Monster Hunter World: Review


This weekend I hunted an Anjanath… (a dinosaur that is similar to a T-Rex) that was threatening my base… with the help of some hunting friends of course! I started Monster Hunter World last weekend on the PS4. Monster Hunter World was developed and published by Capcom – and it’s definitely a blast for old timers and us Monster Hunter Newbies (like myself) alike!

In this game, you are a monster hunter. You have a set home base, can upgrade and forge your own gear and gear for your Palico (a talking cat friend who helps you when there is no one else online) and explore the “new world”. The storyline follows your adventures setting up camps, tracking certain monsters and figuring out what is going on.

Monster Hunter World can be played as a single player – but it can also be played with your friends online. The latter was a little complicated to figure out at first – but eventually, we got it. You can create a private online session (if you don’t want random people in your group) and invite your friends. Anyone who is in your session will be able to see when you post a quest (or if someone posts a quest you can see). Quests are usually not joinable until after the cutscenes, but generally, once the fighting starts you can head back from the quest or friends can join you. We usually start each mission at the same time, and whoever is watching the cutscene last is usually the person we join (by heading back from the mission and then joining them at the base) It’s a little complicated, but not bad once you get the hang of it. You can also go on expeditions (which is Monster Hunter’s version of free roam) and fire an SOS flare. Once you have fired your SOS, your friends can find it, join you and hang with you on Expeditions as well.

Side note: there is something called a “Guild Card” which basically shows your information, what gear you use and you can edit your pose, background, and welcome message. When you send your guild card to other players, they can send your Palico out (no, it doesn’t take the Palico from you if you are in the game) and gather gear while they are doing missions. It’s a really cool feature. And for you Platinum Chasers out there (a couple of my friends will know exactly who I’m talking about amongst them) it is a trophy to send your guild card to 50 people.

Monster Hunter isn’t super difficult – I soloed a couple of the harder monsters to catch up with my friends while they were offline. The difficulty does go up when your friends join you – but it’s also easier because you aren’t taking all the monster aggro. You cannot adjust the game difficulty from the menu – but that’s okay because it’s really not that hard.


There is a lot more to the story then I expected there to be. I thought it would be “kill this monster” rinse, repeat. But it’s not. You are working towards a goal, there are consequences, there are reasons you are hunting certain monsters. The story isn’t as in-depth as say, the Dark Souls Series, but it’s still really good.



You can spend hours in the character customization screen. A lot of people have complained that the character they created looks nothing like the one that shows in the cutscenes, but mine does! I didn’t spend quite as long editing my character as I did editing my Palico.

There are a plethora of NPC’s that sell you things, help you build things, give you assignments and feed you. One of the main characters is the Handler.

+I’m just going to go on a tangent here – I DISLIKE THIS CHARACTER IMMENSELY. From the time MY Palico hugs her because it thought we were lost, I knew I wasn’t a fan. She takes credit for all my work, and when she’s actually out in the field she always ends up in trouble. Like dude – quit telling me what to do, I carry a big mean sword and you can’t even defend yourself against herbivore dinosaurs. Okay. Rant over.+

She makes your meals at camp, hands out quests and basically acts like the in-charge person.

Plus her voice is annoying.

I LOVE the Palico! Once you find some friendly Grimyalkes, they teach your Palico to speak certain species languages. They also give you more gadgets for him to use… he’s definitely a favorite. I’ve found the Coral Orchestra to be the handiest Palico Gadget, just because you Palico can grant buffs and prevent enemy buffs (raise defense and attack, plug your ears, negate environmental damage etc)


Music and Sound

The sound is perfect! When you are exploring the first jungle area – you can hear the sounds of a jungle… it makes the game feel fully immersive. The monsters you fight each make their own set of noises (one sounds like a pigeon and makes me giggle every time). I don’t ever have the music on, but one of my friends said the fight scene music is really cool.


Cinematics and Graphics

The graphics are amazing. When I first started playing I took a moment to look up at the sky and it was gorgeous… it was sunset, so a cascade of pinks, oranges, and blues filled the sky up. The monsters are detailed and realistic. You could almost imagine what they would be in real life. The areas are beautiful, and when you take time to explore each one you can see the artistry that went into each detail.


Gameplay and Replayability

I’ve beaten the main story. It took me about a week to beat the entire game, but it was a fun week. And – my story is far from over! I have a lot of optional quests to do – not to mention grinding! It’s still fun to hunt monsters, build gear and do investigations! I still am enjoying the game immensely though I beat it last week.

Game Info

  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC (release date to be announced)
  • Players: 1 (up to 4 online players)
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Rating T for Teen: Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Violence
  • Developer: Capcom
  • It is easy to save – and anytime you quit the game from the options menu it gives the option to save before quitting.


I really enjoy Monster Hunter: World – and loved learning the secrets of it! My main weapon is the Odagaron Insect Glaive (called Vice) and I dig it!

I also know some tips or tricks if you need help or are stuck, shoot me a comment below! (I have friends who played all the older versions of the games too, so if I can’t answer I bet they can!)

10/10 from me!


20 Gift Ideas for Everyone on your List in 2017

December 1st, already? The holidays seemed so far away but now they are right here. I can’t believe it’s the time of year to be thinking about gift giving, holiday cookies, decorations, and family time.

