thistlechaser: (Default)
2037-04-10 04:03 pm

Sticky post: How to follow me

If you want my posts to appear on your reading page, follow this feed: .

You're welcome to follow this blog here on DW as well, but the feed will get you my up-to-date, realtime posts. :)
thistlechaser: (Default)
2017-04-08 07:06 pm
Entry tags:

Ellie New Cat has communication issues with her automatic feeder

Crossposting this by hand from LJ. Reminder, if you want to see my LJ posts on DW, you can follow this feed:


No matter how often she gently taps it, unlike people, the feeder just won't respond.

thistlechaser: (Default)
2017-04-08 12:52 pm

A tale of two blogs

(Crossposting by hand from LJ.)

At first I was sad about people (again) jumping ship from LJ, but now I'm more annoyed by the situation than anything else. I've put way too much time and effort trying to figure out how to keep reading journals and not losing contact with people, but came up with no good solution.

There's no way to not lose quality in my posts. If I post on DW and let it crosspost to LJ, I lose icon selection, plus there's the whole locking issue. (Not that I often lock posts, but I darned well should be able to if I want.)

If I read my friends list on DW (using a RSS feed to bring the posts from LJ to DW), again I lose icons, but also formatting and other things. Plus I wouldn't see others' locked posts.

So sorry people who are leaving LJ. I like you all, but the best I can do is try to read my DW circle (or whatever the hell term they use). I can't promise I'll remember to on a regular basis, but that's the best I can do.
thistlechaser: (tree)
2017-04-07 10:18 am

How in the world am I supposed to juggle two blogging sites?

As of this morning, I think half of my active friendslist is gone to DW. Many of them (more than half?) aren't crossposting to LJ. I'd really rather not lose contact with people, but I barely keep up with my friends page on LJ, I don't think I could keep up with a DW circle(? is that the right term? Circle?).

Ugh. I don't blame people for leaving if that's what they want to do. I just wish there were an easy way to pull all the posts I want to read on LJ, DW, and elsewhere into one big feed.

You can make an RSS feed of your journal on either site, I wonder why you can't get a feed for your friendspage/circle? That would solve this problem.

Ah ha, hmmm, LJ DOES have a feed for your friendspage! (But that works only if you have a "professional" level account, which luckily I do.) So I suppose I could read on DW and pull my LJ friends list in there...

Well how do you like that. I made this post to complain, and by the end of it I solved my own problem.

I suppose now I have to somehow set up crossposting to both places...

Just to be confusing: I'm thistlechaser there (no underscore). Follow me here for the most likely chance of seeing my new posts. Follow me there to see them if I get this crossposting thing worked out.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat 5)
2017-04-07 08:59 am

2017 books: Race to Refuge, Mammoth Dawn

It's raining abandoned books! Five in two days. At least this brings the number of unread books on my Kindle down to 205...

Race to Refuge by Liz Craig
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Strike one: Zombie book. (It was in my To Read pile so long it predated my 'God no more zombie stories' rule.) Still, since I had the book, I gave it a fair chance.

Strike two: Kid watches his father be attacked, killed, and turned into a zombie, then the father attacked and killed his mother. And had NOT ONE SINGLE REACTION TO THAT. Not that he was stunned or so horrified he couldn't react, he didn't have one single thought to watching it happened. Story was told from his POV, so we know he saw it, but as soon as his mother was dying on their lawn, all he did was turn away and locked the front door so he'd be safe inside. Then he went on with his life/planning for his distant future, never once giving a thought to his parents dying and being turned into zombies...

New rule of baseball: Two strikes and you're out. Point reached before giving up: 6%

Mammoth Dawn by Kevin J Anderson and Gregory Benford
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Not an awful book, but I just didn't believe any of the characters as real people, and the story's tech didn't come off as realistically handled. Other reviewers called it a Jurassic park knockoff, and I'd agree.

