June 26, 2011

Sunday Spotlight: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
By George R.R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Ebook Edition
788 Pages
Published January 1st, 2003
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Creature Feature: ???
Rating: 5

I started reading this book because I wanted to have more information on the characters and events of the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the show and felt it stayed pretty true to the book all for a few inconsequential scenes. While reading the book, I got a look into what the characters were thinking and feeling when they made their big decisions and went through their coming of age trials. I really enjoyed that aspect of it. 

Now, setting aside the HBO series altogether. This is the start of what I can only refer to as Epic Fantasy. I have many good memories of my childhood days of adventuring in Narnia, accompanying a hobbit to the dragon's lair, and racing across icy battlefields on polar bears with a brave young girl. All these wonderful experiences reading brought me as a child came rushing back as I read through A Game of Thrones. The characters are so real you can't help but love certain ones entirely and hate others bitterly. You can't help but hold your breath in fear at their trials and cry out in victory for their triumphs. 

Each chapter is told from a different point of view, focusing on one main character or another, giving us deep insights into their inner workings. This style brings the reader so much closer to the story, connecting them to the characters and making them as real as their loved ones. 

This first book can be slow at times, but I believe that is mostly due to the fact that this is the first book, and the author is trying to establish a relationship between reader and character. He is trying to pull us into this lush, wonderful world before he truly shows us the big guns. 

The next installment, A Clash of Kings, promises to be insanely epic. This is one girl who has fallen for fantasy all over again.

June 22, 2011

Waiting Sucks

My hubby and I have been re-watching season 3 of True Blood in anticipation of the season 4 premiere on Sunday, the 26th. This second watch through has helped the skepticism of my first watch. I was pretty upset about all the crazy parts they messed up in season 3, but now I'm not really worried about it. I figure that the TV series and the books need to be appreciated as separate entities, because they will never reflect the other very well.

That being said, I am very excited for season 4! I have been eagerly awaiting it every since I finished the fourth book and fell in love with Eric completely. Amnesia Eric will be well worth the wait... I hope. I'm also interested to see where they go with Lafyette and Jesus's witchy roots. And, what about Jessica and Hoyt? What's with the creepy doll? Is the crazy Hoyt stalker girl out for revenge? We shall just have to wait and see.

So, what are you all looking forward to? Do you watch the show or are you a Trubie? What are your fav story lines and anticipated events? Let me know in the comment section below!

June 19, 2011

Review: Lover Unleashed

Lover Unleashed
J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Ebook Edition
464 Pages
Published March 29th, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Creature Feature: Vampires
Rating: 4

I have just one word for you all; filler. Yes, this installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, when boiled down to it, is not much more than a filler, albeit a fairly good one. Now usually, I give fillers at the most a 3 rating, if not less than that, but I felt Lover Unleashed deserved a 4 because of how important all its components are going to be in future releases. 

Lover Unleashed is the story of Vishous' vampyre twin Payne and her struggle with recent injuries sustained sparing with Wrath. Payne meets Manuel Manello, Jane's former surgeon associate, and they fall madly in love, blah, blah, blah. We've heard this before, J.R. Ward has created an repetitive, yet effective formula for this series. These two are supposed to be the main focus for this installment, yet they don't get a ton of screen time. Most of the book is taken up introducing new characters, new plot lines, and wrapping up some old plots we've been waiting to get closure on. Die hard fans will be satisfied and intrigued, but new fans of the series who have not followed up until now will be confused and likely bored. 


Manny & Payne 

Manny & Butch 

Vishous & Butch wrap up 

Vishous & Jane drama 

Qhuinn, Blay, & Saxton continuing drama 

The Bastards are introduced. 

A new cop character. 

Overall I have to say I enjoyed the Bastards a lot and am excited to see where Ward takes them. Especially Xcor, who in my opinion seems like the secret softie. 

I recommend this book to fans. It was a great lead up to bigger and better things for the Brothers. I really don't recommend starting your Black Dagger Brotherhood experience with this book. Please start form the beginning and benefit from the full effect. 

June 13, 2011

Alice, Madness Returns

On my way to the midnight release for Alice, Madness Returns. It's going to be an amazing game! If you buy it new, it comes with a code for download of the original PC game. From the trailers, this sequel looks just as dark as the first, with exceptionally beautiful graphics! Can't wait!

June 11, 2011

What a Workout!

I recently bought this at Wal-mart for the weighted gloves to bump up my workout at the gym. I opened the box and tossed the DVD aside thinking, "I won't be needing this cheesy workout video." Boy was I wrong. After becoming frustrated with Dance Central for the Kinect for the 10th time, I decided to pop this puppy in and I was completely amazed. Leslie Sansone is peppy and giggly, but I actually never felt like punching her the whole 60 minutes. She is really upbeat and motivating, and her energy becomes infectious throughout the workout. The workout is 4-miles of walking in place, side-to-side, kicking, and punching. The best part about this workout is that it is completely doable for anybody. You can choose to do one, two, three, or all four miles and it comes with an extra lower body toning session. The weighted gloves bump up the whole thing leaving you feeling really satisfied and good about yourself at the end. I absolutely love it and so does my hubby (shhh... don't tell!).

June 10, 2011

Friday, Nerdy Friday

So today was a pretty fun day. My hubby and I have been wanting to go to our local comic book store, Comic Kingdom for awhile now, but with his crazy schedule at work, we aren't able to make it before it closes. Luckily, we got a chance today and I got some pretty sweet stuff. I picked up some issues of Batgirl, numbers 5, 8, and 10-20. I have always loved the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordan, and thought I would give the new girl a try. Now don't worry, I'm not going to turn this into a comic book blog, I know this isn't the right audience for that, but I just wanted to share my nerdy tendencies with you all between reviews. I had so much fun at the store that I plan to go back soon and pick through their grab bags.
While I was there, I also pre-ordered the comic adaptation of the Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead. I absolutely love the books and can't wait to see them adapted into comics. The first one, see illustration above, was released last month and I completely missed it! So I put in a request at the store to have them for me when the second issue is released on June 25th. I'm so excited! Anyway, thanks for humoring me and my nerdy ways. I <3 all you wicked readers!

June 2, 2011

Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush
By Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Ebook Edition
400 Pages
Published October 13th, 2009
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Creature Feature: Angels
Rating: 3

For the first book in a YA series, this was alright. I expect the first-in-series to be a little off so I have high hopes for the next book to be much better. Now I'm not saying I didn't like it. I enjoyed a diversion from the vampire saturated market, that today's YA fiction has become. The mythology of Hush, Hush unfolds for the main character Nora as she delves deeper into the dark and tangled world of the mysterious guy Patch.

I'm eager to see Nora's character develop, as she was a bit flighty and twitchy. If Nora's emotions and decisions in this book were a car, it would be swerving all over the damn road causing devastating accidents. It's a bit annoying and distracting from the story. I'm also not a fan of her friend Vee who seems to be just as superficial and fickle as the girls that pick on her for her weight.

All in all I am looking forward to reading the second book Crescendo and seeing how the plot develops from there.