Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Review - I, Frankenstein

Aaron Eckhart plays Adam Frankenstein; the creation of Dr Victor Frankenstein.

Adam is rescued by a secret order of um .... angel/gargoyles I guess? Their queen gives Adam his name and tells him he needs to find his higher purpose.

Adam is immortal and finds himself in modern day ... I'm going to say London. Let's say London. Where a demon prince (Bill Nighy) is trying to possess corpses with demons from hell so he can destroy everyone and take over.

Bill Nighy has doctors working for him to reanimate the corpses and Adam is going to Take Him Down.

Movies on Netflix are a bit hit and miss for me, but I, Frankenstein  wasn't bad. It's an hour and a half  of smashy fun with a dose of myth and legend thrown in.

And Miranda Otto as the Gargoyle Queen. Yes, really.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunday Post 105, It's Monday, What are you reading? 90

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 ... I turned 47 on Tuesday. I had work, and a quiet day, but a nice one. We ordered pizza on Saturday night as a sort of belated birthday tea. The boys got me Stephen King's new book, and a new wallet, something I very much needed as my old one was falling apart.

There's not much else to report from the week apart from that, I don't think. I took Spawn into town yesterday for Subway, and to pick up the new Lego Incredibles 2 videogame which he was very excited to get.

I painted my nails yesterday and I've managed to get some reading done. I've been re-watching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, waiting for series five to show up, and while I'm writing this I"m watching I, Frankenstein, which I'll review later on in the week.

I'm still reading Railsea and The Fifth Season. I trough with my reading every so often and it slows right down, which is what's happening now, but it's no bad thing.

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

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Review - I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

True crime is one of those genres that I don't indulge in very often, but when I do, I tend to go on a mini-jag.

This time, I picked up I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, about the man who came to be known as the Golden State Killer.

Michelle - who died suddenly in 2016 before finishing the book - writes about her obsession with this one man; an elusive predator who terrorised couples for years in the 1970s and 80s.

At the time Michelle was compiling her research for what would become this book; the killer still had not been caught; although there has been an arrest since publication.

What makes I'll Be Gone in the Dark so compelling is Michelle's very distinctive voice throughout. Even as she's tracking down the crimes of the Golden State Killer, she acknowledges her own obsession with the case.

The book itself was finished by Michelle's research assistant and a journalist friend, and there is an unfinished quality to the narrative. However, that doesn't take away from Michelle's very deft touch and her obvious attention to detail.

Unfinished - and in some cases unpolished - the book stands as a testament to one woman's determination to find answers to some heinous unsolved crimes, and is well worth reading.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Sunday Post 104; It's Monday! What are you reading? 89

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 a shorter week as Monday was a public holiday. A three-day weekend is always a glorious thing.

The week itself was reasonably uneventful. Yesterday Spawn and I went into town to go to the library, and we also had ice cream and sat in what amounts to a town square, I suppose. It wasn't the warmest day, but Spawn had fun running around for a bit, and I got some books out of the library so I'll consider it a win.

Today was much of the same, really. No town, but we ate ice cream and did a bit of reading, which was also nice.

I finished I'll be Gone in the Dark, so there'll be a review for that later in the week.

I'm still reading Railsea, and my lunchtime book at the moment is The Fifth Season, though I'm also eyeing up The Girl in the Tower.

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

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Ask me my age

I'm turning 47 soon, and I've been thinking about this whole aging thing.

I know it's not polite to ask someone their age, and if you're a woman of a "certain age" you're certainly not supposed to admit to it.

Youth and beauty are the be-all and end-all and if you're over 40, then you need to knock at least five years off that, because who wants to admit to being over *whispers* 40?

Me. I do. I'M NEARLY 47. I let my hair go grey a few years ago, and I actually like it that way. I dyed it for years, of course I did, because grey hair is a Curse and a Burden that HORRIBLY AGES YOU.

Except ... well ... no. I've always had an indifferent relationship with my hair. It grows, I cut it. I used to dye it, and it would just do its thing. Now it's grey, and I need a haircut, but I'm not unhappy about it. I think it looks okay. I think .. I look okay. Especially for someone who's meant to be

A) Invisible
B) "Just" a wife and mother
C) An embittered spinster.

I am a wife and mother, but I'm also a reader, would-be writer, gamer, fulltime worker, cat lady, cross-stitcher, film fan ... you get the idea.

