Book Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, 8th June 2017

How’s it shakin’, bacon?

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Book Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publishers: Bloomsbury

Date of Publication: August 15th, 2013

Ratings: 4.5/5 (Goodreads), 4.8/5 (Barnes & Noble) & 4.5/5 (Book Depository)

ISBN: 978-1-4088-3494

Link for purchase: Book Depository

 

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

 

Celaena has become the King’s champion and has been tasked with killing those who stand in his way. Failing to do so would result in losing those who mean the most to her, but what are the consequences of following his orders? What does a long dead Queen want her to do? Why Celaena? Celaena must come to terms with who she is and accept what she must do, but can she?

 

What did I like?

I really like the way Sarah J Mass writes, how the plot unfolds and the way every last detail fits into the story. Questions are asked, eventually answered but more questions arise, but it’s not so complex that it can’t be followed. The plot progresses smoothly and doesn’t feel forced. Looking back on what I just read, it’s so clear that everything that happens is leading to the end – probably sounds stupid – but it’s as if it could never end any other way once everything in the story is considered – every line, every word seems to be pointing you, the reader, to that ending of the book – but also the series. It’s like following a string to it’s inevitable end. Side note: not gonna spoil the ending of the book but it was… pretty good. I expected this connection to be made, but none-the-less – it was interesting to watch it unfold as it did. Also, leaves me wondering where Chaol’s loyalties lie, or if he even knows himself.

 

What didn’t I like?

No book is flawless and I honestly found this love triangle grew very frustrating, very quickly. While I like the characters in the story, I don’t like a lot of their behaviors and a lot of Dorian’s and Chaol’s thoughts and feelings around the others mutual love for Celeana were petty. I can’t help compare them to Jem and Will from The Infernal Devices (honestly I thought the love triangle in that series was better executed) and maybe that’s where my problem lies – me wanting them to be more like Jem and Will, call me Captain Obvious, but their not. I try not to make that comparison, I really try! While their is increasing tension between the pair of friends, they whine a lot to themselves, in a tone that may suggest they feel they have some definite claim on Celaena as theirs and only theirs.

 

Would I recommend?

I’d highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels. It’s well worth the time spent reading it!

 

My personal rating: 4.5/5

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern!

Bucket List!

Tursday, 25th May 2017

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How’s it shakin’ bacon?

 

I feel like everyone has some sort of bucket list, whether or not it’s intentional or not. We all want to do things and have experiences to look back on, right? So I thought why not make my own little official bucket list. A small one.

 

  1. Travel – I have a giant list of places I want to travel to. I think it probably deserves a post of it’s own. Haha!
  2. Live outside Ireland for at least one year
  3. Swim with dolphins
  4. Rock climbing – actual rock climbing
  5. Feed sharks
  6. Go skydiving – as terrifying as this sounds it’d really be quite the adventure (and a good story too!)
  7. Zip lining
  8. Go on a date
  9. Donate Clothing
  10. See a ‘play’ on Broadway
  11. Write & Publish a Novel
  12. Learn to use Chopsticks
  13. See a ballet
  14. Get a tattoo
  15. Participate in a 5K race
  16. Go to an aquarium
  17. Visit a pyramid
  18. Go on a Road Trip
  19. Be an extra in a movie
  20. Attend a Masquerade

 

Is any of this even achievable? I guess we’ll see! Any suggested additions? What’s on your bucket list?

 

Until next time, warm hugs!
Morgenstern!

Release Day!!!

Tuesday, 23rd of May 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

Today, Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare) has been released! I’m super excited to get my hands of a copy of the book and to sink my teeth into the series (I’ve yet to read Lady Midnight). If you’re interested in purchasing a copy (if you’ve not done so already) Book Depository have it in stock, just click here. I’ve just ordered a copy of the book.

 

  1. Lady Midnight – here
  2. The Infernal Devices – here
  3. The Mortal Instruments – here
  4. Magisterium – here

 

Enough of the shameless linking, I am super excited to get back into reading Cassandra Clare’s work. She is quite possibly definitely my favorite writer… ever and I think she sparked my interest in stories and reading and I want to share that with you.

