Thursday, November 26, 2015

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3

This is likely to be my last review for Sci-Fi month! I had a really fun time this month, and hopefully I will get to everyone's comments soon! You do have a few more days left to enter my giveaway

So here is my review of the final game in the Mass Effect Trilogy.

So ME3, in short what I have to say about this game is: great game, terrible ending. By the time I played the game I had the epilogue that showed you how the universe is affected by whichever choice you make at the end. So I thought that was pretty cool, but I also was annoyed with what happens at the end. If you haven't finished the game or played it, you probably won't be happy with any of the choices you are given. So be prepared.

So I really didn't like the ending, but I also didn't like the Galaxy at War percentage thing they introduced. You start out with 50% and you can only increase that number if you play the multiplayer online part of the game they introduced in this one. As a relatively new gamer I had no desire to do this, and my boyfriend said he never really had luck in trying to get this to work because not a lot of people played the online part. The problem is the only way you get the best possible outcome of the game is to do this, so that really annoyed me because I had the Citadel DLC and I did literally every mission I could! 

So other than these things, I generally enjoyed my time playing this game. I had such a fun time completing all the missions to build up my army to try to take down the reapers. Only I did miss a lot of citadel missions because I didn't realize you have to go back there before doing other missions, because a bunch of crazy things happen. I feel like I'm not explaining this game well, but I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything for anyone who may not have played the game.

In this game they introduced a weapon weight and power recharge thing which I thought was pretty cool. I played as a vanguard so I mostly just used a few small weapons, and blasted enemies with shockwave, and carnage. I really enjoyed that part of the game. You can basically set it up so you have one small pistol and your power recharge is pretty quick. I usually had my squad mates carry the heavy stuff in order to be effective here. 

I thought that they really perfected the combat in this game too. I found it hard to get used to the roll from cover to cover thing at first, but in the end I ended up really liking it. So much that when I started my replay of the first game I kept trying to roll and realized I couldn't do that yet. 

For the most part, the differences between the second and third game are pretty subtle so it was easier for me to get used to the third game. I think for the most part they perfected a lot of things that may have missed the mark in the second one. So yes, I did really enjoy this game as I was playing it, but I was just not that happy with the ending. 

My Rating: ★ 1/2

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Reread Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Publisher: Del Ray Books
Release Date: September, 27th 1995
Format: Mass market paperback, 216 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

I first read the first installment of Hitchhiker's Guide a long time ago, but I recently purchased the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide version so I could have the whole collection, and decided to take it with me on vacation. I only got through the first book, so I wanted to write my first ever reread review on this blog for Sci-Fi Month.

I think when I was a kid I missed a lot of the jokes in this book, because reading this again as a adult I was laughing at a lot of things I didn't before. The whole concept of the earth being demolished for room for a Galactic Freeway is just so funny to me. I have a lot of friends that don't care for this book because of its overt "Britishness" but I've never really had a problem with that, and I didn't find that an issue in my second read through either.

One thing I guess I forgot about was just how short this novel is. I was expecting more from it, and I kind of forgot how it just ends. The ending leaves a lot hanging in the air. I do remember reading the second installment immediately after the first, so I kind of understand why I did so. You just have to find out what is going to happen!

All in all, upon a second review I found that I still really enjoyed this book. It's a short read, but a lot happens in it. I'm glad that I have the rest of the series so that I can eventually finish the whole thing. I'm pretty certain that I've only read the first three novels in the series, so I'm excited to continue on with the series again.

I think if you missed this book in the past, that you should definitely give it a try. I feel like this series has started to enter the classic genre, and I definitely think that everyone should read at least the first one.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Armada

Armada by Ernest Cline
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Format: Hardback, 349 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. 

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.
 So I've got another review to add to my Sci-Fi Month Schedule. I didn't think I would finish Armada before the month was up, but I surprised myself by actually spending more of my free time reading again. Yay! So before I get into my review of this book, I want to make something clear about this book: THIS IS NOT READY PLAYER ONE PART 2.  I will admit that this book doesn't live up to Cline's first book, but I tried to take the book at face value for what is was. It was a fun book, aimed at gamers' and sci-fi lovers. And that is perfectly okay.

