Book Review: The silence of six

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cover53405-medium*I received a review copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley.com

Before I begin this review I should warn you that this book doesn’t come out until the 5th of November. However I wanted to do this review now in order to submit it. I will be doing an update on the 5th of November that will link to this review.

The silence of six starts off right away. I read the first chapter and was already instantly interested. The story starts at a political debate located at a local high school. Max is a former hacker and student of the highschool. When a hacker that he knows hacks into the debate and posts a suicide video saying “What is the silence of six, and what are you going to do about it?” before shooting himself in the mouth. This leads max into re-entering a world which he thought he had left forever whilst running away from the government that has targeted him.

This book is very fast paced, a lot of stuff goes down. It is amazing how immersed I became just from the first couple of chapters. This is a book you will want to read in one sitting. There are some really cool aspects to this book. I don’t know why this entertained me so much but it uses a lot of references to different websites and programs that exist within the real world. Except for the main social network talked about the other programs are real. For me these little references actually made the story seem more realistic, its weird but i thought it added a nice touch. It goes into the hacking world a bit which I personally don’t have any experience with so I don’t know how accurate a representation it is.

The main theme in the book is cyber privacy and companies breaching it. This is quite a big issue in real life at the moment and this book actually makes direct references to the current issues. It also gets into hacktivists referring to the anonymous group. This book actually does make you think and their are a couple of plot twists where i had to stop for a moment and comprehend what i just read.  Something I found slightly scary is that this story could be true, it might be true who knows.

The characters are well rounded but it was the one thing in this book that just felt average to me. I don’t have any reason not to connect to them it just seemed a bit fake at times. Saying this it didn’t ruin the experience for me. The writing is very easy to read and is similar to many YA books. Even though it didn’t have that much sophistication it was a nice break from the rather intense plot line.

I loved this book and it is so fun to read. I gave it 4.5/5

Anime Review: Special A

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Special A is an anime that follows the top 7 students at a high school. These students are called the Special A and get special privileges within the school. They are all incredibly smart and specific talents; these talents range from being good with animals to singing. These talents and particular quirks that they have creates individuality for each character. The main character is Hikari who is the number 2 in the school. Throughout the entire series she attempts to surpass Kei (the number one student) in everything. This is a rivalry that started when they were young and first met each other. As the series progresses it begins to focus more on growing relationships between the characters. The plot is quite interesting especially when you get to find out a bit about each characters backstory.

First thing I want to talk about is the animation and design. The actual animation of this series isn’t anything extraordinary but is still good. It is very similar to something like Ouran Highschool Host Club, as it changes style to the emotions including going into chibi forms regularly. This type of animation is pretty common in these anime however I really liked it in Special A and it just suited. I really enjoyed the character designs as their was enough differences that you didn’t get characters confused however it  was realistic because no one has over the top features.

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Thats sort of where the positives ended for me. I disliked the main character because she is very ignorant and frustrating. Especially in the later half of the series you want to shake her and be like “HOW CAN YOU NOT FIGURE THIS OUT?!?!?!”. I don’t really think the side characters had very consistent or interesting personalities and it just irritated me. There are cute moments through out the anime but I found that Hikari just ruined them, A lot of time this was supposed to be humourous but it was just annoying. The humor through the series is mainly done by the exaggeration of strength or reaction. It was funny to begin with but it became tiring very quickly.

I liked the idea of Special A however in the end it just was frustrating to watch. I gave it 5/10

Expansion Review: 1849 Nevada Silver

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*I received a review copy of this game from SomaSims

I reviewed 1849 earlier this year and enjoyed it. Despite my enjoyment of it I found myself only playing it a couple of times after I had finished reviewing it. Originally I wasn’t going to review the expansion. However when I thought about it more and looked back upon my previous review and played the base game a bit more I decided to give it a go.

My problems with the base game where the lack of buildings you could place and the simplicity. This expansion helps both of those aspects by introducing more buildings and adding trains which gave the game an extra layer of depth. This game can be so much fun when you get into it. When I originally reviewed it I got a bit irritated by the two things mentioned previously which did dampen my overall experience, This expansion in my opinion puts this game one step higher. I still think it could have more buildings however there is enough variety introduced in this expansion to make the game feel much more complete and less like a mobile game.

In this expansion you get a whole new campaign to work through, one that is arguably quite a bit more challenging then the previous. It follows the same idea of the base game and comes with a new sandbox mode. One thing that I wanted to mention which didn’t occur to me in my original review was that there isn’t save slots, which ultimately means you can only have one save at a time.  Having the expansion does help a bit with this because you are able to have two save games, one with just base game, one with both base game and expansion. As I originally played the campaign then looked at sandbox mode I never had need to switch between them.

Overall this is a great expansion which I think is almost needed to enjoy the base game to the fullest. I highly recommend going out and buying both 1849 and its expansions.

Combining both the expansion and base game I give it 8/10. It really is a heap of fun to play

You can get 1849 and Nevada Silver from most major online game stores ($15 base game, $4 expansion).

