Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Illidan by William King

What I did Last Week

Read

I didn’t do any reading last week. Not even a single page.

Watched

I cleared out several things on the PVR over the week, mostly episodes of River Monsters, My 600lbs Life and Deadliest Catch. I also ended up watching Wonder Woman on the weekend and I like it – I also feel like I’m the only person who didn’t absolutely love it.

Life

It was kind of crazy last week. I feel like I didn’t do anything and yet I know I was pretty busy with things. I did a bunch of cleaning in the house, lots of baking and went to the city for a two day shopping/movie/day away from the house trip.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’m not going to make any specific reading plans this week. I will simply read what I feel like, when/if I feel like it.

Watching

No real plans this week for this either.

Life

I have a bunch more baking to do this week, since I inevitably got several orders while I was gone on the weekend. The weather is supposed to be really good this week, so I’m hoping to get the garden not only prepped but planted as well.

Book Review: Illidan

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Even though I haven’t played World of Warcraft since 2013, I still like to keep up with the overall story of the game through the books. So when the Illidan book was released, I had to buy it. But, I was also kind of confused about the book, I mean, didn’t his story already get told through the Burning Crusade expansion? Was he not defeated there? Am I missing something from my lack of in game knowledge? The answer to those questions was a resounding yes.

For a decent chunk of it, this book felt like it should have been released during or shortly after the Burning Crusade expansion. It seemed to overall retell a lot of the story there. The whole, released for ten thousand years in prison, him going to the Outland, his taking over of the Black Temple. I didn’t feel like I was getting anything new. Eventually, things seemed to change direction and give me new bits of information, but at the same time, they felt disjointed and strange.

The story follows four main characters, Illidan (duh), Maiev, Akama and Vandel. Three of these were already known to me, from playing the game, but Vandel was new. I found that Maiev was a fairly flat character. She lived for a single purpose, which is somewhat understandable, but that blinded her to other things and made her character not very appealing. I had hoped she would grow throughout the book, but in the end, she was that same tunnel vision driven person. Akama was an interesting creature. I don’t really recall much about his from the game, but he certainly had a big role in the story. His real purpose was hidden until the right time within the book, unlike other characters, whose purpose for being was revealed right from the beginning. Illidan was…well he was Illidan. I don’t know what I can say about him. Vandel felt…unnecessary at times. It’s like they needed another character to be like Illidan, but not quite Illidan and he fulfilled that role. I didn’t really feel like he reached his full potential and that there is more to his story beyond this book – and that’s probably the case in the game.

The major thing I didn’t like about the book was the authors writing. At times, it felt like he was trying too hard to describe things uniquely. I’m all for giving a story a solid descriptive base, but he was overdoing it. None to mention, there was a lot of repetitive descriptions. For example, at one point it is said that they defeated “…the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction” of the Burning Legion. Well, isn’t the tiniest fraction about as tiny as you can get? Maybe I’m nitpicking here, but that just stuck out to me as being overly descriptive.

Also, having the book span six years probably didn’t help the flow. One chapter it’s four years before the end and then the next it’s a mere five months. You’re telling me nothing of significance happened in nearly four years? That seems off to me.

There were a couple of inconsistencies as well. At one point Illidan swipes his arms across a map, knocking the markers that were on it away, and yet a page and a half later, one of his minions looks at the map, observing those markers as if they were still where they once were.

For me, I thought the book was alright, but was clearly geared towards people who still played the game. I didn’t quite understand the full differences between the Illidan story of Burning Crusade and this Illidan story that leads into the Legion expansion. There were a lot of things that felt the same, and that’s probably why I kept thinking that this book was written ten years too late. And yet, those new portions of the story seemed to be in stark contrast to what I already knew. I feel like if I still played the game, and had a full knowledge of all of the current lore, that this book would have been more enjoyable. Overall, it was okay and I am glad that I read it. I just hope any future books written are a bit more non-player friendly.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017.

Since I’m not really keeping track of any new releases this year, I’m going to go with the books I’m looking forward to reading from my TBR int he second half of 2017. So here they are in n particular order.

  1. Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
  2. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  3. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  4. The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill
  5. The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe
  6. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  7. Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon
  8. I, Robot by Issac Asimov
  9. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  10. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

There you have it. It’s a lot of older books, but that’s what I enjoy reading more than new releases (for the most part). What books are you looking forward to in the second half of the year?

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

What I did Last Week

Read

I had had some specific reading goals for this week, but those got completely ignored and instead I ended up reading all seven volumes of A Silent Voice. I found this series to be quite good, though there were some minor things I didn’t like about it. I’ll be posting a full series review in the coming weeks.

 

 

Watched

I finally got all caught up on the current season of Deadliest Catch. I also watched a couple episodes of The Golden Girls. We ended up having two Family Movie Nights this week as well, to make up for missing last week. So we watched A Dog’s Purpose and Clash of The Titans. We all enjoyed both of these movies a lot.

