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I used to be an avid user of Listal, but then life got in the way. I still want to keep my account because I can't get rid of something after putting that much work into it, but I doubt I'll update it often or at all.
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2010 Reading List (30 items)
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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (108) - TV Shows (8) - Books (58) - Games (3)

Hunted or more like Obsessed With Shirtless Boys

Posted : 14 years, 11 months ago on 29 March 2009 11:54 (A review of Hunted (House of Night, Book 5))

Condensed, edited version taken from my blog.

Not long ago I finished reading the fifth instalment in the Cast's House of Night Series, Hunted.

This is about the point where I give a frustrated sigh. Oh my, is it a frustrated sigh.

First of, there is a story in there somewhere. An interesting story that could potentially make a good novel but it's been swallowed by chaotic, repetitive, stereotypical, shallow muck. I really hope that this novel is only the stepping stone to another part of the story because if this is setting the tone for the future of the series then it's going to get far worse.
Not that the previous novels in the series were master pieces with the repetition, stereotyping and all the other faults but it was interesting and the main story wasn't lost or marred as much by all the triviality. Plus the characters changed and you didn't always know who was bad and who was good.

The book continues on from the last quite well with Zoey recounting how they made it to their particular location. That part isn't too bad because you expect a bit of explanation about the previous novels in the series but soon you realise that doesn't stop there, it carries on but with the present novel. Through out the story, almost all the characters, have to explain everything that has happened to each other repeatedly. There's no short catch up explaining the main character just caught whoever up on the news so the reader doesn't have to read it over and over again. No, none of that.
Then there is the obsession with the gay characters. I'm bisexual, I love gay characters but that doesn't mean we have to be reminded every few lines or have the reference "gay this" and "gay that" so much.
It's fine if it's just pointed out that there's a gay couple but it's followed by more "gay" comments about them cooking, squealing etcetera with gay tacked in front of it and at some point in the previous novels I started to wonder if the writer was giving her self a pat on the back because she included homosexual characters and wanted to make sure we knew.
Just like she had to make sure we knew everything else by explaining it to us. For instance, words (damn it, write a dictionary if you want to explain words), the storyline (over and over and over and over....), how hot everyone is or at least how perfect and then there's the love triangles.
This is one of the main things that takes away from the interesting story and just turns it into being about boys and the character being a whingy, whimpy idiot. She can't seem to make up her mind about any boys that she likes and guess what? All the hot guys want a piece of her and so far there is really only one guy who isn't considered hot. So most of the story is her obsessing over all these boys and what she is going to do about them when the world as she knows it is coming to an end and everyone is in danger.

Way to get the priorities sorted.

If you knew nothing about teenagers (maybe you slept through your teen years and then have been living on Mars since) and this was your only reference to them then you'd come away thinking they were boy obsessed, daft (because the characters take a long time to figure things out), have bad memories because they repeat themselves so much, are really, really shallow and that teenage girls can go around cheating on their boyfriends, stringing boys along and eventually getting away with it because the boys will still love them.

So basically it was entertaining trash given the underlying story but really annoying at the same time. Not that I'm really annoyed with the story, it's the authors that have done my head in so I'll be reading the next one because I want to know what happens with the bigger picture and to see if this is only a transition novel.

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Posted : 15 years, 1 month ago on 12 January 2009 01:25 (A review of Changing Climates, Changing Times)

Idea wise this was a good one, showing how our world and society will be in 65 years time. I liked how it didn't only concentrate on one area, it included France, Africa, Canada and mentioned a lot of other places.
While the movie used a story line to get the message across it was also interspersed with tidbits of information, basically half documentary, half drama movie.
Yet for all it's good features it had some major flaws. For instance dates, ages of characters, were out. The movie was set in 2075 and yet some of the ages of the characters didn't match up. One character was meant to be 20 but was apparently born in 2058, then there were dates mentioned for events and the amount in years since mentioned did not add up.
There was also something very wrong with some of the accents, particularly the French and Hamburg ones, to me they sounded the same and the French characters didn't sound French at all. It's one thing to have all the characters, even in different countries, use English but it's not good if it detracts form the movie.
The most major flaw was, it wasn't a very compelling movie, seeing as I could not bring myself to sit there through out the whole thing because it was putting me to sleep. Shame that.

