Vamps in Italy

May 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm (books, pop culture) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Volturi

Is it me or does every Vampire novel place the Vampire stronghold in Italy? Its so common I’m starting to think its something the authors think is a necessarily spice to the Vampire essence. Its only neat once to read that the vamps were behind the Renaissance or that their base is in Italy.

We’ve got

  • The Volturi in Twilight
  • The high council in A House of Night
  • The past in Blue Bloods

Although Anne Rice has vamps from Italy, it isn’t the only old world country of importance unlike the other novels. And besides she wrote her novels well before the other ones so in my opinion even if Italy was the only old world country of importance in her novels it would be fine. Now I could complain about the amount of awesome vamps in New Orleans considering Tru Blood’s there too, but what would be the point of that? And from what I’ve seen of New Orleans, if vampires were in the US that’s exactly where they would be with all the swamps and old magic.

And as you can see I read far too many vampire books…So what do you think about vampires in Italy? Or New Orleans for that matter?
Kagehime

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Marked

September 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , )

I finished reading Marked, the first book in A House of Night series written by PC Cast and her daughter Kristin today.   I liked the book, it was interesting.  I was kind of afraid it was going to be a Twilight wannabe book or a book that was allowed to be published because teens are so into vampires these days.  Thankfully it was not, but it was still a teen book about high school although the main character Zoey Redbird gets to go to a high school with the name of vampire finishing school which sounds way more awesome, but is still essentially high school. 

It changed up some of the conceptions about vampires as every vampire story seems to do and had vampires living along side humans with both sides knowing full and well about each other.  Which meant the story takes place in a world similar to this one, including our celebrities, but different enough that the reader knows its not the same reality.

This book is addictive so I plan to read the rest in the series and I hope they are as good as or even better than the first. If you read the book did you like it?

Kagehime

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The Host and altruism

June 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I just finished reading The Host by Stepanie Meyer, you know the Twilight author.  I found a few similarities not only in the ideas of motherhood in the Twilight series but with some of the later books in Orson Scott Cards’ Ender’s Game series.  There is the idea that motherhood is desired no matter how much pain is necessary to go through it.  If you read Breaking Dawn you could never forget that horrifying birth scene.  In the Host the mothers essentially die when they give completely of themselves in order to give birth. 

Well both Stephanie Meyer and Orson Scott Card are Mormon, and I haven’t seen the occurance of such sacrifice and altruism demanded of the mother in other books.  Since I don’t know too much about the Mormon religion I have to ask is this a treasured value?

The book is really good though and I recommend it, especially if you liked Twilight although remember it is a completely different story with different characters. I didn’t find any of the characters dislikeable, like I mustly found Bella, but I didn’t find  any of them as loveable as either Edward or Jacob. 

A similarity that I did not like between the Twilight series and The Host, is the amount of pain that the beloved causes the girl, but what’s a love story without that?

Kagehime

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Gagaflutitis

April 3, 2009 at 5:24 am (music) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 

 I admit I’ve searched way too much about Lady Gaga but there’s a reason and its that I got gagaflutitis or some such ridiculously named disease.  Gaga always talked about she’s going to give everyone the flu.  Apparently I caught it and sometimes its annoying even to me. 

So how did I caught gagaflutitis?

Phase 1  Radio Gaga

Once I was listening to the radio.  I’m in college so I usually just use my computer, but I was home for a short break  around december so I was listening to the radio.  I like dance music so I was happy that I lot of dancy songs were on the radio like Katy Perry Hot N’ Cold, Rihanna Disturbia, etc.  Then I heard just dance, didn’t know who it was by yet, but I was like yes dance music’s back.  Naturally I looked up just dance on my computer and found out it was by lady gaga and I was like “what kinda of name is that?” Then I watched the music video and I was like hmm different, but cool.  Then I  saw poker face and was like wow! I loved the song and the beginning of the vid with the great danes.  Then I went through all the songs that were available on youtube at the time and realized they were all good.  But then my computer messed up.  It would only play the beginning of music videos so I ended up watching the beginning of poker face and disturbia too dozens of times.  And actually my computer let me play love game completely for some reason.

Next thing I knew my computer crashed completely and I was left depending on the computer lab for computer use and tv (which I rarely just watch tv usually it has to be a show that I like).  So I was watching tons of mtv u and stuff.  The funny thing is I think it was the crazy beat in love game that kept me hooked, because I couldn’t get enough bass after hearing that.  And of course I found out how dirty the lyrics were early on.  And I had made the mistake of watching The Fame part 1 in a computer lab if you know what happens in that.  

