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AWildDog

AWildDog

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I'm a 25 year old female, living in the UK. I'm a gamer, reader, animal lover and photographer. My reviews are also available on dooyoo.

Reviews written

since 03/06/2010

26

Wildflowers Come Back (Kindle Edition) - Sarah Spann 11/01/2012

Wildflowers Come Back - You'll Be Up All Night Reading

Wildflowers Come Back (Kindle Edition) - Sarah Spann Wildflowers Come Back by Sarah Spann Lyss Brewer starts off the new year a mess – no job, no boyfriend, no place to live, no money and of all places in a motel room. However her luck quickly changes when she’s offered a job at a local inn, not to mention it’s a live in position which solves all manner of the aforementioned problems for Lyss. She makes friends fast with most of the staff, they soon become like a family to her and finally everything is going right again. Soon though the walls of the old inn start to speak to Lyss, as the fear of a serial killer on the loose in Santa Fe spreads throughout the town. Lyss wrestles with her own sanity not knowing if she’s going stark raving mad or if she really is seeing ghosts. Ultimately Lyss needs to decide who to trust – herself, the voices or the real people in her life. At first I thought Wildflowers Come Back by Sarah Spann was going to be a book that was slow to start – boy was I wrong, you’ll get hit with the main plot before you even realise it. It definitely won’t take you long to be hooked on the storyline and if I hadn’t had things to do in the day, I would have been up all night finishing this book. I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this book – I was worried that the romance in it would over shadow the deeper goings on in the inn at one point but it never did, it just strengthened the story. Each of the main characters are all very loveable in their own way, and there’s definitely a bit of slight angsty, sweet, ...

Leon (DVD) 31/10/2011

Leon - More Than You'd Expect

Leon (DVD) After listening to my boyfriend rave about this film for some weeks now and hearing so many times how it’s his favourite film – much to his delight, I finally sat down and watched it, not being 100% sure what to expect. For the record Leon was renamed The Professional for US release, so if you go looking for this film in the US, you’re looking for The Professional. Leon (Jean Reno) is a French hit man living in America just trying to get by. He’s a loner both by emotional choice and by the strains of his job. His best friend is a plant but you’d be mistaken if you thought he was unhinged. Leon might be a hit man but he has morals – no woman, no children. Leon’s life is pretty uncomplicated until his next door neighbours are murdered by corrupt police and their daughter, aged only 12 pleas for his help in finding and killing those that murdered her family. Matilda (Natalie Portman) might only be 12, but she’s been forced to live in a grown up world. Her father a drug lord, an abusive step mother and sister – she can almost be glad someone ridded her of them. But they killed her 4 year old brother who was completely innocent and that’s what she isn’t prepared to let go. Together they embark on a journey to find the head of the corrupt police team, played by Gary Oldman and … well do what hit men do. Besides, justice via the cops is out of the questions. Oldman plays this sick, twisted and not sane in the slightest cop really well. He’s a menacing villain who knows he’s in a ...

The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson 15/08/2011

The Final Empire - There's Always Another Secret

The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson was recommended to me by a friend about a year ago, which I brought as soon as I could knowing that he and I have very similar tastes in such things. However I only brought the first of the series The Final Empire Why have I only just now finished reading it? I simply didn't want it to end. I brought my paperback copy from Amazon UK for £5.30 (RRP £8.99)*, the cover is different from the US version and although cleaner in design some may not connect the imagery on the cover to the story very well but I quite like it. It's published (at least in the UK) by Gollancz which have some great books, so again definitely got my excited before I even started reading. The title of the book gives a massive clue about the main storyline of the book – a group of people try to bring down the The Final Empire – named so because it has been unbreakable for centuries. This is not about war, this is about rebellion and bringing down a tyrant. The world is divided into upper and lower class and the difference between them couldn't be much more. The lower class are either slaves, too sick/weak/old to work, or thieves. All of which live in slums whilst the high class people have lavish food and balls most nights of the week. They kill the lower classes (Skaa) as they please and even rape isn't an issue as long as they kill any Skaa woman afterwards so they don't bare any of their children. Money and status however aren't the only powerful levers in this ...

Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) 24/01/2011

Dragon Age: Origins - Best RPG For A Long Time

Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) My journey with this game starts about a year ago really, from a recommendation from a friend who has similar tastes to me in games (and music for that matter), however the only platform I had at that time was PC and I'm not a big PC gamer, especially when it comes to RPG's. And so after acquiring an XBOX 360 and many hints before Christmas - my boyfriend gets it me for Christmas. Dragon Age: Origins is a plot heavy RPG, available on PC, XBOX 360 and PS3. With it's roots firmly planted in Bio-Wares camp, it's pretty much what you'd expect from that. EA however are obviously improving with their game choices and this shows through them being involved with this game. The game ranges from about £10-£15 new now (Jan. 2011) which is cheap considering you'll get at least 30-40hr game play out of it on one play through (depending on your personal skills of course). Normal plot applies really - evil lurks (Darkspawn - which are basically Orcs, though there are a few different kinds) driven by the rise of an greater evil (in this case the ArchDemon) and you have to stop it, but you must recruit armies to support you first. Sounds simple but it's anything but with kings, egos and interracial disputes going on. Doesn't anyone know the end of the world is on the doorstep if the blight has it's way? Apparently not. In the box, there's just the usual disc, booklet and one or two promo leaflets which may or may not interest you. The booklet has the usual stuff in, so if you're pretty ...

Hocus Pocus (DVD) 21/10/2010

Hocus Pocus - Perfect Family Halloween Film

Hocus Pocus (DVD) Hocus Pocus is one of my - no wait - my favourite Halloween movie. Here's why... Hocus Pocus was released in 1993 by Disney, it was a quiet success but has many many fans. The story opens in 1693 boy called Thackery Binx (Sean Murray - NCIS) discovers his sister is missing. Upon venturing outside he sees purple smoke rising from the words and runs off at great speed to the witches house in the woods to try to rescue her. Unfortunately he gets caught and after a few tortuous words he's turned into an immortal cat. Thankfully Thackery has already told his buddy to rally the villagers and they soon appear and catch the witches. They are hung for their crimes and witchcraft but not before they cast a spell that means that as soon as a virgin lights the Black Flame candle they will return. 300 years later Hocus Pocus tells the story of Max (Omri Katz), the new boy in town who doesn't quite fit in and is the flavour of the month with the school bullies. He's starting to out grow playing with his kid sister and finds it quite a pain when asked to take her trick or treating. Then the main story kicks in - Max along with his kid sister Dani (Thora Birch) and his crush Allison (Vinessa Shaw) enter the old Sanderson house - the house supposedly owned by witches who were hung in the 17th century. Amidst a speech and some showing off to Allison, Max lights the Black Flame candle and thus, the witches (Winifred "Winnie" Sanderson (Bette Midler), leader of the coven, and her sisters ...

Lanes Soothagel 21/10/2010

Soothagel - Painless Soothing

Lanes Soothagel Manufacturers description says: "Soothagel is a protective gel for mouth ulcers, denture rub, gingivitis and painful gums - Stops the sting, speeds recovery." And that it does! I suffer from mouth ulcers from time to time, when stressed or feeling down (or boiled sweets... oops!) and when I was young my mum would give me Bonjela to use - which works well but it stings quite a bit when you put it on. In my late teens I had a particularly bad mouth once and so I got some stuff which the same of escapes me - but that hurt a lot worse than Bonjela. And then there's Rinstead Sugar Free Pastilles which taste awful! So I am extremely happy to have found Soothagel. I admit that the taste isn't great - it's supposed to be fruit flavoured - but it's not a bad taste so there isn't too much to worry about. Applying it is really easy, just put a small amount on a clean finger and apply to the area of the ulcer. The BEST thing about this gel has to be that it really is pain free, none of that normal stinging when you apply the gel, none of that weird dancing around the room whilst people look at you as if you've gone mad. It costs around £2.50 for a 5ml tube, which is quite small but it lasts quite a long time for such a small tube. Instructions are included - make sure you read them before using the product! Also if your mouth ulcers aren't constant (if they are you need to see a doctor) - the next time you need this, it probably won't be out of date unlike a larger tube. This is ...

