Damsel in Distress 2 by @femfreq


Hello Travelers,

Today, I came across one of the most insightful and tactful videos on feminism that I’ve ever seen. I’ve often heard feminists bash men, using derogatory slurs or making outlandish accusations in ‘the spirit of sisterhood’. This is not so with Anita Sarkeesian.

Honestly, there is nothing I can say about why you should watch her videos that she does not implicitly say for herself in her intellectual, professional analysis of misogyny in our world. I consider myself to be a bit of a feminist, though I don’t do as much as I likely can and should for this cause. As such, I’ve decided to start sharing videos, commentary, etc., of this sort. It’s something, and anything is worth the effort.

Please, Friends, watch these videos- whether you agree or not, this message deserves to be heard.

Best regards,
Alex

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A review: The Falcon’s Chase, by Kate Monroe


Reuben, a brave, suave man more commonly known as the Black Swan and captain of The Falcon, awaits in The Tower to face his death under unclear circumstances-all that is known is that he was dragged away by police after yet another sexual conquest, the woman he bedded laughing at having deceived him. However, he receives a stay of execution when a beautiful and daring woman by the name of the Lady Arianne “Ari” Dalton breaks into the prison to set him free. Her only request is that he escort her to Egypt so that she may start a new life away from London, her arranged marriage, and her controlling father. All too eager to leave London in his past, Reuben agrees.

While the arrangement is simple, completing it is not, as the captain soon finds himself lusting after her with an intensity he is not yet known before. As it gradually dawns on him that his affections may be more than physical, he and Ari find that running away from their problems doesn’t solve them. In fact, the people they’re running from have dire plans in store, and there’s no telling what could happen if Reuben and Ari do not face their demons.

Stuffed to the brim with memorable characters, jovial wit and an old-world flair, The Falcons Chase was engaging and delightful example of two genres being blended seamlessly together.

On one hand, this is a romance, and the attraction between Reuben and Ari is clear from the beginning of the book. However, their relationship is teased out through Ari’s complicated personality, allowing the reader to feel her emotional barriers breaking down as the plot progresses. The details of upper-echelon Victorian courtship were used well and felt very realistic, making Ari’s actions and reactions all the more believable.

On the other, this is a work of the steampunk variety. The use of technology was subtle and tasteful, allowing fans of steam punk to still enjoy this story without confusing those who might not be as familiar with the genre. Airships, mechanical prosthetics, nanobots and other details establish the setting and serve as the basis of the subplot, and are even used to help develop the romance between Reuben and Ari.

This story is packaged with a neat little bow comprised of political intrigue and long-awaited revenge, adding a layer of intensity that made reading this a truly enjoyable experience. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone over the age of eighteen, whether they typically read romance or not. The balance of love, lust and action, as well as the charmingly witty characters, will make this story hard to forget, for which I award this a 5 star review.

Check it out here!
Amazon

My sincerest apologies, friends


Hello, Travelers.

I recently set out to grant each writer for both anthologies of Carnage: After the End a separate review. Regrettably, due to a few deadlines, time constraints, and school starting up, I am not able to do so.

HOWEVER- I did write a review for both volumes on Amazon, and I meant every word. I thoroughly enjoyed both anthologies and, whether or not I gave/ would’ve given you a 5 star review, I think everyone involved did a phenomenal job. That includes the writers and, of course, Nina, Kalla and Gloria of Siren’s Call Publications.

My apologies are directed towards those who I have not and likely will not be able to individually (not that you were sitting around in eager anticipation of me doing so, but still, when I can’t finish what I start, I feel it’s appropriate to say something).

On that note, I’ll be stopping back soon to chat, possibly discuss some new-semester-observations, maybe share a poem or two… but until classes end, I’ll be a little scarce.

May our paths cross again soon, fellow travelers.

 

A review: The Scurrying, by Christofer Nigro, in Carnage After the End volume one


Hello, Travelers! I hope you’re having a nice evening. My reviews for these volumes have been delayed somewhat by the volume of goings-on in my life, but I assure you I’ll have the rest as soon as possible.

The Scurrying, by Christofer Nigro

The story:

Humanity has fallen to rats before, but never like this. Rather than the tiny plague-bearers most know them as, Nigro’s rats are mastiff-sized and out for blood. Alexandra, a battle-hardened woman who leads a small band of survivors, is determined to keep humanity’s numbers from dwindling. Armed with intensely honed skills and new information as to the source of the rats, the only question remains is, Will she be able to act before the rats overtake the last vestiges of society?

My thoughts:

I liked the back story here. Not only was the direct plot tense with the notion of ‘the-battle-is-never-over’ but I found myself very interested in knowing more about how the rats came to be and if they can be stopped. Some teasing information is included in this story, but I definitely wanted to know more.

Additionally, this a great battle scene in any book I’ve read thus far. Granted, I don’t read many action-themed stories, but it is a rare sight to find someone who can accurately and technically describe such a situation without losing less-than-combat-savvy readers.

The characters were engaging and kept me interested. Though, at first, I didn’t like Alexandra, more sides of her are revealed as the story goes on, changing the way one looks at her. The others have their own fun idiosyncrasies, lending a more human presence to these characters. Plus I so rarely get to read things wherein characters reference Norse mythology- that was definitely a treat.

The only thing I might pick out negatively is that the opening felt a little slow, with a number of details being explained directly at the same time rather than shown or alluded to later.

In full, I thought this was an interesting tale that could definitely merit a follow-up story to explore the potential intricacies of the subtle background details here. A solid 4.5 stars, though I think that, with more room to elaborate and take some time with certain points, this would definitely have been a 5 star story.

A review: Begging Death, by Laura Diamond, from Carnage After the End volume 1


Begging Death, by Laura Diamond

The Story:

Peter, the narrator, is a caretaker for the endlessly ill Lucas. Though Lucas pleads him, stating that he wants to die to be rid of his miserable fate, Peter knows this is impossible- death has ceased to be. A great number of people vanished, though the survivors were left immortal; the young stay young, the old stay old, the sick stay sick. What few members of society are left have banded together into warring factions, issuing a strict militant control over everyone, and tormenting those who refuse the faction’s brand.

Of course, this is very bad news for Peter, since he knows the love of his life refuses to wear their mark…

My thoughts:

I was initially struck by the fact that this piece is in the present tense. A daring and effective move on the author’s part, this style brings a sense of immediacy to the story. The ‘as the events unfold’ nature of the narration is especially important towards the end.

The emotional bond between the two main characters is very well developed. Not only is Peter’s concern for Lucas evident, but he retains pre-apocalyptic mannerisms, such as instructing Lucas to wear shoes even though any wounds he might receive could not possibly become infected. This allows the reader to see into the mind of a person who refuses to let any adversity come between him and his ward.

One interesting part of this piece was how the local factions utilized the lack of death in their torture methods. I won’t go into detail, for the sake of spoilers, but I enjoyed the thought process here. The use of flashbacks to describe the Disappearing was good, but it seemed to interrupt the pacing of the story.

All together, this was a poignant tale of two people who tried their hardest to live in a vacuum once society had fallen. The emotions ran high, but the flow of the plot occasionally fell where it could’ve soared. I give this particular tale a 4.0 out of 5.