I liked this book enough, and I tried to put myself in Zack's shoes a lot. So if one day someone from the Alliance Navy took me away from work and said to me, "Okay, you're ready to fight the Reapers with Commander Shepard now!" I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing either. Zack makes a huge mistake his very first day with the Earth Defense Alliance, and I was glad that happens because it showed that he wasn't the hero with all the answers. He messed up right away. but he learns from it, and I really appreciated it.

I think one of the reasons that I didn't find this book amazing was because I felt like all the twists and turns in the plot were way to obvious for me. I kinda of predicted a major plot twist that gets explained halfway into the book. I also couldn't help but feel like what was going on happened in a South Park episode. I'm not telling which one, but I think you'll get what I mean when you read this book. So for me, parts of it weren't that exciting because I knew what was going to happen. I almost feel like this book would have worked better on film. If the RPO film does well, I have no doubt that someone will try to make an adaptation of this one, and I would be excited to see that.

So, this book wasn't terrible, I just didn't find it as amazing as RPO. It was a fun book, and I would recommend it, but I just would stress not to compare it to Cline's first book too much. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 2

So I fell a little behind on my Sci-Fi Month posts, but I'm finally back with another video game review. This time with Mass Effect 2! If you haven't read my review for the first game you can read it here.

Dude, why isn't femshep the cover?
So I've been doing a renegade play though of the ME games, because I love this series so freaking much. The first run through I mostly played as a paragon, just because I always feel like I have to save everyone, so now I'm just running around being a dick and generally just trying to have a different experience with this game. And you totally can achieve this, especially if you purposely chose different choices. I think it's one of things that really makes me love this game trilogy. Choices matter.

So let's talk about how I initially felt about Mass Effect 2 when I first started it. I actually hated it at first. The reason is because the controls on the first game and the mechanics of your weapons were so freaking wack. So I got really use to my guns overheating all the time, that when they introduced the thermal clips in the second game I freaking hated it. I got so mad, but as I got more used to it I realized how they totally revamped the game for the better in the sequel. I just started my replay of this and after having played the first game again and gotten more of an experience with other games, I've realized that it's such a better game. I think maybe the best thing about this sequel is that they scrapped the Mako. Yay! Driving the messed up controls of that thing was the absolute worse thing in the either galaxy. I saw that they are bringing the Mako back for Andromeda, and I was just thinking, "oh, no, why?!?"

I think I also wasn't that into this game at first because in the plot of this game you are under Cerberus' thumb, but they are helping you prove that the reapers do exist and helping you destroy them. They also bring you back to life, so you basically have no choice. The organization are basically human terrorists, so I'm finding it easy to be an asshole to all of them in this renegade play through. I just want to punch The Illusive Man in the face at all times. 

So even though I had mixed feelings about this game when I first started it, playing it again now I realized that I think it is my favorite in the series. The way they revamped the game really made it a lot easier to play. How the weapons and combat was changed made more sense, but coming from just playing the first game for me it was really hard to get used to. Oh! But in this game you get more romance options, and you finally get to romance Garrus! So you know I did that in my first organic play through of these games. Garrus is just the best!

Honestly, I love this game so much and all I want to do when I get home from work every day is play hours of this game. Bioware has really taken over my life. I think if you had any issues with the first game that you should definitely check out this one. The game is so much better than the first, and I highly recommend it!

My Rating:

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Star Wars Legends Epic Collection, The New Republic

Star Wars Epic Collection: The New Republic
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: March, 26th 2015
Format: Softback, 488 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★
Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

When the Empire falls, a New Republic rises! After Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine is dead — but can his faithful Hand, Mara Jade, complete her final mission of revenge? Replica droid assassin Guri has also lost her master…but as she struggles for humanity, her android brain makes her a target! When rivals clash over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire, the Bloated One makes a surprising appearance! And a mysterious doppelganger is asking for trouble impersonating everyone’s favorite bounty hunter — it’s Boba Fett vs. Boba Fett!

