Profile for John Kwok > Reviews

Browse

John Kwok's Profile

Customer Reviews: 2426
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,363
Helpful Votes: 22950




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

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

Reviews Written by
John Kwok RSS Feed (New York, NY USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Great Glass Sea
The Great Glass Sea
by Josh Weil
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.57
81 used & new from $7.87

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Study of Two Brothers in a Contemporary Alternate History Soviet Russia, But Not Memorable Speculative Fiction, December 21, 2014
This review is from: The Great Glass Sea (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"The Great Glass Sea" is among the notable debut novels published this year, and one which demonstrates Josh Weil's ample gifts as a superb prose stylist and storyteller. However, like several other novels published this year by mainstream literary fiction writers thinking that they can write credible speculative fiction, Weil hasn't quite grasped what William Gibson has dubbed the "tool kit of science fiction". While he posits the existence of space mirrors channeling light into the vast Oranzheria ('sea of glass") that covers the entire city of Petroplavisk, he doesn't quite delve deeply into his characters' reaction to living in what is, in essence, perpetual daylight. Instead, Weil devotes more time into exploring the different personalities of twin brothers Dima and Yarik and how their differing worldviews will find them at odds when one captures the attention of the Organzheria's billionaire owner. As a riveting character study of the two brothers, "The Great Glass Sea" has a lot going for it as a contemporary literary descendant of Pushkin and Dostoevsky's greatest fiction; a riveting character study that probably didn't need the distraction of a superficial speculative fictional setting for Weil to have his characters inhabit.


Dreaming Spies: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
Dreaming Spies: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
by Laurie R. King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Sherlock Holmes Mystery/Suspense Novel Set in 1920s Great Britain and Japan, December 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Purists may object to Laurie R. King's appropriation of Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective Sherlock Holmes, but in her latest novel featuring this pair of detectives - American Mary Russell and British Sherlock Holmes - she describes the latest fictional exploits of a pair almost as memorable as Watson and Holmes. Drawing extensively on early 20th Century Japanese history, King offers readers a memorable fictional exploration into Japanese customs and traditions in the 1920s, introducing us to the father and daughter pair of devoted ninja, sworn to defend the honor of the Japanese Imperial family with their own lives if necessary. King offers readers ample skullduggery lurking aboard a cruise liner bound for Japan sailing across the Indian Ocean and East indies, the Frank Lloyd Wright- designed hotel in Tokyo, and in the country estate of a young British earl. Russell and Holmes successfully match wits with their criminal quarry, but are themselves upstaged in the final chapters of the novel. Laurie R. King has done a most admirable job in remaining true to Doyle's conception of Holmes, while also teaming him with the equally resourceful Russell. "Dreaming Spies" promises to be an eagerly awaited mystery/thriller reader that will delight many, especially those eager to read a new Sherlock Holmes adventure


Streamlight 61602 Double Clutch USB Rechargeable Headlamp, 120VAC, Yellow
Streamlight 61602 Double Clutch USB Rechargeable Headlamp, 120VAC, Yellow
Price: $52.71
5 used & new from $52.71

5.0 out of 5 stars it is a useful headlamp especially because of its multiple power sources, December 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What a novel product, and one that should be seen by some as necessary. I am most impressed with its multiple sources of power of which the most notable one is charging - or recharging - it via a USB connection. I regard the headlight illumination to be adequate, if not exceptionally strong, even if there are four light settings that include two bright floodlight options. Nonetheless, it is a useful headlamp especially because of its multiple power sources.


The Illusionists: A Novel
The Illusionists: A Novel
by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.17
45 used & new from $1.87

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Tale of Magic and Intrigue Set in Late Victorian London, December 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the United Kingdom's most popular writers, Rosie Thomas demonstrates with her latest novel, that she is a fine prose stylist and storyteller, offering readers a largely ignored aspect of late Victorian life in London. However, "The Illusionists" doesn't quite warrant favorable comparisons with Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus" since the latter novel is one of the most notable debut novels in recent memory, whereas Thomas' novel is an entertaining work of popular fiction with serious aspirations to be viewed as serious literary fiction too. Indeed, the most captivating aspects of the novel are the strong friendship which develops between Devil Wix and his sidekick, the dwarf magician Carlo Bonomi, and the love affair which blossoms between Devil and the beautiful, but impoverished, Eliza, who becomes an important part of Devil's team long before they recognize their love for each other. Thomas does an excellent job introducing us to some other well drawn characters, like the enigmatic Jasper Button, but the plot seems to drag incessantly at times, and one that may have been shortened considerably, reducing the final text of the novel by approximately one hundred pages. Still "The Illusionists" is a tale well told and one that should offer ample pleasure for anyone who has some love for magic and theatre in late Victorian London.


Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes--and What We Can Learn from Them
Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes--and What We Can Learn from Them
by Mark McClusky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.09
55 used & new from $13.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Overview of Contemporary Sports Science as the tool for producing Award-Winning Athletes, December 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Drawing upon years of reporting on sports science, Mark McClusky has written a most fascinating account on how science and technology is being used to create better, higher achieving, athletes. He demonstrates how nutritional drinks like Gatorade have enhanced the performance of athletes in sports as diverse as American football and cycling. He introduces us to American and British researchers who are using the latest techniques and technology in sports science to assist athletes into becoming award-winning superstars, whether it is during the Olympics, or something as relatively mundane as a relief pitcher pitching against the opposing team in Major League Baseball, learning the latest techniques ranging from eating an appropriate diet to employing the most efficient exercises that will enhance their athletic productivity. McClusky writes in an engaging, compellingly readable, literary style is noteworthy for its lack of pedantic prose, especially when discussing seemingly esoteric aspects of biochemistry and physiology. "Faster, Higher Stronger: How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes" is one of the best books I have read about sports science, and one that should deserve ample recognition as one of the most important popular treatises on this subject.


The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
by Peter F. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.98
68 used & new from $14.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Space Opera Novel That's Nearly As Good as Banks At His Best, November 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Peter F. Hamilton makes a triumphant, quite memorable, return to his "Commonwealth" space opera saga with "The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth", in a literary style almost worthy of comparison with Iain M. Banks's best. Without question, Hamilton is one of the United Kingdom's best writers of speculative fiction, and now, with the untimely passing of Banks, may be, along with Alastair Reynolds, one of the best two literary stylists writing space opera speculative fiction in the English language. Hamilton excels in writing memorable, compelling plots with characters as noteworthy as legendary Nigel Sheldon, the "co-founder" of the Commonwealth, who ventures into the Void at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy, seeking to uncover what became of a lost human colonization fleet, and stumbling upon their descendants on the Earth-like world of Bienvenido. Most of the story, however, delves into the lives of several of Bienvenido's inhabitants, who are destined to make major, truly revolutionary, changes to their world's current government, that will take them slowly back towards the stars and the distant Human Commonwealth. Sheldon also uncovers the terrifying secrets behind the Fallers, who have terrified Bienvenido's inhabitants for millennia. Without question, "The Abyss Beyond Dreams" is a noteworthy achievement of Anglo-American speculative fiction literature, as well as yet another major literary milestone in Hamilton's "Commonwealth" saga.


Tongwan City
Tongwan City
by Gao Jianqun
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $4.68
48 used & new from $1.28

5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Fictional Recounting of Early Imperial Chinese History, November 28, 2014
This review is from: Tongwan City (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In a literary translation that echoes the poetic language of Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities" and J. G. Ballard, Gao Jianqun has written a surprisingly terse, but quite memorable, tale recounting murder, passion and political intrigue in a remote border kingdom, a "buffer state" between the Han Chinese Empire and the nomadic, war-like tribes that live in the Central Asian steppes. He weaves succinctly fact and fiction, history and legend, in recounting a saga which ties these war-like tribes, the Xiongnu, with their more famous cousins, the Huns. He also delves into the history behind of the construction of the Great Wall itself, whose construction began in earnest during the Han Dynasty, as a means of keeping China secure from the Xiongnu and other war-like Central Asian steppe peoples.


MetRX Prime Nutrition Bar, Chocolate Brownie, 6 Count
MetRX Prime Nutrition Bar, Chocolate Brownie, 6 Count
Price: $19.09
8 used & new from $17.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Protein Bar But Tastes Rather Bland, November 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MetRX Prime Nutrition Bar bills itself as a "cleaner, leaner protein bar" in its Chocolate Brownie incarnation. But it's not necessarily a better tasting one, it's simply okay. Still it deserves consideration as suitable snack food since each bar offers 20 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in a bar that has 210 calories. I thought the chocolate brownie version would be a winning combination taste-wise, but I found it surprisingly bland/


The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams
The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams
by Phyllis Lee Levin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.92

5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Biography of a Most Remarkable American Patriot, November 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Phyllis Lee Levin's "The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams" easily ranks as among the finest biographies of American statesmen published so far this century, drawing extensively on Adams' diaries and private correspondence, but written in a sufficiently lively and engaging style that will interest both a wide audience as well as those keenly interested in the early history of the United States. Levin's book offers us a most revealing look into the brilliant mind of John Quincy Adams, whose interests ranged widely, including a nearly life-long interest in science and technology. As such, he may be, along with Thomas Jefferson, the most brilliant President of the United States in the first century of its existence. Levin introduces us to a precocious youth who easily mastered several European languages while serving as secretary for his father and Francis Dana - and acting too as Dana's interpreter - as both older men served respectively, as America's ambassadors to the Netherlands and the Russian Empire. A man who mastered the arts and skills required for diplomacy so well that he would serve successfully as United States minister to the Netherlands, the British and Russian empires, while dealing simultaneously with a complicated, often difficult, marriage to his wife Louisa. Levin's biography is historical scholarship at its best, providing us with a sympathetic portrait of one of the most brilliant men ever to become President of the United States, and, without question, our most experienced - and most important - diplomat during the first half-century of the United States' existence.


YouCan SP2 Milo Micro-suction Stand for Most Smartphone iphone, Galaxy S4, etc. Retail Packaging (White)
YouCan SP2 Milo Micro-suction Stand for Most Smartphone iphone, Galaxy S4, etc. Retail Packaging (White)
Offered by Koolives
Price: $11.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Miniature Micro-suction Stand, November 6, 2014
This seems to work well, holding onto my portable Gossen digital light meter with ease. However, there is no instructions for its use, except those printed on the product box itself, which many might ignore if the box was discarded.


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