The Blog for What to Play Next

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Archive.org a Place where Old Games run Free

In the many nooks and crannies of the world wide web, you can find just about anything. Sometimes that's a warning, this time it's a treat. There are no Nigerian Princes on Archive.org asking you for a wire transfer (although they Do have Prince of Persia), only good clean, old school fun.

It runs fine on a tablet and ok on a phone- they load DOSBox for you, and you may have to answer a question or two about your monitor capabilities (Hello, throwback) but you'll have access to one of the largest libraries of really good, really old school games know to man.

The best part? You don't have to download. You just click, it loads, and you play. Perfect for when you're away from home or just want to climb into the way back machine. I've already found six games I used to love, and played them all over again. If I get tired of it, I just hop to the next game.

So if you need a major mental break, surf on over. You won't be disappointed :). YW.




For more reviews that make you laugh, cry, and basically leave you wanting more check Anne's Channel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch 16 & 17

(Start at the Beginning)


Celaena is back to training, despite the horrific murder of one of the Champions. Her lovely chat with the Captain of the Guards about her time in the mines is sufficient motivation to keep at it- but not everyone has a good mentor. One of them makes a run for it, placing all the others at risk. While she certainly understands, he picks an inconvenient time and place to die.

In the meantime, Queen Georgina is after her son Dorian to marry. She refuses to be slowed down by his womanizing habits and she's actually drawn up a list of eligible brides. Court is normally stifling, and this sends Dorian right out the door and down to the training grounds where he finds Princess Nehemia joining in with Celaena. He's horrified, but the girls talk him down from his misogynistic tree.

Despite the fact that he's busy, annoying and a little arrogant, Celaena finds him fairly easy to talk to, and the Chapters end with him teaching Nehemia the basics of swordplay. As occasional companions go, he could be worse, and their banter is fun.

Questions: What kind of security measures would be appropriate for an Assassin's competition, given how many powerful people are present. Do you think that the danger is part of the fun for the nobles, or is there something more? Should women be treated equally when it comes to fighting- they just earned the right to serve on the front lines.

Pet Peeves: The former guard who broke and ran might have had a life to go back to if he had just flunked out of the competition, it was a ridiculous time to panic. If he did break and run, why not at night, or when dealing with Cain, or at any stressful time, instead of training? Also, Celaena is supposed to be a lesser noble, but she deals openly with the prince, how has Nehemia (among others) not noticed the discrepancy between her behavior and her cover's status?

#LetsRead


Vampire of the Mists

Jander is lost, alone, stranded in a life that is his... and isn't.

He's an elf, one that worships the sun, but he's been turned into a Vampire. To try and hide his affliction and connect in a world of hopelessness he travels to an insane asylum where he eventually falls in love with one of the inmates, Anna.

Her history is shrouded, if she has memories then they're hidden in a mist of madness. He finds himself protecting her more and more, and she doesn't age, just like him. A fever threatens her life and he becomes determined to find out more about her past, what shattered the beautiful woman she once was.

His only clue is one word- Barovia. That cursed word will take him through the in between, into the mists and eventually find him in Ravenloft, where he will finally meet another Vampire. Is Strahd a friend? Or something more horrible than he could possibly imagine?

Gripping and different, Vampire of the Mists is a haunting read.



Curious? Buy it Here.


For more on fantasy books and games, try Anne Jindra's Channel.

A Quick Visual Overview of the Roots and Future of Social Media

















Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dear YouTube, A Letter of Professional, yet Mothering, Love and Chastisement

Dear YouTube,

           I have know you for the largest part of your life. I remember when you were little and no one knew what to do with you, but they knew you'd grow to be big. I was there when Google bought your rights and you transitioned into the backend organization style that is so uniquely theirs that it's painful. Like a strangely brilliant child's sewing, flip you over and you're beautiful. Turn you the other way around and you don't make a lick of sense. I'm still here now, watching as you struggle to evolve again.
          Your moments of brilliance were like supernovas, unforgettable if you watched them, but impossible to find once gone. It's like that now. Pay per view was short term, but it gave us Gangnam style. I watched it 15 times. I'm going to go watch it again. Your approach to Fair Use allows for momentary re-lives that were going to replace full movie rewatches anyway as society's attention span drifted from hours to- oh, look, a kitty.
           Now you're moving to (sorry, just went and watched a part of Gangnam style) a channel style format. I've been begging you to do it for a year. Gaming.Youtube.com is an amazing idea. But you're Google. You're the guys who will create a social network and brand it for people who aren't social. I don't know how to explain this, so I'll be blunt. YouTubers are social. Even in my YouTube persona, I - an introvert- am social. I'm so self sufficient that you could drop me naked in a jungle and I'd survive, yet, on YouTube, I socialize.
            But I (Gagnam is still playing, btw) do love you. I love you for moments like this, and so I'll let you in on a few mainstream "normie" secrets I've learned from having mainstream normie friends (I'm a 2k Barbie Girl, I collected a diverse clique). You are your brand and content is king. So your VGJs, your top grossers- they need to let us know about YouTube changes occasionally. Listen to them in return, especially about the comments. You don't need a grammar quiz to filter posting, but you are king of the algorithm- make something happen and they'll be your friends forever. Get along.
           A few more excerpts from the normal world. Where do Channels go (anyone with a TV chime in) ON THE HOME PAGE. You don't turn on your TV and see weird recommendations, just like you don't open your door to go somewhere and find someone standing there. Where do recommendations go UNDER FAVORITES (just rename Channels for f***'s sake). Live feeds rule- they're your "Only I can do this/I am all that is Man" niche. But they need a host (Remember that part about your VGJs and grossers loving you forever? A corner widget will keep them and, by extension, people like them, live 24/7).
           In short, you've made it this far, through so many booms and communications changes. I've watched you blossom and close like a little flower bud as the seasons change. Don't wither now, hit full bloom. Go mainstream, everyone else has. For f***'s sake.



