Tag Archives: Books

Competition reminder….

Hi everyone! This is just going to be a very short post where I remind you that the Competition that I am running for my 1000 followers celebration is just open for one more week. And then it closes…like…forever. So in case you haven’t entered yet, or might have missed the post altogether just press on that link, read the rules and if you are eligible for entry don’t hesitate to do so. I promise, I won’t bite…much. Well I could make this post longer, listing all kinds of reasons for why you should enter. But I guess this pretty much covers it. And I said in the beginning that this would be a short post, and I want to keep that promise. So, the clock is ticking. Put on your fighting gear, grab your sword or favorite submachine gun and run towards the fight…..you know you want to!

Special note to my email followers:

If you are following my blog by email and want to enter the competion, be sure to leave a name in the comment. I have seen two messages that ended up in my spamfilter (entered by “someone” as a response to the competition. Not knowing who they were from (or if it was in fact spam) they have since been deleted. So that’s why I put up this special notice. Thank you!

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Only one more week?!? Are you kidding me here???!!

 

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Competition time!

Yes people, the moment that you have all been waiting for has finally arrived! As most of you know a short while ago I reached  1000 followers. I’m still pretty much completely in awe by that, but to celebrate I also promised that I would be having a competition in order for you to win some cool stuff. And now, it’s time to finally do that. Before we get into the rules for this (yes I know, horrible, there are rules again) I’m thinking you would probably like to know what you can win right? Well, you have the chance to win one of three different prizes. As I run a multi topic blog, I have decided to give away one prize in three of the categories on my blog. So without further ado, let’s go see what these goodies are!

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I have been thinking about giving away some kind of boxed set of dvds but with the regional codes that might not be such a good idea. So instead I ordered a Mikasa figure from Attack on Titan. You can see her on display down here. The one thing I am extremely disappointed in was the fact that it got delivered to me without a box. So, really my apologies in advance for that. The figure itself however is intact and looks pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.

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Pretty bad-ass isn’t she? 

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As with the Anime category I decided not to give away dvds because of regional codes, but I did order something cool that movielovers would probably enjoy as well. Last year I read a terrific making of book of one of the coolest movie franchises ever: Back to the Future. You can read my review for it right here. It was an awesome book to read, and in case you are wondering: no, this is not my own copy that I am giving away here. All of these prizes are brand spanking new items.

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Well…as you can see I now have two copies of this book: so the new one might become yours! 

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Last but not least I am delighted to present to you a prize that grants you the opportunity to read one of my most beloved fantasy epics: The Dragonlance Chronicles. Did you ever wonder where my Blogname came from? Well…Raistlin is a book character that came from the pages of these books. He is one of my all time favorite characters, and if you read the novels you will find out why. I am very happy that I was able to track down a very rare edition for you guys that collects the first 3 novels in one beautiful tome.

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Even I don’t own this copy….I might keep this myself. Kidding of course!

The rules

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Rules? Really? Do I have to write these down as well?

Yes…I know why are there rules? Well, can’t have a competition without some form of rules right? So what am I going to ask of you? Do you need to sharpen your swords for gladiator combat? Do I want you to take place in a marathon? Perform in a live Karaoke show? Do some mud-wrestling? Erm….no…no worries. I’m a simple guy, so I am going to keep it very simple for you all:

  • As this is a celebration of my reaching 1000 followers, you can only participate if you were following my blog before the 23rd of January 2018 (I reached the 1000 follower mark on the 22nd).
  • You can only choose one category in which you want to participate.
  • Participating is easy: just leave a comment below this post telling me in which category you wish to win.
  • You can only leave one comment. Duplicates are not allowed.
  • You can leave a comment up until the 28th of February at which point the competition will close.
  • The winners will be determined by the random number generator (the one I also used for my current theme month).
  • I will announce the winners on the 9th of March (Which coincidentally is my birthday, and there is nothing better than giving away presents on your birthday)

And…that’s it. That’s not too hard right? For those of you that have started following me after the 1000 followers mark, rest assured there will be another competition somewhere in the future. So I hope you don’t feel too left out, because I really appreciate everyone that reads my posts, leaves a like or a comment in some form or another. I will leave you now with saying good luck if you are going to be entering this, and I hope that the prizes are to everyone’s liking. Thanks for reading and see you on the next post !

