Thursday, 29 June 2017

My last 5 books: Fantasy, sci-fi and vampires

1. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin. I've been meaning to read this for ages, basically since the first season of Game of Thrones aired, but I didn't get around to it until now. And it was amazing!! I am always sceptical towards a TV show or movie based on a book, because I know they've probably had to cut a lot out, but with Game of Thrones I was surprised at how closely the TV show had followed the book. Things like feeelings and backstory are always easier to portray in books, and there's a lot more of that in the book. Which I really enjoy, because it gives more depth to the characters. I don't have all that much more to say about it. It's amazing; there's more backstory than in the TV show; read it!

2. Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin. The second book that I got off of BuzzFeed's vampire book list. This was written before ASOIF, and one can tell just how much his writing has evolved from this to ASOIF. I really enjoyed this take on vampirism. It's a version that even 30+ years later isn't all that common, and it was a nice change. A world where vampires are a completely different race from humans. Humans can't become vampires and very few of the mytological tricks to keep vamps at bay actually work. The main character is Abner Marsh, and all he dreams of is to own the biggest, fastest steamship on the Mississippi, along comes Joshua York who offers him a chance to do exactly that. But Joshua is odd, and dark happenings seem to follow him around, Marsh grows suspicious and finds out the truth. Joshua is a vampire on a quest to cure the Red Thirst. This revelation sets both of them on a course of adventure that lasts decades. I enjoyed reading this book, but at the same time there was a lack of the feeling I get when a book is amazing. It didn't take over my mind or make my heart beat harder. But it was most definitely a good book.

3. Ascension, by Drew Karpyshyn. The second book in the Mass Effect book series. This one takes place after Saren's attack on the Citadel at the end of the first Mass Effect game. It introduces the Grissom Academy, which features briefly in the third game (and is mentioned in the second). Once again we follow Kahlee Sanders, who (alongside Anderson) was the main character in the first book too. She is now a teacher at the Grissom Academy. Grissom Academy is being inflitrated by Cerberus operatives, and when she finds out she embarks on a mission to keep Cerberus' objective from them, which includes escaping from them and go into hiding on the quarian Migrant Fleet. I really enjoyed reading this book, partly because of the unique insight into the workings of the Migrant Fleet.

4. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. This is a classic. I had no idea that the book the movie was based on was that old until I picked it up. The book, however, is nothing like the movie. Absolutely nothing. Not even in the slighetst. How is the movie allowed to carry the same name as the book? Neville wasn't a very likeable person throughout the book, but I guess that's understandable, and I did get sick of reading about his repetitive life (probably as much as he got living it), until Ruth showed up at the end. I really liked Ruth and I really liked finding out that the vampires were figuring out how to embrace their new physiology and making life work. I did notice some similarities between the plot of this book and modern day zombie stories, and I can't help but think that if this story had been written today it wouldn't be vampires that Nevilee was fighting, but zombies. But despite the slow beginnings and the confusing way that Matheson chose to show what had happened to make the world this way, I really enjoyed reading this book and I basically had to force myself to put it down and not finish it all in one sitting. But I don't agree with the horror label.

5. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer. Futuristic spin on classic fairytale. What's not to love? I loved this book, the world, the characters, the plot... All of it sucked me in and refused to let me go. Cinder was a badass girl that I could identify with, and I loved the twist that one of her stepsisters actually was her friend. I enjoyed puzzling together how this world came about (which isn't explained in-depth, because it simply isn't relevant to the story). Because it's a spin on a classic fairytale there are obviously places in the story where you know what's going to happen, but that didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and the story's twist was enough for it to be unrecognisable as Cinderella in several places. I couldn't put this book down (although I tried to make it last longer), and as soon as I was done I continued the story by reading Scarlet and placing the rest of the Lunar Chronicles on order so I could read the whole series.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Collector's Edition unboxing

Time for my second ESO Collector's Edition!!! :D If you want a look back then here's my unboxing of the original game.

I preordered the physical Collector's Edition back in April and thus I've played Morrowind since early access dropped at the end of May. But opening this box made my day :3

Opening the box the first thing you see is the Dwarven colossus figurine, with the game case tucked neatly on the side. I removed the game case. To get the figurine out of the packaging you had to lift the whole plastic thing it was tied to with metal strings. Remove the metal strings and get the figurine out of the box. Attach the spinning blades on the right arm and it's all set :) It's huge! Bigger than the Molag Bal figurine you got in the previous Collector's Edition!

The game is in a beautiful metallic case. Under the plastic that contained the figurine was the book. It's the journal of Naryu Virian, an NPC in ESO who shows up in two previous DLCs as well as in the Ebonheart Pact part of the base game. The book is in the same faux inbound leather style as the book in the previous Collector's Edition, and it's absolutely beautiful! I read the other one from front to back and I'm looking forward to doing the same with this one :3 The book contains the story of Naryu as she travels all over Tamriel in her mission for the Morag Tong, and accompanying the story is lots and lots of concept art.

With the book was also a map ov Vvardenfell. All the names on the map are in Daedric lettering and framing the map are pictures of Almalexia, Vivec and Sotha Sil.

When I picked up my Collector's Edition I was told that you got 25% off on the Collector's Strategy Guide if you bought it with the game, so I decided to pick that up too as it wasn't very expensive. But inside it is an extensive guide on builds and exploration etc etc etc. I'm really looking forward reading this from front to back! There was also a map ov Vvardenfell that came with the Strategy Guide. This map will be extremely useful in exploring Vvardenfell in-game. as it has pointers to where everything is, from quest-givers to unmarked locations and fishing spots.

So there we go with everything! :) Another Morrowind themed post will show up later when I have completed the expansion :3

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sweden Rock Festival 2017

On Tuesday morning we got into the car and drove south. We arrived in the afternoon and immediately set about raising our tents and exchanging our tickets for wristbands. When that was all done the party began. The first night was also the worst night. Lots of rain and wind. In the morning two tents were broken and three others had water in them. Only ours was whole and dry :) The worst was with the guy who had forgotten to zip the door closed before falling asleep; he had a small pool in his tent the whole next day xD

Wednesday was the first day of the festival. We only had one planned concert that day; Black Ingvars, which we went to, but we didn't see the whole thing.
After that it was party for the rest of the evening. When the rain returned we called it a night and went to sleep.

Thursday was the big day for concerts. Already at 1pm I was listening to my first concert of the day; Apocalyptica. Haven't listened overly much to them before, but they were really good and I don't regret going. Directly after Apocalyptica we went and watched some songs by Iced Earth.
After that we returned to the camp for some more partying. Before I went back to a long row of concerts. First was Alter Bridge. It was the same with them as with Apocalyptica - I haven't listened overly much to them, but I've liked what I've heard so I went to see them. After that we met up with more people from the camp to see Steel Panther. That was an absolutely amazing concert! Though I wish they had played Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World.
After Steel Panther we seated ourselves against the fence around the stage and awaited Edguy. The two largest stages are so close to each other and they have big screens on the sides so we could easily sit there against the fence of one stage and watch Aerosmith perform on the other stage. It was magical when they started playing I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. The whole area was singing along, not just the people in the crowd watching Aerosmith, but literally the whole area, including us waiting by the other stage. At five past midnight Edguy came on and gave us the best show of the year. Tobi was amazing as usual ♥
I was at the very front, fangirling my heart out with another girl from camp and it was magical. Towards the end the rain started drizzling again, but nobody left the concert. And then they finished with King of Fools and I cried. We went back to camp, soaked by the rain and with acheing throats.

On Friday we had no concerts planned until the evening and so the whole day was dedicated to partying. In the evening Toni and I went inside the concert area to see Ratt. I only knew one song by them, but Toni knew a bunch and I really liked their sound.
Directly after Ratt we met up with some people from camp to watch Scorpions. Scorpions, imo, was the biggest disappointment of the year. The singer's voice hadn't aged well, and the crowd didn't seem impressed and the band didn't seem able to get us all going. Not even Wind of Change ellicited the same response as Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing. Neither did Still Loving You or Rock You Like a Hurricane. After Scorpions we returned to camp and went to sleep.

The sun was relentless on Saturday. It was the last day and I didn't really have anything planned this day. That is until I found out that the special project called Sweden Rock Symphony Orchestra that played this day would feature Tarja Turunen. That meant I had to go xD So I went in there and watched the Orchestra play well-known metal songs accompanied by a rock band and five well-known singers: John Lawton (Uriah Heep), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen), Tarja Turunen (solo, Nightwish), Dan McCafferty (Nazareth), Peter Tätgren (Pain, Hypocrisy), and Joacim Cans (Hammerfall). I was mostly interested in Tarja ofc and when she started singing Nightwish's Nemo, the crowd went wild. Dan McCafferty seemed ancient. He was the only one who didn't stand up or run around on stage. He walked out, sat down, and sang. But what a voice!!! And the crowd went wild when he sang Nazareth's Love Hurts. The most hilarious part was when Peter Tätgren came out and started to sing. Half the orchestra looked terrified of his growling. The old dudes playing the cellos didn't seem to know what to think, and the choir girls were hilarious singing Shut Your Mouth. And then Joacim Cans came out and sang Hammerfall's Hearts on Fire and the crowd went wild again. They finished the whole concert by bringing all the singers back up on stage and giving a rendition of AC/DC's Thunderstruck. It was amazeballs, all of it.
After the concert we met up with some people from camp and watched Rhapsody. We saw the concert from the side, since we huddled up in the shade of a tree with lots of other shade-seekers.
After the concert we went back to camp and started working on getting rid of the last liquor so we wouldn't have to carry any of that with us back to the car that night. There was also a debate on whether we should see In Flames or not. In the end we decided not to, and as to not have to force our way through lots and lots of people we decided to start the drive back home during their concert. Our designated driver had been sober the whole day. So we packed ourselves into the car and around 11pm we left the festival.

We arrived back home just before 6am and fell into bed completely exhausted. It's been an amazing year! See you in 2018! :D

Friday, 2 June 2017

May favourites 2017

Books: I read three books in May. The best one is the same as last month; A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

• AFI - "Miss Murder" & Alice Cooper - "Pain"

• The Almost - "Monster" & Alter Bridge - "Lover"

• Amberian Dawn - "Lost Soul" & CNBLUE - "Love is..."

• Crash Test Dummies - "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" & Daughtry - "Long Live Rock n Roll"

• Evanescence - "Made of Stone" & Sirenia - "The Path to Decay"

Games: I only played Mass Effect: Andromeda and Elder Scrolls Online this month. With the release of Morrowind on Early Access it's a complete tie.

TV shows: The Big Bang Theory, Agents of Shield, and Doctor Who. Easy choice.

Other: The company dinner at Jamie's Italian was great, and so was the summer party at Fotografiska for all of tourism Stockholm.