Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bands you probably don't know ep #01

Here's a new feature I plan on regularly updating, I am a fan of weird foreign music and as such listen to a lot of bands you probably haven't heard of. Today's band is Korpiklaani, which is a Finnish band established in 1993. They use all kinds of instruments that you wouldn't think to use in a metal band, they use violins, tin flutes, accordions, all kinds of crazy stuff. But their music is pretty darn sweet. The track I chose for today is one of my favorites from them called "Vodka" if you like them, you should probably follow my spotify playlist.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2/100 Mistborn Trilogy: The Hero of Ages

This is the third book in the Mistborn Trilogy, and it is following up two very good books. I won't go into those here, I'll just focus on the third (riiiiiight). Anyway, the book is great. 5/5 in my estimation. It had it all, action, suspense, an intelligent magic system (I'm a stickler for a good magic system) and characters that each had character arcs that spanned all three books that were compelling.

The writing style is vivid, descriptive and keeps you in the story. In fact the very start of this book begins with a description of one of the "steel inquisitors" which is a person who has been impaled by many spikes through their body, including one in each eye socket. kinda makes me tingle in my scaredy parts.

The story starts shortly after the last one ended, and concludes in a nearly shakespearian tragedy style. I mean that pretty much all of the major characters die. SPOILER ALERT! too late? ah well, I warned ya last time. anyway, you'll never guess who ends up being the hero of ages, go ahead. Nope, nope, not him, not her, nope, wrong again. Well I told you you wouldn't guess who it was. Moving on...

I love love loved the action scenes in this book, especially the one where she's... alright I won't spoil that for you, but it's pretty great. Well I've pretty much covered everything in this book, so in conclusion, if you like intelligent magic systems, convincing characters, a great world with an original feel, a long long read, and captivating action scenes with twists that are hard to see coming (if you're not paying attention to the little things), get this series, read it, love it, and remember to thank me when you do.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

100 Sci Fi Books list!

Here's a list of the 100 sci fi books I plan on reading this year, minus the spaces taken up by fantasy novels that I may add later. For flavor, you see.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985
Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965
Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979
1984 - George Orwell - 1949
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961
The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895
Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966
The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972
A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951
UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969
Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959
The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955
Battlefield Earth - L Ron Hubbard - 1982
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley - 1818
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne - 1864
The Dispossessed - Ursula K Le Guin - 1974
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995
The Player of Games - Iain M Banks - 1988
The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton - 1996
Startide Rising - David Brin - 1983
The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut - 1959
Eon - Greg Bear - 1985
Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card - 1999
To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip Jose Farmer - 1971
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K Dick - 1977
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournell - 1977
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - 1985
The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956
The Stainless Steel Rat - Harry Harrison - 1961
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester - 1953
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe - 1980
Sphere - Michael Crichton - 1987
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950
The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K Le Guin - 1971
Use of Weapons - Iain M Banks - 1990
The Chrysalids - John Wyndham - 1955
Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963
Flatland - Edwin A Abbott - 1884
Altered Carbon - Richard Morgan - 2002
Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005
The Road - Cormac McCarthy - 2006
The Postman - David Brin - 1985
VALIS - Philip K Dick - 1981
The Lost World - Arthur Conan Doyle - 1912
The Many-Colored Land - Julian May - 1981
Gray Lensman - E E 'Doc' Smith - 1940
The Uplift War - David Brin - 1987
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992
The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin - 1969
Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986
Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956
Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977
Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967
Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870
A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968
tarship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950
Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968
Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970
Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973
Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963
Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985
The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969
The Door Into Summer - Robert A Heinlein - 1957
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K Dick - 1964
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds - 2000
Citizen of the Galaxy - Robert A Heinlein - 1957
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis - 1992
Ilium - Dan Simmons - 2003
The Invisible Man - H G Wells - 1897
Have Space-Suit Will Travel - Robert A Heinlein - 1958
The Puppet Masters - Robert A Heinlein - 1951
Out of the Silent Planet - C S Lewis - 1938
A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs - 1912

As you can tell there's no order to these books, I don't rate them in order of best to worst, I only do that with my children. Because I love them.

1/100 City of Glass

In my quest to read/listen to 100 books this year I have already finished the first one, "City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare. It is the third book in the series called "The Mortal Instruments". Over all I give it a 4/5, it really is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. To read on is to be spoilered.

Seriously, if you don't like spoilers, then stop reading. What the hell is wrong with you? I said stop. fine... you only have yourself to blame.

Clary is a convincing character to me, though I have to admit I have never been a teenage girl. Or a girl at all, though I've seen one once, and they seem nice. She has some real issues to work out with her long estranged brother Jace, who she really seems to want to lay. Bit of an ick factor there. It's played well though and the make-out sessions with brother are short, and then they realize that he's not her brother and it's not creepy! Right? Oh yeah, they made out a few times knowing that they were related... anyway...

Clary is really learning to use her power in this third book (good thing too, it's the last one) and she does things no one thinks is possible. She has a shallow character arc that doesn't leave her too much different than the way she started I thought and would have liked to see her grow a bit more through this series.

The other characters are interesting and varied, the world, being an urban fantasy, is realistic. Ok, as realistic as a fantasy novel should be. The magic system is not my favorite, though I can see the reasons why the author would have chosen to do it this way. A limited magic system does make for a better story in most cases, just read a Brandon Sanderson novel to know what I mean. Though it wasn't my favorite the magic system didn't break the novel for me, or take me out of it. Really, nothing did, it was a fun light read. I recommend it for anyone who wants to read something fun, quick, and full of teenage angst. ;)