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Now…..fight! 😂😂😂

 

Thrawn, a Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn (2017)

With the movie the Return of the Jedi that was released in 1983, the first Star Wars trilogy was finished. And many people at the time thought that would be the end of things. The popularity of the franchise started to wane, and slowly but surely people began to lose interest. But then nine years later Star Wars got noticed again, this time not because of a new movie, but by a novel written by Timothy Zahn called Heir to the Empire. It would be the first of a new trilogy of books that chronicled events that took place after Return of the Jedi. It became a huge succes. Not only was it an amazing story, but it also introduced a couple of new characters that became fan favorites, even though they had never been seen before in a movie. The most notorious of these was Grand Admiral Thrawn. The blue skinned alien Chiss, was a military genius that almost brought the New Republic to it’s knees. After this first trilogy a huge range of novels were made that took the story even further. This became known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

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The original cover to the book that introduced Thrawn.

This was all before the Dark Times…before the Empi…erm, Disney. When they took over Lucasfilm, and revealed plans to make a new trilogy of movies taking place after Episode VI, something had to be done about the Expanded Universe. And something was done to it: it was declared non-canon. In other words all the characters, worlds and events created within those books were no longer part of the official Star Wars timeline. A lot of fans, including me, were not very happy with that. But two years ago, something happened that brought a smile to the faces of many people that loved those books: Thrawn was brought back. This time he was reintroduced as a new adversary in the Star Wars cartoonseries Rebels. And just like that Thrawn was canon again. Last year the original creator of Thrawn, writer Timothy Zahn, wrote a new book about the legendary character. It was, needless to say, highly anticipated. But as with most things that you look forward to, it very rarely lives up to all the things you expect.

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Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels. 

This novel explores the origin of Thrawn and tells the tale of his quick rise to power through the ranks of the Empire. Thrawn is first found as a young man, seemingly abandoned by his people. An Imperial team is impressed by his cunning and tactical genius, and decide to give him a chance to prove himself. Thrawn takes on the young ensign Eli Vanto as a translator and together with him, begins his training. But a lot of high ranked people don’t take kindly to having an alien in their ranks and would like to see him fail. Meanwhile on the planet Lothal a ruthless administrator called Arihnda Pryce is also making plans to expand her power. Eventually the two will cross paths. Where Thrawn is skilled in military tactics, Pryce is more than his match on the battlefield of politics. But when threats against the still unstable Empire begin to appear all over the galaxy, Thrawn faces a new adversary that might become his downfall. Especially when this opponent seems to be two steps ahead of him at every turn…..

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Yup….Arihnda Pryce was also featured in Rebels. She doesn’t look very happy about it though. 

Thrawn became a very different novel than I expected it to be. I had hoped for a very tense and exciting book, with an interesting origin story of the Grand Admiral. In part it delivers this, but the other part was well, quite frankly a bit boring. We get a story that focusses a lot on internal politics. As I am not a huge fan of politics in the first place, I felt that these chapters slowed the story down to a crawl. We also get a lot of secondary characters thrown into the mix, that just get introduced but then, at least most of them, don’t really do anything. But what of Thrawn himself? The character that many loved so much in the brilliant original trilogy of books that introduced him feels…different. It’s still Thrawn, that can’t be denied, but at the same time it’s not. Of course Zahn had to reinvent the character and as such has had to make some changes. But still, this is not the same Thrawn that was such an amazing villain. And that is the part that disappointed me the most.

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Yes, he is looking at you. Are you scared yet? 

Still, it is not a bad novel. There is small cameo appearance of a major character that will have most Star Wars fans whopping with joy. I also really liked the backstory of Arihnda Pryce who was at times even more cunning then Thrawn. Whether or not you will like this novel depends on a few things. If you like your Star Wars books to be full of action, big space battles and lots of tension, then I don’t think this is a novel you would enjoy. There are a few scenes like that, but mostly we get a book that focusses more on backstabbing officials and internal politics. As mentioned Thrawn is also not quite the character you are used to, but there are still flashes of his original brilliance throughout the book. Maybe the sequel to this novel, Thrawn: Alliances, that will be published this year, more of those flashes will make an appearance. All in all, Thrawn is an okay novel if you don’t expect too much from it.

I give Thrawn a 7 out of 10 score.

The official making of Big Trouble in Little China, a book written by Tara Bennet & Paul Terry (2016)

Director John Carpenter will always be one of my favorite alltime horror movie directors. Best known for movies such as The Thing and Halloween he has made an impact on this genre that is felt even today. One of his lesser known, but no less fun movies is Big Trouble in Little China. While this one technically can not really be called a horror movie, it’s one of those films that has gathered a real cult status amongst fans, myself included. Two years ago, the movie celebrated it’s 30th anniversary, and as often happens during events like that some cool products were released to help celebrate it. One of the things I always enjoy reading is books that detail how a certain film was made, especially if they contain some cool facts and nice artwork. To my delight, finally John Carpenter’s classic got a book like that as well. And as Kurt Russel’s character Jack Burton from the movie would say: “Great, a six demon bag. What’s in it?”

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“Son of a bitch must pay!!” 

