Wrap Up – June

This month has only been reviews but I’m so glad I was able to keep up with my schedule. I’m slowly getting back on track so hopefully I’ll get back to being about 3-4 weeks ahead so I don’t have to stress soon!

Out of 9 reviews I’m actually surprised only 3 are romance given my penchant for reading romance since blogging. You’ll hopefully continue to see a good mix of genres in the future, but you never know!

My Fav

This was so incredibly close to Crossing in Time but If It’s Only Love only just won out. Probably because it’s the end of the series. It wow’d me in so many good ways and I just loved every minute of it!

My review for this is coming in June so you’ll need to come back then to see all my thoughts. Sorry!

But please also check out Crossing in Time coz I’ll be reading the rest of the series (what’s available) in the next few months so I’ll be sharing those reviews closer to the release date of the next book to be released.

My Least Fav

I’m actually hating that I have to put The Summoned Ones as my least fav book for this month. Like, I gave it 4 stars! That’s not a bad book!

It just happened that I liked the others a smidgen more than this one.

Darryl is a debut author and I’ve given him some feedback above what I’ve written in my review because I really want to see him succeed and continue to publish books. They were all minor things that many authors publishing through publishing houses could improve on too.

Please go and read my review, check out his site and show some support coz I really wanna read the next book and I know a few of you would enjoy this as well.

Bookish Goals Progress

I’m kicking butt at reading more sci-fi. Found a new series so be prepared for the rest of the series coming to you in the coming months!

My GoodReads goal is going well. I’ve read 42 books this year out of the 80 I said I wanted to read. So at halfway through the year I’m just over halfway through my goal! YAY!

My Aussie challenges aren’t going as fast as I thought they would. I really need to make time to read those books! I’ve read 30% of the Aussie Author Bingo (no change since last month) and 72% of the A-Z of Characters challenge (up from 64% last month).

Although I’m almost at the point of asking if I can use a character with U in the name somewhere rather than as the first letter of their first or last name. I just can’t seem to find a book I want to read, or plan to read that fulfils this one!

Personal Goals Progress

Yea these are pretty much on hold. LOL!

Running has stopped for a few reasons. 1, it’s too bloody cold and my treadmill isn’t good for my running program and 2, I don’t trust the morons out with their dogs to keep away from Bones.

Because of said morons I’ve had to pull his walking back all the way to our street and I’m only just starting to venture out to our block. We’ve had a lot of set backs thanks to COVID-19 with his anxiety and stuff. But we’re making progress again so I’m hoping I can keep that forward momentum.

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Wrap Up – April and May

It’s been two months since I’ve done one of these so I’ll be doing a wrap up for both April and May today. In that time I’ve done 14 reviews and 2 posts

I had planned on having a few more come out, but I got caught up in 50+ hour working weeks and… you know… things happened!

My Fav

Song of the Soul was the last book in the series. I enjoyed every book in this series and it was a REALLY close call between this one and Venators: Promises Forged (review coming in June).

I know not every series ends well. But Lisa didn’t let that happen this time!

You can see reviews for all seven books in the series on the Muse Chronicles page.

My Least Fav

Overall, I enjoyed Holding out for a Hero. I just found parts could be improved upon to make it amazing. It just wasn’t quite there enough for me to fully engage with it and love it like I’ve loved other books.

Check out my review to see why I thought it could be improved.

Bookish Goals Progress

Well I FINALLY finished reviewing all the books in one of Tamora Pierce’s books. I think I’ll wait until I’ve actually written all the reviews for the next world before scheduling those reviews. That way you won’t have to wait so long and with random gaps between reviews to see what I thought.

I nailed all the series reviews I had planned (Time for Alexander and the Muse Chronicles) YAY! I even have a few more planned. Some I’ve read most of, some I’ve read a couple and want to finish. But you’ll see those coming over the next few months.

I’ve read 30% of the books for the Aussie Author Bingo and 64% of the A-Z of Characters. I’ve got a few of those planned to be reviewed in the next month or so, so that number will keep going up! I’m slowly getting there!

Other than the fact I’m stuck on a book with a character whose name starts with U. I mean seriously. How have I not come across a single book where a character’s name starts with a U this year?!

