Trashy Tuesday: Assassin’s In Love by Kris DeLake

I find that a most sci-fi space themed romance novels aren’t in worlds that are well built or interesting. Assassin’s in Love was the exception for the rule of just avoid most sci-fi romance.

The story revolves around Rikki and Misha both assassin’s one with a guild one not. For a chunk of the book Misha is tracking Rikki down because he was getting framed for her kills. Then things take a crazy twist and we go on a pretty wild adventure that involves some revelations about the characters and  their pasts.

I’m going to say that I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I felt like Rikki was pretty reasonable compared to other romance heroines. She was pretty badass which is what you’d want from an assassin. I loved how interesting DeLake made the world seem engaging and real. I even found myself enjoying the male lead way more than I thought I would. They both used what would seem like proper protocol with future weapons and were deadly but not to a fault. They both even had some flaws.

I have a few things I disliked though because the book starts to feel a little long and pretty dry in a few spots. I kept wishing the plot would move forward a bit more instead of going at a snails pace after the halfway point. Another thing was they jumped into the sexytimes which was great but then it disappeared quickly for a while which sucked.

Overall I think this book is well worth the read if you love romance novels and sci-fi! 4 out of 5 stars it is well worth the cash.

 

-Gummi

Validating Your ‘Gamer’ Status: Am I real ‘Gamer’ now?

We see it everywhere and hear it from all kinds of people about how so and so isn’t a ‘real’ gamer because they are a girl or don’t like this type of game etc…

I generally like to think this is a vast minority of the community because that just makes me feel better about it. Games aren’t my only hobby and surely not the only one that ‘defines’ me as a person, but for some reason it seems like it always comes back around to that. Focusing mostly on my gender and how ‘surprising’ it is that I enjoy games. This is probably due to the fact that games seem to be a common topic to discuss amongst the varied people I meet. I think it’s safe to say that the types of games you like often are more definitive of what people think though than your gender at times.

I am not a big JRPG fan. Honestly I couldn’t finish FF7 because I got bored. It’s not for me but I do know that if they make an HD version I’ll go back and try to beat it. I hear enough shit from friends for abandoning such an amazing game. Mind you when that game was current I was on PC playing Warcraft 3, Starcraft and other things like that more so than RPGs. The first console I owned as a teen was a Wii then I got the 360 to play Bioshock specifically. I kind of missed out on the entire golden era of JRPGS from the ones I get told are classics because of that. I don’t mind though in retrospect since I have no real interest in them when I go back to try and play them.

It’s pretty well known I basically avoid JRPGS like the plague. It’s not my thing, but here I sit playing through Ni No Kuni and I’m in love. I don’t mind grinding out levels in it either. Constantly finding myself being charmed by the character design and dialogue along with cut scenes in this game has me hooked. I plan to beat it ASAP. Something many of my friends probably never would have expected to come out of my mouth honestly. Perhaps it’s the Ghibli style that has me hooked but I’m not so sure that would keep me around if I hated the battle system.

I find it amusing that as someone who never really felt the need to be ‘validated’ in their gamer status or whatever that I feel myself thinking I’m not so strange now. I mean after all I finally found a JRPG I don’t hate. It’s a new sensation for me to think Oh wow I actually have a response besides don’t be a dick or that doesn’t matter. I can actually say I found a JRPG that I don’t hate.  Now to just find something that makes people stop guilting me about disliking Metal Gear solid and I think I’m set for life!

The vlog discusses this a little more and in a bit of a different context. Feel free to give it a watch as well if your interested.

Did you ever find a game in a genre you didn’t enjoy and feel validated suddenly?

Also I’ve noticed this trend in other hobbies/fandoms as well so remember gaming isn’t the only one!

-Gummi

Trashy Thursday: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is a young adult novel that sets the bar high even with the semi ridiculous set up for this society. At the same time though the seemingly ridiculous set up for the society that would never really work in real life, but somehow works in this book.

The plot starts with Beatrice a girl who is supposed to be selfless according to her faction right before her 16th birthday and the coming day of having to choose which faction she wants to go with.. Her test comes back with 3 options though a rare trait. We follow her journey through training with her new faction Dauntless.

