Memes & Features, Showcase Showdown

Showcase Showdown (5): Darker Still vs. LotR



Welcome to this week’s edition of Showcase Showdown: Two Books, Two Games, a new way to bridge the nerdy gap between gaming and reading.  This is a weekly highlight created to place a spotlight on books and games that are on one of my various Wish Lists.   Each week’s list will consist of…duh…two books and two games that come out during that week, and my top 3 to 5 reasons for wanting each of them.  Books will range from comics and manga, to romance and non-fiction.  As for games, I will feature any game (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, DS, iOS, etc.) that is on my MUST-Play-Now List.  If you would like to join along, leave a comment and let me know what’s on your must-read and/or must-play list.  Blogger’s can also link to the post on their blog and discuss their picks with their readers.  You don’t have to be a gamer, nor do gamers’ have to be avid readers, just find a couple of things you are looking forward to the most this week and let me (and others) know why.


Going Toe to Toe This Week:

Two Awesome Young Adult novels, Crossed and Darker Still are going up against one of PlayStation’s most anticipated games Uncharted 3, and a personal fantasy favorite of mine, Lord of the Rings: War in the North.











Crossed (Matched Trilogy Series #2)

by Ally Condie



  • Pub. Date: November 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Format: Hardcover , 384pp
  • Sales Rank: 23
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Series: Matched Trilogy Series #2
  • ISBN-13: 9780525423652
  • ISBN: 0525423656



In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Why it’s a MUST-Read:

  • Dystopian is one of my favorite genres. Although I haven’t read much of it lately because of my sudden urge to read all things paranormal, I still gravitate towards it whenever I have the chance.
  • I love it when a book magically transports me to another world. Authors who have a gift for exceptional worldbuilding always seem to capture my attention. Through Goodreads and other blogger buddies, I’ve been told that Condie’s writing is exceptional. I am interested to see the dystopian world she has created for this series.
  • Another reason I am interested in this book is the cover and what is symbolizes. It reminds me of someone who is trying to break free from something whether it is society, rules, or just something that has been holding them back. I have high expectations for this book and the characters. I really hope it does not disappoint.






Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul

by Leanna Renee Hieber


  • Pub. Date: November 2011
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Format: Paperback , 336pp
  • Sales Rank: 986
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • ISBN-13: 9781402260520
  • ISBN: 1402260520



The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing…

Jonathan Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Why it’s a MUST-Read:

  • “The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”  — With a great comparisons such as this, how can I NOT read this book?
  • Several reviews have described this book as a ‘Gothic Romance’, dark and mysterious love stories always grab my attention.
  • Magic, Hell, 1882 NYC, Impending Doom, seriously what’s not to love about a book that can capture all of that? It’s simply irresistible.








The Lord of the Rings: War in the North




  • Published by: Warner Bros. Interactive
  • Developed by: Snowblind Studios
  • Available On: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Number of Players: 1-3
  • Release Date: US: November 1, 2011
  • MSRP: $49.99
  • M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence


Why it’s a MUST-Play:

  • I am a HUGE fan of The Lord of the Rings. I think I might have fallen asleep to The Return of the King for a whole year straight after the movie came out. This series is definitely the one that molded me into a lover of all things fantasy. This game is a MUST-PLAY on merit alone.
  • War in the North is an action-RPG but it also has co-op! Everyone knows I love two things: RPG’s and Cooperative Gameplay.  Meshing those together in the same sentence usually gives me a nerdgasm and sends my geek radar through the roof! I can’t wait to sit down with one of my buddies and run through Tolkien’s world together.  Battling side by side always brings a smile to my face (I’m even smiling now).
  • It’s Lord of the Ringsnuff said.




Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception



  • Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developed by: Naughty Dog Software
  • Genre: Third-Person Action Adventure
  • Release Date: US: November 1, 2011, Japan: November 2, 2011
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • T for Teen: Blood, Language, Violence
  • Also known as: Uncharted 3


Why it’s a MUST-Play:

  • I know I have probably beat this pony over the head but I will say it again, the ONLY reason I would purchase a PS3 is to play THIS game! There, that’s the only reason I really need to state as to why this game is a MUST-Play.
  • From videos to word-of-mouth, the hype for this game has been crazy. I can’t go on Twitter without seeing, ‘OMG THIS GAME IS SO AMAZING, PS3 GOTY, YOU GUYS ROCK’.  Yeah, all the hype kind of makes me curious.
  • If this game is Game of the Year material, then that makes it an automatic MUST-Play.


Hope you all enjoyed another week of my top picks in books and video games! Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know YOUR most anticipated/Must-Play/Must-Read for this week.