Happy Birthday to a dear friend

You are 20 today. Dearly loved and deeply missed.

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‘Book Haul’: 6/28

Sup bitmunchers!  I realize that today is our music day, but due to technical difficulties on my end, I am lacking in some resources right now, and for the forseeable future.  So what did I do today?  Yeah, I bought some books.  xp

There is a discount book store outlet where my sister works, so after dropping her off, I wandered over there and spent an hour in their fantasy section.  I found three books, so lets talk about it!

1. Heaven’s Net Is Wide, Lian Hearn

Paperback, Historical Fantasy20160628_160344

                As the story opens, the young Shigeru, heir to the clan, is eager to assert his authority and to face down treachery from within his own family and hostility from the far corners of the Three Countries.  As his youthful determination pushes the Otori inexorably toward war with the rival Tohan Clan – and their ruthless, scheming warlord, Iida Sadamu – fate appears to have some difficult lessons in store for Shigeru.

     – from the back of the book

It seems that this book is chronologically first while being canonically last.  I pick books based on cover first, description second, so I liked the cover on this one.  The story also takes place in Japan which I find super interesting.  It reminded me a bit of The Tale of Genji, but less intimidating.  One day I will read it.  I have never read anything from the Tale of the Otori series, so this will be my introduction.

2. THE DIVINER, Melanie Rawn

Hardcover, Fantasy20160628_160238

                It begins with Azzad al-Ma’aliq, lone survivor of the vicious treachery that destroyed his entire clan.  Saved by the mysterious desert healers known as the Shagara, Azzad must look beyond the haven they offer, driven by his burning need for vengeance.  For though the Shagara keep him safe from the seemingly endless stream of assassins his enemy sends after him, Azzad is convinced that the only way he will rid himself of this thread is by claiming the blood deb t owed his family.  Yet what Azzad cannot foresee is the price he and future generations will be forced to pay in their drive for revenge.

                For it is not until the time of Azzad’s great-grandson Qamar that this blood feud may finally come to an end.  Qamar has both the determination of the al-Ma’aloq and the inborn magic of the Shagara, and it is he who has the ability to fulfill his ancestor’s oath to avenge the slaughter of his family.  Because of his dual heritage, Qamar feels doubly trapped by destiny, until he encounters a beautiful young woman named Solanna Grijalva and a group of renegade Shagara.  Living in exile, these Shagara have abandoned desert tradition and developed a daring and unique type of magic.

                But will Qamar finally succeed in doing what generations of al-Ma’aliq men have failed to do?  Or will he bring into being an even greater threat than the one he is determined to eradicate?

     – from the book jacket

This is arguably the book I’m most excited about reading out of these three, and the one I did the least amount of screening for.  The cover reminded me of classic Dragon Lance books, especially those written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  When I picked this up I was trying to fill a sale pre-req, but ended up foregoing the sale.  Besides, this guy just looks so BA, I mean, dang son.  That sassy pose.

3. The Silvered, Tanya Huff

Hardcover, Steampunk Fantasy20160628_155929

                It began with the prophecy made by the Imperial Soothsayer, a prophecy that had Emperor Leopald’s army bent on conquering the small kingdom of Aydori.  For Aydori was ruled by the Hunt Pack – shape changers who took the form of wolves – and the Mage-pack – masters of the six disciplines: air, fire, water, earth, metals, healing.

                With its allies defeated, nothing stood between Aydori and the invading Imperials but its own troops, led by the Hunt Pack and aided by mage-craft.  What no one could have anticipated were the emperor’s new weapons – from hot air balloons, to highly destructive long-range rockets, to guns loaded with the silver bullets so deadly to the Pack.

                Even as his troops wreaked havoc on a broad front, the emperor sent a small group deep into Aydori territory to capture the six pregnant mages of the prophecy, using ancient magical devices that could nullify their powers, leaving them helpless prisoners.

                It should have been a foolproof scheme.  Captain Sean Reiter and his squad of Imperial soldiers easily captured five women of the Mage-pack, including the wife of the Pack Leader.  Yet the prophecy said they needed six mages.  So, while the majority of the squad head back to the capital with their prize, Captain Reiter and a smaller group continued the search.  And they came across Mirian Maylin.

                The daughter of a well-to-do banker and a social-climbing mother, Mirian had scored incredibly high in the testing, which won her a place at the mages’ university.  Yet after a year there all she had accomplished was to qualify at first level in five of the six disciplines when she should have been achieving mastery in one.  She hadn’t even informed her parents that she’d been told not to return for further schooling.  But when she witnessed the enemy capturing five women of the Mage-pack, Mirian had no choice but to head for the battlefront to report the kidnapping to the pack leader.

                On the way, she fell prisoner to Reiter and his men.  And it was only thanks to the intervention of the Pack Leader’s younger brother Tomas Hagen that Mirian escaped.  Tomas brought devastating news – news that sent the two of them on a desperate race to rescue the captured mages before they reached the capital.

                But even as they perused the squad, they were being perused by Captain Reiter.  While Mirian and Tomas journeyed through progressively more hostile lands, she worked relentlessly to improve her mage-craft and achieve control over her spells, leaving an all-too-obvious trail of incidents that could not be ignored.

                The Mage-pack captives themselves were doing everything they could to escape before the emperor could implement his horrific plans for them and their unborn children, but time was running out.  And even if Mirian and Tomas reached the capital before it was too late, what chance did they have against an ancient magic, the latest scientific advances, and a mad emperor’s entire army?

     – from the book jacket

While I edited the other two for length, I’ll just leave this whole thing here.  I may have been a little lax in my screening process.  The cover looked interesting, of course, and the wolf on the cover reminded me of my favourite misunderstood wolf protagonist Fell from The Sight, and Fell by David Clements-Davies (I highly recommend ALL his books, they’re amazing).  I read the first page or so and it made a good impression but I obviously did not read the jacket carefully enough, cause girl, that is just too much.  This is about werewolves vs Victorians (I’m only assuming that last part) which isn’t really my style, but hey, you gotta try new stuff, right?

Well, that’s all for today’s book haul.  I hope you all look forward to reading my reviews of these books whenever I read them and if you would like me to read one of these for my next Book Club series, let me know in the comments!

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here x33

‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 9-10 Supernatural activity, Death is meaningless except when it’s not

Welcome back to Hatchet’s Summer Book Club!  If you’re new, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

I’ve been silent for a while because my best friends got married!  So I was really busy and didn’t get the writing done that I thought I would.  Hence late night post of the book club!  Check out the previous post HERE and the next post HERE.

LETS GET TO IT!

Part One: The Deceived

NINE: The unthinkable, Spirits of the Whisperheads, Compatible minds

So we begin chapter nine with Sadie and Loken.  Sadie has been interviewing Loken as his own kind of personal historian and  she has SIX HOURS of content to go through.  You mean to tell me that Sadie had to listen to six hours worth of chapter 1 quality content?  That poor woman.  Sadie brings up the question of whether or not a person can be without fear and if you can isolate fear when engineering life.  According to Loken, the Astartes HAVE NO FEAR.  THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF FEELING FEAR.  THEY ARE IMMUNE TO FEAR.  I would like to know how Loken continues to FEEL FEAR.  WHY.  Sadie than addresses something that I find wrong with this very book.  It is boring.  There is an overabundance of descriptions and a severe lacking in the emotion department.  Somehow the author understands that humans like emotional context but failed to give their story an emotional context.  What the heck Abnett.  Loken then tries to tell a story with better emotional context and fails miserably, only illustrating the continuing lack of respect the Imperium has for anything.

We are then taken back to the Whisperheads where Loken continues to defy all common sense and FEELS FEAR.  He feels this impossible fear because Jubal is crazy and kills people.  They fight, and Loken eventually wins.

Checking back in with the remembrancers, we find them visiting the landing site of the Stormbirds, which is as close to the battlefield as they are going to get.  This is frustrating for our beloved Keeler who complains to Sindermann who is just like, yeah, sorry babe.  We are introduced to two more remembrancers who I guess will be important now since they were named.  Vipus shows up to take Sindermann to Loken, prompting Keeler and her two new best friends Krasten and Flora (both males) to follow.  They are super sneaky-sneaks!

Sindermann gets a  complimentary tour of the battlefield as Vipus leads him to Loken.   Loken tells Sindermann that Jubal killed the Hellebore squad and 6 members of Brakespur before Loken killed Jubal.  The official report of course will be that nothing bad happened.  They discuss the possibilities of spirits and possession to which Sindermann is like naw, infections man.  Jubal then wakes up.  Holy crap Jubal is a zombie.  So, zombies are a thing now!

Actually it sounds like Jubal is a Necromorph.   So, Dead Space + Metroid then.  Sweet.  I love Metroid and I’ll probably like Dead Space so, yeah.  I can just imagine Samus and Isaac hanging out and having a grand old time killing space things.  And why not, yet’s add Ripley in there too since she’s basically Samus’ mom.  So the Jubal-Necromorph finds Keeler & Krew© and kills Kransten.  No, not Kransten!  He was…a dude…  Flora and Keeler are left and are running away from Jubal when he turns into some sort of Zombie-Dog-Man?  Weird.  Flora get’s eaten and then…  No.  NO.  Abnett don’t you dare.  You cannot do this to me.  I will never forgive you if Keeler dies.  I will go all Liam Neeson on you if she dies.

