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Aukey Portable Power Bank Charger External Battery Pack (8000mAh Li-Polymer 2.1A Output) for Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S; iPad Air, mini; Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Note 3, Note 2, Galaxy Tab 3, 2 ; Google Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10; LG G3, HTC One, One 2 (M8); Motorola MOTO X, G; Nokia Lumia 925 1020; other Smartphones & Tablets, Google Glass, Bluetooth Speaker, PS Vita, GoPro, Smart Watch and USB Charged Device - White
Aukey Portable Power Bank Charger External Battery Pack (8000mAh Li-Polymer 2.1A Output) for Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S; iPad Air, mini; Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Note 3, Note 2, Galaxy Tab 3, 2 ; Google Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10; LG G3, HTC One, One 2 (M8); Motorola MOTO X, G; Nokia Lumia 925 1020; other Smartphones & Tablets, Google Glass, Bluetooth Speaker, PS Vita, GoPro, Smart Watch and USB Charged Device - White
Offered by Amzdeal Direct
Price: $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Aukey 8000mAh Ext. Battery... an ultra slim ext. battery... 5 Stars, September 20, 2014
A review on the "Aukey Portable Power Bank Charger External Battery Pack" (8000mAh Li-Polymer 2.1A Output).
This device is sold by Amzdeal Direct and fulfilled by Amazon; this unit retailed for $24.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free device for the purpose of writing an honest review.

In the box.
the battery,
instruction book
micro/USB charging cable
soft traveling pouch

Dimensions:
Size... 5 3/4 x 2 3/4 x 3/8 inches
Weight... 6.22 oz (176.5 gm)

Some thoughts on the "Aukey Portable 8000mAh Battery"...

1.) ultra-slim design... all of 3/8 thick.

2.) 8000 mAh capacity that charged at 2.1 amp max. though a single USB port

3.) LED lights blink when charging and are solid when the unit is fully charged. There is a power button that you can press to check to remaining charge (4 lights full, 3 light about 75% etc.)

3. the carrying pouch has a nice soft touch.

Impressions:
An impressive, slim, 8000 mAh external battery. It charged my devices (one at a time) when tested.

As it is... 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Aukey Multi Ports USB Charging Station Wall Charger (40W 5V/8A 5Ports) with AlPower Tech for Apple iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4; iPad Air mini; Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3; Note 3 2; Tab 3, 2;, LG G3HTC One, One 2 (M8); Google Nexus Series; Motorola MOTO X, G; LG Optimus and other Apple and Android Devices; Google Glass, External Batteries; Bluetooth Speaker, PS Vita, GoPro, Smart Watch and More USB-Powered Devices - Black
Aukey Multi Ports USB Charging Station Wall Charger (40W 5V/8A 5Ports) with AlPower Tech for Apple iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4; iPad Air mini; Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3; Note 3 2; Tab 3, 2;, LG G3HTC One, One 2 (M8); Google Nexus Series; Motorola MOTO X, G; LG Optimus and other Apple and Android Devices; Google Glass, External Batteries; Bluetooth Speaker, PS Vita, GoPro, Smart Watch and More USB-Powered Devices - Black
Offered by Amzdeal Direct
Price: $39.99
3 used & new from $16.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Aukey 5 Port Wall Charger... worked well but exterior design concern... 4 Stars, September 20, 2014
Review of the "Aukey Multi Ports USB Charging Station Wall Charger (40W 5V/8A 5Ports) This device is sold by Amzdeal Direct and fulfilled by Amazon; it retailed for $19.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free device for the purpose of writing an honest review.
In the Box:
5 port charger
5 ft wall charging cord
instructions
small suction pad

Dimensions:
Size... 3 3/4 x 2 3/8 x 1 inches
Weight... 5.88 oz (166.6 gm)

Some thoughts on "Aukey 5 Port USB Wall Charger"...

1.) has a solid, professionally-made feel to it when picked up (see Cons below).

2.) has 5 ports that charge at 2.4 amps per port up to a maximum total of 8 amps. I tested this with a amp flow meter and all ports worked as advertised.

3.) the charging cord is a convenient length of 5 feet and it has a velcro strap for ease of storage.

