Fringe: Tales from the Fringe – Book Review


Finished reading

Fringe: Tales from the Fringe

by Various




This graphic novel was my pick for the TBR Jar Draw in March. It is one of the books I own I am unsure have I read them or not. I remembered reading some of the stories and that they impressed me as dark and intense.  I bought it for my boyfriend who was a fan of the TV show. I watched the TV show only in passing and was never a devoted fan.


There were altogether twelve stories from different artists and authors. The stories covered a wide range of characters and topics. It was like watching little flashbacks from the episodes. Themes were diverse and I could only recognize a few characters from the show. But this is really due to me not being that familiar to the show.


Some stories were gritty and dark and showing certain aspects of human nature while others had more supernatural elements to them. The first story in the collection is more about the characterization of the main character than anything else and as such it made me pause right at the start. I expected to be hit with the weird and supernatural cases from the show right away and that was not the case.

Sure there were stories with more lighter outlook to them but it was either creepy or downright weird.


I appreciated the trial and error of human condition stories presented. There were lots of moral ambiguity written into each story. Many consider the graphic novel as a form to be lighter and easier for readers as a medium. The sheer amount of difficult choices and topics that can be presented in this way might be a testament to the opposite.


None of the stories were light and each has left an impression. I was taken back with the heavy themes and intensity. I like the stories and how they made me think upon characters choices and morality. While I liked the collection overall I was not blown away by the experience. What did surprised me is the lack of “Mature audiences only” categorization on the cover.
I am sure that for some other true fan of the show reading this graphic novel collection would have been a much more engaging experience.


Wayward Vol 1-3 – Book Review

wayward pano

Finished reading

String Theory (Wayward volume 1)  ★★★★

Ties That Bind (Wayward volume 2) ★★★★

Out From the Shadows (Wayward volume 3) ★★★★

by Jim Zub; Steve Cummings et all



Almost three years ago I’ve read the first volume of Wayward graphic novel series String Theory. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Last year I had the opportunity to buy first volume and I went for it. As it goes with book series I managed to get next two earlier this year and decided to binge on reading all three volumes. I am not that familiar with Japanese mythology and liked how it was portrayed in the first volume. You can read my impressions from few years back HERE.



I am so glad I went and read the String Theory again since it ended on a cliffhanger and it was fun to get back into the suspense. As it turned out each new chapter of the Ties That Bind and Out From the Shadows brought out new twists to the story and introduced exciting new characters. Since I have read it first few years ago I had most of the characters from String Theory in fond memory. This proved to be an issue with the influx of many new characters and some terrible decisions on the part of my fond characters. Plot moved on rapidly and I had to adapt to the pace it set. This had me in a spin for a while.


What I loved the most in all of these were essays at the end of each volume. They were very informative on the traditions and mythology of historical Japan. They explained a lot on the origin of different Yokai – fantastic creatures from Japan. They also provided for a context and information on some of the sites and areas the plot of the story is revolving around.

I was displeased with some issues being jumped over and then being bombarded with some new plot twists. It all kinda felt chaotic and only trough some hints in Out From the Shadows I started to notice a pattern and connect some things together.

I kept admiring the artwork and design of the books. I really enjoyed the bright coloring and the art style from the cover of each chapter to the TP covers of the paperback editions I have. I can see how much care was put into making these and I can appreciate that as well.



Story is for mature audiences because of violence and debatable moral issues. There is no character that can claim moral high ground and after reading all three volumes I still have trouble with picking a character to root for. I will have to find time and see if the author has a blog where I can read more of the essays that came with each volume since I enjoyed them quite a bit.

The reason I decided to make a review on all three volumes together is that my reading experience with them was connected to the fast pace with which I read all three together and since I already did a review on the first one few years ago.


Ready Player One – Book Review


Finished reading

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline



I originally bought this book for my boyfriend. He read it and loved it. some of his friends read it in the meantime as well and they were all hyped together about how amazing this book is. I planned on reading it before move comes out and I barely managed to make it before any bigger spoiler from movie trailers. The hype was real as were the high expectations from this book…


I can’t say I managed to keep up with all the pop culture geeky references, but this book was a thrilling ride to be sure. If anything, it made me want to be more geeky than I happen to be! Some things were dear and familiar to me and some less so. What stood out for me in this book was the actual love author managed to reflect for the time period, hobbies, games and most of all – authors and artists of the eighties. I loved how Steven Spielberg as one of the people this book pays homage to is the one directing the movie adaptation!


As much as I loved reading about the Oasis and everything amazing in it, I truly enjoyed reading the bits about how the real world was altered to accommodate for people who live in the Oasis. Reading about how equipment and everyday things needed to plug into Oasis came into factor, made the story more real for me. From what I’ve seen in the trailers of the movie some parts were definitely cut out. It has been almost seven years since this book came out and some of the issues that started getting into focus all over the world since last two years or so have a voice here as well. I find that amazing and an excellent proof that this book will have its place in many readers hearts for years to come.


