Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
In Shade And Shadow by Barb & J.C. Hendee

What I did Last Week

Read

I read a lot last week. Mostly it was thanks to the 24 hour read-a-thon on Saturday, otherwise, I might not have finished a single book. First up, I finally finished The Battle of The Labyrinth. This one wasn’t as strong as the previous books in the series. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

 

Then I read The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Having watched the entire Veronica Mars series and movie last year, it was nice to revisit it with this book. I certainly enjoyed this book, though not as much as if it had have been an episode or movie, but still good. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

Next up I read all seven volumes of Saga. This graphic novel series is so damn good, I was kicking myself for not starting it sooner, yet glad I waited because it meant I have seven volumes to chain read. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

 

Finally, I read the three volumes of .hack// Legend of The Twilight. This short manga series was good, but considering I have never played any of the games, watched any of the series or read any of the other manga’s I definitely felt like I was missing something in the story. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

Watched

I didn’t really watch much this week. I honestly can’t even think of a time when I have the TV on. We even skipped family movie night – because of the read-a-thon.

Life

Last week was, in my opinion, a big steaming pile of shit. The in-laws came for a visit, which I was expecting. However, I wasn’t expecting a big winter storm to hit and essentially shut down most of Northern Ontario for two whole days. Schools were closed, businesses were closed, thought he highways remained open despite poor conditions. This of course also meant I wasn’t able to go to the city to see Your Name, which really irked me. So I was stuck in the house, with the in-laws, the boy and the husband, and for the most part, I hide in the computer room and played World of Warcraft to help keep my annoyance and anger in check. Due to Your Name being in theater for only one day, I sadly couldn’t go see it some other day, so now I’m stuck waiting until it hits DVD later this year. Really the only upside was when the in-laws left and the storm finally subsided. Well, the read-a-thon on Saturday was pretty awesome as well, since it gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to get a bunch of reading done.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’ll be reading some of The Complete Western Collection of Elmore Leonard. I started this short story collection on Saturday and got five of the thirty stories read. So I’ll be reading a few this week, and likely the next couple of weeks, to slowly finish it off.

 

 

I also plan on starting Cress. I’ve been dying to continue on with this series, but wanted to wait until I knew I had time to fully devote to reading it and not be distracted by things to enjoy this one.

 

 

Watching

No real plans for TV or movies this week. Might watch some things on the PVR, might not, only time will tell.

Life

No plans on this front either. Just going to see what the week holds for me.

April 2017 Book Haul

Yup, I bought books again. However, I actually stuck to my no buying books in March, so since these all come into the house in April, I will call that a win. I ended up getting quite a few books over the month. This is partly due to Chapters constantly offering good deals and extra points, and partly because I’ve been wanting quite a few of these books for a while. I might have ended up with even more books, but my end of the month trip to the city was cancelled by a winter storm.

In total, I brought in thirteen new books in April. This sounds like a lot, and honestly it is, but I have also already read nine of them so that’s pretty darn good. Normally when I buy new books, they sit on my shelves unread for months, if not years, so reading the vast majority of these in the month I got them makes me happy. I must say I’m really glad I finally bought and read the Saga graphic novels, because they are a truly phenomenal story and I cannot wait for the series to continue.

Book Review: In Shade And Shadow

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In Shade And Shadow is the first book in the second series in the Noble Dead Saga. Having recently finished the first series, I was eager to continue on and see what the second series had in store.

This book has a huge hump at the start. Honestly, I really struggled through the first hundred pages of this book. I just couldn’t get into it. The pace was so slow it wasn’t even funny, there were so many new characters being introduced I couldn’t keep track of all of them, and most of all, I found the lack of Magiere and Leesil to really hamper things. Wynn had always been a, I hate to say it, somewhat pointless character in the first series, and with this series focusing on her, I worry it will drag through all three books.

