Category Archives: Entertainment

Comics….

I’ve never really read that many comics, I had a few when I was very young, some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, some My Little Pony and a few Care Bears. I read a couple of friends comics while at University (Watchmen being the most significant one that I remember). But I never really go into comics. My husband has quite a lot of Deadpool on our selves and while I like him as a character I haven’t read them.

I watched the X-Men cartoon when I was younger, and I enjoyed the movies (except for the one that shouldn’t be named). Yes I know that a lot of comics aren’t superhero comics but to be honest at the time I only really knew about Marvel and DC. And later Dark Horse when Buffy became a comic. I have read a few fantastic comics, the whole of Transmetropolitan, a fair bit of Sandman, Womathology, Habibi (which is possibly the most beautiful book I’ve ever owned).  But still I wasn’t really into this buying comics on a regular basis because you know with something like Marvel or DC – where do you start? And think of all the space that those comics would take up.

Then along comes Comixology, and my husband (who had been looking into the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game) is all like ‘Oh.. this whole Avengers Vs X-Men I wonder what thats all about – its all on comixology we could get it and find out….’  And we realised that quite a few of Marvel’s series were either just about to restart or had only just started. So Wolverine and the Xmen followed, and then The All New X-Men (because modern Scott really needs a good talking to or at least a slap), Uncanny Avengers (hello Rogue?!).  As my anniversary gift hubby bought me the new Captain Marvel, which makes me very happy because she is a great character but now also has a fantastic costume, which I would love to figure out how to make (I don’t have the skills to) or at least get a t-shirt of the top half.

At about the same time the internet went crazy at the news that DC had fired Gail Simone (thankfully they have now re-hired her), hearing how people were going on about the new Batgirl and her amazing writing I went to investigate, and now absolutely adore the series because its bloody fantastic.

And more recently hubby was nosing about TV-Tropes (possibly looking up stuff for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game)  and was telling me all about two Marvel characters called Wiccan and Hulking, who sounded absolutely adorable. (I do like a bit of romance thrown in to things.)  So of course we had to read Young Avengers, and imagine my delight when I realised that we’d read them just before a new series of Young Avengers started!! (Seriously Billy & Teddy make me go squeeee they are so cute together!)

Now why do I think I’ve found this new found love of comics? I think I can blame Comixology. For starters its really easy to get comics from there, they aren’t going to run out of issues. They have a lot of deals on and we have taken advantage of things like Marvel Mondays. Also I don’t have to worry about running out of shelf space. (We have a lot of books already.) But the biggest reason for me? I really like reading them through the Comixology app. I can read through the panels sequentially and I wont be distracted by the huge explosion that happens on the next page, when I’ve still got a page to read through to fully know whats happening. I don’t get semi-spoilered this way and every panel is a surprise. Theres no ‘oh so so-and-so is about to punch him? but I’d better read the text to find out why.” I can enjoy both the writing and the art at the same time. 

Also because we can read the comics on a tablet I can read them together with my husband. I mean you can’t very easily prop a physical comic up on a table on a train and then both read it at the same time, the pictures are small the font is small you’re not really going to get the most out of it. But on a tablet? You can use the case to prop the device up and then you just tap your way through the panels.

Perhaps it’s also the fact that some comics at least have grown up a little bit, great female characters, in awesome looking costumes saving the world.

Saying that though I did buy the physical copy of Batwoman, because its a much more artistic looking comics (Have you seen the covers?!) and Comixology doesn’t quite do it justice with the way it lays the panels out.  I am also tempted to get physical copies of Captain Marvel and Batgirl at some point because I’d really like to get some awesome female superheroes on my shelves. Its much easier to then wave them in peoples faces and go ‘Look see the awesome! Read the awesome!’

I think it’s safe to say I’m a little bit addicted.

Oh and now there’s going to be an all female X-men team? I can’t wait!! 😀

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Scion 2nd ed?!

Over the weekend came the announcement that Onyx Path is a new RP company that has licensed White Wolf products and that they have purchased Scion and will be doing a new edition.

Yes thats right a NEW EDITION of SCION.

You have no idea how much this excites me and I’ve been trying to work out whether I’m more excited about 3rd ed Exalted or 2nd ed Scion.

On the one hand I LOVE Exalted and from what hints the writers have been giving on the forums I’m really interested in seeing what they’re going to do with it. Plus hubby has been telling me that a lot of the setting information given in 2nd ed is just not that good compared to 1st ed. There’s no real mystery as everything is codified and structured and 3rd ed should have a bit more mystery. Also it sounds like they’re going to make quite a lot of changes to some of the rules to simplify/make somethings easier.

On the other hand there’s Scion, a game which is set in the present day and you play the children of gods (Norse, Greek, Japanese, Aztec etc). Seriously how cool is that as a setting?! In theory its a sort of simplified version of Exalted. Except they took all the stuff that didn’t work in Exalted and combined it together to make a game. I remember the very first game we played, we stumbled upon a Toad Demon which tried to eat us. We quite quickly discovered that we were too dexterous for it to ever be able to hit us, and while we could hit it with no problem we would never be able to damage it because it was so tough. It was a stalemate. Eventually one of the other players let himself be eaten so that he could kill it from the inside. It was a boring and very annoying fight and resulted in hubby re-writing an awful lot of the rules to get us something that would actually work. These rules worked for the low levels of Scion and then fell apart as we hit the higher tiers.

So there is the big potential for a playable version of Scion, a game line that was only ever supposed to be a one off. A game line that is a big favourite with a lot of people. I am very excited! 😀

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Final Week

The very last section of Red Seas Under Red Skies! 😦  (How long am I going to have to wait till Republic of Thieves?? A year for the paperback? Ack!!!) The questions this week are from Lynn at Lynn’s Book blog.  It’s been a lot of fun and while I know I haven’t posted as much on others blogs as I should have I have enjoyed reading everyone’s answers. 🙂  And I look forward to being able to do another read along again sometime. Thanks to everyone who organised this! Little Red ReviewerDark CargoMy Awful Reviews, and @ohthatashley from SF Signal.

To anyone who hasn’t read the book then beware of major spoilers below!

1.       Oh my god, such a lot going on I thought the showdown between the Poison Orchid and the Sovereign was brilliantly written and they were holding their own until Utgar and his nasty device turned up.  Well a lot of you had kind of predicted it, and I suppose we’d been let off too easy so far in terms of deaths of well-liked characters  – but come on,  did you expect something like that?  And how on earth will Jean ever recover?

I have to say well done to Lynch for this bit. I never expected Ezri to survive I was prepared for her to die, and yet when it happened I had tears in my eyes. I thought it would just happen in the fight. But that? What a horrible way to die too. I think Jean will eventually recover, and I know that Ezri would want him to get on with his life. She’d give him a stern talking to if he just wallowed.

2.       The deceit, the betrayal, first Rodanov and then Colvard.  Even now I’m not entirely sure I understand Colvard – Rodanov was never keen on the oath but Colvard seemed okay with it all and yet in this final deceit she was more devious than Rodanov – what do you think was her motive?

Survival. She’s cautious, she’s not gotten to her age as a pirate without thinking things through. With the way she’s played things, well she has the potential to win either way. If Rodanov won then she knows they should be safe from The Archon, and would know that she potentially wouldn’t have any further reprisals from Rodanov in mopping up any further trouble. On the other hand, he’s taking all the risks and she doesn’t have to, so if, by what must have seemed small odds, Rodanov didn’t survive then who else would know that she had sided with him? I mean someone might suspect but there’s no proof. p

3.       Merrain – such a puzzle, no real answer, the mysterious tattoo, the determination to kill everyone to keep her identity and that of her master a secret.  Does anybody have any ideas where she’s from and what she’s up to exactly and who the hell is she working for??

The tattoo is clearly a big clue, but I don’t think it’s been described in the books previously? So I suspect we aren’t meant to know yet. Locke didn’t seem to recognise it either. Things might become more apparent in the next book? Maybe she really is working for Bondsmagi.

4.       Finally we get to the point of the GB’s latest scheme, all that elaborate planning for two years, fancy chairs, gambling, dust covered cards, abseiling lessons – all for one gigantic bluff. I loved the diversionary tactic here but having finally reached the end of the story and, more to the point, the end result – do you think the GB’s are as clever as they think they are?

I laughed when Requin mentioned getting the real paintings out! Genius.