TEN: The Warmaster and his son, No matter the ferocity or ingenuity of the foe, Official denial

Loken killed Jubal again I suppose.  I mean, they cremated it and everything, but I bet that can’t even stop these zombies.  OMG.  KEELER LIVED!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m so happy.

HORUS pays Loken a visit to make him feel better but Loken is sad now because everything he knew about his life is falling apart.  HORUS imparts some info to our good hero.  It turns out there is this thing called the Warp, a somewhat sentient being that likes to mess with humans.  Kind of sounds like a god.  I’m wondering why do these people hate gods so much?  They basically believe in one, aka, the Warp.  HORUS goes on to explain that ‘deamons’ and ‘spirits’ imply intent.  The Warp INTENTIONALLY messes with people.  HORUS says it PICKED JUBAL.  I DON’T UNDERSTAND.  HOW CAN THE WARP INTENTIONALLY MESS WITH PEOPLE WITHOUT HAVING INTENT??  I mean, the Imperium clearly believes in the supernatural.  They have to the way the warp was described.  Dang, where in Hell are those two brothers anyway, I need some back up.

*end tirade*

So the Warp can possess vulnerable people.  What makes you vulnerable could be anger like Jubal, or being merely human like the rest of the world.  So there is obvi nothing weird going on here.  No supernatural things at all.  Nope.  Totally normal and scientifically sound.

The Emperor is away doing things which is why HORUS is the Warmaster.  Apparently Loken is his son, which I have a hard time believing, but that’s what the sub-titles told us.  Anywho.

Sadie appears again, reminding us that she is Loken’s very bestest friend.  Turns out that Ig survived!  Like, even though he stopped breathing.  I mean, that’s possible, and cliff hanger chapter endings aside, he’s still alive?  I guess he’s a much more important character than Kransten and Flora were.  But this explains why Sadie wasn’t with the other remembrancers.  So that was wrapped up rather neatly.  Uh, yeah.  So, end of Part One!

WHEW.  We made it!  This book isn’t really what I thought it would be, but the story has gotten more interesting as we have progressed, which I appreciate.  There have been some moments that have made me cringe  when it comes to writing style, word usage, and the like.  It’s entertaining to say the least, and it drives Kiddo crazy (she’s a Creative Writing/English major) which is also entertaining!  Love ya sis!  Next week we tackle Part Two: Brotherhood in Spiderland.  Wait.  No no no no no no no.  Spiders?  But, Abnett, Dan, why.  I don’t…but, spiders?

This has been Hatchet’s Summer Book Club, thanks for being here! x33

[Picture Source, I didn’t save the link Dx but I just googled Supernatural, so go crazy.  Yall got my joke, right?]

‘New Music’: Murder by Death in Big Dark Love

Hello Bit-munchers!  Welcome to a special Thursday edition of According to Hatchet.  This week we will be listening to Murder by Death, everyone’s favourite brand of Americana.  At least, my favourite.  Let’s get the deets!

Murder by Death was founded in Indiana around 2001 and named after the film of the same name, which I’ve been told is similar to Clue, so I’m assuming it’s highly recommended.  We have Adam Turla on vocals and guitars, Sarah Balliet on cello and keys, Dogan Thogerson on drums and various percussion, Matt Armstrong on bass, and David Fountain on piano, percussion, mandolin, banjo, and vocals.  Here is an excerpt from their biography on their FaceBook page:

‘On the surface, Murder By Death is a Bloomington, IN quintet with a wry, ominous name. But behind the geography and moniker is a band of meticulous and literary songwriters matched by a specific brand of brooding, anthem-riding balladry and orchestral indie rock.’

Big Dark Love is MbD’s seventh studio album, although they have several cover albums which can be found on their bandcamp page.  I was introduced to Murder by Death a few years ago when I was in college and immediately fell in love with Turla’s croon and the cello they incorporated into their music.  The first album I heard was Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon an album full of folky meanderings and lyrics.  For someone who hates country music, I sure do love southern folk/rock/Americana/ect. stuff.  Or really, just southern dudes/gals in general.  When I found out that Big Dark Love had come out last year I was quite peeved I hadn’t noticed.  Regardless, this album only continues the quality of music I’d expect from this group.  The opening track ‘I Shot An Arrow’ immediately draws you in, it’s so catchy.  ‘Natural Pearl’ feels like the epitome of folk music and I love it.  I highly recommend this band and all of their albums.

Whoooo.  Well, I’ve managed to post this on Thursday.  Technically it’s still Thursday.  I really need to write ahead xp

This is According to Hatchet, thanks for being here!

[FaceBook | Bandcamp | Website ]