With all that is, has, or ever could be, Sincerity,
Anne Jindra

Tatianna Anne Jindra
On YouTube

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch 14 & 15

(Start at the Beginning)

Celaena is not the kind of girl to lose at anything, and she starts waking up before dawn to train for the competition. A shared hatred of the armsmaster's pet sparks a friendship with one of the Champions, a thief. While they're both normally solitary people, Cain is starting to gang up on the contenders with his man posse, and the others are grouping for protection.

A little bit of dagger throwing and pointer exchange later they finally get around to talking about the elephant in the room- the fact that one of the Champions was brutally murdered last night. Nobody knows much, Celaena only knows that the Captain didn't show up to train her. Not having him around was odd.

He checks in on her later and they compare childhoods. Her story of having to break her own hand wins out and he leaves her to get some sleep before the first competition, which turns out to be (in a very, every-story-in-the-world twist) an archery competition. She finds it hard to hold back and the Chapters end with her engaging in her usual staring match with the Captain and the Prince. Did she blow her cover?

Questions- Gunpowder was originally invented in Ancient China, but it changed the world- how did they have a secret like that for so long and still use bows? Could someone keep the details of a murder secret today, with all of the social media that we have?

Pet Peeves- Celaena should be more focused on her cover and the edge it gives her, given that she's facing a trip back to the salt mines if she fails. Chaol is getting pretty obsessive about Celaena given that his boss is an evil peasant gutting tyrant- you act a little different when someone that megalomaniacal is above you.

#Let's Read






Looking for a bit of a change? Check some game reviews from Anne's Channel

GreatShadow- Something Different in a World of the Same

The main character's name is Infidel.

Infidel.

I'll let that soak in.

She's a warrior chick who likes to kick butt, take names and merc out for fun. She lives on an outlaw island, one of the few havens for the otherworldly population that doesn't feel like following the rules sometimes- or at all.

Unfortunately her mate's killed and she, quite naturally, swears revenge. Worse, the revenge involves Greatshadow- one of the originals. One of the beings who's time stretches back so far into antiquity that few can say from whence he sprang. Charming as that is, he shouldn't have messed with her life- now it's on.

She teams up with the Church of the Book and hits up a few of her old acquaintances (who materialize in the most unexpected of ways) for information, for help, for everything that she'll need to take down the Dragon who styles himself as a God. Win or lose, it's a heck of a ride.



Try it out, Here

For more adventure reviews on books, games and more, try Anne Jindra's Channel..

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sacred Ground : Fiction on Native Spirituality (with Grit)

She's Jennifer Talldeer, a medicine woman who has learned at her granddad's knee. He's David Spotted Horse, a rebel with a cause- which doesn't go over well with his private investigator ex-girlfriend. She fights for the People in and out of the courts while he runs around stirring up trouble, at least that's the way she sees it.

But a construction company that's willfully digging up an ancient Indian burial ground brings them back together and, against the odds she manages to make him see the other side of things, the pathways into the otherworld. It's not soft or even always beautiful, but it is an incredible place to walk, and acting as it's guardian is a lifelong journey.

This incredibly well researched look into some of the troubles and wonders of Native American life takes you along a road less traveled, and shows you another side to the computerized world of clocking in, eating lunch, clocking out and going home. Gorgeous and compelling, Sacred Ground is a trip worth taking.



Intrigued? Buy it Here.

Love fantasy? Want to laugh, cry, gasp and crave more with video games? Try Anne's Channel.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch 12 & 13

(Start at the Beginning)

Celaena gets brought up short of killing Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, by the armsmaster. Not that she necessarily would have, he's been the one escorting her around the castle and answering her questions. At the least, replacing him with someone else would be a nuisance.

Either way, Brullo calls them all to the center of the training ground and they introduce themselves- all twenty-four of the noble's champions competing to be Ardalan's Assassin. There are some interesting types and some favorites as well. Not to mention some surprises, especially given that the noblemen of the court are betting on this.

After the intros, Chaol finally warns her to hold back some and retain her anonymity. It's something he should have done before practice but, better late than never. Thankfully (or not), her body still hasn't recovered from it's year in the salt mines, although she's determined to get back into shape and win.

Chaol still escorts her around in her free time, and they run into an extremely interesting lady on their latest walk. It seems that no one else managed to get beaten in the salt mines and fall in with the Eyllwe- so no one else speaks their language. Celaena is fascinated, and so is the girl, they immediately begin to make plans to see more of each other which- like anything else- bothers Chaol. Chaol and Celaena end with one of their usual arguments about her attitude, which is somehow a comforting close to the chapter.

Questions: Is self defense even necessary anymore and do people like armsmasters still get the respect the Brullo did in the book? The women presented are headstrong, and that seems annoying, but acceptable- is that similar to or different from society today?

Pet peeves: Celaena worked in the salt mines every day for a year, her legs might have cramped up but she shouldn't have been winded from a run- it's an endurance sport. Knives are a ridiculous weapon against a sword because you can't block with them- no matter how good she is she never should have gone for them. Celaena is getting a surprising amount of lateral movement for a notorious assassin and Chaol doesn't seem to do much with his day that is Captain of the Guardesque.

#Let's Read







Want more? Games, books, and educational videos on Anne's Channel

Short Visual Crash Course on Working In the Internet













Jaran: Sci-Fi and Fantasy- Brilliant

Shade your eyes. Jaran is here.