No, I don’t think Locke is as clever as he thinks he is, but he is pretty clever. I mean the whole setting everything up to make it look like they were hitting the vault and that being one giant misdirection. That was clever and it is what you need to as a con artist. It’s all about misdirection. (Again I mention Hustle the BBC TV show its a great example of this.) But… he did just assume that Requin would have the real thing on display.

Yes on the one had its a fairly good assumption, its hard to get to that office in the first place, why wouldn’t he show the real ones. On the other hand he didn’t check the pictures and yes he never really had a chance to but it never came up as a ‘What if they are fake?’.

He has this really really bad habit of underestimating people or maybe he’s just too optimistic?

Also 2 years? I mean given he was still recovering at the beginning, but 2 years? That’s a loooong time.

5.       I must admit that I liked Requin and Selendri – particularly at the end – I don’t think Requin will go after Locke and Jean, he was even sort of cool and composed about it all, in fact he came across as a bit pleased with himself because he had the last laugh.  Plenty of good characters this time which did you enjoy reading most about this time?

I have to say I did like the bit at the end with Selendri, on the one hand I do wonder what the place is going to be like with secret police and things like that. But on the other hand I reckon that The Archon will get his wish in a sense, Tal Verarr becoming stronger, just not in the way he’d intended. 🙂

I liked Zamira’s bits too, its very nice to see inside the world of a strong female character who can rule over a bunch of pirates but is also soft hearted enough to be gentle with her kids, to give them the love and attention they need. Ah 3 dimensional characters. 😀

6.       Finally, a triple barrel question, I know I shouldn’t ask this BUT, on reflection do you have a favourite between LoLL or RSURS??  And why?  Are you going to pick up Republic of Thieves?  And, where do you think Lynch will take us to next??

Toughest question yet! Yes of course I will be picking up Republic of Thieves! 🙂 But as to which I prefer between LoLL and RSURS? I think LoLL was grittier in some ways, The Grey King was nasty with how he carried everything out. And while Locke & Jean were poisoned in this one. Locke was shoved and nearly died in a urine filled coffin. But then I quite liked a lot of the arguments that L&J had in this book, showing character development and such. As well as meeting people who could potentially be allies in future books. I think when it comes down to it I can’t decide.

Other things:

Locke! Trust Jean! How many times has the man saved your life? Trust him! Even if you missed the hand signal. Also I had a feeling Locke would have done something with the cure before they sat down, I wasn’t quite sure whether he’d have just tossed it because how could they decide?

I know I actually had a few other comments on some things but I honestly can’t remember what they were. I will end with saying that I do wish I could give both the boys a hug, they’ve had so much crap thrown at them and well its not over yet considering Locke’s condition. Still hopefully Regal will give them some tlc, in the way that only a cat can.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Wk 4

The penultimate week of the read along 😦 and things are really heating up!

This weeks section covers  Chapter 11 thru end of Chapter 13 and questions were provided by  nrlymrtl at Dark Cargo.

1) I was much relieved when Jean and Locke made up, which started with Locke’s gesture of a cup full of honesty with Cpt. Drakasha. Do you think that was hard for Locke? Or was he using this bit of honesty like any other weapon in his arsenal to get what he wants in the end? 

To the first question, yes I think it was hard, being honest (or at least telling most of the truth) is not something he does often. I’m not even sure how honest he is with himself at times.  As to the second question, yes and no.  He was probably hoping that it would work, trusting to Jeans instincts for a change and not his own but he wasn’t ruthless about it. Not in the same way he was with the poor guy whose life he screwed over in the first book. He gave Zamira a choice, and it all struck me more as a reasonable conversation about a strategy that could help everyone and not just Locke.

2) The Parlor Passage: We still don’t know Locke’s true name, but whatever was in that mist does. What do you think it is? 

I got a Cthulhu vibe from this section of the book,  it was suddenly less fantasy and very much a horror. Initially when they mentioned the precautions it made me think of the sirens in the Odyssey, and clearly whatever it is does have a very similar effect.   I’ve no idea really what it is, but what with all these elderglass ruins and these strange things. Was there some kind of apocalypse in the past?  Something that ripped the fabric of the world in some places and allowed things to come through. Or is whatever it is something that was created in the world.

3) There was an interesting section of the book that started about where Locke assisted Drakasha in selling the Red Messenger; he put on the persona of Leocanto Kosta and used the alias Tavras Callas and then Drakasha was still thinking of him as Ravelle….. Did using all those various aliases in such a short amount of time have your mind spinning a little? Do you think Lynch did this on purpose to give the reader a sense of Locke’s mind? 

I’ve had enough time with all those names to know that it is Locke but yes at the same time, how does the man keep it straight, especially when they vary the roles the names cover slightly. I mean how many times have they pulled out Tavaras Callas. (who was one of Jean’s originally?) Will someone at some point hear that name and go ‘but I thought this was your job not whatever you’re currently claiming to be.’ Although even Locke did admit at one point that he had quite a lot of lies running on everything.

4) That was a sweet little kiss between Cpt. Zamira and Cpt. Jaffrim at the end of the Captains’ Council. Do you think they have some history, or is it just innocent flirting that’s been going on for some time? 

Is he the father? But then I think he would have asked about the kids if he had been, so I reckon it is just flirting.

Also I have to say I loved the argument between Jean and Jaffrim about the playwright.

5) Jean and Ezri. Cue dove-cooing and little winged hearts with sparkles. Do you think Jean will stay with the Poison Orchid or that Ezri will leave her ship to pal around with Jean and Locke? 

Really hard to say. As much Locke is enjoying the ‘easy’ life of a sailor, I can’t see him being happy without trying to run a grand scheme or 2 or 3. And Jean, well, hes always gone where Locke goes… so as to Ezri. Well we all know Lynch is mean to his characters and there are still a 100 or so pages to go.  What does strike me is that Port Prodigal would possibly be a good safe harbour for those two. Somewhere they could go to between jobs to get away from whoever they pissed off.

6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations? 

Hmmmmm. Yeah I don’t know. Maybe Jaffrim is the father and this is his way of keeping an eye on the kids and Zamira?  The conversation didn’t seem too sinister, as in its more spying rather than trying to mutiny and take over. Except… what did he give him to put in his locker? :S

7) So last week we hashed over that Merrain killed some of Stragos’s guards on Windward Rock. But when Jean and Locke visit him, he doesn’t mention it. What is up with that? 

I know! I was seriously expecting Locke & Jean to be screwed over in some way because of that. But maybe the Stragos is just REALLY patient… The grand scheme is more important to him than personal revenge, he’ll get back at them (probably intends to throw the full weight of the law at them?) but only once he’s got what he wanted from them first.

8) This week’s section left us where the book began – Jean pointing a crossbow at Locke’s throat. Do you think Jean knows who sent these crossbowers? Is he on their side? Is it a clever ploy to get him and Locke out of this predicament? Did you find it excruciatingly hard to stop here?

The section ends HERE?! Ahhhh! Yes it was hard.

Ok so Lynch could be doing a big twist and maybe Jean is actually betraying Locke (wouldn’t that be a kicker) but I have faith. Those two have been together since the beginning I do not believe that Jean would betray Locke not after all they’ve been through.  I think Jean is playing for time, is using this as a way to gain an advantage, and Jean is smart enough to realise that perhaps giving a signal could be dangerous. They don’t know who is after them so they don’t know whether these people also know the signals they use.

Other Thoughts

What I’m really trying to work out though is how everything is going to get resolved in the last section. There aren’t that many pages left and there is a lot going on. The Sinspire, Stragos’ grand plan, this unknown party, Merrian framing them and a whole heap of other things. This last section is going to be a real roller coaster isn’t it?

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Wk3

This week’s questions are from  Ashley who posts at SF Signal as is on twitter at @ohthatashley and they cover Chapter 7 to the end of Chapter 10.  And what an action packed set of chapters they are! Some serious twists and turns.

1. Locke and Jean’s ability to find themselves at the center of a serious mess seems unparalleled. At this point, do you think that Stragos will get the return he expects on his investment in them?

I’m not so sure, IF and I say IF Locke listen’s to Jean then possibly not? It’s possible they might think of a way to do what the Archon wants but also screws him over in some way or do it but not screw the pirates over? (Honestly don’t know how.)  Of course that leads on to the answers to question two, considering what Merrain did, the Stragos is already finding his plan messier than he anticipated.