Within the pages of this 176 page book you will find a lot of awesome never before seen photographs, that could definitely be called the highlight of this book. Included are promotional photographs, behind the scenes pictures, stills from the movie itself, and a lot of detailed artwork. All of these are printed in very high quality resolution, and every photograph no matter how small, get’s a description of what it shows. The latter might seem very obvious, but trust me when I say that there have also been making of books that did not include this information. That always annoys me to no end, because there have truly been some occasions where I would have loved to have found out what a certain picture depicted. The entire layout of the book, breathes the atmosphere of this great film, and the designers of this did a great job on that department. The book pretty much follows along with the story of the film, and so you will find yourself taking a trip down memory lane when you flip through the book.

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The good old Pork-Chop Express.

But besides the photographs there is of course also a lot of information about what went on during the making of the movie itself. It is written in a clear and concise way, that includes insights from the cast and crew itself. Some of the text was a bit dry, especially when they went into details about which type of cameras were being used, and stuff like that. But that luckily doesn’t happen very often. There were two things I really enjoyed finding out about and had never known before, prior to reading this book. The first was that the actress that played the character of Margo Litzenberg, Kate Burton, was the daughter of the legendary actor Richard Burton. The other is the fact that this movie was really helpful in the promotion and use of Asian American actors. As we all know, there has been a lot of controversy over the “whitewashing” affairs of the American movie industry. This movie was way ahead of it’s time in the fact that it used almost primarily Asian American actors/actresses for it’s leading roles. A fact that the cast was very thankful of and that really becomes kind of a focal point throughout this book.

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Some people just don’t look their best when they just woke up. 

The book is presented in pretty thick glossy pages that really give it the look of a high quality product. To round out the book we get a foreword written by the legendary director himself, and an afterword penned by it’s leading man Kurt Russell. This is a book that is written for the fans, there’s no question about that. If you have never seen the film, there is little to no point in picking this up. Unless you really like reading books about all the details and hard work that is put into making a film like this. However if you have been a fan of this cult classic as much as I have been, this one is well worth it to add to your collection. Overall it was a very enjoyable read, that contains a wealth of good background information, great interviews with cast and crew, and of course the visual aspects of it were a delight. You can almost hear the Pork-Chop Express driving up to your home with old Jack Burton on the CB saying: “It’s all in the reflexes”.

I give the Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China a 8 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Happy New Year & Blogging Resolutions

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first post of the new year. I wish each and every one of you that is reading this, especially all of you that are following my blog, a very happy new year. Last year was a rough year for a lot of people, and I truly hope that 2018 is going to bring only good and warm things for all of you and your loved ones. And of course a new year brings the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. Well, I know a lot of people make these, but I never quite believed in them. So, I thought that this year I would call them Blogging Resolutions, as I will be spending a lot of time this year on my blog and all of your blogs as well. But let’s translate this into what this post is actually about: pretty much all the things you can look forward to (or at least I hope you will be looking forward to it lol), on my blog in this year. As I mentioned in my final post last year, I want to bring a bit more structure into my blog.

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Yup….a bit more structure can definitely be good at times 😅

That doesn’t mean I am going to be focussing on only one thing. This is still a multi-topic blog and that won’t change. What I do plan on doing is at least cover every main theme of my blog (Movies, Anime, Books, TV-series and Korean Dramaseries) with at least one post each month. In that way everyone should at least get coverage of one of the things they like viewing/reading the most. That said I also plan on having theme months. Which means that each month I will be focussing on one topic of my blog more than the others. Lastly, I have a few new features that I hope to add as well, but you can find more details about that below. As with all things in life, and as most of you also know, there is always the aspect of real life hiding in the shadows. Which means that plans can always change because of events that happen in the real world that are beyond your control. But that said, where would we be without any sort of plans? So without further ado, lets get cracking and see what 2018 is going to bring!

Movies

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Well, it goes without saying that my movie reviews will of course return for the next year. If there would ever come a year that I don’t watch any movies, I have probably been replaced with an evil clone body. In 2018 we will get an enormous amount of different films that I am looking forward to very much. One of the biggest events will of course be Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War. With the largest superhero cast ever created for the big screen, this movie is set to take over the box office by storm. But there are more things to look forward to. The inevitable sequels such as Jurrasic World Fallen Kingdom, Pacific Rim:Uprising, The Equalizer II and a new Predator movie will hopefully bring us more of the same goodness that we loved in the originals. But three films I’m particularly looking forward to seeing are Meg (Jason Statham taking on a huge pre-historic shark), Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg’s new film, that looks like a geek’s dream come true) and Alita Battle Angel (the live action version of my favorite manga). These, and probably many others, are all going to make an appearance at some point on my blog.

