I'm uncertain how well someone who had not read the books would do at understanding this work, but as someone who has read the books I thought the texI'm uncertain how well someone who had not read the books would do at understanding this work, but as someone who has read the books I thought the text, plot and dialogue were all reasonably edited, given the medium. About the only thing that surprised me occurred about 2/3 of the way through (my local library's edition lacks page numbers):
It's likely you'll know them. Most Strigoi were once Moroi who chose to turn. Sometimes they're Moroi or Dhampirs who were turned by force.
I honestly don't remember that being explicitly stated in the book, but perhaps I just missed it. It also ignores the fact that humans can be turned Strigoi as well, curiously. Makes for an interesting sub-text if indeed so many Moroi choose to turn Strigoi, which I guess is why it caught my eye.
I'm not terribly picky about artwork, which is perhaps a good thing, in the sense that the art in this graphic novel struck me as rather mediocre, particularly with regard to the cover. Lissa is colored starkly white in quite a few panels, but other than that I was neither impressed nor irritated by the artwork. Serviceable I suppose is the best word to describe it.
The copy I borrowed from the library was falling apart in my hands by the end, with pages popping out of the binding. Whether this means it circulated many times, or is indicative of some sort of quality control generally re: the issue's binding I cannot honestly say. I do know I'd have been annoyed if I'd actually paid money for this and this had happened.
On a final note, it appears this series has been discontinued. See here for GoodReads, See here for Richelle Mead's website. No evidence of of graphic novels after Shadow Kiss....more
Update and final thoughts 10:44 AM 2/22/2017 - Basically confirmed. Not a bad book by any means, but seriously out of date in the ways discussed belowUpdate and final thoughts 10:44 AM 2/22/2017 - Basically confirmed. Not a bad book by any means, but seriously out of date in the ways discussed below. I found a couple of links I'm going to toss in this mess in a few places, but other than that I'm done.End Update
Please consider this:
* An "in process" review of a book I got from the library. If I remember I'll return and give some final thoughts before I return it. * That I am skimming/have skimmed the book looking for stuff that I thought might be interesting * That I am about as non-technical as it is possible for a human being to be in 2017. Meaning I probably know enough to get myself into trouble, and if you follow me you're following somebody who uses technology without really, truly understanding it
The biggest problem I have with this book is the issue that confronts virtually every technology book: By the time you read it, it is out of date. And this book is out of date -- through no fault of the author -- in one rather, well, YUUGGGGEEEE way. Beginning sometime in early 2016 Google slowly began rolling out support for Android apps on Chromebooks via the Google Play store. This was truly a game changer for Chromebooks, opened up a boatload more apps and games, though coverage is NOT universal. Chromebooks do run a different OS than Android devices, the Chrome OS, after all. And Google still does stick a "Beta" tag on the Play Store button.
Needless to say, if you're looking to buy a Chromebook, for heaven's sake make sure it is compatible§ with Google Play, and you're not stuck in the ghetto of the Chrome Web Store. I'm 99% sure every Chromebook for sale from first party sellers (Best Buy, Amazon, etc.) nowadays IS compatible§ with Google Play...but YMMV and all that.
Edit - Here's a a list from Google itself of what Chromebooks support Android Apps. Apparently all models rolled out beginning in 2017 will do so, so they're not listed specifically. The list is for manufacturers/model numbers built before 01/01/2017.End edit
§ - Confirmed NOT supported/compatible with Chrome OS by yours truly as of 02/07/2017: MineCraft Pocket Edition and Mobile Terraria, both for Android. My two favorites, of course. Doubtless there are others. What Google does is a bit on the slimy side, as you are literally prevented from viewing the app panel when you go looking in the Play Store via a Chromebook. Having said that, I have spent more time than I will admit playing both the sandbox game Crashlands and the MOBA VainGlory. Both were installed via the Play Store and both perform flawlessly, as much as I'd like to blame something other than myself for my relatively poor performance at both. Ahem. (I've not looked into controller support for games on Chromebook, so I'm doing both strictly by touch.)
Edit My Kindle app has started acting very strangely, failing to fill up the screen when I open a book, leaving me reading in a tiny window. Yeah, it is in Beta. Yeah, it sucks, especially since it WAS working. Do hope this self-corrects, sigh.end Edit
The second biggest problem: No discussion of the Chromebook "end of life" jazz. See here for a discussion by somebody who knows what they're talking about, even if they strike me as a bit propaganda-y. Anyhoo, your Chromebook (and mine!) has a five year life FROM THE TIME OF MANUFACTURE NOT PURCHASE as far as Google is concerned. See here. ALL CAPS because it is important. No OS updates, no security updates, no nuthin' after that. Buy a used one off EBay/heck, buy one that was sitting around Wal-Mart for a good long while that was manufactured four years ago and in short order you're gonna own something that can double as picnic cooler cover and not much else (Aside: Why do all Chromebooks look like picnic cooler covers? My ASUS C100PA sure does. I know I'll never get to sit at the cool kids with Apple Products table, alas.) Or, even worse, a machine your Great Aunt Edna uses to do her on-line banking without realizing she's potentially doing the internet equivalent of getting naked in front of (maybe) a cast of thousands.
