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Reviews Written by
Jeff "roadrunner" (uk)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Pendulum
Pendulum
by Adam Hamdy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stand out., 8 July 2016
This review is from: Pendulum (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
John Wallace has a noose round his neck and is about to be hanged in his London flat by a stranger dressed a bit like Darth Vader. But wait! The beam's got woodworm so it snaps. He survives! Not only that but he jumps out of a second floor window. He survives! The black figure is after him. Who can it be?
And all this by page 10.
There's more action to come [most in the States] as John and others try to track this strange figure and why he targets certain people. John's not alone! Thrills and spills, lots of jumping from great heights, computer viruses, mental hospitals, prison, devious plans, innocent deaths - they're all here. Indication at the end is that there may be more to come if the book is successful.
Sound good? Well, maybe. I wasn't that taken with it in truth. It's too long and you really need to suspend belief in places. Shallow characters. I didn't like Wallace though I'm sure you're meant to. And the justification [if that's the right word] for the mayhem doesn't sit right at all. Inevitably with such books the 'film' word looms and I dare say it would look good but as a book I'm afraid I'm not convinced.


Salter Slimline Digital Bathroom Scale, White
Salter Slimline Digital Bathroom Scale, White
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very promising, 8 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You're never sure when you get new scales are you? When I set these up next to my existing [expensive] scales which I've been using for nearly two years, I expected to see the inevitable difference, one way or another. Surprise!! Absolutely identical. That's got to be worth full marks. Both are set on a thin carpet and both have carpet adapters applied. These are simple scales with clean plain design which do nothing other than tell your weight. They do not tell you BMI, water stuff etc. You put in the batteries [supplied] and off you go. Can be set in Kg or lbs or, most likely in the UK, stones and pounds. You just press a little button. All you do is stand on them, the digital display goes to 0-0 then within seconds, to your weight. Even quaintly, records 1/4 and 1/2 pounds instead of full digital. I liked that! So an impressive start, fully deserving of 5 stars.


Wellbeing Chicken Dental Health, 1.5 kg
Wellbeing Chicken Dental Health, 1.5 kg
Price: £8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Promising!, 8 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As you might expect from the brand name, this stuff is hypoallergenic and made without the most common causes of dietary intolerance. Well, that's what it says. At the moment, they're going down very well. Shaped a bit like chocolate buttons. Too early to tell about effect on his teeth but so far it's all looking good.


Stranger of Tempest: Book One of The God Fragments
Stranger of Tempest: Book One of The God Fragments
by Tom Lloyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Promising start, 4 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first part of a fantasy series is in danger sometimes of getting bogged down with world-building, loads of characters, magic, monsters and so on. This one has all that but is a refreshing change in that it's easy to get into. The main character, Lynx, is easy to like, being far more'normal'than many. It doesn't take long to get going with chases through tunnels with all sorts after Lynx and the crew of mercenaries he's joined. Action packed, thrilling writing and very enjoyable. There are some long reviews on here already so I'll shut up. Highly recommended!!


Minds of Winter
Minds of Winter
by Ed O'Loughlin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A puzzle in Arctic wastes, 3 July 2016
This review is from: Minds of Winter (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's quite difficult for us, with countless satellites circling the Earth, with GPS and its associates, to fully understand the Victorians' fascination with exploration. In the 1850s, at the height of Empire, when much of this story takes place, the idea of a North West Passage in the Canadian Arctic, was a major talking point. To whoever were to find a way through would go the spoils and historical notoriety.This is the basis of O'Loughlin's book. He captures the struggles, the misplaced plans, the devious trickery of that time, and indeed later, very well. The trouble for me is that it does switch around a lot, there are different versions, or rather, inputs, from a number of people. Who abandoned who? Who's not telling the truth? And why has Franklin's ship chronometer which supposedly would have gone down with the ship in 1845 turned up in Greenwich in 2009 [apparently true].
There's a lot to take on board and it's a long book. It's well-written but slow. It's well-researched and treads a line between fiction and what is known. Perhaps the trouble with that is that you try to force what you've found out into a story. I'm sure the present day characters of Fay and Nelson are fictitious and I have to say I like the ending [if it is one!]. The RCMP sums it up "lives don't always end as they're supposed to".
It's a book that will intrigue many about an area few get to visit, even today.


