Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Think out loud #1

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

The experiment:
It all started with that one phrase
  "Eerlijjkheid is de beste omweg"

Which means "Honesty is the best policy"
I don't remember where I heard this (did I hear it?) or where I read it (where did it come from?!))

I've just struggled with this paradox for a long time. There's even this other one "thou shalt not lie". Is the truth that great? if being honest is so good ,why is it so hard?

It's an experiment because I try to be honest, I try to live by this phrase.

Results so far:
I am not an honest person, I'm only a person endeavoring to be honest.
It's all been a mere attempt so far. I'm honest where I can be honest, I'm honest when it's hard to be honest, but I lie when I forget , when it's an impulse and I can't take it back.Sometimes I even Lie and then try to make it true so it won't be a lie

You can be honest, it's easiest to be honest with strangers than with friends because there are just things you can't say to them or share because it might hurt. but lying could just make things worse. so silence is my only option.My saving grace in this experiment is that the universe (with all it's attempt to make my life horrid) has given me some great people to call friends , who don't think I'm a jerk when I'm being honest or sarcastic.

Honesty is a double edged blade. You either cut others or yourself.  Good thing is that it's momentary and it saves future discomfort.

The end result and the final answer to this paradox, is honesty really the best policy? Well it ends when I die, when I'm on my death bed I'll know the answer. but in hindsight I already know the answer.I'm only 20 but the truth is Life's a bitch

Catching Fire ( The Hunger Games 2 ) by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are still alive. Katniss should be relieved, but now there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
As the nation watches Katniss and Peeta, the stakes are higher than ever. One false move and the consequences will be unimaginable.
dystopia is the idea of a society, generally of a speculative future, characterized by negative, anti-utopian elements, varying from environmental to political and social issues. Dystopian societies, usually hypothesized by writers of fiction, have culminated in a broad series of sub-genres and is often used to raise issues regarding society, environment, politics, religion, psychology, spirituality, or technology that may become present in the future. (from wiki)

The Hunger Games Trilogy falls under this genre and because it's dystopian makes it a likely scenario. That's why it's a scary book aswell. The themes of hunger,oppression,child labor,death are so well interwoven in this story/presentation that you can't help feeling angry at The Capitol or sympathetic to the people in the districts and even a bit scared of president Snow .but  other than the sympathy toward this fictional world and it's fictional characters   where's your sympathy for the real one. oppressed states, hunger,child labor. aren't fictional phenomenons. These are real things. 

After reading Catching Fire I no longer  feel comfortably saying this is an awesome book or an amazing book, for fear of sounding like someone from the capitol. And even if I call it an amazing book, what's amazing about Rue dying! or any of the other children (even if some of them were crazy). What I will say is that this is a significant piece of literature and if anything it succeeds in making you think. maybe seeing these things on the news over and over again while we're comfortable in our own homes, save and warm we're detached to the suffering of others.

For this book to make you think and  feel says a lot . It's a well written book and The characters are real in a way. If you like strong female leads then Katniss is definitely the girl. She's grown a lot since book one. Coming back from The Hunger Games has left her with nightmares ,guilt and fear for her family. nothing has really changed. In book one she was only concerned about her and her family but in Catching Fire things change. Katniss realizes although she's tried to protect her sister from the Capitol they have already hurt her by letting her watch her in the Games. Rue's death has also played an important part in Katniss's development. By the end of this book Katniss becomes the Mockingjay, the symbol of the revolution.

The book is divided into three parts:

The spark: Katniss and Peeta are back home and are getting ready for their victors tour. Katniss is anxious to get it over with. She gets a visit from president Snow. President Snow warns /threatens Katniss not to encourage rebellion but it's out of her hands really. But at the threat to her family ,Peeta's and Gale's she doesn't have much of a choice. Katniss makes plans to run away or start a rebellion. I think it's called The Spark because after Gale gets punished for poaching ,she realizes she has to do something.

The Quell: in honor of the 75th Hunger Games there's a new rule. The  tributes to participate in this Hunger Games will be chosen from the surviving victors. Which means as the only female victor from district 12, Katniss will be going back in. Coincidence? This part focuses on the training and preparations for the Hunger Games. Katniss's plan this time is not to survive and go home, she's adamant on getting Peeta out of it alive.