This book made me realize that my hobbies and love of games have a much more bigger role in my life than I was aware of. It was indeed endearing to read about how ones passions can prove to be very important in the grand scheme of things – even when those passions might me considered traditionally frivolous and sometimes even frowned upon as a waste of time.



I liked the story and characters and most of the tidbits really clicked for me. I am glad I got this book and read it before watching the movie since I know that even with the famous Steven Spielberg directing this “Goonies” of the 2010-ies I don’t believe the movie will stay too true to the book. It will probably highlight the things cinema can present more clearly but I will treasure this first reading and my own personal understanding of the book. Highly recommended book indeed 🙂



Suddenly You – Book Review


Finished reading

Suddenly You

by Lisa Kleypas



I was intrigued by bits and pieces I’ve heard about this book. This is not my first Lisa Kleypas book. I am a great fan of her Wallflowers book series. This book came up a few times I was looking up for historical romance books. I was drawn to this book by the somewhat different introduction for historical romance genre – “old spinster” hires a male prostitute for her 30th birthday…



Admittedly, the back of the book introductions sounded quite cheesy and scandalous. A thirty year old unmarried woman author in 19th century London decides to hire a male prostitute and experience what making love feels like.

As much as I find this – treating yourself for your own birthday thing – endearingly powerful and logical, the gift in itself was remarkably thought out as much as an unmarried spinster of that time could devise it. The plot twist was interesting enough to keep me going.


I made quite a few breaks while reading and I can partially put the blame on that my feeling that this book felt big in the sense of all that has happened trough the story. Some characters made me suspicious for being to nice and that made me feel bad about how jaded I seemed to myself.

What keeps me interested in these historical romances is usually the drama and this book had drama aplenty. What was different though was how some life altering events gotten blown over with almost no drama at all.

Had I not recently had a heated discussion on a topic of historical romance genre I might have had a completely different review of this book. What changed and came into focus were historical romance imperative – a must have happy ending.


Happy ending aside there were some serious themes that were provided with less page time than the steamy sex scenes. This was done in such an obvious way that I just had to stop and wonder at it. Some themes made me cry a bit and the offset and complete contrast between the two made me uneasy. This has not made the reading of this book an experience I hoped it would be. And sure there were some occasional comedy thrown in to the mix but not nearly enough comic relief by my opinion.



I liked many parts and themes this book introduced. Some were quite serious and heavy but were maybe gotten over with too lightly…I had a sense that for some reason I did not think it was well rounded in the topics it brought out. Book seemed a bit short for everything that happened in it

Maybe it is a blessing when one can pass the difficult themes in as lighter way as it was portrayed in this book…




Boardgame introductions


It all started out as a way to make something out of my free time. I have an account on and since last year I have been steadily uploading pictures of games I own. I have been into board gaming for a few years now and I even helped start a local board gaming club named Klub Titan Atlas.

You can check my BGG account –> HERE

In February I have tried out making short video introductions for boardgames. I found a free video building application named Bitable. At first I tried picking out some lighter and easier games I own. There is this quite annoying watermark on the videos since I have a free account. There is a paying option but I’m not sure how long will this making videos business last.

This is a link to my makeshift Youtube channel where I publish the videos:

Fantastical Emporium

Here is a video I made for the game Bring Your Own Book

So far I have made a few videos per week. I hope to continue with making these short videos since I enjoy making them!

Any ideas what game would you like to see as one of these short videos?

TBR Jar Draw March 2018

I really enjoyed my TBR Jar Draw pick for February – Strange Candy. The short stories are my favorite form and I often get surprised at how much I like them. Especially if some time has passed since I’ve read any.


You can check my Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton review —> HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# The Witch with no Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:


1# The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I had this book on my TBR list for quite a long time. This book has all the elements I love in a good story but for some reason I did not jump on it right away. I only got it last year though. There were also some attempts to push it as a book club reading which would have been a good way for me to push it up on the TBR list. I do hope I will find the inspiration to read it soon.


2# Uncle Silas by Sheridan LeFanu

This book was one of the spur of the moment buys. I did not think it trough. I just vaguely heard about the topic and genre and then someone was praising it and then next thing that happened was I went and bought it… Since then I have less spur of the moment buys episodes but I am still curious of the theme and Victorian Gothic period. Sadly I have been disappointed with some Gothic novels I read before and I did not get much incentive to take this book on.


