ARC Review (NetGalley): The Yin & Yang Of Climate Crisis

 

Review:

Brendan Kelly goes beyond the typical notion of climate change and synthesizes Chinese Medicine with Planetary well being which is ground breaking to say the least.

Being a debater I’ve often had to face motions related to the environment and had difficulty during cross-currents, but never in my life have I read a book that adds so many layers and dimensions of thought to the concept, its nuance is beyond words.

For those who are passionate about personal health, as well as climate change this book has a transformative potential like no other!

I don’t only give it 5 stars, it deserves 5 supernovas for its illuminating nature.

Synopses(Amazon)

The first book to marry western environmentalism with Chinese medicine, The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis illustrates the many ways that our personal well-being and climate health are vitally connected. Brendan Kelly demonstrates that crises such as melting ice caps, dying forests, and devastating floods are symptoms of deeper issues, both within us as individuals and within our culture. Informed by Kelly’s experience as a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, this passionate discussion reveals that the current life-threatening severity of climate change speaks to the level of imbalance that exists in the people and institutions responsible for the crisis. Considering issues such as loss of life from increasingly severe storms, stress on farmers from rapidly changing weather, and increasing rates of disease, this book goes on to present hopeful, deep-reaching personal and societal remedies to treat the underlying causes of climate change and to restore our own health.

The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis blends the external focus of environmentalism–western science, policy issues, regulations–with the internal focus of Chinese medicine–personal health, balancing Qi, diet–to present a holistic view of our interrelationship with the planet. Kelly provides a deeper look at how we’ve gotten to this place of climate destabilization and ways to treat both the symptoms and their root causes. Looking through the lens of Chinese medicine, we are better able to understand that the severity of climate destabilization speaks to deeper philosophical and spiritual issues and provides an opportunity to address our own personal and collective imbalances. With his unique perspective and far-reaching perceptions, Kelly encourages us to translate the reality of our warming planet into an opportunity to ask bigger and deeper questions, including who we are, what we’re here to do, and what promotes health and healing.

Product Details (Amazon):

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583949518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583949511
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces

ARC (NetGalley) Review: I Saw An Invisible Lion Today

 

Description:

Quatrain? What kind of train is that? Actually, it’s a poem! Quatrains are poems with patterns of rhyming words. Award-winning author Brian P. Cleary explains how quatrains work—and shows some of the many ways they can be written.

I Saw an Invisible Lion Today is packed with poems on subjects ranging from grandmothers to muzaloos to make you giggle and howl. And when you’ve finished reading, you can try your hand at writing your own poems!

Product Details (Amazon):

 

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Series: Poetry Adventures
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (April 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467797316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467797313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces

 

Review:

Whether or not the Invisible Lion in question is Aslan remains unknown, however, what I do know is that this anthology is clear cut and precise which makes it easy to fathom for children who have not been introduced to the poetic form known as Quatrains.

Not only does Brian P. Cleary clearly illustrate what a Quatrain is, he explores this concept by demonstrating it through various Quatrains of his own making which have different rhyme schemes such as ABCB, AABB, and ABAB. Moreover, he goes as far as to mention that Quatrains can be standalone stanzas or an entire poem in itself.

Furthermore, the contents of this collection of assorted poems are brought to life owing to the adept hand of the illustrator Richard Watson.  I couldn’t think of a better way to broach Quatrains to a layman.

Not to mention, at the conclusion of the book, Brian leaves lots of helpful references to further explore the subject matter and develop a knack for it. I do imagine this will be a helpful handbook in a classroom setting for those charting waters in Quatrains for the first time at an early age.

With this in mind, I do highly recommend this anthology to those in search of an anthology which will serve the dual role of teacher and text.

Rating:

Justification: Ideal for the target audience.

ARC (NetGalley) Review: Leave This Song Behind

 

Description: 

 It’s been 10 years since the last book in the Teen Ink series Written in the Dirt was published. Now, a whole new batch of teen writers has emerged with their own unique voices. Leave This Song Behind features the best poetry submitted by those writers to Teen Ink over the last five years.

