Sunday, 7 December 2014

Consent Directory for Common Medical Procedures

Consent is an extremely important part of medicine, particularly in the surgical specialties. When patients come seeking medical advice, they have the right to know the risks and complications of their treatments, as well as the relative frequencies.

Everyone aged 16 and older is assumed to have capacity (the ability to make informed decisions) unless proved otherwise. This includes anybody with dementia or a learning disability. If there is doubt, formal assessment for capacity needs to be carried out by a trained healthcare professional. This consists of:

1. Can the patient understand and retain information?
2. Can they weigh the pros and cons to make a decision?
3. Can they then communicate that decision?

If a patient is found to not have capacity, then healthcare professionals need to act in the patient's best interests, and in the UK we have a specific consent form for this (Consent Form 4). Some patients may have Advanced Directives or Lasting Power of Attorney, which will also impact on the consent process.

Consent for children needs to be obtained from a parent, but this is not an excuse not to involve the child in the decision.

In the UK, the GMC issue clear guidance on obtaining consent from patients (http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/consent_guidance_index.asp).

Some of the major principles to bear in mind:

1. No-one can take consent on behalf of an adult who has capacity.

2. The healthcare professional taking consent must be suitably qualified, should have 

knowledge about the procedure/ treatment including its risks, complications, and likelihood of failure.

3. Consent can be verbal (a patient says yes to be examined), written (formal signature and documentation) or implied (a patient offering their arm when they attend for a blood test).

My hope is to make this post a one-stop directory for consent for the commoner surgical and invasive procedures. I will not list specific surgical speciality operations (e.g. nasal septoplasty), but focus on the procedures that a junior doctor in the UK might be expected to consent for (provided they meet the criteria listed above).

The complications common to ALL invasive procedures:

1. Bleeding
2. Infection
3. Pain
4. Failure of procedure
5. Anaesthetic complications (if general anaesthesia used)

The frequency of the above will depend on the procedure.

CARDIOVASCULAR

Angiography


Purpose: to visualise the internal anatomy of the coronary arteries and/or treat any blockages via stenting

Benefits: remove blockages, improve angina symptoms, obtain a diagnosis

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + allergy to contrast, kidney damage from contrast, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), damage to blood vessels, stroke

More Information: http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=c5987b1e-add7-403a-b817-b3efe6109265&chunkiid=42307

RESPIRATORY

Chest drain insertion


Purpose: to drain fluid from the pleural cavity and improve breathing, obtain samples to get a diagnosis OR to remove air from the pleural cavity and treat a pneumothorax

Benefits: Remove air/ fluid, obtain a diagnosis

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + damage to local structures including ribs, nerves, blood vessels, lung laceration, colon/ stomach injury, blockage of tube

More information: http://www.trauma.org/archive/thoracic/CHESTdrain.html

Aspiration of pleural fluid/ pleural tap


Purpose: to obtain samples of fluid in the pleural cavity

Benefits: obtain diagnosis, symptomatic relief

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + damage to local structures including ribs, nerves, blood vessels, lung laceration

GASTRO

Upper GI endoscopy


Purpose: To directly visualise the oesophagus/ stomach/ duodenum for pathology and/or treat/ take biopsy samples for diagnosis

Benefits: obtain diagnosis, treat symptoms

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + risk of perforation of oesophagus requiring surgical repair 

Lower GI endoscopy (colonoscopy/ flexible sigmoidoscopy)

Purpose: To directly visualise the colon for pathology and/or treat/ take biopsy samples for diagnosis

Benefits: obtain diagnosis, treat symptoms

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + risk of perforation of bowel 

More infohttp://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=c5987b1e-add7-403a-b817-b3efe6109265&chunkiid=14795

ORTHOPAEDIC

Joint aspiration


Purpose: To remove joint fluid

Benefits: Symptomatic relief, obtain diagnosis

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + reaccumulation of fluid, damage to local nerves/ blood vessels/ tendons

Joint injection

Purpose: to inject treatment directly to site

Benefits: Symptomatic relief

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + damage to local skin/ nerves/ blood vessels, tendon damage, tendon rupture, hypopigmentation of skin at injection site

More infohttp://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=c5987b1e-add7-403a-b817-b3efe6109265&chunkiid=744873

OBSTETRIC/ GYNAECOLOGY

Caesarian (Cesarian) Section


Purpose: to delivery baby that cannot be delivered by normal means

Benefits: to deliver fetus

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + blood clots, damage to bladder/ bowel requiring repair, hysterectomy, blood transfusion

More infohttp://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=c5987b1e-add7-403a-b817-b3efe6109265&chunkiid=14798

Surgical evacuation of retained products of conception

Purpose: to remove retained products to prevent infection/ stop life-threatening bleeding

Benefits: remove products

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + blood transfusion, risk of perforation of uterus, incomplete removal requiring further procedure, damage to cervix/ bladder/ bowel requiring repair

