Sea of Rust

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“Sea of Rust” felt like reading a “Mad Max 2” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” novel.

One of the best books I’ve read all year. It’s fast paced, full of well-written action. It has the flow of a film, likely because of C. Robert Cargill’s experience as a screenwriter. There’s enough excitement and backstory to keep readers entertained.

The characters are fun with just enough development. Well, each character gets a page or a chapter of development. And it served its purpose enough to get us, rather, me, interested or like them.

It’s Brittle, the main protagonist, our first-person narrator we get to spend much of our time with. She’s probably the most reliable-unreliable narrator I’ve encountered in first-person perspectives. We see the world how she describes it and understand the history as she knows it. Also, that ending was terrific and emotional in every possible way.

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The Emperor’s Blades


Holy Hull. This was an awesome book. It kicks off real simple at first, the emperor is dead, and two of his three children are unaware of it: One trains to be a badass assassin, and the other, the heir, invests his time getting buried alive, haul stones, getting cuffed at the back of his head, and drink tea, to reach a state of Nirvana.

The book opens with a prologue that shows you the meaning of rot, and then the following chapter paves way to a graphic scene of a corpse. I should say the chapter had me hooked and I was curious enough to keep on reading until things unraveled.

I have no problem with graphic violence in the stuff I read and watch. But what bothered me in “The Emperor’s Blades” is how it’s all the women getting butchered in graphic detail. The inclusion of one kick-ass woman in the book doesn’t help elevate that. 

Beyond this, the book was a great read. I loved the description and the prose. I loved the pacing, despite being a long book, everything moved at a fast and clear pace. 

There are three main POVs, each of the emperor’s children, but we spend most of our time with the two boys – the assassin and the monk – and only about three chapters with the eldest, the daughter. Though from a certain perspective I can understand why she had so few chapters and I can only imagine things will change, fast, in the next two books when shit gets real.

As the characters are scattered throughout the empire I felt there was deep immersion and how large the world is. Each one was so different from the others. So different when something shook up the status quo, it felt like a threatening alien presence.

After this book I’m pretty much sure I’ll read everything Brian Stavely, the author, writes. For now, onward to Book Two: The Providence of Fire!

To eat, or not to eat

Vikings.

The go-to buffet restaurant for celebrations, dates, and casual dinners. You get to eat there for free, given if it’s your birthday and dragging at least three or four others with you. 

They’ve got a ton of really tasty stuff for you to pluck, though most of the time whenever I actually get inside, was empty sushi trays. Cause, sushi is life.


Sad to say that they have really shitty policies for customers. The one in SM North EDSA, at least, displayed this kind of behavior.

What the hell am I talking about? Very well. The restaurant opens only within certain hours. Walk-in customers fall in line and get their information taken, including mobile numbers.

However, once the doors of paradise open, the policy kicks in. If your number is called and you are not there. They will wait for you, at least 30 minutes. What happens then, the place is opened up with vacant seats, and will remain that way until the current customer number shows up.


That number 25 in the photo has been that way for at least 20 minutes. It moved to 26 finally, and the waiting party entered, prompting to jump into 28 before stagnating once again.


The line continued to swell. Seats and tables inside remained empty. And again, they will move on only after 30 minutes.

Other restaurants will take your mobile number. And when you’re about to be called, they inform you via text message. If you don’t up show up soon, you will be skipped.

Vikings claimed no responsibility of alerting customers via text messages despite getting your number. Why? According to the lady I spoke with, “Company profile” and in case we left anything in their restaurant, they can contact us. 

After two hours, the queue number hit 31. I wish I were making this up.

This is bad practice. I can understand waiting up to 10 minutes but 30 is a bit too much and unfair to the crowd that is actually in queue. What if the party had decided to ditch the restautant to dine elsewhere? 

This policy is so inconsiderate and should not be tolerated. And yet people will continue to tolerate this. This is not the same as a busy restaurant that is full of customers. This is a restaurant that refuses to let customers inside. A stagnant system that its most faithful patrons won’t mind – cause, for a buffet, this place is actually really good. 

Still. The people who eat here doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. The lack of action on the customers’ part will let Vikings know that this kind of thing is okay. 

The simplest solution is never to eat here again as someone that might seem to be ranting. They’ve lost a customer and I doubt that will really bother them. 

So yeah. Vikings can go to hell.

Innards #15: Shoryuken!

Progress!

The word rolls around my tongue like a sweet ball of chocolate. I am savoring every bit of it as it melts in my mouth.

For all it’s word, the development of the “Year of the Red Whale” is again, running at full speed, after getting buried alive in a mountain of debris. The said debris, has finally popped out, like a nasty pimple.

Gross, I know.

I’ve included a bunch of stuff that were only ever to be glanced at. Such as sorcery. Mages exist in the world of Red Whale and after over 40k words, not a single scene involving magic has taken place. Only lots and lots of gun fights in a world where people still use swords as the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Move over Zatoichi, The Man with No Name just walked into the saloon. Give the man some whiskey! He’s had a long ride home. But don’t expect Zatoichi just to vanish, he’d be checking in to one of the room upstairs.

So yeah: Magic, switched character roles, and deleted a bunch of useless words. It only saddens me that I had to kill off a character who was meant to live throughout the story. It worked though. The story started flowing more naturally after. I’ve also switched around the protagonist’s party a bit, so now I’m getting to know a whole bunch of new people that I’ve made up in the moment.


In other news, I have a ton of other stories waiting to be written. What’s awesome is that, the more they sit in the Vault, the more they sizzle, and new ideas for their respective worlds are starting to take shape. I would have never thought of these stuff if I were forcing myself to come up with some cool things.

 

I’ve also renewed my efforts to write novellas. I have originally planned to write and finish three before jumping into the whole novel. But, whatever. Like the stories locked in the Vault, the novellas have sizzled, bringing out some fresh flavor into the stew. I cannot wait to write them all.

One more thing. I am not the slightest bit embarrassed to learn the band, Blink-182. So here’s a song from them.