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Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 19 November 2008 07:07 (A review of The Daughters of Moab)

I've been looking forward to reading this book seeing as it's dystopia/post-apocalyptic and set in Australia. Unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations and I'm pretty sure that's not because I had high ones either.
It may have had an interesting premise, but that wasn't enough to save it. At times the writing style was a confusing, chaotic mess, filled with plenty of detail but lacking essential explanations to tie events together and when there was some much needed explanation (rarely given) it seemed to be thrown in apart from the event it was tied to, giving it a very disjointed feel.
Even so I kept pressing on in hope that something would happen to really grab me and add a missing element to the story but after reaching the half way point with nothing but further confusion and erraticism, it felt like a waste of time.

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Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 18 November 2008 08:13 (A review of Kingkiller Chronicles 1: The Name of the Wind)

It’s rare I come across a book that I wish to read again. To me there are two different types of re-reading a book. One the type where you’ll read a book again at some later date, which goes without saying, especially when it’s a favourite book. It’s a common practice to read a favourite book more then once but it’s usually with other books being read in between. In this case I mean the second type; reading a book, finishing it only to want to read it again the second time straight afterwards. No picking up another novel and having a break from it or waiting for a period of time before revisiting that book again. That is the rarity for me and that’s the urge I have with The Name Of The Wind.
There’s more then one reason for that. First of all is the usual absorption with a story and not wanting to leave it’s world behind for any amount of time. You’ve fallen in love with the characters, the plot, the world if it’s a fantasy or alternate universe, the sayings, the unique names of places and people etc. Secondly for how the story is written, it’s style can lull you, it can whisk you away with it’s depth of detail and cleverness with words.
I find that the case with this book, it’s both reasons I wish to re-read it again, especially seeing as I’ve been so absorbed with it for several days running now and barely pulled my head out from between it’s covers to pay attention to the world around me.
It has a lovely attention to detail, a style I find refreshing and all in all it’s a very well written first novel.

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Fast Paced and Brilliant

Posted : 15 years, 4 months ago on 26 October 2008 02:32 (A review of Bright Shiny Morning)

I found this to be such a great read and I'm not surprised because I always liked Frey's style. It reads like a compedium of fictional shorts with a dash of history.
Frey's style is unique, making it fast paced and showing that there is more to a story then sentence structure and grammar. Something of which would probably drive one nuts if it was any other author but with this it sucks you right in and doesn't let you go until the very end.

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The Other Hand

Posted : 15 years, 4 months ago on 23 October 2008 07:27 (A review of The Other Hand)

I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading this book. With a hundred pages to go I realised that at some point I was reading but not really keeping track of what was going on. Reading it had become automatic. When I thought about it more I also realised that I didn’t care enough about the characters to force myself to read another 100 pages to find out what happens with them. I know I’m a tad sadomasochistic but I’m not that far on the masochistic side.
In the beginning I found this story quite depressing and on the verge of haunting but at some point it lost that feel and became emotionless for me. Must have been after the whole beach scene. I believe that scene was the only thing that actually kept me reading for so long. The knowledge that something disastrous was in there somewhere was constantly dangled like an elusive treat and then you finally reach it. That point is the pinnacle and there after it’s a rapid descent into lifelessness.
That’s what this story ended up feeling to me. Lifeless.
It reminded me of a lecturer who gives a long winded lecture in the same bored monotone, not because they want to but because they are told to and it’s the last thing they want to do. And that is what the story was when it comes down to it. A boring, emotionless, dull tale told in a lifeless monotone, which is a shame really because the idea had promise.

Such a waste.

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The Two Pearls Of Wisdom

Posted : 15 years, 4 months ago on 21 October 2008 06:29 (A review of The Two Pearls of Wisdom)

The Two Pearls Of Wisdom isn't your a-typical fantasy. Having an Oriental element it has been compared to Lian Hearn's Otori Series but I think, for the most part, that's where the similarity ends.

Usually stories like this make my blood boil. Actually any story with even a hint of female oppression is enough to it raise my ire. This being no exception because the main character is female pretending to be male (if she is found out she'll be killed), the story is set in a time and place where women have no real meaning or power and Eon is being ruled over by the people around her.