Point reached before giving up: 12%

Running tally of unfinished books (the math of keeping track of this is going to doom me):
Point reached in these books: 12% + 6% = 18%
Previous abandoned book total: 67%
New total: 18% + 67% = 85% (running total of two book + 67% towards the next)

Currently reading: Swift Thoughts by George Zebrowski.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: On stack)
2017-04-06 08:15 am

2017 books: Timebound, "The Ear, The Eye and the Arm", Shade of the Moon

I did the thing I do now and then: Since I have 200+ books on my Kindle waiting to be read, I went to the last page and picked books to read from there. If I don't force myself to pick from the oldest books, I'll never get to them since they keep getting buried. The below were the three oldest books I had waiting to be read.

Timebound by Rysa Walker
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Good YA books are enjoyable by readers of any age, but I guess you can't blame a YA book for not hooking an adult reader. There was nothing wrong with this book, it just didn't interest me at all.

Main character was a teenager with a challenging relationship with her mother. Her grandmother had a magical necklace. I just wasn't interested in the characters at all, and the magic didn't hook me.

Point read to: 3%

The Ear, The Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I had heard such good things about this book, but the writing didn't work for me at all and I wasn't interested in the characters. The magic system was unique, but didn't work for me. (Magic users could Praise people, listing all the positive things about them, and it drugged them? Put them into a stupor? Something like that).

Point read to: 5%

Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Book #4 in the series, but I read the others so long ago, I didn't remember them at all. The series started when something knocked the moon closer to Earth, and so there was lots of destruction and almost everyone died.

I'm not sure if the writing in this later book changed or I did, but it totally and completely didn't work for me. The characters were unpleasant and I didn't believe the situation at all.

Edit: Goodreads says it was the book, not me. The reviews there are amusingly bad -- the worst reviews I've ever seen in my time on Goodreads! A much better read than the book itself.

Point read to: 5%

Running tally of unfinished books (the math of keeping track of this is going to doom me):
Point reached in these books: 3% + 5% + 5% = 13%
Previous abandoned book total: 54%
New total: 13% + 54% = 67% (running total of two book + 67% towards the next)

Currently reading: Mammoth Dawn by Kevin J Anderson and Gregory Benford
thistlechaser: (Book with cat 1)
2017-04-05 09:01 am

Book #10 of 2017: Wind Rider

Wind Rider by Susan Williams
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

On the surface, Wind Rider looks very much like the author's other YA book, The Wolf's Boy (the last book I reviewed, here). In that one, a boy brought the first dog into his tribe, something people had never seen before. In Wind Rider, a girl tamed the first horse and showed her people how helpful that could be.

Like Wolf's Boy, Wind Rider is a YA book that worked perfectly for adult readers. The storyline was wonderful, and it never once felt like the writing was too simple. Though the main character was young, she faced mature situations (including one almost-rape, though subtle enough that younger readers wouldn't realize the exact danger she had been in).

Fern, the main character, had loved watching horses all her life, but a chance situation put her into position to tame a young one. The story took its time building trust between the horse and the girl, and their friendship was perfectly believable. (Heck, everything about the story was.)

While Wolf's Boy was about a "deformed" boy (he had a bad foot), Fern had more challenges in her world just because of her gender. She didn't want to be just a wife and a baby-maker, which made her character arc through the story one of the most satisfying examples of character growth I've read in a long, long time.

Like Wolf's Boy, I enjoyed the second half even more than the first half, and for a similar reason -- I really liked the "outsider" man and the main character's relationship to him. In Wolf's Boy, I was really curious and interested in that character (a neanderthal man), but in Wind Rider I fell in love with him (a man from a different tribe than the main character).

I strongly recommend both books by this author!
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: hugging book)
2017-03-31 10:54 am

Book #9 of 2017: The Wolf's Boy

The Wolf's Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

A couple years ago, an author of a YA book series I loved told me that the only difference between YA books and books for older readers was how long the book is. I've found that to be the truth. A good story is a good story, YA, adult, or otherwise.

