Changes to blog, AGAIN~

Hi Reader,

I know  I’ve been a stranger. To my own blog no less. Graduate school is super busy and boo. Anyway, I am thinking of reinventing my blog somewhat in the next couple months. I plan to focus on these things:

  • Reviewing more books, particularly ARCs.
  • Possibly cutting down on Gamer-related posts, if only because I only play Pokemon, Necrodancer, and the Binding of Isaac: Rebirth anymore. There will still be gamer posts, but the title of the blog will probably change.
  • Posting more teen librarian things. I mean, that’s what I want to be, so I want to start focusing in on that a bit more.
  • Cutting down on my naughty bad no-no language. I love to curse, but I will try to hold back. A little.

I’m about to finish reading Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, so expect a post about that soonish! I want to start setting goal dates to post on this blog if only because due dates are the most motivating thing for me. For two of my classes, I have to read a lot of YA books, so expect the majority of posts from this blog to be related to YA things.

Finally, I totally want to continue my weird way of reviewing GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. I still haven’t scratched A Feast for Crows. I got as far as meeting the Sand Vipers, which was amazing, but drowning in homework makes keeping up with this epic really difficult. I’ll find a way to make it work!

Thanks for reading,

D

D has an idea! It involves Five Nights at Freddy’s. (Spoiler Alert: It might make you poop yourself)

Hey everyone,

I don’t usually do this, but I have a great idea for an IRL game based around FNAF. I’ve posted it to my tumblr, link here. I’m going to be lazy and copy paste the rules of it below:

  • This plays like Red Light/Green Light. Either have someone calling out Red Light/Green Light or maybe add a musical chair flair by playing creepy music to denote whichever light. Also you can come up with your own way to do this obviously.
  • Human players can move when the light is Red. Monsters can move when the light is Green. They can’t move when the other is allowed to move.
  • The goal for the human players can be to reach a particular ‘safe’ place or find a hidden item. Really it can be whatever would increase tension and scariness. The goal for the monster players is to kill the human players… in game! This happens when the monster players touch the human players.
  • Everyone should be dressed to be a scary monster, with masks. The human players are maskless and also wear a light colored shirt over whatever their costume is. This can be handled however, but I think this would make a lot of sense.
  • The monsters should probably have to do unique movements to balance the game. Humans should have to walk/crawl/duck/slow movements, and maybe the monsters should have to perform a specific way they touch the player.
  • Strobe lights and fog machines for added effect. Maybe an ambiance track playing to intensify bad vibes.
  • New rule, suggested by a friend: It can have some rules from the party game Golem, where the human players have to find all the pieces of a flashlight hidden around the room then BUILD it. For that, maybe the red light green light should work differently than just 5 turns. 
  • New rule, No running!

Obviously this is played in the dark… Thoughts?

D reads two Female Assassin books (Spoiler Alert: I love one and sort of hate the other)

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Nightingale Armor aka the most BAMF armor in Skyrim. Word.

Hello readers,

I’ve been taking my sweet, beautiful time getting through two particular books: “Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers and “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas. There are light spoilers ahead, but I promise I won’t reveal too much info. These are both books that have some core similarities:

  • Young, beautiful, female protagonists
  • Assassin main characters
  • Awesome supporting characters
  • Villains you love to hate
  • The presence of supernatural/magical elements
  • Ye olde world

That is about where the similarities end and the differences begin. For one, while they both have a “ye olde backdrop” type setting, Maas’ work takes place is a fictional, (low?) fantasy world. LaFever’s book is historical fiction which takes place in Brittany during the time when their independence was threatened by the French. The prose and dialogue differ extremely, as LaFever’s world is cohesive and makes sense. People speak in polite terms, even when they are making vague threats, whereas Maas’ world seems to have a hard time establishing anything outside of the central romance.

I think its a bit obvious which book I prefer by now… I really love Grave Mercy! So first, let’s talk about why Throne of Glass just didn’t do it for me.

