Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro
Profile for illiandantic > Reviews

Browse

illiandantic's Profile

Customer Reviews: 875
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,690
Helpful Votes: 7369


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

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

Reviews Written by
illiandantic RSS Feed (USA)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Dave Barry Turns Fifty
Dave Barry Turns Fifty
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars He Reminds Me of Me, May 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dave Barry's "Dave Barry Turns Fifty" isn't quite what I expected it to be. I expected more of Dave's observations on growing old. That stuff is in there. But, most of the book focuses on what happened during the years from Dave's birth to his adulthood. I enjoyed that material because it reminded me of all the similar things way back in my youth (and, it's funny, too). It's a fun book, though not gut-bustingly so, and I rate it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.


Sky Coyote (The Company)
Sky Coyote (The Company)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Missed the Boat, Plus it Rambles, May 19, 2015
In "Sky Coyote," Kage Baker seems intent on missing the boat with her own series. First of all, in almost all technical aspects, this book is worse than the first book in the series. Where that book had well-done and well-researched writing, with varied and decently filled-out characters, this book rambles about unimportant trivia, buries any historical research under horse-feathers, and has only one character with any semblance of depth. The one thing in this book that is done better than in the first is a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, it's really the wrong purpose. OK. Some details:

First, besides the mere existence of the two cultures in the area where this story takes place, Baker has destroyed almost everything that might lead towards a feeling of historical accuracy. She's replaced almost every aspect of the tribe that is the protagonist's mission with allegorical representations of the worst of our own culture. She's replaced the historical story of the first book with allegorical preaching in this book. I mean, really, she's putting talk of management/labor relations, child care, divorce, alimony, business, etc., into the mouths of Stone-Age, pre-literate, pre-anything people. It's just silly.

Second, in this book, we've got the return of the two main characters of the first book. Joseph is the protagonist and is reasonably filled out. Mendoza comes along for the ride and, like every other character, is a nullity. There's no character there even though a few more interesting and tantalizing tidbits of her past are revealed.

And, finally, the story Baker goes on and on about (the mission that Joseph is on) ought to have been merely a side-quest. What's really interesting (and should be the core of the series) is the relationship between these immortal cyborgs and their future creators (or masters, i.e., the Company). About 10% of the book involves that relationship. And, it's fascinating: what is truly happening between immortals who are better, faster, stronger, smarter, wiser, etc. and the people/culture/company that created them. Especially when it looks like those creators might be on their way to Eloi-hood.

So, unfortunately, I'm rating this book at a Pretty Bad 2 stars out of 5. Even worse, I'm not even sure I'll continue with the series. I'd love to find out what's really going on with Mendoza and what's going to happen between these immortals and the Dr. Zeus Company. But, if that's going to be buried under another nine books of cruft like this book, then I don't think I'll want to wade through it.

The novels in Kage Baker's "Company" series are:

1. In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
2. Sky Coyote (The Company)
3. Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company)
4. The Graveyard Game (The Company)
5. The Life of the World to Come (The Company)
6. The Children of the Company
7. The Machine's Child (The Company)
8. The Sons of Heaven (The Company)
9. The Empress of Mars (The Company)
10. Not Less Than Gods (The Company)
11. Nell Gwynne's On Land and At Sea


In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Romance Packaged as Science Fiction?, May 18, 2015
Kage Baker's "In the Garden of Iden" is a bit of a let-down. Supposedly, it's an historical-based science fiction story. But, really, the science fiction aspect seems to be merely a wrapper around nothing but an Historical Romance novel. I suppose it could also be called a "coming of age" book (though you'd have to twist the term to apply to the protagonist) or a plain old "slice of life" story. It's a shame. The concept behind the book is interesting, the writing is well-done and well-researched, and the characters are varied and decently filled-out. But, except for the first few chapters, nothing of any importance happens. Instead, we're treated to the chronicling of a 19 year old girl's first love. Now, this is Kage Baker's first novel (and the first of her Company series). So, I'm going to hope for better in later works. But, for this one, I'm going to rate it at merely an OK 3 stars out of 5.

