Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Podcasts

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is an all audio freebie, so this week I'm talking about my favorite podcasts. I actually have a monthly feature on my blog called Deanna Listens where I feature and promote podcasts that I love, so if you read that (does anyone read it?) this list might be a little familiar. But I'm also going to be adding some ones I haven't had the chance to talk about yet.

Plumbing the Death Star is one of the first podcasts I started listening to. It's a bunch of Australian nerds that get really heated about the things you don't really think about. And they swear a lot, like me!

Welcome to Night Vale, I don't think I can really explain what this podcast is, it just is. Pretty weird, but always entertaining.

Okay, so the Nerdist, you know the Nerdist Chris Hardwick and the empire he has built? This is actually the first podcast I ever listened to. Hardwick has a great interview style, and I find that I'm always just talking to old friends whenever I listen to his podcast. 

Puck Soup is a new podcast I started listening to. It's hockey based and is hosted by the dude that does Yahoo's Puck Daddy site & Dave Lozo (another sports journalist). I need more hockey in my life and these two are funny and also bring in pop culture into their podcast which I love.

I miss The Indoor Kids so much! The podcast has been on hiatus for some time because Kumail & his wife Emily are busy having very successful careers! If you like video games, try listening to their old podcasts, super entertaining.

Hello, from the magic tavern is a really interesting podcast, but I've only listened to the first episode so I haven't had a chance to talk about it in Deanna Listens yet. It's a improv podcast, so I find it goes in ridiculous directions. 

Sadly, Oh, Comics is no more. This podcast was a part of the Panels.net website (a sister site of Book Riot) but since they decided to combine the two sites, they are no longer doing the podcast.

So I don't listen to Fat Man On Batman enough, but Kevin Smith is always entertaining. So if you like comic books and Smith's movies I highly recommend. 

The Thrilling Adventure Hour is another podcast that is done in the vein of old timey radio shows. It's super entertaining. Every episode isn't the same story, they go back and forth between a few different stories. I don't think this is running anymore, but when they were they recorded the shows live.

The Star Wars Stacks is also one of the first podcasts I started listening to. I was obsessed with the Star Wars Expanded Universe when I was younger and they are a book club that reads SW books so I love it. I also find it interesting when all three of them hate a book but for different reasons. Seriously, no two people read the same book.

Do you have any good podcasts I should listen to? What was on your list this week?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Sword of Summer

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Format: Audiobook narrated by Christopher Guetig
My Rating:  1/2 

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
Listen, I love me some Rick Riordan, and I will probably read every mythology based book he writes. I don't care if people think he is milking the Percy Jackson series too much, I find his books to be fun adventure books and I think he does a really good job of trying to have his books be really diverse.

One of the complaints I've heard about this book was that Magnus has the exact same voice as Percy Jackson or Jason Grace, but for me that's kind of why the book appealed to me. Also, I felt like he was way more salty than the other two. Like immediately this sassy kid from the streets had me completely invested in his story and what the hell was going to happen next. Especially since he dies in the first few chapters. Don't worry that is not a spoiler, the book gets more interesting after that happens.

I know a lot about Greek mythology, but very little about Norse mythology so I found myself very invested in meeting all of these different gods & goddesses. It reminded me a lot of the video game Skyrim, as the Nords in that setting worship the Norse gods. I found it very educational, and it made me want to do my own research on Norse myths.

One thing I loved about this novel was that we have this Kurt Cobain-look alike fumbling around on a quest and along with him is this smart Muslim girl whom moonlights as a Valkyrie. I loved Samira, and I loved that she did not put up with Magnus' BS. I loved that Riordan had her actively wearing a Hijab and there is even a scene where she defends why she sometimes wears it and why she sometimes doesn't. I haven't read a lot of books with Muslim characters, which is something I want to change, so I was excited to read about a character from a different culture. I really liked the friendship Sam and Magnus have, and I felt like it was a purely platonic partnership. I really hope that in the rest of the series they remain just friends. I would like to actually see a book where the boy and girl are just friends, and they never get together. Is that too much to ask?

I think what really won me over was the audiobook narrator. I don't think I've listened to Christopher Guetig narrate anything before, but I felt like he really got Magnus' voice down perfectly. He made me really think that was actually Magnus telling me this story.

If you like Rick Riordan's other mythology based stories, I think you will like this one too.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2016

ARC Review: The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl

The Perlious Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl by Leigh Statham
Publisher: Month9books
Release Date: October, 11, 2016
Format: Egalley
Source:copy provided by publisher for review
My Rating: 

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Lady Marguerite Vadnay and her trusty automaton, Outil, have settled into life in New France rather well. Marguerite is top of the class at flight school and her future as an aerpilot is nearly secure. She has everything she wants— except a commission on the pirate hunting dirigible The Renegade. Using every card in her aristocratic arsenal, Marguerite wiggles her way onto the finest warship France has to offer. But as usual, Marguerite’s plans endanger the lives of those she holds dear— only this time no one else is going to save them. As Marguerite and Outil set off on a rescue mission they may not return from, she finally realizes it’s time to reorder her cogs.

This steampunk adventure is littered with facts from The Golden Age of Piracy and follows (not too closely) some of the lives and adventures of the brave men and women who sailed the seas as privateers, pirates and soldiers.
I didn't totally love the first novel in this series, but I thought it had a lot of potential. After the first book I thought that Marguerite had grown out of her bratty, entitled behavior, but this book sure proved me wrong. That's why unfortunately I found this second book to be a huge disappointment.

I liked the start of the book where we see Marguerite in flight school doing what she wants to do with her life. I liked that, and I also liked that we see her fail at something because the whole first book she was amazing at everything she did. I think it's good to show that you have to fail to figure things out for yourself, so I thought this book would be a lot about self-discovery and she would improve her behavior, but not so much.

