#SixforSunday, Uncategorized

S4S – New Year, New Books!

Still not really quite over the fact it’s 2019 and half the time I don’t actually know what day it is but my phone calendar insists today is Sunday which means time for the very first of this years #SixForSunday posts! This weeks prompt is New Year, New Books and being that it’s only coming to the end of the first week of the new year and I’m still pretty broke I’ve decided to list my six newest books as I was lucky enough to get some Christmas money with which to buy most of said books.

1. Mass Effect: Annihilation by Catherynne M. Valente
Set around the same time as the game Mass Effect Andromeda, this book follows what happens to the, as far as we’re aware in game, missing Quarian Arc. I’ve read the first of the three novels that tie in with Andromeda, the second focused on a character that I had almost no interest in so I’m yet to read that one but after being fascinated by the Quarian race in the original Mass Effect games and an intriguing story line of deadly pathogens and murders in space I found myself completley unable to resist.

2. Lumberjanes Volume One by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen
I’ve been looking at the first volume in this graphic novel series for a while now. I fell in love with Noelle’s art style and I’ve heard great things about the series as a whole but finally gave in after me and Chris read Romeo and/or Juliet together on Christmas eve for Jolabokaflod, it’s hillariously funny and has a lot of brilliant art, some of which done by Noelle which really got be interested in Lumberjanes again so I finally decided to give it a go.

3. Nix Chapter Two by Katherine Ellis
Another graphic novel but self published this time, about an elf who gets turned into a cat and taken in by someone who tried to kill him a few hours earlier, something fishy is going on and he’s detirmined to find out what it is and how he can be turned back into his elf form! It’s hillarious and the writing is so quick witted and funny I instantly fell in love after I picked up issue one of Nix by this Devon based artist who goes by the name of Katworks Creations online (check out her Etsy!) at a London MCM Comic Con last year and after not being able to find her at one of this years conventions I finally checked her out online and when I realised chapter two was available I ordered right away! I forgot to mention it in my TBR post earlier in the week but this is defnitley one I’ll be getting round to reading in the very very near future.

4. Star Wars: Women of The Galaxy
This was a treat to myself a little while ago with what was probably my last pay check but I wanted to mention it because I’ve been looking forward to this since I saw it advertised back at YALC last year. I’ve had a quick look through it so far and the art is absoloutley gorgeous, I can’t wait to have a proper sit down with it and read it from cover to cover.

5. Dungeons and Dragons: The Players Handbook 
An essential guide to everything you need to play Dungeons and Dragons 5th edtion (which I currently play), I’ve gotten by so far using a PDF version and the DnD Beyond website to reference things I need but after looking through my old fourth edtion books (I still have no idea how I managed to afford all four of them…) I realised that it wasn’t the same without the physical book, I missed looking at all the art and appreciating it properly as well as just being able to look through the book generally instead of just heading to the pages I needed and that being that. This isn’t a book I’m going to sit and read cover to cover but I am looking forward to having a closer look at some of the classes and/or races I have played so far and learning more about them.

6. The Dungeons and Dragons Endless Quest Books
In case you hadn’t guessed, I do quite like Dungeons and Dragons and another thing I like almost just as much are Choose your Own Adventure, games, apps and books etc, now smoosh these two together and I’m in heaven. Me and my little family were lucky enough to get the whole set of four for Christmas along with a beautiful Dungeonology book. I’ve already read the Rouge themed one and survived and I plan to read another one this week, probably before our first Dungeons and Dragons session of the new year infact!

Ahhh it feels nice to get back in the swing of the Six for Sunday posts already! Did you get any new books for Christmas? Have you brought any since the New Year begun? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here Tuesday for a new review!

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book reviews, spoiler free

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Novelisation

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The Last Jedi By Jason Fry

Rating: XXX/X

Published: March 8th 2018 by Century

“Yes I am,” Kylo said, and there was no menace in his voice – only misery.”


Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in this thrilling novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi written by New York Times bestselling author Jason Fry.

The moment I walked out of the cinema after seeing The Last Jedi I knew I wanted to buy this book. No, I take that back I was angry at the choices one of the characters made and proceeded to rant about it for the next hour me and my husband spent at Nando’s. BUT, the next morning when I was over it I headed to my local bookstore to grab the novelisation, just like I did when The Force Awakens came out. To my dismay I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE. I decided to do a quick check online and found it out it wouldn’t be out for another THREE MONTHS. I was suddenly not sure how I would read anything else until then and fell into a large Tumblr shaped hole. The 8th March came (also my three year olds birthday!) and when I came home it was there waiting for me. I excitedly devoured the first ten pages then fell asleep.

