Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was the first book in a long and beloved series of books written by one of the greatest authors of our generation JK Rowlingshot-a-014n

I cant imagine that anyone one on the planet doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter but just to be safe the first book is about an eleven year old boy who suffers tremendous abuse from both his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who legally became his guardians after his parents Lily and James were killed by an evil Wizard known as Lord Voldermort, Voldermort tries to kill Harry as a baby but Harry survives hence why he is known as the boy who lived, while he grows up with the Dursleys who make him sleep under the stairs, praise their other son Dudley for hurting him and are genuinely terrible people, the only surviving memory Harry has of his parents is a lighting bolt shaped scar on his forehead that he was left with after the attack.

After receiving countless mysterious letters in the mail all of which are destroyed by his Uncle, Harry eventually finds out that he is a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry so that he can learn to become the legendary hero he was born to be, by now we have been introduced to one of the most important characters of the franchise Hagrid the grounds keeper and not too long after that we meet some of the other very important characters including Hermione Granger an intelligent but rather bossy young witch, Ronald Weasley who is very clumsy but has a good heart, Draco Malfoy the snobby school bully who thinks that his family is better than everyone else, Neville Longbottom who is the most important character in the franchise other than Harry but we will get to that another day, Severus Snape a potions master who really dislikes Harry, Albus Dumbledore the Head Master of the school and most importantly in this book is Professor Quirrell a seemingly nervous wreck of teacher who stutters every sentence and is constantly on edge.

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Hogwarts has four school houses Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor each student is placed in one these houses depending on their personalities the bravest and most courageous students are placed in Gryffindor, the most knowledgeable and witty students are placed in Ravenclaw, the most caring and loyal of students are placed in Hufflepuff and the most ambitious students are placed in Slytherin but a clever detail JK Rowling has hinted at in the series is that Gryffindor is the only house you can choose to join since you have to choose to be brave and if you have seen the movie or read the book then you know that this small detail plays a very important part in the Harry Potter story.

While on break after learning new spells and how to make potions Harry, Ron and Hermione accidentally enter a forbidden area on the fourth floor corridor and what they find behind the door is what leads them to start trying to unravel the mystery of the Philosophers Stone and who they believe may be trying to steal it.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is one of the most important books in existence, not only was it the start of Harry’s journey into becoming a wizard but more importantly it was the start of JK Rowlings journey of becoming one of the most influential writers of all time.

This is a fantastic book, its well written to point where JK Rowling doesn’t explain things in a lot of detail so the reader is able to use their imagination to create a vision of the magical world in their own minds instead of how the author sees it, the characters are perfect you will find Hermione annoying just like Ron does but you will learn to warm up to her through out the book, Draco Malfoy and Dursleys are all really unlikable and you will hate them which is great because you are supposed to dislike them and Albus Dumbledore really does seem like a very wise old wizard who has a unique perspective on life,however there are one or two plot holes in this first installment but obviously due to spoilers I won’t go into them, if you are unsure as to whether you want to check out the Harry Potter books this is a really good place to start because not only is it the first of the franchise but its also the shortest and in my personal opinion one of the very best.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

and yes Christmas reviews are coming, I promise 🙂

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BRUU The Gourmet Tea Club 2015: December Box

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I received my very first box of BRUU today and honestly I didn’t know what to expect as I have never joined a subscription service before.

For those wondering BRUU is a tea club that sends its members different types of home grown loose tea every month, I personally am a big tea lover but I have never had loose tea before so this was definitely a brand new experience for me.

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What first shocked me was the contents, I only expected three bags of tea but I was also greeted with a Christmas Card, a letter, some Haribo sweets, A chocolate and a scented candle, I was shocked at just how well BRUU seemed to know me even though this was my first box, I love tea but I also love Haribo’s, chocolates and scented candles all the same so this was a very pleasant surprise.

Before discussing the different Tea’s I would first like to talk about all of the extras, first of all the chocolate was delicious it was a classic milk chocolate but you could definitely notice the difference in quality when compared to the branded stuff, this was much nicer it had a finer texture and it was very milky I personally thought it tasted like a posh hot chocolate which I found to be very interesting.

The scented candle reminded me of christmas trees which is very fitting, as you may know the Pine Tree (Christmas Tree) has a very distinct scent compared to other trees, the smell is very sweet and natural and is a very fitting scent to add to a Christmas Box.

I’m not going to review Haribo’s because I am absolutely  certain that everyone who is reading this has eaten Haribo’s before and if not they are literally 10 pence a packet in most retail stores.

Lets now discuss this months Tea’s, the tea’s in my box were Rosey Rhubarb Green, The Earl of Winter and Cheeky Digestive.

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The first tea I tried was Rosey Rhubarb Green, it’s a blend of Green Tea, Rhubarb and rose petals, it was surprisingly quite sweet, you could definitely taste the Green Tea and the flavors of the Rhubarb danced with your taste buds, the rose petals were an excellent addition to the brew as it gave of the sweet scent of roses at Christmas time.

Rosey Rhubarb Cream was a very tasty blend of Green Tea, it’s honestly the best Green Tea I have ever had.

Next I tried Cheeky Digestive, Cheeky Digestive is a blend of Pistachio, Apple Pieces, Orange Peel, Wild Strawberry Leaves, White Cornflower, Blossoms, Raspberry Leaves, Sweet Blackberry Leaves, Pink Peppercorns and Hazelnuts.

Now the Cheeky Digestive boasts that it tastes like a biscuit but with all the ingredients you would most likely find that very doubtful, well let me be the first to tell you that it does indeed taste almost exactly like a Digestive Biscuit, I don’t know why this is perhaps many of these ingredients are in Digestive Biscuits.

Cheeky Digestive is a very yummy blend of Tea but I recommend it as an occasional treat as some of the ingredients are quite large so you may find that this bag will empty much quicker than the others in this months box.

Finally I gave the Earl of Winter a go, a blend of Earl Grey, Aniseed, Liquorice Root, Star Anise, Strawberry Leaves, Cornflower Petals, Verbena, Rooibos, Blackberry Leaves, Lemon Grass and Cloves.

The Earl of Winter is an interesting combination, the idea is that its the popular classic Earl Grey but with a festive kick, I found the Liquorice Root to be very overpowering which made it difficult to recognize the other flavors in the brew, it did remind me of Christmas which was nice it helped make this more of an experience other than just a cup of Tea, I will be enjoying a mug of Earl of Winter on Christmas Night.

Earl of Winter was a very tasty blend of Tea, I only wish that some of the other flavors were as strong as the Liqourice Root.

My first box of BRUU was a fantastic experience that I wont likely forget anytime soon, BRUU have opened my eyes to the world of real Tea, this is better than Tea Bags and I recommend BRUU to anyone who loves Tea as much as I do.

Cant wait till next month.

Merry Christmas

If you would like to join Bruu, you can do so by clicking the link below

http://bruutea.co.uk/

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Tomb Raider 2013 (PC, 360,PS3) Review

I have wanted a really dark, action filled and serious Tomb Raider game for quite some time now, little did I know that in the year of 2013 my dream Tomb Raider game would become a reality.

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A lot of people were sceptical when this game got announced and I am not going to lie I was as well, but can you blame us for being sceptical over a Tomb Raider game with an age rating of 18. The idea of a Tomb Raider game having such a high age recommendation is un-heard of, so how was this new Tomb Raider? lets take a look

You play as Treasure Hunter Lara Croft

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Lara and her crew are on a Research Vessel called the Endurance, Lara and the crew are looking for the Lost Fleet of Kublai Khan. When Lara notices an island in the distance she tells her crew that she wants a closer look, upon approaching the Island the Research Vessel is split in half separating Lara from the rest of the crew. Lara goes searching for the rest of her crew and she eventually finds her friend Sam who is sharing the heat of a fire with a man called Mathias.

Lara falls asleep and awakens to find both Sam and Mathias missing. Later on Lara discovers that Mathias and a bunch of other men have Sam captive and plan to use her as a sacrifice to Himiko the sun queen. Himiko’s soul is transferred to different females generation to generation, when one Himiko gets old or dies her soul is then transferred to the last chosen Himiko, Sam is the female chosen to be part of the soul transfer ceremony.

Also some mysterious force is preventing Lara or anyone else from leaving the island. Lara’s new mission is to find the rest of her crew, rescue Sam and to discover the curse preventing them from leaving the Island.

Tomb raider has such awesome game play, Lara will find multiple tools and weapons through out her adventure such as pickaxe which will allow her climb mountains, rope which she can shoot from her bow to bring down doors and to help her get to hard to reach areas.

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As well as useful tools Lara is also carries a pretty kickass arsenal of weapons this includes a Bow and Arrow, Hand Gun, Shotgun, Assault Rifle and a Grenade Launcher. Each weapon has its own uses the shot gun can be used to destroy wooden barriers that may be blocking your path, the grenade launcher can be used to blow up metal doors and the bow and arrow has multiple uses such as setting fire to wood and explosives and it also helps Lara to use the rope to more of an advantage.

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By far the most useful weapon is the bow and arrow not just because it has multiple uses but it can also be used to take out enemies quietly, if there is a group of enemies Lara can shoot an arrow at a near by wall, this will cause some of the enemies to search away from that area leaving just one poor guy to be killed without anyone else noticing.

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When your not sneaking around and killing bad guys, Lara will stumble across some unfortunate environmental hazards these can include Lara falling into a fast flowing river and having to avoid any obstacles in order to survive, or she may be running across a bridge which is quickly falling to pieces beneath her feet. One of my favourite parts of the game is about half way through Lara is using a parachute and has too avoid trees so that she doesn’t get injured.

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So what happens if you aren’t able to avoid these obstacles? oh dear

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As well as this the game controls perfectly, I played on keyboard and mouse and found no difficulty getting use to the controls what so ever, I even played a bit using an Xbox 360 controller and again the game controlled perfectly so no complaints for that. I do however have one complaint about the game play, There are way too many quick time events in this game, I don’t mind a couple but at least 50 percent of the game play requires them and it really gets annoying after having to use the same quick time events for the same things over and over again through out the game.

Now as it is a Tomb Raider game you will be pleased to know that there are loads of hidden tombs that Lara can raid, when in these tombs you will usually be faced with a puzzle or two before you are able to reach any treasure that hidden within the tomb.

As well some awesome game play, tomb raider also has a really awesome soundtrack, the music is all orchestrated and it sounds beautiful a lot of the time the music made me wonder if it was composed by John Williams because the music really sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones film, as you can tell this suited the game quite nicely.

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A beautiful soundtrack needs some beautiful visuals to go with it and let me just say you wont be let down with the way the game looks. Everything in the game looks amazing and you can tell that the developers really went a long way to make this game as breathtaking to look at as it is to play.

First of all Lara’s new character model is so freaking cool, she has this really awesome roughened up look to her that just says “stand in my way, I dare you” but she also doesn’t look like a complete killing machine which allows the player to sympathise with her character.

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Here are a few pictures of the Island

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Tomb-Raider forest

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Seriously the graphics and visuals in Tomb Raider are amazing, the game would often play a cut scene and when it returned to game play I wouldn’t move for a minute because I thought the cut scene was still playing, yeah the visuals are that good.

Tomb Raider was an incredible game, this is by far my favourite Tomb Raider game ever and it’s also the only Tomb Raider game I have enjoyed enough to actually finish, It has flawless controls, really awesome game play, breathtaking visuals and a beautiful soundtrack, the only problem is the constant quick time events and I really hope they work on those for the sequel.

Tomb Raider was one awesome adventure 9/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Tomb Raider
If you respect my opinion I will respect yours
By Padawan