Pure, Racing, Brotherhood and Yarn

Bit of a mixed blog post today, lots to say, so let’s get started.

Books

This past week has been a bit of a slow one for reading, sadly. I’ve been struggling to find the time what with one thing and another at home. I’m still reading Pure by Julianna Baggot, I thought I’d tell you a little about it. Seeing as the book doesn’t come out until February next year, this isn’t a review, just a ‘heads up’.

It’s hard to categorise the novel. When I first read about it I thought it would have the leanings of a young adult novel – teenage protagonists, overlord style governments, wasteland angst, etc. However, at seventy pages from the end I can say that while it keeps a dystopian feel from the apocalyptic setting, it is far from teenage. There isn’t anything overly ‘adult’ such as swearing or sex, but the general feel and populace of the novel gives it an adult vibe.

I much prefer the ARC cover to the proposed release version. You can't really see in the picture but the book is matte and the author name and title are gloss. It puts across the idea of the novel more concisely, in my opinion.

The premise is based on detonations that happened around the world wiping out swathes of the population but some survived in the worshipped dome. Everyone inside is Pure, untouched by the disaster, whereas everyone outside is a wretch – disfigured and surviving with no help from the government.

The interesting twist on the tale is the deformities of the survivors (and here is where it can be seen as rather adult) when the bombs went off, each person was fused to what they were doing or holding at the time. For example, our hero of the novel, Pressia, has a small dolls head where one of her hands should be. Another of the main cast has birds living in his back and nearly everyone has fused with the jewellery they wore at the time and their skin is littered with glass and shrapnel.

So far, I’m very impressed with the book and you can see why the rights have been picked up for the trilogy to be adapted into a film series. Baggot’s universe is deep, interesting and surprisingly fresh in our current climate of Armageddon style novels. My review won’t be live until January, so for now, I will only say, keep this on your radar.

I was going to talk (read rant) about the newly announced Literary Prize that has been receiving a lot of press (not all of it good) but to be honest as Simon over at Savidge Reads has done such a good job communicating what I wanted to say, I’ll leave it to him.

Finally in the book round up, there’s a little self promotion going on. I was told earlier in the week that a quote from my review of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece would be used in the front cover of the paperback. This of course made me very happy and thanks must be sent to the publisher for sending me a copy so that I could see it.

The review that can be found on this blog was originally written for a book website I ran for a while, but subsequently closed. So, the name on the review represents that site and the work we did there.

Games

I’ve been playing quite a lot since I last updated this blog. Namely Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and F1 2011. Each game, of course, brings something different to the table and I have enjoyed them all in their own ways.

I’d been looking forward to playing Kirby for a long time and while I enjoyed the art style and platforming I got bored a little late in the game and sent it back to Boomerang. The main issues for me came from the design of certain levels, like the train ones were Kirby would become a steam train and you would guide him with the frankly shoddy Wii Remote pointer. The bosses also started to lack inspiration in the latter third and what was once very fun and inventive became a chore.

I did however enjoy 90% of my time with it. My older daughter and I would settle down on the sofa and she would help point out things to collect and we would enjoy spending a little gaming time together. Sadly she hasn’t quite reached the point of being able to play two player, but with a game like this, it didn’t really matter. We had fun. I didn’t finish the game, which is a shame but at least I finally played it.

Not much to say about Brotherhood yet as I’m still playing it. I’m very late to the party with this one, but with the fourth part of the franchise on the horizon I thought I should get it done now in preparation. I’m enjoying the exploring the most, and the relaxed atmosphere of running around doing what I want in any order. Much of my gaming time now is so scattered that I need games that I can dip into for ten minutes or three hours, but at my choosing.

I only bought F1 2011 a couple of days ago and after the ridiculous install time I’ve been playing vast amounts of it. It’s very faithful to the motorsport, but also very difficult at times. I’ve set myself a custom difficulty with slightly easier opponents but with realistic car physics and damage. It’s been a very long time (PS1 days) since I last played an F1 game, so I thought this was best and while I can ace tracks like Australia, tracks like Monaco just brutalise me (seriously, I had about 13 new front wings over the practice, qualifying and race!).

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