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Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South
Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South
by Christopher Dickey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.77

4.0 out of 5 stars An well-written and engaging story of part of The War that is usually glossed over, June 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is novel-like in its readability and flow. It focuses not on battlefields but on politics and espionage.


Soundless
Soundless
by Richelle Mead
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.47

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, June 28, 2015
This review is from: Soundless (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Good premise, but flawed execution. Perfectly readable, but unengaging. I never got emotionally involved in the characters or the story.


AmazonBasics 23-Inch Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
AmazonBasics 23-Inch Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
Price: $29.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too flimsy for heavy pets - best for animals under 10lbs, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My portly cat fits in here easily, but the crate squeaks ominously if i lift it, especially by the handle.


Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1
Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1
by Rhonda Mason
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.21

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh., June 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So what sets this book apart from all of the other 'teen gets dragged into nefarious government shenanigans and has to fight for her freedom blah blah' books out there right now? Let's see.

1) The love triangle is between filial love for a brother and romantic love for... uh, some guy, rather than the standard ruggedly handsome good guy and the darkly attractive outsider.
2) Said romantic love isn't insta-love, though it is quite quick.
3) Kayla's bad-*** fighting skills exist for a reason.
4) Kayla acts and reacts and thinks and fights, rather than sitting around and moping/letting someone else do all the work

...and that's about it. The writing is fine, i guess. I was rooting for Kayla, which is something, but i didn't care much. Everything, from the technology to the fight scenes to the politics, switched randomly from overly detailed description to fleeting mention. We get a full set of specs on the body armor, but can only assume that an ion gun probably involves ions somehow.

This is book 1 in a trilogy, and with better writing and more fondness for Kayla, the cliffhanger ending would have me chewing my nails waiting for the sequel. Alas, i'm not.


OurPets SmartScoop Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Gray
OurPets SmartScoop Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Gray

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It works, but my cats prefer deeper litter, June 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Easy to set up, and it works. We use Swheat Scoop and it's scooping fine. The problem for us is that our kitties prefer deep litter in their boxes, and this one requires fairly shallow litter. It makes sense, mechanically, to require shallow litter, so for kitties that are ok with that, this'll be great. For mine, i guess this'll just be the back-up box.


Voyagers: Project Alpha (Book1)
Voyagers: Project Alpha (Book1)
by D. J. MacHale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.74

2.0 out of 5 stars Goes off the rails in the second half, June 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first half of this book is, well, a kids' book. You're not supposed to ask questions like 'if science has advanced so far that they have artificial gravity and faster-than-light interstellar travel, why haven't they found a power source other than fossil fuels?' Ok fine, sure, whatever. So a bunch of kids are going to fly off across the galaxy to get a macguffin that'll solve the energy crisis, based on uh... a probe. Fine, sure.

Then stuff starts happening that just makes no sense. Not even with my suspension of disbelief cranked all the way up to maximum. There are parts that will surely be explained in later books, and i'm ok with that. But the project lead doesn't freak out when one of the back-up kids goes missing? No. That's just plain not believable. Characterization slips too, with people doing things to advance the plot even though they're staggeringly out of line with their personality.

I will not continue with this series.


End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)
End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)
by Guy Benson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.77
63 used & new from $12.49

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not wrong, just incomplete, June 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Most, if not all, of the claims this book makes regarding the left's 'Outrage Industry' are true.

However, every faction has their own Outrage Industry, and they're all pulling the same dirty tricks. Liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans, blue dogs, tea partiers, communists, libertarians, and others i'm sure, are all doing this. For every poorly-worded statement taken out of context and used by the left to vilify the right (for example, 'binders full of women'), there's an equal and opposite one ('You didn't build that').

The bulk of the book is, well, outrage regarding the Outrage Industry. There's very little ink spent on solutions for the problem, or even coping mechanisms. You won't turn the last page of this better armed to see through the false outrage that's all over the media, but you will be able to better explain why it's such nonsense.


uni-ball Air Rollerball Pen, 3-Pack, Black (1926808)
uni-ball Air Rollerball Pen, 3-Pack, Black (1926808)
Price: $11.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Better for sketching and diagraming than writing, June 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The part of the description that really caught my eye on these pens was the variable stroke width. If you move quickly over the paper, the line is fairly thin. If you move slowly and deliberately, the line gets thicker. And it's true. It does. And this is awesome for wireframes, flow charts, and other situation where you want to be able to quickly and easily make both fine lines and bold lines without having to just scribble in place to get the bold effect.

However, my handwriting is pretty bad, so i need ultra-fine-point pens for writing. Even at its fastest, the lines from these pens are just a little too broad.


The Rules
The Rules
by Debbie Viguié
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.49
50 used & new from $4.60

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful popcorn 'i know what you did last summer' teen splatter thriller, June 19, 2015
This review is from: The Rules (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Ok, i admit, i haven't seen 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', but i've read the plot summaries. The point is, this is pretty much the same thing: teens with secrets, a murderer after them, chaos and blaming and panic and accidents and lots and lots of death. The killer's identity often seems obvious but the authors do a good job of doing multi-layered fake-outs. All evidence points to A, but it could be B, and C has been acting kind of strange, and hey, come to think of it, where is D?...

This is popcorn splatter fiction. It's best if you disengage your brain first and just go along for the ride. This is the kind of book i read as a teenager, to my mother's horror (she called them 'dead teenager books'). But it was books like these that turned me into a voracious reader rather than a grudging reader, so i have a soft spot for them.


Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
Price: $179.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I use only a few of the features, but it's still totally worth it, June 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Amazon Echo (Electronics)
I use only a tiny fraction of the features available (and more seem to be added pretty regularly), but it's so worth it. To be able to say, 'Alexa, add flour to the shopping list' while my hands are covered in dough is amazing. I'm scatterbrained and if i can't write something down immediately, it falls out of my head and is gone. Alexa has cut down the number of weekly grocery trips dramatically.

'Alexa, tell me a joke' is another favorite. Most of them are pretty cheesy, but sometimes you just need a dumb joke.

Weather, traffic, wikipedia... that's about all i use. And i love it.


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