Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I was impressed at the level of conflict this play had for characters new and familiar. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is both a tribute to the orginal series, and the opening act of a new story. 

My favorite character was Scorpius who lives under the shadow of Draco Malfoy's connection to the Death Eaters and Voldemort. Scorpius and Albus both live under the shadows of their fathers' pasts, but they respond to that element in very different ways. 

Albus rebels and refuses to acknowledge his father as just a person. He sees the celebrity that Harry Potter has become, and he feels he could never live up to the greatness that his father appears to have. His actions, rash and implusive, drive most of the story. Scorpius, on the other hand, has a different perspective. Instead of lashing out at his father, and allowing the cruel words to get to him, Scorpius lives his life the way he wants to. He loves to read, and he has some of the best lines of dialogue in the entire play. 

The dynamics of Albus and Scorpius's situation are the core of this play, but Harry Potter's struggle with the past is a powerful story as well. 

This book was a duet between Harry's guilt and Albus's anger. 

I found as I read this, that I could relate to both sides of the story, and it was interesting how everything came together in the end. It has a powerful message for both generations to relate to, and I think it's a good one. 

Without spoiling the story, there were times where the story seemed liked a fanfiction, but given the circumstances, perhaps it wasn't too far off. 

And one particular scene will haunt any Harry Potter fan no matter what house you've been sorted into. The symbolism of that scene speaks volumes. 

Overall, I'd give this four out of five angry flying books. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Night Circus

"The circus arrives without warning. 
"No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not." - The Night Circus

So begins the story of the mysterious yet intriguing Le Cirque des RĂªves. 
This is a beautifully written book. Like most attractions at the circus, not all is as it seems. The circus itself is a playing field between two magicians in a deadly magical game. The lives of Celia and Marco depend on the game, and should they step out of line, or even try to change the game, they face the deadly consequences. There is no escape in a duel where only one will be left standing. Whoever wins, and whoever loses is determined by the game itself. 

The only way to review this book, is to spoil it. I will simply say that the book slowly reveals the meaning of events, attractions and additions to the mysterious circus. As Marco and Celia pull the strings, they discover that their own competition is a thread of fate tying them together, and the more they tug on it, the more drawn they are to eachother. But magic has rules, and they are not the only pieces on the chessboard. As the story unfolds, you are given a ticket to the most intriguing, beautiful place you have ever experienced, where every spectacle has a story. 

I give this book five out of five enchanted umbrellas. The ice garden tent was my favorite. 
To read this book is to step into a fairytale under a curtain of stars. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Return to the Isle of the Lost

Mal, Ben, Carlos, Jay and Evie are back, and they have a new challenge after the events in the film Descendants. Rumors of a dragon are growing in Camelot, while the purple lizard believed to be Maleficent sits silently in a dome at Beast's Castle. Mal is supiscious that her mother is behind the weird weather and the damage that could only be caused by a dragon. Cruelly, Jafar and the Evil Queen are no where to be found. 
King Ben goes to investigate, and during his trip, a new threat appears that could be fatal for the Core four. A new club has appeared on the Isle of The Lost that appears to be against them, and threatens to bring their betrayal to an end. Now the core four must decide what they can do to face their parents, and King Ben must decide whether magic must return to keep Auradon safe from the growing threat. 

This book was very interesting, and it appears that Mal, Jay, Carlos and Evie are more accepted by Auradon, but they still hesitate to know what they want to do with their new lives. They are put to the ultimate test when they learn of the magical talismans that each of their parents have hidden, and they must choose what to do with that power. 

This book was interesting, but at times I was confused by the perspective Mal had on the Isle of the Lost and the titles of villians and heroes. Ben and Mal continue to have a healthy relationship, and each supports the other during their journeys from Auradon. More descendants of the villains are introduced and Neverland is involved as well. The novel does a good job expanding the world of the story with more kingdoms, characters and a new dynamic. The twist at the end of the novel is very clever, especially for children who may not have seen all the Disney movies, and it introduces a new challenge for the core four in terms of who they are, and who their parents want them to be. 

I'd give this book four out of five lamps. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury


I knew that Rhysand would have a much more important role in Feyre's future the moment he showed up in A Court of Thorns and Roses. The way he was described, and the way he helped her with little to no personal gain. 
What I didn't know was that he knew Feyre before he met her. 
It's interesting to see Rhysand's life and the beautiful world of the Night Court. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job developing Feyre's character and revealing the twist of the story. 
Feyre was given barely a choice while she lived at the Spring Court. Tamlin doesn't even consider her to be the High Lady. She is merely a consort, and her power is limited in terms of the court. 
Rhysand treats Feyre with more respect, and he truly cares for her. He always gives her the option to leave or stay, and Feyre finds a more welcoming environment at the Night court. 
The twist in this book was no surprise to me, because the author did so well dropping hints in the first book A Court of Thorns and Roses. From the begining, Feyre is drawn to Rhysand, and in this book, we learn why. Watching Feyre change from a helpless consort to a powerful queen was an incredible process. I think this book speaks volumes for teens on the meaning of a healthy relationship versus a toxic one. 
So often the male leads in teen YA are possessive and easily angry. That's taken to be "exciting" and "edgy" but in reality, it's not. It's seriously unhealthy. 
Feyre and Rhys are a team, and I belive that is really important for the young readers of today. The model of a healthy relationship really made this book for me. 
I loved it, and I give it five stars who listen. 

