Posts Tagged With: trilogy

Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Thorns and Roses [1]

acourtofthornsandrosesI won Sarah J. Maas book “A Court of Thorns and Roses” (ISBN 1619634449; 421p.; Goodreads) in a contest at P.S. I Love That Book. And once I finished the Silo trilogy, I really had no reasons to put the reading of this book off, as I did in the past, without the physical copy to beckon me (I’m an advocate for e-books, but I admit, sometimes there’s more moral obligation in me to read a physical book, than the endless supply of e-books provides). And besides, I like pointy-eared warriors…

In the dark forest, thin due to it being dead of winter, and so very too close to the wall separating world of mortals from that of the immortal and brutal fae realm, Fayre is searching for any prey that could feed her family. The only solace to her heart, filled with dread by stories on fae being merciless, is the sole ash arrow in her quiver, said to be the only weapon against the immortal folk. But the giant beast of a wolf she gazes upon in the dark gives her doubt enough to stop and reconsider the purpose of that highly priced and rare arrow. If it eats her, her family starves. If it eats her prey, her family starves. And the two meager regular arrows she has might not even slow the great creature down. There’s only one way out of this.

One night later their whole hut shivers in protest, as the door splits apart, huge horned creature storming in through it. He’s here for a blood debt. Life for life. He’s here for the hunter who killed his friend.

I admit, at points this book is mighty boring. But then the good parts are oh so worth it. I believe I loved their world the most, in the whole setting. Much like Shades of Magic, this one too was so alike our own, that I could almost believe it real, but so very different, and thus so very much more worthy to imagine as true. A world full of magic, curses, and unbreakable promises. I will also admit that I already started the second one. I’ll give this one 4 out of 5, due to some things bothering me a lot. Like constant “male” and “female“. While it made sense, it also made me cringe oh so many times. And second thing being empty threats. “There won’t be anything to burn once I’m done with you” – and then the “done” part is as good as a stab with a butter knife. Even if it did work – there’d still be plenty to burn!

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Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Haruki Murakami – 1Q84 [1-3]

1Q84 1  Right, pardon me for late review, for I’ve read this long-ish time ago, but here it is. Haruki Murakami is a special author indeed. It’s not for everybody, his books. They take a specific person to be loved.

1Q84 is a world. Right world, wrong time, but a world it is. It’s a year that was 1984, but shifted after Aomame, the protagonist, did something she usually wouldn’t do. It’s how it all always starts. We change something about ourselves, about our behavior and suddenly – our world changes too.

It all started quite innocently. She got stuck in traffic on her way to what seemed a harmless job. Taxi driver suggested she take the emergency ladders that eventually lead her to a train station or a tube, pardon me for not knowing what is what. She stepped out, she looked around and nothing was wrong beside the tiny little things. Right up until the night fell and she saw a second moon rise in the sky, right beside the one we see.

You see, Aomame is an assassin, with a skill like no other. She can find that one spot at the back of your neck and pierce it with a long sharp needle she made herself. You will die instantly, no pain, no suffering. She doesn’t just go on killing sprees, thou. She’s hired by a rich elderly woman who saw family abuse like no other, abuse to which she lost her daughter. Abuse she swore to at least try and stop. That woman has a shelter for women who are being beaten or mistreated, they can come and stay with her, and she will provide all the needed legal help and… She also now and again hires Aomame to eliminate the men once and for all.  All would’ve been okay, even the second moon, if one day a pre-teen girl didn’t turn up at the door of this elderly woman. She was raped, as it seemed, by a leader of a very strict religious organisation. And Aomame is to eliminate that leader.

Second protagonist is called Tengo. He’s a math teacher and a writer on his free time. His friend in publishing business one day asks him for something unusual. You see, they check these writings of people all across Japan, searching for writers who deserve rewards for their great works, for prizes and fame. Sort of a contest anyone can enter and prove their worth as a writer. Tengo enters it too, all the time, but never wins anything, and yet this time he runs into something that can win. It’s not his but he can help, he knows he can, he knows exactly how to help. And this friend of his believes that too, thus they take the blueprint a seventeen year old girl who can barely speak because of some form of what seemed to be a dyslexia, and they rewrite it. It’s cheating, Tengo knows it and feels very bad about it, but at the same time the story just draws him in, he knows that if anyone, only he can make it a full story and he’s not wrong. The moment the story is out – it’s a bestseller demanding reprints over and over. The problem is that the girl is from the religious organization that’s very strict. And her father is the very leader Aomame is to kill.

