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Terry Mesnard's Profile

Customer Reviews: 489
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Terry Mesnard RSS Feed (Nebraska)

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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits: A Novel
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits: A Novel
by David Wong
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.19
63 used & new from $12.06

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved that book, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow. David Wong burst onto the scene with the trippy, self-aware horror-comedy John Dies at the End. I loved that book, even though it was rough around the edges. I never did pick up the second book (an error I'm remedying right now), so I jumped right into Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. What a difference. Wong has grown exceedingly well as an author. This novel was hard to put down.

Zoey Ashe, a rather poor person living in a trailer park, is suddenly thrust into a completely different world of eccentric billionaires and fame. Her estranged father was a billionaire himself and left all of his fortune to Zoey when he passed. Unfortunately, that's not really a good thing as she now has super-powered bad guys out for her blood and a giant payday. The novel zips by in a flurry as she's forced to deal with a variety of evil people all wanting to do bodily harm to her. Wong populates Fancy Suits with a number of fun, larger-than-life characters and finds a good protagonist is the snarky Zoey.

It's not world-changing, but it is very fast paced and unputdownable. Fans of Wong's previous novels will find much to love.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous Base Set
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous Base Set
by Mike Selinker
Edition: Game
Price: $44.96
42 used & new from $35.00

5.0 out of 5 stars ... Adventure Card game and have had a lot of fun, both in groups and solo, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I own the original version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card game and have had a lot of fun, both in groups and solo, playing through it. What I enjoy about these types of games is the deck-building aspect, where as you go on adventures, your deck becomes stronger and you see progression not usually seen in card games. It does a great job of mimicking the Pathfinder RPG experience. Rise of the Runelord is still my favorite, however. I feel like the progression and the characters are more interesting.

If you're playing in a group, Wrath does a great job. Firstly, the directions are expanded and easier to follow. It offers a lot more options and has a few wrinkles that Runelords didn't have. But I'll tell you this; it's much harder. In particular, playing solo is rather difficult. It was hard enough in Runelords, but here it feels like you have to pick the right character in order to progress. I've had a lot of fun, though, in a group with both games. Fans of Runelords, I'd recommend checking this one out if you've worn out your previous adventures. Newcomers, while the rules are streamlined and easier to follow, I'd personally start with Runelords.

ProTeam ProVac FS 6 HEPA Backpack Vacuum with Commercial Home Kit
ProTeam ProVac FS 6 HEPA Backpack Vacuum with Commercial Home Kit
Price: $369.00
2 used & new from $295.20

4.0 out of 5 stars The nice thing is that it works a lot more easily ..., October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So this product is lighter than I expected, but it's still very bulky. The nice thing is that it works a lot more easily on stairs than a traditional vacuum cleaner and it cleans well. Comparing it to a Dyson, I still prefer my Dyson simply because if you have a smaller space to clean, it has virtually no setup. Whereas this particular vacuum would work better for larger spaces simply from a time investment. It takes a bit to assemble and it kind of takes up a lot of room. If you're looking for a backpack vacuum, this is a great choice. But...personally, I still prefer a handheld one.

TP-LINK DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, 343Mbps Download and 131Mbps Upload Data Rates (may vary with ISP), Certified for XFINITY from Comcast, Time Warner, and Cablevision (TC-7610)
TP-LINK DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, 343Mbps Download and 131Mbps Upload Data Rates (may vary with ISP), Certified for XFINITY from Comcast, Time Warner, and Cablevision (TC-7610)
Price: $49.69
75 used & new from $34.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This particular modem works wonderfully. I've been using it for a few months, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Upgraded from a DOCSIS 2 to a 3.0 and, without upgrading my cable plan, my download speeds jumped ~10 MB/S with a speedtest. This particular modem works wonderfully. I've been using it for a few months, now, and I've not had a single problem with it. I'm in a rural area and it works perfectly with Mediacom. I've recommended it to friends who have Cox Communications and it works well for them. Highly recommended.

The Unnoticeables: A Novel
The Unnoticeables: A Novel
by Robert Brockway
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.62
81 used & new from $7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, August 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Unnoticeables grabbed my attention from the first page with this short and succinct bit of ridiculousness: "I met my guardian angel today. She shot me in the face."

