Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern

I don't have much to say about this book except that the cover always made me think that the story was about a little girl. The circus looks like a little doll like child sitting on a hand. The clock is the face, the red swirly things at the top look like a bonnet, the ones on the bottom are her legs, the circus tents make up her dress and arms. That's not what it was about though, it was actually about a circus.. hahaha.. surprise!

This book was just ok, whatever, I really can't be bothered to think about it. The circus was cool, I wanted to visit it, it was very well written, there was an inkling in time when I felt for the characters and their miseries but yeah, whatever. I wasn't impressed with the ending, it was a bit shit and I wasn't blown away or in love with the book. 

An average book that accomplishes it's purpose and sells copies

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fishbowl- Bradley Somer

This is a review of an unpublished version I received for free through NetGalley.

Interesting book. It's supposed to be a story about a fish falling from a building, but it's not really. In fact, the fish wasn't all that necessary except to make this book a bit different then every other book about people and their lives. 

This is a book about people in a building, it gives us a very brief glimpse into their lives (about an hour to be exact) and it's pretty cool because the characters are engaging, the way the chapters alternate POV's keeps it fresh and the fact that we go back in time to witness the same event from a different characters perspective just makes the whole story tight. 

It's a good attempt but would be great if the author got rid off/fixed the following:

Strange Metaphors 

Wow, this guy was trying too hard with the figures of speech. As the story moved along I got engrossed in the narrative and didn't pay much attention to the rest of the stuff, but starting out I was just thought wtf, when I read sentences like:

He wears the look of how a loved one's embrace feels 

Huh!!? Does he mean: He looks as though he's being embraced by a loved one?? How can one look like a loved one's embrace feels?!?! 


If he could, Ian would wonder on the beautiful and quantifiable order that gravity imposes on the chaos of the world, the harmony of a marriage between a constant acceleration and an ultimate speed that all objects in free fall reach but don't breach. Is this universal number divine or simply physics, and if it's the latter, could it be the work of the former?

Then there is:

Unlike most men, Connor is an amazingly sensual dancer, his body seeming to respond to her feelings

One more for the road:

He's busily learning more about less 

WTF words 

The author's Aussie and some words were just a big Huh for me. Apparently rooting in Australia is having sex O.o. Lord knows what hexaped means. Bimaniacal anyone? I'm pretty sure that's not a real word. 

Repetitive writing 

Some of the writing was very repetitive, both in terms of events and actual words. This might have been used as a writing style but it wasn't effective 

Children's book writing style 

Not sure if they will be fixing this by the time the final edition comes out but it is EVERYWHERE. Short, clipped, simple sentences, you know, things like: Jenna is a pretty girl. She likes eating apples. Jenna knew someday her fondness of apples would lead her to greatness. Editor.Now. 

Claire the Shut-in 

Wow. Just wow. First of all, I am HOPING that this is just a coincidence, but Claire the shut-in is an exact copy of a character from a book called Shoeaholic Anonymous. It's a crappy book that no ones probably ever heard of, which makes it a great source of character forgery. However, I'm giving Bradley the benefit of the doubt and chalking it all up to coincidence. This is the similarity: Both characters are agoraphobics who have been shut in their apartments for god know show long and never leave it. They live alone and rely on the internet. To make money, they both operate as phone sex operators.... You can see why I was a bit taken aback. But whatever, two writers can come up with the exact same character COULD happen. 

In all cases, this character was just WRONG. She did not make any psychological sense. One does not become an agoraphobic simply because they realize they don't need any of their friends.. that just doesn't happen. Also, if one is already established as agoraphobic in a book one does not suddenly invite a strange man into one's home!

Ah! That's all I can be bothered to share for now, sleeping time! But seriously, I read the book in 3 days because it was really entertaining. All the stuff I mentioned above where things I noted in the first 50 pages of the book because after that I was too intrigued by the story to notice anymore. So good job Bradley, I hope the published version fixes some of the kinks above.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Knife of Dreams: Wheel of Time Book 11 - Robert Jordan

Third Re-Read

Aaaand we're back on track my fellow WOT-ers! after 3 books of whining female channelers, running after Faile, having to read Shaido chapters and scratching our heads at Halima's purpose, Knife of Dreams has swooped in to save the day and wrap up some undesirable plots! Yee haw!

I'm pleased to say that Perrin has his Falcon back, thank the lord Jesus, Elayne has sorted out her shit at long last and Egwene's plot has gone into motion after being stuck with those old farts for what feels like eons. We don't see that much of Rand and his brooding, which is fine by me. Thankfully that is going to be resolved soon and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we don't have to deal with the Emo Child any longer. Mat is unfortunately now hitched to that little psychopath ( I repeat, biggest mismatch of the series) but his chapters were still as entertaining as ever. 

This was a great book with tons of action and plot movement/development as well as one of my all time favorite chapters in the series (Lan and Nynaeve). I love those two, hands down my fave couple.

Two more books to go before the end.... :( :( I don't want to let go. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Penny Dreadful- Season 2

I don't know how I feel about this season honestly. I think I overhyped this series in my head. I was blown away by the first season. It was novel, interesting, exciting,  it was just my type of genre.

