Book Review: War Crimes

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Back when I played World of Warcraft, I developed a very large dislike, perhaps even hatred, of Garrosh. So naturally, when I saw that a book was being released about his trial for all of the crimes he committed, I was immediately interested. The fact that it was written by Christie Golden was another bonus, because I have read and enjoyed several other books written by her in this series.

It took me a while to get into this book, and it never really fully gripped me. It was good, yes, but not great, not like I was hoping it would be. I think the fact that nearly the whole book was a long courtroom trial made it unappealing. Granted, I did think it was sort of interesting how they approached presenting the evidence, as normal word of mouth wasn’t good enough. Instead, they actually showed the events using the device from the Bronze Dragonflight. That part was pretty neat. I mean, how else can you guarantee you are getting an accurate account of events? Memories can fade or alter over time, and even emotions can affect them. So what better way to do it, then to actually pull up the event through time and show it as a mini movie for all to see.

Really outside of that, the book felt a bit flat. There was a decent amount of tension in this book, what else do you expect when Alliance and Horse are put in the same room for extended periods of time, but it just felt off. Sure, the Pandaren made it impossible to use any magic in the area, and the temple where the trial was held had a calming affect on everyone, but I felt like it needed something else. Something to make it more enjoyable to read, to really show the true nature of everyone present.

The few parts that weren’t directly tied to the trial were short and added very little to the story overall. And when the ending happened, I was a bit disappointed.

Overall, I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. It had some good moments, but it was a book that just read slow and took a bit too long to get to anything other than boring trial business. I am still glad that I read this book and look forward to continuing the series. Those who enjoy World of Warcraft will likely enjoy this novel, and the others in this series.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Top Ten Authors I’m Dying To Meet.

It may sound strange, but there aren’t a lot of authors I want to meet. Like, I want to meet plenty of authors, but there are only a few that I would really drop everything to go see. So here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Karen Amanda Hooper. Seriously, I want to meet her so badly. I talk to her somewhat regularly online, but actually getting to meet her would be a dream come true. One day it will happen, one day.
  2. Kristen Britain. Every since reading Green Rider, I have wanted to meet her. Perhaps one day it will happen.
  3. Peter S. Beagle. Technically I have already met him once. But I was so star struck that I couldn’t even speak. He is supposed to be doing another The Last Unicorn tour sometime soon, so I am really looking forward to seeing him again and actually talk to him.
  4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I have loved all of her books and it would be absolutely amazing to meet her.
  5. Christie Golden. Between her World of Warcraft and Star Wars books, I have enjoyed a lot of her writing. Getting to meet her would be awesome.
  6. Ann Aguirre. After reading her Sirantha Jax and Dred Chronicles series, I would love to meet her.

Well, that’s all I can think of at the moment. There are lots of other authors I wouldn’t mind meeting, but these are the ones I want to meet the most.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

What I did Last Week

Read

I finished reading Scarlet. I found it slow to start with, but it did pick up in the second half. Though the last hundred pages or so were what really made me love this book. I’ll be posting a full review of this book soon.

 

 

 

Watched

I didn’t watch all that much last week. I did get in several episodes of The Golden Girls, but still have a few to go before I finish up season three. I also caught up on the last couple episodes of Heartland. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Jumper, which was okay. I did watch a lot of World of Warcraft streaming on Twitch as well.

Life

My week was epicly lazy. Like, I seriously did nothing. I barely wrote anything, mostly because my previous projects rough draft is done and I wanted to take a bit of a break before Camp NaNoWriMo starts in April. Other than that, I just sat around not wanting to do anything.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I have two books on the go right now. I started American Gods on the weekend, and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about this one. It’s so weird and I’m really not sure if I will keep going with it or now. I’m about a third of the way through this one.

 

 

The second book is Violet Grenade. I got an ARC of this one and decided I better get to reading it since it’s out in about a month. I’ve only just started this one, but I’m really intrigued by it. I’ll admit that I went into this one blind, ignoring the synopsis, and while I don’t know exactly what it is about yet, I am enjoying it and looking forward to finishing it this week.