Anime

imageLast year I started for the first time with watching seasonal anime (I usually only watched shows that were already completed), and it was something I enjoyed very much. The main reason for this being I could exchange thoughts on episodes right after they showed. It goes without saying that I will continue that in this year. Attack on Titan season 3, and hopefully the third season for Sword Art Online are definitely the two shows that I’m looking forward to the most. But of course, as I am pretty much behind on almost every anime in existence, there are some older shows that will get their reviews as well here. First up is the long overdue Girls und Panzer (and what a wonderful surprise that turned out to be), but you can also expect reviews for  Ganz, Psycho Pass season 2, Tokyo Ghoul and many others both old and new. I also hope to attend Animecon 2018, where I will give you a full report of that incredibly wonderful event just like I did last year.

Books

imageLike anime I have a list of books that I still need to read that will probably be enough to build a skyscraper of a 1000 floors with. But I love reading, and I definitely want to get to that part of my many hobbies a lot more this year. I own every Karin Slaughter book that has been published to date, but have yet to read her final three offerings. She is just about the only writer that I read that doesn’t write about science fiction and fantasy. The Warhammer 40000 universe has always held me interest and I plan on reading the twelve part novel series The Beast Arises in it’s entirety this year. Besides fiction I also love reading making of books on movies, and you can expect reviews for a few of those as well, including Big Trouble in Little China, Ghost in the Shell and Bladerunner 2049. And then there are of course comics and manga, which I’m sure will also get hit with my hard hitting reviews (ahum….right…moving on).

Tv series

imageThe world of television changes each year. New shows keep being added and quite honestly it’s become pretty much impossible to follow every show. But I’m pretty sure that I will in all likelyhood be able to discover some new shows this year along the way. But that’s not to say the old favorites are going anywhere. One review you can definitely expect from me is the eight season of The Walking Dead, that no matter what anybody says I still love to death. The second season of the science fiction series The Expanse is also still on my review list as well as Homeland season 6, Lethal Weapon season 2, and 24 Legacy. If all goes well, and this is a big if, I also hope to revisit one of my favorite alltime science fiction series Babylon 5. An amazing and truly highly underrated gem that some of you might never have even heard of.

Korean dramas

imageI love watching Korean dramas but one of my biggest problems with them, is that so many of the cool ones aren’t available for me to watch. Luckily Netflix is beginning to get a few of these as well now, which is awesome. Two of the dramas that I failed to complete last year are Pinocchio and Missing Nine. I hope that if all goes well, these will be featured on my blog in january. Two of the dramas that Netflix have on offer are Black and Stranger. I have already progressed about halfway with Stranger, and I’m really looking forward to Black. The story for that about a grim reaper that tries to uncover a serial murder mystery while at the same time falling in love with a mortal woman, sounds intriguing to say the least. I can’t wait to get started on that one. But I’m pretty sure that new shows will also enter my to watch list, as just with regular tv series, Korean Dramas continue being developed as well.

The New Stuff

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Can you please stop talking now?

For those of you that have made it to the end of this post, I thank you for your patience. I know this post is pretty long, but I am almost done. (What do you mean you don’t believe me?) So, as I mentioned I also have a few new features planned for my blog. Curious about what they are? Well, here they come:

  • Bloggers in the spotlight: Last year the number of new bloggers I have met were astounding. Some of them have become great friends, not to mention the ones that I already knew. As I am running a multi-topic blog I plan on doing a monthly post that will cover 3-4 bloggers that either write about anime, movies or books in order to put them in the spotlight. I have always said that the most wonderful thing about blogging is exchanging thoughts and meeting new people, and this is my way of showing my appreciation for that.
  • Competition time: My blog is starting to creep slowly towards the magical number of 1000 followers. I honestly still can’t believe this, but I really could not have done this without all your terrific support and love. That’s why I want to give back some of that love to all of you. As soon as I will hit the 1000th follower I’m going to run a competition giving you a chance to win some (hopefully) amazing prices. More on that later in the year.
  • The monthly choice: Starting in February, depending on the theme of that particular month, I want to give you all a chance to present me with a suggestion for a review I should be doing. I will choose one of these suggestions completely at random and the blogger who “wins ” will of course get an honorable mention.

Phew…..this was one heck of a long post, and to think that the year has only just started! Hopefully, despite it’s length, you still enjoyed reading this one. Let me know what you think of all these plans and what you are excited about the most in the comments section (or if you don’t like anything that was mentioned here, feel free to let me know as well lol). As always, thank you for reading, and let’s make 2018 a wonderful year!

Special Features Presents: And now…the end is near!

