Books

Book Review: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

(4/5 stars) The third book on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is "A classic of genre fiction," and after scrolling through their list of suggestions, I decided this would be a good one to pick up.  Everyone is probably familiar with the story because the movie is superfamous. The book is pretty much the same with a few additional details.  I wish it weren't so familiar because the book is really well put together and it would probably be a thrill to experience the story for the first time through this book.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Books

Book Review: Wisp of a Thing (Tufa #2) by Alex Bledsoe

Summary: (3/5 stars) I thoroughly enjoyed the first of the Tufa novels, but even though this book had a lot of the same color and tone of the first book, it didn't manage to recapture the magic. I think it's probably because the main character is different and the overarching conflict between the two fairy families doesn't expand in a very satisfying way. I think there are five of these books and I'll keep reading, but now without the same anticipation.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Books

Book Review: The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

(4/5 stars) This is a contemporary-era fantasy novel set in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.  The Hyatt family starts seeing death omens just as their daughter arrives home, injured from a tour of duty in Iraq.  The magic in this book is mysterious and subtle and explained only very slowly.  I really enjoyed the fact that the stakes in the book are really personal unlike in epic fantasy books.  And, of course, I also enjoyed the multi-faceted portrayal of southern culture.  I'll definitely pick up the second book in this series soon.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Books

Book Review: Maurice by EM Forster

(5/5 stars) I picked up this book as part of Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge in order to satisfy the posthumous publication requirement. It's a beautiful and heart-breaking story of same-sex love and loss. It also has an ambiguous ending a la the movie version of Brokeback Mountain. So, the reader is left wondering about what will happen to Maurice next.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Personal

Happiness Hypothesis: What Are My Strengths?

Online quizzes aren't the best psychological instruments, obviously, but I tried to approach the quiz with openness and honesty. And not only do these results reflect things I identified with my exercises with Kelsey, but they reflect feedback I received from several of my friends when I asked them to identify my top three strengths.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Books

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J Maas

(Overall 2/5 stars) This is a young adult epic fantasy series that I foolishly bought all at the same time. I don't remember why it was recommended to me nor why I listened to that recommendation. I think I bought them all at once because they were relatively inexpensive and they seemed like good books to listen to while feeding the baby at 3am.  Bottom line: the first and third books are OK. The second one is awful. I would put these books right alongside the Shadowhunter series and the Twilight series in terms of quality. Utterly skippable, in my opinion, so I 100% expect my daughter to find them in my Kindle library when she reaches a suitable age and proclaim them as her favorites.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Books

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

(5/5 stars) This is a great sci-fi romp with colorful characters, lots of adventure and intrigue.  The world-building is intricate without getting too nerdy and even though there's a strong element of "social justice" throughout, I didn't feel like it got too preachy.  I also appreciate that although this is very clearly a first book in a series, it feels complete.  I could read just this one and not feel like I'm missing anything. But I enjoyed the characters and the universe, so I will very likely come back to the other books in the series.

By Trey McIntyre, ago
Entertainment

Video Game Review: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

(4 of 5 stars) The oddly flat style of art and a control layout that I found rather awkward gave me a bad first impression of this game, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it ended up being a lot of fun. The story is only so-so, but I enjoyed the new game mechanics.  Critics will likely complain that missions are repetitious, but that's a hallmark of the series by now, right? 

By Trey McIntyre, ago
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