Thursday, 31 October 2013

Assassins Apprentice- Robin Hobb Review

Oh my gosh, another review? So soon after the last? I'm getting light headed with all this reading going on. 

So during summer Katie and I found a magical shop of wonder- a book shop where all books cost only £1.00 each. So we went on a quest to this shop to see what wonders it might contain. I was very sceptical- I was pretty certain that it must just contain books that I would never read, I mean there's no way wonderland can exist like 15 minutes away form where I live- that would be madness. But sure enough as we stepped into this shop I could see paradise. Okay I'll stop but seriously the shelves were double stacked, and there was a bit of every genre I'm interested in which is fab. 

I was remarkably restrained and only bought 5 books, 3 of which were the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. It has taken be forever to get through the first book, but that's through no fault of the book, and just because I went back to Uni and became very busy, and partly because I can never read high fantasy as quickly as other genres. 

"Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom"

I really enjoyed the story, I don't read a lot of high fantasy just because of how long they take me to get through them, and I found this to be a lot easier to read that the game of thrones series. I thought the book managed to cover Fitz' whole childhood without you feeling like she skipped over too much or kept too much detail in. That said the book does focus on character development and not on action so if you don't like that you probably won't like this. 

This might seem like a weird problem but usually when I get busy and put a book down for a really long time, when I pick it up again I've forgotten a lot of the characters and can't keep track of everyone. I didn't have this problem here. I thought there was a good balance between building up the environment and not having too many people to keep track of. Not only that but the characters themselves are all very intriguing , I want to know why Burrich is so set against using Wit (sharing conciousness with animals) and what happened to make him hate it so much. I really liked the fool and Verity. I'd like to learn more about the majority of the characters so I shall definitely be continuing the series after a break.

I think many people might be put off a little bit by the fact that the book is named assassins apprentice but there isn't actually a lot of killing in this first book, it is more of a coming of age tale than anything else. I quite like this myself, I think if there had been a lot of killing from the start and no background we would never be able to sympathise with or understand the character. As it stands we are able to see how he comes to become an assassin and not hate him.  

We only get a  relatively small glimpse into this big world Robin has built but I imagine we will see a lot more of the world  in the following two books.

Overall I give this book 4 stars. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly- Jean-Dominique Bauby

Well hello there,
What's this an actual book review? Holy hellfire it cannot be!
That's right I actually read a book, but don't get your hopes too high 'cause this was a book that I read for Neuropsychology. That said, I think this book is a pretty interesting read no matter who you are. This book is a very quick read, with very short chapters, and there is a very good reason for that because it's written by a guy with locked-in syndrome.

Locked-in syndrome for any of you who don't know is a very rare possible consequence of a stroke. It leaves your mind completely intact but you are almost completely paralysed. Jean-Dominique was the editor in chief of the French magazine Elle. That in itself is a pretty scary thought, I don't know about you but I think we humans have a tendency to assume really horrific things like this only happen to old people and not really successful people in their forties.
If your anything like me your probably wondering how a completely paralysed man managed to write a book. Jean-Dominique woke up in a hospital and was completely paralysed except from one eye. During the course of the book he manages to gain very slight movement of his head with physiotherapy, but he still can't so much as turn the television on an off so how did he manage to write a book?
Well, he took the most important letters of the alphabet and rearranged them in order of frequency. (He is French so these are the most important letters in the French language.) His visitors would let go through every letter and he would blink when they reached the right letter. This is the very laborious process that he went through to write the book.

The book itself is a very interesting read, it basically follows his thoughts as he's stuck in hospital unable to do anything, unable to live his life. There are glimpses at what his life was like before the stroke, a visit from his kids at the hospital and in general just his day to day struggles living, essentially, without a life.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone, it's a very quick and easy read about possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to you.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Great British Bake Off

Hi guys,

Firstly I just want to say our YouTube upload day after this week which is Halloween will be Mondays at 5.00pm UK time.

