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review 2017-06-08 16:17
Fairly typical
Lord of Gore #1 - D.B. Stanley,Daniel Leister,Greg And Fake

For all that, I enjoyed this series.   Lord of Gore follows a horror movie franchise, the actors, writer and director behind it, and convenes at a horror convention for this franchise.   It makes sense: the fans as well as the major players are there, which means a lot of potential mayhem - and slasher victims.   It also means that everyone is together.   It's not, oh, just a day that the writer is on set.  Still, I've seen this type of thing done before, and this wasn't that original a take.

 

The real life drama takes forefront for most of this issue, and the horror aspects are brought in late in the game, to a skeptical member.   Still, it seems as if there's some merit when the guy passing on the secrets?   Well, he's run over.   Something is going on, because, really?   That wasn't just some hit and run.   The timing is too suspicious, and this is a comic book. 

 

Another grab bag issue.  Not perfect.   I enjoyed the story and the faux history of the Lord of Gore at the back.  I thought the dramatics were a little over the top, and overshadowed the horror aspects, which I was hoping for in this issue.   We get a hint, but I wanted more. I didn't really care enough about these characters to really feel anything about all the dramatics, so there's that. 

 

I'm going to try and track down issue two, and give it at least that long to really get started, because I really enjoyed the faux horror movie franchise plot - you get a lot of that - and the horror aspects hinted at seem like they have some real potential.   

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review 2017-05-23 20:46
The Better Story
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Defiantly funny in the face of total devastation, but more than that, ever hopeful. I guess that last is the best part of strong faith. The important part. Inner piece and enduring hope.

 

Here's the deal: I'm an agnostic. We get roasted inside *grin*. I could go a long while about the difference between religion and spirituality, between faith in god and the faith in the future that makes you stubbornly plod forward. I wont. My mom says "there are no atheist in the trenches". I have no idea what an ordeal like this would do to me.

 

But here is the other side, the thing about being an agnostic: I can accept both stories. I can love and believe in the tiger, and I can forgive the killer boy. The tiger is the better story, but to me, disregarding the second feels like hiding from a horrible truth too hard to accept. Just as disregarding the tiger feels like the cruelty of denying absolution, or the company of hope.

 

Good book. The movie did it amazing justice, tight and beautiful and with lovely, memorable music, so I highly recommend it.

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review 2017-05-22 06:23
Visual novel review - Hitogotchi

 

In this visual novel (downloadable for free here), you play as a monster who’s just gotten a new caretaker, a human named Nadine. You can ask Nadine to talk to you, play with you, feed you, or help you get to sleep - similar to the things required to take care of a Tamagotchi, which, according to the description, was part of the basis of this game. However, unlike a Tamagotchi pet, you have a real-world physical form, and there are serious consequences if Nadine doesn’t take good care of you.

Warning: everything on the screen moves a bit, even the choice buttons. I eventually decided that I liked the way this contributed to the game’s overall unsteady mood/atmosphere, but I wish there had been an option to turn this movement off. I was a little worried that focusing on constantly moving text might activate my motion sickness.

This was another one of my freebie visual novel downloads. It’s very, very short. The download page doesn’t say how many endings there are, but it looks like there are probably three, and I managed to play the game through enough times to reach them all in less than half an hour. Gameplay is simple. Each day you can do 1-2 activities with Nadine, and you get to choose which ones: eat, sleep, play, or talk. During each activity, you must choose between 2 responses, although sometimes there’s a bit of internal struggle or an extra conversation with Nadine that requires you to choose between 4 options (sort of). There are no “save” or “back” buttons.

I didn’t realize this going in, but this is more of a horror game than a romance, even if you do your best to choose the nicest sounding responses in every instance. (Note: Sometimes seemingly “bad” responses have better results than you'd expect, I suppose because Nadine didn't know exactly what was going on in her monster's head.)

You can opt to have the monster behave rudely and/or frighteningly towards Nadine, or you can try to make friends with her. All the while, you’ll

struggle against carnivorous urges - so definitely make sure Nadine keeps you well fed, ha.

(spoiler show)

At any rate, two of the three endings are bad ones. The third ending is technically good and even includes a cute final image, but when you take into account the urges the monster was struggling with throughout the entire game, it’s still kind of disturbing.

All in all, this was so-so. Nadine’s reactions to some of the monster’s responses were a little weird, and the game was too short for the “good” ending to truly feel natural. Still, the premise was interesting and I enjoyed most of the artwork. Nadine, in particular, looked cute.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-05-19 17:56
The violinist from Bulgaria
The Shadow Land - Elizabeth Kostova

Because I loved The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, it really wasn't a difficult decision to pick up her newest novel, The Shadow Land. This book takes place in Bulgaria which is a land I am not at all familiar with beyond Viktor Krum and his Quidditch teammates. (I hope you know what that references because if you don't...let me know so I can review them for you.) You couldn't get further from witches and wizards with this book. The main character, Alexandra, is an American who travels to Bulgaria with emotional baggage (which I honestly could have cared less about) and an intent to teach English. Instead she stumbles into a mystery and a lot of dramatic intrigue. The cast of characters includes but is not limited to a wily taxi driver, an elderly artist, a menacing statesmen with flowing locks, and an intelligent street dog. I was expecting a lot from this novel and I have to admit that I came away disappointed. The characters weren't nearly as compelling or detailed as those in The Historian. **Possible spoilers ahead** The entire backstory of the main character turned out to be pointless. I had thought that there would be some kind of twist at the end but that did not turn out to be the case. For the most part, it was pretty predictable. **No spoilers beyond this point** Kostova still remains impressive when it comes to describing setting and events but as mentioned above the characters felt flat and one-dimensional. However, if you're a fan of historical fiction that is chock full of detailed descriptions then you're probably going to be a fan of Kostova's writing and if you're particularly interested in Bulgaria then you couldn't go amiss with this one. For me, I'm sorry to say, it's a 5/10.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-04-26 20:46
Closing the circle.
Feversong: A Fever Novel - Karen Marie Moning

Heh. I'd wondered in the 5th volume, but we were turned around so many times, I'd dropped it. Nice mind-screw.

 

Like this whole saga, the book rating will be very subjective. I had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the twist and turns and ridiculous fits of mightiness; rolled my eyes at some of the drama (though I got itchy eyes at some points) and in-depth search inside the characters brain-process (get on with it! Ohhh, that's why!), and loved how it fucks with your suspicions and it's own worlds-building. The shifty morality of most the cast (a point that would stick to most readers craw) bothers me none at all

 

Lots fertile ground for off-shot stories, but mostly neatly tied.

 

I so have to re-read all nine books now I know.

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