Books!, Signal Boost, Writing

500 Followers & Giveaway!

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, I honestly can’t believe that I am hosting a giveaway now on my blog. Thank you all so much for joining me on this journey of books and geekery. I have really enjoyed talking to so many of you about books over the last three years…and I look forward to many more years with this blog.

I have been blogging off and on for about a decade now, but have been successfully operating this blog since January 2016, and I have felt so pleased to see how well this particular blog has done. And it is all thanks to you. I wish I could give you all free books.

–Oh, wait, technically I can. LOL. I am a self-published author, so if you would like to download an e-copy of my book Project Death: Resurrection, you can go to Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble, and get yourself a copy. Smashwords has .mobi for all you Kindle users. And I’m trying to get back to my writing and finish the sequel, Project Death: Revelation because I only have a couple more chapters to write and then it will be done. So hopefully that will be a release I will have next year.

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Anyway, I told myself for a while that I would do a giveaway when I reached 500 followers. But I had to figure out how I wanted to handle the prizes and the rules and all of that. I didn’t want to have to exclude any of you wonderful people from having the chance at signing up.

Finally I settled on having options for all of you. So, this giveaway will be open worldwide. And the winner is the one who gets to pick which prize option they would like.

So…if Book Depository ships to where you live, you can pick a book (or books) that add up to $25 US and I will order those for you. Note: this option means that you will have to send me your address. Book Depository does not yet do gift cards, sadly.

Or…if Book Outlet ships to where you live, I will send you a $25 Book Outlet gift card.

Other options include gift cards for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million…or any book store I can buy a gift card for. I know with Amazon and such, I can buy a digital gift card and e-mail it to you.

All you have to do to enter is follow my blog. Oh, and fill out this Rafflecopter.

The giveaway will run from midnight December 8 (so it starts 8 hours after this post goes live) through midnight on December 31. Then, if you are the winner, contact me on any social media, and we will figure out which book option you would like, and where I’m sending it.

Oh, and if you are the winner, I’d love to see what book(s) you end up choosing as your prize, so tag me in a photo on Twitter or Instagram. –Note, this is not required, but I would greatly appreciate it.

Okay, so thank you all once again for being wonderful bookish friends and following my blog. Honestly, I truly appreciate each and every one of you. That’s all from me today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (42)

Hey all, Dani here.

As it turns out, all of my reading plans changed last Wednesday, just a few hours before my What I’m Reading post went live. My author friend Rachel E Kelly sent me her latest book for copy editing, and Wednesday Books approved me for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan.

So I set aside my current reading and upcoming reading plans to start on both of those books.

But I haven’t had a lot of reading time overall, so currently I have no books to report as finished in the last week.

By the time this post goes live, I should be around 60% through Wicked Saints, so I imagine that I will finish it in the next couple of days. My big debate is that this book won’t be released until the beginning of April 2019. Should I just prep up a review and schedule it for closer to release day, or should I have the review up before the end of the year even though it will be a very early review?

It shouldn’t take me a whole lot of time to finish Waterworld Volume 2 either, because I tend to fly through all of Rachel’s books.

Which means that I will absolutely be jumping into new books within the next couple of days. The only question is what I will pick up next.

These are my top options for my next books to read. It will just really depend on my mood after I finish my current reads. Will I be in a contemporary mood? Because both From Twinkle, With Love and Pride both fit the bill for that, or perhaps fantasy with Phoenix Unbound or Empire of Sand.

Obviously right now I am focusing on tackling some of my diverse reads I have on my bookshelves, as we have started Diverse December, a reading challenge hosted by my blogger buddy Kathy from Books and Munches. I have so many great books I am hoping to read before 2018 is over, so we’ll see how many books I’ll finish and review in the coming days.

Frankly there are just so very many books I want to read and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to read them all closer to their publication dates. So I just have to settle with reading as many as I can in the free time I can find in my schedule.

I hope you are all having a great reading week, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

November Wrap Up and December TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

It is the last month of the year. Holy moly. Where has 2018 gone? Well, I can say that it has been a pretty productive year for me overall. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was originally 100 books, then 120, and currently 130, a goal I will absolutely be beating within the next couple of days. But I’m not changing it again so we’ll see where I end up in another month.

