Thursday, December 17, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 1 Day Left, The Force is awakening...

Tomorrow is the day that Star Wars Episode VII is finally in theaters!!!

I will be seeing it tonight, though - my local theater has some evening showings and we bought tickets for the 9pm.. so...

TONIGHT I WILL BE WATCHING STAR WARS EPISODE VII AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!!!

For my final #30DaystoTFA post I am sharing my Princess Leia cosplay. I made this costume based on her Rebel Briefing/ Endor Assault costume from Return of the Jedi and wore it to SDCC in 2014. I got lucky in deciding to wear it on Saturday - because the 501st was hosting a Dark Side cosplay day! I had plenty of opportunities to take photos with stormtroopers and biker scouts!

  


We are just hours away... there has been an awakening... have you felt it?


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we counted down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 2 Days Left, The Force is... awkward.

Watch this with the sound ON!!!




#30DaystoTFA
 is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we counted down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 3 Days Left, The Force tastes delicious

I have a teaching position for the spring semester and I will be carrying my lunch in Star Wars style!



I even have sandwich cutters in the shapes of the Millennium Falcon and a TIE Fighter!



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Monday, December 14, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 4 Days Left, Aye aye Admiral!




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 5 Days Left, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes!

Need some music while you wait for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to release?

Ladies and gentlemen...

Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes! aka the Cantina Band, playing the Cantina Song!

On a 10 hour loop...

Enjoy!






#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 6 Days Left, Smoothest moves in the galaxy

And I'm not talking about his piloting skills.




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Friday, December 11, 2015

#Fandom5: My Holiday Wish List!

Hello again! I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season! Happy Hanukkah!

Today's 5 Fandom Friday topic is: My Holiday Wish List!

With so much amazing fandom merchandise out right now, my Christmas wish list is super long and completely full of Star Wars, Her Universe, and other fun goodies! What's on your wish list this year?


1. Trip to England
This January will be 10 years since I moved to England for my semester abroad. In those six months I participated in my first archaeological field school, made some amazing friends, and went camping/reenacting all over England! I haven't been back since 2013 and I miss my friends and the country SO MUCH. I regret not applying to York for grad school, or just up and moving there before they changed the visa requirements and made that impossible.




2. Hot Toys Captain Phasma
This figure is amazing, like pretty much everything Hot Toys has been releasing lately. I haven't ordered her because of the price and because I want to see the movie before I commit to owning such an expensive figure of a character I know so little about, but if Santa were to bring her I would be SO happy!





3. Amy Winehouse LP Collection and the Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack record
There is a record player I've had my eye on for awhile, and this music demands to be listened to on vinyl. I think Adam would approve!




4. VIP trip to see the premiere of The Force Awakens
Only one more week until TFA is in theaters!!! Wouldn't it be amazing to attend the red carpet, meet the cast, and be part of that audience?




5. Disney Infinity
I would love to have Disney Infinity for the PS3 and ALL the Star Wars characters! I also want Loki and Black Widow, plus Rapunzel and a few others. The figures are so cute!





#Fandom5, or 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly blog link-up and the creation of Kristin at Super Space Chick and Megan at The Nerdy Girlie.  It's a lot of fun and a great way to find new blogs! Go here to learn more about it or follow #Fandom5 on Twitter!

#30DaystoTFA: 7 Days Left, Star Wars Comics

ONE WEEK UNTIL THE FORCE FINALLY AWAKENS!!!!!!!!!

I'm planning on spending the next week re-reading the new Star Wars comics as I wait to see Episode VII and avoid the internet (and potential spoilers)!

If you're not already reading the new Star Wars comics by Marvel you're lucky because 1) the trade paperbacks are coming out and 2) you get to read them for the first time!



These comics have been amazing. Sometimes they do feel like the authors are trying too hard to reference the movies, or the characterization feels off (like Star Wars issue #1, no way do I believe Leia would pause as they are trying to escape to talk about her feelings with Han!) but mostly they are exciting, introduce fascinating new characters, fill in some gaps between the OT movies, and provide interesting backstory for the new characters of Episode VII.

Out of all of the comics, my favorite ongoing series are Kanan and Darth Vader. The Princess Leia comic series was very good, but it was not an ongoing comic and ended after five issues. I am also loving the Han backstory in the Star Wars comics. And if you're excited to meet Poe Dameron next week, you should check out Shattered Empire!