2. Merrain’s activities after our boys leave Windward Rock are interesting. What do you think her plans are?

Assassin! I don’t know whether its specifically her plans but clearly she is worried that what? If there is nothing for Locke & Jean to do they’ll have time and interfere with the plans of whoever it is she works for? She has well and truly screwed them over. If the Stragos wasn’t going to kill them before he’s going to want to now. And even with all his fast talking I don’t know whether Locke could talk him out of it – even if he had the chance.

3. Does anyone know why having cats aboard the ship is so important?

I suspect it was originally because they got rid of the rats? (Although what would they eat once all the rats were dead? I suppose you’d just have to hope the ship wasn’t becalmed or anything and that you’d get to another port. ) Possibly it also helps with crew moral. I mean they just have to look at you with those big eyes and mew in that pathetic way they have…. we know who the true captains of the ship are! 😉

(Lets hope none of the crew have allergies!)

4. The word “mutiny” creates a lot of mental pictures. Were you surprised? Why or why not?

Once we knew he’d forgotten the cats (tut tut Locke) then no I wasn’t surprised. I mean they *might* have been able to hide/pull something off if Caldris hadn’t died. Poor guy, when he turned up in pain I was half afraid that maybe the poison had hit him earlier but I think it could be that he was just having a heart attack from all the stress?  I was a bit worried about their fates but Jabril is a nice guy and he knows his stuff. Locke though has to be one of the luckiest people alive! To be put out to see in a rowing boat and to then get picked up by a pirate crew not a few hours later?

5. Ah, the Poison Orchid. So many surprises there, not the least of which were the captain’s children. Did you find the young children a natural part of the story?

I think I might be in the same position Jean was in. I mean I know its important to keep a ship ‘ship shape’ but at the same time they seem quite ‘nice’? Strict with the rules, but at least if you know what the rules are you know where you stand. I was a little surprised about the children but at the same time, I can’t see Drakasha (where does Lynch get these names from? Their great) trusting anyone with them, especially not when she could spend weeks at sea. Also its clear that she loves them a lot.

What I do find odd is that its an equal shares ship – that’s nice, but they’re about to take on some more crew won’t that piss the rest of the crew off? That means whatever they get is going to go down. I guess they could lose quite a few crew to boarding actions and perhaps some will decide to leave the ship once they get off. But then perhaps its enough that they serve under a good captain and work on what is clearly a good ship. They might grumble a bit but they’ll be ok with it in the end.

6. Jean is developing more and more as a character as we get further in to the book. Ezri makes the comment to him that “Out here, the past is a currency, Jerome. Sometimes it’s the only one we have.” I think several interesting possibilities are coming into play regarding Jean and Ezri. What about you?

I love it! The flirting, the way she held up her hands like a picture frame and said  “You’re not even real yet, your just a hazy something on the horizon.” because he’s not yet officially on the crew yet. I was kind of worried about her deciding to take part in the boarding action. Lynch does like to kill people off, and to be honest I’m still worried about her injuries. I think her and Jean would be good together but at the same time I can’t see how it would work. Jean might be happy joining a pirate ship but I can’t see Locke settling like that. (Particularly as there are more books to come in the series.)

7. As we close down this week’s reading, the Thorn of Camorr is back! I love it, even with all the conflict.  Several things from their Camorri background have come back up. Do you think we will see more Camorri characters?

Ohhh I don’t know… I mean they’re in a completely different city, it would be really weird if The Spider turned up or… hmm well who else is there that was important in the other books.

Other Thoughts:

Locke Locke Locke.. he is smart and clever but sometimes he is such a moron, he doesn’t always actually listen to what people say. (Lacking some common sense at times). We all know sailors are a bloody superstitious lot, and yet he forgot those cats. >_< He didn’t appriciate what he was being told. Also at the end of Chapter 10? After that conversation with Jean. I worry about him. The Archon, while I do like his ideas, only cares about his people and is willing to kill off a whole lot of others to get what he wants. Pirates, while this lot they’ve fallen in with are ‘nice’ and seem fairly honourable aren’t that often nice people. Stealing from people, and sometimes worse. But Locke? He’s allowing his need for revenge to consume him, and isn’t that what happened with The Grey King? I wonder if this is why Jean was turning traitor in the prologue…  Locke can’t let go of anything and if he isn’t careful he’s going to turn into a monster. He doesn’t have to get back at the Archon for what he did, he could be a bigger man and move on with his life – on to a new escaped (not sure I can see Locke doing that either, he always has to have the last word).

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Wk2 Read Along

I’m a little late this week I didn’t quite realise how long this section was (12 sections in Chapter 6!) and so by Saturday morning I still had over 80 pages left.. whoops! Add social life and Skyrim to that.. 🙂

Anyway this section covers:  “The Lady of the Glass Pylon” through to the end of Chapter 6 and the questions are from Andrea @ The Little Red Reviwer.

1. Now that we know a little more about Selendri and Requin, what do you think of them? I worry Locke is suddenly realizing this con might be a bit tougher than he expected.

Requin is awful!  Cutting out some ones knee caps and…? I shudder just thinking about it. I mean is that really necessary? When Lynch makes nasty characters he really likes to go all out doesn’t he? Locke is really going to have to step very carefully I think Selendri is pretty damn sharp and well Requin is likely to do a horrfic punishment at the slightest provocation.

2. Isn’t the Artificers’ Crescent just amazing?  If you could purchase anything there, what would it be?

I can imagine those places looking pretty steampunky 🙂  and suggest that they are quite far advance technology wise, but just not that wide spread yet.  I’m not sure what I’d want to purchase but I’d love to walk around there, I imagine the sights, sounds and smells would be amazing!

3. What did you think of  Salon Corbeau and the goings on that occur there? A bit crueler than a Camorri crime boss, no? 
!!!!

Just… wow. Thats beyond cruel its sadistic. I’m kind of hoping there will be another flash back where L&J go back and do something to tear that place apart. Although seeing as they were in the middle of a big con I’m not sure they’d have had the time? But who knows. And while the Baumondain family seem nice at the same time they just close their eyes to the problem – they could leave and set up their business elsewhere, it might not be as lucrative but  if they’re that good it would come. The same could be said of a lot of the businesses there.

I really hope those nobles get what’s coming to them. The problem is I can’t see how dealing with that relates to the two other major plots of the book, it might be a bit much?

4. The Archon might be a megalomaniacal military dictator, but he thinks he’s doing right by Tal Verrar: his ultimate goal seems to be to protect them.  What do you think he’s so afraid of? 

I’ll admit I kind of like the Archon, assuming he is telling the truth about what his aims are then it’s great. Its nice seeing a military dictator who is trying to improve the people, as opposed to one who is oppressing everyone and would probably be stifling creativity in that respect. I’m not sure what he’s afraid of though, and I’m curious as to who Merrain is referring to when they’re talking at the end of Chapter 5. I’m hoping this isn’t some elaborate Bondsmagi plan, if it isn’t then there’s some other power at play here (perhaps multiple places hoping to gang up against the Bondsmagi?)

However just because I like the Archon doesn’t mean he is a nice person all the time (although he doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as awful as Requin is!)., I was surprised that he poisoned one of his own men as well! (And still we can’t be sure he isn’t lying about that? Its such a conveniently good thing to lie about, as you can’t easily prove it.) When Locke signalled he was lying then I think that’s specifically to do with the Archon saying he’ll pay them whatever they want at the end of this whole escapade. But I suspect he doesn’t much care about L&J’s fates just as long as they do what is needed. Hell I’m also wondering whether the original pirate uprising might not have been caused due to him telling a captain of his to go do just this same job… and look where that got her? But who knows…

4. And who the heck is trying to kill Locke and Jean every few days?  they just almost got poisoned (again!)!

I was thinking if they had done something to Salon Corbeau then maybe its her? Otherwise I’m not sure, its possible we haven’t even had the hint as to who it is yet?

5. Do you really think it’s possibly for a city rat like Locke to fake his way onto a Pirate ship?

I think so, he’s pretty good at winging it. He knows some stuff and as the Archon pointed out he knows how to show off fake confidence and that sort of bluster can go a long way – as we’ve repeatedly seen.

