Time Travel Thursday: Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle

No, I didn’t come up with a new feature, this is actually for Bookmark Monday. I am posting this on a Thursday because I can bend time and make it Monday!

Okay, fine. I’m really just a procrastinator. (But also, I was kinda busy.) 😛

(Belated) Bookmark Monday!

Ever since I got into “The 39 Clues” thanks to friends at Scholastic Philippines, I’ve managed to collect a lot of game cards.

For those who don’t know about the series, it’s multi-media—you read the books, collect cards, use the cards to get clues and play online missions parallel to the story lines of the books, and there’s supposed to be a movie in the works.

Since I didn’t know what to do with my cards anymore, I’ve started to use some of them as bookmarks. They’re sturdy, they look cool, and when people see them, they become conversation starters about the series and about books in general.

Maria Marapao is from the Philippines!

Maria Marapao is from the Philippines! Job: Eskrimador, Bad Poet. LOL

I still keep the cards that come with the books in their respective in-book compartments, but I’ve already discarded the packaging for the cards that I got from separate card packs. So, I’ve re-purposed an old “Ewoks” VHS case (I have no idea where the actual tape is now. I should send out R2-D2 to find it!) and put all my cards in there.

You can register on the The 39 Clues website as a player using the serial numbers in the cards from your books. Once you do, you become a Secret Agent, and you get “sorted” into one of the 4 branches of the Cahill Family. Every player gets an Agent Name and an Agent Card with a serial number, just like the in-story Agents and characters. Here’s mine:

I'm an agent from the Ekaterina branch. Nerds for the win!

I’m an agent from the Ekaterina branch. Nerds for the win!

Naturally, I had to have Maria on my card because of the Philippines connection. I added the stamps as I went along and finished particular books set in those places, kinda like a reading passport. Although I have finished the first and second series, I haven’t had time to update my Agent card, though. 😦

If you’re an Agent too, add my card! And what do you do with your The 39 Clues cards? 🙂

“Infinity Blade: Awakening” by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Infinity Blade: Awakening
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read Date: 11 April 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Review Preview: Short and sweet!

Trained from birth in swordplay and combat, a young knight named Siris has journeyed to the Dark Citadel with a single purpose: fight through the army of Titans to face the tyrannical God King in one-on-one combat. This was his father’s sacred mission, and his father’s before him, going back countless generations in an effort to free their people from enslavement. But when Siris somehow succeeds where all those from his bloodline previously have failed, he finds himself cast into a much larger world, filled with warriors and thieves, ancient feuds and shifting alliances, Deathless immortals and would-be kings. His quest for freedom will take him on an epic journey in search of the mythical figure known as the Worker of Secrets—the one being in the world who can unravel the secrets of the Infinity Blade.

Based on the bestselling video game from ChAIR Entertainment and Epic Games, this all-new adventure from acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson digs deeper into the fantastical world of Infinity Blade, a world of mystery and intrigue where magic and technology are indistinguishable, and even life and death are not what they seem.

Like he did in Mistborn, Branderson explores the concept of deities, their (im)mortality, and their place in a society whose traditions revolve around these entities in Infinity Blade: Awakening; it’s something that he does well.

I like the little plot twists that he managed to include even if this is just a novella, and of course, I love the dry humor. I also like that there are familiar fantasy creatures (trolls, golems–probably a holdover from the game) and that they are used in an interesting way.

Siris is not as compelling a character as Brandon’s other heroes, but he makes enough of an impression to at least carry the story. Same goes for Isa and even the God King. I’m not going to complain about this too much because there was little room to explore the characters in such a short story anyway.

I’m not sure how much of the magic system in play here is Brandon’s and how much is from the Infinity Blade game, but it works. I love how the basic concepts of our modern technology were integrated with fantasy tropes to create a rather entertaining system from a reader’s point of view, but one that also feels organic to the world of the novella. Looks like someone took Niven’s Law (“Any sufficiently rigorously defined magic is indistinguishable from technology.”) to heart. 😉

He glanced at his ring; its runes weren’t glowing. It hadn’t recharged yet. His hand brushed the throne as he moved, and there was a beep from the magical mirror on the armrest.

“Ring of Transportation,” the helpful voice said, “fifteenth generation, running service pack six. Please enter the password for activation.”

“Damn you!” Siris sputtered.

“Incorrect password.”

I can imagine all of it working nicely in the context of the video game, too.

It’s a pity this is just a companion piece to the game because I really want to see more of this world.