Otherwise, I’m not doing so great at my reading goals. Does anyone want to help me with my book database? It’s just data entry! lol…

Personal Goals Progress

Well with this damned coronavirus going around my gym has shut down. And since I have asthma that’s triggered by the cold and we’re coming into winter where I live, I won’t be going back for a bit once it’s allowed to reopen. Coz you know. Compromised respiratory system and respiratory virus isn’t really a good mix.

I have been able to keep up my running though! I’m now up to Week 6 Day 1 (5 mins jogging, 3 mins walk, 8 mins jogging, 3 mins walk, 5 mins jogging) and going strong. I stay on the same day until I feel like I can do it comfortably before moving on.

Otherwise I’ve just been working like crazy for 2 clients. One we’re still working on the prototype (once we’ve got the template nailed they’ll be super quick to make in the future) and one is a contract where I’m employed as an individual. But it’s still doing the same work I do as my business so I’m super happy!

Anyway, assuming I can remember (and feel like looking at a screen) to schedule all my reviews as I’ve got planned, you’ll be getting one or two reviews each week until end of August.

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Altered Carbon – The Wrong Man (Season 01 Episode 05)

  • Episode length: 53 minutes
  • Number of pages: 49
  • Number of chapters: 4

We’re back to the show and the book falling in line with each other. Kind of.

I had a few issues figuring out where to stop reading since a fair few things that happened in the show haven’t happened in the book. And I don’t mean like the single event that the episode ended on. I mean like 3 different things.  

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

SHOWBOOK
The interview with Kadmin was done illegally in a real bodyThe interview with Kadmin was done legitimately in virtual reality
The Raven finds out about Bancroft being at the fight ring and Kovacs tells OrtegaThe visit Kovacs and Ortega pay to Kadmin’s lawyers is how they find out about the fight ring
The fight ringleader shows them footage of Bancroft getting into a fight with his son in the standsThe fight ringleader answers some questions but has no footage to show them and appears to be holding back on info
Ortega is badly wounded while Bautista is killed after interviewing KadminThis doesn’t happen in the book at all

I didn’t find too many similarities in this section of the book as we seem to be getting more and more variations. As more and more little things change the flow on effects mean more changes need to be made as well.

We may see some things circling back and being shown/read later down the line but I’m not going to know until I get to them.

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Altered Carbon – Force of Evil (Season 01 Episode 04)

  • Episode length: 53 minutes
  • Pages read: 32
  • Chapters read: 3

As I continue my comparison of the book to the TV show, I’ve found that they are in line again. But will it continue?

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

SHOWBOOK
Kovacs wakes up in his own body with no enhancements and some defaultsKovacs wakes up in a female body with no enhancements
Kovacs remembers his training with Falconer to beat the virtual tortureKovacs remembers his friend Jimmy to beat the virtual torture
Kovacs gives the speech after waking up that convinces them to unlock himKovacs gives the speech in virtual that gets him released from the torture
Kovacs kills everyone in the facility after getting free and before leavingKovacs leaves with an escort then kills them while in the flying car
Kovacs leaves with Kadmins headKovacs leaves with a doctor’s head
Kovacs sees Ortega at the hotelKovacs goes back to kill everyone after escaping the car and avoids the cops as they arrive

Although Kovacs was tortured in both the book and the show, the show was much more graphic and detailed. Which explains why the book was short compared to it being so accurate to the show. Given books generally have more time and space to be more graphic I was a little surprised that this was the case.

The overall feel of the episode followed the book; however, I’m starting to see more and more differences. Which is ok!

Adapting a book to a film version does mean changes will happen. Which is great coz we get to see the writer’s interpretation of the book. And I’m excited to see what those changes will include!

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Wrap Up – March

Holy crap this month seems to have been a crazy month where the whole world went a little crazy with coronavirus. Like how does a beer’s stock price fall just coz some virus shares some of it’s name?! How silly can people be?!

In that time I’ve been able to kick start a new series and still posted 11 reviews.

I’ve been working a little more this month so haven’t spent as much time reading and I’ve also been spending time watching Altered Carbon and reading that for the series comparisons. Which means I’ve only read like 5 books this month.

I’m hoping by the time this goes live that it’s 6 books. But I’m not making any promises!

My Fav

This is a last minute change for me. I honestly can’t wait to be able to read the next book in the series and hope it won’t be too long until I can.

Because of this, I had to change from my previous choice, Summer in Provence. You’ll be able to see my full review in April.

