slyprentice: (Default)
...I wish this was real so badly. I would watch the hell out of it.


Tags:
slyprentice: (Default)
...I wish this was real so badly. I would watch the hell out of it.


Tags:

Bleh

16/4/12 18:51
slyprentice: (Default)
I really hate stomach bugs. Been down with one since Friday and am still feeling queasy off and on. If you PMed me I'll get back to you as soon as I don't feel like falling over.

Bleh

16/4/12 18:51
slyprentice: (Default)
I really hate stomach bugs. Been down with one since Friday and am still feeling queasy off and on. If you PMed me I'll get back to you as soon as I don't feel like falling over.
slyprentice: (the_closer)
Does anyone know if there's a feature on Archive of Our Own that allows you to know when a fic has been updated? Other than manually checking, that is? I rarely sign into my account there and am terrible about bookmarking so it'd be extremely useful for keeping track of fics I'm enjoying it. 
Tags:
slyprentice: (the_closer)
Does anyone know if there's a feature on Archive of Our Own that allows you to know when a fic has been updated? Other than manually checking, that is? I rarely sign into my account there and am terrible about bookmarking so it'd be extremely useful for keeping track of fics I'm enjoying it. 
Tags:
slyprentice: (Default)
I've been sitting on this review for a while now because I've been conflicted about what to say about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed what it had to offer and the premise for the entire series  was really intriguing. On the other hand, I really felt like the author missed the chance to create something spectacular with the plot and the characters. But first, a blurb for those of you who haven't read this book:
Can a desperate wizard and a bitter, disillusioned vampire find a way to build the partnership that could save their world?

In a world rocked by magical war, vampires are seen by many as less than human, as the stereotypical creatures of the night who prey on others. But as the war intensifies, the wizards know they need an advantage to turn the tide in their favor: the strength and edge the vampires can give them in the battle against the dark wizards who seek to destroy life as they know it.

In a dangerous move and show of good will, the wizards ask the leader of the vampires to meet with them, so that they might plead their cause. One desperate man, Alain Magnier, and one bitter, disillusioned vampire, Orlando St. Clair, meet in Paris, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their decision: Will the vampires join the cause and form a partnership with the wizards to win the war?

--Alliance in Blood by Ariel Tachna, Book 1 the Partnership in Blood series, Dreamspinner Press


It sounds full of potential, right? I thought so. I also thought it sounded right up my alley: vampires and light wizards forging an alliance to fight back against the dark wizards they're currently in a war with? That sounds awesome!

And it was. Kind of. A little bit. 

All right, it wasn't awesome. It was more in the 'this is good' category of reading rather than awesome, but in all fairness to the author (who does have a knack for writing a good story), it was the first book in a series and sometimes that can be the weakest one. Especially with the amount of set-up involved in establishing the who, what, where, when, and why of a series. Which the author did and didn't do here.

For example: we know right from the start of this book that light and dark wizards are waging war against each other; we know that in desperation the light wizards are trying to forge an alliance with the vampires to try to turn the tide in the war; we know that Alain, one of the main characters and a light wizard, is willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. What we don't know and never learn is why they're having the war in the first place!

And that drove me absolutely crazy. I wanted to know why the dark and light wizards were fighting, even if it was for a generic reason like the dark wizards wanted more power and control over Paris (or the world). I wanted to know why this alliance was going to be so important but we never really found out because its importance was kind of swept under the rug so the main characters could fall in love or lust or whatever it was they were doing. 

Speaking of the main characters: Alain and Orlando (the vampire) were both an equal mix of good character potential and wasted character potential. A few quick examples of this:

Alain, we learn, lost his wife and young son in one of the first attacks of the war. This, far from hardening his heart, has turned him into a calm and competent wizard who will do whatever it takes to win. But, for whatever reason, the loss was (again) swept under the rug and regulated to being a small and short aside to Alain's character, and I have to ask...why? That's the kind of stuff that defines a character and is not tossed aside like it's just ancient history (it's not). 

Orlando, too, had the same issue: we learn relatively quickly in the story that the vampire who changed Orlando was a brutal and sadistic maker, who physically and emotionally tormented Orlando for his own sick pleasure. But, apparently, Orlando's distrust of others (which could have been a very lovely and angst-ridden plot point between the two characters) just wasn't what I thought it would be. Instead of him being a tough nut to crack, he was easily hurt (I could buy that, I guess) and a little bit -- whiny isn't the right word but I have no other one to give you in context to him. He was just too soft a character for me in relation to his past and while that's not a failing, it still felt like wasted potential. 

