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The End of All Things

“It’s been a long time since I’ve held a sword, Charly.”

“Then you shouldn’t keep your sword waiting,” he replied.

Chao shook her head. A sword was the end of all things. A taste of blood required more blood and Chao was no longer the same. She didn’t thirst for blood nor mischievous fun. She was mild in manner and always had been, but without Charly and Demonico to slay by her side, there was no point in slaying at all. A game was only a game when there were players to be playing.

“Do you remember what it was like, that first night?” Charly asked her. “I remembered I took you from that forsaken port town and gave you a life of your own. You held that sword in your hand and it danced with you, slicing elegant patterns in its wake. You were great at the game, even much better than Demonico.”

She ignored the mention of the other. She had seen him recently and had used nonviolent ways to set him free from some sort of entrapment. Surely it wasn’t any of Charly’s fault. Demonico had probably been wandering realms when he was caught. The creatures who caught him were ferocious hunters. It took Chao, Angelus, the second Angelus, Shaar, Six, and Five to take down a single entity. Demonico was trapped underground with a horde of them.

Where was Demonico now? Probably home safe with his wife, Anna.

“I don’t live by the sword anymore,” Chao told him. “I live by kindness and goodness and all the things hoped for that are unseen.”

Charly laughed. Kindness and goodness? What was Chao now, a saint? The thought lingered in his throat as a deep chuckle that he couldn’t resist holding down. “Did you forget what we were?” he asked her. He cocked his head to the side and stared into her deep cherry eyes. She had forgotten, or have tried to forget. It was there, her old self, a fading light like a dying star. He held her upper arms and laid his chin against her left shoulder. “We are the darkness that creeps, silent and still, choking all life in our path. We are the heroes that heroes only dreamed to be like.”

His whispers made her shudder. “You don’t even make sense,” she told him. “You and Demonico may be darkness, but I am not and I will refuse to become that which I once was.”

He lifted his head to look at her and frowned. “You loved the blood.”

She nodded. “I did. I relished it.”

“And not now?”

“I loved it too much. The killing. The torture. The fun. If I started again, I wouldn’t stop.”

“You’re afraid,” he said with a smile, confident that he had found out why she changed. “You’re afraid of who you really are.”

Chao shook her head. “A sword is the end of all things. I’m not afraid for myself or of what I might do. I’m afraid of all the ones in my path and that also means you.”

He bit his tongue and released her. “I’m not in your path,” Charly asserted. “Demonico and I are the closest of your friends. You would not hurt us.”

She reached out and touched his cheek. “You and Demonico are indeed the closest of friends that I have.” She paused. “But I have hurt you both and I will again without regard because that’s my true nature. I hurt worse the ones I love.”

Charly resigned his imploration with a smile. “Then perhaps it is best that you do not wield a sword again.”

“I resist the temptations,” Chao said. “When I give in, I normally sleep it off instead. I’ve been good.”

“So I won’t see you again?” Charly asked. It had been too long and she never came by often enough as it was.

“Oh, you will,” she told him. “It’s hard to resist temptations.”

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Ongoing Story Progression

 

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Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Why Women Repeatedly Put up With Abusive Relationships

Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie adaptation of E. L. James’ erotica, came out this past weekend, spurring millions of dollars in revenues and lots of reviews. I’ve always been vocal about my dislike of Fifty Shades of Grey and its predecessor, The Twilight Saga, which glorifies abusive relationships and aren’t appropriate for adults, let alone the younger girls that Twilight is aimed at as it’s target audience. James, who originally wrote Fifty Shades of Grey as Twilight fan fiction, took author Stephenie Meyer’s twisted Edward and Bella relationship and turned it into an even worse kind of relationship between Christian and Ana. For me, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Twilight Saga isn’t merely just fiction. It’s personal.

I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. I went to a middle school that was predominantly black. I’m Asian. It wasn’t easy to fit in. From a young age, I was taught that people of the same color usually tended to stick with one another: all the white kids, all the black kids, all the Hispanic kids, and yes, all us Asian kids as well. By middle school, there was more of us so that was great. I didn’t feel so bad then, but before that, it was hell trying to be nice to kids to have friends, to not be alone, and to not feel alone. I spent most of my childhood trying to please other people, which translated into an automatic mechanism that triggers in my relationships later on in my life. The thought process behind that mechanism is pretty much along the lines of, “if I can do this or that for someone, or prove myself valuable and worthy of them, then I won’t have to be alone”. As we can all see now, it’s a really messed up way of thinking, but we all still do it to a degree. We give in to peer pressure and do things we would’ve never done before. We tolerate the subtleties of abuse hidden behind promises and empty words from others that were meant to be nothing but a form of control over us.

It took me a long time to break out of that habit, the habit of letting others do whatever they wanted with me and to me just as long as they’re happy and okay. I’m still not as mean as I’d like to be, but I can now tell people to go screw themselves when I do catch the mind games and realize all the power plays for control of me. It’s all very subtle. Or it can be blatantly in your face like something I read today with a woman who is trying to appease a friend who was upset at her for apparently no reason. While she didn’t understand the friend’s anger, she still wanted the friend to be happy and she still wanted the best for that person, even when they basically told her the equivalent of, “fuck off“.

I’m not a stranger to those words. I used to cry about it. I used to be confused and not understand why someone was being so mean when all I wanted was to make them happy. It all stems back to my childhood and wanting friends which led to low self esteem and an overwhelming dependency on other people’s thoughts of me to validate my self worth. Reading what that woman wrote made me feel bad. I used to feel like that. I used to be the one who would try to make someone smile and think the world of them, even when all they wanted was candy I had or some other material thing. I wanted to say something to her, to that woman. I wanted to tell her the reason why it didn’t matter that her friend was upset, but why it did matter that she move on and not let such people control her emotions nor her life anymore.

It’s almost always about a boy.

Bella sees Edward and immediately starts obsessing about him. It’s not even that he’s into her, it’s that she created an ideal of him in her head simply based on how gorgeous he was. And in her ideal of him, he is actually a big, soft, cuddly teddy bear that wants love just as much as she does.

This is where all of us fail at relationships before there even could be any sort of relationship. We create versions of people in our minds that are suited to us, that are suited to our needs. Unfortunately, love is an incredible need that every person experiences. Love isn’t sex. And sex isn’t love. But because of love, many, many people will suffer abusive relationships all because of the ideal of someone they have clung on to inside their minds.The truth could be rather vocal like the woman and her friend. Instead of taking what was said and what happened for what it was, she held on to the hope that somehow, her love could change them and their behavior towards her. How I greatly wanted to shake her and tell her to snap out of her defeating daydream of someone else and what she hoped they were. It was much different from who they really were.

