Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Book Club

December’s book club pick “Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor” by Lisa Kleypas.

-The Story-
     The story is set in San Juan Island, off the Washington coast, and centers on long-time residents, the Nolan family. There are three brothers, Mark, Sam and Alex, and one sister, Victoria. The story starts with Victoria being killed in an auto accident and Mark being left custody of Victoria’s six-year-old daughter, Holly.
     Mark and Holly move into Sam’s run-down house on a vineyard, and the two men try to make the most of their new lives. But six months into their guardianship and Holly still hasn’t spoken a word since her mother’s death.  That changes when Mark and Holly meet Maggie Collins. Maggie was widowed two years ago, and moved to the island six months ago to open a classic toy-shop.

Maggie Collins – Maggie comes from a big lovable family, has a big heart, is crafty, and is a widow. 
Mark Nolan – Mark is the oldest Nolan brother. The  family that isn’t all that close until the brothers are forced to raise their niece.  He’s really into coffee, loves his niece and living on San Juan Island.
Sam Nolan – Sam is the middle brother and runs a vineyard. 
Alex Nolan – Alex is the youngest brother and I believe he’s a contractor.  He comes in to help Mark and Sam fix up the house and he’s there for Thanksgiving.  He’s married but his marriage is failing.
Holly – Holly’s mother dies and she’s now entrusted into the care of a bachelor uncle and made to move to Friday Harbor.  She refuses to talk until she meets Maggie.  Then she starts to open up and turns out to be pretty well adjusted.
Renfield – Renfield is a bulldog with some serious issues and while not introduced until later on in the book is by far my favorite character.  He’s not pleasant to look at but he doesn’t know that and he just wants to be loved.

     I just felt like this book could have been so much more and it fell flat for me.  I’ve already forgotten a lot of the story and I just finished the book last night.  The story was rushed right along and there wasn’t a lot of time for character development or time to get invested in their lives.  It was almost as though the author had written a longer story and cut a lot out to fit it into a pre determined size.  This was more a novella than the novel it should have been.
     Holly and Renfield were my favorites and it’s only because of them that I’ll probably still read the other books in this series when they come out.
     After the  book club meeting I think everyone pretty much felt the same way, it was an enjoyable book but it just was missing something and for each of us that “something” was different.  I really felt like we spent more time talking about other things than we did talking about the book.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I dislike...


     I've started reading Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs, it's part of The Lakeshore Chronicles, a series I've enjoyed so far.  I don't know if I can get through this book.  The description starts out:
The prim Librarian...
     My first reaction was "Why does she have to be prim?"  But I'm open minded and I won't judge the book yet.  I open the book and come across the dedication and it reads:
To the many librarians I know -- and to the many more I've never met... You have no idea how much you enrich people's lives. Or maybe you do. I hope you do. Thank you.
     Ok this made me feel better, she appreciates and likes librarians.  So maybe it's not that bad, maybe it's just the desciption which to my knowledge the authors do not have control over.
     I was wrong.  The stereotype is hers, the librarian feels she's plain in her tweed skirt, tights, boots and T-shirt.  She looks through her think lens and tends to pull her hair back and wears no makeup.  She loves books and is freakishly organized.  She lives alone, doesn't date much, and has cats.  And of course our hero is a former child star and will be the one to break her of the stereotype.

     I'm only two chapters into the book and I really dislike this character. This story is going to be a pain to read, but I'll force myself to read it and move onto the next book in the series.  I'm can't promise I won't throw this book numerous times.  Not just because of the stereotype there's also a feel of mysterious Christmas happenings, which just bugs me because the other stories in the series have been grounded in reality so to throw that in is just screwy.

     I have since finished this book and it really didn't get much better.  They just kept up with the stereotypes of both the librarian and the former child star, the story kept forcing this commercialized view of Christmas being this amazing time to be with family and where miracles come true. And just incase you read this and can't pick up on it the mysterious boy who shows up is the ghost of the boy who died in the fire 100 years before.  You know because this story is sooo grounded in reality.
     Like I said before, if the whole series had some supernatural feel to it, I would have liked this story a little more.  If they had decided to break away from the stereotypes this story would have been a lot better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Club - November

This month's book was Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs.  It's book #4 in the Lakeshore Chronicles.  I ended up reading books 1-3 first and am now reading through the series.  Wait for my next post on another book in the series.

- The Story -
     International lawyer Sophie Bellamy has dedicated her life to helping people in war-torn countries. But when she survives a hostage situation, she remembers what matters most—the children she loves back home. Haunted by regrets, she returns to the idyllic Catskills village of Avalon on the shores of Willow Lake, determined to repair the bonds with her family.     There Sophie discovers the surprising rewards of small-town life—including an unexpected passion for Noah Shepherd, the local veterinarian. Noah has a healing touch for anything with four legs, but he's never had any luck with women—until Sophie.
     Snowfall at Willow Lake speaks from the heart about all the loves that fill a woman's life, and all the ways that love is tested and made to grow. It's the story of what comes after a woman survives an unspeakable horror and finds her way home, to healing and redemption and a new chance at happiness. -- From Product Description

- The Characters -

Sohpie-  Having read the previous books in the series I came into this story with a not so nice view of Sophie.  She seemed cold and detached, but I think that may be how we were supposed to see her, in helps in her transformation through this story.  She faced something traumatic and sees it as a wake up call to change her life and reconnect with those that are most important to her. 

Noah-  Noah was introduced in a previous book as a date to the heroine.  He's the sweet boy next door who went off got his degree and returned home. 

- Discussion -

     We didn't hate it, like The-book-that-won't-be-named, but it wasn't overall great.  The characters seemed a little flat and one dimensional and the story almost seemed forced and rushed.  Someone brought up that it seemed like she had to finish the book to meet a publisher's deadline. I filled everyone in on the other stories before this and compared to those this story was lacking a bit.  While it isn't my least favorite story in the series it isn't high up on my list.
     Sophie moves to Avalon, NY, it's where her kids are and her ex-husband who has recently gotten remarried (previous book in series).  She's moved here to change her life and be a mother and now grandmother.  It's a big change and at first she seems to struggle with the decision but she starts to make a life for herself that she's content with and seems to agree with her.  Her first night there she meets Noah and things just start right off with them, but it keeps stalling because of Sophie.  She doesn't want to get into anything, she wants to focus on her kids, she's older than he is, blah blah blah.
     Noah grew up in Avalon, went off to college and became a Vet, then moved back home to his parent's farm and turned it into his office/home.  He likes outdoor activities, does the winter triathlon, wants a big family; he's basically the perfect man.  Yes he has his faults but who cares, everyone does.

There isn't much more I can think of to say about this book.  I didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it, it was just the next book in the series and this month's book club read.  I got to see how the characters that we've met have moved on and got introduced to characters that will show up in books of their own next.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Catching Up

So I haven't posted a book club update since June, I've been lazy, so a quick catch up of what's been happening.

We read the second book in the Weston Series by Sara Lindsey "Tempting the Marquess".  This book is about Olivia the sister to the heroine in Promise Me Tonight.  She travels with her aunt to visit her aunt's step son Jason Traherne, Marquess of Sheldon.

I liked this book because it had a certain gothic feel to it, kind of like Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Olivia goes into this trip with the same ideas that Catherine has only to discover her imagination is much too active for her own good.

The meeting was not really a meeting but an author event.  We got to meet Sara Lindsey and talk to her about her books, her writing and romance novels and writers.  It was a good time.

We read Fly Away Home by  Jennifer Weiner.  This book didn't really fit into the theme of our book club but we really didn't have a choice and had to read it anyway.  This book is about a politician's wife and her daughters as they struggle through the announcement that he's had an affair and they all take a step back from their lives to better learn who they truly are.

I ended up really liking this book even though I had started to read it with the idea that I probably wasn't going to enjoy reading it. Sylvie and her two daughters Diana, and Lizzie are no where near perfect.  They all have flaws and struggle with issues in trying to find happiness.  I liked Diana the least.  Lizzie was my second favorite character.  Sylvie could have been taken out of the book completely and have it just been about her two daughters and I don't think it would have changed how I liked the story.

