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Baptism
Baptism
by Max Kinnings
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.75
88 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Thriller, October 21, 2014
This review is from: Baptism (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Baptism is a thriller set in the London Underground where a religious fanatic and his equally deranged sister hold a train full of 300 passengers hostage. The action takes place over the course of a few hours but the plot unfolds almost minute by minute.

The author does a good job of filling in the back stories of the main characters so that the reader understands their motivations. There are plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on their toes and I especially liked the fact that I really couldn't predict the final outcome. I have a small criticism of one error towards the end of the book that seems completely ludicrous and hopefully will be edited out of the final printing.

This book certainly held my interest all the way through and I would recommend it as a solidly good read.


The Swimmer: A Novel
The Swimmer: A Novel
by Joakim Zander
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay!, October 10, 2014
This review is from: The Swimmer: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Overall, I felt that The Swimmer -- Joakim Zander's debut thriller that involves some complex conflicts wrapped around a major government conspiracy -- was good enough to finish but not good enough to recommend that you rush to read it.

Zander takes over half the book to introduce the reader to its five primary characters and their "stories", which were interesting -- but I often felt I needed a scorecard to keep track of who was doing what and why, and how they were all related to each other. Further, perhaps because The Swimmer had so many primary characters as well as several notable secondary characters, I never felt that I knew any of them well enough to really care a lot about what happens to them.

In addition, perhaps because Zander spent so much time setting up the various characters and how they are interrelated, I felt that by the time the action actually occurs it is so late in the book that it seemed to be start and conclude too abruptly. Stated another way, the action that ultimately occurs was not satisfying enough to justify the amount of reading time it took to get to it.

As mentioned, while I do not recommend that you rush to read The Swimmer, it is an okay read. Further, despite my issues that prevented me from rating The Swimmer with more than 3 stars, there are enough positives in the book to suggest to me that Zander has the potential to be a "player" in the international thriller genre.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 8:09 PM PDT


Oxo Steel CorkPull Wine Opener/Corkscrew
Oxo Steel CorkPull Wine Opener/Corkscrew
Price: $24.99
21 used & new from $22.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy And Comfortable To Use!, October 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The OXO CorkPull Wine Opener/Corkscrew is one I'd highly recommend, as it makes the job of opening a bottle of wine virtually effortless. No longer will you have to work hard to extract a cork from your wine. Simply turn the very comfortable knob until the cork lifts out of the bottle. Its definitely one of the best -- if not the best -- corkscrew I've used to date, and I've used a lot of them.

Further, a very useful feature that differentiates the OXO CorkPull from the pack is that built into the soft knob is its comfortable, easy-to-use foil cutter. Pushing the button on each side of the knob pops the top off, which you then fold and twist around the foil to quickly remove it from the bottle. Then, just push the top back into the knob. This process couldn't be simpler or easier!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 1:22 PM PDT


Truffol DuraSound Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, Built-in Speakerphone, 8 Hour Playback - Black
Truffol DuraSound Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, Built-in Speakerphone, 8 Hour Playback - Black
Offered by Truffol
Price: $29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lot Of Quality For A Very Reasonable Price!, October 1, 2014
If you are in the market for a quality portable wireless Bluetooth speaker without having to break the bank, i highly recommend the Truffol DuraSound Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. The reasons for my recommendation are as follows:
...It, unlike most wireless speakers that have only one speaker, has dual speakers that provide a rich, full sound quality up to about 30 feet away, allowing you the ability to move around easily
...It pairs easily and quickly with your device
...It is durable due to its external rubber layer that helps protect the speaker from dings, scratches, etc.
...It provides a speakerphone mode so that you can easily answer phone calls
...It has easy-to-use controls, and
...It provides up to 8 hours of use on a single charge.

While I am very pleased with this speaker's rich, crisp sound quality, the only thing I wish is that the volume could be turned up louder than is currently allowed. This, however, is a very minor issue.

To me, being able to have all of these features for only about $35 is a great deal.

I received this speaker from the manufacturer in return for an honest, unbiased review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 11:07 PM PDT


Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip: A Novel
Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $8.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars -- An Action-Packed Military Thriller Marred By A Larger-Than-Life Hero And Some Unrealistic Dialogue!, September 30, 2014
In brief, Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip involves Navy Seal, Gil Shannon -- one of America's most lethal snipers -- who, in defiance of the president, launches an almost impossible mission comprised of Seal Team Six and Delta Force fighters to free a female helicopter pilot being held captive by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

On the positive side, Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip is a very fast-paced, gripping military thriller that is packed with non-stop action. The military action scenes will make you feel you are right there in the middle of the mission. Further, the authors do a good job in conveying their viewpoint (with which I agree) on the selfless service provided by our Special Forces versus the (at times) more selfish, personal, political interests of the President and other high level bureaucrats.