Wait.. yes I can!

I had my Christmas tree up 2 days after Thanksgiving! I will admit I am definitely a holiday enthusiast!

Not only that, but I pride myself on being a great gift giver!

Do you need some gift ideas for the people you love? I’m here to help you out!

1. The  Kitchen Enthusiast

Ahhh. Le Kitchen. Dishes, Cooking, Creating. Sometimes though, you just want to stick something in a crock pot and call it good! You mix the ingredients together, set a timer and go about your business. 4 to 5 hours later a delicious dinner is ready.

So why not get a crockpot that is going to take care of everything?


The Black and Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker has a locking system, built in lid holder and digital controls! It also has a chalkboard surface so you can draw after you fill it! (i.e. if you are making a spinach artichoke dip, you would write “definitely not spinach artichoke dip” and no one would be the wiser so you wouldn’t have to share, right?)

For only $32.99 – you can’t go wrong! This would be the perfect gift for your foodie friend!

2. The Crafty Scrapbooker

If you have crafty friends, but you have no idea what to get them – never fear! The Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine is here!


Gone are the days your friend had to use those pesky scissors, measure each angle and try and perfect their card cutting skills! The Cricut will do that for them! It even makes vinyl stickers and personalized home decor! They can choose from their pre-made library, or connect it to their computer and upload their own design!

If you have a friend who loves creating – you can’t go wrong with this bad boy!

3. The Outdoorsy Type

You know that one friend that is always like “Maaaaan. I love being outside. Camp the other day was awesome” and all you can think about is that big cozy bed waiting for you at home?

Well – there’s even a gift for them.


The Easy Take Down Parachute Nylon Camping Hammock is the perfect gift for someone who loves to be in the trees. It’s made of a super strong material, but is lightweight so it’s easily packable! Your friend will always think of you when they get to take a nap on their easy hang – packing room friendly hammock!

4. The One Who Loves Fishing

My dad and brother are both avid fishermen. I swear sometimes they speak the fish language. They can go out fishing and come home with giant bass or trout.

So I decided to get my dad something that could up his game.

The Venterior Portable Fish Finder turned out to be the perfect gift!


This handy little fellow detects and displays water depth, fish location, weeds and plants, and rocks! It has various settings and can be applied to almost any body of water!  This is a must-have for the fisherman who is serious about locations and boat fishing.

5. The Punk Rock Loving Teenager

Is there a teenager in your life who you have no idea what to get? They wear all black, they listen to weird music (“IT’S ART MOM!”) and they seem rebellious?

Well, guess what? You could be their new best friend!

A gift card from Ticketmaster would be the perfect gift! You choose the price from $25 all the way to $250! It will be delivered to you or them – and they can pick and choose concerts they want to go to! What a deal! You could even buy two so that you could tag along to the concert with your youngun (maybe discover some groovy new music while you are at it!)

6. The Video Game Nerd

Do you have that special someone who plays a lot of video games, but you aren’t sure what system? Xbox? PS4? What are those, codes?

Don’t worry loving *insert older family relation*, there’s something that just about everyone would love to have!

The Immersive VR headset for Smartphones!  Most people nowadays have smartphones, and now with this headset, they can have a whole new virtual world right at their fingertips! Can’t go wrong with that.





7. The Book Lover

As a fellow book reader – I can tell you that you can never go wrong with 1. your favorite book, 2. a book that reminds you of them or 3. a Barnes and Noble gift card

However, if none of those seem good enough, I can tell you that a Reading Journal would be a good one!

If they are anything like me, a list to keep track of all of the books they have read is not only a cool achievement, but it helps them decide what to read next! Sure, there are websites that do this (, I definitely recommend joining) but there is something special about writing thoughts down with a pen and paper!

8. The Techie

Sure, it’s hard to shop for someone who always has the newest and coolest thing. People who love tech items usually order them (or stand in line for them) right away.

But there is one thing that would be cool and useful to receive, even if they already have one!


via Amazon


The Amazon Echo is a smart home speaker, phone call assist and personal assistant. If you have more than one that means you have more capabilities in each room of your house! Alexa the personal assistant can also check your calendar, weather, traffic and manage lists.  She has a number of other useful features (will order a pizza.. I’m sold!) and would be a great holiday gift!

9. Horror Fans

For this group, it’s easier for me to just share a list of items that would be cool for any horror lover. As a lover of horror and Gore myself – I couldn’t decide on just one 🙂

Any of these items would make really cool gifts for your average horror fan!

10. Comedy Lovers

Know someone who loves to laugh? I recommend the Funny or Die Game! 

It is a caption creating game, and has great reviews!

Another fun game, of course, is Cards Against Humanity. One of the original Adult Party Games… I definitely recommend playing with a group of people who aren’t easily offended.

11. Kids

Honestly, kids are the hardest to shop for in my opinion. There are so many different cartoons, action figures, games, and tech stuff – not to mention all the age levels of toys.

I am just going to go by what I would want if I was a kid.

an R2-D2 that you control?! How can you go wrong with that for older kids?

He has speakers, LED’s, an app that you can download to command him and many more fun things to do! It’s like a star wars fan’s dream come true! (I’m 25 and I kinda want one!)




12. The Writer

This is another one of those attributes that I feel strongly about, so I’m going to make a list that you can’t go wrong choosing from.