But before I truly focus on December, it is time to reflect on everything I read in November, as well as what I watched. Then let’s not forget my Owlcrate unboxing and my monthly book haul.

Oh, and I should also say THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yesterday I reached 500 followers on this blog, and it is honestly something I never would have expected when I started my blog. Thank you for following me and joining me on this journey to talk about books. I will be having a 500 follower giveaway post up soon, so stay tuned for that.

All right, let’s start off with what I read. As always, if I have a review up for the book the link will be included just in case you’d like to check it out.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible – A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee — 5 stars

Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond — 5 stars

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco — 5 stars

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Official Screenplay by J.K. Rowling — 3.5 stars

The ABCs of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

The 123s of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — 4.5 stars

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan — 5 stars

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White — 5 stars

Of course, now that I’ve talked about what I’ve read–and I think I did pretty decent for the month as a couple of the books were longer ones–it is time to talk about what I watched.

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindewald (3.5 stars), Ralph Breaks the Internet (5 stars), Galaxy Quest (5 stars), Firefly series (5 stars), Serenity (5 stars), Doctor Who series 2 (5 stars), The Princess Switch (4 stars), A Christmas Prince (re-watch 5 stars). I’m in the middle of the third season of Daredevil, and I’m continuing the watch through of Doctor Who with my fiance, and of course we are keeping up with the second campaign of Critical Role and loving it.

So it has been a pretty busy month of reading and watching.

Up next: book haul time. I picked up a decent number of books from Book Outlet at the beginning of the month, and I couldn’t pass up the newest release from my buddy Donaya. The bound Illustrated collection of Earthsea novels is absolutely stunning and I am so glad to have it in my collection. Finally there are the books I bought during Black Friday weekend. The final picture in this is technically the books I’ve purchased for Christmas presents, though the Miles Morales book was one I bought for my fiance so it is pretty much mine as well.

And the OwlCrate unboxing. I loved this month’s box of goodies. My fiance really enjoyed making the wishing bracelet, and the wax seal is pretty awesome. I might honestly use it for my wedding invitations, once we set a date, that is. The skull planter is interesting, and that Dumbledore and Fawkes sticker as well as the art print will be heading to my bookish art wall very soon. That pillowcase is awesome as well, but my favorite thing from the box is the book. It is a fantastic read and I definitely recommend it (though content warning for sexual assault if that would trigger you).

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Finally it is time to talk about my December TBR. Most of my reading plans for the month have already been documented in my post about Diverse December and the Short-a-thon, but I also would really like to finish reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon before the end of the year.

Also, my writer friend Rachel E Kelly sent me Waterworld Part 2: Charlotte for copy edits. I think the book is scheduled to be released at the very end of the year, so I will definitely be reading that ASAP.

Finally, I was lucky enough to be approved for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, a book that will be released in April 2019, and I am currently absolutely obsessed with it.

So those are the books on my TBR for December. What reading plans do you have to finish up 2018? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Calendar Girls, Signal Boost

Calendar Girls: December 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to another month of Calendar Girls! I have been having such a great time with all the lovely guys and gals participating in this monthly post. The themes have been fantastic and have introduced me to a few books, while also allowing me to gush over other books that I have already read and enjoyed. It’s great to have even more of an excuse to digitally meet up with other book lovers and talk about books.

As always I’ll start this post by saying that Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, but is now being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs. Oh, and if you go to either Katie or Adrienne‘s Calendar Girls post each month, they will have links to all the other wonderful book bloggers participating in this event.

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First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.

Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and both Katie and Adrienne will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

Okay, and now it is time for the December theme, which is…

Let It Snow

Best Book Set in Winter

So, most months I have a section where I go over my honorable mentions. Typically I do this because from the time the theme is announced, so many different books pop up as options and I have difficulty choosing which one is my top pick. With the theme I wanted, and this theme that actually won, I only had one book pop up in my mind as my top choice.

I’m not typically a seasonal reader. In the winter months I tend to be more of a fan of longer reads, particularly fantasy ones. Though I also like a good cutesy contemporary read. And because of the timeline length of most of the books I read, sometimes a book can span years. So I don’t pay as much attention to the seasons in a story.

I mean, I suppose I could mention the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, considering the oncoming winter is certainly a major part of the book.

And Harry Potter is almost always an option, because Christmastime at Hogwarts is sort of a big deal.

Oh, and I guess that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis also spends most of its time in a winter setting.

In the same vein, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman also has a focus on a wintery setting, what with all those glorious armored bears.

And there are classics like A Christmas Carol, or The Polar Express, or The Snowy Day.

But none of those immediately came to mind and then stuck there. No, my pick for this month is technically a whole trilogy, and the second book was mentioned numerous times as part of last month’s Calendar Girls choices and discussion.

Another book I could mention, that I definitely couldn’t choose for this month is Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, a book that will be released in April 2019. I’ve only read the first 15% of the book but so far it is cold and wintery in weather, though there is so much other amazingness happening in the story. I will definitely be gushing about this book for at least the months leading up to its release.

So I suppose that now I should just announce my choice. Here we go.

 

My choice for this month’s theme is…The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, though the whole trilogy applies.

From the moment I started reading these books, It was as if I could just feel the cold seeping into my bones. These books are just so darn atmospheric. You can find my review for the first book at the link above, and my review for The Girl in the Tower is up as well. I’m happy to say that I was approved on NetGalley for the third book, so I will be reading it very soon with a review to follow.

With one of the major characters being pretty much the Russian folklore/myth version of Jack Frost, cold and winter is just super important to the story. Both of the books start with storytime on a cold winter’s night around a fire, and frankly, that is the perfect way to enjoy these books. Pick them up on a cold wintery day or night, fix up your favorite hot beverage (tea, cocoa, coffee), and curl up in a chair, on the couch, or in bed with a blanket and just read. I’ve actually done that with these books and it is perfect.

Just talking about these makes me debate about doing a re-read of both books out already before I pick up the third one. But considering all of the other books I’d like to read before year’s end, I don’t think it will happen. A re-read will happen for this trilogy, probably sometime in the next few months. I definitely recommend them.

All right, that is it from me today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, NetGalley, Signal Boost

Most Anticipated Winter Releases

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, well, it is definitely heading towards winter where I live. It has snowed a couple times, the weather is pretty cold, and all I want to do is curl up with a hot drink and a stack of books. Thankfully there are a good number of books coming over the next few months that I am looking forward to. So let’s talk about the December, January, and February book releases I am excited about.

First up, it’s the month of December. Actually, I don’t have too many for this month, which is great. It means that I can spend my Christmas Barnes & Noble gift cards that I get for all the January releases. That definitely works for me.

Once a King by Erin Summerill (Dec 4), Soulbinder by Sebastien de Castell (Dec 4), My Hero Academia Vol 16 by Kohei Horikoshi (Dec 4)

Next up, let’s talk about January. There’s nothing like having a giant stack of books to get me through the chill at the beginning of the year. Thankfully there are plenty of releases that should keep me busy. Now three of the books in this list I’ve been approved for on NetGalley, so I hope to have reviews up for them soon-ish–The Winter of the Witch, In An Absent Dream, and Sisters of the Fire, which all release on the same day. I’ll have to figure out how to schedule those reviews too.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Jan 8), In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire (Jan 8), A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (Jan 29), Sisters of the Fire by Kim Wilkins (Jan 8), Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen (Jan 22), King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (Jan 29), Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (Jan 8), Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye (Jan 22), The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty (Jan 22)

Finally, let’s talk about February, which also has quite a few of my anticipated releases. For this month, I have been approved by NetGalley for Warrior of the Wild, and I’m still waiting to hear back on Crown of Feathers, so we’ll see what happens.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Feb 26), Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines (Feb 12), Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (Feb 5), Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard (Feb 12), My Hero Academia Vol 17 by Kohei Horikoshi (Feb 5), Black Clover Vol 14 by Yuki Tabata (Feb 5), Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto (Feb 12), Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller (Feb 26)

All right, well that is all from me today. What upcoming releases are you excited about? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (41)

Hey all, Dani here.

We have almost reached the end of November. There is seriously only one more month before we are celebrating a whole new year. So I hope everyone is doing well with their reading goals. I know that with the stress of the holidays coming, I’m trying to plan ahead when it comes to reading and blogging so I don’t have to disappear or anything. I’m also trying to get my end of year posts and beginning of the year posts started. Every year I do a post on my underwhelming reads for the year, and of course the second part of my top ten reads for the year. Then there’s the goals for the new year and my blogaversary post. So definitely a lot to look forward to.

