Book Review: Mirror Sacrifice by Margo Ryerkerk!

Recently I read a book called Fluidus Rising, which was the first book in the Ardere Series by Margo Ryerkerk. Mrs. Ryerkerk so graciously gave me a copy of her book in exchange for a review, which I did in this entry. She then gave me a copy of the second book in the series, which I am more than happy to review for her! Here’s my short, spoiler-free review.

Mirror Sacrifice by Margo Ryerkerk

Here’s the blurb for Mirror Sacrifice:

After escaping a crazed killer, Sierra Reeves is ready to embrace her supernatural Fluidus heritage. She travels to London, intending to train her telekinetic and elemental conjuring abilities as well as integrate into the Ardere society, but she quickly discovers the snobbish elite are less than excited about her existence. Worse yet, Gavin, the man she believed to be her rock, has become more distant than ever as he teams up with his beautiful ex-girlfriend on a mission.

Determined to prove she’s worthy of the Fluidus title, Sierra trains harder than ever with Cooper, who tasked with protecting her, soon becomes her new confidante and possibly more.

But matters of the heart will have to wait as the Culpatus returns with indestructible weapons and unexpected allies.

A thrilling, contemporary fantasy adventure filled with secrets and romance, Mirror Sacrifice will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more!

Once again, I also have to give props to the talented cover designer.

37914760

So beautiful! As you can tell, Sierra looks like she’s manipulating water, but let me not get ahead of myself here! 😉

Mirror Sacrifice starts just where Fluidus Rising ended- with Sierra traveling to London. Gavin, the Ardere marshal whom she was started to get close to, suddenly becomes a distant jerk and Sierra isn’t sure why. Like I stated in my last review, Sierra is not a typical damsel in distress type character. She doesn’t take shit, not from Gavin or anyone else. She’s not afraid to make tough decisions, even if she knows the outcome is less than desirable.

Anyway, Sierra’s whole reason for traveling to London is to begin training at the Langcombe Academy, because she is a very powerful supernatural who doesn’t really KNOW how to use her powers yet. She learns quickly at the academy and even learns how to conjure and use water, which is featured on the cover of this book.

I feel for Sierra, though, because there certainly are a number of snobby assholes that she has to socialize with! Yes, she is training among London’s elite, but wow… the nerve of some people. The most undesirable characters were definitely the Evans twins, who met Sierra and “gave her a once- over, their noses twitching as if they smelt something rotten.” Sucks to be them though- that’s all I have to say.

As the story goes on, we readers begin to understand why Gavin is acting so strangely, and by the end of the book I was sympathetic towards his plight. The world of the Ardere is so vast and there is so much more than first meets the eye. With that being said, I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

I rate Mirror Sacrifice 5 out of 5!

I’m A Terrible Tamagotchi Mom!

In 1997, I turned 11 years old and got one of the COOLEST gifts ever from one of my mom’s awesome co-workers: a Tamagotchi! She told my mom people were loving it over in Japan and kids in the US were probably going to love it as well, so she was sweet enough to get me one for my birthday. I hadn’t really heard of it but was extremely grateful for the gift anyway. Once I looked at the box, I was sold!

Image result for original tamagotchi box
Not my box, but this is what mine looked like!

My little virtual pet got a lot of love and attention, and soon, that one virtual pet grew into like… I don’t know, 20 or 30! Haha! I was obsessed with all the different virtual pets out there, but my original Tamagotchi remained near and dear to my heart.

Recently, I’ve been tearing apart my office and rearranging everything. Currently it looks like shit and a bit like a bomb went off, but whatever. As I was going through my things, I was pleased to open up a little container and discover my nearly 21 year old Tamagotchi nestled inside (along with a sweet flame Tamagotchi I bought maybe like 10 years ago just because it looked cool!)

tamagotchi1
So happy I still have these!

Nostalgia hit me pretty hard, and I decided to put a battery in it and see if it worked. It started right up, so I thought “Sure, let me see how long I can keep this little creature alive!”

tamagotchi2
Still works after all these years! ❤

For the first day or two,  I was pretty good at taking care of it. I attended to it when it beeped, and I was on a roll.

tamagotchi3
Much like a real baby, they poop all. the. time!

…. until day 3, when I took it to work and left it in my purse all day. Shit! There was like 5 little poops on the screen, plus it was sick, hungry, and bored, but it wasn’t dead! I vowed to take better care of my little creature.

