Friday, June 24, 2016

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Pages: 404 pages
Published: May 7th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens 
Source: Owned
Links: goodreads

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

I have been meaning to read this series for years. I am so glad though that I waited since most of the books in this series are finished (I think there is one more). I thought this was a fantastic fantasy story. I really cared about the characters.  The book covers the plot quite well too.  The politics, religions, history, everything was in this novel.  I didn't feel though like the information was forced on the reader... it went into the story flawlessly.  The main character is Celaena Sardothien, and 18 year old female assassin. She is captured and it in a prison camp.  She is then recruited to become the King's Champion but competing with some of the strongest men in the Kingdom.  If she wins...she will become the King's assassin for 4 years and then be free.  If she loses she'll be sent back to prison. While this contest is going on Celaena discovers some ancient evil magic in the kingdom that must be stopped.

The romance in this book is really good.  It's a love triangle but not one.  Meaning the three don't all love each other at once.  Everyone is honest and doesn't fight each other for love.  It is done quite well. I am hoping in the next book that there is more background on these main characters.  I would love to know where they all come from.  I like that she likes boyish things and girly things.  It reminds me of myself.

I am hoping that we get more of the assassin of Celaena in future books.  The one scene in the book when she was supposed to become all badass things happened to where she couldn't go all out. I really wanted to read about her being like the guy in the video game Assassin's Creed.  I really read mixed reviews on this book so I think you either like it or don't like it.  No in between.   I think the book was fun, fast-paced, and just a good read.  If you are looking for something with a serious assassin this is not the book.  Can't wait for the next one!

Reviews of other books in the series:
Crown of Midnight

Monday, June 20, 2016

Comic Adventures Issue #43

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 issue I chat about Thor vol 2, Cyborg Vol. 1,  Wonder Woman vol 7, and Bodies.

I really enjoyed the first volume of the new Thor.  This volume though was just way short.  I found out who the new Thor is through a spoiler from the comments on my review of Thor Vol. 1. So, I wasn't too surprised when she was unmasked. Dang spoilers.  Anyways.... there were only I think three issues from the main Thor story.  If you don't want to know who the new Thor is stop reading now.  So we come to find out Jane Foster has taken the title of Thor.  I may have enjoyed that more if I could stand her character in the movies... but I just don't.  It is apparent the comic has taken her in a different direction but I've never read Thor before now but she seems to a likable character in the comic.  After this little story line finishes there are three other stories from the world of Thor thrown in.  Not sure what those had to do with anything.  There was a funny story about Thor (the male Thor) out drinking people including the Devil.  I don't think I'm going to continue on in this series though.  This volume just didn't do it for me.  For one thing not enough actual story to the comic... way too short to be collected in a volume. 
2 out of 5

I love Cyborg... but he seems to always be a background character.  So when I saw the library had this on order I knew I had to read it.  Well... the comic isn't what I expected with Cyborg.  Vic Stone/Cyborg's robotic powers are evolving.  So ... he's not exactly the Cyborg we know.  He's trying to learn and figure out what is happening to him.  There is this group called Technosapiens who come to earth to absorb humans... so of course we have a team up with some Metal heroes (which I haven't heard of before but Cyborg knows them???). There was an interesting part where Vic Stone was having some inner dialog... he was talking about how people wonder if he eats, goes to the bathroom, sleeps and even if he has sex.  He does answer these questions so that was a good insight into his character.  I had issues with this comic when we got the whole different dimension added in.  Ughhhh I hate when in order to get a plot going we throw in other Earths.  This volume does cover humans who start to go on the black market and use the technology used to fix Cyborg in the first place and I thought that was a good issue to cover.  Why can't people missing limbs use this technology too.  Why is it saved for only superheros?? 
3 out of 5

I love the Wonder Woman series so much.  What I really liked about this volume is that it takes the many story lines we have going on in the New 52 and tries to streamline them.  Honestly the comic really needed that.  Originally Wonder Woman's comics were having nothing to do with crossovers.  So we just got the story of her dealing with her Greek background.  I loved it.  Then we did start to get some crossover, she is God of War now, she is apart of the Justice League, she is dating Superman, she is trying to be queen of the Amazons.  A lot of plots which must've been hard for the new writer to handle.  The artist has changed and that was the hardest part about this comic for me.  I really really loved the art in the first 6 volumes (see below what WW looked like in the first 6 volumes).  The artist really added to the Greek feel.  I will say though that the new artist does bring Wonder Woman out of the Greek heavy story line.  I think this volume kind of clears the way for Finch (the new author) to take the story in her own direction next volume.

