Home MiscellaneousMonthly Wrap-Up April Wrap Up – Books, Games, and Ninja TED

April Wrap Up – Books, Games, and Ninja TED

I finally got around to doing a monthly wrap-up. I read 10 books (and short stories) this month, which wasn’t as many as I’d hoped, but still not too shabby!

Novels and Graphic Novels:


  • From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris (5/10): This was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn’t connect with the characters and the setting was more historical fiction than alt-history/fantasy, which . Review here.
  • Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence (7/10): Though I had problems with Nona’s character in this sequel to Red Sister, it was still an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to seeing how things will conclude in Holy Sister. Review here.
  • The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards: Review to come…
  • Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer (9.5/10): I absolutely loved it. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are complex, and the worldbuilding is fascinating. Review here.


  • The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais (4/10): This was a weird, weird graphic novel. I was expecting something similar to Over the Garden Wall, but that wasn’t at all the case. Though the artstyle is nice, the plot is just absolutely nonsensical.
  • This I Know by Eldonna Edwards (3/10): A big resounding NOPE. It started out with a lot of promise and then just took a nosedive. Review here.
  • Algeria is Beautiful like America by Olivia Burton (7/10): This was the first autobiographical graphic novel I’ve ever read and I actually quite enjoyed it! It
  • Dragonoak by Sam Farren (8/10): An f/f fantasy romance featuring a necromancer and a knight. It’s chock full of diversity, the worldbuilding is interesting and fun, and the romance was just so sweet.

Novellas and Short Stories:

All Systems Redground floor

  • All Systems Red (Murderbot 1) by Martha Wells (7.5/10): This was a fun read. Murderbot should be relatable to anyone who is an introvert and/or has social anxiety.
  • Ground Floor, Second Room to the Left by Chris Srantopoulos (6.5/10): An atmospheric horror short story that had some interesting moments but ended a little prematurely.



For the past week and a half, I’ve been thoroughly obsessed with this obscure little indie game called God of War. I’m not even halfway through and it’s already shaping out to be one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s a fun, glorious romp through Norse mythology, but it’s also an incredibly personal tale of parenthood and the legacy that we pass on to our children. The relationship between Kratos and his son Atreus is utterly compelling and played out by the two actors to perfection. I’m very excited about finishing it but also scared about finishing it.


Ninja TED:

So I went to my fourth annual NinjaTED on April 11, hosted by the one and only Amanda Palmer, who is one of the most brilliant and passionate artists I know and also happens to be married to Neil Gaiman (I honestly don’t know which of the couple I’m more jealous of). What is Ninja TED, you ask? The whole thing started out in 2014 at the last minute (you can read more about its inception here) and it’s a way for Amanda to bring the TED people to the plebians of Vancouver who can’t afford to shell out $6000 for the actual thing. And to help out the local food bank in the process. It’s since become one of my favourite annual events.

We get performances from various musicians, poets, dancers, scientists, and magicians. A glorified talent show for nerds, basically–with more swearing and casual talks about genitals. This years roster included Adam Savage, Sarah Kay, Maria Popova, Neil Gaiman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a surprise last-minute Riz Ahmed (cue screaming), and more. (If you’re interested, you can watch the recorded Facebook stream of the whole show here.)

And I just about fell out of my chair when Neil and Joseph Gordon-Levitt started performing the Morpheus vs. Chronozon scene from Sandman vol. 1.

For those who are unfamiliar, Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams and Chronozon is a demon of Hell. Chronozon has possession of Morpheus’ helm and so they both decide on  a little game. If Morpheus wins, he gets his helm back; if Chronozon wins, Morpheus becomes a slave to Hell. The game? One person says “I am ____” and the other person has to counter it with another thing. For example, Chronozon says, “I am a snake, spider-devouring, poison-toothed,” and Dream’s response is, “I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy footed.”

They go back and forth, with no one having the advantage of the other, until Chronozon smugly comes up with his trump card: “I am anti-life, the beast of judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything, the end of universes, gods, worlds…of everything.”

To which Dream answers: “I am hope.”

And wins.

And I think that’s an appropriate ending to a monthly wrap-up.

Here’s to books and hope.


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0 comment

Vera May 1, 2018 - 4:02 pm

10 books is a great going, I read 3 last month. 😊🙈
Glad you enjoyed Ninja TED. 😊 I love that ‘I am hope’ winning sentence. Hope is something I daily cultivate as without it our world loses a bit of that special sparkle. 🌏 💕

gwalsh1985 May 1, 2018 - 10:32 pm

Brilliant wrap up! Ten books in one month? I need to have your commitment and stamina.

I love Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, you’re right – who should we be more jealous of??

Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 2, 2018 - 1:23 am

Aw, thank you! <3 I think we should all be most jealous of their kid, because holy crap, he's gonna grow up being exposed to bucket loads of talent.

gwalsh1985 May 2, 2018 - 11:57 am

True, but I think they’ve joked that he’s probably going to avoid it all and become an accountant! Not that there’s anything wrong with that 😛 But yeah, I wish I had a healthy dose of double talent my way!

Tammy May 2, 2018 - 12:55 am

Ten books is awesome! Im looking forward to your thought on The Last Sun😁

Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum May 2, 2018 - 3:08 am

Playing God of War here too, OMG it’s amaaaaazing! 😀

Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 6, 2018 - 1:05 am

ISN’T IT?? I never want it to end!

auroralibrialis May 2, 2018 - 6:04 pm

Fire Dance sounds wonderful! Would your recommend reading her other book first or just diving into this one? Lovely wrap up 🙂

Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 3, 2018 - 1:03 am

DEFINITELY start with Last Song Before Night! Not just because it’s amazing, but many of its characters show up in Fire Dance.

@lynnsbooks May 3, 2018 - 10:07 am

You had a great month. 10 books is definitely not shabby! For some reason I’ve installed a game on my phone called Plants vs Zombies and I’m addicted to it. Why. Just why.
Lynn 😀

Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 6, 2018 - 1:02 am

Hahaha phone games are super addicting! When I was in undergrad, my mom one day reported that she’s become addicted to Candy Crush, and I was like, “Oh no, mom. That game will reel you in and try to trick you into spending money.” She ignored me. 😀


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