Throne_of_Glass_UK

In summation, Throne Of Glass is like a mix of Battle Royale-ish (minus the horror/wtf stuff) with romance elements and a dash of intrigue. The main character, Celaena Sardothien, is an 18 year old accomplished assassin. When we meet her, it is actually during the end of her imprisonment in a salt mine as harsh punishment for her crimes against the crown. The world as we know it is currently under siege by King of Adarlan as he, for whatever reason, decided he hates magic and also he wants to rule everything and stomp out magic. Celaena is taken from her confinement by Prince Dorian and his friend/captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall. She is offered a chance to enter a tournament to become the King’s champion (read: dog) or return to the salt mines where she will work until she dies. Obviously, she chooses to enter the tourney and the plot ensues. Kind of.

There are about three things I have a problem with in this book. First, I think the main character does a lot of talking, but her actions don’t match her words. Second, the entirety of the book takes place in basically Celaena’s room and a couple other places in the castle. We learn almost nothing about other places, really, other than Celaena’s ‘descriptions’ of the places. Third, the romance is forced, out of place, and overall seems rushed. Also its apparently a love triangle, but one of the participants wasn’t really informed of that.

Celaena is one of those people that likes to talk about how she is a big baddie, but does nothing to show for it. We don’t even really hear of her past exploits ever. We mostly just hear, primarily from Celaena’s own mouth, that she is world famous, world class, and super amazing and bad ass. Yet, in this novel, she just lies around reading, complaining about how someone (usually a man) isn’t noticing her, and flirting with the crown prince. While she does have a couple scenes where she trains with Chaol, her other romantic interestish, these are few despite that the main plot should be about the tournament and the mysterious murders. Also the murders aren’t very mysterious, but you will understand if you decide to read this.

The world in Throne of Glass seems like it should be full of life, but we are stuck with very few characters to truly express the stated vastness of culture, color, and people that populate this universe. There is even a character, whom we see the POV of, who is basically pointless and contributes almost nothing to the plot or narrative as a whole. While Princess Nehemia is a POC, she is basically one of the only people we meet from a different culture outside of Cain, who I refuse to comment on. Still, Princess Nehemia is an amazing, awesome, and inspiring character. I rather wish this story was told from her POV instead, since she has her priorities in line… instead of worrying about if the prince thinks she’s pretty or not.

Interested to not interested in 3 seconds! A new record!

Which reminds me, the ‘romance’ in this book is comparable to a little girl lifting her Barbies together and shouting “NOW KISS!” The author somehow conveyed really weird signals and feelings that completely clashed, in my opinion, with how Celaena should have thought of the situation. First, this is the son of a king who destroyed everything you loved. Even for love at first sight, you would think an assassin understands to play a game rather than outright trust everything such a person has to say. Their flirtations are the kind you see between people who know it will never happen and come off really awkward. I feel like slapping these people and lecturing them. I feel like much of the time that could have been spent developing the world is stuck documenting the boring courtship between Celaena and Dorian.

Now here is the part where it sounds like I am going to ship against the current, but the relationship between Celaena and Chaol comes off as very natural. They don’t even ‘realize’ their feelings for one another through most of the book. Chaol eyes Celaena with distrust and it isn’t until certain moments when he realizes he at least cares for her as a human being. He has seen her at her worst and seems to genuinely want her to succeed not for any kind of personal gain, but because he understands that Celaena is not just a criminal, but a person. All of this just makes the really needless, useless, and out of left field stuff between Celaena and Dorian more unbearable.

So here is why Grave Mercy was basically the opposite of all that.

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Truth be told, I thought Grave Mercy would be the weaker of the two works. JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER. I tend to judge books by their covers, like a terrible person. Its just hard to think a cover with a wispy, beautiful girl holding a crossbow will really deliver.

But oh god, does it deliver the best pizza you ever ate.

When I really sat down and devoured this book, I realized how delicious it was.

When I really sat down and devoured this book, I realized how delicious it was.

First, let’s talk about this main character, Ismae. She is a child of death, Mortain’s daughter — literally. When she was in the womb, her mother and father(ish) tried to abort her with the help of an herb witch. It didn’t work and left a huge scar along her body.  She was sired by death, and her childhood was spent as a leper of sorts for it. People, understandably I suppose, were afraid of her including her mother’s husband. One day, he sells her off to be the bride of some brutish man, but she is rescued by the herb witch that gave her mother the abortive poison. She spends the rest of her adolescence in the convent as a sister initiate. Basically, they trained her to become an assassin doing her god’s will. This all happens in the first couple chapters… a relief for those who understand the painful, slow pace most novels seem to take. The rest of the story follows, somewhat, the story of Anne of Brittany. Reading about what happens with her is kind of a spoiler for the book but at the same time Anne of Brittany was quite awesome.

 

Anne of Brittany. Original "IT" girl.

Anne of Brittany. Original “it” girl.

The world is based on our’s. As a historical fiction, it uses its background quite nicely and it is great to see the central plot be about Anne and the game people play to try to take her duchy away from her. While the main character has some supernatural features to her, everything fits nicely into place and makes sense. For these reasons, the world is rich with history, full of life, and there is a real sense of danger as we read the story… because anyone who knows the history of Anne of Brittany already has an idea of how things will go.

The romance in this book is simply beautiful. The subtly, the pacing, the realness of it — it seriously blows my mind. Ismae does not spend all her time worrying about if he loves her, but moreso focuses on her mission for a majority of the story. Her mission is to protect the Duchess Anne and to learn more about Duval, her love interest. The best part about this book is that he is not simply her love interest. He is an independent character with motivations, a history, and we can empathize with Ismae as she slowly falls for Duval when she learns more about him.

Truly, this book has a lot more to it than what I can write here. I don’t dare say more, because it would be mostly spoilers. I think this is a book that most people would like to read, especially those itching to read about strong, female protagonists. While she does have a romance with Duval, it is not the only plot running. We worry about Anne, about Duval, we wonder about the mysterious god Mortain, and we learn more about Ismae as she becomes a strong person.

In the end, Throne of Glass is a first novel by Maas and it certainly shows. Grave Mercy is LaFever’s first YA novel, but she has many children’s titles under her belt. Throne of Glass was simply not for me, but I think people looking for pure romance with a medieval/fantasy backdrop will find what they are looking for. If you want more complex characters and narrative, however, you should definitely give Grave Mercy a try.

D

D reads “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” (Spoiler Alert: I both LOVE and HATE this book!)

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Hello readers,

A while ago, I finished reading/listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There are three stories in this single title. There is the story of Karou. There is the story of Madrigal and Akiva. Then… there’s the story of Karou and Akiva.

898I really loved the first thirdish of the book which was primarily about Karou and her life in a world filled with humans and monsters. I found all the prose to be excellent, and the dialogue to be fitting. The words read like poetry, and the reader of the book, Khristine Hvam, has one of the most beautiful and seductive sounding voices I have ever heard. It was a moment of “Yes, please read to me wonderful lady.”

The next two thirdishes of the book are mixed narratives between Karou/Akiva and Akiva/Madrigal. The Akiva and Madrigal stuff is awesome and makes me feel giddy. I really can’t say more about it without spoiling everything that makes it super cool, so I won’t spill any beans.

HOWEVER, THE KAROU/AKIVA STUFF IS LAME. BORING. Stupid. Ugh. Karou constantly talks about how beautiful Akiva is (he’s an angel and they are perfect or something) and I find it to be really meeeeh. There are a lot of other things about it I don’t like, but, again, can’t say much without spoiling it.

Honestly, its hard for me to deal with how quickly I went from “Yes, awesome, amazing, wonderful, IMAGINATION WORLD!!!” to “Ugh. Really? Wow… Not cool.” It was a roller coaster of love/hate during the last two thirds of this book. Especially because I felt so much attention was given to Akiva out of nowhere… I really enjoyed the times Karou spoke with her family the Chimeras. Brimstone is awesome and amazing and just UGH.

I gave this book a listen without even knowing the story. Had I read the summary, I probably would have never bothered since I really dislike angels in general. Even the quote at the beginning of the book was like “Oh, I really hope this isn’t literal.”