Tess is the little sister of the only man who is allowed to speak with the aliens that run the Human worlds with a light hand. University has sheltered her and she is engaged. Or at least, she was...

In the Universe's worst case of cold feet she takes off for the newly discovered, primitive world, which houses a multitude of nations but most of all, the wandering tribes called the Jaran. Their dark haired leader, Ilya, is trying to unite the world under one set of laws. Tess hates politics, but a personality that strong is hard to resist and she's drawn into the lives of the wandering nomads as she slowly researches how the distant aliens who appeared suddenly may have intervened in the past- placing people here.

The people of this world live to a hundred and twenty, easily- something that has eluded scientists. Are they a separate, experimental group? Will the artifacts left behind in temples show her more cues? And how can she convince Ilya to let her stay with his people long enough to find the answers.

Love, fear, politics, Jaran draws you in and holds on.




Interested? Buy it Here.


For video game reviews that make you laugh, gasp and more- and Let's Read- link here

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ghost in the Shell

It's a video game, set in the future, where your consciousness can be restored to another bionic body- which is sick news for the Japanese crack force that polices the streets.

It's a movie, where ScarJo is once again seducing viewers and kicking butt (I'd have picked Jessica Biel, but ok).

But first it was a manga series about a counter terrorist force told by the brilliant Masamune Shirow.

It has more iterations than the seasons of Red vs. Blue and every one of them is exquisite.

The release date is next quarter, for the game and the movie (finally someone had That fit of marketing genius) and both of them are technically engaging and incredibly rendered, with storylines to match.

It's different and you may not love the ritualistic Japanese style, but you'll never hate it, and it will fascinate you. Try it out, you won't be disappointed.



Labyrinth

Jareth: I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.

Jareth: You remind me of the babe.
Goblin: What babe?
Jareth: The babe with the power.
Goblin: What power?
Jareth: The power of voodoo.
Goblin: Who do?
Jareth: You do.
Goblin: Do what?
Jareth: Remind me of the babe.

She's a girl who's mad at her mother's second marriage, and the child who took her place- her baby half brother. He's the Goblin King, the granter of wishes that are best forgotten. The setting is allegory and the journey, life.

Sarah is young, impetuous and tired of the restrictions that society places on teenagers to keep them from growing up too fast. Her parents are happy, modern and determined to make a blended family within the new religious framework for the nineteen nineties- where the home is still paramount, but the tradition of Adam and Eve, until death do we part, has been replaced by the more Wiccan concept of handfasting. She's a product of this world and, ultimately, represents the generation that will finally bring it together.

The story weaves like a Celtic trinity knot, ending where it begins as she puzzles and discovers her way through the Labyrinth of life, experiencing the promises of Jareth, the Goblin King and eventually seeing through the illusions around her and finding her way back to both reality and wonder. Does she keep the magic, lose her brother and allow Jareth a way into her life? Or does she grow up, learn to see through the walls around her and manage to find the strength to have it all?


Interested? Buy it Here.




From water, flung into being.
Emerging from no when, then, the Labyrinth.
Shaped from star dirt, all that matters.
The joy or sorrow of its wending Gordian Knot
Flowing from what we see in the child’s mouth
Pushing an ever growing burden of memory before.
Allusion, both ways.
No Hob to trick, instead a Swan
A shower of rings and things,
The promises of a Goblin King,
Of the devil, having stolen the unicorn’s horn.


For Fantasy reviews that make you laugh, gasp and want more, link Here.

Branding, Logos and Content

Media and Marketing are represented in a reflective context here! You have to engage in an exegesis to grasp the media lessons- so watch for what the media is doing, as described, instead of what the movement described is doing. These are the techniques and methods that shaped the reality we live in. Be aware of your media, you are what you eat! (They're listed below the video if you'd like to scroll down).













Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch 10&11

(Start at the Beginning)

Celaena isn't exactly dressed for an Assassin's Competition, but she gets hauled into the throne room nonetheless. It's the first time she's seen the king before he threw her in the salt mines, where she labored- and was beaten- for a year. The throne room seems huge and it's hard to focus on the other Competitors and their sponsors (noblemen who will wager on the outcome), but she's a trained assassin.

She is Celaena Sardothien, and she will not be afraid.

The rules of the contest are laid down, the winner will be Champion to the King, the losers will return from whence they came. For most of them that is a death sentence. Twenty three men stand there, threatening Celaena with death- she wouldn't make it through the salt mines again. Yulemas will mark the end of the competition, one week later the remaining four would duel to the pain.

The prince and the captain of the guard remove her from the king's presence as soon as possible- before she has a chance to open her mouth, as usual. They let her know about their plan to keep her identity a secret and she gets to engage in a bit of political baiting with the love to hate Kaltain, which seals the deal for her. She agrees.

The next day training begins and she gets to take the true measure of Chaol. At least he can fight, since he constantly talks down to her. To her surprise he beats her at sparring- in a real fight she would have owned him. Annoyed, she grabs her knives and comes back after him...

Questions to wonder about. How did Kings used to keep their courts entertained and why? Louis the Sun King was infamous for keeping his nobles too busy to plot against him. Will Celaena's attitude get her killed? How would you present yourself if you had a decade of covert training? Would your cover really be no cover?

Pet peeves, the King recognizes Celaena and no one mentions if he has agreed to the plan to conceal her identity. Why wasn't Celaena taught manners along with her assassin's instruction- I doubt she targeted peasants. And if she's supposed to be hiding who she is, why doesn't Chaol warn her to hold back during sword practice?