I loved how well written this book is. It echoes a lot of Hunger Games style writing for me. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. Beatrice is a character who is engaging and not a total pushover. I loved watching her transform in a total bad ass. I found myself pretty attached to the characters in this book. I also loved the twists and how they were foreshadowed in a lot of ways.

I found the ending felt a bit rushed though. You spend a lot of time with the dauntless training process which makes sense but when the ending rolls around it seems very quick. It felt like once the end started it took no time at all to be over. This isn’t a fully terrible thing but sometimes I wish it hadn’t felt so rushed and maybe a little less focus on the training and more backstory.

Overall I really enjoyed this book a lot. It’s a great start to a series and I’m actually super excited to start reading book 2 Insurgent soon! Well worth the cash and I give it 4/5 stars.

-Gummi

Trashy Tuesday: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I finished this book a while ago and have been mulling over the review in my head for a while. What we have is a giant checklist of things I dig:

Cyborgs
Science Fiction
Interesting World
Fairy Tale 

All that and more is present but this book still lacks a lot of things.

The beginning of the book throws you right into the story. We are in New Beijing where disease is ravaging the population and they are trying to find a cure.  By chance our lovely Cinder ends up helping Prince Kai and this leads to many interesting adventures. Including her of course betrayal by a crazy Stepmother and more.

I loved that this was a science fiction twisted retelling of Cinderella and that Meyer’s wasn’t afraid to step away from the usual elements present in a cinderella story. I really dug that Cinder was a cyborg and mechanic. I don’t read many books where the woman is doing a stereotypically masculine job and I can really get behind the idea of her not being a maid or servant because that’s boring. I also found that the whole Lunar part of the plot was incredibly interesting, but I don’t want to give too much away about it.

My dislikes go more into the fact that I found myself frustrated with Cinder and the plot. This is a given of course we know how the story of Cinderella works but at least the story wasn’t 100% the same as classic fairy tale because Cinder’s a cyborg. Even with that caveat I found myself wanting to yell at Cinder. She does some stupid stuff that really endangers herself, but at the same time those actions move the plot forward so I have a hard time hating on it completely.

I found myself really involved in this book as I read it. Faults and all I honestly couldn’t put it down so overall 4/5 stars. I’m excited to check out book two which will hopefully present an even better story.

-Gummi

Trashy Tuesday: Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones

Ever fall in love with a series? I’m in love with the Inside Out Trilogy. I honestly can’t get enough of it so did Being Me satisfy my cravings for this series?

We resume right where we left off in the last book which means that terrible cliff hanger was resolved. THANK GOODNESS! We see a lot of plot movement in book two and development between characters. Most of the narrative actually revolves around revealing more about Chris and Sara in the best of ways. We knew Sara had something from her past haunting her and that is revealed in this book same goes for Chris. Which was essential for me to feel satisfied. Also you aren’t left on such a big cliffhanger this time instead the ending is a major payoff to someone who is invested in this story.

The things I loved about this book are numerous so I’m going to try and keep it short. Obviously the huge character development stuff that happens between Chris and Sara was amazing. I also died laughing during some portions of the book including a gummi bear joke which put the biggest grin on my face. Another thing is I liked that this book took some of the focus off Rebecca and instead on development of the characters. Including characters that I think deserve more attention like Mark Compton. One reveal at the end left me with my mouth hanging open because I honestly did not expect it at all. Keeping me on my toes when reading this series is a huge plus.

Dislikes? I really dislike how finicky Sara can be as a character. I also don’t get why she hide her secret so much I’m not sure I would have done the same in her shoes is all. I find some of the situations she gets into a little contrived but overall they end up adding to the story so I guess it’s okay in the end.

Overall I have a hard time really knocking off anything for my dislikes in this book becuase I just love this series. Lisa Renee Jones really knows how to write a good series that keeps you wanting more and that is not an easy thing to do. 5/5 stars for me and I highly recommend it if you enjoyed the first book.