Finding Nemo (DVD) 10/10/2010

Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition, 2 DVDs) - Fintastic!

Finding Nemo (DVD) Finding Nemo is yet another collaboration between animations giants Disney and Pixar. Released in 2004 it was a big hit with children and adults alike. Finding Nemo follows the journey of 2 people - Nemo himself and his Dad Marlin in an ocean full of other creatures, the good and the bad. When Nemo was just a egg waiting to hatch his father had to go through the traumatic experience of losing his partner and most of the eggs... all except Nemo, who although he suffered some damage - which caused one of his fins to be smaller than the others survived the ordeal. Unfortunately for Nemo, all this has left his dad over cautious and over protective - with many rules, and safety routines going on every day. Eventually this leads to Nemo having a rebel moment and swimming out into open water only for him to be caught by a diver as gift for his niece. Kept in the divers personal tank at his daytime job as a dentist, Nemo only has so much time to escape before the dreaded niece turns up for her present. In the meantime, Marlin embarks on an incredible journey through the ocean encountering sharks, sea turtles, fish and jelly fish. He's accompanied by Dory - who ironically has the memory of a goldfish. Together they strive to find out where Nemo has gone and get to him as fast as possible. The journey sees them both overcome their issues and fears. Some of the best moments in the film include Dory forgetting Nemo's name, the meeting of Sharks in a sort of "Fishaholics anonymous" ...

Pan's Labyrinth (DVD) 04/10/2010

Pan's Labyrinth - Clever, Enchanting and Brutal

Pan's Labyrinth (DVD) Pan's Labyrinth (English language title for the Spanish film Laberinto del Fauno). Yes that means the film is in Spanish with English subtitles. The film is set in Spain - Post War (1944) - in a woodland military base. Where Captain Videl (played by Sergi Lopez) awaits the arrival of his wife, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), who is expecting his child and his step daughter, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero). Captain Videl is running a military operation from this woodland base and assassinates any rebels who are against him, with a limited number of soldiers staying in and around the base. There are also a few locals helping out at the base with day to day work, cooking and cleaning - but only two of these characters are really in the limelight - the maid, Mercedes and the Doctor. One can guess from the start that Captain Videl is the evil in all of this and is simply a violent bully of the military persuasion. Who really dislikes everyone but himself. His wife, Carmen is suffering badly in her pregnancy and is due to give birth very soon. The Doctor helps her all he can but when he comes to it, Videl is only interested in gaining a son and tells the doctor to save the baby if it comes to it. Ofelia is understandably somewhat aware of the situation even if it's not fully. And either her mother ill, she turns to Mercedes for some warmth and comfort. However she also finds escape when she discovers she's the lost princess of her own world and secretly begins the three tasks given to her by a ...

Kiki's Delivery Service (Animated) (DVD) 28/09/2010

Kiki's Flying High!

Kiki's Delivery Service (Animated) (DVD) Kiki's Delivery Service comes from director Hayao Miyazaki and of course the amazing Studio Ghibli. If your unfamiliar with this director and campany - they are basically Disney meets Anime. Really don't be put off by the word Anime - Anime is a big category and this certainly isn't one that you'll see those barely dressed characters in. That being said - lets get on with the review. Plot Kiki's Delivery Service is a quite a simple story at heart. Kiki is a young witch of 13 years old - who is about to embark on her year away from home to start her witch training. Kiki's mother is also a witch - her father is mortal and both are apprehensive about letting their daughter venture out into the world on her own at such a tender age. However Kiki is a most determined young lady and insists she goes now when the weather and conditions of the sky are right for flying and so she sets off with just her cat (who talks) for company. Eventually they come across a coastal town that isn't exactly witch friendly - they've not a had a resident witch for a long time - but Kiki likes it all the same and she finds a place to stay and make some money. Then the work begins to figure out who she is as a witch. Characters, Voices and Graphics The characters are quite simple and there isn't much conflict to test their character, however they are well built, cute and well established. The voices are good and the graphics are what you'd expect from Studio Ghibli in the late 80's. So... ...

