Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Evangelion retouched.png

A mecha anime with some good action scenes and religious overtones, although there are some points where absolutely nothing happens for a significant amount of time (an elevator scene in a later episode comes to mind), and the ending feels somewhat abrupt.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Phoenix Ascension

The Phoenix Ascension

The tenth and thus far latest of author Joe Jackson’s Eve of Redemption series conveniently opens with a list of dramatis personae reminding readers of the identities, species, and whatnot of the multitude of characters that appear in his fantasy series. The story itself opens with protagonist Karian Vanador going over soldier records and facing the difficult decision of whether to rescue Seanada whilst risking the lives of many forces or just leave her to die with no risks taken. In the meanwhile, Master Maelstrom works on making a magical portal bidirectional so that forces from Irrathmor can visit Citaria.  

A romance gradually forms between Kari and her companion Kris, while magical fog envelopes naval forces for a few chapters. King Auremax’s consort further has a brush with death, and the undead serve as adversaries for much of the novel. The indirect siege of Aurun Ch’Gurra also begins, and the elf Yiilu effects a miracle that can transform deserts into rainforests. Traditional giant dragons play various roles throughout the narrative, too, and a battle with the Tempis’ra terminates the events, the relationship between Kari and Kris coming to fruition, with an epilogue written by one of the characters ultimately ending the plotline.

Overall, this was another enjoyable Eve of Redemption story, though as with its predecessors, one can find difficult the need to keep track of the various races, particularly the different breeds of anthro dragons, to which the characters belong, with definitions and descriptions of the appearances of the many personas definitely needed among the list of dramatis personae. Furthermore, while the series as whole is definitely an admirable effort of literature spotlighting animalian heroes and heroines, I wouldn’t mind breaking from it for a long while, and don’t think I could reread them again like I did when further entries appeared.

Year of the Boar Art

King Odin Swinegod
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Play to Live

Book Details:

Book Title: Play to Live: Life Skills and Joy Through the Natural Talent to Play by Brian VanDongen
Category: Self-help/ Inner Child; creativity, 119 pages
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction (18+)
Publisher: BVDPlays
Release date: April 30, 2019
Tour dates: June 17 to July 5, 2019
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Play To Live: Life Skills and Joy Through The Natural Talent To Play by author Brian VanDongen takes you back to your childhood to remind you about what being a child is all about. Playing! We all have those fond childhood memories of growing up playing with our friends in social settings. Developing social skills and learning how to handle friendships and relationships.

What we didn't realize at the time was that those skills we learned for the building blocks which lay the foundation for the rest of our lives. What are our children learning right now? How are they playing now and what part are we playing in how our children interact with the world around them.

For many children, their idea of play and playing now consists of talking to friends online and playing with electronic devices, staying safe indoors, and not venturing further than their own small safe world which we have created.

Inside Play To Live you'll discover:
  • Understanding what it means to play.
  • Where play has gone and what has changed?
  • How playing inside the box promotes the simplicity of play.
  • Why risky play is not the same as dangerous play. Are we too overprotective?
  • That climbing up the slide is just as important as sliding down.
  • Getting muddy outside and rediscovering nature is imperative.
  • That play is serious business and so much more.
Inside Play To Live: Life Skills and Joy Through The Natural Talent To Play you'll read about case studies and reports followed by tips, tricks, and information to help you. If you would like to rediscover what it means to play, then grab a copy of Play To Live right now!

To follow the tour, please visit Brian VanDongen's page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the author:  

Brian is a life-long "parks and rec kid." Now, he is a parks and recreation professional.

Brian has created, designed, and implemented transformational recreational programming for thousands of residents. Through his work as a park and recreation professional, Brian helps people play and find their natural talent to play.

He believes everyone has that talent, but it is sometimes hard to find or even suppressed in today's society. Fortunately, play at its most basic level is easy, fun, healthy, and desirable. That playful talent just needs to be unleashed.

Brian has helped thousands of people find their natural talent to play and become happier and healthier people through the power of play.

Connect with the author: Website ~  Facebook ~  Twitter ~ Instagram

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Gods and Kings


The ninth installment of author Joe Jackson’s Eve of Redemption series opens with a prologue briefly following Se’Lurasjza, an empress and high priest of Ashakku, and Lord of the Green. The main chapters commence with the ship Karmi’s Sword sailing, with protagonist Karian Vanador wishing to open an ancient Temple in hopes of counteracting the ambitions of Curlamanx, who has seized control of Si’Dorra. Once within the Temple, Kari finds the possibility of a deity known as the Great Mother resurrecting her lost husband Grakin and other deceased loved ones, although this is quickly forgotten for the rest of the story.

The Temple is just as quickly resealed after the main characters depart, with another of the protagonists, Leighandra, visiting Mehr’Durillia, which is essentially the underworld, with the revelations that Duke Curlamanx is holding Max’s father in Si’Dorra, where a succubus yearns for Kari’s blood, which holds the key to countering the fatal Dracon’s Bane that had once killed her in a previous life, in addition to her late husband. The archmage’s son Reese also returns home, with the heroes ultimately making it a goal to go to Dauchin-Rache, with The Vandrasse, something of an antagonist, coming in the way of the travelers.

The Isle of Morikk eventually becomes another destination for Kari and company, with their absence allowing rangers from the Khalarin Empire to scout the lands. Playing a minor role is a character nicknamed the Doppelganger, Dynas, whose double is influential enough to hold important posts. The story ends with a battle against legions from the Spearguard of Laeranore and the Aborean Guard, with the ninth book generally being enjoyable, although given the multitude of characters, one can find it a bit difficult to keep track of their various races and appearances, with the various terminology for them only defined after the main text.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Men in Black: International

I miss Will Smith, but it was still okay in its own right, with a few narrative clichés.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Druid of Shannara

The second entry of author Terry Brooks’ Heritage of Shannara tetralogy opens with the Shadowen threatening the Four Lands, and the King of the Silver River suggesting that his daughter Quickening is unready to fulfill her duty. Meanwhile, Walker Boh is injured near the remnants of the Asphinx, although Cogline rescues him and takes him to Storlock. At the same time, Morgan Leah is traveling south to the dwarven community of Culhaven, wishing to warn Granny Elise and Auntie Jilt that they are in danger. Quickening visits the settlement as well, with Pe Ell, having orders to kill her, in pursuit.

Coil Ohmsford is the prisoner of Federation First Seeker Rimmer Dall, who insists that the Shadowen aren’t evil and that he’s trying to protect him from his brother Par. Quickening, joined by Pe Ell and Morgan Leah, rescue Walker from entrapment under rubble, with the new quest arising to retrieve the Black Elfstone from the Stone King Uhl Belk. The elderly Homer Dees eventually receives introduction, leading the company from Rampling Steep to the city of Eldwist. A poetic troubadour named Carisman too enters the fray, although he doesn’t have much influence on the plotline.

The river Rabb separates Morgan and Quickening from the rest of the party, the two falling in love whilst awaiting a storm’s end. Meanwhile, Walker Boh and Pe Ell find the newborn Maw Grint, scion of the Stone King, and the company reunites, quickly battling a Rake. The companions soon reach Eldwist, the supposed home of Uhl Belk, where the storyline climaxes and ends satisfactorily, still left open for continuation. Overall, the first Heritage of Shannara sequel is enjoyable like its predecessor, although one can find difficulty in knowing which races the characters are, and some of the name choices are a tad asinine.