Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kindle 3

Hey guys back in August Amazon released their newest model of their e-reader, the Kindle 3.  I was fortunate enough to get one of these shortly after their release and I just thought I'd tell you guys just how much I've been loving it.
This thing has just been amazing.  I have literally no complaints about it after two months.  The screen is great - easy to read and no glare in the sun.  The battery life is unbelievable - I just charged my kindle for the first time last week.  And best of all, owning my kindle grants me access to so many free books through the Kindle store - most of the books I've gotten for free from the Kindle store I never would have read, but have ended up enjoying.

If you've been thinking about getting an e-reader, or upgrading yours you should really check out the kindle 3; easily worth the $139.

p.s. Been kinda busy lately so I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like to, but I am fortunate enough to have Wednesday off from work so will try to sit down and read through Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm (though I tend to have bad luck when I plan things on my days off <.<)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A.D. 999

As promised back in my preview of Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, I plan on reviewing a few of Christie Golden's books before the release.  The first of which I thought I would cover is, what Golden believes, to be her best work: A.D. 999.
After looking at this picture you're probably thinking to yourself, "Hey, I thought you were reviewing Golden's works!"  Well the truth is, Jardrien Bell is one of Golden's pen names used to attract a different audience to her writing.

A.D. 999 is an apocalyptic fantasy in which the prophecy foretold in the book of Revelations has come to fruition.  Satan's plans to dominate the Earth are at hand in the novel and it falls to two unlikely heroes, a crippled monk and a midwife, to save humanity.  These heroes, however, have been blessed by God with abilities that could be enough to save the world from its encroaching doom.

This is an excellent read; weaving the plot with both medieval history and bible prophecies makes for a very authentic world and engages the reader.  Golden does an absolutely wonderful job of making you care for the characters and will leave you wanting more.  The book has gained high critical acclaim over the years and even won the Colorado Author's League Top Hat Award for best genre novel in 1999.

tl;dr: A must read, go check it out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tides of Darkness

Tides of Darkness, by Aaron Rosenberg, follows the events of the second war.  Basically a novelized version of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, this books shift perspective from the two sides of the conflict.

The Orcish Horde, now led by Orgrim Doomhammer, seeks to seize all of Azeroth in hopes of returning its people to a life of honor and prosperity.  The native inhabitants of Azeroth, however, will not roll over without a fight.  After the fall of Stormwind, Anduin Lothar, former champion of Stormwind, seeks the aid Lorderon and the other human nations - out of necessity, the human nations forge an alliance for the very survival of their race.

As the two forces vie for dominance, other native races become engaged in the conflict. After receiving aid from the Horde, Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear trolls, allies himself with the Doomhammer, lending their might to the already imposing force.  Meanwhile, the dwarves and elves soon ally themselves with the human alliance as it soon becomes apparent that their survival hinges on the defeat of the Horde.

Tides of Darkness follows the events of The Last Guardian and Rise of the Horde, if you're interested in this book I suggest you check out those first, both of which are great reads and will add to your enjoyment of the story.  This is a fairly quick read, and worth the time if you're a fan of the Warcraft universe.  If not, however, I doubt you'll find it too compelling. Rosenberg does a good job of setting the events of Warcraft II to literature, but it feels as if he was aiming for younger audience with the book, which consequently, alienated me a bit from the story.

tl;dr decent book, check out if you love Warcraft - if not, pass.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Blog

Hey guys if you haven't already noticed I just thought I'd let you know that I've started a new blog here.  This blog has steadily been turning into a book blog so I've decided to focus it on books and reading and have a separate blog for...well, everything else.  Hope you check it out.

Also, been busy reading an awesome new book and should have a review up soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo

Chances are you've already heard of The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, and for good reason too.  Written by Steig Larsson, this is one of the best books I've ever come across.

The book follows Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who has fallen on hard times after being framed for libel, as he sets out on a mission to solve a forty year old cold-case of a missing girl.  With the aid of a young, misunderstood genius, who holds a few authority issues: Lisbeth Salander, Blomkvist turns over stone after stone seeking answers in this fast-paced thriller where nothing is as it seems.