More info: http://www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/users/user1/leaflets/IL362%20ERPC%20%28Evacuation%20of%20the%20Retained%20Products%20of%20Conception%29.pdf

GENERAL SURGERY

Laparoscopic procedure


Purpose: variable (e.g. laparoscopic appendicetomy to remove appendix, laparoscopic oophrectomy to remove ovaries etc)

Benefits: avoid open procedure, quicker recovery, fewer complications

Complications: pain, bleeding, infection + perforation of abdominal organs, damage to local vessels/ nerves, need to convert to open procedure

Think I should add more? Please suggest what other procedures you'd like to see listed!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

One Hundred Character Meme, Part Three

So on deviantart.com there's a tonne of fun memes to play with, where people make templates for you to fill out. I've done a couple of drawing ones, but then I came across this; could I list 100 characters I like? Not just characters I know about- they had to be characters I actually appreciate/ go fangirly over.

It took a lot of thought, delving into almost every single film/ TV show/ game/ anime/ even myth I know, but here it is!

For the next few weeks, I'll briefly take you through them all and why I love them.

These are numbers 70-100 (from left to right: for 1-35 see Part One and for 36-70 see Part Two)

The list starts from Row 8 Column 1

71. Carl Fredricksen (Up!)
The protagonist of Up!, we follow the touching story of childhood friends turned lovers turned elderly couple and the one wish Carl never got to share with his wife. But even though he's left a widower, fresh life comes in the form of a young boy scout, and Carl sets off on the adventure he always wanted. Cranky and curmudgeonly but with a good heart, Carl was a great lead character.

72. Hiccup (How To Train Your Dragon)
This boy genius sticks out like a sore thumb in this warrior-Viking epic, but it's his compassion and curiosity that eventually win the day. A great character to share this adventure with.

73. Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians)
An under-appreciated character of make-believe, Jack is forced to go up against the forces of darkness with the likes of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman. Mischievous and a trickster, Jack still knows what's best and does his part to protect children everywhere. A charming character.

74. Maia (Summoner: A Goddess Reborn)
The reincarnation of a goddess, Lahara, Maia is destined to fight her arch enemy of darkness and lead the world into an era of prosperity. She's a valiant warrior, a skilled magician, and has the ability to turn into various summon creatures. Her story was great fun and it was deeply satisfying understanding and learning about the lore and myths of her world.

75. Nel Zelpher (Star Ocean: Til the End of Time)
One of the first characters you come across in the game, and a memorable one at that. A skilled fighter and one of the Queen's most trusted allies, there's not much to dislike (apart from her ridiculous outfit).

76. Rebecca Crane (Assassin's Creed II)
The tech brains behind the modern day Assassin's Order, making improvements to the Animus and able to get things up and wired with minimal effort. She's got some great dialogue and her in-game emails can be entertaining to read too.

77. Shaun Hastings (Assassin's Creed II)
The sarcastic, dry-humoured British historian. His Animus entries are hilarious, and the way he interacts with the characters is both a reflection of the environment he's forced to work in and the fact he's a grumpy Brit :P

78. Luka Megurine (Vocaloid)
Not much to say about Luka but she's my favourite Vocaloid and I much prefer her songs to the squeakier-pitched Miku Hatsune. Doesn't mean they don't have some good duets though.

79. Jessie Bannon (Jonny Quest)
The token female of the Quest series, but Jessie's far from helpless. What Johnny has in courage, Jessie makes up for in tech smarts, and she can easily rival Haji. And she's a redhead to boot!

80. Sam (Totally Spies)
Of course Sam would be my favourite spy, as she shares my name! But also she's not as 'ditzy' as Clover and Alex and not quite so girly, which again are traits I prefer.

81. Wreck-It Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph)
How can you not like this poor lug? He's the bad guy yes, but he's certainly not at fault for wanting some recognition for his role. Of course he makes some mistakes along the way, but he's willing to take responsibility and do what he can to make things right again. Even if his talent is to break things.

82. Falco Lombardi (Star Fox)
Fox's friendly rival, Falco was always more interesting to me with his rather callous attitude and he doesn't like being much of a team player, but he always shows up when he needs to and is a very skilled pilot.

83. Kyoko Sakura (Madoka Magica)
My favourite magical girl in this series, as she seems to throw around a casual attitude but like with all the girls in this show, she's been shaped by the wish she made. Also her weapon is just awesome!

84. Light Yagami (Death Note)
The protagonist (antagonist?) of the show, and despite the dark and psychotic path he chooses to tread, I can't help but find him so fascinating. God-complex aside, I did sympathise with him a little, but eventually you see what he's gotten himself into, and the show ends on a suitable note.

85. Tybalt Volumnia de Capulet (Romeo x Juliet)
The 'darker and edgier' rival to Romeo, Tybalt is extremely capable and much more the realist, almost to a disturbing degree. However he gets his development, learns there is a softer side to life, and gets a deserved happy ending.

