Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reader Re-Route

Ugh, I feel really bad about this...I said in my last post months ago that I was having issues with Blogger's compatibility with my browser and in the meantime, I set up a new book blog on WordPress. Well, I thought I would be able to get back to this one once the browser was updated, but you see how that turned out. Since things are going to be really quiet over here, I thought I might as well give you guys a heads-up. If anyone is still reading this blog, and wants to keep reading something, my new center of operations is The Humble Book Nerd at WordPress. I'll try to get back over here someday!

Your pal,


Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Hallelujah! Blame a faulty computer and an outdated browser for the silence, but I have returned! *throws confetti* Anyone glad to see me? (Don't feel obligated to answer, it's a rhetorical question. I promise, I won't get my feelings hurt.)

Also, I have a new name! :)

Your pal,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire, book one

 In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes of the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.


I've spent ages searching for my next epic fantasy fix when I'm on break from Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. I tried Paolini, Goodkind, Brooks, and Jordan, and none of them panned out. Then, then, I found Martin.

It doesn't seem right to call this "fantasy," though, as there is hardly any magic present at all. The prologue snagged me, but that seemed to be where the mystic stopped and the intrigues began. Plots, subplots, counterplots, and all the scheming, backstabbing, secrets and betrayal you can fit in over eight hundred pages (count 'em! Eight hundred!) The best part, it was all so swiftly executed, there was no way I was able to guess what would come next. I haven't made so many wrong predictions since Rebecca!

There are a LOT of perspectives used, but each is so interesting and distinct from the others I had no trouble keeping up with them. I admit to skimming a lot of the descriptions, though...GRRM seems to be as fond of describing things as Robin McKinley. I adored Arya and Dany and only wish there could have been more chapters with them. I began by disliking Sansa quite a bit, but my love for her evolved as the story progressed; I just couldn't help myself, and I can't explain without including spoilers! Tyrion Lannister didn't take long to become my favorite, sarcastic, clever underdog that he is (no pun intended, I promise), and he tied with Catelyn Stark as the most complex character of the piece. I'm still not sure about Jon, though...I could go either way with him, depending on how he evolves. As for Ned Stark, I liked him so much I knocked a star off my rating on his behalf. Confused? I'll leave it with this: Martin is a much better writer than Suzanne Collins, and that makes pulling a stunt like she did in Mockingjay that much more unforgivable.

I appreciated the book's human aspect most of all. It's not black-and-white, good versus evil. There's gray matter. We're a flawed species, and Martin sure as hell didn't neglect that detail. Honorable men sire bastards, good warriors make bad kings, the best intentions have the worst consequences. It's not that the lines between right and wrong are blurred, but that humans in general always tend to see themselves in the right, which leads to no end of trouble. One of my favorite quotes was from one of my least favorite characters, "The things I do for love..." Again, I can't say more without spoiling it, but it serves as a good example of what I'm talking about.

A Game of Thrones was gritty, brutal, intense, and occasionally offensive. It was true to life and preached nothing, but rather seemed to hold up a mirror and say "take a look at yourselves" while still providing an excellent escape. If the rest of the series is up to this standard, I'll be more than satisfied.

But I'm still not giving out that last star. 

Your humble book nerd,

2013 In Review

Well, it's been a weird year around here...let's do a quick recap.

Angels read...
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Opera Ghost Unraveled by Michelle Rodriguez
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Vamphyrric by Simon Clark
The Pirouettes That Angels Spin by Michelle Rodriguez
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Daydreaming Roses and Fairytale Monsters by Michelle Rodriguez
Love Changes Everything by Kelly McQuinn
Night World, No. 1 by L.J. Smith
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
Manifestations of a Phantom's Soul, Volume 2 by Michelle Rodriguez
Chanson de l'Ange Book One: Orphan In Winter by Paisley Swan Stewart

and watched...
Beowulf and Grendel

Featured Artists
Lindsey Stirling
Bob Dylan
George Strait

Featured Lyrics
Broken - Seether feat. Amy Lee
Carnival of Rust - Poets of the Fall
Storybook Love - Willy DeVille
Love Song For a Vampire - Annie Lennox
Gravity - Sara Bareilles
Your Love Will Kill Me - Daniel Lavoie
Water From the Moon - Celine Dion
The Red Strokes - Garth Brooks
All the Love A Heart Can Hold - Sherrie Austin
Neon Moon - Brooks and Dunn

Noteworthy Posts
Michelle Gliottoni-Rodriguez sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"
The Opera Ghost Unraveled book trailer
Angels sings "The Change"
Favorite Phan Videos
Angels has a birthday party!
Opera Macabre book trailer
"The First Choice"
Angels tallies up some statistics
Interview with Michelle Rodriguez
Angels gives a writing tip
Advice From the Phantom
Chanson de l'Ange arrives!
Leroux readings

Well, that seems to be everything important, and it's not that much...maybe things will be better this year! I've already decided to scale back the posts, and I mean it this time! It's going to be mostly reviews, with occasional music and writing posts, and of course more Phantom stuff. I still have to finish the phan challenge!

Your pal,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We've still got a lot of steam left in this party! Who cares that it's almost one o'clock?!

Sideways - Dierks Bentley

Beer Money - Kip Moore

Drink the Night Away - Gaelic Storm

Auld Lang Syne -Kevin Walsh

Happy New Year, guys!

Your pal,