I’m back in the land of Oz, and this time, we are back with short stories. Unlike another one with a certain bug at the forefront, this one wasn’t complete nonsense. This one was in-universe for the entire series and actually felt like a children’s book.
Little Wizard Stories of Oz is exactly as the title says. They are short stories, bedtime stories if you will. There is no timeline that you have to keep up with, no characterizations that you need to remember, nor any thought to be had. It was cute, simple, and straight to the point. I could definitely see this short book being included in a stack you put on your child’s bedside table to read them asleep. It was cute. What more could I say?
I finished reading the forth book within the Chronicles of Narnia series, and now I’m wondering if there is a point in finishing the series. If not for the fact that I’ve pretty much promised myself and the fact that my friends are adamant that the later books are better. I’ve just feel like I myself am getting more annoyed at the books than I spend time caring about what’s going on.
For example, at this point, as we found out in t he previous books, the characters that we gained a connection to, will no longer be showing up. Instead, we get random boy and girl who we could care less about and have no development other than being stupid, because pushing someone off a cliff is the logical response to having a conversation. Also, evil chair… I whish I was joking, but there was an evil chair. I don’t think I need to say more. Avoid this book at all costs, mainly for your sanity.
As I was making my way through what is left of the Oz series, I realized that I missed an installment. Being the completionist that I am, I of course had to go back and read The Woggle-Bug Book. It takes places, directly after the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, I think. To be honest, I don’t know why this book exists, and book is being very generous.
This fanfiction of a short story is about how Mr. Insect-with-too-many-names-to-be-taken-seriously somehow ends up in America, I think, and tries to by a wife because he like a dress. And then some other things happened. I’m also pretty surer there was a random section with a dash a racism but I was just trying to get through to the end. It sounded stupid, and I’m pretty sure that if I put any actually though into it I would cry because of it. Just take my advice. This “book” isn’t worth your sanity. Literally do anything else.
Imagine this: you are trapped in the underworld with your father, but what to do anything to escape, including taking down hordes of enemies in the way and getting help from your estranged family members. That is Hades in a nutshell. This is an action-packed room-based procedurally generated game taking place in the Underworld of Greek Mythology as you follow Zagreus, son of Hades, in trying to reach the surface.
Not only is the game gorgeous and amazingly voice-acted, but the action is also very seamless and responsive. It could be because I’m used to crappy computers, but I am used to playing action games that do nothing but stutter and take seconds before a response from the on-screen character. I recently got this game on the switch, and now I am saving up all my money possible to buy a better computer so I can feel this fantastic playing an action game in the future. I just don’t want to stop playing because of the fantastic gameplay and heart-touching story I wasn’t expecting. I would highly recommend anyone picking up this beautifully made game.
I finally got around to reading the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, and I gotta say, I was not worth it. More characters that you won’t carry about show up nor get even a page of description. All of our “favorite” character’s weren’t even then because Peter was off at school and Susan was busy finding a husband. The common things we’re looking forward to in a fantasy series.
In time, instead of sitting around listening to a story, we’re sitting around on a boat. Why? Because Aslan told us to. With nonsense side plots that make no sense? Absolutely. At times, the story felts like an Oz book with the random tangents of fantasy Dorothy had to go on. It wasn’t worth the time it took to read. Am I happy our “favorite” family won’t be going back to Narnia, and we’ll hear someone else’s story? Yes, yes, and more yes. The four we’ve learned to “love” should have stopped after their first adventure.
Like the title says, the Studio Ghibli’s beautiful style haws been added to a video game, or something that you could call a video game. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I would definitely say that it is not for everyone. Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds boasts itself as a MMORPG featuring some classic classes such as witches, rangers, and swordsmen. I, of course, chose a witch to “play” as.