The enemy: Part three focuses on the Game itself. This time it's set on a beach. Before Katniss goes in Haymitch tells her to remember who the enemy is. At the end she figures it out. The other tributes aren't her enemy. The Capitol is, president Snow is. and she blows up the arena.

At this point I'm really skeptical about this series having a happy ending. Unrealistic but that's what everybody hopes for. This one ends with district 12 blown up , the other districts are rebelling , Cinna's probably dead. Peeta's been taken by the capitol. Katniss wants to kill Haymitch. It's all chaotic. But not so far gone for a happy ending I hope. 

Dystopia seems like a heavy cup of tea. I don't like thinking about the future. I only think so far forward as tomorrow. Even then I'm self-centered and only think about what I'm going to do. I'm no Katniss. But there are others out there. vigilantes, guard dogs. Showing us the truth. We just have to open our eyes and see it. and do something.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Feast for Crows ( a Song of Ice and Fire, book 4) by George R.R Martin

After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.Goodreads

Meanwhile back at the wall  reads the last chapter of a  Feast for Crows that's not a chapter. It's a letter or some words from George Martin explaining WHY Tyrion, Bran, Daenerys, Jon, Davos, Stannis and all the other characters are absent! It's very well written this letter and I'm not really annoyed He is after all the story teller and I'm just the eager listener waiting .

On to the book:  it wasn't as devastating as a Storm of Swords but I did have another reluctant phase when I saw that Cersei had chapters . I mean really ?? I had to endure being in Jaime's mind( which I'll admit wasn't so bad and even in aFfC he's becoming more honorable). But Cersei, she's just so fickle and arrogant and paranoid and I could barf. She thinks she's Tywin's son but with breasts (she actually says this or thinks this). In comparison to Jaime: When reading Jaime's pov's I learned more about what drives him and why his done so many bad things. He wanted to be the good guy but some how became the bad one. His character is flawed but he has some good in him . As for Cersei the only redeeming part (maybe) is that she loves her children and wants to protect them. She still mourns her son and is afraid  of losing Tommen. At the same time she wants to be Queen and hates Margaery and plots to have her killed. *really woman get over yourself. Her plan backfires and she ends up lock up aswell just like Margaery. In Jaime's case I came to understand him and now (aFfC) maybe like him a little bit.  Cersei on the other had........
"Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs " -pg 693
When I said I could barf, I meant it quite literally. Cersei is disturbed . I think that comes out more in the end. Some time in a cold dark cell might help her. Now I see where Joffrey got it from.

Something I was looking forward too was the Martells. When prince Doran had arrived in Kingslanding in a Storm of Swords , it was impressive. Dorne was the last kingdom to bend down to the Iron Throne,Unbowed,Unbent,Unbroken are their words.They have a lot of history . Doran came for revenge and in a way he did get it. Although wen he died I expected more of a retaliation or a revolt something from Dorn! At first reading about Prince Oberyn and his meekness toward the whole thing. I was disappointed. was this what impressed me so much? Although the sand snakes and Arianne did prove to be like prince Doran. Ariane tried to crown Myrcella but her coup didn't go so well. Her failure on the other hand turned the waves. Prince Oberyn chastises her, he tells her not to mistake his forbearance for patience or meekness. What he does he does in the better good for their hearts desire. what's that you ask? well only vengeance, justice and fire and blood.

Then there's the Greyjoys, Balon's death brings his brothers back Euron 'crows eye comes back from "whoknowswhere" to claim the Seastone Chair. But his other bother Damphair won't have a godless man sit the chair so he goes and calls a Kingsmoot. oh look  at that the thieving pirates have something that resemblance democracy. Notable competitors were Asha and Victarion (another of Balon's brothers) . Euron wins , how? oh you know he has  a horn that can enchant DRAGONS. I mean really we already have a horn that can bring down the wall , Yo Martin you know  that big thing keeping the white walkers out of the realm. Why can't you add magical  blowtorches so the Westorosi people can defend themselves better rather then putting them in horrible places where they're most likely to DIE.