Who I am is not entirely tied up with who I married, or who I carried (for nine months and nine days); but it's made up of every single day of my nearly-47 years and all of the passions and pitfalls that come with being human.

Go ahead. Ask me my age. I'll tell you.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Review - The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A friend of mine actually recommended this to me. She recommended it because she needs me to read the sequel so I can tell her if the horses are okay. She has issues reading about animal deaths in books.

However, she also knew that The Bear and the Nightingale would be right up my reading street, and indeed, it was.

Based on Russian history and fairytales, The Bear and the Nightingale focuses on Vasya - the child of a Russian peasant lord and his wife, who dies giving birth to Vasya.

The people in the village adhere to the old ways - giving offerings to the household spirits to keep them happy and to stave off hunger and cold.

However, when a new priest arrives, everything changes, and it's up to Vasya to realise her destiny and try and save everyone.

The Bear and the Nightingale has been compared to Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. For me, it has more in common with Uprooted, and the story itself is just as enjoyable.

Vasya is a spirited and feisty heroine, and the sense of family within the novel is also very strong.

There's a compelling villain, and also Morozko - the lord of winter, who is trying to help Vasya while maintaining his own secrets.

A really, really absorbing read.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Sunday Post 103; It's Monday, What are you reading? 88

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 ... I had a pretty good week, work-wise. Things ticked over, and it was a good week all around.

It's absolutely freezing here at the moment and we have had frost after frost after frost. It's nice to get a sunny day, but the frosts themselves get a bit dispiriting after a while.

It's a long weekend here for Queen's Birthday, so I don't have work tomorrow, which is a nice feeling.

I'm hoping to finish I'll Be Gone in the Dark, and hang out with spawn for a bit as he doesn't have school either.

I finished The Bear and the Nightingale on Friday, so I'll do a review of that later in the week. I haven't watched a movie this weekend yet, so likely no movie review this week - next week for sure.

I'm also thinking of doing a blog post called Ask Me My Age - about getting older, but not feeling ... bad, or ashamed. Thinking about it. :)

Apart from I'll be Gone in the Dark, I still have Railsea on the go book-wise.

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

Friday, 1 June 2018

Review - The Ritual

Five friends who have little in common now that they're all middle-aged are planning their annual lads' trip. They can't decide where to go, and the pub meeting dissolves with no solution.

Tragedy unexpectedly hits the group when one of them is murdered in a liquor store robbery, which was witnessed by another member of the group of friends.

So, in honour of their murdered friend, the group decides to go on a camping trip in Northern Sweden.

Things start to go a bit wrong when they decide to take a shortcut through the woods. After they shelter for the night at a seemingly abandoned hut, things start to go very wrong - in the "We're being chased by a very large animal that we can't see and what the fuck is that - IS THAT AN ELK GUTTED AND HANGING FROM A TREE" kind of way.

The Ritual as a horror movie works on a lot of levels. The landscape is bleak and isolated and the group have underlying tensions that lead to them making mistakes. They all suffer from nightmares, and something happens in the first hut to scare them out of their wits.

As they try to escape the woods, however, the menace grows.

What I didn't like was - the monster is shown, and explained. You know that 70s Spielberg film, Duel? Where that couple in the car are just stalked by some guy in a truck for no apparent reason, and that's where all the menace comes from? That's what I wanted from The Ritual.

And I got SOME of what I wanted, but then it kind of bottled it and went "well, we'd better have a bloody good REASON for gutting animals/people" and honestly - it's scarier when there's nothing concrete to root the notion of the fear in.

Having said that - between the landscape and the overwhelming sense of menace, The Ritual is a pretty decent horror movie, all things considered.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Review - The Break by Marian Keyes

Amy is shocked when her husband Hugh suddenly announces that he's leaving.

Except - he's not planning on leaving forever, just for six months - a break, if you will.

Amy is devastated, confused, and angry. Hugh has had a tough time lately, she understands, with the death of his father and his best friend, but this seems a bit ... extreme.

With three daughters in the mix - two teenagers and one very angry early-20s in the mix - how will Amy pick up and keep the day-to-day going while Hugh's off riding around Thailand?

Add in an extended and chaotic Irish family, an ill-advised flirtation and Amy struggling to keep everything together, she feels like she's constantly on the edge of disaster.

I love Marian Keyes, I really do. Her early novels are some of my absolute favourites, but I feel really ambiguous about The Break, and I'm not sure why.