The pieces in this book were chosen because they were so powerful that they stood out from the rest. Teen Ink editors took a deep look into each poem’s strengths then divided Leave This Song Behind into seven sections based on the poetic techniques or qualities that moved them most. Vivid sensory details made some poems shine; others caught their attention with simple, sparse language. Still others were chosen because of their thoughtful use of form; compelling stories; strong figurative language; unexpected connections and wit; and fresh writing about familiar topics.

Dig in and let these brave young voices capture your heart and mind with their passion, their pain, and their amazing poetry!

Product Details (Amazon): 

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (April 26, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757318967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757318962
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

 

Review:

‘Leave This Song Behind’ is an inspired anthology containing at its heart an impressively diverse spectrum of poems. I’d go as far as to wager that there’s something in it for everyone.

For me ‘Write What You Know’ and ‘Fractions’ struck a chord. I could immediately identify with the poetic persona of ‘Write What You Know’ because I too have been struggling for the last year or so with my Pure Mathematics & Statistics class. To put it simply: Mathematics is not my strong suit. I’ve invested countless hours day in day out, week after week, and still flunked the class. As you can imagine the reaction from my academic supervisor and peers was all but understanding, as a result of which their image of me has diminished greatly.

Be that as it may, the academic year as a whole has been fulfilling. I’ve gained ground in debating, Model UN, as well as power point presentations to say nothing of how much I’ve improved in interpersonal relations. As a whole the poem sends the message ‘Stick to what you’re good at and don’t dwell on the things you can’t do’ which is advice that can be appreciated by people of all ages.

With this in mind, when one feels like the poetic persona of ‘Fractions’ that is to say “One third of a person” at 3 AM in the night, the positive mindset embodied within ‘Write What You Know’ can be of use.

In a word, it will be hard to “Leave This Song Behind” as it has had an impact on me that is rather difficult to put into words, but it is always a nice feeling to see the youth invigorated and given an opportunity to voice themselves.

Rating:

 

ARC Review (NetGalley): The Path

 

Synopses

For the first time an award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how these ancient ideas can guide you on the path to a good life today.

Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard?

It’s because the course challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish. This is why Professor Michael Puett says to his students, “The encounter with these ideas will change your life.” As one of them told his collaborator, author Christine Gross-Loh, “You can open yourself up to possibilities you never imagined were even possible.”

These astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society. And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Good relationships come not from being sincere and authentic, but from the rituals we perform within them. Influence comes not from wielding power but from holding back. Excellence comes from what we choose to do, not our natural abilities. A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments. Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities.

In other words, The Path upends everything we are told about how to lead a good life. Above all, unlike most books on the subject, its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place—just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently.

Sometimes voices from the past can offer possibilities for thinking afresh about the future.

A note from the publisher:
To read relevant passages from the original works of Chinese philosophy, see our free ebookConfucius, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi: Selected Passages, available on Kindle, Nook, and the iBook Store and at Books.SimonandSchuster.com.

Product Details (Amazon):

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476777837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476777832
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces

Review:

Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans. It’s all very easy to be caught up in formulating plans to actually realize that we may be trapped in our way of thinking. Michael Puett’s The Path is nothing short of an revelation that turned my perception of what it means to live a good life on its head.

Do we not, after all, fall into patterns of behavior that are repeated throughout our lives? Do we not allow labels or what we make of ourselves at a particular point in time to limit our capability to be so much more? Should we in fact seek out who we “really” are based on an arbitrary assumption that there is a true self and that we cannot change that inner self? The answers to these questions and more are answered in the book.

I speak from experience when I say that I have often been labelled as “temperamental”. Fortunately, I knew that just because I exhibited such traits during one phase of my life did not necessitate that I would remain as such throughout the entirety of my existence.

In the same vein, ‘The Path’ outlines how we are susceptible to be content with who we see ourselves as, consequently stagnating our personalities which stop positive change from occurring.

Additionally, the importance of rituals and role playing which enable us to explore other sides of our multi faceted personalities as well as how that can improve our character is broached in ‘The Path’.

Be that as it may, ‘The Path’ also explores the nature of the world. Have we become complacent? Is the world Capricious? Through the works of Mencius, and Confucius these questions are addressed. What is more, Lao Tzu along with his contemporaries which include Mozi are also broached.

 For readers of the poet Robert Frost, this is a “Path” that would genuinely make all the difference so seize the opportunity and give it a read seeing that it will help broaden the way you perceive everything from your day to day interactions with others to what it truly means to hone one’s emotional responses so as to bring out the best in oneself as well as others.

Rating:

At best you’ll be much more perceptive of the way things work… at worst you’ll be much better at interacting with others in various social settings.

 

 

 

ARC (NetGalley) Review- The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Author: Eric Weiner

Genre: Travel, Historical and Psychology.

*Before we begin: I originally wrote a draft review but it accidentally got deleted when my browser crashed! Hence I had to write the review once again and there was a sharp fall in quality because I rushed through it- a major blunder if there ever was one. My mate Andi Rain from Ukraine pointed out how I could better this review and so here is the edited version. Have a good day! 

Eric Weiner doesn’t so much as quote the geniuses as he explores how their geographical location as well as the culture they were exposed to lead them on their path to greatness.

So which historical heavy weights can you expect?

If there is ever a time for name dropping that time is now:

Francis Galton (Statistician), Adam Smith (Wealth of the nations & Theory of moral sentiments), James Young Simpson (Anesthesia) , Shen Kuo (Magnetic Declination), Su Dongpo (Poet Emperor), David Humes (Philosopher), Albert Einstein (Theory of general relativity), Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali), Jagidish Chandra Bose (Plants can feel), Sigmund Freud (Freudian Psychoanalysis), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer), Hadyn (Mozart’s mentor & famous for his ‘the creation’), Schulbert (Composer), Beethoven (Composer & also mentored by Hadyn), Ovid (Roman Poet), Darwin (Theory of evolution), Diogenes Laertus (Historian), Leonardo Da Vinci (Artist), Michelangelo (Sculptor & Artist), Ghiberti (Paradise’s doors), Brunelleschi (duomo’s roof), Veracchio (Da vinci’s mentor), Pericles (Governor of Athens), Apostasia (Public Speaker), Plato (Philosopher), Pletho (Neoplatonian), Socrates (Philosopher and Plato’s mentor), Van Gogh (Tormented Artist), Picasso (Artist), Protagoras (Sophist), Thucydides (General turned historian), Nannerl (Mozart’s sister), Dante Alighieri (Legendary Poet), to name but a few are discussed in the book along with how they became as universally acclaimed as they are now, quirks and all.

It doesn’t end there though, various theories such as Danilevsky’s law which states that a state must be independent and autonomous to give birth to a wave of intellectuals as well as other ideas such as Janusian thinking -which explores holding two opposite thoughts together and coming up with a third perspective.

In the same vein, groupthink which deals with having the viewpoint of an individual changed to fit in with his or her peers, Dunning-Kruger effect where a person is incapable of understanding that they have not fully grasped a subject matter, theory of unintended consequences where one action leads to favorable accidents and by products- serendipity, bifurcation point of chaos theory where a person is made to choose between two things and can never turn back, the ability to make familiar concepts strange again so as to perceive something in greater depth and not be limited by parochialism which is to say a narrow outlook, among others concepts are brought to light.

By the same token, Jack Ma founder of Ali Baba makes a surprise appearance and discusses how exams went from being a tool for establishing meritocracy to a creativity snuffing system which leads to deadening effect and innovation gaps.

On the flip side, while these cities have rich cultural heritages, the artists and philosopher of today’s time have a lot to live up to and often find themselves shadow boxing with their predecessor’s ever looming legacy.

 The book is replete with engaging content and invaluable information. Not only does it have all the makings of a splendid read but it also possesses the ingredients for a spicy and diverse experience which leaves the reader much more aware of other cultures than when he or she began reading the first page.