13. The Strong Woman

I have two here that I adore!

The Feminist Activity Book

and This T-Shirt 

14. The Budding Geologist

Another list… sorry guys, apparently a list within a list is my thing today. Listception.

15. The Beer Lover

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing worse than going to take a sip of your beer and it’s warm. Just ruins the flavor.

So when BottleKeeper came out with their product, I knew I had to have one.

I bought it, and it is a miracle! You unscrew the bottom of the bottle holder, slip your beer bottle inside and presto! Your beer stays cold!

This would make a great gift for all of your friends who are beer fans.




16. Comfy Ideas

“Alright Taylor,” you say to me as you scroll through my list. “What about the person who just likes to relax? What do I get them?”

Ha. Don’t you worry your pretty little head, I’ve thought of everything!


First, you start with a basket of your choice! Laundry? Sure. Wicker? Whatever works.

Then you add comfort items sorta specific to the person you are creating it for.

For example, if I was making it for one of my friends, I’d include a comfy blanket, a sketchbook, some colored pencils, comfy sweats, some comfy slippers, a coloring book, a face mask, some yummy lotion, a candy she loves, a few bath bombs, and a letter to tell her how much I love her.

Image result for self care

It’s the thought, you know? The thought that someone wants to take care of you, even if they aren’t near you.

17. The Soon To Be Parents

Besides the obvious (baby clothes, wipes, diapers, equipment (is that the right word? I don’t really know anything about baby stuff)) you could always go with a keepsake!

This Baby Handprint and Footprint kit is a really cute idea!

18. The Adventurous

Give them the Gift of a Grand Canyon River Trip


Has your loved one done almost everything? Hiked tall mountains? Been on a cruise? I bet there is one thing they haven’t tried! An 8 -day river trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon! Yes, the canyon is spectacular and beautiful from above – but a trip down the river is a completely different experience! When you travel with Grand Canyon Expeditions they take care of everything!

An excerpt from the website:

“Since a Grand Canyon river rafting trip is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, it should be an unhurried experience. Our eight-day excursions traverse the entire 277 miles of the canyon, beginning at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona (in Grand Canyon National Park), and ending at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead.

To many, the most thrilling even on a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip is riding the rapids. The exhilaration you feel as your raft plunges through the waves is a hard-to-describe experience. Only after passing through such rapids as Soap Creek, Hance, Sockdolager, Hermit, Crystal and Lava Falls can you appreciate the achievements of Major Powell and other early river explorers.

Life on one of our Grand Canyon rafting tours is pleasant. Eight days of exciting rapids, exploration, and sleeping under the stars will pass much too quickly!”

This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and one this blogger HIGHLY recommends! It’s such an amazing experience to camp along the river, go exploring, hiking, and get to know your fellow rafters without the distraction of a cell phone in everyone’s face! For those who want to get out and get back to nature, I say go for it!

For more information visit: You can request a brochure, send an email or call the office with questions.


19. The Boss Type

So if you know me, you know I adore my boss. She’s funny, sweet, easy to get along with and one of my favorite people.

I have gotten her something similar to this coffee mug

I would post what I might get her this year… but I’m afraid she’d find out and the surprise would be ruined!

20. The Gardener

Can’t go wrong with a Foldable Kneeler, some Garden Tools and maybe a cool Stack a Pot!


So there you have it! My list of gift ideas for almost every person in your life! If you have any other questions, need ideas or want a more personalized gift idea, leave me a comment below! If you have someone you just can’t think of a gift for, send me some of their likes and I’ll try and help you!


Catch ya on the flipside!




Game Review: Destiny 2


PC: Destiny Website

Console: PlayStation 4

Game: Destiny 2

Developer: Bungie

I have a lot of hours into the original Destiny.  In fact, I have 559 hours of gameplay in the Destiny 1 universe.  That’s almost 24 days of playing. So believe me when I say I was really excited for Destiny 2. I marked the release date on my calendar, planned nothing for that week and told everyone I was going to be unavailable. When it finally released … We had problems downloading. We pre-ordered from Best Buy – they didn’t deliver the code until a day later. I ended up having to download a code off of Amazon because you can’t game share between two consoles (I have one and my husband has the other – mine is the primary console but the licensing is different for Destiny 2). When I finally was able to sit down and play the game, I was way excited.

Destiny 2 started with a tribute to the original game players… showing activities you did, when you completed them and who you completed them with. By the end, I was in tears because I am a crybaby and love emotional things like that.

Destiny 2 – like its predecessor – is an online world where you can do missions, patrol planets and find adventures. We played as a fire team of 3.


I played through the first couple of missions by myself (required by the game) but together in a group chat. From the get-go, it’s full of emotion and sadness.  Without giving too much away, the story is heart-wrenching, beautiful and is definitely a compliment to the first game. A lot of the missions in the first game were quick and the first playthrough I didn’t quite get why they were important. In Destiny 2, everything made sense and they explained objectives really well.


You still start off as picking a Hunter, Titan or Warlock to start. If you played the original game your character will reflect the facial features, race, gender and other discernible features that you chose in the first game.


