Monday, 20 January 2020

#musicmonday: King of Majesty | Hillsong

Okay, so this song came up, and I was like, "I didn't know people still sang it."
And someone said, "Yea, all the kids think it's a new song. They don't know how to do the hey! hey! hey!"

... and then later, I'm thinking waitaminute... that version is the remake. THE ORIGINAL DOESN'T HAVE THAT.
This falls in the high school era, where I remember learning/introducing the song in the basement of Chong Nam Theatre.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

#bookreview: Indigo Inquest | Azriel Johnson

Indigo InquestIndigo Inquest by Azriel Johnson

Indigo Inquest, book 4 in the Dragon's Bane Series, follows the life of Plato Kingsley, a Drackne and key leader of the Humankin in Bellato. Whilst the book can be read as a standalone, it does get a little confusing at times, especially if you start with the last chapter of Book 3 that's included as a sort of prequel/prologue. I'd recommend skipping this chapter snippet until later if you're reading this as a standalone; it doesn't really add much to the narrative until you actually figure out what's happening in the rest of the book.

The timeline of the book covers about 50 years, jumping back and forth between the "current" events of 2001 and Kingsley's history from his youth in 1953. It's a simple narrative device: the past is told as a series of flashbacks as Kingsley tells his story to a reporter while on his final quest to confront his greatest enemy. I'm not entirely sure it works for me--because of the way it's structured, it feels as if there is entirely too much backstory, though the entirety of the book is ostensibly meant to be backstory. There are also sections of news-like reports, which serve as a sort of historical touchstone for this alternate earth timeline where Dragons have destroyed most of human civilisation. At least, I think that's why they're there.

Overall, whilst the book is entertaining enough, it suffers a little bit from poor execution. On the plus side, Johnson plays with mind reading, time travel, and mysterious god-like powers, which always makes for exciting plot twists! On the minus side, there's a slight clunkiness to the prose that makes it feel like a lot is being crammed into this one book, including unnecessary backstory as mentioned earlier, and the time jumps sometimes makes it hard to keep track of things. The motivations and actions of the characters are also obscure and underdeveloped, with some relationships that either don't make sense or don't seem to develop naturally.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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More about The Dragon's Bane series:

On August 8, 1956 there was a coal mine fire in Marcinelle, Belgium. At least, that's what Humanity was told.

The Dragon's Bane Series (Sunset Red | The Black God) follows an alternate timeline in the events of the war between Dragons and Humanity spanning much longer than anyone ever fathomed.

The main character in the series is John Ross Gerstung, grandson of the first Hell Bringer with whom he shares a name. The novels between his tales focus on prominent people in John Ross' life.

Indigo Inquest is the second of these novels.


Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst by day and a serial writer by night.

Currently he can be found teaching English in China if you’re looking hard enough. 

Most side projects have taken a back seat to this new adventure, the card game is on hold, the other stories have been sidelined, but he will resume them once he gets into the flow
of life in Asia.

He still does yoga (sort of), and exercises almost daily (nightly), while exploring as much as he can and getting lost (but not too lost) in a “small” city of five million. He also is attempting to learn Chinese, but it is still poor. He admires his students for trying to learn English as he thinks speaking English is much more difficult than speaking Chinese, although the written characters trip him up. His goal is to be bi-lingual by the time he leaves, even if he is still functionally illiterate in Chinese.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

#bookreview: The Last Mystic | Susan Kaye Quinn

The Last Mystic (Singularity Series Book 4)The Last Mystic by Susan Kaye Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I went back and read everything in the series ALL OVER AGAIN. I mean, The Illusory Prophet released in 2017, which is really long ago... and I really hate when authors take forever to finish a series, but this was... this was worth the wait, I think. Yes, definitely worth the wait. Though, technically you don't really need to do that. There's enough back info in this one to help you remember what happened in the previous three books (assuming you haven't completely wiped them from your mind).


The Last Mystic is not just about tech. It's not just about the mental arms race. It's really about cults and beliefs, ambition and humanity.

All the little hidden secrets come out in this one, all the pieces Quinn has been shuffling around, even in the various Stories of Singularity, and the payoff is like *BOOM* when you realise wait, this new character was that one from that short story, and wait, *THAT* happened because... oh! (Which probably sounds pretty cryptic, but well. No spoilers. Though really the blurb for this one is pretty spoilery for what happens in book 3 anyway.)

Elijah Brighton continues to struggle with the question that's been bugging them since The Legacy Human: do ascenders have souls?

Is there life after death? What does the afterlife look like? Elijah has never believed--and even after resurrecting from the dead, he's not quite sure he believes in God and the afterlife. It's all just the fugue. But the more he discovers about himself and the fugue--the more he grows into what he's created to be--the more complicated it gets. And with Hypatia-Diocles cult gaining power and trying to force the Second Singularity, he's out of time. The world is out of time

So he's left with the biggest question of all: how does he act as a bridge for all of humanity, whether legacy or ascender?

It's a brilliant, brilliant read. You should read it too.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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The Last Mystic just released this week!