Month: February 2017

Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 24

Posted February 27, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)
  • Jelmer Holst (NL), Jaydon Holst (EN), Jaymer (both)
  • Mirna (NL), Sue (EN)
  • Burak Sayers (NL), Burak Şayers (EN)
  • Bert Aerendonck (NL), Burt Delarosa (EN)
  • Gemma Holst (NL), Griselda Holst (EN), Gemelda (both)
  • Kobus Mater (NL), Colton Mathers (EN), Colbus (both)
  • Jules Helsloot (NL), Justin Walker (En), Ju (both)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

In chapter 23: We finally learn concretely what happened to Tiy and Maxmatt. Also we see how our protagonists react to the tragedy that took both sons. Well, mostly. I mean one is still alive but in a coma, so let’s say that tragedy took both of them for now because Maxmatt might not make it.

Trigger warning for more descriptions of self-harm and graphic description of self-harm to eyes.

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Book Talk: Viral Airwaves

Posted February 24, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Viral AirwavesViral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault
Series: Viral Airwaves #1
Pages: 478

Henry Schmitt wants nothing more than a quiet life and a daily ration of instant noodles. At least until he learns the terrible secret that drove his father away—the Plague that killed his mother and ravaged his country was created by those now in power. His only chance to expose the truth is through a ragtag band of outlaws who knew his father and an airborne radio broadcast, but he’d have to dig into his family’s past and risk the wrath of a corrupt government

Also in this series: The White Renegade
Also by this author: City of Strife, City of Betrayal, The White Renegade

What to say about Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault? Well, for starters, that I had a blast with it and that I know the author from Twitter and will do my best to catch my own bias and point it out to you.

But let’s talk Viral Airwaves. It’s what’s called a solarpunk adventure. As I said on Twitter a while back, if you have a literary punch-a-nazi itch at any point: Viral Airwaves will scratch it very nicely. It’s a story that’s all about hope and positivity, so it was a perfect read for the world’s events in January and I recommend checking it out solely for the “ordinary people can do heroic things and have an impact” theme it carries. It’s gorgeous.

It also, I should note, comes with trigger warnings for explicit torture, witnessed suicide and mass murders through engineered pandemics.

And now! The obligatory cut! It’s been a while since I read it, so my memory of details is sadly a little hazy, but hopefully I can still convince you this is awesome. XD

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Book Talk: Radio Silence

Posted February 22, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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[book-talk]

Okay. So Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. This has been making a small splash in the aspec community because it explicitly includes the label ‘demisexual’ and a discussion of what demisexuality is.

I was obviously going to be ALL over that, because explicit and deliberate aspec representation is so rare. I was over that even more because I thought the aspec representation was #ownvoices. I’m… not sure it if because I can’t find anything saying so, but I want you all to understand the mindset I had when I went into this book. And I want you to know that this will be a critical review and, just in case you need a reminder, hi I’m demisexual and parts of how this book handled Aled’s demisexuality really upset me. Anyway. Let’s get on with this before I talk myself out of writing this entirely. More details behind the cut and such goodness!

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Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 23

Posted February 20, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)
  • Jelmer Holst (NL), Jaydon Holst (EN), Jaymer (both)
  • Mirna (NL), Sue (EN)
  • Burak Sayers (NL), Burak Şayers (EN)
  • Bert Aerendonck (NL), Burt Delarosa (EN)
  • Gemma Holst (NL), Griselda Holst (EN), Gemelda (both)
  • Kobus Mater (NL), Colton Mathers (EN), Colbus (both)
  • Jules Helsloot (NL), Justin Walker (En), Ju (both)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

In chapter 22: Ste and family have attempted to return to normal lives after the events that led to the public flogging of three teenagers who’d been working with Tiy on his OYE project. Creepiness of creepiness, someone has sneaked into Tiy’s bedroom in the middle of the night and played… something beside his ear. Repeatedly.

WARNING: This chapter contains graphic description of suicide and failed suicide.

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Kindness in Grief

Posted February 9, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Today’s post is going to be a little different, but hopefully it will be a positive thing that people will enjoy reading about. ^_^ I’d like to talk about moments of kindness I’ve encountered. Well, one moment in particular in this post. This first one is one that is… possibly dearer to me than most, for reasons that I’m sure will become clear later on.