My favorite quote is an exchange between Feyre and Rhysand. 

"To the people who looked at the stars and wished, Rhys" - Feyre
"To the stars who listened and the dreams that are answered." - Rhysand. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Warlock by Sean Golden

Lirak's adventures continue with even more tests of bravery, deligence and endurance. The second book in the epic series of The War Chronicles has more twists and action than book one, and still leaves enough mystery to prepare for book three. 

After the events of Warrior, Lirak must choose what to do with his newfound and progressive powers. Along his journey, Mayrie, Patrick, Jerok and Dedrick accompany him, and they must learn to adapt to the events that Lirak has set in motion. As Kathioas continues to warn Lirak and tries to gain control over him, Lirak resists in any possible way that he can. Some of those ways question not only his morality, but his humanity. As Lirak decides between what is moral and what is deadly, he meets another person who may understand his situation. But getting close to this person may threaten the very support that he has built. 
While Lirak changes the possibility of the world around him, he discovers that his path may be no accident, and his actions are just the beginning of an even larger plot. Will he be a pawn, or will he break the cycle of events that appear to be miraculous coincedences around him? 

Warlock was a thrilling ride and an unraveling mystery. Lirak's tasks become more and more complex, and his decisions become more intense, with larger consequences. 
The second act of Lirak's story is an interesting journey with dangerous battles, epic events and complex philosophical choices. Lirak's growth from a curious Warrior into a powerful Warlock was a great read, and an entertaining story. 

I give this book five out of five dragons. An epic act in an intense book series. 

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This was a book that I literally could not put down. I had to force myself to close the book three times, and then I just gave up and finished it completely. 
A Court of Thorns and Roses is the story of Feyre, a survivor with an icy heart and a will of steel. Her world changes when she kills a wolf in the forest. A wolf that was not a wolf at all, but a Faerie. As punishment, she is taken to live in the Faerie Realm, a place that she has been taught to dread. With a wall of hatred and blame between the faeries and humans, it is difficult for her to understand why the Faerie that punished her has not killed her. But time passes, and she begins to learn about the history that the faeries and humans have had. 
Feyre learns that heroic deeds come with a price, and not all is what it seems in this strange world of glamours, rumours and danger. 
Sarah J. Maas has written a book that combines Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon with the deadly politics of the Faerie Courts of Celtic lore. 
Not only is the story layered by mystery, but the world has been thoroughly created, and the complex characters are well written. 
Maas takes her time introducing each character, dropping clues here and there for the reader to pick up on. 
The story itself is a thrilling ride with unexpected twists and turns. As Feyre decides what is true and what is false, she learns more about the mysterious Fae. Despite the stories she was told, and the cruelty tied to her knowledge, Feyre discovers that the Fae are not so different from humans. 
As she learns more about the Faerie Tamlin, and his clever friend Lucien, Feyre finds a hope that she never knew she had, and maybe her heart wasn't as icy as she trained it to be. 
This book has joined the ranks of my favorite Beauty and the Beast tales, along with Beasty by Alex Flinn and Beauty by Robin McKinley. The mysteries of the fae were intriguing, the history fascinating and Feyre's character was a powerful representation of what it means to be human. 
I will both curse and praise the cliffhanger ending of every chapter, and I will honestly say that I can't wait for the next book. 
I give this book five out of five venetian masks. A wonderful fairytale retelling and epic story rolled into one! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost) by Felicia Day

This book was a very interesting story of how Felica Day made a name for herself, created her own web series and stayed true to who she is. 
Learning about how she started her career as an actress, to a screen writer and then a producer was fascinating. 
Felicia Day always wanted to be an actress, but she also loved video games. She found a way to merge those two interests, and to be honest with herself. 
I knew about The Guild webseries, and I had seen Felcia Day on Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog, but I didn't know that You Tube was released the same year that Felicia Day released her web series. 
Writing her pilot for the Guild, and trying to market it was very difficult for her to achieve with many producers, so eventually, she took the project in her own hands, and with the help of her friends, she created what is known as The Guild today. 
The important thing about her memoir is that it's real. She comes clean about her anxiety issues, and it was comforting to know that despite her anxiety, she went through with her project 100%, and she never looked back. 
Reading her memoir was a little familiar, because I could relate to some of the situations that she put herself in, mostly with anxiety and the writing process. 
The writing process is not easy, but it is simple. Felicia Day described it perfectly as writing something, then deleting it for hours and hours until she felt that the page was good enough to move on. This is similar to my script writing process, novel writing and sometimes blogging. 
I enjoyed this book, and it gives me hope that I have just begun my own journey toward a career in script writing. 
I give it five out of five EXP.