The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine #2) by: James Dashner

“Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life—and the world—completely upside down.
He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine—and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.
Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.
The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. 
And the takeover has already begun.” -Goodreads

There were a lot of books in 2014 that I had high hopes for. Some came through others though fell flat. In my review of The Eye of Minds I basically summed down my experience as: it sucked, but the ending was worth it and that I would be looking forward to the second book. Now that I’ve read the second book I have to say it’s exactly the same.

I don’t know what is going on with Dashner, well I have a vague idea, but I’ll get to that later. I will admit that the Maze Runner series wasn’t perfect, but it was good, it held my interest and told an interesting story and the writing wasn’t bad. Is it wrong for me to compare this work with that one? I’m pretty sure it’s not. The Rule of Thoughts does have an interesting concept idea it’s just that Dashner’s execution is very much lacking. The writing style still has this feel like he’s a newbie debut writer which was exactly how I felt in the last book. The characters are flat, the locations are generic, and the plot is just plain boring.

I think Dashner’s problem is that maybe he’s writing a story about a topic that he might not know too well and is therefore very hesitant with it. Gaming and computer lingo are pretty instrumental if you want to give off the feel that you are writing about games and computers. This is where his shortcomings seem to be coming from. The only words that he uses are hack and code and I’m just like “Okay… what type of hacks, what types of code?” Surely Dashner wouldn’t find it too difficult to pick up a computer book and do a little bit of researching.

My thoughts are kind of going like this, what I want is Log Horizon what I’m getting is .Hack//Sign. Anyone else feeling the same way?

So, yeah, overall the story sucked just like the last book, BUT…. I still want the third one because of that ending. It’s just like he knows the book sucks so he’s just like “Yeah, I’ll hit them hard with that exciting cliffhanger so they’ll go read the next book.” I just kind of want to bang my head against the wall because unlike for this book I am having no expectations whatsoever for The Game of Lives. It’ll suck like the Rule of Thoughts and the Eye of Minds, but hopefully the ending will be somewhat decent like these two.

My final thoughts are that I wished I’d never started this series, but now I feel somewhat invested in it. I rate it 2/5 stars.

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The Finisher by David Baldacci (Vega Jane #1)

Book Review of The Finisher by David Baldacci. YA-MG. Published 2014. Action, Fantasy.

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left.

Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining.

But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.” -Goodreads

Most YA books you read that are told from a girl’s perspective (and this is a large majority) the girls in question are either whiny, annoying little twits who need everyone to help them achieve their goals or they are in the complete opposite of the spectrum and are a powerhouse of energy that is so completely unbelievable it’s stupidly unrealistic. And of course, since we’re talking YA here there’s always a boy which the previously stated powerhouse will fall in love and become completely useless without said boy, the whiny girl on the other hand won’t have a boy, she’ll have boys because love triangles are so popular and are an actual thing in real life. In The Finisher the main character Vega Jane is neither of these, kind of.

In the beginning Vega is very average considering her situation. And I can actually say this with complete honesty. She is average. She is not some whiny girl wanting to rise up against the government, she’s not some completely unrealistic powerhouse who is actually plotting to achieve something. She’s a girl who’s taking care of her little brother in their parent’s absence, she’s going to work at a factory as a finisher (Ha, look it’s the title), but wait, what is this her best friend is a guy, oh no!, but not really, because if you can imagine it for a YA she’s not in love with him! OMG, I think the world just broke.

Now you’d think that with all of this normal, realistic stuff going on she would be boring, but you’d be wrong. Vega Jane is actually pretty interesting and I have to hand this Baldacci, he did an excellent job at creating a character that is both realistic and awesome. Vega’s got some spunk and she’s not afraid to throw down with the men if they insult her or her friends. My only beef with her is that she’s actually pretty naive and trusting with the people she knows are lying to her. Her council people persons, them, yeah, you know what I mean. She know’s that they’re lying about some things but then she still believes and trusts everything they say and I’m just like “Are you a complete moron?” but then I just kept reminding myself that she has only had schooling till she was like thirteen and she’s grown up admiring these councilmen so why would she not trust them? It still annoyed me though when it seemed like Baldacci was purposefully dumbing her down. But by the end she wisens up and kind of becomes one of those aforementioned powerhouses (it has yet to be seen if this will actually come to pass)

Speaking of Baldacci, the writing in this book was pretty awesome, okay scratch that, what he’s writing about is pretty awesome. The setting and storyline that he invented is completely wow. The creativity and imagination he used for this fantasy novel really rendered it well. However, his actual writing style, that was confusing as fuck. Listen, if you have to have a glossary in the back of the book then you’re doing something wrong. If you’re glossary isn’t actually helpful in anyway you’re definitely doing something wrong. Trying to decipher this guy’s made up and (I think) british lingo was super taxing. It was like trying to translate Gavin speak except an entire books worth. (Gavin Free from Achievement Hunter for those who don’t get the reference.) But despite that I still enjoyed his writing, Wormwood was so vividly described I can imagine it and it’s inhabitants to the tee, and the impressions are definitely long lasting (considering I’m doing this review half a year after I read it) I can still remember all of the character and places, albeit not exactly the names… This book was really well done.

However, that ending filled me with a certain sense of foreboding. Dare I say it, there might be a love triangle on the horizon. Uh! But Baldacci might continue to amaze me and not do that at all, I’ll just have to wait and see. Overall this story was really good. The plot was interesting and held my interest pretty well. The book is actually intended for MG so I think the author did a good job making it enjoyable for people who are not in MG. The writing, a bit confusing, but worth it to read about the unique characters, creatures, and places that Baldacci describes with first class imagery. The book left me, while at a cliffhanger, not about to weep or throw the book against the wall, but still excited and anticipating the next book. That’s a good way to end a book.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Tokyo Ghoul (2014)

The story of Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, a woman who is revealed to be a ghoul, a human-like creature that hunts and devours human flesh, and is taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that somehow he underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul, and just like them, must consume human flesh to survive as well. With no one else to turn to, he is taken in by the ghouls who manage the coffee shop “Anteiku”, who teach him to deal with his new life as a half-human/half-ghoul, including interacting with ghoul society and its conflicting factions, while striving to keep his identity secret from other humans. -Wikipedia

Tokyo Ghoul has become one of my favorite new animes of 2014. This year everywhere I  look I keep running into new animes that look fantastic and this one definitely has to be up there on the top five of most awesome.

Our story revolves around Kanaki, a human who becomes a half ghoul after a fateful encounter with the beautiful Miss Rize. Afterwards his life is thrown into a world of chaos; from creepy people who want to eat him, the CCG who want to kill him, a ghoul named Jason who wants to “take from him,” and trying to protect and keep the secret from his BF Hide, Kaneki has a lot to worry about and his life isn’t getting any easier when he has to deal with the hunger and taste preferences that comes along with being a ghoul.

The anime has a lot of good attributes going for it, the animation is completely amazing: vivid and pulsing with life (except for all those pesky censors), the music which is how I first got interested in Tokyo Ghoul, the characters that really come to life on the screen, and my god that ending.

That ending is really what pushed my interest from like to love on this series. Throughout the entire show Kaneki is put into a lot of stress over the moral obligations of humans and ghouls. He’s basically your normal character who can’t stand up for himself and would rather take a beating than harm anyone including his enemies even if that means some of his friends die in the process. These are his moral convictions: “It’s better to get hurt than to hurt others.” Through, ghostery, mind sharing, or insanity, Miss Rize comes back at the end to make Kaneki reevaluate those convictions. She makes him see that all the pain he’s in, all the pain that’s happening to the people around him, are his fault. This is basically what we’re always screaming at our protagonists with no back bone, “Stop your ‘righteous’ bullshit and just kill the villain!” Miss Rize tells him that in essence he chose to be in the terrible situation that’s happening around him because he refused to do anything about it. Yes! Thank you writers for pointing this out. Whether Kaneki takes her words to heart or keeps to his hero complex I will not spoil, but the ending was perfect and there’s already a season two planned to come out in January.

This show did have it’s faults I will admit, but none that were too overbearing in my opinion. One thing that really did annoy me was how much fanfare there is for Kaneki’s masks when I think he only wore it maybe twice, and thats’ a big maybe, it might have actually been only worn once, I can’t really remember. Considering the fact that that mask is in almost every single piece of fan art and you can actually buy a replica of it, it’s pretty bad that I can only recall one occasion when he wore it. Another thing were the censors, some of those censors were just stupid and really shouldn’t have been there at all. Through most of the show we’re treated to black blobs, flashes of white light, screen cut-offs, and scenes in negative so as to not show all the blood and gore. It’s pretty ridiculous. One more thing that bugged me, what exactly are kagunes? That’s something that was never explained and I don’t think it ever will be… just- I really don’t understand them and quinques? How do those works? Questions I really want answers too, but, honestly, the shows good enough for me to ignore those minor things.

