Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 1

I found the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic graphic novel at work awhile ago.  I've only seen a couple of episodes of the show, but I was curious so I flipped through it a bit.  I came to a page where Pinkie Pie was instructing everyone on how to be a zombie and I knew I had to read this book.

I did have a bit of trouble when I first started reading it though.  The book was referring to Queen Chrysalis, who was recently defeated.  I thought that maybe this was a later volume in the series as a result.  But no it isn't.

The story starts out with the Cutie Mark Crusaders (the little sisters of three of the main ponies who are trying to find their flank markings) getting kidnapped by Queen Chrysalis.  The next day, the main ponies realize something is weird about all the people in Ponyville (and that the three younger ponies are acting extremely weird, too).  Recognizing the other ponies to be changelings brought on by Queen Chrysalis, they set out to rescue their town.  Unfortunately, the three little ponies are missing.  Queen Chrysalis gives our heroes three days to reach them before she destroys them.

The Zombie Walking Incident
I'm not going to lie: the highlights of this were almost all thanks to Pinkie Pie.  From the zombie walk which first attracted me to the "I'm Sorry" cake she carries around with her, almost everything she did brought on a laugh. For that alone, this book was definitely worth the read!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Geist was one of the books I bought from the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.  I've never heard of Philippa Ballantine's series before, but it sounded really good so I decided to give it a shot. 

Geist is the story of three people: Sorcha Faris, the most powerful Active Deacon, her new young partner Merrick Chambers, and Raed Rossin, the Pretender to the throne.  In their world, Otherworld creatures, called Geists, possess and attack humans; it's up to the Order to stop them.  Deacons are put into pairs, with one Active, who actually fights the Geists, and one Sensitive, who sees the Geists.  After a disastrous Geist attack, Sorcha's husband and partner is injured.  The Arch Abbot of the Order assigns her a new partner and sends the two of them off on a mission to an isolated village called Ulrich.

Also heading to Ulrich is the Pretender.  Raed is the heir of the old ruling family.  His family has been ousted and a new Emperor was brought in from a distant land.  Raed's ship needs repairs, and so he is on his way to the isolated village. But in Ulrich, all is not as it seems.  The three find themselves drawn into the middle of a horrible conspiracy that spans the Empire. 

Geist was a really good read. I loved all three characters, and really liked this world where the Otherworld presses so closely to the living.  I'm looking forward to reading more about Sorcha, Merrick and Raed.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Last week while in Toronto, I went to see the ROM's Mesopotamia exhibit.  As part of the exhibit, they had a piece of the Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablet VI).  When we got to the exhibit gift shop, in the books they had Stephen Mitchell's New English Version of Gilgamesh, which I bought and promptly started reading.

When I read a book like this for the first time, I usually skip the introduction until after I've read the actual work.  I don't want to be biased when reading (and honestly just want to avoid spoilers if I'm unfamiliar with the story).

Gilgamesh is credited as the oldest recorded story.  Its title character is a king who is 2/3 divine, 1/3 mortal.  He goes on adventures, ultimately searching for the secret to immortality.

I'm not going to lie, when I first finished reading it, I wasn't a big fan.  It was entertaining enough, but overall the story just seemed okay.  So I am really glad that I went back and read the introduction at that point.  The introduction made me appreciate the poem a lot more than I did after initially reading it (including the ending, where I kind of missed what exactly had happened!)

So overall, I enjoyed reading it, but mainly because of the introduction.  Without that, I probably wouldn't have liked it as much.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Emperor's Soul

I saw The Emperor's Soul go by at work awhile ago.  I thought it sounded interesting, so I bought it for my Kindle.  It's taken me a bit, but I decided to read it on my trip (I decided to just bring my Kindle with me, rather than any physical books).

The Emperor's Soul is the first book by Brandon Sanderson that I've ever read.  And I really, really enjoyed it.  The Emperor's Soul is the story of Shai, a forger.  She was caught while trying to steal the Emperor's scepter and is given an intriguing offer: she needs to reforge the Emperor's soul or else she will be killed.  Shai jumps into the challenge, deciding that rather than just building a forged thing, and by extension making a puppet emperor, she will attempt to make the new soul as authentic as possible.

The Emperor's Soul was a short read, but it was one of the best books I've read in a long while.  I liked it so much that I went to The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto and bought Elantris.  I'm really looking forward to reading more books by Sanderson.