The novels in Kage Baker's "Company" series are:

1. In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
2. Sky Coyote (The Company)
3. Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company)
4. The Graveyard Game (The Company)
5. The Life of the World to Come (The Company)
6. The Children of the Company
7. The Machine's Child (The Company)
8. The Sons of Heaven (The Company)
9. The Empress of Mars (The Company)
10. Not Less Than Gods (The Company)
11. Nell Gwynne's On Land and At Sea


NOW Foods Pygeum and Saw Palmetto + Pumpkin Seed Oil, 120 Softgels
NOW Foods Pygeum and Saw Palmetto + Pumpkin Seed Oil, 120 Softgels
Price: $17.85
16 used & new from $15.38

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had to Stop Taking it, May 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sorry, but this is not going to be all that good of a review. I could only use this "NOW Foods Pygeum and Saw Palmetto + Pumpkin Seed Oil, 120 Softgels" for about a week. I had some kind of reaction to it (I broke out in an itchy rash) and had to stop taking it. During the time I was using it, I didn't really notice any difference in my symptoms. But, because I couldn't properly test the product, I'm rating it at a Neutral 3 stars out of 5.


The Drawing of the Dark (Del Rey Impact)
The Drawing of the Dark (Del Rey Impact)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Call it 3-1/2 Stars, May 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like many (if not most) of Tim Powers' works, his 1979 novel "The Drawing of the Dark" (his third novel) is historically based with a supernatural twist. This one's a little different from his other works since the focus is more on an historical event (the siege of Vienna in 1529) than on an historical person (though the main characters are out of the Arthur/Merlin/Fisher King legends). Also like his other works, it takes quite a while to figure out what's going on. In this case, we can't start seeing what's going on until we're almost a third of the way through the book. For the most part, the writing is just fine until about the 80% point. Then, it seems to weaken (it doesn't get bad, it's just that a few things happen that seem out of character or more removed from us than they should be). This trend continues right through to the end: the final scene just doesn't have any personal oomph to it. It feels like the main characters have been taken over by their roles and are just going through the motions to tie things up. Once they've done that, everyone's given their walking papers, and they head on home. Because of that weakness at the end, I'd like to reduce my rating by half a star to 3-1/2 stars. But, since I'm restricted to integers, I'll be generous and leave it at a Pretty Good 4 stars out of 5.


John Wick
John Wick
DVD
Price: $6.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's More Than a Dawg, May 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: John Wick (Amazon Video)
Initially, I laughed when I saw the descriptions of the premise for this movie coupled with its very high ratings. I mean, come on:

"My name is John Wick. You killed my dawg. Prepare to die."

Imagine my surprise when I found that the darn movie actually works and is Very Good (I'm rating it at 4 stars out of 5). The problem was that the premise I had been reading wasn't actually complete. Instead, it should read:

"My name is John Wick. I'm not a good man. But, for my wife, I was trying. You killed my dawg. The last gift from my wife and my last hope. Prepare to die."

We're not talking Shakespeare, here. We're talking a Murder Death Kill type of movie. And, it works. I've got only one complaint with the whole thing: [minor spoiler] at one point, the bad guys have John down. Instead of ending it right there, the bad boss has him taken back to a lair so he can gloat and prepare the shark-mounted lasers (well, not really). This is the same guy who practically soiled himself when he found out someone in his organization had done John wrong. Yet, given the chance to get clear of it, he blows it [/minor spoiler]. Other than that, I've got no problems with the movie.


KitchenAid Toaster with Manual High Lift Lever, Contour Silver
KitchenAid Toaster with Manual High Lift Lever, Contour Silver
Price: Click here to see our price
32 used & new from $29.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two Sides of the Bread Toast Very Unequally., May 12, 2015
If anyone needs proof that our civilization is at its end, all they have to do is go buy a toaster. We, can no longer even make fire. If you look at my toaster history, below, you'll see that this collapse has been going on for at least the last 14 years. Our cheap Oster toaster that lasted us for 5 years finally reached the point where we had to replace it. This "Kitchenaid Contour Silver 2-Slice Toaster KMT2115CU" is our third attempt at a replacement in four days. They've all failed and all been returned. In this case, the toaster actually works a bit. The problem is that the two sides of a piece of bread do not toast equally. To get the lesser-cooked side decently toasted, the more-cooked side will be burned. To get the more-cooked side decently toasted, the lesser-cooked side will be un-browned. Plus, it takes a long time to toast. This is better than the previous two toasters, but not good enough (heck, the old one we're replacing still toasts better than this). So back it goes. I have no idea how retailers can survive the inventory churn caused by this total lack of quality and quality control. Ditto for the manufacturers. But, since the manufacturers are the problem here, they can go bankrupt and improve the world for all that I care. Anyway, I rate this thing at a Very Bad 1 star out of 5.