I'm usually not a fan of thriller books, but I absolutely loved this thriller.  Breaking the cliches and often tired plot lines of most books in this genre, Larsson defines just what a great book can be.  This is the first book in a three part series by Larsson; and while I haven't read the others yet (plan on doing so soon^^), if they're anywhere close to as good as this book, they'll be well worth a read.

tl;dr Awesome book, check it out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Release Reminder: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm

Hey guys for you Warcraft fans I just thought I'd remind you that in just under two weeks, on October 19, the next Warcraft book is coming out: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, by Christie Golden.

Here is a preview of the book, taken from Golden's website: "Long ago, Azeroth's destructive native elements raged across the world until the benevolent titans imprisoned them within the Elemental Plane.  Despite the titan's intervention, many elementals have ended up back on Azeroth.  Over the ages, shaman like Thrall have communed with these spirits and, through patience and dedication, learned to soothe roaring infernos, bring rain to sun-scorched lands, and otherwise temper the elements' ruinous influence on the world of Azeroth.  Now Thrall has discovered that the elements no longer heed the shaman's call.  The link shared with those spirits has grown thin and frayed, as if Azeroth itself was under great duress.  While Thrall seeks answers to what ails the confused elements, he also wrestles with the orcs' precarious future as his people face dwindling supplies and growing hostility with their night elf neighbors.  Meanwhile, King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind is considering violent action in response to mounting tensions between the Alliance and the Horde, a hard-line approach that threatens to alienate those closest to him, including his son, Anduin.  The conflicted young prince has set out to find his own path, but in doing so, he risks becoming entangled in political instability that is setting the world on edge.  The fate of Azeroth's great races is shrouded in a fog of uncertainty, and the erratic behavior of the elemental spirits, troubling though it is, may only be the first ominous sign of the cataclysm to come."

I can't wait for this to come out and have it pre-ordered.  I plan on reading this and getting a review up asap(hopefully I have Wednesday off to sit down and read it :) ) until then, I plan on reviewing a few other of Golden's works after I finish what I'm currently reading, so you can expect to see those up shortly.

Christie Golden is a New York Times bestselling author and has written other Warcraft books such as Rise of the Horde, Lord of the Clans, and Arthas: Rise of the Lich king, as well as, a few original fantasy novels and short stories, several Star Trek novels, and even the StarCraft Dark Templar trilogy.  You can learn more about Golden and her works at her website here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Batman Beyond to Return in January

Just thought I'd share some quick news: Batman Beyond is going from mini to ongoing starting with a new release this January.  Using the same creative team this is sure to be good - I absolutely love Batman Beyond.  You can check out the full story here.


When I first heard about Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak, I was very excited.  Longtime lore-junkie of the Warcraft universe, I couldn't wait to see what had become of Malfurion and get some answers to long held questions.

With that said, my excitement soon turned to disappointment while reading this book. Stormrage tells of Azeroth's struggle against the Emerald Nightmare, an area of corruption within the Emerald Dream, which has steadily been growing over centuries and will soon consume the entirety of the Emerald Dream and Azeroth itself.  Behind the Emerald Nightmare, a Nightmare Lord stands, spreading its taint upon all that it can, even to the mightiest druid Azeroth has ever know, Malfurion Stormrage.

After being trapped by the Nightmare Lord in the Emerald Nightmare for years, Tyrande Whisperwind has taken it upon herself to find out just what has happened to her love. Accompanied by Broll Bearmantle, a mighty druid, Tyrande must enter the Emerald Dream to seek Malfurion and find a way to free him from his imprisonment.  Upon entering the dream, Tyrande soon learns of the chaos that has ensued in this realm and finds that a war lead by the green dragonflight is underway against the Nightmare Lord.  With the help of the green dragonflight and a few unlikely companions gained along the way, Tyrande is able to free her love; however, Yesera, leader of the green dragonflight, is captured by the Nightmare Lord, empowering him like never before.

In the wake of this newfound power, Malfurion must realize his own true power and lead Azeroth's inhabitants against this mighty threat, lest all of Azeroth will fall.

