Saturday, May 25, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird. It's one of the most well-known novels of all time. It's one of the most-loved, and one of the most-hated. This year I read it for the first time, and here are my thoughts.

Our story begins from the point of view of Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, a six-year old girl who lives with her brother and her father—an attorney of law—in the fictional setting of Maycomb, Alabama in the early to mid 1930s. The story is about her life over the course of three years, with a range of interconnected adventures that develop both her personality and the personality of her brother, Jem.

I won't go into detail about the story—it's hard to summarize and far better to experience yourself—but this is one of the best stories I have ever read. Amazing, relatable characters, and an intriguing and lovable story.

Because of how little detail I am willing to go into, this is more of a recommendation than a review. It's a brilliant story, featuring some of my favorite fictional characters of all time. I love how sometimes an author can pen stories like these, from the point of view of a precocious child. Shows just how smart young'uns can be, while at the same time assuring us that they really are their supposed age, and still make the mistakes that children of their age make.

Though the story is written from the point of view of a young girl, it's definitely a book for adults. It's realistic, which means there are some not-so-pleasant aspects and subjects that may want to be avoided by younger generations. Then again, I'm the only who's talking about how I love precocious kids, so I guess it all depends on the individual.

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a masterpiece. I couldn't recommend it any higher.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday Impressions: Spectromancer

Spectromancer is a game I avoided for a long time, because it just looked boring. In retrospect, I'm not entire sure why. It's a turn-based game in which you control a mage who summons creatures and spells in order to defeat your opponent. It was obviously inspired by card games such as Magic: The Gathering*.

It took me about an hour to figure out how to play (and I'm not entirely sure I figured it all out, yet), but once I got the basics down I had a lot of fun. I only played some quick single-player matches, but the game also includes a campaign mode, online multiplayer, and a lot of other cool features. I haven't even scratched the surface in my short time playing.

Verdict: Keep playing.
Whether you're interested in a quick match or a full-fledged campaign, this game is sure to get some enjoyment out of you. That is, if you're into this kind of thing.

*In fact, Spectromancer was co-designed by the creator of Magic, but I didn't know that until I'd already written this piece.