One Concern:
This has nothing to do with the workings of the unit, but more so with its exterior design. The first thing you'll notice when you handle this unit will be the very sharp edges and the extremely sharp pointed corners... if fact it's uncomfortable to pick up by just holding onto two corners. This could easily cut an exposed foot or dent a floor if dropped.

Impressions:
Electronically this worked as claimed, but the exterior design could have been made with softer, rounded edges.
Rating... as a electronic charger... 5 Stars.
Exterior design... 3 Stars.

As it is... 4 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Unbound Man (The Undying Legion Book 1)
The Unbound Man (The Undying Legion Book 1)
Price: $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "the Unbound Man"... the Pros and Cons... 3 1/2 Stars, September 19, 2014
"The Unbound Man" is book 1 in 'The Undying Legion' series by author Matt Karlov. This Kindle e-book was approximately 510 printed page and sold for $5.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

An epic fantasy adventure taking place in the Free Cities state on the continent of Kal Arna. The story revolves around the discovery of a long hidden and mysterious urn. Three factions quickly become aware of its unexpected reappearance, but none of them have any idea if it is important or if in fact, the urn has any significance at all. But no one is willing to take a chance and let the other side discover its secrets and gain a potential advantage should there be some magical power associated with it. Now if they could just figure how to decipher the strange writing on its side...

Some thoughts on "The Unbound Man"...

1.) well written and superbly edited.

2.) an intriguing and intricate plot filled with much clandestine plotting and acts of subterfuge. Their were many times this book was hard to put down.

3.) character development... several intriguing main players, representing each of the factions. Italics were used to show inner thoughts of many individuals... and this enhanced their personalities and character traits. (see Cons: 2 below)

4.) realism... there were many deaths and violent acts. Many important characters could be killed or severely injured... adding a sense of realism and believability to the story.

5.) maps... three detailed maps. One of the continent of Kal Arna, one of the Free Cities area and one giving detailed street and important landmarks in the major city of Anstice.

6.) a Dramatis Personae... listing persons and their role by alliance. Much appreciated by this reader.

The Cons:
1.) Arandras's character seemed so insecure and wavering... continually blaming himself for almost everything gone wrong; past and present. I really liked him at first and while initially these tendencies gave him a wise old sage and empathetic demeanor, by book's end these traits started to wear very thin and got annoying.

2.) many characters seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time second guessing their decisions; this insecurity resulted in changing allegiances on a couple of occasions. And unfortunately this tended to weaken that person's character; a character that initially appeared quite strong, stable and reliable. I think if there was one thing that weaken this tale it was the amount of second guessing throughout.

Overall impressions:
I started out very enthused as the story opened with a thrilling off-road encounter that set the scene for much of what was to come. And my enthusiasm was maintained until about a half way through when I started to get a little restless... where things started to get dragged out a bit and the action slowed down considerably... where players knew something was afoot but couldn't put the clues together.
In addition I had some confusion due my hazy sense of the story's timeline. I was never quite sure if days, weeks or months transpired between some chapters. I found myself hoping that the chapters has a time/date heading to help with the sense of flow and time continuum.

This was, in many ways, a great epic fantasy adventure, but I came away wishing it had been told a little more succinctly. Where a few more characters were a bit more decisive and clearer in their thinking... their continual wishy-washiness became a distraction. I felt a little less detail in some places might have been much better from the point of view of story flow. I struggled towards the end and in all honesty was glad to be finished.

As it is... 3 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Threshold
Threshold
Price: $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Threshold"... a stand alone novel from Sean Platt and David Wright, September 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Threshold (Kindle Edition)
"Threshold" is a stand alone quasi-paranormal horror story by co-authors Sean Platt and David Wright with editing by Jason Whited. This Kindle e-book was approximately 263 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at the time of writing this review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

The Dawson family (Scott, the father; Hudson, 15 yr old son; and Hazel, 11 yr old daughter) have undergone some hard times since Holly (wife and mother) inexplicably disappears without a trace. Then, just when it seems things couldn't possibly get worse, fortune appears to smile on them... a man arrives to announce that the children are the sole heirs of a wealthy estate and a mansion in Oregon. But before they can celebrate, they're informed that there are just a few strings attached...

Some thoughts on "Threshold"...