I can’t go too much into detail about the events of this book while keeping this spoiler free but I do intend to do a book talk video where I’ll go into MUCH more detail. I can tell you however that you don’t necessarily need to have seen the film to read this book,  I imagine most people wanting to read this, like myself have seen the film though and want to know more. Also called “The Last Jedi: The expanded edition” this book contains the story we already see in the film but including some deleted scenes that didn’t make it in and some unique points of view and extra information unable to be addressed on screen.

The plot is not perfect by any means as it’s tied down by the plot of the film, which although I enjoyed does not have the best plot. The good news is that for the most part the extra things we get in the novelisation do help somewhat. Some of the extra scenes help to build characters more and see into their motivations for their actions a little better. We get a little insight into Snoke’s background with The First Order for example and I really enjoyed Finn’s character arc much more on the page were his change didn’t seem quite so sudden. There is a prequel scene featuring Luke (which I’m sure everyone has heard about but I’ll keep quiet about the specifics just in case) which a lot of fans have loved and I agree that it was a good addition, both the actual scene itself and the implications. I felt I just understood more from reading the novel but on the flip side I felt that a good few important moments, including a few of my favourites were completely downplayed and left me feeling quite dissatisfied towards the end and I’ve had a hard time trying to balance out the great new information we’ve received with the disappointment at the parts I felt should have had more to them.

Author, Jason Fry writes for Wizards of the Coast and Star Wars insider and is primarily known for writing reference books and articles but has written a couple of stories in the Star Wars universe already including The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy that although enjoyable I do feel are written for a target audience much younger than myself which could possibly be why this book didn’t quite hit the mark I thought it would for me. Fry is a fun writer and an avid fan but there were chunks of the writing that to me just felt dry and at times I considered not finishing it. I know not everything can be new in film novelisation and as the middle part of a trilogy with an unknown or plotted end your material is kind of limited but sometimes scenes felt a little like an audio description of the film and that kind of made them just seem boring.

I feel that the extra material and insight this book offers does mostly outweigh the boring parts and I really wish I could have given this a higher rating because when it was good it was pretty good and certainly worth the XXXX rating I would have given it. The problem wasn’t that it was necessarily bad and I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy it (as I’ve said I did at times) but the boring parts just felt too prevalent. Other than a few lines and one or two reveals that I loved I don’t feel this book had any lasting impact although in retrospect this may simply be due to the fact that I’ve seen the film, I know what happens and Fry can only embellish and add so much. I would be super interested to see what someone who hasn’t seen the film would think of it, I feel like maybe that would be the real test. In the end I’ve given it a split rating of XXX/X because a full out XXX or XXXX just doesn’t feel right either way. If you enjoyed the film it might be worth a read or I wonder if the audio book version read by Marc Thompson might just give it that extra bit of something which I found the case for The Force Awakening noverlisastion. Either way I feel like opinions on this book will easily be as divided as the thoughts on the film itself.

#SixforSunday, Uncategorized

#Six for Sunday – Stuck in a lift: Star Wars Edition

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So Six For Sunday is usually reserved for bookish related prompts but as today is the last day of Star Wars Week here at Fantastic Books and Where To Find Them I thought I’d give it a Star Wars twist. This week’s prompt is Characters you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a lift with. I will be following this prompt but I’ll be using Star Wars characters instead!

 

 

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1. Jar Jar Binks.
I feel this may be a fairly obvious one. I actually enjoyed factors of the prequel films but Jar Jar was NOT one of them. He is quite possibly the most annoying character of all time. One the bright side if I hear the phrase “Mesa Jar Jar Binks” one more time I would probably strangle him with cables from the lift circuitry and that would be the end of Jar Jar.

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2. C3PO.
Only slightly less annoying would be everyone’s favourite shiny gold protocol droid. I do find him funny on occasion in the films and he helps us understand R2 a bit better but the idea of being stuck in a lift with him is the stuff of nightmares. I can imagine him telling me the odds of our being rescued or dying horribly and I don’t need that kind of negativity.

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3. General Grievous.
With all the whirring of his mechanical limbs and that infuriating hacking cough of his I’d be at my wits end stuck in a lift with this guy.

 

 

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4. Jabba the Hutt.
I feel like personal space would be a big issue here. Not to mention the smell and the drool and a whole host of other gross Jabba related things, especially if he brings his horrible little belly button creature. Eurgh. I wish I hadn’t eaten breakfast today.