-Gummi

Trashy Thursday: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

This week is Kresley Cole week. Obviously this is the second book I’ve read by Kresley Cole ever. I’m hooked and can’t wait to read her other series, but Poison Princess is a great entry into the post apocalyptic young adult books. Though I will say that you have to go in not expecting it to be 100% post apocalyptic.

We follow Evie’s journey before the apocalypse and after the flash occurs. As far as a plot device goes the flash was a great way to have the world be destroyed and felt new and interesting to me all the water on the planet disappears and so do crops. The world falls apart very quickly, but there are a few the Arcana who are supposed to battle it out in this apocalypse. Though the apocalypse stuff doesn’t really start until maybe 30% into the book.

The things I liked about this book is numerous. I loved the storyline I was hooked as soon as the flash happened. Evie felt like a real 16 year old girl not some weird contrived version of a 16 year old. The romance is at the perfect spot for a YA book as well. The cajun speak felt pretty authentic and not jammed in there as well. I personally kept imagining Jack as a kind of Gambit and also written as an authentic teenage boy. I felt like I was right along with Evie figuring out what was going on with the Arcana and more. The ending of the book is a great pay off as well but of course I can’t wait for book two.

I only really disliked a few things about this book. I was put off at first by how much of it wasn’t in the world after the flash. I kept wishing that part of the plot would be over, but felt less that way once I saw how it tied into the later plot.

Overall I give Poison Princess 4/5 stars and highly recommend if you like apocalyptic future stories. The story in this one is a lot more refreshing and different than other ones I’ve read. Well worth the cash to pick up this one.

-Gummi

Trashy Review: Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole May Vaginal Fantasy

I will preface this review with the fact I’ve never read a Kresley Cole book before this is quite literally my first even with how much I’ve heard about her novels. I didn’t feel disappointed in one bit having nothing else to base my opinion on her writing off.

Shadow’s Claim was a good introduction to Cole’s writing style and I really enjoyed this book. The plot is basic boy tries to win girl over in epic battle. Straight forward simple which isn’t a bad thing, the ‘bad’ comes in with our female lead Bettinna who seriously gets a whole chunk of dislikes put with her a little farther down. Cole’s writing does a wonderful job of pulling you into the narrative and making you see the world.

Anyways what did I like? Tehran our hero was deliciously sexy. Seriously he was all the things you’d want out of a vampire. Also a total bad ass assassin which is one of my favorite things. Who doesn’t want to be an assassin? I mean he could train you! Okay so I’m projecting what I’d want to learn from an assassin but still. The one thing that redeemed Bettina for me was her hobby she made discrete  weapons in her workshop that sounded awesome. On another good note the ending was a ‘twist’ of how they end up together and I did enjoy that part. My favorite character in the book besides Tehran was Salem though he has some great dialogue and is pretty interesting.

The bad well let’s just talk about an annoying heroine who makes you want to slap some sense into. That would be Bettina. She’s pining over her friend Cas for most the book while Tehran has blooded with her. Doesn’t see a problem with this nor care that Cas is basically a man whore who has no interest in her. Perhaps beside saving her from a terrible arranged marriage. Ugh Cas to me was basically another unredeemable character. I honestly usually don’t dislike so many characters in a book but the more I think about Bettina the more frustrated I get.

Overall Shadow’s Claim was a great starting point in Cole’s books and has me excited to read more of her novels. Shadow’s claim gets 4/5 from me for being a fun read.

-Gummi

 

 

 

Trashy Reviews: Comic Trades Round Up Part 1!

In an attempt to get myself not so behind in books and comics I am going to post round up reviews of the various things I’ve read in the past month or two until I’m caught up. Unless of course I deem somethign worthy of a full length review than I’ll post that.

I’ve been reading on trade or manga a day to get caught up though. I have a massive pile of trades to read and comics so this is helping me slowly get caught up.

 

Swamp thing is often seen as a subpar title, but I have found that there is a hidden gem in vol 1 of the new 52. I seriously am hooked and can’t believe I wasn’t reading this series at the beginning of the relaunch. I never thought I could feel anything for Swamp Thing but I found myself hooked pretty early on in this trade. I had an emotional involvement in the character and his choices along with what was happening to his world. 5/5 stars Highly recommend you pick it up and try reading it! It’s definitely nothing like what I expected.