1.) well written and superbly edited... great prose that was a joy to read. Which BTW, has become the norm for any Platt and Wright book and then edited by Jason Whited.

2.) a great setting... an isolated mansion replete with a spooky and creepy atmosphere, featuring dark hallways, foreboding rooms, shadowy closets and the strange, locked basement.

3.) character development... characters were well fleshed out. Featuring an easily frustrated father, an impetuous, brat of a son and an insecure little girl that above all misses her mother. Carter, the mansion caretaker, was also well done.

4.) cover art... an effective image for this tale.

5.) best horror chapter... Hazel and the crows. Horror writing at its best!

Impressions:
This was Platt and Wright's second foray into writing complete novels (as opposed to serials of various lengths). And although I applaud the decision to go in this direction I must admit that I thought the manner in which this story was written had a definitive serial feel to it. Ask me to explain this statement... I can't... just a subjective perception on my part.

I liked the overall premise for the story but came away feeling less than satisfied because I thought the end sequence was a bit soft and weak... can't say too much here for fear of spoiling it for others.

As it is... 4 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Cold Trap
Cold Trap
Price: $3.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Cold Trap"... the Pros and Cons... 3 Stars, September 6, 2014
This review is from: Cold Trap (Kindle Edition)
"Cold Trap" is a mystery thriller with a space setting, by author Jon Waskan. This Kindle e-book was approximately 336 printed pages and sold for $3.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

It's 2042 and the world powers (the Sino-Russian Entente vs a group of democratic based countries) have developed an ever increasing appetite for rare, strategic metals. Unfortunately Earth's natural supply has dwindled rapidly. However the meteorites that have bombarded the moon's surface for millennia were rich in these precious metals, setting off a frenzied race for control. But the dark and isolated craters of the moon (cold traps), harbor something that our group of explorers were not expecting.

Some thoughts on "Cold Trap"...

The Pros:
1.) an intriguing (lunar-setting) beginning.

2.) almost non-stop encounters for the final 2/3s of the book, featuring some sinister and creepy situations.

3.) a true sci-fi, action plot with lots of twists and unexpected turns.

4.) cover art... an attractive image, reflecting a scene from the story.

The Cons:
1.) realism issues... many occurrences that stretched the limits of believability (believability within the context of the situation). Some examples...
a.) some amazing deductions made from scant information.
b.) several decisions that put people unnecessarily in harms way.
c.) our hero... Dr Ogden (Og) Rowley. Long on male bravado but short on common sense on many occasions, leading to some really questionable choices. Begging the question... how did he ever get to the level of leadership that he did.
d.) Captain Deaver... a personality and demeanor that seemed to make him an unlikely choice for the position of Captain of the Unity Base.

2.) Sanchia's story of coming to America from Mexico. Several chapters that appeared to be dragged out and in the end appeared to be little more than fill.

3.) characters... many one-dimensional and cookie cutter individuals.

Impressions:
A story-line that for the first third of the book started off exceedingly well... I was so enthused and hopeful. But this good beginning faded quickly as the plot turned into a far fetched space opera filled with major plot holes and featured a host of less than real characters.

An entertaining, sci-fi adventure that had several shortcomings... 3 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Lilitu
Lilitu
Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lilitu"... a short horror story, superbly told... 5 Stars, September 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lilitu (Kindle Edition)
"Lilitu" is an ultra-short horror story by author Craig McGray. This Kindle e-book was approximately 11 printed pages and sold for $0.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General theme (sort of... lol)

What mere mortal man could possibly resist selling his soul to the perfect succubus!

Some thoughts on "Lilitu"...

1.) well written and edited.

2.) some gruesome and graphically described scenes.

3.) cover art... an creepy image that fits the underlying theme.

4.) a fast and easy read, taking all of 10 minutes.

Impressions:
A tale perhaps almost all male readers will relate to. The prose and the resulting imagery was uncanny in its ability to conjure-up many a young man's lustful desires.

Short, concise and closes with a perfect last line.

As it is... 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Story of the Sparklefly (Book 1)
The Story of the Sparklefly (Book 1)
Price: $3.99

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cute, benign children's book... the Pros and Cons... 3 Stars, September 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"The Story of the Sparklefly" (Book 1) is a children's book by author Mary Leckie. This Kindle e-book was approximately 26 printed pages and was free (normally $3.99) at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was made aware by the author of the free promo on this book.