These positives, however, are offset somewhat by what I considered to be some unbelievable exploits of the main character, Gil Shannon, who comes across as so larger-than-life that he seems invincible. This opinion stems from his ability to be a non-stop killing machine despite encountering multiple, simultaneous serious injuries -- any one of which would likely stop a normal person. Further, while I found Shannon's salty manner of speaking with his fellow soldiers to be credible, I had a minor problem with how he developed a John Wayne-like manner of speaking when talking to his wife and women in general. That is, I found his attitude to be a bit too deferential, bordering on being condescending. For example, don't all men when engaged in conversation with their wife refer to her as "ma'am"? As a result of these factors I have deducted one star -- 1 1/2 stars if Amazon allowed it -- from my rating.

If you think you would not be bothered by what I mentioned as offsetting factors, than I think you will enjoy Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip very much.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 11:08 PM PDT


Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford Mustang Ride-On, Yellow [Amazon Exclusive]
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford Mustang Ride-On, Yellow [Amazon Exclusive]
Price: $317.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Inexpensive But Lots Of Fun -- Just Like A Real Ford Mustang!, September 26, 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you want to be even more of a hero/heroine to your small child, niece or nephew than you already are and don't mind spending about $300 for a toy car, the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford Mustang Ride On in its sharp yellow color will definitely enable you to achieve that goal. Fisher-Price says the recommended age range for this car is 3-5 years, although my 7 year nephew fits in it fine.

The only problem that seems to exist with this car is getting the kid(s) out of it once they get into it.

After all, what's not to like about this car (other than, perhaps, its price tag)? Its sharp looking, its durable, it seats two relatively comfortably, it drives on both hard surfaces and grass, it's powerful (for a little kid) as it is powered by a 12 volt battery that can drive at two speeds -- 2.5mph and 5mph, it comes with a battery charger, it drives in forward and reverse, it has some safety features for beginners like high-speed lockout and Power-Lock brakes, it has a radio that plays a few melodies, and it has a pretend key that activates engine sounds.

As to assembly, it is relatively easy with a good set of directions. It only took about an hour from the time it was removed from the box to the time it "hit the road."


Watch Me Go
Watch Me Go
by Mark Wisniewski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.84

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fell Far Below Expectations!, September 22, 2014
This review is from: Watch Me Go (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I selected Watch Me Go from Amazon Vine to read and review because of the blurb its publisher uses to position the book -- Richard Price meets A Simple Plan in this soulful, riveting novel that shows us that no matter how high the odds, there can always be hope..

I won't provide a summary of this book as this can be found in the Amazon Book Description. Instead, I'll provide my opinion which, hopefully, will help in deciding if Watch Me Go is a book for you.

Bottom line for me is that Wisniewski's Watch Me Go has virtually no resemblance to Richard Price's skills in terms of literary style, character development, narrative, and realistic, "from the street" dialogue. Further, Watch Me Go comes across as A Simple Plan "wannabee"; in that it does not come close in providing as riveting and intense a plot, not does it come close in providing as powerful and believable characters.

Wisniewski's style of writing single sentences that often take ten or more lines to complete may be viewed as literary to some, but I find it to be very disruptive to the story line and serves to seriously slow down the pace of the book.

Unlike when I read A Simple Plan and several of Richard Price's mysteries, during which I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened next, my reading experience with Watch Me Go was not an enjoyable one. Thus, while I had high expectations for Watch Me Go based on how it was positioned, it ultimately wound up being a book that I could not recommend.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 7:57 PM PDT


DeLonghi AC150 Energy Star Air Purifier with Ionizer, 150 Square Feet
DeLonghi AC150 Energy Star Air Purifier with Ionizer, 150 Square Feet
Price: $309.99
7 used & new from $309.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product!, September 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you have a need for a compact room purifier, I don't think you can go wrong with the DeLonghi AC150 Energy Star Air Purifier with Ionizer, 150 Square Feet.

Though not inexpensive, this product gives you a lot for your money; and most importantly, it works well to improve the air quality in a room of about 150 square feet. To me, since I've been using this product in two rooms in which my wife, dog and I spend a considerable amount of time, the air seems to smell cleaner and its various filters seem to be doing a good job in removing dust particles, odors and allergens. I say this because both my wife and I haven't been as bothered by our allergies since we've been using the air purifier. Further, my dog, who has bad allergies that cause him to frequently lick his paws to relieve his itching, has considerably reduced the amount of time he spends doing this.