I don't even know what I just read!  I mean... confusing.  So this comic has four stories taking place in different time periods about unsolved murders.  I love the cover.  So pop-art. I remember seeing this around goodreads and blogs.  So I finally made the time to read it. The times periods are 1890, 1940, 2014, and 2050.  The 2050 story completely confused me.  I have no idea what people were saying or doing.  It was like gibberish. I almost feel like I wasn't smart enough to get this book. Reading this comic was seriously a chore.  I am pretty sure all these murders were supposed to be linked through time but who knows??? I didn't care about any of the characters... there were a few sex scenes thrown in for shock I'm guessing.  To try to make this comic more daring then they were already trying to make it.  Didn't work. I just want my time back! I can barely put into words my dislike for this comic. 

1 out of 5

This counts for 42 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Woman's Guide to the Wild by Ruby McConnell

Title: A Woman's Guide to the Wild
Author: Ruby McConnell
Pages: 304 pages
Published: March 15th 2016 by Sasquatch Books
Source: Library
Links: goodreads,

For women who enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, and other outdoor recreation or those inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, this is the definitive guide to being a woman in the great outdoors. This friendly handbook covers the matters of most concern to women, from “feminine functions” in the wilderness to how to deal with condescending men, as well as the basics of wilderness survival tailored to women’s unique needs. It includes gear lists in addition to advice for camp setup, fire building, food and water, safety, weather, and navigation.

I love outdoors. I could be outdoors all the time but unfortunately not everyone I know wants to be outdoors too.  So I only get out every so often. This book inspired me to get out way more.  I read it in one sitting. This book is for women who have all range of skills in the outdoors.  From beginner to advanced. Technically the book is more for those who are beginners.  Like how to start a fire, pack your backpack, and set up a tent.  Honestly I had no idea there was a way to pack a backpack.  The illustrations are so neat throughout the book (see the backpack one below).

The book includes check lists for different types of outdoor events. I'm kind of obsessed with lists so this was a page to copy out of the book for sure. There is a whole section on understanding maps. Topographical maps are kind of hard to read, if you have never tried check one out to just see what I mean. McConnell tries to help people understand those maps.  I thought this was one of the most important sections of the book.  Depending on how serious you are about getting lost in the wilderness this could really help you.  The places I go I usually only need my phone's GPS but someday I hope to get farther out in wilderness.

There was a section on a bunch of different recipes to cook in the outdoors. This is nice because the times I have been camping we have basically cooked just burgers, hot dogs, and whatever else goes easily on a frying pan. Then I get massive heartburn the next day.  One of my favorite parts of the book was a section on different apps that are out there for people who love outdoors.  I found a couple of hiking apps that are free and helped me already discover some places for me to go.

I recommend this book to everyone (yes even men) who likes to go outdoors.  I wish I wasn't so nervous about going camping or hiking on my own.  But I just feel that it is safer to go out with someone.  You hear so many stories of people hurting people that honestly I wouldn't even bother going alone.  Gift this book to the ladies in your life.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Doom 2016- Video Game Review

Oh yes!!!  I love Doom.  Always have.  Doom in 1993 was the first game I ever played that was a first person shooter way back when it first came out on PC.  My mom and dad played it back then and were the ones who showed me the game.  Now we have the 2016 Doom and it was exactly what I expected it to be... fun! I've been waiting for this game since Doom 3 (2004). The campaign slogan is "Fight Like Hell" which is so clever to me.  In case you are unfamiliar with the whole Doom concept, it's basically about this space marine called  Doomguy (he has no official name) who keeps having to have to come back from "sleep" to fight the demons and minions of hell.  Usually in the games you go back and forth between Mars and Hell.  Humanity keeps re

This game is gruesome, fast, entertaining, and a challenge. There are a lot of weapons in Doom.  One is very overpowered Gauss Canon... you can pretty much kill anything with this easily.  There is also the BFG.   I say use it... I played with people who was like saving it for a rainy day because the ammo is scarce.  But still.... you can find it.  Why have the BFG and not use it.  There are a ton of secrets in this game and I barely found any of them!  And trust me I felt like I looked everywhere. This would make multiple play throughs fun. Seriously secret hunting on this game is addictive. 

Doom Movie 
The credits are actually kind of fun to watch so be sure to stick around for a while. The campaign is fairly short.  I played it in one sitting (mind you it was a long sitting). I haven't had a chance to get on the multiplayer part of Doom but hope to soon and will update this review then.  This game isn't ground breaking.  It's not going to change the world of gaming and who knows when the next one will come out (hopefully sooner then 10 years). But it's a lot of fun and if you love first person shooters... especially ones where you just blow up demons for hours, then this game is for you. 

I give this game 8 out of 10

Friday, June 3, 2016

Comic Adventures Issue #42

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 issue I talk about Olympians: ApolloHarley Quinn and Power Girl,  Red Lanterns Vol. 6, and Preacher Book 1.