The Amazon.com product page indicates the intended age group is 3 - 18 years.

Some thoughts on "The Story of the Sparklefly"...

The Pros:
1.) a happy story about dragonflies and their alter ego... the Sparkleflies.

2.) no unpleasantness whatsoever... it's all love, sparkles and enchanted surroundings.

3.) some nice colored illustrations.

And other thoughts...
1.) for ages 3 - 18? ... I don't think so. This is a tale that would likely only appeal to a younger child, maybe 3 - 5 years of age. This 'story' is really more of a utopian description without any hint of conflict, a villain or a sinister presence. I think an older child would be come bored very quickly.

2.) filled with run-on sentences that feature an over use of commas... making for a very choppy, halting read. One example of many...

"You, are very special, and I can tell you have a lot of love inside you, and that you believe, so, if you promise to always keep your heart full of love, you may turn the page and share in the secret, magical, world of Sparkleflies!"

I spent a lot of time rereading sentences to try and garner the meaning.

3.) cover art... having read the book, I understand the image. However, this is not a cover that I feel would attract a prospective buyer to stop and explore this book. UPDATE Sept.05/14... new cover image. Much better!

4.) repetitive wording...
'sparkle' (or a derivative of) used 55 times; 'love' used 29 times... all in a book of 26 pages. Verified by the kindle reader search feature. N.B. please see author's explanatory comment below.

Impressions:
A cute, benign story by an author whose heart I believe is in the right place. However, I feel it's in need of some grammatical changes; a good editor may be of great help.

As it is... 3 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2014 3:15 AM PDT


The Blood Queen (Deathsworn Arc Book 3)
The Blood Queen (Deathsworn Arc Book 3)
Price: $5.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Blood Queen"... the Pros and Cons... 4 1/2 Stars, September 1, 2014
"The Blood Queen" is book 3 in the 'Deathsworn Arc' series by author Martyn Stanley. This Kindle e-book was approximately 233 printed pages and sold for $3.50 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General theme (minor spoilers)

Our surviving group of adventurers, having slain the Noble dragon (Book 1) and barely escaped the 'cult' and the underground warrens (Book 2) find themselves returning to the relative safety of Cormaroth, the capital city and home of Empress Jade. However the realm is threatened from several sides and internally, all is not as it seems to our returning heroes.

Some thoughts on "The Blood Queen"...

The Pros:
1.) well written and edited. The prose had an easy readability.

2.) character development... overall, really liked the comradery and chemistry between members of the group. Improving steadily from the previous books.

3.) map... a global map of the entire realm of Torea. Giving a sense of distance, direction and topography. Place names were written in lettering consistent with the local script of the times.

4.) a terrific on-going battle with a local thug.

5.) magic... especially liked Roth's ability.

6.) cover art... a scene in keeping with the series and reflecting a moment within the book.

The Cons:
1.) the lack of any substantial action (and loss of 1/2 Stars) in the initial 20% of the book... I might have thought the author would have inserted an ambush or some dire situation along the road back to Cormaroth. Instead this was a prolonged section where there were extensive philosophical discussions on such things as god vs no god, 3 dimensional (3-D) concepts and inter-racial marriages etc. Topics that to me, given the audience, simply didn't fit the story or the intellectual range of our esteemed travelers.

2.) repetitive wording/phrasing... drinking tea/slurping tea; not excessive but close to it,

3.) use of modern-day vernacular coming from a medieval story where the most advance weapons were your basic sword, axe or spear and the only regular transportation was by horse or boat.
a) "The prowess of the elves was legendary and it was seen as a ONE-OFF, not to missed event"
b) "as he span THREE SIXTY DEGREES into a slash"
c) "all of these actions caused the deceased to return to the ECO-SYSTEM of Torea"

MOMENT OF THE BOOK... I've read a ton of fantasy, so I've encountered almost every possible situation you might imagine. However, I'm still occasionally stunned by a phrase or thought that I come across in a novel. This book had one such moment... how a specific piece of information affected the sword 'Habinger'. A poignant reaction; harrowingly described. Bravo Martyn!

