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Customer Reviews: 182
Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,321
Helpful Votes: 2100




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Theoden Humphrey "Dusty" RSS Feed (Oregon, US)
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Academie Wirebound Sketch Diary, 14 x 11 Inches, 70 Sheets (54400)
Academie Wirebound Sketch Diary, 14 x 11 Inches, 70 Sheets (54400)
Price: $14.33
3 used & new from $12.32

3.0 out of 5 stars Good sketchbook, August 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's a fine product: the paper has good weight, better than most sketchpads, and it's got a slight vellum finish to it. I don't understand the pocket in the front, but if you like that sort of thing, there it is -- like an old Trapper Keeper.


PhysiciansCare 90370 99 Pieces ANSI/OSHA Weatherproof Xpress First Aid Kit with Refill System and Medication
PhysiciansCare 90370 99 Pieces ANSI/OSHA Weatherproof Xpress First Aid Kit with Refill System and Medication
Offered by Shoplet
Price: $37.47
11 used & new from $30.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am not a regular user of first aid; I just wanted this in case, to carry in my car on a road trip. For the light user, this is a good first aid kit. The products are fine; the antibiotic ointment is good, though there is more in the packet than is needed for a single cut. The bandaids are good. The plastic insert was unnecessary, so I took it out and put in more bandaids and such; the case holds quite a lot, and fits well into the niche I had for it. The tweezers are a little flimsy, seems like, but I didn't need to use them to pull out a bullet or anything. Fine product.


Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles)
Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles)
by Kevin Hearne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.10
75 used & new from $9.58

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and better, May 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've enjoyed all of the Iron Druid books: the mythology is fascinating, the action is fantastic, and Oberon, of course, is hilarious. If I had any complaint about them, it was that Atticus was perhaps a wee bit overpowered -- wealthy, immortal, able to do almost anything, it seemed, and immune to death thanks to the Morrigan's protection -- and watching him lay waste to pantheon after pantheon would have rapidly gotten tired. If I had any additional complaint, it might be that the books were a little too light, a little cheerier than I like, though of course that's more personal preference.

But thankfully, Kevin Hearne is too good an author for that. These last two books, especially, have shown that Atticus is not all-powerful, not immune to harm, and not capable of conquering any foe with ease. They have also grown a bit more serious, a little less light-hearted, which I enjoy. Oberon is still a major character, of course -- and now he's not alone! -- but he isn't in every chapter, his conversation doesn't dominate the book; so he is the excellent comic relief, rather than the irritating non-stop joke-factory.

I think the addition of two new characters, and the use of all three Druids as narrative points of view, was the real clincher. It allows the reader to consider the Druid's world from several different angles, and it's great. The newest character wasn't my favorite at first, largely because I really like Atticus and he was talking smack about my boy (if you'll pardon the lame slang -- I'm around teenagers all day), but then there's a scene later in the book when they reconcile, and it's an excellent moment.

The action remains great, the druids and the mix of mythologies remain fascinating, and the long-term plot is really heating up nicely. These are now five-star books, for me, and I can't wait for the next one.


Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas)
Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas)
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.56
164 used & new from $0.43

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good start. Looking forward to more., April 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first, I thought that Midnight, Texas was a cliche, a repetition of the incredibly successful Sookie books (All of which I read, all of which I loved. Keep that in mind if you read this review.). And it is a cliche, of course, the small-town-with-fascinating-inhabitants concept going back to Winesburg, Ohio and Cold Sassy Tree and a hundred other books I couldn't name; but this is not Sookie Stackhouse's Bon Temps.

Not that it wouldn't appeal to fans of Sookie: it is still Charlaine Harris, and she still has the same gift for bringing characters to life and making the reader sympathize; this is a paranormal book, with psychics and witches and monsters, and murder, and mystery, and at least a breath of romance. There is the same humor, and the same slice-of-life feel to the novel -- and, if I can be slightly snarky without being mean, the same terrible names. I mean, really: Bobo Winthrop? Fiji Cavanaugh? Manfred Bernardo? (Said the guy named for the king of the Rohirrim in Tolkien's Middle Earth, who shares his last name with a cartoon bear, a Beanie Baby camel, and [I'm not making this up -- Google it] an animatronic plush dog that simulates sex. Pot, meet kettle.) I don't think Ms. Harris is bad at creating names (I think it likely there are people with names like these), I just have trouble taking a character named Bobo seriously as a romantic interest. Had the same problem with Sookie, honestly.

