Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Other lands – Acacia trilogy (book 2) A Review

I’m just sat here listening to music, browsing the internet looking at complete crap and then something made me think of my blog; that i have been ignoring the poor thing. It’s just sat here. I had no plans for a new blog, i was shocked at the realisation. I have been away playing a new game (mass effects 2 (on ps3)) , also getting prepared for a new job that starts soon. I go to look at my favourites to find the next page I should view when I see my blog. I know it has not been an age since my last update, but i normal had a plan for the next blog; however lose the plan. Anyway i sat bored, ass starting to go numb thinking of something to write here. I looked down to a pile of books that was scattered on a pouffe,Ii saw the brilliant cover art for the most the recently read book “the other lands” which is the middle part of Acacia trilogy, it is a epic fantasy book series. I say recently read, i mean it, I read the last 40 odd pages this morning. Hey presto a blog idea so crazy that it would make the man in the padded room squeam, A BOOK REVIEW.

So here it is my first book review on my blog!

The Other lands – Acacia trilogy (book 2) A Review

The other lands, is set I think around 9 years after the first book “War with the Mein”. It follows the three remaining Akaran children, now Queen Corinn, Prince Dariel and Princess Mena. All of the children (now adults) have their separate tales which all interlock with each other in to an epic story of a large force who hail from “the other lands”. I love maps of fictional worlds so when I first opened up the book I spent a good while looking at every location of the known world, and of the other lands. That done I look further in the book to find a very helpful “story so far” section, it had been more than a year since i read the first book; this give a refresher of the story and I’m sure would do the job for a new reader as well. I wish more books had them.

The first book was set in a world where magic had existed in the form of the giver tongue. But by the end of the first novel the now dead Akaran son Aliver brought back some magic to the world, which he used to defeat his enemy. He died though, very sad. The queen Corinn had now learned the givers tongue though. Magic (or whatever) is used lots more in this second book; it’s not used overkill though. The world is not filled with Gandalf’s. It makes the use of magic that much more powerful when she uses it. I don’t read all that much fantasy so not all that much magic is a good thing for me!

A good middle book of trilogy normally will set up the third book, which this did do. It did it too well. As that was more or less all it did it started a story that had no end I am sure it will start in the second book and then move in to the third, seamlessly. I would have liked a little more of a closed story in this book, like the first had. The story though was as epic as ever. Huge distances were traversed (In getting the other lands). The way David Anthony Durham built up the inhabitants of the other lands was great, using small mention in the first book and building such a large mystery around them . I was so happy when Dariel was told he would get the chance to travel to see them and their lands. The answers were all given in this book. I won’t spoil it but it’s a great dark story which  is sending shivers down my spine when thinking back on it. There is no innocents in this book; it’s not black and white, with the good side (the Akaran family) having a have a dark past, which involves giving child slaves to the other land for a drug, the drug that will make the people of the empire more subservient. While not the children (now adults) fault it created an interesting dilemma for the reader; when a rebellion pops up.

In many ways this book is better than the first; darker, not as many unanswered question, a sweet big bird/reptile and it carried on with great characters. I would have liked a little more action; I’m an 18 year old boy after all. The story is well paced; it’s not in a genre I would normally read either so it not being too hard core fantasy helped me a lot. The world is so believable too, a great mix of real life and made up things that make up this world.

The book built up slowly and an epic battle looks to be coming in the third book, which I am sure will amazing. But I can’t help but feel like the third book should have been added to end of the book though. What I mean by that is that when I finished the book it did not feel like I had just finished reading a book. Yeh I know there has to be a bit of a tease and be left open for the third one, while there was a big story twist in the last words of the book, it still just seem to end a little unnatural. That only my own opinion and you know by now that I don’t read much fantasy.

Guess i have to give it a score out of 10 or something along those lines.

SO i will give it a ………………………………………………… 8.8 very good, a must read, i would suggest after you read the 1st book of course.

Want more book reviews? tell me?!

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Top 5 post of 2010 from yours truly

Yeah January is all focused on me, what I liked, what I want to happen and now what I felt was the best post that I posted (How else) throughout the few months i blogged.
There have been 38 blogs in the 4 and a half months that i have bloged in 2010.
It’s been a funny year for my old blog the views have massively out weight the comments (comment more you plonkers).
Over the course of 2010 I  have gained around 1500 view, not great, but it’s not like i’m famous, why would any one read my blog?

5. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/how-to-cope-with-blogging/ – I’m still starting in this bloging world. And this was my inner monologue of how I planed to create a plan of semi regular content for my little corner of the web. While not an enthralling read it is my most commented on blog with a MASSIVE 6 comments! (1 by myself).

4. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/fat-tim-a-short-story/ – A crap little story I wrote with hardly any views. It was a strange surreal tale of a obese man who has an encounter with a, floating, glowing object. Not amazing but I liked it. I wrote the whole story on my I-pod touch, which I still find a very cool fact.

3. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/just-the-prologue/ – A first draft and a little taster of the prologue of my novel which i’m writing at the moment. While my novel has changed lots since I originally posted that little segment. But I still think it’s an OK peace of writing which introduces the reader to my universe. The great thing about creating a sci-fi novel; is a feeling that you have create a whole universe, all in my little mind.

2. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/my-top-5-science-fiction-books/ – My first of many top 5’s. It’s also my most viewed post. I love book, all types of books, of course as a sci-fi nerdling (i’m still young). I do love my science fiction and here is a list of my favourite one. Sure in a year or two I will hopefully have to change it but it’s a pretty god dam good list of books. ALL must read books.

1 . https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/a-short-story-3-ls/ – The second short story that I put up on my blog. And in my opinion a much better one. Still has room for improvement, but I have had  a few complements about it. Well a couple. It is a totally made story, contrary to the beliefs of some people i know. I think it’s a sad little story. When you read remember i’m a new writer still learning my trade, and of course there is lot of things I need to improve. Hopefully theses will come with more and more practise.

It is was my first half a year of bloging, i felt it was OK. I can’t wait to blog some more. DO some more proper articles, some book reviews and who know some more short story’s.

Other news of note

Today i had a nice day out in York with one of my friends.

The big news this week in my household is that my sister is back, you may remember from a past blog that she was going travelling around Asia. She is safe and sound and more importantly is she had a great time. The only bone she broke was her toe.

What i’m looking forward to for 2011

I should have really done this earlier in the year but it’s been a busy  few weeks.

What album(s) are you most looking forward to in this next year?
Well it looks like Keane will release a new album, also if Kaiser Chiefs release bring  out a new album I will be a very happy person.

What Television show are you most looking forward to in this next year?
Has to be the new Sci-Fi show falling skies anything with aliens in it make me excited. Stephen Spielberg is involved so it has that going for it.
Watch the trailer for it below

What film are you most looking forward to seeing next year?
None unless on the rare chance that either a SGU, SG1 or a SGA film get’s released nothing takes my interest.  Actualy if a new batman film gets release this year, then that would be very good.

What book are you most looking forward to reading in this next yeat?
Fuzzy nation by John Scalzi

First contact with Ewoks

What game are you most looking forward to playing in this next year?
Meat gear solid rising, while it does not have the iconic legend that is snake or while it is not made by the also Iconic Hideo Kojima. It is still a metal gear game which means it will be amazing, or at least will mean i think it will be amazing.
Also mass effect 2 coming  out on ps3 soon that should be good.
Ohhh and also uncharted 3 and elder scrolls 5

That is all. For that.

News of any note
I have the new white lies album, i’m playing it now, not bad I prefer there first album but I still have 4 more song to listen too. So much thinking has been done in the last few days. Nothing learned but a few more question I will need to have answered soon.

While busy the last few weeks, I have been a strange journey, that I am not sure I quite understand fully. I once heard you have to think about something 70% of your waking time to be classed as obsessed. I’m fine then because I at least have 2 things i think of for 45% of the time.

Got a job!

Yep I finally got a job, it does not start till February. This is great because it gives me time to find out if I get another job that I have an interview for, which does pay better and have better prospects.

I have also gotten my writing “mind zone” back just hours after posting here that I could not find it. Wish it always worked that way!

A question pondered by many of us, is what happens when two of your favourite band collide? Not many of us will have that chance to see unless you are lucky and the form a super band. I’m very lucky to have seen this video of Tom Chaplin from Keane and Queen (well the remainder of them) sing it “it’s a hard life”

It all comes at once……………..

God i’m soo tired so just a quicky ;).

Made a lot of progress on the job front so far this week. Lots of interviews gone and coming up so hopefully with in the next few week I could have a job.

I feel so unproductive, I can’t write a proper blog, I can’t write period at the moment. I have lot’s of idea just (yeah just) writing them down at the moment.

That is all for today and probably this week unless i find my groove again soon.

Joel’s best of 2010!

Looking back the last year what are the best things of 2010 for me, in the form of a Interview.

1. Favourite album of 2010?
This one either between the Mt desolation album or the arcade fire album. Ummmm Arcade fire!

2.Favourite Television show?
Going to have to be Stargate universe of course. Outside of stargate? Walking Dead has been great real surprise hit for me this year, the event also had been very good.

3. Best Music gig I went to?
MUSE at old Trafford cricket ground. Really amazing and with support from Pulled apart by horses, band of skulls and the editors, awesome.

4. Best place I have been to?
Vancouver was lovely place, very beautiful, not loads and loads to do there and I had to sleep on sofa but was nice to see some place new.

5. Best Meal?
I had a crazy good chocolate pudding at this place near Huddersfield!

6. Best book i read?
Ohhh I have read a lot of books this last year. Children of Dune was a good read, well better than good. Boneshaker is another one I loved. There was also the novelette by John Sclazi -The God engines. I think Children of Dune takes the award though.

7. Best thing someone bought me?
I PAD !!! :)

8. Best thing i bought myself?
I got a nice coat!

9. The Best thing’s i have done this year?
I have really enjoyed doing this blog, while it’s not the most read thing on the internet (understatement) it been fun doing it. I had a good time at this years leeds festival but it was nowhere near as good as the one in 2009. I have wrote a few short story’s some on this blog. I made some progress on my novel but no where near the amount I wanted.

10. What I want to happen in 2011?
Some more writing, a job hopefully also a girlfriend would be nice. I would like some of the collaboration I have planned to come to fruition, me and a friend have a Andy Kaufman style play in the works which could be a lot of fun to do. I also want Leeds Rhinos to win the super league, challenge cup and the league leaders shield!

11. What I have planned for my blog in 2011?
Same sort of thing that i have being doing last year, a lot of nonsense, some top 5’s and maybe some more short story’s.

H is for Happy new year

Happy new year to y’all.
Hope you all had a great 2010
Hey, are you looking forward to 2011?
Hope you all had a great night out last night. Now I did not, as I did nothing all night.
Had a long day today.
Had the leeds Carnegie match, they won and was the first win of the season in the league.
Hauraki, Weller did not play in the Leeds rhinos match which they also won.
How many try’s in the rhinos game? 7
Hair on my chest, that’s what a few beers did to me.
Hopping mad is my mind at the moment, just don’t know what to do.
Hot stuff is what I feel at the moment.
How tired i’m I? Very

Honestly from the bottom of my heart I hope you all have a great new year.