After having watched the first season, I was quite eager to read the book and get to know the characters better through the original medium.
Reading the introduction by the author, I had a clear idea in my head of who Kovacs was. An idea that was immediately contradicted with the first chapter of the book. That was interesting, though. It made me think about how people view themselves differently to how those around view them.
Even by the end of the book, I couldn’t say whether I liked or hated Kovacs. He was certainly a character with a lot of depth to him. However, he was the only one I really got to know. Seeing the others through his eyes coloured my perceptions of them a lot.
I wasn’t very clear on exactly what an Envoy did. The book, despite the wide range offered by the stack technology, was very focused on Earth. I did find it interesting to see the disconnect between Kovacs and the sleeve he wore, though. Like when he felt like a passenger being controlled by the original occupant.
It was also good to see the relation between the sleeve and its occupant. Like how Kovacs wasn’t resistant to pain, due to the young female sleeve. Or needing a cigarette because his new sleeve was addicted.
I really liked seeing how the society on Earth had evolved due to the technology, even if I did only get hints of it. The waste of bodies, for instance. I couldn’t understand where all of the sleeves were coming from.
I also would have liked more background to Kovacs. I had so many questions about his history. His relationships. Family. He was an interesting character, but something about him felt unfinished.
This book was an intriguing read, with interesting technology and a main character I would like to see and learn more of. At the same time, it would be good to get a much wider view of the world and society.
After reading Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson became one of my favourite authors. Even so, it did take me a little while to finish this book. Not because it was hard to read, but I think part of me wanted to draw the book out for as long as possible.
The idea of Elantris was a really intriguing one. Raoden was a character I could relate to right from the start. He had a lot of good qualities that clearly aided him after he was turned.
I did also particularly like Sarene. And I liked her not because of what she did well, but because of what failed. What went wrong. She was clearly an imperfect character and that’s what made her so interesting.
The heroes of this book weren’t the only characters I liked. Hrathen was one I enjoyed learning about. In my opinion, he was a good example of a three-dimensional villain.
I liked being able to see some of the politics and intrigue; the way some of the characters didn’t agree with the King’s actions, but had to work behind the scenes to affect any change.
While, at first, Sarene’s act of an air headed princess did irritate me, it was good to see that it worked against her quite often. And that she had to make adjustments due to not being able to hold onto the act. Compared to her father, she was a much stronger person.
I did find it sad to read about the fate of the people of Elantris. I could definitely get behind Raoden’s actions to change things. I thought I was rooting for them to return to their former glory for a while, but the strength the people ultimately demonstrated made me feel I would have been happy if they’d just made do.
Like Warbreaker, this book is one I would very much enjoy reading again. And I would love to read more books set in the same world.
Who wouldn’t want to live out their greatest fantasy? This movie’s trailer did a good job of setting the scene when it came to showing the feel of the island, from the idyllic atmosphere to how things started to go wrong.
I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the characters through the course of the movie. It was good to learn more about their history and motivations. Even J.D. and Brax, who at first seemed typical party boys, had a much deeper history than it first seemed.
While I did expect the fantasies to take a dark turn, due to the trailer, I felt that it was still done in a way that worked, as a gradual buildup rather than everything turning sour straight away.
It was good to see glimpses of the wider area of the island, though I would have liked a bit more detail of how it actually worked. At various times, the movie seemed to break its own rules.
I did find it harder to relate to Gwen’s fantasy; which I suppose did make sense, given what’s revealed later in the movie. However, I found it difficult to see any mothering instinct in her, despite her claim to have five years worth of memory.
As more was revealed about the characters and their backgrounds, I did start caring about what happened to them a lot more. But honestly, I couldn’t see how the island could ever be a sustainable thing. After all, people would talk. And eventually, it would either be overrun by people desperate to change their lives, or utterly destroyed.
I haven’t seen the series this movie is supposed to tie to, though, so it’s possible that these things do happen.
I did end up enjoying this movie. If you ignore the contradictions, it is entertaining and does have some good characters easy to relate to.
I saw this book a while ago and was immediately intrigued by the cover, especially as it combined two of my favourite things: horror and manga.
The first story was really quite creepy. While it really wasn’t a realistic story, it was rooted enough in reality that it made my skin crawl while I was reading it. After all, vampire bats really do exist. And there was something truly disturbing about the scene with the bats filling the sky.
I found the second story much harder to suspend my disbelief for. Even with seeing what Tsuguo had seen at the comedy show, it didn’t really make a lot of sense. There just wasn’t a clear explanation as to where the ghosts had come from.
I especially liked the story with the flood. I enjoyed the fact it held a bit of a mystery and that there was still something to wonder about towards the end.
The Earthbound story was very intriguing, even though it wasn’t clear how and why it had started. There was a sense of dread that just grew the more the story went on.
The three interconnected stories were a bit harder to follow. By the end of the third one, I was completely and utterly lost.
The guardian spirits story was quite a sad one, but it also showed a sense of obsession, I felt. After all, going back to her every time, despite what she was doing, just seemed like an incredibly bad choice.
I did find the book entertaining and the artwork and stories were easy to follow. I’m very interested in reading more books by this author in the near future.