Thus both Tengo and Aomame crossed a group of powerful people. They live in the same city, but never met. They went to same school, but lost all connections with each other soon. And yet they lead very similar lives, in a way. All the time thinking of each other.

It’s a great story. I didn’t think it’d be so fun after the first book. There’s a lot of time-stretching in H.M.’s books, which isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but it bores readers like myself. I prefer things concentrated, saturated, quick and to the point, always in action so that I am left with no time to look around. Yet it was still quite a book. The only problem with it that I truly have even now is that Tamaru, the gay bodyguard of the Lady from Azabu, the woman who shelters abused women, was more interesting than both Aomame and Tengo (in a way, Fukaeri, the girl who wrote the story Tengo rewrote, was more interesting than these two too). I truly wish that Murakami would someday just give him a book. He grew up in this insane place, overly religious, he got beaten, he got tortured, he got into the business of murders and ended up a bodyguard. He treats the lady with such high respect that it’s pure gold to read. Really, an interesting man and a story I’d love to read.

So all in all, these were marvelous books. I’ll give it 4 out of 5, taking a point away because of the stretching across the pages, when nothing happens for really long periods and all you read about is people making food and cleaning their homes. Other than that – so many things went absolutely unexpected! I love when I can’t predict a book. It’s a rare thing, trust me.

Categories: Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you love the crazies!

This ain’t no joke. My friends are either crazy or extra-interesting people and day after day I keep thinking how lucky I am to have them in my life. There’s always a person I can write to at 3am a text and get a reply to it. There’s always a person who’ll spare me a kind word if I share my silly future plans. There’s always a person who will make and create something beautiful and fantastic and make sure I won’t miss it. There are people who ask me the oddest things and have me try my skill limits at the craziest stuff. Like, yesterday I drew a morse on a horse. A year ago, or maybe two, I made miniature piglets for earrings. I cut up DVD disks, severed barbie hands sewed naughty parts onto teddy bears and so on. Other’s pull me into different things that help my mind, not only my crafting skills. One fairly new friend gave me her copy of German “Bartimaeus: Amulet of Samarkand” book (Jonathan Stroud Bartimaeus sequence, I have all four, but when offered I agreed to take the german one because I really like the language and it was the first foreign one that I learned, so it’ll be great to remember it and re-use it), the other, old friend, gave me a poem book with translation and original (old French) side by side, for I expressed my will to learn that language too (too many Dracula’s musicales, people. I love your love for him). Then the other one who is a cousin beside a friend, made sure I get a spot in these cheap school-trips their teacher organised for their class (teacher knew me, so she agreed gladly), so I saw Germany (Berlin, Potsdam), Estonia (Tallinn), Latvia (Riga+) and Sweden (Stockholm). And each one of these people got something about them. Some are smart beyond measure. Some are creative beyond measure. Some make movies, other’s make costumes, and you can do nothing but marvel at both. Some are able to learn a new crafting technique and make jewelry within night, worth all the praise. Some sleep few hours a day and work non stop all the other time for reasons not even they know. The only question there is – why am I in their world? I got some skill, I got some talent and some brain. But not enough of either. It’s why I say they must be crazy, but hell, I love each one of them.

So on this high note, lets go on and see how past few days went for me, shall we? Let’s start with the oldest. I experiment with techniques for crafting, for I want every piece I make to be different and as unique as it can be without being just trash. So I cut up DVD’s after I was reminded they’re made of two thinner layers stuck together, unlike one-fat-layer CD’s are. I cut the edge, stick a blade in it and rip one piece off. Put a ruler on it and cut, cut, cut. If you’re lucky, after you severed the beautiful-covered DVD in half, you will have transparent side and the pretty side. If you’re less lucky, you’ll have pretty side and one side with residue of the shiny bits.

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Broke my bodkin when piercing holes into promotional BioShock: Infinite DVD (demo) earrings…

And then I went on making other stuff. When the Muse hits me – it lasts long enough for me to burn for a couple of days and make several decent and good items or at least learn something new about making them. So what I did was: A pair of earrings carved into a book. Pretty much, I cut a slice of a book off, made back out of the cover, frame out of pages. Put a skull picture inside and covered it all in thick layer of enamel. It doesn’t look so good, I guess, but it’s different and I was quite happy in the making of it.

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  The other thing I made was a fail at first. I printed four pictures of skulls for this second work, cut it into a triangle and glued it on a piece of cardboard. I thought, wow, I’m so clever, this’ll be hard enough surface for paper! Then I thought… No, no it won’t. If some girl (or a boy, no discrimination here) puts those earrings into jewelry box – they’ll be crushed, they will bend and in the end – they’ll be ripped as any paper or light cardboard gets. At first I thought I’ll throw it out and just make new ones and glue them on plastic (and I will make such once I get back into the mood of making, plus I need a few more items for it now, as I ran out), but figured, if I intend to throw them out, why not learn on them and experiment? So I did. I took a knife, heated it up and dipped into dry enamel and spread it like butter in uneven chunks onto the triangles on both sides. All well and good – hard and shiny. Thing is – edges began looking dirty and uneven. So I dug into the stash of supplies from old home renovation and find some wallpaper which says “you can wash it with water“. In other words – waterproof (or hydrophobic, if you so wish) paper. I cut off even slices and put it onto the triangle edges. I think the final turn out looks decent if not real good. Not too bad, not too bad.

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  The third full piece is the previously mentioned DVD earrings.  They’re made out of a promotional DVD one gets with PC Gamer magazine, it contains the game demo and/or promotional trailer. Pretty much, what you do is you cut the edge of it, for if you look closely – it has some kind of melted residue on it, you need to scrape it off. Then you stick the blade in between, which is a hard task – guard your fingers or wear thick, real thick gloves, and then without pulling it out – drag it around whole DVD. Then carefully rip it apart. If you’re lucky – you will have a clear side you can use for something else and whole shiny stuff will be on the part which you will cut up for the picture on it. If you’re less lucky – there’ll be residue on the clear part and you might not be able to use that then. All in the limits of your own imagination. After you done all that, you drop the fattest ruler you own and use same blade (I expect it’s either a scalpel or a box opener) to cut it. No pressure, make long, firm slices across where you want to cut over and over and over until you cut into your cutting board. I hope you have one, coz table will not like the crafting you do. The further process is up to you. I put plastic wallpaper on the back – it’s soft and squishy and green. Then covered edges with copper dye and clear acrylic paints to hold it all down. Then I pierced the holes, put through a gold colored little hoop and the hooks. Done. And I think they look beautiful.

Bioshock_Infinite_earrings_Soukyan_JRV

  From the creative field I can show you one small piece too. It’s an elven shaman, you’ll see her story in my DeviantArt page someday. She’s a friend of Dyaebl, who has two stories in my dA (first; second) already. It’s a very small picture, I avoid making such, even tho I find it a lot easier. But the interesting thing is not the size but the way it progressed. If you look closely, it seems it all started out so innocently and look what came out of it all. The picture in her BG is the village my father grew up in, by the way.

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  Now the other things. A month ago I ordered three items from one Etsy store, called Finding Supply and yesterday I finally received it. It was a free shipping, so it’s normal for it to take a month to get here. Must say, I am very happy about everything it contained. First of all, the envelope was MAYBE re-used, I don’t know, eitherway, I was glued with extra glue which held everything really, really firm and I approve to cautious shipping. Second – every item is packed firmly in the most compact size zip-bags, no excess air, no tangly edges. Packs were brand new (some people I bought from definitely re-use those bags), sturdy and well zipped. And thirdly – the items are great in quality and really cheap. Lets hope I can make lots of nice things out of it all.  Crafting_supplies Crafting_supplies_2

  And let me show you my Bartimaeus too. German language never looked as beautiful as when Bartimaeus describes his first summoning by Nathaniel. I’ve read it in Lithuanian, listened to audio book in English (I recommend it a lot, by the way) and now I can re-read it in German. No, there’s never too much of Bart. Ever.

German_Bartimaeus

  And just to finish it nice, another picture, okay? Last collage, so to say. First on top is my new experiment – the Slave of Kirkwall from Dragon Age 2, I am a great fan of Dragon Age series, comics, books, games. Second picture on top is another experiment, it’s a bow bent four times in length and four times in width and pushed through the loops of itselfs. Strengthened with sems there and here and metal studs. At the bottom, first picture is same studs used to mark which hoodie is mine (coz there’s two same in my home and one ain’t mine), it’s an Assassin’s Creed (not Masons) symbol (tho they’re quite same). The thingy beside it is a bat made out of green note paper. Just so. Now, on far edge, three pictures, first (top) is a picture of how books hang over my head there and here, for I got no room to put it elsewhere and do trust me, there’s just no way to put them less ominously. Below are some Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag logo’s I intend to use up. What for? You’ll see. One item is already on my dA, it’s a pendant for a courtesan. And the bottom is my bane. Either no one’s there to make me tea, or no one’s simply making me tea, or there’s a cup after a cup after a cup. And I randomly drink from all of them. Yep.

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Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Creations, games | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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