9 (DVD) 27/09/2010

9 Gets 9/10

9 (DVD) 9 is an animated fantasy directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton (Beetlejuice) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted). The movie is based around the man vs machines idea, where man has not survived this war it created for itself by relying on machines and having them in the hands of the wrong people. The humans have not survived this war, however the man behind the machines - a kindly old inventor and scientist has left behind 9 small rag dolls with life within them. They are named - perhaps unimaginatively 1 through 9. Overtime these 9 dolls find each other and start slowly but surely to figure out what their purpose is and exactly what has gone on in the world. 1 being the first to be made he looks more like a beta model compared to 9, and having seen a lot more in the world - 1 is very stuck in his ways. With some controversy prods at the human condition in situations of war, religion and hierarchy it's a great movie to analysis these thoughts that are brought forward if you are so inclined to do so. The story itself is great and slightly complex, you are given snippets of information which you piece together along with the characters which gives you a sort of bond with the characters. The film has been given a 12 rating and although some of the machines can be scary looking - I'm not convinced it's too scary for children a little younger than 12. The characters are well developed, as each of the nine seems to represent a certain human trait (you will find out why ...

Wall-E (DVD) 27/09/2010

Wall-E - Already A Classic.

Wall-E (DVD) Wall-E is another collaboration between animation giants Disney and Pixar and delivers what we have come to expect from such a meeting of the two companies. Wall-E is a robot - his directive is simple - clean up earth after humans have made it so full of their trash/waste that it's not long inhabitable for humans, or any life for that matter, except robots and cockroaches. The humans have left to cruise around space whilst an army of robots cleans up however thousands of years later, only Wall-E and his cockroach friend remain as he does his job day in and day out. One day a new robot arrives on a mission to find a plant growing - something which Wall-E has already found. The humans stuck on a ship and becoming increasingly fat and lazy, with the ships autopilot on a power trip, are unaware they can return home. So together with the Captain, Wall-E and Eve must overcome the autopilot and return mankind to earth. This is a great story, which isn't only about humans returning to earth but love between two robots and to some extend their struggle to overcome their purpose for being built. The graphics and animation are fantastic as one has come to expect. There isn't much dialogue for most of the movie but this gives a great atmosphere to the film that is simple and yet speaks volumes. It contains some great old style music which is reminiscent of the classic Disney era of their live action films. The characters are fantastic and something everyone can identify with. I ...

Nostradamus Ate My Hamster - Robert Rankin 24/09/2010

Nostradamus Ate My Hamster And My Hamster Loved It

Nostradamus Ate My Hamster - Robert Rankin Even being an avid fan of Robert Rankin, I think this is probably my favourite that I have read so far. Rankin is the self-proclaimed grandfather of far fetched fiction, and has been likened to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett - but in my opinion, I would say Rankin writes far more far fetched, although if you enjoy the two authors mentioned you will probably enjoy Robert Rankin's work too. The Plot is simple but surreal - Centred around Fudgepacker's Emporium, which is a movie prop warehouse and one of it's workers - it's only worker besides the boss Mr Fudgepacker himself and Morgan - Russell. During lunchtime Morgan tells Russell of the disappears of The Flying Swan; a pub famous for it's customers John O'Mally and Jim Pooley in Rankin's other books. O'Mally and Pooley have disappeared along with the pub and all of it's occupants at the time. All of which appear to have me atomised on Christmas Eve thanks to the Ark of Covenent. Russell now involved and seeking the truth about all this disappearing business, stumbles across a movie plot - Nostradamus Ate My Hamster. Which results in time travel and effects the world massively - particularly the events of the Second World War. This book is very complex in that there are a lot of short stories woven into one another, which only start to come together about half way through the book. Nostradamus Ate My Hamster has some very controversial and possibly offensive parts to it, there is a lot of hidden meaning and opinion in ...

