Beacon Bookstagram Box 2020

When I started this blog I also created a Instagram account to post bookstagram photos. As I’m still learning the best ways to post and interact on Instagram the Beacon Bookstagram Box sounded like an interesting tool that I might get something out of.

This is not a traditional book box as there is no book or fandom related items. It is instead a box of props and information for those wanting to start a bookstgram account or those who have one and want more information.

IMG_0340Beacon joined up with popular bookstagram accounts to give the best advice and some great props that can be used to better pictures. The items included were a notebook with tips and advice, a 26 week planner, a fabric back drop, a letter board, a fake dagger, a crown, a mask, a pocket watch, fairy lights, flower petals, keys, acorns, and pine cones.

Most of these items where not props I already had so buying this box worked out for me. Now I have new props to use in different ways and some tips that I never considered before. Every box was slightly different so that now everyone got exectly the same items therefore pictures will be different. The only item that I didn’t like was the fake dagger it looks and feels very cheep.

If there is another bookstgram box in the future I might consider getting it.

Book Review:Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

49950349Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a new young adult standalone fantasy that follows a pair a strong women who are willing to risk their lives in their quest to become champions in the monster racing.

In the world of Becar who you are in this life determines who and what you are in the next. The augurs can read your fate so you can change your destiny. But the darkest of souls cannot be changed and you come back as a kehok, a monster that will never find redemption except through the races.

Tamra is an elite kehok rider and trainer who is down on her luck and needs the prize money from the races to stop the local augur temple from taking her daughter away. Raia is a young woman desperate to get away from her family and the awful man she is meant to marry. As a kehok rider she could win enough money to gain her freedom. Tamra agrees to train Raia to ride a new unusual kehok and attempt to win the races.

Through the story its apparent that is kehok is different and may hold the key to the death of the last emperor and the future of the nation of Becar.

The book is very fast paced and I often didn’t want to put it down. You are thrown into the story with very little explanation of the world or society but its done in a way that you want to find out more. I enjoyed the story and though its a standalone book I could see other stories set in this world. The only thing I would add is a pronunciation guide for the new words in this world and society.

Did Not Finish (DNF) #2

So, I want to love every book I buy and read but that doesn’t always happen. I also don’t believe in forcing myself to finish things that I’m not enjoying so I routinely stop reading books and never finish them. These post are for me to talk about why I DNFed a book.

10664113._SX318_A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martian: I love Game of Thrones, more the show than the books but I’ve enjoyed both. However, I’m at the point where it has just been too long between when I read the last Song of Ice and Fire book and a Dance With Dragons and with the last two book not published yet, I’ve lost all interest. I think the story is good but with the length of the books and timing  I don’t think I will ever finish this series and I’m okay with that.

23281665Survive the Night by Danielle Vega is a young adult horror novel where a group of teenagers go to a underground rave and horrible things happen. I made in to page 76 before I stopped reading and the book is only 263 pages. At the point I stopped there was no horror at all, it was all teen drama and honestly I have no idea why this group is even friends no one seems to like each other. If you market something as a horror novel make sure that you don’t bore or annoy the reader before you get to that point. The concept is interesting but the writing is boring and gave me no reason to continue reading.

35182350Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe by Deborah Cadbury is an historical nonfiction book. I pick this up because as a historian it was recommended to me based on other history books I read and liked. However, Queen Victoria and the Victorian era are not subjects that I’m all that interested in. I only read about the first one and a half chapters and it very well written and researched. It didn’t hold my interest but anyone who studies this time period would probably like it.

32620332._SY475_The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a historical fiction book about reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo who is going to tell her life story to a unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant. I’m considering this a DNF for now as I generally like the premise of the story. At the moment I don’t think I’m in the mood to read this book. I also started it as an audio book and I didn’t connect well this the narrator of the audio book. I’m also just not really in the mood for audio books at the moment. However, I do think I would like this book if I picked it up in the future.


April 2020 Wrap Up

In March I read three books and started and finished Final Fantasy VII Remake.


36686547The first book I read was The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette De Bodard. This is a science fiction novella that is set in a world where space ships have minds and personalities. The story follows Long Chau and the ship The Shadow’s Child who are attempting to solve a murder mystery. This is very much scifi combined with Sherlock Holmes. Though the story is short I ended up loving it, however it just drops you into the world so the first few pages are a little confusing as you try to figure out how this world works.

40333936._SX318_The League of Regrettable Sidekicks by Jon Morris is a coffee table type book that goes through many of the different sidekicks that have existed in comic book history. It focuses mostly on characters that are not popular and may have been forgotten over times. Its a very quick read for anyone who wants to know more comic history.

43785830The last book I read this month was Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty. This is a nonfiction book that answers questions about death and dying posed by kids. The answers and questions are given in a way that is informative and interesting with a dash of humor but are simple enough explanations for many people to understand. I’ve read Caitlin’s other books and follow her on YouTube so I enjoy her content. I love the fact that she answers questions that many have but will not ask.


FFVIIRemakeI only game that I was playing and focusing on this month was Final Fantasy VII Remake. This is a game that I absolutely loved and I can’t wait for the next game. If you have never played Final Fantasy VII or any Final Fantasy games I would give this one a shot. I also have a full review that does contain some spoilers if anyone wants to know my full thoughts.

April 2020 OwlCrate

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. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. April’s theme is Full Moon Magic.IMG_0354

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. The items included were a canvas pouch with a bamboo moon phase banner in it, a Shatter Me inspired tote bag, a notebook with a quote from Oscar Wilde, a crescent moon bracelet, and a 300 piece puzzle with Remus Lupin from Harry Potter on it.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie. This time the book also comes with sprayed edges. The story follows Ailesse who has been training to become a Bone Crier, who are the only ones who can stop the dead from attacking the living, but she must kill the boy she is destined to love. Bastien has been seeking revenge for the death of his father but now his fate is intertwined with Ailesse.IMG_0358

May’s theme is Rebels with A Cause.


Video Game Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake

FFVIIRemakeFinal Fantasy VII Remake is the remake and re-imagining of the original 1997 Final Fantasy VII. You play as Cloud Strife a mercenary connected to an Eco terrorist group AVALANCHE who are fighting against the evil Shinra Corporation and end up getting involved with trying to save the world.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game that I’ve been waiting for since the PlayStation 3 tech demo was released in 2007. I’ve played the original game and the Compilation games as well. Though VII was not my first Final Fantasy the characters and plot have stuck with me more than other games and its one of my favorites. Because of this I absolutely love the remake and really don’t have anything bad to say about it. This game was everything I wanted and more and I’m so glad that we are finally getting it regardless of the fact that its coming in installments.

If you have never played Final Fantasy VII or any Final Fantasy I feel like this would be a good game to start with. Each game is a separate story so you don’t need to know anything about previous games and though there are hints that will make more since if you have played the original the story still makes since to those who are new to this game.

The two biggest criticism that I’ve seen of the game is the fact the its coming in installments and that this section is very linear. While I would love to have the whole game right now the first part with the Midgar section is well fleshed out and I trust the team making the games will finish the whole thing. The Midgar section, even in the original, was the most linear part of the story. Its setup for the bigger events to come but I love how more flesh out the world and characters are. The events of this first part are given more weight and hit harder than in the original.

To talk about my feeling about the game I need to discuss spoilers specifically for the ending. So I would recommend playing the game for yourself and not reading further if you want to avoid spoilers.


Through out the game you encounter these dark ghost like creatures called the Whispers. We are told later in the game that they are harbinger of fate and are trying to keep destiny on track. Most of the time when they show up you see glimpses of events from the future that played out in the original and is the future of this timeline. At the end of the game you need up fighting these harbingers of fate and defeating them making the future yours to decide. At this point in the game you also see the scene where Zack is fighting Shinra and in the original dies up after defeating fate he lives. Sephorith is also attempting to fight fate and asks Cloud to join him implying that the future games might not be the same as the original story.

My interpretation of this part of the story is that we now have three timelines. The original game and the compilation games which is essentially the bad ending with Sephiroth defeated but at to high a cost. We have the Remake timeline which is following similar events to the original but Sephiroth and other characters know more than they should and are trying to change things. Final the third timeline where Zack lives and the story will change because of him. I can’t wait to see how the story will play out now and I hope that the timeline where Zack lives will intersect with the new game timeline at some point.

To those who read this and have finished the game, what are your thoughts? I would love to discuss different theories with others and how you think the future story will unfold.


March 2020 Fae Crate

I like to try out different book boxes both from companies that I’ve bought from before and new companies every so often to see how book boxes are changing. Fae Crate is a primarily young adult fantasy subscription box with several box options each month. Sadly, most of the monthly boxes have been let down for me but this years March box which is also their anniversary box is much better. There is still a few items that I won’t get much use out of but it think the company is slowly getting higher quality items.IMG_0329

Much like other boxes they include one new hard back book and bookish items. The bookish items included were a necklace inspired by The Maiden Ship which is this months book, an ACOTAR enamel pin, a skyward patch tote bag to put iron on patches on. They also included a Crown of Feathers patch to use on the bag, a Spin the Dawn blanket, and their monthly art and Polaroids. I like most of the items but I’m not a iron on patch person so I probably won’t use the patch on the bag.

Also Fae Crate always includes a e book code which can make the cost better if one isn’t a fan of most of the items. This months e book is  Iridescent Fury by Zachary James. This months book is The Maiden Ship by Micheline Ryckman and it comes with a signed book plate. For this edition of the book the hard back is embossed and comes with a reversible dust jacket with exclusive art. The story follows Dain Alloway who has been sailing on the ship The Maiden for most of his life but this all changes when he wakes one night to find a mysterious woman in his cabin.



TV Show Review: Black Summer

p16715506_b_v8_aaBlack Summer is a zombie TV show from Netflix that is a prequel to the events of Z Nation. Black Summer starts about six weeks after the start of the zombie apocalypse and focuses on Rose who is separated from her daughter, Anna, and a small group of survivors as they attempt to get Rose back to her daughter.

Though technically in the same world as Z Nation this show is much more realistic and more in line with our world today as people have yet to figure out how they will survive and live in this new world. The show is much shorter at the moment than Z Nation with only one season of eight thirty minute episodes but a second season is in the works.

Black Summer is a much slower show that focuses more on the interaction between people and how the world has change would effect people. Though Rose is essentially the main character because of the plot following her journey. The show does allow itself to give some focuses to other characters primarily Julius James, a criminal who is using the name Spears as it is the name of the guard who’s uniform he took. Also even though we can’t understand her I love the development given to Sun a Korean woman who can’t speak any English. Black Summer is very good at showing how those who can’t communicate with other members of the group or those with disabilities would survive or not in this new world. However, I wish Netflix had subtitled Sun’s lines as I think it would allow the audience to understand her better and maybe give us some information to her back story.

Overall, I like Z Nation more as a series but I do plan to watch the next season of Black Summer as I think that it will become a very good series in time.