The worst part? I liked most of this book so much that despite how gross Akiva and Karou as a pairing is to me, because let’s face it: angels are super hot and beautiful and always end up with the main character, I am so invested into the overall story, history, and feel of the world Laini Taylor constructed. I won’t pick it up immediately by any means, but I will definitely work through the series as Summer sets in.

Ugh, such beautiful covers too!

Ugh, such beautiful covers too!

For now, I am listening to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and reading Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Expect to hear about them if they are super amazing… or incredibly disappointing.

D

D reads and reads and reads…

Hello readers,

I’ve been super mean and not updating this blog like I should. I keep wanting to post something, but then GRADUATE SCHOOL. Graduate school is every bit as hard as you’ve heard, but not because the material is difficult. Graduate school is hard because it takes up a lot of time. You need to read EVERYTHING, do all the homework, and then spend a ton of time working on projects or papers. Its exhausting… and I am in the first year doing it part-time.

my soul is broken

my soul is broken

For these past few weeks, I’ve been in a “SCREW IT” mode however. I decided, “You know what? I am gonna read what I wanna read. Yeah! You can’t tell me what to do!!!” So, I read a lot of graphic novels and a few YA titles. Here is my line up of favorites, my not-so-favorites, my thoughts, and other comments.

Fables Fables by Bill Willingham

Fables is an amazing series written by Bill Willingham with various attached artists. This is a story about fables, fairy tales, and other tall tales that have escaped from their world into our own. Their home world was sieged by a character called the Adversary, a mysterious figure that managed to unite goblins and other creatures in conquest.

The story starts off in Fabletown, New York, a small neighborhood community inhabited by the Fables. Bigby Wolf (aka the Big Bad Wolf) is the sheriff, and the first volume or so plays out like a detective series. I really enjoyed the noir-type aspects of this part. The series branches out beyond a fairy tale noir setting, but is still immensely enjoyable. I am currently on volume 7 of the series. Look forward to learning more about Bigby, Snow White, and the Adversary.

18052934No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

     No One Else Can Have You is Kathleen Hale’s first YA novel, and I really hope that it isn’t her last. NOECHY is about a small town with murder, secrets, and crazy people. The main character might be one of those crazy people too. Kippy Bushman, our heroine, finds herself investigating the gruesome death of her best friend Ruth Friedman. If you liked Twin Peaks this book will cause you to think back to that awesome show. While Kippy is no Dale Cooper, Ruth is eerily similar to Laura Palmer. There is also no supernatural elements to this plot, but it does involve extremely colorful townspeople that are quirky in an unsettling kind of way.                                                            I can’t really talk too much more about the book without spoiling it, but let it be known that this book gets my solid recommendation! GO READ IT, FOOLS!!!

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The Flash (The New 52) by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

So the Flash is my boyfriend’s most favoritist character in the whole, wide world. Hearing that the New 52 is supposed to be an okay starting point for new readers, I decided to learn more about the Flash in this new series, which by the way has major backing behind it in terms of awesome reviews and recommendations. Well, I, as a total noob, had no idea what was going on half of the time.

While I really liked the art and some of what is revealed about Barry Allen, who is the original Flash and stars as the Flash in this series, I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the random happenings around the Flash. Every arc would introduce villains, some of whom I had no idea who they were, and otherwise the plot felt really dissonant… I’ve only read the first two volumes, but I feel like this is probably not the best starting point for the uninitiated.

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis13112869

Not A Drop To Drink  is a moving post-apocalyptic novel about the hardships of survival. This is refreshing to me since it doesn’t involve zombies at all! (D’s Note: I love zombies, but sometimes it feels good to read a non-zombie post-apoc book!) This is Mindy McGinnis’ first YA novel, and there is a sequel to this work on the way. I really look forward to it!

This is a book that I believe should cross gender boundaries. While the main character is a teenage girl, this is a hard and gritty novel. The author clearly did her research as some of the survival tips in this novel echoed that of what I heard in school about desert survival. Those that liked Z for Zachariah will enjoy this title, but I would advise those that like this genre to give this novel a try.

