The Codex Alera Book Review

It’s been ages since I did a book review, you probably think I haven’t been reading eh?  Not so, in fact I do have my GoodReads account pinned to the side panel if you are interested in what I’m reading at any given time (when I remember to update it hehe).

2015 had me reaching back to my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fictions.  We were visiting the U.S. and couldn’t resist the Barnes and Noble – one thing I do miss being in Japan.  I love a good browse in a bookstore.  This time I found Furies of Calderon, the first in a six part series called The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.  Figured I would grab the first book and if it was good I’d keep going through the series and man am I glad I made that spontaneous grab. (I mentioned the series in a post a while back Plans In The Making)

Obviously, the first book grabbed me enough to want to continue with the next and just yesterday I finished book six.  For me, a good story is one that I can lose myself in and actually visualize.  It’s just how my brain works which is a bit odd because for crafting and such I can’t visualize finished products which is the main reason I don’t paint, sew, knit, make pottery or anything else very creative.  I just can’t look at tools of a trade and see how it will become a finished thing.  Though if I have instructions I can usually produce whatever is shown, I just can’t freehand things.  With good books, the creative and often stagnant part of my brain wakes up from it’s coma and ignites and this particular series had my brain fired up.

The descriptions of characters, surroundings, emotions, reactions and thought processes were a perfect recipe for me to fall in completely.  I loved the alien aspects mixed with very human and somewhat familiar and the author obviously has a lot of familiarity with battle strategies, armor and weaponry…or maybe he and I just have similar ideas of what that might entail.  Also, when an author creates a world and actually supplies a map of it in the front of the book, I am in love.

This series was a bit of genius to me and I think Mr. Butcher’s imagination is a beautiful thing.

2016 has me on two book challenges/clubs, which I mentioned here, one which dictates which book to read and the other which I think will challenge me to read different types of books so it is possible the sci fi/fantasy books will be on hold for a bit but when I do return to the genre you can be sure I will pick up another Jim Butcher book, perhaps The Dresden Files series although there are so many books in it, I am hesitant.

Did I Mention Vampires?

My clan, living in a large multi-level medieval type almost mansion, with portraits adorning many of the walls.  Portraits of lineage as well as landscapes lining the walk up the majestic staircase, one painting in particular stands out, one of the clansmen is the artist.  He is a very important character and for some reason the neighboring, unfriendly, clan wants him to themselves.


This night they decide to infiltrate the great walls of our home and sanctuary.  Madness and chaos ensues.  Vampire against vampire battles commence.  Odd blood is spilt, it isn’t the natural red of human blood, but a darker, older red.  Blood of the ages.

After what seems like only seconds but likely hours have passed, stillness returns to the house.  He storms in, looks to the staircase and howls in outrage, anger and pain.  They have taken his painting, his masterpiece.

I can’t help but wonder, what is so important about that painting.

And then I woke up.

As usual I have linked the photo to the site I borrowed it from.

Fluffy’s Reign

When I was a child there was a myriad of stuffed animals in my room.  I had quite a few and a great variety.  There were different bear types and some dog types, (never really did cats)  and a nice big Papa Smurf even.  Oh I loved him and his soft white beard and happy eyes.  He was usually one of the stand outs in my imagination parties. You see, I had parties with my fluffy companions, not a cute tea party like most girls seem to dream up.  Mine were all out medieval galas.  Papa Smurf strutted his stuff as kind of the chief magistrate of sorts.  Oh yeh.

pap smurf

By far the absolute ruler of the stuffed kingdom of Diana’s Room was Fluffy, the light brown stuffed bear.  I honestly couldn’t tell you why he was so special but I guess some people stuffed animals just rise to royalty and power naturally.  Fluffy was adored by all the loyal subjects, even the Barbies and mini dinosaurs hailed him.  He was a fair and just king but he was a lonely one and he needed a lot of attention from me to keep him soft and happy.  My mother, the royal seamstress and tailor, even made a couple of outfits for him to wear and he felt so very special when receiving such gifts.  You see he was an ordinary type bear on the outside but there was a special air about him that couldn’t be denied.  In fact, few knew this but he had special compartments where we hid secret things from the ever idiotic spying younger brother that often tried to breach the walls of the kingdom.  Fluffy was aptly named as well, he was indeed fluffy, and not this overly stuffed, plush type that are out these days, he was just perfectly soft and cuddly.  His fur was just long enough to be brushed and had a nice shine to it.


This is not Fluffy, he looked a bit like this but not so small looking, had thicker legs and arms and definitely not stiff to be able to pose him.

Why don’t I have a photo?  Well honestly, that was circa 1980 and we were using actual cameras, there probably is a photo of him somewhere but I haven’t seen one and he was kidnapped when I was a teenager never to be seen from again.  I think he ended up like many of my stuffed animal friends, a gift to my younger brother’s current girlfriend.

Alas, his reign ended and no other took his place.  Papa Smurf deemed the kingdom should disperse and it was rather survival of the fittest soon after.  I had decided to pick and choose who would be staying and who was no longer to reside there.  Few made the cut.

Twas the end of a decade of power, for Diana’s Room had been conquered.



If Red Dawn Merged with Battle: Los Angeles

I have decided to start posting my dreams, they can be rather odd and entertaining…I think.  Most of my dreams are in a short movie style or perhaps movie trailer style and I usually see them first person, as me in the dream.  I don’t see myself usually unless I’m dreaming about how I specifically look in it.

The following is what I dreamt this morning just before waking up:

I was in a school – seemed like high school but we felt a bit older –  and there was a big attack on the city and school.

battle laMy graduating class decided as a group to pack all we could into our hiking size backpacks (that we had for some reason on us) and escape East, out of California. The alpha girl who was organizing it all clashed with my real friend in California, Emma,  who didn’t want to be led by anyone so I went to try to convince her it was better and safer to be in a group.

red dawn

I was the last to pack my stuff so the group went on ahead, Emma and I said we’d catch up to them overnight.


We decided since we were behind anyway that we’d run by our parents’ homes to say goodbyes then walk all night to catch up. We went to mine first and told my parents and brothers what was happening, they gave me a few things to take as family heirlooms and we hunted down the small camping tent, shoved as much as we could in our backpacks and made our way to the door to head to Emma’s parent’s home.

Then I woke up.


all of the photos have been linked to the sites I borrowed them from