The Wolf's Boy is for readers in grades 4-8 (so one step younger than YA), yet it even to adult reader-me it was one outstanding book.

Set in prehistoric times, the main character (Kai) was born with a deformed foot. In his tribe, any deformed babies were left out to die. He was, but a wolf who had just given birth found him and took care of him. A short time (days? weeks?) later his mother found him again and, since he hadn't died, was permitted to bring him back home.

He was still deformed though, and an outcast among his people. Cursed. Bad luck. He had no name (no adult name, no "real" name), and wasn't considered a man of his tribe. He was not permitted to touch weapons or have anything to do with the hunters.

By chance, he found a wolf pup and raises her. No one had ever done that before. It was such a wonderfully written story: The wolf pup was 100% believable as a wolf, the boy was perfectly human, all the other characters were so totally realistic.

And then the book got even better. In part two, we met an "ice man" -- a neanderthal. I actually liked that part of the story even better than the part about raising the wolf!

The whole book was just so perfect. The writing was outstanding, descriptive, perfectly believable. The characters, from main to minor, were great. I loved the whole story so much.

The only thing I didn't like was how short it was. YA books take me about 6 hours to read, this one took me just over 4. I wanted MORE MORE MORE. I especially wanted to know more about the ice man character.

Do not pass up on this book just because it's meant for younger readers.
thistlechaser: (Buh?)
2017-03-29 08:25 pm

I worry at what the rest of my week holds...

Monday: We discover a massive problem at work. Every single one of our company's tools in customer hands stopped working. Customers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for our software licenses. I worked a 19 hour day.

Tuesday: Arrive to work five hours later, on next to no sleep, to find out all the work I did on Monday wasn't necessary... and that I had to do the same amount of work again, just in a different way.

Wednesday/today: Woke up to find my (personal) computer didn't work. EEEEK! When I wiggled the mouse to wake it from sleep, it made the right sounds as if it were waking up, but the monitors didn't come on. I cut the power, after a moment turned it back on, and it booted for a second, then died. Then, on its own, booted for a second, died. Booted for a second, died. Over and over on its own. My hardware knowledge is very limited, but opened it up and saw nothing bad that I could tell. Tried a different outlet. It wasn't dusty, but blew it out anyway. No difference.

Took it to a repair place. They checked the power source and other hardware, said it had no issues. He reset the BIOS and reset something else (and did something with some battery... but it's not a laptop) and it booted up after that. At first I thought "YAY!" but everyone I describe the issue to thinks that likely wasn't really the issue, so now I'm still worried. (That's especially a pain since my tower is so massive. It's a custom gaming machine, and it's really hard for me to carry around, it's so heavy. If I dropped it...)

But the place fixed it, and it was only $150. I thought it would be more, so yay. Hopefully yay.

And then... bees. Yes bees. BEES. In my apartment. They came in through my fireplace. At first one, then three, then a hell of a lot more. I grabbed my cat and got out of my apartment. Unfortunately I was not at all dressed to go out in public. (Sweat pants and a sweater, both I used to wear when I was 170 pounds heavier, so my pants were basically falling off me and I was swimming in the top.) Went to the leasing office and they sent a man to deal with the bees. I suppose he killed them? I waited outside.

He said he closed the fireplace vent (WHY do apartments have fireplaces anyway? And why wasn't the vent closed already?). Then either another bee got in or it was one that escaped the killing spree. I ended up taking a black garbage bag and taping it over the fireplace. It's not like I was ever going to use it for a fire anyway, and I keep stuff in front of it so I can't hardly see the bag.