For Savant and the closet bibliophile alike, this book is worth the time, attention and discussion that will follow. Although it is not recommended that the reader chain this book to the reading desk like in the Medici era when the relative value of books could be equated to that of a modern car, it should be noted that The Geography Of Genius is worth treasuring.

 

ARC (NetGalley) Review: Blood, Ink & Fire.

 

Product Details: 

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Upturn Publishing; 1 edition (December 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996278710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996278713
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds’

Synopses:

Imagine a world without books… In the future, books are a distant memory. The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves cannot exist. But where others see images in the stream, teenager Noelle Hartley sees words. She s obsessed with what they mean, where they came from, and why they found her. Noelle s been keeping her dangerous fixation with words a secret, but on the night before her seventeenth birthday, a rare interruption in the stream leads her to a mysterious volume linked to an underworld of rebel book lovers known as the Nine of the Rising. With the help of the Risers and the beguiling boy Ledger, Noelle discovers that the words within her are precious clues to the books of the earlier time and as a child of their bookless age, she might be the world s last hope of bringing them back. Blood, Ink & Fire is a gripping, evocative tale that asks, who would we be without books?

About The Author:

Ashley Mansour is a writer and creator of stories for children and young adults. Before embarking on solo authorship, Ashley spent eight years working in brand management, music, advertising, and entertainment. In that time she traveled the world, working in three different countries with big teams, emerging artists, major brands, and interesting start-ups.

In mid-2014, Ashley began a yearlong experiment. She overcame her fear of social media, set up an Instagram profile–@ashleymwrites–and began sharing her own personal writing journey (pitfalls and all) with readers and writers online. She discovered a community of amazing people who cared deeply about reading and books–and about the curious story she was writing that featured a world without both of them. One year later, Ashley’s dystopian sci-fi novel for young adults, Blood, Ink & Fire, was complete.

Blood, Ink & Fire is a compelling story for anyone who is passionate about literacy and believes in the power of books. A bibliophile at heart, Ashley loves crafting thrilling narratives for young audiences and imagining future worlds where anything is possible. She currently spends her days in Southern California, where she is enjoying being back on home soil and working on her next novel.

In Short:
After finishing the book I felt like Pat Solitano in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ when he realized that Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Farewell To Arms’ had an ending he could not reconcile himself with.

Alternative Review (How I felt for about 99% of the book right up to the ending):

Blood, Ink, & Fire will get your blood boiling, the ink pouring from your heart and light your soul on fire. This is a tale that cannot be erased from the mind of the reader!

 

Review: 

The essential reading experience is epitomized and personified into one of the characters – Ledger. I found this to be particularly interesting as the sensation of reading means different things to different people. I for one find that reading is not a means of escapism but rather a method of connecting with various modes of thought.

‘A book needs a reader just as much as the reader needs the book’, the relationship between Noelle Hartley and Ledger echoes this message. Noelle is able to read the soul of Ledger and shares a bond that cannot be described in words. Furthermore, through them we are able to realize that every story must have an end along with the finality of the matter.

In the dystopian setting of ‘Blood, Ink & Fire’ Fell has taken control and demands absolute compliance. There is no respect for the written word and ‘Verity’ an intelligent AI taking the form of a hologram and/or data stream uses images as an alternative to words when teaching the next generation. Throughout the ages writers and philosophers have been opposed to such means of governance and as a result they have protested against them with their trusty fountain pens.

Ashley Mansour highlights the struggle of readers as they endeavor to elude the suffocating grasp of Fell who believe that the world is better off with newer technology and that ‘creative destruction’ is a natural process. For the most part, Fell’s military forces prove to be too difficult to overcome but what the readers lack in arms they more than make up for in terms of spirit, passion, creativity, and dedication.

It is inevitable that as we continue to read the stories become an inseparable part of us. Giving that up would be akin to casting off a part of our identity. I could not find myself supporting Noelle’s choice which consequently led to the ending of the book as she chose to give in to her insecurities and sorrow in exchange of a life devoid of meaning. She might as well have kissed a Dementor.

Honestly, had Noelle read the Myth of Sisyphus or Either/Or A fragment of Life… she might have decided against it. If Sisyphus can find joy in the struggle through an act of defiance, so could she! If Parmeniscus can rediscover what it is to laugh, so could she! As Mark Twain said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.” Noelle just couldn’t see that for the completion of joy one must first suffer.

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Disclaimer:

I received this book free of cost from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

 

Arc (NetGalley) Review: The Centurion By Ken Gire

centurion.jpg
Depicting the hero’s journey while accounting for both spirituality and physical hardships

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: River North (February 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080240894X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802408945
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

Synopsis:

An ambitious Roman soldier. A stunning crucifixion. An unlikely romance. A long war and a chance reunion—the moving parts that make The Centurion a gripping story of love, duty, and sacrifice.

Lucius has always dreamed of military conquest and Roman glory. Little does he know how a routine crucifixion will change him forever.

Curious about this “King of the Jews,” Lucius seeks out His followers and falls for one Mary Magdalene. But all is interrupted when Lucius is called to lead military campaigns. There the hardships of war, year after year, wear him down to nearly nothing.

When Lucius finally returns to Rome, the city has lost its allure. A chance encounter tests his allegiances, and he must decide who he is, what is real, and what is worth dying for.

This work of historical fiction includes an extensive annotated list of sources.

Review:

As far as books about the Roman SPQR legion go, this one is enjoyable. Chances are the prospective reader would have played video games such as Rome: Total War, or even Ryse: Son of Rome and know a little about the Roman Empire. If not, not to worry! John Green has a crash course for world history on Khan Academy, however, the book is self explanatory so background research on the setting isn’t a must.

Readers fear not, Anthony & Cleopatra bears some similarity to this book in the sense that both asks the question: Should Love be Prioritized Over Duty?

We all know how that turned out for Prince Paris who chose Helen over Troy and Anthony who picked Cleopatra over a solid share in the Roman triumvirate. How will things go for a haggard Lucius who the war has been anything but kind to?

Ken Gire has blended history with fiction like many before him and made it an delightful read. It’s the ‘Age of Empires’, ‘Rise Of Nations’ or ‘Assassin’s Creed’ of books. Do yourself a favor and make some time for it.

Rating:

4 star.jpg

Disclaimer:

I received this book free of cost from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

ARC (NetGalley) Review: E-Retail Zero Friction In A Digital Universe

Product Details (Amazon):

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing (May 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1622878574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622878574
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Synopsis:

A review of E-Retail and the changes the digital universe are making to our life, industry, retail possibilities. A world where the barriers to buying, selling and creating products online are gone for everyone. Read the story of – How It All Began, The World is Flat, Is the Big Box Really Dead, The Entrepreneurial Revival, Customers Wear the Crown, The Global Consumer, and much more.

Review:

Interesting, Informative, Ingenious, Illustrative, Impeccable and intelligent. There’s a lot to learn from this one book, starting from digital marketing to co-operatives.

It was an absolutely delightful read! So much so, I read it at FTL (faster than light) speed. Not only does the book make a point, it also proves it through real world statistics.

Touching on topics such as Permission Marketing, Tripple bottom-line, and detailed case studies, this book delivers a clear message. That the future is knocking at our doors, and it’s time for the visionaries to step forward.

I highly recommend this book to students, teachers, professionals, the curious, and above all, the daring entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

4.5/5

Some memorable moments from the book:

 

Zero friction

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Sorry I couldn’t laugh, I tried really hard, I promise.

I went to watch a comedy (Much Ado About Nothing) not a budget friendly bangla cinema.

The drummer’s *bad dum tss* lead to more and more bland jokes. And at the end of it all, I felt like life was just a big bad joke that fails to be funny. The only thing the punch lines managed to punch was my interest.

The audience at the back couldn’t hear a word thanks to the poor sound management, but I believe them to be fortunate as they were spared from the banal dialogue.

On an individual level, the performers delivered, especially in terms of body language and stage presence. It’s just that I couldn’t see the team chemistry so the bigger picture fell short. Maybe I need to get new glasses or something, who knows? What I do know for sure is that one would need ear trumpets at the age of 17 to hear the soliloquy which were mawkish in nature.

My favorite moment of the play was when it was all over. The director, shared an emotional note with us that struck a chord with the audience for once. I was truly saddened to hear that it was his last time behind the curtains. Better luck next time mate.

Just like  Juliet, Hero, the heroine of the play, faked her death. To the layman this might be interpreted as ‘heroes never really die’, but then remember, the enthusiastic spirit of spectators is mortal and can die quickly. Oh the terror!

Also, a plot hole I observed happened early on in the play. Benedick was supposed to have shaved off his beard, unfortunately, the actor didn’t have a beard to begin with!

The only thing hilarious about all of this was that it I’ve had an easier time laughing at tragedy than this so called comedy.

My sincere request to everyone involved in the creation of this play is to actually open the book for once and read the original play by Shakespeare, understand the tip of the iceberg and then adopt it into your own rendition.

Have a good day folks. That’s all for now. I’d ask for a refund but I didn’t have to pay- attention.

I now rest my case, and without further ado, let’s be on our way to greater things.

 

 

 

Game Review: Run, Escape From Runescape!

*The player in the featured image is None other than the Legendary Runescape Youtuber Fatwrecked who passed away in the year 2008. He made this game a funner place to be, so I begin this review by saluting him.

A link to FatWrecked’s (Ash Miller) biography.. it was authored by his parents…

One Puddle Too Many

When I first began playing Runescape in 2008, things were dramatically different. For one, character creation had far fewer options! My cousin who went by the name Rauen Vik guided me through the tutorial which at the time took place in Tutorial Island. I remember how proud I was to kill my first level 2 giant rat. Yes, it’s not something one forgets. After learning the ropes I was teleported to Lumbridge where my real journey would begin.

Being a resourceful player the first task I set out to do was craft my very own armor. I bought a copy of the map from the general store and found my way to the Lumbridge swamps where the mine was situated.

lumbridge

There I mined copper and tin ore and smelt them into copper bars so as to forge bronze. I know what you’re thinking ‘what a total noob’, but hey in my defence, I was one proud noob! Man, I’ll never forget what it felt like to equip the bronze scimitar which I had made all by myself :’)

cows

Next on my list was cow killing time. Not only was it a good way for a noob to level up in combat, but also a reasonable source of food. The cows dropped beef which could then be cooked after chopping down a tree, and starting a fire.

Shortly after, Vik joined me and proceeded to give me a full iron set. Clad in Iron plate mail, I followed him and with his assistance finished the restless ghost quest.

The best part of Runescape is that while leveling up skills may get repetitive, all the mini games offer a more interesting way to gain levels. Furthermore, I have often skilled and read e-books at the same time. The trick to is to have a keen ear. For example when cooking, as soon as the sound of roasting lobster fades away, I use the menu to repeat the action and continue reading.

A must see for any Runescape player was Tehnoobshow’s Runescape God’s Exposed series featuring the three main gods of Gielinor. Saradomin (Good guy), Zamorak (Bad guy), and Guthix (Neutral Guy).

Gunthorian may not have been a god but he was by far the most entertaining character of the series.

I was fortunate enough to have my account hacked several times which meant that I got a chance to do all the different tutorials over the years.

Learning the ropes was the second in the long line of tutorials Runescape would have… and while it did not lack in action, for some reason or the other, I always felt that tutorial island was where it all should begin.

Unstable foundations soon became the successor to the former tutorial and featured how to get rid of foes without having to directly engage them in combat.

Troll Warzone became the latest tutorial after the introduction of RS3 and Evolution of Combat. This was far more interactive that the previous tutorials and had good CGI to boot. Also, for the first time in history, the town of Taverly had been opened to Free Players! It was truly a historic moment.

The most interesting tutorial till date was the one recently unveiled by JaGex(Java gaming experts owners of Runescape)

It was set in Ashdale a completely new town. The boss of the tutorial happened to be one tough cookie to beat..but I managed to do it without any food… my trick? I pray flashed! 🙂 it means click on the prayer button just at the right time in order to avoid taking any damage and conserving prayer points simultaneously. Prayer functions as both as an offensive and defensive tool in Runescape and can come in handy during most boss battles.

So why did I mention all these different tutorials?

I just wanted to show you how dynamic of a game Runescape is. It never sits around. The tutorials keep changing so it can adapt to the current style of play.

Runescape has branched out into three different games now:

There is Darkscape the dystopian version of Gielinor. (Player vs. Player)

Old school Runescape for those who like to live in the past and create a brand new future.

And RS3 for the ones who are fond of all the changes Jagex have brought to the game. 

In the past Runescape Classic mode was open for paying members but I regret to inform you that the 2002 version of the game has been closed down for good. 

Here are a few reasons to play Runescape as a free player:

Runescape USED to be the number 1 FREE MMORPG.

F2p is like a trial run. It’s better to give it a shot before seriously considering getting membership.

Runescape Wiki

Use the Runescape wiki to get to know the lay of the land.

Grand Exchange Prices

The link above shall give you a general estimate of prices in the Runescape Economy. If you are the type of player who has solid merchanting skills, open your world map and head off to varrock where you will find the grand exchange. The rest you can figure out through intuition and dumb luck.

What to stay away from

As I mentioned earlier I lost several of my accounts. Scamming has long since trickled away and what few drops remain are hidden in the shadows, however, it can’t hurt to know what to look out for.

Fortunately for you, Jagex introduced the Jagex Account Guardian and Phone Pin code which should under most circumstances keep your account secure. With these measures in place, you won’t have to worry about being hacked.

One of the things that will stay with you long after you’ve quit Runescape is the music. Trust me, the sound tracks are excellent, and as you explore Gielinor more and more soundtracks will unlock. If you get 300 you unlock an air guitar emote \m/

Before I forget, there are holiday events on occasions such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween, so be sure to tune in during those festive times. Holiday quests last for a whole week and are more fun than normal everyday quests.

One major improvement from past iterations of the game is that Jagex killed off bots using its bot killer technology. Their method was pure genius. They recruited a bot maker for their J-mod team and got the former bot maker to figure out a way to get rid of bots. xD ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ 😉

The lore is immersive. Recently Jagex allowed the gods to directly interfere in the affairs of man and they have been much more active. Two battles have already taken place, one in Lumbridge and the other in Falador. The players can directly alter history through their actions. Zamorak has ceded defeat to Saradomin but at no great cost while Bandos lost his life at the hands of armadyl. Guthix was slayed by Sliske who ascended into Godhood.

For those truly interested in the Lore, T.S Church has authored a few novels which can be bought on Amazon.

Moreover, by introducing bonds into the game, they found a way to get rid of Real World Trading (trading in-game gp for real money)… in the past people would pay 10 million Runescape Gold coins to get membership for a month, now they can directly buy a bond from the Grand Exchange in place of 9 million coins and get membership. This acts as a cash sink and keeps the currency deflated.

Lastly, Runescape features tens of mini-games, my personal favorite being clan wars and fist of guthix. A great way to make friends is by playing mini-games, before you know it, you’d have formed your own clan.

If I had to give it a rating…

7/10..

I feel like Jagex are trying to cater to too many people at once…

If you start playing now, know that you don’t have to deal with the goblin yelps and his squeal of fortune since players like me lobbied to have him removed… there was a whole forum movement to get rid of the mascot of Micro Transactions…

not to worry, since then Jagex has become more mature and smoother when it comes to MTs ingame.

I hate to say this, but seeing yelps all beaten up makes me grin. That goblin gave me nightmares.

Runescape never ends, so it might be time for you to begin.