alice grass

Until Dawn - Video Game Review

Friday, February 5, 2016

Stop everything you are doing and go and pick up this game.  A friend of mine loaned this to me and I am shocked I hadn't heard more about it.  Apparently, there is a lot of controversy behind the game with is too bad being it is one of the best game of this type I've played since Heavy Rain. Until Dawn was originally supposed to be for the Playstation Move on the PS3.  Sony pushed it back mainly I think because the maker of Until Dawn also had a game out called The Order 1886 and it wasn't as good as Playstation wanted. It's a shame but I suppose in a way it's good because since I haven't seen or heard about this game it was all pretty much a surprise to me. 

The game is basically about a group of teenagers who are friends that go up to a cabin for a weekend. There is a of course a psychopath on the loose up in the mountains with them.  While they are up on the mountain in the cabin bad things start happening and the teens have to figure out ways to survive till the morning.  This game is similar to me to the style of Taletell games. You make choices and based off those choices determines what happens at the end of the game.  Your choices may kill one of the characters off! You don't run around picking up amo but you do run around and find clues.  You will jump when monsters jump out in scenes.  

I discovered that some screenwriters wrote this game!  Which is probably why the horror in the game was so cheesy and fun. For example two teens head off to a cabin to have sex only to have scary things happen to them.  The teens are actors whom you might recognize while playing the game. For example here is Hayden Panettiere:

I really wish I could've played the game in one sitting to keep the momentum going.  It kind of slowed down my nerves when I had to quit the game and then start it back up again the next day.  So if you have a whole day to dedicate to this game then play it all day... preferably in a dark room. There is a reason it's rated M.  Swearing, lots of blood, monsters, murder and frights.  I loved it.

I give this game 10 out of 10!

Comic Adventures Issue #35

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This week I talk about Deathstoke Vol 1 Gods of War,  Marvel Civil War, Green Lantern New 52 Vol 5, and Harley Quinn New 52 vol. 2

I haven't read anything previously with Deathstroke except Suicide Squad. I say that because most reviews I read about this comic are people comparing the New 52 Deathstroke to the other version.  I do know of the other one was an older man.. grey hair and a beard. Apparently this one is more like the guy in Arrow (Manu Bennett). There are A LOT of characters in this comic... so many cameos including Batman.  Is he in everything or what?  The comic has a spoiler for the Suicide Squad comics though I didn't think it was a big deal but if you want to avoid it read those first. This is another comic about father/son issues.  Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) is of course trying to help and save his family. I didn't love this comic.  Just a lot of stuff going on so I am not sure if this is going to be a comic series that gets a lot of issues if it doesn't pick up some with the story. The artwork is amazing. 
2 out of 5 

Most of you know that the next Captain America movie is him VS Iron Man in a film called Civil War.  So I was interested in reading the comic the film is based off of.  Since this is one of those big comic book events this volume only covers some of the event.  I wish it would say which volume though. I don't know much about Marvel (which I've mentioned before) but the characters in this comic are pretty well known.  The artwork is fantastic.  I enjoy that there are different opinions in the comic, Tony Stark wants superhero to register with the government and be civil service employees.  Captain America doesn't want to have to sign up and be registered.  The comic does do a good job of representing both sides.  As I read.. I don't know which side I would want to win.  I read that there will be a newer Civil War comic released soon. Spoiler for this comic:  So at the end of the comic Captain America just decides to give up and let Tony arrest him so he can be registered.  Apparently this is explained in other crossover novels. But this comic is so old (2007) that I am not going to bother trying to read all the comics.   3 out of 5

It's taken my a while to write this review.  I don't even have much to say about the Green Lantern comics. Some aliens take over the Green Lantern corps and broadcast a message making the world think they are Hal Jordan.  So they world now realizes that the Lantern's rings when used taken away from the life force of the galaxy.  This makes everyone made and against the Lanterns. I will say that the Green Lantern Corps shows up a lot in this issue and I haven't read any of their stuff so I was super confused there. Some new races are introduced... one that the character Gorrin-Sunn is apart of.  This race lives on a planet where the water is made out of a lava-like substance that acts like oceans, quite neat.  This is a super long volume so be ready for that. Part of the reason this comic is so long is because DC adds in the side stories that happen in other comics (Red Lanterns/Green Lantern Corps) and I appreciate that they try to do this. 