A day or two later, and whoops! Poor Tamagotchi lived in my purse all day and all night. Only when I woke up the next day did I remember it, and I thought for sure it was toast. Nope! The little beast was still alive and sound asleep. I turned the lights off on it, even though it was going to wake up and yell at me in less than an hour.

tamagotchi4
The final adult form. 

All in all, my Tamagotchi lived to be 9… so I had it running for about 8 days (it turns 1 after a nap it takes after being hatched… yeah who knows what the logic is there). I’m surprised, because even though I had the best of intentions, I completely sucked at being a Tamagotchi mom.

tamagotchi5
R.I.P. little guy!

I still have a place in my heart for these little virtual creatures though! A 20th anniversary Tamagotchi was released late last year and I totally wanted one… just couldn’t find it at any store. I did just check Amazon and they are in stock (which they weren’t the entire holiday season) so I guess I will buy me one! 😉 Don’t know how much I’ll actually play with it but I want it so I can be reminded of my childhood!

P.S. The flame Tamagotchi I have is like a “Tamagotchi lite.” It only beeps when it absolutely wants something, and you can’t select an option unless the Tamagotchi needs it (i.e. you can’t select the food icon unless it’s hungry) so maybe I should put batteries in it and see if I have better luck, haha!

Are Video Games Art?

Back in September, The Well-Red Mage asked another thought provoking question that I thought would be fun to answer! Took me long enough to answer, right? *rolls eyes* Anyway, his question this time around was quite simple: Are Video Games Art?

are_video_games_the_next_great_art_form
Obviously not my photo… credit belongs to the Mage 😉

There were many people that gave excellent, thoughtful responses to this question. If you haven’t yet checked it out, click on the link in the first paragraph and go read them! Anyway, I’m not going to give some long, philosophical response on what is considered “art” and why something should or should not be considered art. For me, the answer is simple: yes.

To me, video games are considered art because they are created for us to enjoy. That creation (whether it ends up well-received or not) is the result of someone’s hard work and dedication. And yes, every part of the game is art to me- from the graphics to the musical score to the story- it’s all art. Of course, whether we like the game or not is totally subjective, just like every other artistic medium. Not every type of game will appeal to everyone, and that’s okay! 🙂

Kirby Keychains.

A billion months ago (or maybe it was just back in October), my husband surprised me with a couple little goodies he found while he was out and about! He bought me a couple Kirby keychains (or Backpack Hangers, as it says on the package)! I had never seen these before, so I was pretty excited!

kirbykeychains

As you can see, they are blind bags, which means that you don’t know what you’re getting inside. I’m a little wary of stuff like this, because it always seems like I get screwed and end up buying multiple of the same item! I take my chances when it comes to Animal Crossing cards though, haha… anyway! My husband told me he felt the packages to make sure they seemed totally different. Here’s what was in the first bag:

metaknightkeychain

A cute lil Meta Knight! He’s heavy, so he doesn’t really stand up well. But then again, it’s designed to clip onto a purse/ backpack/ etc., so I can’t fault it too much. In the second bag we have:

puzzledkirbykeychain

An even cuter lil Kirby! He looks slightly puzzled but still so adorable! I’m glad I got these adorable things to add to my collection of Kirby items! 🙂

2018 Plans (Can I Stick to Them?).

I stink at making plans. I have the best of intentions, and I’m really into it in the beginning. Then, something happens- I never finish what I set out to do. Let’s face it- I had big plans for 2017, but it was such a lousy year that I never had much energy to finish much of anything. Not even my idea of Celebrating Kirby With… could be completed.

Of all the things I haven’t done, one thing that really irks me is the fact that I have so many games in my backlog that I haven’t even TRIED, never mind beaten/ completed. That never stopped me from buying games, though- and the result is approximately one billion games I have waiting for me to try! (Okay, maybe not that many, but still- it’s A LOT).

Blah blah blah, right?! Well, I set myself one goal for 2018: try as many games as possible in my backlog. I don’t necessarily have to beat them- I just want to uncheck the “unplayed” box in my Backloggery so I can at least say yes, I have played the game a little bit! I figured I’d probably spend 1-3 days max on them, unless of course it really grabs my attention to where I feel like I HAVE to keep playing!

I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I’ll get done what I get done, and no matter what, it’ll be an accomplishment! I’m going to try to write some First Impressions posts as I’m playing though these games.