Ugh. What will tomorrow bring? A plague of frogs?
thistlechaser: (tree)
2017-03-27 08:07 am

2017 books: The Zanzibar Cat, Proving Grounds, Girl at the Center of the World, Cold Moon [Book #8]

Cold Moon by Harry Quinn
Rating: Hated (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Remember the days when fanfics always started with a line "Making no money off this, please don't sue me"? Well nowadays, people are self-publishing their fanfics and selling them on Amazon. I don't mean "filed off the serial numbers" fanfic, I mean unchanged -- with the canon characters' names and everything.

I hadn't realized that this "book" was an example of that. But luckily, between the time of me getting it and writing this review, Amazon pulled it down (thus no link to it).

How was the story/writing? Awful. AWFUL. It was "Warrior cat" fanfic (based on that talking cat series of books), but every single sentence had major issues. Basic things like your/you're confusion, the charcters' names being misspelled (major character names from the series! Simple names, like Firestar, sometimes with more than one issue in a single name!).

Point reached before giving up: 1%

Growing Pains: The Proving Grounds by Wade Adrian
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I really like "RPGlit", though in my experience thus far, it should be called MMO Lit instead of RPG. The setup of these books seem to always be the same: Someone's whole self (body, soul, whatever you want to call it) gets sucked into a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game, such as World of Warcraft) and can't get out.

The problem is, that's not where the similarities end. The main character (who is always, always a man) is always trapped in the game... yet happy to be there. He is always overpowered compared to everyone else in the game. He always solves the issue that even tons of other people can't fix. That just doesn't work for me... That's boring!

Why not make the main character WEAKER than others? Make his time in the game harder, more challenging? That would make it more interesting, instead of having it be a story that some teenage boy would drool over.

The writing in this one was actually good, but the story was following that same exact pattern of overpowered male main character saving the day, so I lost interest in it. Point reached before giving up: 55%

The Girl at the Center of the World by Austin Aslan
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This was the second book in a series. I read the first one a while back, but I had LOVED it, so was looking forward to reading this one. All I could recall from the first one was that "something" had happened and everything electronic stopped working. A girl and her father were stuck on one of the small, far islands of Hawaii and had to get to one of the other ones to reunite with the rest of their family.

When I started reading this one, I was left scratching my head. It seemed like a completely different book, or maybe like this was the third book instead of second and I had missed a chunk of story somewhere.

In this book it turned out that aliens did it, and because the main character had epilepsy, she could talk to them. (Everyone who had epilepsy could talk to the aliens.)

I guess I should have gone back and read the first book first... HM. I checked through my reviews, and I can't find one for the first one. But I swear I read it and liked it a lot. Very strange... Anyway, I gave up on this one at the 17%. I liked the end of the world parts, but the whole thing with the aliens was too different from the first book(?) for me... (Could there be two 'the world ended and a father and daughter need to travel between Hawaiian islands to reach their family' YA books out there?)

The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

A collection of short stories, most of them published in the 1970s. Unfortunately this ebook version seemed to be an unedited scan of the paperback version, which is where all my issues with it came from.

The first story, When It Changed, was pretty darned good and I enjoyed it a lot. It was set on some other planet where humans went to colonize, then generations ago a plague killed off all the men. The women were able to survive, and through skill and technology, keep the human race going there. Then men showed up. Though written in the 1972, it felt WAY WAY WAY too current to today. It left me disturbed and sad.

Unfortunately the book went downhill from there. Not the writing, I can't comment on that, but the "editing"/scanning. Words and sentences (and paragraphs?) were dropped at random, there were tons of misspellings and "typos" (scanning issues), and sentences were littered with odd control characters.

I powered through the second story (about time travel), it seemed interesting but the missing sentences/sections made it hard to follow.

The third story had even more formatting/scanning issues, and was basically unreadable. Unfortunately I gave up on the book at that point (13%).

