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Adventures in World of Warcraft Shadowlands

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Bastion Statue

We’re taking a break from our scheduled book content to give you a gaming post. This is, of course, in celebration of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, the new expansion to the game I have been playing for 15 years, like some loon with game Stockholm Syndrome.

Even though I have not played for more than a year – and though I actually missed the (first) release date announcement for Shadowlands – I had to come back. More out of habit than anything.

I reactivated my subscription a couple of days before the Shadowlands launch, so I would have time to do the pre-patch content. I’ll sum it up like this:

“Not much is going on here, I’ll just–ARRRRGH, ZOMBIES!”

…Which brings us to Shadowlands.

Basically, Sylvanas steals the Lich King’s hat, breaks the world, and then kidnaps a bunch of Horde and Alliance leaders, forcing us to do something about it.

It sounds lame when I tell you about it, but the cinematics are pretty damn cool.

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Cinematic Trailer

By the way, is nobody feeling guilty about leaving Bolvar sitting on a block of ice since 2009…? If we’re going into the realm of the dead to rescue Jaina and Thrall, surely we could have at least tried to find a way to save the Highlord from the Lich King’s influence without everything going to hell (literally).

He seems cool with it, though.

Cool, heh…

Yeah, I’m just going to roll with this, and not edit out unintentional puns. You have been warned.

The Maw

World of Warcraft Shadowlands The Maw

I don’t have that much to say about our intro into the Shadowlands. We go in, we kill some poor, tormented dead people, we find Jaina and the others rather easily… and then completely fails at rescuing them. ending with Anduin sacrificing himself to save us.

Damn it, Anduin, why do you think we went here to begin with?!

Oribos

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Oribos

We arrive at the center of the Shadowlands, and amazingly we’re not executed on sight. We meet the Arbiter, who’s supposed to be judging every soul entering the Shadowlands, but she’s been sleeping on the job and allowing everything to go… well, to hell.

And, really, what is up with these shady as fuck headless traders everywhere? The inhabits of Oribos admits to having no concept of possessing stuff, so what are all these foreign traders doing here? Where did they come from? Why don’t they have heads?!

I think I need to go lie down…

 

Bastion

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Bastion Statue

Bastion is the first leveling zone we get to. There’s a lot of blue people there.

My initial impression of Bastion was that it was reeeally pretty. Utterly gorgeous, really. And then…

“Owl creatures… There are owl creatures here…”

These ‘stewards’ seem to have been created from my nightmares. They’re ridiculously cute and eager-to-please, with squeaky, happy voices, but I have lived with a cute-looking owl for far too long to fall for the innocent facade.

Obviously, these things are the main villains of this expansion.

 

Maldraxxus

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Maldraxxus

The Kyrian of Bastion were very welcoming.

The Necrolords in Maldraxxus threw me into a free-for-all melee within five minutes of arrival.

Different attitudes, you know.

I liked Maldraxxus. It’s the kind of place where everyone – from tough warrior women to slime-obsessed plague doctors that lost their minds long ago – can rise through the ranks.

The crazy necromancers trying to kill you is just part of the deal.

 

Ardenweald

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Ardenweald

Ah, Ardenweald… A beautiful, tranquil forest filled with happy Fae and… you know, the horrible corruption that makes everyone go insane and kill their friends.

Happy people makes for poor quests.

Speaking of quests, could I please get the option to say no when I’m traveling through an empty forest and happen upon a crying girl asking for me to help her sick granny? My only thought was that this was a trap.

It was indeed a trap.

My last comment on Ardenweald is this:

Oh my god, ghost otters! <3

 

Revendreth

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Revendreth

This place is all vampires and gargoyles. I love it.

Also, I’m really digging the Venthyr’s fashion sense. If you’re going to be arrogant assholes involved in corruption, you should do so while looking fabulous.

And you should definitely get a crossbow… Even if you might end up in a three-way crossbow stand-off where you all eventually shoot each other.

…If anyone asks, that wasn’t my fault.


If you want to know what Covenant I ended up with: I went Night Fae on my mage. I’m not entirely sure why, but I cackled manically throughout the entire “Azeroth play” quest and I couldn’t stop. It’s not like the comment “You can’t just stab a planet!” is even funny, but for some reason it had me in stitches.

I’m a bit broken.

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The Bookish Owl – This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

Today we have a new author to me, since the book is This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab.

After reading posts from this author on Twitter for years, I finally decided to try one of her books. I’ll admit that after reading the blurb I did fear it would be some mushy teenage romance, but I was pleasantly surprised. And before you get me wrong: I don’t mind romance at all! There’s just a certain kind of YA fantasy romance that makes me want to tear my hair out.

