“The 39 Clues: Unstoppable” promo at National Book Store

Attention, all Pinoy Cahills! Enjoy the unstoppable heat of the summer season and collect limited edition The 39 Clues Branch Crest Leather Bookmarks only at National Book Store and Powerbooks! Every single purchase of 2 books of The 39 Clues series entitles you to 1 free bookmark! Promo runs from April 29, 2014 to May 30, 2014. Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 3292 Series of 2014. Click on the poster below for more details.

FINAL - 39 Clues Poster_Unstoppable Promo1 b

For those who are following the series, which branch are you part of? I’m an Ekaterina. 🙂

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? 🙂

Meeting Peter Lerangis (with bonus panda bears)

…also sub-titled “In Which I Squee Deep Inside Because I Did Not Freeze Like A Starstruck Fangirl”.

Authors are my rock stars.

Or maybe I’m only saying that because I’ve never met a real rock star or haven’t really fangirled over one. We’ll see. But right now, that is my truth: Authors are my rock stars.

And so whenever I meet one, even those who I’ve already conversed with a lot online (Mina V. Esguerra, Kate Evangelista), I get starstruck. I get nervous before the interview and always forget to ask or say something even when I’ve written all my questions and comments down.

My worst starstruck experience remains to be meeting Neil Gaiman, during which I was shaking the whole time as he signed my book, I shook his hand, and we posed for a photo. It’s a good thing I already wrote my name down on a Post-It and did not have to spell it out for him because I’m pretty sure I would’ve misspelled my own name. And I have no memory of what I said to him or what he said to me. I might have said something weird and unintelligible, so maybe not remembering is a good thing.

I got to interview Peter Lerangis last May 4th. He’s one of my favorite authors in “The 39 Clues” series, and I have a lot of feels for his particular installment, “The Sword Thief”, so I dreaded having another starstruck episode.

I got to the venue later than I should have because of the traffic due to a random rain shower (it happens; it’s more fun in the Philippines!), so my interview was moved to after the signing event. I was a bit panicky throughout the entire program because many of the questions on my list were already asked by either the fans or Ms. Xandra of National Book Store. In the end, I was left with about 4 or 5 questions, which should have added to my starstruck anxiety.

Peter Lerangis with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store

Peter Lerangis with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store

When I finally met him, though, I responded very well to his friendly and welcoming demeanor, and he immediately put me at ease. And I think I lost most of my nervousness during the program because he’s just so jolly and witty and hilarious.

Our short chat went well. We got to talk a little more about “Seven Wonders” and ghostwriting. I got my books signed–all 3.25 of his “The 39 Clues”, and “Seven Wonders”. I think my panda sticky tabs (you can see their ears peeking out the side of the book) amused him because he actually wrote a message for them. 😛 I had to reassure him that the reason there were only a couple of pandas in the latter half of the book is because I got caught up in the action, and not because I fell asleep and found it too boring to merit some more pandas.

signed 7 wonders

My copies of The 39 Clues, signed by Peter Lerangis

My copies of The 39 Clues, signed by Peter Lerangis

Because he’s such a chocoholic (like me!), I gave him one of my favorite chocolate bars: Alfie’s Bacon Bar. He was so surprised, and I could only smile because that was my exact same reaction when my friend Leia told me that such a thing exists.

About those pandas…

Continue reading

So many memes, so little time

Because I wasn’t able to blog since Friday, I’m going to catch up with some memes today!
 
 
 

 What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?  (Hosted by Should Be Reading)

 
 
I’m currently reading:
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I’m almost 200 pages into the book, and I’m comfortable with GRRM’s writing style so far.  However, I can’t be sure if this is because I recognize most of the scenes and the dialogue from the HBO series.  I remember that this helped a lot when I read J.R.R. Tolkien after seeing the movies. (What’s with the double Rs?  Hrmmm.  Note to self: Think of a pseudonym with double Rs when you publish a story someday. :P)  I think the true test of my capability to read GRRM will come when I read A Clash of Kings before Season 2 comes out.  If I find the text readable even when I’m faced with unfamiliar situations and characters, then that means GRRM (or at least A Song of Ice and Fire) is for me.  I’m still trying to decide, though, if I’m going to do that or if I’m going to hold out until Season 2 is out.  I was able to hold out on the Sookie Stackhouse books for 3 seasons of True Blood, so…

