Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sunday Post 70; It's Monday, What are you reading? 56

The Sunday Post - a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is run by Kathryn, here:

Sorry for the double post today - I remembered that I had a review languishing in my docs and wanted to post it before this one went up.

Let's see ... nothing outstanding, I don't think, but that means nothing bad, so there's that. I went quizzing with my team on Wednesday night and we won, so that was fun. 

Spawn and I have been walking home from school a few days a week - I don't have my licence and (let me just say, if you have teens, encourage them to get their licence; I should have back in the day and I didn't and now ... blergh. anyway) - and so we've been walking home rather than rely on buses and taxis, the cost of which racks up very quickly.

It's a pain mostly because it's a good 30 minute walk, but on the other hand, we talk, which is great, and we also slay dragons. So there's an up side and a down side. My friend also suggested we could hunt Pokemon to help it go faster.

I missed out on an interview for a job I really wanted (archive assistant) but I also have a job interview this week for a part-time short contract job at the hospital. So cross fingers, prayer, good thoughts ... I will take all of it. I'm a big believer in the power of positive energy, wherever it comes from. :)

I actually managed to put up two book reviews (okay, so one was today, but who's counting), and I STILL haven't finished my latest awesome ladies post - hopefully that one will go up this week.

I'm also hoping to get another mobile game review up this week. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet; I'm trying to avoid doing match-3 games but there are so many. Maybe I'll do Gordon Ramsey's Dash.

For what I'm reading ... I caught half an episode of a CSI Miami repeat on TV and it put me in the mood for something procedural, so I got a CSI (Vegas) novel out of the library. It's pleasant and largely forgettable and very easy to read. I'm also re-watching Hannibal from the beginning because I never watched to the very end of season 3 for some reason. So my procedural mood is satisfied for now.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Review - Saga Volume 1

“When two soldiers from opposite sides of a neverending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.”

This has been on my to-read radar for a while. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels (no particular reason, it just doesn’t usually occur to me), but I figured it would be a quick read - which it was - and it was also awesome.

It starts with the star-crossed lovers having a baby and then immediately going on the run from both sides of the conflict.

There are a lot of near-misses, and mercenaries with names like The Will and The Stalk on their tail.

The story is narrated from the baby - Hazel’s point of view as her parents do everything in their power to escape and find a safe haven where they can find some peace.

Nothing, of course, is ever that simple.

It’s a great, sweeping sci-fi story with a very heartfelt tale right at the centre of it, which means it never feels out of reach.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Review - Every Heart a Doorway

I love a good story. I love a good fantasy story that takes the tropes and shamelessly says “yes, yes these are the tropes - there’s a chosen one, and an epic quest, and clear lines of good and evil.” It’s comforting, you know?
Equally, I love a good fantasy story that looks at those tropes and goes … “hmmm. Not this time. How about this?” Neil Gaiman is good at this, as is China Mieville in novels like Un Lun Dun and Railsea.

And in Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan Maguire takes the notion of happily ever after and just kind of … shakes it down for lunch money. She makes it empty out its pockets and then runs off laughing.

It’s a short book - about 170 pages, and won this year’s Hugo for best novella.

The ideas that are packed in to such a short space are absolutely astonishing.

It posits the idea: what if the fantasy worlds were real? What if you could take one step and end up somewhere else? But - what happens when you come back? The children who return to the mundane from their fantasy worlds often end up at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. There, they meet other children like themselves who have returned from a fantasy realm and cannot find their footing any more in the “real” world.

Nancy arrives at the school as one of these wayward children, but her arrival sets of an unforseen chain of events, murder and nothing will be the same.

It’s so good, and I keep mulling over its ideas. It’s clever without being showy or show-off, and that subtlety feeds into the story in the best possible way.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Sunday post 69; It's Monday, what are you reading? 55

The Sunday Post - a chance for a chat and catch-up with other bloggers - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn over here:

Last week continued in much the same vein - some days I have to stop and think what the day is, or what the date is. 

There were, however, a couple of highlights. On Tuesday night a friend of mine and I - as a team of two - attended a book-related quiz at the library. For library week, the library has been doing all kinds of events and fundraisers with the proceeds going to Furever Homes, a local charity that fosters and cares for abandoned or lost pets.

There were only two of us on our team because we couldn't draft anyone else - lol. The idea was to pit teams against a team of librarians in a series of book-related questions. It was a lot of fun - and we won. Heh. :D We impressed the librarians I think - lol. It was a good night all around.