It's clear that Marguerite was used to a life of getting what she wanted and we see this when she bribes her way into getting a pretty high position on a military ship. I thought that was so unrealistic, so I was actually glad that Jacques puts her onto the galley ship in the fleet. It seemed at first she was learning that she needed to work hard to achieve success, and I was really glad she finally found a girl friend. Unfortunately that growth in her personality didn't last, because again Marguerite thinks only about herself and what she wants, so she hatches a plan to leave the galley ship. A really stupid one.

I had a really hard time with this novel, and mostly because I just couldn't relate to this character. I felt like Marguerite was just always going to be a spoiled brat that was used to getting her way, so I just couldn't root for her. I honestly agreed with Jacques a lot of times in this book, and I found him to be a much more complex and interesting character. I kind of wanted to read a book in his perspective more. My biggest problem with the novel was that it felt like Marguerite didn't really grow from her experience in the first novel, and at the end of this one I didn't feel like she was changed either. I think that was why I was so disappointed with this book. I wanted to see a more mature, level-headed Marguerite but I just felt like she was even more immature than in the first novel. I don't know, maybe I'm showing my age too much here, but I had a huge problem with her behavior in this sequel.

My biggest issue with this novel was just the character, but I think the world building and the political plot was interesting. Steampunk is a cool concept, and I think I was able to stick it out with this book because I was curious to see how the fleet was going to outsmart the pirates they were fighting. There is something a little predictable in the plot regarding the pirate captain, but even if it was predictable, I really liked that I was right about it! I just don't think this series is for me anymore. When I can't get behind the main protagonist, I just have a huge issue liking a book.The setting was really cool, so if you enjoyed the first novel I would still recommend you try this one for yourself first.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Were TV Series

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is focused on new fall TV, so I'm doing mine on the books that I wish were TV shows. Some of these might have been optioned, but I didn't really do my research on it. 

The Sword of Truth Series By Terry Goodkind

Okay...so there was a show based on this book but it only lasted 2 seasons before it was cancelled. I just love it a lot so I want to just see it done again. Just give me season 3 please.

The Abhorsen Series By Garth Nix
Listen I love the Abhorsen series so much, that I gave my Wood Elf in Elder Scrolls Online the name Sabriel. There is a gap in time between the two novels, so I feel like a tv series could work through what happened in between. 

Lost Stars By Claudia Gray

This novel tells the story of characters not in the original trilogy from the time the Republic fell to the the Empire falling after Return of the Jedi. I think a TV series would be great to show all the time in between. 

The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski

But Deanna there is already a video game series, do you really need a TV series too? Yes, yes I do. I think the only way this would work is if CD Projekt Red did the TV show, because they do such a good job keeping the lore of the books in the game series. 

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Movies, what movies I don't know what you are talking about...So yeah the move adaptations were so terrible that even the author talks so much trash on them. I think this series would be better as a TV series, and maybe have more age appropriate casting? 

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I really loved this series, but I don't ever see it get a lot of love. I think it would do well in a TV serial installment rather than movies. I feel like way too much would get cut that is necessary to the plot. TV shows give adaptations more leeway, and it would definitely work for this series.

The Curse Workers by Holly Black

Honestly, can I just get some sort of adaption for this series? I love this series so much, I think it would be okay as movie installments since there are only 3 novels, but I just think TV would work better to really capture Cassel's personality. 

The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

I heard this was getting optioned for TV, but I'm not sure if that ever went anywhere. This would definitely work well, and Suze could have a "ghost of the week" in every episode. I think they would modernize the story, but I would actually love if they made it true to the book to show what it was like living in the early 2000s without a cell phone. 

Saga By Brian K. Vaughan

This would be an ambitious project, with a lot of FX makeup and costumes, but I would love to see a version of this comic on the small screen. Farscape was able to do sci-fi like this on the small screen, so I think it is doable. 

His Fair Assassins Series by Robin LaFevers

I just think this would be a really cool time period series that could gain the interest from people that like The Tudors or Outlander. A series might make more sense especially when we learn more about the other girls from the other novels.

What books do you want to see turned into TV series? What TV shows are on your radar this fall?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Deanna Listens: Talkin Toons With Rob Paulsen

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month (sometimes) I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. I haven't posted in a few months, but never fear I am finally back and hoping to start up this feature again.

This month I am featuring Talking Toons with Rob Paulsen!

If you don't know who Rob Paulsen is, trust me you do. He's a big deal in the voice acting community and I guarantee that he voiced some familiar characters. Like Yakko from Animatics and Pinky from Pinky and the Brain. Seriously, dude has probably been in a lot of things you loved as a child. Like seriously, go look at his IMDB page. Even if you don't you will learn it quickly if you listen to this podcast, as his intro is a supercut of a bunch of iconic characters this dude has done.

I am really into voice acting. I think it's such an interesting form of art, and I feel like a lot of these guys and gals don't get the credit they deserve. These guys work really hard, and I find it so cool to listen to Rob Paulsen interview all these cool voice over actors. Some of these people I didn't realize just how many cool voices they have done over the years.

Rob's podcast is a little different than most of the podcasts I recommend, simply because they are done live. I find them really fun and energetic, but somethings they are a little difficult if a interviewee uses a visual reference and says, "So I was doing this." I think because they are live they forget that people might be listening and can't see them. It's not all the time, but it is something to be aware of when you start listening to it.

Rob has some great guests on, but a few of my favorites have to be the following:

I like this podcast a lot, and it almost has me wondering am I in the right career? Can I be a voice over actor? The answer is probably no (I'm much too timid), but I really love that Rob's podcast and the guests he interviews makes me think I could.

Got a great podcast you love? Give me a recommendation in the comments.

Happy Reads Everyone!