Season 2 wasn't bad, but it wasn't as ground-breaking, which is ok, it was still entertaining. Things slow down a bit here and we are given Ms. Ives backstory but no one else's. Well, not exactly, I mean we know what Dorian Gray is, cause he's Dorian Gray duh, we know Ethan is a werewolf and we know Frankenstein reawakens the dead but we're not shown anything from their past which kinda sucks cause they're important characters.

On a positive note, Frankenstein's monster is not as much of a pain in the ass anymore!

Don't get too excited, he still mopes around and cites depressing poetry, but he is now friends with Ms. Ives and their relationship dynamic adds a lot to the show.

My biggest pet peeve in this season is Brona Croft, a.k.a Lily a.k.a Bride of Frankenstein. Her motivations don't make any sense to me and why doesn't Vanessa recognize her? It's not like Vanessa to not notice obvious things. How does Lily realize that Dorian is immortal when none of our other supernatural do? And vice versa? How does Dorian sense that there is something.. off.. about Lily when it goes over  Vanessa's head?! There are too many holes in that story. Turning Lily evil feels so forced, it's like the writer needed a new baddie and had to come up with something outside the box, which is crap since there were many potential conflicts around already! (Ethan's wolfish background which hasn't been explained yet, Dorian's presence and back story, etc.) Turning Lily evil feels a bit desperate and unnecessary IMO. It also bothered me how Ethan and Lily's connection had been hastily swept aside for plot progression purposes. It feels incomplete and fake.

Ferdinand Lyle

Anyway moving on to greener pastures. Well done with introducing Ferdinand Lyle as a supporting character this season! Very interesting character and well portrayed by Simon Russel Beale. He's one of the reasons I am looking forward to the 3rd season. He brings a sort of comic and light hearted relief to the otherwise intense and depressing cast.

I will be watching season 3 but it doesn't bother me that I have to wait another year for it. The novelty has worn off and I'm not sure if things will ever be the same again. Dramatic much?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Swordspoint- Ellen Kushner

This was a very strange book, made even more so by the fact that half of the audiobook is totally narrated by the author while the other half has a cast reading the dialogue, very confusing.

I did not get into this story until about 80% in. I just did not like the world Kushner built Perhaps I am a bit of a prude, but the fact that all but one of the men were bisexual and that the whole society is built on killing everyone you simply don't like just bothered me.

I also wasn't a huge fan of Alec or Richard. Richard, the main protagonist, has no definitive personality traits. While Kushner put so much effort in making Alec a mysterious enigma that his character just did not make sense. He went around psychotically alternating between haughty and arrogant to suicidal to cowardly and scared, so strange.

Furthermore, some of the supporting cast all blended into one person for me. (exp. Ginny and Katherine) I did not realize that they were 2 separate characters at the start. They had the same background, attitude, tone... etc.

It wasn't until the end when things where clarified that I thought, oh, this is interesting, this was a well thought of plot. I appreciated the little twist and how everything fell into place.

In a nutshell, wasn't a big fan at the start but really enjoyed it at the end. It will only get a 3/5 stars though because I felt like I was wasting my time for a big chunk of the book.

Would I recommend it?

Hmmm... not particularly. While it does have a tight and interesting plot, there are way too many better books out there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Young Plus Magazine

This isn't so much a review as it is a concerned observation. I was at Silkor a couple of weeks ago, idly flipping through a Young Plus Magazine while waiting for my appointment (Note to Silkor: Some magazine variety would be nice, thanks).

Young Plus is a Teen mag. with the usual Celeb gossip, teen advice, etc. As I got to the fashion section, I thought "yay, maybe this magazine will have affordable suggestions." - If you've  ever gone through the adult magazine's (Cosmo/Grazia/..) you know what I'm talking about.
To my horror, those guys were suggesting 500 AED dresses and 1000 AED bags! GAH!

Don't believe me? Well, here are few suggestions off their website:

Gaudi AED 725
Gaudi AED 725

Patrizia Pepe AED 1350

Gerard Derell AED 1770

The items are displayed under a "Steal her Look" section, whereby they post a celebrity's photo and breakdown her outfit.

How disturbing is that?! What kid of message are we sending those kids? That in order to look like your favorite celebrity/role model you need to purchase shoes for 1,000 AED?! Is this the norm now? Cause if it is that's just seriously messed up yo.

This is just so wrong. I don't want to hear any of the "This is how the new generation is" crap. It has nothing to do with a "generation". Last time I checked 13/14 year olds don't work and even if they do have part time jobs (highly doubtful in Dubai) the amount of money they made could possibly cover the zipper on that jacket. So I can imagine young girls asking their parents for that "awesome bag we saw on a teen mag!" and there's no way that would end well because if:

A) We buy 13 year old 2000 AED bags then we're raising a society of high maintenance princesses with no value for money.

B) We don't buy the bag, the kid would just feel left out and shunned by a society that finds this kind of behavior acceptable. If you're 13 and everyone around you is wearing Versace while you're wearing H&M it will seem like the end of the world.

At the end of the day, people will do as they wish and as they see fit for their children but perhaps widely read magazines can put some thought into the content they are publishing and see the effect beyond their sales target.