Don’t worry, I am not going to be closing down my blog. This is just the final post that I am going to be writing. For this year that is. Everyone has been saying it: “Wow, has this year flown by”. And it certainly has. For me this year has had it’s ups and downs. More downs than ups if I am going to be honest, but I don’t want to write my final post of the year as a depressive one. In short I want to make this a cool and fun post to celebrate the end of this year. And what better way to do that, than in showing you all my favorite things that I read, watched and played in 2017. But before I start on that I also want to say that this first full year of blogging has been amazing. I have seen my blog grow in ways that I really did not expect. I have met an awful lot of new bloggers along the way, and some of them have turned into a couple of really amazing friends. Combined with the people I already knew I can really say that I could not live without my blog anymore. It’s become a part of me, and I want to thank each and every one of you that has ever read a post, left a comment or a like. You really are all amazing, and I hope the new year is going to bring you all only fun and good things. And now, let’s kick off this end of year post shall we?

Favorite movie of the year: Bladerunner 2049

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If someone would have told me a few years ago that Blade Runner 2049 would end up as my favorite movie of the year I would have flat out laughed out loud. As I really thought that this sequel to such a classic science fiction masterpiece would be doomed to fail. But I was proven wrong. This beautiful movie had everything in it. It expanded the story of the original film, and combined with breathtaking visual effects, some solid acting and a brilliant score this one is simply the reason why I love movies so much. I can’t wait to own this one on dvd, to watch it over and over again. My absolute number one film for this year.

Favorite anime of the year: Your Lie in April

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One of absolute highlights of 2017 was the watch-a-long with Weekend Otaku for the breathtaking animeseries Your lie in April. I know this one was released in 2014,  but for me it was the first time I saw it this year. What can I say about this beautiful show that has not already been said? It’s an emotional roller coaster that this show takes you on, but it’s one well worth taking. You would be wise to stock up on numerous boxes of tissues because I guarantee that you are going to cry multiple times. But this is a show that is simply put: perfect. I had never thought I would like a slice of life show as much as I ended up enjoying this one. It’s still my number one alltime anime series to date.

Favorite Korean Drama of the year: Goblin

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On the front of Korean dramas I have had a very disappointing year. As in: I saw way too few of them (Sorry about that Kay). I plan to really watch more of these next year, as there are quite a number of them that I still want to see. My favorite pick for this year was really easy though. Goblin was an amazing drama with high production values, a beautiful and heartwarming story but best of all were the characters. They really made this series into an incredible fun watch. I’m not one that usually likes comedies, but the humor in this drama was just hilarious. I really had to laugh at so many scenes. But this certainly wasn’t a comedy as there were also many exciting, tearful but also quite horrifying scenes. If you have never seen a K-drama before this might be a very good place to start.

Favorite Tv Series of the Year: Stranger Things 2

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When a first season for a series is highly succesful and a second season gets announced, fans look forward to it, but obviously are very anxious for it at the same time. What if it sucks? Stranger Things is a show that proves that a second season can be just as good, if not at times even better than the first one. While overall I did think the first season was just a tiny bit better, this second season was just a blast from start to finish. The entire 80’s vibe, the wonderful characters (both old and new), and the storyline combine to make this a show that you can’t stop watching until you have finished it. It was an absolutely amazing watch, and I am already looking forward to next year where season 3 will hopefully give us that same experience again. Stranger Things is simply put: awesome!

Favorite Book of the Year: Sisters of Battle

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Ugh, as with Korean Dramaseries, reading books this year has really been underwhelming. I have such a huge pile of books that I still need to read, and because of the wonderful Dani ,Kim and Didi my Good Reads to read list has completely exploded. (Thanks for that girls 😢 Just kidding, you know I love you 😊). And now there are the wonderful Lashaan and Trang that also keep adding books to this seemingly never ending list. But I did read some books this year, and my favorite was also one that I finished quite recently the Sisters of Battle Omnibus. This one was just a blast to read from start to finish. Great characters, explosive battlescenes and just a terrific science fiction setting are just a couple of the things that made this novel so much fun. But the girlpower is what gave this book it’s real edge. This was a pageturner and a book that I could hardly put down.

Favorite Boardgame of the Year: Eldritch Horror

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When it comes to boardgames it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Eldritch Horror is a fantastic horror/fantasy boardgame that I gave a well deserved perfect score. It’s a joy to play, even when playing it solo, because of the great narrative components it contains. You will find yourself racing across the world trying to prevent an ancient evil from awakening. In the meantime you will experience all sorts of adventures that are always different whenever you play this game. If you love reading books or watching adventure movies, this is a game you should definitely consider adding to your collection. Trust me when I say that you will not be disappointed by this in any way.

Final thoughts

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Well people: that’s it. Time for me to call it a day. At least for this year that is. I hope you will all enjoy the upcoming final day of the year. If you are going to be using fireworks please make sure you aren’t going to blow any of your hands off. I do want to see each and everyone of you back safely next year. Speaking of next year, I will continue to write about the things I love the most, but I do want to bring a little bit more structure into my blog, as it has sometimes been going all over the place. I have also been thinking of a few new features I want to add, but that is a story for later. As always thank you for reading this and for your amazing support the past few months. See you all next year! 😀😀

Sisters of Battle, a Warhammer 40000 novel by James Swallow (2017)

Imagine a grim and dark universe that only has one thing on it’s mind: war. Not a very bright thing to look forward to is it? But it has been the setting for decades for a tabletop game called Warhammer 40.000. In that game players battle each other with fictional armies of painted miniatures. Taking place in the 41st Millenium (talk about a time jump), it is one of the most detailed science fiction universes ever created. With literally thousands of novels and sourcebooks that tell the tales of the men, women and aliens that are living in there, it can be very overwhelming for people that are not familiar with it. In this far future, mankind has taken to the stars and have created an Imperium that consists of thousands of planets. Humanity is led by The Emperor that was mortally wounded in a great war called the Horus Heresy. He now permanently resides on Terra where he is kept alive on The Golden Throne. In his name vast armies of Space Marines take the fight to enemies ranking from aliens to horrifying demons.

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Yup…..we get girlpower now!

I myself have never played the game, but I really love the stories that are written for this universe. I have a pretty big collection of books in this range, and most of these tell the accounts of the soldiers of the Imperium, the superhuman Space Marines. That’s why it was very refreshing to find a novel that does something entirely different. It brings girlpower to this male dominated universe! The Sisters of Battle Omnibus features four stories that focus on the women soldiers also known as the Adepta Sororitas. Fanatically loyal to the Emperor, these women are not supersoldiers or enhanced in any way. But what they may lack in strength, they more than make up for with their courage and faith. In this omnibus we get introduced to Sister Miriya, who has become one of my favorite Warhammer 40.000 characters. Raven haired, headstrong but courageous to a fault she is an absolute delight and a true heroine.

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One of the more horrifying enemies that lurk in this book: The Necron.

The second main character of this book is Sister Verity, who is not a soldier but a medic and almost the complete opposite of Miriya. Where the former is of the type to shoot first and ask questions later, Verity always tries to reason through everything and is an incredibly kind soul that always sees the best in people. This unlikely pair soon become vast friends, and are going to have to face some true challenges. The four stories that make up this omnibus are all good, but my two favorites have got to be the two novella length ones. In Faith and Fire the two Sisters are going after a rogue psyker that has killed Verity’s real sister, and is responsible for the death of countless other humans. But soon it becomes clear that there is something far more sinister going on. In Hammer and Anvil Miriya and Verity land on a planet that contains an outpost from the Adepta Sororitas that has been silent for years. No one really knows what transpired there, but the truth is more horrifying than both could ever have imagined.

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Who would argue with a woman like this?

James Swallow, the author of all four stories, has really outdone himself. This collection comes running out of the gates, and never once becomes boring in any way. There are some great battlescenes, terrific characters (both heroes and enemies) but there is also enough time amidst all the carnage to tell some great tales. If you have never before experienced the Warhammer 40.000 universe this omnibus certainly is a great way to enter it. As it features a branch of The Imperium that hasn’t been featured in many other novels yet, you need no real other knowledge to enjoy this book. If you love military science fiction, that has fast paced action and interesting characters I highly recommend checking this one out. It really was a great read from start to finish, and one of the best novels that I have read all year. And really, who can resist an awesome cover like that!

I give Sisters of Battle a 9 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Coming up next……

Earlier this week I realised something that actually shocked me a bit. In a little bit less than two months we will be saying goodbye to the year 2017. I don’t know if this is just me, but seriously this year has rushed by so fast! But maybe the reason might simply be it’s because I’m getting older or something like that, but I do wonder where this year has gone off to in such a hurry. As the year 2018 is already slowly beginning to appear on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to let you all know what will be coming up next in these last two months of the year on my blog. I will try to release some diverse content so that hopefully everyone is going to have something to look forward to. So let’s take a look into the crystal ball of the future shall we?

Anime

imageYes anime is definitely still a part of my blog. It has been lacking a bit in the past few weeks, I have to admit, but let me just ease your minds: there is plenty of that still going to be heading your way. Ergo Proxy is a series that I know a lot of you have been waiting to hear my thoughts on. Rest assured the post for that one is coming this month. Girls und Panzer is an unexpected delight. I had skipped over this series quite a number of times in the Crunchyroll line up. But because of a recent post from The Otaku Judge on the Girls und Panzer film, I decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did. Other anime you can expect reviews for are Deadman WonderlandThe Skycrawlers and Bakemonogatari.