My favorite character was Diana's son.  He was like the perfect child character.  He wasn't forced into scenes because the Diana had a son and you have to include him somehow, when he was in a scene he fit in smoothly and didn't dominate unless he had too. He wasn't annoyingly smart or something but cutely quirky.

I missed this months meeting but Shelly said everyone seemed to enjoy the book.

 This month's book was The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt book two in her Princes Trilogy.  This book is about Lady Georgina Maitland and her land steward Harry Pye.

I ended up reading all three books in the series and really enjoyed them all.  The men are never perfect, in this case Harry is a land steward and he's missing a finger.  But he is the perfect man for Lady Georgina. There is a sometimes annoyingly stupid story of posinoning sheep and Harry to blame but otherwise I enjoyed the story.  

We had two new people at book club and they were a bit shocked when reading this book and the sex scenes and I will admit Elizabeth Hoyt does near the line of too steamy, but I've read enough romance that I can overlook it and keep the story in mind.  Otherwise I think we all enjoyed the story and a few people were interested in reading the other books in the series.  The series connection, by the way, is that the three men are all friends and members of an agrarian society.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Club - June

There was no meeting in May. June's book was supposed to be the second book in the Weston series started in April, but it was changed to Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. This was my pick for a book, it was the first book I read by Linda Howard and one I can re-read no problem, so I hoped everyone else would like it, we haven't yet read a suspenseful romance book.

- The Story -

Jaine Bright and three close friends share dinner one night and during casual conversation, create a list of qualifications for the perfect man--some logical, some hilariously funny, some racy. Within days, their tongue-in-cheek wish list of attributes for Mr. Perfect has been leaked to the press and the resultant publicity is overwhelming. Coworkers, TV crews, and reporters barrage the quartet with comments and criticism.
As if Jaine doesn't have enough to cope with, she has a new neighbor who she suspects is a criminal. She's relieved to learn that her neighbor is really an undercover cop, but she's still wary--because smart, sexy Sam Donovan handles her sharp witticisms with easy humor, and Jaine suspects that he may threaten her heart. What Jaine doesn't know is that she's about to need Sam desperately for something other than romance because her circle of friends is in big trouble. Unfortunately, that list of qualifications for Mr. Perfect has touched off a madman's rage. All of their lives are threatened and some of them are going to die, maybe all of them, if Sam can't stop the unknown killer.
Mr. Perfect brings to readers the quintessential Linda Howard hero, whose straightforward, "me Tarzan, you Jane" attitude plays well with a smart, witty heroine. The rapid-fire dialogue between the two is downright hilarious at times, even when the two are about to steam up the windows and burn up the sheets. --Lois Faye Dyer (via Reviews)

- The Characters -
Jaine - Jaine Bright is a character I can relate too and one that I'm not ashamed to say I want to be like, she's a girly-girl who can stand her ground with a real man.  She knows fashion but she also knows cars. She can sweet talk you one second and curse you out the next (though she working on the language).  She's quirky in the way she converses with BooBoo and takes pleasures in the little things like getting to mow her lawn for the first time. Jaine also has the courage I wish I could have, I don't know if I could have handled the events that bombard her life during the weeks followed in the book with out having a major break down, yet she holds it together.

Sam -While I want to be like Jaine I want a man like Sam Donovan. Sam is sexy and got a great personality.  He's a real man's man, but he's not scared to show his emotions, soft, angry or any of the others.  He calls Janie on her BS and has no problem standing toe to toe with her with they both get bull headed. He's family orientated, dedicated to his career, and cares about his community.  Hmmm, I think he very well could be a Mr. Perfect.

- Discussion -
Everyone over all liked the book.  Only two other people really loved it and couldn't put it down.  There was talk over who we all thought the killer was and who we thought it wasn't and how surprised (or not so surprised) we were with who it turned out to be, it originally threw me for a twist. There was talk about what it took for Linda Howard to create such an disturbed and well thought out character.