And, if anyone's interested, here's the history for our search for fire:

-05/12/15: Kitchenaid Contour Silver 2-Slice Toaster KMT2115CU: Returned. Two sides toast very differently. To get the lesser-cooked side decently toasted, the more-cooked side will be burned. To get the more-cooked side decently toasted, the lesser-cooked side will be un-browned. Plus, it takes a long time to toast.
- 05/11/15: Oster 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster (TSSTTRJB30): Returned. On first use (where we were just trying to burn off the stuff from the coils), toasting lever refused to rise after the toasting cycle was done. Nothing we could do could get that lever back up. Plus, looking at the coils while they were working, the outside set were not heating up anywhere near the amount the inside set were.
- 05/08/15: Hamilton Beach 24810 4-Slice Long Slot Keep Warm Toaster. Returned because, out of the box, it toasted only one side of the bread. Plus, it beeped annoyingly.
- 11/29/12: Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Wide Slots Toaster, Model #FPTT04D7MS. Returned because of useless digital darkness settings and bad toasting. Went back to old Oster toaster, below.
- 03/20/10: Oster 6330 Inspire 4-Slice Toaster, Brushed Stainless Steel. After over five years, it's starting to die.
- 12/21/09: Exchanged the Delonghi Stainless Steel 4Slice Toaster (below) for another. Seven weeks later (49 days), the right set of slots again failed to lock down and turn on.
- 12/05/09: Original DeLonghi CTH4003 Pro-Metal 4-Slice Toaster. After 16 days, the right set of slots failed to lock down and turn on.
- 03/27/06: Dualit 4-Slice Toaster. The catch on the slots was starting to fail (i.e., they failed to lock down and turn on, occasionally -- but, it lasted over 3 years).
- 11/21/04: Another Villaware 5850 (bought mistakenly). Same problem as the previous Villaware: left set of slots failed to lock down and turn on after about 1 week.
- 05/01/04: Some GE toaster we bought locally. Didn't break (lasted almost two years), but was starting to take a long time to toast.
- ???: There must have been at least one toaster in this gap. I can't find any records of it, though.
- 12/03/01: Villaware 5850 Uno Classic 4-Slice Toaster. It lasted about a week. Then, the left set of slots failed to lock down and turn on.


Hamilton Beach 24810 4-Slice Long Slot Keep Warm Toaster
Hamilton Beach 24810 4-Slice Long Slot Keep Warm Toaster
Price: $34.08
34 used & new from $28.97

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only Toasts on One Side and it Beeps., May 11, 2015
We picked up this "Hamilton Beach 24810 4-Slice Long Slot Keep Warm Toaster" at Costco for FAR less than it is here. Regardless, it's going back since it only toasts one side of the bread (the inner side). Also, the darn thing beeps. For some reason, it beeps once when you depress the lever to start toasting (as if you didn't know you had just started toasting something even though your finger is still on the lever) and it beeps three times when the toast is done. I suppose the beeping when the toast is done might serve some purpose (though theoretically (and the manual specifically states it), you shouldn't leave the toaster unattended while toasting). But, I imagine many people will scoff at that since they've got things to do while the toast is toasting. The trouble is that we can't disable that beeping and it sounds like my backup batteries on my computer during a power failure (very jarring). So, again, it's going back and I rate it at a Very Bad 1 star out of 5.