86. Prince Marth (Fire Emblem)
I was first introduced to Marth via Smash Bros (like most people), but he also got me into the Fire Emblem series. So I'm not that informed about his actual character but he's got a cool design and he's an awesome fighter in Melee and Brawl :P

87. Pinky and the Brain (Animaniacs)
This counts as one! This dynamic duo are always out to take over the world with various schemes. And you'll always recognise their iconic voices!

88. Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Another one from the Sonic franchise, had to go with Metal Sonic because he was one of the first Sonic bosses I had an actual fear of. It took me so many times for me to beat him in Sonic CD, and he made for an entertaining boss in later games, too.

89. Soundwave (Transformers Prime)
So I'm not a huge TF fan but Soundwave always stands out for me, more in his Prime incarnation than G1. Always silent, always masked, but extremely deadly. Easily the more fearsome Decepticon.

90. Kilik (Soul Calibur)
Haven't played Soul Calibur but the character story arcs are pretty interesting. Kilik trained as a monk, was infected with dark energy and almost killed everything he loved, and then had to spend years training to try and rid himself of it. He also looks eerily similar to Squall, another character I admire, but of course that hasn't got anything to do with why I like him...

91. Harry Potter (Harry Potter)
The protagonist of Hogwarts. While there's a great massive cast, I guess I only ever really cared about Harry. From his tragic backstory to the unfair predjudices and expectations placed upon him, to his personal flaws and how he overcomes them, his arc was just the most interesting to me.

92. Flynn Rider (Tangled)
The cocky, arrogant thief who happens to break Rapunzel out of her ivory tower and show her true freedom. And trouble. And betrayal. And all manner of other things! His design was interesting and his interactions with Rapunzel humorous. He's brave and loyal, too.

93. Skye (Darkened Skye)
I love the sarcastic heroine of this sadly often glitchy game. Thrust onto a quest she doesn't really want to go on, meeting a colourful cast of characters and all for the magic powers of Skittles (yes, really). I love her dialogue, and for a amateur hero she does pretty well.

94. Dorian (Darkened Skye)
A side character to Skye, Dorian's rather ditzy appearances and words of wisdom are always welcome. Plus he's not that bad looking for the graphic age he was in!

95. The Black Knight (Monty Python)
A classic! Everyone remembers that confrontation for the ages, King Arthur vs. 'It's just a flesh wound'. Gotta give this guy credit for never giving up.

96. Aqua (Kingdom Hearts)
Aqua is the only approved Keyblade Master of her cohort, but she's willing to forego anything to help her friends. Facing a lifetime of endless darkness just for the sake of Terra, Aqua's certainly an admirable hero.

97. Avatar Wan (Legend of Korra)
The first Avatar in the Avatar universe. After being cast out from his lion-turtle city home, Wan braves the Spirit Wilds, befriends the spirits, and takes responsibility for one of his gravest mistakes. Truly inspiring!

98. Jenna (Darkweaver Legacy)
One of Calvyn's fellow recruits in the Darkweaver books, and she even gets her own story in book 2. A capable archer, brave and determined, Jenna's certainly a soldier you want on your side. Unfortunately she goes get devolved to love interest, but hey it was good while it lasted.

99. Genie (Aladdin)
The mystical genie of the lamp actually has quite the fast-mouth and sense of pop culture references. Robin Williams did a great job, and the blue Genie remains one of the most icon characters of the series.

100. Cassandra of Troy (Greek myth)
Poor, poor Cassandra! She always gets a terrible rep in the Greek myths, and yet most of it is beyond her control. Her gift spoiled by the god Apollo, she can do nothing but watch her home burn and be taken as a slave and concubine by her conquerors. But she's always been interesting to me.

And that's it? What are some of your favourite characters? Can you get 100?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

One Hundred Character Meme, Part Two

So on deviantart.com there's a tonne of fun memes to play with, where people make templates for you to fill out. I've done a couple of drawing ones, but then I came across this; could I list 100 characters I like? Not just characters I know about- they had to be characters I actually appreciate/ go fangirly over.

It took a lot of thought, delving into almost every single film/ TV show/ game/ anime/ even myth I know, but here it is!


For the next few weeks, I'll briefly take you through them all and why I love them.

These are numbers 36-70 (from left to right: for 1-35 see Part One)

36. Hei (Darker Than Black)
The quiet protagonist, a Contractor working for the Syndicate. Contractors are humans who've gained supernatural powers and have lost their empathy, but every time they use their power they have to pay a 'price', a compulsion they can't control. Hei however seems the exception to this, although he always seems to be eating. With his fancy moves and white mask, he's certainly not to be trifled with.

37. Prince Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)
The exiled prince who becomes the mediator for the forces of nature who want to crush the humans spoiling their lands and the humans who are struggling to survive on the harsh plains. He's honourable, honest and kind, and his journey is something not to be missed.

