Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: Afterworlds.

Despite enjoying Westerfeld's previous works, and the fact that he was giving a talk/book signing at the bookstore only a mile away from my house, I wasn't planning on reading this book at first (or going to the signing since I already saw him give one a few years ago). But the end of the year rolled around and I wanted to read a few more books that had come out in 2014 and, well, it wasn't going to be the worst thing I had read all year and honestly the promise that something will probably be good is enough to get me reading a story anytime (just look at my recent track record with manga reviews over on OASG, oy vey).

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Webcomic Review: The End

As I mentioned in my State of the Blog, I'm going to make an effort to talk about more webcomics including ones I reviewed several years back since my writing has gotten stronger since then. I read quite a few webcomics these days (it's probably around 80 total but closer to 60 of them are currently updating regularly/on hiatus with regular author check-ins) and when considering which ones to review I'm looking for comics that are in a specific stage of their story. Many of the comics I read are at least partially action oriented so I think of them as having a slightly different break-down than the one I was taught in school; an introduction, explanation period, rise to and then climax (I include any mini-climaxes in this big section), and then a falling down to the closure. The End is a good example of why I think of the introduction and the explanation parts of the story as separate ones, The End has a large cast with many factions and while there are some explanations given in the very beginning (to both the characters and the readers), the story really needs all of the important players to have been introduced before it can start explaining why there are conflicts and letting the cast start reacting to them.

So expect most of the comics I choose to review to be in a similar place, still early on in the story but not in the beginning anymore. There are a few comics I would like to review that are more in that climax stage which makes it tricker (since whatever I say can be completely changed within a few pages) but I don't plan to let a conquerable problem like that keep me from telling others just how great these works are.

The End by Ran and Cory Brown

Anime Review: When Supernatural Battle Became Commonplace

Sorry for the delay on this one folks, I've been busy although the missing book review from last week wasn't because I was busy, it was because I sat down and realized I just had nothing to say on the book. That's always a problem here, sometimes I just read something all the day through, find it passable, but just have nothing to say about it. I've also been reading quite a bit of middle grade recently and I'm still debating if I want to review that here as well since again, shorter books, less to talk about and these reviews are already pretty short.

Thankfully that's not my worry here tonight, this show wasn't on my radar as the fall season began but after I saw quite a few people talking about how great the new Studio Trigger show was (no one could decide on a nickname for a few weeks, even the licensors it seemed, many people seem to have adopted "Inou Battle") I gave it a shot and what do you know, it's actually a pretty fun light novel adaptation!

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Radio Drama Review: Good Omens

Since I enjoyed the radio drama adaptation of Neverwhere a couple of years back I was rather interested to hear that the BBC would be adapting another of Neil Gaiman's works, this time one co-written with Terry Prachett (I have somehow managed to read only one other of both of their works which is almost remarkable by now). Since Good Omens was already on my to-read list I decided last August to go ahead and read it anyway and then, when I could still remember most of the book but not the finer details, listen to the Christmas-timed broadcast, although I ended up so behind that I didn't get to the broadcast until well after the new year....

Good Omens

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Anime 2015 Round-UP

Sorry for the delay here guys, more headaches and a very stubborn wig to detangle but that's a story for another place. So it's time to start another season of anime, here I was thinking "oh it's winter and barely anything looks interesting, good that will give me a chance to catch up on my backlog!" and nope, there are too many shows again! It's also the first season in at least a year where I potentially have a show to watch every single day, even if I do sign up for crunchyroll and Funimation memberships (since they're now back in my budget range) trying to watch everything for APR each week is going to be murder.....

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Earth Star

Well I certainly fell off my schedule this week, I wish I could say that next week is going to be better but I'm not sure. Well, in one way it will, I realized that part of the reason I was so tired and unmotivated to write my reviews was because I had had so much free time at work lately that I was literally writing them all up in my head two or three times before I had a chance to start typing which, especially when it comes to my 1-2k write-ups, explains why I felt so exhausted. That's not the case anymore which would help but on the other hand, my computer is slowing down more and more by the week which isn't helping here, it literally took me a quarter of an hour just to open up blogger so I could write this intro. Thankfully I already had this review prewritten because trying to write in bits and spurts and waiting for the computer is even more difficult than it sounds.