We talked about the relationships in the book between the friends, Jaine and her siblings, and the romantic relationships.  I can't really talk about that more without getting into plot details.  That also goes for some of the things we liked and didn't like about the book.

Some things I like, besides Jaine and Sam:
-how Linda Howard doesn't come right out and tell you what kind of car Jaine is watching for her father.
-how minor characters are developed and included in meaningful ways, including "the geeks"
-the notes the geeks leave by the elevators

Some things I didn't like:
-I can't list the big ones cause again they get into plot details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Club - April

This month's book was another historical romance, I'll be honest until I met my friend Stephanie I never really had much interest in this genre of romance books, but I'm really starting to like them. Anyway, this month's book was Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey.

- The Story -
Isabella Weston has been in love with her older brother’s best friend James Sheffield since she was a girl. On the night of her coming-out ball, she’s determined to make James fall head over heels in love with her and want to marry her. James is back in England after spending time in Ireland and is shocked to find that his best friend’s impish little sister is now a stunning beauty. James knows he’s in big trouble when he finds it impossible to resist her charming, cunning wiles and dogged ways, but his painful childhood has made him promise himself that he’ll never marry or have children. This headstrong pair produce an entertaining battle of wits and wills while dealing with their own internal battles.

- The Characters -
Izzie - I felt that she was likable and real. She started out headstrong and knowing what she wantd. After James breaks her heart she breaks apart, I believe even the strongest female would do the same when it's the man you've loved your whole life. I can't fault her for that though many reviews I read have faulted her for her flip-flop personality. She still loves James but becomes scared to put herself back out there in fear that he'll hurt her again.

James - He's selfish but I feel he has good reason to be, to a point. His childhood traumatized him and just lie Izzie he's afraid to put himself in a situation where he might get hurt.

- Discussion -
I overall enjoyed this book, as did the rest of the group. The characters were likable and the story engaging enough that I wanted to read more to see how the characters worked out their problems. (It's a romance, so you know they'll work it out.) Some reviews had mentioned that they book reminds them of Julia Quinn books, I haven't read many of her books, so I didn't have that problem, but as far as being predictable, yea I get that. It's a romance, they all follow a similar formula.

A few things did bother me:
-James is half Irish yet this is never brought up as a point where Izzie is concerned only in reference to James' grandfather.
-I also didn't care for the plot point of needing James to almost die to realize he's been a selfish ass and that he really does love Izzie and then his sappy speech at the end of the book.
-James is dedicated to his "school" in Ireland but no mention is made to this at the end, hopefully in following books we'll hear something.

A few things I really loved!
-The time line --> it was believable that things took a while to grow and build and be rebuilt. It wasn't one of these books that has events take place over two months.
-The letter excerpts.
-The family

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Club - March

Since February's meeting was canceled I again was looking forward to March's meeting and attending with Michelle. The book for this month was one we had both read before and really liked. It was "Key of Light" by Nora Roberts and is the first book in the Key Trilogy.

- The Story -
Nora Roberts blends romance and magic into a captivating tale of gods, mortals, love and mystery. Three women from Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania recieve dinner invitations to Warrior's Peak, a castle-like estate outside of town. Their hosts tell them a legend of three sisters, demigoddesses, whose souls are trapped by an immortal sorcerer, and they offer the women a large cash prize to search out the keys that will unlock the sisters' prison. The invites come just as all three women had conveniently fallen on hard times career-wise, and were desperate for a change.

"Key of Light" follows Mallory, an art gallery manager.
"Key of Knowledge" follows Dana, a librarian.
"Key of Valor" follows Zoe, a hair-stylist and single mother.

- The Characters -
Mallory Price manages the art gallery in Pleasant Valley and she loves her job. That is until her boss marries and puts his wife in charge and then Mallory's dream job is no longer a dream. It was easy to like Mallory right from the beginning, she's organized, does well under pressure and while she's got a life plan it's not set in stone and she's all about going for what she wants.