 

Watching

I have no idea what I will be watching this week. Some episodes of The Golden Girls will likely happen, but outside of that I don’t know.

Life

I should probably try to do any necessary prep work before Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Saturday. The biggest thing is to decide what I will be writing, and then do a bit of planning from there. Outside of that, I have no real plans this week. I may continue to be a lazy ass or I might find my motivation and get shit done, only time will tell.

Book Review: Water For Elephants

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

For a number years now I had been debating about whether I would read this book or not. It seemed to be front and center every time I went to a book store, then when the movie was coming out, it’s popularity came back and everyone was raving about it again. But that was the problem for me, I tend to avoid super popular books, especially when they are slated to become a movie, because I find that rarely stand up to the hype. Plus it didn’t help that the trailer for the movie made it look like one of those cheesy girly romance movies that I would hate. So I decided that I would not read the book.

Flash forward a few years later and I found myself in possession of a copy of this book and the debate on whether to read it or not returned. So, I decided I would give it a try, and if I didn’t like it, I would set it aside and forgot that I ever set eyes on it. I had no clue I was in for a treat.

To say I was immediately pulled into the story was an understatement. I surfaced momentarily for dinner and then dove right back in. The next thing you know, I was three quarters done already. I might have even finished it in one sitting had it not been for the fact that it was pushing 3am and I was dead tired. When I woke a few hours later, I went to the book and didn’t do anything else until it was done.

The first paragraph of this book had me smiling. It’s so simple yet spoke volumes. It was as if I was told “I don’t remember how old I am, but sit down and I will tell you one hell of a story” and of course I obliged because who can say no that? And you know what, it was one hell of a story.

While I’m normally not a huge fan of stories written in first person, I felt that it worked perfectly for this book. It really gave us the best look at Jacob’s life, both in the past and present, and put us squarely in the same events. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this one as much if it had have been written in third person. Having the story shift from present day to the past, really helped to convey everything. While the focus is on Jacob’s past, namely the time he worked at the circus, getting to see him as an older gentleman struggling with memories and feeling lost added another layer to the story. In a way, it sort of reminded me of the book Fried Green Tomatoes, in that the story shifts from present to past, to help facilitate the story as a whole.

I really enjoyed the mix of characters in this book. Sure they were pretty much all circus goers, but that doesn’t mean they all are the same. I especially liked Walter. His attitude at the beginning was great, since I tend to love characters like that, but seeing him warm up to Jacob along the way was also nice. I do wish that we could have gotten to learn a bit more about some of the characters, but since this was a story about Jacob’s life, then I’m not too concerned about it.

It was clear that a lot of research went into the novel. Not just about the depression but about circuses during that time as well. The author did a wonderful job of blending fact with fiction to make a solid and highly enjoyable story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. My only regret is that I didn’t read it earlier, but now I am happy to have done so. If you haven’t read this book, I would highly recommend that you make time to do so. I would definitely read more books by this author, as her writing is truly beautiful.

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Read In One Sitting Theme.

For this, I’m going to go with the books that I have read, or could read, in one sitting. This is of course assuming that I didn’t have anything interrupting me. So you know, reading in that perfect world, where you don’t need to eat, sleep or anything else outside of read.

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I came really close to reading this one in one sitting. I started it late at night, got only a short way into it before I needed to sleep, but the next day I burned through the rest of it.
  2. Murder, She Wrote Books by Jessica Fletcher. These books are great quick reads and I can often read them in one sitting. I find they are great in between longer books, and often use them as sort of palate cleansers.
  3. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I generally read this book in one sitting, as it’s short and such a great story. Of course, I also like to stretch the story out over a couple of days just so I don’t get to the end too quickly.
  4. Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper. Really, any of her books I could read in a day. Though admittedly, I also try not to rush these ones because they are so good and I want to make them last.
  5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This fun little book can easily be read in one sitting. I loved this one growing up and still regularly reread it.
  6. Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice. This was a great middle grade novel that I read a couple years ago and could easily be read in one sitting.
  7. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I think even without sleeping or anything else, I highly doubt I could ever read this one in one sitting. But I would love to, because it’s such a great book and I need to reread it soon so that I can continue on with the series.
  8. The Floating Castle by Craig Mills. I’m pretty sure that I read this one in one sitting because it was such a great and nostalgic read. I really wish there were more King’s Quest books out there.
  9. Manga & Graphic Novels. I’m going general with this one, not picking any one specific manga, but manga and graphic novels are great one sitting reads. Plus it’s a nice change of pace for novels.
  10. Perdition by Ann Aguirre. I know I came close to reading this one in one sitting and if/when I reread it, I am certain I could do it in one go. This is a great start to an amazing trilogy, and really all three books can be read in one sitting each.

So there you have it, the books I have or could read in one sitting. What books have you read in one sitting? Any books you wish you could read all at once?

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Marley & Me by John Grogan

What I did Last Week

Read

I managed to finish reading Illidan last week. I found this book to be okay, though I did have a few issues with it. I’ll be posting a full review of this book in June.

 

 

 

Watched

I didn’t watch much last week. I got in a few episodes of The Golden Girls, watched the latest episode of My 600lbs Life and then watched Best In Show. We ended up skipping family movie night because we all lost track of time and then couldn’t decide on what to watch. I also watched some various live streams on Twitch, mostly ones involving World of Warcraft, which only increased by desire to play the game once again.

Life

Not too busy of a week. I did a lot of writing, which was nice. I thought about continuing on with the house purge, but decided against it until I could sell some of the stuff we have piled up. If I kept cleaning everything, I wouldn’t have anywhere to put the things we want to get rid of.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’ll be working on finishing Scarlet this week. I’m about half way through and it’s staring to pick up. I can’t say that I’m enjoying this one as much as I liked Cinder, but perhaps the seconds half will be better. I’m not sure what I will read after this one is done.

 

 

Watching

I don’t really have any plans to watch stuff this week. I’d like to watch more of The Golden Girls and maybe clear out some shows on the PVR, but we’ll see what happens.

Life

This is another area where I don’t really have a lot of plans. I know I will be devoting time to writing, and likely some Camp NaNoWriMo prep, but really outside of that, things are a bit of a blank slate for the week.

Book Review: Marley & Me

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Back in 2009, I ended up watching the movie Marley & Me. I had intended to read the book first, but that didn’t happen. I enjoyed the movie quite a yet, yet still had the desire to read the book to get the full story. Flash forward to 2017, when I finally got a chance to read the book.

This was a enjoyable and fairly quick read. Getting to read all about Marley’s escapades, from his rambunctious puppy days, to when he was an old, yet still very determined, dog was fun. I honestly could not imagine what it would be like to deal with a dog such as this. I’ve seen bad dogs, and read about them, but have had very little personal experience with them. Of course, if I did end up with a bad dog, I would probably stick with him/her, because that’s what a good dog owner does. Sure it would be a challenge, but hey if they can put up with Marley, then I could do the same with an equally bad dog.

This book certainly puts the challenges of dog ownership into the spotlight. Anyone can handle a good dog, but what about those that are high strung and a challenge to control? Marley was a good example of the ups and downs of owning a challenging dog. I could not imagine having to worry about how much of my house was destroyed each time a thunder storm happened. Or barely being able to control my dog while walking him around the city.  And to have a heavy duty metal crate destroyed in a panic? Well, that’s one crazy dog.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’ll admit, that the last few chapters, leading up to Marley’s death, were very hard to read. As a dog owner and lover, I don’t want to read about a dogs health declining and about making the call on when enough suffering is enough. And yet, it’s all a part of being a responsible dog owners.

Having owned a few dogs over the years, I count myself lucky that none of them were as bad as Marley was. Of course, I also know of one dog, that I feel could challenge Marley for the Worst Dog title.

I would recommend this book, and the movie, to dog lovers and those looking for a humorous story. This is also a great cautionary tale for future dog owners, so they know that not every dog is perfect, but what they add to your life is worth it in the end.