I wish the rest of the book lived up to that statement. I'm conflicted about The Unnoticeables, which was written by Robert Brockway. Robert Brockway is a coworker of David Wong (who helpfully supplied a quote for the book). David Wong, you might know/remember, wrote John Dies at the End. I bring this up because it feels like The Unnoticeables could be in the same universe as John Dies at the End. Unfortunately, I just think there are some glaring problems that kept pulling me out of enjoying the story he was telling.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Unnoticeables deals with two characters in two different time periods. Carey is a punk from the 1970s, whose punk friends are vanishing because of Tar Men...literal people made out of tar. There are also the titular Unnoticeables, people who work in conjunction with this tar fiends, who are...well, unnoticeable. You'll see them, but when they're out of view you won't be able remember many discerning characteristics. Meanwhile, in 2013, Kaitlyn is a stunt woman looking for work in a Hollywood that values "networking" over the actual ability to do the job. She's struggling to get by. Her friend Jackie invites her to a big Hollywood party so she can rub elbows with the high and mighty and against her better judgment, Katilyn agrees. There, she meets a washed up teen heartthrob who played J.C. Sable (i.e., J.C. Slater) on a Saved by the Bell-esqe TV show. He then tries to eat her, basically. He's one of the Unnoticeables. So now we have two time periods, where crazy stuff is happening and both of our protagonists have to save the world.

The Unnoticeables switches back and forth between the 1977 and 2013 and you're just waiting for everything to come together. Unfortunately, while the story hooked me, there were so many issues that popped up that pulled me back. For one, I couldn't stand Carey. He is a sexist and annoying character that every time he opened his mouth, I wanted to skip ahead. Brockway tries to apologize for his behavior by making Carey say, at one point, something to the effect of "yeah I'm a jerk, but it's how I live. So, *shrug*" By giving his character an apologetic out, he completely allows Carey to say or do anything, because, you know, circumstance. I don't have a problem with unlikeable characters. If done right, they can be incredibly involving (like, say, Libby Day in Dark Places). But Carey just annoyed me. I guess he was supposed to be funny, but I hardly laughed once I got a few chapters into the book.

Unfortunately, I also didn't think the book tied up as well as I was hoping. As the two time periods race toward their respective climaxes, I lost sight of what was really happening and by the end I didn't really care. I enjoyed Brockway's writing style. I just was disappointed with the book as a whole; which is unfortunate. I really enjoyed David Wong's first two books so I was hoping that another writer would be equally as interesting.

OtterBox iPad Air 2 Symmetry Folio - Retail Packaging -Glacier w/ Storm Folio
OtterBox iPad Air 2 Symmetry Folio - Retail Packaging -Glacier w/ Storm Folio
Offered by Techno Discounters USA
Price: $37.74
4 used & new from $37.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice, minimalistic design, August 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't ever used an OtterBox case for any of my mobile devices. I'm really bad, actually, at buying cases for my iPads and iPhones. So, when given the opportunity to try this OtterBox iPad Air 2 Symmetry case, I had to jump on it. I love it so much, I've ordered an OtterBox case for my phone.

This review is really simply. This case is excellent. I absolutely love the minimalistic design. It's a very solid fit for the iPad Air 2. The clasps are magnetic and seal perfectly, giving the device a lean and clean look. Like other origami cases, this one can unfold to create a stand for your iPad. The back of the stand even has a circular device, so you can change the direction of your iPad and have it stand up vertical instead of horizontal. It looks and feels fantastic. But just a caveat; if you have an iPad Air 1, this won't work for your device. I tried it on mine and it wouldn't quite fit. But if you have an iPad Air 2, this is the perfect case.

SteelSeries Siberia P300 Comfortable Gaming Headset for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
SteelSeries Siberia P300 Comfortable Gaming Headset for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Offered by Galactics
Price: $120.70
12 used & new from $89.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, durable...but two caveats, July 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The amount of PS4 headsets has been relatively scarce until the last six months. All of a sudden, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork. But, for the longest time, it seemed like the only decent headset you could get was the Sony-branded wired and wireless headset. For the last six months, I've been using the Sony Gold Wireless headset and, with a few notable complaints, have enjoyed it. I'm always looking for a better headset, though, so when I was offered to try this SteelSeries PS4 headset, I couldn't refuse.

I've written more than a few headset reviews. I tend to break them down into the following categories: Sound quality, mic quality, comfort and durability. For this particular review, because there's not a whole lot of *good* competition for PS4 headsets, I'll also compare my experience to the Sony Wireless headset, as well.

Sound Quality

I was surprised with how good the sound is with this headset. I haven't had much experience with Siberia headsets. I've mainly dabbled in Logitech, Plantronics, Corsair and Razer. This headset has good depth of sound. The bass is booming, but it's not overpowering. Hearing voices is not a problem (I tried with a couple games and movies) and they all have a good timbre to them. It doesn't mimic surround sound, like a lot of headsets try to do. It's simply stereo, but the sound that's here is really nice.

Mic Quality

This one is a bit trickier to test. But I've used it in party chats and everyone can hear me fine. It also does a pretty good job of not picking up other noises in the room, which my friends appreciate. One nice feature that's reminiscent of my Razer headset is that the mic is retractable. So if I'm simply using the headset, I don't have an annoying mic in my face.


Siberia has taken a page from my absolute favorite (from a comfort perspective) headset: The Plantronics 770. That headset was easily the most comfortable headset I have ever worn. And the design here is virtually the same. By not having a true heavy top, the headset doesn't press down on your skull. Some headsets (the Sony Gold Wireless included) can sometimes feel like vice grips. This feels as close to not wearing a headset as possible. It's incredibly comfy and this is the biggest selling point for this.


This headset feels very firm and sturdy. It feels well-made and expensive. Compared to the Sony headset, this one feels much sturdier. I'm always afraid the ear cups of the Sony model are going to break off. They feel a little wobbly. This headset feels very secure and I'm not afraid of breaking it.

Overall, I do prefer this headset to the Sony one, mostly because of the comfort and durability. That said, I have two complaints. The first is that it's wired, so it has to plug into your controller. This is both a benefit and a hindrance. The wire sometimes gets in my way and I have to walk around with the controller, or have it near me if I'm watching a movie. But, on the flip side, you don't have to charge it like you would a wireless headset. So it's a trade-off, but honestly I personally prefer wireless headsets. My other complaint is kind of major to me. This headset is lacking a volume control. Since sound between movies, games, etc. can oftentimes be mixed differently, the sound can be quiet in one and super loud in another. In order to change the sound on the PS4, you have to exit what you're doing, go to settings, devices, audio devices and then change the volume...but you're also doing this without the game/movie playing, so it can sometimes be a guessing game on whether something is too loud or too quiet. I'm not sure if this is a complaint about the headset, the PS4 for both...but the Sony Gold Wireless headset does come with a volume control on the headset.

In the end, it's kind of a draw between the two. I think overall this headset nudges out the Sony due to the durability and comfort. The sound quality is a toss-up, based on personal tastes. Both sound really good, personally. But the lack of sound control is a huge detriment, for me.

Grillight 1300824 Stainless Steel LED Grilling Spatula
Grillight 1300824 Stainless Steel LED Grilling Spatula
Offered by Empire Depot
Price: $20.16
33 used & new from $20.16

4.0 out of 5 stars A novelty, but actually useful, July 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I was offered a chance to review this item, I kind of chuckled to myself at the novelty of it but thought, "well, I do need a new spatula!" And, truthfully, this Grillight LED Grilling Spatula is kind of a novelty item on the surface. But, I have to admit it's a little more useful than I expected it to be. Firstly, the spatula itself is incredibly well-made and worked great when I used it on my grill. It has a nice heft to it. The first time I used the spatula, I didn't use the flashlight part of it. I kind of laughed about it with friends. Then, about a week ago, I got home a little later from work but wanted to grill some burgers. It was a getting darker outside and with the way my grill is positioned on my deck, what remained of the sun was behind the grill. So, I tried the LED light portion of the spatula and it worked wonders. I could see the color of the meat and the light was perfectly pointed so that I could see everything I was doing. It worked wonderfully.

So there you go. If you do a lot of grilling at dusk/evening, then this is a good purchase.