I love the Olympians series by George O'Connor. Seriously these graphic novels are amazing and should be in all school libraries. This volume is told to us by the nine muses.  Each one giving us a glimpse into all the stories about Apollo. The stories are told from the perspective of the muse, so for example Thali and Melpomene telling a tale in drama form.  I wasn't familiar with, like how he was born. This book covers some of the darker sides of Apollo like when he gets in a dispute with a satyr over who is better at music and of course the satyr loses and gets.. well skinned.  I was a little bothered at time from the muses having a few sections of illustrated interpretive dance. What was going on there?  I can't believe that there are now 8 of these graphic novels out. It looks like there is only one more book coming out in this series (in 2017).  I am so sad about that! Apollo is quite the character and I would love to read more about him.  
5 out of 5

Ever since I started reading Harley Quinn in the new 52 I'm kind of obsessed with her. I never liked her before when she had on that one outfit with the bells on that hat or whatever. So in the last issue of Harley Quinn she teams up with Power Girl because Power Girl has amnesia and Quinn convinces her that they are a team.  I really love these two together.  Power Girl so serious and Harley Quinn goofy as ever. This comic reminds me of one of those quick reads or summer movies.  It's supposed to be an in-between comic, like a bunch of side-stories. I really do love the art in this series too.  I mean... just look at that cover! This comic has a lot of naughty in it... and by that I mean sex naughty.  They end up going to this world where the buildings are shaped like penis'. The only part I didn't like was this part where they were high on drugs.  I always hate that part in books/movies/ I just never get it.  Really though this is fun!

4 out of 5

I have really liked the Red Lantern series but I felt this comic was all over the place.  No cohesive story throughout.  It's a crossover issue and I can't stand that.  Most Red Lanterns are dead.... so a new bad guy pops up. Turns out that is a crossover with New Gods. So we get a whole section about Guy and Simon Baz go and meet these New Gods and then that story just ends... which I guess continues in that new comic. Then... the story moves on to Guy sucking all this rage from all the people of the earth.  He finds some kind of monster baby.  The baby pretty much beats up Guy... it was odd.  Then Guy lets go of his epic anger and puts it back into the Earth.  And..... story over.  Then a Future's End issues pops in.  Which kind of gives Guy a good ending after all but still it came out of no where.  He is collecting all the red rings and now has a blue on of his own instead of read.  Really this is a disappointing ending to the Red Lantern New 52.  It's one of the series that had strong writing to me and this one really falls flat.
2 out of 5 

A friend of mine many moons ago told me about this comic.  I was reading so many things at the time I never made room for it.  But then the show was announced and aired so I really wanted to read this before I watched it.  I found out that this series is finished too so that is good, I should be able to fly right through it.  The first volume was quite interesting.  Like nothing I've read before in comics. The comic is not for kids.  Lot's of violence, swearing, and maybe some people will be offended by the religious topics in the comic. Basically and angel and demon have a relationship and have a child.  This upsets God so he just flat out quits.  The child or "Genesis" ends up going to Earth and possessing Jesse Custer, also called Preacher.  We get to meet an unlikely cast of characters.  First up is Tulip who seems to have gotten herself into a lot of trouble and runs into a guy named Cassidy who helps her escape whatever trouble she's in. Most of this comic though is about Jesse's origin story which is just intense. I only half love the art... I would give that a 3 out of 5.  Whoever draws the covers does not draw the inside pages.  I have volume 2 already from the library and can't wait to keep reading.  4 out of 5

This counts for 38 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Captain America: Civil War- Movie Review

I am not sure why I didn't write a review for Captain America Civil War earlier??  I know all of you were anxiously waiting for it.  :)  Honestly this movie was fantastic. The movie can be confusing... is it a Captain America movie?  Is it an Avengers movie??  I mean.. it might as well be both.  But it's considered a Captain America movie.  When I found out that this movie was coming out of course I had to run out and get the Civil War comic  (2006-2007 series) and discovered what a great story it is.  Basically it's about superhero vs superhero in their views of how they are policed.  "Who watches the Watchmen"? Some superheros believe that they need to be monitored and told when to go out and help the public.  Others believe that they shouldn't be... like Captain America who is reminded of the Nazis.

The story telling here is strong. So is character development. Despite there being many characters in this film, they all get the perfect amount of screen time.  The long awaited arrival of Spider-Man doesn't disappoint.  Plus Black Panther has a great introduction. So great that I can't wait to see his stand alone film. To see the superheros relate and act with each other when at odds is acted so well by the actors. You see different types of friendships challenged.  There is a huge fight scene that is quite memorable. Hero VS Hero which is one thing geeks always debate about.  Blank VS Black who will win.  Marvel does a good job of cutting fat too. Hulk and Thor are no where to be found.  Honestly lately I can't stand Thor so I'm glad about that. The next Thor movie needs to be excellent.

Let's talk for a moment about that helicopter scene in the film.  Steve Rogers literally bench presses a helicopter.  OK... He grabs onto it and holds it in place.  The muscles on this guy....

Um... ok back to the movie. All superhero movies need to live up to this film. Comedy, action, character and plot development. The movie brings together new and familiar to the fans.
It's fun to decide if you are Team Captain or Team Iron Man.  It was perfectly filmed to be watched in IMAX.  If you haven't seen the film make time for it.

This film gets an A+