All Work No Play…

IMG_1889With the change in jobs, I’ve been doing what I can to pick up more hours and all that fun stuff. And since it’s for a movie rental place, I’ve been trying to watch some of the latest movies that are out on DVD so I can actually give honest suggestions to customers and whatnot. This hasn’t left much time for reading. I’m about half way through Blackout and I’m loving every moment of it.

In a couple weeks I’ll start college courses again. At that point, I’ll re-evaluate my “schedule” and figure out how to squeeze in 1-2 hours of reading each day.

So my question to you now: Do you want my movie ratings/suggestions? I was debating doing a quick list once a week. A perk of the job is that we get to watch all the movies that are coming out the weekend before they’re released on Tuesday. I could do a Movie Monday thing! Oh, brainstorming while I type. Haha. What do you think? Leave me a comment, shoot me a tweet (@Owl8bit) or hit up my Tumblr and leave me a message. Hope to hear from you soon!

signature 1

Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Goodreads Rating: 3.59
My Rating: 2.3 stars
Recommendations:¬†¬†Get it from your local library;¬†purchase only after you’ve read it.

What I Liked:¬†Giving the me opportunity to use the gif as displayed below… Oh! And the schematics inside the hardcover book jacket. ¬†That was a neat touch.
What I Didn‚Äôt Like: Reads much like a pop-culture-riddled-Fan-Fic of Ender’s Game/Every Other Major Scifi Story…¬†

Before we get too far into this, I do want to state that I loved Ready Player One by the same author.  I wonder if my opinion of this book was influenced in that he set the bar really high with R.P.O?

Don’t get me wrong, there were entire chunks of this book that I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. ¬†I had a rather love/hate relationship with Armada. ¬†I slammed through it, hoping and praying the Cline would throw out something original, something I hadn’t read/watched before. ¬†Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. ¬†It was entertaining… kinda. ¬†Just far too predictable.


The writing itself was decent. ¬†Grammar and syntax on par. ¬†But that’s about as far as I can go on such. ¬†The rest of the aspects about the book were very much a let down. ¬†I wasn’t a fan of the constant pop-culture references. ¬†At least in Ready Player One, Cline was able to weave that stuff into the story. ¬†This time it was incredibly over kill and seemed there just for padding.

There was next to no character development. ¬†The plot, from cover to cover, took place over just a 24 hour period with a few flashes here and there as the protagonist reminisced. ¬†All the characters were horribly cliche… All of them.

The main character, Zack Lightman (cough >_>), is your typical stand-up-against-the-school-bully nerd who’s tall and dashing. ¬†He has daddy issues since his dad died when he was baby in a poop explosion accident. ¬†His super hot mother never got over her love for her deceased husband. ¬†Never tossed out anything that he had owned, which conveniently allowed the protagonist to¬†have access to all the secret, seemingly-paranoid filled journals and such. Oh, and Zack apparently can’t have internal dialogue without referencing any and all scifi movies/books/games/etc that his father had been obsessed with… In fact, I’m not sure that kid had any real feelings. ¬†It was always “this must have been how Luke Skywalker felt during blah blah blah”.really

His best friends, and most of the other characters in the boo,¬†are exactly what you’d think: there just for comic relief/filler. ¬†Zack’s boss is the owner/operator the local video game store where they don’t actually work. ¬†They just play video games all day and debate scifi stuff. You really don’t get to know anyone.

The two main games in the story, Terra Firma and Armada, also sounded too perfect. ¬†If you ranked up high enough, they waived your monthly fee and there were no micro-transactions. ¬†WHAT MMO DOESN’T HAVE MICRO-TRANSACTIONS?! ¬†C’MON!! What any-kind-of-game doesn’t have some form of micro-transactions anymore?

The rest of the side characters really weren’t anything special either. ¬†Of course he falls for the first girl he meets once things get rolling. ¬†Of course, she’s some super hacker, super hot, and way super awesome. ¬†Of course, she instantly falls for him too. ¬†Of course, there’s more to the alien invasion¬†than meets the eye. ¬†The government was secretly training people via video games to be able to fight the alien invasion… of course they were hiding other stuff too. ¬†Of course, Lightman was the one to do something about it once someone explained the secret plot to him in incredible detail.¬†Of course, someone saves his ass at just right the moment so he can go on to save the planet… multiple times.

Some character’s died, but they’re exactly who you’re going to expect to die. ¬†It was hard to feel sad over anyone’s death. ¬†An example of the cliche characters is¬†AtomicMom, the one non-teenager,non-government-player Elite Gamer. ¬†Of course, she was a single mother of boys, that worked as the school librarian, that also flinched any time anyone cussed, and that prayed at meals and before launches… >_> I know female gamers. ¬†They certainly aren’t anything like Ms. Debbie.

DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE EPILOGUE! OMG… that has to be the worst ending of a book I have ever read.

really

Have you¬†read it yet? ¬†Let me know what you think. ¬†I really feel like I must have missed something major… this book couldn’t be that much of a disappointment. (Also, let me know what you think of this review… I wrote it while fuming over Armada…)signature 1

Finished Reading: Deadline

by Mira Grant
Science Fiction/Horror

“Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun. : — Goodreads


I read this book far too fast. ¬†Don’t worry, I took notes for my review. ¬†There were just a few things that bothered me (though as I’m reading the third and final book in the series, it kinda makes sense). ¬†I totally called the surprise ending, though I expected that part to happen sooner in the book than later. ¬†And I’m fairly certain I’m in love with Dr. Abbey. ¬†Check back soon with my review… ¬†

signature 1

Quick Update: 1/10/15

I haven’t forgotten to finish reading Console Wars, I promise. School just started and I’m taking three 300 level psych classes and one 400 level communication class. Seven textbooks for the four classes. Lots of reading is happening, just not the book I actually want to be reading. In fact, it’s overdue from the library!

I have been taking notes of thoughts and ideas as I’ve been reading Console Wars, so I don’t forget what I want to talk about in the review. One thing I noticed off the bat , and wanted to make mention, was that there are no in-text citations. This threw me for a moment until I reminded myself that it is a narrative non-fiction. Being an INTJ, couldn’t help but take a peek and see if there was an index of source information at the back of the book…

The book, while having been a long read so far, has been very informational. And I’m only 43 percent of the way through! I will brag that I can normally read fast but am finding that not to be so true with Console Wars. Even though it is narrative, it can still have a textbook feel to it from time to time. Not a bad thing, as it is non-fiction!

As I do read, I really wonder how much of the dialog are actual quotes and how much Mr. Harris gave flourish. I really can’t wait to be able to finish the story… Even though I know who wins the Console Wars ;P

Half-way through and I am enjoying it.

Console Wars

by Blake J. Harris
Non-fiction; History

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/352/80517165/files/2014/12/img_7201.jpg“Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars–a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

“In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

“The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

“Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.” — Goodreads


I follow the Fluxtaposed podcast and they recommended I read this book. ¬†(They had previously told me to read Ready Player One, and I did and it was amazing, so I trust their judgement when it comes to books I will like…) So I went directly to my local library and put a request in for it. ¬†I’d be told that I should have it in my hands by October. ¬†Instead it happened yesterday, December 16th. ¬†Via Twitter, the author has even requested that I let him know what I think of it…. Woohoo! ¬†I’m so excited to finally be able to read this.

4/24/2015: Just a quick update, I have purchased this book and will begin reading it again soon! I don’t know when exactly, but before the end of summer for sure.