Maybe I've been conditioned by the string of novels I read in the 90s where women were ditched by their husbands and then started catering companies.

I was expecting ... something. Some kind of revelation, or emotional payoff, but it felt like that never came. Amy is - rightfully - roaringly angry at Hugh, and her feelings rollercoaster so much that parts of the book are genuinely exhausting.

I'm just. I'm not sure. I'm still thinking about it a few days later, so maybe that's a sign that there's more to it than I thought.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Review - Star Trek: Beyond

Star Trek: Beyond is the third Star Trek film in the reboot series.

one starts with the Enterprise in the midst of its five-year mission, seeking out new life, etc. And everyone's a little bit restless.

Kirk is considering a promotion, and Spock is thinking about leaving the Enterprise altogether.

The ship touches down at Yorktown, a starbase, for some repairs and some R&R. When an escape pod drifts in from a nearby nebula, the crew of the Enterprise are tasked with helping its occupant, Kalara.

As the Enterprise exits an asteroid field near the nebula, the ship is overtaken by Krall and his massive swarm of small ships.

Kalara is revealed to be Krall's spy, the Enterprise crew are split up, and everything sort of goes to hell in a handbasket for a bit.

I have to admit, I enjoyed this one more than Into Darkness. For one thing, Kirk is more than just an arrogant dickhead, and you know - character development is always nice. The story hangs together better, and it's more about working together, and figuring out what to do next for the crew.

It definitely kept me interested.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Sunday Post 102, It's Monday! What are you reading? 87

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 ... I finally did the post for the first #spbkchat reboot - it's here: - feel free to drop in on the post and leave topic ideas, and definitely feel free to drop in on the chat - 9pm NZ Time on Friday night. :)

What else. I went pub quizzing with my friend on Wednesday night, and despite there only being two of us out of a  potential four-person team, we won. It was a fun night.

I've had a quiet weekend apart from going to my friend's and watching the Survivor: Ghost Island finale, and then to the annual Rotary book sale today. In the last hour you can get a bag of books for $5, and I think I did all right.

Here's what I got. Not a bad selection, I don't think, and because it was the last hour or so, it wasn't too crowded around the tables.

Other than that - and I suppose including that - I had a pretty quiet weekend. The weather's been absolute crap - cold and rainy, so a good weekend to harbour inside for sure.

I watched a movie today, and I FINALLY watched a halfway decent Netflix one. It's a horror movie called The Ritual, and there'll be a review up for that later this week.

I also read The Break by Marian Keyes. She's one of my favourite authors, but I have to admit, I'm ambivalent on how much I enjoyed it. I'm still not sure.

I'm reading The Bear and the Nightingale at work on Overdrive, and I'm delving further in to I'll Be Gone in the Dark as well. I've still got Railsea and The Fifth Season on the backburner, too.

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

Thursday, 24 May 2018

South Pacific Book Chat - the reboot

I actually meant to get this post done earlier, but with losing Chloe last week, and then work was busy, I just didn't get around to it, so I apologies.

The previous chat ran on a Thursday night, as I recall.

Friday night is the only night I have free to do this, so I'm proposing Friday nights with  a start time of 9pm, NZ Time. To work out what time that is for you, you can go here:

The idea behind the time is to make it suitable for readers/book bloggers in the South Pacific area.

Obviously, however, anyone's welcome to join in as long as you abide by the golden rule: be excellent to each other.

The chat will start on June 1, on twitter, at 9pm NZ Time. If you're joining in, pop up and just use the #spbkchat hashtag. For week one, we'll keep it to a general chat and then refine topics from there.|

Feel free to drop me notes with topic ideas here, or on twitter at

There's an #spbkchat blog from when it was active before; and I'm going to leave links here from there to topic ideas, just to give you an idea of the types of things that were talked about previously.

Here's hoping we can kick this off again and have fun :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Review - Avengers Infinity War

Spoilers ahead, probably, though I'll do my best to avoid them.

Infinity War pulls in The Avengers, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Dr Steven Strange, a  partridge in a pear tree, some beans, eleven ducks, and also the kitchen sink.

Thanos, who's been a baddie in previous Guardians films has decided he absolutely needs all of the Infinity Stones, each of which is imbued with a different power - space, time, life, something, something, something, something, and if he gets all of the stones, he'll be unstoppable.

The film itself picks up from the end of Thor: Ragnarok, with Thor, Loki and remaining Asgardians under threat by the Children of Thanos.