What I like about reading A Game of Thrones right now is the invaluable insight into the characters’ emotions and motivations.  While the showrunners did exceptional work in adapting the book and capturing some of those inner character moments, there is still so much that someone like me who is new to the series can take from the book.  I like the Daenerys and Jon POVs, which comes as no surprise considering I liked them on the show.  It’s a bit unsettling trying to reconcile the ages of the book characters with the actors, but they fit the personalities of the characters well enough that it’s easy to forget about age.
 
 

The Hero of AgesI just finished reading:
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Oh man, I can’t remember crying so much over a fantasy book!

It took a while to finish this as it was DENSE (700+ pages).  Dense but not too dragging, although Sanderson tends to ramble.  However, that’s expected of a Sanderson novel, and I’ve gotten used to it.  His ramblings, while sometimes long and unnecessary for character development or plot, tend to be mentally stimulating, so I find myself actually reading them and paying attention to them rather than skimming over the pages until the next plot-related action comes along.  The monologues do enrich the mythology and philosophy of the book, and I find it easier to find logic in what’s happening in the story after reading them.

This book took an emotional toll on me because of the focus on the war against Ruin and the life-changing journeys that the characters had to go through to survive it.  So much has changed since Mistborn: The Final Empire, and Sanderson did an amazing job making the evolution of the characters and the world very believable.  And because even the mythology evolved, the series has become not just a plain epic fantasy story, but Sanderson’s personal commentary on the genre.  Sanderson is not as easy to read compared to other fantasy giants out there like, say, Margaret Weis, but there are a lot of rewards for those who will persevere.  He understands fantasy very well and I believe this is what Robert Jordan’s wife saw in him and why she selected him to finish The Wheel of Time.

I found myself re-reading Book 1 (The Final Empire) several minutes after I got a hold on my emotions after finishing this book.  Life was as simple as it could be back then for the characters, and I wanted to relive those days and to try to look for any clues that Sanderson might have left then about the conclusion of the series.  I loved the scenes where Vin pretended she was Lady Valette and had to attend all those society balls and events.  She was terrified, and yet she loved the gorgeous dresses and the dancing and the frivolity in spite of her fears and prejudices, and I do too.
 
 

What’s next:
In Too Deep (The 39 Clues #6) by Jude Watson

I’m going to take a break from the epic fantasies to try to finish The 39 Clues series.

I managed to get Books 6-9 as a bundle during the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, so I might as well finish all four.  I need to catch up before everyone starts discussing the second series.  I’ve already had to endure a lot of spoilers for the first series because I came into it too late, so I’m not anxious for a repeat of that, especially considering that one of the draws of The 39 Clues is trying to figure out whodunnit and howtheydunnit.  It’s not as fun if you already know the “who” before getting to read about the “how”.

Oh, and Jude Watson! I’m very biased in favor of her last The 39 Clues contribution before this one, so this should be a lot of fun.
 
 
 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 
 
My pick for the week is:

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)
By: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: 4 October 2011

In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a quest:

“Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.”

Who are the other four mentioned in the prophecy? The answer may lie in another camp miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea…

Riordan left fans high and dry at the end of The Lost Hero, so this book ranks very high on my wishlist.  It’s going to be a treat to find out just how Riordan treats this section of his new series considering there were so many loose ends from the first book that he has to seamlessly integrate into this one.

Riordan’s brand of YA fantasy depicts how mythology is present in our mundane world, and it’s something that he explores with such wit and humor, so I always have fun reading his books.
 
 
 

“Want Books?” is a weekly meme hosted at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

 
 
The Night Circus
By: Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I first learned about this book when I read that David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter films, bought the film rights and was planning to produce the adaptation. Then when I interviewed Samantha Sotto, she also mentioned this. The story sounds intriguing, and it would certainly make for a great movie.

The Fairytale Nerd told me that this book is available already, but only in hardcover. My wallet is still in dire straits, so I’m going to have to wait a bit longer to get my hands on this.