I’d like to start off with a bit of a general note on the post. I hope to do more of this kind of post and just, hopefully, spread some cheer and goodness. (Disclaimer: I will be using the abolutely broadest sense of the word ‘kindness’. I just want to spread things that will hopefully spread some positivity.) While I have some personal posts to make, they’ll be either in the public sphere or very general. You see, while I like the idea of spreading a bit of positivity in the world, it also scares me. Not because I’m scared of saying nice things about people, obviously, but because I’m afraid people will feel left out. I have a memory that makes a sieve look watertight and in all likelihood I’ll forget some kindness I would like to talk about. Or it’ll be something where I just don’t have as many words to share as about another. And I’ll worry whether people will be upset that I don’t mention them or have the same amount of words for them. I don’t want to upset people! Especially not with a  project like this.

But some of those people would probably be upset if they were the reason I didn’t do these posts at all (if they knew) and I love them, so… Here I am. I have no idea how regular a feature this will be. Honestly, when I say that they’ll be in the public sphere I’m talking things like “It could be the nice person at the grocery store who decided to let me go first because they had a whole cart full of groceries and I only needed some toothpaste” too. Okay, so maybe that’s not an actually representative example, but it’s small and mundane things like that, just to remind us all that small kindnesses matter too.

So… First up, then, a more personal story. I should note that the story itself comes with warnings for a discussion of the aftermath of losing a loved one.

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Culture Consumption January 2017

Posted February 2, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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January’s list here is liable to be incomplete. I’m scheduling this quite a few days in advance just to be sure that the posting schedule isn’t messed up too badly by the move.

What I've Posted

What I've Read

Survival Rout by Ana Mardoll: My thoughts can be read here, but overall I just wasn’t a fan. I think that, as an ace spec reader, I just wasn’t part of the intended audience. T_T If you like (or don’t mind) romances that focus heavily on lust and the story as a whole sounds like your kind of read, do look into it. You’ll probably enjoy it far more than I did. ^_^ There’s a lot of diversity and a bunch of #ownvoices representation in it as well! It just… wasn’t my kind of book.

The Sea of Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett: Oh, to see Granny Weatherwax again. This was lovely and quite a lot of fun.

What I'm Reading

A Courtship of Dragons by Becca Lusher: Still a sweet little m/m interlude between books and as we wait for the edits she’s working on to be finished. I love how different Mastekh and Estenarven are. They’re both adorable in entirely different ways.

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: Still not a fan of this book, but we’re past the halfway point in every way you could possibly want to count it! WHOOHOO! GO ME. And may you enjoy all the lovely bits of infomation I’ve tried to pack into my attempt at entertaining commentary. You can now also find an index page for the posts here.

Rift Riders by Becca Lusher: We’re nearing the end of the book slowly and its already tense atmosphere is only getting tenser as the questions and secrets continue to pile up. Will we get some of the answers we’re hoping for before the book is done? Who knows! But we’ll definitely get a lot of action and a chance to worry about your favourite characters. (If your favourite character is silly nakhound Bumble, you can probably breathe easily, though. Probably.)

Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault: Henry is the most adorable noodle. I heart him. I’m enjoying this a lot. I would have liked to see the prose a little more tightened and polished, but the story is solid and entertaining and I have been happily recommending it to anyone and everyone. It’s just a lot of fun.

What I've Played

Thief ~ The Dark Project: Well, technically it’s Thief: Gold. I’ll be leaving behind my desktop for who knows how long, so I’ve been playing through some of the levels just to indulge in having a proper game computer at my disposal until I can figure out the move and everything associated with it. Such as how to safely transport a big desktop computer between countries. (Disclaimer: I am not looking for suggestions.)

Seven Kingdoms ~ The Princess Problem: YAY, more alpha content! Still enjoying this game SO MUCH. Aly’s also expanded the public demo to week 5 temporarily. The demo will return to its original length of 3 weeks of gameplay once it reaches Early Access stage. It was already pretty big and offering hours of replay value at 3 weeks. It’s only gotten bigger. Give it a try! As for me, I’m bemused by the way I’ve gotten attached to some of the temporary artwork and just don’t want to see it go.

What I've Watched

Things! I don’t even remember what I’ve been watching, but I’ve been watching things!

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Upcoming Plans February 2017

Posted February 1, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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This Month's Goals

I Want to Read:

  • Whatever strikes my fancy

I Want to Write:

  • Anything I can

February is just going to keep following the “I’m a little busy moving to make any kind of concrete plans on what I want to be doing creatively and for the blog” line that has been such a strong January thread. So… I don’t really have anything to say here except that I hope (obviously) that I’ll actually be able to settle into things more than enough to feel like I’m returning to normalcy by the end of the month, so I can make proper plans. We’ll see, though! We’ll see.

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