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern

A Day at Fota Wildlife Park

12th May 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

I went to Fota on the 10th! I know I’ve a post months ago about Fota, but I couldn’t help posting another one. Fota is located on an island off the coast of Cork, Ireland. On the island is Ireland’s only wildlife park and there is also a house and gardens and there is an island resort.

 

I got a new camera recently. A nice swanky camera. So, going to Fota was an excellent opportunity for me to test drive the camera. I think I’m getting the hang of it. Hahaha! Aside from that, the Lions had arrived at Fota – and I was super excited about that and there was a baby giraffe!

 

There are so many birds at Fota (there was even a sunbathing crow). There was also quite the collection of Ostrich eggs.

 

The tropical house was one of my favorite areas. It was so hot in there though – I’m sure I was sweating before I left.

I really just wanted to show off the photos I’d taken on my new camera. Honestly, for a noob I think their not too bad. Maybe… kinda.

Until next time, warm hugs,

Morgenstern

Book Depository

12th of May 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

 

I’ve recently become an affiliate with Book Depository. Book Depository is an online store where one can buy books… So call me Captain Obvious! Anyway, I use this site quite regularly. They’ve a huge selection of books to buy from, I find their prices are lower than in a bookshop, delivery (to most places is free) and they send you a free book mark. (How’s my awesome salesmanship going?) I, often, buy books in relative bulk and it’s my go to place for such a purchase. If you want to check out this online store, click here. I have a feeling you won’t regret it.

 

I want to make one thing clear – I wouldn’t make a decision and discuss it as such if I didn’t really believe it. I felt as someone who is a Book Depository customer normally, this could be a good opportunity to pass on this information to you and if you choose to browse the site and/or buy anything let me know what you bought. I shall be back later with a post about my escapades at Fota Wildlife Park later on, just felt this update/information was worth providing now.

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern!

Musings

Friday, 21st April 2017

Hi,

I’ve been thinking and planning, a lot in some – perhaps futile – attempt to decide the future of this blog. Should I even bother? Is it enough as it is? Can I consistently deliver something worthy of the time of people who read it? Truth is, I don’t know. I’ve got so many plans and ideas and I feel clueless about seeing those plans through. I don’t know if I can deliver a thoughtful post today or tomorrow, or in fact ever. Am I simply a lazy writer who is satisfied to publish whatever I set to ‘paper’? Is that satisfactory? Should I be satisfied with some occasional haphazard blog posts to keep this blog alive and floating? No, I can do better than that and I must. I tell myself I want to write, but if I’m to do that I need to be more considerate of what I write and dedicate the necessary time and effort. But how? How do I make that effort? How will I ever know it’s enough? Or worthy? Can I ever be worth… this? I don’t know.

In the past I would have decided to quit before even starting. I would have decided that I can’t do it anyway, so why bother. If I know I’m going to fail, why bother? But I know that’ll get me nowhere – I don’t know if I’ll fail unless I try, really try and even if I do, I can learn from that experience. So, I guess this is my vow, my vow to try – to put the time and effort into these posts. Because I want them to mean something – to be thoughtful and entertaining, not lazy and boring. I want to write, to write something worth the time people spend on reading it because time is valuable and limited.

Anyway, until next time, warm hugs,

Morgenstern!

The Future?

Wednesday, 19th April 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

Blog posts have been very few and far between in 2017. I’ve spent time reflecting on why I’ve been struggling with posts and I’ve narrowed it down to 3 basic reasons:

  1. I got a job – in January I started work in retail and for the first few weeks I was working full time and after work I didn’t have the energy to post or anything to post about.
  2. Lazyness – lately I’ve had much more time in which I could have posted but didn’t because I’m a lazy arse
  3. Writers Block – I’ve spent more time than I care to admit typing posts, only to delete them because I’m not happy with them. The posts felt wrong – I couldn’t bring myself to publish them

 

I sincerely apologize for the sparse posts and the excuses. I need to figure out what direction I am going to take with my posts and take the time to ensure I’m writing a post worth reading.

