Amuse Me, Oh Mighty Theme Parks

My friend Mark posts his thoughts about our recent trip to Universal Studios, and I think he does a very complete job reviewing our trip.

A couple of weeks ago, Ferrett also weighed in on the HP part of Islands of Adventure.

And Julia Rios talks about Disney briefly as she journeys through California.


Behind every great man going into Hogwarts, there has to be a very sweaty woman.

I agree with pretty much everything Mark and Ferrett said.

I also realized that Disney has become my theme park standard. More about me and Disney next entry.


Jim Hines Answers RHR Questions

As a companion article to yesterday’s review, here’s Jim’s answers to a few questions. *

Tamago: In what ways do the characters of Roudette and Talia compliment or echo each other, if you think they do at all?

Jim: Roudette is definitely a foil to Talia. In many ways, Roudette is who Talia could have become under different circumstances, and vice versa. Both lost their families as children. Both had to flee their homes. But Roudette was alone. To me, that’s the biggest difference between them. Talia has Beatrice, Snow, Danielle, not to mention the other characters we meet in Red Hood’s Revenge. Roudette has only her mission.

Continue reading “Jim Hines Answers RHR Questions”

Red Hood’s Revenge

It’s no secret that I’ve sung Jim C. Hines’ praises before on this site. Last year when we were lucky enough to have Jim as our author GOH at Icon, I went so far in a book group discussion to call Jim’s Goblin series an every man novel. No, I’m not going to ‘splain that (unless there’s popular demand), but it’s true. Believe the English professor, okay?

Jim took a great risk as a writer. He changed brands. About the time I learned of Jim’s existence (Fantasy Matters, 2007), Jim was done with the goblin phase of his life, and was moving into his princess series.

I’ll admit, the first book of the princess series did not excite me. It was okay, and it was limited by being a first book, which meant a great deal of time was spent in establishing the characters and the situation, and the plot seemed a bit secondary.

By the time I read the provocative reinterpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, the very grim Mermaid’s Madness, Jim had a solid grasp on where this series was going. Unlike Ariel and Flounder, Jim’s version echoes the grim undertones of Anderson. Well done. Golfer’s clap, Mr. Hines.

So, are you wondering what I thought about Red Hood’s Revenge? Wonder no longer. I’m going to post some of Jim’s answers to a few questions I had about the book next entry, but I wanted to write a review of the latest book in the princess series.

I might disagree with the critiques who think Red Hood’s Revenge is the best of the series. For sheer mood and similarity to the tone of the original, I would probably give that honor to Mermaid’s Madness.

BUT technically, Red Hood’s Revenge stretches the author, and it is arguably Jim’s best crafted book in the series so far.

Here’s a little cut to save your friend’s pages. The short version in case you’re working on a schedule: Read the book, especially if you like faerie tale and myth-based fantasy.

The longer version?

Continue reading “Red Hood’s Revenge”

Iowa Source Interview

Traffic in Tamago-land slows to near crawl as author goes on vacation, and doesn’t write anything new for about a week.

So… next up, a write-up on Jim C. Hines’ book Red Hood’s Revenge, followed shortly by an interview with the author.

After that, a report on why Universal is not Disney, but how it stacks up in general.

I leave you with my interview at the Iowa Source about Hulk Hercules, written by my fellow teacher at Kirkwood, LaDawn Edward’s.

See you tomorrow. When I’m done with all the laundry and unpacking.


The Edge of the School Year

AnimeIowa went very well. I did a presentation with Bryon on Horror Anime before 2000. Maybe the scariest thing about the presentation was how hack-y Go Nagai’s 1970s Devilman was. We also did some cultural work, hosting a Japanese shrine and tea party Friday night. The convention was great. it was a good chance to see and spend some quality time with some old friends and catch up.

I did rewrite 3 scenes and discovered they weren’t quite so bad. That’s always gratifying.

The next two days will be spent working and getting ready for our Florida trip. We’ll be taking off with a bunch of friends for Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios for a few days. I’m looking forward to the final hurrah of my summer. Next week, starting on August 10th, we’re back in the professor saddle for fall.

There will be pictures. In the other journal, I’ll be putting up pictures of me and my fellow shrine maiden from the party. I’ll share vacation photos here.


Another thing about the school year beginning is that I will be making an effort to get out and visit libraries and schools with Hulk Hercules. I’ve been holding off until I could talk to the primary audience, kids, so I’ll be arranging that. I’ll see what I can do about throwing a party at an indie book store in the area as well. There’s a store in Fairfield that has indicated some interest. That’s interesting to me. Fairfield is our local new age town. And there will be some HH:PW contests. I imagine about 12 would be right.

In the upcoming months, I plan to continue my Viable Paradise XIII profiles. I’m also going to start a new feature, in which I read a book and interview the author like a lit teacher, so we talk about symbolism, depth, characterization, stuff like that. Yes, “stuff like that” is a literary criticism term.

Good to have a chance to say hello before I’m off on another junket. Soon, Ferrett will not be the only person with a picture of a mug of butter beer.