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 8 Days Left, "I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"

I will always want this sleeping bag. It started off as an April Fool's joke by ThinkGeek and then became a real product! I really have no reason to own one (Hall H camping, maybe?) but I do love it!



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 9 Days Left, Captain Shiny Pants

You guys... we are officially into the SINGLE DIGITS in our TFA countdown!!!!!

One of the new characters I am wickedly excited to learn more about is Captain Phasma, the Imperial trooper who wears the chrome armor. She seems like a total BAMF and I adore Gwendoline Christie, the actress who plays her. I really hope we get to see her with her helmet off at some point, though the idea of an evil, faceless character is intriguing too.



I really want to make Phasma armor. And to buy the Captain Phasma Hot Toy figure. And the 6" Black Series action figure. And basically anything with Phasma on it. Phasma.

I did order the Her Universe Phasma muscle tank to wear while I work out... and sit on the couch... and do everything...


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 10 Days Left, LUKE IS OP!!!

Did he just throw that guy into a TIE fighter!?



Yes.  Yes he did.


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Monday, December 7, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 11 Days Left, "Carry your books, I will!"

If I were a Jedi, I would want Yoda to be my Jedi Master. Unfortunately I live in this galaxy instead of one far, far away, and the closest I've come has been this Yoda backpack.



Adorable and surprisingly spacious is how I like to describe him, and I have used him to cart my PhD materials back and forth between home and the lab. I prefer to bring him out for special occasions, like May the 4th and Star Wars anniversaries - that way he won't get worn out or dirty. When he's not escorting me on missions, he hangs out in my Nerd Cave, usually on the back of my desk chair!


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 12 Days Left, #Spacemarried

I'm not really sure who originated the tag #Spacemarried, but I've seen it pop up in my Twitter feed pretty regularly over the past year as fans speculate about Hera and Kanan's relationship on Star Wars Rebels. There is also some excellent fanart on Tumblr.

Are they just friends? Do they quietly yearn for one another? Are they hidden sweethearts? 

Or are they #spacemarried?


Whatever their status, they give me all the feels!


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 13 Days Left, They see me rollin'...

One of the pieces of merchandise I was eager to get on Force Friday was Sphero's app-controlled BB-8 ball droid toy! Lucky for me, I found one at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond and have been enjoying the company of my newest droid friend ever since!

A video posted by Kate (@chiksolo) on



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Friday, December 4, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 14 Days Left, Finn & Rey

TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE FORCE AWAKENS IS RELEASED!!!!!!!!!

I cannot wait to meet the newest Star Wars characters, in particular Finn and Rey. John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, the actors who play Finn and Rey, are so enthusiastic and thankful to be a part of the Star Wars story. It's wonderful to see the actors so excited and eager for fans to experience the movie too!




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 15 Days Left, "An elegant weapon for a more civilized age."

Eeep! In two weeks I will be seeing Star Wars Episode VII!!! And perhaps we will learn how Anakin's lightsaber was salvaged from the bowels of Cloud City!

Lightsabers are the weapons of the Jedi. Powered by kyber crystals from the ice planet Ilum, younglings are sent to harvest their crystals as part of their Jedi training. The Clone Wars episode The Gathering (season 5, episode 6) depicts this rite of passage as Ahsoka escorts a group of younglings on their quest. In gathering their crystals, younglings learn not only how to build their lightsabers, but about themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses, and how to work together.



Most lightsaber blades are blue or green. Some are yellow or purple. Sith blades are usually red, due to the synthetic crystals they use.



My most favorite lightsabers are those of Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker. I love Mace Windu's purple blade and Luke's RotJ hilt! I have three lightsabers of my own: an Ultimate FX Luke Skywalker lightsaber, an Ultimate FX Yoda lightsaber I won from Legion of Leia's Clone Wars contest, and a double-bladed purple lightsaber I built at Tatooine Traders in Disney Hollywood Studios.



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 16 Days Left, Jabba's Jester

Salacious B. Crumb is a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard. He was serving as Jabba the Hutt's jester/pet when the Rebels and friends of Han Solo infiltrated Jabba's palace in their rescue attempt. I've always been amused by this character and his obnoxious laughter, and I love the puppetry (yay Muppets!) - so much that when I saw a stuffed Salacious B. Crumb in Tatooine Traders at Disney Hollywood Studios, I knew I had to have him!