Having seen The Boy and considering the twist ending, I was very curious to see how the sequel would handle the story.
I honestly felt that this movie overly complicated things and completely contradicted the ending of the previous movie.
I really liked the family elements in this movie, the relationship between Jude and his parents. It made sense that both Jude and his mother were traumatised by the home invasion. It was good to see his parents trying to get him the help he needed, even while acknowledging that he wasn’t the only one affected.
I didn’t find this movie particularly scary. It was pretty predictable, in my opinion. I didn’t really feel ‘in on the joke’, which I suspect was the point of the movie showing the audience Brahms’ movements.
The first movie was cleverly done, but although I liked the family aspects in this one, I felt the supernatural elements ruined the feel of the original. And there was no clear explanation as to why the doll was suddenly supernatural. And the whole thing with Joseph just felt tacked on.
This movie works better as a standalone, but contradicts the first movie too much to work as a sequel.
The scariest things are always what you don’t see.
This movie starts out pretty harrowing right from the start. It’s easy to relate to Cecelia as she desperately tries to put her plan of escape into action. I found myself holding my breath as she checked continually to make sure Adrian was still asleep. And I came close to jumping out of my skin when she kicked over the dog’s bowl.
Having said that, because of the movie’s close focus on Cecelia, I found it difficult to see the other characters as people in their own right. They seemed to exist solely for the purpose of driving Cecelia’s story forward. There was little about their history with each other. With her. Cecelia talks about how strong her sister is. That she has to control everything. Yet very little of that is actually shown.
The feeling of isolation Cecelia experienced in the movie came across very clearly. I didn’t really feel she went through a satisfactory journey. The ending wasn’t entirely unexpected, but the path she took to get there didn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
The movie was intense to watch, but at the end, it felt like that was it. No real sense that the characters would continue past that point.
Something about the movie kind of just felt flat. I was looking forward to watching it, but it just didn’t resonate with me.
I’ve been going to so many conventions, I figured that starting 2020, I’d start blogging about them.
I only attended LFCC Spring on the Saturday and went with my niece on the coach, getting up at 5am in order to get on the coach at 6.20am.
So we got to London, got to Kensington Olympia for 9.30am. The doors were opening at 9, so I figured we’d get there after the majority of people had got inside.
Well… That didn’t happen. It was after 10 before we even got inside the building. And then there were bag checks. Which we both passed, though I was asked who needed so much Pepsi Max. Believe me, by the end of the day, I needed all the energy I could get!
As soon as me and my niece got inside, we picked up our diamond passes. I had those for Christopher Lambert and Mark Dacascos, while my niece had a diamond pass for Robert Englund.
My first interaction of the day was with Casper Zafer. He was so incredibly nice. He complimented my hair, which my sister had dyed for me Thursday night. He also wished me happy birthday for today, the 1st March. And he was my first photo of the day, too.
Casper played Finn in the Vampire Diaries and the Originals. So far, I have autographs from three of the original vampires and photos with two.
It’s worth noting that I had great experiences with all of the actors at this con. I’ve had actors who don’t acknowledge me at all and will even have a conversation with someone else while signing. But at this particular event, my favourite encounter was with Ivana Baquero, who played Eretria in the Shannara Chronicles and the main character in Pan’s Labyrinth.
I don’t tend to ask for quotes or character names on my autographs. The only thing I’ll ask for is personalisation. But when an actor chooses to add more than just my name and their signature, it means a lot. And Ivana included a quote from Eretria. And remembered me from the photo.
‘There can be only one.’
I loved Highlander, the movies and the TV series. And getting to meet Connor MacLeod’s actor was truly amazing. Probably shouldn’t have been grinning with my head about to be cut off, though.
This was the photo included in my diamond pass.
Mark Dacascos was one of the actors whose queue was a long one. I wanted to meet him primarily because of the television series The Crow. But also the movie Double Dragon.
He was talkative and engaging. Completely great with the fans.
There weren’t that many people getting photos with Robert Emms, which was quite surprising to me. I enjoyed his portrayal of Pythagoras in Atlantis and got to have a bit of a chat with him.
Tom Hopper, the Umbrella Academy. Yes, he is really that tall. Or maybe I’m just that short. I bought my niece an autograph from him as well. We got into a debate about Luther’s actions. Me and my niece, not me and Tom. She hates the character, while I just felt he was trying to do his best.
I got two extra autographs, one from Anna Shaffer and the other from MyAnna Buring. Both from The Witcher and both extremely great to meet.
By the time me and my niece had finished photos and autographs, there wasn’t much time for browsing. I’d missed out on the Brothers Trust stall, which I had wanted to look at. And our feet ached due to constantly going back and forth.
I did manage to get two books, both signed by their authors. My niece got quite a few items, with her final purchase being a Game of Thrones shirt ten minutes before closing.
The only real issues with the day were the delay going in and the photo times being randomly changed, a fact I discovered ten minutes before my first photo, which had only a five minute slot. But I did enjoy the day. Me and my niece got to spend it together. And despite multiple cancellations, we still got a lot of photos and autographs between us.