At any rate: this is a good book. I read it as fast, and with as many laughs and smiles, as any other book I've read, which is why I keep coming back to Charlaine Harris, who has one of the smoothest and least intrusive authorial voices I know. That makes for a good reading book. It did start slow, as the characters and setting were introduced; I had trouble at first finding a character I could really latch on to and enjoy, but it picked up about a third of the way through, and then I liked all of them. (Especially Mr. Snuggly.) The mystery was good, never unrealistic, the solution a bit of a surprise, though not a jaw-dropping shocker -- not enough time to set up a real stunner, though I don't doubt that Ms. Harris will find opportunities to floor me in this series, as she did with Sookie more than once. I generally liked the paranormal elements, though not particularly the introduction of Lemuel (Not a spoiler -- his first appearance reveals his nature, which was exactly my problem with it), which relies on being a part of Ms. Harris's already established universe to make it understandable, which isn't my favorite writing choice. There's a nod to the Harper Connelly series, too, which I haven't read, and so it is possible that the character of Manfred Bernardo is already known to some, although not to me.

I liked it. I'm recommending it, and getting the next one.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2014 10:19 AM PDT


Newman's Own Organics Advanced Dog Formula for Active or Senior Dogs, 12.5-Pound Bag
Newman's Own Organics Advanced Dog Formula for Active or Senior Dogs, 12.5-Pound Bag
Price: $30.02
10 used & new from $27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best dog food -- not the best source, April 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My dog has allergies, and thus we try to avoid chicken fat and by-products, which we were told can exacerbate his foot-licking. We also try to stay away from foods heavy in processed grains. But when we fed him a high-protein food from the pet store, it caused a number of digestive issues, and so we shopped around some more -- and landed on Newman's. Best food for our dog, bar none. He's a healthy weight, his coat is so great the vet always admires it, and it has minimized his allergic reactions.

But: three times we have ordered the large bag from Amazon, because it is more economical than buying the 7-pound bag from the store, and three times, before we reached the end of the bag, it started causing indigestion again. Our assumption is that the food goes through temperature changes during shipping, and possibly sits in a warehouse for longer than the bags in the store, and so starts to go bad near the end.

So buy the food, but not the big bag -- or if you do, find some way to keep it fresh -- and maybe think twice about getting it in the mail. Sorry, Amazon.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2014 10:18 PM PDT


Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends)
Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends)
by Kelley Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.80
64 used & new from $5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, with the potential to get better., April 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a fan of fantasy and a fan of young adult novels, and this was a decent example of both. I've read a couple of books by Kelley Armstrong before, not all of her work, and I liked the idea of reading an epic fantasy trilogy by her. This didn't disappoint. But neither did it amaze me. Hence, the three stars.

No question that part of the issue is that this is the first book in a trilogy, and thus is not the height of action and excitement. There is action and excitement, with some excellent battle scenes and some good surprises -- I especially liked the thunderbird fight, and the ending was genuinely unexpected -- but it ends with a teaser about the real action to come, said real action not being in this book.

This is not unusual in fantasy, though; The Fellowship of the Ring is exactly the same way, as is The Eye of the World and A Game of Thrones (The first book of the series, not the show.). All of them set up the world and introduce the characters, but lack the primary conflict, which comes later in the series. The trouble here, I think, is that this is a young adult book, and one written at least partly for a female audience, which are not bad things in themselves. But because it is YA, it is a lot shorter, and a little simpler and easier to follow than the usual epic fantasy tome like the three I named (Again, not a bad thing in itself), which means there isn't as much depth and background as I personally like. Not enough epic in the fantasy, let's say. And because it's written at least partly for a female audience, there was a bit more romance than I would have preferred, with a little more cliche than I like -- one guy for each of the twin female heroines (Of which one is the good girl, and the other is the adventurous one), one of them surly and brooding, the other a bit more raffish and fun. And so on.

But don't let me sell it too short. Armstrong is a good writer. The villains are excellent, the main characters are well-formed and interesting, the conflict that is set up here seems like a winner, and definitely has all the elements of epic fantasy. She uses a Japanese samurai feeling for her sword-element of the swords-and-sorcery, with a caste system that values warriors (who are the only ones permitted to carry or use swords) and denigrates merchants, and the traditional honor elements and the rigid social rules add some good conflict and depth to the story. The sorcery side is not overpowered, which is nice, and I really liked the down-to-earth Emperor who is introduced near the end. As the series goes on, I think it may really start to shine.

And if you like a little more feminine romantic feel to your fantasy, and prefer reading 400 page books to 900 page books, grab this one now.


Microsoft Word 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]
Microsoft Word 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]
Price: $79.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great, December 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like it. I've always liked Word, though I have to keep a careful eye on the autocorrection and the inability to follow my grammatical style bugs me. But come on, that's just the way writing is -- it takes work to make the words say what you really want them to say.