 

Blood Lad by Yuuki KodamaKodama_BLoodLad_V1_TP

Meet Staz, he is a vampire gang leader in the demon world. He’s kind of odd though, since he is a total nerd and otaku. Despite that, he is a fierce fighter and has protected his turf well so far. Meet Fuyumi, a human girl that somehow ended up in the demon world and ended up getting eaten up by a monstrous plant before Staz got a chance to drink her blood. Staz, along with Fuyumi’s ghost, searches for a way to revive this dead girl. He seems to have conflicting reasons for wanting to revive her, but his journey ends up unraveling various mysteries and secret plots in the demon world.

This is seriously a fun manga and I actually enjoy it a lot. When I heard this was about a vampire, I scoffed at first. When I ordered this for my library since it seemed pretty popular, it managed to wow me! Definitely worth checking out.

The Croak series by Gina Damico rogue

CroakScorch, and Rogue are the members of the Croak series in that order. These follow the tale of Lex, a grim reaper with a mysterious power. In the first novel, Croak,  it turns out a grim may be murdering innocent people — a big no-no in the grimsphere. In Scorch, we … well, its hard to say without spoiling it. Same goes for Rogue. The first novel is somewhat like a paranormal detective genre, but that changes immediately in the following two novels.

Scorch is somewhat disappointing as a follow-up, as it feels like a lot of running around for few reasons. One character even does a face-heel turn out of literally nowhere… suddenly they act really mean, then are just a bad guy. Meh. Rogue is a step-up from Scorch, but is still not quite as good as Croak. This is still worth giving a read, though your mileage may vary.

Batman (The New 52) by Scott Snyderdownload

This is about Batman, finally a character I already know about albeit from the animated series. In this comic, Batman learns that there may be a secret society that quietly rules Gotham from behind the scenes. They are known as the Court of Owls, and they might be planning something nefarious as our caped crusader begins to unravel their past.

I’ve only read the first volume, but I am completely hooked. The story flowed well, and the art was amazing. There is even an amazing way the art works in a certain part of the novel that is pretty jarring. I simply have to get my hands on the rest in this series, and I will most definitely be ordering this for my library. Its simply too good to pass up!

Of the things I read, these are the titles that stick out the most in my mind. The Flash is one that I hope gets better as I will continue to borrow my boyfriend’s copies. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying it much either, but I think he is holding out hope that the story becomes less… all over the place? The Flash television series should be starting up this year, so that might be my ticket to better understanding the Flash. I have had some experience with him, the Wally West version, in a Justice League cartoon. Otherwise, I am totally out of the loop on this hero. If anyone has recommendations for a better starting point, please let me know!

D

D Nuzlockes Pokemon Y – Part 1

Hello readers,

I’ve done it. I’ve bought Pokemon Y. After about 800 hours of Pokemon X, getting Shiny Charm, and having a lot of competitively finished Pokemon, you may wonder, “Why the heck did you buy Pokemon Y???” The truth is, I’ve been watching random Nuzlockes on Youtube… and I keep saying, “I could do better than this guy!!” The matter of the fact is ANYONE can talk big… its another thing to DO big. Or something. “What’s a Nuzlocke?” you ask from under a rock. Well, a Nuzlocke is when you play a fresh  game of Pokemon, any generation of the main titles, and you follow specific rules that make it harder to beat. To quote Bulbapedia:

  • Any Pokémon that faints is considered dead, and must be released.
  • The player may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area, and none else. If the first Pokémon encountered faints or flees, there are no second chances. If the first encounter in the area is a Double Battle in dark grass, the player may choose which of the two Pokémon they would like to catch.
  • While not exactly a definite rule, the general consensus is that players must also nickname all of their Pokémon, for the sake of forming stronger emotional bonds.
  • Also not a definite rule, but the general consensus is that a black out/white out is considered to be “game over”, even if there are Pokémon left in the PC.
  • Strongly implied, though not explicitly mentioned in the comic, is the stipulation that the player can use only Pokémon they have captured themselves, meaning traded Pokémon, mystery gifts, etc., are prohibited. Trading and retrading the same Pokémon (for the purpose of evolving a Graveler, for example) is something of a gray area, and may fall under optional rules. As of White: Hard-Mode Episode 3, it is implied that the player can accept Pokémon that are received freely from NPCs.
  • Also strongly implied is a prohibition against voluntarily resetting and reloading the game when things go wrong. Being able to do so would render all of the other rules pointless.

