Showing posts from February, 2020

Optimal Outcomes by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler - A Review

"...using a conflict-oriented word such as counterpart, party, or opponent to define your relationship with someone doesn’t represent the complex nature of most relationships and doesn’t leave much room for your relationship with that person to change over time." Optimal Outcomes does not just focus on ways to resolve conflicts. The author believes conflict is a fact of life - we need it to understand ourselves and grow as a human. However, the author ultimately points out that perpetual conflict is abnormal and thus, maps out ways we can free ourselves from its shackles. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The book is full of examples of ways we fall into perpetual conflict and the reasons why. This is not a book on how to win arguments or how to please people so they leave you alone. This is a work that acknowledges that we might not be able to appease or negotiate with some on difficult issues. Optimal Outcomes helps us deal with those situations without being dragged down by e

Nils by Hamon, Kennedy, Carrion - A Review

Nils: The Tree of Life details the power struggle between nations with different philosophies in terms of technology, spirituality and culture. Amid betrayal, destruction and death, young Nils and his father are looking for answers to the eternal drought and famine that is plaguing the land. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The colour scheme for the book is soothing, yet eerie and dark. The watercolour style lends a true atmosphere to the story. Dialogue is exceptional and the chemistry between Nils and his father brings warm feelings to the heart. The complexity of the characters also makes it difficult to categorise most of them as good or evil. They are well-rounded and their motivations fleshed out. DISLIKES The story gets complicated towards the end and the pacing muddled. It feels hurried to force a conclusion. WHO IS IT FOR This is a Nordic fantasy tale. Fantasy tale lovers might want to take a gamble on this. Many thanks to Magnetic Press for a review copy.

Downfall by Inio Asano - A Review

Inio Asano has a reputation for tackling emotionally complicated subjects. His latest manga, Downfall , is no exception. This is a book that examines the notion of dreams and passion in relation to work. There is no shortage of advice exhorting us to follow our dreams and be whatever we want to be. Such encourage us to follow our passion and bet on ourselves to fulfil our dreams. But what if our bed of dreams becomes a trap. What happens after trading time, relationships, and flesh for our passion but found hollowness at the end of it all. Downfall is a story about Kaoru Fukazawa, a mangaka who achieves his dream of becoming a professional. He publishes a well-known series to critical acclaim but finds the idiosyncrasies of the publishing world driving him into depression. Fukazawa's work, which has been his emotional driver and stability, continues to suffer as his anxieties slowly drive him to loneliness and self-loathing. This makes him lash out at his wife and work a

The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda - A Review

The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda is heavily focused on the development of new characters, armours, and environment. It showcases some of the work and concepts that went into the new character and alien race design as well as the artistic decisions made about the environment design. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK This is very much an offering for artists rather than fans of the franchise. A lot of this art book is very much on the diversity of the planets that were created for the series. DISLIKES None. WHO IS IT FOR Those interested in concept art will get much out of this work. Many thanks to Dark Horse Books for a review copy.

Sea of Stars Volume 1: Lost in the Wild Heavens - A Review

"Being a space-trucker sounds like a cool job, but the reality is can be boring as hell. So when recently-widowed Gil gets a long-haul gig across the universe, he figures it’s safe enough to bring his young son Kadyn along for the ride — that is until their “big rig” gets bitten in half by a gigantic Space Leviathan! Now separated from his young son — with a breached suit that’s venting oxygen at an alarming rate — Gil must defy the odds and stay alive long enough to rescue Kadyn." WHY I LOVE THE BOOK Sea of Stars: Lost in the Wild Heavens is a pure adventure tale. It has diverse alien characters who are relatable, funny, and believable. From tribal politics to survival to emotional troubles, this book has all the makings of a quirky worldbuilding combined with intelligent writing that is the hallmark of stories like the StarWars. DISLIKES The colour scheme is a bit too dark in some areas. WHO IS IT FOR Fantasy lovers and sci-fi fans might want to check this out

It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad - A Review

It Takes What It Takes is a book that examines the benefits of the principles of Taoism and mindfulness in improving professional sportspeople's mentality and performance on the field of play. The author brands the Taoism principle of non-judgment as neutral thinking - a mindset that does not judge or discriminates based on past experience but seeks to look at all experiences as what they are. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK I have always felt mindfulness has its place within all areas of life, sports included. It is helpful to see its application to sports and how professionals can benefit from such practice. DISLIKES As much as I believe mindfulness has its place in all aspects of life, I still have a bit of reluctance in the way it is used as some kind of competitive edge in sports. Thus I cannot but feel a sense of misappropriation of these spiritual principles. This is a book that won't set off fireworks in most. The writing is dull and languid. The examples and anecdote