That goes... about as well as you'd expect, and then everything plummets from there.

I have very, very mixed feelings about Infinity War. Parts of it were absolutely heartbreaking, but it felt like there wasn't ENOUGH emotional payoff for what was happening, if that even makes sense.

Basically, the movie is a 2.5 hour long fight with Thanos. It's a superhero action movie that's eaten too many lollies too late at night and it just sort of RUSHESABOUTEVERYWHERELIKETHISANDOHNO*SPOILER*BUTTHENFIGHTAGAINANDOHNO ... and it's just. It's kind of exhausting.

Everyone's also kind of scattered about on earth, on Titan and Knowhere, and I kept waiting for that come-to-Jesus moment where everyone's in the same place and it's time to kick ass.

Given that the WHOLE MOVIE is one long ass-kicking, and there's NO payoff for that at ALL, I really don't know how I feel about it as a whole.

Well. I know how I feel about SOME things.

Mostly? Mostly exhausted.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Sunday Post 101; It's Monday! What are you reading? 86

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:

First - thank you all who left messages on my last Sunday Post about Chloe. I didn't get around to thanking everyone individually like I had meant to, but I did read everyone's messages, and I appreciate them greatly.

Last week was a bit up and down. Tuesday was spawn's birthday, but it was just a quiet one this year, which isn't a bad thing. We had cheesecake for pudding on Tuesday night, and I ordered pizza for tea last night as a kind of ad-hoc birthday tea.

On Wednesday I made mistake after mistake at work, and it was basically the worst day. On Thursday, me and a few of the others who've started over the last few months went on a training course, which turned out to be interesting. It was also nice to be off the phones for a day. A good re-set. There was also a work dinner thing that night, which was also pretty good. I'm not the world's biggest social butterfly, but I'm glad I went.

Other than that ... I finally saw Infinity War on Saturday - I just went on my own, and it was nice to just have a bit of time to myself.  So I'll review that later this week.

Also over the course of this weekend I've managed to burn the index and middle fingers on both hands on two separate occasions. Not bad burns, thankfully, but uncomfortable enough.

I'm still picking away at the Jonestown book on Overdrive, but I think I'm going to stop for a bit, and get the physical copy out of the library. I find ebooks really handy for reading at lunchtime, but that particular book doesn't really lend itself to the format very well.

I'm still reading Railsea as well, and I started I'll Be Gone in the Dark today, so that's what I'm reading at the moment.

I'm also - finally - going to do a blog post for the South Pacific Book Chat - #spbkchat - twitter chat that I'm hoping to get up and running. I meant to do it last week, but with Chloe and all the work stuff, it just didn't happen.

In terms of starting, I'm looking at possibly June 1 for the first actual chat, and on the post itself I'll ask for topic ideas.

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

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Review - The Dark Tower

I'm still sort-of picking my way through the book series, although I've come slightly adrift halfway through book four, and so I finally decided to sit down and watch the movie.

Now - I love Idris Elba. He's my pretend husband, my hall pass. He's everything. And as the Gunslinger, he's GREAT.

However - that's where the greatness ends.

Stephen King has an exceptional narrative touch when he's truly on his game, and that's exhibited clearly - for me - in the first three books (again, so far the only books I've finished)  - and that deftness is just ... missing. It's almost like whoever adapted the screenplay missed the point.

I can understand leaving out Eddie and Suzanne - from a strictly narrative point of view movie-wise that makes sense. But I couldn't understand why they altered Jake's storyline so drastically. Not only that, but they ignored his most compelling line: "Go, then. There are other worlds than these", which packs a real emotional wallop in context.

Matthew McConaughey is fine as the Man in Black, but the movie as a whole left me feeling cold.

  1. As long and as epic and weird as The Dark Tower book series is, it still has an emotional core, which, unfortunately, is missing from the movie.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Review - Dragon Age Knight Errant

Knight Errant is a five-comic book series set in the Dragon Age universe. Set after the events of the final DLC Trespasser and the previous comic series Magekiller, Knight Errant follows the adventures of Vaea, city-elf and squire to a wandering knight who now makes a living telling stories of his past glory.

Knight and squire arrive in Kirkwall for the appointment of Varric Tethras as Viscount. However, what Ser Knight doesn't know about his squire is that she's also a talented thief. She takes a job in Kirkwall which goes badly, and finds herself taking on a job for the Inquisition.