The steam link is: http://store.steampowered.com/app/290970/

Manga Review: Baby steps

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For those who have been reading my blog for a while you may remember my review of the Baby Steps anime back in July when I had just found it. Since then I obviously kept up with the anime however it soon became necessary for me to read the manga because I was too impatient to wait each week for the anime. I am now up to date with the manga and if you are friends with me on goodreads you may have noticed that I added all of volumes last night.

Baby steps is a sports manga and anime about eiichiro an A+ student who decides to start tennis as a hobby. He begins to really enjoy and improve at a rapid but not impossible rate. This is really key as Baby steps is a more realistic take on sport then many similar manga. The fact that the main character can lose but be able to learn from his mistakes just makes this manga a really feel good manga. I enjoyed every arc I have read so far and am anxiously waiting for the next one to come out. There is a nice mix in this manga between tennis matches, training and character progression.

I really like all of the characters and the relationships that develop between them. This manga doesn’t rush things and changes to the characters are steady and realistic. They all have flaws and we view them in both their personal and tennis lifes (if they play tennis). As mentioned previously they all have to overcome obstacles and when they are able to get past them it is so satisfying as the reader. Even in some of the later chapters you have wanted both players to win the match because the manga allows you to empathize with the main characters AND his opponents.

The drawings are detailed enough without being over the top. I really liked the way that you can see in the movement in critical moments (as shown below). It is well thought out and you really feel like you are watching a tennis match despite it being in still frames.

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I definitely recommend this manga. 5/5 stars

Which Fantasy World Should You Live In?

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Kate's Reviews:

Really cool quiz that i saw on Lynette Noni’s blog (http://lynettenoni.wordpress.com/)

Originally posted on Lynette Noni:

The inner geek in me absolutely demands that I share this link to a quick, fun quiz. I got Narnia (woohoo!) – but I’m curious about what other world options they have. If you take the quiz and get a different result, please comment below and let me know of any other cool places they have listed! If someone ends up with something Harry Potter related, I’m so going back to change my answers until I come out with that! (Is that cheating? Lol).

You can check out the quiz by clicking here. (It only takes, like, 30 seconds, but it’s worth it!)

View original

Youtube Spotlight: LDShadowlady, Gingerreadslainey, Chibi Reviews

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LDShadowLady

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LDShadowLady is a a gaming channel on YouTube that focuses mainly on MineCraft. I never got super obsessed with MineCraft and I was so surprised when I found this channel and really liked it. The difference between LDShadowlady and other MineCraft let’s players is that she shows such a variety of content within the same game. Through the use of mods and servers she is able to create many different experiences for the viewer. I think this is such a great thing that she has been able to achieve. Even if you don’t like MineCraft I would see recommend checking out her channel as it may change your view. She posts every 1-3 days so you will always have some new content to watch.

Check out her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ldshadowlady/featured

GingerReadsLainey

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GingerReadsLainey is a booktube channel that started top 5 wednesday’s. Lainey is very passionate about books and always thinks of creative topics to talk about for top 5 Wednesday’s. She also does reviews, tbr, wrap ups and hauls. She has a great personality and isn’t over the top which some people are. I personally like this because it is almost calming to watch her talk about books. I really enjoy this channel to just relax and think about books.She posts 2-3 videos per week. I definitely recommend this channel.

Check her out at:  https://www.youtube.com/user/gingerreadslainey/featured

Chibi Reviews

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Chibi Reviews is a YouTube channel that focuses on reviewing manga and anime. Generally Chibi will follow certain series and then talk about the episode or chapter that was released that week (or month). I really like watching his reviews for series that I watch so I can see another opinion after watching the episode. It is also really good as he introduces you to a lot of new series that are current. He gives manga recommendations of exceptional manga in addition to the regular reviews.  He will post videos when new episodes/chapters are released. It varies from 1-4 videos a day, every 1-2 days.I recommend his channel if you like current anime/manga or if you are looking for something new to read or watch.

Check him out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChibiReviews/featured

Looking for recommendations: Foreign books

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Hi Guys

I need a book that is either a translation or set in a foreign country (so not Australia) for a speech for my English class. Preferably a book that isn’t too taxing to read as I have been in a bit of a reading slump. The aim of my speech is to convince the class to read the book (i know not the most original question)

Any suggestions are appreciated

Thanks :)

Anime Review/Thoughts: Sailor moon crystal

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Sailor moon. How to begin…

Sailor moon is an iconic series that follows usagi a girl who is granted magical powers in order to save the world from the evil beings of the negaverse. Sailor moon crystal is a reboot of the original series and a good one at that. I watched the american version of sailor moon as a kid and I was obsessed with it. I wasn’t sure how I felt when watching the reboot to begin with. I firstly had to get used to all of the Japanese names as the american version had changed some of the names. Once I got through that I was able to quickly get into this series without much trouble. The storyline is the same sailor moon we know and love. The first couple of episodes of these reboot are very similar to the original series which I loved because it was like a blast from the past. The pace of this reboot is much faster then the original series and their are a few variations for the original plot that I believe were in the manga but skipped out in the anime. This means that even if you watched sailor moon the original series there is still a bit more different content for you to watch.

The animation is a different style to the original however overall it just looks more modern. Usagi’s hair is a different colour to the original series which REALLY irritates me just because I don’t like the design choice. In my opinion her hair is to similiar to Sailor Venus’. Besides that the characters are all done very well and they have been given a fresh and exciting new look. The voice actors are overall very good however I did think that Luna and Usagi’s voices were a little irritating at times. Again this is something that improves the more you watch however I personally thought that Luna’s voice in particular doesn’t suit the character. The other thing that worries me is that the series is only supposed to have 26 episodes and I am worried that it will become an uncomplete reboot which would be upsetting.

Overall I am really enjoying Sailor moon crystal and would definitely recommend it to fans of the original series. I still think the original series is better however if you prefer a newer animation style definitely have a look into crystal.

8/10

Book Reviews: Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight and Pride and Prejudice: The graphic novel

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So today I am going to be writing about two completely different books that i have recently read.

Don’t Let’s go to the dogs: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

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Don’t lets go to the dogs: An African childhood by Alexandra Fuller is a memoir of her childhood in Africa (as the name suggests). It shows an environment full of shocking racism that was normal for her as a child. Her family has to deal with immense tradegy however they are in the end a very unified family. You find yourself confronted with a normality of terrorist attacks and bombs that even her childhood car trip songs refer to the blowing up of mines. The memoir gives you a taste of the intense racism and violence that was commonplace in her childhood. This book isn’t one for the sensitive as I found myself cringing countless time

Reading this book I enjoyed the stories of a life very different from my own, the memoir shows struggles that they deal with and makes me grateful for what I have. All of the stories which Alexandra tells are impacting and I found myself thinking about it afterwards. Written in a child’s voice it is a plain honest recount. There are moments of intense wisdom from the older Alexandra balanced with the innocence of a young Bobo (Alexandra fuller’s nickname as a child). Despite the interesting and engaging stories I found it a book difficult to get into, this memoir time jumps and it became very confusing and disorientating at times. I generally dislike lots of time jumps in books and this wasn’t an exception. Jumping from when Bobo was 6 to 14 then back to 9 makes it a hard book to become attached to reading.

I would recommend this book if it is something you think you would be interested in. I gave it 3.5/5

Pride and Prejudice: Graphic novel by Stacy King

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*I received this graphic novel from netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review

I feel obliged to warn you that I love pride and prejudice by Jane Austen and am very harsh on adaptions so bear that in mind whilst reading my thoughts.

This graphic novel is an adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This graphic novel follows the general storyline with a few differences. This graphic novel is a manga adaption, the style of drawings are very over exaggerated and represent the shoujo style. The most thing that I noticed that irritated me is that all of the detail is focused around the hair of the characters with very little on the settings. In pride and prejudice you visit so many wonderful manors and in this adaption they just are bland. This aspect of the novel dampened my whole view of it sadly. The language used is simpler then jane austen’s so I can see this being a good companion to the novel. I don’t have that much to say about this novel just because it was very bland and uninspiring for me. I personally wouldn’t recommend it however I do see where some people will enjoy it.

I gave it 2/5

Update, Info and General Chat

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Hey guys

So… I have been in a little bit of a writing slump (if there is such a thing) lately and taking a little bit of time off has helped. I am still not going back to my old schedule because I don’t really have the time for it (more about that later). Firstly I just wanted to update you guys on a couple of things that has been happening with 2 games that I have reviewed.

1849 the city building game (check out my review here) has been made into a mobile game. It is available at both the play store and itunes. It is currently priced at $5 and I have not played it but have heard good things about it. It doesn’t contain the free play mode however has the story mode. I personally believe this game suits mobile more then PC so if you are interested definitely check it out.

Also the Data hacker series has a new kick starter project called Data Hacker: Reboot. This looks like another great addition to the series (see my review for the previous games here) and my blog was actually mentioned on the kick starter page which is pretty cool (if i do say so myself). Click here for link to kick starter project.

As for reviews, I am going to be starting to write them again this week however I am going to be taking more time for each individual review so I can improve the quality and go more in depth.

Some Random things that has been happening in my life:

- I started a “challenge” with one of my friends to see how far we could get through the school library over the next 2 years (I’m started at first book of A and she is starting a last book of Z; lucky for her she gets to start with Marcus Zusak).

- Baby steps anime (review here) is officially my favorite anime ever,it is amazing. Every time I watch it I just feel inspired and motivated. I don’t normally watch sports anime but this past all expectations

- I have started running in the mornings

- I went up to the snow and skied yesterday which was so much fun

So yeah that was a bit of a random bit of info there. 

Can’t wait to start releasing reviews again :)

Thanks for reading!