I bought a laptop recently with Office already installed, so when I bought this, it became just a code that unlocked the program on my computer; this meant the "download" took about four nanoseconds. Well, not that fast, but it wasn't long. I did have to reinstall it once, when it snagged on a glitch of some kind and started telling me that Word could not open and Microsoft would alert me when there was a problem; I went to the Microsoft Help pages (You know, the ones the users maintain because the damn corporation is too callous and indifferent to actually help beyond giving people a forum to help themselves, no thanks to those capitalist pigdogs --not that I have an axe to grind or anything.) and found the solution fairly quickly; I told the program to troubleshoot, which essentially meant it had to reinstall itself, which it did, and no trouble since. I dig it.


The Lord of Opium
The Lord of Opium
by Nancy Farmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.49
98 used & new from $2.30

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel to a good book, December 19, 2013
This review is from: The Lord of Opium (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"House of Scorpion" is a good book: it's written well for the young adult audience, despite having fairly complicated science and politics involved, but the audience discovers the truth along with the main character, Matthew Alacran. But the book ends fairly abruptly.

This book picks right up where "House of Scorpion" left off, which makes it the most satisfying kind of sequel, especially for young readers who always want to know what happened next.

What happens next is, like the first book, a great concept: with the death of the original Matteo Alacran, the 140-year-old drug lord called El Patron, his clone, who shares his DNA but cannot "share" his identity and so is legally an unperson -- now he becomes, legally, the man whose DNA he has. And Matt becomes El Patron.

Which mean that now, Matt must try to survive El Patron's world. And since he is not very much like El Patron (at least not in ways he recognizes. Not at first.), he must try to find a way through the tangled webs that El Patron wove, in order to reshape the world of Opium so that it is more to his liking.

It's a little hard to read, emotionally; El Patron's world is particularly savage and heartless, and Matt has to live with it before he can change it -- and so of course, it begins to change him. This is a bit frustrating and disheartening for the reader. But Matt does handle it as well as he can, and fortunately, he has some help. He is not the villain, which I was glad for; I was worried at one point that he would actually become El Patron completely, but he does not. I won't spoil what does happen, I'll just leave it at that: it is not a cheerful book, as it is not a cheerful world, but Matt is not the villain.

A good book, again. I hadn't read the first book in five years or more, and so I had forgotten quite a lot of it; I would say that this book could stand alone, as there are enough flashbacks and explanations to allow a reader to grasp the larger story arc and the complicated setting, but you definitely lose some things just reading this book. Together with House of Scorpion, this is five stars, all the way.


SC-1 Wireless Sports Controller for PlayStation 3
SC-1 Wireless Sports Controller for PlayStation 3
Price: $33.76
13 used & new from $21.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Plese don't pay any attention to this., December 19, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I should not have ordered this, but it was my fault: I did not pay enough attention to the intended audience for the controller. I do not play sports games, so this was not the right thing for me. I tried it with Grand Theft Auto, and it was fine, the buttons, sticks, all work no trouble and I liked the trigger-style L2 and R2 more than the broad button on the standard controller, but none of the special features did any good for me. Turbo simulates multiple button pushes, which does make you run faster on GTA, but it doesn't work for driving or shooting, which do better with the button down. And there are programmable macros, which allow you to program in a certain sequence of button pushes -- also no good for me.

So I can't really review this product, though Vine requires me to do it. It's a good controller for general use. I also tried using it for a remote for my TV streaming, but it turns itself off to save power, so it was marginally less simple to use for that than the standard Dualshock. I assume it would be great for sports gamers.


The Serpent of Venice: A Novel
The Serpent of Venice: A Novel
by Christopher Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.33
90 used & new from $11.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great even without knowing the Shakespeare. But I bet it's better with it., November 28, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's an excellent book, as are all of Christopher Moore's books. If anything, I deserve to have less than five stars, because I have never read the original works that this book plays with, at least not two of them. It is based in part on the Shakespeare plays Othello and The Merchant of Venice, and then in the beginning, on Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado." That reference, I caught. I think there is also some reference to The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, as there is a similar appearance by a similar monster in this one, though this time, it's a female monster and a male lead.

And, of course, there's Pocket. The hero of Fool, Moore's take on King Lear. With him are Jeff the hat-humping monkey, Drool the idiot with the ability to perfectly mimic any voice and repeat any conversation, and the puppet Jones, who crosses any line that Pocket does not. Oh -- and Pocket's massive codpiece, of course. Can't forget that.

It's a great book, a good story with plenty of laughs even if I only knew enough of the Shakespeare to recognize that I was missing lots of good references, particularly when the characters' speech patterns switch from Shakespearean to Moore-ish, when they start cussing and using double entendres. I loved it.


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