Her opposite is Michale Flynn Hennessy. He is editor of the local paper, a job he was kind of forced into after his mother and step-father have to leave Pleasant Valley for health reasons. He's got a big, unmanageable dog Mo. He owns his home and while he's lived there for a number of years it still looks like he just moved in, with just a couch in the living room and a bag of dog food in the dishwasher. He's Dana's stepbrother and his two best friends, Bradley Charles Vane IV and Jordan Hawke, are set up to be the other two leading men of this series.

The characters are easy to like and you've got a front row seat at watching friendship bloom with these three women as they grow closer together based on true friendship and this quest for the missing keys progresses. The relationship between the men is solid as life long friends should be, when Flynn calls Jordan for help, Jordan comes back to Pleasant Valley.

The relationships between the men and women are also great. Mallory realizes that Flynn is perfect for her and doesn't hesitate to tell him that they will be getting married. You're along for the ride as Mallory fits herself nicely into Flynn's life and he grows accustomed to her proposal of marriage.

- Discussion -
I was unable to make this book club meeting but Michelle went without me. She reported that the general opinion was that last month's book was just as bad as we thought and that everyone liked this book and for the few who had never read it they will be reading the next two books.

This is one of my favorite Nora Robert's trilogies so it was no big deal for me to them again. Unlike last month's book I think these characters are likable, and easy to connect with, you care about hem and hope they succeed in their quest. The supernatural/magic aspects of the story don't make it any less realistic, but add another layer to the story. These characters don't blindly accept the magic but each in turn come to their own understanding and acceptance when the time is right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Club - February

After the success of the January meeting I asked Michelle if she would be interested in joining with me and was looking forward to reading and attending this month's meeting with her. I was really looking forward to going to the meeting with her, we enjoy the same books and enjoy discussing or arguing over them so this was bound to be a good idea. The book for February was "Lady Be Good" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

I read reviews for this before I started it and everyone really seemed to like the book and just raved about the likableness and realness of the characters. Then I asked Michelle how she was liking the book, she had started it already. She had a list of complaints. The difference in her reactions and the reviews got me wondering what kind of book I was going to be reading. We have both had different reactions to books so maybe this one would be one of those kinds of books.

I was wrong.

- The Story -
Our leading lady is Lady Emma Wells-Finch the headmistress of a all girls school in England and in the role of leading man is Kenny Traveler bad boy of the PGA. Emma needs to find a way to save her school and ruin her image while Kenny needs to clean his image up, so of course they are a perfect match. It sounds like a good set up for a story, there's bound to be humor and enough background to drive the story forward. For me, what I believe was supposed to be humor caused me to groan, multiple times out loud and throw the book down. They find themselves in awkward situation after awkward situation and it all started to seem forced in an effort to move the story forward.

- The Characters -
Emma and Kenny have the potential to be likable characters but somewhere they fell short. I couldn't find one thing I really liked about them so it made it had to connect and care about the development of their relationship or the story. There was nothing realistic about the relationship or their conversations, they seems just as forced as the plot points. Michelle's main issue was Emma, here is a character who we are told over and over again how smart she is and her big idea to save the school is to ruin her image by getting into compromising situations with Kenny?!? How is that smart? The secondary characters didn't help the story and only made the situations and conversations all the more annoying.

I could go on but I'm going to stop.

- The Discussion -
The meeting was canceled due to snow.

Book Club - January

This was the first meeting of the newly launched Romance Book Club. The first book was "The Devil in Winter" by Lisa Kleypas. This is the third book in the Wallflower Series. It is proceed by "Secrets of a Summer Night" and " It Happened One Autumn." The fourth book is "Scandal in Spring."

Seeing as I read all four books back to back I can't quite say if I favored one over the other, the series as a whole was a wonderful read and I might consider reading the related books that tie in with this series. I don't think I ask for a lot when I read a romance novel, I just want a well written and/or believable story and likable characters.

- A story -
The BIG thing I look for is that there is a story beyond the "romance" to keep in entertained. It's not enough to just follow the format for this genre. These books had that story and while it wasn't a big mystery or a murder on the lose it wasn't a forced story to keep the book moving. I wanted to keep reading to find out how these four wallflowers would stick to their pact to find husbands and no longer be wallflowers.

