Diamine Mediterranean Sea ‘Review’

I don’t really buy loads of blue inks, I still love Diamine Midnight (and Baystate Blue, but I don’t have a pen for it right now). This blue is a bit of a shifty character, it’s almost nearly very turquoise, but still pulls it off as a blue. It isn’t wholly my cup of tea, but some might like it. It’s very close in colour to the premium-brand Iroshizuku Kon-Peki which many love, but that too is a bit light for me. Take a look.


J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen ‘Review’

Day three of my second ink week, and I hope you’re all feeling pink, because this one’s a shocker. You may or may not have noticed that the majority of my ink is Diamine brand. This one’s a little different, being a J. Herbin inks. J.H. inks tend to be quite wet inks (high flow) and shade fairly well, and this one does! Now, I’m not huge on pink ink, but if I was I’d go for this one. Just look at it. Actually, looking at it makes me think words like ‘POW’ and ‘SHAZAM’. It really is an awesome colour!

Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin ‘Review’

I’ve said before the green inks rank among my favourite, and I’ve quite a few to my name now! Iroshizuku is premium-brand ink that I’ll only consider buying by the bottle if I really love the ink. I didn’t buy this in a bottle, but received it as part of an ink sample system I’m subscribed to at £5 a month (five or six inks per month!). Chiku-Rin isn’t actually a green I’m wholly taken with. Okay, I’ll just say it – it’s a snot kinda’ green. On some papers it works quite well, but it’s not working 100% for me. Here it is.

Diamine Sepia ‘Review’

I’m currently reading Rustin Petrae’s History of Purga Book One: Dragon, and it’ll be a little while before I can get a review up. I know quite a few people enjoy looking at fountain pen inks (at least, those posts are popular and I receive lots of incoming search terms), so I’m going for another ink week! That’s right, another seven inks for you all to ogle. Each one will be a short summary of why I like a certain ink, or don’t as the case may be. So let’s go shall we?

Diamine Sepia has become one of my favourite inks, which is why it’s occupying Day One. I love sepia toned inks, they’re on a par now with green inks (which were my previous favourites) and maybe on a path to overtake them; with this ink at the lead. Diamine Sepia is a very highly shading brown ink which ranges from a yellowy tone to a deep, true brown, especially in a flex nib. Other sepias I’d like to try include Noodler’s Golden Brown and Private Reserve Sepia.

Sheeny Ink

I’m sure you’re all very happy that I haven’t beguiled you with a lovely post about fountain pens for a while. Well, that’s a shame, because I’ve got one here for you now!

Sheeny ink. No, not shiny ink, sheeny ink. Ink can have many qualities, as I’m sure you know. Colour, shading, saturation, flow, lubrication and so on. One that isn’t heard of so often is sheen. Let’s take a look at the dictionary shall we?

A soft luster on a surface.
Shine or cause to shine softly.

And that’s what it is, really. A ‘sheeny’ ink has a little shine to it. Some are subtle and some are blatant. Some have to be seen on a certain paper under a certain light whilst others are more obvious. Most often, the sheen doesn’t match the colour of an ink. A lot of red inks have a golden sheen, whilst lots of blues have a red sheen. I have a purple with a green sheen. You see, I’ve been interested in sheen for some time. I know the names of inks with sheen and even have a few in my collection, but have never actually seen it. Until a few days ago! In the valentines day card, I was reading what I’d written and saw it – a little sparkle, a little glimmer. I was very, very excited – and it wasn’t even an ink I’d her mentioned for it’s luster. The ink is ‘Rohrer and Kligner Cassia’ (R&K being the brand). It’s an awesome dark purple.. with a green sheen. Here’s my photo:

R&K Sheen 2 photo P1050425_zps02eec62e.jpg

Now, my photo isn’t too impressive. It’s an amateur shot of some writing. Take a little look at this, though.

Credit: mhphoto at FPN

Is that not the most beautiful ink going? It’s Diamine’s Sargasso Sea (a blue) and it just shines! And take a little look at this, Diamine Wild Strawberry:

Credit: mhphoto at FPN

If you want to see more of these ink pictures, follow this link to the ink sheen thread at the Fountain Pen Network, a veritable cornucopia of lustrous ink!

If you think shiny ink is the sole province of high-school gel pens, think again. If you use a fountain pen, you could be in for a real treat in using sheeny inks like this. They’re not any more expensive than normal inks, in fact Diamine is one of the cheapest brands going. Just another reason to use fountain pens!

Dark Rift – The Grey Tower (Alesha Escobar) Book Review

Yay, my second free book review, again from the wonderful Ms. Escobar. Dark Rift is the sequel to The Tower’s Alchemist in the Grey Tower trilogy, you can see the previous review here. I hope you went and bought it, as this really is an awesome series, gripping and thrilling. You can probably tell from my buoyancy that I enjoyed this book; and you bet I did! Let’s get going, then.

In Dark Rift, Agent Isabella George knows that she is The Drifter – the time travelling wizard seeking the Akashik Records. Except she isn’t looking to infiltrate and steal the records. However, the Grey Tower law states that all Drifters must be hunted down and killed for the threat they post. Isabella’s father, a master Philsopher has them believing that he is the Drifter, and the seven trackers hunt him without pause. The war still rages through Europe, and Octavian’s forces are still pushing at the Allies. Isabella knows that she must prove to the Tower that she will use her powers as the Drifter to help them, whilst keeping them secret all the while. Octavian, however, is planning his move.

The plot of this book is not quite as fast as the previous book. There is a reason for this, however – it all adds to the sense that Isabella is treading on eggshells. She is trying to figure out the secret of her powers, and waiting for her father to contact her. She knows that time is limited, but she cannot expose herself for fear of becoming a fugitive of the Tower. There are a lot more subtleties to this plot, and it makes for a very rich read. It’s not quite as action packed as Tower’s Alchemist, but this serves to highlight the fun when it really starts blazing; and there are a few scenes where things get pretty intense. It’s a very believable plot line, and Isabella does not overstep her bounds. You see, I saw one comment on the net regarding these books which claimed that whenever Isabella gets into trouble, she just uses a new power to fix things again. This is definitely not true, the author stays within the bounds of the restrictions she has placed on her character and doesn’t use a deus ex machina! This plotline will grip you relentlessly, and I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it. Going back to the romantic subplot I discussed in the previous review, it has refined a little. Let me just say this; one of the two blokes gets knocked off, so the choice becomes pretty clear. However, Ms. Escobar doesn’t move on to begin creating a relationship there. Will we see this in the third book? I don’t know for certain, but I can’t wait to find out!

If you remember (or have read the books) you’ll know that the characters of the books are of a really good quality. They are incredibly deep, and believable. Not much is done to advance Isabella’s character, though we do see new elements of it. There aren’t too many new characters brought in, though we meet Isabella’s family. I’ve found it quite hard to tell which (if any) of the new characters will become a major plot element. We learn the names of a few of the seven trackers, most specifically Hotaru. However, I get the feeling that his part is played by the end of the novel, as you’ll be able to tell when you read it.We meet Octavian, but there aren’t any forays as to exposing him as a character, although I’d love to find out more about him in the third book. He’s been built up as an almost godlike figure, incredibly powerful and nigh on impossible to destroy. I doubt we’ll see it, but I think it would be amazing if there were a few chapters from his point of view in the third book, so as to show just how twisted and insane he is. Isabella’s first person thought-stream is also still vivid and very enjoyable to be a part of. The characters are much in the vein of the first book, so there isn’t a huge need for adaptation.

Again, I have tried for a balanced review, and I feel that I have given it. It’s a very positive review as I really loved the book, but I hope the author can take the few pieces of advice I’ve imparted on-board. Thinking about it, it’d be really nice to think I’ve given a little bit into the final book, but that’d be indulgent of me. I really think you should purchase this book (and the first). They’re wonderful examples of modern literature, and anybody into fiction-fantasy is in for a wonderful ride! It’s only $4 on the Kindle, as it’s a very recently published novel (only a few months off of the press). Please, please download, and take a look at Alesha’s site (that’s free).

9/10. I really loved this book, and I’d recommend it highly. Congratulations, Ms. Escobar, another successful novel!

Happy Birthday, Bob Marley

I’d just like to take a few words to say a Happy Birthday to Bob Marley, whom let the peoples of the Eastern World through a hard time, doing huge things for global equality and diversity. I firmly believe that without his work, our world would still be that little bit more behind in being culturally equal and fair.

He’d be 68 if he was still with us today, so happy birthday!