#Let's Read







For more reviews of games and books that make you laugh, cry and enjoy every second of your day, try Anne's Channel.

The Gypsy: Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm

Random and Little Known Fact: Megan Lindholm is Robin Hobb's actual name.

Using the ways of these traveling people, three brothers have gone their separate ways to both see and tell the world in a way that others can't fathom. They have three different ways of walking and names or titles to go with each. As you wander the Romano Drom, the world seems to change in a way that makes art have more meaning and gives music special power.

A rare and seamless collaboration that took place by the simple exchange of a manuscript every time there was a bend in the road fostered a forward flowing style that follows true gypsy tradition- never retrace your steps and keep weaving the thread of the story.

Wandering into and out of time, Csucskari becomes entangled in a modern day murder investigation- but for one with his feet on the gypsy road, it's impossible to stay for too long and this event simply becomes another point in the otherworldly narrative of his life as he pursues the devil- or perhaps she pursues him.

As the dance increases in heat and urgency, his brothers start to sense the problem, but love pulls the youngest in both directions. Will he sacrifice his existence again? Or move fully into the modern world and take a settled life of his own?

The Gypsy moves you. You won't be able to resist.


Love it already? Buy it Here.


For game reviews and a Let's Read check out Anne Jindra's channel
the Rom will recognize the last name :)




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

King's Quest Reboots- Extra Content and More

Wonder why mine is always better than yours? It's because I have the Fu. The Google-Fu. That and I've been around computers forever. On the upside I am a loving, kind, considerate person and I want to share what I find with all of you too :)

So when I got a great response to the KQ online games I went fishing around for something that I'd found about ten years ago- when it had gotten even better. I Did run a virus sweeper after I downloaded them (if you didn't know it you can "try" Norton for 30 days if you're ever looking for a one off download like this- it's free)

They're for computers, but downloading DOSBox can solve your smartphone issue if you have the space on it. Or you can wait to get home for your fix :)

Either way, if you want the best damn thing since you got tired of 8 bit, here it is.




http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/games.html
KQ 1-3, Quest for Glory 2, and a New Game from AGD

Please send all love, free hugs and other fangirl/guying in the form of likes and follows.

The Assassin in India (9)- That... that would be an Assassin.

(Chapter 8)

"Hey," I greeted her, scooting up behind and lining up through the hole in the wall. I made the mistake of looking down as I handed her a clip and lost a second of my life staring into huge dark eyes, framed by long lashes.I'd have capped any one of my men who went ass over teakettle for a woman like that, a second can kill you when there's shooting. She glared at me and starting popping bullets out of the clip. It looked like she had a Sig, I had handed her the clip for a Glock.

I took two shots while she stripped the clip and breech loaded a bullet. I heard a the soft pop of a silenced rifle behind the building closest to us. My boys had gotten one of them. She pushed her way back up and waited, her body perfectly still until the one on the right stuck his upper body out to take a shot at us. The gun almost didn't kick, she must have some ripped up arms under that suit. Either way another pop a few buildings down ended the whole thing. 

I couldn't get more aware, combat'll do that to you, but I did notice the warmth of her body against mine as the adrenaline slowly receded. Her tension level raised by a hair and I moved back, offering her a hand up. She was already rolling back slightly onto her shoulders and coiling her body up onto her feet, all in one smooth move. We'd had some bruisers in training, but I'd never seen a little bit move like that. Her entrance and outfit didn't leave a lot to the imagination and, like I said, I had an ex. Two. I knew what she was and my mind was hustling like a clanless Pikey in winter, trying to find a way to smooth this so that my boys didn't notice. You didn't want to be on an Assassin's radar. 

She hadn't moved. She wasn't so still that you'd notice, not like a Norwegian. Her coloring marked her for the Middle East, titled eyes said she was from the overlap near the Eastern Bloc. I caught the team that had headed out drifting back into base out of the corner of my eye and turned, keeping her in my field of vision. She patiently popped her clip and loaded the remaining bullets before motioning for me to lead the way. 

I brought her back inside. Marky was back out and Timmy had taken up a position at the window by the abandoned occasional, Danielle propped against his shoulder. I wanted to punch him, he should have his sidearm out, not the damn shotgun. She stepped to the side of the doorway as my team came in the front and leaned their rifles against the wall, heading back to the poker game. I winced, sensing what was coming next. They were lone wolves, assassins.

Her Sig came up, pointing straight between my eyes, and I let off a sigh. Timmy glanced at me and cocked one eyebrow. I almost let out a miserable laugh as I shook my head. No I didn't want a bullet on it's way into my cap just so he could pop her, and he was the one I would have thought could keep a cool head around her, for all he felt about birds. My unit froze. I took a moment to contemplate the phrase as I stared kept half an eye on them. They looked ready for blood, I was not.

It wasn't the gun. If you're SRR you wind up expecting bullets after a while. They don't put you through nine weeks of hell and a mandatory interrogation resistance course (we sit in classrooms, I promise), just so you can man a desk with your boots kicked up. It was the fact that this stupid fucking bint was itching to put us on her list of people to eliminate. No assassin liked being identifiable, and it was getting harder to miss what she was- if you had the intelligence to even be sure they existed. James Bond had done a number on that belief. 


"If you'll not move, while I check on you." She told us calmly, producing an iPhone from a slit pocket and thumbing in a request. Could she possibly think she'd take us all? Her attitude said, yes. For the first time since I saw her slide in against the wall my blood started to heat up. That was stupid.



