Thursday, December 18, 2008

Problem Sleuth - MS Paint Adventures

Not quite a webcomic, not quite a game, it's Problem Sleuth, an MS Paint Adventure! Modeled after text-adventure games, this bit of interactive storytelling focuses on Problem Sleuth, a detective fellow who is trapped in his office. Following reader-submitted prompts, the story goes from Problem Sleuth's attempts to leave his office to a much trippier quest to save the universe (both sides) from an evil mob boss. This story has successfully captured the sort of logical chaos that I only wish I had been able to get down in my novel this past November. Jeez. If you're looking for a hilarious way to pass the time, you can't overlook Problem Sleuth.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Metropolitan Murder

Title: A Metropolitan Murder
Author: Lee Jackson

What it's about: It's around 1850 in London. The underground system is still under construction. On one of the train cars, a young woman is found dead, and the man who found her is thought to be the murderer. However, he flees the scene. Meanwhile, Inspector Decimus Webb is on the case, and his inquiries bring him in contact with Clara White, a young woman who is now employed as a maid to a wealthy family but who has a darker past. What role does she play in the murder, and can the case be solved before any more lives are lost?

What I thought: A vivid, well-crafted story that's almost more an exploration of life in the Victorian era than a mystery. The story is gritty but not without touches of humor here and there. The narrative style is an unusual but interesting one.

Overall: Definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of historical mysteries.

The DaVinci Code

A few notes before we start. Sorry for the dreadful lack of updates. Over a month, oy. Well, I was reading during that time, just not posting here. November was pretty busy, what with National Novel Writing Month, finals, flying home from Rome, not having internet access on my laptop, and, well, just plain laziness. I kept a list of all the books I read in the interim, though, so there will be updates for all of the books I read that I haven't already written reviews for. Keep an eye on the blog; there will be a more regular posting schedule soon!

Title: The DaVinci Code
Author: Dan Brown

What it's about: So Robert Langdon is this Harvard symbologist who's in Paris. And this guy who works at the Louvre and who is the guardian of an ancient secret that goes against Church dogma is murdered. And this Catholic group called Opus Dei is behind it. And Robert and Sophie, the Louvre guy's granddaughter, have to uncover the location of this secret before they're killed.

What I thought: Very much a thriller novel. I read it fairly quickly, which was good - this is a book where, if you put it down and actually stop to think about it, you'll not be able to take it seriously. Relies a lot on suspension of disbelief and Rule of Cool stuff. Entertaining diversion, but not much to it. And since I'm a Catholic, I am pretty much obliged to comment on the religious aspect of the book. Basically, if you know anything about church and art history, you'll be able to tell that this book isn't entirely accurate. My art history professor actually gave a little discourse about just why the book makes no sense from a religious and art historical point of view, and I wish I could share it with you folks, but oh well.

Overall: Not bad for an afternoon's entertainment.