38. Wander (Shadow of the Colossus)
The mysterious progatonist of the aforementioned game. All we know is that he carries a dead woman with him to a forbidden land, seeking a power to restore her to life. We know nothing of his past, or how he came to be in the situation he's in; we just take control and help him meet his goal. The mystery makes the draw to him all the more stronger, as you try and get him his happy ending.

39. Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club)
An unfortunate honours student who's forced into the service of the Host Club after breaking an expensive ming vase. However, much to the surprise of the Host Club members, she's actually a girl, albeit with a somewhat masculine haircut. Nevertheless they keep up the pretense. Haurhi's more than that, though, with her twists on gender stereotypes and how she deals with the smug rich kids in school. One of my favourites.

40. Date Masamune (Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings)
Based upon a real Sengoku era general of the same name, I have to say it's his design I love more than anything. With his crescent moon helmet and six katanas, what's not to love?

41. Haytham Kenway (Assassin's Creed III)
The charismatic Templar leader paving the way for the Order to take root in the Americas. Despite being a Templar (which incidentally you don't find out until you've played some levels as him!), he's honest, cunning and trustworthy, and skilled in the Assassin skills, too.

42. England (Hetalia Axis Powers)
I like a lot of the Hetalia 'countries', but England is my fav. He can talk to mythical animals, he can't stand France, and likes his tea. And who can forget those eyebrows?

43. Alexandra Roivas (Eternal Darkness)
A sorely underrated game based on the lore of H.P.Lovecraft, and Alex is the modern day protagonist, unveiling the hidden secrets of a millenia long war against the return of the Ancients. Alex is sharp-witted, highly intelligent and not too bad with a gladius, either.

44. Irma Lair (W.I.T.C.H)
The wisecracking, sarcastic Guardian of Water from the W.I.T.C.H series. She's a master of her element and always has a one-liner waiting for both her friends and enemies. The episodes where she's alone or goes on a tangent are great, showing her flaws and development, and she's a thoroughly enjoyable character.

45. Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy)
Mario's main guide in the Galaxy games. We don't know much about this mysterious, Luma-surrounded lady, but she's certainly interesting with her magical power and love for the adorable Lumas. She's also my favourite character to play as in Mario Kart Wii.

46. Robert Foster (Beneath a Steel Sky)
A old point-and-click adventure for PC (which took me 12 years to complete!), Robert Foster is the estranged hero. The lone survivor of a helicopter crash as his mother tried to escape the city of his birth, Rob was brought up by the nomads of the Gap. However as an adult his past catches up with him and he's captured and taken back. He's a likeable character with a quick mind, and it was fun following him to the conclusion of his tale.

47. Ike (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance)
Truth be told I'm more familiar with Ike from the Smash Bros point of view, but he plays an important role in Path of Radiance. Son of a mercenary, Ike is a skilled swordsman and kind-hearted young man. He's not prejudiced like many of his peers, either, and grows into a confident and competent leader.

48. Lumina (Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns)
The cheeky young girl who appears in the third installment of the FF13 franchise, she's a real trickster, sometimes helping and sometimes hindering Lightning in her quest. I like her unpredictable nature, and the twist regarding her in the story actually surprised me.

49. Asuna (Sword Art Online)
This was hard for me to list, for while Asuna is a great character she's treated HORRIBLY in SAO (especially in the second half, made me cringe). Still, she's talented and brave, if a bit naive at times, and feels she has a lot to prove.

50. Mystearica 'Tear' Grants (Tales of the Abyss)
Mystearica, or Tear as her friends know her, is a skilled Seventh Phonist who also knows the sacred Fonic Hymns. She tries to present herself as cool, reserved and serious, but inside she has a secret love for cute things which she's no good at hiding at all.

51. Mulan (Mulan)
Mulan was one of the first Disney films I really really liked. For one thing she left home not to bag herself a man but to fight for her country, and through her guile and strength of heart she succeeded. She was cunning and a great strategist...a shame she turned down the Emperor's offer at the end!

52. Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)
The self-proclaimed 'leading man' in FF12. Along with Fran, this sky pirate is devious, cunning but he's got a real heart of gold. His taste for riches and crystals get him dragged down into the main conflict of the game, and he proves a very resourceful character. Not to mention he gets some of the best lines!

53. Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
Everyone's favourite kickass witch, I loved the game and I love sassy Bayonetta. Unlike the predecessor to her franchise (DMC), she actually has some real personality and her game actually has a coherent story. With her Wicked Weaves and quadruple gun play, she's a powerful Witch, and the Lumen Sages better watch their backs.

