Friday, 21 July 2017

My last 5 books: The Lunar Chronicles with some horror on the side

1. Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer. I didn't like this one as much as Cinder, probably because I was never a fan of Scarlet as a character, and also because this book was extremely predictable (and not just because of the fairytale thing). Also, I'm really not a fan of the kind of romance that's in Scarlet that's so common in YA and fanfics, the really fast-paced but very pained one. "I like him, but I probably shouldn't, and does he like me, should I just go with it, but we haven't known each other for very long, this probably isn't a good idea, we are so not good for each other, but omg I like him so much and I suspect he likes me too, omg, what should I do, waaah~~" Ffs. The really good parts of this book were the ones with Cinder, Thorne and Kai in them, there were also some nice glimpses of Scarlet and Wolf when their budding romance wasn't so very painful to read (most of the time I was afraid my eyes would get stuck in the back of my skull reading about them). But yes, Cinder and Thorne saves this book, big time, and they are also the reason for the unreasonably high grade I gave this book on Goodreads.

2. Yuko, by Jenny Milewski. I had really, really high expectations for this book. Swedish story, in a Swedish setting, by a Swedish author, but with a Japanese ghost story twist. Seeing as The Grudge is the only horror movie that has ever given me nightmares (and recurring ones at that!) I was expecting some spine-thrills. I got annoyances. This story takes place in the 90s, before mobile phones, when the phones were actually plugged into the wall, and there's this one guy in the entire dorm that has a computer, and they still play records alongside CDs. A girl finally gets a room in a dorm after having rented a couch from a family in the university town. She moves in right away, only to discover that a Japanese exchange student had killed herself in the bathtub of her room. From here it's just a long repetition of scenes taken directly from The Grudge and put into print, mixed with some drunken university scenes. From the mysterious shoes thrown everywhere in the hallway, to the patter of bare feet to clumps of hair coming out of the drains and from inside newly opened butter packages (butter instead of eggs). Even the scene where the ghost crawls over the main character under the cover of the bed is described in detail. All of it was so extremely obviously copied from the movie. And then the dorm buddies decide to put the ghost to rest, by stealing her unclaimed body from the morgue and giving her a proper burial. All the while reading this I felt like yelling "you can't apply Western logic to Eastern myths!" and ofc it didn't work. The main difference between Eastern and Western horror is that in Western ones there's always a safe place you need to get to and there's always a way to defeat the evil. That's not the case in Eastern horror. There is no safe place. There is no end. You can't defeat it. It's never over. Ever. And that's why it's so scary. You're completely helpless in the face of this evil- There's nothing you can do. You're doomed, and you will die. That's the feeling I was looking for in this book, and I was sorely disappointed.

3. 30 Days of Night, by Ben Templesmith. Omnibus of the three comics making up the 30 Days of Night series. I really liked the story in this, but I thought the artwork was too odd and too messy. The setting of the Alaskan winter and the long night, is the same kind of setting that was used in the first Swedish vampire movie. I like the twist of the vampire legend in this story, and I liked the idea of the main character of trying to bring the truth about vampires into the public knowledge. Not much more to say about this book. I liked the story, didn't really like the artwork, but it made for a few enjoyable hours.

4. Cress, by Marissa Meyer. The best book in the Lunar Chronicles alongside Cinder! Probably because I absolutely adore Cress and I love to watch her grow as a person. I love every single part of the story in this book. It's fast-paced, it's never boring, and it keeps twisting. It made me laugh out loud a few times, because their plans always turn out ludicrous, but yet always work (duh!) and the reaction of Kai when he discovers he's been kidnapped by Cinder is amazing. And Torin definitely grew in my eyes and gained a whole other aspect to his character in this book. I loved every single moment between Cress and Thorne and between Cinder and Kai, and the never-changing comic-relief in Iko was especially on-point in this book. I kind of, sort of, actually cheered a bit when Cinder defeated Sybil Mira. But, yes, probably the best book in the series.

5. Winter, by Marissa Meyer. This final installment of the Lunar Chronicles, was good, but loooooong. And there were to many times were I thought "now the rebellion starts!" And then it didn't, then we got to a point in the story later on and I thought "now the rebellion starts!" And it didn't again. I think that happened three or four times before the rebellion actually happened, which was mostly annoying. At first I found Winter adorable, but the more I saw of her character the more annoying she got. Scarlet really improved for me in this book, though. From not liking her at all in her own book, to kind of actually enjoying reading about her in this one. Confinement suits her :P

So that happened...