Impressions:
Overall, this is a terrific story that is getting better with each ensuing episode. The characters have developed into a formidable alliance while their individual traits have been gradually been enhanced and polished.

Despite the rather slow beginning, a wonderful medieval-based fantasy tale... couldn't put it down at the end.

As it is... 4 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


THE HOARD
THE HOARD
Price: $4.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and creepy mystery thriller... 4 1/2 stars, August 28, 2014
This review is from: THE HOARD (Kindle Edition)
"THE HOARD" is a stand alone modern-times mystery thriller by author Neil Grimmett. This Kindle e-book was approximately 378 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General theme <minor spoilers>

Back in 1951 an explosion rocked the Royal Ordinance Factory (ROF) killing several of its workers. Labeled a tragic accident at the time, there has always been an air of suspicion about that infamous day... there where a few things that just didn't feel right. Fast forward to 1979, and the son of one of those killed has joined the workforce of the ROF (under an assumed name) to try discover what really happened. This then is the tale of his unusual discoveries and their dark implications.

Some thoughts on "The Hoard"...

1.) locales... it seemed to take place outdoors, indoors and often in areas in between. There were many occurrences when I never seemed to know where I was (physical location).

2.) I found the early part of this book (after the event) somewhat slow and rambling... to the point of almost giving up. However things improved quickly shortly thereafter.

3.) a host of intriguing and in some cases, loathsome characters.

4. a) lots of intense action... some gruesome and graphically describe.
4.b ) lots of intense sexual ideation... some gruesome and graphically envisioned... lol.

5.) although the settings of Bridgwater, Somerset and the ROF (all in England) were based on actual locations, the tale itself was a so over-the-top at times as to easily keep this work firmly in the realm of improbable dark fiction.

6.) the story point of view (POV) flipped around frequently, often giving several individual characters POV within the same chapter. Making for a choppy read, as I struggled at times figuring out where I was and what was happening.

7.) cover art... one of those images that I guess makes sense if you know the story, but from a potential new reader point if view, is somewhat non-descript... really little to catch their eye and have them pick up the book to explore it in more depth.

Impressions:
A dark and creepy tale of people working with highly unstable and powerful ordnance related chemicals and featuring some nefarious characters with their own personal agendas.
An enjoyable mystery thriller where I found myself becoming more interested and enthralled as story progress towards its climatic ending.

As it is... 4 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Aukey Desk Stand Holder Desktop Bed Clamp Mount for iPad Mini, Mini 2 - Flexible Arm, Fully Adjustable, Hover Gooseneck (AK-3D)
Aukey Desk Stand Holder Desktop Bed Clamp Mount for iPad Mini, Mini 2 - Flexible Arm, Fully Adjustable, Hover Gooseneck (AK-3D)

5.0 out of 5 stars Aukey Desktop Stand Holder for the IPad Mini... 5 Stars, August 26, 2014
This is a review of the "Aukey Desk Stand Holder Desktop Bed Clamp Mount" meant specifically for iPad Mini, Mini 2. Sold by ATEK and Fulfilled by Amazon and retailed at $35.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free device for the purpose of writing an honest review.

In the box...

1.) triangular holder for IPad mini
2.) 18 Inch flexible goose neck with ball socket
3.) adjustable clamp to allow attaching to desk or counter top

Some thoughts on "Aukey Desk Stand Holder"...

1.) your IPad mini snaps into and out of the triangular holder with ease. However the holders are secure enough to hold the device very securely.

2.) the flexible goose neck is quite stiff; meaning that it will stay in whatever position you put it in. e.g. I found there was no drifting downward from gravity.

3.) adjustable screw clamp... attaches easily and securely to table or desktop. In addition the clamp itself is lined with a rubberized material to prevent any accidental impressions or scratching of the desk/counter top.

4.) the ball socket that connects the goose neck to the IPad mini allows both standard landscape and portrait viewing angles as well as allowing you an almost unlimited number of other viewing angles of the screen.

Impressions:
If you need your IPad mini in a secure and safe place e.g. on cluttered desktop or on a potentially wet or greasy kitchen counter then this IPad mini holder may be perfect device to allow you the freedom you require.

This holder also comes in sizes to accommodate the older IPads as well as the new IPad Air.

As it is... 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


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