Music review-MonochRomantic-Munro

I found this band through one of those late night youtube video trails, which lead along a meandering path of recommended viewings to unexpected places of the interweb.

I discovered Munro through the lead singer Jake Munro’s  partner, youtuber Toxic Tears  (they also have a brilliant gaming channel Metal Ass Gaming ).

I listen to a diverse range of music within the metal genre, from the symphonic melodies of Nightwish, classics like Iron Maiden , to the darker extremes such as Cradle of Filth, along with more obscure black metal and folk metal. One genre I have not really explored is Djent.

Jake Munro composes and performs incidental music as background to his daily vlogs, which I liked. This made me curious to check out his band’s music, so I added their debut album MonochRomantic on my spotify playlist while I did my morning workout.

The band’s music has enough of a heavy baseline and growling vocals to appeal to my metal taste . Technical Complexity which are typical of the Djent genre. While having catchy melodies to appeal to those who like their metal more mainstream. Most unique is the discordant, dissonant tones (I’m no musician, so am unsure if those are the right terms) which which give an edge to the music, adding another layer to the sound.

The production is good too, especially for an upcoming, independent band. I am glad I diversified from my musical comfort zone. I would highly recommend giving Munro a listen.

Munro have since competed in Bloodstock Metal to the Masses roadshow, which was their first live performance, and are in process of releasing their second album. I am looking forward to hearing how their sound has developed, and to hear some more great music.


Book Review-After Hope: 4 Stories from Hope City-Angel Wedge

After Hope: 4 Stories from Hope CityAfter Hope: 4 Stories from Hope City by Angel Wedge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Original fun short stories about superheroes living in a world where it us illegal to have superpowers.
Just the right length to read on your commute to work, or a quick lunch break

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Book Review-City of Bones-Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The characters are multifaceted and believable, the story is well written and the world intriguing; with fantastical elements, yet with basis in real world.

I enjoyed this first book of the series, but it didn’t immediately hook me into the world or its characters in the same way as Clare’s Infernal Devices series (think it was the Steam Punk element and historical setting which I liked).

I am still looking forward to reading the rest of this series and discovering more about the world of the Shadow Hunters post-Infernal Devices.

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Book Review-Dreaming of America-Glenis Stott

Dreaming of America: A Journey of BetrayalDreaming of America: A Journey of Betrayal by Glenis Stott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This fascinating story explores the reasons for Clara leaving her husband and other children to make a new life in US with her lover and their daughter Jenny. It also examines the repercussions for the family she left behind. life in 1900s England is vividly captured. I love that the point of view switches between that of Clara and Jenny in US, and her family in England. This story is moving without being sentimental, and delves into the main character’s actions and motives without being judgmental.
The epilogue is poignant-brief biographies of the author’s family on which the novel is based.

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Rather late Catch-up (from 18 January)

Writing fail this week. Have got a virus again, with an annoying cough (pretty much have been catching bugs every other week since August)-more worn out than full-on ill.

I had been beating myself up for not getting anything done this month, having planned on doing a full rewrite of my NaNoWriMo novel, and to write every day.

While I was browsing through my scrivener file for Nano 2017, I saw that my novel is now organised in chapters/ scenes,and chronological order.

This is some achievement considering I had done more pantsing than plantsing during November, which resulted in my novel being a mess. Each scene switched between different characters’ POV, time, and setting. I’d often mixed up past and present tense in one paragraph. There were endless side plots, which often went nowhere.

That was confusing enough, but I then had to organise time travel, portals, and alternate dimensions into some sort of coherent structure.

I hadn’t seen the bigger picture because I had been chipping away on it a section at a time, concentrating only on the scene I was working on. I’m feeling a little better about myself now. I have achieved something this month, even if I didn’t reach the goals I had set.

Sometimes doing nothing, or the minimal is okay (I am still dragging myself into work, despite not feeling great). Sometimes If you push yourself too hard, as I have done in the past, you end up more ill & likely get burnout.

Postscript 29 January

Not feeling too bad now, still not 100 percent, but getting there. I haven’t managed to write every single day, but am improving. Doing the 85K Writing Challenge is helping to spur me along. Though I am not writing the full 85K, just adding missing scenes to my novel, ready to start the 85K Editing Challenge in April.

Book Review-Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops-Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in BookshopsWeird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lovely book that made me laugh, cringe, & shake my head at the funny, ridiculous, and sometimes inappropriate things customers say. The witty illustrations throughout compliment the text. A great book for when you’re in need of a quick read that will cheer you up.

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Book Review -Jason-laurell. Hamilton

Jason (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #23)Jason by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually save reviews for indie titles, but felt I had to justify my scoring for this novel. I gave this a 3 as goodreads doesn’t have half stars. I love Anita Blake novels, but this one just didn’t gel with me.
First few chapters are exposition that seems like a ‘how to’ guide to polyamory & guide to lycanthrope social structure.
The rest is pretty much sex scenes, and not much plot or action (other than the sex). However, there is some character and story progression. By the end Anita has learned something new about herself -& some new ‘skills’. Also, relationships of characters have developed. Think there maybe hints of a new story line too. Will see when read the next installment of Anita Blake ‘Dead Ice’. I guess this story will appeal to readers who enjoy the sex scenes more than the violence, but it just didn’t appeal to me.

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