Oh, and I will probably still be working through a specific game while doing this, too- right now, I’m still playing Harvest Moon: Animal Parade on the Wii, so I’ll finish that before moving on to another game of my choosing. Of course, all my Animal Crossing games will be thrown into the mix as well! 🙂

Anyway, enough of my rambling! This should be enough to keep me busy for quite awhile. See ya!

Book Review: Fluidus Rising by Margo Ryerkerk.

Happy New Year everyone! We made it to 2018. I’m thankful for that, because 2017 wasn’t exactly my favorite year and I was ready to start fresh!

Now, I know I predominately write about video games on this blog, and that’s always going to be my focus. As some of you may or may not know, I love to read as well, and I have a Goodreads account where I list a lot of the books I’ve read as well as a short blurb about why I did or didn’t like the book. Not really a review- I leave that to the experts. 😉

However, I was recently contacted on Goodreads by a super nice lady named Margo Ryerkerk who wanted to know if I would like to receive a copy of her book in exchange for a review! I know this happens to people quite often, but I was honored to be contacted because like I said, I typically don’t put reviews out. I really wanted to help her out, though, so I agreed to review her book and post it on a few sites as well as on my own blog! So here is my (unqualified) review! I’ll keep it short and sweet, and I’ll try not to reveal any spoilers!

Fluidus Rising by Margo Ryerkerk

The blurb for the book is as follows:

Magic. Romance. And a fight to the death.

The Secret Circle meets Sookie Stackhouse in this pulse-pounding, fast-paced YA fantasy read.

Torn away from her high school graduation, Sierra Reeves discovers that everything she thought she knew is a lie.

In a flash, she’s no longer a normal girl preparing for college, but a Fluidus—a rare supernatural with telekinetic powers. Her new abilities attract the attention of both the Ardere regency and the Culpatus, a group that wants to overthrow the supernatural government. Fearful for Sierra’s future, her grandmother decides to leave their home state Vermont and hide out in Savannah, Georgia.

In Savannah, Sierra forms an alliance with the overprotective and handsome Ardere marshal Gavin McLoughlin. With his help, she slowly accepts her new powers and that she’s a part of the supernatural community.

Just when Sierra begins to settle into her new life, her world is rocked again. In addition to the Culpatus discovering her location, a serial killer is on the loose in Savannah.

Fighting to control her developing power, and facing danger on multiple fronts, Sierra will have to use all her resources to stay alive.

This blurb caught my attention right away, because I enjoy reading about supernaturals, and this seemed like a fresh take on typical supernatural beings. The second item that caught my attention was the gorgeous cover:

Image result for fluidus rising

Something about this is so beautiful to me! The main character, Sierra, is featured on the cover. As I learned while reading this book, her confident pose and small smirk fit her personality very well- Sierra is definitely a girl who takes no shit!

Fluidus Rising jumps into the action right away. As the reader, you are immediately thrust into the world of Arderes at the same time as Sierra. Sierra grew up thinking she was a normal human girl instead of a powerful supernatural being. She knew nothing about different Ardere factions or what any of them could do. The reader is going on a journey with Sierra, learning as she learns. It’s a unique perspective that I haven’t seen very often in books I’ve read recently.

Pretty quickly into the story, Sierra discovers she is a Fluidus, which is the most rare form of Ardere. Fluidus have powerful telekinetic abilities, among other strengths. One quote about being a Fluidus really stood out to me:

“Most Fluidus don’t survive the awakening. Their bodies are unable to contain the power.”

Of course, such rare powers are highly sought after, so naturally anyone and everyone wants a piece of Sierra! Her grandmother goes to great lengths and makes great sacrifices to keep her safe, but Sierra really has to grow up fast and learn quickly. I almost felt sorry for her at times because so much was thrown at her at once!

Sierra is no weak damsel in distress, though. She has a balls-to-the-walls attitude and isn’t afraid to make decisions. There were a couple times she slightly frustrated me, as I felt that she was jumping in too quickly without fully thinking things through, but then I reminded myself: She is only 18. Her whole life has been turned upside down. She is a powerful supernatural being. She’s learning. 

I really, really loved this book. The writing was fast-paced, the story kept me interested, and (most of) the characters in the book were likable and relatable. Except for Louis, the ruler of the Southeast. Just… ick. In any case, I’m glad this is the first book in a series, because I can’t wait to see what happens to Sierra next!

I rate Fluidus Rising 5 out of 5. Thanks for reading my review!