So how am I going to do this Nuzlocke? I am going to modify them a little bit, to make it harder on myself, but keep some Pokemon for my collection… Here are the rules I will be following:

  1. Any Pokemon that faints is considered dead, and I will place those Pokemon in a PC box labeled dead.
  2. The first Pokemon I encounter in a new area is the one I will catch. I will include Gift Pokemon as being a Pokemon I can catch in that area. I won’t be trading any Pokemon though, since that’s a trade and not a gift. If the first Pokemon is one I already have in the Pokedex, then I am entitled to catch something else if I want. If I get into a Horde encounter as my first battle, and its a mixed Horde, I will take whatever was left in the battle. I will also not be breeding.
  3. I will nickname every Pokemon I obtain.
  4. White out/Black out means I lost the entire Nuzlocke. If this happens, I might restart and do a Wonderlocke or Egglocke instead for funsies.
  5. I won’t reload the game EVER. So I can’t undo a death, a game over, or try to get a better Pokemon first in an area.

In terms of how I will present this Nuzlocke… well, I don’t have a capture card. Those are stupidly expensive! Like… extremely expensive. To me anyway. I will be using my sad phone quality to take pictures… Miiverse doesn’t allow you to post screenshots from Pokemon X/Y for whatever reason. 😦  Now… onto the Nuzlocke!

Part 1 – The Road to Santalune City

Our adventure begins with Professor Sycamore giving us the usual Pokemon intro. He’s much different than the previous professors in that he is clearly suave, and if you read into the game… he is probably trying to get you to leave your house to spend quality time with your mom. For our first steps, I have indicated that I am, in fact, a female with a beautiful tan. They don’t really have a mocha in between, which is more like me, but I can’t complain about X/Y’s increased customization. I can only hope Gen 7 has even more options. I have dubbed this character “D The Gamer”!

Vaniville Town

SAMSUNGAfter my weird dream where a professor tells me about how I should leave my house, my mother’s Fletchling rudely awakens me. Seriously! I’m pretty sure my torso is covered in puncture wounds. I get up and get dressed, ready to deal with life. Downstairs, my mother is hurrying me out the door… Outside, in Vaniville Town, I am welcomed by my new friends Calem and Shauna. They tell me to come meet them in  Aquacorde Town. I decided to hang out on my mom’s Rhyhorn for a little while. SAMSUNGI hope I can catch one of these in the future! I think Rhyhorn is a pretty cool Pokemon. I run out and commence the meeting with our newfound best friends.

Aquacorde Town 

After our introductions, these scrubs are trying to give me a nickname! For one, I hardly know any of you guys. For another, D is clearly my nickname. Being the mature adult that I am, I told them what they could call me.

Nothing can go wrong.

Now its time to pick our starter!! Now, most people will randomize their starter, but I am going to be different. I’ve already played through X twice, once with Froakie and again with Fennekin. So, yeah, I’m going to go ahead and choose Chespin. I didn’t like Chespin at ALL the first time I saw  him. He seemed like… a complete weirdo. I also didn’t like Oshawott, so I might just not like bipedal cute monsters… maybe? Either way, I choose Chespin! This Chespin turned out to be female. I’m going to name it Mercides… after my World of Warcraft Paladin… don’t judge me.

Oh boy! I hope I don't die first!

Oh boy! I hope I don’t die first!

I receive the Pokedex from our buddy Trevor, whom I still believe to actually be a little girl cross-dressing. You don’t need to worry, I won’t tell anyone. Anyway, Trevor tells us the Pokedex will help us understand Pokemon on a deeper level. Kid is a total nerd. Tierno gives us a letter from Sycamore to our mom, which I hope isn’t a love letter. After our late lunch, Shauna decides to challenge me to battle. Look, Shauna, you have a type disadvantage and, unlike previous generations, our starters have a move of their type! Shauna’s Froakie turns out to be female as well. Is this a thing?

The face of a killer.

Needless to say, I one shot this thing. My Chespin might not be too bad actually despite being of a Rash nature (ugh + special atk – special def). I run back to my mom’s house, and give her the letter. She doesn’t really tell me what is going on, but she is suddenly giving me all my clothes in a bag and is telling me to get lost. Wow, that’s extremely rude mom! I’m what… 10? 18? Actually, its pretty hard to tell with these sprites. I guess it is time to get away from your murderous Fletchling anyway.

On our way out the door, Rhyhorn bids us farewell. I am sure he wishes he could come with us since our mom apparently never races Rhyhorn ever again. Seriously, she is a Rhyhorn racer! I was hoping I could grow up to race Rhyhorn too! Oh well, I go back into Aquacorde Town and talk to everyone. In this town, someone mentions that you can pet your Pokemon.

Ah, Pokemon-amie. I think I might use Pokemon-Amie if only to add some drama to this Nuzlocke, because playing Pokemon-Amie is boring and sucks. The best part is petting  your Pokemon, but I don’t want to sit here petting someone for 20 minutes. I will grind that later, if I still have my Chespin. I suppose this is the rule I will add:

  6. I may use Pokemon-Amie to max out affection once per badge. So, when I get the first badge, I will be allowed to use Pokemon-Amie once.

That will surely cause me tears and regret. Delicious! I’m also purchasing potions in this town… so here is another rule:

7. I am allowed to use 1 HP restoring item per battle. Unlimited uses outside of battle.

Yay! Extra despair and hopelessness. Well, I am sure it will all work out for the best. I decide against buying Pokeballs, since we are about to get a lot anyway. Onward to route 2!

Route 2

On route 2, I first encountered a Pidgey. Lucky me, I don’t have Pokeballs, so I don’t have to count this as the only Pokemon I can catch. A few steps ahead, and we get into our little Pokemon Capture tutorial. Apparently Calem and Shauna have no idea that I am basically a 6-time world champion. Er, you know, because I’ve already beat this generation. Calem shows us his extreme, leet catching skills as he throws a Pokeball at Bunnelby. I really hope the first Pokemon I run into isn’t a Bunnelby…

I caught a Fletchling as my Route 2 Pokemon! Yes! I really love Fletchling for many reasons. Interestingly enough, this one has a Hasty nature, which is pretty decent. I accidentally hit “No” on nicknaming this Fletchling. Yikes! I will definitely nickname him once we reach the Name Rater. I will tentatively call him “Bob”. Why? Its an easy go to name for me. After grinding a bit to get “Bob” to level 5, I enter Santalune Forest…

Santalune Forest

You know what that means. I get to catch another Pokemon! Before I even step foot into the new area, Youngster Austin challenges me to a battle! Geez, its a good thing I grinded a bit. I dispatch his level 5 Zigzagoon with no causalities. Phew! Inside Santalune Forest, I first encounter a Fletchling… Since I already have one, I am going to let this one go. My second encounter is a female Pikachu! Wow!

Doesn't it figure this picture turns out a lot better than my other ones?

Doesn’t it figure this picture turns out a lot better than my other ones?

I have named her Claudia, and she is a Mild mannered Pikachu. My friends all know I dislike Pikachu, but the truth is I love Raichu. Of course, I am not sure how long it will take before I can evolve her into one. Still, its nice to have an Electric-type this early in the game. Pikachu/Raichu have some pretty good early game stats for doing the Pokemon main game. Hopefully it will last me until I get a ‘better’ Electric-type! One letdown of X/Y is that there aren’t really that many new Pokemon. I hope in this Nuzlocke I can catch a lot more X/Y specific Pokemon than old gen ones. I am so happy, though, that none of the elemental monkeys showed up. I HATE the Pan* monkeys. They are probably the laziest Pokemon designs ever. I also don’t really like monkeys…

I hate their faces... Especially Panpour.

I hate their faces… Especially Panpour.