Tv series

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I am really playing catch up to a lot of things at the moment, and as such have fallen  behind on some of my favorite television shows. But that does not mean I don’t occasionally start with something new. Television series based on movies are usually a very bad idea and have an awful track record. Ofcourse there are exceptions to this rule, and the Lethal Weapon tv series certainly is one. Prison Break returned this year to our small screens with a one time 9 episode event series. It used to be one of my alltime favorites, and that’s why I am really looking forward to watching this. Star Trek Discovery is the newest Star Trek tv series, and while I am still debating on whether or not I actually think it’s a good show, it’s certainly not bad either. Besides reviews for these three series, you can also expect posts for Homeland season 6, The Walking Dead season 7, and Fear the Walking Dead season 1.

Korean Dramas

imageKorean dramas are so much fun, but unfortunately as with almost everything I have really started to run behind on these (sorry Kay). The first one is Pinocchio a somewhat older series, but one that I have so far been enjoying for quite a bit. The second is one that has been on my to watch list for ages and that’s Missing 9. The main reason for watching this one is that it includes one of my favorite Korean actors Jung Kyung-ho. The second reason is that it reminds me a lot of Lost, an alltime favorite series of mine, as it tells the story of a group of people that survive a plane crash and get stranded on an island. Both of these are up for reviews in the coming months.

Movies

imageNo big suprise that of course movies will also remain a big part of this blog (at least I hope it won’t be a surprise that is lol). Yesterday I saw the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Ragnarok. It was a fun filled film, and that one will be up first when it comes to movie reviews. With the releasedate of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming ever closer, I am planning on doing a series of posts similar to the Countdown to Halloween feature. And it will be given the name Countdown to The Last Jedi (duhhhhh). I’m not yet going to reveal which movies will be included, but of course they are all going to be science fiction. Other movies you can expect reviews for are John Carpenter’s classic Christine and Justice League. But with movies I expect a few others to be added to this list along the way.

Books

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Ughh, my Good Reads to read list is growing daily, and I probably won’t be able to complete it until I am close to entering a retirement home. I do want to finish a couple of books by the end of the year though, so I still have hope of including at least a few reviews for those as well. I am currently right in the middle of the Sisters of Battle Omnibus written by James Swallow. Part of the Warhammer 40000 universe, it has so far been a very entertaining read. For those who want a bit of nostalgia, I’m also planning a review for the Mini-comic collection of He-man and the Masters of the Universe. The last two books on my list for this year are The official making of Big Trouble in little China and the Star Wars novel Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. This last one especially is one I am really looking forward to as it marks the return of my favorite villain from the Expanded Universe that became canon again (erm, yes I am going to explain that one when I write the review for it).

Boardgames

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Yes, I still play boardgames, even though the last review for one of those dates back to May this year. I hope to publish at least one more review for a boardgame and that is for the incredible Xenoshyft Dreadmire. This is a really fun but incredibly tough deckbuilding game, in which you have to defend your base from a horde of bloodthirsty alien creatures. The artwork for this game is off the scales, and it will be a delight to show it you in all it’s creepy glory.

In closing….

So, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the final two months of this year. In between these posts I also hope to catch up on some tags and awards that I haven’t yet made posts for. As with all things, these are all plans that can be subject to change, as you never know when real life decides to throw a wrench into everything again. But hopefully that won’t happen. In closing I want to thank each and everyone of you who continue to support my blog. I really could not do this without you! So: Thank you all 😀 Let me know in the comments section below if there are any things that you are looking forward to in particular (or if there is nothing on this list that grabs your attention, which is fine as well of course, but I definitely hope that’s not the case lol). Thank you all for reading, see you on the next post!

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever : a fantasy novel by Stephen Donaldson (1977)

Every year on my birthday a group of my closest friends gather together in secret to come up with a birthday present for me. And that is quite a difficult feat, mind you, as my hobbies and the things I like are quite large. As such, it becomes harder every year to find something that I don’t already own. (But to my defense I have the same problem in deciding what to give them in return). Usually it takes them quite a while to come up with an idea, but this year apparently was the first time that it was quite easy. On that fateful day in March I received a huge box that contained a large number of books. I was at a loss for words as it truly was a wonderful gift, but I was even more surprised in finding out that it was a series of novels that I had never heard about. Today I finished the first of those novels, a huge 1154 page omnibus edition that contained the first three books of an epic fantasy series. This review is written for my friends who gave me this wonderful present, but for one in particular who shall remain nameless, because I know she doesn’t like stuff like this. But she was the one who came up with this idea, and I can’t thank her enough, for this book was truly wonderful from start to finish. And then again: you know who you are anyway!

