rxelyn: (Default)

Karen Chance's Touch the Dark is another one of those typical urban fantasy books that you see alongside Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, Rachel Caine's Weather Warden, etc. It's nothing mind blowing, but it's still pretty interesting, in the sense that we have the main character Cassie, being raised by her enemies, thrown right from the start into the dark side, she is more understanding of the monsters then other similar characters.

The plot is pretty decent, but the writing could be improved upon. Nothing wrong with grammer or such, just the style. Some parts of the story didn't flow very smoothly, the writing was too choppy in the sense that the scenes didn't have proper transitions... which made it quite hard to follow properly.

Cassie Palmer is able to see ghosts as well as glimpses of the past/fpresent/future. Her talent makes her very useful to Antonio, a money grubbing vampire who makes use of her visions to earn more money. Knowing Antonio's role in her parents' death, Cassie runs away and hides, for a few years, until now, her past has caught up with her.

She's dragged into a 'confrontation' in which she starts to gain even more powers, from travelling in time to possessing people. Which makes her even more powerful than Anita Blake. *sarcastic tone* at least Anita Blake takes about 2-3 books before she starts gaining new powers...

The characters are basically not used properly, even the 'twist' in story was silly... and they all seem very cliched. I mean, even the sex scene was boring... and sort of unnecessary. I mean, look at Cassie, who seems to be freaking out over the stupid stuff, she doesn't even channel the 'fuck you, I'm in charge' attitude that Anita Blake has. While I know that comparisons are unfair, but it is hard not to draw such parallels when writers keep rehashing the same issues in the same genres. I don't expect mind blowing new stuff, but more originality?

Okay... I don't exactly like this series, but I think it'll be quite easy to read as light reading material.
rxelyn: (lol)
Ahaha, neglected all my work to stay up to finish up Detroit Metal City, both the anime and the movie. Although the art may be pretty bad and taken mainly from the manga scenes, the storyline is ridiculously hilarious.

I don't really get why it's considered farcical... granted there are the usual broad themes of not judging from appearances, like just because Krauser looks like a demon doesn't mean he really killed his parents and all that craze, or the idea that even though the idols may present themselves in a certain manner during their performances, it doesn't mean that they continue that lifestyle even in their private life, like how Negishi is totally a calm and gentle kid, whereas he turns into a raping-murdering demon in the eyes of his crazy fans. Total LOL. As well as the general idea that perception is everything, as seen from how even as the character trips and falls onto a person, the fans totally went wild, saying that he's raping the woman, and giving the 'technique' some fancy arse title. XDDD

from imdb:
It's an excellent contrast of characters, but more so, an examination of self and the personas we adopt in different situations. It might even be a classic case of Schizophrenia for Negishi, because as Krauser, he's really good at what he does, and almost comes second nature as that sissy man who had found an avenue to unleash his pent up frustration and hit back at the whole world, and get adored for that as well. Cursing and swearing comes second nature, and he can get really confused at times if his interests got mixed – romancing his lady love who abhors metal music, and satisfying his legion of fans with a public appearance. Unlike the Incredible Hulk within whom Bruce Banner disappears, it's interesting here because Negishi has full conscious control over Krauser, but allows himself to cut loose and live up to that masked persona even if it means having to embarrass the woman he loves.

It's about striking a balance between living your dream, and being practical about it. As Krauser, he inspires others into living theirs, even though he doesn't exactly get to do the same. But only because he does what he does best, even though he doesn't exactly subscribe to it. He commands his unwavering fans for whom he inspires, though in some negative ways, but what better than to express one's rage through music and at the concert venues only rather than to hit back in society - we don't see any of the metal fans causing trouble, and the amount of clout one has in influencing his followers to live for the better. It's this realization and awakening that Negishi understands his calling in life, that he cannot live a life that's for selfish personal interest (in throwing away Krauser just so he can pursue his love) over that of the benefit for the masses and those who adore him.

It's like a superhero story of sorts as well, where the hero disappears into his sanctuary by having an alter-ego within which he can operate normally without the pressures of expectations. We become somebody else very easily when we have ourselves hidden behind a costume incognito, and can carry out feats which we normally wouldn't do for fear of identity, repercussions and of course shame if something goes wrong. The white face makeup is Negishi's secret formula in transformation from geek to devil, without fear of his family discovering his secret (he tells them he works at a floral shop) and disappointed his parents that he's a preacher for hate, in direct contradiction to the gentlemanly ways he's brought up in.