Running tally of unfinished books (the math of keeping track of this is going to doom me):
Point reached in these books: 1% + 55% + 17% + 13% = 86%
Previous abandoned book total: 68% (one book credit + 68% towards the next)
New total: 86% + 68% = 154% (running total of two book + 54% towards the next)
thistlechaser: (Moon)
2017-03-27 07:28 am

Your responsibility to strangers? (Weight loss)

Last week when I donated blood, I had a conversation with the tech drawing it. She told me how good my veins were, and I told her I thought that must be because I had lost weight, that they used to have to take it from the back of my hand because they could never find one at my elbow. She asked me how much I had lost, and I told her. As usual, she was all smiling and happy for me and asked me if I was happy, if it had changed my life, all the same questions everyone asks.

I'm so tired of lying about that. Everyone who asks that always asks with a big smile. They want me to say yes. They expect me to be happier now. They want me to say that yes, it changed my life.

But you know what? That's not really true, and I'm really tired of lying about it. With a few exceptions, I was happier when I was heavier. It sucks that now I always have to worry about what I eat, to weigh myself and worry all the time. To endlessly be worried about regaining my weight. It had been wonderful to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted! Now? I eat a piece of sugar free candy and worry it will start me on the road to regaining my weight back.

The problem is, the tech who drew my blood was heavy. As soon as I said that it hadn't changed my life as much as I had expected it to (I did give her two examples of positive ways it had changed things), I saw the disappointment on her face. It wasn't until hours later that I realized that by me not being positive about weight loss, it might have made it harder for her. (If, when I had been heavier, someone who had lost a lot of weight spoke not-positively about it, it would have made me less interested in trying to lose weight myself.)

Ever since then, days now, I've been thinking about that. Where does the responsibility fall? Do I lie and help people, or do I be honest and maybe not? (I suspect that I'm an exception, I think most people would be a lot happier after they lost the weight.) The thing is, it's bad enough to not be happy about losing all this weight, but it's even worse than I have to keep lying and saying I am. (Usually I try to keep the subject from coming up at all, but sometimes it pops up before I realize it.)

All that being said, I wouldn't switch back to heavier, just for health reasons. Plus it's nice when I meet new people at work, to no longer know I'm the fattest person they've met in their whole life.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: On stack)
2017-03-24 02:09 pm

Book offers and stuff

I'm on a few authors' mailing lists, and one of them mentioned they wrote a book for this collection: Gypsies After Dark: A Collection of Brand New Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Novels. 22 books. For how much? 99 cents. That's 22 books, not short stories or something. Novels. And from an actual publisher, too! I don't read urban fantasy, otherwise I would jump on that offer.

...ah drat. The other offer won't work. I have a $3.14 credit at Barnes & Noble and I can't even use it to buy pie. I won't be using it, but it seems to be bound to my account. If it was a code number or something, I'd pass it on to someone.

And, since I'm posting random stuff, I'm not even much of a Star Wars fan, and I love this picture. I figured bigger fans might enjoy it:

thistlechaser: (Cat with book: Toy)
2017-03-18 07:47 am

2017 book: Traitor Game, 2017 book: Slave (The Fae-Born Narratives)

Traitor Game by B.R. Collins
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Traitor Games might have been more a "wrong book at the wrong time for me" than anything else.

Set in England at some private school, the two main characters were students. Young-ish, I'd guess around fifth grade level in American school terms. One of them had been bullied badly in a previous school, the other was from a poor family. Thanks to one of the mothers pushing the two together, they became friends.

It was quite a realistic story... which was the opposite of what I was wanting to read. After the Wolf's-own series, I wanted more of the same. While one of the two main characters (the bullied one) was gay, it was more of a "please please don't let anyone find out" thing than anything else.

The writing was fine, but it just wasn't pleasant at all spending time in the bullied kid's head -- that he was the main character made that an issue.

Gave up at the 13% point.