Knight Errant is a fun addition to the Dragon Age canon, and it's always fun revisiting characters from the game and also from Magekiller.

Vaea is a fully-realised character, and her knight is also equally well-realised.

As fans of the series wait for definitive news of a date for Dragon Age 4, Knight Errant fills a little bit of that void.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Sunday Post 100, It's Monday What are you reading? 85

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:

First of all, we had to say goodbye to a beloved cat today. Chloe - who was 14-15 - had been slowly going downhill. She was still eating, but was also steadily losing weight, and today, she deteriorated very rapidly. So I called the emergency vet, and we let her go.

This was Chloe. We took her in as a four month old kitten after friends of J couldn't find a home for her, and were going to have her put down. We, obviously, couldn't let that happen.

She was a proper sweetheart of a cat - a lap fiend, a lover of ice cream and toast - just yesterday she enjoyed a tidbit of toast with marmite from me - and just a sweet wee lady of a cat.

Losing her today was sad - it's always sad losing a pet that has been such a large part of your life - but I know that we did the right thing for her.

Otherwise, life goes on as normal. I still need to do the post for South Pacific Book Chat, which I'll try  and get done this week, but I'm not entirely sure if I will. Work is... work - lol.

Spawn turns 11 on Tuesday, and we gave him an early birthday present of a couple of video games yesterday so he'd have time to play and enjoy them.

I"m still reading the Jonestown book, and I started Railsea yesterday - it's a re-read but going well so far. I also finished the Knight Errant comic series for Dragon Age, so I'll do a review of that this week.

I alss watched The Dark Tower movie, and I'm watching Star Trek: Beyond while I'm writing this. I'll review The Dark Tower this week sometime and Star Trek: Beyond next week, most likely.

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

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Sunday Post 99, It's Monday, What are you reading? 84

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 ... my week was fairly ordinary, I think. Spawn started in his new after-school programme, and is enjoying it so far. Partly, I think, because this one is run out of another school, and so he can play outside in the playground, unlike the previous one he was in, which was essentially run by a kids' restaurant. It had play areas, but nowhere to go outside.

Other than that, the week ticked along as normal.

I took Spawn to the library yesterday for Free Comic Book Day, but unfortunately when we were there, the comics hadn't yet been delivered. So they're going to deliver them to the schools. We also went to Subway and had a bit of a browse around town.\

I also watched a terrible Netflix movie yesterday (again), and painted my nails today. So all in all, a good weekend. I'm not going to review the movie I watched - Bachelorette. It had Kirsten Dunst, Rebel Wilson and Isla Fisher in it, and managed to waste every single one of their talents. Quite a feat, really.

There was some discussion on twitter last week about the possibility of reviving the South Pacific Book Chat discussion - a weekly chat that Marg from and I used to host, several years ago. It went the way of these things and fizzled out after a while. However, when I spotted a  mention of it between two other bloggers on twitter, I considered the possibility of reviving it again.

Here's the thinking:

The time zone for the chat - #spbkchat on twitter - is designed for NZ/Australian/other South Pacific book bloggers/tweeters - so I was thinking the start time could be 9.30pm NZ Time on a Friday night. I'm happy to "host" and get the chats up and running - but I can only do Friday nights, and 9.30pm my time is as late as I want to start.

If other bloggers/tweeters are keen, let me know here or on twitter at If you have any ideas for weekly topics, drop those off as well.

The chat would be designed to go for a couple of hours, with the chosen theme as the focus of discussion. Beyond that it wouldn't be structured apart from the edict of course, of be excellent to each other.

I'm thinking of gearing it up from the 25th, which gives me time to get a list of potential topics together and gauge interest.

That.... went off track - lol.

As for what I'm reading - I started The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the People's Temple by Jeff Guinn, and I'm also working my way through the last series of Dragon Age comics - Knight Errant.

Wizards and Glass appears to be on the backburner for now. I'm sure I'll pick it up again... eventually.

I'm waiting for I'll Be Gone in the Dark to come in at the library -  I can feel one of my rare true-crime reading sprees coming on, I think.

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

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Review - Rivers of London by Ben Aarnovitch

I have a feeling someone recommended this to me, but I don't remember who it was.

Anyway, if they did, they were right. This was GREAT.

I tend to be really picky with urban fantasy - if it's got a scantily-clad girl on the cover and there's some kind of forbidden romance brewing then I'll give it a hard pass usually (though I did enjoy the first book in the October Daye series), because ... ugh. It's just not my genre.

