Books by day, visual novels by night!

Posted by MisterDunlap (242 posts) -

Hey guys, books are real nifty!

I'm an avid reader. I always have been, I always will be. It is extremely rare that I'm not reading at least two books at any given time. It's even rarer that I do not have a book on hand at all times. Consequently, I can burn through a book series in almost no time at all. As an example, I just finished reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. Admittedly, they were written with young adults in mind, but that doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed by something with a few more years. There are five books in the series, each one about 350 pages on average, or thereabouts. The author's name is Rick Riordan, and his website can be found here. I highly recommend his work. Anyway, there are five in total and I managed to finish the lot of them in five days total. In other words, I read a full size novel in one day for five days straight. I do a lot of reading...

About a week ago I started reading a series of books called the Leviathan Trilogy. It's another series designed for young adults, but again, that doesn't really matter. It's about an alternate take on World War I. Except as opposed to some sort of alternate history, it's Steampunk themed. Also, there are weird mutated animal beasties. It's pretty fucking awesome. All the world powers have been labeled as either Clankers, or Darwinists. The former adhereing pretty strongly to the steampunk influences, while the Darwinists are what would happen if Charles Darwin has found out how to cross breed anything and everything, creating some pretty weird "animals."

An example of a Clanker Walker, and one of my favorites pieces by Mr. Thompson.

All the books are illustrated by Keith Thompson, and it's his art, arguably, that makes the books truly special. I know that I wouldn't have such a high opinion of them if they didn't have his illustrations in them. I can't count the amount of time I've spend staring at his artwork on his website, attempting to soak up eveyr single little detail. It's fantastic. He's also the one who drew my current avatar image. It's one of the main fabricated animals from the books, posing with a false mustache. It's called a Perspicacious Loris. I want one. A lot. Anyway, I read through those puppies in about a week. They are very good. I can't recommend them enough.

As soon as I finished those, I immediately started on a series I'd been recommended by a few friends. Apparently they're something of a big deal, although I'd never heard of them. In fact, just this Christmas, my mother purchased me the first three books in the series. I have no idea how she heard about it. So, they've been sitting on my shelf for awhile, and in my desperation for something to read, I grabbed the first one. Now, this is quite rare. I hardly ever just "grab" a book to read. I almost always have several books lined up, each one awaiting my attentive eye. However, on this occasion, my list had failed me, and I was wondering what to read. After about an hour and half wandering around the local library, I went home slightly dejected by my failure. It was then, as I was poring over my shelves of books, I noticed those. I grabbed the first one out of curiosity, and started reading. These books are in a series called The Tale of the Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock. The one I had picked up out of desperation was the first in a series of compilations called the Omnibus editions, and as far as I can tell, they are simply a series of stories, of varying length, all revolving this weird place that Moorcock has dubbed the Multiverse. In it, universe upon universe is layered upon one another, creating an infinite amount of worlds, and plenty excuses for any sort of story the author may wish to write.

I haven't read enough to find out whether this is merely an interesting little contrivance, or whether this will have some integral part of the story all together. So far though, I have come across no major continuity between the various stories. Aside from the fact that apparently every single protagonist is the same person. Sort of. I haven't quite figured it out myself. Apparently he is infinite in his existence, and lives life after life, somewhere in this Multiverse, essentially making him immortal. It's as yet unclear whether he retains all the memories of his past life in each new reincarnation. It's a little convoluted, although I'm hoping that I'll be able to sort it all out in time.

Well, regardless of the peculiarities of the storytelling, there can be no denying the skillfulness that the author uses to weave all these stories together, and make you care about every single protagonist, even if it is the person after all. The first story in volume one is something of a whopper, all by it's lonesome. I would have been content just with that, but I can't explain just how happy I am that there are so many more stories for me to read. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it.

Visual novels are slowly consuming my soul and my sleep...

As stated in my previous blog, I started reading visual novels. A lot... I've read almost fifteen since I last posted my other blog. And not short ones. I'm talking about stuff like Fate/Stay Night, Clannad, and Ever17. Loooong stuff... It's fantastic. I'm completely addicted. Let me put it this way. During the day time during my spare time I read physical books. However, as soon as I get home I boot up my computer, feed my cats, check GB, then boot up whatever VN I happen to be working on at the time. I then proceed to play/read it until about two or three in the morning, at which point I head to bed. Oh, did I mention I have to get up at six the next morning? So yeah, there's that too.

Despite this fact, I persist in my reading. They are simply too good not to read. I can barely believe that I haven't gotten into them before now. So far, the stories, (and on occasion, the gameplay) have not disappointed me, making me very glad that I stay up all night reading them. Currently, I'm working on my first play-through of Sengoku Rance. It's pretty fucking good. Go play it. Do it, right now. It's like all my favorite games rolled up into one awesome bundle! It's got the dialogue and item management of Fire Emblem, the game board of Risk and Civilization, as well as the "gotta catch 'em all" feeling of Pokemon when it comes to the commanders and the battles. It's so good... The funny thing is, I don't even completely understand the damn game yet! I still have to rely heavily on the wiki. That thing is my crutch, and without it, I would have given up a long time ago.

Also, as I write this, I have Edelweiss downloading in the background, and I'm about to hop into that as soon as I'm done with Rance. I've heard lots of good things about it, and I'm eagerly awaiting my chance to play it. Actually, I've had something of a time finding good downloads for most of the VN's I've read. In fact, I spent almost an hour this afternoon just trying to find a good torrent for Edelweiss. Apparently, there's a very popular song by the same name, so I had to worm my way through all that nonsense before I could get to what I actually wanted. I think that doing all that work has helped me learn how to better navigate the internet, and make Google pull up what I actually want from it...

So, in conclusion, I read a lot, I've learned a bit about finding obscure shit on the internet, and Perspicacious Lorises are fucking awesome. Yeah. That seems right. Oh, and Rance is awesome. Can't forget that.

#1 Posted by MisterDunlap (242 posts) -

Hey guys, books are real nifty!

I'm an avid reader. I always have been, I always will be. It is extremely rare that I'm not reading at least two books at any given time. It's even rarer that I do not have a book on hand at all times. Consequently, I can burn through a book series in almost no time at all. As an example, I just finished reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. Admittedly, they were written with young adults in mind, but that doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed by something with a few more years. There are five books in the series, each one about 350 pages on average, or thereabouts. The author's name is Rick Riordan, and his website can be found here. I highly recommend his work. Anyway, there are five in total and I managed to finish the lot of them in five days total. In other words, I read a full size novel in one day for five days straight. I do a lot of reading...

About a week ago I started reading a series of books called the Leviathan Trilogy. It's another series designed for young adults, but again, that doesn't really matter. It's about an alternate take on World War I. Except as opposed to some sort of alternate history, it's Steampunk themed. Also, there are weird mutated animal beasties. It's pretty fucking awesome. All the world powers have been labeled as either Clankers, or Darwinists. The former adhereing pretty strongly to the steampunk influences, while the Darwinists are what would happen if Charles Darwin has found out how to cross breed anything and everything, creating some pretty weird "animals."

An example of a Clanker Walker, and one of my favorites pieces by Mr. Thompson.

All the books are illustrated by Keith Thompson, and it's his art, arguably, that makes the books truly special. I know that I wouldn't have such a high opinion of them if they didn't have his illustrations in them. I can't count the amount of time I've spend staring at his artwork on his website, attempting to soak up eveyr single little detail. It's fantastic. He's also the one who drew my current avatar image. It's one of the main fabricated animals from the books, posing with a false mustache. It's called a Perspicacious Loris. I want one. A lot. Anyway, I read through those puppies in about a week. They are very good. I can't recommend them enough.

As soon as I finished those, I immediately started on a series I'd been recommended by a few friends. Apparently they're something of a big deal, although I'd never heard of them. In fact, just this Christmas, my mother purchased me the first three books in the series. I have no idea how she heard about it. So, they've been sitting on my shelf for awhile, and in my desperation for something to read, I grabbed the first one. Now, this is quite rare. I hardly ever just "grab" a book to read. I almost always have several books lined up, each one awaiting my attentive eye. However, on this occasion, my list had failed me, and I was wondering what to read. After about an hour and half wandering around the local library, I went home slightly dejected by my failure. It was then, as I was poring over my shelves of books, I noticed those. I grabbed the first one out of curiosity, and started reading. These books are in a series called The Tale of the Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock. The one I had picked up out of desperation was the first in a series of compilations called the Omnibus editions, and as far as I can tell, they are simply a series of stories, of varying length, all revolving this weird place that Moorcock has dubbed the Multiverse. In it, universe upon universe is layered upon one another, creating an infinite amount of worlds, and plenty excuses for any sort of story the author may wish to write.