(Continue to Part 10)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass

I just got the Throne of Glass in and I couldn't be more excited. Normally I do a third person review and tell you a teaser/summary of the story. This is a little different. You've read all over the internet about the success of Let's Play Videos. Let's Read is a new initiative with a focus on YA reading levels, using best selling books, real world questions and fueling it with YouTube and media.

(Join in wherever you are or come back here if you want to start from the start- it's the great thing about the internet, we're right here waiting for you, so move at your own pace :)

I'm up to the fourth Chapter and I'm already enchanted. She's strong, she's well trained, she's single-minded. She refuses to give up. It doesn't hurt that Celaena is incredibly beautiful as well, I think that every girl fantasizes about that (although, in all seriousness- a little eyeliner on the corners of your eyes, some soft lipliner, mascara and one video on facial planing and you'll fall in love with your own face).

To top it all off Celaena is an assassin, and an oppressed one- even though she's the best. She's a prisoner who's been trapped in the salt mines of Adarlan, and she's survived it, because she's worth it. Now she's about to be entered into a game of Assassins, with her freedom as the prize- after three years of service.

I was amazed at her response. But if she's survived this long Aena has got to have something up her sleeve. The summary heavily implied a love triangle between herself, the captain of the guard, and the prince, so the intrigue is starting already.

I'm in character love.

Literary Peeves: I'm not in research love. They have a team of guards that dies rather than kill her (um, srsly?), and a sword with a carved eagle pommel. Um, it's called a pommel for a reason, you use it to move the sword around when you stand up and sit down- that'd poke your hand. Also it'll throw the balance on the sword off, and from the clothing descriptions it ain't exactly a freakin claymore.

I still bought it, and I still intend to sit here and eat my cotton candy, and love every character driven, possibly plot wonderful second of it. I'm a little worried about what will happen when we hit the magic, due to the research level, but it's a fun anticipation.

So, let's read.

Questions: Mines still exist today, what's been done to improve working conditions and do they get a bad rap? It's literally forbidden to be nobility in American (you need to give up your title to attain citizenship), why would that be a law?

#Let's Read
Watch the Let's Read Ch 1-3 with FanArt




(Keep Reading 4&5)




Buy it Here

They just got picked up by Hulu, good production team too. The TV Series is coming soon :)



Let's Read: Throne of Glass, CH 8&9

(Start at the Beginning)

It's time for Chapter's 8&9 already (Like you haven't read on ahead and finished the whole book by now- does she wind up with Chaol??). Celaena is having a hard time getting adjusted to castle life- not a surprise. The culture shock of moving from slavery to the court is overwhelming. As always, the Captain of the Guard is there- showing her around this time. After the creepy Clocktower comes the huge library, and we finally meet the real Celaena.

The girl loves books. Adores them. Loses it when she sees them and decides to bend the rules and ask for access to them. I don't blame her, I'd take a chance too if I saw a library that size. While she's corresponding a singularly unlovely character wanders under her balcony, deliberately insulting her. The fe-villain is ToG's equivalent of Cersei- our Love to Hate. Aena tries to off her with a flower pot and all you can feel is amusement.

She's finally decently dressed and able to regain some of her old power when Chaol shows up and hauls her off. Having revisited some of the king's evils during their talks he somehow still manages to be surprised at her minor freak out when she finds out that she (and the other Champions) are meeting in the throne room, NOW. He tells her she looks rather pretty, and she's fairly sure it's the last thing she'll ever hear.

Some chapter questions- During the rise of Christianity in Ancient Greece, and again during the Crusades, thousands of manuscripts were burned. Why do you think conquerors feel so threatened by knowledge- and is it best if it's available to everyone? Also, do you believe that the Tower, and all written forms of wyrding, are semiotics in action, or do they have the driving force of mythology behind them?

Pet peeves for writers- As cute as Aena's assassination attempt is, her temper is not suited to an assassin, that sort of thing can get you executed in court. As a literary device, I gave it a by- it wasn't as glaring as being guardless, outside, at night, while transporting an assassin. Also, it seems no one maintains the books- don't people know that these things crumble without proper care? Finally, how is everyone so clueless about magic when it ended only a decade or two ago. People would still talk.

#LetsRead






Want more reviews of adventure books, games and more that educate you and make you smile? Try Anne's Channel.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sneaking out to Play with Agame

The new trend (ok, it's not new - alt tab >ahem<) is sneaking in game time at work. On your break or on lunch, people's phones are coming out and they're updating, building and solving puzzles, or wasting bad guys, as a mental break.

That's awesome! Taking some personal time is really good for workplace production and leaves you refreshed and happy. But the real question is- do you sacrifice the time you text to your friends (or FB) for an app or game? Well online gaming was a hit- over 500 of you wanted to play the oldschool King's Quests on your tablets or phones, so I went to the net to find a compromise.

Agame is a win. They have action, adventure, .io games, basically everything under the sun. Best of all they have multiplayer games, so you don't have to give up your social time, you can just sync it.

It's a bonus for kids too- my favorite is Fire Boy and Water Girl, a sidescroller Donkey Kong style that you can play with two people on a keyboard at home. (one uses AWD the other uses the arrow keys). So if your kids are just past the age where you can cuddle them you can still spend some time side by side, playing on the computer.

At work, or while you're waiting in that annoying line at the DMV, you might want to stick to multiplayers like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Agar.io which are more phone friendly. Either way, it's a throwback and a way to link up that casual gamers will love (they have tons of single player apps too, or you can just play with a smarter opponent than an AI). Does you boyfriend spend way too much time on the Xbox? Start here and get your hand eye coordination up before you switch over to Fallout 4 or Halo whatever they're on- mind you I love the series, they just have way to many installments, even Red vs. Blue couldn't keep up.

(Looking for a Christmas Present for you both? Try Beholder it's a Dystopian Surveil that's TB released this quarter, you can check up on more "serious" games that are about to come out with a brief overview from someone who got introduced to Beta Testing when she was thirteen Here)




Try hundreds of apps Here
And yeah, I played them too and my computer has yet to explode in a fiery napalm virus death (I ran a scan and there were a total of 9 tracking cookies from the past week, not bad given that I live on the net) so I'm 99% sure it's a clean site

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch 6 & 7

(New? If you'd like, you can start at the Beginning.)

Last we checked on Celaena she was chatting up the Captain of the Guard- a good spy trick, although you're supposed to be more charming. The remainder of her ride back to the castle seems miserably uneventful, the weather is terrible and she's still hurt from her year in Endovier.

On the way to the city we get some hints as to Celaena's mysterious rise to power as Adarlan's premier assassin and her capture. She won't really mention who betrayed her, or how she came to the city, yet, but it's a fun teaser. Aena reveals that the only reason she's not more beat up is because some of the Eyllwe (slaves from another country) took care of her. She's finally starting to show signs of her year in the mines and waking up from a nightmare leaves her alone and staring at the stars- while someone stares at her.

For all that she seems to have some sort of connection with the Fae and the woods, Celaena is pretty obviously a city girl and enjoys returning to the capital. The fun is cut short when she sees the slaves being unloaded at the docks- she'll probably be anti-slavery for her whole life. Again she shows signs of her stress, counting exits, guards, fashioning makeshift weapons and not really calming down until her new servant Philippa shows up and starts mothering her.

Dorian reunites with his Dad and their dismal relationship gets revisited. Dad only loves his war and Dorian's sleeping around is a threat to the throne. While it's hard to really get upset for the prince, given his behavior, you certainly don't pick his abusive father to sympathize with.

So far the Crown Prince seems like a womanizer and I always find myself waiting for Chaol to show back up. The King is about as cruel as expected and Philippa adds a nice new dimension to the cast.

A couple of questions that came to mind- how did slavery endure for so long, given the dismal conditions and extreme reasons for revolt? Why are mythology and wildness so often tied together? And how do Kings manage to conquer and hold so much territory?

#Let's Read Pet peeves- for people who write. There is no sentry mentioned and the guards are supposed to be transporting the most lethal assassin alive. It made a pretty scene when she woke up and everyone was sleeping, but, really. Her makeshift weapons are ridiculous. She has a bathroom, likely with glass ornamentation- that could be sunk into soap far easier than pins. And why isn't Aena killed when the King declares her a witch- since magic is forbidden?

Let's Read FanArt summaries are always posted the next day- so check back :) (Linked up!)

(Keep Reading 8&9)


While you are waiting you can watch the last two, and get a Crash Course in everything

Strike at Sunrise, Tequila at Dusk: Teaser (MA)

One: At Base 

    Nikki always looked sexy, but today she was smoking hot. Josh leaned back as she drifted behind the weapons lockers, almost falling off the Humvee as he tried to keep her in sight. Her walk had a little extra sway to it, probably because of the skin tight leather pants. 

    He knew making a move to get her in bed would probably result in getting his ass kicked, Nik knew the rules in the boys club, she'd be the one getting ragged on. In spite of that- or maybe because of it- he was really tempted to try. She walked back into sight and headed right for him, looking straight at him the whole time. Nik didn’t ever look down at the ground or away from you, giggle, or look up through her dark lashes. God she was hot.

    Her deep brown eyes were serious, nothing new there, and her hair fell in jet black waves, highlighting her olive skin tone. It tumbled over her shoulders and danced along the top of her high, firm breasts, where they were pressed up against the thin fabric of her gray Underarmor shirt. 

    She’d strapped on her black leather shoulder holster, her golden Desert Eagle was the only pop of color in the whole outfit. He amused himself by picturing her in pink for a minute, but gave up. It didn’t work for her, and it was a whole lot more fun picturing her naked as she crossed the warehouse with her sultry strut.

    “You rang?” she prompted him impatiently, before she even came to a stop. Josh was willing to bet she was a tiger in the sack, she had that tense sort of pent up energy that he liked in a woman. If he ever landed her he’d walk away with some scratch marks for sure. He towered over her from his seat on the hummer. He had over a foot on Nikki standing, she was maybe 5’ 4” even in her boots, and he’d had to jump to get up here.

    “You need some help focusing, Josh?” Nikki said, cracking her knuckles and placing one hand in front of her breasts, her middle finger pointing upwards towards her face. Josh cleared his throat, running a hand along the golden stubble lining his wide jaw. Whoops, he’d been staring at all the wrong places.

    “We’ve got a client coming in, very last minute. He sounds pretty sure he wants to work with us but I’d still like you to do a meet and greet.” He found his emerald green eyes wandering down past her tiny waist to the curve of her hips. Maybe he was wrong, maybe she’d be a gentle lover. One of the considerate kinds. She was their customer service girl precisely because she was so good at reading people.

    “I’m not turning so you can see my butt, no matter how hard you wish for it. Your Jedi mind tricks will not work on me, boy. Talk to me about the client.” Nikki shook her head as his eyes snapped back to her face. Josh was a good guy, who really did love women. All of them. It didn’t really bother her when he appreciated the landscape, but she wished he’d focus on business.

    “I don’t know a whole lot,” Josh replied, shrugging apologetically. The movement pulled against the wide scar he’d picked up on his back during their last mission. Not that he'd been on his back, it was because... he frowned. He didn't want to think about it. If he had any brains at all he’d have retired. But he’d never found anything that beat the rush of a job, the feeling that had been building since the second Camron had asked for an appointment.

