Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Reviews In One

Last night I finished The Immortal's Quartet by Tamora Pierce, and today I started reading my advance copy of Dee Henderson's new book called Full Disclosure.  It's her first book in five years, she's a great author, and I get to read her book before it even comes out thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewers group and Bethany House Publishers.  I don't have the words to explain just how excited I am right now.  

Anyway, this was supposed to be about reviews, and I haven't finished Full Disclosure yet, so I obviously can't review it.  Instead, I shall post links of my reviews of the third and fourth books of The Immortals.   

Also, you can bet that I'll be posting my review of Full Disclosure everywhere when I finish it.  

As far as gaming goes, I recently played Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords... for the seventh or eighth time.  I lost count.  First there was the original game with many bugs and loose plot threads, and then about a year ago I found the restored content mod which was infinitely better.  So, if you own Knights of the Old Republic II, download and install the restored content.  Just search for TSLRCM and you'll find it.

The other reason for playing so much of the same game was also the rumor of Easter egg dialogue that would happen near the beginning of your third play-through.  Me being who I am, I never played it that many times before I reformatted my hard drive or upgraded my system or... You get the idea.  Finally, I just decided to cheat and edit the game files (which turned out to be a good thing because the PC version has a bug that makes the Easter egg unattainable otherwise), and I got this.  

                                                           Yes, it was worth it.        

Friday, August 17, 2012

A-wooooooo! See? I Can Speak Wolf

Last night I finished the second book in Tamora Pierce's Immortals series, so I figured I'd share my short review.  You can also read it on Goodreads by clicking here.  

Wolf-Speaker moved a little slowly compared to the first book. It wasn't quite as exciting, but I still enjoyed it very much. Daine learns a few things in this book, including not judging a book by its cover. Numair isn't in this book as much as he's in the first one, but he's still great. We also get quite a few new characters that add to the story, and the badger makes a few appearances.

The thing that made this book feel as if it drug on was the fact that Daine spends a lot of time just tagging along with some sort of animal instead of actively doing something herself. Yes, that is the cool thing, in a way, but it got old pretty fast. The most exciting part of the book for me was near the end, when Daine herself was actually fighting in her own form.

I had mixed feelings about the villains in this book. I know that this is a book meant for younger teens, but I still would have liked to know a bit more about them. The overall plot was good, but the villains themselves seemed a little too one-sided to me.

Overall, I really liked this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things I'm Exited For

I'm sort of in-between reviews right now, so I figured I'd make a post about games that I'm anxiously awaiting and books that can't come out soon enough.  The first on this list is The Book of Unwritten Tales, which is out, but I currently can't afford it.  Because I'm broke.  Anyway, here's a trailer.  

Now, I'm a huge fan of these kinds of games, obviously.  I've mentioned both King's Quest and Monkey Island before, and they're both in this style.  Those games are almost twenty years old, though.  This one just recently came out, and I can't wait to give it a go.  I really hope this means that the genre of point and click adventure games is coming back, because what's better than puzzles, slapstick comedy and high adventure all in one package?  Maybe chocolate, but you can't stick chocolate into your computer.  Well you could, but you'd get melted chocolate, and that would be sad. 

 Star Wars 1313 was just announced recently and was demonstrated at E3.  And it looks awesome.  It's been so long since all the divisions of Lucasarts banded together to make a Star Wars game of any sort, let alone one that looks this amazing and promises great gameplay that carries similarities to the widely popular franchise of Mass Effect.  It's got so many things that I love wrapped in one package that I cannot wait for a release date.  Third-person shooter Star Wars action/story goodness.

A book that's written by the story writer for my favorite game ever?  Who could ask for more?  If this book is anything like Star Wars: Revan, I think I might bounce off the walls awaiting this epic novel.  It's release date is currently November 13, 2012.

The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord’s attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.
But Karrid’s ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi master, Theron does not wield the Force—but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal—which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear’s reign of terror.
Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff’ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don’t seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die...

 Yeah, so maybe I like Star Wars a little...

Scoundrels is set to release December 26, and I'm super excited for it.  It's said to be an Ocean's Eleven type heist, and with Han, Chewie and Lando as the main characters, what can go wrong?  

Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han’s got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he’s deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There’s a bounty on Han’s head—and if he can’t cough up the credits, he’ll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king’s ransom. Or maybe a gangster’s fortune? That’s what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han’s less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.
All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his 
indispensable sidekick Chewbecca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it’s Solo’s scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Long Time Ago... In Middle-Earth...

...There was a man named Hùrin.  Here's my short little review of the book by J.R.R Tolkien. 

The Children of Hurin was a book that I started a few years ago, then put it down before I finished because I found it too depressing.  Recently, I decided that I would try and read it again, this time with better results. 

First off, The Children of Hùrin (especially the beginning where it's talking about what family so-and-so is from) makes a lot more sense if you've read The Silmarillion first.  The family trees in the back of the book help, but actually reading the short stories about who these people were and what they did gives you a better chance of remembering them. 

Secondly, one of the expectations I had when I started this book the first time was that it was going to be like The Lord of the Rings.  It's not.  The Children of Hùrin is a tragedy.  A beautiful kind of tragedy that reminded me of Shakespeare, but a tragedy nonetheless.  The events of this book are important in the overall history of Middle-Earth, but it's not going to be sunshine and butterflies. 

Overall, this book was a deep read that made me think and added even more depth to the legends of Middle-Earth.  A worthwhile read, but I would only recommend it to people who are really in love with other Tolkien stories.

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