Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher

Title: The Six-Gun Tarot
Author: R.S. Belcher
Published by: A TOR Book
Released: 2013
Summary: Jim Negrey is on the run from his past with his horse Promise and his father's jade eye. After almost dying in the desert, Jim finds himself in the Old West town of Golgotha. Golgatha isn't like other towns, it attracts the different and strange and hides secrets of its own. The sheriff is rumored to be a dead man walking, the deputy is kin to coyotes, and the mayor guards a treasure that the world has never seen. Things start to go wrong in Golgatha. Something trapped in the mine is waking up and trying to free itself. If it gets free, then the world is over. Jim must help his new friends to save the town he's come to care so much about. If Golgatha falls, the world falls with it.
My Thoughts: This is a western unlike any I've read before. I was first drawn to this book because of the cover. It is so odd looking and the eye on the front reminded me of Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter. It's always okay to be drawn to a book because of a random Harry Potter reference. I don't really know how to describe this book, but I did enjoy it. It's a weird western filled with cowboys, indians, and the end of the world as we know it.
The beginning of the book was a little slow. There were lots of characters that the reader had to get to know and many stories to try to understand. It seemed every member of Golgatha had some type of secret. Learning all their stories was interesting, but at the end most of the characters still remained a sort of mystery. 
I'm not going to lie, the whole story was just weird, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I enjoyed reading it and racing to the end to see if the day could be saved. The "stained" were pretty nasty and the descriptions about them brought a disgustingly vivid picture. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a little something different. Someone who enjoys westerns and a whole lot of weirdness.
Cowboys and Indians aren't the only things you'll find in Golgotha.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#6)

Title: Delia's Shadow
Author: Jaime Lee Moyer
I'm not very far into this one. I pretty much just started it.
So I really just started reading this book and I haven't been able to form really any definite opinions about it so far. I am kind of excited to read it, because it seems like a mash up of stuff that I really enjoy. The little that I know about it is that it is set in early 1900's San Francisco and centers around this girl named Delia who has been haunted by ghosts for all her life. She tries to escape from the ghosts by moving to New York, but is pulled back for some mysterious reason. San Francisco is a city that is especially haunted by ghosts after the earthquake of 1906 and the subsequent fire. Forgive me if my history is wrong, but I think that date is correct. Somehow or another, Delia comes into contact with a ghost that has been murdered by a killer who plans to kill again. Delia must stop this killer.
So yeah, it sounds good right? I think it sounds good and I can't wait to really get into it and read it. I hope it doesn't disappoint me, because so far my month has been filled with mediocre books that I'm really excited about when I start them, but then don't live up to my expectations. 
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Published by: Crown Publishers
Released: 2011
Summary: Wade Watts is a gamer. In the year 2044, the world has kind of gone down the tube. There are no jobs to be found and people are poor and scrambling to get by. The majority of the population had abandoned the real world in place of the virtual one called OASIS. OASIS is the best in virtual reality gaming where players can lose themselves and become whoever and whatever they want to be. When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves a legacy called the Hunt behind. Whichever gamer can find all three keys and pass through all three gates will have the ability to find the egg. Finding the egg means not only winning the hunt, but inheriting Halliday's vast fortune in the real world. These egg hunters are called gunters and Wade is one of them. It's been five years since Halliday's death and the first key has still not been found. One day the clue clicks for Wade and through his avatar, Parzival, he finds the first key. This sets off a race like no other, with other gunter's finding the key and an evil corporation called IOI wanting to take over OASIS trying desperately as well. IOI will stop at nothing to find the egg, even through threatening Wade's life. Wade is now in a race to find the egg, not only to win the game, but also to save OASIS.
My Thoughts: I really did enjoy this book. It had a rough start for me in the first 50 or so pages, just because it was kind of boring and an information dump. After those boring 50 pages, the action really started and I couldn't put down the book. I had to know what happened to Wade and who won the great hunt in the end. It's really fun reading.
There were some things that irked me about the book. I don't like preachy books. I don't like books that try to shove author beliefs down my throat. So, when I encountered it in Ready Player One, I was very disappointed. The thing that irked me the most was the anti-God and humans are at fault for everything, GLOBAL WARMING! the author put in this one section of the book. I had a problem with it because it wasn't needed at all. It added nothing of importance to the plot or to the story. It literally felt like the author was trying to shove his own beliefs down my throat and that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn't come into this story for the author to preach to me about how there is no God, no Heaven, and how all the people who believe in him are pathetic or senior citizens who have nothing left to cling to. I also didn't enjoy all the liberal, leftist global warming, humans destroy everything crap. He should have left those ideas for his political blog (if he has one) and kept them out of the book. Also, it's not like at the end of the book anything changed for the better or Wade decided to make the world a better place either. I also think it's a little hypocritical saying there is no God and then portraying Halliday as this god like figure and have gunters study Anorack's Almanac like the Bible. So, in conclusion I really don't like authors to preach to me about their own personal beliefs. It takes away from the overall great story and just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Rant over.
The rest of the story was great. I loved all the action and danger and the great hunt to find the egg. Some of the time jumps were a little weird as well as the whole idea of humans checking out of real life in favor of a videogame. Kind of sad really. Also a bunch of the 80's references went over my head. I'm just too young for that pop culture decade.
An awesome book that I thoroughly enjoyed in the end.
Videogame Awesomeness!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#5)

