The State of the Reader: 8/29/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/15/18          The State of the Reader: 9/12/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 8

There were a lot of sales these past two weeks, and I’ve started getting emails from Goodreads for deals.  I also conveniently just received Elric today in the mail.  I’ve been looking for this book forever.  It’s either ridiculously expensive or nonexistent, so I was happy to get it for less than $10.


Books DNF: 2

Title: Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood
Series Title: Monstress
Author: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Date Added: August 21, 2017
Date Started: August 9, 2018

Monstress, Vol. 2: The BloodMedia: Paperback (Library)

When reading something becomes a chore and it’s not a reference, it’s time to put it to the side.  The artwork is gorgeous, but I really don’t like the main character, so I don’t really care about her journey and mission.  This is another one where you’d think I would; I mean she’s trying to piece together her dead mother’s life, but I was more interested in the little fox and the two-tailed cat.

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The Gamer Confessions Tag

I can’t remember the last time I did a game related tag if I ever have, and this one comes from one of my favorite bloggers Drakulus whom I helped convert into a Final Fantasy fan yass.  Nah, he’s an open minded guy who, along with other blogger buddies, has helped convince me to give FFXV a chance.  ANYWAY, this looked like fun so I snagged it.

Gamer Confessions Tag

A game everyone loves that you can’t stand

Okami picture

Okami

“Can’t stand” is kind of harsh.  I don’t hate this game, but I certainly didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.  It seems like something anyone into Zelda would adore, but I just couldn’t get past the annoying bug helper character and the weird vocalizations.  I loved the wolf though.

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The State of the Writer: 8/26/18

<–The State of the Writer: 8/12/18          The State of the Writer: 9/9/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 5


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 259,639
Prior Word Count: 261,248
Word Difference: -1609
Status: Review
Progress: Chapter 11 First Edit

A lot of cuts these past two weeks.  I decided to move the nail polish thing to another chapter (…it’s amazing what writers deem important lol), because I think it would better serve in a place that’s not introspective and more active.  I’m in the process of doing the first edit, and it’s only been difficult because I’ve been so tired.  But I persevere.

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Parallel by Anthony Vicino

Title: Parallel
Author: Anthony Vicino
Date Added: May 9, 2015
Date Started: November 19, 2017
Date Finished: December 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 23 days
Genre: Science Fiction, Novella

Parallel by Anthony VicinoPages: 94
Publication Date: November 17, 2014
Publisher: One Lazy Robot
Media: eBook/Kindle


Hari and Gerald tore a hole in space and time. It’s a small hole, but it’s a big problem. A pinprick to a new Dimension. Too small for either Hari or Gerald to fit through, but it looks pretty. They’re about to learn that pretty things can be very dangerous.

Ryol, Ambassador to the Lenoreans, must investigate the Rift on behalf of the Alliance. What she finds there could usher in the destruction of every world she’s ever known.

Time is running out for the Lenoreans to discover more of the precious energy source that powers their world. Perched upon the brink of calamity their fate is inextricably tied with Earth’s. Now, with the fate of both worlds in her hands, Falia must decide which planet to save.


In opening a portal to another dimension, two scientists arouse the attention of a far more advanced alien species, the Lenoreans, with an interest in whether or not our planet has the energy their world needs to survive.  These aliens have technology that allows them to divide their attention/consciousness between numerous tasks, so the character Ryol could be having a conversation with you while simultaneously monitoring several integral systems on the Lenorean home world in addition to paying attention to events on other planets.  They can also alter their biochemistry to survive on otherwise uninhabitable landscapes and restructure their minds to cope with new stimuli.  In short, if they wanted our planet, they could easily take it.  The only thing that slightly annoyed me about these aliens was that Ryol was describe as “tall and blonde” because of course she’d have to be.  Them looking human/being humanoid is perfectly understandable in the scope of the story, but there’s no reason aliens always have to fit the most privileged model.

The story itself was fantastic.  It didn’t go at all how I expected, and the author pulled no punches at the close, leaving an ending that while hopeful was still bittersweet.