Exo Terra PT 2602 Terrarium with Background 23/09/2010

Exo Terra Terrarium - Winner With Geckos

Exo Terra PT 2602 Terrarium with Background I own the Rainforest version of this Terrarium and my Mourning Gecko's love it. It's easy to clean (remove top or open doors - depending on which species your keeping - remove foliage, wipe glass clean and done), and sustains the temperature very well for them; in the summer the heat pad is not need for them. (Of course this will depend on which species of animal you keep in it). The lid is of thin mesh to allow for air and there are vents at the front and on top. Access can be from the top of front. All Instructions are included. This one is 30 x 30 x 45 cm and is the smallest terrarium available from Exo Terra with more height than length (which some species prefer - for example my Mourning Geckos). Prices on these Terrariums can vary quite a bit so I recommend anyone who is looking into getting one to look around before buying. They do also come as a sort of "starter pack", which are definitely worth looking out for whether your a first time reptile keeper or not. These packs come with a few plastic plants, some plantation soil (it comes in a small compact brick but it makes a bucket full - just follow the instructions on the packet), a vine and a rock water bowl. Plus the temperature and humidity gauges. They are supplied with a compact light to place on top, but this doesn't come with a bulb and depending on the species you won't necessarily need it (but the light can be a nice effect). My start kit one was about £35-£40. The only problem I have found is I have had ...

Labyrinth (DVD) 23/09/2010

Labyrinth - Get Lost In It

Labyrinth (DVD) Labyrinth is a fantasy film starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Directed by none other than Jim Henson. As you would expect from Henson, this film contains a lot of puppets and the majority of the cast are in fact puppets. The story follows Sarah (Connelly), a kind natured teenage girl with a love for books and theatre, who is finding it difficult to get along with her step mother with the arrival of her new baby (step) brother Toby. When her parents leave for a Saturday night out, a resentful Sarah is left to babysit Toby - frustrating building up she reverts to her theatre and recites and short monologue asking the Goblin King (Bowie) for help. What she doesn't know is that the Goblin King is real and as soon as she leaves the room - he takes Toby, just as she'd ask. After all - he wants to please her - he's in love with her. Sarah then has to embark on a journey through the Labyrinth - a notorious maze which keeps changing, with many characters within it, thought the Goblin City and to the Goblin King's Castle for a showdown with Jareth, the King himself. The story is fantastic, full of trails, realisations and puzzles. And although some may find it weird - particularly young children - all will be pulled into the story wanting to know what happens next. The characters are strong and well developed and the puppetry is excellent. Every effort has been made to make the puppets look, move and sound fantastic. Each puppet is excellently designed and fits the ...

21 Years Gone: The Autobiography - Jack Osbourne 23/09/2010

21 Years Experience

21 Years Gone: The Autobiography - Jack Osbourne This book gives some great background into being a kid in the midst of a Rock Show. Jack Osbourne has had a semi-normal life before being shot into the spotlight with the world wide phenomenon of The Osbournes - a reality show that follows the Osbourne family in the daily life. Jack is brutally honest about himself about the person he was and the person the media had painted him to be. Before being in the spotlight Jack had a life that was balanced between spending on tour with her parents, and spending time in a normal school environment with her parents being at home or away for just a few days. The books starts with some of Jack's memories of his childhood, both from England and the US. These range from the rock and roll to plain old school days. This part of the book is very interesting and gives a great insight into Jack's struggle to fit in at school. The bulk of the book concentrates on his decent into using drugs and drinking alcohol, the height of that use and then the recovery process. All of which give a great insight to the world of drugs, specifically around the LA club scene and music industry. The danger faced by users and also the difficulty of the recovery is highlighted through Jack's personal experiences - which are varied from extremely sad, to inspiring - all of it being quite informative about each process Jack went through. Although there are some very sad and even desperate moments, the high insight prospective which Jack now writes from oozes with ...
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