I nearly gave up on this one. If it had have been any other book, or any other series, I would have tossed into into my did not finish pile and moved on. However, I really want to read this entire series, so I can be done with it, and to get the the third series which focuses back on Magiere and Leesil. So, I slogged through it, telling myself that it would get better. Hoping that I was right.

Luckily, it did pick up. After that one hundred page hump, things started to get more interesting. I still couldn’t keep half the characters straight in my head, but at least the pace was picking up and the plot seemed to actually be going somewhere. It still didn’t have the appeal of Dhampir, but at least I didn’t want to throw the book across the room anymore.

One thing that annoyed me was all the special terms for everything. I get that authors want to give their book something that makes them unique, so they aren’t using the same terminology as every other book, especially when it comes to the fantasy genre, but oh my goodness, I couldn’t keep up with all the special names for everything. Not only were they hard to read/pronounce, there were so many of them that, like so many of the characters names, I couldn’t keep track of what was what. I wasn’t sure if I was reading about the city guards or a branch of the sage guild or something else. Sometimes, it’s better to just call them guard than trying to get fancy – especially when everything else has a fancy name.

I’m still not sure how I will feel about this series. It didn’t have the strongest start, but perhaps it will continue to pick up as it continues. Wynn’s character certainly has a long way to go to break out of her boring character bubble and become someone who I care about. Overall, this book was just simply okay. I will keep reading the series and hope that it does get better.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Empty Throne by Ru Emerson

What I did Last Week

Read

Another week has passed with very little reading done. I did get about one hundred pages read in The Battle For The Labyrinth, but that only puts me about half way through the book.

Watched

I didn’t watch much this week. I did get in the latest episode of My 600lb Life and I also watched the first episode of the new season of The Last Alaskans. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Spirited Away. We’ve seen this movie a number of times but it’s one of those movies you can watch time and again, and it’s always a great experience.

Life

It was a semi-busy week. We spend a few days cleaning the house in preparation for the in-laws visiting this coming week. Other than that, my week my mostly spend playing World of Warcraft. I finally got to the point where I can raid and now I’m really loving it. I live to raid in games like this, so I’m finally in the zone.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

No real reading plans this week. Will see how much reading I get done.

Watching

I’ll be heading to the city midweek to see Your Name in the theater. I’m super excited to see this movie since it looks so good. Outside of that, I’m not sure what I will be watching this week.

Life

Well, the in-laws are coming up to visit at some point this week, so I don’t really have any plans. Hopefully the visit will go quickly and smoothly. I will also be putting in a day of travel and shopping midweek, which will in turn play into seeing Your Name. This trip is well timed as it happens during the in-law visit.

Book Review: The Empty Throne

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

So, after reading another Xena novel, Prophecy of Darkness by Stella Howard, I was eager to read more. Luckily, I had bought a few others at the same time, and so I dove into this one.

To say I was disappointed was an understatement. These books were so vastly different it was disturbing. Yes, they were written by different authors, so I expected them to be a bit different in the writing style, but where as Howard’s book felt like a written version of an unaired episode, Emerson’s was like a really bad fan fiction.

There was a lot that bothered me about this book. All too often, Xena was referred to as “The warrior”. Okay, fine, she’s technically a warrior, but why use that label more as a name than anything else. Also, Argo, Xena’s trusty palomino mare, was never referred to by her name. In fact, I can’t even recall the author stating that she was a mare. Anytime the horse was mentioned it was much like Xena, only ever being called “the horse”. Only, I can’t recall a single time when the horses color was even mentioned. I realize that is a small detail, but one that any Xena fan would expect to see in the story. I was honestly surprised that Gabriel wasn’t called “the sidekick” throughout the book given how things were going.

Add into the fact that the story line seemed to go no where. I realize that there isn’t always a direct line to the end and that sometimes things have to happen outside of a heroes initial quest in order to full move things along, but ugh what a slog this book was. Even half way through I felt like Xena, or should I say ‘the warrior’, was no closer to getting anything done that at the beginning.

