Unravel Review

unravel_cover_artUnravel is puzzle platforming game released in 2016 where you play as Yarny, a little creature made out of red yarn.  The game play allows the player to interact with the world though the use of yarn to solve puzzles and find things in the environment. The game begins with an older woman picking up a basket of yarn and a ball of red yarn falling out, and then we see Yarny.

In the opening area of the game there are pictures that Yarny uses to visit and interact with the environments that were important to the owner of the home. In these environments there are glimpses of important memories which start out happy at the ocean and in the mountains but as the game continues darker memories emerge. At the end of each level, Yarny finds a badge that is put on the cover of a photo album which is then filled with photos of the memories that the player encounters in each level.

The game is beautifully designed with each level using new environments and challenges to the new puzzles. The story of Unravel is told completely though visuals and music as there is no dialogue used nor is there much written information in the levels. It’s a very fun game to play with the first level as the main tutorial and then needing to learn what each levels puzzles need from trial and error. The only thing that I had a problem with is sometimes the game is not clear which area is the next which can effect how the puzzles work and these can be more convoluted than need be. Also there are several sections that must be timed exactly right such as running from animals, falling rocks, and water sections that don’t have any check points in them. So if you mess up near the end you have to do the whole puzzle all over and for me most of them required multiple tries which got very frustrating at times.  I do really like this game but the frustration that I felt does make me question if I will ever play the sequel that was released in 2018.

Overall, Unravel is a fun but challenging puzzle game that is beautifully designed and one that I feel many people will enjoy.

DNF (Did Not Finish) #1

I used to try to finish all the books that I started but as I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped doing that as much. I believe that life is too short and there are so many things that I could enjoy that I shouldn’t have to force myself to finish books or shows if I’m on longer enjoying it. But I still want to talk about why I stopped reading. Sometimes there’s not to say so I don’t want to write full reviews. So here is a list of the books that I’ve recently did not finish and my reasons why.

Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson is a dystopian novel told through letters, recordings, notes, newspaper clippings etc. and while a very cool concept not very I trusting to read. After about 60 pages I had not connect with any of the characters or story so I stopped reading.

Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem is famous for the fact that the author scammed her way on to the New York Times bestsellers list. When I bought the book, I knew about the story but couldn’t remember the title or author so I bought it anyway. I couldn’t even get though the first chapter. The story was boring and didn’t grab me, the first person perspective does the story no favors and makes the protagonist annoying and the descriptions make no sense. I have no idea how this book even got published.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory, the fourteenth Plantagenet and Tudor Novel, follows Lady Jane Grey, who was queen of England for nine days, and her two sisters. When I bought this book I thought I would love it as I have loved some of Philippa Gregory’s other books. However, I’m learning that her book are very hit or miss for me. The book is told from Jane, Katherine, and Mary’s perspectives but I barely got through the first 50 pages of Jane’s perspective. I found Jane as a narrator to be far too pious, boring, annoying, and I felt like she hates all the other women in her life. To start the book like this made me not care about the story or any of the characters which almost always stops me from finishing a book. I feel like if you love all of Philippa Greogory’s work or Lady Jane Grey story is what you are interested in than you might like this book but it wasn’t for me. 

Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois is a short story collection focusing on the concept of the rogue and how the authors featured in the book wanted to play with that concept. It is becoming clear to me that I don’t like short story collections unless all of the stories are either from the same author or from the same series (ex: Doctor Who). Even the stories from authors I like and have read other things from, I just couldn’t get though everything bored me and I’m not really sure why. I like the idea of these types of collections as a way to see if I might like the authors other works but it never seems to work out the way I want it to. I think many people will enjoy these stories and the book overall but the format did nothing for me and because of that I couldn’t get through any of it.

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

13641105Parasite is the first book in the Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). In the year 2027 humanity no longer deals with sickness and disease due the genetically engineered tapeworms created by SymboGen that everyone now carries. The story primarily follows Sally Mitchel who nearly died six years ago but was saved by the SymboGen tape worm. However, things are starting to go wrong with the tape worms and people are not acting like they should so Sally must figure out what is going on and her new place in the world.

The story starts out very interesting seeing how the world is different from today. As I don’t think there would very be anything that would convince me to carry a tapeworm. Sal, as Sally prefers, doesn’t remember anything from before that accident that nearly killed her so she is being treated as a medical miracle even years later. It’s clear that while she understand everyone want to find out how she survived and what happened she hates being treated like a child. As a sleeping sickness starts affecting people everywhere Sal and her boyfriend start uncovering secrets that will change everything and that puts them in grave danger.

Though I’ve loved many of Seanan McGuire’s other works there is an important plot twist about halfway through the book that completely lost me. Given that the science seems very sound in the rest of the book this twist seemed to come out of left field and didn’t flow with the rest of the story. Seanan McGuire’s endings though, especially in her science fiction horror books, feel like a gut punch or that didn’t just happen, did it?  Its nothing that I ever expect and it always causes me to want to read more.

If you have any anxiety or fears based around medical events or parasites/bugs I would consider not reading this series.  I absolutely loved the NewsFlesh series and have loved many of Seanan McGuire’s other work so I was expecting to love this book. Though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping with the ending I do plan on continuing the series but I don’t think I will have that high of expectations for the rest of the series.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

January 2019 Wrap Up

January was not a great reading month for me, while I’ve read five books none of them I really love. I did finish Kingdom Heart this month which I’ve been playing for a while so that does make up for it some.


39330961The first book I read this year was the screenplay of Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I love Harry Potter and I grew up with it so I know I will read and watch anything new that comes out. I just hope the next things J. K. Rowling puts out is better than this. Though I didn’t hate The Crimes of Grindelwald movie it could have been better. Screenplay on the other hand don’t really work as books as there is so much information that is not given to the reader. Though I bought it more for the pretty cover and for my Harry Potter collection. Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

12283733Walking Dead Book 7 by Robert Kirkman is the collection of issues #73-84 which is part of the Alexandrian Safe Zone story arc. At this point Rick and the others have arrived at Alexandria and the story follows whether or not this could actually be a safe place to stay. I’ve been rereading the comics to catch back up and I’ve noticed this time that I don’t like certain story lines and elements more this time than in the past. Jessie was very annoying as I didn’t like the story in either the book or show and everyone in Alexandria feel very naive as they don’t fully understand the world now.I will continue with the series but as some parts I love and others drag. Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

20575410Endsinger by Jay Kristoff is the last book in the Lotus War Trilogy which is a fantasy story set in a steam punk Japan where Yukiko and her father are tasked with finding the last of the Arashitoras (thunder tigers). All while the country is at war and a rebellion is brewing. I wanted to love this book as I’ve loved many of Jay Kristoff’s other works but I didn’t. I feel like this is mostly my fault as I read each book in the series too far apart. Though the characters are great and I love many of them, I often felt that the consequences of their actions didn’t have much of an impact. However, Yukiko and Buruu will always be amazing and the bitter sweetness of their story’s end is what I wish more books would strive for. Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

Post Secret and My Secret by Frank Warren are both compilations of postcard sent in to the Post Secret project which asked people to send in anonymous secrets though the mail as a way to release ones feelings and secret that people where hiding. It’s an interesting concept that shows that while everyone is different the fear and secrets that we keep are all very similar. In general these books are more art pieces than actual books. My Secret is aimed a little more at college student than Post Secret is but they are essentially the same thing. Rating of both: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars


This month I also finished one PlayStation 4 game which was Kingdom Hearts which I have a full review of. I also attempted Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories but only got though the first couple of hours before deciding that I hated the card battle system and that I would get move out of watching Chain of Memories. I love Kingdom Hearts and so glad I’ve finally taken the time to work on completing the franchise.

January 2019 Owl Crate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. January’s theme is Magical Artifacts. I really love this months box and the book.img_0236.jpg

The bookish items for this month include an antler bracelet inspired by Shadow and Bone. A wooden letter opener carved to look like Bilbo’s sword, Sting from The Hobbit.  A pair of Harry Potter socks with the Deathly Hallows symbol on them. A zipper pouch inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic. My favorite item is the wall tapestry inspired by The Golden Compass which I need to find a place to hang it. As always there is a booklet with information about why the items were chosen and an interview with the chosen book’s author but Owl Crate has changed their monthly pins to be enamel pin instead of buttons. I greatly appreciate this change as I didn’t really care for the buttons but I love the design for this pin.

The book included for this month is The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi which I have been hearing amazing things about. In 1889 Paris the wealthy treasure hunter Severin must accept a mission from the Order of Bable to gain his inheritance. Together with a band of misfits they must hunt down the artifact the Order seeks. They might just change history if they can survive. All Owl Crate books come with an exclusive cover, are signed and come with a letter from the author. This month a luggage tag was included as swag with the book.img_0252

As I said before I really like the items in this months box and I look forward to reading the book. For the next month February’s theme is Whimsical Beasts.img_0240.jpg