The Truth and Other Lies: A Novel
The Truth and Other Lies: A Novel
by Sascha Arango
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.03
89 used & new from $1.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting plot surrounded by stilted writing/translation, July 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When a book has been translated from another language, a lot of the story rests on the shoulders of the translator. A translator can make or break a book. Sometimes, they'll literally translate everything and the result can be clunky. Sometimes, they'll put more time into the translation--maybe they're an author themselves, or want to be one--and the results can be fantastic. I'm not sure if The Truth and Other Lies had a good translator or not, but the result is clunky.

The author, Sascha Arango, is apparently a celebrated screenwriter in Germany. You can kind of get that feeling, reading this novel, because like a good screenwriter, the focus is on plot. There's very little in terms of set decoration or lengthy passages describing the characters or their environment. Clocking in at under 260 pages, it is razor-focused on the plot. As such, I never really got a feeling for most of the characters, who've been reduced to archetypes, for the most part. You got the ever-suffering wife, who is always pleasant and wonderful. The dying book publisher who just wants a final hit before he passes. The beautiful mistress/assistant at the publishing house. The nosey receptionist. The shrewd detective. All crime fiction caricatures.

At the center of the novel is Henry Hayden, probably the most unlikeable protagonist I have encountered since Libby Day in Dark Places. He's selfish, egotistical, cold and calculating. He's cheating on his wife, but, worse, he's a world-famous and rich author who hasn't written a piece of fiction, ever. His wife is the writer. But since she's the aforementioned Mary Sue, she doesn't want credit for the work and so our cold and calculating protagonist says all of the books are his. Unfortunately, the mistress gets pregnant. Henry decides to take matters into his own hands...and, well, causes a chain of reactions that push the story forward. From this point on, Henry tries to stay one or two steps ahead of the police and the truth.

I have to admit, the story kept me interested throughout most of the slim book. Even though I absolutely hated the main character and found the writing to be unwieldy, I wanted to know how it would end. Unfortunately, I also found myself re-reading passages because either the author or the translator was absolutely terrible at writing transitions. The story would just make unnecessarily abrupt changes where you're not exactly sure what happened. It did not have the flow that other great crime stories should. It stuttered along.

I did enjoy it, for the most part. But I was hoping for something a bit better.

It Follows
It Follows
Price: $9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, July 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It Follows (Amazon Instant Video)
While watching It Follows, the one thought that kept popping in my head was A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not that the villain in It Follows reminded me of Fred Krueger. Or that the plot was similar in any coherent way. But the feeling the movie gave me. That on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling that you're watching something special and that you're not quite sure what's real and what's not. While Elm Street movies started making the line between dream and reality very specific, the first A Nightmare on Elm Street made the waking life and dreaming life feel incredibly similar. It kept you on your feet and added a feeling of surreality to the story.

It Follows keeps that surreal feeling throughout. Writer/Director David Mitchell creates a location that seems to be timeless. And I mean that quite literally. It's impossible to really nail down the time the movie is set...or if it's even truly set in our world. On the outside, it looks like a typical American town. But the small details offset this feeling. One of the teens reads an e-book on a clam-shell e-reader. But the teens watch old movies on an old-school CRT television. The town itself has an 80s vibe to it, but there's aspects of it that feel out of place or vaguely futuristic. It's also filmed in a kind of lackadaisical manner that adds to the dream-like quality. Then, there's the score itself. What a surprise it was. It apes the techno musicality of 80s movies, but gives it a harsher edge. As a lover of 80s horror and, in particular, A Nightmare on Elm Street, It Follows really struck a chord with me.

Other horror movies were obviously an inspiration for David Mitchell, as well. The villain in the movie slowly and assuredly stalks the teenagers, moving like so many slow-footed monsters from 70s/80s horror. The idea behind the film, that of sex passing on some unstoppable demon that you are then forced to pass on, is reminiscent of The Ring. But Mitchell never rips-off these ideas. He uses them to create a wholly original concept. The idea that this demon or monster can take any form, but is slowly walking straight for you is creepy and intense. It's used to great effect in a lot of scenes, where the camera will pan and the viewer is instantly looking to see if someone is walking toward the victims or if it's just a casual passerby.

It's an absolute gem of a horror film. One I definitely recommend to any horror fan.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2015 9:10 PM PDT

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