The State of the Gamer: 11/3/22

<–The State of the Gamer: 10/20/22           The State of the Gamer: 11/17/22–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

Games Demoed: 0

Games Purchased: 3

  • Harvestella – $59.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • The Journey Down: Chapter Two – $11.24 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Bear With Me: The Complete Collection – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
Total: $81.22

Games Finished: 0

Games On Hold: 1

Title: Cris Tales
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of Cris TalesDate Started: October 24, 2022

On one hand I should make my own decisions about games and not follow the comments/critiques.  On the other hand I was already meh on this game anyway.  It’s very pretty; cel shading holds up so well (see Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker), but graphics to me are like icing on the cake for other people (I…love icing; it’s better than cake for me lol).  It’s a nice addition (no one has heard me complain about FFVIIR’s aesthetic), but it won’t keep me interesting in a game.

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A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Merry Gentry #6) (DNF)

CW: Mention of SA with no details

Title: A Lick of Frost
Series: Merry Gentry
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Date Added: June 3, 2014
Date Started: November 1, 2018
Date DNF: November 1, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Cover of A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Merry Gentry)Pages: 342
Publication Date: October 23, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Media: Paperback (Library)

I am Meredith Gentry, princess and heir apparent to the throne in the realm of faerie, onetime private investigator in the mortal world. To be crowned queen, I must first continue the royal bloodline and give birth to an heir of my own. If I fail, my aunt, Queen Andais, will be free to do what she most desires: install her twisted son, Cel, as monarch . . . and kill me.

My royal guards surround me, and my best loved-my Darkness and my Killing Frost-are always beside me, sworn to protect and make love to me. But still the threat grows greater. For despite all my carnal efforts, I remain childless, while the machinations of my sinister, sadistic Queen and her confederates remain tireless. So my bodyguards and I have slipped back into Los Angeles, hoping to outrun the gathering shadows of court intrigue. But even exile isn’t enough to escape the grasp of those with dark designs.

Now King Taranis, powerful and vainglorious ruler of faerie’s Seelie Court, has leveled accusations against my noble guards of a heinous crime-and has gone so far as to ask the mortal authorities to prosecute. If he succeeds, my men face extradition to faerie and the hideous penalties that await them there. But I know that Taranis’s charges are baseless, and I sense that his true target is me. He tried to kill me when I was a child. Now I fear his intentions are far more terrifying. 

I decided to give Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series another try, considering I’d ready well over ten of her Anita Blake books before I noped out due to nearly all of the plot being replaced by porn.  MG seemed to go down that slippery slope much quicker than Anita Blake did, as I believe there’s a scene in one of the earlier books where Merry and company are running from a monster or something and they stop to fuck in a hallway *facepalm*.  I’d barely finished the prior book in Anita Blake, Mistral’s Kiss, which I gave one star, and looking back at my Goodreads’ ratings now even the one before that, A Stroke of Midnight, only received two, so I wasn’t going into this with any high expectations.

But his hair was uniquely his own, silver, like metal beaten into hair.

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The State of the Gamer: 8/25/22

<–The State of the Gamer: 8/11/22           The State of the Gamer: 9/8/22–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

Games Demoed: 0

Games Purchased: 8

  • Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (Fairy Fencer F, Galapagos) – $5.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Trivial Pursuit Live! (Trivial Pursuit) – $7.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Doors: Paradox – $0.00 @ iTunes Store
  • Doors: Origin – $0.00 @iTunes Store
  • Doors: Awakening – $0.00 @ iTunes Store
  • The Birdcage – $0.00 @ iTunes Store
  • The Birdcage 2 – $0.00 @ iTunes Store
  • 3D Escape Game: Chinese Room – $0.00 @ iTunes Store
Total: $13.98

Games Finished: 1

Title: The House of Da Vinci III
Series: The House of Da Vinci
System: iOS (iPhone)

Cover of The House of Da Vinci IIIDate Started:  July 29, 2022
Date Finished: August 14, 2022

I’m sad it’s the last in the series and I’m finished, but I couldn’t be happier with this game.  I may replay the first two, and I’ve been thinking about replaying The Room series, too.  This game is the reason I “bought” so many from the iTunes store; I really wanted a similar experience.  I think I paid around $5 for this, and it was totally worth it if you love puzzle/mystery games.

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The State of the Reader: 7/27/22

<–The State of the Reader: 7/13/22         The State of the Reader: 8/10/22–>

A biweekly 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: 2

Total: $2.98

Books Finished: 0

Books DNF: 1

Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Date Added: June 21, 2016
Date Started: June 28, 2022

Cover of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackMedia: eBook/Kindle

I called it quits, and I think I understand why it has the lower rating.  It’s one of those intriguing at the outset stories that can’t keep up its momentum, and this one is more egregious because the author presents a thing we know has to happen (coffin boy waking up) and she has to maintain interest once that happens.  That can be accomplished by keeping some mystery about him or making him appealing in some other way.  Unfortunately, she does neither.  He’s…kind of a jackass lol, and the only reason either of the characters are interested in him romantically is for the sake of the plot.

I’m also not a big fan of the “fairies vs. humans” motif especially since the Fair Folk are indigenous to the land and, well, yeah, it’s their land.  Not that I think the tourists who wind up on their bad side deserve their fate, but if you’re going to ask me to pick sides in a land war, I’m siding with who was there first.

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The State of the Reader: 9/22/21

<–The State of the Reader: 9/8/21         The State of the Reader: 10/6/21–>

A biweekly 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.

Purchased: 4

Total: $14.96

Books Finished: 0

Books DNF: 1

Title: Something from the Nightside
Series: Nightside
Author: Simon R. Green
Date Added: July 1, 2017
Date Started: August 27, 2021

Cover of Soomething from the Nightside by Simon R. GreenMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 48%

I DNF’d it the day after I posted my last SOTR.  It was the cliched “two women characters who obviously hate each other” that did it for me (which makes me look like a hypocritical asshole, but it’s why I’m planning a major overhaul of my first novel so…).  It’s such a problematic trope on so many levels and was just the icing on the tombstone for this book.  I did check the reviews before I made my official decision and found a lot of my own critiques there.  I’m at the point now where if a piece of media does not spark joy, I’m not spending more time on it.

Currently Reading

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The State of the Reader: 7/14/21

<–The State of the Reader: 6/30/21         The State of the Reader: 7/28/21–>

A biweekly 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.

Purchased: 3

Total: $12.88

Books DNF: 1

Title: The Magnum Opus: Seek and You Shall Find
Authors: Christopher & Christine Kezelos
Date Added: October 7, 2020
Date Started: July 1, 2021
Date DNF: July 14, 2021

Cover of The Magnum Opus: Seek and You Shall Find by Christopher & Christine KezelosMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress at DNF: 43%

I had such high hopes for this after watching the charming (if a little creepy) short film (thank you By Hook or By Book for featuring this on your Whimsical Wednesday post!).  The novel promised to expand upon the story and show what happened after the making was done and the original Maker disappeared into glitter.  Initially, I was intrigued if saddened by the turn of events, but still interested even though where the plot was going was blatantly clear.  I almost shelved it a few times before, but things kept happening to hold my interest for a little longer, but I have to be honest: the novel direly needs a good editor.  There were not only the little errors e.g. missing commas in dialogue tags and misspellings, but the chapter would just switch perpsectives without a break, and I mean characters that were in completely different places.

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The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint (DNF)

Title: The Riddle of the Wren
Author: Charles de Lint
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: August 26, 2018
Date DNF: September 5, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de LintPages: 295
Publication Date: 1984
Publisher: Firebird
Media: Paperback (Library)

Minda Sealy is afraid of her own nightmares. Then, one night, while asleep, she meets Jan, the Lord of the Moors, who has been imprisoned by Ildran the Dream-master-the same being who traps Minda. In exchange for her promise to free him, Jan gives Minda three tokens. She sets out, leaving the safety of her old life to begin a journey from world to world, both to save Jan and to solve “the riddle of the Wren”-which is the riddle of her very self. “The Riddle of the Wren” was Charles de Lint’s first novel, and has been unavailable for years. Fans and newcomers alike will relish it.

The Riddle of the Wren is the type of old school fantasy novel I would’ve devoured in my younger, high school days.  Published in 1984, it’s exactly the thing that would’ve caught my fancy, and while I started reading Charles de Lint during that time, I cut my teeth on his later works, and this one flew under my radar.  You can definitely tell he was a fledgling author in this novel, and it turns out Riddle is his first.  Like so many books of that era, it begins with the locale’s description before it gets to the main character.  It does fascinate me how the conventions of writing change through the decades, and what was acceptable and expected then would earn an immediate rejection now.