Back to the topic at hand, this week Katie and I wanted to talk to you guys about the great British bake off. For all of you non-brit's out there the Bake Off is a baking competition TV show on the BBC. It just ended to our great dismay and lets just we have a lot of feelings about it.

So it might seem strange to any foreigners to get so excited about a baking show but this show is the best, most dramatic competition that has ever existed! It's the only show where you see a fully grown man reduce to tears by a cake and we're not even kidding.

Personally, I think that the presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Geidroyc are part of what make the show so hilariously awesome. Their cheesy puns and baking humor deflect the baking drama so your not tempted to take the show so seriously. Whilst present the show Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry judge the show. And this is a match made in heaven let me tell you.

 I don't know if any of you will have heard of Innuendo Bingo but on  BBC Radio One people send in funny clips from tv shows that have been on during the week that sound slightly rude. They are played whilst two or more people have a mouth full of water. (The idea being you spit the water all over the other person if you find the clip funny.) Well these perfect judges have given so much innuendo bingo fodder! There is always lots of talk of soggy bottoms and in general lots of comments that sound rude. What makes this so perfect though is that it's usually Marry Berry who says these things and I'm certain that she has absolutely no idea shes doing it.

Incidentally the internet has compiled a whole host of pictures of Marry Berry biting into things and pulling hilarious faces.

This year the finalists were all woman but they had very distinctive personalities, which has made it very interesting as everyone seems to hate someone different. There are people like me who thought Ruby, the pessimist was hilarious and wanted her to win, but thought that Kimberly was an insufferably smug optimist who seemed to know everything and then would came last in the technical challenge. But then there are people like Katie who really hated Ruby's pessimism and completely missed Kimberly's insufferable-Know-it-all-ness. So I think it was probably a good job that in the end Frances, who was so very wonderfully creative won. Some people didn't think she deserved to win as she was often criticised for having style over substance but in the end she seemed to have learnt the most so personally I think it was fair, And it prevented the internet from exploding. So that's good.

There is so much more about the bake off that I haven't explained, but I hope that this has given you an idea of why we think the bake off is one of the best shows on TV, and explained all of the nonsense to some of our foreign friends who must be utterly lost and confused by the whole situation.

We shall be uploading a video soon to our YouTube so make sure you are subscribed for that and we will see you there!  (


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Commitment to YouTube and Blogging!

Hello there amigos,

Firstly let me just apologise for making a blog and then completely abandoning it. I just went back into my last year of University and that has meant having no time for anything other than work, but I think I'm just about on top of everything now. That means I should have more time for YouTube and Blogging- Yay. 

So commitment everyone! From now on I'm going to write and post something for my blog every Saturday. I realise that one post a week isn't a lot for a blog but with my Uni schedule I think its all I can manage for now. If I get swamped with work again I'll ask Katie to post something on here so there will definitely be something up every Saturday. 

In terms of YouTube I'm filming a whole bunch of videos with Katie this afternoon, and we pretty much have a schedule sorted all through November so there will be at least one video a week on our YouTube channel 'A Novel Adventure' so make sure you are subscribed for that. (Well I had to get a little casual promo in there somewhere didn't I? ) I'm not sure yet what our upload day will be since that's pretty much up to Katie as her internet is much faster than mine, but we are defiantly going to try and make it the same day and time every week. I will let you guys know when I do what day and time our videos will be going up. 

Since I'm going to be busy with University we are going to record a bunch of videos and then Katie will edit and upload them every week. That will probably mean we will be wearing the same clothes and stuff in all of our videos so I'm sorry about that but it's the only way I can guarantee a video a week. 

Again sorry about the lack of videos and posts but I promise that is behind us . From now on there shouldn't be a gap as big as this on our YouTube or on this blog. I am usually freakishly organised and as such I'm really excited to write weekly posts and make weekly videos!

I shall be seeing you all again on Saturday for another post. (:


(P.S I don't know why I had the urge to speak Spanish, I think it's because the weather in the UK right now is completely miserable and I'd rather be in Spain)