- The Characters -
An author can have a great story concept and write it very well but if they can't write likable, real characters there's no point in writing your story. These characters were likable and together they have great chemistry. The four main girls in the series work nicely together. In this book the main characters are Evangeline “Evie” Jenner and Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent. Not to make a big spoiler here but by the end of book two you aren't liking Sebastian all that much and to find out he's the hero of book three was shocking. It's the interactions between the two characters that really makes the story, they have a rocky relationship at first but I feel it's because of that they make a strong impression on each other throughout the story.

- Discussion -
The group overall liked the book. Seeing as it was the first meeting a lot of discussion was on romance books in general and talking about general likes and dislikes. One member had the original printing a lengthy discussion on book covers followed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Semi-Geeky Girl Goes to PAX - East

I got home from PAX - East over a week ago and I'm just now ready to write my thoughts on the expo. I've been trying to figure out how to break it down and I've decided instead of a break down by day I'm going to break everything down based on categories. So we'll start off with pre-convention, followed by panels, expo hall, game play, and post-convention.

We arrived in Boston on Thursday and had some time to kill before the 7pm game time meet up in the lobby. There was no forgetting this meet up, Sam kept reminding us every 10 minutes or so. I had already checked it out and knew that the main building for the Boston Public Library was just down the road from the convention center and there were some other historical locations in the area I had wanted to see. Being a library lover I had wanted to take the tour of the library but never got around to it, so just seeing the outside would have to do for this trip.

Our first stop was the Boston Public Library. History note: The BPL "was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States, the first large library open to the public in the United States, and the first public library to allow people to borrow books and other materials and take them home to read and use." - Wikipedia On the facade of the old building are two carvings that I thought were just great. One was "Free to All" and the other says "The Public Library of the City of Boston Built by the People and Dedicated to the Advancement of Learning".

Across the street from the library is Trinity Church and Old South Church. Both of these buildings are beautiful examples of detailed architecture. I'm not sure of the history of Trinity Church but I know that Old South Church was meeting place associated with the Boston Tea Party.

We ate dinner that night at McGreevy's Irish Pub & Sports Bar which credit's itself as being America's First Sports Bar and The Birth Place of Red Sox Nation. It's just 1200 steps to Fenway Park. Now while I am a NY Yankees fan, I did appreciate the history of this place tied to the Red Sox. It was quite interesting and the story behind the place was really great too. You can read it on their website.

After dinner it was time for the gaming meet up in the lobby. For this I steal from Sam:
Upon returning to the hotel, we joined the throngs in the lobby playing various card games, and broke out some Munchkin. We were joined before even sitting down by a handful of interested first-time players, and eventually broke into two groups. The first group, playing the original Munchkin, had their picture taken by a passing Wil Wheaton. This may end up being the highlight of the trip for Amelia.

When their game ended, they joined us at the Star Munchkin table to watch the game, where myself and a guy named Matt were battling it out for the win. Amelia, who was stalking Wil Wheaton on Twitter, noticed his tweeting on our lobby activities. What made this relevant was that Wil is apparently friends with Steve Jackson, who invented the game Munchkin. Mr. Jackson responded to Wil's post with a decree that the next Munckin-playing PAX attendee to say, out loud and without shame, "Game over, Moonpie," would gain two levels in the game (this will probably make a lot more sense to fans of 'The Big Bang Theory'). Since two levels would win me the game, Amelia shared this tip with me, and to the confusion of all I spouted the quote for the win. We ruled it as Divine Intervention, untouchable by any other cards, since a tip from Steve Jackson was about as close to Divine Intervention as we could get. And all of this happened while I was half-tipsy on whiskey drinks. A fun night.

PAX Panels
PAX East 2010 Keynote: The keynote was given by Wil Wheaton. Being a fan I follow his blog and Twitter feed and followed how he struggled to write this speech. I believe he worried for no reason, it was great. He talked about the convention being Home and how we were home for the next three days. This meant being able to play and just geek out with out worrying about what people thought of us.