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 17 Days Left, Happy Birthday SWTOR!

This month is the 4 year anniversary of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I have played this game from the beginning. I even built my gaming computer in anticipation of this particular game's release, because it wasn't designed to run on a Mac.

Smuggler Chik Solo with her squad

I love this game so much, especially the class story lines. Each class has its own unique quest line with animated cut scenes, and exploring the different class stories has definitely made it easier to wait out the time until TFA!

At SDCC 2015 we attended the SWTOR Cantina Tour and received special in-game items for registering. There were photo ops and panels with the developers, too!

Ancient weapons and hokey religions are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid!


Happy 4th Anniversary SWTOR!!!


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Monday, November 30, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 18 Days Left, #Feelings

Originally I was going to post the original scene, where Han is going into the carbonite chamber, but then I found this on Tumblr. Ugh... SO MANY FEELS!!! I really cannot wait to see Han and Leia again and learn how their relationship progressed between the events of RotJ and TFA!



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 20 Days Left, Who Would Win?

In a race between Hera Syndulla piloting the Ghost and Han Solo in the Falcon, who would win?






#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Friday, November 27, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 21 Days Left, A Royal Insult

Last year during Celebration Anaheim, Carrie Fisher was asked what her favorite scenes were while filming the original trilogy. Her answer was any scene where Leia was insulting Han!




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 22 Days Left, Her Universe Star Wars Apparel

Her Universe makes fun fandom fashion apparel, and though it's primarily targeted at women, many of their items, like t-shirts, sweaters, and jackets, are fun for anyone to wear. And they make plus sizes! The company's founder, Ashley Eckstein, is a huge Star Wars fan and voices Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, so there is plenty of Star Wars merchandise to choose from.

For Thanksgiving dinner tonight, I am going to wear the X-Wing cardigan I bought at the Her Universe Star Wars booth during SDCC!




And on December 17th I will wear the Han Solo cosplay dress to see Episode VII at a 9pm showing!




#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 23 Days Left, Force Push Gifs









#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: 24 Days Left, Stormtrooper Game!

Last year Jenna Busch and Legion of Leia gave away a The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions gift package to celebrate the release of the last season of The Clone Wars on Netflix and Blu-ray. And I won!

I received a Blu-ray copy of The Clone Wars season 6, a Yoda Ultimate FX lightsaber, a Yoda flashlight (that talks!), and a Stormtrooper light-up game.

I LOVE this game. I love that it looks and feels like a holocom (or Holo-pad) when I hold it. I love that it's basically whack-a-mole, which is my favorite carnival game. And I love that I can play a quick game while I wait for SWTOR to load or when I'm bored at my desk.

A video posted by Kate (@chiksolo) on


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Monday, November 23, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: Day 25, "She's got it where it counts, kid!"

The Millennium Falcon is a YT-1300 Light Freighter. But it's more than a ship.

The Millennium Falcon is freedom. It's hope. It is the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, covered Luke's rear as he took out the first Death Star, and was responsible for leading the run that destroyed the second Death Star and the Emperor along with it.



I love the Millennium Falcon as much as I love my favorite Star Wars characters.


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: Day 26, Wise Words

When I'm having a rough time, suffering from writer's block, or just feel like I can't do anything right, I think of Master Yoda and his instructions to Luke.



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: Day 27, My Favorite Smuggler

I LOVE this photo of Harrison Ford as Han Solo. It was released last week as part of Entertainment Weekly's Star Wars special issue. The article it accompanied, Harrison Ford IS Han Solo, can be read online at EW's website. Han Solo has always been one of my favorite characters, and this photo makes me so excited that we get to see Han again! (also: swoon!)



#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#Fandom5: Five Fandoms I Am Thankful For

Happy Friday!

Next week is Thanksgiving, and today's 5 Fandom Friday topic is "five fandoms I am thankful for."

It is a great time to be a geek. Star Wars is coming back in full Force. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going strong and introducing new characters. There are some wonderful comics out that showcase female and POC characters. And the internet makes it easier and easier to connect with people who share your interests, support creators, learn about other fandoms, and demand representation. Fandoms are the things we love, and the communities we create to celebrate them and support each other.