I’m pretty lucky Shauna is kind enough to follow me through Santalune Forest, as speaking with her heals up our Pokemon. It allows me to grind my Pokemon enough to feel good about my chances with these trainers. One of the coolest things about Santalune Forest is how nostalgic it feels. I don’t have a direct way to compare it, but the layout reminds me so much of Viridian Forest. Its fun how the friends in X/Y run around the forest alongside you, getting into battles and whatnot. One of my biggest peeves with this  game is how the Super Friends weren’t always visible doing their own things. After the battles with youngsters and lasses, I make it out of Santalune Forest with all my Pokemon in tact.

Route 3

The gang decide to split up, as everyone has different goals. Calem is our only true rival out of this bunch. A lot of people felt a lot of sympathy for Serena, but I personally think Calem is trying way too hard to be cool.

On this route, we have a couple of children that I am going to take lunch money from. This is something that has always been super weird about Pokemon… winning prize money from 5 year olds. Its not even remotely fair, but I guess these kids DID challenge me to a battle… and I guess this is like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where if you don’t follow some archaic Pokemon rules someone shows up and takes you to jail. So, okay small children, bring it!

Yes... Yes, you did.

Yes… Yes, you did.

We are on a new route, which means new Pokemon! PLEASE NOT BIDOOF. I beg of you, Helix Fossil. Don’t give me Bidoof.

I am not even going to bother taking a nice picture of YOU.

I am not even going to bother taking a nice picture of YOU.

Yes. I found Bidoof. I hate this Pokemon. Ughhh, so I accidentally murdered it because I lost all ability to pay attention to this one fight. Yup, no Route 3 Pokemon for me. I don’t even care!! I know it could have been an HM slave, but I dislike Bidoof so much. Anyway, I have more children to take money from!

Of course, the next trainer I fight has a Bidoof. Its like this game wants to remind me that I missed my chance to get a cute Azurill. This route is full of children. Sorry, but I need your Pokedollars more than you do, kids!

Santalune City

It is kind of hard to call this place a city, but I’ll bite. I try to go to the Pokemon Center to heal my Pokemon, but Tierno interrupts me as soon as I walk in. He explains how to use this combo Pokemon Center & Mart to me. Tierno is actually a funny character, and I wish we had gotten to actually see his Pokemon Dance Team. Kind of odd his Corphish is a part of that team though.

I check every nook and cranny I can remember having an item, plus I pick-up the roller skates from the girl guarding the doors to the gym. I could attempt the gym challenge now, but all my Pokemon are roughly level 10. Since I can’t head to Route 4 before beating the Santalune City Gym, I decide to head over to Route 22.

Route 22

I am having a dilemma as I enter this route. Do I want to catch a Pokemon here? Later in the game, this area has higher level Pokemon I could capture via flowers or fishing. Before I make a final decision,  I might as well clear out all the trainers in this part of Route 22.

A Rising Star’s Litleo nearly took out my 3 Pokemon. I have this problem where I… sometimes… don’t pay 100% attention. I have no idea why, but Claudia the Pikachu AND “Bob” the Fletchling almost ended up dead! I was forced to switch in Mercides, my Chespin. The Litleo must have embered, because the next thing I know its in the red too from a Super Effective hit. Um… my bad. I did end up using a potion to save Mercides the Chespin, just because I felt Roll Out would take care of Litleo. I did beat the trainer without anyone fainting, but this was pretty close! Claudia got a nice work out with the Lass on this route. The Lass had all Water-types, which is totally okay with me.

Decided I wouldn’t try to catch a Pokemon on this route after all. There is something hiding behind a HM CUT-able bush, but I don’t have that HM yet anyway. Consider Route 22 still open for business later in this Nuzlocke. I’ll instead spend my time grinding on Route 3, where that dumb Bidoof still lives. I’ll end this part of my Nuzlocke here. Next time, I’ll be done grinding and take on the Santalune City Gym. This is a Bug-type gym, and “Bob” the Fletchling will probably be the MVP here.

Feel free to comment about Nuzlockes you’ve enjoyed, possible rule changes or additions I will have to make in the future, or even leave a comment on the Pokemon you think may be the first to die… Hopefully in the future I will have a better way to take pictures of this Nuzlocke. I’m incredibly disappointed that Miiverse only seems to exclude Pokemon X & Y screenshots.