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Ian (United Kingdom)

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Zackees LED Turn Signal Bike lights in cycling gloves, light up your bicycle ride with the best reviewed bike turn signals! (Black, Small)
Zackees LED Turn Signal Bike lights in cycling gloves, light up your bicycle ride with the best reviewed bike turn signals! (Black, Small)
Offered by Zackees Inc

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea - poorly executed, 21 Jun. 2017
The quality of the glove simply as a glove is fine, however you are paying a premium price for the turn signalling and it is this that is the main problem. I had one pair that I used for a couple of months before the indicators started to work very intermittently and then failed. The contacts had not suffered oxidation as some have described. Instead the battery compartment became steadily more corroded. I contacted Zackees and, after sending photographs of the green corrosion, they apologised and sent me a second pair. Great service but the second pair failed in exactly the same way but even more quickly. I contacted them again and had no reply at all. As far as I can see they aren’t capable of dealing with the idea that sometimes water falls out of the air in what we British call ‘rain’ and that occasionally a cyclist puts in some physical effort and sweats. The principle behind them is a good one (although I would have liked to be able signal to the front whilst braking and steering which the contact location makes difficult) but I just don’t think the current state of technology is quite up to the job, which is a pity.


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers 1
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers 1
Price: £0.99

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aliens that were, inside, just middle class nice humans, 30 Nov. 2015
I bought this on the basis of positive reviews in the mainstream media, the promise of character driven and intriguing fiction. Sadly, I really don't see that at all. The number of five stars on here is something of a surprise too.

The good? Well, it is actually character driven and in a genre that is all too often plot or concept driven that's a good thing. The plot, in fact, is not terribly significant but it isn't supposed to be so it wouldn't be fair to criticise on those grounds. And I quite liked the fact [spoiler alert] that the character who joins the crew with a cliché Dark Secret doesn't really have that much of a Dark Secret at all with most of the characters responding 'Meh' [end spoiler].

The bad? The main characters are, essentially, all nice. More than that, you don't really get a sense that the non-human characters are in fact non-human. Language, internal processes all sound and feel very similar. There is nothing that indicates, with any depth, that truly alien intelligence or biology is at work. Now, I suppose you might argue that any group of different races that are able to live in the same environment are going to be quite similar in some respects. That's fair enough as far as it goes. But given that there is quite a variation between humans, I might expect there to be at least something that makes me feel that I'm experiencing the thoughts and emotions of an alien. And I just didn't. Even the supposedly threatening 'angry' species didn't seem that different and that entire episode was dealt with in a surprisingly cursory manner. To contrast with a contemporary example, Leckie in her Ancillary books uses the pronoun 'she' throughout and when the protagonist has to deal with societies that employ a gendered language she experiences a real struggle. This deceptively simple fictional device creates a very real sense that we are dealing with a different society with different modes of thought. And we are dealing with a human society here. I don't get that sense of 'difference' with Angry Planet. I wanted to like it but didn't


Carpathia (Angry Robot)
Carpathia (Angry Robot)
by Matt Forbeck
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1.0 out of 5 stars read like novelisation of a movie rather than a distinct work ..., 26 Nov. 2014
The central conceit of the book is an intriguing one, but the execution is hopelessly weak. Characterisation is sketchy and the plot just doesn't hang together properly. It does, indeed, read like novelisation of a movie rather than a distinct work in its own right. And as for the review that praises the language as creating the feel of the early 20th century! The language is in fact littered with anachronistic terminology and clunky dialogue. Terms used by supposedly English/British characters are all too often not historically accurate or linguistically correct. Sometimes both. They grated so much that I had difficulty in finishing the book.


Earth Unaware (First Formic War)
Earth Unaware (First Formic War)
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly poor, 13 May 2013
I find it hard to believe that Card had anything to do with this book, other than to take his cut of the royalties. It is poorly written and riddled with errors. It confuses speed and acceleration throughout, keeps talking about spacecraft coming to a dead stop, ships can't dock or undock because they are going too fast and a trip from the Kuiper belt to the Moon takes just a few months when the speed or velocity or whatnot mentioned in passing would seem to indicate something of the order of five to ten years depending on the trajectory. Lastly the Formics apparently have facial expressions that are easily interpreted by humans as soon as they encounter them! Amazing! Description and characterisation are also clichéd.

If you liked Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead et al then avoid this rubbish like the plague. I've read it and I can't un-read it, but I wish I could.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2014 1:43 AM BST


Embedded (Angry Robot)
Embedded (Angry Robot)
by Dan Abnett
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Let Warhammer Put You Off, 23 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Embedded (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
I saw a reference to this on a website and, as I had a voucher, I took a punt. And you know what? It's not bad at all, reasonable characterisation, good action, nice central conceit and doesn't try to overplay the ending. Don't be put off by the many Warhammer books from the author (as I would, wrongly, have been). Oh and some of the jokes aren't too bad either ("h-beam piper"! and the idea of sponsored expletives).


Homeworld 2 (PC)
Homeworld 2 (PC)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not outstanding, 10 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Homeworld 2 (PC) (Video Game)
This game fails to live up to the high standards of its predecessor. Not that it is a bad game, simply that "Homeworld" was one of the most involving and good-looking games developed for the PC, and its sequel has a great deal to live up to. It doesn't really succeed. The graphics are very similar in quality to the first game, but somehow without the same sense of scale and the music is very much less effective.
The main downside of the game in single-player mode is that it is far too short, I started the game on Monday and have finished by Friday, and I haven't devoted every waking hour to it!


Declare
Declare
by Tim Powers
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real return to form, 15 Aug. 2001
This review is from: Declare (Hardcover)
To read Tim powers for the first time is to have your perceptions and preconceptions altered. The moment when a seemingly mundane activity is transformed by a supernatural explanation.
He has done this throughout his work, most consistently and subtly with "Last Call", perhaps most entertainingly in "On Stranger Tides". His most recent work hasn't been up to his earlier (high) standards but "Declare" is a return to form. Not his best; but entertaining, well-written and thought provoking. Some of the Americanisms jar with the British ear ("London Times", sedan instead of saloon etc), there are a few research errors (eg confusing V1s with V2s), but these are mere quibbles.
Read it, you won't be disappointed.


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