 

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5. General Armitage Hugs Hux.
Now I absolutely love to hate Hux. He’s a big headed, pompous, self serving, show off and when things go wrong for him it’s hilarious.  I think being stuck in a lift however would be hellish, I can hear him now complaining about how he asked Kylo to fix the damn lifts LAST WEEK but did he listen to him? OF COURSE NOT, no one gives him the respect he deserves on this ship yada yada yada.

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6. “Supreme Leader” Snoke.
At best he’s a creepy old guy wearing nothing but a smoking jacket, at worst he’s a guy who groomed a teenager to turn his back on his family, kill people and join a cult. Both of these are big no thank you’s from me. He has classic villain talks too much syndrome and I’m not a talking in a lift kind of person (unless we’re talking Poe Dameron or Kylo Ren telling me I’ll turn to the dark side of course).

 

That was, as usual a lot more difficult than I’d first imagined. I’m a fairly anti social person at the best of times so wouldn’t be keen on being stuck in a lift with basically anyone (other than some of the exceptions mentioned above) but I feel like I needed to have reasons other than I don’t like people.

This post concludes Star Wars week! It’s been a fun one! There will probably still be Star Wars related book reviews in the future as I’m still reading more of the books but I’ll be returning to the posts a couple of times a week instead of every day because DAMN that is a lot of work. It’s nice to know I’m capable of creating content every day but far too exhausting to do on a permanent basis. I hope you’ve all enjoyed my Star Wars posts and I’ll be back soon with my review of the first #Crone Book Club read so keep your eyes on your reader and follow if you haven’t already. May the force be with you. Always.

 

booktube, Uncategorized

Star Wars Battlefront / Mass Effect Live stream highlights.

This week I had planned to do a mini book haul but due to being super busy, unwell and having technical difficulties I’ve instead decided to bring you the best of the stream I did on Twitch on the evening of Day Five of Star Wars week for those of you that missed it. The plan was originally to just play Battlefront but the rig I was using couldn’t quite play it while also streaming so after a break I switched out to Mass Effect 3, one of my absolute favourite games! I apologise for the not quite up to standard editing but my hearing is a little out right now and I was unable to film any kind of intro. I hope you enjoy it all the same and I’ll promise I’ll have a book talk for you next week. *technology permitting.

spoiler free, Uncategorized

Mini Star Wars Book Haul

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If you’ve been following my Twitter you’ll know I’ve been a bit over excited about the release of the Expanded Edition of The Last Jedi novelisation by Jason Fry pretty much since I first saw the film. I’ve been reading through a lot of the Star Wars novels and audio books lately and getting my Star Wars fix where I can. As a result when it came to preordering my copy of The Last Jedi I ordered a couple of other books as well, thus I have a nice mini haul to talk you through today.

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These beautiful copies of the Star Wars: A new hope, a Junior Novel and the proceeding other two original trilogy junior novels and the one for The Force Awakens came out last year to celebrate 40 years of Star Wars and although I just brought the first one for now I’m certain I’ll need to get them all. They all feature a similar beautiful but simple cover with a corresponding lightsaber and it was this cover design that caught my eye. I also thought that perhaps my three year old may one day long to know about a galaxy far far away and Mum would 28907250_10155087827466581_1200349095_n pull these beautiful things off the shelf and we could read them together. The book book itself is a normal paper back size and as is the norm for a junior novel it’s quite thin so I’m looking forward to a nice easy read some time in the future. The font as well is comfortable but also has an appropriate kind of Sci-Fi feel to it that I think young and old Star Wars fans will appreciate.

 

28829616_10155087827481581_492495180_nNext up is probably one of my favourite books I now own and am really pleased I brought. While scrolling through my Instagram feed I came across a Star Wars post featuring a few different books including a black and gold leather bound book saying simply “The Star Wars trilogy” on it’s spine. After having a look around online I found out it was a collection of three original novelisations and knew I probably needed to have it. I had a look on Amazon seeing as I’d preordered TLJ from there and found this blue, white and silver copy
with R2-D2 on the front instead of the black 28832952_10155087827666581_486337353_nand gold one and for under a tenner I was definitely willing to check it out. When it arrived it was wrapped in cellophane with a gold sticker on the wrapping telling me this was in fact a “Collectors edition”  which is always a nice surprise. I assumed it was just the different colour but it has loads of nice little extra features. The pages for a start are sprayed a shiny chrome silver, it comes with a little built in blue bookmark ribbon (one of my favourite things in books) as well as two illustrations on the back and front  inside covers and a sizable poster of the original film you can
28829634_10155087827591581_2094030229_ntake out separately. Each of the three novelisations have letters before them from the authors (The letter before A New Hope is by George Lucas even though it was ghost written by Alan Dean Foster) and is a really nice touch. In addition the pages themselves also feel of a superior quality and are supremely smooth and just help make this book feel like a premium product. None of this was mentioned in the description of the product when I brought it, just that that the cover was leather so I feel really lucky to have received this beautiful copy.

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Last but by no means list was the long awaited book itself. The novelisation of The Last Jedi. I feel we in the UK were robbed of the gorgeous cover I’ve seen some in the US have gotten but I read jacketed books without their jackets on anyway so I’m sure I can forget about it. This book seems very similar to it’s predecessor, the novelisation of The Force Awakens and I like the contrast with the first books jacket being full black and this one’s being full white. I’m not keen on the glossy jacket either.
28908228_10155087828366581_247707467_ntake book pictures for my instagram account and to help promote them and it’s awkward to photograph in certain light. It’s laid out very nicely inside though and what I’ve read of it so far alone has totally been worth it, there’s so much extra content and I’m hoping it really helps improve on the film. Speaking of the film, in the middle of the book are eight colour pages of stills from the film. This doesn’t really bother me and I’ve seen it book/film adaptions for as long as I can remember, I don’t feel they add anything though.

I will do seperate reviews for these or similar once I’ve managed to read them all. I complained about the size of my TBR are the beginning of the year and am totally doing myself absolutely no favours by buying more and more books but I’m glad to have brought these and look forward to reading all of them. Today marks the day five out of seven days of Star Wars here on my blog, tomorrow’s post will be in the form of a YouTube video and if you happen to be reading this before 8pm GMT on Friday 9th March I will be live streaming tonight as a guest on Radlt Gaming’s Twitch channel playing (badly) some Battlefront 2 so feel free to come say hello! If all goes well I’ll be uploading a highlight trailer with tomorrows video. Wish me luck and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for a video before we conclude our week long Star Wars celebration on Sunday. Until then, may the force be with you.

 

 

 

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The Women of Star Wars

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Scrolling through Twitter aimlessly when I was meant to be writing a blog last night I came across a tweet from someone who’s daughter had been crying because she wanted to wear her Star Wars top to school the next day but was worried she would laughed at  for liking “boy stuff” so her mother asked people retweet and comment to show her how awesome girl Star Wars fans are. At the time of writing that tweet has been retweeted 2,711 times, received 4,472 likes and 946 comments from people all over the world including other parents, cosplayers, astronauts, voice actors from the Star Wars TV shows and authors including Christie Golden who has written for Star Wars among many other fandoms and so many more all backing this seven year old fan. It is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve seen on Twitter and I welled up reading through all the amazing responses. It got me thinking about how much the women in Star Wars mean to me and how many amazing women there actually are in Star Wars and although today was meant to be another review I thought I’d take the opportunity to list some of the best ladies that the Star Wars universe has to offer.

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Princess/Senator/General Leia.
This one is probably an obvious one but Leia Organa is in my opinion one of, if not the best female character in Star Wars. She was involved in Politics from a young age like her biological mother and went on to become instrumental to the Rebel Alliance, she watched her home planet as it was destroyed but still remained fiesty and witty as ever even as she was being “rescued” after having been tortured. She learns the man who destroyed her planet and her adoptive family was her biological father but still offered comfort to her brother. The Princess becomes a Senator as well as a wife and a mother and then goes on to become the General of the Resistance, all the while remaining firm in her beliefs and loyal to her allies. Leia is smart, brave, a warrior and a diplomat.

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Rey.
Rey has a strong moral core, helping those she finds in need without question. Growing up alone on Jakku she learned how to survive and make the best of her situation. She is fierce, loyal and a fast learner, picking up fighting with a lightsaber and using the force relatively quickly. Rey is a fighter and fights for what she believes in and those she cares for. On top of all that she’s a pretty awesome pilot too!

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Sabine Wren.
A madalorian warrior who forged her own armor and became a bounty hunter when she decided the Imperial academy wasn’t for her. An expert with weapons of all kinds (but a certain knack for explosives!) Sabine is also one of the first known members of the Rebel Alliance.

 

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Mon Mothma.
As a loyalist leader Mon Mothma was one of the first people to openly oppose Palpatine and helped to forge the Rebel Alliance itself. When she becomes ill about six years before the events of “The Force awakens” and is unable to lead the Republic the Senate is thrown into disarray and unable to agree on anything.

 

il_570xn-1179493427_26uy.jpgJyn Erso.
After her mother was killed and her father kidnapped, Jyn was raised by a Resistance fighter, the leader of the Partisan’s, Saw Gerrera. Jyn became a child soldier for the Partisan’s but after she was abandoned she made her own way and eventually joined the Rebel Alliance to track down Saw who held vital information concerning the battlestation known as “The Death Star”. After retrieving the information Jyn and others formed the team “Rouge one” who sacrificed themselves to retrieve the Death Star plans revealing it’s weakness and leading to it’s ultimate destruction, thus making Jyn an especially important character in the the Star Wars universe.

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Hera Syndulla.
The heart and Leader of the “Star Wars: Rebels” as well as the pilot of The Ghost, Hera is an Optimistic and fair leader. Trusting in her team and guiding them when they need it Hera fights along side Leia and Lando for the republic.

 

 

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Rose Tico. 

The Star Wars universe tells us that no one in unimportant and that is certainly the case with Rose Tico who gets an unfair amount of negativity. Rose is a true believer in the cause and even after losing her sister she still willingly gives up her only reminder of her to help accomplish her mission for the Resistance. She is smart and stronger than people give her credit for, she may not have a mask, a lightsaber or amazing fighting moves, she’s a ship maintenance worker and she has so much heart. Her line “That’s how we win. Not by fighting what we hate. Saving what we love” is one of my absolute favourites. Not to mention my hair totally sticks out just like hers!

padme-amidala_05d50c8a.jpegPadmé Amidala
Elected as the Queen of Naboo at just fourteen Padme served two terms as Queen and went on to hold a position as Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate. She was a leading member of the Loyalist committee whose goal was peace between the warring Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems. Her views were often controversial among the senate but she stood by them through everything. She married a Jedi Knight in secret and when he turned to the dark side while she was carrying their children she travelled to a volatile volcanic planet to try and convince him to come back to the light. She may not be a big fighter in the traditional sense but she is determined and not afraid to do the hard thing.

captain-phasma1-625x350.jpg Captain Phasma.
Not all the amazing women of the Star Wars universe fight for the Rebels, the Resistance, the Republic or the Jedi order. Captain Phasma worked her way up from the sister of a primitive clan leader on a forgotten planet filled with dangers to the most recognisable and highly ranked stormtrooper in history. In charge of training the older recruits Phasma is completely merciless and will let absolutely nothing stand in her way, weather that be her brother or her superior. She is beyond strong and adept with many weapons with which she continuously trains. Her special armor was created especially by her from the wreckage of a Naboo yacht that had once belonged to Sheev Palpatine (more commonly known as Darth Sidious, the Emperor) she pried the chromium off the ship herself.

Iden3Iden Versio.
Iden served the military of the Galactic Empire, was a TIE pilot in the Starfighter Corps, was one of the only survivors of the destruction of the first Death Star (among those, Vader himself) and was named Commander of an elite task force called “Inferno Squad.” She is immensely well trained and disciplined, although she can appear quite intense Iden can also be compassionate towards civilians and friendly, yet professional with members of her team.

I know there are still many more I haven’t mentioned here and Ashoka Tano, Amilyn Holdo, Aurra Sing, Kor Sella and Aayla Secura all get honorable mentions but this post needs to have an end point somewhere even though it’s been so much fun to write. I’ve loved remembering all these great characters and why I love the Star Wars universe so very much. I hope anyone out there who still thinks Star Wars is only for boys will take a look at all of these awesome ladies on this list and think again.

 

Edit: I also realise there are a ton of awesome ladies in the now non canon legends universe too but it was hard enough to narrow down the cannon candidates, let alone if I included the ladies from Legends as well. Plus Mara Jade would probably kick their butts anyway.

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A long time ago in a blog far far away – Star Wars Week announcement!

28536196_10155068996071581_111309964_nIf there’s one thing I love, it’s books. If there are two things I love, it’s books and Star Wars. The only thing better is a combination of the two! The novelisation of The Last Jedi is released here in the UK on March 8th and I’ve been excited to read this book since I left the cinema after seeing the film the first time, having to wait this long when the novelisation usually comes out the same day has been almost painful but I’ve found more Star Wars books and comics to fill the void and get me through and now the release day is almost here!

So, all going to plan starting March 5th, I’m going to spend an entire week posting about Star Wars. I have spoiler free reviews of Bloodline, Phasma, Inferno Squad, The Poe Dameron comics and hopefully an extra two reviews AND MORE if time (and my todder) are kind! I’m super excited about this week and if YOU have reviewed any of the Star Wars books I want to read them and I want to help you promote them! Link me in the comments or on Twitter and I’ll make sure to retweet and will promote those reviews in my posts throughout the week. Are you excited about the release as well? If so let me know too or tell what your favourite Star Wars book or film is! I can’t wait to share my excitement with you and I hope you guys will share yours with me too!