So that in itself was enough to make this an 'angry' novel for me. It also didn't help that I found it very predictable, and yet given all it's predictability it was actually quite a compelling read. I found it very hard to put down, thanks to it's flowing style and assortment of characters, mainly Eon/Eona who, in all her oppression, ended up with some back bone.

It also made a difference, in my opinion, that the main character was not physically perfect and that there was a transgender as well. I don't come a long many fantasy novels (if any) that has transgender individuals so I thought that was interesting and refreshing rather then the writer sticking to typical characters.

Then there were the dragons. Being of an Oriental back drop so too were the dragons, which I found refreshing.
There was the use of Chakras and Chi, although that wasn't the names they were given but if you know anything about that you'll recognise it. All that added to it's Oriental flavour.

As for this being a young adult novel, well it could pass for either young adult or a light adult read. Definitely a novel adults could read as well without any real complaint.

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Fast Paced

Posted : 15 years, 6 months ago on 27 August 2008 03:19 (A review of Bombproof)

Not bad for an action/thriller, something of which I usually prefer to watch in a movie but this kept me reading.
Perfect example of, not only people individually jumping to conclusions, but society as a whole jumping to conclusions especially with current paranoia and preoccupation with terrorism over the years. Something that this novel addresses very well.
A good writing style too as it was fast paced, fitting in with the subject and making it very hard to put it down.

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Hello There Sunshine

Posted : 15 years, 6 months ago on 26 August 2008 01:22 (A review of Sunshine)

It's not often I find it hard to rate a book but it happens and this turned out to be one of those books.
I gave it a seven although I wanted to give it more but it can't be more. The few reasons I want to give it more then a seven is 1. I like the vampire. I thought as a vampire with his lack of humanity it was apt, especially after reading a paranormal romance (urgh I hate that term) I wanted to read about a vampire that actually turned out to be vampirish, not romanticised and made human.
2. I love how Sunshine acted towards events. So many books where the character goes through certain experiences they seem to not always suffer shock like a real person would and, somehow, accept and embrace the transition too easily. When it came to Sunshine, I found the way the character was written with her reactions to be far more believable then other stories.
3. I had a hard time putting it down. I think that says a lot, especially when I've been having trouble getting into any book lately but with this one I had a hard time putting it down.
There's also the style which at times bothered me because I'm so used to waiting for a chapter to end to be able to go and do something but McKinley didn't do clearly defined chapters (there were breaks but that's not good enough for me), but on the other hand I feel it added to, not necessarily to the fluidity of it, but the continuity.
As for the fluidity, and the reasons why I couldn't bring myself to give it more then a seven, I didn't feel it flowed much at all for all it's continuity. To me it read disjointedly. I felt there wasn't enough connecting detail between scenarios, as if the author thought it was fine to gloss over some areas or skip finer detail.
That and perhaps more detail about the world Sunshine lived in rather then waffling on about her and her heritage might have been nice. At least I would have liked more explanations for certain words and phrases because sometimes those certain words didn't always seem to fit in with the meaning I arrived at for them.
Maybe that's just me.
Otherwise it was a pretty good read to pass the time and I would recommend it for vampire nuts like myself seeing as, for me anyway, it turned out to have a proper portrayal of a vampire.

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The Lace Reader

Posted : 15 years, 6 months ago on 15 August 2008 03:55 (A review of The Lace Reader: A Novel)

The Lace Reader is a book I didn't really know what was about but one I'm glad I read. I found it to be so utterly engrossing, especially with Barry's writing style which is direct and brusque, making it literally a page turner. Which amazed me because for a style like that I don't expect to become so engrossed. In fact I'm not usually a speed reader but The Lace Reader is one of the very few books that I became so absorbed in I couldn't help but read it quickly.
I was taken by surprise with it. It wasn't predictable like I find so many books to be, it had lovely characters who were quirky but at the same time completely normal to me (might be because I'm slightly eccentric myself, who knows), and the ending literally took me by surprise itself. It was something I wasn't expecting and it made everything come together so perfectly especially as you can't help expecting something else and then it all gets turned on it's head.
I also love how it had little snippets of lace reading at the beginning of every chapter. I think that was a nice touch.