My Least Fav

This honestly wasn’t a bad book and I have a review coming for this next week. Yet it had more flaws than the other books I read this month so somehow ended up here.

I also hate doing this coz it’s by an Aussie author and I don’t read many of those and I want to promote them rather than shoot them down.

So please come back next week to see all my thoughts about it!

Bookish Goals Progress

I was able to start my first book to film comparison with Altered Carbon and I’m feeling good about the progress. Especially given the positive feedback I’ve been getting for it. Although I’d still do it even if I didn’t have it since I don’t focus on stats and stuff too much.

I’ve managed to hold strong with Rachel’s tours so I can also get around to the NetGalley and other ARCs I have. Although I have been able to keep up with at least one book read a week which is good.

Once I finish reading Altered Carbon I’ll be 50% of the way through the A-Z Character challenge, while I’ve also been able to read one book for the Aussie Author Bingo challenge.

Personal Goals Progress

So fitness wise I took a slight backwards step from a couple of injuries but I’m getting back into it. I just need to be careful now that it’s starting to get colder so my asthma doesn’t flare up and really take me out of action.

Although with coronavirus going around, and talk of us all needing to self-isolate I’m not sure how all of that’s going to go. Although the gym I go to is giving us workouts we can do at home which is awesome.

Bones is also making some progress with his reactions to other dogs. We’re getting closer and closer to getting him to make his first doggy friend. I’m hoping with a few more buckets of water and some time we’ll get there. Slowly… O so slowly…

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Altered Carbon – In a Lonely Place (Season 01 Episode 03)

Genres: Sci-Fi
  • Episode length: 51 minutes
  • Pages read: 25
  • Chapters read: 2

The episode and the book are so different this time! Like SOOOO different!!

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

SHOWBOOK
Kovacs is invited and went to dinner party at Bancroft’sNo invite was issued, and no party happened
Elliot takes Kovacs to get weaponsKovacs goes to the armourer Bancroft recommended
The knife bio-weapon goes to the tipThe knife bio-weapon is no where near the edges to ensure the owner doesn’t get poisoned
The hooker, Louise, drugs KovacsKovacs goes with them willingly and is drugged at the facility

Since there was so many differences between the two in this episode, there’s not too many similarities to look at. So let’s have a look at them.

Other than Kovacs getting weapons, seeing Louise and being kidnapped, there’s like no similarities between the book and the show. Which isn’t surprising given that this makes up all of like 10 minutes of the episode and only 25 pages.

Not much time to have anything really happen.

I’m kinda hoping that the dinner party happens later in the book so that I can see some of those bits playing out in more detail.

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Altered Carbon – Fallen Angel ( Season 01 Episode 02)

  • Episode length: 57 minutes
  • Number of pages: 51
  • Number of chapters: 4

This episode follows the book pretty much to a tee. Theres hardly any differences between the two, although I’ve outlined them below for you.

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

You can see the differences summarised in the table.

SHOWBOOK
Kovacs is woken up by Prescott (the lawyer) being in his roomKovacs is woken up by the hotel with news that Prescott is on her way up
Kovacs sees the re-sleeving facility and interviews Mr and Mrs Bancroft while thereKovacs goes to Alcatraz to see the storage and re-sleeving facility Bancroft owns and uses
Kovacs reviews all the death threats with the AI from The RavenKovacs reviews all the death threats with Prescott
Elliot is a black man who has his daughters stack in VRElliot is an old white man sitting on a bench
Elliot needs to be forced to talk about what happened to his daughterElliot freely talks about what happened to his daughter
Kovacs chases a guy to cause a fight outside of the brothelKovacs is jumped by Elliot and then others
Ortega arrests Kovacs for organic damageOrtega saves Kovacs from the guy he was chasing

Although there are minor differences in how these are presented, I think I can understand why. I don’t think there was as much awareness around diversity back in 2002 when Altered Carbon was first published as there was 16 years later when Netflix released the TV show. Given the lack of black representation in a country that has such a huge black community I can understand wanting to make a few characters black that may not have originally been.

Although there are minor differences in how these are presented, I think I can understand why. I don’t think there was as much awareness around diversity back in 2002 when Altered Carbon was first published as there was 16 years later when Netflix released the TV show. Given the lack of black representation in a country that has such a huge black community I can understand wanting to make a few characters black that may not have originally been.