But today we can look forward to talking about the books that have been read in the last week, the books currently being read, and the books that we hope to start reading soon.

Let’s get started.

It was a pretty decent week for me. I managed to read The ABCs of D&D and The 123s of D&D, both by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland. These are cute nerdy educational books, and I definitely recommend them for the nerdlings in your life. I also read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, which yes, was a re-read for me, but it has been a long time. It is also technically a Christmas present for my niece, but I can’t resist reading the books I get her before I wrap them. Then while at work the past couple days, I managed to finish Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan and a reread of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. Because guess what everyone? I didn’t realize there was a sequel coming out, and by coming out, I mean that it was released on November 20th. So I will be buying it very soon. Because Pride and Prejudice plus dragons is a combination I didn’t know I needed in my life.

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As for current reads, I am currently in the middle of a reread of Shadoworld by Rachel E Kelly, specifically the Illustrated Edition of the story. I’m doing this so that I can also re-read Dreamworld, hopefully before Rachel sends me the early copy of her next book. I like to be refreshed on everything that has happened.

Finally it is time to talk about what I’m hoping to start reading soon. Well, there are only two more days left in November, so I don’t know that I’ll be able to start and finish anything before the end of the month. I suppose that means that the next books I pick up will probably be for Diverse December, though I’m not sure which one I’m going to pick up first. Then again, perhaps I could read a few volumes of manga to finish up the month. So we’ll see what happens. It honestly all depends on how quickly I finish my current read. Though, I should probably spend some more time working on Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon as well; I want to finish reading it by the end of this year.

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: Smokin’ Parade Vol. 1

Hey guys once again throwing out another manga review for your viewing pleasure. Its been a crazy holiday so far and the shopping has been ridiculous. However I managed to get most of my shopping done this weekend. Okay so this is another one i picked up on a whim as has been the case with most of the ones I’ve started reading recently trying to expand on the my reading list a bit. Though I doubt my list will ever be as expansive as my fiance’s. Anyway I picked up a couple of books I am looking forward to reading  so I’ll get started with the review of Smokin’ Parade Vol. 1.

 

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Summary

Youkou has spent much of his young life caring for his wheelchiar-bound sister, Mirai. But now the revolutionary new medical techniques developed by Amenotori company have given Mirai not only a new pair of legs but also her freedom- and perhaps something more…Rare but serious side effects may include mindless acts of extreme, grotesque violence! Enter the Jackalopes, an elite squad fighting to expose Amenotori’s secrets and rescue its victims! But even if Youkou joins the mercenaries, can anything be done to save his sister?

 

Review

Rating: 4 stars

This one was a very interesting read that left me, quite honestly not sure whether I wanted to continue. Now this is not because it was bad, but the violence in this manga may not be for the faint of heart. I simply did not expect it to go from 0 to 9000 when it came to what happens to these people because of this Amenotori company. What happens to though gives me a “5 Nights at Freddie’s” vibe and though I’ve never played those games, just watched reaction video’s and live stream play. Just like the back cover says, this is a manga that is intended for Mature audiences only. I usually have a stomach for violence, at least in movies but this one goes above and beyond a bit and I can say I think it was the surprise of how grotesque and extreme the violence got so quickly in the story was what threw me off. It is not at the top of my list of manga to continue, however I will indeed be purchasing the next ones at later dates.

 

 

 

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: My Hero Academia Vol 13

Hey all, Dani here.

We’re almost completely caught up on reviews for My Hero Academia! But don’t worry, I still have plenty of other manga reviews to catch up on. Oh, and I do need to review the MHA spin-off series: Vigilantes, though that won’t take long as there are only two volumes out at the moment.

All right, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

The students of Class 1-A have reached another milestone—the Provisional Licensing Exam. After making it through the first part of the test, they ready themselves for the next phase, which takes place in a simulated disaster area. Midoriya and his friends have to rescue as many victims as they can, and although the students of rival Shiketsu High are technically supposed to be helping, competition between them is fierce and even dangerous! As the scenario unfolds and actual villains arrive to shake things up, the UA students will have to find new ways to work with each other and make use of their Quirks.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

We are in the middle of the Provisional Licensing Exam, which will determine whether or not the students of Class 1-A will be able to use their Quirks in public to help save lives and stop villains during a crisis. It is a pretty big deal for all of them. Of course, all of the characters we have been following throughout this series have targets on their backs from all of the other schools. This makes sense considering that the school produces great heroes, and even more so because our students are all still first years.

The rivalries actually lead to some interesting encounters between characters from UA and other schools, and these encounters are ones that could risk everything they have been working towards.

While I do really enjoy the characters and the storylines here, I can also admit that it is getting a little tired and overusing the plot device of being in the middle of an important training event or test and having real villains show up. Seriously, I think it has happened in every single story arc.

But seeing even more new to us Quirks, and watching as the UA students grow and develop even more, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, is part of what makes this series so addictive.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this volume for yourself from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Books!, Diverse December, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Diverse December and Short-a-thon TBRs

Hey all, Dani here.

It is time to curl up with some great books and finish the reading year off strong. Last year I participated in Diverse December, hosted by the wonderful Kathy at Books & Munches, and I had such a great time trying to focus more on diversifying my reading. So imagine my joy when she announced that Diverse December was coming back. Oh, and then add to it the fact that she has come up with another readathon as well. I’m going to have a busy December, you guys.

So, what is Diverse December? Well, Kathy’s post explains it all (and go check out her blog anyway because her posts are fantastic–and also usually end up making me hungry. Darn those munches photos), but it is really quite simple. Read books that are diverse. Now that could mean a book set somewhere quite different from where you are. It could mean a different race, a different religion, a different gender, a different sexual identity, etc. The possibilities are vast.

Then there is the Short-a-Thon. This is a recently announced readathon, hosted by Kathy at Books & Munches and Destiny at Howling Libraries. It is being held from December 21st through December 31st. Now the recommendation for this one is to give a list of your ten shortest books on your TBR and that will become your readathon TBR. But I just started pulling books off the shelves in my library that are somewhat shorter reads, and that is what I’m going to do for this readathon. So if you want to join in the fun of ending your year reading a bunch of shorter length reads to maybe catch up on or surpass your reading goal for the year, come on and join in the fun.

So that leads to me talking about my December TBR. Hopefully I’ll be able to read most of these. But we all know that the end of the year, especially around the holidays, can get quite hectic. So we’ll see what happens.

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So the left side is my Diverse December picks, and then the right side are more my Short-a-Thon picks. For the diverse reads I have a Mayan inspired story, an Asian themed one, one with Indian characters, one with a gender fluid character, and one set in a world where the Empire demands that each year each village sends a young woman to be burned alive for the entertainment for others–so definitely a different kind of world than what I live in.

I think the longest book I have on my Short-a-Thon list is Roar by Cora Carmack. But I just kind of want to read some books about some awesome female characters in some interesting and sometimes difficult situations, fighting to survive or protect their nation or figure out what is going on in their world. And I think all of these should be pretty quick reads.

I guess I could also throw some manga volumes in for the Short-a-Thon as well. I definitely should try to read The Wicked + The Divine Vol 7 before the end of the year, so that may make an appearance in my December reads as well.

Anyway, I think that is all for today. If you’re going to join in on either of these readathons, then let me know. We can cheer each other on. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

Review(s): Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Hey all, Dani here.

Happy Thursday! Or Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in the USA.

Okay, so today’s review is going to be a slightly different format than what I typically put out, and that is for one simple reason: I have experienced three different versions of this story–the audiobook, the book, and the movie. So I will have my standard review, but also ratings for each format. As per my usual reviews, this will be kept spoiler free. Then, after I’ve concluded my “Where to Buy” section that you are all used to, I will go into a more spoiler filled compare/contrast. So if you have not seen the movie yet and/or read the book, I recommend not reading that section.

All right, let’s just do this.

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Summary

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My Thoughts

Book Rating: 5 stars

Audiobook Rating: 5 stars

Movie Rating: hmm…okay, the movie on its own, without thinking of the source material: 5 stars, but when thinking of the source material probably a 3 star.

The first time I experienced this story, I listened to the audiobook for about 70% of it and read the other 30% because I was a little impatient. Let me tell you, I was completely swept away by the story. All of the 1980s pop culture references were amazing, and I did understand most of them, so that was pretty cool.