Earth Star by Janet Edwards 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Webcomic Review: Take-Off!

Sorry for the delay here guys, between the fact that my Pyscho Pass 2 review ended up being nearly 2000 words (oy vey) and that I needed to start writing up my winter 2015 anime post (with nearly 10 shows) this one got neglected more than I should have. And really I should have had this post up months ago, this comic and The Littlest Elle both wrapped up around the same time which was back when I was debating about changing my webcomic reviewing format and I dithered. When I finally did decide that yes, I should do a proper write-up on both of these concluded series I realized that I wanted to push this one back a little bit until Carter's new comic had also started up so I could mention that as well. That webcomic, God Slave, launched in early December and now has enough pages that I can safely recommend it as well but I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to talk about races and mythical creatures first before I mention the crazy world of Egyptian mythology.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Anime Review: Psycho-Pass 2

There's no reason to make this introduction overly long, I put this show on my ANIME I DISLIKED: 2014 EDITION list before it had fully finished airing and now that I've had a chance to finish the show I can say that it fully deserved being on that list. Since I am discussing a sequel, there will be quite a few references and spoilers to the first season of the show; this is not a review to read if you're considering starting the series, this is a review to convince you not to watch this season and to explain the many many things that went wrong in it. And on that note, there will be some rather large spoilers for this season as well, I just don't feel like I can adequately explain the sheer stupidity here without laying it out exactly as it happens.

Psycho-Pass 2

Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: Ascendant

Like Rampart, I remember hearing some good buzz about this book in the YA community when it came out and this time I remembered that I had even read a short story set in this world in the anthology Zombies vs Unicorns. I think I even have a review of it here (it's probably terrible) but I remember that despite being unfamiliar with her mythos I rather liked it, out of the whole anthology I seem to recall I only liked a few stories and they were all unicorn stories oddly enough. I believe she has other short stories in this world too, I should look that up since with no publishing date for the third book yet I'll want something to keep these stories fresh in my mind.

Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Movie Review: Letter to Momo

I went in completely blind for this film, I knew nothing about the premise other than it was a family film, wasn't familiar with the director, and I thought I had a friend who really liked the movie but even that wasn't true! It's unusual for me to go that blind into a film or anime these days, even more obscure titles I tend to watch because someone specifically recommended it, and it can be fun to go into something completely blind if it turns out good!

Letter to Momo

Monday, January 5, 2015

Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (television series, part one)

Despite the fact that I enjoyed Fate/Zero when I watched it a few years back, this series wasn't on my to-watch list when the fall season started since I had heard that the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel is, well, kind of terrible. And the F/SN VN is a little weird, while all three routes (Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heavens Feel) are canon, Heavens Feel is the "most canon" so why watch something that wasn't going to matter as much in the long run? Plus, they did already make a movie about this route a few years ago and it sounded like that was an alright adaptation, why should I check out this one instead? But then, all of the people on my feed who had played the VN, who had said it was terrible, said that this adaptation was really cutting out sexist dialogue and other less-than-savory moments and turning it into a better story. And after seeing so much good buzz for it I was interested in it again, funny enough I think that's also exactly how I ended up watching F/Z in the first place....

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (television series, fall 2014)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review: Mortal Heart

I ALMOST saw Robin LaFevers last year when she was on her Mortal Heart tour but sadly her talk was the same night, same time as another talk I had already signed up to go to in another part of the city so I wasn't able to. I expect the world to better arrange itself to fit my social schedule in 2015 although for some reason I don't think that is going to happen...

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Anime Review: Mushi-shi: The Next Passage (part two)

Happy New Year guys, may my posts be much more timely this year! Although I could have put up this review on Monday, if I wanted to forgo watching the last Mushi-shi episode. As everyone knows by now, Crunchyroll has been having some trouble lately, recently they announced they were the victim of a DDoS attack and I suspect that's why both their website and apps have been giving everyone trouble for about a month now. There have been a few days where I haven't been able to get my phone's app to work at all during work and that's the only time I have for watching anime and since Mushi-shi has been so consistently great I did consider just writing up this review and amending it after I saw the last episode. But that didn't sit right with me and it did end on one of it's best episodes, fingers crossed that I also find more time for anime watching in this new year as well!

Mushi-shi: The Next Passage (part two)