While fans of the Warcraft Universe might enjoy this book, most will not.  I, being a huge far of Warcraft, found myself just wanting this book to end, but forced myself through it. Unlike most of the Warcraft books, this one was painfully long.  Where I thought this book failed the most though, was that the book felt like it was written just to tie some loose ends for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.  Every other Warcraft book I've read so far felt like it truly was written as the backbone for the games, this book, however, felt dependent on World of Warcraft.  If you were to change the names and setting of this book, I doubt anyone would give it so much as a second glance.

tl;dr crappy book, avoid unless you're a huge Warcraft fan (even then, I would suggest just spoiling yourself instead)

Monday, October 4, 2010

When They Cry

From time to time I enjoy a good anime series.  I tend to get obsessed with a different one every few months and spend waaaaay too much time in front of my computer watching it like the Otaku I am.  Lately I've had bad luck in finding a new series to occupy my obsession so I decided to revisit what is probably my favorite anime series, When They Cry (Higurashi no Naku ni).

When They Cry is murder mystery series following Maebara Keiichi after having moved to the small town of Hinamizawa.  As Maebara adjusts to his new life in Hinamizawa, he soon comes to find a close group of friends and everything seems well; that is until he comes upon news of a Murder in Hinamizawa.  From that point on, disturbing, and often horrific, events begin to happen all around Maebara.  Even worse, things start to lead Maebara to discovering that his friends might not be all that they seem to be.

The story is repeated throughout the series with different scenarios / developments that makes it quite unique.  I've never encountered something like this before and it works. This series is quite horrific and disturbing, and doesn't pull the punches when it comes to the shock, blood, and beauty of it all.  The first four episodes is one of the best experiences I've ever had with an anime.  You owe it to yourself to at least watch those.

You can find links to season 1 here and season 2 here.

tl;dr Awesome anime - check out the first four episodes, you'll want more.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Last Guardian

Continuing with my coverage the the Warcraft series of books I'll be talking about one of, from what I believe to be, the more intriguing Warcraft books: The Last Guardian, by Jeff Grubb.

The Last Guardian follows a young mage, Khadgar, as he begins his apprenticeship to the most powerful magus in all of Azeroth, Medivh.  Khadgar soon finds himself well in over his head as he tries to adjust to his new life in Medivh's tower.

As Khadgar continues his tutelage under Medivh, he comes to know the truth about Medivh and why he is so powerful.  Guardian of the Tirisfalen, Medivh is a mortal champion empowered by an ancient council to wage a secret war upon the Burning Legion and demons wherever they may arise in Azeroth.  While this truth behind Medivh is unbelievable, Khadgar soon comes upon an even more unbelievable truth about the Magus: an unsettling truth that will shape the future of Azeroth.

This book, unlike the majority of the Warcraft books, focuses more on back story than it does war; while this may turn off some of the fans of the Warcraft series, I found it to be very enjoyable and a great addition to the series.  The book is a quick read and is quite the fan service to veterans of the Warcraft games, giving additional insight into the story of Khadgar and Medivh, yet accommodating to newcomers of the Warcraft universe at the same time.  I highly recommend this book to anyone.

tl;dr: Awesome book, check it out

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Dangerous Dimension

Tonight I found myself with some free time and decided to sit down with some books I've had for awhile, but never got around to reading.  Of those books was a short story, The Dangerous Dimension, by L. Ron Hubbard.

I was skeptical when I started reading this.  After hearing so much of the Scientology hoopla over the years I dismissed Hubbard as a crazy man and thought I would have no interest in his works, however, I was wrong.  I absolutely loved this short story, and I can't wait to check out more of Hubbard's works.

This story follows a professor, Henry Mudge, who discovers an unbelievable equation which allows himself to teleport himself anywhere in the Universe.  Mudge, however, cannot control his new ability and must work to fine tune his equation before he ends up teleporting himself into a situation which he cannot escape.

This is a very short read; if you find yourself with a spare moment I hope you check this story out, you won't regret it.

tl;dr good quick read, check it out.