Book: HIVE: Higher Institute for Villainous Education

Wao. Lots of cool stuff crammed in this one book. I liked this book a long time ago because it was one of the first anti-hero books I had encountered. The story was engaging, the characters were likable (while not necessarily grounded in reality), and the dialogue was fun. The gist of it is an orphan named Otto who is abducted to be forcibly trained as a supervillain in a secret facility. The other side of the gist: A lot of the kids don’t want to be there. What do they ultimately learn? You can’t trust anyone.

Spirituality:
There is a buddhist character who believes in his ancestors, but otherwise everyone seems to be complacent about spirituality.

Sex:
There is some flirting, but nothing of a sexual nature.

Language:
I believe there was a few D–ns, and perhaps a H–l. I’m not completely sure exactly how many, more than one, but not more than 4…

Drugs/Drinking:
I am not completely sure, but I think there were a few cocktails. And cigarettes. Come on, these people are supervillains, what did you expect? I also think there might have been mention of drug trading, although I’m not completely sure. (in any case, it was mentioned in passing and not very extensive at all)

Violence:
Why is this section always my favorite? I think my chromosomes are sitting in tiny little bleachers going RAH RAH RAH when I list everything in here. Guns and swords. More guns and swords. Although interestingly enough, neither of them are lethal. Like, at all. How come nobody can kill anyone? But there is a bevvy of broken bones, bruises, painful falls, and pulled muscles. In short, a overdue trip to the gym. I think a guy might get shot. Wait, yes. He gets shot in the shoulder or something. And I think a few guys get shot fatally. (Who are these people, stormtroopers?) Otherwise, I don’t think there’s much else. Oh, and bombs and man-eating plants. That don’t do anything. Yep.

Misc. other harmful elements:
Otto is extremely disrespectful and makes the Prime Minister moon the entire UK. Through hypnotism. As a joke. Also…..EVERYONE’S A VILLAIN! I think the worst part is the children are eventually becoming acclimated to their high school of evil…which seems weird considering they’re prisoners. And pretty much each of these kids are criminals or are related to criminals. Yup.

Decent elements:Did I just say yup at the end of the last two sections? XD nevermind. Heroism (again) is a prominent role, ironically, for each and every one of the characters. And surprisingly the bad guys are very…not bad. Well they’re bad, but they’re made to seem less bad by making them more human with sympatheticness (not a word) and compassion.

Buy H.I.V.E. at Amazon.com!

Rating: 8.5/10.0
I liked this book quite a bit. I think I was 15 when I first read it, and now I’m 18. I still haven’t read to the end of the series due to the fact that I’m very, very cheap and the books are difficult to get in the US. But I’d recommend it for a 14+ due to the language and sometimes deep/subtle/hard-to-read relationship vibes…or whatever. It’s a book that’s got some language and complex relationships. And that’s all I have. Peace.

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Books: Mortal Engines

Yet again, another jaw-dropping sci-fi book from me. 😉 You’re welcome. This one is also by Philip Reeve, the author of Larklight, so it’s sure to be awesome. The whole gist of the story is moving cities! Aptly named Traction cities are crawling towns, hamlets, and villages that are frantically devouring other towns that are smaller than they are! It’s a truly amazing story. And it’s all about a boy named Tom upon wherein his life changes when he meets a girl.

Spirituality:
People decided to imitate the romans and make a dead famous person, Quirke, a “God”. The former mayor is on London’s currency, and they have temples to him and everything, but they’re all about as serious about it as scientology followers. The air traders, however, usually are pretty reverent to the “air gods” which they regard with “rub-buddhas-belly-for-luck” kinda reverence, usually accompanied with a few coins at a tiny altar.

Sex:
This was a really good book in that regard. Mostly just mild attraction. With a kiss. And two characters cellibately survival-sleep together (to not die) during a journey.

Language:
I believe there was a D–n, but I think it was around two or three. At least not enough for me to remember. And I don’t believe there were any other words.

Drugs/Drinking:
There’s a couple taverns where people congregate and share a few steins of…whatever they drink in the future. And the main characters are drugged with a sleeping mixture. (Why does anyone care?)

Violence:
I AM STALKER GRIKE. The Stalkers are robotic beings that are constructed from ancient technology and…dead bodies. Yep. They lop off all the extremities, replace them with claws, and encase the whole mess in an armored body. Then they go and kill people. Everywhere. The Stalker are virtually unkillable, and unstoppable. And singlehandedly, Grike the Stalker is responsible for almost all the violence in the book. People are blown apart, drowned, shot, and impaled (not all necessarily by Grike). I think there are a few moments where surgical procedures are carried out, and last moments are quite plentiful.

Misc. other harmful elements:
Lots of people die. And there’s some…I dunno…location-specific hate groups? The Traction Cities hate the guts of the people who live in “static”, or ground settlements.

Decent elements:
Heroism galore! People sacrifice themselves, manners are used, and ladies are defended. Also, includes some mild AWESOME which makes you wanna read it. For instance, excellent plot twists. But that’s all I’ll say.

Buy Mortal Engines on Amazon.com!

Rating: 9.5/10.0

This was an incredible book! It has a great story (if a little sad, but hopeful) and made me cry. I hope you really enjoy it as much as I did.

Music: Eye On It by TobyMac

Huh? Oh Hi. I just love this new album. Eye On It really soars! I’ve been a fan of TobyMac’s since Diverse City, and I have thoroughly enjoyed his sound evolution since then. I’ve noticed a definite trend traveling away from rap, and more into soft rock and pop. But this is no ordinary pop album. Instead, Toby blends his unique voice and soul-strewn lyrics with just a hint of gospel choir attitude to bring a piece of solely individual music.

Spirituality:
As a devout christian artist, TobyMac has interwoven all sorts of spiritual themes into his songs. Most of them detailing his various trials,

Sex:
As per usual, my repertoire includes nothing but clean.

Language:
I…really have nothing to say here. Because he said nothing there. And so I conclude this section.

Drugs/Drinking:
Nope. Just a repeat of the last section.

Violence:
For…a music album? Yeah there’s nothing.

Misc. other harmful elements:
Nothing…again.

Decent elements:
In addition to being centered around God, Toby’s albums always center around hope. This makes it a plus for listeners, as this album has a hard-hitting punch full of uplifting songs about forgiveness, love, and redemption. My personal favorite is Favorite Song. ^____^
Buy Eye On It at Amazon.com!
Rating: 9.8/10.0

Afternote:
As you can see I have implemented my decimal scoring system. Makes it a little more accurate. You’re welcome.

Scoring System

I don’t know if this actually deserves a new post…but okay. I’m changing the scoring system to be 1.0 to 10.0. That means I can score a 9.9 instead of a 10 if there’s a really minor thing I don’t like about a near-perfect film, or a 1.5 to a film that only had a single good quality. It will fluctuate. Anyhoo just wanted to mark the occasion and let you know.