I think because this episode so closely resembled the book, they were only able to get through 4 chapters (51 pages) compared to the 6 chapters (72 pages) of the first episode. I’m looking forward to seeing the spread of the remaining episodes in the coming weeks.  

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Altered Carbon – Out of the Past ( Season 01 Episode 01)

In case you missed it, I decided to compare the books to the TV show Altered Carbon. It’s a trilogy with both seasons 1 and 2 currently available on Netflix so I’ll be knocking out one episode a week for you over the next 18 weeks.

  • Episode length: 59 minutes
  • Pages read: 72
  • Chapters read: 6

I’m really looking forward to bringing you my thoughts on each episode compared to the book. Even though I almost instantly found differences between the show and the book, by the end of the 6th chapter I was able to say that the main points happened in each.

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

To give you a summary, I’ve broken the differences and similarities down into dot points.

SHOWBOOK
Flashbacks happen throughout the episode Flashback is the prologue only
The girlfriend is murdered by the Protectorates in cold blood Sarah (the girlfriend) is gunned down while trying to shoot the Protectorates
Kovacs is made a martyr Kovacs is show in the chest before he realises what’s happened while reaching for his gun
Bancroft lives in some tower structure where all the rich people live Bancroft lives in an estate out of the city, overlooking the Reach
Kovac knows what a Songtree is Kovac doesn’t know what a Songtree is
Ortega has a drink with Kovac while he’s tripping on various drugs before checking into a hotel Ortega has a drink with Kovac in his hotel room after he’s attacked
Kovacs knows The Raven is an AI hotel before going into it Kovacs finds out The Hendrix is an AI hotel after the firefight happens
Kovac is attached by like 5 or 6 guys (including one woman) Kovac is attached by one guy and one woman
Kovac tried to avoid working for Bancroft Kovac never tried to avoid working for Bancroft

Pretty much everything from when they wake Kovac up until he get’s to Bancroft’s place is slightly different as well. Little things like the process of being woken up, being discharged, knowing vs not knowing the cops are escorting him to Bancroft, being given a letter from Bancroft before being discharged explaining why he’s been brought back. Little things like that are more detailed in the book.

Yet I understand they needed to change it so show you what the narration of the book tells us. Unless they felt like narrating every episode, I can see why they chose to do this a little differently.

The similarities are straight forward in that the general timeline and progress Kovac’s makes in the book and the show are pretty bang on. There’s a detour in the show where Kovac’s goes to get high and drink whereas in the book he questions Bancroft and his wife.

However, if I remember correctly the scene I read in the book where Miriam (Bancroft’s wife) is questioned, that happens in a later episode. It could have just been creative license to get interest in the series early.

Unlike with books, you’ve got one to two episodes to get the audience interested. If you weigh those episodes down with boring stuff like someone being questioned, you might lose the audience and cost the show success. Which is exactly why the show is “based on” the book. Not a direct adaptation of the book.

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Altered Carbon – Intro

Genres: Sci-Fi

A few years ago, a new sci-fi, steampunk series was released on Netflix; Altered Carbon. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew it was one I wanted to see, so when it finally dropped, I binged it over a single weekend. The following month I was able to keep reliving each episode as my work friends worked their way through the series and I was able to talk about it with them.

We dissected each episode from the choice of actors, the cinematics, the way it was shown and what they could have done differently to make it better. When I started my book blog a couple months later, these same friends suggested I do a comparison of the book to the Netflix adaptation.

Before Christmas I saw the announcement that Season 2 would be dropping in Quarter 1 of 2020 so I realised I needed to get a move on with my comparison of Season 1 if I wanted to keep up. Especially since there are only 3 books!

To help with this I asked for a Secret Santa to give me a copy of Altered Carbon, and I was lucky enough to get it! Yay!

Unfortunately, I’d signed up for so many book tours in January and February I knew I couldn’t get to it until March. So even though Season 2 dropped a week ago I’ll be reviewing Season 1 with the first book over the next 10 weeks. Then I’ll go straight into Season 2 over the following 8 weeks.

Whether you’re a fan of the books or the show, come back every week on a Wednesday to see how the show and the book are the same or different, and who did it better. Feel free to disagree or even point out anything I’ve missed coz I’m only human and I may see or interpret things differently to you.

Come back in a week for my comparison of the first episode of Season 1!

You can also keep track of each episode and book over on my Altered Carbon page.

Image credit: Fanbolt

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