Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Nayu's Gaming Time #7 Games I'm currently playing

No idea who this is, but she's cute, which many of my gaming characters are!
Hi all! As Autumn/Winter continues bringing colder weather I'm getting in more & more rest since my body so doesn't function properly at this time of year. That means lots of gaming is happening - yay! The arrival of my PS4 means I've mostly played PS4 games. That includes
Hatsune Miku Project Diva X: 
The songs on this Miku installment are fun, I like the stage style shows, and there's a novel way of getting outfits (although I wish that game play would stop during the outfit change so I can fully take in the beauty of the modules (the game's name for clothes)

Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone 

The ultimate of ultimate Miku games, with over 200 songs (it's in 2 packs but I bought the bundle which allows me to switch hairstyles too! Sadly can't switch clothes/hairstyles between different characters. I mostly play as Miku, Luka and Rin. 
I've played all the easy songs, trying to do some normal ones but some of the button presses are more complex and extremely challenging. Normal level has more songs than easy including my favourites. I have recently downloaded the 2nd and 3rd bonus packs (think they were free...) which got me one of my favourite songs, Hand in Hand. You can see it on Youtube. I've watched a few PVs, where you can take photos at any point, which are then shown as the unfortunately short loading screen images! 

World of Final Fantasy

This is super cute, I love the FF10 style of skill upgrades for all the monsters captured. I haven't got too far yet, but I'm absolutely loving it! The inability to save whenever I want does limit when I play it, as I need to allow at least an hour because I've no idea where the save points are. I'm so fortunate to have ended up with a 1st day release version, so I can happily have the Japanese voice over!! I always prefer this to English.
Blue Reflection

Aside from the distinct lack of transformation scenes it is an incredible game. I love going on the missions to increase my character stats, and learning more about all the girls involved with Hinako. The fight scenes most definitely have a magical girl feel! 
Right now on my PS3 I'm working through
 Atelier Totori

This is after the frustrating Atelier Rorona which I did want to give up on - the time limit restriction was insane, and meant I couldn't explore as much as I usually do. Thankfully Totori's limits aren't that obvious. I am restarting the game because the parts I've played I did things I really didn't need to do (which I think advanced the time along), so by starting from the beginning I'm hoping to save a few days. I absolutely love this game! Totori is super cute and funny, trying to stand up to her older sister who doesn't want her to be an adventurer. Every element is charming and I'm so playing this again (unlike Atelier Rorona...)

That's it for this round-up - next time I'll focus on my Nintendo 3DS games! I'd love to hear what you're playing on recently. 
I mostly play on my own, which is still super fun!


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Currently ill

Regular readers will know what this picture means (even if you didn't see the title)
 Hi guys, had wanted to post by now but currently not very well, hopefully be better in  few days! Until then I'm resting lots, doing jigsaw puzzle, reading & gaming! Hope you're all managing to have some fun each day too! 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

It's as stunning as it looks, with luxurious feel to the cover
 October 2017, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 24 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Summary from Quarto
Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this retelling of the classic ballet story. Watch the Nutcracker battle the Mouse King, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and journey to the Land of Sweets, where wonder and excitement await...

Including music from: 'The Dance of the Reed Flutes', 'The Waltz of Flowers' and 'The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'.

Nayu's thoughts 
You must read this book!!! It's the story of one of my favourite ballets, The Nutcracker (a fairytale), with stunning illustrations and a luxurious feeling cover. The classic tale is retold well, hopefully opening up new fans of ballet/fairytales/classical music, but that's not what has me so excited. You may have guessed from the title and definitely the synopsis that music is involved. Knowing how much I adore The Nutcracker saying yes to rhis review was a no-brainer. 

As soon as it arrived I took out the protective strip on the sound part, started reading and pressed the first press part. The clips of music are epic!!!!! They are short, but the familiar notes filled me with joy as they teamed up with the appropriate parts in the story. Unlike some sound books, I didn't have to press the same button over and over for each scene-every clip has a different position on the clever pressing sound technology page (which activates even with a few pages covering it). I think this will entice readers to check out longer versions of the music, which in their entirety are even more of a pleasure to listen to. I'm excited to see the next book in this series! (I think there are going to be more books). 

Find out more on Jessica's website.  

Suggested read
 If you love fairytales you must check out the series of books about a girl who is the hairdresser for all the fairytale characters! I chat with the author online (so am heavily biased), and she is paired with an equally talented illustrator: The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Little Mermaid by Abie Longstaff and Lauren Beard (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Sir Scaly Pants: The Dragon Thief by John Kelly (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

 September 2017, 32 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Summary from Bloomsbury
Sir Scaly Pants the Dragon Knight ALWAYS fights for what's right,
but it can be very lonely being the One and Only Dragon Knight.

When an evil fire-breathing dragon kidnaps the king, Sir Scaly and his trusty steed, Guinevere, vow to rescue him. Their journey takes them to lands far and wide, and when they finally catch up with the wicked king-napping dragon, Scaly knows he's met his match. But is the evil dragon really as bad as everyone thinks, or can Scaly uncover the truth and finally make a friend?

Nayu's thoughts 
I'd forgotten how much I love John's style of stoey but especially illustration umtil I received this. I love how Scaly's steed is a girl-her expression is of sheer determination, I love how she charges full steam ahead not always with Scaly's permission! She knows exactly what to do, and is partially why Scaly was able to apprehend the thief in the end. Her exploits made my jaw drop and I cheered as she helped defeat the urchin! Sir Scaly is a fun character too, just for me is sidelined a bit by his sidekick.

The level of melodrama is a joy to see and read, there's not a single page where I wasn't grinning like crazy at the spirit of all the characters, not just Scaly's horse who is by far my favorite character (not just because she is a girl) The bystanders and other characters are equally well written and have amusing expressions depending on the scene. The bright colours bring out the gung-ho atmosphere the story gave me, and while not 100% the kind of style of illustration that I like best, as I've previously mentioned the pictures totally enhance the strong story. I like the small details in the book, for example I noticed how Scaly's armous protects his dragon snout perfectly (rather than being an ill fitted human helmet) I'm now very eager for the next Scaly adventure! 

Find out more on John's website

Suggested read

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (Thriller, 8/10E)

 7th November 2017, Hutchinson, 288 pages, Hardback, Review copy 

Summary from Penguin
Nothing burns as bright as the truth.

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands. 

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

But as Abby tries desperately to find out what happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret, her search threatens the reputations, and lives, of the community and risks exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.
Nayu's thoughts
I'm used to fast paced thrillers, so the only reason this thriller read gets a lower grade is because while mysterious the first two thirds of the story were quite slow, almost slow enough that I stopped reading, but since I wanted to know the truth I kept going. I also didn't really know who Krysten was because I don't watch the shows she is in and simply don't keep an eye on the tv/film industry.

 I'm glad I did because the plot twists are big, even if I did guess what was going on before it was revealed. Aside from the stoey speed I really enjoyed it! (I should have reread the synopsis before reading the book - it has the story noted as a slow-burning suspense! I clearly wanted a fast paced read when I read it. However My grade and view remain the same, because I would like the story to have sped up a bit (or just had extra bits in) to focus more on the atrocities that go on) I enjoyed the mixed emotions Abby has revisiting her childhood home and town. Not much seems to have changed, and yet it kind of has since she has grown up and has a different view on life. Her old classmates seem nicer, but could they be acting that way? There are big question marks against every person she meets, which was a fun addition to the story. 

She has a lot of issues with her dad which play in her mind a lot, she is determined there is something sinister going on but her own work colleagues don't believe her, which makes her doubt herself until the answer stares her in the face (and eventually her coworkers). The dark goings on are topics I've read about before, but that makes them no less disturbing. There were a few moments when I was scared for Abby's safety, but it does end happily (sort of..), well, the end is very satisfactory for me! Because of the slow speed of the plot I won't be rereading it, but I highly recommend it! 

Suggested read 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Over On Nayu's Crochet Dreams #35 Halloween and Donuts!

So not my favourite time of year (but this pic is cute!)
Find out my views on halloween, and the extra special donuts the supermarket Morrisons created for the event over on my other blog Nayu's Crochet Dreams!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Corners by Corrina Austin (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

 6th March 2018, Dancing Lemur Press, 136 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Book summary
It’s 1969 and ten-year-old Davy is in a predicament. With two weeks remaining of the summer holidays, he’s expelled from the public pool for sneaking into the deep end and almost drowning. How will he break the news to his hard-working single mother? She’s at the diner all day, Davy has no friends, and he’s too young to stay by himself.

The answer lies in his rescuer, mysterious thirteen-year-old Ellis Wynn. Visiting her Grammy for the summer, Ellis offers to babysit Davy. She teaches him about “corners”–forgotten or neglected areas fixed up special. Together, the kids tackle several “corners” and Davy learns what it means to bring joy to others.

Davy begins to wonder, though. Why does Ellis want to be his friend? Why doesn’t she ever smile? And is Davy just one of Ellis’ “corners?”

Nayu's thoughts
This book is rather special. It's all about the healing power of friendship, someone giving you a chance, which started when Dacey got banned the swimming pool. I agree with his son in the flash forwards passages that a ban was a mega strict overreaction, but without it he'd never met Ellis who helped change the way he viewed the world. Further on in the book he daydreams about her being a mermaid, which is kind of true because she saved him from drowning, then continued helping him see positivity in his hard life, which changed not only his mother's view on life but affected other people, just like Ellis's grandmother did. 

Ellis is extremely special, with a secret of her own that gets revealed at the end of the book. Everyone needs an Ellis-her corners make a humongous difference for whoever they are intended for. I'd really like to have known a bit more about Mr Mosely as I hope the future continued getting brighter for him, thanks to what Ellis made Davey do. It must have been harder having agoraphobia in a time when mental illness wasn't as recognised as it is today. I do have a few corners of my own, and will make sure I maintain them and create new ones when the time is right. Ellis's corners definitely helped changed life for both people she knew and strangers. I hope you enjoy making a corner once you've read this sweet emotional read. 

Find out more on Corrina's website.  

Suggested read
Another good read about emotions that takes place in the past (at least I think it is...can't quite remember!) is Bigfoot, Tobin and Me by Melissa Savage (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)