To continue my list of unpleasantries. Let’s talk about Xena’s weapons. She has a sword, sometimes a whip and this thing called a Chakram. Unfortunately, time and time again, the author spelled it Chakra. Close, but not quite. It’s little missteps like that that really dragged the book down. I don’t know is she half-assed her or just never watched an episode of the show, but nothing felt right about this book.

Really the only reason I gave it two stars is because, in the end it is a Xena novel, as bad as it was, and it was mercifully short. If your a Xena fan, you can read this one if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I really hope her other books are better, because I own two more.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
None

What I did Last Week

Read

I didn’t read anything in full last week. I did start two books but didn’t get very far in them. I am less than fifty pages into Through Stone And Sea, and honestly, I’m very bored already. This one will be hard to finish. I also started The Battle of The Labyrinth, but only made it about fifty or so pages in, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Watched

I watched the entire second season of The Last Alaskans, which was short but good. I also watched a few episodes of My 600lb Life. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Daredevil. I honestly don’t remember that movie being so long and boring.

Life

Life was crazy last week The first half was spent cooking and making dog food, a supply which should last several months. The second half of the week I ended up getting a nasty cold. This is turn led me to play far too many hours of World of Warcraft, but I enjoyed the game and have made a ton of progress.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’ll be working through the rest of The Battle of The Labyrinth this week. I should get it done in a day or two if I can find reading time, and if this cold ends, I just can’t read when I’m sick.

After that, I’ll probably be working my way through Saga. I started the first volume last week, and nearly finished it, but never did. It’s really good and I’m looking forward to finishing it.

 

Watching

Not too sure what I’ll be watching this week.

Life

The house needs a good cleaning because the in-laws are coming up soon, so I’ll be doing that. Otherwise, I have no real plans.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

What I did Last Week

Read

I did a decent amount of reading last week, managing to get through three books, though they were all fairly short. First up I read Warcraft: Legends Volume 1. While I enjoyed this, I did find a couple of issues with it. I’ll be posting a full review of this book soon.

 

 

Next up Warcraft: Legends Volume 2. Much like the first volume, I enjoyed this book but again found a couple of issues with it.  I’ll be posting a full review of this book soon.

 

 

 

Lastly, I read Murder In Minor Key. While I liked this one, I have to say it was one of my least favorite Murder, She Wrote novels so far. Like the previous novels, I highly doubt I will post a review of this one.

 

 

 

Watched

I didn’t watch much last week. I finally finished the third season of The Golden Girls. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Wonder Woman, the 2009 animated movie, and we all enjoyed it. Outside of that, I pretty much ignored the TV.

Life

I honestly didn’t do much last week. I did some writing, but not a ton. I am ahead on my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, though I have failed at keeping my word count updated on the site. I did some baking but not too much. I also got sucked into World of Warcraft again. I’ve been wanting to play it for a while now, especially since Legion came out, and I finally broke down and did that, but now it’s eating up a lot of my time playing catch up since I hadn’t played it for four years. Other than that, I spend a bunch of time outside, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I just started reading Through Stone And Sea. I only got a few pages into this one, but I’m hoping to get it done this week. However, if it’s like the previous book in the series, it may be a bit of a slog to get through.

 

 

I also plan on reading Saga this week. I just got these books and I’m dying to read them. I think reading these in between chapters of Through Stone And Sea is my best bet. I may or may not read all seven volumes of Saga this week.

 

Watching

No real plans for TV or movies this week. I will probably watch stuff based upon my mood or what I happen to find on on a particular day.

Life

I really need to get back to the house purge, so the plan is to get one room done this week. I also need to take a bunch of stuff to donate from the previous round of purging that I did a month or so ago. Writing will also be a priority, because I would like to reach my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo early and at the rate I’m going, that will happen. The weather should remain nice this week, so I will have a chance to clean up the yard and maybe even work a bit in the garden to start prepping it for planting next months.