Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday post 22; It's Monday! What are you reading? 10

Linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday Post - a chance to catch up with what's been happening in the past week, and to plan the week ahead, and also to chat with other bloggers about their weeks.

Also linking up with Kathryn at for It's Monday! What are you reading? in order to talk about books (yay,books!).

I'm trying to think what I did last week  ... not much different from any other week at the moment. I applied for jobs, had lunch with my friend on Monday, lunch with a different friend on Friday (that's quite a lot of socialising, for me) and spent Saturday night agonising over Downton Abbey with my stitch-and-watch friend. (I just want Lady Edith to be happy!!!!).

I'm still helping out in spawn's class in the mornings, which is proving to be interesting.

As for reading, I'm slowly chipping away at Perdido Street Station and all I can say - given that the book is 900 pages - thank goodness for ebooks! I'm not very far in, so I'm not sure what I think of it yet.

I still haven't started book two of the Dark Tower series, but I'm determined to do it soon. The Year of the Series, indeed ....

As for coming up ... I still need to bang about with the things ladies in their 40s like post, and do a review of Strong Signal; a M/M gamer novel I read last week that I liked.

That's ... all I have.

What about you?

How's your week?

What are you reading?

Monday, 22 February 2016

Short reviews

October (Toby) Daye is many things; Private investigator. Fiance. Mother. Half Daoine Sidhe ...

When Toby falls foul of a bad man during the course of an investigation, she loses 14 years of her life - including her family. Determined not to fall in with the Fae again, she sets about carefully constructing a normal life.

Unfortunately, the Fae are not done with Toby, and when an answering machine message binds her to find out the murderer of the Countess Winterrose, Toby finds herself reluctantly drawn back into the world she had deliberately left behind her.

I have to admit, I don't read a lot of urban fantasy. I'm super-picky about certain genres and this is one of them, simply because of the sheer volume of paranormal romance in the genre. (Romance, in itself, isn't really my thing. Very specific criteria have to be met for me to enjoy a romance novel). But. I started Rosemary and Rue, and found myself drawn into Toby's story.

There's a lot of world-building but it flows seamlessly along with the story itself and didn't detract from the mystery as Toby races against time to find out whodunit.

The plot thickens in issue #3 of Magekiller, as Tessa and Marius find themselves garnering the attention of a nascent organisation battling to save Thedas: The Inquisition.

We find out  a little bit more about Tessa's past, and the story moves along as Tessa and Marius stumble across demons spitting out of Fade rifts all over Ferelden. It's an interesting addition to the series, but I'm ready to see the story move along. Love love love Tessa, though. :D

Ah science. So much science. So. Much. Science. During a mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is left behind after an accident on the surface means that his crew assumes he's dead.

He's not, and so begins Mark's struggle to stay alive on Mars long enough for rescue.

There is. So. Much. Science. Did I say that? Especially in the early going, and I found it a bit of a struggle to be honest, but once NASA gets involved, and theres more than just Mark talking to himself about potatoes, things start moving pretty quickly.

It helps that Mark is something of a smartass, which leavens the seriousness of the overall storyline and makes the science-y bits easier to get through. Entertaining, though.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Sunday post 21; It's Monday! What are you reading? #9

 Linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday Post - a chance to catch up and chat about the week that's been and the week that's coming - and with Kathryn at for It's Monday! What are you reading?

Let's see ... last week didn't stand out, I don't think, in any particular way. Spawn was home from school on Thursday and Friday with a cough and a sore throat. He's feeling much better now if the chatter level is anything to go by so back we go!

I've somehow found myself helping out in the classroom in the mornings, with reading and writing and it's okay? But honestly I'm not a natural with children and especially not like, packs of children. But somehow I agreed to it so I'm gritting my teeth and doing it. Spawn is happy to have me there, anyway, and it's. Something? Eh, it keeps me off the streets and out of the opium dens.

I'm trying to like, be an adult about stuff and not watch TV during the day, which is super-super easy to do. Like, it's RIGHT THERE. Sigh. So, in an effort to like, I dunno, stuff, I created a blog, for writing. There's nothing on it yet but it's here: obviously I still need to fluff the pillows and turn back the covers, but the plan is to - eventually maybe - put short stories up there.



I read The Martian finally last week, and despite all of the SCIENCE!! I did quite enjoy it. Issue #3 of Dragon Age: Magekiller came out last week as well, so I read that and I'm really enjoying the way the story arc is going.

For now, and for the forseeable future to be honest because it's the biggest book in the WORLD, I'm reading Perdido Street Station. It's another China Mieville co-read with the lovely Jodie, one of the awesome ladies. We've co-read - and co-reviewed Mieville together before, but not for a while, and finally decided it was time to tackle the monolith.

I did blog last week, amazingly - I did a review of the Captive Prince trilogy by C S Pacat: and also did a post of my favourite non-match 3 app games:

This week ... I have The Martian, Magekiller and Rosemary and Rue knocking about in my head; so I think I'll do a shorts post. We saw Deadpool when it opened here so I might knock up a review of that as well.

I still have the Things People Think I Shouldn't Like Because I'm a Lady in My 40s post idea knocking around in my head, it's possibly going to surface this week.

What I'd really like to start is my Awesome Ladies project. I was reminded of it by who's starting this Dead Ladies Project: which is awesome and nudged my braincell.

I've had this list in google docs for something like two years of women from history up to the recent past/present in different disciplines. I have a vague notion of doing a bit of research, depending on what I can find, and maybe doing posts about them. It's a long list and each category has five ladies because .... because, that's why.


How was your week? What's coming up? What are you reading?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

My fave non-match 3 app games

I'm trying to blog more, which means trying to come up with topics - lol. I have a few in mind, and then I thought "hey, why don't I babble about some of my favourite app games?"

So. Here we are. At first, I just had three, but realised I couldn't leave out Midnight Castle from Big Fish games, a hidden-object mystery game and to be honest, the only hidden-object game I actually like. Here's the trailer: Midnight Castle

I like it because the quests aren't timed, and you can just kind of cruise through all of the different things if you just want to gather coins; or you can work through Prof. Pinfeather's tasks if you want to advance your game.

I tried Secret Passages, but found it annoying as the actual hidden objects parts were timed, and there seemed to be no logical progression to it? Maybe I was doing it wrong, but overall I prefer Midnight Castle. I can just sit down and bip through a bunch of them and not worry.

Next up, is Monument Valley from Ustwo Games and oh my gosh. Monument Valley is just gorgeous. Look at this trailer: Monument Valley

It's like ... physics via an M C Escher picture. It's full of puzzles and optical illusions. Ida - the Silent Princess - has to navigate through various obstacles to get to where she needs to go.

There's 10 levels in the original game, and eight in Forgotten Shores. There's also a one-off called Ida's Birthday, which I haven't played through all the way yet; though I've played through the rest of Monument Valley at least three times. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Third on this most random list, is Regency Love, by Tea For Three studios. This game is just so adorable, look at this trailer Regency Love

It's basically a Jane Austen novel. You play through as a young woman who's just out of mourning for her father, and there are different romance options (though it's VERY HARD not to romance the Mr Darcy character, though for myself, I preferred Mr Bookworm) and you gather points from motivation, which you can apply to the skills appropriate for a young lady of the time. There are pop quizzes (though some of the questions do repeat) and games of hangman as you go along, which help add to your motivation points.

It's beautifully rendered and honestly I spent nearly all of one Sunday playing through the whole thing.

Last, but by no means least, is Lifeline, from 3 Minute Games. Here's the trailer:

So basically, Taylor is lost on a planet, the last survivor of a crash. They reach out to you, and the choices you get Taylor to make, affect the outcome. (First time I played Taylor froze to death on the first night *ahem*). The goal is to get them to safety so they can be rescued.

It's a text-based game and every decision you - and Taylor - make affect what happens next. I'm about halfway through my third playthrough of this - lol. There's a direct sequel as well, called Silent Night, and also a Lifeline 2, which I haven't played yet but from what I can see is a totally different story. Trailer for 2: Lifeline 2

Happy playing!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Captive Prince trilogy by C S Pacat - review

The Captive Prince series is one of those things I had been aware of for some time, floating around.

