Final Fantasy Friday: A Grand Introduction

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

Last week I substituted a review for my typical post, which I’ll probably opt to do every now and then when I have a review prepared.  Now we’re back with a typical question and discussion, and this one was garnered from the extensive discussion on my Un-Final Fantasy post.  I’m sorry I don’t remember who mentioned it, but if you’re reading this, let me know in the comments so I can give credit where it’s due!

Which Final Fantasy would you recommend to a series newcomer?

I’d want them to start with either Final Fantasy IV or Final Fantasy VI like I did with the latter.  Now that I’ve played IV, which I like a little bit better, I’d want them to start with that one since it’s earlier and the first Final Fantasy with a cohesive story, deep plot, and well developed characters.  Final Fantasy VI has a simpler, more straightforward story line, but it’s a huge fan favorite and manages to have enough plot for all 14 possible characters.  This might also be a good reason to start a newbie there.  Some people argue that VI exemplifies the series, but I’d have to disagree a little bit since VI has a simpler plot than the rest with a more blatant and straightforwardly evil villain whereas other games go into more depth with motivation and background.  VI did set an example for the JRPG world, and there would be numerous attempts to duplicate the magic it created.

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The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh (The Quantum Worlds #2)

The Quantum Worlds

<–The Quantum Door (TQW #1)

Title: The Quantum Ghost
Series Title: Quantum World
Author: Jonathan Ballagh
Illustrator: Ben J. Adams
Date Added: April 14, 2017
Date Started: April 29, 2017
Date Finished: May 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 21 days
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Mid-grade, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian, Speculative Fiction

Pages: 206
Publication Date: April 29, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Media: eBook/Kindle

On a cold autumn night, twelve-year-old Remi Cobb makes a startling discovery—a mysterious object floating on the pond in her backyard. With no idea where it came from, or how it got there, Remi is compelled to unravel its secrets. Her quest for answers takes her on a perilous journey across realities, where she finds a crumbling world—and the dark forces behind its ruin. Here she learns the truth about her connection with the strange object, and of those that will stop at nothing to destroy them both.

But even if she can find a way to survive, can she find a way home?

Mr. Ballagh not only does it again with this second foray into his Quantum Worlds, but he manages to do it better.  Any of the minor issues I had with The Quantum Door were utterly absent from novel.  The author doesn’t waste any time with the narrative.  He jumps right into the action of the book, and it’s instantly engaging.

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Riddled With Senses by Petra Jacob

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017
Date Finished: May 14, 2017
Reading Duration: 56 days
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Magical Realism, LGBT

Pages: 248
Publication Date: January 22, 2017
Publisher: Dr. Cicero Books
Media: Paperback

Shares Paradigms With: The Slow Regard of Silent Things

A tale of love, drugs, cynicism and magic set in the late nineties. It is told from the perspective of two seventeen-year-old girls, Jitty and Hazel; in the style of magic realism, where the grime of real life can be morphed by the characters’ imaginations.

Jitty is a recluse who has created a world of magic to keep herself company. She secretly interferes in the life of the townspeople, including Hazel’s friend, Vurt. Hazel is a wild cynic on a course of self-destruction.

One stormy night their paths cross as the lightning flashes. Their brief relationship is intense, swinging from beautiful to ugly, as Hazel’s cynicism and Jitty’s innocence prove a terrible match.

From then on, Jitty, Hazel and Vurt each pursue their own route to madness; as drugs, magic and a dance with the Devil take control. This ends on one final night, after which their lives are changed forever.

Every now and again I find a story that contains a sliver of the mess that is me, what I couldn’t explain if I had all the words of a thousand tongues.  I cling to those narratives like a desperate climber to the skin of a stony peak recalling the piece that fit against my more jagged edges.  But then sometimes a story comes along that lays bare the thoughts in my inner sanctum, forces me to face them, and wonder how much of a facade I’ve been keeping up for all these years.  Thoughts yet coalesced made visible and presented in a world that could either be magical realism or drug induced haze.

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The State of the Reader: 5/24/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/17/17          The State of the Reader: 5/31/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Oak and Mist by Helen Jones: Passed – Seems like your typical YA “MC finds another world and gets involved in a love triangle with two hot otherworldly boys.”  There was a magic sword she had to find so there’s some Arthurian Legend in there, but it just didn’t grab me.
  2. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink: Kept – I’ve heard a little bit about the radio show this is based on, but no details.  I enjoyed the magical realism setting and will probably look for a podcast of the radio program at some point.
  3. A Dove of the East by Mark Helprin: Kept – I’ve been in love with Mr. Helprin’s lanauge since Winter’s Tale, so it’s no surprise I kept this one.
  4. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: Kept – I enjoyed it enough to keep it and besides it’s about an assassin.
  5. The Briar King by Greg Keyes: Kept – This week’s samplings haven’t particularly blown me away, but they’re solid enough for a keep.
  6. The Bone Doll’s Twin by Llyn Flewelling: Kept – Same as the above.  A lot of the books I’m sampling this week remind me of the writing I enjoyed growing up.
  7. Pathfinders by Aidan J. Reid: Passed – I really enjoyed his Spectrum, but I wasn’t overly fond of the ending of Sigil. This one just didn’t grab me, but I’m going to keep my eyes open for anything else he puts out.
  8. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Kept (RWTR) – Utterly absorbing from the get-go.  I thought only the beginning would be told in the style it is with an interview between the two main characters, but per some reviews I glanced it, that’s the book’s style.  It doesn’t hinder the flow at all.
  9. The Body Electric by Beth Revis: Kept – I think the title is a reference to the Walt Whitman poem, and the beginning chapters are heavily charged.
  10. The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley: Kept (RWTR) – Another magical realism book who’s language I just want to devour.
  11. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi: Kept (RTWR) – I’m no stranger to John Scalzi.  I read (most of) his Old Man’s War about a decade ago.  I liked it, but I never finished the last few chapters for some reason.  I love the quick, witty language in this book, and if I’m recalling OMW’s correctly, it had a similar flair.  I’m also fond of the title’s double entendre.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: The Bone Doll’s Twin
Series Title: The Tamir Triad
Author: Lynn Flewelling
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Purchased: May 20, 2017

Bone Doll's Twin, TheMedia: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: Eidolon
Series Title: Wraith Kings
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: May 23, 2017
Date Purchased: May 23, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $3.99
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Gamer: 5/23/17

<–The State of the Gamer: 5/16/17          The State of the Gamer: 5/30/17–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Currently Playing: 2

Title: Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): iOS, Android
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Date Purchased: March 21, 2017
Date Started: March 27, 2017

Am I starting to get bored with this?  Eh, maybe a little.  I still like the story; the dialogue is clever; the music is excellent, but some of the daily stuff is starting to become tiring.  It’s hard to level up because you’re kind of at the whim of whether or not you receive the right materials in order to do it, and of course I could spend lapis and eventually money to grind more for them, which is how they get you.  I’m going to keep going for now, but I may start cutting back on how often I play.  Right now I log in every day in order to collect my daily reward.

Title: The Room Two
Genre: Puzzle, Mystery
Developer: Fireproof Games
Platform(s): iOS, Android
Release Date: December 2013 (iOS), February 2014 (Android)
Date Purchased: May 16, 2016
Date Started: May 16, 2016

They hooked me.  The Room was free; The Room Two was $2.99 and irresistible to a puzzle lover such as myself.  It’s a little bit more expansive than The Room, as in you’re not limited to just one spot, but are literally in a room with numerous places to look for clues.  As such, the puzzles are a little more obvious.  Finding a light bulb will probably set off a mental light bulb that it belongs in an empty socket, and finding a scrap of a picture will intuitively need to go onto a torn one.  It’s still challenging, but in a different way.

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The State of the Writer: 5/21/17

<–The State of the Writer: 5/14/17          The State of the Writer: 5/28/17–>

A weekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 268,194
Prior Word Count: 268,651
Word Difference: -457
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st edit of Chapter 10

“With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.” – Isaiah 6:2

It’s the “covered their faces” part that made me think of that quote (I had to look it up, no shame).  Obviously Sephiroth only has one wing, and he’s using it to cover his face and not fly in the picture, while in the story, he was using it to shield Aeris.  This is where multiple wings could come in handy I suppose or multiple pairs, though Seph does have a seraph form, too, doesn’t he?  It seems contradictory that he could be considered a dark seraph since seraphim are literally beings made of light that just sit around God’s throne chanting “Holy, holy, holy” all day.  Why am I babbling about seraphim?  I really don’t know.  I do know that when I first played FFVII before I knew the origin of my favorite angel’s name that I thought it was a distortion of “seraphim,” which…isn’t too bad of a guess since he becomes a distorted seraph due to alien corruption.  “TSN,” you’re probably thinking/saying, “you think way too much about Final Fantasy VII/Sephiroth.”  Yes, dear followers, I do.

I stopped editing last night at a part where I’ll have to do significant work, cutting some things out and rearranging others.  The “love” issue has come up, and I want to make it more subtle instead of as blatant as I have it now.  Straight from my notes:

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The Goodreads Book Tag

I still have a ton of blogger tags/awards to get through, and I can’t even claim to be doing them in order.  Today this is the one I’m awake/aware enough to go through, so…

First, I found this on The Writing Hufflepuff’s blog so you should check her out.  She does book reviews mostly and her blog is just set up really neatly.  I use Goodreads a ton, so this is the perfect tag for me.  Please feel free to friend me there if you use it, too!

What was the last book you marked as read?

The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh.  I just finished reading it this morning.  Such an excellent mid-grade novel.  I’ve also read and reviewedThe Quantum Door, which was good, too, but Ghost was even better.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading six books, but that number will probably jump back up to seven before I post my State of the Reader update this Wednesday:

  1. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Patrick Thorpe
  5. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. The Poetic Edda by Anonymous

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

Primitive Mythology by Joseph Cambell, the fist book in his Masks of God series.  I initially had The Power of Myth on there in its stead, but a friend told me that I could just watch the interviews with Bill Moyers, so I threw that on my Amazon wish list.

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