I haven't read enough to find out whether this is merely an interesting little contrivance, or whether this will have some integral part of the story all together. So far though, I have come across no major continuity between the various stories. Aside from the fact that apparently every single protagonist is the same person. Sort of. I haven't quite figured it out myself. Apparently he is infinite in his existence, and lives life after life, somewhere in this Multiverse, essentially making him immortal. It's as yet unclear whether he retains all the memories of his past life in each new reincarnation. It's a little convoluted, although I'm hoping that I'll be able to sort it all out in time.

Well, regardless of the peculiarities of the storytelling, there can be no denying the skillfulness that the author uses to weave all these stories together, and make you care about every single protagonist, even if it is the person after all. The first story in volume one is something of a whopper, all by it's lonesome. I would have been content just with that, but I can't explain just how happy I am that there are so many more stories for me to read. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it.

Visual novels are slowly consuming my soul and my sleep...

As stated in my previous blog, I started reading visual novels. A lot... I've read almost fifteen since I last posted my other blog. And not short ones. I'm talking about stuff like Fate/Stay Night, Clannad, and Ever17. Loooong stuff... It's fantastic. I'm completely addicted. Let me put it this way. During the day time during my spare time I read physical books. However, as soon as I get home I boot up my computer, feed my cats, check GB, then boot up whatever VN I happen to be working on at the time. I then proceed to play/read it until about two or three in the morning, at which point I head to bed. Oh, did I mention I have to get up at six the next morning? So yeah, there's that too.

Despite this fact, I persist in my reading. They are simply too good not to read. I can barely believe that I haven't gotten into them before now. So far, the stories, (and on occasion, the gameplay) have not disappointed me, making me very glad that I stay up all night reading them. Currently, I'm working on my first play-through of Sengoku Rance. It's pretty fucking good. Go play it. Do it, right now. It's like all my favorite games rolled up into one awesome bundle! It's got the dialogue and item management of Fire Emblem, the game board of Risk and Civilization, as well as the "gotta catch 'em all" feeling of Pokemon when it comes to the commanders and the battles. It's so good... The funny thing is, I don't even completely understand the damn game yet! I still have to rely heavily on the wiki. That thing is my crutch, and without it, I would have given up a long time ago.

Also, as I write this, I have Edelweiss downloading in the background, and I'm about to hop into that as soon as I'm done with Rance. I've heard lots of good things about it, and I'm eagerly awaiting my chance to play it. Actually, I've had something of a time finding good downloads for most of the VN's I've read. In fact, I spent almost an hour this afternoon just trying to find a good torrent for Edelweiss. Apparently, there's a very popular song by the same name, so I had to worm my way through all that nonsense before I could get to what I actually wanted. I think that doing all that work has helped me learn how to better navigate the internet, and make Google pull up what I actually want from it...

So, in conclusion, I read a lot, I've learned a bit about finding obscure shit on the internet, and Perspicacious Lorises are fucking awesome. Yeah. That seems right. Oh, and Rance is awesome. Can't forget that.

#2 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

I read a little each day, so it takes me a good while to even get through a single book. I've been reading the Horus Heresy novels and they are great. I want to read more though, I should ease back my game playing time so I can fit in more reading. I'm also squeezing in Star Trek the original series into my media diet, that show is also great.

#3 Posted by jking47 (1247 posts) -

@MisterDunlap: I have been getting more into visual novels also, check out katawa shoujo. I know it might seem weird, but just try it, its one of my favorite games/books/media of all time. Some of the best characters ever.

#4 Posted by rubberluffy (475 posts) -

@MisterDunlap:

Ever play Utawarerumono? It is kinda like Rance in that it is a VN with actual legit gameplay (but not as much as Rance), in this case a tactical RPG battle system. Its been a few years since I played it, I remember it being pretty difficult at times but the story overall was really interesting and worth it. Hits some pretty good emotional notes, especially near the end.

#5 Posted by Wraith1 (576 posts) -

Ever play type-moon's first vn Tsukihime? that one was my first experience with a vn

#6 Posted by Skald (4370 posts) -

I don't read uh, play visual novels. I mean, I'm sure they're great and all, but they're not really my bag.

Books, on the other hand, I know. Lately, I've been reading Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series, which was pretty awesome. I've also been reading Children at War and Corporate Warriors by P. W. Singer. He's a little different than what I normally read, because his stuff, while crazy, is actually straight up academic non-fiction.

#7 Posted by MisterDunlap (242 posts) -

@jking47: Read the second part of my previous blog for my thoughts on Katawa Shoujo.

@rubberluffy: It's on my list of VN's to play. I really enjoy ones that have legitimate gameplay!

@Wraith1: Sounds interesting. All the stuff I've played of Type-Moon has been pretty good!

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