So almost two weeks ago both of our computers decided to go on holiday. I'm currently on my ancient laptop, which is extremely slow doing anything and everything. Playing any game newer than 2008/9 isn't possible.

On the 8th (Saturday) we had a party and everything worked great. Went to bed about 4 am and there was nothing weird. The next morning we wake up and I start up my computer, which is placed in the bedroom, and it worked fine. Played ESO for a little while. When Toni went to turn on his computer, though, we discovered that there was no power in the living room. Went to look at the switch board and discovered that the switch for the living room was off, which is most probably due to thunder. Flicked it back, and power came on. Toni's computer, however, started acting up. The computer turned on fine, but it couldn't find his monitors. Weird, but decided to wait until the day after to figure out what was wrong. Went out to dinner and when we came back I went to continue playing Trine 2. A short while into my session my computer lost connection to my monitor, and then it started sounding like an airplane taking off. Turned it off. Tried waiting for about 30 minutes and turned it back on. Everything was back to normal, until I turned the game back on and the same thing happened. I knew for a fact there was nothing wrong with the game, I had played it several times over several days earlier.

The next day (Monday) we decided to clean the inside of our chassis of dust, hoping that it would fix whatever problems we had. We even removed the fan of the processor in my computer to thoroughly clean it. But when we went to put the fan back, we couldn't. The plastic around the pegs just bent, and so we couldn't plop the pegs back into their holes. Broken processor fan, time to buy a new one. Only that we were going away in two days and it wouldn't arrive before that so we waited. After turning Toni'scomputer back on after the cleaning, one screen came on, but not the other. He tried to check the settings in BIOS, but there was no change. Tried changing which output the monitors were plugged into and nothing. And then for some reason when we turned on his computer the monitors both came on, but on a reset screen for Windows, prompting him to press enter to accept the reset process. Except that while that screen was on it couldn't find the keyboard or mouse. Starting the computer into BIOS and it found both keyboard and mouse fine.

So we have no idea what's going on with Toni's computer. He has some ideas, but nothing is fixed yet. As for mine, I'm hoping it was just dust. Otherwise the hardware update I had planned for this autumn will have to come a few months early. Because if it's more than just the dust (which is now cleaned out) and it still sounds like an airplane taking off after we've plugged in a new processor fan, then I'll just go with a hardware update. I've needed a new graphics card for a while, and if I get a new graphics card I'll need a new and more powerful power supply. And if I get both of those I might as well get replacements for my ancient harddrive and monitor.

It was just such a weird coincidence that my computer decided to turn strange the same day Toni's did. We think Toni's may be due to thunder, because the switch had gone off for the living room, but my computer was in the bedroom (different switch, which wasn't affected). It's just weird. And it's probably not a virus, since neither of us hade downloaded anything whatsoever in over a week or so.

So in the meantime, Toni is playing the new Zelda on Nintendo Switch (instead of Mass Effect Andromeda), and I'm playing Fire Emblem Awakening on my 3DS (instead of working on my huge backlog, which was my original plan for July). I did decide to bring out my anicent laptop, though, and clean out a whole lot of useless files on it as well as uninstalling a bunch of stuff and going through it with CCleaner, and it's actually slightly faster than when I first turned it on. That said, it's still going in tortoise speed, instead of snail speed.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

June favourites 2017

Books: I read five books in June. Granted that none of them were very big and most things were in Swedish, which makes for a very fast read. The best one I read was Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

• Alice Cooper - "Salvation" & "Wind-Up Toy"

• Avril Lavigne - "Give You What You Like" & Black Veil Brides - "Lost it All"

• Dark Sarah - "Dance With the Dragon" & "Rain"

• Elder Scrolls Online - "Stagger and Sway" & In Flames - "Scream"

• In This Moment - "Sick Like Me" & Lindsey Stirling - "Shadows"

Games: Only Elder Scrolls Online in June. But Morrowind was released!!!

Tv shows: American Gods, Buffy, Angel, Doctor Who. It's a tie.

Other: Sweden Rock Festival!!! :D