Phase 2  Exams

Every exam period I usually watch tons of anime, but since throughout the year I started liking anime less and less I needed something to fill that void.  And so I listened to tons of Lady Gaga and watched all those fake vids people enjoy putting up.  I also starting looking up stuff about her like her age and where she was from and what’s her real name, etc. So then I decided that I was diffently getting the album The Fame during the Christmas break.  Usually I only like a few songs or so on an album but I liked all of Gaga’s so I had to buy it.  I also wanted to buy the Twilight album, because I had seen the movie and hey Muse is awesome.

Phase 3 The Fame

I bought The Fame on itunes and listened to it a lot during the break. Mostly uneventful I suppose.  Then I came back to school and was like whatever I’m over it. 

Phase 4 Pop ate my heart

That was not true Heard some more songs online.  And saw the acoustic pokerface version.  Awesome.  So then I wanted tickets to see her show etc.  Still haven’t gone and the shows been postponed here…

So how bad is my gagaflutitis? I talk about her pretty much all day to everyone I know whenever I find out something I think is interesting about her or heard a new song.

Why am I so addicted? For one I always go through a phase of liking some muscian or other, but its never been this bad because the musician is now either dead or old.  They are not in the process of possibly becoming a legend, they already have become one.

Another reason is that her ideas and pictures are very accessible online.  Three I think I just like crazy musicians in general, especially if they’re very good.  And look at her fashion.  I think its crazy cool.  That zipper eye on American Idol? How crazy was that? Another big reason is that I’ve found some awesome music, other than hers.  Like why wasn’t I listening to Queen before? Then I found Roisin Murphy formerly of Moloko, Ladytron who’s supposed to be working with Christina Aguilera, the Gossip, and some others.  Also, she changes enough or puts out new material enough to keep my short attention span occupied.  And quite possibly the biggest reason is that she writes her own lyrics and designs her own clothes.

The funny thing about these phases is that the one I was going through right when I first heard Gaga was David Bowie who is one of her idols. 

So am I obsessesed or going through a phrase? Probably a mixture of both.

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Twilight vs. Harry Potter

August 26, 2008 at 3:22 am (books, rant) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I don’t see why the critics keep comparing Twilight to Harry Potter. Its on the cover of New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The authors are totally different and their books target different audiences.  Maybe what they’re really trying to compare is popularity.  Harry Potter was a huge huge hit that has gotten and is continuing to get a lot of young people to read in a time when people are afraid children aren’t reading as much as they used to.  It also showed that children are willing to read bigger books than were previously thought.  I read the first Harry Potter book when it came out when I in 5th grade I think.  I’ve now read all seven of the books.

I’ve also read the entire Twilight series. Stephenie Meyer’s books target the people most interested in a love story, teenage girls. It has vampires which are always interesting if written about well. It is about the decisions a girl is then forced to make. While Harry Potter has magic and is about a boy growing up in the shadow of his own name and legends.

I think that Meyer develops the emotions of her characters better (she is writing romance), while Rowling has a really amazing grasp on storytelling, in that she knows myths and legends very well and is able to portray them as she wants.  Also she has a good understanding of what people would do in desperate times.  Both are excellent authors in their own right and have an excellent sense of humor.  I’ve laughed outloud from reading both.  I’ve also gasped outloud too at the terrible things that happen to the characters at times.  I’m glad the authors could lighten things up at times. 

The last book in both series upset fans although they were both good books in my opinion.  The epilogue was terrible for Harry Potter (Why was that even there? It was like she had written that when she was 7.  Everyone stayed together even though I think that would have been highly unlikely and it unfortuately hinted at the small size of the magic community in England which made me think Ewww. I think it would have been perfection without it, but I guess Rowling wanted people to know the afterward. As for Breaking Dawn the book was written a bit different than the other ones and was rather graphic in parts.

A test of skill and popularity is whether they write something popular outside of the series that made them popular. Meyer wrote The Host.  I didn’t get a chance to read that yet and I didn’t hear any reviews about it just that it was hyped up. Rowling has written the fairytales mentioned in the seventh book that sold for millons, but that’s not outside of the HP universe, which may be so big that she may never have to leave.  And money not exactly a good test, because Rowling has gotten over a billion dollars from HP from its wide audience (me included) and the fact that its so transferable to material goods and movies.  Ever tried Bertie Bott bag of jellybeans? Well I guess I ended up comparing the two more than the critics… Maybe American critics want an American author to have such acclaim. 

Kagehime

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Breaking Dawn

August 14, 2008 at 4:12 am (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It took me three days to read when it really should have taken two, but I got through it finally.  When I wasn’t reading it was like the TV was telling me to go read.  We just got HD tv so I was flipping to look at the channels and I see that a documentary of Vampires in America was on two channels…it was seriously saying that Vampires were in America… Then I flipped and a show called Jake 2.0 was on whatever that’s about but that only reminded me of Jacob.  Later all these previews for True Blood, a vampire movie, kept playing.  It was rather annoying and odd.  Now that I’m finished I haven’t seen any of that. 