So...I really love the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now the not canon "legends" alternative timeline books), and I love Mara Jade, the original character that Timothy Zahn created in the Hand of Thrawn novels. So of course I always had this comic on my list to own/read. The comic starts off strong with six issues of Mara Jade comics, which I have to admit were my favorite in this one. I loved the plot line and how she just kicked ass and took names, and I was really fond of the artwork.

I ended up liking a lot of the other comics, and thought it was interesting that some of these explored stories outside of the three heroes. Like what happens to one of the guards from Jabba's palace after his demise, and what happens to some of Jabba's other smugglers.  I also loved the Shadows of the Empire comics. Like the Mara Jade comics, I loved both the artwork and the plot equally. 

Some of the stories didn't grab me, and I think it was because of the artwork. One was the Do Or Do Not comic. The art didn't really look like the characters, and it was so short that it didn't really seem like it had a point. The other one that I wasn't really fond of due to the art was Lando's Commandos On Eagles' Wings. The plot on this one was interesting but the artwork just looked like Invader Zim, which made it seem out of place. 

Besides a few nit-picky things from me, I really enjoyed this comic. It's a pretty thick book, and it was a little pricy because it is all in color, but it was totally worth it. My love of Star Wars has no chance of dying, so I might be a little biased with this review. If you're a fan of the expanded universe or good comics I recommend it.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol.1

Saga Vol. 1 By Brian K. Vaughan
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October, 23rd 2012
Format: Comic
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. 

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. 
Oh man, I had heard from so many people that I should read Saga, but I just kept putting it off. But with Sci-Fi Month starting again, I decided to finally take a crack at this comic and I am so glad I did. I freaking loved this comic, and I'm just mad that I don't have the second volume in my possession right now.

This comic book is great because the romance is of star-crossed lovers from different sides of a war, which I freaking love. It's also deals a lot with being a new parent and how you have no idea what the hell you are doing. It does take a village to raise a child, and you do need help. Only Marcus and Alana have a spirit as a babysitter. Oh right, on top of the great relationship dynamic this comic is full of weird fantasy and sci-fi elements. I think the blending of the two genres makes this story perfect.

I do feel like I have to say these though, this one is not for children or for anyone that gets uncomfortable with nudity in comics books. There is a scene in this novel where a side-character goes to a pleasure planet so those panels get pretty graphic, and pretty freaking weird. Like you have no idea, and I don't think I can even prepare you for that weird section.

I adored the story in this one, and I just wanted to keep reading on to find out if the two lovers were going to get caught, but it wasn't just plot that kept me going. I did really like the artwork. The colors were very vibrant, and it kept me interested in actually looking at the panels and not just reading the thought/speech bubbles.

If you like delightfully weird sci-fi and you have an interest in comics book, please go and buy the first issue now!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, November 9, 2015

How Ready Player One Affected My Life

A while ago I listened to the audio book of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, and I absolutely loved it. I kind of wished I had waited to write my review of it for Sci-Fi Month, but I did not think that far ahead. However, since we are talking about all things Sci-Fi this month, I wanted to talk about how this book affected me.

I've read a lot of negative reviews about how this book is what is wrong with gaming culture, and how without all the 80s references you wouldn't really have a good plot. I understand all those things, but I literally do not care because this book really spoke to me. And by spoke to me, it really made me want to get back into gaming again.

So here's the deal, back in the day of play station one I played the shit out of the Spyro the Dragon games. I loved those games. At this point in time they kept putting out new consoles almost every year and I think my parents were like, "We're not buying another console" so I guess that was the end of my gaming. I mean I still had my gameboy color so I did play Pokemon Blue A LOT, but I kind of lost touch with gaming. Until I moved in with my long-term boyfriend. He's a big gamer and in the five years that we have been together he has been trying desperately to get me into gaming, and well he succeeded, because I have finally succumbed.