Think Dog: An Owner's Guide to Canine Psychology
Think Dog: An Owner's Guide to Canine Psychology
by John Fisher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dog trainers look away now!, 1 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an interesting book and a good read. I gather John Fisher was an 'expert' in his day but some people seem to think his ideas somewhat dated which is a bit much for me, who well remembers Barbara Woodhouse! And, as a relatively new dog owner, I'm kind of surprised at all the rush to get the poor things 'trained' properly by 'experts'. One of Fisher's points is that dogs are individuals, who live with you in your house and, goodness me, aren't we all different? He also reveres good old common sense which, sadly, is all too uncommon. When our first child arrived, some 40 years ago, my wife and I had no idea what to do with the new addition. We wanted independence so didn't seek help from our parents. I remember us saying 'OK, we'll do it our own way' and rightly or wrongly, that's what we did. I like to think that our children are now pleasant and caring adults so we can't have been that wrong. I know dogs are different [in a sense] but when we acquired our little Border, we reverted to the same philosophy. I can hear many shriek at this but I hate this dog-show attitude some owners have that the poor dog should be disciplined into an automaton. Like the kids, basic rules consistently applied, together with love and kindness [and humour!] seem to work with dogs as well.
The other day, on a walk, I apologised to another owner for my dog's effusive greeting of his "I'm sorry," I said, "I've got the worst behaved dog on the planet." "No you haven't," came the reply,"I have!" And we continued to have a pleasant chat while the dogs chased each other silly. Everyone was happy until, like kids leaving a playground, we had a minor strop about its coming to an end.. Still, soon forgotten and I think he had a great time.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like ill-behaved dogs and I don't think mine is. My point is that he got there without professional training or - I have to say it - books.
As I said at the start, it's an interesting read and I may yet try one or two of its suggestions. We'll see.
One last thought -
Why do Terriers [like mine and the one on the cover] tilt their heads like that? Irresistible!


L'Oreal Paris ME Shower Gel 300 ml, Clean Power
L'Oreal Paris ME Shower Gel 300 ml, Clean Power

5.0 out of 5 stars Good one, 28 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very pleasant, lathers profusely. Not a strong scent but it's a fine shower gel.


L'Oreal Paris ME Shower Gel 300 ml, Total Clean
L'Oreal Paris ME Shower Gel 300 ml, Total Clean

5.0 out of 5 stars Good one., 24 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think this gel works far better than many I've tried. Perhaps with the big brand name that's what you should expect but still. I'm not sure what carbon does other than make it a sort of greyish colour but in terms of washing/cleaning, it does the trick. What you find straight away is that you don't need much to produce a strong lather so it's likely to last a while, which makes a change. Dopes what it says!


Post-it Notes - Strawberry Rainbow Colours - Hangable Flow Packs - 12 Pads - 100 Sheet Pads - 76 mm x 76 mm
Post-it Notes - Strawberry Rainbow Colours - Hangable Flow Packs - 12 Pads - 100 Sheet Pads - 76 mm x 76 mm
Price: £24.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Does anyone buy Post Its in such large numbers all at once?, 24 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I can't really comment on the whole £24 package as all I got was one pad. The one sent me has three strawberry ish colours plus white. Other than that, it does what Post Its do. Probably sticks better without curling than supermarket brands but whether they're worth the extra in such a large bundle I'm not so sure.


BIC Student Stationery Kit (Pack of 15)
BIC Student Stationery Kit (Pack of 15)
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job, 17 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This would make an ideal gift from grandparents to an 11 year old starting Secondary School this September. It would obviously be easy to acquire each piece individually and perhaps even cheaper but there's a lot to be said for having everything together even if it is
Ikely to be transferred to some sort of case. It's a nice idea and a practical one.


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