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Customer Reviews: 43
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Helpful Votes: 449

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Craig Clark "coraxery" RSS Feed (Midwest)

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The Last Passenger
The Last Passenger
Price: $4.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete crap, December 12, 2014
Utter schlock, as Manel couldn't be bothered to finish a story, (third one and counting) I can't be bothered to...

Fray: Future Slayer
Fray: Future Slayer
Price: $10.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, July 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The best part of Fray is the artwork. Which is a problem with a lot of modern comics, the stories have been told so many times that everything becomes a cliche. Here Whedon tries to make a Buffy comic 'fresh' by projecting the story into the future. It's not without some nice moments but I don't think the graphic novels shortened format suits the character development that Whedon is good at. It's not bad per se just not as great as it could have been.

The Descendants: A Novel
The Descendants: A Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought it would be, April 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Descendants is one of those books that sticks with you for days after you read it... in a good way. I read a lot of books that I never think about again and if I had to give a story synopsis a couple of months after the fact I would be hard pressed to come up with something informative. You might say they are the book equivalent of popcorn. Somewhat satisfying but not worth much of a recommendation to others.

The Descendants would be the book equivalent of a satisfying dessert (if those other books range from microwave to theater level popcorn), much like eating a Hawaiian malasada after having only donuts your whole life is a worthy experience. It's something you would talk about and recommend to others.

If I had to give a synopsis it would be: "An absent father must reconnect with his children and reassess his life after he learns his comatose wife had been having an affair".

Which isn't to say The Descendants is a piece of classic literature or that Mrs Hemmings is on her way to a National Book Award, but in some ways I am guessing many readers will enjoy it that much more.There is an earnestness and grounding to her characters that is rewarding and allows for an impressive amount of character growth in what is a relatively short novel. Hemmings' Hawaii plays as a final pivotal character that seems lived in and real outside of the normal tourist experience.

All in all, it is a great read-- I look forward to seeing the movie.

Summer Infant Spectra Travel System with Prodigy Infant Car Seat, Blaze (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Summer Infant Spectra Travel System with Prodigy Infant Car Seat, Blaze (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by Best Service Stores

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I paid for this..., February 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Update 7/14/14

I'm dropping a star now that I've had a chance to use the car seat for a while. It just isn't comfortable for my daughter. We used it for a couple of weeks and ended up purchasing another car seat because it just wouldn't fit snugly in a comfortable way. I think this is due to the shoulder straps being one size fits all, in order to get them tight enough to be safe they caused problems with restriction at the legs causing discomfort. It's nice that you don't have to re-thread the shoulders as the baby gets bigger but overall the design didn't work for us. An expensive disappointment all around.

So, I picked up this combo of car seat and stroller mainly because of the car seat. It's one of the highest reviewed and best safety-rated of all the car seats out there and the combination with the stroller saves you a bit of money.

The car seat is excellent, documentation is directly on the base and the little computer screen makes it obvious whether you have it installed correctly or not. No qualms with the car seat, excellent all around.

A couple of things with the stroller that might be a draw back. First the locking switches on the front wheels were a real bugger to get to work properly, I had to actually unscrew them from the frame and work them back and forth with a screw driver before they were pliable enough to lock with just fingers. Not sure why this was the case, perhaps most people don't lock the front wheels at all or mine was just a manufacturing snafu. They work fine now.

My main problem was with the baby snack tray cup holder piece. As seen in the product pictures it serves as the handle when the stroller is folded, but because of how the locking mechanism works on each side it is very difficult to get the little plastic locks to secure reliably. It is made this way so that you fold it open from either side to put your child in the seat but as a handle it just isn't good enough for me to feel confident to carry it that way.

Which is a shame because most every thing else with the stroller is excellent quality. The weld points and aluminum frame are extremely well made. The fabric of the seat and sun shade are also obviously made of high quality material and construction. If not for the locking mechanism of the tray/handle this would be a great combination with the car seat. Perhaps the locks will be improved in the future.

Horus Heresy: Legion
Horus Heresy: Legion
by Dan Abnett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
51 used & new from $1.94

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Abnett's weakest far, November 22, 2013
Abnett's weakest effort and it happens during the Horus Heresy novels, who'd a thought? I am not going to quibble about how good of a writer Abnett is or even if his prose in this particular story is good, because as always his dialogue and characterizations are excellent. I could use a break on the made up terms... 'cept, fuggin' this, (he even called a helmet strap something I have never heard of before), but dear lord the plotting and story are atrocious.

******** Spoilers necessary for inane plot points and twists *********

Okay first off the whole point of this book is to describe the Alpha Legion, the most enigmatic of the Astartes chapters. So who do we learn the most about during the story...why the Imperial Guard of course! The whole precept, gene-born pseudo Indian-influenced Guard are sort of interesting, but really it just makes me wonder why Abnett didn't put the same amount of effort into propping up the background of the Alpha Legion.

We are supposed to be intrigued by the fact that these Astartes use regular humans to accomplish their goals in secrecy but really we just wonder why they bother. Could it be... plot complications needed to fill up 75% of the book?
Bingo, we have a winner!

So we have a couple of IG sergeants (will call them hetman, cuz they're different that way!) and some new elite guardsman types that are now used as body guards... Lucifer Blacks. Then some IG leaders that are slightly psychic and also weirdly over-sexed teenage girls. I'm not even going to talk about the ridiculous scene with the different Imperial Guard commanders in their dress regalia... I actually burst out laughing reading that section.

The other main protagonist is an agent of the Alien Cabal, John Grammaticus. He's trying to establish contact with the Alpha Legion who has been duped into travelling to Nurth to help out the Imperial Guard. Not only can't he accomplish this task except as a pawn of the Chaos Nurthenese but he can't do much other than make the Legion more suspicious of him. Luckily an attack by Chaos forces causes the early invitation of the Alpha Legion to meet up with the Cabal to not we can get back to the intrigue of Alpha Legion human agents versus Imperial Guard human agents (who are technically on the same side!).

So finally after all this "intrigue" we get a massive Chaos battle, something called the Black Cube destroys Nurth (so the Alpha Legion can see how really horrible and powerful Chaos truly can be) and we finally get to the Alien Cabal vs Alpha Legion show down after some more invented intrigue between Grammaticus and his human handlers (who didn't see that coming?).

So the Alien Cabal presents their options: side with the Emperor, and he will conquer the galaxy, eventually leading to stagnation and Ultimate Chaos for everyone or ride with Horus and he will eventually turn on all of humanity and kill everyone. (Preserving the galaxy for other xenos species, yay! Nothing self serving there...) So we get a psychic spawned technicolor show called the "Acuity" which magically causes the Alpha Legion to do exactly what the Cabal wants them to do...join Horus and the heretics instead of the Emperor.

Because we all know its better to burn out in a few thousand years instead of a stagnant horrible ten thousand years of human rule under the Emperor. Being the "ultra-pragmatic" Chapter the Legion turns on and destroys all the IG in the area and calls it a day... "For the Emperor".

Rogue Trader: Faith and Coin Game
Rogue Trader: Faith and Coin Game
Price: $15.19
26 used & new from $7.31

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For a Missionary focused game apply within, November 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So I wasn't super excited about this supplement but being a completionist I decided to pick it up anyway. A good portion of the book is given up to dead NPC's which I found odd, although it is an interesting way to generate endeavors and spark adventure ideas. One thing the book is good at is explaining why the missionary is vital with many rogue traders. It has been my experience that it isn't a particularly desirable role to fill for players and even with new alternate career choices I don't see that changing.

The other large section of the book is on new Endeavors that are primarily keyed to the background NPC's in the beginning or at least they are used as examples of how the endeavor should progress in play. These are all well developed and make sense, the issue would be if you can get the rest of your crew to get behind something whose rewards are a little less obvious then profit factor.

Several of the alternate career paths are also tied to the NPC's, which I suppose would be great if you have a missionary character that is gung ho on using the previous endeavors exactly as stated in the examples. Some of the others are interesting and would be nice for a missionary that is wanting to branch out or gotten bored with their character.

By and large this is a supplement that works great for a missionary focused Rogue Trader campaign which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My main critique would be I wish they had stuck with the Navis Primer take on Navigators mixed with Astropath Tanscedent characters which seemed to be a perfect addition to those characters without trying to make them the focus of a campaign.

I would only recommend this if you have a gung ho missionary player who wants to drive the game play. Which is why I gave it 3 stars...other GM's might be more impressed than I was. ​The book from a binding and editorial stand point is top notch, FFG seems to have upped their standards in the editing department.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Price: $31.59
295 used & new from $24.80

31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't plan on streaming to your hotel TV, October 18, 2013
The Chromecast is great for what it can do but the only reason I bought it was to use it for when I travel. I figured that I could simply plug it in and run it off the hotel's wifi..., but you can't. I'm hoping this is something that Google adds to the Chromecast but for right now there is no way for you to authenticate the Chromecast once it gets connected to the hotel's wifi, generally you would see a log-on screen or something like that, my Paperwhite Kindle for example has this capability.

Chromecast doesn't have that option and until it does there isn't much reason to purchase this if you are planning on using it for travel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2013 7:08 PM PST

Dark Days (Apocalypse Z Book 2)
Dark Days (Apocalypse Z Book 2)
Price: $4.99

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Good, October 18, 2013
I enjoyed the first entry in Apocalypse Z. It had some issues, but nothing that couldn't have been fixed with some better plot development and ejecting the diary-style story progression. Although Loureiro thankfully abandons the latter his plotting is still little more than blind luck and writer fiat. It's something that can be forgiven when the reader has interesting characters to read about, but we know these characters by now and there is little to no character progression to speak of. And the whole nameless lawyer schtick really doesn't work when you are writing the story from his 17 year old girlfriends point of view. Really? "my lawyer boyfriend", I think she would be using his name at some point.

The one main bad guy is little more than a cardboard cutout thug, and the other bad guys aren't described enough to even understand why they would risk extinction for some petty political squabble. On top of it all we have such a small page count that it just feels like a filler book so the thing can drag on for a few more iterations.

My suggestion is to take a wide berth around this shambling stinker, unless your Prime borrowing is burning a hole in your monthly pocket, even then I would borrow something else...

I noticed there seems to be an agenda to prop up the rating of this book with some fairly obvious one-line, 5-star blurt reviews so I dropped my rating to one star. I can only hope the author of the book isn't a party to this garbage.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2014 4:04 PM PDT

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (Silo series)
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (Silo series)
Price: $5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Work, April 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
*Kindle formatting is great, one of the best I've read on my Kindle*

Wool is an interesting piece of sci-fi and well worth a person's time if they are predisposed to dystopian works. Where I would place this is somewhere in the middle of the pack of science fiction that is out there, but certainly higher when compared to the scarcity of good sci-fi that has been released recently. Howry's writing ability is quite good it only drags a little bit here and there when a character takes a long trip via mental exposition.

*****Spoilers Below*****

Where I had problems with the plot generally had to do with character motivations that didn't seem particularly realistic. One of the primary ones had to do with the silo cleanings and the explanation for why they always happened, even when the people were cued into the machinations of the Silo's IT. Which makes the ending even more problematic, without giving too much away we as readers are required to take a leap of faith that the motivations of the current sheriff make sense given the political dynamics of the silo. Not to mention that I felt sentencing his former boss to death on top of everything else that has happened, seemed to come out of left field.
Even given that - why would he then have a problem with Juliette making changes to how the silo operates (given that she has been elected mayor) when he has already thrown out the rule book by allowing Juliette back into the silo? (And why would Bernard fail to do the cleaning if he truly believes in the 'Code' for running the silo?)
Perhaps if Sheriff Billingsly had been a main character these issues wouldn't seem so glaring, but given that we don't know more, it comes across as little more than a way to tie things up at the end of the story.

Anyway I don't want people to feel my nit-picking means I didn't like or wouldn't recommend the novel, I actually think it is a fun read and if it's in your regular reading wheel-house, by all means click the buy button.

Birdman (Jack Caffery Book 1)
Birdman (Jack Caffery Book 1)
Price: $9.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss, March 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Hayder's Birdman is an unflinching look at the hunt for a serial killer and for the most part will keep you interested and invested in its story. The plot twists and story are tautly paced and for the most part Hayder shines with character dialogue and development, she paints a picture of claustrophobia that infects the book and takes it step above your average thriller. But then things come completely off the rails at the conclusion. Almost comically the ending tries to 'American-ize' what taking down a serial killer should look like and it simply doesn't work, which is a shame. Even the way the British law enforcement engage with and track down the killer didn't seem particularly realistic at the end, almost like Hayder was forcing a 'memorable' conclusion.
Normally the ending would put me off recommending this to other readers, but Hayder for 90% of the book is really great. If you are squeamish about graphic depictions of sex and violence then you probably should look elsewhere. The sex scene between our protagonist and his new love interest toward the end of the story also seemed a little too lurid, and I'm not one to be bothered about the activity, it just seemed out of place as described.
I personally am looking forward to reading more Hayder, your mileage my vary.

Kindle formatting here is excellent.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 29, 2013 9:10 PM PDT

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