In Blood Lust, book two of the Turning Vampire Series, Marisa suffers a very controlling and physically abusive relationship at the hands of Alessander. Because he physically beats her, people reading that book can see that it’s domestic violence in its purest form: physical abuse. However, many people don’t realize that abuse isn’t only when someone is black and blue and almost dead from being beaten by their spouse/lover/friend/family member/etc. Abuse is any form of control of another. That could be as simple as convincing someone that they shouldn’t hang around a friend who has never done any harm or as complicated as manipulating someone like how Alessander manipulated Marisa.

One of my friends reading Blood Lust was greatly disgusted by Alessander and Marisa’s relationship. Although Marisa did learn how to stand up for herself and how to stop Alessander from hurting her, she went through all the steps that someone in an abusive relationship goes through. One of those main things is believing all the lies told by the other person. It’s odd how people are drawn to others who say no to them. Edward made it clear that he didn’t want Bella, and yet, she stalks him like a puppy, hoping he’d recant that whole episode where he ran off to get away from her and instead, declare his undying love for her. Christian made it clear to Ana that she was merely a play thing to him, a toy he wanted to use when he wanted and she had no influence in his life at all. He was influencing hers. However, despite all the signs of no, she still believed that deep down inside, he was a tortured soul who needed someone like her who could put up with his punishments and make him happy in the hopes that one day in some far off future, he’d confess his love for her. Alessander is a lot different from Edward and Christian. Instead of pushing Marisa away like how Edward did to Bella and Christian did to Ana, Alessander manipulated Marisa into thinking she wasn’t worth anything to anyone and that no one wanted her. Alessander was everything of the classic typical abuser in a romantic relationship that most people think of when they think of domestic abuse. They think of violence, of fights, of being put down and torn down. They think of male egos and arrogance. Alessander presented only one of the many multifaceted faces of abuse. Edward and Christian presented two more. All three were abusive. Edward creepily watched over Bella while she was asleep and kept tabs on her while she was awake. He listened in on other people’s thoughts to spy on her. Christian downright controlled Ana with his demands and the risk of “losing” whatever semi-resemblance of a relationship they had together. Alessander totally took it over board, but sadly, it’s not very far from the truth of how reality is for many people. Many people will never do what Marisa did. The concept of self preservation, self worth, self anything seems foreign to them.

It all starts in our heads.

As much as everyone wants to blame the more aggressive person in an abusive relationship, abuse actually starts with the person who allows themselves to be hurt. I’m not talking about the people who wake up one day to a black eye and don’t know how their relationship got that way. There’s that too and it’s wrong. I’m talking about us and how we have these expectational ideas of others. The woman believed her friend was simply having a bad day. Although she couldn’t understand why the friend was angry at her since she only strives to make the other person happy, it is well understood that whatever sort of relationship she has with that friend is largely one sided. I can’t really blame her for thinking the best or wanting to think the best about others, but the excuses that she makes for the friend’s behavior is something I’m familiar with. There’s a part of all of us that can see things as how they truly are. We will see bad friends as bad people. Yet, a different part of us holds on to these unrealistic ideas that our bad friend is somehow a good person and just going through a rough time. I was stuck in that circle for a while. I knew exactly what kind of friend my friend could be because I’ve watched her spend time with others, do things for others, be kind to others, share with others, and then, she spends a total of a few minutes saying hi to me and that’s it. She talks longer if she’s hungry and wants me to cook her food. Yet, knowing that she was a bad friend to me, I kept hoping that if I was nice back, she’d eventually act like a real friend. She never did and I had to finally accept that some people are great friends to others, but really bad friends to us. And even then, I still cried about it, because I knew she was a good person at heart. And that’s exactly the dilemma that this woman was having: her friend was a decently good person with a good heart and they were good friends with others, but the two of them didn’t get along well. Yet, knowing this, she still held on to that false hope that maybe that friend will change and treat her better as I thought my friend would surely see my worth and treat me better too. She didn’t.

We often are afraid to lose people for imagined potentials at what kind of relationship we could have with someone in the future.

I remember a girl from my childhood who hated me, but I wanted to be her friend so badly, that I was super nice to her all of the time. To describe our relationship, it was like Cole off of the movie, The Sixth Sense, and the bully Tommy who pretended to be friends with him in front of his mom. This girl pretended to be my friend in front of her mom. We’d get to school and she’d ditch me for all of her other friends. Her mom thought we were best friends. I thought we were best friends too. I didn’t understand that we weren’t until I was much older. That was a bad relationship. We didn’t physically fight. We didn’t hurt each other. But there was still a lot of misleading things and manipulations and abuse. In the end, we weren’t friends anymore and her mom came to my house and gave me back all the stuff I gave her daughter. The sad thing is, I had nothing to give to the woman as something her daughter gave me out of friendship. Back then, I also wasn’t brave enough to tell her mom what really happened. I still cared too much about what anyone thought of me.

Peer pressure is a huge thing for children. Being liked, making friends, feeling lonely…all of that affects everyone at some stage in their life. We can do without all the books that glorify abuse in relationships and tell us that we need someone else’s approval to be worth something. We’ve already told ourselves that enough as children. We hope for a, “I’m proud of you” from our parents and teachers. We hope for inclusion from our friends. And now we have popular books that tell us that independence is a lie and we need someone else to be complete.

The message in today’s world is that we cannot be strong without someone being weak. That’s the wrong message to send out to anyone, anywhere. I saw a meme today where some out of the closet atheist woman said, “I am happy that men wrote the Bible. That means that women didn’t.”

My reply was: “That’s sexist and quite frankly, a foolish thing to say. It took a man in order to birth that woman. It’s cool for men and women to be treated equally, but all this superiority bs simply needs to stop. She could’ve simply said she was an atheist instead of trying to belittle men to make her self worth as a woman greater. It shows that she has no self worth and that’s sad.

The opening poster said: “Oh BooHoo! You missed the point.”

In which I replied, “So I should acknowledge other people’s stupidity for a supposed point? No thanks. If someone’s going to make a stand for what they believe in, there’s no need to bash anyone else to make you or your religion or whatever you believe in as being better. She will die like the rest of us. Every human being will have the same ending: death, and there’s no escape from that.

So the OP responds with, “Freedom from religion certainly angers some folks, eh?

And the last thing I replied on that topic said, “It’s not about religion. It’s about people. Did I care that she was speaking against the Bible and that she’s atheist? Nope. Don’t twist my words into something you want it to be to better suit your own religious agendas. It’s not your freedom from religion that angers me. It’s my freedom of religion that angers you. That’s sad.

It’s really tiring when a lot of my pagan/atheist/non-christian friends talk about Christianity more than I do, and yet, they want to claim that Christians are the ones shoving our religion in their faces. I can’t tell whether they’re trying to convince everyone not to be a Christian by constantly talking about it, or that they’re trying to convince their selves of how they shouldn’t be a Christian by talking about Christianity all the time. Either way, let it go. It’s obsessive behavior and abusive to yourself. It’s not your freedom from religion that angers me. It’s my freedom of religion that angers you. And that is sad.

It’s late. I’m calling it a night. Stop the abuse and the acceptance of abuse in relationships.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Book Reviews, Diary, Movies, Things Worth Fighting For

 

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No Need For Little Tenchi!

This is my first fan fiction, thanks to my awesome friend Luke Green who gave me this particular idea. (I don’t even know how one writes fan fiction!)

This piece is based off the characters of Tenchi Muyo and I’m calling it, “No Need for Little Tenchi!” 😀

***

Tenchi stared up into the blue sky. Nothing stirred. With a sigh, he dutifully tied his shoelaces. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already, Tenchi thought to himself. I wonder how Ayeka is doing.

Ayeka, princess of Jurai, had left earth in haste, vowing never to return. Tenchi didn’t understand why. The day before Ayeka abruptly left was a day Tenchi wouldn’t forget so easily. He remembered it as if it was only yesterday.

“Where are the others?” Ayeka asked as she came in from hanging laundry out on the clothesline in the backyard.

Tenchi glanced up from his studies. “Oh, dad’s still at work and grandpa is at the shrine. Washu made Ryoko and Ryo-ohki take her to some science thing out in space. Kiyone and Mishoshi had something to do at headquarters. Sasami went to the store because we’re getting low on Miso and tempura batter.”

Ayeka paused for a moment. “I guess that leaves only you and me.”

“I guess so,” Tenchi said with a smile. He glanced back down at his school books.

“Um, Tenchi?”

“What is it, Ayeka?” He watched as she fiddled with the hem of her sleeves.

She hesitated. “Have you ever thought about us?” she asked him. “I know I live on Jurai and you here on Earth, but–”

“I have.”

His answer surprised her. “You have?” Ayeka walked closer. She smiled and sat down beside him. “Will you tell me what you thought about us?”

He smiled. “Uh-huh. I sure will.”

Tenchi!” The happy, high pitched wail jolted him out of his day dream. Ryoko appeared beside him and he smiled. “Tenchi! You forgot your lunch. I brought it for you.” She handed him the brown paper bag.

“Thank you, Ryoko.” He finished tying his shoes and got up. “Have a good day, Ryoko, Don’t get into too much trouble.”

She grinned. “Me? Trouble? Never!” She laughed out and he smiled at her laughter. She had came a long way from being the most feared space pirate in the entire galaxy to being almost a decent member of society if not for her mischievous streaks of destruction at times.

“Well, I’ll see you later.”

“Tenchi…”

He turned around to see a big eyed, sad faced Ryoko. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

“You forgot,” she said.

He thought about the several things he could’ve forgotten that would’ve made her sad. “Ah, I remember now.” He walked back over to Ryoko and pressed his lips against her cheek in a kiss. “I’ll be home soon.”

With a grin, Ryoko shot up into the air and disappeared. “I’ll be waiting for you,” her voice echoed.

Tenchi turned towards the fields and started walking. It had been an entire year since Ayeka left. Many things had changed in that time. He had married Ryoko.

He spent the time walking to the fields thinking about Ayeka, thinking about their time alone together. Although he was married to Ryoko for about a week now, he had never spent time alone with her. Time alone was impossible in a house full of women from outer space who made things very interesting. Sasami was gone now. She followed Ayeka back to Jurai. Kiyone did all of the cooking as long as Ryoko helped to keep Mihoshi out of the kitchen. Things had returned back to normal since Ayeka and Sasami left, but there was always a part of the family missing without them here.

A shadow fell over Tenchi and he looked up. A Jurai ship! Smoke trailed from the ship as it whizzed through the atmosphere and crashed into the side of a mountain. Tenchi dropped everything and started running towards the crash.

***

“That was bad driving, princess Sasami,” the ship said. “I’ve lost 40% of my shields.”

“I’m sorry!” Sasami cried out. She was clutching a bundle wrapped in cloth tightly to her chest. “I didn’t know what to do. You’re not my ship.”

“I’m your sister Ayeka’s ship,” came the reply. “It’s okay, princess Sasami. Princess Ayeka will be happy you’re safe.”

Sasami dried her tears on her sleeves and nodded. “I’m going to find her,” Sasami said. “I need to stop here first.”

“Ayeka! Sasami!”

Sasami turned and saw Tenchi on a monitor screen. He was calling for her. “Open the door,” she told the ship. With tears in her eyes, she ran towards the door.

Tenchi spotted a blue haired girl running towards him, her pony tails flying behind her. “Sasami!” Tenchi called out. He opened his arms and she fell into him sobbing.

“It’s okay, Sasami,” he comforted her. “Are you hurt? Is Ayeka still in the ship?”

“What’s all this ruckus?” Ryoko appeared beside Tenchi and saw the ruined ship. Then she glanced at him and saw him hugging Sasami. The little vein in her forehead started throb. Anger filled her, but she noticed something awkward about their hug. “What’cha got there, Sasami?”

“Ryoko!” Sasami instantly left Tenchi and clung on to Ryoko’s waist.

“Whoa! Get it off,” Ryoko told Tenchi. Tenchi laughed.

“She misses you too, Ryoko.”

“Misses me?” It was strange for anyone to miss her. Ryoko smiled that she might’ve been missed by Sasami and gently pushed the crying girl away. “What do you have there, Sasami?”

“Huh?” Sasami looked confused for a moment. Ryoko pointed to the thing she was holding and she looked down. “Oh, this.” Sasami lifted the cloth back to reveal a baby. “This is my baby brother,” she said cheerfully.

“You mean, Misaki had a baby?” Tenchi asked, surprised.

Sasami smiled. “Something like that.” She glanced up at Ryoko. “Here.” She tossed the child up and Ryoko caught him.

“Here? What? Wait! I can’t take a baby!” Ryoko called out. Sasami was already halfway back to the ship.

“I have to save my sister,” Sasami said without looking back. “Ryoko, please take care of my brother.”

“Your sister? Ayeka!” Tenchi got up and ran after Sasami. “What happened to Ayeka?”