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Raven commented on a list
Vampyre Literature (16 books items)

"None at all and I'm not exactly active on here anymore anyway. Besides my list was more books I'd read and wanted to read. Thanks for voting."

13 years, 7 months ago
Raven commented on a list
Australian Films (50 movies items)

"Yeah I'm not really updating my lists anymore and I was only adding ones I watched or was interested in."

13 years, 10 months ago


Posted: 11 years, 7 months ago at Jul 11 8:18
I'm working on a new project and you're part of it! If you want, you can check it out: www.listal.com/list/most-valuable-listal-players-sorted
Posted: 12 years, 3 months ago at Nov 14 3:39
Posted: 12 years, 6 months ago at Aug 17 19:17
how are you? :) I would like to be your friend, you can see my profile and hopefully approve of me :) take care
Posted: 12 years, 9 months ago at May 25 20:24
Posted: 13 years, 5 months ago at Sep 23 14:48
Congratulations ! You have been introduced in the Listal's Hall of Fame !!!
Maybe you can have a look to this list and help me update your information ?
Posted: 14 years, 1 month ago at Jan 22 19:48
thank you for the vote ;)
Posted: 14 years, 10 months ago at Apr 13 10:28
Thanks for the vote :D
Posted: 15 years, 6 months ago at Aug 25 16:40
Don't worry. Was cool to have some feedback :)
Posted: 15 years, 6 months ago at Aug 23 21:45
I meant what I put shes not attractive on Dark Knight to me. Personal opinion and all that Jazz. I don't mind if you can't take it seriously, I've had various other people agree with me on Maggie Gyllenhaal being unattractive in this film. I would say she is attractive on other films but Dark Knight does not do her justice in my opinion. Her face looks worn and old looking, and droops. How do you expect me to find that attractive? :P

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I'm sticking to what I put because that's how I feel. When I say shes not attractive I mean exactly that, thus I wish everyone would be open minded to see people's opinions and see there point of view.

Anyway I'm not having a go, not at all, nice that you commented i guess, just seemed a tad rude in the way you put it across.
Posted: 15 years, 8 months ago at Jun 21 7:51
Thanks for the vote and comment on my review of "Lords of Dogtown". The section I was speaking of seemed to be a location where the teens broke into the yard to skate board in an empty pool and got invited for a meal by the lady of the house, but the man of the house came home furious and chased them out over the back fence. It lacked reasonable segue requiring the viewer to guess what the purpose was of even having the shot in the movie. Of all options, why didn't that scene stay on the editing floor?
Posted: 15 years, 9 months ago at May 19 10:21
Was just going over your austrailian film list. I saw a film on one of my courses back in Uni which i think was called 'Cecilia'? A girl with a vivid imagination who was frightened of mythical Hobiyahs (sp?). Do you know of it at all? I could never find it on IMDb or here.
Posted: 15 years, 11 months ago at Mar 31 2:24
Thanks for the vote, I try to keep my reviews mildly entertaining and informative.
Posted: 15 years, 11 months ago at Mar 26 2:43
Thanks for the review of Orwell's 1984. Another online friend of mine is reading it right now. For some reason this book's slipped by me over the years. I need to get it. Oh, and thanks for your vote on my Gojoe review.
Posted: 15 years, 11 months ago at Mar 22 13:52
Its a little bit longer than I Am Legend but not by much. There is only so much you can write about one man's perspective at the end of the world....i guess.
Posted: 15 years, 12 months ago at Mar 9 1:28
Ah it was great wasnt it? Do you remember the ones where he'd draw a giant portrait with salt in an entirely black room.
Posted: 16 years ago at Feb 27 14:15
Haha, thanks for the comment...nice to know there are still real film fans out there.
Posted: 16 years ago at Feb 23 2:01
Oo really
Byt how would they find it offensive
Posted: 16 years ago at Feb 23 1:47
Just look it up online and see if you are interested in it
Posted: 16 years ago at Feb 22 4:10
Ay man did you try the book?
Posted: 16 years ago at Feb 13 5:31
Ay no problem man