Five fandoms I am thankful for...

1. Star Wars
It was like a million voices cried out in joy... one moment I will always associate with how amazing this fandom can be is the release of the second TFA teaser trailer at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim last April, as fans all over the world freaked out in anticipation of Episode VII.

Beyond this shared love of a galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars fandom is full of caring people who raise money for charities, visit hospitals and events for children and the community, and support each other. They are creative and share that creativity with other fans by showing off fanart, hosting con panels, and writing tutorials to makes droids and armor and props. Just Google R2-KT, the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, or the Mandalorian Mercs - or search Star Wars on the RPF - to see examples of how this fandom uses its love of Star Wars for the Light side of the Force!

SDCC 2014 - 501st day, lots of Imperials running around the con -
this trooper was making me crack up with his comments about Endor and Rebel scum!


2. Agent Carter
This fandom is so positive. Peggy is an amazing, confident character and Hayley Atwell is such a thoughtful person who loves her fans. At SDCC 2015 an Agent Carter flash mob was organized and we got to take photos on stage at the Marvel booth with Hayley! And this fall the casts of Agent Carter and Agents of SHIELD held a DubSmash War to raise money for two charities. We know our value, and the value of having strong role models like Peggy and Hayley. I can't wait for season 2 to premiere on January 5th!

Agent Carter flash mob, SDCC 2015


3. SDCC
The people I have met because of SDCC are so friendly and welcoming. From the bloggers who offer planning tips, to the Twitter friends I've made, to the wonderful group of you that I actually got to meet at Megan's Geeks Go Glam party this year, I am so thankful for all of you!

Geeks Go Glam party, SDCC 2015


4. Cosplayers
Like SDCC, this larger community encompasses a lot of different fandoms, but they are united by a common love of making costumes and props. This community shares their techniques and tips, showing off the results at conventions and other fan events. I love meeting cosplayers and researching costumes.

Indiana Jones cosplayers at SDCC 2014

5. Dungeons & Dragons
The people I have met through D&D have been so accepting and welcoming. Online, fans write guides and offer DMing and player tips, character builds, and homebrew ideas. At SDCC, where I played for the first time, I was welcomed to the table even though I was a complete noob. And among local players I have made friends and spent hours playing, talking about D&D, and learning about other games. My experience with this community has been entirely positive, and I am very thankful for that!



#Fandom5, or 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly blog link-up and the creation of Kristin at Super Space Chick and Megan at The Nerdy Girlie.  It's a lot of fun and a great way to find new blogs! Go here to learn more about it and follow #Fandom5 on Twitter!

#30DaystoTFA: Day 28, Beep Beep Boop!

That's right Artoo, there's only 28 days left until December 18th!

For today's #30DaystoTFA I am showing off my R2-D2 sixth scale figure from Sideshow Collectibles!



He's waiting patiently for my Hot Toys Princess Leia to join him!


#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: Day 29, Richard Cheese

This fan video by Youtube user James Chia is set to the song "Star Wars Cantina" by Richard Cheese! It's one of my favorite Star Wars fan videos.






#30DaystoTFA is a hashtag created by Amy Ratcliffe, to share favorite Star Wars items, videos, quotes, photos, and memories as we count down the days until December 18th, 2015. Her blog is Geek With Curves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#30DaystoTFA: Day 30, Episode VII Teaser Trailer

Today is ONE MONTH until Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially releases!!!

To celebrate, people are sharing some of their favorite Star Wars items, gifs, videos, and moments using the hashtag #30DaystoTFA. Amy from Geek With Curves started this hashtag on Facebook, and I saw Travis was participating, so I thought I would too!

Today I am sharing the second official teaser trailer, released during Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. This wasn't the first teaser trailer but it was the moment everything about this movie became real for me, as I sat in the lobby at work watching the livestream, tearing up and trying not to completely freak out. And now we are one month away from December 18th, 2015!!!



I still tear up as soon as the Lucasfilm logo appears!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront Release *UPDATE*

Well, I had thought I'd have a post about Star Wars Battlefront today... I tried the game at SDCC, I pre-ordered in mid-August, I participated in the open Beta back in October, I was ready to go! I mean, I wasn't very good at it, but I was READY!

