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Book Reviews

DNF Review @ 41%: And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks by Burroughs and Kerouac

I’d say this cover matches the inside of this book. Blah.

Blurb:

In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.


The occasional internal laugh is what kept me reading this through the beginning and in hopes that the noise would materialize into a great story . . . but, it kept going on and on with what seemed to be the continuation of well, just more noise. I realize that this book stands for these influential author’s collaboration before they were even famous, but the problem is that I haven’t read anything by Kerouac before and only one book by Burroughs, in which I only remember one thing from the whole book and do not remember the title. My tolerance is 100 pages of noise before something drops to get me hooked and this book, and I either missed the boat altogether or it’s just plain noise and it gets ★★☆☆☆ two out of five stars for what I happened to read.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Book Reviews

DNF @ 37% Review: Quantum by Patricia Cornwell

Very well done cover . . . with space balls of some sort.

Blurb:

International bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers pulse-pounding thrills in the first book in a series featuring a brilliant and unusual new heroine, cutting-edge cybertechnology, and stakes that are astronomically high.

On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences.

As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide—a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days.

Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe—not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

Brilliantly crafted, gripping, and smart, Patricia Cornwell’s cliffhanger ending will keep readers wondering what’s next for Captain Calli Chase.


Let me start out by saying I have read some Patricia Cornwell books and loved them mucho construto. I started reading this yesterday and made it over a hundred pages in, which I can say this is an easy read, so that’s not the reason I DNF’d this book.

The Kindle edition has media embedded in it, which was neato-torpedo, displaying some animated images at the start of some chapters. This is apart from the fact that I couldn’t change the background color for this book on my Kindle Fire, assumably caused from the embedded media which was all-together absent from Kindle cloud reader.

This book started out well for me. It was quick, punchy and intelligent. However, Captain Chase turned into a squirrel on assumable hallucinogens and coke, ( not the kind in the bottle ) feeding me every detail that ran through her mind whether it was relevant or not . . . and, it’s filled with ADHD-ish ( coupled with my own ADHD tendencies, it proves to be a bad mix ), panicky inner-dialog that I’m assuming is suppose to be thrilling, but just gives me more anxiety than I already have and a need to know what to pay attention to and what not to, which does become decipherable as you read. I comprehended and processed, but not in a way that I prefer.

A word I learned in this book was:

This is a rambling book, which I didn’t mind in itself, but even rambles need to be organized to become coherent to the reader. There’s not much abstract thoughts of the protagonist’s mind other than “what the hell is happening to me and NASA” and “OMG, something is happening to me that someone else just referring to in passing” ( quotes are sarcastic, summarized version of Captain Chase’s thoughts, not actual quotes from the book ), at least of what I read. Sentence structure could use more variation, at least for me – it felt like I was being pelted with little thought-darts. However, the book does give some background to NASA, which I didn’t fact check and won’t.

I don’t have anymore to say about it other than the people at NASA should have given Captain Chase a sedative or two, in order to counter-act those over-stimulated thoughts way, way earlier in the book.

★★☆☆☆ Two stars out of five and a big-fat DNF for Captain Chase’s first book titled Quantum by Patricia Cornwell.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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DNF Video Game: The Medium

THE MEDIUM

Discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. Explore the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Use your psychic abilities to solve puzzles spanning both worlds, uncover deeply disturbing secrets, and survive encounters with The Maw – an entity born from an unspeakable tragedy.

The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that features an innovative dual-reality gameplay, unique art style inspired by painter Zdzisław Beksiński, and original soundtrack co-composed by Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka.


In my sometimes less-than-humble opinion, there are two kinds of games in the world: Game-games and games. Look, I’m joking, well, kind of. Let me explain: there are games where you actually have what seems like free choice. If you want to go all in and fight the high level characters, you most certainly can have at it and get humbled, like the zealous adventurer you are. Unfortunately, The Medium is the opposite of that: a walking simulator that tells what button to push and when to push it, where to walk and when to walk and also when to talk. I don’t like it. I want to run, jump, slash and meander. I want action and intensity, not to aimlessly walk in circles looking for a queue to push the X button.

Is anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me.

Most interactive travels in the game present you with a setting viewed with a fixed, third-person camera as you walk from room-to-room and a Resident Evil type inventory system with the ability to combine items for puzzle solving and possibly more.

Something that did particularly catch my eye and make me go “hmmmm . . . ” was the fact that when looking in the below mirror, there was a strip on the rug that seemed to twinkle and glisten, no matter which angle I moved the camera, which gave me evidence that it wasn’t the mirror causing the anomaly:

See that funky strip on the rug?

That’s not saying The Medium is a bad game, it’s just not for me. I was stunned by some of the visuals that were displayed before the split screen duel-reality play, then the visual appeal seemed degraded ( which I vaguely remember an article confirming that degradation ). I played for a decent 3 hours on the game up until I reached the duel reality view at the camp. The whole premise of the game, being the main character is a medium named Marriane that exists in two different realities at once. Just after the start of the game, we are led to a funeral home and we meet Jack in the dark reality, that has recently died in the normal reality, then we are led to some kind of camp for investigations. This is where I stopped playing the game. I won’t go into any more details about the story, while the elements of the story did seem mildly interesting, it wasn’t good enough to keep me rattling my joystick and looking for a queue to hit X without it being dreadful and a chore. Luckily this game came with my Xbox Game Pass subscription. No love lost, no love found.

Recommendation:

★★☆☆☆ The Medium, an Microsoft Xbox Exclusive gets two stars out of five for lack of excitement and personal preference, however seems solid enough for story-game enjoyers to savor. If you want some, from what I saw non-wretched and light on actual vulgarities like lack of jump scares and gore then it may work even better for you in a search for a psychological survival horror game with class.

Intro video w/ credits

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Book Reviews Other Reviews

DNF Graphic Novel Review: Belle: Oath of Thorns

Belle: Oath of Thorns TPB [ Image Source: mycomicshop.com ]

This was fun, what I read of it. However, the images were pixelated in this Adobe protected PDF and their viewer for these .acsm files is absolutely horrendous. I won’t deal with it ( you can see for yourself what I mean. It scrolls painfully slow and the zoom is unusable which is critical for digital comics ). You can load it up, especially on a mobile device and it is right next to trash, in a dumpster fire. I can’t understand how Adobe gets away with putting out basura like that ( with the exception of Photoshop and the likes ).

Anyways, like I said I was enjoying this, but Zenescope didn’t test their methods, so Belle: Oath of Thorns TPB gets a ★☆☆☆☆ one star out of five from me.

[ Image Source: debrafine.com ]

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Book Reviews

DNF Review: Neuromancer by William Gibson

This is the cover of the mass market paperback copy I received, even though it didn’t match the one that I ordered, I decided not to rain hellfire upon the heads of the Amazon customer service agents that day. I’m really not sure what is going on with this cover. It is not well. It’s worse than not well, it’s terrible. In the middle there, that’s probably an image of some expensive art that William purchased after he made his first $20k off this book. It might still be hanging in his living room.

Summary:

( Extracted from Amazon )

Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.

Evaluation:

I’m mad at this book. This is the exact reason you read the preview on Amazon before purchasing and not by the blurb alone ( which I obviously didn’t read the preview ). The blurb had me excited as all get out because I love Matrix style neuro-hacking cyberpunk futuristic bull crap ( I like it better when it’s the bull and not the crap part ). I’m a futurist at heart, so this book left me first – mouth watering and hungry, and in the end scathing in the current state of configuration while I’m in writing this article.

SIDE NOTE: This is all William Gibson’s fault, haha – Elon Musk’s Neuralink update: How to watch, start time, ‘working’ device demo