The Hunter – PC: Bungie


Titan – PC Bungie


Warlock – PC Bungie

Music and Sound

The music and sounds complemented the game really well. I usually turn the music all the way down on games but left it on for my first playthrough. It definitely made it better. When it came to character speech I was blown away. Without giving too much away, Ghost sounds different after the first mission. The humor behind certain characters makes me laugh every time. I love listening to the talk while doing a mission.

Cinematics and Graphics

I love cinematics in a game. Mini-movies that add to the mission you just did, with their beautiful graphics and drama – are my favorite. Destiny 2 had some exceptional ones. Cinematics that showed a “behind the scenes” if you will with the enemy. Cayde-6 (he’s my favorite, I’m sorry!) and humorous moments in the life of a guardian. The Graphics are A+ and the details everywhere you go were well thought out and planned. Secret caves, Vex constructs, and the social spaces are gorgeous. Each new planet is well thought out, unique and memorable.


European Dead Zone / PC Bungie


Io / PC Bungie


Titan / PC Bungie


Nessus / PC Bungie

Gameplay and Replayability

The gameplay is simple Destiny style, with a couple of changes from Destiny 1. There are some new types of missions with different activities (that almost felt a little Halo-y, but I’m okay with that).  When you finish the main story there is always something to do. The Raid, Patrol Challenges, Strikes, Strike Challenges, the Nightfall (now timed) and of course Crucible. I already have gone through the main story again with a different character and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

Game Info

  • Destiny 2 can be single player but the campaign can be easier if you have a Fireteam of 3 (or 6 if you are doing the raid – keep in mind though that matchmaking is available through guided games)
  • You are unable to change the game’s difficulty in regular play (although you can do a harder “prestige” version of the raid and nightfall), but it’s really not that hard. When I’m alone I can manage it with only a couple of deaths (if I’m thinking smartly)
  • Destiny 2 is rated T for Teen because of blood, language, and violence.
  • The main story itself is about 16 missions long (which is longer than the 1st one) and the game also has strikes, the raid, the nightfall, adventures, challenges and you can replay missions after you beat the story.
  • There are no self-save points in the game – but autosave. I’ve never had a problem with Destiny not saving my game though.

Prestige Strike with 2 members of my clan

In conclusion, I loved Destiny 2. I think it was worth all the hype that it got pre-release. It was a good game to keep me intrigued in Bungie’s universe – and to get me back into Destiny. I love that they even made small fixes in the game – like you stay in your menu if your fireteam leader is taking you to a different activity. You can also travel to different places without having to go back to orbit.

I do wish that Crucible had a “Choose your Own” game mode like the first one (I really don’t like supremacy and hate when it comes up) and I miss the 6 man teams. However, I do really love the “Survival” game type! I played with some members of my clan recently and we worked really well as a team.

I also miss Grimoire score and hidden revivable ghosts. In Destiny 1 my Grimoire was over 5000. However, I do like being on a random planet and finding something to scan and get the backstory of.

A lot of people don’t like that you have to pay glimmer (in-game money)  to apply a shader to each piece of armor. I would agree with that. But I like that you can apply separate shaders to separate pieces of armor and do a mix and match type deal.

I like that the Trials of the Nine gives you access to the spire for wins and that you can advance up the spire as you gain more wins.

I love new characters, places, and changes to social spaces (as well as emotes!)

I’ve beaten the raid a couple of times;  it’s complicated but only took me about one round to understand what I was supposed to do. My clan works well as a team so we beat it fairly easily, but it was still challenging. Each part is a puzzle in its own – and don’t even get me started on the underbelly!


My Hunter at the beginning of the Raid

If you haven’t picked this game up I recommend doing so if you are a Destiny fan! It’s a fun great addition to the Bungie family!


10/10 from me!





Wait.. we’re more than halfway through 2017?!

I know it’s been awhile since I published a post – I’ve had a busy summer. I’ve been volunteering a couple of nights a week as well as hanging with family, going to book club, going on trips (WARPED TOUR WAS GREAT) and playing a lot of video games! (I’m currently on my second playthrough of Dark Souls 3 … I’ll upload a review for that soon-ish)

I haven’t had time to sit down and write a blog post lately, but I swear I’ll start up again soon! We are already into July and the river season at GCEX is almost over! Where does the time go?

As always, contact me if you have any questions and have a great day!

New posts coming soon! 🙂



GAME REVIEW: Tales from the Borderlands



(I do realize I’m reviewing a 3 year old game… my bad)

I love the Borderlands Game series.  I played Borderlands 1 when I first met Nick; we were just dating and I realized how much he loved video games. Instead of being a pain about it, I asked if I could play too (I played games before that obviously, Halo and stuff like that). We beat it pretty quickly and had a ton of fun along the way.

Fast forward to 2012 (2 years into our relationship) and Borderlands 2 came out. I absolutely adore this game. Nick and I played together and have beat it many times through. We’ve played all the DLC and holiday expansions. We both have max level characters, as well as many others, started in an effort to help friends (we always end up going back to the high level). The Borderlands Series is easily one of my top favorites. (My car is named Sir Reginald Von Bartelsby for hell sakes haha!)

So – for the month of May Tales from the Borderlands (episode 1) was free on the Playstation 4 Store. I figured “What can it hurt? I might as well try it.” I downloaded episode 1 and started playing – and absolutely adored it.