The movie is much much shorter, considering that the OVA was about 3 hours in total, since it's about 15mins per episode and there are 12...? (I think I fail maths) And the sequences of events in the movie is a bit rushed and warped, since they are largely constricted by time. But in both anime and movie, I really dislike Negishi's voice when he's being his normal self... and the hairstyle... 'penis hair' is totally accurate!! D: (I don't know whether to cringe or laugh. Though laughing is all that I do while watching the show.) People may feel a little turned off by the violent images and the vulgarities, but it's all meant to be funny.

Overall, it's a decent watch, the music's pretty good as well, even though the lyrics are sort of putting off. I'm not exactly a fan of death metal, though I do like other subgenres of metal.

rxelyn: (writing)
Finished reading Murakami's South of the Border , West of the Sun on the train while heading towards Hilton Shopping Gallery for another caroling session.

The writing was simple and sparse, there weren't any unnecessary sentences clogging up the flow of the entire book, and the storyline was equally straightforward, depicting the life of an ordinary man, Hajime who enters into various relationships with different women throughout the stages of his life. There's the mysterious Shimamoto who was a childhood friend of Hajime and seemingly influenced him quite greatly, for he never forgot her and shared common interests in music and books. Hajime met Izumi during his high school years, whom he hurt deeply, by having a torrid affair with her cousin. After this last serious relationship, he then moves onto short meaningless flings, attracted to not beautiful women, but instead, a sort of magnetism that he senses from them. Involved in a dead end job and a meaningless existence, it is here that he meets Yukiko, his wife. It is then when his life takes a turn for the better, quitting his boring editing job and setting up his own jazz bars, having a lovely home and family. He is relatively well-to-do, healthy and frankly, quite a satisfactory life on the whole. But Hajime isn't contented, he still feels as if something is missing within him. And it seems that this easy life is broken when Shimamoto reappears in Hajime's bar. He hasn't forgotten her, as depicted in the various scenes in which Hajime looks out for women with lame legs (Shimamoto had a lame leg), hoping to come across her someday.

Shimamoto's reappearance isn't really properly addressed, like the smoke of her cigarette, she doesn't reveal much about the years after losing touch with Hajime and her motives for her actions are unclear as well, but it seems that she is still quite attached to Hajime who is so deeply affected by her that he puts his marriage at risk.

I feel that the title of the book itself, South of the Border, West of the Sun, reveals one of the main theme in the book, which is elusiveness/illusion. Sort of like a unspoken promise of something more in that far away land. There is also the idea of fiction versus reality, as seen in little scenes in the book, like Shimamoto's appearances and disappearances, Through the writing style, one could wonder whether she really did reappear in Hajime's life or the entire debacle was merely wishful thinking on his own part.

It's really quite amazing how one's actions can affect someone, whether in a small way or change their lives completely. Izumi never got over the hurt from Hajime and lived out her life in loneliness and emptiness, while Hajime, after Shimamoto's final visit, seem to have come to terms with his life and decides to start anew with Yukiko.

It's a story about love, about memories, about relationships, but mostly what it means to be human. We inadvertably hurt others throughout our course of life, and it's impossible to go back, because time only moves forward. There isn't any fantasical elements in this story, but nevertheless it's quite the compelling tale about the lives of the ordinary.
rxelyn: (writing)
So, for the past two days I have been deprived of the internetz, due to repainting of the house meaning unplugged modem meaning no wireless meaning no internet meaning I has time for books. :D

Therefore I conclude:
My inability to complete Neil Gaiman's Anansi's Boys was most likely because of my preoccupation with my computer rather than a real lack of interest in the story because it was actually pretty fascinating. The twists in the story was expected but different from my original thoughts. The characters are highly vivid and quite fun, I especially like Spider. :D It's also a sort of bildungsroman for Charlie in which he evolves from his old shy self to a more self aware person. It's not as colorful or epic as American Gods, but it sort of describes how your life can suddenly be turned completely upside down without you even being aware. However, I didn't really like the way Charlie and Rosie's relationship was depicted, it was a little too... neglected, that Rosie cheats on him and dumps him and Charlie basically just accepts it and moves on. Maybe the whole point is to bring out his passive personality but really, shouldn't there be more action even for a normal human? All and all, I really like the way Gaiman blends myths and legends into his own stories.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Princess Ben reminds me of Levine's Ella and all those other gutsy heroines out there. (I vaguely remember Wrede's princess in some dragon series.) There seems to be a whole mesh up of fairy tales inserted in it, but although, the entire story is pretty original. :) Princess Ben is most definitely not your ordinary princess, she can't do much, is too greedy and maybe a tad too childish, but she's highly individualistic and brave. Queen Sophia may seem to be overly harsh and mean at first, but in the end, you see that her heart is in the right place. The other characters are also not set in black and white, instead everything is subjective in the book. However, I'm a little... irritated with the way she wrote off the misunderstanding that Ben makes at her father's death site. >.> The mistake she made was just plain dumb. I believe that Murdock could have come up with a better plot than just that...
rxelyn: (writing)

Completed Hero in 2 hours plus, it's a short decent read that's mainly targeted at youths. It's quite fast paced and reads very smoothly. (though I'm irritated by the typo of Snake... I hope it's not just my copy only...)