This was not it.

I really liked the concept of a world where committing violent crimes creates actual monsters. The main characters weren’t that memorable, but they were fairly relateable, and the ending was suitably bittersweet.

All in all, quite a good book, by an author I’m going to be reading more of soon!


This Savage Song
by V. E. Schwab

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.


This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

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Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I’d Name a Pet After

Vetinari Cat Discworld

The week speeds past, and before you know it, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday post. This week the topic is ‘Characters I Would Name a Pet After’, so I had to think about all my potential future pets.
If I end up impulsively adopting ten animals tonight, I don’t think any blame can be put on me.


Artemis Fowl

Believe it or not, I have never read Artemis Fowl. But… I do have an owl – a fowl, if you will – named Artemis. Sure, he’s named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, but we can pretend otherwise for the sake of this post.

Havelock Vetinari (Discworld)

The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork in the Discworld series is one of my favorite characters, and both his first and last name would make a good pet name. I think I would use ‘Havelock’ for a hawk or a falcon, and ‘Vetinari’ for a cat. Or possibly a snake.
Funnily enough, the character himself is a dog person.

Havelock Vetinari Discworld Paul Kidby

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

‘Katniss’ is a name so well-suited for a cat that I imagine thousands of cats around the world already carry it.

Nymeria (A Song of Ice and Fire)

I approve of Arya Stark’s taste in wolf names, so I could see myself naming a dog this.

Gaspode the Wonder Dog (Discworld)

If I were ever to adopt a scrawny rescue dog with too much brains for his own good, I would name him Gaspode.

Gaspode Discworld Paul Kidby

Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)

‘McGonagall’ would be too hard to call, but ‘Minerva’ would do the job as a name.
Obviously for a cat.

Inspector Lestrade (Sherlock Holmes)

‘Lestrade’ has a nice ring to it. However, I’m not sure if it’s better for a cat or a dog.

Sirius Black (Harry Potter)

Is it too meta to name a dog after a character named after the Dog Star…?

Nobby Nobbs (Discworld)

Naming a dog ‘Nobbs’ might be jinxing myself. I would just end up with a dog that steals everything.
Besides, I could hardly have Nobby without his trusty partner… and I really don’t want a dog named ‘Colon’.

Nobby Nobbs Discworld Paul Kidby

Crowley (Good Omens)

If I’m not getting a snake and calling it Crowley, what am I even doing with my life?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and it’s a lot of fun. Go check it out!

But first: Tell me your favorite name for a pet. The weirder the better!

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The Bookish Owl – Wings by Terry Pratchett

Wings by Terry Pratchett

Time to fly away with Wings by Terry Pratchett.

This book was the conclusion to the truly odd Bromeliad Trilogy. I’m still not certain what I think about the series as a whole, but if you like stories about tiny people stealing vehicles and having existential crises, this will deliver!

In this final book, the Nomes – alien garden gnomes – take to the skies and goes to Florida to find their ancient spaceship.

They then learn how to fly geese.

It’s weird.


Wings
by Terry Pratchett

Somewhere out there, the ship is waiting to take them home . . . 

Here’s what Masklin has to do: Find Grandson Richard Arnold (a human!). Get from England to Florida (possibly steal jet plane for this purpose, as that can’t be harder than stealing the truck). Find a way to the launch of a communications satellite (whatever those are). Then get the Thing into the sky so that it can call the Ship to take the nomes back to where they came from.

It’s an impossible plan. But he doesn’t know that, so he tries to do it anyway. Because everyone back at the quarry is depending on him — and because the future of nomekind may be at stake . . .


Wings by Terry Pratchett

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The Bookish Owl – The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Gather around, thieves and beggars, for The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant!

I have never read Lés Miserables nor seen any of the adaptions of the story, but maybe that’s exactly why I enjoyed this reimagining so much. I find that having preconceived ideas about how the characters should act sets you up for disappointment, especially when their roles are changed as drastically as in this story.

That being said, I really should get around to watching one of those Lés Miserable movies one of these days…

But back to the book: I think I have said this before, but I really love books about criminal underworlds, and this book is all about the politics between the various factions in the Court of Miracles. Sure, it’s also a story about a girl spending years trying to save her sister, but she really turns the criminals’ world upside down to do so.

Also, there are assassins. And I love assassins to the point where I bought Assassins’ Guild socks and wear them every Monday when I’m grumpy and murderous.

I tend to get a little sidetracked with these posts, don’t I…?


The Court of Miracles
by Kester Grant

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).

When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.


The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant