Book Review: Biotech and Parenting in “Borne”

After reading Jeff VanderMeer’s strange science fiction novel Annihilation, I decided to jump into another of his strange sci-fi books: Borne.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Bahni Turpin, which helped me finish it quickly as I was able to put my commute to good use. It’s definitely longer than Annihilation, and in many ways the world-building is much stronger here because so much time is paid to it.

And really, that’s what this book is all about: not so much a riveting story, but the world the author creates and the feelings that world inspires.

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My Skyrim Husbands (Video Post)

In my many playthroughs of Skyrim, I’ve gotten really invested in who my character marries each time. Marriage in Skyrim gives you benefits like your spouse cooking you meals (so you eat to bump up your health in a fight), making money for you (so you can buy all the shiny new armor), and giving you a little romance boost when you sleep in the same bed (so you fight better, I think?). But for me, choosing a spouse who fits my character, whether in personality or fighting style, is what truly matters.

Here are my thoughts on my Skyrim husbands so far, and who I’d recommend depending on whether you want a stable house husband or a warrior who can join you in battle. =)

I’d love to hear who your favorite spouses are in Skyrim too. Thanks for watching!

— Ashley

“Tomb Raider” Movie Review

Last night I went to see the new Tomb Raider movie, directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft.

I went into the movie as a pretty big Tomb Raider fan already. For many years I’ve loved the Angelina Jolie movies, which hinged on Lara’s looks, crazy stunts that sometimes seem to defy the laws of physics, and cheesy one-liners meant to indicate what a sparkplug she is. They’re not the best movies, but watching Jolie perform aerial acrobatics in Croft Manor, solve puzzles in archaeological ruins, and kick ass all over the world is so much fun.

More recently, I’ve played the new video games, which rebooted Lara as a realistic young survivor, rather than a badass babe created in part for the male gaze. And I loved them, much more than the movies or even the old games I tried to play before I really got into gaming. In these stories, Lara is still brave, buff, and brainy, but she also has real emotions. She shivers in the cold, gives herself pep talks when things get rough, and even grieves over her first time killing a deer for food. It’s interesting to see her grow from the first game to the second, becoming more capable but never cold.

So I went into this new Tomb Raider movie excited to enjoy a blockbuster action movie starring one of my favorite characters ever. I like her so much, I dressed up as Lara for Halloween a couple of years ago. She’s just one of those characters I’ve always felt connected to and inspired by, and knowing that this film would be an origin story just like the reboot games, I was eager to see how Alicia Vikander would play her.

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30 Hours as a Monster Hunter: First Impressions

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Monster Hunter: World for the first time. And I’m so glad I did.

I was a few weeks late to the party, because the game wasn’t initially in my most anticipated of the year. I tried to play Monster Hunter on my Nintendo 3DS a few years ago and struggled to keep up — the game pretty much threw me into a huge, empty snowscape where I had to face a gigantic beast armed with a weapon I didn’t know how to use well and an inventory system I didn’t have the knowledge or patience to manage. So I didn’t last long.

But hearing so many good things about Monster Hunter: World from friends, coworkers, and my fellow bloggers, I decided to give this new entry in the series a shot. It’s different than past games for a few reasons — like it’s conveniently on the PlayStation 4, and it features a strong story that keeps driving you toward that next monster hunt.

So, without further adieu, here are my first impressions of the game after 30 hours as a monster hunter. =)

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