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Phil's Rambling Rants

February 10th, 2009

February 10th, 2009
03:33 pm


Winter War
This past weekend was Winter War 36.  Winter War is a small gaming convention in Chambana which I have been attending most years since back in the late 70s when it was run by the U of I wargaming club on campus.  The U of I club folded up a long time ago, and Don and Sue McKinney have been running the convention for 20 years or so in regular private facilities.  Since the demise of the Chancellor, they've been at the Hawthorn Suites in Champaign, so this year was pretty much the usual.  There are enough events at the convention that all the function space at the hotel is totally full and there is very little space free for pick-up games and just hanging out, but there seem to be enough attendees to support the events and it works out fairly well.

the games I playedCollapse )

I recommend Winter War to anyone who's interested in playing a bunch of board games.  Just be proactive and sign up early.  Winter War also offers role-playing and miniatures events; I don't mean to disparage those in praising the board games; lots of people seem to be having a great time in those events too.

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10:39 pm


Book review: Bitten
Today's book review is Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

The cover makes this out to be part of a series -- "Women of the Otherworld" -- but it appears to be a complete novel.

This book is definitely a paranormal romance.  That is, it is a romance novel with werewolves.  I do like werewolves, and while these aren't terribly original, they're somewhat interesting and less ridiculously portrayed than some.  However, the standard romance plot, and the bizarre way the heroine behaves to drive that plot, just doesn't appeal to me.  It's the sort of a book where you recognize the heroine's Twue Wuv from the first introduction because of the intensity of the heroine's hatred.  It's hard to be in full sympathy with a heroine and viewpoint character who bears such a strong grudge against someone who was dishonest with her (in an important way) that it drives her whole character, and yet said heroine is herself dishonest with her live-in boyfriend that she's just about to marry.  The supernatural powers of the werewolves seem to be a little bit inconsistent as well, depending on the needs of the plot.

The book did manage to hold onto me hard enough that I read all of it and cared somewhat about the characters.  It would probably appeal much more to someone who actually likes romances, but I'm afraid it just wasn't the right book for me.  5 out of 10.

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