To be honest, this is more a beautiful cinematic that you enjoy to watch with a side of research management. I large part of the game is managing your inventory and leveling up your weapons and pets. I really am enjoying the story beats, but if you are looking for a hardcore MMORPG in which every single button press effects the action, this is not the game for you. If you want something mindless to do and just want the pretty colors go by like I do, you might really enjoy it. There are some customizations options, but all the classes are gender- and race-locked, so be prepared for everyone looking more or less the same.
The game is available in the Apple and Google Play store. There also seems to be a pretty active PC port if that is your cup of tea. I am currently a level sixty witch, and even though at times it’s a grind, I haven’t felt the need to buy experience boosts are anything, so I do think it is pretty balanced in a way. Of course that fact that you can buy stuff is thrown in your face every couple of levels, it’s not necessary to continue.
I’ve been making my way through several older novels that have been on my “to-read” list for what feels like years now. The book I decided to conquer next was Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This classic novel was a trip and a half, discussing the fragility of human nature and groupthink in a pseudo-World War III situation. Apparently, this was a rewriting of another book, but written as a way to make the children more “realistic.” Reading this, I’ve noticed several things about myself. I am not the biggest fan of dystopian novels. If you do, you may want to take the next section with a grain of salt.
The book follows the exploit of a group of boys as they crash land on an inhabited island. The entire time, I felt I was yelling at the characters for their quick descent into madness. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a short novel or the fact that you had to imagine everything happening in a shorter amount of time than what really happened. I do find the concepts behind groupthink in a more academic sense. I found The Lucifer Effect fascinating because of every fact, but the senselessness got to me. I know that it was supposed to make a point in many ways, but maybe I just would like to believe that children are not as cruel as Golding made them out to be in this novel. I think, in many ways, I was more horrified than interested in the character development that we saw portrayed. Was I meant to feel this way, or did I read too much into everything? I’ll let you decide.
Last book, I said that it was a good stopping point for the series. After reading the seventh book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, I completely stand by that. The opening book even included a stupid reason as to how our “Historian” was able to reach our friend Dorothy: telegraph waves that somehow got to Oz. I wish I was joking, but Baum is honestly lucky that these books are for children and that I’m already dedicated to reading all of these books.
New characters were introduced that really never went anywhere. They could have been interesting but the focus when back to Dorothy and Ozma. There was a fun adventure that was wrapped up way too quickly. It was your basic fetch quest mission trying to get items where getting one took half the book while everything else was lost. Also, I have the feeling that everyone decided to forget the all-powerful Glinda the Good. Everything could have been solved easily with less effort and travel.
In this book, we have journeyed back to Narnia in order to save the world yet again. We learn that the year spent on Earth for our four siblings equals hundreds, if not thousands of years, in Narnia. Supernatural world follows supernatural timelines. As you have probably seen from my reviews of the Oz series, I’m usually all for this. Except for this time, it was not worth it.
In this book, the characters spent the majority of the time sitting around and talking. Adventure is usually what these books shout out as their main appeal: explore this supernatural world. I was more than halfway through the book before the characters even traveled across the land. They listened to a story for a good amount of time. They argued about what direction they were going in when they finally did actually get moving. There was really nothing of substance happening in the story. It felt like that author was trying to either capture the magic of the previous book or do some really bad foreshadowing or the next book, but I’m leaning toward the former. I hope the next book is something worth reading.
I have read the sixth, and what probably should have been the final, book of the Oz series. Everything was wrapped up cleanly, and there really didn’t need to be anything more. The perfect thing happened: Uncle Henry and Aunt Em finally believe Dorothy and do not think she is telling stories or incapable of understanding reality, respectively. Also, having adults argue with chickens on chick-rearing was never something I ever expected to read.
Again, in the Oz fashion, we are on an exploration around the fairylands that Oz also inhabits and meet the many different creatures. This was more interesting than the previous book since we saw how these creatures interacted within the bigger narrative within the world rather than just showing up. Also, there is a bit of action that I can not tell without spoiling a large portion of the book, but it does help with the overall world-building. Overall, this was a cute book.