Life

What a week. The first half of it was shot due to family visiting, which also meant out long weekend was a complete write-off. The second half of the week went by way too fast. The boys soccer team is doing great still, and they won all three games last week. I did some baking on the weekend, which is something I have been really slacking with lately. I also got to finally do some work in the garden, it was simply weeding at this point, but it was nice to finally get my hands in the dirt and be one step closing to planting.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

For the third, or is it fourth, week in a row, I will be trying to finish Cress. I really want to finish this one, but things just keep getting in the way. Hopefully this week will be the week that I finally get to see what happens in the second half of the book.

 

 

Watching

My only solid plan this week is to watch the newest episode of Deadliest Catch and then go see Wonder Woman on the weekend. Outside of that, what I watch is kind of up in the air.

Life

I have some more weeding to do in the garden this week, weather permitting, but I should be able to finish it all in a day or two and then start really prepping the beds for planting. Soccer will continue to fill up our evenings this week, and while the boy is enjoying it, I’m looking forward to when it’s done (standing there watching the games for an hour gets pretty boring after a while). I’ll be heading up to the city on the weekend to do some shopping, have a day to myself and watch Wonder Woman. Other than that, I’m not sure what my week has in store for me.

Book Review: The Titan’s Curse

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Review contains minor spoilers – but come on, this book is 10 years old so it shouldn’t be that much of a spoiler.

Oh this book. I started it with excitement, and then part way through, hit a major reading slump. When I picked it up weeks later, I was eager to finish it and yet I didn’t want to. I couldn’t be certain if it was the after affects of the reading slump or the fact that I just hadn’t really loved the first hundred pages. Maybe this book had succumbed to the dreaded mid-series slump that I find in many series, when they start strong, slack in the middle and then either pick up again at the end or struggle to bring things to a close cleanly.

I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. There was something in this book that just didn’t seem to jive. I don’t know what it was. I will say, that I was glad to see that there was a greater presence of Gods and Goddesses in this book, something I was craving in the previous two novels. Having Artemis in this one was great, and I really liked the way she was portrayed. It made total sense in a way, even if at times it was a little weird.

I think the biggest disappointment for me, revolved around Zoe. I loved this character and yet, we lose her as quickly as she comes into the story. I understand why it happened, and it made sense in the end, but damnit, I was more Zoe and I know that won’t happen.

Even though this book didn’t feel as amazing as the previous ones, I am still looking forward to reading the rest of the series. If you haven’t read this series yet, now may be the time to do so.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

What I did Last Week

Read

I had hoped to do a bunch of reading last week, but alas, it did not happen. I tried, I really did, but honestly every time I sat down to read my mother would want to talk. Reading with family visiting is an exercise in futility.

Watched

Didn’t really watch much last week, as the TV was being controlled by visiting family and they watch the stupidest shows ever.

Life

Soccer started this week for the boy, so that kept me busy in the evenings. Then the parents arrived for a visit and it’s been hectic and annoying every since. I’ve been playing as much World of Warcraft as I can, which keeps me too busy to truly visit with them, but that leaves the boy open to take advantage of visiting grandparents.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I likely won’t get to do any reading until Wednesday, as that’s when the family leaves, but after that, I will be focusing on finishing Cress. I really, really want to finish this one to see what happens in the second half.

 

 

 

Watching

No real plans this week. I will probably just watch whatever I feel like on any given day.

Life

I don’t have any solid plans for this week. I’m stuck with the family until Wednesday and then I’m free to do whatever I wish after that. Soccer will still occupy three nights of the week. I’m hoping to do some stuff in the garden soon, mostly just a bit of weeding and prepping the beds for planting, but a lot of that will depend on the weather.

Book Review: Violet Grenade

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Oh this book. I don’t even know what to say.

Initially, I was fairly excited about this book. It sounded so intriguing when it was first introduced by the author months ago. Then I was lucky enough to get an early copy to review.

When I started reading this book, I was sucked into it pretty quickly. I didn’t want to put it down, and I wanted to know all that would happen. I read most, if not all of it, in one sitting. There were times when it felt repetitive, mostly involving things in the house, but otherwise, I still enjoyed it. I didn’t really fully understand Domino’s character at times, but I figured it would all make sense the further into the story I got.

Then I got to the end of the book and…hell, I don’t know what happened, but almost as soon as I finished the book, all the details of the books faded from my memory. I couldn’t remember most of it and honestly couldn’t tell you why I liked the book so much while I was reading it. I can’t explain it. I still don’t understand it myself, even a month later. I guess it’s just one of those books that doesn’t stick with the reader.

That’s it. Can’t really talk more about it since I honestly don’t remember the details of the book. If you haven’t read it and are curious about the story, go ahead and read it. You might like it, you might now, but you’ll never know until you read it.