The story begins with Thom Creed who is the son of a fallen superhero. The story is easy to follow even though I would have liked it better if Moore had elaborated on the background of where and how the superheroes come about. Even though he is close to his father after his mother's disappearance, there are just some things that he can't talk to his father about, his developing superpowers as well as his orientation, as his father is not exactly accepting. I like the way Moore uses these obstacles as a way to bring across character development, as well as driving the plot forward. There are some parts where Thom is exceedingly childish though.

The superheroes in the League are a little too cliched for my liking... Isn't Justice's story too familiar? But I like the twist in the end, I actually thought that it was the father who was behind all the murders, or even the mother, under Justice's orders. So... yeah. Some parts were a little predictable, like Goran's double identity as well as Snake's. But I think they were meant so on purpose. Just to prove to us that Thom's dumb. Lol.

There's a lot of subplots going on, but they are sort of underdeveloped, and a little rushed, but still, they join up nicely enough. The supporting characters are pretty interesting, I especially like Ruth's personality.

Moore could have afforded to give us more details and such, but overall, I quite like it.

rxelyn: (meaningless)

from left: TengNeung, Leo, Mouse, James

Thai boy band, Blood of Youth (B.O.Y for short) XD. I'm such a shallow bitch. But they are so cute! :DDD
Their music is decent normal pop, nothing too exceptional, but also not too shoddy.
Their music range from light ballads to fast poppy tracks but nothing over the top.
this is sort of my first forage into Thai music scene, I think...
their english is also quite good actually, I think it's thanks to James who graduated from an english school and is actually half-british.
and Leo's half-french. ... is jealous of their heritage. Haha. Only a bit.
The Thai language is completely foreign to me; so there are times where I think I'm hearing like random pieces of chinese or japanese. >.>
total fail. But I think the language looks really pretty when in written form.
und um ja. I think I'm done introducing them?

kekeke, I like Mouse the most! He's the shortest, but also the cutest XD
and he's my age too. haha, no, that has nothing to do with it.
I think out of the 10 tracks on their debut album, B.O.Y, Tah Hak Mai Keuy Jeb and Bun-ya-kard Dee Dee sound the nicest.
Huh. The release date was on 26/7/2008. That's quite recent. Lol.
But I'm pretty sure that they are well received... judging from the no of downloads.

of course, they look pretty and all, but tokio hotel still ranks top for prettiest band. :)
was binging on tokio hotel tv these two days. Learned a few new german words and am so trying to incorporate them into my speech.
How ganz is that? Lol.
I think I need to get a life.

oh, and I might be checking out some new chinese music.
might be good to expand my genres
rxelyn: (bleach ichigos)

Felix Castor returns to us in Mike Carey's second book in the series. Intense and edgy, it is a good read and I finished it in one shot because I was too impatient. The plot was tight, and loose ends were tied up, and there were quite a few unexpected twists even though some parts were a little predictable. But it's due to a variety of such techniques that keep readers reeled in.

In The Devil You Know, the world was relatively newish, and it has been widely expanded upon in Vicious Circle. The complex world was set out nicely with vivid descriptions, which somehow made the book seem like a graphic novel. I think that another factor that created the graphic novel feel was due to the jump of times. Throughout the book, I was unable to figure out just how much time had passed, not counting the times Felix passed out, of course, but as he goes around sleuthing, I find myself unable to tell how long exactly had he been on the case and such.

As for the book, the plot may seem relatively straightforward, and the banter between characters are pretty witty even though it may be a little expected after playing in the urban fantasy genre for quite some time. But still, I like it. The thing about this genre is that there are no entirely happy endings, innocents still get hurt and not everyone gets the ending that they deserve.

In short, if you can't wait for the next Dresden book, or you need something even harder than a shot of Dresden, take Castor.

XD. Bad commercial tag line? Haha.

rxelyn: (undone work)
... I think I need an icon for book reviews XD

Just done with Patricia Briggs' Moon Called.

It was pretty interesting, nothing too ground breaking, but still a good read. Most urban fantasy books are like that. Especially the first book or so.