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The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is an epic fantasy series, that features one of the most unusual heroes that you will ever meet. In fact I can’t think of a single book character that I have ever hated more in my life than Thomas Covenant. But in the end you want to see him win the day too, which only contributes to the amazing skills of the writer. Thomas Covenant has been diagnosed with leprosy. His wife, unable to deal with this, has filed for divorce and has left him, together with their young son. The town he lives in despises him, and wants nothing to do with him. In fact they pretty much stop at nothing to get him to leave. Because of this Thomas has grown into an incredibly bitter man, that has no love for anyone. One day he gets hit by a car and falls unconscious. And it is then that strange things are beginning to happen.

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When Covenant wakes up he finds himself in an unfamiliair world, simply called “The Land”. He finds out that he has been summoned there by a creature that has been manipulated by an evil being called Lord Foul. Lord Foul’s evil threatens to destroy The Land, but Thomas might just have the power to stop him. And that power seems to be contained within the most unlikely place one could think of: the wedding ring on his finger which he could not make himself to stop wearing even after his divorce. Thomas, however doesn’t believe that all of this is real, and instead thinks it is something conjured up by his mind to let him deal with his leprosy. With the evil gaining power every single day, the plight of the good people of The Land becomes ever more desperate. But as long as Thomas remains an Unbeliever, Lord Foul has won the war without even having to strike a single blow….

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This omnibus Edition contains the novels Lord Foul’s Bane, The Illearth War and The Power That Preserves. As I mentioned above, I truly hated Thomas Covenant. You would think that with everything I told you about him, one would give the guy a break. But trust me when I say that you will grow to hate him as well. This man is pretty much unfriendly to everyone he meets, no matter how they treat him. He even ends up raping an innocent girl at some point, which was a truly loathsome act. But still, as the story progresses his character grows on you, and you really want him to pull through anyway, no matter what he has done. Stephen Donaldson has put together a very rich fantasy world, filled with a huge cast of characters and places. And I do mean huge as at the back of the novel there is a 8 page glossary of names for all the characters, items, and places that the novel contains.

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That was also the only negative point I could come up with. The sheer number of names and terms used in the book was so big, that I did find myself flicking to the back of the novel at times to look up who a certain character was. But besides that, this book is an incredible read from start to finish. It’s a pageturner that is hard to put down, and truly has that classic quality of  “Just one more chapter before I turn off the lights” (which usually means that you end up reading more than one chapter). The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a must read for people who like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. It’s rich mythology, terrific characters, and epic storyline will hold you spellbound all the way to the end. Even though I will now take a break in order to return to a science fiction universe, I can’t wait to get back to The Land, and continue with the epic adventures of Thomas. Even though I still hate that guy…..

I give The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant a 9 out of 10 score.

The Art and making of Alien Covenant, a Alien book (2017)

I sometimes just get the best gifts. This year the movie Alien Covenant was released, the follow up to Prometheus, and prequel to the legendary Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott. A lot of people were not very pleased with it, but I ended up liking it a lot as you can tell by reading my review for it. Knowing I am a huge fan of the Alien franchise in general, a very special girl that goes by the name of Ludija, bought this great book for me that deals with the making of this latest movie in the franchise. And what better way to thank her, than by dedicating this review to her. So Ludija: this one is for you!

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An example of the terrific artwork contained within this book. 

The best thing about this book is the lavish illustrations and photographs that are contained within it’s pages. Including stills from the movie itself, as well as artwork and behind the scenes photography, this book really is a feast for your eyes. All of the photographs have an incredibly high quality, and I can honestly say that some of these rank amongst the best that I have ever seen for books like these. The layout is very pleasing as well. The book is divided into chapters and pretty much follows the story of the film from beginning to end.

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Yup, never denied the fact that some of this artwork is pretty gruesome. 

The book starts with a (short) foreword by director Ridley Scott himself. This was just added as an afterthought I think, as Ridley seriously has not much to say. In fact, it is so short that I wonder why they bothered including it in the first place. The rest of the written stuff includes a few interviews with the cast and crew, and of course some outlines and background story about the making of the film. All of this is written in a pretty basic style, and doesn’t include overly difficult technical terms or things like that. It’s not exactly boring, but I do have to admit that I have read making off books that were much more appealing.

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The photography really has an incredibly high quality. 

That said, this book is worth it for exactly what it says on the cover: the art. I can also say that this book will only appeal to you if you were a fan of the film, as there is nothing else about this book to recommend. I for one loved it because of the beautiful artwork and photography contained within it. If I were to judge it purely on the written text I would give it a 6 out of 10 score. But it is the imagery that raises the final score for this book as you can see down below.

I give The Art and making of Alien Covenant a 8 out of 10 score.