Victarion Greyjoy is an interestingly disturbed character. He often says he has no luck with wives. He's had three. His last wife slept with he's brother Euron which pissed him off immensely. BUT because Vicky didn't want to kill his brother and become a kinslayer he went and killed his wife instead. oh dude you missed the point of compromise..He's still pissed about what happened and I think he feels guilty aswell . He tells himself he had to do it, he often recollects the blood on his hands and her face. He wants revenge so he agrees to do something for his brother. to go and fetch he's brothers lover but he's really going to take her for himself. Oh such brotherly love

One of the castles I love the most is The Eryie. It's brilliant and impregnable. For some odd reasons I like the sky cells , they seem amazing. I'd like to see the view from one, but not long enough for me to get any notions of flying. Sansa has to play the role of Petyr's daughter Alayne. She must be Alayne at all times, even the titles of Sansa's chapters have changed to Alayne to mark this change. I don't like Petyr, he's a sneaky untrustworthy person. Yes, he's smart and could probably sell you anything you don't need but it's hard to trust this guy and now after reading a Feast for Crows I am stumped. Petyr wants Sansa to make Harry Waynwood fall in love with her so they can be married. When he proposes this I'm like * I knew it you bastard littlefinger. Then Petyr explains that Harry Waynwood is a distant descendant of one of Jon Arryn's brothers and when Robert dies Harry would inherit the Vale. No, there's more and when Sansa shows up at her wedding with red hair covered in a maidens cloak emblazoned with the Stark direwolf. The Vale will pledge fealty to her and help get Winterfell back! Petyr Baelish *who are you?! what are you up to?!

Tyrion's absence from this book is felt. Cersei has a bounty on his head and is paranoid Tyrion will come back and try to kill her. Jaime is haunted by Tyrion's words. One of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Jaime," she said, tugging on his ear, "sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna's breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg, and there's some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak... but Tyrion is Tywin's son, not you. I said so once to your father's face, and he would not speak to me for half a year. Men are such thundering great fools. Even the sort who come along once in thousand years.”
All right you probably want me to shut up now, but the most chivalrous knight I know is Brienne of Tarth, who's currently being hanged but I'm sure she'll think of something.

Although Davos's pov's weren't in this book ,he's name was mentioned a few times. In my aCoK review I said he was dead, and in my aSoS  review it turns out he wasn't dead and now in aFfC he's apparently dead (again) so I'm not going to comment on he's state of existence or non-existence. Let's just say he's MIA

A Feast for Crows, a very fitting name . There are a lot of crows in this book as there are bodies. Lady Stoneheart is adamant on hanging all the Fry's and traitors . She's no longer Catelyn Stark, she knows no mercy. Then again what do you expect from a zombie. Beric Dondarion is dead, he gave he's zombieness to her.

Speaking of the dead, Aemon Targeryn also dies on his way to oldtown. Sam and Gilly honour him by naming Dalla's son Aemon. Aemon Battleborn, Aemon Steelstrong very impressive names. Sandor Clegane is also said to be dead. I kinda liked him.

In this book we leave Arya waking up blind.............grrrr WHY??!

Right I was suppose to stop 4 alinea's ago, my bad. I love this series but I can't say I'm eager to read a Dance with Dragons because it's currently the last book published. Winds of Winter isn't out yet, as far as I know there isn't even a release date, and if I read aDwD now. Then what am I going to do then?! George Martin took six years before he finished aDwD, six years!! May the Seven judge you justly!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rizzoli & Isles series (6-10) by Tess Gerritsen

Flash Review/ Reading Suggestions 

This is part 2 of the Rizzoli & Isles recommendation post . There are currently 10 books in the series so I split it into to two posts each 5 books. I had read till the Mephisto club until I realized Gerritsen had written more books. So then I went and read The Keepsake and Ice Cold. I still have to read the 2 last one. But I'm sure they are as good as the others,because having read The Keepsake and Ice Cold ,I can say this series just keeps getting better. 