Slave (The Fae-Born Narratives) by Ryland Thorn
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This book, on the other hand, was less well written. The writing itself wasn't awful, but it wasn't at all good -- it danced along the border of being purple, but it never quite crossed it. The bigger issue was the black-and-whiteness of the characters. The story opened in a city where slavery was a part of life. Everyone had slaves, it was just the accepted thing. And yet the author described every single person in that city as being an awful horrible disgusting person. Every single one of them had "lust in their eyes". Is slavery bad? Yes, of course. But I just cannot believe an entire city where not one single person feels bad or even gives a single thought to the pain or fear of the slaves -- the author outright said that, not one single person in this city had even once thought about the feelings of the slaves.

Then the main character was introduced, who was as white as all the people of the city were black, and I gave up on the book at the 15% point.

Running tally of unfinished books (the math of keeping track of this is going to doom me) :
Point reached with these two books: 13% + 15% = 28%
Previous abandoned book total: 140%, so one book + 40% towards the next.
New total: 28% + 40% = 68%
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: Litterbox)
2017-03-17 08:17 pm
Entry tags:

How the heck did I get on this mailing list?

Some publisher sent me a listing for a new book.

Just Pubbed! The Sugar Daddy Series Book One
My Sugar Daddy

Yes, they use "Pubbed". Ugh!

Struggling single mother Laura McGill figures she has nothing to lose and everything to gain when she impulsively signs up online to meet a sugar daddy. After losing her virginity to a two-timing married man, she's out to find security for herself and her infant son Max--and hopefully a man she can love.

An online sugar daddy site. The PERFECT place to find a father for your infant son!

Brothers Daniel and Grant Wilmot are handsome and rich-and seeking a Rubenesque beauty whose lush curves will cushion their hard loving. Leaders of a security team comprising former Special Forces operatives and a dating website that serves as a cover for their military activities, Daniel and Grant--and another brother, Roman--are smitten by Laura's generous proportions and sweet manner.

P-to the-A-to the-S-S!
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: hugging book)
2017-03-17 07:54 am

Book #7 of 2017: Koan (Wolf's-own #3), Book #8 of 2017: Incendiary (Wolf's-own #4)

Koan by Carole Cummings
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Incendiary by Carole Cummings
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Overall Wolf's-own series rating: LOVED

Before I get to the actual reviews, how cool are these titles? After I reviewed the second book (Weregild), I realized we never learned what the title meant. I thought it was some made-up, fictional word from the story. But nope! "Weregild, also known as man price, was a value placed on every being and piece of property." -- what's the value of a human? Which was a theme of the story! Same thing with Koan, at first I thought it was a word made up for the story (since there were a number of those), but nope! "A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke the "great doubt"." -- Once more, that was so perfect for the theme of the third book!

Anyway, on to the review. I wish I had reviewed the third one after I finished it, but since I started the fourth one the same night, I never did. Bad me! Especially because now I can only say OH MY GOD I LOVED IT SO MUCH! I read all the books in a row, and the first three all ran together in my mind.

The first three were about the people, the two main characters especially. Malick, who is a supernatural [spoiler for the first book], and Fen who is... a hell of a mess. The first three books were focused on the two men, how they were slowly coming together, and the boundless issues around them. I loved every single minute of these book. I made so much extra reading time in my life so I could read more of them!

How much did I like these books? Never before in my life have I woken up in the morning and my very first waking thought was "I want to read more". I feel like I knew these characters. I loved them so dearly!

While it pains me to say, while I loved the first three books endlessly, the last one didn't work for me. This is going to sound like the most stupid reason for not liking a book, but: There was too much plot. I loved the first three books because they were about the people, the two men. The final book was all plot plot plot nonstop plot. It felt like a completely different book than the first three. This isn't a fault of the book, and going by Goodreads reviews, my opinion is very much in the minority. It's just I wanted a story more like the first three, and instead this was a giant plotty book (explaining the backstory of Fen, which was good to learn! But it felt like we learned it at the expense of a more personal story, if that makes sense).

