Saturday, July 02, 2011

Just Dance 2 (wii), by Ubisoft. !!!  This was an incredibly fun game.  It's like the DDR games in that the player follows a dancer on the screen, but it only uses one wiimote instead of a dance pad or multiple game controllers, so there was no special equipment.  I liked it better than other dancing games because, since it obviously focused on hand gestures/arm movements, I found it easier.  Who doesn't have more hand coordination than foot dexterity?
We used this for a program last week-- we are doing a Library Arcade-ish thing over the summer, one program a week, and something different every week.  The kids who came fell pretty well into two camps-- those who thought this was a super-fun game, and those who couldn't be persuaded to try a dancing game of any sort.  The game also has a pretty wide range of songs, both in terms of release date and song styles, so it could appeal to a wider group.

Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge, edited by Damien Broderick.  I tried this for my Nonfiction Survey (003.2), but I only got to page 95.  The science was too far above my head, or, at least, too far above what I'm capable of understanding while lying in bed after 10 pm.  Certainly an interesting book but I didn't feel I was getting enough out of it.

Mad Dogs, by Robert Muchamore.    This is the last volume I'll be ordering for a while, as I'm just about the only person reading them.  It's a shame, because there is a good deal of action, some good thinking or conversation topics, but I just can't sell them to my teens.
Something interesting: this volume and the previous one both had "Not for young readers" printed on the back in a stamp-type font.  Is this because a) the books want (the publishers want the books) to seem edgy, in a don't-let-you're-mom-know-what's-in-here! sort of way, or b) because the books do have a lot on the topics of sex and drugs, American publishing people made that an actual warning, and a requirement for printing (like how the Georgia Nicholson books had titles changed and cooled down for American audiences)?  Yes, the characters are young and they face up to drugs and sex, but the series is also pretty good about offering realistic, adult perspectives without being preachy (the kids choose not to have sex yet because doing it before they are 16 gets them kicked out of the program, for example, and they do mention STIs, etc.).

Changeless and Blameless and Heartless, by Gail Carriger.    My heart weeps that the next title won't be out til March 2012!  Authors who want to write series should pitch the idea to publishers, then write all the books and get the printing and release done within a month.  This is so frustrating.

These are really great books, but not great mysteries.  The second and fourth of the series (Changeless and Heartless) have the most mystery elements, so it was the most noticeable in these two installments; I had guess the two of the three major "twists" in Heartless well before the revelation.  This would be a major drawback, except that the books are so engaging.  The author has done a phenomenal job of creating a world that sticks to traditional lore and rules for supernaturals, but adding or reinterpreting details in a way that makes the world unique.
I cannot speak highly enough about the language.  I force you by the power of my will to read these books.

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