It started out as original fic on livejournal and I knew people who were seriously invested in the first two books. When C S Pacat published, and confirmed that yes, there would be a third book, I bought the first two.

I read them first ... a year or two ago, I think? And was pretty much immediately hooked. Like. Hook. Line. Sinker. Me.


Damianos - prince of Akielos and rightful heir to the throne, is a bit startled one night when he's tied up, imprisoned and shipped off to Vere to be the "pet" of Laurent - prince regent and hissing snake/hedgehog. (Laurent is my favourite. I love him very much of a lot.)

Damianos - now Damen - and Laurent - don't get along. For one thing, Damen is a bit surprised to suddenly be shipped off as slave, courtesy of his older brother Kastor, and his former lover Jokasta, who has now thrown her lot in with Kastor.

Damianos is younger, but is the legitimate heir as Kastor is the son of the deceased king and a mistress. It's all very ............... .................. well. The intrigue has intrigue.

While Damen battles his new position in a court where ostensibly no one knows who he is, Laurent is fighting his own battle against his devious uncle, the Regent of Vere.

So Captive Prince is the set-up for Prince's Gambit, wherein Damen and Laurent have to learn to get along and also stay alive and also ALSO fight a war and also also ALSO stop Laurent's uncle from killing them both and stripping Laurent of his throne.

Everyone's got a really long to-do list.

Things come to a head *ahem* in one way, in Prince's Gambit as Damen figures out how to navigate the hissing snake-hedgehog that is Laurent.

Then, of course, Prince's Gambit ends on a CLIFFHANGER and everyone had to wait until this month to find out what happens, which is where King's Rising comes in.

I think, overall, Prince's Gambit is my favourite of the series, because it's full of lots of intrigue and Damen and Laurent plastering themselves against walls (and each other) but dammit if King's Rising wasn't a satisfying end to the trilogy.

All KINDS of things go down, which I won't go into because of spoilers but all of the loose threads come together and knit up into a very satisfying jumper. (Sorry, that metaphor got away on me just a little bit.)

It's like. King's Rising is like this amazing ginger beer pannacotta I had once. It was light and creamy and delicious and rounded of the meal I'd had perfectly.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday post 20; It's Monday! What are you reading? post 8

Linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday post, and with Kathryn at for It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Sunday Post is a chance to catch up with what you've been doing, and with what you're going to do for the week, and of course It's Monday! is all about the books. :)

Once again, I tripped and fell off the radar. I'm not sure why, but there we have it.

Spawn went back to school for the new year on February 1, so perhaps that's part of it - settling into the school routine again.

For me, that means getting up a good hour earlier at least than I have been, which is a struggle, given that I am certainly NOT a morning person.

Otherwise, things continue on much the same. I'm still applying for jobs. I have picked up some casual proof-reading, so that's a start. And somehow I've been drafted as a sort of parent help some mornings for spawn's class to help with reading and writing. Which is fine, I don't mind, but I'm just not very good with children in large groups.

I'm trying to re-set parts of my own routine so I'm not passively sitting in front of the computer or the TV for large parts of the weekday. Even if I'm writing or reading, it's better for my brain parts.

What else. I do have blog posts planned for this week, so hopefully this time I'll actually do them.

I'm hoping to write up reviews for the Captive Prince trilogy by C S Pacat, and also Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I also went to see Deadpool last week, so am  hoping to write that up as well. I also have two or three other posts in mind, though I might not get them done this week. They're simmering away, though.

As for what I'm reading ... I had a bit of a mini-slump after finishing Rosemary and Rue, so nothing for a few days. However, I'd bought The Martian on iBooks a while back when it was on special, so I'm reading that at the moment. It's very science-y and a bit dense, but I'm getting more into it now.

As for what's coming up; book 2 of The Dark Tower, finally. And then ... I'm not sure after that. I'll have to poke around a bit.

How's your week been?

What are you reading?