4.5 stars.

Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Celes Chere

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

<–Squall Leonhart

*Potential spoilers for everything involving the topic character and their game.

CW: Discussions of depression and suicide.


Name: Celes Chere
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Job: Imperial General
Age: 18/19

Major Arcana: The Hanged Man – Picking Celes’ card was so much harder than I originally thought it would be.  I’d pegged her as either The High Priestess or The Empress since those are the typical female defaults, but Celes isn’t a “typical female” (whatever that means anyway).  She’s a woman general, a typically masculine job, and she’s young, really young.  Everything about her seems to exist as a unity of opposites to Terra, the other main female character.  She’s heavenly (Celes as in “celestial”) to Terra’s “earth;” ice to Terra’s fire; and she’s a high ranking military officer to Terra’s bondage.  Of course Celes is bound herself even before her arrest, which is proven by her very imprisonment .  She acted on her conscious after disillusionment with the Empire and wound up sentenced to death.  Her entire existence, occupation, and powers were entirely predicated on the Empire’s whims, but it isn’t until she defies Imperial orders that she understands that…and realizes that even someone completely raised and indoctrinated into a regime can still be themselves.  There’s an ineffable quality to a person that can override even the deepest programming if pushed to the limit.

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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka

Title: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Author: Franz Kafka
Date Added: June 12, 2017
Date Started: September 14, 2017
Date Finished: December 1, 2017
Reading Duration: 78 days
Genre: Fiction, Classical Literature, Satire, Short Story

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories coverPages: 224
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Classics
Publication Date: July 1, 2003 (first published 1915)
Media: Paperback


Virtually unknown during his lifetime, Franz Kafka is now one of the world’s most widely read and discussed authors. His nightmarish novels and short stories have come to symbolize modern man’s anxiety and alienation in a bizarre, hostile, and dehumanized world. This vision is most fully realized in Kafka’s masterpiece, “The Metamorphosis,” a story that is both harrowing and amusing, and a landmark of modern literature. 

Bringing together some of Kafka’s finest work, this collection demonstrates the richness and variety of the author’s artistry. “The Judgment,” which Kafka considered to be his decisive breakthrough, and “The Stoker,” which became the first chapter of his novel Amerika, are here included. These two, along with “The Metamorphosis,” form a suite of stories Kafka referred to as “The Sons,” and they collectively present a devastating portrait of the modern family.

Also included are “In the Penal Colony,” a story of a torture machine and its operators and victims, and “A Hunger Artist,” about the absurdity of an artist trying to communicate with a misunderstanding public. Kafka’s lucid, succinct writing chronicles the labyrinthine complexities, the futility-laden horror, and the stifling oppressiveness that permeate his vision of modern life.


This is going to be more of an analysis than a review due to the classic nature of the work.  Spoilers will not be marked.

Most writers write about themselves.  It is both an inherently selfish and selfless act.  To speak too much of oneself is narcissistic, but to share that self with the world in the hopes someone might understand upon reflection requires a vulnerability most narcissists cannot bear.

Franz Kafka’s works were greatly influenced by his relationship with his father, Hermann Kafka, who is described as “authoritative and demanding.”  We’re introduced to this paradigm in “The Metamorphosis,” and it manifests even more in “The Judgment.”

Kafka’s writing is brilliant in its absurdity.  While ridiculous and surreal things happen to his characters, the author’s message is far from it.  He uses the absurd to speak of the profound beginning with “The Metamorphosis,” where the main character Gregor awakens one morning to discover he’s been transformed into a gigantic bug.  It’s interesting to note that Kafka never wanted any depictions of the creature, because its appearance didn’t matter.  It was a “gigantic vermin” that poor Gregor had the ill luck to now be.  He’s confined to his room and often fed by pushing sustenance beneath the door.  The sister or the mother would sometimes and warily venture in to clean, and Gregor usually hid himself to not terrify them.  He is unable to speak, no longer possessing a human mouth, though his mental faculties remained the same.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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