Teen Titans: Year One is beautifully drawn and a fun quick read. I wouldn’t go in expecting anything spectacular. If anything it’s kind of a fun fluffy book dealing with the origins of Teen Titans. I enjoyed this book but luckily I wasn’t expecting a lot. I found that when I finished the book I felt it was too short, but still didn’t really dislike it. 3/5 stars and a fun read if you like Teen Titans.

Hawkeye Vol 1 I can’t really say enough good stuff about this trade! I seriously am super happy with myself for already owning the first printing issue 1 for this comic. It is amazing. The dialogue is clever and we see how Hawkeye isn’t really a ‘hero’ but someone struggling with having been in the Avengers and now living a ‘normal’ life. Though of course nothing is really normal and we meet the amazing Kate Bishop in this trade. It all pretty much rounds up to be an incredible trade and I can’t wait to read more Hawkeye! 5/5 Stars!

-Gummi

Trashy Book Reviews: Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher – April 2013 Vaginal Fantasy

A planet that creates ghosts of people that the human used to know on earth. Our heroine Elizabeth Cole ends up dead, but doesn’t realize it nor does her supposed to be mentor Dr. Murphy. She ends up on Ardagh 1 one for her residency to help with the ghost protocol counseling. The ghost protocol requires the colonists ignore their ghosts which becomes a stick situation for Cole and Murphy that leads us through quite the adventure and revelations.

I only really read science fiction when it’s Vaginal Fantasy picks, but this book honestly has me sold me on the fact that I need to read more of it. I was instantly invested when we learned Elizabeth was actually a ghost. Murphy immediately stops talking to Elizabeth when he discovers she’s a ghost and she doesn’t tolerate that one bit. The narrative is immersive and I could barely put this book down.

One of the best things about this book is the narrative never stops or slows down. Elizabeth is a great mary sue of a character that I find to be relatable because she’s more science minded and not a total ditz. She’s determined to find out why the ghosts exist instead of fading into the background like the others. I found myself trying to solve the mystery of the planet right along with Elizabeth.

I only have one complaint and it involves the end of the book. I don’t like the ‘surprise’ that is sprung on Elizabeth at the end or the twist with her and Murphy’s connection. I felt like the connection twist was really terrible because it seemed like the go-to fix for any problems in the end of the story. A catchall to save them from any trouble, but still I loved this book.

Overall this book is incredible 5/5 stars even with my one dislike. I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up if you want an interesting science fiction story with some great romance added in.

-Gummi

Asparagus, Radish and Pea side dish and a bonus cauliflower mash!

I’ve been on the hunt for healthier yummy sides to eat with my meals. These are two of my new finds that I LOVE!

 

Asparagus, Radish and Pea side dish

Ingredients:

Asparagus – buy a decent size bundle

3 tablespoons butter

10 oz frozen peas

1 lb radish

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Chop up your asparagus into decent size chunks while you let a large pot of water come to a boil.

2. Place the asparagus in the boiling water. Prep an ice bath for the asparagus while it boils for 3-4 minutes. It should still be crisp.

3. Transfer to ice bath to let cool then put on paper towels to dry. You can wrap the asparagus in a paper towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day to do some of the prep ahead as well.

4. Chop up your radishes into quarters or smaller depending on preference.

5. In a large pan over medium heat place butter. Add your peas and asparagus. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until warmed through.

6. Remove from heat and add radishes, salt and pepper.

7. Serve warmed and enjoy!

Cauliflower Mash!

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup milk

1 garlic clove

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Chop the cauliflower up into smaller chunks. You can chop the stalk up or discard it.

2. Boil the cauliflower in a pot for 10-15 minutes until soft when stabbed with a fork.

3. Drain cauliflower and put into a food process or bowl to mash.

4. Add butter and milk to the processor and turn it on for a few minutes until it all starts to combine.

5. Add minced garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper.

6. Continue to mix until it has a consistency of mashed potatoes.

What is your favorite side dish to have with meals? I’m pretty addicted to cauliflower mash currently.

-Gummi