Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting to Know You: Favourite Games

gettingtoknowyou pepca

Getting to Know You is a feature, started by Jenni Elyse who wants to get to know fellow bloggers. This week’s topic of Getting to Know You is Favourite Games.

Games Collage

I don’t much play games lately, except when I get together with my cousins, but I do love them. Here are 5 of my all-time favourites and that recent silly obsession called 2048.

I used to play a lot of the others with my cousins and grandma when I was little, and sometimes I played them by myself – since I was an only child. :)

From top to bottom, left to right, in no particular order:

  • Ludo
  • Four in a Row
  • Mikado
  • Uno
  • 2048
  • Monopoly

What are your favourite games? Hop on to Jenni’s blog and share them with everyone if you want.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Eternally Dark by John Amory, Jenna Jones, TA Moore, BA Tortuga

NOTE: The book reviewed contains themes only appropriate for those above the age of majority.

Image296_fmtSUMMARY (by the publisher): What might make a vampire vulnerable enough to take a human lover? What if they were blind, and needed what a human could give them, not just blood, but sight?

In ‘Blind Eye of the Sun’, TA Moore gives us a dystopian, ruined pleasure planet where humans and vamps fight for resources. Jenna Jones pens ‘Aubade’, where a young slam poet finds both fear and excitement in the arms of a vampire. In John Amory’s ‘Spearmint Warning’, a vampire teaches a hot barista all about mint leaves and tea. Finally, in ‘Those Who Cannot See’, BA Tortuga gives us a historical cowboy who’s nearly been hanged and the vampire who saved him.

MY OPINION:

Blind Eye of the Sun’ by TA Moore  

With well-built and intriguing characters, ‘Blind Eye of The Sun’ was my favourite of the four short stories in the anthology.

In few words, TA Moore manages to build a rich, albeit gritty world, depicting technological and medical advancements as well as setbacks, such as artificially grown food, and many more interesting details.

The characters, even minor ones, are fleshed out with unique traits and hints of backstories. I loved the protagonists – Shea, a hardened soldier, a resourceful, smart man, with an ability to bring people together, and Anatoly, the blind vampire, a noble monster with a code of honour – and the way they function together.

The semi-open ending fits the overall feel of the story and brings some sort of a closure while leaving the future unknown, but with a hopeful undertone.

Finally, the only shortcoming – which isn’t a shortcoming at all – I found was that I could read a lot more of this story, its world, and characters.

5 stars

‘Aubade’ by Jenna Jones and ‘Spearmint Warning’ by John Amory 

Since the two short stories are pretty similar, I decided to combine the reviews into one.

Firstly, both so-called relationships are rushed (so-called because what they are really just hook-ups, although the authors call it ‘love’).

And secondly, the human characters are somewhat bland, since we don’t learn much about them. In addition, despite being given the vampires’ backstories, those are pretty much clichéd (for one thing, both vampires have possessive jealous makers) and didn’t make me invested in the characters, either.

All in all, ‘Aubade’ and ‘Spearmint Warning’ are readable stories to pass the time, but nothing more.3 stars

‘Those Who Cannot See’ by BA Tortuga

The last short story of the four is perhaps the most sensual one. A telepathic connection between the main protagonists makes the sensuality and the strong emotional bond that forms between them rather quickly actually plausible.

I liked the well-established western setting. The plot is well-rounded and the characters outlined well enough to provoke a reaction, whether positive or negative. Thus, the main protagonists, Edmund and Blaze are quite likeable, as well as two minor characters: Running Water, a Native American tracker, and Lwazi, Edmund’s African American butler.

Overall, ‘Those Who Cannot See’ makes up a good short story.

4 stars

RECOMMENDATION: Whereas the last three short stories are good enough, Eternally Dark anthology is worth picking up for ‘Blind Eye of the Sun’ alone as it is an exceptionally well-written and fascinating short story.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Getting to Know You: Favourite Bands

gettingtoknowyou pepca

Getting to Know You is a new feature, started by Jenni Elyse who wants to get to know fellow bloggers. This week’s topic of Getting to Know You is Favourite Bands.

I love music, but I’m terrible at knowing who sings what because I either listen to it on the radio or what I randomly come across on the internet, and I fail to remember the artist. So, I guess those I do know the names of must be my favourite. ;)

Here are a few of them (some new-ish, some less so) whose music I really enjoy, in random order:

  • Imagine Dragons
  • Snow Patrol
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Bryan Adams
  • Il Divo
  • Eros Ramazzotti
  • Enrique Iglesias
  • Plavi Orkestar

What are your favourite bands? I always like discovering new awesome music, so do tell. And go over to Jenni’s blog and share it with everyone if you want.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Getting to Know You: Celebrity Crushes

gettingtoknowyou pepca
Getting to Know You is a new feature, started by Jenni Elyse who wants to get to know fellow bloggers. I like the idea, so I decided to join in, albeit (a little) late. This week’s topic is celebrity crushes.

Celebrity crushes collage
My list of celebrity crushes is very very long, and tends to change a lot, so I decided to share a handful of current(ish) younger (with one exception) ones, all not just gorgeous and talented but also wonderful people. Oh, yes, and I threw in some ladies, too.

In case you don’t recognise them, from left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Daniel Craig
  2. David Lyons
  3. Nina Dobrev
  4. Brett Dalton
  5. Tracy Spiridakos
  6. Daniel Gillies
  7. Hayley Atwell
  8. Simon Kassianides
  9. Joseph Morgan

What are your celebrity crushes? Any in common?

If you want to share your celebrity crushes, go ahead, and don’t forget to link up on Jenni’s post so we can all get to know each other better.

* Disclaimer: Celebrity photos are not mine and belong to their respective owners.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

vanishing actsSUMMARY (from Goodreads): Della Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiancé, and a job she loves, finding missing persons. However, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall. Then she discovers that her father had kidnapped her when she was a child.

MY OPINION:

As always, it is hardest to review the books one likes, and since it has been a while since I read this, I will do this the short way.

Things I liked about Vanishing Acts:

  • all five POVs – the combination worked perfectly together and made an amazing story;
  • the insight into prison system/life, however harsh it was – it felt much more realistic than in most books;
  • the parallels between Delia and her daughter Sophie and between Delia’s family and Sophie’s;
  • the subplots fit in very well;
  • and, finally, this is how you do love ‘triangles’, subtly in the background.

I cannot think of anything I didn’t like about this book.

All in all, Vanishing Acts was an absolutely heartfelt story not only about the kidnapping as its main focus, but also many other present everyday issues everyone could or might be facing already. 5 stars

RECOMMENDATION: Jodi Picoult’s books are excellent for those interested in a thought-provoking material about contemporary issues and Vanishing Acts is no exception.

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