It’s obviously different from Borderlands 1, 2 and the Pre-Sequel. Those are first person shooters where you are a badass Vault Hunter who is large and in charge. In Tales from the Borderlands, you play as two characters, Rhys and Fiona. And you aren’t doing (a lot) of combat – you are mostly choosing dialogue, making decisions and scanning things. It takes place after Borderlands 2 and is a “Choose Your Outcome” story.  I’m 3 out of 5 episodes in – so there may be some spoilers – but not many.

Playable Characters


Rhys is the first character you play as. Without trying to give away too many spoilers, he is smart, confident and will do whatever it takes to rise up in the Hyperion chain of command. He has a neat eye that can scan things, assess them and helps a lot when playing the game.  He’s a kind character (at least the way I’m playing him) who makes good decisions and trusts easily.

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I love Fiona. She’s the other playable character, and she is a con artist. Along with her sister, Fiona is just trying to score big. She can actually carry items in an inventory and seems to be in charge of the Money of the group. She’s a great fighter, smart thinker and I think she’d make one hell of a Vault Hunter.


From L to R: Sasha, Rhys, Fiona and Vaughn

Main Group:  

  • Vaughn: Rhys’s best friend – accountant, nervous, funny
  • Sasha: Fiona’s younger sister and partner in crime  – brave, tough, loyal
  • Loader Bot: (Easily my favorite character) Rhys requested a loader bot at the beginning of episode 1 – and he’s stuck by us ever since. Strong, funny and helpful.

There are some other characters (INCLUDING SOME FROM THE ORIGINAL BORDERLANDS 1, 2 and Pre-Sequel! *insert heart eyes emoji here*) that join the group, help the group or … y’know…. try to murder the face off of everyone (It is Pandora)  – but it’s not hard to follow along with who is who.


  • Good fun! I love stories in video games, and this is basically playing a Story. Telltale games did an AMAZING job.
  • The graphics are great! Cartoonish, clear and stay true to Borderlands style
  • The humor is the BEST. I don’t know what it is, but all of the Borderlands humor just gets me. This game is no different. Whether it be descriptions from Rhys’s Eye Analysis, or Loader Bot being “Coooool bro,” I guarantee you will laugh.
  • You DON’T have to know or have played any of the other Borderlands games to play this one! The story is completely different! Sure, there are some characters from the games and some history from the games in it, but you can play it as a standalone game with no prior knowledge


  • You can rewind parts of the story, which is neat if you made a decision you think you’ll regret later, but I wish I could rewind shorter. Or at least choose where I’m rewinding back to. I hate going through a large part (you can’t usually skip anything) again because of one stupid dialogue choice I made.

In conclusion, I think this game is awesome. It’s a good, funny story with likable characters. It has just enough Borderlands that fans of the game should adore it and people who just wanna play a funny game on the world Pandora will like it too! I recommend it highly!

********** 10/10 stars from me!

Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill *Spoilers*

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

Featured Photo Source: Collider


Instead of a normal review, I’m going to set this up like I am answering discussion questions. That’s because I am. I wrote some questions (and borrowed some from Reddit) and answered them for my book club.

Before we go, fun fact I learned (I can’t find the source but I think it was Wikipedia)

“The inner front and back cover of the book has a repeating message written in Morse code. It reads, “Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name,” which are lyrics from the Rolling Stones song, “Sympathy for the Devil.” It refers to the novel’s themes that the devil is more of an anti-hero than a villain.” Like Deadpool?

Reddit Discussion Questions and Answers


Q – In a story where the devil in us all is made very obvious, are there any characters who might be seen as more of an angel? Merrin might be an obvious choice, but who else?

A – I think that Terry could be angelic. When it’s his turn to confess to Ig, he tells him about Merrin’s death and starts the whole process of justice. He seems to be the only character that actually worries about Ig, and comes looking for him / offers to help. He also is the one who shows Ig exactly what happened the night Merrin got killed… I also think the book hints at this a little bit.  “She [Merrin] pointed at the statue of the angel with it’s horn. ‘Looks like your brother.’ ‘No it doesn’t,’ Ig said… although, in fact, considering it again, it did rather resemble Terry playing his horn, with his broad, clear brow and princely features.” 

Q – Does the Gospel According to Mick and Keith feel like a hopeful one? Tragic?

A – I think the Gospel according to Mick and Keith feels like a hopeful one. Ig gets to talk to Dale (Merrin’s father) and finds out information that will help lead him to why Merrin really wanted to break up. He also gets to give Glenna a chance to lead a more fulfilling life, and to no longer let men take advantage of her. It also explains what happens, and in the end Terry is convinced (thanks to the horns) that Lee, Eric and Ig are all dead. He decides to go to New York and learns Glenna is going there too. I think the two of them would be a cute couple. 

Q – What higher purpose might Lee’s flashback to the trauma and the cat serve? Furthermore, is he hallucinating?

A – I think the purpose of the flashback is to show why Lee is so messed up. It shows that when he fell off of the fence and hit the ladder, it must have knocked something in his brain loose (dudes it’s a figure of speech). I believe that he has a head trauma that makes him crazy, and that was what the book was intending to do. So you see how insane he is and what he can do without even realizing it (i.e. the cat) 


The Discussion Questions I wrote

Q – Ig receives the horns when he burns the tree house of the mind, but why? What purpose do the Devil’s horns serve Ig? If you could grow horns and know the deepest darkest secrets of everyone around you, would you?

A – Rules of the Tree house: “Take what you want / get what you need when you leave.” I think that the horns were what Ig needed to find justice for Merrin’s murder. Having them helped him greatly and he learned everything he needed to know to find peace for himself. Personally, I think it would be cool to have the horns. It’d be interesting to know what people thought of me. Sure, I’d end up having to be secluded and not wanting to talk to anyone… but at least I’d have the company of snakes and fire. 


Q – In the beginning of the book, Lee fixes the cross – but Ig still gives it to Merrin. Do you think things would have turned out differently if Ig had let Lee keep it?

A – I don’t think so. Even in the book Merrin states, “I dropped it for you.” She meant for Ig to have the cross. I think somehow, even if Lee had given her the cross back she would have found her way to Ig. 


Q – When Lee gets blinded in one eye from the explosion, Ig comes to visit him. While talking to Ig, Lee says to Ig that Merrin will discourage him from being with Lee thenceforth. In reply, Ig says that that isn’t the case and in fact, she’s so worried that she herself wanted to visit him. And then Lee says, “I know why this happened.” “It was a shitty accident. That’s all.” Lee shook his head. “It was to remind me.” “Remind you of what?” Ig asked. Lee was struggling against tears. He wiped at the blood on his cheek with the back of one hand and left a long dark streak. “Remind you of what?” IG asked again … but Lee never got around to telling him.   What did Lee think his accident happened for? To remind him of what?

A – I believe that Lee thought that the explosion was punishment for giving up Merrin to Ig for the cherry bomb. Lee had thought that God had given him a gift to take what he wanted and instead of taking it he gave it away. It’s interesting to me too that his eye goes blind, but he still can manage to see Ig with the horns. Maybe that was a “gift” from God? 

Q – What did you think of the book?

A – I loved it. The writing is dark, beautiful and interesting. I saw the movie a long time ago and had no idea it was based on a book. Because of this I imagined Daniel Radcliffe as Ig, but things could be worse. It’s a great book for horror / fantasy fans and I highly recommend it. Joe Hill is a great author and has definitely made his own name for himself. 


Source: IMDB


Game Review (ish): Horizon Zero Dawn

Within the first 5 minutes of the first video of Horizon Zero Dawn, I was crying.  Besides having stunning graphics and almost lifelike characters in the beginning of the game movie, it has a story that kept me intrigued and I didn’t want to skip it like I would in other games.

When I finally got to play as Aloy, I was taken aback again by how good the graphics are, and how fairly simple the layout of the controls is as well. I started out as a child Aloy, learned some controls and then watched another movie sequence. I got to about level 10 and am on the main story mission 8 out of 22 . I won’t drop any spoilers here, I promise.


Credit: PlayStation

I’ll publish a full review once I have completed the game, but so far I am in love. It’s beautiful, got a great story mode and has lots of cool perks that make it exciting and not repetitive.

When I play games like this I like to explore and sometimes will go out of my way to avoid combat. That’s something I like about this game, if you don’t want combat you can duck and hide or run away. There are some story missions that require it (obviously) but even then it’s not that bad. I do play on normal though – but for me that seems to be perfect.


Credit: PlayStation

Another thing I like about this game (that I mentioned before) is the story. It’s quick to pick up and not hard to follow, but so far has been cute, interesting and heart wrenching. I love to read – so I enjoy playing games that are like reading a book. I also love the dialogue options you get for Aloy. You can make different decisions, ask different questions and talk to characters with your choice of dialogue.

I’ve got a ways to go before I finish, but I think all my readers with a PS4 should consider picking up this game and hang out in the Horizon Zero Dawn world!


Credit: PlayStation 


Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (some spoilers)

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

SPOILERS AHEAD. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

Firstly, I’d like to start with the fact that I love how flexible J.K. Rowling is in her writing. I’ve read all of the Harry Potter series, and I read the Casual Vacancy as well. All of her writing is different – and each is very good in it’s own genre.

I loved the character descriptions and development… even minor characters like Guy Some that Strike was interviewing had enough description and personality that I could picture them. In a lot of books I have a hard tie really figuring out secondary characters. I imagine them as 2D people. This book was quite different.

Strike is such a fun character to read about – and Robin is as well. I haven’t read the second one yet (it’s on my “to read” list) but I hope we can read more from Robin’s point of view.

The story plot was well thought out, and I didn’t get bored during the interviews or the not so important parts of the story. I was very surprised by the ending! I had no idea what it was leading up to, and I’m usually really good at that.

All in all Galbraith did a wonderful job, and I really enjoyed this book.

Short Story: NO TITLE


I’d been in the car long enough. I was glad we got a chance to go visit my parents 8 hours away, but the drive home was always the longest. Especially when it was at night. But Cole insisted he could drive and not fall asleep if I wanted to leave later in the evening. He said he preferred driving at night in fact. It made him feel safer. He was a little weird like that.

At about 11:30 we were still a couple hours away, and I was getting tired. I looked over at Cole and said, “Hey do you mind if I nap? Will you be too scared?”

“What are you talking about?” He asked, chuckling

“Well… I want to sleep but it’s creepy driving at night. No lights around us, it’s basically just us and the big dark empty world…”

He looked at me and smiled,

“I’ll be fine Addie” he said. “Go to sleep.”

I grabbed my pillow out of the backseat and set it up against the window and then laid my head down on it facing the window. Suddenly, a movement caught my eye.

My head jerked up and I gasped.

“Cole! There was something outside of the window!”

“Yeah, it’s probably a deer. They hang out near the road at night, the assholes.”

“It’s not a deer!” I exasperated “It was a dog or something.”

He glanced over at me and then concentrated on driving.

“Babe you’re tired. Try to get some rest.”

Fine. Don’t believe me. I thought. I laid my head back down and closed my eyes.

* * *

A little while later I was jolted awake by the car spinning in a circle. Cole was holding on to the steering wheel and shouting while trying to get it under control. The car flipped and suddenly everything seemed to be in slow motion. I could feel my head slam against the dashboard, and watched as Cole hit his forehead on the steering wheel. When we came back around I could see someone on the side of the road, standing and watching us. We flipped one more time and ended up upside down off the side of the road.

All I could think about was how bad my head hurt and body hurt. I could feel dripping down my forehead into my hair, and lifted my hand up. It came away with blood.

“Cole?” I wheezed. “Baby are you okay?”

I looked over and saw that he was unconscious. I reached down to unbuckle my seatbelt and fell to the roof of the car. As gingerly as I could to avoid the glass from the windshield I scooted over to Cole. He had a gash in his forehead and his fingers were cut up.

I reached over to his seat belt with one hand and unbuckled it, while the other supported his head. He fell into my arms.

“Oh babe we have to get you out of here.” I whispered.

I left him laying on the roof of the car and went to my window. Somehow it had survived the crash and was still shut. I kicked at it a few times to try and break it, but that didn’t do anything. Shit.I thought. I’m going to have to go out the windshield.

Just as I had put my fingers in the top of the windshield space, I heard a movement in the bushes next to the car. I glanced up just in time to see something run the opposite direction of the car.

“Hey!” I shouted. “We need help!” I pulled myself up out of the car and cut my legs up pretty badly in the process. As I stood up vertigo hit me, so I put my head in my hands and stayed there for a minute. Eventually I got all the way up straight, and took a couple of deep breaths. It took me a few minutes to focus on my surroundings because it was so dark, but eventually my eyes adjusted. What was that? I decided to try and call them again.

“Hey buddy!” I yelled. As soon as I did the air around me got abruptly cold, and I had a bad feeling about being where I was. I decided now was a good time to pull Cole out and try and wake him up. As I crouched down and peered into the car, I could see Cole right where I left him. I reached in the car to grab under his arms when I noticed someone peering in the rear windshield. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed as I jumped away.

When I stood up though, no one was there. I crouched back down and looked again, and saw nothing. Weird. I must have hit my head pretty hard. I was able then to grab Cole and drag him out of the car onto the grass.

I tried in vain to wake him up, but nothing worked. So I put my two fingers to his wrist and checked his pulse. Luckily his heart was still beating.

“Come on babe…” I whispered. “I’m so scared.” I could see my breath coming out in smoky tendrils against the dark of the bushes it was so cold. I looked back down at Cole and could see he was gingerly opening his eyes.

“Cole! You’re okay!” I cried out. “How are you feeling? What happened?”

He looked at me and tried to sit up but failed, so I put my arm around him and helped him up. He looked around and then put a hand to his forehead.

“Damn babe. My head hurts.” He said.

“Yeah I could imagine. You smacked it against the steering wheel pretty hard. What happened?” I asked again.

“Well you had just fallen asleep, and I was thinking about being home. And then I dunno. Suddenly I started thinking about this dog you said you saw. I looked over at you to see how you were sleeping, and when I looked back there was a dog standing in the road.. but it… it kind of had a human face.”

The more I thought about that, the more goosebumps I got.

“That’s weird.” I said. “I keep seeing something running around watching us. I swear I heard it run away a couple of minutes ago before I got you out.”

He looked at me then shook his head.

“That is weird… and creepy. We should call an ambulance.”

“My phone was charging,” I stated. “Lemme grab it.”

I got back down on my hands and knees and looked into the car. My phone was still attached to the cord, but it was hanging down and the screen was shattered.

“Of course.” I mumbled.

“What babe?” I head Cole ask.

“Oh nothing. My phone’s screen is broken. Our car is totaled. The usual.”

I could hear the smile in his voice as he said, “Well your phone was done for the moment it became your phone.” Leave it to him to find some humor in our situation.

As I reached up to unplug the phone and unlock it, I heard him gasp.

Half in the car, half out I heard him yell, “ADDIE look ou…”. I looked back over my shoulder and saw him slump to the ground.

“COLE!” I screamed. All of a sudden I felt someone grab my legs and I was pulled out of the car. I flipped around to see who my attacker was, and then everything went black.


When I came to I could tell it was dark outside. I kept my eyes closed while I let my other senses explore where I was. I was laying on something sort of soft, but mostly scratchy. I could smell manure and rain. I opened one eye and looked around. I was in a big wooden box… no… I was in a stall in a barn. I sat up and immediately regretted it. I felt like I was going to be sick any minute, and my head was pounding. I reached up to touch my head and found a huge gash on the corner of my hairline.

I pulled myself into a crouch and tried to look up over the wood stall door. As my eyes adjusted to the light I could see various tools on the walls. I spotted a big scythe that sent a chill down my spine. I noted that there were no animals in any of the other stalls, and that there was a hayloft above the door of the barn. My eyes tracked from there to the door – which was open and moonlight was streaming in. When I focused better I saw a figure strung up in the stall doorway next to the door. COLE!

As soon as I saw him I saw another tall, doglike figure walk towards him. It had it’s back turned towards me and was black – blacker than anything. By this time my eyes were adjusted so I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t have any significant features. It stood up on it’s hind quarters, reached out and touched it’s snout to Cole’s forehead. Suddenly there was a bang on the other side of the barn. I was up for just long enough to see the black figure just disappear before I crouched low to the ground. What the hell?

I pressed myself against the back of the stall and tried to look through a small crack at Cole and tried to figure out what was going on. There was another bang and footsteps walking toward Cole. A giant, towering figure reached him and bent over. It was there for a minute before turning around to look at the wall. When I did that, I got a look at his face. It was a man. Big, burly and mean looking. His face had a dark beard and his eyes were so bloodshot that it looked like he didn’t have any whites – just blackness. He was wearing a ratty old button up shirt and a pair of dirty denim overalls. But that was where his human features ended. His face was grossly morphed so it looked like he had no nose or cheekbones. His smear of a mouth was held open to show that he only had two teeth on top and one on the bottom – and there was what looked like blood and dirt all over his face.

As I sat staring at this man, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and saw the black creature crouched behind me. The only distinctive feature were gentle eyes that were a little bit lighter than the rest of it. You could tell it was a wolf though. I drew in a gasp to scream but it shook it’s head and the solemn look on it’s face stopped me. Curiosity and fear plagued me. What is this? I thought.

At that moment the wolf pressed it’s snout to my hand and licked me. What in the world? I wondered. The wolf wagged its tail and looked up at me with doleful eyes – and then looked at Cole.

“We have to save him” I whispered as quietly as possible. I swear to this day the wolf smiled at me, and nodded.

Alright. So how do I start? I looked back at where Cole was strung up and noticed the man now had some lethal looking sharp object. I had no time to do anything else, so I burst out of the of the stall and ran towards the man.

This was a mistake though, because I was still dizzy. I stumbled and fell right in front of him and he turned around with what I now realized was a long knife drawn. Looking down at me he made a grunting noise and went to bring the knife down right on my head – but the wolf stopped him.

It jumped right at his arm and bit down, growling. He stumbled around, trying to get the wolf off of his arm. This gave me enough time to get up and get to Cole, who was coming to.

“Babe.. help” he whispered, tears running down his face.

I noticed little scratches on his face and a large cut across his chest.

“Give me just a sec.” I whispered back. I started at the knots around his wrist, and eventually got him free. Pulling his arm around my neck I walked him to the door of the barn.

The man and wolf were no where in sight.

“Babe we’ve gotta find a way out of here.”

I walked him to towards the old farmhouse that was near the barn. There weren’t any vehicles, so I had no idea what means we were going to use to escape. Suddenly, I heard a howl.


 Back in the barn, I helped Cole climb up the ladder to the hayloft. I wasn’t sure if the howl was a warning or one of defeat, but I wasn’t about to take the chance on either. I got him up the ladder and behind some hay bales and looked at him. He was a little worse for the wear – but no broken bones. However he was starting to drift off to sleep.

“COLE.” I whispered as loudly as I could. “You can’t fall asleep. You could have a concussion.”

He blinked up at me in surprise and nodded.

“I didn’t think about that.”

I sat down next to him and started thinking. We needed to find a way out of here… but I couldn’t hide and run with Cole, because he was to disoriented and tired – and I couldn’t risk him falling asleep. I needed some way to get him out of there.

At that moment I heard a quiet “boof” below me. I crawled to the edge of the loft and looked down. The wolf was looking up at me, it’s tail wagging slowly. I had an idea.

“Is the coast clear?” I asked. The wolf’s tail wagged a little harder.

“Just a second.” I didn’t question how a wild animal knew what I was saying (or why I assumed it did) but I didn’t have any other options at this point.

I crawled back to where Cole was studying the coagulated wound on his chest.

“Cole.. baby.. this is going to sound crazy, but you are going to ride a wolf.”

He looked over at me and his eyes narrowed. “Now who has the concussion?”

“Babe, I’m serious.” I pleaded. “I know it sounds crazy but there is this wolf that is like.. protecting us.. and I think it can get us out of here.”

His eyebrows raised even higher and I was worried he’d decline, but then he shrugged and pulled himself into a crouch.

“Let’s go” he muttered.

We went down the ladder (I went first so I could support him should he need it” and Cole bent down for a second.

“Man my head hurts.” He complained.

I looked at the wolf and realized it was watching Cole intently.. hmm. okay? I thought to myself. Slowly it walked over to him and starting licking his hand. He stood up slowly and looked at it, and then put one arm on its back to support himself. At that moment I realized how big the wolf actually was.

Wolf and man started trotting off and I called “hey!”

They stopped and turned around to face me, and then the Wolf looked back in the direction it was headed. Cole whispered,

“Babe just follow it. I think it knows where it is going.”

I hesitated, but then heard groaning behind the barn.

“Quickly!” I whispered.

The three of us took off into the night.