Questionable Content

So I’ve hit a little bit of a creative block lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of things that I want to talk about, I just can’t quite get them down onto the page so that they look “right”, if you know what I mean. With that in mind, I didn’t want to stop writing things until the issue is fixed, so I’ve fallen back on the old faithful and stolen content from tumblr decided to join in these question and answer tag games, without actually tagging anyone because none of my friends have blogs, seriously why am I friends with them? Though if you happen to be a blogger, please feel free to consider yourself “tagged” and do your own version of this! Be sure to link me in the comments so I can have a read!

Without further waffle, onto the amalgamation of a few question sets that I found under the tag of “nerdy” on tumblr (I take no responsibility for the nerdiness or lack thereof):

 

1. Kirk or Picard?

 

I’m not really a trekkie, but Picard. I like Patrick Stewart in almost anything he’s in.

2. Warrior, thief, or wizard?

Wizard. C’mon, Gandalf’s a wizard. No other reasons needed.

3. Favorite subject in school?

Predictably, Geography.

4. What would your Patronus be?


A dog.

5. Favorite Superhero?

Iron Man. He doesn’t hide his identity and doesn’t care.
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6. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars.

7. Marvel or DC?

Marvel, hands down.

8. In what un-sports related way to you keep in shape?

I keep in shape in sports related ways. But i suppose bending down to plug in my iPad charger is an un-sports related way…

9. What is your dream career choice?

Iron Man. ‘Nuff said.

10. Favorite video game?

Too many to name, I’m quite a Ninendo fan nowadays but I suppose the crown goes to the Crash Bandicoot games.

11. Favorite author?

J.R.R Tolkien

 

12. What is the nerdiest thing about yourself?

Probably my love of all the things that I “should have grown out of” such as video games, Pokemon games, books involving swords and sorcery and dragons, superheroes, etc, etc..

13. Playstation3, Xbox360, or Wii?

Wii.

 

 

 

14. Jocks: Friends or foes?

Do we still split the world into Nerds and Jocks? I thought it was just nice people and idiots?

15. Old school bit games, or modern 3D graphics?

New games look amazing, but 8-bit nostalgia is fantastic.

16. Nerdiest Pick-up line?

“If you were an air mass you’d be tropical maritime because you’re so damn hot!”

17. The nerdiest article of clothing you’ve ever owned?

I don’t really know what classes as nerdy, but I like corduroy, tweed and cardigans. True geography style distaster

18. Do you have a random, useless talent? What is it?

I can pick up a lot of things with my feet, although that has proven to be useful on numerous occasions.

19. Do you read the book before seeing the movie?

it’s 50/50 at the moment.

20. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Gonna break my tradition and go with something a little odd that I really like in the latest X-Men film: reactive evolution. The ability to adapt to whatever environment you’re in. Useful? Yep. Cool? Double yep.

21. Theme song for your life? 

Clearly it’s “Handsome Man” by Robbie Williams. Right?

22. Favorite movie? 

Serenity

23. Favorite TV show? 

Castle

24. Favorite book? 

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Cheating I know but sue me)

25. Favorite quote from a movie, TV show or book? 

This, from Firefly:

Zoe: First rule of battle, Little One: Don’t ever let them know where you are.
Mal: (runs in with guns blazing) I’m right here! I’m right here! You wanna come in? Yeah you do! C’mon! C’mon!
Zoe: Course there are other schools of thought.
Mal: That was bracing! They don’t like it when you shoot at ’em. I worked that out myself.

26. One cancelled TV show you would bring back without a doubt? 

Firefly. Obviously. The show was fantastic.

 

 

 

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‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Review

Fifty Darker

I’m going to start this review with a direct quote from the book:

“Wouldn’t you rather have a cup of tea?”

The answer to that is, of course, yes. Yes I would much rather have sat and drunk a thousand cups of tea than go through the mental torture that this book has inflicted upon me, but alas, I didn’t.

If you weren’t around over the summer months, or if you have a memory like a sieve, then you might not know that I put myself through the burning, soul destroying mental torturefest challenge of reading the hottest book in the world at that time, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. You can find my write up of that experience right here: Click at your own peril – includes Fifty Shades content!  Seven months on, I felt like I was ready to take the icy plunge into the cool steel gaze of multi billionaire CEO, philanthropist and deviant, Christian Grey.

*DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTAINS “SPOILERS” BUT THE BOOK ISN’T THAT GOOD ANYWAY, SO I’D JUST READ ON IF I WERE YOU, REGARDLESS.*

Picking up 3 days after the absolutely nail biting climax of the last book where main character and instantly irritating shrew, Ana, stormed out on Christian after deciding he was too weird for her, we get to see how Ana completely fails to deal with her recent break up. Like any cliche, Ana stops eating and starves herself, forcing herself through the motions at her new job, which she never seems to do any real work at but we’ll get to that later. Ana spends a lot of the first chapter moping about how much she misses Christian, even though she was the one who stormed out and left him. EL James, the horror architect author also keeps swapping the way she spells “gray” flipping between a and e throughout the book. I feel like a proofread was needed here.