All of that said, I don't want it to seem like I didn't enjoy the book. I did quite a bit once I dropped my expectations (which I admit I should have done right from the start) and just let it be what it was: a straightforward wizard meets vampire and they have a magical bond (in blood) together. Which, really, could be the plot of any number of fan fictions out there these days but who says that's a bad things?

Length: 236 pages.
*My Rating: B-
Book Challenge 2012: #3
Next Book: Wes and Toren by J.M.C. 

*I've changed my rating system so I can have more flexibility when rating because this one was so darn hard to "grade" and I thought it would be more straightforward if I just labeled it this way. 

slyprentice: (Default)
I've been sitting on this review for a while now because I've been conflicted about what to say about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed what it had to offer and the premise for the entire series  was really intriguing. On the other hand, I really felt like the author missed the chance to create something spectacular with the plot and the characters. But first, a blurb for those of you who haven't read this book:
Can a desperate wizard and a bitter, disillusioned vampire find a way to build the partnership that could save their world?

In a world rocked by magical war, vampires are seen by many as less than human, as the stereotypical creatures of the night who prey on others. But as the war intensifies, the wizards know they need an advantage to turn the tide in their favor: the strength and edge the vampires can give them in the battle against the dark wizards who seek to destroy life as they know it.

In a dangerous move and show of good will, the wizards ask the leader of the vampires to meet with them, so that they might plead their cause. One desperate man, Alain Magnier, and one bitter, disillusioned vampire, Orlando St. Clair, meet in Paris, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their decision: Will the vampires join the cause and form a partnership with the wizards to win the war?

--Alliance in Blood by Ariel Tachna, Book 1 the Partnership in Blood series, Dreamspinner Press


It sounds full of potential, right? I thought so. I also thought it sounded right up my alley: vampires and light wizards forging an alliance to fight back against the dark wizards they're currently in a war with? That sounds awesome!

And it was. Kind of. A little bit. 

All right, it wasn't awesome. It was more in the 'this is good' category of reading rather than awesome, but in all fairness to the author (who does have a knack for writing a good story), it was the first book in a series and sometimes that can be the weakest one. Especially with the amount of set-up involved in establishing the who, what, where, when, and why of a series. Which the author did and didn't do here.

For example: we know right from the start of this book that light and dark wizards are waging war against each other; we know that in desperation the light wizards are trying to forge an alliance with the vampires to try to turn the tide in the war; we know that Alain, one of the main characters and a light wizard, is willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. What we don't know and never learn is why they're having the war in the first place!

And that drove me absolutely crazy. I wanted to know why the dark and light wizards were fighting, even if it was for a generic reason like the dark wizards wanted more power and control over Paris (or the world). I wanted to know why this alliance was going to be so important but we never really found out because its importance was kind of swept under the rug so the main characters could fall in love or lust or whatever it was they were doing. 

Speaking of the main characters: Alain and Orlando (the vampire) were both an equal mix of good character potential and wasted character potential. A few quick examples of this:

Alain, we learn, lost his wife and young son in one of the first attacks of the war. This, far from hardening his heart, has turned him into a calm and competent wizard who will do whatever it takes to win. But, for whatever reason, the loss was (again) swept under the rug and regulated to being a small and short aside to Alain's character, and I have to ask...why? That's the kind of stuff that defines a character and is not tossed aside like it's just ancient history (it's not). 

Orlando, too, had the same issue: we learn relatively quickly in the story that the vampire who changed Orlando was a brutal and sadistic maker, who physically and emotionally tormented Orlando for his own sick pleasure. But, apparently, Orlando's distrust of others (which could have been a very lovely and angst-ridden plot point between the two characters) just wasn't what I thought it would be. Instead of him being a tough nut to crack, he was easily hurt (I could buy that, I guess) and a little bit -- whiny isn't the right word but I have no other one to give you in context to him. He was just too soft a character for me in relation to his past and while that's not a failing, it still felt like wasted potential. 

All of that said, I don't want it to seem like I didn't enjoy the book. I did quite a bit once I dropped my expectations (which I admit I should have done right from the start) and just let it be what it was: a straightforward wizard meets vampire and they have a magical bond (in blood) together. Which, really, could be the plot of any number of fan fictions out there these days but who says that's a bad things?

Length: 236 pages.
*My Rating: B-
Book Challenge 2012: #3
Next Book: Wes and Toren by J.M.C. 

*I've changed my rating system so I can have more flexibility when rating because this one was so darn hard to "grade" and I thought it would be more straightforward if I just labeled it this way. 

slyprentice: (Default)
Am re-posting this because...WTH?!:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] awry at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Seriously. WHAT THE FLYING FUCK WORLD.

"File-sharers, beware: By July 12, major US Internet service providers (ISPs) will voluntarily begin serving as copyright police for the entertainment industry, according to Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The so-called “six-strikes” plan is said to be one of the most effective anti-piracy efforts ever established in the US."

The article goes on to give details. After six notices, internet providers will decide to throttle a person's internet speed, or cut it off altogether. I don't know if they will crack down on torrents only, or if it is up to the internet provider. I get the sense it is up to the internet provider. So some people could get away with downloading non torrents, while others might get their internet service cut off. I urge you to click it and read, as we all know people who download.

No more downloading eps of your favorite shows for vidding, gifs, or fanfiction art. No more downloading screencaps possibly. I'm so sorry my friends. I don't even know if BT Guard will work to protect you, but I would google it if I were you. It is a professional service that supposedly can protect you from the invasive eyes of your internet provider.

Just, my friends, please make each other aware. Please be aware of the date JULY 12TH. Mark your calendar and double check with your internet provider by then. If you start receiving notices of downloaded activity, this is why. And your internet service could be throttled or cut off.

Fox News confirms this:
http://anonym.to/?http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/17/us-isps-become-copyright-cops-starting-july-12/

Youtube video explaining this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OG0R-yS-c


ETA: Petition for RIAA and the Obama Administration: Stop ISPs from launching a massive copyright spying scheme this July 12th

Tags:
slyprentice: (Default)
Am re-posting this because...WTH?!:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] awry at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Seriously. WHAT THE FLYING FUCK WORLD.

"File-sharers, beware: By July 12, major US Internet service providers (ISPs) will voluntarily begin serving as copyright police for the entertainment industry, according to Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The so-called “six-strikes” plan is said to be one of the most effective anti-piracy efforts ever established in the US."

The article goes on to give details. After six notices, internet providers will decide to throttle a person's internet speed, or cut it off altogether. I don't know if they will crack down on torrents only, or if it is up to the internet provider. I get the sense it is up to the internet provider. So some people could get away with downloading non torrents, while others might get their internet service cut off. I urge you to click it and read, as we all know people who download.

No more downloading eps of your favorite shows for vidding, gifs, or fanfiction art. No more downloading screencaps possibly. I'm so sorry my friends. I don't even know if BT Guard will work to protect you, but I would google it if I were you. It is a professional service that supposedly can protect you from the invasive eyes of your internet provider.

Just, my friends, please make each other aware. Please be aware of the date JULY 12TH. Mark your calendar and double check with your internet provider by then. If you start receiving notices of downloaded activity, this is why. And your internet service could be throttled or cut off.

Fox News confirms this:
http://anonym.to/?http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/17/us-isps-become-copyright-cops-starting-july-12/

Youtube video explaining this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OG0R-yS-c


ETA: Petition for RIAA and the Obama Administration: Stop ISPs from launching a massive copyright spying scheme this July 12th

Tags:
slyprentice: (Default)
So I just stumbled onto the television show, Suits, and was kind of dismayed that what I thought it was about wasn't at all what it was about. Like, I knew of the show but never watched it but kind of, you know, put together my own version of events. What I thought:

I thought Mike and Harvey were the same person -- I swear that I CANNOT tell apart those two actors at all - and that Harvey was one of Mike's alters (who happened to be a lawyer), and they were trying to balance having Dissociative Identity Disorder with Harvey practicing law and Mike doing his own thing (but also trying to hide the fact that he has an alter because holy hell he doesn't even have a law degree!...and he doesn't want to screw up this cushy job that Harvey has that is suddenly paying the bills, etc.!). 

Yeah...I totally got that one wrong. But now I kind of prefer my version of things. Especially because, in my own personal head-canon, Harvey is protective as hell of Mike and is kind of  like "I'll crush your soul if you mess with him" while Mike is oblivious to just how dangerous his alter truly is.

...God, I really prefer my version. 

*goes to watch more episodes*
slyprentice: (Default)
So I just stumbled onto the television show, Suits, and was kind of dismayed that what I thought it was about wasn't at all what it was about. Like, I knew of the show but never watched it but kind of, you know, put together my own version of events. What I thought:

I thought Mike and Harvey were the same person -- I swear that I CANNOT tell apart those two actors at all - and that Harvey was one of Mike's alters (who happened to be a lawyer), and they were trying to balance having Dissociative Identity Disorder with Harvey practicing law and Mike doing his own thing (but also trying to hide the fact that he has an alter because holy hell he doesn't even have a law degree!...and he doesn't want to screw up this cushy job that Harvey has that is suddenly paying the bills, etc.!). 

