The Book Quadrant: THe Riddle of the Sphinx by. Alexander Montague

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! I am back with a new book review!

The Riddle of the Sphinx by. Alexander Montague

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinions on this literary work.

Synopsis: This book gives off three perspectives with one boy escaping Tyran on horseback to a student in Princeton going through a love affair that leads to trouble, and finally ends a lawyer trying to find out about himself at his job and how he fits in.

Thoughts: I know that was a short description of the book but it was pretty much written like that on the NetGalley page for it. This book was an interesting read. Even though it says it’s a psychological drama but I didn’t see much in the first part of the book since it deals with a shah losing power in 1970s Tiran and yes it does lead with the seeing how a boy kind of has a sexual relationship with a boy and then ends with a so-called death and goes to Princeton. Apparently this book follows a boy named Kavan in the beginning and I think his name gets changed to Eric from what I’m seeing and it shows how he has a thing for men since we see it early on in the book with a friend that ended up going missing and was tricked in going with a teacher to be in a radical group. Then we go to many years later where Eric is a college student and meets a guy named Mark who ends up dating each other and this causes some complications when he meets up with the shah prince Ali and somehow they were seen to be connected and an article kind of makes things more complicated. This book was pretty complicated even though when it got to Princeton I felt the story was more cohesive due to how it is a young man exploring his gay side and able to love himself and his partner. I wished the Princeton stuff was the entire story since the older Eric was him in the start of the book where he has a wife and two daughters. I wonder if this book is supposed to do three stories with different possibilities.

I did find it strange is that I was wondering why did this book had the title The Riddle of the Sphinx and it did get revealed towards the end where Eric has a dream seeing himself in Princeton and him as a boy and he wonders why is he seeing these two versions of himself where the Princeton one fell ill with AIDS while the kid him was trying to head home when he remembered being brought to Paris. I just wondered is that did he get found with the group of boys in the desert somehow and was rescued with the rest of them? I would like to know. I have a feeling the riddle deals with how different lives can be experienced by the same person but the outcome is always survival since the boy version was that he survived the desert trying to find his friend but got tricked, his Princeton version was in a great relationship until a guy he spent a night with screwed it up and causes a break up and leading to his contraction with AIDS with a stranger even though he thought it wasn’t real but survived potential suicide, and now his adult version where he wonders if being a lawyer was what he really wants and his daily life is his survival? That is what I can tell from what I read.

Rating: 3 Star Paw Prints Out of 5! I found that this book should have just stuck with Princeton instead of having the other two parts to it. I found it more intriguing since it did show the drama of college life and how someone can get into a homosexual relationship depending on who you are with easily. Well, love is love and can’t judge it. I did find it funny that the wife in the end of the book did figure out that Eric was into men but didn’t want to leave him because it would look bad since they are a couple that is seen out in public a lot. Even though this was an interesting read but it was kind of confusing and the title for it was hard to fit in my mind. Doesn’t mean I can’t leave the link in case you guys want to read.

Well guys that is it for this post! I hope I won’t take too long with any of the other books since I have so many to read. Now hoping my Ipsy does come soon since I still need to post that! So stay tuned!
The Riddle of the Sphinx Book Link

Conventions: Friday Panel Summary from Holiday Matsuri 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am back and with more coverage from Holiday Matsuri!

Friday, December 15, 2017 Panels: So, I have some bad news! At first we had video footage of the two Friday panels from the con but due to some technical difficulties and not being able to replace the files, we could not be able to upload videos but the good news is that I did take notes on the panels and will be giving you a summary about them. I am really sorry and we will make sure that the files work next time and have copies for now on. Normally this is a rookie mistake and lost one video once and hoped not to do it again but what can I do when it comes to tech wanting to mess up. Be glad that I take notes for reviews on my handy dandy Braille Sense U2 and will be doing a post on that soon with how voice actors are mesmerized by it. Let us get onto the panels shall we?

Christina & Nate Wants to Battle Panel: First panel we covered was the Christina & Nate panel that started the convention for us since we did not get to Holiday Matsuri until 1:30 that afternoon.

This panel was a pretty good panel with a lot of questions and answers. When they introduced themselves, Christina was a guest at Hol Mat back in 2013 and I remembered that year since we were at the con at the time hosting a panel before we started doing press for Hol Mat and I still have my Homura mug box signed by her which she played her in Madoka Magica and she is also the voice of Sailor Mars in the re-dub of Sailor Moon and in Sailor Moon Crystal. While Nate has been a guest at Hol Mat every year and has been a tradition for him to be a guest. If you want to know what he does, he is a musician and does some voice work. In case if you are on YouTube, you can catch some of his music there, even covers of anime songs including the theme song for the anime Erased by Asian KungFu Generation. (By the way, it is on Hulu in EngEnglish, the series I mean.)

There were a variety of questions being asked at this panel. One of them happened to be their start in voice acting which Christina started at the age of twelve while Nate had his start when he met Tyler Walker, the Director of Fairy Tail, and was sent a script to read. He does have a role in something Fairy Tail but forgot which role it was. I will hear him and look it up when I buy more parts since I am a little behind. I did ask Christina about her role as Sailor Mars since it was one of my interview questions for her in how does it feel to b her and if she got to meet Katie Griffin and her answer was meet it was so so surreal to be in it because she watched Sailor Moon at a young age and she got to meet a lot of the cast from the original series but Katie. Maybe you will get to do that someday Christina.

One interesting question was the methods in getting the character that they are voicing and Christina says that she is visually oriented when it comes to developing the voice which she sees the character and comes up with it and Nate is the same way. Another was the hardest roles they have done and for Christina it was Homura because since she was the youngest on the cast at the time. I found that interesting since I figured Lauren Landa, who was also on the cast as Sayaka (I think I got her name right) probably would be the same age. Nate, on the other hand, his hardest role was Chad 2054 because he had to do a raspy voice.

There were a lot of other questions and Gondras did bring one up and that was about Christina has participated in the Power Rangers Hyper Force RPG which you can watch over on the Hyper RPG YouTube channel and it is pretty good from what we have seen. She plays as the first female black power ranger and she gets to play alongside Paul Shrier and Andres the Black Nerd and so many more. Heck, the first episode had Jen from Time Force!

It Gets Better Panel with J. Michael Tatum & Brandon McInnis: Next panel with J. and Brandon and that that day was. This panel was something I was not expecting because I thought it was going to be all about voice acting but it was about the It Gets Better Project and the LGBTQ community since these two…well J. is gay and Brandon is bi-sexual and they have been dating for a while now. I must confess that I thought when Brandon mentioned he was J.s partner that I thought work at first but everything was revealed.

If anyone does not know about the It Gets Better Project is, it is where actors in the LGBTQ community reach out to the youth in this community and J. mentioned how it is social suicide in Texas if you come out as gay, lesbian, and the rest and did not know about that part. After this panel and during it, I did think back to an article I had to read in two of my writing classes from Rolling Stone from 2010 about how a small town went through suicides of young teens who were a part of this community and this also around the time Rise Against did their song Make It Stop (Septembers Children) from their End Game album which ended with some of the teens saying It Gets Better and now I know know.

It was great to know about J. and Brandon a little more because we always hear them in Black Butler and other anime but not who they are out of the booth. I even found it amazing that I do relate to J. because I had a speech impediment myself when I was younger like he had and did work myself out of it. You do not hear it in my videos but I had issues with the s sound and the sh sound when I was younger and everyone thought it was funny.

What I did find true was how bullies can be created out of jealousy and fear and also it is a phase in high school which you can make friends with your bullies later on, heck I did it a little while ago when I found my worst enemy on Facebook and she apologized for picking on me when I told her who I was. Now we are pretty close even though she lives in Cali but I do comment on her posts time to time.

Well, that is it for this summarizing since there was a lot from both panels and would love to put it all down but it would take a long time writing and translating my notes. Too bad I do not have the videos of it but I do with the Idol Festival which is the last coverage we have from this past Hol Mat. But in between, I want to do my post on voice actors learning about my Braille Sense because it does fit with this since Brandon watch me type since we did have front at his panel with J. Until next time! The