That was before I received this email:



Yeah... I saved something like 23% on the game, but in the end someone messed up and so far it looks like NO ONE who ordered through Green Man Gaming has received their game keys.

Star Wars Battlefront is a multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS), available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. I pre-ordered my copy for PC because we haven't moved on to the current generation of gaming consoles, both of us wanted to play, and I prefer to game on my PC anyway. I ordered from Green Man Gaming, a site I personally had never used before, but The Boyfriend suggested because of the deal and because he had used the site before without any problems.

At NerdHQ 2015

Threads on r/starwarsbattlefront are speculating about the delay. Perhaps EA is holding out on generating more keys for GMG because they want bitter gamers to cancel their orders and pay full price form Origin. Or perhaps GMG messed up and are issuing EU/ROW keys, not US keys, and they aren't valid until the ROW release on Thursday. There are questions about the legitimacy of the keys GMG sells, and people are being horrible in comments and on social media (as usual).

Either way, there is no proof that anyone who ordered from GMG has received any keys yet... and they're not real pre-order keys anyway - orders from GMG don't get the early access to Jakku, information that was included in a FAQ but not made obvious on the pre-order page. I guess you get what you pay for, though a temporary ~25% off didn't seem too good to be true when I'm used to Amazon heavily discounting newly released movies and other entertainment.

So now it is noon on the US release date, November 17th, and I STILL don't have my game key.



I'm not too bitter about not playing on release date, though I was looking forward to it. Honestly, I'm more upset that I paid for something in August and they were unable to deliver on the promised date.

I'll update this when I get my code. No Tabletop Tuesday today because I was planning on playing Battlefront.


*UPDATE*

I received an email with my code at 12:29 EST on Wednesday, November 18th! I am now downloading the game, and should be able to play later this evening after D&D. (nerd alert!)

My code arrived 36 hours and 29 minutes after the game launched in the North American region. My code came about 13 minutes after The Boyfriend's, who bought his pre-order two days after I did. From reports on Reddit, it looks like the codes aren't going out in any particular order and some people are saying their codes are invalid. Green Man Gaming is being responsive on social media, telling people to file tickets with customer service.

So now I can finally play, which means I can run around freaking out and taking head shots because I suuuuuck at FPS. YAY!


Monday, November 16, 2015

8 Spooky Stories I Read in October

With the movie Crimson Peak being released this past October, I was in the mood for ghost stories and gothic horror, on top of my yearly Halloween craving for all things witchy and spooky. To satisfy this craving, I spent almost all my free time in October reading. This post includes short, spoiler-free reviews for the 8 books I read last month.




The Shades of London Series, by Maureen Johnson
To say I devoured these books is an understatement. Maureen Johnson also wrote the Little Blue Envelopes books. If you like YA lit and ghost stories, I definitely recommend this series.

The Name of the Star - In this book, the first of the series, readers are introduced to Rory. Rory is a really fun character - she's getting used to a new place, so there's the occasional case of culture shock. She's very talkative (which she attributes to her Louisiana family) and is prone to moments of TMI. And she reminds me of what it was like to be a teenager - that war of self-confidence and self-doubt. Another reason I loved this book was that I found Rory's experience living at her new school so similar to my own experience living in halls while at uni - from the dining hall descriptions to the common room.

A series of murders, seemingly copying the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888, are happening in London. And Rory's school is located right in Ripper territory. Through a series of strange events, Rory becomes a very important witness to the crimes - and begins working with a super secret branch of the government, the Shades, to solve them.

The Madness Beneath - This book felt a little rushed, which is sometimes the case with a second book in a trilogy. I would have liked it if the repercussions of the final events in "The Name of the Star" were explored more in-depth, instead of rushing on to set the stage for the third book in the series. But this book offers some interesting explanations about the Shades and their history, and explores how Rory is coming to terms with her new abilities.

The Shadow Cabinet - The third book in the series continues to expand on the history of the Shades and their role in protecting London. I don't want to give away too much, and to describe the plot of "The Shadow Cabinet" would reveal the events of the preceding books, but I will say I was satisfied by this book. Many questions are answered and the world is expanded upon using established mythology (Greek mythology, rivers/water and death, ley lines). Rory and her friends in the Shades learn that there is a much larger plot at work in London, extending beyond the influence of the Ripper, and that some people are willing to do anything to cheat death.

The ending of this book provides a nice conclusion for the trilogy, but leaves the story open-ended - and I sincerely hope there will be more books in this series! There is also a novella, The Boy in the Smoke, which provides some backstory on Stephen Dene and his role in the Shades.




The All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness
Honestly, one of the best ways I can describe this series is Twilight, Outlander, and The Historian had a baby. That is what this book reads like, the quality of the writing, the subject matter, the plot details. If you enjoy magic, vampires, time-travel, history, and a fated romance, I definitely recommend these books. If you hate "Twilight" or "Outlander" with your entire being though, I would say beware.

A Discovery of Witches - I started off really enjoying this book. The main character, Diana Bishop, is an academic studying alchemical illustration. She is also a witch. One day while researching in an Oxford library she comes across a strange manuscript, Ashmole 782, that has had a spell placed upon it. After that, strange things begin to happen; she is seemingly being stalked by every vampire, witch, and daemon in Oxford because they want that book, which they believe to be the mysterious Book of Life. Diana also meets a tall, dark, handsome man who ends up being a vampire. He also wants the book, believing it will explain why these species exist, and they establish a working relationship to uncover its secrets.

Unfortunately when the romance started kicking in is when I started losing interest. The whole "fated to be" element turned me off, especially because the Diana character started changing and giving up parts of her life to suit the romance. Diana also comes off as very Mary Sue-like at times. Oh, and did I mention that a romance between a vampire and witch - and any children it produces - are forbidden by a mysterious Congregation that governs the Creatures (witches, vampires, daemons) and is headquartered in Italy? This section of the book is why I compare the trilogy to Twilight - it's not just because there are vampires!

The quality of the writing also leaves something to be desired - I actually considered making a drinking game of this book (drink every time Matthew's clove-like scent is mentioned or he growls like an animal!!!) The writing does improve over the trilogy, and the central mystery of Ashmole 782 was intriguing enough that I felt compelled to finish the series.

Shadow of Night - This book is the most similar to Outlander, with its element of time travel. The descriptions and use of magic in this book, as Diana learns about her powers, are very interesting and unlike any other book about magic-users that I've read before. I also enjoyed seeing Diana grow in her powers and become an active part of the witch community.

The Book of Life - As the last book in this series, "The Book of Life" does a very good job wrapping up the story. A lot happens in this book, and with all of the characters introduced over the trilogy it can get a little difficult keeping everything straight. This book continues to explore the politics of the Creatures, Diana and Matthew's relationship and its role in the changing Creature paradigm, and the mystery of Ashmole 782/The Book of Life.




Help for the Haunted, by John Searles
This book was a real page-turner for me. It is the story of a teenaged girl named Sylvie whose parents are paranormal investigators and work to help people who are haunted by evil spirits. Parts of this book were inspired by the work of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, whose famous cases inspired movies like The Amityville Horror and The Conjuring.

After her parents are murdered, Sylvie learns more about her parents' work and the dark secrets her family kept. The book jumps around in time, back to family trips and Sylvie's memories of her parents and sister, but the narrative is not hard to follow. This adds to the element of surprise as secrets are slowly revealed to the reader and Sylvie makes connections between her parents' work and the events of their deaths.

If you like spooky stories and mystery, I highly recommend this book. Of all the books I read this past month, this is probably my favorite.




The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James
This book is considered classic gothic horror. It is the tale of a governess at an old English manor, the two innocent and sweet children she cares for, and the ghosts that haunt them. But are the ghosts real? Or is the governess just mad?

On the surface, as a ghost story, this book doesn't do it for me. I did not find this book suspenseful or the ghosts scary; the governess tells the readers that the ghosts are terrifying, but does not really give us evidence that they are scary. I never felt that anyone was threatened by the ghosts...

And that's why I prefer the interpretation that the governess is going mad. Her fear of these ghosts seems more threatening to the serenity of the household and the well-being of the children than the ghosts themselves. And looking for clues in the writing that support this interpretation, like Mrs. Grose's vague replies during conversations with the governess or the actions of the children when the ghosts are supposedly present, increased my enjoyment of the book - like solving a mystery.



Thank you for reading! If you've ever read any of these books, want to read these books, or have any recommendations for me, please leave me a comment below!