Thursday, September 25, 2008


Somewhere in my wanderings I must have clicked the link that said "yes please send me an advance reading copy of your book". I mean I don't remember it at all. It just seems like the kind of thing I would do. It's the kind of thing I would do and then forget all about it.

So last week a package showed up with a book in it. A book I didn't remember asking for. Well it looked vaguely interesting even though it was another in the "here is another butt kicking heroine saving the world" genre. It was Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland.

It started OK. The story wasn't very original but it was acceptable. The primary characters were OK too. Relationship-wise it felt like an episode of supernatural. Two protagonists who desperately love each other and express it by bickering and arguing all the time. The only twist here was that it was a man and a woman so there was also an underlying sexual tension. I could have enjoyed the book in a mild way on that basis and said so to anyone who would have asked.

Then it got to the half way point in the book and it took a RADICAL turn for the worse. Turns out that our female protagonist (and the character for whom the entire projected series is named for) is an empath. That doesn't sound so bad does it? But in this universe an empath is a supernatural creature that can absorb the powers of other supernatural creatures...... by sleeping with them! UGH!

From then on the rest of the book was skimmed not read. She proceeded to save the world (for now) by sleeping with several really icky characters. No morality, no consequences just sex.

I don't mind having characters in books have sexual relationships. It's part of life. But they should be handled delicately and behind closed doors, never graphically. I'm pretty sure when Elan said "wanna make out" or when Rhett picked up Scarlet it didn't lead to a hot game of scrabble if ya know what I mean. *wink wink nudge nudge* but that is all that was needed.

This book was clearly designed to setup a series where the heroine continually saves the world by icky sex scenes so without any reservation I'm throwing this book by Lori Handeland away and I will quite likely never read another book by her. I have to strongly recommend to all my friends that none of you bother to waste your time with this either.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I had fun with this one. I don't really play many adventure games but this one is one is pretty good. I did have to use the walk through to get out of the first chapter since the game has no hint system - but once the story got rolling it was fairly easy to know what to do... the challenge was to figure out HOW to do it.

The review is here: Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I love reading. I read all the time. I usually have a book stuffed in a bag or pocket whenever I go anywhere even if I'm sure I _won't_ be able to pull it out, I've often got one along with me.

Fortunately, there are tons of books to read. I usually stay in the Science Fiction area, but I also enjoy a good mystery, urban fantasy, or high fantasy novel.

Because there are so many books to read I don't feel compelled to read all the way through something. Generally, I will give a book 100 pages to catch my interest. If it can't pull me in by then away the book goes and I'm off into another one.

For example, last night I was working on a novel by Lillith Saintcrow called Night Shift. It's another one of the seemingly ubiquitous butt-kicking-heroine urban fantasy novels. I don't mind them, I liked what parts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I watched (which is some of it) and I've enjoyed other urban fantasy with female protagonists as well. (But the one my beautiful wife just wrote and is looking to get published is better than them all, he said with no bias.)

At 104 page I decided to put it down. Why? Mostly because I hated the lead character. She just wasn't likable. Mostly, she was mean to people. It wasn't even justified, she was just a giant meany mean head.

The other major problem with this book was the pacing. I expect action and character development in a book - i don't want it all spaz out fights all the time so slower sections of the book help to add to the tension of the overall story and my understanding of the characters. I enjoy that part.... usually.

In this case the book was paced by using whining. It's a really odd choice, I know but it appears to be a conscious decision. The lead character spent all her introspection time whining about how she's not good enough, how she hates what is happening around her, how her poor life was so hard. Waa waa waa. OK, characters have backgrounds but if I wanted to read a bunch of whining about a poor upbringing then I'd have picked a book from a different section of the store.

Good grief. At 104 pages I decided that another 219 pages of a whiny meany head was more than I could stand. The lead was so annoying as to drive me completely out of the story. It's a wild contrast from many books since I often like, at least some aspects, of the characters and for some I'd love to have lunch with them someday. Harry Dresden and a cheeseburger anyone? It's to bad, because the central mystery was shaping up to be intriguing.

Friday, September 12, 2008


So I am working for a company. Sorta. My current job cut me back from full time to part time two months ago. There is also a brewing conflict with my ex-wife concerning parent time activities. That has all relatively sucked and is all much to long, and whiny, and emo to really put in a blog post.

So instead, while that has been going on I've been trying to find other things to do. The job market has been slow lately, but I did have an interview with a fairly prestigious firm in Salt Lake City recently and I've been in touch with a recruiter who thinks she can find me a good position too. All good things.

Then out of the blue the Editor at Strategy Informer told me that I could earn an easy few bucks by writing news articles for his site while his regular writer is out of town. So for the next ten days (OK, OK, eight now since I've already done two) look on the Strategy Informer news page for articles written by dtungsten. That is yours truly pumping out news for gamers. The pay is measly somewhere around 1 or 2 dollars per article but it's also fun and since I have more free time than I would really wish for it's a great activity for me.
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