The DeLonghi AC150 is very user-friendly, compact, easy to move around and attractive in appearance. One particular useful feature is that its Air Quality System changes color based on air quality. That is, the light on each side of its front panel shows orange to indicate poor air quality; green to indicate satisfactory air quality and blue to indicate good air quality. Other very useful features, all of which are contained in its soft-touch control panel, include 3 fan speeds, an AQS button (to turn the lights off and on), a timer (to have it run for 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours), plus an on/off ionizer button.

Given that this is a new product, my only possible concern is how readily accessible and expensive replacement filters will be. But I'll worry about that (if necessary) when the time comes.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2014 1:05 PM PDT


The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon)
The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon)
by Daniel Silva
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.79
217 used & new from $7.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars -- Once Again, A Book By Silva Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!, September 21, 2014
In the fourteenth thriller in the Gabriel Allon series, Silva has the art restorer-spy-assassin involved in helping save his friend, art dealer Julian Isherwood, who is a suspect in the murder of a former British spy who, in more recent years, has been secretly involved in selling stolen artworks to a mysterious collector -- the most famous of which is a Caravaggio masterpiece.

This investigation leads Allon, and eventually his team of Israeli Intelligence operatives, on a mission that will take them to Paris, London, Marseilles, Corsica and, finally, to a small private bank in Austria in which a mysterious financier manages the wealth of a brutal dictator. Typical in all books in this series, Allon and his team devise intricate, down-to-the minute plans laden with risk throughout the complex, multi-layered mission. Also reminiscent of most books in this series, much of the plot in Silva's The Heist seems to be ripped from today's newspaper headlines. And, of course, consistent in a Silva thriller, his latest book is one of slow-building but non-stop tension and suspense that will likely make the reader anxious to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

In the absolute, while I found a decision Allon made toward the end of the book to be somewhat unbelievable,I enjoyed The Heist very much and consider it, as I have all of the other books featuring Gabriel Allon, to be very engrossing, well-researched and well-written. However, on a comparative basis, my level of enjoyment of The Heist was somewhat lower than in some of the earlier books in this series. In small part, this is due to the action that occurs being not as intense. The larger factor contributing to my comparative drop in enjoyment is that, after reading all fourteen Gabriel Allon books, the successful formula on which Silva has based his series continues to show "some age lines" and the development of his main and key supporting characters need some freshening up. Silva obviously feels the same, as he strongly makes clear to his readers in The Heist that he has important changes planned for Gabriel Allon (as well as for some other characters often part of this series) in his next book.

Despite these comparative criticisms, I still consider Silva to be the "gold standard" of thriller writers -- although the quality of the gold may now have depreciated a bit from 18k to 14k. For me, there has never been a risk involved in reading a Silva book, with the only unknown being whether the book will be very good or excellent.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 7:52 PM PDT


OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups, 6-Piece, White
OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups, 6-Piece, White
Price: $7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scraper Feature Is Pretty Cool...So Is The Snap-Together Design!, September 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review was written by my daughter.

Overall, I like this little measuring cup set! I mean, how much can you really say about some measuring cups? But there ARE a few things about this set that I really came to appreciate after using it.

One thing I like is very basic: they are white. I find I can see the measurements better when I am not using the whole cup when they are white versus black. I don't know why.

Another little think I like is the scraper it comes with. In my 40 years....maybe I am not very experienced....I have never seen that handy-dandy little tool, but once you have one you will accept nothing less ever again. Haha

Thirdly, I like that there is a halfway mark in each of them. That is convenient when one cup might be dirty...say, the half-cup...and you have to use the 1 cup to measure half. Many times, depending on the shape of the cup, you might fill it up halfway to your EYE but that is not ACTUALLY halfway; especially if the sides are not uniform, like in this set. It bells out slightly, and so OXO put a "half" line where half REALLY lives. That's probably the most handy thing.

Oh yes...one more thing I really like that I've never had in any other set. The cups all connect together using a snap-together feature on the handle, as opposed to the little hole with the annoying ring where you have to take all the cups off to reach the one you need, and there is always the chance of losing the ring or getting fed up and discarding it altogether. Or, as opposed to no connection feature at all. These just snap together, so you can pull it apart where you need to and easily reconnect the rest. It's just a neat little thing that I never considered before but now that I have it, everything else seems sub-par and I don't know why every company doesn't make them this way.

As I said, how much can you really say about measuring cups? This is a nice little set with features I never knew I was missing but now know I need!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 7:37 PM PDT


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