Both the main character Minda and her best friend Janey are likable, and the trope of Missing Mom/Dickhead Dad is strong with regards to the former.  Janey’s description leads me to believe she’s a WOC, too, so score one for de Lint being inclusive even back then.  Minda’s father Hadon blames her for her mother’s death even though she didn’t die in childbirth (not…that that would make it valid either), but rather when she was between one and two.  Arguably, of course, women can still succumb to complications even after that length of time, but either way Hadon is still a jackass.  Minda has a paternal uncle who would be a much better father than her bio, but even if she did manage to escape, Hadon would just “drag her back,” and apparently Tomalin, the uncle, would let him.   While Hadon isn’t nearly as abusive to his daughter as the father in Deerskin *shudders* we do not diminish abuse by those degrees.

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The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician #1) (DNF)

Title: The Paper Magician
Series: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergPages: 222
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: 47North
Media: eBook/Kindle

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

I wished I’d just passed on this based on sample, but I don’t think I read enough to make the correct call.  The beginning is intriguing enough to draw you in, but as I went along the first chapter, I didn’t get much from the MC Ceony except that she’s a good student who wanted to work with metal instead of the paper craft foisted upon her.  Usually students can choose their material, but because Folding is dying out, she was assigned to that.  It’s a pretty common set up for a narrative, and while I did wonder how Holmberg might bend this ubiquitous motif in a unique way, it just didn’t hold my interest, and after rereading the blurb, I felt less of a draw to find out.

I’m not counting the author out though.  I do like her style, and I have Smoke and Summons from her Numina series on my list.

The Shadow Soul by Kaitlyn Davis (A Dance of Dragons #1) (DNF)

Title: The Shadow Soul
Series Title: A Dance of Dragons
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: May 14, 2018
Date DNF: May 15, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA), Paranormal

The Shadow Soul coverPages: 292
Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Media: eBook/Kindle

When Jinji’s home is destroyed, she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to–until she meets Rhen, a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores. Masquerading as a boy, Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart. But traveling together doesn’t mean trusting one another, and both are keeping a deep secret–magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh.

But while they struggle to hide the truth, a shadow lurks in the night. An ancient evil has reawakened, and unbeknownst to them, these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat. Because their meeting was not coincidence–it was fate. And their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time, an age of myth that is about to be reborn…

This is one of those books that initially seems like I’d tear through with alacrity based on the blurb, but I was extremely meh about the opening.  It’s your typical destroyed people/vengeance fare, but I didn’t garner much deep emotion from it because I didn’t invest much in the characters due to that cataclysm being present in the blurb.  Even so I liked what the author was setting up with Jinji’s story arc, an indigenous young woman whose home and culture is destroyed.  I was here for that revenge story, but then…the male character is introduced.

Rhen is unlikable for a variety of reasons.  He’s arrogant as fuck with an unearned know-it-all attitude.  Davis tells us how smart he is through his own ruminations, which may be her way of disputing it, but it just comes off as pompous.  I could forgive this slight, but I was pretty much done when he revealed he might be an unabashed rapist per the very act that introduces him.

He did however feel slightly uneasy.  It really wasn’t the girl’s fault that he had slipped into her room just before dawn.

I won’t say it’s blatant, but it gave me an icky feeling.  Pairing that with a lukewarm beginning sealed the deal.  If Rhen had been interesting or reputable, I might have continued, but I had no interest in seeing a fairly decent character like Jinji paired with what can’t even be considered a mediocre man.  Maybe he matures; maybe she “fixes” him (ugh), but she deserves better.

The State of the Gamer: 4/23/19

<–The State of the Gamer: 4/9/19           The State of the Gamer: 4/23/19–>

A weekly post updated every other Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Obtained

  • Pic-a-Pix Deluxe – $7.99 @ Nintendo eShop

What I DNFed

Title: Doki Doki Literature Club
System: PC

Doki Doki Literature Club coverDate Started: 3/17/19
Date DNF: 4/16/19

So…I “finished” the game insofar as a major event happened and the game “ends.”  Left there befuddled, I restarted, and NOPED right out of there quicker than a photon.  Oh HELL no.  What happens is one of my biggest fear triggers, and I do not fuck with that.  I wound up watching a breakdown by The Game Theorists, and I’m glad I chose to DNF because I wouldn’t be able to use my computer ever again, and how would I do these fascinating posts if I don’t have my lappy?  Let’s just say if you’re into horror/meta-horror narratives DDLC will not disappoint.

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