An Ember in the Ashes 📕Review

I have a huge pipe dream goal of getting my forever in-progress original novel published someday. Unfortunately, I haven’t been much of a reader for most of my life. I’m improving my reading skill in order to level up my novel writing ability, and also trying to write book reviews for the things I read these days. This is one of my book review thingys… enjoy!

An Ember in Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: April 28, 2015

Don’t be fooled by the Young Adult genre thingy that this book fits into… this world is absolutely brutal. Slavery, torture, rape, and barbaric executions are the norm in the heartless Martial Empire. And the author doesn’t shy away from the details, let me tell you.

The book starts off with sad murders and the story’s main shero, Laia, a member of the oppressed Scholar people, setting off on an undercover mission as a slave. Unfortunately for her, the mission requires her to be the property of the indescribably cruel Bitch of Blackcliff Academy (the Martial Empire’s military training centre for a elite group known as Masks). Let’s just say the Bitch of Blackcliff is so twisted, her last slave committed suicide.

Laia starts off the mission as an awkward mess who will almost certainly fail and die, but really grows into a stronger person as the story progresses. Anyone who can survive all the pain deserves a freaking medal. Also in attendance at Blackcliff is Elias, a Mask-in-training who isn’t nearly as hardhearted as his classmates. The author flips back and forth between Elias and Laia’s first person perspectives which I thought was very well done. I won’t ruin anything, but there are neat twists and the story ends with a cool boom.

What I didn’t like, at all, was the forced romance-y parts that I didn’t care about in the least (there are TWO freaking love triangles for crying out loud). I doubt the characters’ burning love for each other is all that important when they’re going through this hell, no? It just didn’t seem “real” to me. Elias and Laia seem designed for each other, with their respective runner up people just being there to advance the romance subplot I didn’t care about. Meh! That’s where the YA label comes from, I guess.

Overall, this was a great read in a nice writing style. The chilling cruelness of this world shook me quite a bit. The romance parts were completely unnecessary in my mind. But I have a very low tolerance for romance in any form of media. If I don’t feel the emotional connection between the characters, I’m gonna hate it. My guess is that most people will enjoy the love triangles and all that, so power to them!

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stack o’ Books Emojis – 📚📚📚📚⚉

Check it out on Goodreads if you’re interested in learning more.

⚡Thanks for reading!⚡

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

Dragon Age Origins (Ultimate Edition) ⚡Review

Dragon Age Origins Review 1

Platform Played On: PC
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: November 3, 2009

Wannabe Writer’s Note: This is the re-posting of the Dragon Age Origins Review I wrote on my old website. This article was originally posted on December 29, 2017. Enjoy past me’s unedited ramblings!

O Dragon Age Origins, why have I waited so long to play thee? I picked up the Ultimate Edition of this glorious RPG early this year. An edition that includes all the DLC plus the Awakening expansion for just $7 CDN?! Yass, please!! I got around to actually playing it in July, and then finally finishing it in November. My only previous BioWare experience had been with Dragon Age II, a game I enjoyed a lot. So why did it take me so long to play the original? I guess I just got distracted by the mountain of other games I want to play, and this series sort of fell off my radar. Then the wise Athena over at AmbiGaming appeared, as if sent by the elven Creators themselves. By constantly reminding me just how awesome this game series is, I guess she wore me down. I’m making my BioWare backlog a priority now, so a huge THANK YOU to my good friend Athena!

Continue reading Dragon Age Origins (Ultimate Edition) ⚡Review

Path of the Grey Warden 9: Originated

Wannabe Writer’s Note: This is the re-posting of the Dragon Age Origins babblethrough series I did on my old website. This article was originally posted on December 25, 2017. Enjoy past me’s unedited ramblings!

This is it! My 9th and final progress babbling post for the Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition. I can’t believe I actually stuck with something I said I was going to do… wow. Anyway, Grey Warden Ellen’s epic journey wrapped up with the Golems of Amgarrak DLC. However, I made a little side objective for myself before calling it a game – see the other 5 Grey Warden beginnings.

You know what? I think this is why the game has the word Origins in its title! There is a total of 6 different ways to start the game, depending on the race/background you choose. Each offers a completely different story, but they all tie together and branch out into the overall world beautifully.

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT read anything else unless you want this great game ruined… I’m serious.

Continue reading Path of the Grey Warden 9: Originated

A History of Video Games in 64 Objects 📕Review

I have a huge pipe dream goal of getting my forever in-progress original novel published someday. Unfortunately, I haven’t been much of a reader for most of my life. I’m improving my reading skill in order to level up my novel writing ability, and also trying to write book reviews for the things I read these days. This is one of my book review thingys… enjoy!

A History of Video Games in 64 Objects cover

Author: World Video Game Hall of Fame
Series: N/A
Genre: Nonfiction, Video Game
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Published: May 29, 2018

Continue reading A History of Video Games in 64 Objects 📕Review

Path of the Grey Warden 8: Gruesome Golems

Wannabe Writer’s Note: This is the re-posting of the Dragon Age Origins babblethrough series I did on my old website. This article was originally posted on December 23, 2017. Enjoy past me’s unedited ramblings!

Oh Maker, this DLC… what is it with dwarves and creepy-freaking storylines? Anyway, Golems of Amgarrak takes place in an abandoned Deep Roads thaig after the events of the main game/Awakening. As usual, you have the awesome option to import your Grey Warden. I really feel like Grey Warden Ellen and I have been through so much together! This will also be the final leg of her massive journey – always a bittersweet moment when a big quest finally ends… sniffs.

Greusome Golems 1
I won’t go into much detail outside of my spoiler area, but I will say this DLC very heavy on the Resident Evil-ish themes.

A dwarf named Jerrik Dace writes your mighty Warden-Commander a letter, pleading for your discreet help with an issue. His brother went missing while trying to find Amgarrak (hence the DLC name). Apparently, some intense research went down in there, and the dwarves are trying to uncover the secrets to restore their former glory… Yep, that never turns out good for ANYONE, EVER!

So, just how bad did it get? Well… let’s start from the beginning.

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT read anything else unless you want this great game ruined… I’m serious.

Continue reading Path of the Grey Warden 8: Gruesome Golems

Things on the XIIIth: January 2019

Welcome to my monthly progress post that happens on the 13th, which marks the start of a new fiscal month here on Livid Lightning. Get it? XIII is my favourite number… because I like Final Fantasy XIII a lot? Jeez… tough crowd.

Hello, 2019. You have no idea how happy I am to see 2018 go away… I’ve sadly read that A LOT of people in this community had a crappy 2018. Here’s to hoping this year is a lot better for everyone!

home sweet middle of nowhere
I had a week and a half off for Christmas. I spent 5 days at my parents house in the middle of nowhere (as evidenced in this photo). It was cool that we got a light dusting of snow on Christmas day.

Oh and this update post is going to be kinda half last year, half this year due to my weird fiscal month schedule thingy. You’ll see what I mean. Let’s do this!

Continue reading Things on the XIIIth: January 2019

Demo-Diving: 1-Shotting Resident Evil 2

resident evil 2 1-shot demo 1

Woo! Video game demos. It’s been a while since I tried out one of those. They’re great, though! A nice way to get a feel for a game before you commit. With all the hype surrounding the Resident Evil 2 demo being released, I decided to try it out too. I have pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition of the Resident Evil 2 REmake so I might as well see what’s in store (the sweet Leon statue got to me… and yes, I am part of the problem).

Continue reading Demo-Diving: 1-Shotting Resident Evil 2