Reading about Wade in the Oasis just really wanted me to experience that. The games they played sounded awesome, and I guess I always knew that had I got interested in World of Warcraft that probably would have taken over my life. So I said to my boyfriend, "Okay, I want to try playing Mass Effect again." That was back in July, and I've already finished the whole trilogy, started a renegade replay and started playing the same company's other game Dragon Age. That would probably explain why I was so absent on the blog in October. I don't know if I would have tried it again had I not read Cline's book. I just absolutely loved it and it made me realize how much I did miss gaming in my life. Now I just have to figure out the balance between reading and gaming.

I don't care what the naysayers have to say about RPO, I thought it was such a fun book to read, and it brought me back to a pass time that I can enjoy again. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, November 6, 2015

SciFi Month: Review-Dune

Dune By Frank Herbert
Publisher: Ace Books
Release Date: 1965
Format: Paperback, 883 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★
Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity 
so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium. Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting.

Not only is Dune a book I wanted to wait to review until Sci-Fi month, but it is also a part of the TBR Challenge, and is the reason I haven't read a lot of books for that challenge. I think this might be the 4th book I've completed in that challenge.

This freaking book is the reason why I didn't blog or read that many books in the month of September. And probably why my blogging was so sparse in the month of October as well. This book took so much of my time and my life, I felt like I was taking the spice too much at the end. No seriously, they do a shit ton of drugs in this book, but I digress.

So I think Dune is an essential book if you are a sci-fi fan, and I would recommend it because the world building it awesome, but there were some elements that I wish I was warned about. This book is not so much spaceships and fighting aliens, but rather a realistic future world with a political power struggle. I hate to say it but the feud between the Atreides and the Harkonnens reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones. So now I'm wondering if George R.R. Martin was not just inspired by history, but by Frank Herbert as well. I'm not really into politics and the games that people in power play, so I wasn't that into this aspect of the novel. Unfortunately it does play a huge role, so if you are expecting space battles, you won't really see it in this novel.

The world building was really cool in this novel. And I think the desert planet Arrakis was pretty vividly told. I could really see what this place looked like and what the native people looked like. I really liked that we got to see the culture of the Fremen, and instead of trying to make them like him Paul immersed himself in their culture and their ways. He even decides to change his name to Muad'Did to really become one of the Fremen and not just an outsider with power. With the Fremen culture Herbert also explores religion, which I thought was a really interesting concept in a science fiction novel.

This book really took over a lot of my reading time, but in the end I feel really accomplished after finishing it. This novel was a huge undertaking and a challenge that I needed in my life. I would highly recommend it for any Sci-Fi fan that really wants to challenge their reading or just really wants to experience an early science fiction novel.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Video Game Review: Mass Effect

I think you guys might me sick of hearing me talk about Mass Effect, but suck it up because now I'm finally going to write a review about it. But let me just put a disclaimer on this review first, I don't consider myself a gamer. At least not yet. The last time I played a console game was Spyro: Year of The Dragon, so for me to go from that to Mass Effect it was a huge jump. There was a lot to get used to, so I don't have much to compare this game to any other game I've played before. That being said...

DUDE! I freaking love Mass Effect!!!

So much that I dressed up as Commander Shepard (Femshep obviously) for Halloween.

I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite halloween party on the Citadel

I love this game so freaking much. So, okay why did I love this game?'s basically Star Trek the game. The Alliance Navy is pretty much the Federation, and you see a lot of sci-fi tropes within the game itself that made me love it. I didn't find it trite, I found it pretty meta and awesome. Also, the voice actor for Femshep is amazing so I loved playing as her. (I tried to do a play through as the male Shepard, but I was never satisfied with his looks.)

The game is awesome because you get to run around on different planets with a crew of aliens that you gather along the way to take down a ton of robots and the big bad Saren. Dude, Saren is straight up crazy town. There is also a lot of crazy things that happen in the game, and I won't get into because I don't want to give away any spoilers. I love the different aliens on my crew, and I actually found them all to be way more interesting than the human characters. Especially since Ashley, the human you find early on in the game, is kind of racist against the aliens. Like, hey bitch is your name Commander Shepard? Nope? Then shut up and work with the aliens.