It really, really, REALLY pains me to rate the final book a 'disliked'. I really want to bump it up to at least an 'okay', but if I'm not honest in my own reviews, what's the point? I do suspect I would have liked it more if I hadn't read all four straight through. And I strongly, STRONGLY recommend the whole series anyway, even though the end of it didn't work for me personally. I'm tempted to lock this post, because the author is active on LJ and I really hate the idea of hurting anyone's feelings, but I'm going to leave it unlocked because most of what I said is good and I want people to be able to see that and hopefully give the series a try. Please don't let me dislike of the final book put you off! It's a wonderful series! Some of the best books I've ever read!

The one small upside of the last book not working for me: Now I feel able to read something else. I was worried how I'd ever read and enjoy another book after liking this series so much, so this kind of let me down easier, makes it easier for me to move on to the next book.

The author has written a bunch of other books, and I intend to read them all, I'm just not sure if I'll jump into another of hers next or start something else. I'm suspecting some other book before returning to hers, because eventually I will run out of stories she's written and I'd like to make them last.
thistlechaser: (tree)
2017-03-07 07:42 pm

*pushes people together*

Paging [ profile] teaandfailure and [ profile] orangerful: [ profile] tersa is just starting to play Stardew Valley, and it's really fun to see posts from a new player!

I loaded up the game to get a screenshot, and I found I kind of missed it. Yay maybe my burnout is over? Maybe I'll give it another go. :D

I haven't played since the big patch, so there should be lots of new stuff to check out. Maybe I will this weekend.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: hugging book)
2017-03-05 02:06 pm

Book #6 of 2017: Weregild (Wolf's-own book #2)

Weregild (Wolf's-own book #2) by Carole Cummings
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Never have I liked the second book in a series more than the first. Never have I liked a second book even equal to the first. As much as I loved the first book in this series, the second one blew it out of the water.

Other than when I'm waiting for an appointment, I never read during the daytime. My life is sadly too busy. I read before bed and that's about it. With this book though, twice today I took breaks to read it. My first waking thought in the morning was about the story. I've lost way too much sleeping time because I stayed up late reading.

The story continued from the first book's plot. On one level, it tells the story of Malick (a not-quite-human agent of a god) and Fen (an "Untouchable" -- someone a bunch of dead gods speaks through... many gods, all at the same time, nonstop, unending. Those gods always drive their Untouchables insane because they never shut up). While the relationship of those two men was a part of the plot, in this book the whole story was so much bigger.

The fantasy world this story is set in has multiple gods, one for each of the world's moons. Each of those gods has inhuman followers, has traits/personalities of their own, etc. And the gods also plotted and schemed against each other, all while not overstepping their own laws. Mortals? Mortals were mostly just underfoot. Except when they weren't.

In addition to those two layers of plot, there were those pesky mortals, who plotted and schemed and power-grabbed for themselves. Magic exists in this world, but was supposed to be restricted to just the gods, but those dead gods that speak through Untouchables gave magic to one small race of humans, which made the larger race oppress them and use them.

But really, with all those plots going on, it was the relationships and the characters that were my favorite parts of this book. There is no rush to love in this series -- at the end of book two, and one of the two characters was just starting to be willing to accept it. That makes their relationship seem so realistic and wonderful.

And speaking of wonderful, why is it so satisfying to have a character you love being in pain? If you're a fan of hurt/comfort, you'll really enjoy this series.

The one small-ish complaint I had was my same one I had with the first book: I wish the POV would stick with one or both of the main characters. Instead it jumped from character to the next (even minor characters) as needed by the story, sometimes changing even from one paragraph to the next (though that only happened a couple times, mostly it was consistent within a chapter). For me, that really made me feel briefly less connected with the story. I'd go "Who's head are we in this time?" and only after that get lost in the story again.