And, if anyone's interested, here's the history for our search for fire:

- 11/29/12: Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Wide Slots Toaster, Model #FPTT04D7MS. Returned because of useless digital darkness settings and bad toasting. Went back to old Oster toaster, below.
- 03/20/10: Oster 6330 Inspire 4-Slice Toaster, Brushed Stainless Steel. After over five years, it's starting to die.
- 12/21/09: Exchanged the Delonghi Stainless Steel 4Slice Toaster (below) for another. Seven weeks later (49 days), the right set of slots again failed to lock down and turn on.
- 12/05/09: Original DeLonghi CTH4003 Pro-Metal 4-Slice Toaster. After 16 days, the right set of slots failed to lock down and turn on.
- 03/27/06: Dualit 4-Slice Toaster. The catch on the slots was starting to fail (i.e., they failed to lock down and turn on, occasionally -- but, it lasted over 3 years).
- 11/21/04: Another Villaware 5850 (bought mistakenly). Same problem as the previous Villaware: left set of slots failed to lock down and turn on after about 1 week.
- 05/01/04: Some GE toaster we bought locally. Didn't break (lasted almost two years), but was starting to take a long time to toast.
- ???: There must have been at least one toaster in this gap. I can't find any records of it, though.
- 12/03/01: Villaware 5850 Uno Classic 4-Slice Toaster. It lasted about a week. Then, the left set of slots failed to lock down and turn on.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2016 6:49 AM PDT


Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse Book 3)
Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse Book 3)
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $9.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 564 Pages of Soap Opera, May 9, 2015
Unfortunately, it looks like James S.A Corey's "Abaddon's Gate" has killed off my desire to finish this series. Essentially, it's 564 pages of soap opera. The previous two books in the series were both very good. Their biggest issues were holes in motivations and the political system of the books' universe. Apparently, Corey tried to remedy the motivations issue in this book by giving us the evil-doer's rationale right up front: revenge. Revenge of an utterly ridiculous, impossible to believe, entirely mis-aimed nature. So, the motivation issue is actually worse here. The political issue is just the same. If that were all that was wrong with this book, I might have just possibly tolerated it. But, it's not. Here are my top three issues:

- Holden and his crew probably constitute less than 25% of the story. Almost all of the book revolves around other players.
- The first two books centered on a threat to all of humanity. This book is driven almost entirely by personal issues. Even the small amount of Holden we get is swamped by personal stuff. I'd say about 90% of the whole book is just personal minutia with the remaining 10% having something to do with that possible threat to humankind.
- Much of the book involves some false information about Holden and its results. You remember Holden, right? He's the guy who personally saved all of humanity. Twice. He's the one with friends at the top of both the OPA (well, that relationship might be a bit iffy) and the UN. He's the one who personally saved a lot of the Martian military. Yet, when this false information comes out, everyone (OPA, UN, and Martian) believes it instantly. Then, when the real information gets out, everyone (OPA, UN, and Martian) IGNORES it.

Again, if it had been just an issue with motivations and politics again, the book might have been tolerable. But the lack of focus on what the series is actually about (the protomolecule), the focus on personal issues, and the ignoring of who Holden is to every single person in the Solar System pushes it over the limit of acceptability. By writing this book this way, Corey has taken what was a very good series and just reduced it to irrelevant page filler. So, I'm sorry to say, I'm rating the book at a Pretty Bad 2 stars out of 5.

The novels in James S.A. Corey's "The Expanse" series are:

1. Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse Book 1)
2. Caliban's War (The Expanse Book 2)
3. Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse Book 3)
4. Cibola Burn (The Expanse Book 4)
5. Nemesis Games (The Expanse Book 5)


Out of Time's Abyss
Out of Time's Abyss
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars End of the Caspak Trilogy, May 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Out of Time's Abyss" ties up the loose ends left from the previous two books in the series and finishes the whole thing off. The writing lies somewhere between the first book and the second in quality and feel, while the characters are pretty much your standard Burroughs characters. If you liked the previous two books, then you'll want to read this one (if only for the closure). I'd actually like to rate it at 3-1/2 stars. But, since I can't, I guess I'll bump it up a tad to a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.

The novels in Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Caspak" series are:

1. The Land That Time Forgot
2. The People That Time Forgot
3. Out of Time's Abyss


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20