Yeah...I totally got that one wrong. But now I kind of prefer my version of things. Especially because, in my own personal head-canon, Harvey is protective as hell of Mike and is kind of  like "I'll crush your soul if you mess with him" while Mike is oblivious to just how dangerous his alter truly is.

...God, I really prefer my version. 

*goes to watch more episodes*
slyprentice: (sampotter)
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.



♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥
 
Tags:
slyprentice: (sampotter)
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.



♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♥
 
Tags:
slyprentice: (hellokittybook)
I want to preface this review by saying that I don't usually review things outside of [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs. I tried for a bit at a now-defunct community run by [livejournal.com profile] jane_elliot but, well, none of us seemed to be able to get our act together enough to keep things going and it went the way of the wind. Also, if it's not fan fic related, I tend to be bollocks at reviewing things (and some, I'm sure, could argue that I'm bollocks at that, too). Luckily enough for me, both of these novels happen to fall into an interesting category: they both used to be fic. 

Or, to put a finer point on it, they used to be part of a Stargate SG-1 series I actually recced and reviewed on [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs before it was taken offline. I no longer have that review, unfortunately, so it won't do me any good now, but the gist of what I said was that I really, really liked the entire series from beginning to end. It was a little bit Indiana Jones, a little bit SG-1, and a whole lot of action/adventure meets romance between Jack and Daniel. 

That was when it was a fan fiction, though. Now that it's an original work, I have a slightly different opinion of the first two novels in this series. But first, for those of you who haven't read either one of the stories incarnations, a blurb:
Ian Grayson's priority is to protect the artifact which could be the answer to all his questions, but he has already been chased across Belize and Mexico by those who would take it from him by any means necessary and he is desperate to find a way to escape from them and get home to Chicago. When he persuades a trucker to give him a ride he has no idea that his life was about to take a whole new direction. When Mackenzie Wallace picks up an unlikely hitch-hiker he soon discovers one should never go by first appearances, Ian Grayson was certainly not what he expected from a Doctor of Archaeology.
--The Hitch Hiker, Book 1 in The Tomcat Line Series,  MLR Press

Could be considered spoilery, I guess )
slyprentice: (hellokittybook)
I want to preface this review by saying that I don't usually review things outside of [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs. I tried for a bit at a now-defunct community run by [livejournal.com profile] jane_elliot but, well, none of us seemed to be able to get our act together enough to keep things going and it went the way of the wind. Also, if it's not fan fic related, I tend to be bollocks at reviewing things (and some, I'm sure, could argue that I'm bollocks at that, too). Luckily enough for me, both of these novels happen to fall into an interesting category: they both used to be fic. 

Or, to put a finer point on it, they used to be part of a Stargate SG-1 series I actually recced and reviewed on [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs before it was taken offline. I no longer have that review, unfortunately, so it won't do me any good now, but the gist of what I said was that I really, really liked the entire series from beginning to end. It was a little bit Indiana Jones, a little bit SG-1, and a whole lot of action/adventure meets romance between Jack and Daniel. 

That was when it was a fan fiction, though. Now that it's an original work, I have a slightly different opinion of the first two novels in this series. But first, for those of you who haven't read either one of the stories incarnations, a blurb:
Ian Grayson's priority is to protect the artifact which could be the answer to all his questions, but he has already been chased across Belize and Mexico by those who would take it from him by any means necessary and he is desperate to find a way to escape from them and get home to Chicago. When he persuades a trucker to give him a ride he has no idea that his life was about to take a whole new direction. When Mackenzie Wallace picks up an unlikely hitch-hiker he soon discovers one should never go by first appearances, Ian Grayson was certainly not what he expected from a Doctor of Archaeology.
--The Hitch Hiker, Book 1 in The Tomcat Line Series,  MLR Press

Could be considered spoilery, I guess )
slyprentice: (readabook)
A few days ago I stumbled upon booksfree.com, a website with a similar principal to Netflix or Blockbuster but for paperback books and/or audiobooks, and I can't begin to say how thrilled I am. My local library has a really poor selection of books to choose from and I'm awful about returning the books on times so the whole "keep as long as you want/need" thing really works for me. I just made my first two "rentals" - somewhat by accident; I didn't realize they'd immediately ship the first two books in your queue *headdesk* - and will see how it goes during my 30-day free trial.

I really hope it works out, though. It's somewhat expensive (for me, anyway; I'm broke) but it'd be worth it in the long run because I spend a small fortune every year on books. If I can cut back by using this service (or swapping books), I'll be pleased as punch. 


On a different note, I had my first DNF (did not finish) of the year and on a popular book to boot: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness. I don't even know for sure why I couldn't finish it and that confuses me. A lot.

At first glance this book seemed like it was right up my alley or at least an alley close to mine and it should have been smooth sailing. But it wasn't. In the first few pages of the book, I found myself struggling to get into it and questioning some of the writing choices. I also found myself annoyed that the author just plopped out the fact that the main character was a witch without any lead in. It was just "so-and-so is a witch with witch-like people around her". My response: "all right, good to know *walks away*".

Perhaps my expectations were too high for this or I experienced that disconnect I sometimes get when I don't have the actual book in my hand (I was reading it on my Kindle Fire) but as a rule, if I struggle with reading something for more than a few pages, I put it aside to read at a different time. I ended up adding it to the bottom of my booksfree queue. Maybe I'll be able to finish it another time.


Lastly: Whitechapel. My good graces this show has absolutely become my newest addiction. I watched Series 2 and 3 this weekend (all I can say is: Kent, my heart aches for you) and then went hunting for fic...and found there's barely any! It's such a shame too because not only is the show lovely but it's choking on its own fic potential. I mean: murder, mayhem, and sexual tension, how can this show stand itself?!

Ah, well. I'll keep holding on and hoping. Or try to find someone to fangirl with. ;) 
slyprentice: (readabook)
A few days ago I stumbled upon booksfree.com, a website with a similar principal to Netflix or Blockbuster but for paperback books and/or audiobooks, and I can't begin to say how thrilled I am. My local library has a really poor selection of books to choose from and I'm awful about returning the books on times so the whole "keep as long as you want/need" thing really works for me. I just made my first two "rentals" - somewhat by accident; I didn't realize they'd immediately ship the first two books in your queue *headdesk* - and will see how it goes during my 30-day free trial.

I really hope it works out, though. It's somewhat expensive (for me, anyway; I'm broke) but it'd be worth it in the long run because I spend a small fortune every year on books. If I can cut back by using this service (or swapping books), I'll be pleased as punch. 


On a different note, I had my first DNF (did not finish) of the year and on a popular book to boot: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness. I don't even know for sure why I couldn't finish it and that confuses me. A lot.

At first glance this book seemed like it was right up my alley or at least an alley close to mine and it should have been smooth sailing. But it wasn't. In the first few pages of the book, I found myself struggling to get into it and questioning some of the writing choices. I also found myself annoyed that the author just plopped out the fact that the main character was a witch without any lead in. It was just "so-and-so is a witch with witch-like people around her". My response: "all right, good to know *walks away*".

Perhaps my expectations were too high for this or I experienced that disconnect I sometimes get when I don't have the actual book in my hand (I was reading it on my Kindle Fire) but as a rule, if I struggle with reading something for more than a few pages, I put it aside to read at a different time. I ended up adding it to the bottom of my booksfree queue. Maybe I'll be able to finish it another time.


Lastly: Whitechapel. My good graces this show has absolutely become my newest addiction. I watched Series 2 and 3 this weekend (all I can say is: Kent, my heart aches for you) and then went hunting for fic...and found there's barely any! It's such a shame too because not only is the show lovely but it's choking on its own fic potential. I mean: murder, mayhem, and sexual tension, how can this show stand itself?!

Ah, well. I'll keep holding on and hoping. Or try to find someone to fangirl with. ;) 
slyprentice: (Default)
I'm looking for a second opinion in regards to reviewing a book from an author who used to write fan fiction: is it poor form to mention that the author used to write fan fiction? Or that the novel that you're reviewing used to be a fic?

The reason I ask is because I just finished the second book in my 100 book challenge - The Lost Temple by Stevie Woods (the second book in the Tomcat series) - and the entire series used to be fic. In fact, other than the names of the characters, nothing much has been changed and I'd like reference that (and a few other things) in my review but then I thought that might be bad form of me.

Any thoughts on this?
slyprentice: (Default)
I'm looking for a second opinion in regards to reviewing a book from an author who used to write fan fiction: is it poor form to mention that the author used to write fan fiction? Or that the novel that you're reviewing used to be a fic?

The reason I ask is because I just finished the second book in my 100 book challenge - The Lost Temple by Stevie Woods (the second book in the Tomcat series) - and the entire series used to be fic. In fact, other than the names of the characters, nothing much has been changed and I'd like reference that (and a few other things) in my review but then I thought that might be bad form of me.

Any thoughts on this?

Profile

slyprentice: (Default)
slyprentice

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112 131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Page generated 27/7/17 20:51

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags