forest Animals Pyjama Set, Red, 5 Years
Hatley Girls OVL Forest Animals Pyjama Set, Red, 5 Years

5.0 out of 5 stars These are brilliant. Soft, 11 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are brilliant. Soft, great quality, bold print. Wash very well. Daughter loves them. Like others suggested, go up a few sizes - my daughter is 2, takes a 4-5 size, got her a 5 and they should be OK.


Nespresso by KRUPS Pixie Clips Capsule Coffee Machine with Aeroccino, Black/Yellow Neon
Nespresso by KRUPS Pixie Clips Capsule Coffee Machine with Aeroccino, Black/Yellow Neon
Price: £140.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great if you like pod-coffee-taste. If you don't..., 11 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's a difficult product to review because I guess it really depends what you think of the whole Nespresso concept as a whole. If you're a coffee lover who loves beans, grinding beans, choosing beans and believes in proper coffee quality and all that stuff, then no type of pod machine will probably thrill you. It's a pod, after all. But if all you want is a quick, easy shot, this is a great little thing. Little, first of all, which in my tiny kitchen is a huge bonus. We have no space for fancy gadgets or countertop clutter, but this really is small, sleek and looks stylish. It takes up barely any room at all and looks great whilst it's out. It is incredibly easy to use - pod in, lever down, coffee out.

For me it then falls down a little, because I then have to fix my coffee. It is very small and I need more. I need to add things to it to make a real drink. And then, the taste. I found it bitter. I am no coffee-expert or great lover of various bean types, but I have a vague sense of what coffee I think is nice tastes like, yet this was just bitter. Not much coffee flavour. Perhaps that's what you lose in pods. Maybe that doesn't matter when all you want is a wake-up call. I used a few more pods - despite 12 'flavours' and intensities they all tasted the same to me - and really, still just bitter.

I think if you're a fan of pods and pod-coffee and you already know you like Nespresso, this is a great machine. If you want something small, fast and stylish, this is for you. If you're new to it all, I'd suggest going around tasting Aeropress coffee and Nespresso coffee and seeing what you think. You might find pods are a convenience too far.


Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner - 5 g, N1 Black
Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner - 5 g, N1 Black
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite., 10 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not very good at eyeliner. I always find them very hard to draw on, like you have to press incredbly hard and scratch over and over again until it feels like you're carving words into stone. I recently gave away a nice Boots one for that reason - my eyes were redraw before the colour came off!

But this is simple and easy. You draw a line. Done. No need to go over it again, no need to redo, it's just on in one swoop. It has a screw tip and the smudgey thing on the other end, which I've admittedly not used. I'm not quite that skilled yet.

It does a brilliant job of lasting all day, which is everything I want in an eyeliner. Smudgeproof? That I'm not so sure about. It doesn't drop off by itself, that much is true, but if you do touch and smudge your eye it will come off. Maybe that's what smudgeproof means? It doesn't come off by itself just because you blinked, but it still will if you rub. Also, unlike many other waterproof/smudgeproof products, you don't need to scour it off. It comes off pretty easily just with your usual cleanser.

My new favourite. I'm very impressed by this, it does everything you need.


Ricco 320 W 2 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar Hi-Fi Speaker with Home Cinema Music System
Ricco 320 W 2 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar Hi-Fi Speaker with Home Cinema Music System
Price: £69.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So large!, 23 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My first worry about the product was its enormous size. It's massive! There are much smaller and sleeker bars out there, but then obviously the point of this product is its low cost. It is wall mountable but personally I'd be worried about the weight.

It is easy to set up, and we had no problem linking it up with Bluetooth products. It comes with radio which seems a bit odd these days, and I didn't find the sound quality or reception for it very good at all. For the other inputs, though, it does sound pretty good and clear.

If you have an enormous room and lots of space for this thing, then spend a little, but realistically this is one area most people are going to spend a little more for the best and smallest they can get. I'm not sure there's a niche in the market for cheap and huge.


Ultrasport Women's Yoga Light Action T-Shirt - Black, X-Small
Ultrasport Women's Yoga Light Action T-Shirt - Black, X-Small

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a really great fitness top, 3 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really great fitness top; nice cut, the sleeves are really flattering but also allow for a lot of movement, and the fabric is quick-dry but without feeling cheap. It has washed well and I hope it lasts!


The Raven's Head
The Raven's Head
by Karen Maitland
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.94

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Felt rushed., 25 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Raven's Head (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"The word 'adorable' - meaning 'worthy of worship' - is dated to approximately 1610, and its meaning of 'delightful' or 'charming' from 1710. 'Minced' did not mean 'to walk with small steps' until the 1560s, and a mild profanity used in the text didn't come about until the 1500s.

So I open my review with a complaint, that Vincent - an apprentice in 1224 - speaks in far too modern a voice. I struggle to understand why a historical writer such as Maitland would have a man of that era speaking in the sort of lax slang of a 1970s teen.

I'm a fan of Maitland's first two novels, but since then I've been really confused as to what she's aiming for. Gallows was a shambles, Vanishing Witch had a tale but no depth, and the Raven's Head is quite easily the poorest. We get no sense of the era at all, no insight into the society of the time, because it's all wrapped up in alchemy, of which much is assumed. No insight into the scientific elements of the art, we go straight for magic and whimsy, straying far from any historical sources (the few snippets of information in the appendices were interesting, yet there were some huge assumptions made in order to write a horror/magic story). I love reading about actual evidence of medieval witchcraft and magical belief, but this just seems to drift too far over the line into plain old fictional hubble-bubble. This tale feels rushed, like something written-to-order and destined only for the 2-for-£6 area of Tesco's book aisle.


Vigilante
Vigilante
by Shelley Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if a little fluffy., 15 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Vigilante (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not a big devourer of 'chick lit' - which this isn't, really, though it's still more entertaining reading than it is some deep literary project on human nature - so I don't know if perhaps I'm being a bit harsh; perhaps some writing techniques are common or even necessary components of the genre, so it's a bit ignorant of me to point them out. But I will anyway. I devoured the first half of the book, made a sort of quizzical face through the middle act (when it all stopped being fun and the superhero/vigilante angle was suddenly not the most improbable part of the tale) and was a bit put out by the end.

Ultimately what kind of killed the thrill for me was, as the tale was being wrapped up, it was really the small cast of characters and the fact that their social encounters were all focused on the same places at the same times that led to, well, Jenny being in all the right places at the right times. But then if the killer and victims had all been total strangers there probably wouldn't be a story to tell. I'm being harsh, I guess.

I also felt some loose ends were never really tied up - what was Mac's problem? Why did she channel some proper 1980s sexism in referring to 'the martial arts boys' as some distinct, distant group that women turning up at a self-defence class should recoil from? As a martial artist myself, I found that so out-of-place and old-fashioned I assumed there'd be some explanation, but no. She kind of faded away during the third act.

Nonetheless, this is a very entertaining read, that until the bit-too-tidy ending you don't really feel is too predictable. I think you get more out of it if you just enjoy, and appreciate the allegory of being someone else when you stick on a mask, or of being strong in one costume and weak in another, or of that desire to BE somebody and visibly DO things, and admit that some recognition and attention is nice too. I enjoyed the characters (lately it seems I've books with exciting plots and really dull characters who just walk from plot-point to plot-point), and would like to have known more about Jenny's earlier life and seen more of Elliot and Martha as well, which I reckon is a sign of a good character.


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