On Saturday at the library, the Furever Homes people hosted a kind of meet-and-greet and people who are fostering pets brought their dogs and cats in to the library for visiting. It was slightly chaotic, but also great fun. 

For reading - I finished volume one of the Saga graphic novel, and enjoyed that a lot. I'm still working on Hamilton, and I'm eyeing up Everfair by Nisi Shawl next.

So for this week - more job applications, housework, hopefully some blog posts, and try not to go quietly insane.

How about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Mobile game review - Merge Dragons

I said I was going to start reviewing mobile games, and here is the first review.

So far I’m just going with games that I play and enjoy. Moving forward … who knows.

Anyway, first up is Merge Dragons:

Essentially it’s a match-3 game, but with dragons. So far, so good, right? Because dragons!

The first few levels are basically tutorial levels where you merge plants into higher level plants and merge eggs into dragons. There’s a handy in-game guide in the early levels that give you tips and you go from there.

We’ve all played Candy Crush and Candy Crush-adjacent match-3 games, but this is so much more fun. You can set up camp for your dragons and also use it to gather coins and bricks. Dragons merge and level up progressively.

There’s several levels, and the more you play through them the more rewards you earn that you can reap back at your camp.

It’s fun, and it’s a game that I can zone out on and play for ages.

It’s available on google play and on the app store.

The only negative, as far as I can tell, is that it does drain the battery, so watch out for that.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Sunday post 68, It's Monday, What are you reading? 54

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Last week was more of the same ... job applications, housework ... actually, that's about it.

I finished Tongues of Serpents, and reviewed that. I also read Every Heart a Doorway, so will review that this week. I have a couple of posts cooling their heels - a review of the mobile game Merge Dragons, and an awesome ladies post, both of which just need a bit of tweaking.

Coming up this week I'm expecting even more of the same, with a quiz evening on Tuesday at the local library.

For what I'm reading, I'm still picking at Hamilton and trying to decide what's up next.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Review - Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik

Tongues of Serpents is the sixth book in the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik.

In book five, Laurence and Temeraire had struggled with being accused of treason, and in an effort to make the embarrassment go away, the British government send them to the new colony of Australia.

Neither Laurence nor Temeraire know what to expect from the new colony, but when one of the dragon eggs they are tasked with taking care of is stolen, they embark on a journey across the Outback.

I have to admit, as much as I love the series overall, this is not my favourite entry. I still enjoyed the relationship between Laurence and Temeraire, but the bulk of the book is a fairly tedious journey across the Outback of Australia. I spent chapter after chapter waiting for something to happen, and all the action seems to be crammed in the last two or three chapters.

Given that it's the sixth book in the series, it's maybe not surprising that the quality falters at times, but  you know ... dragons. Dragons are good.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sunday post 67, It's Monday, what are you reading? 53

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Let's see ... last week was pretty uneventful. I went to Winz to get the benefit process started all over again, and did a few hours' work at the community paper. Which is good but it's only five hours a week at most, and while J does start his fulltime job tomorrow ... it's not enough. So I'm looking and looking and looking ....

Anyway. Moving on.

Spawn spent Friday night at the home of a friend of his, so I took the opportunity to binge-watch season 2 of Versailles, which was a lot of fun. I love that kind of historical drama, although there's a lot more nudity than one would expect. Not as many boobs as you'd see in your average episode of Game of Thrones, but still, boobs were seen. And butts. (Heh. Butts.)

The series itself focuses on the creation of Versailles and on the life of Louis the Fourteenth, his brother Phillippe and of course the rest of the court and court intrigues.

And boobs.

I also played some Dragon Age Inquisition and went to my friend's house on Saturday night for our usual stitch-and-watch session.

We went to a fundraiser quiz night on Wednesday, and ended up coming second, which was great. We went to another one today, but placed out of the running in fourth. I love quizzing, and we're also going to a quiz next Tuesday, which is part of our local library's library week celebrations:

For what I'm reading - still chipping away at Hamilton, albeit very slowly, and I'm in the home stretch with Tongues of Serpents, which has been a battle. I love the Temeraire series, but this isn't up there with the best of them for me.

Coming up, I'm eyeing the fourth Game of Thrones book - once I've read that I'll dive in to series four, and I also want to read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

Other than that, I'll be applying for jobs, praying to the gods of employment, rent and groceries to get us through another week and ... learning how to be a domestic goddess, I suppose.

In terms of blogging, I want to get my next awesome ladies post up this week, and also a review for Tongues of Serpents. I also might start doing a mobile game review a week - see how I go, but I do play a lot of mobile games.

Got to keep the brain parts going somehow. :)

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?