"Currently..." updates will be every 2 weeks or so, since I cannot stick to the Tuesday schedule.

I found the Currently post at Kate Hart's blog, who got the idea from Amy Lukavics, who found it here. Please join in and link me in the comments if you do!


I hadn't been since I was very, very young, and this was the Sister's first time. We went with our parents as a mini-family vacation, and it was lovely. We roadtripped to Williams, Arizona, and made a brief stop at Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge. It is literally a bridge that stood in London that the city bought and had shipped over and rebuilt in Arizona.

From Williams, we took the Grand Canyon Railway into the park and stayed there for a night. It was a great time. The train ride was fun because it was a scenic trip with on-board entertainment (musicians) and free food.
The Grand Canyon itself was, well, grand. It's so incredible to see that your eyes kind of don't know how to process it. It almost looks fake, and if you look at some of my pics, it looks like I'm standing in front of a back-drop.
Because of the one-night stay in the park, we got to see sunset AND sunrise at the canyon, which is pretty special. It was, however, rainy so it kind of messed up our plans for both of these things. Did you know they have "monsoon season" at the Grand Canyon? But I'm grateful for the unpredictable weather in that I got to see the canyon in vastly different climates - super sunny and clear, very cloudy with lightning and thunder, pouring rain and fog, and after-rain sunset and sunrise.

During our sunset tour, we saw bolts of lightning darting down from the sky while we perched on a cliff edge, and then we got caught in a downpour at the Desert View watchtower. Later, drenched and freezing from the fierce wind at Yaki Point, the rain cleared up enough to give us a peek of sunset colors - but I loved it! And at night, it was clear enough that the Sister and I did a little stargazing in the dark parking lot near our room.

Sunrise the next day was also a little cloud obscured but still gorgeous. The early wake-up let us glimpse some mule deer grazing near our lodge and gave us cooler weather to do a tiny bit of hiking down Bright Angel trail. On our way back up, we passed the famous mule trains going down. That's something for my next trip to the canyon!

The train ride back to Williams was nice, but the coolest part was they staged an old fashioned Wild West Train robbery to happen when we were close to arriving. This included bandits chasing down the train by the railside before they boarded and included us in a "hypothetical robbery." So glad I decided to take video of this.
A video posted by alice (@akangaru) on

Force Friday - this was basically a big marketing-release event for all the new Star Wars toys and merch. The Sister was excited about it since Comic Con (at least), and so she was in line for the midnight release of the new Force Awakens merch at Target on September 3rd-4th. Her haul that night actually wasn't that great, but she made a killing the next day at early morning stops at the mall.

Most importantly, we got the Sphero BB-8! HE IS SO CUTE and VERY COOL. Sphero is the company that made the actual BB-8 droid used in the new movie, so it's pretty great that you can BUY ONE FROM THEM - albeit a tinier, simpler version. STILL COOL THOUGH. Which leads me to...

End of Summer BBQ - my friends had been planning an end of summer BBQ for a while that would also celebrate September birthdays (friend and the Sister), but it also kind of turned into a BB-8 party because 2 of our friends had bought droids too. So we had 3 droids rolling around at the BBQ. It was pretty great.

There was also a giant, inflatable soccer ball involved. Tons of fun, seriously.

Mostly catch-up shows: Halt & Catch Fire, Mr. Robot, iZombie, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Also currently watching: Catfish, We Bare Bears (the cutest 15 min Cartoon Network show ever), Fear the Walking Dead.

On the movie front, I finally saw INSURGENT, and it was...different. On the other hand, it's been so long since I read the book that I don't quite remember what was the same and what was different.

The last time, I mentioned I'd gotten sucked into Loki's new solo-run comic. Since I'm waiting for the 3rd volume in October, I picked up the sort-of prequel to this run of The Young Avengers and blasted through those. Fun read!

I finished both VENGEANCE ROAD and UNGODLY. VR I finished up in time for my trip to the Grand Canyon. Kate's adventure doesn't take her to the Canyon, but she does spend a lot of time in the beautiful (but harsh) Arizona desert. I thought it'd be nice to have her story and the descriptions of her world in mind while I passed through similar habitats on my Labor Day Vacation.

UNGODLY I literally finished last week in 2 days. As with the other books in the trilogy, once I started, I found I couldn't stop. Kendare Blake's plot is fast, sure, but I love these incarnations of some of my favorite mythical characters so much that I just had to know how their story ended. Satisfying all around.