    “I asked Li to work his internet magic and he’s on his way in with everyone else, but the client should be here in the next half hour. He didn’t sound like the kind of guy who was used to waiting.” Josh watched a flicker of distaste cross Nik’s features, only to be replaced by the curious, mysterious expression she usually wore. 

   He could tell by the way she stood, running her hands through her hair and fidgeting with the cuffs of her shirt, that she was getting the same pre-game feeling that he’d been riding. Everything seemed a little sharper, a little more real, like he was living inside of each second instead of wandering along them absentmindedly. 

    “His name is Camron, and he sounded like a businessman. Knew exactly how he wanted things to go, took control of the conversation. See what he’s got for us and-“ Josh was cut short by the obnoxious buzz of the front doorbell. Camron was early.

    “Go get ‘em, girl,” he grinned at Nikki. She rolled her eyes at him, turning on one high heel and heading towards the office door.  

    “Yes, sir,” she replied mockingly, flipping off a salute with her just middle finger. Josh chuckled, enjoying the view. Flipping people of was basically Nik's way of saying 'Hi'.
    
“See," He yelled after her, "You did turn so I could check out your butt. Maybe I really am a Jedi.”


Friday, September 16, 2016

Grim Tales: The Vengeance (Your New Addiction)

I would have sworn that since The Longest Journey 2 (Dreamfall) tanked because of a deadline, the adventure game was dead. I was so wrong. It simply moved into hiding. Maybe because of the simple interface, maybe because of the niche crowd, it's just moved into an app/download format. I was shocked to find that Dying for Daylight was available- a Southern Vampire Mysteries game from Charlaine Harris. I was floored to find out that there were even more adventure games out there.

How had I never heard of them? I have an entire family of Gamers (when I was younger I actually wound up in Arena from Bethesda Softworks, that's how steeped in gaming I am), and while I've drifted away to pursue higher education (England here I come), I should have stumbled onto Something in Game Informer (Still love you GameStop), online or somewhere!

Apparently not! So I have the scoop on the best of adventure gaming and I am thrilled in a knock your socks off way about it. Your average PC Game release is $30. These guys are going for $9-10 and are available on iPad/Phone, Droid and even Windows phones. The perfect workday mental break (I'm a huge proponent of people taking them- they up workplace efficiency!)

The latest? Grim's Tales: The Vengeance. You play the rich and retired psychic aunt who rushes to a Londonesque town to defend your nephew when he is accused of murdering his sister for their inheritance. Your abilities allow you to sense an object's past and even travel into it. A wonderful blend of puzzles and seek and find it's a great way to spend some time, and stay sharp.

The graphics are incredible, the gameplay is smooth and the interface is so simple that it's barely even noticable. It's everything that's engaging about adventure games. If you want more NPC (Non Player Character) interaction, you would probably go the extra mile and buy something like Dreamfall 2 or Siberia 2, but if you want a simple and enchanting gaming experience, this is the way to go. I'm dying to find out what happens next, nothing like a mystery to draw you in.





Buy it Here
You get one game for $6 off at Big Fish


For more Reviews, Laughs, Sneak Peeks and our Let's Read check Anne Jindra's Channel.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Let's Read: Throne of Glass Ch4 & 5

(Start at the Beginning)

The last time we saw Celaena she was meeting with the prince of Adarlan and getting pushed around by Duke Pennington. After tossing out the Duke and scraping her off the floor he gave her an offer- win a competition and serve as Ardalan's Assassin for five years (four, she said) and she'd be granted her freedom.

I was shocked she said yes. She loved her home country and Ardalan had conquered it. Of course anything beat the salt mines. Then I started thinking- she can do more to help the war effort outside of the salt mines than in them, and if she's smart enough the good will outweigh the harm. What a rough spot to be in, though.

So she gets scrubbed up and tossed out and left in the care of Chaol. Her freedom is really in question- and again you have to wonder, is she just being offered a different form of slavery. I can't help but think about the Wheel of Pain and it's allegory for life. Granted, being an assassin is a little different than the rat race. Still, the manacles around her hands don't go away and she has a chilling discussion with Chaol's Guards at lunch about the magic of the forest (although the m word is banned) and they seem to think it would be better off burned to the ground.

Questions from Chapter 4: Is it better to stand up for your ideals, or compromise and have a shot at a better change- and can she hold out or will the situation change her, and corrupt her? Are the sacrifices we're making in mythology, religion and ecology worth it for modern technology? What is holding you back in life, and are you living in a prison of your own design? How do you change that and what caused that? What motivates you? What makes your life magic?

Discrepancies to note if you write. There is reference to a throne room, but why would they have that in a salt mine complex? Her riding habit is made of silk, satin and suede- riding is a hard sport. Even the rich wear leather, hardened leather, or you wind up chapped. She runs to the windows in front of Chaol, I'd think someone as trained as an assassin wouldn't show that sort of weakness in a tenuous situation. See anything else?

#Let's Read



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

C.S. Friedman: In Conquest Born

A political sci-fi, In Conquest Born follows Anzha, a natural born psychic whose parents are murdered while she is still young. A shadowed group seizes her and trains her to fear life, people and, most of all, to hate the Braxi. She's made into a weapon against their enemy race, pale and dark haired with a hatred of psychics. Her life's course might have followed this path either way, but the choice is taken from her, and she is created.

Her hatred is the driving force in her life as she seeks to infiltrate the Braxi and bring them down. Their strange culture leads one of their upper class to fall in love with her. Zatar views the war and her pursuit of his species' extinction with a strangely attracted fascination. He uses his connections to weave through her past and find out the secrets that drive her.