Our main character is certainly unique, she's a walker, which is basically a shapeshifter that seems to have its roots in Native American tradition. Quite different from your run of a mill job, like vampire, werewolf, necromancer, wizard. The action within the story seems a little weak, and there were some parts that were pretty dull, but Patricia Briggs has set up several plot threads in just this book, and I'm pretty tempted to go hunt down the other two books tomorrow when I 'mug' at the library.

Mercy Thompson seems to be just like your other ass-kicking, mouthy defiant female leads. Which is a bit cliche. But when you're writing an urban fantasy with a female as your main heroine, she's usually got to be stereotyped as one of those fierce, independent woman who isn't afraid of playing with the big boys. On the other hand, I can like name you at least five of such characters, which makes it a little boring after a while. There's Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamiliton's poster girl for fierce female leads), Buffy (Joss Whedon most likely started this entire shindig.) Dante Valentine (Lilith Saintcrow's. But she does seem quite vulnerable after losing Japhrimel) Joanne, Weather Warden (Rachel Caine's. Not much details since I stopped around the first book) And the list goes on.

Sadly, we don't have enough kickass male leads. There's Harry Dresden, Felix Castor, John Taylor... and I think that's all. =_= Bah. Generally, not to be sexist or what, but I find that the books with these male leads are more intruiging. Most likely due to the fact that they concentrate more on the damn plot. Rather than the subtle romantic tension.

And now... back to pretending to do work while I drink tea and surf the net.
rxelyn: (undone work)
The title sums it all up, man. Just what I have been doing in the past two days only. Reading. Heh.

Things that I wanna read:

Might be updated from time to time. Depends on how OCD my mood is on a particular day.

rxelyn: (Default)
Hana Yori Dango and Kurosagi! XD
Respectively showing on 4/9 and 18/9
(be there or be square, lol.)

And to make this post less bimbotic, let me review the book that I just finished reading, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover.

You know, if I had picked up Fantasy Lover instead of Dance With the Devil, I might not have been converted into a fan of Kenyon. While Fantasy Lover was interesting and a complete universe away from the cliched romances that I have read, there wasn't enough action to keep me hooked for good. Indeed, while I do feel intrigued by Julian's fascinating life, the way that he is written makes him seems too much of a Larry-Stu.

Julian, born of Aphrodite and a Spartan general, was originally a fierce general that nearly brought Rome to her knees. Were it not for the intervention of the gods. His eldest brother, hating him, betrayed him and he ended up locked away in a book, only to be released for the pleasures of others. Indeed, he became a love slave that is made to pleasure the summoner for a month before he is locked back into the book until the next summoner comes. (He's super lucky that all his summoners are female, lol)

Grace summons him on a drunken whim, thanks to her friend, Selena. And even though she dearly wants to, she doesn't jump his bones and instead refuses him at every turn. (gee, are you a woman or what?) Julian is astounded at her different attitude and basically, we see how they slowly fall in love with each other. It's so... gentle and sweet and fluffy that I would have been turned off immediately were it not that I like her other works. Fantasy Lover is just too tame, as compared to the others in the Dark Hunter series.

Dance With the Devil had bad assed Zarek who sports wolverine-inspired claws, headbanging metal music, sinful leather pants and a vicious streak. He had a truly traumatic past, he has a mean tongue and enough enemies that line all the way to hell just to send him to hell.

Besides, any story that has medieval/historical settings can always get me. Though I'm more partial to Greek/Roman periods with the involvement of the residents of Olympus.
rxelyn: (bleach ichigos)
Went to watch The Dark Knight. Finally!!! XDDD

Since I was early, I went strolling around Far East, wishing I brought more money. So many pretty things! I was really tempted to just buy all the lovely necklaces and earrings. *_*

Met Faza and we went over to Cineleisure to catch the movie. But we were about a few minutes late... and didn't catch the first few scenes. Blah.

rxelyn: (ehhh)

... what the hell?! 3 hours finale indeed! I could have just watched the bloody 3 hours finale and not waste my time on the previous 10 episodes before because 2/3 of episode 11 is just recapping the bloody series. Which makes me very pissed off because I wasted my time scrolling through youtube bars just to find places where it's not merely recap. I think in the end, I also just scrolled through the other stuff. x.x  And to think that I had high hopes for this series... it could have been really cool...

Except that I was freaked out by the stupid dealer thing on the VCR during the first episode... I mean, it looked creepy... like something from Cirque de Freak or... throw in the weird music... and the fact that I watched it at like... 1 or 2 plus in the morning... yeah, I was scared. Until I was irritated by the stupidity of one person.

Kanzaki Nao is one gigantic idiot. No offense to Toda Erika who protrayed her. She was sort of cute-annoying as MIsa Misa in Death Note. I mean, isn't there some line that goes, 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me'? And may I add another line, 'Fool me thrice, just let me die (from my own stupidty)' She repeatedly gets tricked by the dumbest things. I mean, if you have been lied to once by someone, you wouldn't be too trusting of what he says in the next moment, right?! But she can and she does fall for the same trick over and over again. And Akiyama has to chase after her and drag her sorry arse from debts over and over again. Geez.

But hey, I kind of support the AkiyamaXNao pairing. It's sort of cute in a way, the awww!kitten way. >.> She's just like a kitten that's pretty to look at but is dumb to the world.

But Akiyama is sort of cool, in a way. I think I fell in love with him since HYD. :D He's pretty hot in a way, that cool, aloof look always gets me. Haha. No seriously though, he is the main reason why I continued to watch the series even after all that idiotic things.

And just what was up with all the villians?! Bad haircuts, horror inducing manical laughter, fugly article of clothings that ought to be burnt in hell. Oh for the love of Pete. *flings hands into the air* I give up on words to express my great distress.

Even Matsuda Shota (Akiyama) can't really save this sinking ship.
rxelyn: (thinking)
Lol, well, I don't know... Mozart's music always seem like a happy bright yellow color or a pale light blue...

Anyway!!! I really really really want to smack myself for not liking NODAME CANTABILE earlier! Back then when Kimberley was reading the mangas, since I could have borrowed from her!! XD I'm such a leech.

Every episode is so funny, unlike my previous thought that it was sappy and... 'boring' because I don't really like the shoujo genre. But, after watching a few episodes of this, I have once again fallen in love with the piano. Lol, I have somewhat of a short attention span, it's very easy for me to get addicted to anything and yet lose that interest in a mere few days. So for now, I'm supremely jealous of the lovely music that is produced and cursing my own inability to play properly. x.x

Ehh, Chiaki was pretty hot in certain angles, though it's not for the cast that I'm watching it. It's for the music. Nodame is flighty and eccentric, but a genuninely likeable character who is surprisingly quite realistic, for all her insanity. Chiaki has many very amusing expressions when it comes to her as well as the other more crazy characters.

I'm still half way through the series, still have about 5 more episodes? Yeah. I like... watched the first 6 episodes in one entire shot because it was just so comedic. I think that up till now, the series have shown how each characters evolved, like Chiaki, who has shown significant changes from his cold aloof perfectionist self to someone who knows how to appreciate the life behind the music. Whereas we see that Nodame has slowly found herself an aim to work towards even though she still needs to learn how to take care of herself. I mean, BATHING EVERY OTHER DAY?! WHAT THE HELL happened to CLEANLINESS?! So gross... and her apartment scares me... even though I am no neat freak myself.


Jun. 8th, 2008 09:55 am
rxelyn: (Default)
... Yay, finished yet another j-dorama, Kurosagi. YAMAPI :DDDDD He's so darn adorable and so dorky, especially in the filler-ish episodes where he's only catching small fry as compared to the larger swindlers he's hellbent on destroying. I was originally planning to screencap all the 'disguises' that he wears but in the end got too lazy.

XD he sort of look like a kitsune with his close eyed smirk/smile.

bang! )

Yeah, now I know why I prefer to download my doramas, because I can then screencap as much as I want instead of relying on other people's screencaps.

Since I'm done with Kurosagi now, I'm moving on properly to Ikebukuro West Gate Park, IWGP for short, starring NAGASE TOMOYA. XD He's a brilliant actor, I tell you. I adore all his dorky expressions because he's the only person who can make dorkiness such a lovable thing. Oh, and a super youngish Yamapi is inside this show as well, as a wet-behind-the-ears awkward kid. Haha.
rxelyn: (crowned)
Okay, so I rushed through the entire book in just one sitting because I freaking couldn't put it down. Yes, it was that compelling. Seriously, the Dresden series is one that I would never get tired of. This has been proven because I picked up this series as well as Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series at the same time. And while I have gotten mightily sick of Anita Blake and her Mary-Sue-ish tendencies as well as the pron disguising as prose, Harry Dresden never fails to amuse me. He doesn't waste time emoing over whether it's right to be fucking monsters that you're supposed to be killing, he just kills them. He doesn't waste time over relationships and hang ups, he does his job which is a lot more than Anita could be doing, what with her harem of men.

Anyway, back to the book before I start ranting off my mouth about how badly the Anita Blake series have fallen.

And because my brain is shorted out after imagining all the explosions and the fighting scenes going on, I shall stop here.




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