“She’s been kidnapped,” Sasami said. She completely ignored Ryoko’s whining in the background. “I’m going to save her.”

“I’m going with you,” Tenchi told her.

“But, Tenchi! Tenchi!” Ryoko called out.

He turned towards her. “If Ayeka is in trouble, we’re going to save her.” Ryoko frowned at his decision. “Take good care of their little brother. We’ll be back home with Ayeka soon.”

“Tenchi…” Ryoko was crying now.

He turned to Sasami. “Let’s go!”

“What do I do with…” Ryoko glanced at the smiling child. When she glanced up, the ship and both Tenchi and Sasami were already gone. “TENCHI!

***

Ryoko grumbled all the way back to the house. The child laughed at her. “What are you laughing at, brat?” she asked, picking him up by one leg and dangling him in the air. He laughed even more. “I can drop you, but then my Tenchi will be mad at me.” She sighed and threw the child into the air. She grabbed the cloth and spread it out under him, caught him, and wrapped him up again. He giggled and laughed at her. “You like that, huh?” she asked with a softer smile. “I’m not a good mother,” she whispered.

“What do you have there, Ryoko?”

Ryoko looked up to see Washu standing in the doorway waiting for her. “Eeek!” She caught herself and clutched the bundle close to her. “Washu! What are you doing here?”

“I was waiting for you,” Washu said with a smile.

“Wh…why? I can come home whenever I want!”

Washu laughed. “I saw a ship enter our space on my radar,” she said. “It was a Juraian ship. Two aboard and two gone. I’m suspecting one of ours has left and we have kept one of theirs.”

Ryoko hesitated then offered up the bundle. “Sasami gave it to me,” Ryoko said.

“Sasami?” Washu opened the bundle and saw the cute baby inside. “Little Tenchi!” she exclaimed. She pulled the boy out of his bindings and cuddled him close. “You’re so cute!”

“He’s not little Tenchi,” Ryoko told her. “He’s Sasami’s little brother.”

“Oh?” Washu glanced from the child, then to Ryoko, and back to the child again. “I could’ve sworn he has Tenchi’s smile.”

“Huh?”

“What’s his name?” Washu asked.

Ryoko shrugged. “Sasami didn’t say.”

“We’ll call him little Tenchi then. Are you hungry, little Tenchi? Yes you are!”

“You’re just like a baby too,” Ryoko snickered.

“What was that, Ryoko? You want to take care of little Tenchi all by yourself? Change his diapers and burp him too?”

“No! I’m good,” Ryoko said quickly.

“That’s what I thought,” Washu said as little Tenchi laughed. “You like that, don’t you. You like that mean space pirate Ryoko.” Little Tenchi laughed some more and Washu glanced over to a slouching Ryoko who suddenly stood straight. “Sasami gave him to you to watch, did she?”

Ryoko nodded.

“Tenchi left to save Ayeka.”

Ryoko nodded again.

“Hm, very interesting.” Washu glaced at the purple hair on little Tenchi’s head.

“What’s interesting, Washu?”

“Here.” Washu shoved the child back in Ryoko’s arm. Ryoko looked him up and down.

“What is it? I don’t see anything.”

“He needs a diaper change,” Washu said.

Ryoko hit the floor. “Diaper change?”

“Yes, change his diaper,” Washu told her. “Then feed him and burp him and bathe him and put him to sleep in Tenchi’s bed.”

“Ugh…” Ryoko groaned. “Can’t you do it, Washu? Please?”

“Nope. Little Tenchi is your responsibility. Now keep him clean and safe.” With that, Washu walked back into the house, leaving Ryoko standing on the porch holding on to little Tenchi.

***

This is only part one. Here’s the summary: Tenchi and Ayeka finally express their feelings for one another and Ayeka becomes pregnant, but she doesn’t let Tenchi know. She runs off to Jurai and told him she was leaving forever. With Ayeka gone and never returning, Tenchi finally gives in to all of Ryoko’s seductions and marries her. Meanwhile, back on Jurai, Ayeka is kidnapped and Sasami escapes with the child. Returning to earth, she places the child in Ryoko’s safe keeping, telling Ryoko that it’s her brother instead of her nephew. Those were the instructions left to Sasami, that if anything had happened to Ayeka, that she’d bring the child to Ryoko because all feared the great space pirate and her ship, Ryo-ohki. Sasami doesn’t know that the child belongs to Tenchi since the child was thought to have been conceived on Jurai. Tenchi insists on leaving with Sasami to help find Ayeka, ordering Ryoko against her will to take care of the child…16 years later, Tenchi’s son looks exactly like Tenchi but with purple hair and Ayeka’s eyes. Ryoko’s not an idiot. I wonder what kind of mess Tenchi would come home to find. 😀

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Stories

 

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The NecroDancer by Joanne Boyd

***SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***

Do not read past this if you do not want to know spoilers in The NecroDancer by Joanne Boyd!

 

Upon first look of The NecroDancer by Joanne Boyd, I thought it was a children’s book. Sure, Ella is 15 and sure, there are zombie ballerinas in cute pink tutus. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not quite a “children’s book” for there are no fairy tale happy endings where everyone lives happily ever after.

Ella isn’t your average teenager. She’s a medium, and one of the very few left in the world-or so she’s been told by her Gran. She can see the dead and although that would scare most of us adults, it’s something she tackles bravely because she has a responsibility to help the dead. And the ballerinas? Well, that all happened after her Gran took her to the ballet.

This is a very well written short story about a brave girl named Ella who is vulnerable in her own ways. She’s not superhuman. She has no magical powers (except being a medium which doesn’t give her that much of an advantage in physical reality). She does the best she can with what she’s got.

There were moments of hilarious humor (Ella apologizing to the zombie ballerinas as she smacks them in the face with a shovel, all except for the tutu fiend), and moments of normal reality (Ella meeting the cute boy) although reality centers around her being a medium (the cute boy being a dead ballerina with a girlfriend).

All in all, I very much enjoyed this short story. I’d like to read more about Ella and her Gran and seeing as this is the first book in a series, I can’t wait for the second one to come out!

For my dear friend Joanne, I give her story 5 stars out of 5 stars for The NecroDancer being well written with interesting characters, an exciting plot, and most important of all, realism in the sense that yes, there are probably people like Albertino in the world and what’s scary is that there are probably far crazier people than Albertino in the world. The NecroDancer is a fun and well written read. I’d recommend it for anyone who is a fan of zombies, who have read the Ramona series (who hasn’t?), and for everyone who loves a good bit of humor in their stories.

Thanks, Joanne, for The NecroDancer!

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ISWZR0K

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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The Adventures of Maeve in Arcadia, Land of the Faes

“What is it that keeps you here?” I asked him. He was old, probably older than dirt which only meant that he was ancient, but he was human in all the senses that humanity were. He ate. He breathed. And he watched football. Or at least that was my impression of it.

“Duty,” he replied. The ArchDuke was no stranger to being in the land of Arcadia. He guarded the iron tower, a place I’ve seen in my dreams and a place I thought would keep me safe. It was him who grabbed me that day. I had trespassed into the world of the faes, unknowingly and foolishly. Yet, that Arcadia was different from this one. That one was filled with desert and sand. This one was filled with grass and of course, an open mine field as the iron tower was highly booby-trapped. It was not an open place for visitors.

“You know my duty will be over soon. I will leave.”

He glanced up at me. “I’ve come to view you as a daughter,” he said. I wondered if that was a lie or if it was truth. I couldn’t tell. Being human made him dishonest and being ancient made him cunning. “I wouldn’t want you to go so soon.”

I sighed and gave him the best smile I could. I pulled the parchment paper out of my pocket and held it up to him. “I have a free pass to enter and leave as I please,” I replied. “I’m certain I shall visit.”

“Even I only visit here,” he told me. That much was true. The ArchDuke didn’t live in Arcadia, at least not to my knowledge. Where his home was, I wasn’t sure, but I knew it wasn’t here on earth…

Was it?

My mind flickered to a boy, a man, really who was a decade older than I am–but ages aside, where did the ArchDuke live? Where did all supernatural creatures reside?

“Xyr is with me,” I replied. “I doubt I can get rid of that one although he is quite compliant at doing any bidding I need when I have need of him.” Treating dying gods not yet dead as servants wasn’t quite the idea they had in mind as reverence, but I highly doubted their interest in me didn’t include rendering me expendable so I might as well use what I’ve got and make the best of it.

For once, the ArchDuke chuckled. It was difficult to get a smile out of him, much less, something halfway between a smirk and a laugh.

“And that is why you feel so much like a daughter to me.”

“Don’t tell me they’ve kept you locked here away in this castle, pretending you’ve got freedom when you’re really a slave, and didn’t even allow you the courtesy of having children around.”

“No, my dear. You see, I don’t have any children. I’ve already had them.” And somehow, there stretched generations and generations forth of his kin, carving their own fates through time to the current present.

“I feel for you,” I told him. His blue eyes were still so blue and he wore black now, as if our parting was meant to be a heavy heart event. “I wouldn’t want to live forever. I’m not exactly immortal character. I’m much more immoral and that doesn’t fit well with any length of time and unimaginable power.”

He laughed and I wondered if his laughs were an attempt at a last goodbye. I couldn’t stay. Okay, I lied. I could’ve, but Arcadia wasn’t my home and to be split into pieces like I am now–really did no harm, but the point of the matter was that my time was up. I vassalized myself and now, the deed is finished.

The thought of the human vessels I owned came to mind and I pushed the thoughts away. Whether this was the same thing or not, I wasn’t too keen on becoming anyone’s property. Vessels held whatever their owners wanted in them. Mine held demons I pulled out of the children of men. Most of those entities now float in free space, cast off into the farthest reaches of the universe, bound with no hopes of returning. What was I to him? A vessel for a god? No. A god who couldn’t out best my god, which wasn’t even a god at all, is no god. And yet, they each have their own personalities and their own pasts.

“You are a dear one,” he said. “Make no mistake of that.”

I grinned. “You only like me because I know your grandson.”

He erupted in laughter at that. I imagined him like William–blond, blue eyed, going bald–perhaps a bit of an Englishman if I was able to pinpoint his origins. “Grandson? No, and yes. A child of Xyr’s is a child of mine.”

“My same point,” I replied. I was told very few things, short of being told that I was crap and worthless as well. The thoughts anger me as the one who said it angers me and I wished to banish him to the deepest darkest depths of hell if that was possible, yet he resides a constant image in my head and that, I hated and loved all at the same time.

“That would make you a granddaughter.”

I shrugged. “I like old people. It’s fine. You should see my collection. Currently, I have three old ladies that I like, two old men, and I’m certain that collection is growing. I can throw both you and him in there, and Xyr too since he’s quite up there in age.”

“You don’t cease to amuse me,” he replied.

“You sound like many other men,” I told him. “I wish one other person thought so.”

“He will,” the ArchDuke replied. “In time.”

“I wish not to be here in time.” I turned away. The place was so empty. It must’ve been lonely for him being here for so long. Where were all the servants? The dragon keepers and tenders–where were they? The castle was void of life and of even the faintest sounds of footsteps.

“You want to leave now?” I didn’t know if that was genuine pain in the inflection in his voice.

“You said I should leave as soon as I can,” I told him. “He said I did this to myself, which I did and he never forewarned me, knowing it all.”

“You’re disappointed.”

If there were such things as giants, the ArchDuke was one. He towered me and stood perhaps seven feet tall. Or maybe I only felt that small that he was so big. I’ve been disappointed many times and with many people. One more wouldn’t break me.

“I did say you should leave. The world of faes is not for humans.” He paused. “You are here now. You still wish to go?”

“I cannot stay beyond the agreement made.”

“A broken agreement.”

“I held up my end of the bargain, until Mayfel disappeared.”

“And you will never find her,” he whispered in my ear from behind. His hands were steady on my shoulders, heavy as if all the magic he now possessed would turn me to stone at that point so I was going to become a permanent fixture in his home, a cure for his loneliness, perhaps. Where were the dragons?

“I don’t wish to find those that betray me.”

“You betrayed her first,” he said.

“I didn’t realize I was betrayed by someone I trusted,” I replied. It was easy to trust him, as easy as it was to trust his beloved and look where I went wrong there. Three times I was warned to not trust her and I did. Look how far I fell! And twice now, I’ve been warned to being disappointed by him. I know a third one is not far behind. I wasn’t sure if it was disappointment or betrayal.

“Don’t be so sad,” he said. “You have your whole life ahead of you.”

I nodded. “What of you?” I asked him. “What will happen to you?

He smiled. “Funny you worry about me. I will go back to the way that things were before you came.”

That was understandable. If I stayed any longer, I feared the Sims would no longer satisfy my evil cravings for death and destruction and I would take my rampage on existing worlds. Boredom drives me to terrible dangers.

A voice echoes in my head, one that spews out criticism and self-doubt for me. One that chains me with his notions of the insignificance of my existence. Fuck you, I thought to the voice. Since you believe me to be weak, why do you keep tearing me down with your own opinions of my insignificance? Who cares if I believe that I make a difference to others? Since I don’t mean a damn thing to you, fuck off.