Other Thoughts:

Also that whole section of them trying to do the rope climbing and almost falling to their doom? Was quite funny, and also highlights that they really need someone to watch out for them! (Like Bug)

Also I love that in order to sail safely on the seas the ships have to have at least one cat and a female officer on board 🙂

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Red Seas Under Red Skies: Read Along Wk1

Yay! We have now moved on to the second Gentlemen Bastards book RSURS by Scott Lynch as part of our read along.  🙂

The questions, supplied by  Bryce over at My Awful Reviews,  cover the start of the book all the way up to Chapter 3.

I’d like to start of first by saying:   Goddamn Mages!!!!!

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?

I think you can call them heroes, certainly after the events of the last book, even if their ‘day jobs’  aren’t so heroic… Do they have what it takes? Hmmmm…  Its a bit hard to say when I’m not 100% sure what the plan is, I worry that they don’t really have enough back up, there’s only two of them. If something goes wrong (what would Locke have done if he hadn’t persuaded Requin?) they don’t have much room to manoeuvres.

2.  Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?

Looks like Locke’s hoping that by getting on to Requin’s security that should give them further access to everything? Perhaps keys? Knowing just what the routine is etc etc? A complete confidence trick, but surely Requin is going to be suspicious that someone might try this?

3. It’s a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?

Yes, well Bug at least I don’t think we got to know the twins as well, but as the youngest and newest member of the group Bug added that little extra something to the dynamic. (I’m not quite sure what though, perhaps something that make Locke feel like he should perhaps be a little more careful…. or maybe not.)

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?

It makes sense that they should at some point, they need a bit more support. But I guess the problem is that while it has been 2 years since the events of book one so the wounds won’t be as raw, they’re a) right in the middle of a major scam (2 years?! Thats dedication!) and b) the Bondsmage’s have turned up. (Did they Locke & Jean really believe the matter was settled?)  I really wonder if there is perhaps some way that they can protect Jean from being controlled by them.

I have to say I also loved the argument between Jean and Locke at the end of this section. I was laughing out loud and getting funny looks from the hubby as Jean barricaded Locke in. 😀

5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven’t spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke’s life?

I am curious, but currently I’m more curious about just how Locke thinks he’s going to steal from the Sinspire. And just what was that going on in the prologue? (A cunning plan of double dealings I assume – potentially part of the whole Sinspire shenanigans? with Jean pretending to double cross Locke?)

6. It’s early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn’t expect. How do you think their new “employer” is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?

Edited: So somehow I missed that I was also supposed to read Chapter 3 for this first week. I have now read it and here’s my answer. 🙂

I’m going to guess it’s something political, he’s worried that perhaps someone is doing something/going to make a move that will knock him off the top spot? But who knows with Lynch that could be completely wrong! 🙂  Poor Locke having someone poison him again in order to get something out of him (I do wonder whether that is just a lie from the Archon though). Its understandable why L&J are pissed (I was highly suspicious when the Archon was going on about how it was all a mistake..) but I worry that Locke is going to go in over his head. (Like he hasn’t already with the Bondsmagi)

What if what the Archon wants is something ‘nice’ something beneficial that could help lots of people (he probably doesn’t but playing devils advocate here..), we know Locke won’t work for money.. well he might say he would but he would totally get bored. But if someone presented that case to L & J.. might they have helped without the need for added persuasion? They are nice people we know this from the first book. Would they help?

Also the entrance to the Archon’s palace? That sounds amazing! I have to wonder how many poor souls have fallen over at the entrance though.

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Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Moon does not know what he is, losing his family at an early age he has spent his whole life hiding what he is from the tribes that he tries to live with. And what he is is a shifter who can swtich between a human groundling form and a being with wings who can fly. As he is yet again cast about by another tribe who find out what he is he discovers another like him. This stranger leads him back to a colony of his people. A place where his very presence causes ripples amoungst the established order of things and a place that is under threat from a race called the Fell. A species that are greatly feared by everyone.

I loved this book so much so that I found it really hard to put it down. I was wishing for a longer tube journey to work and my husband grumped at me when I wanted to just loose myself in the world and finish the story. And what a world it is.

It was great to read a book where the main character and his people (The Raksura) aren’t human. Their whole social structure is completly different to ours. They are split into two parts the Aeriat who can shift into a winged form and the Arbora who can’t. And then they split even further into castes such as Teacher, Hunter, Mentors, Warriors, Consorts, Queens etc. Really interesting and well thought out. And even the Humans aren’t really human as groups of humans massivly diversify some having golden skin, others green, some tusks etc etc. I saw briefly in another review someone mention The Dying Earth by Jack Vance and while the story writing is a very different feel I think they were more refering to the worlds back drop of a fractured broken world and the people being very different depending on where you went. This makes it all wonderfully unique.

The whole story is told from Moon’s perspective and you can see that he would be one of those characters who is classed as ‘dark & brooding’, but there are reasons he acts the way he does, good reasons. Having him as an outcaste who is brought into the society is obviously a good way to introduce the reader to how things work and it works really well. It was great seeming him develop and even recognise the times when he was being stupid and even though he finds it hard to trust realise that perhaps he should take a chance. There were quite a few times when I wished I could just give Moon a hug (he really needs it at certain).

There’s also quite a nice bit of role reversal going on here. As strong and tough as Moon is its actually the Queens who are the better fighters. Moon is quick but not nearly as dangerous. Its actualy him that needs saving on several occasions. He’s also actually at the heart of it all quite a bit of a softy and while he’s perfectly capable of looking after himself its really nice to see a male character filling what is sometimes the stereotypical ‘female’ role of needing someone to take care of them.

I’d probably class this as high fantasy – which I will confess I often find a little bit boring as the characters are never in any real danger. (Something often saves them at the last minute etc) I like my dark fantasy (Martin, Abercrombie, Lynch) and the overall story to this book is pretty straight forward and not exactly new – a dark evil force that want to take over/destroy everything and Moon and his people have to find a way to save themselves. But this is a well written book and I think the setting itself is enough to give it that little added something. As a character I really like Moon and I am curious to see how he finds his place with his people. I was captivated from the start and literally devoured the book in a few days. Its a book I would re-read at some point.

This is the first book I’ve read by Martha Wells but I’m definetly looking forward to the second book in the series (which having just looked things up is out). Thats going on my to read list then.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along

As some of you may have noticed in the last few weeks I took part in a read along for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, we are now going to be moving on Red Seas Under Red Skies. (or RSURS – I may have to switch to this abbreviation as I keep wanting to call it Red Skies Under Red Seas which is a) wrong and b) thats quite a long title!). Anyway further details can be found at The Little Red Reviewer and if you let her know you want to take part you’ll get the discussion emails that come out on Thursdays. We’re starting later this week so  if you haven’t read the first one you’d better get that done quickly!! (It’s really good! Full of twists and turns and a lot of unexpected things!)
Here’s the schedule:

Start reading on or around April 21st. . .
Week 1 – beginning thru End of Chapter 3, discussion questions go out Thurs April 26, posts go up Sat April 28
Week  2 – Reminiscence “The Lady of the Glass Pylon” through end of Chapter 6, discussion questions go out thurs May 3, posts go up Sat May 5
Week  3 – Chapter 7 thru end of Chapter 10, discussion questions go out May 10, posts go up May 12
Week  4 – Chapter 11 thru end of chapter 13, discussion questions go out May 17, posts go up May 19
Week  5 – Chapter 14 to the end, discussion question go out May 24, posts go up May 26

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Book Review: Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse

Pandemonium: Stories of the ApocalypsePandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse by Jared Shurin, Anne C. Perry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great collection of apocalypse based short stories. If I’m honest my visions of the apocalypse are often based around the scenes from the Fallout games (which I love) and that’s kind of what I was expecting. (Radiation, empty Wastelands, Mutants, gangs of marauders etc)

Its not what I got and I’m grateful for that. These stories all approach the apocalypse in very different ways. There are some set just as the apocalypse is occurring and shows just how individuals can view the apocalypse in a very strange light that is completely at odds with what is actually happening. (The Harvest by Chrysanthy Balis) Others are set after it has occurred and have some really creepy imagery. (Sadak in Search of The Waters of Oblivion by Archie Black) And still others have some very interesting takes on the war between Heaven and Hell, like The End of the World by Den Patrick.

I enjoyed pretty much every short story in here, some I found rather strange but all of them really make you think make you re imagine just what the apocalypse can mean. And I really have to wonder where some of the authors got their twisted ideas from. 😀

For anyone who likes stuff on the apcoalypse or even just stories that make you think these are well worth reading! 🙂

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