So when I started this blog, I had intended it for book and game reviews. Though as I went through the internet and discovered fascinating sites to help me when I picked up interviews with streamers and authors, I found OTranscribe, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. While learning about OTranscibe, I learned it was part of the MuckRock foundation, which naturally made me curious. What the heck was a MuckRock? 

How I had not known about this group previously simply proves how little the average person knows about the process of filing for public records. And in that I poorly segue in to what exactly MuckRock is!

MuckRock is a news site that collaborates with everything from researchers and journalists to activists and ordinary people. The site holds thousands of pages of government files and information on how to request one you need for your personal research projects. Now I will not be going in to this process here as, honestly, I am no expert at that and my knowledge of public record law is limited. I would, however, suggest MuckRock to find out this information as their site has helpful information you can use to figure out your process.

This site has an interesting type of journalism that I find refreshing in a world where the major new outlets have all taken a political side. So if you want access to actual record based information that has not been watered down by opinion and left or right ideology. I suggest MuckRock for your research needs.

The Letter – Visual Novel

The Letter is a supernatural horror visual novel developed and published by Yangyang Mobile. It is available on Windows, MacOS, Linux, IOS and Android. This means you can play it on pretty much anything you own as long as it uses one of those five operating systems, and lets be honest, that is pretty much everything except the various game consoles.

Though some of you may have some questions such as, what is a visual novel? A visual novel is a story accompanied by visuals, sort of like a graphic novel except with an interactive touch in video game form. You can often, though not always, choose how your adventure goes by making choices that interact with story. The Letter is one of those in which you have some control over what you do. This is mostly done through questions other characters ask and the answer you choose affects the relationship you have with the other characters, which determines later aspects of the story.

It should be noted that this is a horror visual novel, so not suitable for everyone, though if you are a fan of horror and mystery the images and descriptions in the writing are no worse than things you have already seen or read. Though I always feel a desire to warn people when there may be anything that could make an individual uncomfortable. Better to be safe than risk offending.

Now back to The Letter. This story starts off with a bang and keeps you interested in not only why supernatural things are happening to the characters, but the characters themselves. The story is non-linear so you travel through the story of seven individual characters who have their own tales but also interconnect with the others so eventually as you finish all seven chapters you get to learn the entire story. This may not sound like much for a ‘game’ but there is a massive amount of replay and rereading value as the story can change depending on non-linear you make.

There are a few different endings but I won’t spoil them, I only played the game through once myself but am looking forward to going back to it.

If you are a fan of horror and mystery, or just visual novels, The Letter is a must!

Coping with Dyslexia Part 1. A handy tool!

So it’s not something I like to talk about often, but I am dyslexic. Clearly I have gotten over most of the issue as I can read and spell with less issue than I used to have. This has been with years of practice, spell checking and of course various programs that will help me edit what would probably be a fairly confusing and phonetically spelled mess. One program, the one I write most of my posts on before spitting them out to the public is ProWritingAid, not only does it check your spelling and sentence structure, but it also explains why the suggested changes you should make! It has helped me get a better understanding on how to improve my writing over the last few years of using it!

That explanation itself is why it’s my favorite writing program right now. It’s great to find corrections, it’s better when you can read why your being corrected so you can improve! You can check out ProWritingAid at the link below!

Two new ideas being added to the blog!

So, after a bit of consideration I have decided to add a bit more to this blog. On top of reviews for various reading material I will also be adding a blog about coping with dyslexia and the tools I use to get through it. This will be tools, or tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

The second thing we will be adding to the blog is stories. These stories will either be written by myself or readers who are interested in spreading their own tales. The stories can range from fiction of all sorts to real experiences.

Hope you enjoy the up coming content.

Fantasicland: A Novel, By Mike Bockoven – Audiobook Version

FantasticLand: A Novel by Mike Bockoven is a fantastic book, I just finished the audiobook version on Audible. Many audiobooks are a dull droll that can leave you half asleep by the time you finish. Now this is not say that FantasticLand’s only thing going for it is the stellar performances of the voice actors involved. Far from it. The story itself is done in an original way that can keep a person interested in what will happen next.

This fictional story is written in a journalistic way, covering the violent events that take place in a theme park after some employees remain in it for a prolonged period after its hurricane induced closure. The story is a mockumentary of sorts, containing various interviews from people and transcripts from video and court cases. This novel reads like many true crime books, which leads to the audio version feeling like a true crime podcast of sorts.

This book is a must read if you are fond of mockumentary and horror genres. It will keep you interested with both amazing writing and voice acting.

The Fighting Man by Adrian Deans

The Fighting Man by Adrian Deans is a fantastic example of historical fiction.

As a whole I enjoy historical fiction but often dislike how the era that the story takes place is often romanticized, leaving the negative aspects of the world at the time out and replaced with only the grandest examples of the year. The Fighting Man does none of that. Early on, it makes the filth of the locations obvious. Though if you have a weak stomach for the lack of hygiene of the 1000s, you may have some difficulty reading some parts of the book.

Adrian Deans made a believable story of historical character as well as fitting his fictional ones comfortably in to the time period. Deans makes an entertaining story out of a portion of history that is full of holes. He switches between the first person view of the principal character and slides in to third person tales of the side characters. It’s a comfortable transition between the viewpoints and makes up for the complications often seen in first-person stories.

While the love story aspect of the tale felt a bit forced at first, Deans does a fine job of tying it in to the story as a whole and by the end of the book it feels as though it has found its place in the story as a whole. The characters are memorable and grow throughout the story, changing in appearance and personality, growing in to their own over the years of the tale.

The Fighting Man by Adrian Deans is a must read for fans of historical fiction, particularly those who are interested in early England, Vikings, and epic battles.

Tsundoku, Bibliophilia, and ranting.

Tsundoku, a Japanese word for collecting books and never reading them! A term I literally just learned. Why? Because Google randomly displayed articles about it when I opened my internet browser this afternoon. (Though if it’s the same day when I get around to posting, this is anyone’s guess.) Naturally, I was instantly curious not only because of my love of books but also my love of Japanese books. Now I’ve not read many, I should fix that, but it’s hard to find translations of actual Japanese novels here in the United States and I am one who refuses to pirate the hard work of authors of any sort or from any location. That being said, I have inhaled my share of manga and I read the Parasite Eve novel by Hideaki Sena some years ago because my local library had a copy. A book I would suggest to lovers of Japanese and biological horror and, of course, the semi well known video game series of the same name.

Many English speakers, of which I am, and no I am not flaunt in anything else, your typical English speaking American, may be more familiar with the term bibliophile, a person with a great love of books! It’s used in both a sentimental and derogatory term really depending on who you speak to. (Though honestly, the only people I have ever heard use it negatively are those who dislike reading.)

Back on topic, however, there was a time in my life that I collected tons of books but never got around to reading them. I had a whole bookshelf full of stacks on stacks of literature, eventually though, someone gifted me an e-reader and cut back on the physical copies. I love holding a book, but they take up more space than you can account for if you’re the person who likes to go back and re-read once in a while. Sure library borrowing is great, but these days, because of certain publishing companies cutting back on the copies libraries may have, it makes the time you spend waiting on the book, often not worth the wait when you can just purchase it and have it instantly. (An issue I will touch in a later post.)

Once more back on topic, because I digress constantly, when I moved it was rather dreadful, I had no one to give all my many books to, and no one would purchase them off me so I ended up throwing away hundreds of books ranging in genre and various levels of use, you could tell which of the many books I had over read as the spines had suffered severe fraying. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is the only physical copy survivor of my book purge. Why? Well, it is such a bizarrely visual book which often requires turning of the entire book, unless you can read sideways and upside down and in circles, that to not read it in a physical format seems almost insulting to the work they put in to the text.

Do you have a backlog of books you intend to read but never get to? Do you think it’s a normal habit of a bibliophile or something deeper? I’m no psychologist, but the varying reasons people come up with for these collecting habits can be really interesting.

Whom The Gods Love By M.M. Perry

Whom The Gods Love

Author. M.M. Perry –

Whom The Gods Love is the first in a series by M.M. Perry, it is followed by Whom The Gods Hate and Whom The Gods Fear. The story wonderfully combines classic fantasy novel tropes and originality. The story itself has items reminiscent of classic literature and sprawling world adventures. The disregard the gods have for the people that worship them reminds one of the old gods of our actual world. Oshia in particular bringing up thoughts ancient Greek gods too vain for their own good.

Going further in to the characters, each is likeable and creates a well-rounded party expected when one reads and adventurous fantasy tale. Though I will admit I did not like the character Cass in the beginning, she grew on me as I read the story and I found myself adoring her as much as her companions did by the end of the book.

All in all, if you are a fan of the fantasy genre I suggest you give this book, and M.M. Perry your attention.

NOTE: I received this book as a complimentary copy from Voracious Readers Only

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