My clock is ticking until July 2020, so, eh, not a huge deal for something I bought for $229 plus tax, except that it kind of reminds me of that ol' very silly sci-fi book and movie Logan's Run, which I understand is maybe, possibly getting a reboot. Doubtless Chromebooks as product placement would be entirely appropriate in such an epic. I figure I'll get my money's worth. Then find a picnic cooler, I guess.
Oh, and where is all this mentioned in the book? Nowhere. In fact, p. 283 kind of implies the opposite. In any event, the book sure as hell mentions no "end of life" problem. Whether or not this policy was explicitly stated by Google at the time the book was published I am unsure, but I gotta think it was at least on the table. And, dammit, it should have been in there.
Oh, call this second and a half problem, since it really isn't all that big a deal...
This where the book directs you to look for any updates. And as of today? The page literally doesn't even exist. My sense is the "...For Dummies" people have either abandoned this book or somebody is working on an update. Otherwise, my two big issues really should be addressed there.
So, where does that leave us?
Part I - Getting Started... - Mostly works except for Chapter 5, since that chapter is about Apps,and in 2017 you'll be mostly on Google Play, not the attentuated Chrome Web Store
Part II - Harnessing Business... - Mostly works, but it is largely a discussion of Google productivity Apps (Google Docs, Sheets, Calendar, etc.) and nothing really very Chromebook specific
Part III - The Chromebook Recreational... - Works, but it is all Chrome Web Store and no Google Play. Meaning, for example, an entire chapter on eBooks without mentioning the fact that Chromebooks now fully support Overdrive, Kindle and (I think) Nook. I say "I think" because I've not personally installed the Nook app, but the Play Store tells me it is compatible. The Kindle and Overdrive apps have run flawlessly.
Part IV - Advanced Chromebook Settings - Chapter 17 and 19 look solid, as best I can tell, Chapter 18 is where the end of life stuff is egregiously ignored. In fact, I have made a few changes to my Chromebook based upon Chapter 17. Very helpful.
Part V - The Part of Tens - Seems solid, but again, Chapter 21 is all about Chrome OS apps, and not at all about Google Play. Since it couldn't have been.
What I learned: (1) I had no idea < ALT > < BACKSPACE > mimics a full keyboard's delete key. Will be using that a lot, instead of shifting around and backspacing.
EditHere's list of keyboard shortcuts, essentially providing for free one of the things I liked most about this book. And for free. End Edit
(2) I had no idea what the heck that little magnifying glass key does. Have been ignoring it for months. Now I know it brings up Google Chrome search. Nifty. (3) If I knew you could pin stuff to the "shelf" I had forgotten it. Did it to all my favorites. (4) Haven't messed around with Chrome Remote Desktop... yet. Sounds promising, if I can do something like get into Scrivener (for which there is not Android or Chrome OS app) while lying in bed flipping through this book will be worth it for that alone to me. Understandably vague in the book as to how to implement, since you've got Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 plus (maybe?) Apple's OS and (maybe?) Linux support all doubtless with slightly different implementation issues. (5) Somehow I had never heard of Google Keep before. Looks promising, and I actually like the simplicity techies seem to be sticking their nose in the air over said App from the reviews I've read. (6) If I knew you could shift Apps in the App Launcher around, I'd forgotten that as well. Am moving all the junk I never use and can't delete onto a page I'll never look at.
Does pretty much what I expect light fiction to do. Entertains without being preachy, has fairly believable characters doing silly things, and has a rDoes pretty much what I expect light fiction to do. Entertains without being preachy, has fairly believable characters doing silly things, and has a reasonably happy ending. Having said that, there were plot threads left hanging, a few parts where the editing barely rose to what I'd consider a professional level and the overall tone seemed kind of, well, rushed. But on balance I got what I expected and was satisfied with it. Meaning this book ain't exactly a Scott Turow level discussion of all things Actuarial Science, either. (Which was a mild but not unexpected disappointment. Back when I worked for a soulless insurance company those people scared the shit out of me when I was in meetings where they were in attendance. Next level intelligence and autism with metaphorical lightning bolts coming out of their heads. And literal lightning bolts wouldn't have surprised me much, TBH.)