Overall, the show is free to watch on Hulu, so just go stream it now, it’s awesome and I hear the manga’s better, so that’s something to look at, and season two is right around the corner so now is the perfect time to watch it.

http://www.hulu.com/tokyo-ghoul

And to give you a little taste here’s the opening theme that originally got me interested in the show after I watched it while surfing youtube.

The opening song is literally my favorite song of all time right now. It’s called Unravel by: TK from Ling Toshite Sigure.

The Three Musketeers by: Alexandre Dumas

“The Three Musketeers tell the story of the early adventures of the young Gascon gentleman d’Artagnan & his three friends from the regiment of the King’s Musketeers – Athos, Porthos & Aramis. Under the watchful eye of their patron M. de Treville, the four defend the honour of the regiment against the guards of the Cardinal Richelieu, & the honor of the queen against the machinations of the Cardinal himself as the power struggles of 17th-century France are vividly played out in the background. But their most dangerous encounter is with the Cardinal’s spy: Milady, one of literature’s most memorable female villains.” -Goodreads
This story had me enraptured from the first page. From cover to cover it was witty, funny, and exciting. Dumas kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat and despite his characters being more than a hundred years old I still felt a strong attachment them. This speaks volumes of the strength of Dumas’ writing prowess. At some points I could hardly sit still in my seat, I was laughing out loud while reading about d’Artagnan and his fateful encounter with each musketeer in turn and all their misfit adventures. At times I found myself holding my breath and gripping the book tightly as I read about our heroes daring fights, near death experiences, the betrayals they experienced, and the pains they all went through. The story starts fast-paced and doesn’t slow down until the last page and Dumas’ third person point of view allows the reader to really view the action from all sides. This book can only be described as one of a kind. I truly loved reading this story and would recommend it for anyone who is interested in a classic.
This book had excellent and engaging characters, the writing was above superb, and the plot was exciting and fast paced. Given the chance I will gladly read the sequel and the triquel. I rate this book five out of five.

Under the Dome 1×12 Exigent Circumstances

For the first time on this blog I’m going to write an episode review. This review is going to contain spoilers so beware.

As you might know last night I was baking cinnamon rolls, I had everything timed perfectly so that they would be in the oven by nine o’clock and I could watch Under the Dome on my t.v. when usually I just watch it on my laptop. Last Night, though, the most awful horrific thing happened, at 9 P.M. when I turned on the t.v. I saw not Under the Dome, but Big Bang Theory. Now I’m pretty sure that everyone who was just tuning into CBS at that time was flipping out as much as me because last episode was genuinely awesome and left off at such a cliffhanger I was super excited for this episode.
Quick back track, in the last episode Julia got shot and it was the most adorable thing just watching Barbie saving her life while Joe was there to help. After making sure Julia was okay Barbie went off to see Big Jim so they could get Maxine and turn her in, but instead Big Jim kills her and her henchmen and then frames the murders on Barbie. Barbie is then forced on the run with Julia stuck in the hospital. While all of that is going on the four kids, Joe, Norrie, Angie, and Jr., go to a certain spot at the dome and receive a vision of them killing Big Jim.

Now after reading that you can imagine my anguish over the cliffhanger and how ecstatic I was for it to be Monday. Eventually Under the Dome started, but it wasn’t until halfway through the episode at ten that an announcement scrolled at the bottom of the screen saying that the news would be starting thirty minutes late because of a tennis game that lasted to long. I sais “Wow, that would have been nice to know before Under the Dome started so I wouldn’t have been having a meltdown about it starting late.

Anyway, the episode was completely awesome, Barbie risked his neck to save Julia, who was in a coma, from Big Jim, and he kissed her and said that he loved her and Clara, my sister, who hasn’t even seen all the episode agreed that they were completely perfect. Barbie then let himself be caught so that Angie (who was helping with the rescue) could drive the get away ambulance. I am completely shipping them.
The mini dome, meanwhile, is glowing red and making a screeching noises, probably because Barbie got caught and Big Jim plans on killing him.
At the end of the episode I was screaming at television set “Say it! Say it! Say it! Not Guilty! Say it!” and then Barbie says “Not Guilty.” All suave in front of his lynch mob and I’m just like *TEEHEEHEEHEE*
Least to say I hope the finale next week doesn’t end in one humongous cliffhanger that leaves me sobbing on the floor *Cough* Doctor Who, Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons, Arrow, Haven *Cough* *Cough*