Title: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
Author: Melanie Benjamin
I'm not that far into this book yet, but I can already tell that it's gonna be good.
This was actually a book that my mom had checked out from the library and usually I don't like the books that my mom tends to read. They are usually about poor people living in the Appalachian mountains and struggling to survive. But when I saw this book in her pile, I was interested. I'd read and really enjoyed one of Melanie Benjamin's other books which was Alice I Have Been. That told the story of the girl who had inspired Lewis Carol's Alice In Wonderland, the original Alice's life. It was based on fact, but is fictionalized. Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and the author's writing. I was very interested to read another book by her.
This book is based on the life of Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump or how she came to be later known as Lavinia Warren. Vinnie was born in the mid 1800's and suffered from a form of dwarfism. She had the kind of dwarfism where her body was perfectly proportional, she was just extremely small. She came up to 2 ft and 8 inches in height. She also had a sister named Minnie who suffered from the same form of dwarfism. Vinnie then decides to go into the entertainment industry and eventually becomes part of P.T. Barnum's circus. Her life is just really interesting. She ended up marrying another dwarf in P.T. Barnum's employ named General Tom Thumb. Their wedding became big news in the states and helped to get peoples' minds off of the Civil War, that was terrorizing the country, for a little while. Vinnie and her new husband even met President Lincoln and his wife in the White House. I'm going to include a picture of Lavinia and her husband because they are both so adorable looking. I know that might be rude to say, but they just look like little kids and it's hard to believe that they were full grown people. It's no wonder people were so entranced and paid money just to see them in P.T. Barnum's circus.
This is a picture of their wedding day. Commodore Nutt is the groomsmen on the left, with General Tom Thumb, Lavinia Warren, and Minnie Warren as the bridesmaid.

So yeah, I heard the subject matter and was really interested in reading the book. So far, I'm really enjoying it. Obviously this is a fictionalized version of her life, but those are really the kinds of books that I like to read. Biographies tend to bore me, but I like reading books based on real people in history and then going on to learn more about those people. I really like Melanie Benjamin's writing style and it's just a super interesting read. It involves all kinds of things that interest me like history, circus life, P.T. Barnum, and just stuff! Also, if not for this book, I would have never known of Lavinia Warren and the fascinating life she lived.
So that's it for this Reading Right Now! Sorry for this long post and going off topic, but that's what I do. At least you can say that you learned something from this post maybe kinda :)
Tell me what you're Reading Right Now! in the comments below cause I would love to know.