3 out of 5

I am really enjoying the Harley Quinn series so much.  I just love her.  I never really thought I would because to me in the cartoon series I've seen her in she is so annoying.  There was a really quick Future's End story in here which is why you see the Joker on the cover.  Most of the comic follows a fun story that has both Power Girl and Harley Quinn teaming up.  Apparently Power Girl has lost her memory so Harley makes like they are best friends and they do a bunch of adventures together. My favorite story though in this comic is Harley's San Diego Comic Con story.  It is fun! There is a section in it where she runs into a bunch of people who are cosplaying her and she joins their little fan club.  The fan club is looking for a fun time so Harley really brings it to them. The girls are not ready for the good time that Harley is bringing.  They even end up in jail... I love this line up picture.  Can you spot the real Harley Quinn???

5 out of 5

This counts for 9 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.


My Instagram was Hacked

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hello all.... well for those that follow me on Instagram I am sorry but today you probably saw some nudey pictures of some chick.  I took a picture of all the snow we got here in Colorado and it got a few likes.  Then I went on there a few minutes later and started to look through my feed and there was a pick of a chick in undies so I clicked on the account because I knew for sure I didn't follow an account like that.  Imagine my shock when it was MY account.  Ughhh.  So I contacted instagram, who sent me an automated email.  The email said I had to reply to the email with a picture of myself holding up a sign with this numerical code they sent me, my name, and my username handwritten.  It was like a straight mugshot.  I don't even know how the account got hacked to be honest.. but we all know hackers are everywhere.  I just hope I don't have to start the account over but if I do.. fine. They deleted half my photos on there anyways.   People are actually liking this account and a few of my guy friends have liked that girl's pictures!  Not even noticing this is an account they don't follow.

I do totally feel violated and I am sure people feel the same way when their facebook/blog gets hacked.  I'm still waiting to hear back from Instagram.  I'll probably give them till Thursday this week and then go and set up a new one.  Thanks for all my fellow book bloggers who have reached out to me to let me know they noticed I was hacked.  I am sure it was surprising to see lingerie and some strange chick and not my amazing book pictures.

UPDATE:  Fixed!!!  You should just be seeing my amazing book pictures now :)

Amazing Fantastic Incredible by Stan Lee

Friday, January 29, 2016
Title: Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir
Author: Stan Lee
Pages: 192 pages
Published: November 3rd 2015 by Touchstone
Source: Borrowed
Links: goodreads,

In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee—comic book legend and cocreator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes—shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be. Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. The most legendary name in the history of comic books, he has been the leading creative force behind Marvel Comics, and has brought to life—and into the mainstream—some of the world’s best-known heroes and most infamous villains throughout his career. His stories—filled with superheroes struggling with personal hang-ups and bad guys who possessed previously unseen psychological complexity—added wit and subtlety to a field previously locked into flat portrayals of good vs. evil. Lee put the human in superhuman and in doing so, created a new mythology for the twentieth century. In this beautifully illustrated graphic memoir—illustrated by celebrated artist Colleen Doran—Lee tells the story of his life with the same inimitable wit, energy, and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s to the current resurgence in movies, Amazing Fantastic Incredible documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career. This funny, moving, and incredibly honest memoir is a must-have for collectors and fans of comic books and graphic novels of every age.
Honestly.. this book was never on my radar.  I may or may not have heard about it. A friend of mine loaned it to me though since he knows I like comics so of course I had to read it.  I do think this is a perfect memoir for Stan Lee.  The comic reads very friendly, and of course as I read it I read it in Stan Lee's voice.   The comic talks about Lee's young life which wasn't the easiest.  Though... I do think he was in the right place right time to get his comics written. I thought that sometimes the comic was too light hearted for me to really care about Lee's life.  At the same time though I don't enjoy non-fiction or biographies and this one I did enjoy.  So I suppose this format was perfect for me.

 I did learn a lot from this comic... one of the biggest things I learned was that he doesn't write his comics.  WHAT you say????  I say the same thing.  Apparently Stan Lee just comes up with the idea of a character, someone else actually writes the story.  This is Marvel's style (DC does it different I guess). Let me explain this a little more.  At Marvel someone gives the illustrator an idea and the ILLUSTRATOR draws the story out. Then someone comes a long and writes the story.  I did a little more research in this and it turns out a lot of people are upset with Stan Lee from the early days when he was at Marvel.  In this story Lee mentions a lot of people (perhaps to make up for not giving these people credit in the past) including someone named Jack Kirby.  Kirby has the most complaints with Lee.  Kirby's family actually took Marvel to court saying he owns the copyright to quite a few of the characters.  It almost went to the supreme court but the case was settled by Marvel in 2014.

I think that the comic book industry drama of the early days is what most people who are long time Stan Lee fans want to read about and it was avoided.  I was supposed to see Stan Lee once at the Denver Comic Con but he canceled a week or two before he was supposed to be there.  Still bummed about that. Great illustrating in the comic. It's really neat to read about someone's life in comic form. Colleen Doran drew it (also known for the Sandman series) and does a fantastic job.  In the end, it really is too bad that comic books writers/illustrators don't make a lot of money.  It's like people who write songs for music artists.  You just don't get the appreciation you should.  All in all this was a fun read.

This counts for 5 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Austen and Grahame-Smith

Monday, January 25, 2016
Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Pages: 319 pages
Published: May 1st 2009 by Quirk Classics
Source: Owned Book
Links: goodreads

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
I'd been wanting to read this book for a while... and now that the movie is about to be released soon I went and grabbed it out of my bookcase and got started.  The book is supposed to be funny... but it's not my sense of humor.  I didn't find it funny but I did find it entertaining.  I do like Austen's books, so what intrigued me about this book was the fact that I had heard that it was the exact text of Austen's book (Pride and Prejudice) with some zombie action added in from Seth Grahame-Smith.  I think that  there are a few things you should know 1) you don't need to read the original before reading this edition, 2) if you don't like Austen or the original Pride and Prejudice then you won't like this book and 3) if you love Pride and Prejudice and are a purest then you will not like this book. 

This novel adds in a little story where the men and women of the time get sent to Japan or China to get lessons on how to basically be ninjas and kill zombies. Honestly I was a little more interested in reading the Austen parts then the Grahame-Smith parts.  Those got old and little odd.  There were some odd sexual plots added which was just weird with the period the book was written.  Another example of some oddness in the book is a line like this one: She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him. “Your balls, Mr. Darcy?” He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, “They belong to you, Miss Bennet.” I re-read that line like 4 times wondering if I had read it right! 

I think that if someone has always been afraid of reading this classic then they should probably just skip this original and only read this edition.  Of course then if they are quizzed about Pride and Prejudice they might say a character dies from being a zombie and be completely wrong.   But it's not this zombie killing great horror book.  There was finally a battle of some sort at the very end, but otherwise not a lot of zombies at all.  There are illustration in the book that are really just amazing and fun.  Those put a smile on my face. 

I am looking forward to seeing the movie next week.  I think it's going to be cheesy campy fun. 


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Pages: 292 pages
Published: December 29th 2009 by Harper
Source: Borrowed from my cousin
Link: goodreadsThe Happiness Project Blog

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. In this lively and compelling account—now updated with new material by the author—Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
I'd been wanting to check out this book ever since I heard about it.  I mean.. who doesn't want to be happier.  If you are as happy as you could possibly be well lucky you.  I was at my cousin's house a few months back and saw she owned the book and asked if I could borrow it.  I like these little suggestive help books.  I read through them and get ideas and I'm proud to say I have already been doing quite a few things this book mentioned.  Seriously... I think this women did a lot of research for this book.  Who knew there were so many sources out there to find happiness.  Two references she mentioned in this book are St. Therese's The Story of a Soul and Dalia Lama The Art of Happiness both I have never read so I put immediately on hold at the library.

