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November "November" (UK)
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Russell Hobbs 21840 Purify Multi-Health Fryer, 3 L - White
Russell Hobbs 21840 Purify Multi-Health Fryer, 3 L - White
Offered by TOTAL AV
Price: £99.99

2.0 out of 5 stars is pretty large, the actual cooking area seems quite small, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A fryer... but it does not fry. It's more of a mini-oven, really, but being so mini, it must be aimed at single people or people without ovens. It doesn't seem to be any faster than using a conventional oven. Perhaps it is cheaper?

The biggest issue for me is the size of the thing. For something that, as countertop-appliances go, is pretty large, the actual cooking area seems quite small. You can only fit in a handful of chips, for example, or a single portion of meat. Single burger. A portion of onion rings. Why would you buy an entire large appliance just to make side dishes?

Perhaps because it's summer and I'm less tolerant, but it also got remarkably warm when in use, not just blowing out warm air and creating a lot of condensation.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned - and I certainly have more than one person to feed - but I think I'll just stick to ordinary ovens.


Papermate InkJoy Mini 100 RT 1.0 mm Medium Nib Retractable Ball Pen - Assorted Fun Colours (Pack of 4)
Papermate InkJoy Mini 100 RT 1.0 mm Medium Nib Retractable Ball Pen - Assorted Fun Colours (Pack of 4)

5.0 out of 5 stars These are great little pens, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are great little pens, smaller versions of the full-size colourful Inkjoys. The ink is smooth and bold, doesn't bleed or smudge and the colours are intense. I also find these are great for children practising handwriting.

They are perhaps a little narrow and the press-click feels a bit flimsy, but neither has proven to be an issue.


Parker Jotter Portobel Purple Chrome Trim Ball Pen Medium Nib - Gift Boxed
Parker Jotter Portobel Purple Chrome Trim Ball Pen Medium Nib - Gift Boxed
Price: £14.00

4.0 out of 5 stars it meant it was a little less comfortable. It takes refills for convenience, 20 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In its own classic gift box, the pen writes smoothly with no gaps or stutters. It is a little thinner than I'm used to, and I don't know if that would be a problem for some, it meant it was a little less comfortable. It takes refills for convenience.


Minecraft: The Survivors' Book of Secrets
Minecraft: The Survivors' Book of Secrets
by Mojang AB
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for any fan, 5 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book would make a lovely gift, with its old-fashioned cover , typography and line drawings. It contains an excellent selection of tips and ideas from armour to base design, weaponry and other attacks, strategies and resource management. There's a confident tone - the authors waste no time in offering a range of gentle suggestions, rather they are happy to state "this isn't worth your time" or "don't do this, do this instead" which means less time wasted on things that clearly long-term players know to be a poor investment. My son particularly enjoyed the base layouts, which he's been trying out, and the section on The End Game.


Foxlowe
Foxlowe
by Eleanor Wasserberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unsettling and peculiar story, Foxlowe tells of a ..., 20 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Foxlowe (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An unsettling and peculiar story, Foxlowe tells of a nature-based commune who shed their old names for new and aim to create a pagan-inspired idyllic life by teaching its youth that all outside is 'bad' - fairly predictably, life within the commune isn't really as wholesome as they'd want you to believe.

The pace is remarkable - there is an ever-growing tension and yet it doesn't feel as forced or telegraphed as some recent 'twist' based novels have been. It all develops very naturally and raises a number of issues for discussion, with no clear judgement from the author as to right and wrong.

A thought-provoking, though unsettling, tale and well worth a read for fans of subtle horror and mystery.


Lie With Me
Lie With Me
by Sabine Durrant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It starts off fun but after about half an hour, 14 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Lie With Me (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book struck me as a "what if?" scenario based on the McCann case's 'Tapas Seven' - bunch of people, someone disappears, one probably knows something. What is slightly unusual about this one is the decision to have the protagonist somewhat an outsider to the group, and also hopelessly, irredeemably dislikeable. It starts off fun but after about half an hour, you really want to get out of this loathsome slug's company - and with this comes the risk we not only no longer care what happens to him, but when misfortune befalls him, I actually felt rather pleased.

Another problem is that it becomes all too clear all too soon what the character's motivations are; the twist can be deduced very early on and the surprises only confirm your suspicions. Basically, you'll have guessed the ending about 30 pages in. It's a shame - with a little more care it could have been hidden for longer.

The ending was a rollercoaster rush of information dumping, which I felt really spoiled the slow unfolding of the rest of the novel. It was also let down by 4 or 5 pages of a patronising summary of the entire plot, now that the twists were known, as if we needed a nice, friendly recap of the novel's events and what they meant now we knew the secrets. Thanks - I got it.