The voice wavers and is silent. He’s still silent.

“I will come visit,” I told the ArchDuke. “I am good on my words.”

“I know you are,” he said. He hesitated and I knew he have watched us from the beginning of the agreement.

“You want me to tell him something?” I asked.

“If you don’t mind,” he replied.

“He only bothers me when I think about the bad,” I said. “Most of the time, I’m stupid happy to hear from him so if you have a message, I shall give it to him.”

He nodded. He doesn’t look as old as he is. Was if fae magic that kept him ageless? Or was it my own perversion of not wanting to develop a fetish for old people since I everyone I do take a liking to is much older than myself? It’s the conversation that interests me. Old people can hold an intelligent conversation that isn’t filled with vulgarity and sex and the ignorance of today’s youth and that’s what attracts me.

“What he’s looking for is right in front of him,” the ArchDuke said. “If he can’t understand it, then he’s not as bright as I’ve given him credit for.”

I laughed. “He’s bright, alright. It’s catching him in a talkative mood which makes the difference. And that’s slim to none lately.”

“He’ll come around,” was all he said to me.

“I’m leaving, you know,” I told him. “New York, maybe. I’d like to go to Japan, but that’s a bit of a stretch right now. Maybe I’ll get lost amongst the crowd in the big city.”

“You’re never lost in the crowd.” He pressed his lips on my forehead like he does at times. Then he stiffened and with eyes that sparkled, said in a cold voice to me. “You’re free to leave now.”

I almost protested the icy departure command, but I realized he had a visitor. The ArchDuke hardly ever had visitors. I said nothing, stared at him as I bowed, and walked off in the opposite direction, not looking to see who was the one who entered into the chambers. By the magic content, it was fae. And by the familiarity of a chest stab to the heart, it was female. It was the winter Queen.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Ongoing Story Progression

 

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The Turning Vampire Series Origins, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, and God in the Midst of It

Today, I want to talk a bit about my books, The Turning vampire series, about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, a bit about how God is involved, and I want to answer some of the comments made by readers who’ve read The Turning.

I wrote The Turning vampire series back in 2009 when I had a lot of free time and there was all the hype about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books. I read Twilight and I liked it. I read New Moon and it was okay. At the end, when the perspectives changed from Bella to Jacob, I totally got lost and didn’t like it at all. I scanned through Eclipse and the humungous end book, Breaking Dawn, but I didn’t read them thoroughly as I did the first book. I actually stopped reading halfway through Eclipse. I didn’t understand why there needed to be a change in perspectives. For two whole books, the point of view had always been Bella’s in first person. Why change it now? Jacob was in Twilight. Why not had his point of view inserted from the beginning? And Jacob isn’t even the “hero” of the book. Bella’s the damsel in distress and Edward is supposed to be the hero, so why not had Edward’s point of view instead? It was all too confusing. And from there, I wanted to read a vampire series that was better than Twilight. Since I couldn’t find one, I created my own.

The Turning vampire series isn’t Twilight fan fiction. It’s not based on the unrealistic world of Twilight and their sparkly vampires. No. It’s better in many ways that Twilight can’t even touch on. I started out wanting to write something better, and what I ended up with was a world where characters wrote their own stories and taught me lessons on life and love and on being human.

Marisa starts out a bit like Bella, because my idea was that I could have a main character like Bella, but only so much better. I was horribly arrogant at the time that I wrote The Turning and I have to say that I didn’t really create Marisa–she created herself. I made her shy and awkward, but she quickly taught me that she wasn’t Bella and she was her own person. She wasn’t afraid of life. She was afraid of being alone, like she always had been. And that loneliness was the only thing that made her shy and awkward. If not for that, she would’ve found a way to conquer the world without being a vampire.

The Turning vampire series spans a total of ten books written between 2009 and 2012. The first four books were written in one month, each 300+ page book taking a total of a week to write longhand because all I did was eat, sleep for a few hours, and write all day, every day. My first drafts were insane. When I get really excited, I write very, very super tiny. The most I can fit into one regular ruled line on notebook paper is nine lines–nine sentences! (I will scan and upload an image of my longhand writing for everyone to see! Below, is a different story I wrote on unlined paper. It is 246 lines on regular 8 1/2″ by 11″ printer paper. And yes, I can read my own handwriting, even something that small. ^_^ )

SCAN0385

It was incredible to have written these books. I couldn’t have done it on my own. And I credited God to actually being the one who wrote the series. Most Christians tell me that God doesn’t write vampire novels. And I tell them that they underestimate the power of God. He created everything. Vampire novels are not more powerful than God that He can’t write them. I am a Christian. And although unexpected, The Turning vampire series does have remnants of Christianity inserted into them. It’s not intentional. I don’t categorize the series as being Christian and I don’t market it as a Christian romance novel. (It’s actually more erotica once you hit the second novel. And apparently, sex is taboo for Christians because you will not find Christian erotica anywhere! *lol* ^_^ )

The books were not meant to be categorized into something that makes people read them and find it an ideal way to believe, or worse, to worship them. I don’t have better words at the moment to express my feelings. I think they can be summed up in the underlying theme of the series and of how The Turning vampire novels taught me what humanity is like through the eyes of monsters: we all have great evil in us and we all will fail at one point in time or another to that darkness, but what makes us human is the ability to overcome that, in even the smallest measurement of simply living and continuing to live in love with ourselves and with each other.

I’m sure many people don’t understand that sentence, as I’m not totally sure I understand all of it myself, but The Turning vampire series is a story, a world I was blessed to see and capture in words to share. If people can learn something from the novels that helps them better themselves and their lives, then I’m happy for that. But, the novels themselves are not something that people should look towards to find God in because there’s only one book where we can find Him: the Bible. I don’t want people to misunderstand the reasons of me saying that God wrote the vampire books because He did, but people should not worship a creation instead of the Creator. It is wrong.

Back to my novels. ^_^

Whereas Twilight taught young girls and women how important it was to have a boyfriend and do everything for him, The Turning taught people how important it was to have a family and to protect them.

Marisa lost her parents in a horrible car accident where she almost died too. In a flash, her whole world changed. Although her relationship with her parents were by no means the Brady bunch, she’s a young girl who has some issues of her own like any other normal teenager. And what she wanted most wasn’t a boyfriend, but a family and a place where she belonged.

When she met the Arromanovokzjas, the vampire brothers, she wasn’t some human who mysteriously won the vampire lotto for being picked to fall in love with instead of becoming food–she was a vampire, but one not yet turned. Their interest in her wasn’t that she needed someone to save her from her miserable, boring, mundane life, but that she could become a threat at any time to the humans in the town where they lived. A vampire’s turning was considered a most dangerous event in which the one who is being turned is potentially more dangerous than the ones already turned. Their interest in her was to keep the town safe and to keep her from killing everyone, at the risk of their own lives. Every vampire’s turning is different with two things in common: death and blood, and Marisa’s turning was going to be no exception. But knowing that she had no one else alive and no idea of the life she was going to have to lead, they made the decision to save a whole town for the greater good by asking her to join them so they can watch over her turning.

Marisa is by no means the helpless damsel in distress. Impatient for someone to save her, she does most things by herself, even if she ends up making things much worse than they were before. But no matter how many times she’s fallen and she’s given up, she gets back up and she fights. She doesn’t fight to save Alessander, the oldest, whom she loves. She fights to keep the new family that she became a part of. The only reason why Marisa even considered romantic love was because love was the only bond stronger than the bond formed between a vampire and their Maker, the one who turned them. And in order for the vampire who left her for dead to believe that she is dead, she had to form a bond strong enough to not call her Maker to her.

One of the things that I didn’t like about Twilight was how it approached the subject matter of love. It is a romance novel and I’ve actually read more than enough romance novels who do this same exact thing–they teach people that love is an automatic feeling between two people who don’t even know each other. Love is far from that.

Marisa doesn’t automatically fall irrevocably in love with a vampire because he’s so mysterious and he ignores her like how Bella fell in love with Edward, which makes no sense at all because he totally ignored her and Bella became a crazy stalker who gets kind of creepy and waits for him even when he doesn’t show up at school. That’s not love. That’s obsession. It’s unhealthy. It’s ridiculous to teach girls that it’s okay to throw yourself at a guy who doesn’t want you, even if deep down inside, he really does but he doesn’t show it. That’s like telling people in abusive relationships that it’s okay to stay and be abused because their significant other really loves them. That is the worse thing to teach girls and women and it’s sad that many, many romance novels repeat this theme over and over again. That is not love. And it is not an okay way to treat people, men and women alike.

Marisa made a choice to fall in love and that choice was to save them all from a threat bigger than a turning–the Streigos. (The Streigos are a different type of vampire that have actual gargoyle like bodies and wings. They’re what vampires call “monsters”.) She doesn’t take a look at Alessander and thinks he’s sexy so she wants to be with him. No. That’s ridiculous. She doesn’t even know him!

Alessander taught Marisa about love and boundaries, something that many people need to know about. She needed a way to stop the automatic linking between her and the Streigos who killed her first family to stop him from killing the new family that she now had. And romantic love in all its awesomeness was something stronger than that link. She chose to love Alessander, albeit, she’s a bit wrong in her approach because she doesn’t think things through, but she made the choice after considering all three of her brothers–Alessander, Demetri, and Ra’vin. She didn’t blindly fall in love, she considered her options and chose what was best for her and her family.

Love doesn’t work for most people because people have an unrealistic expectation of what love is. That unrealistic expectation is that there’s an automatic attraction and feeling that will last them through decades of marriage. Love isn’t a feeling. Love is a choice. We choose to love someone. And that choice is what carries us through decades of commitment and honor and working together on a relationship.

One of the things that my readers have commented on was the dynamics of the switch in personalities between Alessander and Demetri. One moment, either one of them can be dark and brooding and the next moment, either one of them can be happy and nice. It was commented that their personalities mixed in too much with each other and they didn’t distinguish themselves as being one-dimensional (either dark and brooding or friendly and happy for example).

Granted, Demetri made the attempt to be nice to Marisa which led him to actually getting to know her. In letting down his walls, he became a better person towards her. But, in defense of Alessander and Demetri and their changing characteristics, I honestly don’t know a single person that is one-dimensional. I’ve never met or known a single person who is so miserable all of the time that everything around them dripped in the excruciating pain of their misery. Or I’ve never met and known a single person who was happy and cheerful all of the time despite how horrible their circumstances may be. Real people are not one-dimensional characters. They have weaknesses and flaws and the Arromanovokzjas are no exception. Their personalities are multifaceted and they have weaknesses and flaws as well.

Ra’vin isn’t even happy all of the time. His personality is only stable because he’s young and Alessander made that known to Marisa when they made the choice to watch over her turning. He specifically told her the reason why Ra’vin was the way that he was–optimistic and hopeful, and it was because while Ra’vin hopes in a future that is bright, Alessander and Demetri have lived and seen human suffering and seen wars and death and blood and they know the truth that hope is a luxury for the young who can afford it because they have not yet suffered the truth of the reality that life is not always kind. And that is the reason why Ra’vin is hopeful and optimistic and almost childlike in his ways. Alessander and Demetri have shielded him from both the vampire world and the human world so what he knows is limited to their love and protection of him.

I also understand that there is confusion where Marisa has the hallucinations that look like Alessander and Demetri, but they aren’t her brothers. The Turning vampire series was all written in first person through Marisa’s point of view. It was written in a specific way so that the reader understands what she understands. With that being said, she doesn’t understand why these things are happening to her. She doesn’t understand how she learned how to stop time if the real Alessander and Demetri didn’t teach her that. The hallucinations play a pretty big role in the story and their roles will be revealed later on as Marisa progresses in her life’s journey. As she comes to understand their meaning and why they’re there with her, the reader then also understands and can look back and connect to all the times that things were confusing and can see how all of it makes perfect sense.

I want to say that I am not smart enough to link something in the first novel, The Turning, to something two or three books down the series because I really would’ve forgotten about it by then. My memory is terrible.

Spoiler alert: there’s one sentence that Marisa comments to Mrs. Brukenheimer during her enrollment at school that I overlooked and didn’t realize had any meaning at all until around the sixth novel being written where it mentions the significance of that one sentence. When asked if Marisa had any family, she commented that her grandparents have died on both sides of the family and she was an only child. She remarked that she had an aunt Margaret who is somewhere in Africa, trying to convert the local natives to Christianity and she’s never seen or heard from this aunt since she was born. Margaret shows up somewhere around maybe book five (Knotted Remains)? I’m not sure, but she’s definitely in the sixth novel (Shadow War–coming soon although I’m typing up the fourth one, Loose Ends, into the computer now). When Marisa made that comment and I wrote it down, I was unaware of the importance of what she she said. I presumed it was just some casual way of trying to not get in trouble while wanting to get her high school diploma, but there were forces at work that day to initiate and prepare a remarkable story that I didn’t even know about when I started writing the novels.