The author takes on this Happiness Project for an entire year, each month focusing on something different in her life.  For examples marriage, kids, work, (I skipped those two chapters), a chapter about eternity (though she is not religious) friends and other topics.  Really what I found most promising in the book was a section about getting rid of clutter.  Most of the reviews I read on this book also liked that part.  She must've just written it so well it inspired all of us. I've personally been working on my own happiness project for about 10 years now.  I suffered from a bad depression in my early 20s and ever since then I try to do things that make me happy.  A lot of what the book talks about I figured out on my own.

Some people have commented that the author really has nothing to be unhappy about. She comes from wealth has a great marriage, a great job, and all that.  I think though it's unfair to judge someone for these reasons.  I remember one time there was a huge wildfire in the city I live in.  It went through a wealthy area of homes (over 400 burned) and I just kept hearing people talk about the fact that it wasn't a big deal because it happened to wealthy people.  These people lost everything in the fire as far as possessions.  I'm talking about photographs, keepsakes, pets, things that mattered to them.  It shouldn't have mattered how much money they had.  Unhappiness can happen to ANYONE.

I think this was a positive book and a good read if you really are looking for happiness.  One of the parts of the book that annoyed me was that she was talking about being in contact with friends more. Apparently she is one of "those" friends who just got too busy with their lives to bother to stay in touch with people and thinks that by sending a birthday card each year to her friends that is going to solve that.  I totally disagree.  I tried to reach out to friends who were just like her.. and honestly I got tired of trying to get them to be my friend.  If they reached out to me after 10 years and then just think we are going to chat on the phone every weekend it's just not going to happen.  Rubin was upset that one of her friends didn't really respond to her trying to reconnect after 10 years.  Huh.

It was an good read... though I won't take a year to try to do what she did.  And like the book Eat, Pray, Love it must be nice to be able to do this project and get paid to try to be happy.

3 out of 5

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray - Review

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Title: Lair of Dreams
Author: Libba Bray
Pages: 613
Published: August 25th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Libray

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams. After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners. Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City. As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city? In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.
I had been waiting for this book, the sequel to The Diviners for a long long time.  Like two years!! The books in this series are quite long so it's no surprise that I had a hard time remembering a  lot of the details from the first book and I searched the internet for a synopsis of The Diviners to help me remember and there was pretty much nothing out there.  So I had to just go off memory when starting this book (and my memory isn't great).

This book pretty much follows the format of the first book in the series.  Long... lots and lots of words.  It is slow to read, but I really liked it.  But I really enjoyed it. I love that this book takes place in the 1920s.  It is full of jazz, speakeasies, flappers, and ghosts.  Yes that's right ghosts.  This book is sort of in the horror genre.  The atmosphere in the book is spot on.  When you read it.. you read from the perspective of different characters in each chapter.  Their stories are pretty much going on simultaneously so you get information on what is going on with so many people. There are a few new characters added into this book that weren't in the Diviners and I look forward to see what they all end up doing in the final book (which may not come out for another 3 years).

I like how now the Diviners are so main stream in society. Evie has her own radio show where she shows off her Diviner skills.  I was a little disappointed that in this book we don't get to spend as much time in the Museum of American Forklore.  I wish that the characters spent more time together too.  The really don't all meet up and work together till the very end of the book.

I don't know why the cover had to change.  The original Diviners cover was really neat and what drew me to that book.  Then when the cover for this book was revealed you could tell a new illustrator was hired because the Diviners cover changed to match this book.

I would recommend this book to you if you enjoyed the Diviners.  Plus.. if you enjoy horror.  I love horror and it's always fun to discover it in young adult books.  I am sure you won't see my review for the third book for another 3 years.  Seems a lifetime away doesn't it??

4 out of 5
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