 

Until next time (hopefully soon), warm hugs

Morgenstern!

Movie Review: Beauty & The Beast

Beauty and the beast

Trailer: Youtube

Duration: 2 hours 19 minutes

Release Date: February 23 2017 (London)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson & Sir Ian McKellen

Director: Bill Condon

Music Composed By: Alan Menken

Lyrics By: Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Ratings: IMDb: 7.8/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 71%, Common Sense Media: 4/5

Summary: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

 

I want to begin by saying: I loved the animated Beauty and the Beast! So, I was both excited and somewhat weary about seeing the Live Action Remake, as usual going into movies like these I had high hopes (and admittedly fairly low expectations). I found that, to my pleasure, the movie blew my expectations out of the water and I was delighted.

 

The cast was perfectly chosen (though can one go wrong with Sir Ian McKellen?), the story stayed true to the original and built on it – it addressed the absence of Belle’s mother, why nobody knew about the prince or the castle or the staff within, characters were given more depth (like LeFou who, in the original, only served to bring attention to Gaston and boost his enormous ego, or the beast who was a fairly two dimensional character), music was great, and visuals were stunning.

 

As much as I love the music, I felt like that was the movies greatest let down. There seemed to be some inconsistencies in the vocals, as if some parts were heavily auto tuned, others were not, at one point I thought another person was singing.

 

I would highly recommend watching the film!

 

Personal Rating: 4/5

 

Until next time, warm hugs!

Morgenstern

 

Game Review: The Wolf Among Us

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Release Date: October, 11th 2013

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Android, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation Vita, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Macintosh Operating Systems

Rating: 10/10 (Steam), 4.3/5 (Google Play), 4.8/5 (itunes)

The Wolf Among Us is a graphic adventure game, played from a third-person perspective. The player controls protagonist Bigby Wolf, who must investigate the murder of a woman. Throughout the game, the player will explore various three-dimensional environments, such as apartment buildings and a bar. When exploring an environment, the player may find an object they can interact with; when this occurs, they must move a cursor over the object to select and examine it. Items of interest are stored in an inventory, and can be used later in the story. The player may also talk with non-player characters, and the conversations presented in the form of dialogue trees.The dialogue options chosen during conversations will either have a positive or negative affect on how other characters view Bigby, and their perceptions will influence future events in the story. Some scenes are more action-oriented, forcing the player to respond to a series of quick time event (QTE) prompts. The player is not required to complete every QTE prompt, and skipping certain prompts may affect future events in the story.

 

I’ve been trying to figure out the, I dunno, best way to ‘review’ the game. I love Telltale’s art style in general is so cool! I also like how the story is shaped so much around the choices you make as a player. I think it’s a game that could easily be played multiple times, however as much as the choices influence the story there is a limit to how much the story is influenced, obviously.

 

What did I like?

I really liked the art style, as I’ve said, and the story. I love how they took the concept of Fables and brought them into a world we’ll all recognize. Each of the characters are made to feel so real.

 

What did I dislike?

There wasn’t anything in particular I didn’t like. Maybe this will sound a bit nit-picky, but as much as the story was altered by particular choices – I feel like it wasn’t as much of an alteration as I would have expected or imagined.

 

Personal Rating: 4/5

 

I know it’s not a very in depth review, and I do apologize for not posting anything in over a month.

 

Until next time,

Warm hugs,

Morgenstern!

Long Time No See…

Saturday, 25th February 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything (almost an entire month). How did that happen? I’m sorry I haven’t been active here. I really just wanted to apologize in this post and make a resolution to try to post more often.

 

I have gotten a job (who’d have thunk, right?) haha! It’s a retail position and I’m still getting used to it. Adjusting to work has taken a while – but I’m getting there! I think there’s some form of stability beginning to occur.

 

In all seriousness, I am hoping in the coming days and weeks I shall form (and maintain) a stable routine for posts.

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern!