Saturday, 30 March 2013

Fool Moon

Level: Explicit Lite
Genre: Fantasy > Urban Fantasy
Obtained: Borrowed from room mate
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

Not quite sure what to say about this cover that I didn't say about Storm Front's. Just by glancing at it, you can figure that you are going to get urban fantasy (and not one doused in romance). It also works nicely with the Storm Front cover (imagine that since they are oh so similar).

About the Book:
Harry is brought in on another case, and this time it is werewolves. However, things soon become more complicated. It turns out there are four different types of werewolves (werewolves, lycanthropes, hexenwolves, and loup-garou), and then Harry is led  to two different potential wolf packs and a mysterious woman who seems something other than human.

Rating: 9/10
Move over, Anita Blake; Harry Dresden is in town, and he's even better! Although not a perfect score, Fool Moon had a lot going for it. My favourite bit easily had to be the werewolves. I love how there are different types in this world. It's not something you often see, and it makes sense. What's even better is we get to see all the different types in action. The loup-garou was always astounding -- big, ferocious, and monstrous! Plus, Butcher doesn't blame the wolf for all the werewolves' violent tendencies. Too often we see the animal getting blamed for the desire to kill. Seriously, I cannot give enough praise for Butcher's werewolves.

Okay, so there are excellent werewolves, but you can have great creatures and still have a piss poor book. As you can see from my rating, I didn't feel this way. The story was well placed, and Jim Butcher did a fine job at creating hints as to what was going on. There is also a good scattering of what is to come in the series such as a demon suggesting that Harry's parents died a more supernatural death. Like Storm Front, there is a well mixed helping of dry humour and heart-pounding action, but Fool Moon is able to get into the story more since there is a lot less introductory elements, making it more enjoyable.

Fool Moon is a fun and well paced book that fans of the early Anita Blake series are bound to love. You can easily tell that Butcher got his inspiration from Hamilton's books, but Butcher clearly does it better (and apparently, The Dresden Files only get better as the series progresses). I can definitely see why this series is as popular as it is. I've only read two of the books and already would recommend checking it out.

What I'm Reading Next:        

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Alanna: The First Adventure

Level: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Obtained: Purchased at Barnes and Noble
Reviewed by: Maggie W.


This isn't the cover that my original copy of the book had, but I had to purchase another copy because the one I had when I was 9 is in pieces on my bookshelf. I really like this cover. The font they used for part of the title looks like it was carved using a sword, appropriate for a book about someone going through training to become a knight. The sword featured on the cover looks just like it's described in the book, another plus, since many of the previous covers featured her holding a sword about the size of a large dagger. Even the slight glow surrounding her is the same as the color of the magic of someone in the book with close involvement with her(purposely vague since that doesn't happen until the second book in the series). Even the slightly fog covered castle fits with the book because of how uncertain Alanna is about her future in knight training. All in all I'd give this cover an A. 

About the Book:

This is book one of the first quartet of books written in the Tortall universe by Tamora Pierce. I first read her books when I was about 9 years old. I have to admit that though I'd read other fantasy books, Lord of the Rings, etc. this book was responsible for me falling in love with fantasy as a genre. Even at 9 years old I was a budding feminist, and while I loved the mix of magic, mythology, and alternate history that fantasy stories featured it was hard for me to really identify with them because there were so few that were written from a female prospective without falling into the "woe is me, pathetic princess trope". Tamora Pierce has been a great writer of feminist friendly fantasy stories for over 25 years. Though I have read all her books countless times, I continue to go back to them because her leads are such great role models for adolescents. Her books show that girls can kick ass just as well as the boys can, while still having strong male characters.

Rating: 9/10

Warning, this entire review is a big ol' giant spoiler.

Alanna is different from most girls her age. Most noble girls her age with the gift are being sent off to the Temple of the Goddess to train their magic and wait until a husband is picked out for them. The thought of this being her life horrifies her. She's incredible jealous that her identical twin, Thom, is being sent to the capital city to begin knight training. Thom on the other hand would rather do anything other than getting knocked around for 8 years during knight training. He'd rather go to the City of the Gods to train in magic and become a powerful sorcerer. It's while talking about this with her twin that Alanna comes up with a crazy plan. Thom will go to the City of the Gods and Alanna will disguise herself as Alan and go to the capital to become a knight.

As she arrives Corus, she briefly meets a thief named George who later becomes one of her closest friends. The morning after arriving at the palace after a 5 day journey Alanna, or rather Alan, is immediately thrown into training with the other boys. From dawn to late into the night all of their hours are taken up by either academic lessons, physical knight training or serving their duties in the palace. Exhaustion is a bit of an understatement. To top it off, Alan, being one of the smallest boys, and newest to the palace is singled out by an older page Ralon. Being smaller than everyone else, Alan's usual weapon of choice is his quick wit. Not always the smartest move when most dumb bullies resort to using their fists when confused.

The first time she loses a fight with Ralon, some of the older pages, including Prince Jon, that she's become friends with try to teach him a lesson. Alan realizes that he can't rely on his friends to fight all his battles for him and knows he needs to learn to better defend himself. Knowing that Ralon is getting the same type of training than he is, Alan seeks out help from George, knowing that learning some street fighting tactics that the King of the Thieves uses would be useful in gaining an upper hand over someone older and bigger.

After weeks of training with George, Alan finally gains the confidence to confront Ralon. It's using these dirty fighting skills that make Alan able to beat Ralon and embarrass him enough that he leaves page training all together.

It's shortly after this that the people of the palace start to come down with a mysterious illness. Most healers in the palace are able to cure illnesses using their magical gifts but this illness seems to do nothing but drain healers combating it of their strength, sometimes killing them, leading to the death of the ill person soon after. It isn't until his close friend Prince Jon falls ill that Alan realizes that she has to do something. Up until this point in the story, Alan hasn't really told anyone the extent of his gift but after showing the royal healer a bit of his gift, they figure that there's nothing left to lose. After a long battle, that nearly drains him off all his strength, Alan is finally able to get rid of the illness in Jon. After talking with George, who has contacts outside of the city with thieves all over the country they realize that this illness only effected those in the palace. When they realize that it was only after nearly all the healers in the palace were so weakened that the heir to the throne fell ill they suspect that it may be part of a plot to kill the royal family.

When fully recovered from the sickness the pages are sent out to another part of the kingdom, the Great Southern Desert, to observe a meeting with the Bazhir, nomadic tribes people that live there. The Black City which is located in the Great Southern Desert and is guarded by Bazhir magic has tempted many children and teens of the Bazhir people into it's abandoned streets. The Bazhir say a great evil lives there and placed a ring of fire around the city to keep people from wandering there. No one is sure why periodically young people are drawn there never to be seen again.

Jon somehow convinces himself that going to the Black City would be a great idea. Alan goes along hoping to either convince him to turn back or keep him from too much trouble. It's in the Black City that they confront what the Bazhir had been protecting people from, the Ysandir, demons that ruled over the Black City long ago. They'd been luring young people to the city with magic in order to consume them and remain alive. In order to escape with their lives Alan and Jon manage to combine their magic to defeat the Ysandir, who have become weakened from the Bazhir allowing fewer people there. During this battle Jon discovers that his friend Alan is in fact a girl named Alanna. After realizing that he owes his life to her, he agrees to keep Alanna's secret and thus continue her knight training in the next book, In The Hand Of The Goddess.

I adore this book and though many people briefly glancing at it may think some of the plot devices a bit over done (disguising your sex for a different life, etc), Pierce manages to make it her own and have it read like it's never been used before. The whole series is written on a level that can be both understood by younger audiences and enjoyed by older ones. She also manages to write a smart, strong female lead while easily managing to keep her from being turned into a horrible Mary Sue, not an easy task.

What I am reading next:

Haven't decided but I'll update this when I do decide. :)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Casual Vacancy

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fiction > Contemporary Fiction
Obtained: Borrowed from the library
Reviewed by: Nic Echo
Yes, I realise I said I was reading Fool Moon next. I had even started it, but then this came in at the library. As much as I was enjoying Fool Moon, the library doesn't care that I was reading a book before hand so this got moved to the priority reading spot.

I have heard a lot of complaints about this cover, mostly it's too boring and they should have used Rowling as a cover instead. I am glad that they didn't use Rowling as a cover. I am sorry, but unless the book is about her, having her on the cover just makes her seem egotistical, and personally, that is bound to put more people off. You don't need the author's face to sell a book, even when you are using her name to sell. Here's a crazy thing: people can read, especially the people you are catering to. We don't need pictures to realise that Rowling wrote this book. Now, I'll admit this isn't the most entertaining cover, but it still works. It's simple, much like the town of Pagford. It also has what looks like a ballad vote, which again, ties in with the book. Choosing an X instead of a checkmark even works in its favour since x's are often associated with death and targets (lots of targeting people in this book). The cover designer also made sure to use brighter colours to grab your attention, which is bound to help.

About the Book:
In the small town of Pagford, England, Barry Fairbrother drops dead, leaving a seat open in the local council. His death affects the people of Pagford, both directly and indirectly, causing a flourish of gossip and glimpses of what humanity tends to be.

Rating: 10/10
When this book originally came out, I had little to no intention of reading it. Even though it was written by J.K. Rowling, I felt like it would have been of little interest to me, but then my friend suggested it to me so I decided to give it a go. I must say that I am entirely glad that I did. To sum it up in one word: wow!

Now, I will say that there isn't a lot of plot in this book; it most certainly is a book that focuses on the characters -- nay, people. To say they are simply characters would discredit Rowling's talent. Her creations have so many complexities and layers that the word character doesn't quite hit the mark. Rowling did such a wonderful job of portraying the faults of humanity that I had to stop reading several times due to emotional overload. That's not to say that all the characters are horrible people. Many mean well but end up making bad decisions, and many make decisions based on their wants and needs more than anything else. Now, the drama may be above average (we have physical abuse, drug addicted parents, and suicidal thoughts, for example), but unlike a soap opera, you can find yourself believing all of these situations. It certainly helps that Rowling takes up through the characters' thoughts. Now, one thing that may bother some readers is the constant shifting point of view. Personally, this didn't bother me, and I cannot see the book working as well as it did if she had written it any other way. However, this can be a major turnoff for some readers so I thought it wise to mention it. Honestly, the only problem I had with the work was that it had a slow start. A lot of this had to do with introducing a large cast of characters, but it was certainly a struggle to get through the first hundred pages or so. Still, it was worth it.

Before I wrap up this review, I would like to talk about a couple more things that kept surrounding this novel, mostly the language and sex, although the latter isn't in minute detail. Dear god, I have heard so many complaints involving the adult content that I felt the need for a rebuttal of some sort. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that J.K. Rowling upped all the mature content to remove her from Harry Potter. A lot of people have been saying that she is using too much language, too much sex. Bollocks! Now, I am in no way saying that there isn't a lot of foul language and sexual content. Hardly but these people don't seem to realise how much people cuss. Besides it's not like J.K. Rowling is having every single character cuss like a sailor. Guess what? Sex also happens to be a large part of humanity as a whole. Again, not every one of us is driven by our genitals, but at large, humans are very sexual creatures. Yes, we tend to hide it away, but remember that this is a book that is supposed to get inside the characters and show us their secrets. Needless to say, you are bound to get uncivilised acts and language when you are reading a book of this nature. This certainly isn't a book for everyone. However, for those who don't mind some uncouth language and some very real type problems, for those who enjoy character driven books and stories that dig into the crevices of the characters' minds, I could not recommend this book more. 

What I'm Reading Next:         

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Film vs Book: The Hobbit (Part 1)


Since The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey only covers about a third of Tolkien's The Hobbit, it would make sense that is the bit in the book that I will be focusing on. Of course, the film also encompasses things that are only mentioned later in the book (IE The Necromancer) and some features that only come into play in The Lord of the Rings appendices (IE the meeting of the White Council). Now, I only reread to a certain point in the book so a few details may end up escaping my recollection. Although it has been a while since my last full rereading (around 2000 or 2001), it has also been reread fairly often throughout my childhood to the point that I was able to easily compare the book to the movie even before the reread. Finally, before I start this film vs book review officially, yes, I did read the appendices that were associated with the movie so that I could so a better compare and contrast of the two mediums. Now, onto the review.

To start, I seemed to be one of the few that did not find The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to be awesome and oh so thrilling. That isn't to say that I disliked the film. I actually enjoyed it well enough, but there were too many changes that I found displeasing. Now, I am aware that just because something works in a book does not mean it will work in a movie. One example of this would be the wizard duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort in Order of the Phoenix. In the book, it is, more or less, your typical wizard duel -- wands pointed at each other, a few words, and stuff happens. This would have been boring to watch on screen.  In the movie, we get this epic duel where Voldemort  and Dumbledore use the elements. Not only is it visually pleasing, but it has the audience on the edge of their seats. Waving around wooden sticks just wouldn't have the same effect. A lot of times, movies will create more major changes as well, and this is where I end up taking more issue. However, there are times when these changes not only work better for the film, but they also manage to hold the emotional feel that the book had. A great example if this is in The Hunger Games. (WARNING: HUNGER GAMES SPOILERS) In both versions, Peta and Katniss end up forcing Seneca Crane to declare them both winners when they both start to eat some poisoned berries. In the book, Seneca simply disappears, and we never hear much of him again. In the movie however, President Snow locks him in a room with a bowl of the poisoned berries, basically forcing Seneca into suicide. This change not only adds a great visual punch on how evil Snow is, but you could easily place this scene in the book, and it would fit perfectly. Hell, even the author admitted that she had wished she had thought of that (End Spoilers). But what was the point of me making note of these types of changes? Let me tell you, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is full of them, some of them for the better and some that may make the book lover feel a little off.

The movie actually starts off with an addition that was not in the book. However, I can easily see why Jackson added it; it works wonders for the film and ties it in with The Lord of the Rings. For those who haven't seen the film, the scene is an older Bilbo and Frodo talking, which then leads into Bilbo writing about his past adventure. Again, it is an excellent scene for the movie, but it's not needed for the book. This is one of those additions that even book purists could enjoy. We are then quickly brought into The Hobbit narrative with those famous words, "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit," and then we are brought to a scene where Bilbo and Gandalf end up talking. Jackson actually ends up using some dialogue straight from the book here, and it works wonderfully. What's more is the scene gives off the same atmosphere that the book does. Of course, the scene is still fairly close to the one in the book. It's not much later that we meet the dwarves in a scene that has been embellished upon -- for the better. In the book, we hardly get to know the dwarves. For the most part, they are little more than names (save for Thorin and Bombur). However, in the movie, we get to see more of their personality come through, which I found to be quite excellent (though I had an issue with Thorin but more on that later). What's more is the film kept in the singing, which made it both fun and lighthearted, like the book. Speaking of singing, the Misty Mountains song that Thorin and Co. sing is hauntingly beautiful that you cannot help but be moved. 

Now, I mentioned taking issue with Thorin (though I seem to be in the minority). The thing is that I found film Thorin to be much too kingly (and even a bit bland). Jackson seemed to have turned him into a dwarven Aragorn. In the book, Thorin is much more egotistical. Seriously, he ends up starting a war, because he didn't want to give up any of his gold to the men who killed Smaug. Perhaps Jackson will make Thorin worse once they get the gold, but earlier when you see him with with Thrain, Thorin seems a bit disgusted with Thrain's obsession with wealth. Needless to say, so far Thorin is irritating to me (and not in a good way). Some people did feel that Jackson probably toned down Thorin's ego so that the audience wouldn't hate him so much, but by doing so, Jackson is tossing out a pretty powerful lesson since Thorin does eventually learn from the error of his ways. I guess we get it to a point in the film when he accepts Bilbo as a good and noncowardly person, but it's not quite the same. The impact isn't as large. Perhaps my mind will change when the other films come out.

Although I didn't care for Thorin's personality change, I really liked how Jackson showed how Thorin Oakenshield ended up earning his name. This is where the appendices come in. Here, again, Jackson added/changed a lot. Some worked well for the film and had little impact on the book to movie plot. Others, well ... let's look at the scene. We are shown a bit of Thorin's past where he is fighting orcs in Moria. This is where Thorin uses an oak branch as a shield (actually written in the appendices) and thus earns his name. That's where the shared traits end. Well, both the appendices and the film has Azgog though the appendices  have Azgog killed by Dain. Granted, it makes sense why they use Thorin in place of Dain. Using Dain in the film would only create a one time character that no one would care about. Replacing him with Thorin hardly changes the plot. Jackson not having Azgog killed does, which ends up causing my biggest problem with the film. Because Azgog is not killed in the film, he ends up chasing Thorin and Company through the entire movie. This did not happen in the book! Personally, I felt that Jackson only put this pursuit in so that he could extend The Hobbit to three films and to add more fight scenes. That is fine in The Lord of the Rings films, but The Lord of the Rings books were an epic adventure. The Hobbit is of much lighter note, and guess what? People still highly enjoy it! What's more is people still enjoy many films that aren't on that epic scale level as well so Jackson could have kept the atmosphere more Hobbit like.

Another major change Jackson had was the relationship between the elves and the dwarves. It is fairly common knowledge that the dwarves and the elves don't have the best relationship. Plus, anyone who has read The Hobbit knows that the elves of Mirkwood and Thorin's company end up on poor terms. However, this film only deals with the Rivendell elves (excluding the King of Mirkwood in the beginning. He is the one on the deer, by the way). In the book, there is not grudge, and Thorin and Co. simply walk into Elrond's house to get their map read. In the movie, the dwarves hold a HUGE grudge against the elves due to the fact that the elves did not help them when Smaug attacked (note that I could find nothing of this sort happening in the books). This leads to Gandalf pressing the dwarves to visit Rivendell and the dwarves refusing every step. When I originally saw the film, this put me off. However, after looking back on it, I have to say that I am a little happier that Jackson added this change. It didn't change the story drastically, and it also added some tension. As much as I loved the book, the pacing would have lagged if all they did was walk from the troll cave to Rivendell. Granted, it wouldn't have been needed if Jackson didn't insist on turning The Hobbit into a bloody trilogy.

 Those were probably the more severe book to film changes (and Radagast, but more on him later). Still there were plenty of large changes that took place in the transition. One of these had to do with the troll scene (again, more on that later). The scene that I would really like to focus on right now is "Riddles in the Dark," the finding of the ring and the meeting of Gollum. First off, this is my favourite chapter in the book so I was incredibly excited to get to see this. Yes, there are several changes that take place in this scene. First, Bilbo ends up down there by fighting off a goblin versus simply falling (not a fan of fighter Bilbo, by the way). At first, I was quite put off by this, because we don't really see Bilbo come into his own until they reach Mirkwood. However, this squabble also brings the goblin into Gollum's lair where we get to see Gollum be quite brutal as he kills the goblin for food, reminding us that he is not something to take lightly. In the film, we get to see more of Gollum's split personality. This could have fallen flat since we have seen it before in The Two Towers and The Return of the King. However, as much as I loved the "Riddles in the Dark" chapter, I loved the film version even more. It was so well portrayed. We get creepy Gollum, fun Gollum, and even singing Gollum. Plus, Jackson gives a nod to the book lovers during Bilbo's escape (brass buttons).

The final thing that I would like to talk about has to do with the atmosphere. I have nodded to it several times already, but there are a few scenes in the film that bring this up a bit more. Most people are aware that The Hobbit is a children's book so it makes sense that it has a much lighter tone than The Lord of the Rings (again more folklore than epic adventure). The Hobbit movie didn't seem to know what tone to use. Parts had more of that Lord of the Rings feel (Thorin's attitude and the orcs chasing the dwarves cross country), but there were also many childish bits throughout. Some of these would include the troll snotting all over Bilbo and Radagast's rabbit pulled sled. Yes, you read that correctly: a rabbit pulled sled. It is beyond silly, which I often enjoy, but it does not work in Tolkien's world. Actually, the entire Radagast character seemed a little too quirky for Tolkien. I am not saying that he wasn't a likeable character, but his traits did not sit well in Middle Earth, even a lighter toned one. Even though Radagast is supposed to be a little odd and ver involved in nature, the ultra adorable creatures would have seemed more at home in a Narnia film. Now, that isn't to say that Radagast didn't have his use. It helped show what the shadow of the Necromancer (aka Sauron) was doing to the world, but this could have been shown without so much over the top cuteness. The other example I had brought up involved the trolls. In the film, the trolls steal some ponies for eating, and Bilbo goes to get them back while in the book, he is told to steal some meat. Whatever. It's not a major point of how he gets there, but the scene strays into the too childish territory once the dwarves are captured. In the book, Gandalf, tricks the trolls into arguing with themselves until sunrise. Maybe it's just me, but I think that still could have been quite interesting and could have easily turned into something physical so that it would still be visually appealing. The movie ended up having Bilbo hold off the trolls by telling them that the dwarves had parasites. Interesting but this led to the dwarves getting offended and arguing with Bilbo before realising why he said what he said. I don't know. I just didn't like Bilbo being this competent this early on. I longed for more of the bumbling hobbit.

I can't really say one way or the other which medium was better. I know which one I certainly preferred though. There was many changes and additions, some for the better, some for the worse. Personally, I think it could have done with less changes and add-ons, and then cut the films down to two instead of three. It felt a bit too dragged out to me, and I didn't feel that the films needed that much extra. Having bits that weren't in the book but related to it was quite interesting though. I also think the movie gets many pluses for giving the dwarves their own personality, but I still, very much, prefer the book. That's not to say the movie is bad. In fact, you may end up enjoying it to the book. Needless to say, it is definitely different.

(P.S. Yes, I realise there are many scenes and changes that I didn't talk about in the review, but let's face it, if I had, it would have ended up as a novelette. However, I am certainly open to discussing other features of the movie.)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Liebster Blog Award

So my friend, Matt Schiariti, was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, and now, so have I. Don't worry, I haven't heard of it before either. Anyway, the point is to help blogs get more traffic (though I have always wondered how much good these things actually do). There's not much to this. I post eleven random facts about me, answer eleven questions that Matt posted on his blog post, and then link to eleven blogs (that have under 200 followers) who must also perform these tasks. Honestly, I am not quite sure where I am going to wrangle up these eleven blogs, but we'll see who I can find. So far, I have the following victims blogs.

  • A Sporking Rat (Great spork/snark with some of the later Anita Blake books)

11 Random Facts About Yours Truly
  1. I'm a Whovian to the point that I am actually watching all of Classic Who right now. Currently, I am a little ways into the Second Doctor, who I am very much enjoying.
  2. I am one of those people that have to read and view things in order. It bothers me immensely when I have to read a series out of order.
  3. I have a strong fascination with Judeo-Christian mythos, particularly angels. Let me tell you, angels are not peaceful, harp bearing beings.
  4. I can skip in heels, even 6" heel less heels. I'm sure you find this riveting, but hey, it amuses me.
  5. Pugs are my favourite type of dog. Seeing one nearly always cheers me up (even if it's only slightly) or makes me giggle. Yes, you read that correctly: giggle.
  6. The Rococo and Georgian periods are my favourite, especially with architecture and fashion. Oh, the gorgeous clothes! The men were at the height of their fashion then. Sorry ... I'll be quiet now.
  7. I have a fear of car washes. The ones with the cloth brushes are even worse. Also, I swear the dryers are trying to eat me.
  8. Neil Gaiman is my favourite author.
  9. I love dressing up, especially with costumes. It's just a shame that I don't have tons of skill in making them. Just the bloody ideas.
  10. Although I find Tolkien an extremely well written author, I found Lord of the Rings incredibly boring. I finished it once, but I will admit that it was a chore.
  11. I am currently craving a hamburger as of 4:30 on the 4th of March.  
11 Questions from Matt
  1. If you're a writer, tell us a little bit about any current projects you have going on.  If you're a blogger, give us a synopsis of what your blog's all about and what you'd like to accomplish with it.  If you're both then by all means answer both parts! I dabble in writing some. Currently, I am working on a short story set in 1955 England. Sadly, I am currently stuck since I have little knowledge in chemistry and needed someone with said knowledge to help out so I may need to toss out my initial idea and use other means. I am also working on building my world and characters for a series I have been working on. It has been very slow going, but hey. As for my blog, there isn't much to say. It's a book review blog, and it's pretty much here to get my thoughts out there, hopefully help people decide what books may interest them.
  2. In 200 words or less, answer the following question:  Cake or Pie? Pie! For one, there are more fruit pies, and I much prefer the blending of textures to that of cake. Also, quiche, or as my friend calls it: dinner pie. Quiche is all around delicious. Dammit! I want quiche now!
  3. What are your pet peeves? People who can't return shopping trolleys to the corrals. Let the trolleys be with their friends! But seriously, they're not that far away! Return them!
  4. What are your favorite books/authors/genres? Well, obviously, Neil Gaiman. I also am a fan of Jonathan Swift and the Marquis de Sade. As for particular books and series, I really like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles (or what I have read, which is up to The Vampire Armand). I also love Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle. I cannot speak on her other work since I haven't read it yet, but I could see her becoming a favourite author. The final series I would probably favourite is Brian Lumley's Necroscope series. I am in love with his vampires and cannot recommend this series enough. 
  5. If I asked you to lend me $20, would you, and do you have paypal? I wouldn't.
  6. What inspires you?  Answer in regards to writing, blogging, anything from your life.  Whatever you choose.  The Moose inspires me! The Moose! I'm kidding. Honestly, I have never really thought what inspires me. A lot of times, I just have a vision in my head and feel the need to bring it to life. However, I have also seen many authors that just slap whatever together, and that inspires me to create a cleaner product. My room mate is also an inspiration. She is always encouraging me to do what I want to do and be who I want to be.
  7. If you could be one household appliance, what would you choose to be and why? A stove, preferably gas that way I could help create delicious dishes.
  8. Through a twisted turn of fate, you're given the choice to either be blind or deaf.  Which would you pick and why? I am sure most people will end up giving this answer, but I much rather be deaf. For one, we are too much of site based creatures so it would be much easier to get by being deaf than blind. I can learn sign language and use subtitles. Also, how will I know how stylish I am if I can't see what I am wearing. :p
  9. What would be your dream job?  (And don't say 'author'.  Since we're all bookish here, that's already assumed and if it's not, too bad) To be honest, if I could be anything, I would love to be an actor. The only reason I don't pursue it as a career is because you need to take an extra two steps to get anywhere in the slightest.
  10. If you could sit in a bar and toss back a drink with any writer from ANY time period, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you be drinking? Oh, that is a tough one. Honestly, I would probably choose the Marquis de Sade. Not only do I find him incredibly fascinating, but he has an incredible mind. I would love to hear tell of his nefarious deeds and more of his views on the world. I would also love to be able to get to know his mind more. As for what I would be drinking, I'd probably go for a nice Merlot or Pinot Grigio.
  11. A train leaves Chicago at noon, heading east at 120 mph.  At the same time a duck leaves Philadelphia, heading west at 12 mph.  Where and when do they meet?  (This is obviously a joke, but if you can answer it and show me your backup calculations, you deserve this award.) The problem is that the duck would end up heading off course toward a body of water, making it where the train and the duck never meet therefore your question is invalid.
  12. (This is the REAL #11)--If you could pick any one actor/actress to play you in the movie of your life, who would it be? First off, I'm not sure only one could play me. Part of this is because I am trans. It would make sense to have someone play the female bodied me and then the real me, the one that many people do not see. I guess I could have an actor play both parts, but I'm not sure who. Hell, I am not sure who I would choose if I did go with two. I have never come across an actor or actress where I thought, "That person could easily play me." To be honest, if someone played me, I bet I would end up getting portrayed by someone no one has ever heard of so I guess I would choose that unknown actor who is still trying to make a name for his or herself.
So I guess that's that. I now need to get hunting for some bloggers, which will be linked above as I get them. For the bloggers that end up doing this, here are my questions to you:
  1. If you could have any mutant/super power, what would it be and why?
  2. If you could meet and hang out with any fictional character, who would it be. Again, why?
  3. Who or what is your inspiration? Inspiration for your career, life, whatever.
  4. Describe your perfect vacation/holiday.
  5. I know this was asked of me, but I am also curious about it. What are some of your favourite authors/genres/books/series?
  6. DC or Marvel? This can include Marvel's Dark Horse and DC's Vertigo comics as well. Explain your choice.
  7. You've been transported to another point in history (damn those weeping angels!). Where would you like to end up?
  8. How come you started your blog, and where would you like it to go?
  9. What are your feelings on steampunk?
  10. You've been given a chance to redo a moment in your life. What moment do you choose?
  11. What if you could have genetic perfection? Would you change who you are if you could?