I’m revealing this spoiler because I honestly cannot take credit for the incredible world of vampires in this series. I started writing with the intention of creating something I wanted to read, and instead, I was given the opportunity to see a world and to chronicle it not only for myself, but for others to enjoy too. In the end, everything will make sense and for all the people who’ve read The Turning and might’ve been confused as to Marisa’s kind of schizo personality and hallucinations, the end takes everything from the beginning and shows the reader exactly why things happened and for what reasons they happened. The series has a complete ending and I didn’t know that when I was writing the books. I actually wrote, not knowing where the stories were heading or if there was any meaning to anything or an explanation to it all. I was pleasantly surprised that at the very end of it all, everything came together and connected and it all made sense. All my questions (conscious and unconscious) were answered. Not that I’m telling everyone they have to read all ten books to understand what’s going on, but like in life when we don’t understand something, with time, we may come to an understanding of that something once not understood. I’m sure I didn’t make sense there at all! ^_^

Everything that happens in the novels have significance and meaning. I didn’t know that when I wrote them down. The reader doesn’t get to see parts of any of the characters’ past to fill up space and stretch the books to almost 400 hundred pages for no reason. Everything that Marisa learns about her brothers, the vampires, the Nosferatu, the intruders–Heidrick, Anastasia, and Vasila, her new parents–Lillian and Maxwell, the memories of her own past, all have meaning and connections that I didn’t see or think about when I wrote the stories. And all these connections and all these things that makes sense many books later on and ties everything into what I believe is pretty much one big epic fantasy story, is the reason why I believe I truly had help writing this series. I couldn’t have done it without God so my thanks is always to Him first. He is really the one who wrote these books. It wouldn’t have been possible without Him.

It was an incredible pleasure for me to write The Turning vampire series. This isn’t because I’m some awesome author who will be the next famous multimillionaire when people discover how great my novels are, but it’s because I take great joy in these books that has taught me about myself and about many things in life. I really love the characters and their stories and the greatest joy that I have in publishing the series is to share Marisa and her brothers and my love for them with the entire world. That is what makes me happy, that Marisa’s story is told and that people love something that I love as much as I love it. ^_^

Thank you to all the people who read this incredibly long post. And to everyone who has read The Turning or books two and three in the series, Blood Lust and Masquerade, I am proud to share this incredible story and this amazing world with you. Thank you for taking the time to join Marisa and her brothers on their journeys.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HBKIPUY/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IS9MXN2/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JO16LUY/

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Divine Blood: Semester Start by Luke Green

An Incredible Manga Using Words

In Divine Blood, we are introduced to a red headed woman of Asian descent of whom bullets do no harm to her and physical combat doesn’t affect her. Meet Mao Semezou, mother of the Semezou triplets, exorcist, mercenary, and amateur web journalist. She is on the hunt for an American girl who was missing for two days.

Right from the start, we are taken into a world where things are not as they seem and appearances are deceiving. It’s a very interesting blend of different cultures and the supernatural from getting rid of the dead to the use of magic. While the military aspect can be a bit overwhelming, I enjoy politics whether it’s in relation to the actual government or within the characters in reference to where each wants to go and how they each want to proceed forward. The characters are fun and exciting, likable and interesting. The characters are also strong and witty and the humor is refreshing through some of the more serious parts.

Everyone who loves anime should read this book! I would recommend this book for everyone who likes fantasy and science fiction, myths and legends, robots and super powers. And yes, mercenaries.

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Blood-Semester-Luke-Green-ebook/dp/B006ESG092

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review of Steve LaBel’s Bernie and the Putty

I was first introduced to Bernie and the Putty through a book trailer. I don’t like book trailers at all because I feel like it’s supposed to be a movie, but when I watched the trailer for Bernie and the Putty, I was completely hooked and I was very interested in reading the book. It was the first time that ever happened and I was blessed to be able to receive an advanced ebook copy for review.

The story starts out with an explanation of the World and the Business and the Annual Universe Awards. We meet Bernie, who has forgotten to turn in his application for the Business. Not everyone is cut out for the Business, which is creating worlds. However, when people are interviewed about Bernie’s late application submission, it’s clear that although not the brightest or the best, Bernie is loved by at least those who know him like his lab instructor Caleb and his friend Suzie.

Bernie and the Putty is an excellent mix of fantasy and science fiction. I got lost in a good way in the explanations of how building universes were supposed to be that I started imagining the different possibilities that would make creating worlds possible. The characters are well written and very likable. The story is a very unique twist on creation myths and legends. And the antagonist to our unlikely hero is well conceived in that he doesn’t just bully Bernie for no reason. He’s holding a grudge and determined on getting Bernie fired.

I thoroughly enjoy this novel and would recommend it to everyone who loves a good fantasy. Creating universes isn’t easy and everyone should read this book and find out exactly how universes are built and the difficulties in creating them!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! ^_^

Bernie and the Putty is out now! Get a copy at Amazon today!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KKQT1CC

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20566411-bernie-and-the-putty

bernie and the putty

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review of M.A. Ray’s Saga of Menyoral: Hard Luck

I want to make it clear that this isn’t a children’s book. I made that mistake when I first read the summary because the main character was a teenager. No, Hard Luck is definitely a magical tale for adults starting out from the beginning in what seems like the brutal and last day of tall, redheaded Dingus Xavier’s life. Automatically, I was drawn to this character and I wondered how he was going to survive. Was he suddenly going to go berserk and scare everyone? Maybe even get payback for all the damage they caused to him? No. He was saved by Sir Vandis who “happened” to come across the horrid event.

But with that said, I believe that Hard Luck is also for young adults and people everywhere who find themselves in very much similar circumstances of being bullied and being the outcast. Children are not as sheltered as they used to be and a life like Dingus’–different–is what most kids experience growing up today. I would recommend this book for any teenager or young adult to read because it is a very good story that is very similar to what a lot of young people are facing today from discrimination and bullying. And there should be more people like Sir Vandis who would step in to help someone in need.

I really love the fantasy world that M.A. Ray has built with a man who can fly, a teenager who is a berserker, elves, monks, knights, and magic that still remains in a world where magic once flourished but isn’t anymore. The characters are real and sometimes a bit gritty, but there are no sugar coating words or things in this novel. Hard Luck is a great novel that I would recommend to everyone who loves fantasy!

I give Hard Luck 5 out of 5 stars! YAY! ^_^

http://smile.amazon.com/Saga-Menyoral-Hard-M-A-Ray-ebook/dp/B00H5IPASW

hard luck

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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