Aug./Sept. Reading Wrap Up

wrapup_graphic

Man oh man, I really suck at writing up Wrap ups, but in my defense after I decided to start writing these up, my life sort of went on this downhill tumble for a minute. Things are looking up and I am finally getting back into the swing of things. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked this summer. In fact in the month of August (the month we moved) I only got around to reading Manga volumes. September was a little better, but the end of the month was a bit busy, so I didn’t get around to finishing a couple of books that I thought I would. Let’s begin!

August

Death Note Volumes 2-9

deathnote

Oh Death Note, you started off so strong, and then I have no idea what the fuck happened. I really loved the dynamic in the beginning of this story. It was thrilling, and just well done, but the further into the story I got, the less I enjoyed it. It became such a convoluted mess that by the time I finished Volume 9 I decided not to continue the series. I googled how it ends, and felt satisfied doing so. It could have been done in such a better way, and I am still mad as hell at how they fucked it up so bad at the end.

Rating: ratethree (average for the entire series)

September 

Warbreaker

warbreaker

Warbreaker was a great book!! Brandon Sanderson is becoming one of my top ten favorite writers, even though for some reason I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mistborn series, or at least not the first novel. I have enjoyed his other books a lot more so far. Warbreaker has a wonderful magic system, gorgeous world building, and the best characters. It was a bit slow paced compared to some of his other stories but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: ratefour

The Female of the Species

female-of-the-species

The Female of the Species took me by surprise. It was sent to me by Harper Collins INTL, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but in the end I loved it so very much. It takes a very hard look at rape culture, and how females are perceived in these situations. It faces these hard topics head on, and takes you into a whirlwind of emotion. It’s an important read and I think many young women and MEN should be reading this novel.

Rating: ratefive

Pottermore Short Stories

Oh you know by now anything Harry Potter and I have to get my hands on it instantly! These short story collections weren’t exactly anything particularly new as they all came from the Pottermore archives and info, but I never had the chance to fully read everything from the site so a lot of it was simply amazing for me to read. I love how expansive the wizarding world is, and how much information J.K. Rowling has for us. Some people keep bitching (including some authors out there) that if it wasn’t in the original series then it doesn’t count, but I say FUCK YOU to that bullshit. Here’s why: J.K. Rowling spent YEARS writing very detailed background information about each character, even the smallest of the small characters have some back story, and they’re her characters it’s her world and she can expand upon it, say whatever she wants about it and you can like it or you can shut it. People were mad about Dumbledore being gay,and how it was never included in the story but then wanted her to clearly state that Sirius was gay and when she said he was straight and crushed everyone’s fan fiction dreams, they got mad as well. Make up your minds, is she allowed to talk about her characters or not? Well, actually let me reiterate that SHE CAN DO WHAT SHE WANTS BECAUSE THE STORY IS HERS. I personally love all the things she adds to it, and I loved reading this three short ebooks. I am all about PROMOTING what I love, and IGNORING what I hate.

Rating: ratefive

The Sea of Monsters

percyjackson

This is the second book in the original Percy Jackson series, and I have never read the full series. When I read the first book I actually wasn’t sure if I would continue on because I didn’t really love it. Then when I wanted to read the new Trials of Apollo book that was released, most fans said that I should Read this series, and the second series in the same world before jumping into that novel. So here I am trying to get through this series. I still don’t know how I feel about Percy Jackson. This book was more enjoyable than the first, but lacked something for me as well.

Rating: ratefour

Orange: The Complete Collection Vol.1

orange

I enjoyed this Manga. Orange has a bit of a Sci-Fi touch to it that makes the story really intriguing. There are really sweet moments, but also extremely sad moments as well. It certainly hooked me in instantly and I will hopefully read the second complete volume as well in October. It did lose a star because some aspects of the plot felt a little repetitive. I do recommend this one to any Manga lovers out there, or even anyone looking to get into Manga.

Rating: ratefour

Cold-Forged Flame

cold-forged-flame

This was a short story that I bought on my Kindle. It starts off pretty mysterious and it hooks you in rather quickly, but as a continued to read it, my interest began to wane. It’s a little over 100 pages long, and It felt rushed and almost a little bit pointless towards the end of the story. I would categorize it as fantasy. I have read Brennan’s work in the past and I think maybe I am not a fan of her writing style. It’s a quick read if you’re looking for something to entertain you on a short train trip or plane ride, and maybe you will enjoy it more than I did.  I just think that with a strong main character (which shall remain nameless since that is revealed way into the story) this could have been seriously fleshed out into a much bigger and better story.

Rating: ratethree

So That is what I read the past couple of months. I think October in general will be a better reading month, as I now have a bit of a commute on the train to work, and can get some more reading time in during the day. I currently have My Lady Jane, More Happy than Not, How it went down, and a Head Full of Ghosts going, and should finish them all this month. Let me know what you read in September and if you read any of the things mentioned above! 🙂 I love to hear other points of view.

 

 

Super Mario Maker – Review

Super_Mario_Maker_Artwork

Super Mario MakerReview

I love Super Mario games. When I moved to the USA with my family at the age of 4, it was the first video game I ever played. So then as the systems changed and so did the games, I just loved it even more. I grew up on Super Mario. Super Mario Maker at first didn’t seem like a game I would enjoy. Typically I ignore any design element in a game (unless it is The Sims and you want me to build you an amazing house…I got you!) but the idea of building my own Super Mario levels grew on me. I had every single Nintendo Console ever released, I am a huge Nintendo fan, and now I have become a big fan of Super Mario Maker.

controller

For those who are not aware, Super Mario Maker isn’t just a design tool. Yes, you can create all kinds of levels with little items and elements from different Mario games and then mish mash them to make it your own brand of crazy. The graphics can be flipped between different games as well, you choose from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.3 (my favorite), Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros.U. The different games and elements will change how things look, and will switch up some of the items used. Basically you can play for hours, losing all concept of time. You build and then you can PLAY the levels, and you can play other people’s levels too!! We will get to that! 

supermario3

I am awful at creating levels, but that is not to say that the game’s interface is difficult to understand, because it is actually quite simple, I am just not a game designer, so my levels are basically based on my need to apparently torture Mario. You can be as Evil or as Kind as you like when building the levels. I take the evil means of building them, and make them virtually impossible to play. You’re Welcome.

mario2

I think what may drive some people nuts about this game is that you won’t have access to everything right from the start. After building for about five minutes you will get a message saying that a delivery is coming, but you won’t receive those new items until the following day. This is meant to get you used to how the game actually works. I on the other hand am extremely impatient, so I tricked my Nintendo into thinking it was the following day. Which then when I would enter the game the items would be unlocked. I did this a few times until everything was unlocked. If you have any games that depend on the time and date though, I don’t advise you do this trick.

Super Mario Maker is a lot of fun!! When you make a level you are able to upload online so others can play it. I have played a number of completely insane levels made by other people. Super Mario Maker is essentially a never-ending game because there are so many levels you can play. This was the first game with a level design element that I thoroughly enjoyed and that’s probably because it has been a game that always held such a special place in my heart. I think this would be a great buy for the Mario lovers!! I got the special edition that came with the 30th Anniversary Amiibo Mario. He’s pixelated and awesome!!

supermario-amiibo-classic

This gets 5 out of 5 Metal Horns from me!!

ratefive

Life is Strange – NEEDS A TRIGGER WARNING

life-is-strange

I haven’t written about games in a while. Even though I have been engrossed in The Last of Us remastered and some apps on my phone. I haven’t gotten the chance to write about them. Well I felt the need to write about Life is Strange again. While I know it is a game, I would now use quotes around that…so lets call it a “game” as I think it would have been better as some kind of mini series or a book.

My main concern with this “game” came about when I finished the most recent episode, Episode 4, titled “Dark Room”. I will try to avoid Spoilers but here’s fair warning that some of what I have to say may very well ruin the plot points for you.

Many people in the world suffer through mental illness, honestly I include myself in that group. I suffer from anxiety. This game had me feeling really uncomfortable this last episode. A lot of discussion is happening about this game, and now that I am looking at it, I really feel that it needs to come with a Trigger warning. What is a trigger warning? A trigger warning is a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material. This “game” contains some pretty distressing material. While I dealt with it fairly well, I can see how some players might have difficulty dealing once the fourth episode is done, and there’s even some distressing scenes in earlier episodes.

Trigger warnings are a kindness to those who do not handle some hard topics well. So while the companies don’t seem to be putting trigger warnings on this “game” in fear of revealing plot lines and twists, I am going to write trigger warnings for Life is Strange here. Be warned that if you play Life is Strange and you suffer from anxiety, depression, or any form of mental illness that there are topics of rape, kidnap, murder, death, and suicide in this game. If you typically cannot handle these topics then please do not play this game. They should have provided a Trigger Warning to begin with because from the first episode you are inclined to believe that this is where the story is headed. You may be trying to save your precious plot line, but you should also be concerned with someone’s mental health and making sure your game does not cause unnecessary emotional distress.

Those are my two cents.

MATG

The Wrath and the Dawn – Book Review

wrath

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (I am glad this is a blog and not a youtube video, because I would butcher her last name, I am so sorry) was the first book I read from the books I chose from my summer reading challenge. It was a great first read and first choice. I have this fear now every time I decide to read a super hyped up Young Adult novel, that it will be disappointing but this one was surprising. It was actually worthy of all the hype.

This story is about Shahrzad (Shazi) who wants to take revenge on Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, why, you ask? Well quite simply, or not so simply put Khalid has married about 100 women, each dawn after the wedding, the women have been killed. The last one was Shazi’s best friend. This is when she volunteers to marry Khalid. She wants to be able to break the cycle of murder and innocent lives lost once and for all.

Khalid has his own secrets, and as you go through this book, you realize there’s so much more to the story.

This book is a retelling of 1001 nights, and the greatest thing of all is the beautiful descriptive language used, you practically feel like you are within the palace walls.

Here’s the surprising factor for me. I have mentioned before that I am quite tired of the romance and love triangles in young adult novels. Coming from a hopeless romantic that’s really saying something. The truth is though, that I LOVED the romance in this book. It’s not cheesy and it’s not lame. It shows real conflict of emotion and real feelings in the characters. You will fall in love with them, even the secondary characters, who were actually some of my favorites from all the books I have read.

I highly recommend this book. It pulled me in and did not let me go. I read it in a couple of days, probably could have finished it sooner if I had the time. Really go out to your local book store and buy it, buy it on your kindle, or head to your local library.

This one gets four out of five metal horns from me.

ratefour

The Diviners – Book Review

wpid-wp-1434785400981.jpeg

Guys…Gals, I am about to get really hyped up about this. I am going to tell you what I think of this book, and I think very highly of this book. I read it so fast, and kept having a hard time putting it down. Let me tell you why, cuz why else would you read this review?

This story is about Evie O’Neil who gets shipped off to New York, for reasons you shall discover when you read it. (cuz ya will!!…probably…maybe.DO IT) She has to live with her uncle Will, who is absolutely obsessed with the occult. This is really where the fun begins, but even the opening of the story is pretty damn creepy.

The story takes place in 1926 and Evie gets mixed up in some occult and mysteries of her own. She has a supernatural power that she tries to keep a secret, but when a murder occurs and her uncle gets called to help with the investigation Evie gets thrown into a world of craziness.

The book is written in such a wonderful way that you feel that you’re being transported back in time. Some of the scenes in the book are so creepy that I actually had a moment where I didn’t want to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee. TMI…I know but seriously all the little shadows as I walked out of the room really creeped me out after reading this book.

I am really looking forward to the second book that comes out soon (August 25, 2015) and I hope it is just as creepy!!! I absolutely recommend this book!!!

This one gets 5 out of 5 metal horns from me!!

ratefive