Penny Arcade Panel #1: Immediately following the keynote Gabe and Tycho came on stage for a one hour Q&A. Some really interesting and non interesting questions were asked. We were introduced to the PAX East swear word. Saw them participate in a brief demo of the live action Action Castle panel and participated in the group "cracking knuckles".

NVIDIA Unveils the Next Generation of PC Gaming: After Sam told me about this panel I wanted to see it, but about 2 minutes into the panel I wanted to hurt the presenter. It was just sales pitch after buzzword after slogan. I don't think they understood that we wanted to be there and were interested in the technology of 3D gaming he didn't have to sell us on the concept. Just show the room a demo, hell other panels do that and it works just fine. OH on a side note, I'm really getting over this whole 3D thing, but the concept for gaming is new and if they can do it correctly will be great.

A Sophisticated Evening with Rooster Teeth Productions: The Rooster Teeth Gang panel was great the last time we went to PAX so I was geared up for them this time. I had only seen a little of Red vs. Blue and was hoping to see more of it. We got a preview of the new season (Sam purchased the box set so I'm looking forward to watching the past seasons), and saw some live action stuff they were working on plus a Q&A session.

Prince of Persia: I don't play the game, I want to see the movie based on the game, but I'll never pass up a chance to see a demo of a game. We got one hell of a demo. The game looks amazing and it could have been that the creator was running the demo, but I was really impressed. I cut out early before the Q&A.

D&D Seminar: Save My Game! Live: We really hadn't planned on going to this, but we were late getting in line for other panels and had done a quick tour of the expo hall, again. So Chris and I decided to jump in line, it might be interesting. Four guys from Wizards of the Coast were there to answer our questions about our games. Advice and Feedback were exchanged. Chris got an answer to a question he had and I think we all walked away with a different perspective on our own games and gaming experiences.

Closing Ceremony: Final Round of the Omegathon. This was a team effort where they played four old school games. The team on our side of the room was in the lead but there was a problem with one of the games and everything had to be restarted. Our team lost, but it was great fun watching them play.

Expo Hall
The expo hall was packed and I know we got a lot of swag. There was so much going on I'm only going to talk about the few things that really stuck with me. There were a few games that looked really great but I was intrigued but Power Gig! Rise of the Six String. There was no demo running, it was just a van with a guy playing an electric guitar and people talking about the game. It's a six string electric guitar as controller in a Guitar Hero type game. If you know how to play your golden, if not you can learn.

Wacom had tablets you could try out. We all took a turn trying them and I have to say if I had a use for one, I'd want one, hell I want one and I have nothing to use it for. Geek Chic had a booth and if I had the money I would be buying
this, it's a customizable card catalog style storage system. They describe it as storage for comics and cards, I could do so much more with it!

Game Play

Wizards of the Coast had some of the best expo hall game play. They had a live action demo of D&D. A group of six players takes to a small grid area and has two rounds to defeat an opponent. I did this twice, first with Sam, Chris and Sean where our group beat our opponent. The second time I went with Chris and our group failed. This is also the booth where I discovered I like playing Magic The Gathering. We played on online version and then demoed a card version.

Wizards of the Coast was also running D&D gaming sessions to try out the new Encounters. Sam went to sign up for this and ended up being asked to DM on Sunday. We did however get to play two dungeon delves. These were mini games, one hour sessions where you picked a character and were given limited information. Sam and I did one and then were joined with Sean and Chris for the second.

There were some other computer and video games we demoed in the expo hall. I really liked Monday Night Fights, we watched Chris play this. I tried out this sports thing for the DS and Wii. Sam and I also tried out some games by independent companies. One's on Facebook and I have to check it out some more.

Post PAX
After the closing ceremony on Sunday we had dinner in the bar area of our hotel. Then Sam, Chis and I played some games. We talked to fellow gamers and had a great time. We played some Magic, Muchkin, and Primetime Adventures. I forgot how much fun Primetime Adventures was.

I had a great time, I can't wait for next year!