Christmas in Boston brings horror rather than good cheer when a woman's body is found dismembered in a crime scene that leaves even hardened cops queasy. Doctor Maura Isles is assigned to the case, but soon another brutal murder takes place: a woman has been mutilated and murdered on Beacon Hill, near the home of the director of the Mephisto Club. This is a clandestine society whose subject is the study of evil -- and its agenda is to confront it in its most unadulterated forms. As Detective Jane Rizzoli becomes involved, it's quickly apparent that both women (no strangers to the bloodiest extremes of human cruelty) are up against something which is close to a distillation of the pures

First of all it's called the Mephisto club, because there is an actual club " a society whose subject is to study evil" They believe evil is in DNA and the director although he helps catch the bad guy in this book. He also wants Maura to join the club and he kind of falls for her. This character also shows up in other books, Like Ice Cold. This is another of my favorites in the series, it's suspenseful. One of the POV's follows a girl running from the killer and what she has to do to survive. As for the evil in our DNA theory that adds for a psychological play in the book,because Maura's mother is a killer, does that make her as bad?

For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed “Madam X,” the mummy–to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact– seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse–horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim.

To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large–and is now taunting them.
Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s blood runs cold when the killer’s cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering–or perhaps a ghastly promise of what’s to come.

The twisted killer’s familiarity with post-mortem rituals suggests to Maura and Jane that he may have scientific expertise in common with Josephine. Only Josephine knows that her stalker shares a knowledge even more personally terrifying: details of a dark secret she had thought forever buried.

Now Maura must summon her own dusty knowledge of ancient death traditions to unravel his twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.GOODREADS
Definitely another of my favorites. I loved the mummy with the modern dental work and the history lessons. I especially loved the  part with the shrunken heads. This one was very eerie so probably best not to read it at night. It's called the Keepsake because the killer preserves his victims in several unusual ways,mummification, shrinking their heads or throwing them in a bog. The different techniques he uses are intriguing and old fashioned. If that makes me weird to be fascinated by that then WTH

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rizzoli & Isles (1-5) series by Tess Gerritsen

Flash review/ reading recommendation

The Rizzoli and Isles Series is one of my favorites. It's a medical thriller by Tess Gerritsen. It's called Rizzoli and Isles because of  two of the characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles who are always in the thick of the plot. Jane's the detective and Maura's the medical examiner. It's set in Boston and the characters Jane and Maura have depressing, exciting , troubling lives enough  to make each book in this series a page turner. This series has recently been made into a TV show, which I haven't seen yet (sadly) . 

He slips into homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, about to awaken to a living nightmare. The precision of his methods suggests that he is a deranged man of medicine, prompting the Boston newspapers to dub him “The Surgeon.” Led by Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli, the cops must consult the victim of a nearly identical crime: Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed an attacker before he could complete his assault. Now this new killer is re-creating, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. And neither Moore nor Rizzoli can protect Cordell from a ruthless hunter who somehow understands–and savors–the secret fears of every woman he kills.Goodreads

The Surgeon is the first book of the series. Jane's the leading detective on the case and when Moore shows up she's kind of bitchy because she wants to make it clear it's her case. I like this book  because it has a wonderful plot and a strong female lead. The bad guy is some sick perverted freak who likes cutting women open and taking a "trophy" . Now he's targeting this one victim who escaped. There's also a romantic sub plot : this between Moore and Catherine .
THE APPRENTICE It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death.
The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her—literally and figuratively—she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.

In the first book Jane had saved Catherine who had been kidnapped by the bad guy, Warren Hoyt, and now the perverted Freakazoid has escaped and is obsessed with Jane.  Another wonderful and suspenseful book by Tess Gerritsen. I guess in a way Agent Gabriel ,the FBI agent, who's also investigating can be seen as another romantic sub plot. this makes the book a bit amusing to read because Jane's a knucklehead stubborn female character aswell.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Storm of Swords ( a Song of Ice and Fire, book 3 ) by George R.R Martin

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world...

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...GOODREADS

(While) read(ing) till pages 693- 710    " Devastation"
You should know I specialize in spoilers. As the warning in the header (or whatever you call it) sincerely states. I haven't finished a Storm of Swords yet but I'm putting it aside because of the Red Wedding.  This book is amazing yet horrible and sad , badass and just, just epic! I fear picking it up and reading the rest . I fear what the other books might hold. I am  really not liking George Martin right now but also admire his writing and what he's done and doing with this work. ///Reading hiatus July 24th

Resumed reading : July 28th

Now commence very long review/rant

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