I also loved that you can choose different powers or talents depending on the class you chose in the beginning of the game. I'm actually doing a renegade play through right now and I purposely chose a different origin and class so that I could experience a different game. I think you could actually have a different experience each time you play this game if you change up the origins, class and oh yeah make a lot of different choices. Choices matter in this game. I like that you have the option to settle things peacefully or just can just kill everyone and be a dick. Sometimes I find it hard, but other times it's actually a lot of fun. In this game some of the choices will affect the later games, and it made me really invested in the game and trying to do the right thing at all costs. I also like that there is a romance option in this game, because not everything is about saving the galaxy. Sometimes you also have to sleep with the alien, or the boring human. But dude, choose the alien.

My favorite things about this game are Joker and Garrus Vakarian. Joker is awesome and he's voiced by Seth Green which just made me love him more. He's the much needed comic relief, and he basically says what I am always thinking. Garrus is just my favorite companion, but unfortunately he's not a romance option in the first game. Boo! Garrus is Shep's buddy and always has his/her back no matter which gender Shep you play as. That dinosaur bird is just great.

Before I played Mass Effect 2, I would have given this a 5-star review, but there is a small problem with this game...okay a big problem... the controls are so wack. I got really used to them so it wasn't an issue for me in the first game, but if you're a regular gamer it will definitely frustrate you. The other issue is the Mako. Seriously, can anyone drive that thing properly? That thing sucks. I'm so glad after the first game I never had to get in that thing ever again! I would have been more pissed at the end of Mass Effect 3 if you had to get back into that stupid thing. That would have been a worse ending, but we'll get to that later.

So I love this game so much, and I'm really glad that playing this game really made me get back into gaming. Have you played the first Mass Effect game? What did you think of it?

My Rating: ★★

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: The Fold

The Fold By Peter Clines
Publisher: Crown* 
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Format: Hardback, 384 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.  

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step. 

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe. 

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.  

As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.  

A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.
Let me preface this review by saying that this book is so freaking weird. Oh no, you think the premise of the book is already weird enough? Just you wait, it gets even weirder. TRUST ME.

I really enjoyed reading this adult sci-fi novel. I will admit that towards the end the main character "Mike" started to annoy me. His know-it personality and this weird thing he kept thinking about the "ants" just became a little tiresome. But that didn't make me like this book any less. I think what kept me wanting to read on was to find out what the actual F-- was happening in this book. I'm not sure I still even know, but it was weird sci-fi goodness and it was awesome.

The book seems pretty normal as far as Sci-Fi goes in beginning, until Mike starts reading about green cockroaches in the mechanics of the Albuquerque Door. Oh right and one of the scientists is not exactly who everyone thought they were. Actually none of them are who they say they are, but I really do not want to give away that spoiler. It's pretty easy to figure out what is going on here, and at this point I was locked into this book and I just kept reading to figure out what was going on. That's when things start to get really weird and "things" starting coming through the door. 

I don't think there is much more I can say about this book without giving away some huge spoilers, and I really try not to do that on my blog. This book is delightfully weird, and it made me want to continue reading it. It actually took me a long time to read, because I put it down while I went on vacation and found it hard to get back into it. If you want to read this book, don't do that! This was the first book I've read by Peter Clines, but I don't think it will be my last.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Deanna Listens: StarTalk Radio

Since November is Sci-fi Month, I decided to feature a podcast this month that goes along with the theme. Unfortunately I've already featured Plumbing the Deathstar and The Star Wars Stacks, both of which are perfect podcasts to check out for any SciFi fan. So this month I am featuring StarTalk, hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson...and sometimes Bill Nye guests hosts.

StarTalk is a great podcast for any scifi fan that has an interest in the actual science behind a lot of scifi. While Tyson does a lot of interviews talking to other scientists about real science, he also does bring a lot of pop culture scifi into his show. 