54. Knuckles the Echidna (Sonic the Hedgehog)
I instantly adored this guy the moment I saw him appear in Sonic 3, and his best moments were in the Sonic Adventure series. However sadly he's gone through a lot of character decay, being replaced as Sonic's rival by Shadow, the whole 'Guardian of the Floating Island' thing gone to the wayside, and don't get me started on his horrible design and characterisation in Sonic Boom...but he's still an awesome red-dreaded echidna, and I hope one day he'll return to his former glory.

55. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog)
My very first game, and the very first fandom I ever got into, Sonic will always hold a special place for me. While I much prefer his Japanese incarnations to his Western ones, you can't deny Sonic's memorability. With his trademark blue hue and red sneakers, he's had a bit of a struggle with his franchise, but I still keep buying his games and enjoying whatever adventure he's thrown into.

56. Merida (Brave)
This film was a pleasant surprise for me, as before watching I didn't really know much about it. Finally a film that moved AWAY from the obligatory princess romance and focused on a much unseen relationship; that of mother and daughter. Merida is your typical tomboy, preferring archery and riding to dressing up and acting with decorum, but after a revenge plot against her mother goes awry, she learns to take responsibility for her actions. And you gotta love that curly hair of hers!

57. Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)
The brooding, angsty teenager of FF8. At the time I first played the game I could relate a lot to Squall, and he also has an interesting design (practical impossibility of a gunblade aside). He prefers logic to emotion, yet while he's a bit aloof from his peer he still garners their respect and admiration as a leader. 

58. Asuka Langley Soryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
The loud, proud (if irrevocably damaged) pilot of Unit Two. Asuka really stood out as a character in NGE, contrasting to the reserved Rei Ayanami and cowardly Shinji Ikari, but of course (being Eva) she didn't escape the 'shaped by tragic past' schtick. Watching her mental unravelling was very heart-breaking, and even though she gets a tiny bit of glory in End of Evangelion, it ultimately amounts to nothing. But still, a memorable and awesome character.

59. Amaterasu (Okami)
The goddess of the sun, reincarnated in wolf form in this beautiful game. 'Ammy' has to travel all of ancient Japan (Nippon) and rid it of the dark demons that now plague the lands. Restoring nature, killing evil spirits and fighting against the greatest source of darkness, Ammy lives up to her title of deity and saves the world. Also seeing her act like a puppy in some scenes was just adorable!

60. Tenebrae (Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World)
The snide, sarcastic Centurion of Lord Ratatosk, I love everything this character says. Always knowing exactly how to stir conversations the wrong way, always in praise of darkness and yet with a surprisingly honest and open view on things, he's a great supporting character in the game, and I can watch his skits over and over.

61. Kusanagi Shiyu (X/1999)
One of the Dragons of Earth in the military, and yet he doesn't quite share his fellow Dragons' disdain over humanity. His line about people still crying when others get hurt I thought was pretty profound (especially when most media love to critisize how evils human can be), and I enjoyed his friendship with Yuzuriha.

62. Arashi Kishu (X/1999)
The skilful samauri, Arashi doesn't waste words and is your typical stoic soldier type. She does gradually change, though, and I enjoyed her little arc.

63. Lord Darcia III (Wolf's Rain)
This guy is a true menace in the world of Wolf's Rain. Following on from the horrendous crimes committed by his father and grandfather, his devotion to his dying love turns to madness, and we're able to watch first hand how deeply he sinks. He gives a great final battle, and is definitely a villain you won't forget.

64. Sheena Fujibashi (Tales of Symphonia)
The clumsy assassin ninja from my favourite Tales...game. Sheena's past isn't without tragedy, but it becomes something she learns from and shapes her character development. As one of the last Summoners, she also plays an important role in the plot. Plus you can't help but love that as badass as she is, she has a tendency to fall into hidden traps far more easily than you'd expect.

65. Momou Inugami (Good Luck Girl)
The adorably cute puppy-spirit who has a certain fetish for S&M. He's hilarious with his antics and knows how to use his cuteness to his advantage. Devote to Momiji, he does also develop a soft spot for Sakura too. Loyal, brave and downright indestructible (hit him too hard and he'll turn from dog to human or vice versa), he's a grand addition to the cast.

66. Sakura Ichiko (Good Luck Girl)
For some reason or another, Sakura's always been blessed with excessive good luck, and everything in her life has gone swimmingly...until a poverty goddess shows up to shake things up. But in fact Sakura's not as happy as she proclaims, revealing that her good luck and her propensity to take the good luck from others has left her very lonely. Her character development was spot-on, and I thoroughly enjoyed following her journey.

67. Princess What's Her Name (Earthworm Jim)
Sister of Queen Pulsating-Bloated-Festering-Sweaty-Pus-filled, Malformed-Slug-for-a-Butt. The Princess was locked away from a young age by the Queen, and grew into the leader of a band of ragtag rebels on her home planet of Insectica. She's a great fighter, although this comes out more in the cartoon than the game.

68. Professor Hannah Awkward (Believe Nothing)
Professor of Pedantics at Oxford University, and the pursued love interest of Quadruple Professor Adonis Cnut. She has great quirks, and a bit of a sweet tooth to boot. A pity the series was so short-lived.

69. Bugs Bunny (Looney Toons)
'What's up, Doc?'. One of the defining cartoons of my childhood, how could I not include Bugs here? He's scheming, sneaky, and yet never in a malicious way, so you can't help but root for him. Whether he's foiling Elmer Fudd or driving Daffy up the wall, every moment is a joy to watch.

70. Puss in Boots (Shrek)
Our Latino cat-warrior, he really did brighten up the Shrek cast. He's a fast talker, romancer, and skilled swordsman, too. Perfectly cast and perfectly written!

71. Carl Fredricksen (Up!)

72. Hiccup (How To Train Your Dragon)

73. Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians)

74. Maia (Summoner: A Goddess Reborn)

75. Nel Zelpher (Star Ocean: Til the End of Time)

76. Rebecca Crane (Assassin's Creed II)

77. Shaun Hastines (Assassin's Creed II)

78. Luka Megurine (Vocaloid)

79. Jessie Bannon (Jonny Quest)

80. Sam (Totally Spies)

81. Wreck-It Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph)

82. Falco Lombardi (Star Fox)

83. Kyoko Sakura (Madoka Magica)

84. Light Yagami (Death Note)

85. Tybalt Volumnia de Capulet (Romeo x Juliet)

86. Prince Marth (Fire Emblem)

87. Pinky and the Brain (Animaniacs)

88. Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)

89. Soundwave (Transformers Prime)

90. Kilik (Soul Calibur)

91. Harry Potter (Harry Potter)

92. Flynn Rider (Tangled)

93. Skye (Darkened Skye)

94. Dorian (Darkened Skye)

95. The Black Knight (Monty Python)

96. Aqua (Kingdom Hearts)

97. Avatar Wan (Legend of Korra)

98. Jenna (Darkweaver Legacy)

99. Genie (Aladdin)

100. Cassandra of Troy (Greek myth)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

One Hundred Characters Meme! Part One

So on deviantart.com there's a tonne of fun memes to play with, where people make templates for you to fill out. I've done a couple of drawing ones, but then I came across this; could I list 100 characters I like? Not just characters I know about- they had to be characters I actually appreciate/ go fangirly over.

It took a lot of thought, delving into almost every single film/ TV show/ game/ anime/ even myth I know, but here it is!


For the next few weeks, I'll briefly take you through them all and why I love them.

These are the first 35 (from left to right):

1. Lightning Farron (Final Fantasy XIII)
An obvious choice for me- I adore Lightning! She's a highly skilled, determined soldier, and nothing will get in her way to protect her sister. Slightly miffed at how her game's story treated her (and the rather sad descent into fanservice the sequels have led to) but she's still awesome.

2. Oerba Yun Fang (Final Fantasy XIII)
Another great character from the same game. Where Lightning is much more reserved and cynical, I love Fang's outspoken and impulsive nature. Her design is cool, too.

3. Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca ('Ashe') (Final Fantasy XII)
From the vastly underrated FF12. Ashe has to face a lot of tough choices in her fight to free her kingdom, and she's no helpless damsel either. Certainly one of the more memorable FF heroines.

4. Sothe (Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn)
While his role does diminish in the game as it progresses, Sothe's still a great character. Fiercely loyal to Micaiah, his adopted sister, and a skilled thief, I always enjoy his actions in the open cutscene.

5. Juliet (Romeo x Juliet)
I love this retelling of Shakespeare's classic, and Juliet gets some great character development. For one thing, she's a skilled swordswoman, and she isn't second fiddle as Romeo's love interest, either; it's the other way around! While of course you know the ending from the outset, she definitely takes you for a wild ride through her adventure.

6. Bolin (Legend of Korra)
Ah, Bolin, the steadfast, laidback member of Korra's Team Avatar. Never a dull moment with this guy, whether it's his humorous quips or his talented Earthbending. I'm always smiling when this guy shows up.

7. Korra (Legend of Korra)
The leading lady herself! She's Aang's opposite and I find that makes her more interesting. Headstrong, brash, impulsive, she's not afraid to brave anything, even if most of the time it does land her in sticky situations. In the later seasons (Books 3 and 4), she starts to develop into a much more layered character, and I can't wait to see how her story concludes.

8. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
One of gaming's most iconic ladies, of course I couldn't miss her out. Smart, cunning, a born survivor and with a touch of humour, you have to admire this adventurer archaeologist (eat your heart out Indiana Jones).

9. Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
Mikasa had a presence all her own when I first saw her, and her tragic backstory made her all the more endearing. Like Lightning she's highly skilled and shows little emotion, but that doesn't mean she's completely heartless.

10. Jean Kirschtein (Attack on Titan)
While Jean might not start out as the nicest guy on the planet, the realities of war make him sober up pretty fast, and he shows some great leadership skills even though he's constantly doubting himself. For me this makes him much more interesting, as he's got to overcome real flaws and do the best he can, even if he's not the main hero.

11. Momiji (Good Luck Girl)
Love this goddess of misfortune- from her dry sense of humour and rough mannerisms, to her odd pearls of wisdom that she always seems to drop at exactly the right moment. I always found myself siding with her and not Sakura (who's also on my list further down).

12. Kitana (Mortal Kombat)
I always play as Kitana; nobody messes with those fans! Though I sympathise more with her characterisation from the animated series more than the game (where she's the exiled Princess fighting to reclaim her kingdom).

13. Sub Zero (Mortal Kombat)
Another playable favourite. Nobody can mistake his trademark blue outfit and icy attacks.

14. Raiden (Mortal Kombat)
God of thunder, wise mentor and general badass. I enjoyed his sarcastic quips in the animated series and film.

15. Orphen (Sorcerous Stabber Orphen)
This was one of the first anime I ever watched and I still love it. Orphen's a bit of an angry, miserable git at times but he does still joke around from time to time and he's got a lot of conflict in his past, which excuses some of his behaviour (but not all). Awesome design, too.

16. Syrenne (Last Story)
In the EU release Syrenne has a Lancashire accent and that automatically means she has to go on this list. A girl who likes her drink but a more than capable fighter, too.

17. Mirania (Last Story)
Mirania has an interesting design and I like her mannerisms. While her 'devoted to nature arc' isn't exactly original, she's a great supporting character in the game.

18. Vyse (Skies of Arcadia)
How can you not like this guy? From his constant happy outlook on life, his loyalty to his friends and crew and his skill with dual cutlasses, he'll always be my favourite from the series.

19. Prince of Persia (Prince of Persia)
In the first reboot of the series (started with Sands of Time), I liked the Prince and how he learns and grows into his title despite the mistakes he makes along the way. The film was pretty disappointing but then that's a given with game-to-film adaptations :P

20. Jade Kurtis (Tales of the Abyss)
He has the best lines ever, both in the game and the anime. An extremely talented scientist and soldier, albeit he lacks in the empathy and ethics department; a flaw he well recognises. Still, just hearing his put downs and retorts to rival Dist always make me laugh.

21. Lina Inverse (Slayers)
Everyone's favourite chaos sorceress. It's great how she's truly not an altruistic heroine and often would rather go after things for her own gain. Nevertheless she always makes the right choices in the end and her vastly powerful Ragna Blade and Giga Slave are not to be trifled with. Just don't comment about her chest.

22. Zelgadis Greywords (Slayers)
Everyone's favourite brooding magical swordsman, also from the same series. Cursed to be a chimera by the man he once looked up to, Zel is constantly searching for a cure, but is always up to help Lina and friends out when needed.

23. Train Hartnet (Black Cat)
A deadly assassin, Chronos Number 13, Train is second to none at his job. But after he meets Saya, his outlook on life changes and he sets out to live on his own terms. But fate won't let him walk away so easily. And every step of his journey is a joy to watch.

24. Sven Volfied (Black Cat)
From the same series, Sven is a self-confessed gentleman with a penchant for chivalry and politeness. He's pretty skilled with that briefcase of his, too.

25. Sephiria Arcs (Black Cat)
The first Chronos Number and leader of the Numbers, you don't mess with Sephiria. Incredibly skilled with her sword, she's truly undefeatable, and pretty ruthless at times, too.

26. Roy Mustang (Full Metal Alchemist)
I'm going off his incarnation in the original anime, not Brotherhood, but Roy was great. At first glance you don't really think much of his shallow persona, but pretty soon you see he's a skilled flame alchemist, and he's seen his fair share of darkness, too. 

27. Sabriel (Sabriel)
The titular character from Garth Nix's Abhorsen series. Sabriel was one of the first female heroines I read about, and she's stuck with me since. Determined and capable, even if she does lack a bit of self confidence, she fights on regardless and with the help of her allies.

28. Eona (Eon: Dragoneye Reborn)
Eona again is another female protagonist, training to be a Dragoneye while at the same time hiding her gender. She struggles with choices that have wide-reaching consequences, and I enjoyed following her story.

29. Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (Assassin's Creed)
While most of the AC fans flock to Ezio, I've always much preferred the quieter, more reserved Altaïr. Exceptionally skilled, he's thrown down a path of redemption after his arrogance gets the better of him. I loved his development in the game, and was thrilled to get glances of him in Revelations, too.

30. Toph Beifong (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
One of the most incredible characters in any fandom, I think. A blind young girl, Toph is an extremely talented Earthbender who INVENTS a new type of sub-bending art and can floor opponents many times her size and strength. Don't underestimate her!

31. Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
The famous Fire Nation General. Always full of wisdom for his nephew Zuko (and anyone else who cares to listen), but also a powerful Firebender and military powerhouse.

32. Haku (Spirited Away)
Trapped to service to Yubaba, Haku still does his best to help Chihiro ('Sen'). His dragon form is pretty, too.

33. Eisenheim (The Illusionist)
The master of deception, I thoroughly enjoyed how he implemented his tricks and got the better of his enemies.

34. Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Carribean)
From the moment he enters the screen on that sinking ship, you know this is going to be someone memorable. An apparently incompetent pirate, Jack hides his guile and cunning and makes for an enjoyable companion to sail around the Carribean with.

35. Gracie Hart (Miss Congeniality)
This FBI agent with a knack for cocking it all up really comes into her own when she's forced to go undercover for a beauty pageant. Gracie's hilarious as she does her best to hide her less than feminine attributes and her woeful lack of knowledge of 'women's issues', but in the end her skills as an officer win the day and she saves the pageant.

36. Hei (Darker Than Black)

37. Prince Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)

38. Wander (Shadow of the Colossus)

39. Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club)

40. Date Masamune (Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings)

41. Haytham Kenway (Assassin's Creed III)

42. England (Hetalia Axis Powers)

43. Alexandra Roivas (Eternal Darkness)

44. Irma Lair (W.I.T.C.H)

45. Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy)

46. Robert Foster (Beneath a Steel Sky)

47. Ike (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance)

48. Lumina (Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns)

49. Asuna (Sword Art Online)

50. Tear Grants (Tales of the Abyss)

51. Mulan (Mulan)

52. Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)

53. Bayonetta (Bayonetta)

54. Knuckles the Echidna (Sonic the Hedgehog)

55. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog)

56. Merida (Brave)

57. Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)

58. Asuka Langley Soryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

59. Amaterasu (Okami)

60. Tenebrae (Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World)

61. Kusanagi Shiyu (X/1999)

62. Arashi Kishu (X/1999)

63. Lord Darcia III (Wolf's Rain)

64. Sheena Fujibashi (Tales of Symphonia)

65. Momou Inugami (Good Luck Girl)

66. Sakura Ichiko (Good Luck Girl)

67. Princess What's Her Name (Earthworm Jim)

68. Professor Hannah Awkward (Believe Nothing)

69. Bugs Bunny (Looney Toons)

70. Puss in Boots (Shrek)

71. Carl Fredricksen (Up!)

72. Hiccup (How To Train Your Dragon)

73. Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians)

74. Maia (Summoner: A Goddess Reborn)

75. Nel Zelpher (Star Ocean: Til the End of Time)

76. Rebecca Crane (Assassin's Creed II)

77. Shaun Hastines (Assassin's Creed II)

78. Luka Megurine (Vocaloid)

79. Jessie Bannon (Jonny Quest)

80. Sam (Totally Spies)

81. Wreck-It Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph)

82. Falco Lombardi (Star Fox)

83. Kyoko Sakura (Madoka Magica)

84. Light Yagami (Death Note)

85. Tybalt Volumnia de Capulet (Romeo x Juliet)

86. Prince Marth (Fire Emblem)

87. Pinky and the Brain (Animaniacs)

88. Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)

89. Soundwave (Transformers Prime)

90. Kilik (Soul Calibur)

91. Harry Potter (Harry Potter)

92. Flynn Rider (Tangled)

93. Skye (Darkened Skye)

94. Dorian (Darkened Skye)

95. The Black Knight (Monty Python)

96. Aqua (Kingdom Hearts)

97. Avatar Wan (Legend of Korra)

98. Jenna (Darkweaver Legacy)

99. Genie (Aladdin)

100. Cassandra of Troy (Greek myth)


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Binding Giveaway! 10th September- 2nd October

Hey everyone, I've got good news. From today until 2nd October 2014, I'm going to be hosting another giveaway! This time I have five paperback copies of The Binding, and each comes with an exclusive signed print of Eliza and Ryan!




The giveaway is open to residents of the UK, USA and Canada.

So what are you waiting for? Enter now for a chance to win!

What do you do when you can't trust your heart?

All seventeen year-old Eliza Bryant wants is to avoid a Binding— the ancient spell that forces couples into a lifelong bond. It cursed her sister, and for the last two years it’s tried to claim her, too. Her monthly hiding ritual worked brilliantly, until the night she ran into Ryan, a mysterious bounty-hunter. Now Bound to him, Eliza must spend every moment at his side, else she’ll transform into an Unbound; a lifeless husk without mind or soul.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s not looking to settle, and Eliza is dragged into his crazy life on the run. Still, she’s not going to take this lying down. Between grappling with the false feelings conjured by the spell and fleeing an unseen enemy, she plans to find a way to break her Binding; a feat nobody’s achieved in two thousand years. The key to her freedom lies closer than she thinks, and it’s deeply connected to Ryan’s past.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Binding by Sam Dogra

The Binding

by Sam Dogra

Giveaway ends October 02, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win