So, Maleficent 2. Firstly, while the character of Prince Philip did eventually grow on me, it was difficult to see him as the same Philip from the first movie, due to him being played by a different actor. I also felt he didn’t really play a big role in this movie until the end. In the first movie, it was clear that he and Aurora didn’t really know each other, so it would have been good to get some idea of the growth of their relationship.
Maleficent was by far the most three-dimensional character in this movie, at least in my opinion. It was really great to see a bit more of her abilities and learn about the dark fey. And I really liked being able to see the differing opinions of her kind. Those who wanted peace and those vehemently opposed to it.
The visuals were stunning in this movie. I loved how the wings were shown on Maleficent and her kind. Seeing them all in flight was especially amazing. And I would have enjoyed seeing more of the individual dark fey, like the teacher. I particularly liked him.
I wasn’t really that fond of Aurora’s aunties. They were very flighty and didn’t seem to play much of a role until towards the end.
It was interesting to see the differing opinions on the Moorlands and how the humans didn’t really know what to make of Maleficent. It was very obvious who the bad guys were almost from the start.
I enjoyed this movie and did feel it stood up very well against the first one. If there’s a third movie made, I would love to see it focus more on the dark fey and how they integrate into society now they’re no longer hiding.
In this eerie and suspenseful YA, a teen girl discovers what connects her to the hotel she calls home as horrifying visions lead her to the truth.
Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls–and most horrifying of all–visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1905 involving a girl named Lea.
Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Ideally, I’d give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. When I read the blurb, I was hugely excited. That, along with the cover of the book, really grabbed my attention. And there were a lot of bits that I really liked about the book. For example, the main characters. Both Nell and Lea were well-written, well-rounded characters, although I did feel that Lea slipped a bit too much into the rebellious young woman stereotype.
One thing I really struggled with was the switching viewpoints. This probably wouldn’t have been such a problem had the chapters been longer, but some of the chapters were so short, I’d barely got my head around the time period I was in before I was thrust back into the modern day. Or vice versa.
I liked the other characters in the book, but I would have liked a bit more detail about what Alec was going through. I saw everything from Nell or Lea’s point of view, but apart from a few vague hints, all I saw of the love interest was someone who was miserable most of the time.
I did like that the stakes were quite high in the book. The premise and the characters were strong enough to keep me reading. But I was left with an awful lot of questions even as I learned more about Lea’s history; and I felt that plot devices were a little over-used in places.
I wasn’t especially sold on the love triangle aspect between Nell, Alec and Max. I would have liked to see more of Max standing on his own two feet, not just as another area of conflict that I see all too often in young adult books. There were glimmers of his own personality coming through, but by the end of the book, I felt he was very much there as another plot device. The strongest supporting characters were his mother and Nell’s father.
I did feel that the ending was kind of anticlimactic. I was left with a very strong sensation of, ‘Wait. That was it?’ The whole buildup throughout the book was awesome, but I did feel like the ending let it down somewhat. There were a lot of hints that I felt didn’t really come to fruition.
I would read more books by this author in the future, but although I did enjoy reading this book the first time through, I think it’s one I got all of my enjoyment from in the mystery threaded through the pages. I would recommend reading it.
Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, classic musicals, and Buckeye pride. She’s always had a penchant for the fantastical, the stories that teach us there is more to this world than meets the eye. She has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and a dash of destiny in their bones. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in history, she promptly married her high school sweetheart and settled down in Northwest Ohio with her notebooks and daydreams and copious amounts of chocolate. THE WOOD is her debut novel.
Girl At the Grave by Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Young Adult — Historical Fiction, Mystery
Synopsis: Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end. Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository IndieBound
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I found this book a really engaging read. Valentine was a character who was really easy to relate to and empathise with and I really liked learning more about the history of her parents and what really happened to Rowan’s father as the book went on.
I didn’t really like either Rowan or Sam at times, I have to say. It was good to see that both of them were flawed, but I found Sam kind of abusive at times and Rowan came across as quite a weak character. I think I would have liked the book more if it had had less romance in it.
I did think there were times this book dragged a bit; and while I did really like Valentine as a character, I really couldn’t have said the same for the rest of the people in her town. The more I read, the more it seemed like everyone there had an ulterior motive.
I would have liked to see more of the secondary characters who weren’t central to the storyline. At times, I found myself confused about which characters were which, as many of them didn’t seem to have much of a life outside of their interactions with Valentine.
I did think it was good to learn more about the secrets of the different townspeople as the book went on and I couldn’t help but feel really bad for Birdy. She was definitely one of those characters I felt had a really raw deal through the book.
I did think the author did a good job of keeping to the kinds of thoughts and opinions people had at that time, even though I found myself getting irritated on behalf of the people who had a raw deal due to the way society saw them.
I did find some of the thoughts and feelings a bit hard to get behind and it seemed there were very few truly ‘good’ characters in this book. I liked seeing that both Rowan and Valentine had dreams and goals outside of each other, but I would have liked to see more of that when it came to other characters too, like Sam.
I did enjoy reading this book and it was a quick and easy read. In the future, I would definitely be interested in reading more books by this author.
About The Author
Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California