Rivers of London, however, is exactly the kind of urban fantasy that I want.

Peter Grant is a constable in London, about to be assigned to whatever department his supervisor deems him fit for. Peter seems destined for the Case Progression Unit (paperwork mostly), until he sees a ghost in Covent Garden one night.

This brings Peter to the attention to the only magical Police Inspector in London, and Peter finds himself apprenticed and one of two police officers specifically assigned to investigate the inexplicable.

When ordinary people suddenly start committing murders seemingly out of nowhere, Nightingale and Peter are on the case.

Rivers of London was the perfect blend of crime procedural and urban fantasy, and it's the first in a series. I'm a very happy reader today.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Sunday Post 98, It's Monday, What are you reading? 83

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 fairly ordinary, if short, because Anzac Day fell on Wednesday this year.

So no work or school on that day, and once again I failed to wake up in time to take Spawn to the Dawn Parade.

Maybe next year. I did hear the guns from one of the parades, though.

Other than that, it was an ordinary week. Spawn was excited about the new Avengers movie, and I was set to take him on Saturday, but felt bleh, so J took him instead. It's the first time they've gone to a movie together, and while it's a nice milestone, I was still a bit :( :( ... even though I had the house to myself.

I watched two truly, truly average movies yesterday and today - Before I Fall, and Hurricane Bianca.

I'm not even going to bother doing reviews for them, they were so ... ehn.

The school holidays are done until July, and I've switched Spawn over to another after-school programme. He needed to switch in May anyway as the one he was in only takes kids until they're 11 and he's turning 11 in a couple of weeks. So the start of the term seemed like the logical time.

I didn't really dive in to readathon this time around - feeling bleh, and just generally lazy. I did, however, finish a book - Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, which was great, and I'll review that later in the week. I also read book 1 of Knight Errant - the new comic series in the Dragon Age franchise. Rather than reviewing that piecemeal, I'll wait until I've read all of them.

I finished The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and wrote a review for that last week.

Also on the go at work at lunchtime is The Fifth Season by N. J. Jemisin.

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

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Review - Wrath of the Titans

Since I watched Clash of the Titans last week, I thought I'd take the sequel out for a spin today.

Zeus's son Perseus, after defeating the Kraken in Clash, now lives a quiet life in a small fishing village with his son, Helios. Perseus's wife, Io, dies before the start of Wrath, but it's not said how she died.

Anyway. Hades and young Ares have a plan to wake up and release Cronus from the prison Tartarus, because mankind have stopped praying to the gods. No prayers = no powers and Hades and Ares are a bit upset about that.

They convince Zeus and Poseidon to come to the Underworld to discuss what to do and - it may just be me, but I'm pretty sure there's more than four gods in the Greek mythological pantheon.

Anyway. Zeus and Poseidon don't want to release Cronus, because that's Very Bad, and Zeus goes and asks Perseus for help to stop it from happening.

Poseidon dies, Zeus is tortured, Perseus tracks down another demi-god who's the son of Poseidon and for some reason Queen Andromeda of the Greeks, although I suspect she's mostly in it because otherwise Wrath of the Titans is a real sausage fest. Sausages everywhere. And that's fine, but all Andromeda seems to do is wave a sword around and shout a lot.

I need to pick better movies.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Review - The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

There are two go-tos for fiction that are my absolute kryptonite. Character-driven stories, and found families.

Honestly, give me a good found family story in pretty much any genre and I will be happy for days. Possibly weeks.

Which leads on to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers.

In terms of found family stories, this is The Goods.

There's also great and memorable characters, actually ALIEN-sounding aliens, (I know that sounds weird, but I know what I mean), and at the heart of it all the crew of a patched-together spaceship.

Rosemary joins the crew of the Wayfarer as a kind of admin assistant to the captain, Ashby. Rosemary is running from A Dark Past (not her own), and does not expect to become close to the Wayfarer crew, or to face down life-and-death situations, but here they all are.

The Wayfarer brings the makeshift crew together for, well, SPAAAAAAAAAAACE. And, uh, there's a bit of a plot thingy, with the Wayfarer contracted to tunnel wormholes to distant planets that, of course, can only go horribly wrong.

I loved this. I loved this SO MUCH. All of the characters were great, the aliens were REALLY REALLY ALIEN AND COOL, and all I loved about it was everything.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Sunday Post 97, It's Monday, What are you reading? 82

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:

I went back to work on Thursday, and I have to say a two-day week might be the dream worklife. It's just a dream though ...

This week is somewhat short as well, because Anzac Day is on Wednesday, which is a stat day. Every year I think "I should take spawn to a dawn parade" and every year I sleep in.

What else. Spawn had a sleepover on Friday night and they were up pretty late, so he's still recovering from that - he's looked like a zombie all day today.

I finished The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and it was SO GOOD, so review for that later in the week. I also painted my nails today and watched Wrath of the Titans. So review for that coming up later, too. The movie, not the nail polish.

I started Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, and so far I'm loving it.

I'm also signed up for Dewey's Readathon next weekend, so I need to get some snacks, oh, and some books, in for that one. It's here, if you want to join:

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

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review - Clash of the Titans

Perseus is the son of Zeus, but is not aware of this little fact. He's raised by a humble fisherman and his wife until they're lost in a storm and Perseus finds himself at the centre of a crisis in the kingdom of Argos.

The king and queen of Argos basically start shit-talking Zeus and co (never a good idea), and Voldemo- I mean Hades - comes buzzing down in a black cloud and says if they don't sacrifice their daughter Andromeda by the time of the eclipse, he will release the kraken.

Perseus, who washed up in Argos after losing his family, finds out he's actually a demi-god and has half a shot at stopping Hades. So he rounds up a crew including Hannib- um, I mean, Draco, and they all head off to find the Stygian witches, and then also the head of Medusa so that the kraken can be stopped.

Perseus is a moody bastard, which, fair enough, but it's annoying after a while, and everyone else is just sort of .... there.

I need to stop talking myself into watching bad/meh movies on Netflix, I really do.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Review: Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada

Blood Stained Tea is the first book in the Yakuza Path series, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it very much of a lot.

Nao - a former member of the Kyoto Yakuza, now lives a quiet life out of that world. He owns a tea-shop, and he has a cat, and he's content.

However, everything changes when he pulls an injured man out of the river on his regular walk down the Philosopher's Path.

Saehyun would have died that night if not for Nao's intervention. However, Saehyun is a member of the Korean mafia, which is trying to wrest Kyoto from the control of Nao's former family.

As Nao and Saehyun get to know each other (ifyouknowhatimean andiknowyoudo), the secrets that both of them carry threaten to collapse on top of them both.

Blood Stained Tea isn't your typical M/M romance novel. There's a fair amount of violence, and Nao and Saehyun's worlds are so very different; not to mention the fact that they're basically members of opposing gangs essentially.

However, it's really well-written, and Nao's character development especially is a really, really satisfying arc to read.

I'm definitely going to purchase book 2 as soon as I can.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Sunday Post 96, It's Monday, What are you reading? 81

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:

It's school holidays here now, and I've taken a few days off in the first week (the break two weeks long) so Spawn isn't stuck in a school holiday programme the whole time. He's not looking forward to going into the programme on Thursday, but as the loving and caring mother I am, I pointed out that he could either do that, or we could not pay our rent and eat. It's not ideal, but it is what it is right now. He's going to be too old for the programme he's in at the moment in May as they only take kids until they turn 11, so he'll be switching after the holidays anyway. Hopefully a change of scenery will help. The struggle, etc.

What else has been happening? I had Thursday and Friday off and instead of the two days of blissful nothing I intended, I ended up going to a friend's for part of the day on Thursday, and I had a bank appointment on Friday. It wasn't all bad though. I treated myself to lunch in town and had a bit of a browse, two things I don't get to do a lot of now as my office is juuuuuuuuuust a little bit out of the centre of town and I like a leisurely browse.

I finished Blood-Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada yesterday, and really enjoyed it; review coming later this week. I also watched Clash of the Titans which, erm. Review coming later this week as well.

I started Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch today, which seems promising. Still working on Wizards and Glass, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet as well.

I don't have a lot of plans for the next three days. Hang out with Spawn. Maybe venture out of the house for a bit if the weather doesn't crap itself everywhere, which is a distinct possibility. Most likely we'll stay home and watch a lot of Netflix. Maybe read some. Usual holiday time stuff. :)

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

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Review - Zoolander 2

The first Zoolander movie was fun. Dumb fun, yes, but fun.

Zoolander 2 is ... really, it's just kind of dumb.

It's packed full of celebrity cameos, including Kiefer Sutherland who is somehow the funniest of all of them.

So, anyway, Derek Zoolander has become a "hermit crab" after his school collapses, falls into the river and kills his wife.

Hansel is also a kind of a recluse, though with his entire orgy.

They're drawn back into the world of fashion when rock stars start dying with the same looks on their faces.

The best thing I can say about Zoolander 2 is that I got my nails re-painted while I was watching it.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Sunday Post 95, It's Monday, what are you reading? 80

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 a shorter working week because of Easter, and coming up this week I have five days off from Thursday as it's school holiday time. It's annoying when the school holidays don't align with Easter, but there you go. I've taken a couple of school days off to get some bits and pieces done, and then three days of the first week of the holidays, so that spawn doesn't spend his whole time in the holiday programme he's booked into. Plus, it's expensive.

So I'm looking forward to having a few days off.

The weather has turned cold, grey and rainy, which is my favourite - as long as I'm not outside in it, so I'm kind of loving it at the moment.

Work is going okay as well. I have a bit of anxiety-brain, so I'm working on leaving work at night - and leaving it AT work, instead of letting it run through my brain - especially mistakes. Ugh. Any tips, I'll take em ;)

I'm still reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and ... Wizards and Glass and I are on a break. It's going through this massive flashback in the middle of a really long book, and I kind of don't care, but I also want to finish the series. Blergh.

I also started Blood-stained Tea by Amy Tasukada, which I'm enjoying. I'm hoping to finish that this week so I can write a review. I also watched Zoolander 2 today which was .... a movie. That I watched. So review coming for that as well.

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

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sunday Post 94, It's Monday, what are you reading? 79

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:

Sometimes when I sit down to do these posts, I know exactly what I'm going to talk about. Others .... well other times I think "My week was exactly like every other week, what am I going to talk about?"

I have nothing - lol. Um. I've been enjoying the long weekend and not doing much at all. I had lunch with a friend yesterday, and today spawn and I read some Harry Potter, watched Moana and did some colouring and dot-to-dot-ing, which was fun. Other than that ...

Other than that, I have nothing. I need to step up my game.

I read My Story by Elizabeth Smart, and my friend and I watched Tut, the mini-series from a few years ago on Friday night at her place.

I'm still working through Wizards and Glass and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

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

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Review - Love, Simon

I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that I only read the book a coupe of weeks ago, because it meant the changes made in the movie really, really stood out and were a bit distracting.

Having SAID that ... Love, Simon was great. Sweet and bittersweet, and kind of adorable, and I don't know, it all just worked really well.

I will most certainly fight a bear for Simon, and for his friends.

Martin though.... Martin's on his own.

Anyway. Simon starts exchanging emails with an unknown boy who puts a post up on the school's blog about being gay. Simon has no idea who it is, but he reaches out, recognising a kindred spirit.

The film handled the emailing aspect really well, and also Simon's speculation over who the other boy could be. If you didn't know for sure, then you would be kept guessing right along with Simon.

And yes, I got teary a couple of times.

A+, would fight seven out of ten bears.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Review - The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson

Ruby is struggling with the burden of grief - her little brother has died, and she believes that the accident that killed him was her fault.

Her father is in prison for the actual act, and her mother has sunk into a deep depression.

Ruby can't see any way out of her own personal tunnel of despair until she meets Fox. Fox is a member of the Institute of the Boundless Sublime, and it's not long before Ruby finds herself following him and becoming caught up in the Institute herself.

The Institute is, of course, a cult. It's run by a man who, disturbingly, is called "Daddy" by everyone at the Institute. He's a kind of ... Charles Manson figure, I guess? Charismatic and manipulative.

Ruby buys into the rhetoric for a while, and starts to believe the L Ron Hubbard level of BS that's being shot at her daily.

However, when Fox and another woman disappear, Ruby starts to wonder if the Institute is really as benign as it seems.

I read The Boundless Sublime in one sitting pretty much. I just started, and then kept going until I'd finished it. There are issues with some of the pacing - particularly towards the end of the book - but my heart just about broke for Ruby. She's grieving and struggling with regret and blame and trying to keep it all together for her mother's sake, so when she meets Fox, she's vulnerable enough to fall into the cult.

Ruby's the most vivid character in the book, and although Fox is sweet, I found there to be something ephemeral about him - something unreal? Possibly because he was raised almost entirely inside the cult itself, I'm not sure.

Definitely a good read.