All of the searching and challenges and keys and gates were just so darn fascinating. Plus, hey, being an Ohio girl, it was cool that my home state was pretty important in the overall story. Fun fact: I used to spend a couple weeks every summer in Middletown, Ohio. If you’ve read the book, then you know why that location is important. It was just cool for me to connect so easily with the setting of the book, even if it is set in the near-future.

There was so much to geek out about in this book. What amazed me is how many non-geeks seem to enjoy the story as well. For instance, my brother. The book had apparently come up in conversation with a couple of his friends and he got super excited when he found out that I had a copy and he could start reading it immediately. He apparently enjoyed it so much that he went and borrowed Ernest Cline’s other book from my library without asking. So hey, that’s cool. My brother isn’t typically much of a reader. So it was cool to see him get so excited about reading a book.

There is so much going on in Ready Player One: action, humor, romance, intrigue/mystery, geekery and gaming, danger…the list could just go on and on. Actually, writing this up now makes me want to read the book again.

Okay, so let me take a moment and talk about the audiobook. I am so happy that they hired Wil Wheaton to do the narration. I feel like having a geek read the book just adds to that authenticity. Oh and there’s a part where Wil is having to read about himself, because he is mentioned a couple times in the story. Would it have been nice to have a female voice for Art3mis? Well, sure, but Wil does a fine job, so it would be a bit of a nit-pick to complain about it. I still greatly enjoyed listening to this adventure.

Then there’s the movie. Oh man, I don’t even know what to say about that version of the story without devolving into what could potentially be a spoilery rant. So I’ll just say that if you ignore the source material and just concentrate on the film, it was entertaining, action-packed, and geeky. So it did a fine job. But as soon as you start looking at the book as well, you realize how much had to be redone or removed entirely. I know that a lot of it had to do with licensing issues, but still. It bothers me. The casting was pretty much spot on, so that was a yay moment for me. But even aside from the licensing issues, there were a couple other plot points they changed and I don’t understand why. Oh well. There are few movie adaptations that can actually hold their own in comparison to the source material.

Where to Buy

You can pick up RPO from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. The audiobook can be purchased from Audible or any bookseller who stocks audiobooks. The movie is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.

Adaptation Review

This is where the SPOILERS are going to start, so stop reading now if you want to avoid those. Seriously. You have been warned. SPOILERS AHEAD. Otherwise, let’s do this.

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I’m mad about the first key challenge. Okay, fine, the race was pretty cool. But I really wanted to see the Tomb of Horrors, and even more than that, I really wanted the Joust match with Acererak. Maybe this is even more true since I just played through the 5th edition campaign of Tomb of Annihilation, which is an updated Tomb of Horrors, and I had to face the aforementioned lich. Come on, Wizards of the Coast, why didn’t you let them have that scene? It would have been awesome, and only added to the fantastic resurgence of D&D that has been happening lately.

I understand not being able to do the movie play-thrus in the “Ready Player One” film, but I still missed them.

Oh, and why was it necessary to have Parzival and Art3mis meet IRL so early on in the movie? Part of what I really enjoyed about their relationship is the wait for them to actually see each other in person.

One change I was okay with was Aech having the workshop instead of the Basement chat room. That was fine and pretty cool, and it was honestly a similar feel, so whatever.

Also, why in the heck was it necessary to have Art3mis be the one who was indentured to IOI, instead of it actually being Parzival. They took what was this grueling experience and turned it into a much shorter scene. Like, I get that there are certain time constraints for a film, but a passing of time can be covered fairly easily by a montage or something.

The effects were pretty cool. And I feel like they did a good job with Sorrento. Oh, and I was actually mostly okay with the changes they made in regards to Ogden Morrow. He still ended up being a pretty important character.

That is probably enough ranting for now. I held off on writing this post for a few months so I could decompress and process my thoughts and feelings without my raving and ranting becoming utterly ridiculous. Obviously I have strong feelings about this adaptation. I feel a bit sorry for my fiance for having to put up with my reactions when we initially saw the movie in the theater. I’m pretty sure I sighed loudly many times and also muttered under my breath quite a bit. Sorry, I get that way when I feel passionately about a particular story.