Monday, 15 December 2014

Book Review!!! The Prince of Ravens


Well, that was.. No kidding, that was great!

I might have given it four stars if I'd read it in 2013, but considering so few books I've read this year have been this good, there was no question that this fantasy fiction deserved a full five stars.

I knew this book was five star worthy from the first page, so I crossed my fingers and prayed that it wouldn't disappoint, it didn't.

What I loved...
1. The heroine, Leah.
2. The perfect use of imagery, such excellent descriptions that didn't leave you feeling as though it was too much or overdone.


What would have made me love the book some more...
More multiculturalism- this is an epic fantasy written in the 21st century, atleast try include more untypical caucasian submain characters like double lidded almond eyes for the head of the seekers or darker skin for the elder who was acting as a nurse. We've gotten to an age where people enjoy a book more when some of the characters look like them.

That been said...
I loved this book!!!

An excellent storyline, and...


...Leah is everything a heroine should be- the kind I love to read and write about, a grown up product of what would be sansa's beauty and Arya's wisdom and dexterity. The kind of heroine fantasy books seeking to define a warrior should strive for- a heroine that annoying Beatrice/Tris/whatever from Divergent would cower from in tears.

The Prince was lovable from the beginning, and his determination to stay true to his mother and her rule despite all evidence of betrayal was impressive, until it's started getting old- like after (spoiler)Tomaz saving his life so many times, he still didn't warn the that the Prince of Oxen was right on their doorstep until it was too late.(spoiler)

That's the moment he began getting on my nerves, and his 
(spoiler)cowardice as they set off as a decoy, which perhaps the author intended it to appear as though he was being reasonable in forewarning them of his brother's brutality- but I saw it as mere cowardice and it quickly annoyed me. I'm not a soldier, but I'm pretty sure the number one requirement is listen to the commander and try push on even when outnumbered, if it means giving the old, sick and the women and children ample time to escape to safety. I wouldn't scream- we should retreat, every second I got. That and how he froze up while they were diffending Aemon's Stand- (spoiler)Was damn right annoying!!!


But even though his character grew backwards, or had inconsistent personalities that were hard not to overlook, it isn't reason enough for me to take off a star from a well written book and a well executed one.

I also wish the editor would notice all the 'then' used in place of than- I've counted about seven of them, and that was when I was paying attention.

Overall, there are few books that have captured my interest this year as much as this one has, and that is why I know for sure that I'll be buying the second book in this series, dearly hoping that it'll be just as good, and maybe even better.


My reading progress...
12/11 marked as: currently-reading
12/11
24.0% "Oh goody I'm loving thia book!!! :)"
12/13
35.0% "Loving this book! Leah is such an awesome heroine, and Tomasz and the prince are very lovable heroes. I love how awesome and badass Leah is! 'twirling with glee'"
12/14
80.0% "Oh come on!!! This book was so going well- I still like it, but I hate how the prince's character seems to be growing backwards- now a coward, questioning the strategy every minute, asking them to run away from the way even after the commander has given the order.. That's not my kind of hero :) But because of the heroine, and the awesom first three quarters of the book, I still plan to award it five stars when done"
12/15 marked as: read              


View all my reviews


~Robi
#penwarrior

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Poem of the Day!!! Listen

Today's poem is inspired by.. actually I have no idea :) 
I wrote it sometime last week. I think it still has something to do with my current state of incertitude. Enjoy!!!



Listen
I found a safe inside my head-
My respite, my only fortress.
This cold- the wet has sipped into my bones,
The chilling, the tremblings 've become my own.
An island, for a friend this wide sky,
Vast seas my neighbour-
To rever my detour.
How long unknown-
This limbo will call home.
But 'til then, won't stop-
Dreaming you'll listen.

I called out to the winds-
My allies, my friends.
But they remained muted,
My cry unanswered.
The rain came down in torrents-
As a mock to my plea.
And I ran out to embrace her,
Broken, scared and alone.
Meek as can be, was I-
As I begged her for help,
Drenched, cold and silence,
Was all answer I got.

But I chanced to find this safe in my head-
My respite, my only fortress.


~Robi
#Penwarrior

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Book Review!!! Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

FledglingFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very enjoyable book!

Not a typical HEA ending, but still a good ending.

A Fantasy Fiction

The story follows Shori/ Renee after she wakes up with amnesia and terrible injuries, and discovers that she isn't quite human. That had me roped in almost immediately.

I'll definitely be on the look out for Octavia Butler's other books. It was sad to discover that she's no longer with us.

I recommend this book to all that love fantasy!

Get your copy of the book here: By Octavia E. Butler Fledgling

View all my reviews on goodreads


My reading progress through this gem of a book..

12/04 marked as: to-read
12/04 marked as: currently-reading
12/04 page 1
0.0% "So excited! :)"
12/05 page 62
20.0% "I feel.. dirty, for liking this book. But it's so good, I can't put it down! xD"
12/06 page 124
40.0% "Enjoying this gem immensely. A twisted but delightful read. I hope the second half is just as good!"
12/06 page 192
61.0% "Nice, like the reference there to the agrarian revolution, beginning of the written word and the Roma people (gypsy). I love it when fiction books try to encopass factual history- it only makes the story better! Haven't read a good book in a long while! I almost don't want to finish it now.."
12/07 page 217
70.0% "Sizzling chemistry between Shori and Daniel.. Hot! Kinda tired of Wright.. have been for a while. I hope to read some more chemistry with Joel soon..!"
12/08 marked as: read      
      

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Poem of the Day!!! My Own

Today's poem was inspired by my current state of incertitude- to try understand it more would only confuse both you and I.
Enjoy! :)

https://scontent-a-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10341576_10152662299869860_5737409519064484110_n.jpg?oh=a351bc6956c282c33c5c11673fec0b84&oe=550FFC65


My Own
When I see it, I'll know it-
know that which I lost.
When I feel it, I'll be sure of it-
sure of that which once was mine.
When I touch it, I'll remember it-
remember that which I once owned, called my own.

'Tis a troubling thing, loss is!
Worse more when you can't quite recall-
that which from you was taken,
and the importance it did haul.
Regardless, 'tis a loss your senses will sprawl-
a terrible shudder inside you, this loss will awaken,
and like a festering wound the gaping hole of loss,
your senses, conscious and all thoughts it'll thrall!


Inconsequential, replaceable- they rush to claim your loss-
As commonplace as grains of sand, they dare declare its worth.
But that insistent sense of loss, despair in you it'll awaken,
a sense of wretchedness over that which they dare deem worthless.
Yet to you, nothing was more worthy of a bloody brawl,
than that which you call your own.

A poem by Carol Robi

~Robi
#Penwarrior

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Book Review!!! Turned by Morgan Rice



The last quarter of this book was pure torture.


Turned (The Vampire Journals, #1)Turned by Morgan Rice
My rating: 1 of 5 stars




View all my reviews




○It started okay...
It had some editting issues, but that was not enough to put me off. In fact, right up midway I was sure I'd give it three stars.

○Right until this was written-
It was unlike her to feel strong feelings for any boy- much less for two of them in the same day.
......That's the moment the book lost it's third star......

Here's my reading progress that can more accurately show my feelings throughout the book.

11/30
             
marked as: currently-reading

11/30 page 78
52.0% "I'm having mixed feelings about this, but I like it more than I dislike it so far.."
12/02 page 108
72.0%
"Oh no! Don't...!
Dammit!
Another love triangle!
"It was unlike her to feel strong feelings for any boy- much less for two of them in the same day."
Why did the heroine have to go there? You can't have strong feelings for someone after meeting them for only two minutes! Granted I'm ignoring the 'feel strong feelings' err.
This book has just dropped from a three star to two star. Let's see how it ends..."


12/02 page 130
86.0% "The last quarter of this book is a total disaster. The MC is angry at a guy she just met because he doesn't have feelings for her.. I don't understand why she'd assume that a guy she just met should care for her just because she also cares for
him. I really wanted to give this book atleast two stars, but..."
12/02 page 150
100.0% "Finally done. I'm definitely not reading book 2."
12/02 marked as: read            



~Robi
#Penwarrior

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Know Thyself


My confidence has always stemmed from knowing and understanding myself, but I at times find myself in a situation where I need to remind myself just who I am.

It is so easy to be tossed around in this world if you do not remember who you are, and why it is that you are the way you are, or have the dreams you have.

That's why I've decided to embark on yet another basic self discovery path today. You are more than welcomed to ponder with me over these basic self discovery questions, and maybe you too may just rediscover yourself.

1. What is the one thing that makes you special and unique?

My words, my ability to express myself through words- verbal, be it just an ordinary discussion, or written word- through my poems, verses, my narrations or my stories.

When it comes to words, I'm fearless.



2. How do people perceive you?


Very mixed reactions. Not many people like being stood up to, and that is one thing I almost always do. It is near impossible to bully me to silence, to stop me from voicing my opinions.

However those open, ready to listen, and not used to thinking that only their opinions matter- those are my friends. 




3. If money was not a constraint, what would you be doing with your time?

Easiest question so far!
Writing books and poems all day, and reading books and poems all night except in the weekends, which I'd spend with my family and friends.



4. What are you grateful for? And how long did you have to think to answer that question?

  • I'm grateful for: 
  1. My family and their health and well being.
  2. My talent, that allows me to lose myself, forget my troubles, and always manages to make me feel whole again whenever I'm broken.
  3. My health and wellbeing.
  • This question took me seconds to answer.

5. If you die tomorrow, will you be happy with the life you’ve lived?


More than happy!
A while back, my answer would have been miserable! I'd have been miserable to have died so young, without ever having done anything.
But the moment I began doing that which makes me happy, that which is good for me, I almost can't stop smiling.
Too bad my bills only keep pilling up, but even that can't seem to make me stop smiling.









6. What is the one movie you don’t mind watching over and over? (or the one book you could just read any number of times?)

Apparently, the story you could read or watch over and over again is one that can tell you a lot about your life or that which you aspire for in life.


The book I never tire of reading is Pride and prejudice, and the movie I never tire of watching is Belle

Does that make me a hopeless romantic bound to fall in love with a passionate reformist?
Nice! ☺



7. If someone made a movie out of your life, what will it be like?

Haha, it'll definitely be an angst thriller, knowing the rollercoaster that my life has been ☺


A true emotional adventure



8. Who is making most of the decisions in your life – you, those around you or your circumstances?

Most definitely my circumstances. 
But soon I hope to start making  my own decisions- a girl can dream ☺




Wow! There, I feel better already, having just re-discovered myself again.

Nina Simone's Ain't got no, I got life definitely helped me ease into the self-discovery journey, so I will finish this post by posting the song here, to help you with your journey of self-discovery.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Love & Basketball!!!




It has taken me fourteen years to watch this beautiful romantic story, fourteen long years after it was produced in 2001.

I'm overly embarrassed about that!

There are many excuses I can give as to why I never watched it before...

♦10% blame goes to the fact that I come from Africa.

Now Africans please don't all get mad at me for saying this. I know that not everyone that comes from Africa is as cut off from the rest of the world.

However remember that most are, and I was partly in that most fraction. Partly, meaning that one of my foot was buried deep in tradition, and the other foot was always looking out to what the world had to offer.

♦15% blame I place on my living standards at home.

I come from that greater 65% of Kenyan families that spend most of their lives worrying about more important things.. you know, like food, shelter and clothing, rather than movies showing in the cinema.

So though I was very passionate about basketball, playing for the high school team since my sophomore year, I missed hearing about Love & Basketball, though turns out many of my friends did know about it and see it.

♦ The other 75% I blame on my absolute foolishness.

There's no excuse for having not come across the movie the moment I moved to Europe!!!

There can't be! It shouldn't have taken me so long to come across this beautiful movie.

Worst of all is the fact that I mightn't even have watched it at all, if it wasn't for my excitement about the new movie starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw(Belle) called Beyond The Lights.


Beyond The Lights!!!

No one should be this excited about a movie, but I am!

Just as I was about Belle (okay, maybe I'm a little less excited compared to how I was with Belle) which has quickly become my favourite movie of all time. It's even beaten Troy, which had a shirtless Brad Pitt!!!

I read many mentions of Love & Basketball somewhere on the comments on YouTube under the Beyond The Lights trailer, and I thought to watch it as I waited to finally see Beyond The Lights.

One of those rare good decisions I make in life...

But when I was done with Love & Basketball and ready to order some tickets, imagine my disappointment to discover that Beyond The Lights won't even be aired in cinemas in Denmark....

I have to wait for DVDs n' all!!!

Nooo :-(

~Robi
#penwarrior

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Book Review!!! The Selection

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars








Get your copy of the book here: The Selection


My reading progress...
10/29 marked as: currently-reading
10/29 page 68
20.0% "So I finally got around to this one, and despite my previous skepticism, it's quite interesting. I'm reading it in Danish though, not in English, for the sake of the writing style. 4 stars so far.. :)"
10/30 page 107
31.0% ":--)"
10/31 marked as: read              

Whistle-blower Syndrome...
Honestly it's starting to freak me out to write honest book reviews. I keep getting scared that I'll be attacked on the internet for voicing my honest opinion. Especially with books such as these that have so great a following. 

Either way, I must push on and give my honest opinion.. because I'm a nyarmura* ☻

We'll see how long my bravery holds when I'm under attack (evil laugh)

So here goes...

I gave it three stars because I have a fixed system for rating books I've read. 
At least two stars if I finished the book, and at least three stars if I finished it and it was well editted.

There's nothing else about this story that warranted more attention than those solid three stars.

It was interesting enough to keep me reading because I was too lazy to start looking for another book, but the world built was even less believable than that book about daunted and stuff.. (I've got to check its name) .. finally found it- Divergent.

I've just checked for that book title (Divergent) for quite a while! Everywhere I could think- my list of read books on goodreads (it was no where to be found), my blog posts of book reviews (turns out I didn't review it because I never even finished it) and finally I checked IMDB.COM, searched for the movie The Fault in our Stars for I remembered the MC was the same girl. (Yeah, I tried to watch that movie too- couldn't hack it.

Really, I must ask this-
 Must they always pick out the actors I sure can't stand to play MC's of movie adaptations for books I couldn't even stand to finish reading begin with? 

It's as though the franchise seeks to make sure I never get the story first hand. I had to check WIKIPEDIA in both cases just to be familiar with the plot everyone was ranting about.

Anyway, back to this work of literature (sarcasm)

I finished it, better than was the case with The Twilight Saga and The Divergent series, oh.. and the 50 shades of lort!

So that's that! Because I finished it and it was well editted, I gave it 3 stars!

I wish more deserving books like Angelfall got more accredition in this genre instead.



View all my reviews



~Robi
#Penwarrior

Friday, 7 November 2014

TV Worth Mentioning - 1864

The newest gritting drama from DRDK TV is 1864.

I was a little skeptical at first for I tend to hate most periodicals.. (except for Shaka Zulu, and all Jane Austen and E. Gaskell's adaptations, and Belle of course, and.. okay and most Old England set dramas ☺)

I chose to start watching this show, because DRDK has previously been home to great shows like Borgen.

1864 (2014) Poster

I'm glad I did, for this show was definitely worth it... for a while!

Problem is... I just can't watch it anymore :-(

I'm stuck in the middle of episode four- and though it is more excellently produced and has better cinematography than most American shows I let myself watch, I see what is going to happen, and I must admit I'm not hardcore like that to keep watching.

All that death, the defeat at war.. (technically this isn't a spoiler for it is public knowledge that Denmark lost that war of 1864) .. honestly I just can't handle it.

I prefer a re-run of Borgen, or maybe Arvingerne- good old 100% fictional drama.

I can't keep watching 1864 for the same reason I can't watch movies about slavery, for I know what will happen, and that just because the movie ends on a happy note, the problem didn't really go away immediately. It took centuries! Yikes!

It is no wonder that fantasy fiction is my favourite genre!!!

~Robi
#Penwarrior

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Poem of the day!!!

So it's Thursday again, and I thought to put up this cute picture of little me as a #TBT


However, with that thought came flooding memories of my grandpa, who's now been dead for two years, and with his memory came a burning desire to write him an ikirengio (praise poem).

Among my people (abaKuria), it is customary to write and perform praise poems at events, But this time rather than focus on whatever marvelous things he did in his lifetime, I chose to go another direction altogether. I hope you enjoy the poem!

Sokoro (Grandfather)
Your life a mystery-
To never be discovered.
Your story a victory-
To never be recounted.
Would that you were born just a century back-
My ikirengio* would hold up your heroics as a plaque!

Born to be a warrior,
Only to grow up into a quarrier!
Born of a once proud great people,
To find yourself in a world where we were feeble.
Defeated, crushed, we were lost and crippled,
A people much reduced, treated no better than mere fecal.

Sokoro* you were born to be a prince, a warrior to be revered,
A master, a death bringer, by your enemies to be feared!
You were to defend your family, your people with the point of your spear-
Sworn to preserve our culture, our values the very foundation of the abaKuria.
But for colonialism I blame it- it made you think you were nothing-
And now I too struggle to remember that I am something!

But reduced as you were, the fire in your eyes I'll never forget,
The pride you bore inside, even unproven, was your vignette-
Acting as proof that we once were a great people, warriors of predate.
Because of you, I won't forget my pride in my culture and my heritage- your suffragate!
Even as they attempt to erode my pride away as they did my culture- my will they only manage to actuate,
For your memory is a constant reminder that I'm daughter of the *abaKuria- that which is innate!

When you died I cried for the man that should have been, but never was-
Now you're gone I only pray your memory to keep alive, to applause,
Your story that should have been, I promise not to remain untold*.
With you gone, I moan for who'll remind my children that they too were born of the bold,
Born of warriors, to be *mura- that which may be termed savage by the uninformed!
Yet it's the very epitome of our people, our identity, that which we must dearly uphold.

Sokoro* I loved you, you know it true- you that was, always will be my engender!
So I'll sing your praises, I'll chant your *ibirengio, I'll force the world you to remember-
My blood, my name, my pride- force them to know of you whom they did distemper.
Great warrior that should have been, was born to be, but never was my defender.
The great mura* that died before he was, before achieving- disillusionment was his measure.
That died thinking he was nothing, termed a savage, your identity they sure did dismember!

But you live on in my heart, forever you will, though subtle-
But then again I solemnly swear, that with my words I'll make you immortal!

*abaKuria are people belonging to the African tribe Kuria found in Kenya and Tanzania.
*Ikirengio (pl. Ibirengio) means praise poems in the Kuria language.
*Sokoro means grandfather in the Kuria language.
*Mura  means warrior in the Kuria language.
*A Story Untold- a published fictional legend on the Abakuria.