Reviews for VR to come, but here's my UNGODLY review!

I'm also catching up on the weird-wonderful ODY-C comic book series, which (to remind you) is a genderbent sci-fi retelling of the Odyssey. I still love it, and every issue, I am blown away by Christian Ward's gorgeous, color-saturated art.

I'm digging the Halsey album Badlands, and I'm also really into the new One Direction single, Drag Me Down.

However, since Monday, I have been obsessed with the HAMILTON Cast Recording because they put it up for streaming on NPR. AND THE SONGS ARE BETTER THAN I REMEMBER. I LOVE IT.

HAMILTON Cast album!! September 25! And then it will be playing on loop until my ears are bleeding the lyrics. ACTUALLY, YOU CAN STREAM IT ON NPR RIGHT NOW.


Actually, caveat, if you're going to see the actual musical any time soon, I would hold off on listening to the music. Because if you see the musical first, it'll be SUCH a wonderful surprise, and it'll make you love the music even more. BUT if you won't be seeing the musical for the long foreseeable future, then by all means LISTEN AWAY.

Always wishing for longer weekends and more time in the day.


  • Star Wars merch and frenzy being everywhere! It reminds me of high school when my friends and I were new to the fandom and obsessed with it. There's something so fun and magical about the whole Star Wars thing. I love it, and I am so, so excited for the new movie(s)!
  • Seeing the street art around downtown LA and putting together casual cosplay to match it.
  • Birthday Celebrations (Cat's birthday) - we did a couple things to celebrate her big 25! We went to a rooftop screening of The Ghostbusters, and we had family dinner at BESTIA (which was so. freaking. good) later in the week. This was topped off by the giant soccer ball/ summer BBQ/ BB-8 party on the weekend! FUN TIMES.
  • Geek Girl Brunches - this was only my 2nd one, but when the hostesses announced this month's was going to be Harry Potter themed, I had to go. Since this was only our second time going and we were late last time, it was nice to talk to new people. I did, however, have the most disappointing French toast ever. Lesson to self, don't order anything "French" from an English restaurant.

  • The HAMILTON CAST RECORDING because ever since I saw it in February, I've been longing to hear these songs again! *LOVE*
  • Poetry - I wrote 2 poems in this summer: 1 long, 1 very short. I received a very kind and personalized rejection on the short one, which was actually incredibly encouraging. Oh and since I've received the check for it, I might as well mention, I SOLD a poem this summer too! More on that in the future. ;)


Book Review: Ungodly (The Goddess Wars #3)

Today, Kendare Blake's modern re-imagining of the twilight of the Greek gods ends with the release of Book 3 in the Goddess Wars trilogy, UNGODLY.

With the CLIFFHANGER that Book 2 (MORTAL GODS) ended on last year, I have been itching to get my hands on this book for what feels like an eternity. So you can imagine my UTTER DELIGHT when my book fairy, @celeste_pewter, managed to snag me an ARC at ALA this year. I didn't even think there would be ARCS!

Anyway, since the book is out now, I thought review for it - something I apparently haven't done in over a year (books reviews, that is). But I really do think this is such a fun (if also feelings-destroying) series and one of the more interesting takes at the whole Greek Mythology thing, and I'd love to have more people to talk to about it!

That said, since it is the last book in a series, there will probably be minor spoilers.

Disclaimer: Gifted an ARC from a book blogger, who got it at a convention in exchange for an honest review. I'm also Twitter acquaintances with the author.

PROS: Quick to read, fast plot, clever use of mythology, interesting characters

CONS: some characters a little underdeveloped; climax felt a bit rushed

Intellectual Rating: 7 out of 10
Emotional Grade: B

Goodreads blurb: As ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in the final Goddess War novel by the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn't mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.


Overall: I have been waiting for this conclusion for so long because last year's Mortal Gods ended on a brutal cliffhanger and I needed to know how it ended. I'm glad to report that I was satisfied with how the series ended, and I was moreover surprised by how relatively not devastating it was - especially considering how much Blake broke my heart with the endings of the first 2 books!


I love the way Blake has written her dying gods in this series, keeping their capriciousness and ancient-timey savagery but also adapting them to the modern day. Athena and Hermes continue to be complex with both of them facing fundamental character challenges (e.g. Athena having to confront her feelings; Hermes having to become a leader, to hold his ground and fight) along with their increasing mortality. I also loved the unexpected exploration and rounding out of our antagonistic characters, Ares and Aphrodite.