This series has only four books in it, and I'm already 56% through the series as a whole. I'm dreading what will happen when I finish it and there are no more books left to read in it. D:
thistlechaser: (tree)
2017-03-04 06:42 pm

Want to know how much your cat loves you? Get an automatic feeder (and movie: Arrival)

I used to think my cat sat in the bathroom with me while I got ready in the morning because she loved me. Nope! She was just using me for food.

I bought an automatic feeder to try to make her stop meowing for her food an hour ahead of time, and while it's working wonderfully for that, I think she loves it more than she loves me. If I weren't a warm thing to sleep on, I think she'd have no use left for me! Heh.

At least she hasn't started meowing at it yet. She does spend an hour sitting right next to it though, waiting for it to give her her food.


I don't watch movies all that often, but Arrival was both sci fi-y and starred Jeremy Renner, so I checked it out. Wow! I loved it so much!

Not to spoil anything, but it makes me sad that apparently the storyline confused people and was hard for some people to follow. One review of the movie called it "mentally taxing". Maybe people just need to read more sci fi, I guess.

Usually movies don't hold my interest at all, but I didn't even want to multitask during this one. Loved it to bits!
thistlechaser: (winter wolf)
2017-02-24 08:56 pm

Book #5 of 2017: Ghost (Wolf's-own)

Ghost (Wolf's-own) by Carole Cummings
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Usually YA books take me about 4 hours to read. Adult books take me 6-8 hours. When my Kindle told me this book would take me 32 hours I almost fell out of my chair. Turns out this isn't a book, but an omnibus. Three books and two novellas. WHEW. Each book is marked as a chapter, which at least makes it easy to know where one book ends and the next begins.

Wolf's-own is a fantasy series with a M/M romance in it. While the world/worldbuilding is interesting enough, it's the characters that make the story.

The story focuses on two main characters, one Fen (AKA Ghost, AKA Jacin-rei) and one Malick. Fen is Untouchable -- Ancestor spirits speak through him. Understandably, this tends to drive the Untouchables insane. Malick is something that would be spoilery to explain, but even without that, he's such an interesting character. The two of them together are explosive, in generally the worst ways but sometimes the best ways.

The only thing I initially disliked was that it used multiple third person POVs. I like one best, though I can usually get into two, but in the case of this book, POV jumped to whichever character would best progress the story. Which makes sense, but tended to slightly disconnect me.

If I had only the first book, I might be somewhat unhappy with the ending. It did not end on a cliffhanger, but it sure did leave a whole lot of threads unresolved. Luckily I was able to start the next book with nothing more than a slight flick of my finger.

This book did something I generally dislike: It included a glossary. I only skimmed it at the beginning, and by the end wish I had had read it more closely. Ebooks (or at least my Kindle) make it hard to go back and read something earlier without losing your place, so I never turned back to it, which left me trying to remember what the various [made up named thing]s were.

Hm, rereading this review, that sure does sound like I had a lot of complaints, huh? But I really did love it. The characters were so interesting, the story kept zipping right along, and while there was a relationship in the story, it never got close to being a romance book.
thistlechaser: (tree)
2017-02-17 08:51 am

Fic rec: Straight on till Morning

I haven't read Avengers fic (or any fic, really) in a while. I guess I just fell out of the fic habit. But [ profile] belleweather mentioned an Avengers/Star Trek crossover that worked for her, and so I gave it a try.

Straight on till Morning features the Avengers characters as Star Trek officers. The characters are perfectly themselves, yet the Star Trek world is also perfectly believable. It's just all so well done and such a fun story!

There were two small downsides for me. One was there was a (brief) sex pollen scene. Sex pollen never really works for me, and in this case it wasn't really even necessary for the story. I skimmed the sex itself during that scene. The other was also sex-related: I skimmed/skipped the big sex scene as well. I'm not sure if sex in fics doesn't work for me anymore or if it was some other reason. Whatever the cause, the story is just as readable without those two scenes.

But those were two minor things. The writing was very, very good, and the story hooked me hard. Recommended!