Will he destroy her with them, or will she triumph? The two peoples have been at war for centuries, and the only way to end it seems to be total annihilaton. But there is another force at work, barely seen through the book, that could turn the tables.

Riveting, with more secrets to share that can be discovered, In Conquest Born is a win.



Buy it Here


For educational and amusing video game reviews, check out Anne Jindra's Channel

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Throne of Glass: Let's Read!

I just got the Throne of Glass in and I couldn't be more excited. Normally I do a third person review and tell you a teaser/summary of the story. This is a little different. You've read all over the internet about the success of Let's Play Videos. Let's Read is a new initiative with a focus on YA reading levels, using best selling books, real world questions and fueling it with YouTube and media.

(Join in wherever you are or come back here if you want to start from the start- it's the great thing about the internet, we're right here waiting for you, so move at your own pace :)

I'm up to the fourth Chapter and I'm already enchanted. She's strong, she's well trained, she's single-minded. She refuses to give up. It doesn't hurt that Celaena is incredibly beautiful as well, I think that every girl fantasizes about that (although, in all seriousness- a little eyeliner on the corners of your eyes, some soft lipliner, mascara and one video on facial planing and you'll fall in love with your own face).

To top it all off Celaena is an assassin, and an oppressed one- even though she's the best. She's a prisoner who's been trapped in the salt mines of Adarlan, and she's survived it, because she's worth it. Now she's about to be entered into a game of Assassins, with her freedom as the prize- after three years of service.

I was amazed at her response. But if she's survived this long Aena has got to have something up her sleeve. The summary heavily implied a love triangle between herself, the captain of the guard, and the prince, so the intrigue is starting already.

I'm in character love.

Literary Peeves: I'm not in research love. They have a team of guards that dies rather than kill her (um, srsly?), and a sword with a carved eagle pommel. Um, it's called a pommel for a reason, you use it to move the sword around when you stand up and sit down- that'd poke your hand. Also it'll throw the balance on the sword off, and from the clothing descriptions it ain't exactly a freakin claymore.

I still bought it, and I still intend to sit here and eat my cotton candy, and love every character driven, possibly plot wonderful second of it. I'm a little worried about what will happen when we hit the magic, due to the research level, but it's a fun anticipation.

So, let's read.

Questions: Mines still exist today, what's been done to improve working conditions and do they get a bad rap? It's literally forbidden to be nobility in American (you need to give up your title to attain citizenship), why would that be a law?

#Let's Read
Watch the Let's Read Ch 1-3 with FanArt




(Keep Reading 4&5)




Buy it Here

They just got picked up by Hulu, good production team too. The TV Series is coming soon :)



Monday, September 12, 2016

Gattaca : Love, Dystopia and Apophenia

He was supposed to be an Olymic Gold Medalist. His genetics promised it. But he failed and a suicide attempt made him a paraplegic. Now he's nobody- literally. He sells his identity. to someone who is supposed to die from heart failure, too much of a degenerate for his father to even give him his name.

His genetics promised it. 99% chance he'll die from heart failure. No dreams, no hope, no future. His parents were throwbacks, they conceived without science, naturally. It seems like so much more than bad luck that he happened to be born wrong, but his brother Anton- mixed properly- turned into a proper detective.

Years later Anton will be the one to hunt his older brother, the man who bought someone else's name. Who found love, through all the genetic scanning traffic stops, work check ins, spies and oppression as the government seeks to breed out in-valids and purify the gene pool.

There's only one place he'll be free, and it's been his dream since he was a boy. Against all odds, he's trying to make it into space.




Curious? Buy it Here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Learn to Meditate: Arrows of the Queen

She was young and oppressed. She lived in a Border country where the women married young and the men were dominant to the point of cruelty. Not all of them, but still... 

The Border was a hard place, you worked your whole life and stole moments of leisure- until you had a family, then even those were sacrificed to your husband and children. The moment her marriage is announced is the moment her life is over. Thankfully there's another woman who has also stuck out her whole life, a guardian angel... a white horse.

Literally.

Talia is Chosen by a Companion and brought to the capital where she is able to help fix the problems of Valdemar. As a Herald she is a judge and jury. But her past leaves her enormous gift of empathy unstable and repressed and her job as the Queen's Companion is so far outside of her experience that the culture shock leaves her lost and alone. 

She's sent on her first mission with a mentor who has heard and believed the gossip wars against her and it hammers at her, proving him right- and wrong. A near divine intervention causes a snow storm and he is forced to face what he's doing to her, and it wakes the Herald in him, driving him to finally do his job. He teaches her all of the mediation techniques that she lacked due to the absence of a teacher, helps her learn control over her mind magic, and so much more. 

But her past follows her, and her future will need her to be stronger than she appears. Can she bend, and not break?



Want to Love, Live and Learn along with her? Buy it Here.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mental Break: GoT Style

If you haven't heard of Game of Thrones you're a social hermit.


It's actually so prevalent that I refuse to review it. That and it lacks "true magic" roots (see mythology), which is kinda ma thang. But I WILL (Since I'm taking a mental break today) Treat you to two potential mental breaks yourself. One is a personality quiz, the other is more character based.

Which GoT Character should you Date?!?!

For Everyonehttp://goo.gl/jUxAXs
Girls Onlyhttp://goo.gl/QsXnBx

OK, ok, and if you really miss GoT and want to be part of the story, here's the video game from TellTale:






Enjoy! Hopefully you conquer Westeros and put that Winter baby to bed.