Unfortunately, and I wish this wasn't so, I found the mortal characters in this series less compelling - save for Cassandra (who gets the most page-time given she and Athena are the main protagonists). I don't think I ever really warmed to her, but I appreciated that she was not nice and behaved very much in the way someone grieving and raging and under enormous pressure would behave. As for the other characters, I was glad to see more time with Andie and Henry because I've always felt they were the blandest of the mortals. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but I kept waiting for something more from either of them.

Well, and I love Odysseus in pretty much any form. So I can't really comment upon his character because I am hopelessly biased. He is my forever favorite, and I do enjoy the way Blake writes him.

A few new characters were introduced in this final book, most of them in small roles. One of the more permanent characters was intriguing, but I did think his late-ish introduction to the series left him less developed than I would have liked. I get it's probably some kind of metaphor for Cassandra's journey, but yeah, very cool character/concept but not quite enough page-time, I think, to develop him or the nature of his and Cassandra's relationship.


Like I said, I was satisfied with how this last book ended. Despite the corners Blake pushed her characters into and the apparent inevitability of certain events, Blake managed to pull some clever plot twists (as usual) that didn't feel like a cheat. I particularly liked how the Achilles thing resolved itself.

That said, I did feel like the pacing was slightly off this book. Particularly, the climax felt rushed to me, and I remember thinking as I read that I couldn't believe the final battle hadn't happened yet given the amount of pages I had left. I suppose with the epicness of the battles that took place in the other books, I was expecting something more like that? I'm not saying I need a flashy fight, but I did think Oh, was that it / that was quick when certain things resolved. And I think given all the build-up, it seemed like the solution was relatively simple?

I might have also felt this way because for at least the first half of the book, the characters are in very different places. They're all running separate stories meant to converge later, and while these separate stories do prepare the characters for their final challenge, I think maybe all of that flash and action and time spent on them made the end seem kind of subdued in comparison.


While there are definitely some loose ends (some I wish were a little neater), I liked how the story ended. I wish there was maybe a tiny bit more falling action/ resolution, but I think that's mostly because I wanted to see the gang all together one last time. I'll miss these gods and mortals, and if they should ever return for another adventure, I'll be at the roadside asking to hitch a ride.

Blake is great at writing dark stories that are nonetheless fun, and I always enjoy her snarky, prickly, contrary, and wily characters. With this series, I especially loved how she played with Greek Mythology and her concept of how gods would die. (Spoiler: it's not quietly.)

Pick this series up if you like things that play with the tropes of Greek Myth and their characters, no-nonsense girls, and kinda dark/creepy descriptions (it's the horror writer in Blake rearing its terrifying head), Or you know, if you liked Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood, you'll probably like this too. (There's only slightly less blood.)

Have you read any of these books? If so, do let me know what you thought in the comments!


5 Fandom Friday (22)

(New Graphic by Darling Stewie)

5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this post to be updated monthly. You can read up on the background in this original post. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Also, tag tweets to your post with @superspacechick or @thenerdygirlie on Friday (and they'll RT) and use the #Fandom5 hashtag so we can all connect!

This week's theme: 5 Favorite Things About Autumn {first day of Autumn is 9/23}

1) Crisp mornings - while this does make getting up in the morning harder, once I'm outside, the slight chill in the air helps to wake me up, and it's just so refreshing!

2) Leggings weather - as much as I love the summer and wearing dresses and shorts, I also love the option of not wearing real pants. Besides, there are so many cool-looking leggings out there these days, especially for the geek chic, it kind of bums me out when it's too hot to wear them! Mecha legs, Hamlet legs, I've missed you!

3) Chai lattes - let's be real, I drink these all the time, but they seem especially wonderful during the fall. It must be the cinnamon. (Also, I'm just excited to be drinking more hot drinks - hot cider, hot chocolate, hot coffee, horchata.)

4) Scarves - I love scarves as an accessory, and I've been wanting to up my scarf game this season. It'll be a while before it's cool enough to wear some of my heavier ones, but I have acquired a few lighter scarves that I can't wait to wear out!

5) Plaid/ chambray shirts - I just love plaid and chambray shirts, and it will finally be just cool enough to wear them. Plus, there's something so fall to me about these fabrics/patterns/textures. Maybe it's the neutral-ish palette and the layering capabilities...

Bonus - I would say the leaves changing colors, but that's not really a thing in Southern California, haha.

What are your 5 favorite things about autumn?