Some examples and a few of my favorite Episodes are:

I do admit that I find Tyson's style for the show pretty odd. For Cosmic Queries and for any of the Live shows I've listened to they have been the standard format, but sometimes for the interviews he plays the interview he did, but intermixed in the show he talks with other guests about the interview. I find it really weird and I'm not really a fan of it, but if the interviewee is interesting enough, I will still listen to it.

I haven't listened to a lot of this podcast, but if you have general interest in space and you want to understand more about it, I would recommend this podcast.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sci-Fi Month 2015 is here!

So...there is a reason that my blogging kind of went down the tube the past couple of months. One, because I got way too into playing any game that Bioware put out, but that's a whole other story, and Two, SCI-FI MONTH! 

Last year I participated in the 2014 Sci-Fi Month, so this year will be my second year participating. I wrote a lot of posts last November, and I really enjoyed the event so I'm excited to be a part of it again this year. 

I didn't prepare all that well last year and kept on changing my plans for what I was going to read, so this year I was trying to work ahead and read as many sci-fi books as I could BEFORE November so I will actually know what I'll be reviewing. We'll see if we actually stick to my plan, but here is what I tentatively will be discussing this month, in no particular order.

  • Deanna Listens Feature on StarTalk Radio (Neil Degrasse Tyson)
  • Review of Dune By Frank Herbert
  • How Ready Player One affected me
  • Video Game Review: Mass Effect
  • Review of The Fold By Peter Clines
  • Video Game Review: Mass Effect 2
  • Review of Star Wars The New Republic Vol.1 comic
  • Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3 
  • Review of Saga Vol.1
We'll see how much I actually finish reading in time to review. I just know that I am excited for Sci-Fi Month and to read what all the other bloggers will be talking about.

But wait...there's more! I'll also be doing a giveaway for Sci-Fi Month! So I've never really done a giveaway game before, but I really liked Val from the Innocent Smiley's Playing with Nostalgia guessing game so I kind of stole this idea from her. I thought for the sake of Sci-Fi Month that it would be fun to make you guess the Sci-Fi book from the list below. You don't need to know the authors, as long as you have the titles and I'm not going to be stickler on spelling as long as I can understand what you meant. The Giveaway will be anything under $17 US dollars on the book depository, so it will be international as long as TBD ships to your country. I encourage you to pick a great sci-fi book if you win!

  1. Boy plays easter egg hunt in virtual reality to win power and fortune left in the game by its creator
  2. Man finds out Earth is going to be destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway and is whisked away off the planet by his friend who is not who he says he is. High jinks ensue.
  3. Hyper intelligent man is sent to investigate highly top-secret scientific "Door " project only to find out that things and the scientists behind the door are are not exactly what they seem
  4. Royal houses of large empire fight for ultimate power on desert planet. Young heir survives and becomes all knowing messiah to native people.
  5. Astronaut gets mistaken for dead and gets stranded on Mars. He uses intelligence and his dark humor to survive life on planet while hoping NASA figures out how to save him.
  6. Cyborg mechanic is mistreated by stepmother and treated as a slave, until she figures out that her story is more complex than she ever could imagine.
  7. Girl and robot in disguise play music in orchestra together and fall in love during a bitter war between human and artificial life. Discovery of a virus created to destroy robots ends in a huge plot twist.
  8. Hyper intelligent young boy is sent to school to train kids to play a "game" against invading "bugs". But is it really just a game?
  9. Multiple perspective book about alien invasion and how the different waves take down the humans in a very perverse but evil genius way. Not everyone is who they say they are.
  10. Futuristic society is which everyone is deemed "ugly" until they are 16 when they get the operation to turn them "pretty". 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you participating in Sci-Fi Month this year?

EDIT PLEASE READ: For some reason No.4 box in the rafflecopter was not showing up so it is there now. I thought that one was super easy, so I was wondering why no one had guessed it. Sorry!

Happy Reads Everyone!