Anyway, in true doormat form, Ana sees she has an email from Christian, asking her if she wanted to go to her friend Jose’s art show with him. You know Jose? That character that suddenly disappeared halfway through the first book? No? Don’t worry he flits in and out of this one too! Anyway, Ana accepts and spends the next 4 pages or there about worrying about seeing Christian. Quite frankly, what are you doing Ana? You’ve been broken up for like 4 days, this is not healthy. Grow up and get some common sense.

Skipping through vast swathes of this book. Ana and Christian get back together, they email a lot when Ana should be working (seriously, she does nothing other than email her boyfriend ALL day! How has she not been fired?), Christian buys her extravagant gifts and the most pointless sub plot of his crazy ex-submissive coming after Ana and him gets introduced. Honestly I don’t think there’s been a more forced strand to a story in a long while, possibly ever in fact!

After a few chapters about a charity ball, which pass in relative obscurity we end up with Christian going top-notch super crazy and asking Ana to marry him (yes I’m skipping a lot. you would too if you had to write about it.). Obviously, she says she needs time to think as she’s only known him for 5 weeks and he is nuttier than rat crap at a pistachio factory. He then goes super mental and becomes a submissive, asking her if that’s what she wants and the whole book takes a turn for the odd.

Anyway, skipping forward again, we get treated to the absolute JOY that is the return of “the tenacious Katherine Kavanagh” possibly the worst supporting character in a novel ever. If only she had been written out permanently. On the bright side though, Jose returns for a few chapters before disappearing into obscurity once again.

There’s a helicopter crash, a lot of crying and a birthday party and then we find out that Ana was being cruel by not giving Christian’s proposal a real answer because she gave him a present that he wasn’t allowed to open until his birthday, which turned out to be a keyring with a big YES in flashing lights on it. Talk about torturing a guy!

Anyway, the book ends with Christian giving Ana a truly romantic proposal, then we get a small epilogue section featuring Ana’s old boss, who Christian violently assaulted with no repercussions whatsoever and who caused the helicopter crash, contemplating murder again and foreshadowing the next book. So you know it’s going to be a light-hearted finish to the trilogy!

In summary, it’s more of the same but at least James is trying to give Christian some depth, which he needs as Ana has so little. I felt that the book picked up a bit in the second half, after we got rid of the boring, crazy ex sub-plot. That said, I wouldn’t hurry to read it again. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever think about reading it again.

I’ll probably get around to reading the last book at some point, I’ve come this far so it seems silly not to. I wouldn’t hold your breath and expect it any time soon though…

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to read something mentally stimulating, not mentally crushing.

‘The Last Angel’ by Sarah PJ White – Review

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‘The Last Angel’ is a novel by the mum of a friend of mine so you may be forgiven for thinking that I am going to be biased in reviewing this book. I wold like to put it out there right now that this is NOT the case and anything that I write is from an unbiased point of view, based upon the book itself. Smashing, let’s begin.

Set in the quaint little town of Thatcham (although I sense this is a stylised version of the town, bearing the same name and geographical location) The Last Angel tells the story of Crystal Meadows, a seemingly ordinary girl who has just had the absolute joy of turning 21. Except, Crystal isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s an Angel. In fact, she’s the Last Angel, the only remnant of a purge ordered by The Others, an overarching power of creation and control that become the faceless main antagonist of the story.

Crystal is the product of a relationship between her mother Izzy, a healah and her father Samuel, a flyah. These roles are part of the caste system of enlightened human beings on earth that have been made aware of their powers by The Others, so that they can perform tasks for them when necessary. The third full blood cast, the digahs form the ‘grunt’ troop of The Others and serve as the main weapon of this faceless enemy. I know, it’s a lot to get your head around in a short time but White paces the story well to prevent too much confusion, with Crystal learning as we do exactly what is going on in her world.

As the story progresses, we meet a host of supporting characters including my favourite character in the story, Nathan – a flyah friend of Izzy and Samuel, who for some reason I can’t picture as anyone other than Woody Harrelson as Haymitch in the Hunger Games films. Frank, the religious zealot father of best friend Emily is also introduced and becomes a key foil to the best laid plans of Crystal and co. with White clearly setting him up for greater things in the second book. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t connect with the character of Frank, finding it hard to believe that anybody that devoted their life so wholly to following the word of God could be quite as despicable and loathsome as he is. That being said, I still managed to picture him as Nicholas Cage in ‘Kick Ass’ but creepier.

As the story plots on, Crystal becomes more aware of her abilities and learns to control hem, after being entrusted with The Account – the true story of creation. It was prophesied that an Angel would set into motion the enlightenment of the world and the downfall of The Others and, with her being the only one left, it appears that Crystal has become the one to fulfil the prophecy. We also see Crystal begin a relationship with her boss, Tony the American, who I believe is quite an underdeveloped character, but I get the feeling that we haven’t seen the last of him and I have my suspicions that he may have a darker agenda than just dating Crystal; we will have to wait for the second book and see.

Overall, The Last Angel is an entertaining read, I was able to skip through it at a comfortable pace in just three evenings, with no feeling that the story was dragging or being filled with pointless padding, just to up the page count. My disappointment with the book came with the spelling and grammar mistakes in the book, with it having more than I would have liked to have seen, but as I’m sure those of you that read my posts before I have a chance to go back through them and triple check will know, I have no leg to stand on about this. Other than that tiny gripe, I thoroughly enjoyed myself with The Last Angel and if anybody Is looking for an affordable Ebook then I would recommend you go and grab yourself a copy before the second part of trilogy is released and you have to pay catch up!

Overall Rating:

Overall, I give The Last Angel eight happy llamas, out of ten. It’s a good book, well written and nicely paced. Well deserved!

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8 of these bad boys go to Sarah PJ White and her book ‘The Last Angel’

Literary Hell

I’ve read a lot of books over the years. As a consequence of this, I have therefore read quite a few utterly terrible books. The rule seems to be that for every 3 books that you find that are great, you will find one book so bad that it makes you want to scratch your eyes out so that you can’t read anything that bad ever again. These terrible books deserve to meet a horrible fate, the kind that is arranged in darkened rooms under bad lighting. Which lead to me think of the BBC TV show “Room 101”. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a wikipedia entry for the show:

“Room 101 is a BBC comedy television series based on the radio series of the same name, in which celebrities are invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to consign them to a fate worse than death in Room 101, named after the torture room in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is itself named after a meeting room in the BBC Broadcasting House where Orwell would sit through tedious meetings”

So let me introduce you to the first installment of “Literary Hell” the place that bad books go to die!

First up, and I know it’s the easiest book series to hate and lambast, BUT:

The Twilight Saga
I have the unfortunate accolade of having read the entire saga and I must say, I wish I hadn’t. Without mentioning the films (which are even worse, if that’s even possible!) the Twilight saga was a bland, unstructured bloke of prose that featured a character that was only unforgettable because of how utterly shapeless and devoid of any detail and emotion she is. The books read like a madman spewing gibberish at you in the street, with very few coherent parts that added up to make a thoroughly underwhelming plot. Spoiler Alert: Nothing Happens! The first two books are about love and loss, the third book features a battle between a vampire army and a smaller group of “friendly” vampires which we don’t see because we’re focussed on Bella and her non-adventures and the final book builds up to a gigantic confrontation that doesn’t happen and is resolved peacefully and with love and care. Utter, utter garbage. Dracula would be turning in his grave if he could see how people use the word “Vampire” nowadays (well, he would be if it wasn’t for that stake stopping him ;D ).

Mockingjay
I’ve mentioned before (here to be precise) how much I enjoyed the first Hunger Games book. The second installment wasn’t as good, but I could live with it. However, the third and final part of the trilogy was such an unadulturated crime against humanity that it’s a shock how it got through the publishers! Mockingjay takes every good aspect of the first two books and makes them awful, putting Katniss into an utterly unbelievable war setting and robbing her and the other main characters of everything that made you love them in the first few books. Marginally better than the Twilight Saga, but come on, that’s not something to be boasting about…

Fifty Shades of Grey
Oh yes. The big book of the moment, the one that everyone is talking about and hailing as amazing. Surprise, surprise, I have something bad to say about it. Now, whilst I haven’t read the ACTUAL book, I HAVE read the majority of the original ‘FanFiction’ that eventually became the book, oddly titled “Master of the Universe”. Let me tell you, don’t ever read this. If you do, you will want to rip off your skin in an effort to feel something more painful than reading it. You will never find anything more painful, not even getting kicked in the nuts. Fifty Shades of Grey was originally a “FanFiction” of the Twilight Saga, in which Bella, a student, meets Edward, who is a CEO of a massive corporation, in an interview and then  signs her life away before realising that he loves BDSM and whatever. The entire premise of the book is flawed from the start, like trying to polish a turd, you cannot make Twilight better. The real kicker, however, comes in the form of the actual writing style. The overuse of elipses between each statement is possibly my least favourite new writing trend, making everything seem like one big run-on sentence. The dialogue is so hammy that i would avoid it if you like to keep Kosher and the only thing that seems to have changed between the transition from “Poorly writtien Twilight FanFictition” to “Published Poorly writtien Twilight FanFictition” are the names given to each of the main characters. Avoid this book at all costs, it will devour your soul.

If you’re up for a challenge, I’ll include a link to the “Read Online” version of Master of the Universe. not for the faint hearted.
Possibly the worst thing to happen to literature, ever.

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Literary Hell, I’ll be back with more once I’ve read some more incredibly bad books!