The Twilight series is definitely the best and most interesting book series I’ve read this year or the best several years and Breaking Dawn sums it up well.  It has everything Twilight fans were looking for or at least I was.  It’s longer than the other three books in the series and most of the story is given in Bella’s perspective, but not all of it as with the other books.  I have to say this book was a shocker.  Throughout much of the book I was thinking “Oh my God!”,  “What!”, “This can’t be!” etc. and I’m not given to thinking these thoughts much less yelling them out while reading.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done that except with this book while New Moon too I have to say. 

I was sort of reminded of Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour and Vampire Chronicles in this one unlike the other ones. Not because of the writing style or anything.  Just that it was dark, extreme, and sensual. Also there’s a surprising shocker (that I will not give away) that were in common in The Witching Hour (which is not about Vampires) and Breaking Dawn.  It is actually something that a lot of Vampire novelist attempt to write about and fail, but Meyer succeeded in having. She continues to have life go on as normal, well show that beyond the vampires its going on as normal.

As for the characters: Edward and Jacob great as always.  I was feeling really sorry for Bella for a while who was not annoying in the least and actually got to be really cool (hmm… 🙂 There’s a lot of surprises from the Cullens and werewolves.  There are a lot of surprise throughout the novel so read it if you haven’t! 

As awesome as I think it is I think its lacking some of the relationship development of the earlier books which was really the thing that got me hooked to them in the first place.  There was a lot more action and a reliance on shockers that weren’t in the previous books.  Endings are really hard to write.  It’s the part that’s most likely to upset fans, but this ending was priceless. Now I’m looking foward to Midnight Sun.  In the mean time I guess I’ll just find The Host.

 Kagehime

PS. I love the cover. All the covers were great, but this one is awesome.  The red pawn looks rather threatening doesn’t it? And the Queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess.

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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

August 10, 2008 at 3:13 am (movies) (, , , , , , )

Awesome, awesome movie and an awesome experience to go along with it.  It was like the most awesome chic flick I’ve ever seen.  It was even better than the first.  The girls are a little older and their problems are threatening their friendship and love is a harsh teacher.

I saw the movie in Texas with two of my cousins and a friend of theirs.  One of my cousins told my uncle we were going and he thought she said that we were going to the traveling pants show like the pants were going to move by themselves.  At the theater the guy selling tickets accidently tried charging 49.99 for four or five tickets to the girls (going to see Traveling Pants of course) instead of 29.99.  I was like woo that’s way too much.  If he hadn’t got corrected I was about to turn around.  Those would have been some expensive tickets.

Inside the ticket collecter said that he heard that the pants could move around and shoot lasers. I told him yes.  He wasn’t the only male who wanted to know why girls wanted to see the movie and the only answer I can give to that is that we’re girls.

Then preview time.  They all targeted girls and women with previews for Twilight and The women. There was also a preview for a really cute mouse movie.  And I heard clapping for the Twilight preview. So excited.  I’m worried the movies going to be messed up.   Not all good books are turned into good books (Eragon).  That was a messed up movie.  It was hillarious and it wasn’t supposed to be.  If they do that to Twilight….Well I hope they don’t, but I’m not happy with their choice for Edward.  He looks really strange. At least Jacob looks good, but I had imagined someone better for Edward…oh well. So what do you think about the choices?

 Edward

Jacob

During the movie, the audience which filled the theater, were all female except for two or three guys.  Hearing everyone aww and yell in sync was awesome.  So girls go see this movie.  It’s really good and try not to cry, because you just might tear up without meaning to.

Kagehime

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Music N’ Books

July 31, 2008 at 7:25 pm (books, music) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Lots of times I have a song that becomes stuck in my head thats connected to the book I happen to be reading, because I often listen to music while reading.

While reading New Moon I had the song Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes in my head and while reading Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana Paxton I had Viva la Vida by Coldplay.  Both songs are awesome and had a connection to the book I was reading. With New Moon, the lyrics of Owner of a Lonely Heart goes: owner of a lonely heart much better than owner of a broken heart.  That book had me agreeing with the song because Bella’s heart was broken and well I don’t want to give anything away. 

The book Priestess of Avalon connects Britain to Rome through the marriage (not official though) of the British priestess, Helena, and Constantius and their son Constantine. Both Constantius and Constantine became emperors so both ruled the world. There was a problem between the transtions of the old emperor with the new throughout the book.  Of course the Roman Calvary was involved with the story and the characters found themselves as fair as Jerusalem. And the story has that sadness of having ruled the world in past tense.  And of course there were missionaries in foreign fields because Constantine was spreading Christianity have a certain point.For Priestess of Avalon, Viva la vida has the lyrics: 

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest work
But that was when I ruled the world
(Ohhhh Ohhh Ohhh)

Hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
(Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh)
Well there are authors like Stephanie Meyer of the Twilight series who write while listening
to music and create playlists for the books.
Here's her New Moon playlist which sadly does not include Owner of A Lonely Heart
although the list is really good and fitting without it:
  • “Do you realize?” – The Flaming Lips (B)
  • “Papercut” – Linkin Park (B)
  • “Hyper Music” – Muse (B)
  • “Apocalypse Please” – Muse (B)
  • “Time Stands Still” – The All-American Rejects (B)
  • “Empty Room” – Marjorie Fair (B)
  • “Unwell” – Matchbox Twenty (B)
  • “Pain” – Jimmy Eat World (B)
  • “Ride” – The Vines (B)
  • “Fix You” – Coldplay (J)
  • “Blueside” – Rooney (B)
  • “Over My Head (Cable Car)” – The Fray (B)
  • “Going Under” – Evanescence (B)
  • “Tautou” – Brand New (B)
  • “Be My Escape” – Relient K (B)
  • “Never Let You Down” – Verve Pipe (J)
  • “Sing For Absolution” – Muse (E)
  • “Ya Mamma” – Fatboy Slim (Generic action-scene music)
  • “D.O.A.” – Foo Fighters
  • “Stare” – Marjorie Fair (B)
  • “Memory” – Sugarcult (B)
  • “The Truth About Heaven” – Armor For Sleep (B)
  • “The Scientist” – Coldplay (E)
  • “Sound of Pulling Heaven Down” – Blue October (E)
Alternates:
  • “Drag” – Placebo (B)
  • “Like A Stone” – Audioslave (B)
  • “World Has Turned and Left Me Here” – Weezer (B)
  • “Best I Ever Had” – Vertical Horizon (B)
  • “My Immortal” – Evanescence (B)
  • “Not the One” – Collective Soul (B)
  • “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” – U2 (B)
  • “Rest In Pieces” – Saliva (B)
  • “White Flag” – Dido (B)
  • “Everybody’s Changing” – Keane (B)
  • “Unintended” – Muse (B)
  • “I Miss You” – Blink 182 (B)
  • “The Reason” – Hoobastank (E)
  • “Hate Me” (radio edit) – Blue October (E)

The List came from Stepheniemeyer.com. Go there and enjoy. 

Kagehime

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New Moon and Eclipse

July 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I finally got book two from the library in the Twilight series so I went ahead and read that one and the third because I had already gotten it from the library.  Book two was losely framed around Romeo and Juliet, while the third was framed around Wuthering Heights.  It kind of reminded me of Wuthering Heights. I didn’t like the characters in the book, but the book was still awesome and is one of my favorites.  And although I didn’t like either Catherine or Heathcliff I still wanted them to be together.

To get back to the Twilight series Isabella Swan annoyed me to no end.  She was so clumsy to the point where I was wondering Is this for real?, because even I was never that bad and it was like she had a death wish or something.  Also she could not live without her love, Edward Cullen, because there was nothing else in her life in her mind.  But I did like Edward and Jacob Black.  I just wish Bella could see her own life worth.  I guess that’s why I found her annoying.  She was likeable though and I guess this book shows the power of first person narrative. I got to see what Bella thought of herself more so than what others thought.

It still managed to be a good book.  I could really see it as a shojo manga though. People would really flip over that.  It’s kind of similar to Vampire Knight in a way, but without some of the things that I found were distasteful in that.

I may not have liked the main character, but that didn’t stop me from reading all three of the books and enjoying them.  And seeing that Stephenie Meyer has a new book with another on the way I think I’ll be checking them out. 

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Twilight

July 2, 2008 at 2:27 am (books) (, , , , , , , , )

I just finished reading the book Twilight.  I can see why its such a popular teen book.  It’s got a girl stuck in a situation she doesn’t want to be in (namely living in and going to school in a place she knows she hates), forbidden love (shouldn’t fall in love with someone who’s not even your own species), vampires, trouble(lot’s of it).  The guy Bella loves is kind of scary (he’s a vampire I guess he can’t help it) so he’s kind of got this bad boy image, but he’s really good at heart which makes it ok. And of course he’s really hot.  Now I’m going to go wait for the second book to come in on hold at the library. I’m curious to see how this turns out.  Of course the third book came in on hold before the second, but I’m not going to peek or read ahead although I’m sorely tempted and to speak of temptation a girl’s hands are holding an apple on the cover…hmm….Well it’s a really good book and a really good vampire book (a lot of them aren’t good but this one is).

Kagehime

twilight

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