As an aside, I think I must be the one person on the planet who likes Jen Lancaster's fiction and who has also never been all that crazy about Jennifer Weiner's. I've tentatively concluded it is because Weiner gets a bit preachy at times in ways Lancaster does not. I'm doubtless the one individual who keeps the Lancaster circle from being a complete subset of the much larger Weiner circle in some Venn diagram or other. Only mentioning this because I'll doubtless get auto-spammed a bunch of Weiner books as recommendations by GR once I post this. Eh, such is life.
Reminder that in Goodreads terms 3 stars means "I liked it," and indeed I did. If half stars were an option, I'd consider adding that as well. But this really didn't ring my bell enough for a four star rating, sorry....more
Even more generic than the first volume in this series. Honestly, if Bess occurred as a character in that book at all I do not remember her. In fact,Even more generic than the first volume in this series. Honestly, if Bess occurred as a character in that book at all I do not remember her. In fact, as I recall things (view spoiler)[Maddie kept saying over and over that she had no friends, no one to talk to, and so on, before her uplift. (hide spoiler)]
Oh, and though I can't imagine you'll need it...(view spoiler)[Fat chick gets hot guy. Your HEA cup runneth over. The end. (hide spoiler)] Yeah, YUUGGGE shocker there. Still and all, what the hell do you or should you expect when you pick up a book like this? You don't go to McDonald's expecting Michelin fare, and you have every right to be pleasantly surprised when it rises to the level of, say, Friendly's. And on that level this book worked, arguably at level that is above average for this sort of thing.
Here's an amusing thought for a third volume: (view spoiler)[Some sort of "redemption narrative" for the now -- as of the end of this book -- apparently persona non grata Bryce. Hell, he wasn't portrayed as even being 100% asshole in this book, given that he helped Josh develop his list. Have him fall for a girl in a wheelchair or something equally unlikely. (hide spoiler)] I'd read the fuck out of that, personally, even though I'd be skeptical Sparling has the chops to pull it off in way that would be remotely convincing. But, eh, in teen romances how high is that bar in the first place.
Cautionary note: The Chromebook I own is actually the Chromebook Flip C100PA, but all of the information contained in here seem fully applicable, barrCautionary note: The Chromebook I own is actually the Chromebook Flip C100PA, but all of the information contained in here seem fully applicable, barring items like button locations.
A helpful and very short book, in terms of explaining how to set up your Chromebook, where to find help within the device itself, what the various shortcut keys are, etc. There's a section on setting up your device to print from it which I cannot comment on, as I've not yet done these things.
Did I say it was short? Yep, and that's the second biggest weakness. If you're in KU -- as I am -- and own a Chromebook and are not the most computer literate person -- as I do and as I sadly am -- this is a book worth checking out. If you're not in KU, if you know your way around various tech blogs, etc., is it worth the $3.99 purchase price? Eh, possibly, perhaps probably, not. You're certainly not going to find anything in here about getting documents from MS Word into Google Docs, the best apps for your Chromebook and so on.
The biggest weakness in this book is perhaps a bit unfair to point out, since it is a recent addition, one added only after this book was released. But it is a feature that is being rolled out and which makes Chromebooks like these Asus models vastly more attractive: compatibility with the Google Play Store, see here. And, yes, both my model and the Asus C200 are included in this roll out. Hopefully all of 'em will before much longer. The book does describe putting the Chromebook into Developer Mode, but the only reason most people would want to do this is to access the Play Store. (Where, FTR, most things, but not everything, alas, seem to work very well.) Without Google Play you're stuck with the Chrome Web Store, which has far fewer apps. ...more
I enjoyed this one every bit as much as its predecessor, Spoiled. Yes, it was a bit on the fluff side, yes, the characters acted a bit more like theyI enjoyed this one every bit as much as its predecessor, Spoiled. Yes, it was a bit on the fluff side, yes, the characters acted a bit more like they were 27 and not 17, but, eh, quite an entertainment for all that.
Source: Minuteman Library, read on Kindle Touch....more
More like 2.5 stars, but what the hey, I'm feeling generous. One of those books you read, you turn the pages, you're interested in finding out how thiMore like 2.5 stars, but what the hey, I'm feeling generous. One of those books you read, you turn the pages, you're interested in finding out how things turn out ... but which never really engage the reader, or at any rate this reader. I was also a bit surprised that the paper book version of this only comes in at 336 pages. It felt a LOT longer, as in it dragged.
Not awful, but probably not one I can get behind to recommend all that enthusiastically.
Source: Minuteman Library, read on Kindle Touch....more