3# Fringe: Tales From The Fringe by Various

This is a graphic novel with short stories by various authors and artists. I was never much of a fan of the TV show Fringe but my boyfriend loved it. This graphic novel was a gift for him. I don’t remember even putting it in the TBR Jar. I do vaguely remember reading some of the stories but would not mind reading trough it again.


I might choose an easy option and go with the graphic novel for March. Although I am really interested in The Princess Bride as well. I plan on reading some of the books that are part of my TBR Jar challenge and are not in the Jar Draw for March anyway. I will see how it goes time wise…

Strange Candy – Book Review


Finished reading

Strange Candy

by Laurell K. Hamilton



Laurell K. Hamilton is one of my most read authors. I’ve read both of her big book series Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry. While I have some of her other works as short stories and even another standalone book, this is the only short story collection she is the only author of. I liked the concept of the collection and I wanted to see her stories that are not urban fantasy related read like for me. I was very looking forward to short stories from the world of Anita Blake.




1# Those who seek forgivness ★★★★

Insight into life of Anita Blake the animator and how she deals with every night zombie raising business. It is set before any of the series events in the books. Interesting but rather depressing when looked trough the series as a whole.

2# A Lust of Cupids ★★★★★

This is a cute short story perfect for Valentines day! In the story people sometimes get chased by little Cupid like creatures who shot them with arrows to fall in love or just get infatuated. I loved the concept and the humor of the story. I enjoyed the methapore of the story a lot! Would not mind reading about the vengance either!

3# The Edge of the sea ★★

Story about murder and mystery with supernatural twist. Dark and melancholy. I did not like this story. It was sad and traumatic.

4# The Scarcity of lake monsters ★★★★

This was a well balanced story that made me sad. I like the characters and the idea of fantastical creatures being real. I was lulled into this story with first part being endearing and then got smacked down and a bit heartbroken. Good story though!

5# Selling houses ★★★★★

Simple and concise story set in the Anita Blake world. The main character is a civilian woman realstater checking on a house she needs to sell. There were some nicely creepy elements and the story was a great fit.

6# A token for Celandine ★★★★

The most complex story so far. I like how deep the world felt right away. It was set in a fantastical world akin to those of Dungeons and Dragons. He first part seemed a little hard to get into but it went much better toward the end. It was a nice little adventure. This story is set in the Nightseer world.


7# A clean sweep ★★★

A really short story based on an idea of a cleaning super hero. I liked the twist at the end but I wished there were some more meat to it all.

8# The Curse-Maker ★★★

Very much DnD type of story. There’s a bard thats gotten cursed with sickness and theres a female warrior who loves him and wants to find the one who is responsible. I liked the parcticality of the sorcerer in the story. The blade was interesting. As usuall the end shows much more promise that the begining of the story. Story is set in the Nightseer world.

9# Geese ★★★

More magic and sorcery. I found the story quite weird for some reason. It was OK but a bit too much angst for some reason. The idea off a shapeshifter taking refuge in the animal form appealed to me a lot. The ending was just confusing for me

10# House of wizards  ★★★★★

I loved the idea of magic and non magic world coliding in such a way. I also have growing respect for people who are good at usefull and practical things. This story just felt sweet and lovely.

11# Here be dragons ★★★★★

Strangely alluring and complex supernatural story. I was fascinated with character motivations. In the core it is a dark story about sociopaths. Children of the story are different. There is strength and there is also hope. Interesting take on human need for intimacy.

12# Winterkill ★★★★

Another story form Nightseer world. Main theme is revenge killing.  I liked the magical aspects of the story. There are always some glimpses into horror in most stories in this collection. I think that is just the author’s writting style. There is certain strength in main female characters and also backup male characters seem to have come from a same mold. I liked the story and the angsty feel to it.

13# Stealing souls ★★★★★

A very well rounded short story with Sidra and Leech. This one more than the rest made me remember playing RPG with the group of people. There was something endearing in reading a thief do his trapfinding thing. Liked this story a lot!

14# The girl who was infatuated with death ★★★★★

Last story I might have read a long time ago in another short story collection called Bite. It has been so long that I am simply not sure anymore. It has been almost a year since I last read Anita Blake novel Crimson Death. It made me remember how much I liked reading them again. These characters have a special place among my favorite books.

“I like to think that Irving is somewhere chasing angelic speedboats, or maybe he’s got his own wings. Surely, even God needs a laugh now and then, and Irving is a funny guy, for a monster.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Strange Candy


I liked that conceptually each story had a character driven by something like a personal weakness, like some strange candy… One thing that struck me as kinda odd is that there were so many stories with characters from Nightseer novel yet there were no Merry Gentry related stories. I enjoyed most of the stories and the writing was what I expected it to be. I don’t usually read fantasy so much and reading these short stories made me read more fantasy in February than I did for the better part of the last year. I am still not fan of fantasy.