Profile for Makkabee > Reviews

Browse

Makkabee's Profile

Customer Reviews: 18
Top Reviewer Ranking: 758,190
Helpful Votes: 39




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Makkabee RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Blonde, Beautiful & Cursed
Blonde, Beautiful & Cursed
Price: $3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total rip-off, June 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
JR Parz writes the same story over and over again. Man turns heterosexual girl into lesbian mind-controller, girl builds harem. Recycling that plot once is forgivable, but it keeps happening. And it's not just the basic theme that's repeated -- the motifs are endlessly recycled too. Breast enlargement, every relationship being a top-bottom affair, etc. Parz also fails to really resolve the central conflict of the story -- it doesn't end so much as just grind to a halt.

What's more, this is a short story being sold at prices suitable for a novel (or at least a novella). If the work had been longer to allow for an actual resolution of the original conflict and to show proper character development instead of skipping over major changes the story would have been much better.

Parz DESPERATELY needs an editor to point out these problems before publication. This story needed to go through at least one major rewrite, possibly several, before it was ready for sale.


The Neighborhood Ladies: A Mind Control Story (Lesbian Mind Control Adventures)
The Neighborhood Ladies: A Mind Control Story (Lesbian Mind Control Adventures)
Price: $1.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Lousy, June 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Too short. Too easy. No character development. Waste of time. Waste of money.

Lots of amateur authors handle these themes better on free sites. Read those instead.


Natural Consequences
Natural Consequences
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining sequel to "Good Intentions," but not quite up to the original's standards, May 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Elliott Kay writes a good adventure story, liberally sprinkled with humor and sexyfuntimes. However the sequel lacks what is probably my favorite element from the original book -- the theme of redemption. The idea that supernaturalr beings had moral agency, that angels could fall and demons redeem themselves (even if both events are rare) elevated the first book in the series to five star status, and I kept on waiting for the idea to resurface in the sequel -- that even if most vampires and werewolves and demons stayed horrid until the got their just desserts, someone would turn his her or its life around. The hero of the series was so appealing in the first book in part because he didn't just try to protect the innocent from monsters, he tried to save monsters from themselves too.

I hope Kay writes a third book in the series, but if he does I hope he brings back the redemption theme.


Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics: For the Instruction, Exercises and Manoeuvres of Riflemen and Light Infantry
Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics: For the Instruction, Exercises and Manoeuvres of Riflemen and Light Infantry
by William Joseph Hardee
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A handy guide for a reenactor., July 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This reproduction volume of Hardee's looks good in a reenactor's kit, using the simple paper cover and typeface of a period field manual. It's also practical -- helps you bone up on your drill when you're not with your unit, a very useful thing to be able to do given the infrequency with which most reenactment groups can drill together.

If your unit drills under Hardee's system, this is well worth the money.


Doctor Who: The Sun Makers (Story 95)
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers (Story 95)
DVD ~ Tom Baker
Price: $17.85
35 used & new from $13.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Doctor Who at its best, August 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This story shows Doctor Who at its best -- instead of relying on flashy special effects, the show relies on social commentary, dark humor, and good, solid storytelling.

Instead of the usual alien menace swarming in guns blazing (or biological weapons inflicting plague or causing mutation or what have you), determined to destroy the poor innocent humans, we are presented with a future distopia. We see an entire world that is nothing but a wholly owned subsidiary of a corporation. The land, the machines, the government, *the people* all are effectively company property. Crushing taxes are just another way to transfer wealth upward, maximize corporate profits.

Arriving on this dreary world, the Doctor and Leela find a man beyond hope, preparing to commit suicide. In saving him our heroes begin a chain of events which will save the entire world -- or destroy it.

This is Louise Jameson (Leela)'s favorite Doctor Who story, one where she felt her character was shown off to the best effect. I have to agree -- this one fired on all cylinders. The Doctor is funny and subversive, the companion spends enough time away from him to be a hero in her own right, the villains give broad performances without sinking into pantomime, and Robert Holmes gives us one his most biting and clever scripts.

A winner from top to bottom. Five stars.


Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132)
Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132)
DVD ~ Peter Davison
Offered by Super Fast DVDs
Price: $39.99
6 used & new from $34.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic, but fun, July 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This isn't a perfect story by any means -- it combines some of the flaws of the new series (overly hurried plot) and old (laughable special effects). Still, underneath those surface flaws there's a crackling good story. The Doctor and his companions return to 20th century Britain so that Tegan can visit a relative. There they find that a local bigwig is turning a harmless village festival, a reenactment of an English Civil War battle, into something altogether more sinister. The Doctor and his companions have to figure out why, and put a stop to it, but to do so they must defeat the very people they're trying to save. Plenty of room for drama there.

In many ways this story foreshadows what Doctor Who would become in the 21st century. The short duration of the story, modern setting, and family links would all become hallmarks of the new series. (Admittedly the contemporary settings, while not part of the show's original concept, had been a feature of Doctor Who since the mid-60s).

If the story had just had a bit more room to breathe and grow it could have been a classic. If the 80s production team had recognized the limits of their budget and focused on special effects with a timeless quality (largely by hiding things as much as possible and letting audience imagination do the work instead of relying on computer graphics which would not age gracefully) that would have helped too. As it was, we're still left with a fun hour of fairly straightforward adventure, and the flaws are forgivable. After all, if you can't stand weak special effects, why are you watching Doctor Who in the first place?


Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England
Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England
by William Dillon Piersen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.47
53 used & new from $0.15

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful but flawed text, February 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
William Dillon Piersen's Black Yankees covers a topic given short shrift in most history curricula -- the development of African-American culture in 18th century New England. The text does a good job of describing the differences between the slavery's function in New England's economy and the way the institution functioned in the plantation zone, and is at its strongest when talking about the parallel political and legal system slaves established for themselves, electing their own "governors" and "kings," often with white support.

The book also does a thorough job of looking at Afro-Yankee religious practices, though this section is marred by unnecessary snarkiness about white Yankee religion.

Unfortunately the book fails to more than lightly touch on the abolition of slavery and how that affected 18th century blacks. While Pierson richly supplements his text with charts and tables showing changes in black population in New England by colony and region within the colonies (later states), he never tells us how the percentages of free blacks changed, though that data should have been readily available to him. We get tantalizing anecdotes about free blacks and some individual emancipation stories, but no effort at looking at the big picture.

The book's biggest weakness though is its near total unconcern with the 800 pound gorilla in the room -- I mean THE central event of 18th century New England History, the American Revolution. Black participation in this war, how and why New England black attitudes about the war differed from blacks in other parts of America, and how the war altered black-white relations and the black community's view of itself are vital to a full understanding of 18th century Black New England life, but again we get only a few anecdotes. Piersen cannot simply claim that he was interested in COLONIAL black life and that the revolution was outside the scope of his study, because his narrative does stretch forward to the 1790s, and even touches on the first half of the 19th century in a few spots.

This is a useful and informative book, but it is not all it could or should have been. I can recommend it for serious students of New England history or African-American history, but look forward to finding a more thorough text that will supersede it.


Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen (Story 79)
Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen (Story 79)
DVD ~ Tom Baker
Price: $18.90
33 used & new from $16.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not outstanding, December 29, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While not one of the best Doctor Who stories, and a bit spotty on continuity, this tale is elevated by some fine guest performances from Kevin Stoney and Michael Wisher, and the script does have some charming one-liners. The regulars turn in their usual fine performances -- Tom Baker is not yet jaded by the part, and Lis Sladen and Ian Marter are real troopers.

The plot is complex enough to keep the viewer engaged but not so twisty that it leaves him scratching his head in confusion at the end.

All in all, a pleasant enough way to while away a couple of hours.


Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis (Story 154)
Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis (Story 154)
DVD ~ Sylvester McCoy
Price: $20.78
28 used & new from $16.38

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Substandard Release of a Substandard Story, December 29, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Doctor Who in the late 80s was clearly a show staggering toward cancellation, and this story, and the special features that go along with it, show why. We see stereotypical characters, ham-fisted over-acting, and some really poorly written dialog (but I am eeevil....) A once-serious antagonist is reduced to a bad joke. The Cybermen, originally written as a terrifying look into humanity's possible future if we allow ourselves to become too wedded to and dependent on machines, complete their decay into oafish posturing lummoxes who can be taken out with a slingshot.

The special features reveal that the story looks so thrown-together because it is -- the writer didn't even have an actual story idea when he went in to deliver his story pitch to the producer, but got hired on the basis of an extremely vague off the cuff presentation. Concern for tight, serious story-telling had declined that much in the Doctor Who production office by the late 80s.

The sloppiness of the original production is matched by the sloppiness of the DVD presentation. The VHS release of this story included extra scenes that many viewers felt enhanced the story greatly, but rather than present both versions of the story (as has been done on several other Doctor Who releases) we are only given the original TV version here. Some of the extra scenes appear out of context as a DVD special feature, but (in spite of promises from 2|Entertain, the company that releases Doctor Who on home video) not all. The reason? They forgot.

Oops.

If you're a completist you may still want to get this. Or perhaps not. 2|Entertain has rereleased several other Doctor Who stories with enhanced extras packages, they may do so with "Silver Nemesis" in hopes of getting fans to double-dip.

The only reason this DVD rates 2 stars instead of 1 for me is the behind the scenes information, the interviews that help show how and why this story went as badly wrong as it did. Good material for rabid fans, but not for the casual viewer.

In general I love Doctor Who. In the case of this particular release I'll make an exception.


Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900
Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900
by Kristin Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.83
38 used & new from $22.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-reasoned monograph, November 11, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In my recent studies I've read several books about the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on various West African Societies. This is the best of them. It's quite comprehensive, dealing not only with how the slave trade turned Lagos from a minor settlement to a major West African trade center, but how the city managed to not only survive but thrive after the slave trade ended.

The book achieves balance, not an easy thing to do when talking about a subject as emotionally charged as the mass-kidnapping of human beings. It examines both European and African complicity in the trade, looks at how coastal trading elites benefited from the system and, and examines the good intentions and moral compromises that characterized early British colonialism in West Africa.

The text is strong both in its economic analysis of how Lagos and its hinterland shifted from a slave-exporting economy to one built around agricultural exports and the internal use of unfree labor, and in its legal analysis of how the elites, both black and white, controlled this labor in the face of British law which declared slavery illegal. Without assuming a hectoring tone the book demonstrates very clearly how the British failed to properly apply their anti-slavery principles in the early years of their rule over Lagos.

For any student of African history or colonialism, this is a worthwhile text. Lagos is one of the world's major cities and Nigeria one of the most important nations in the developing world, and this book tells a big chunk of the story of how that city and the country of which it is the metropolis became what they are today.


Page: 1 | 2