For fans of the genre this is probably a better than average example of the people-have-secrets-whodunnit sort of easy summer read, but I'd say if you're hoping for complexity, there's better novels out there.


Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum 30 ml
Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum 30 ml
Price: £29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The first is the overwhelming scent - it clings to the skin and it's like bathing it in perfume, 14 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two significant things wrong with the product. The first is the overwhelming scent - it clings to the skin and it's like bathing it in perfume. People commented, and not positively! The second is the decision to include a kind of golden glitter. I've had products with invisible 'light reflecting particles' but this is literally just golden glitter, and it goes on your skin and you end up with a glittery face. Most people don't want a glittery face so I had to wash it off.

Perhaps the bee venom ingredients work well, but honestly I won't be the only customer who decides this isn't for them because it makes them look and smell bad. Two very odd design decisions that make it hard to draw conclusions about the serum as a whole.


Nomad: The Most Explosive Thriller You'll Read All Year (The Rubicon series)
Nomad: The Most Explosive Thriller You'll Read All Year (The Rubicon series)
by James Swallow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ) and read both the great spy novelists and the the usual cheap beach-read off-shoot ..., 18 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The problem with 'Nomad' is that after you've watched all the tv/movies (Bond, Homeland, Bourne...) and read both the great spy novelists and the the usual cheap beach-read off-shoot novels (especially since Homeland there's been an absolute deluge of 'If you like Homeland, you'll love this...' novels) it can be hard to find anything new to bring to the genre whilst still remaining in it.I found the plot lacked the pace of similar novels - it felt very slow at times - and the characters weren't as memorable. Marc veered between bumbling everyman and expertly competent action hero. I guess I was expecting more from its 'most explosive!!' headline than a quick summer read, and I expect if you're normally a big fan of the genre this won't disappoint.


When She Was Bad
When She Was Bad
by Tammy Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ... of these novels launched with the sub-heading "If you loved 'Gone Girl', 17 May 2016
This review is from: When She Was Bad (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I admit I'm tiring of these novels launched with the sub-heading "If you loved 'Gone Girl'...", as if unreliable narrators and twist endings are some kind of modern invention we'd never seen before Flynn. What it seems to have also led to are a number of novels who try so hard to make the twistiest twist that they lack a good plot and characters, and furthermore, they obsess so much about the all-important 'twist' that it becomes apparent by about page 17 what it's going to be. It's like someone bellowing in your face "You are NEVER going to guess this twist" - the clumsy smoke and mirrors simply telegraph it.

I found the office scenarios fun for the first few chapters but it went swiftly stale, not helped by the vague way their jobs were described - I still have no clue what recruitment agents do other than spreadsheets and a couple of phonecalls. Perhaps this was deliberate, creating an 'every office' kind of feeling. The characters were cut-outs - of course the Mother is fat and grubby and spends all her time on the phone to childminders or her grumpy husband. Of course she's no fun anymore. Because, Mother. And of course the lady over 50 is also fat and dull, because Old, and the young girl is dim and silly, because. Of course the gay man is promiscuous and, consequently, he is sad. The characters never evolved out of their clichés - if anything, they took them to extremes, becoming even sillier caricatures of themselves.

The interspersed "Look, look, I'm writing a twist!" sections were clumsy, especially after the reveal when you would ask the simple question "then why did you need to tell us that entire sub-tale?" The finalé of the novel went from low-budget BBC drama to all-out soap-opera, the sort of bombardment of silliness you'd get in a Telenovéla. Not only do we have the big reveal, but then various characters reappear just to create 'shock! here they are! moments, and then there's a handful of epilogue reveals akin to having a building explode, or half the cast die of listeria. These things just happen, as if there's a competition to shoehorn as many soap-style dramas into the final 5 pages. So rushed they barely register.

The twist-in-the-tale has a long history. If you enjoyed Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, go back to the books that inspired them, rather than these novels quickly rushed out to cash in on a new trend.


Playmobil 5303 Deluxe Doll House
Playmobil 5303 Deluxe Doll House
Price: £84.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... a lot on the market - this is a nice, sturdy product, 11 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a doll's house - and there's a lot on the market - this is a nice, sturdy product, easily stored and light to carry. Assembly was slow but not hugely complex - still, it's an adult task rather than one for a child.

The biggest disappointment was certainly the lack of housing items. Clearly this is because they want you to buy all the furniture seperately as it's a whole range of rooms and items, but most other houses are sold with at least something. That said, the house is pretty delightful and seeing it completed, you do get the urge to buy perhaps 'just one set'...

The items are detailed and long-lasting. Lego kits seem to have dominated the toy market lately, but I really don't see the appeal for young kids - they simply come apart and aren't designed for extended play. Playmobil is the kind of traditional toy that can be packed up and passed down.


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