Sunday, February 28, 2016

SUNDAY SEVEN: FICTIONAL WARDROBES - FANTASY FILM

I continue my series of fictional wardrobes I would love to add to my closet. I love clothes. And I love all sorts of types of clothes. Growing up I have never really had just one style. I like a bit of everything. We have tackled historic film and tv, this week we turn back to the big screen and the costumes from fantasy film. I think this might be my favorite. Next week we will tackle fantasy tv. Here are my favorites. Whose closet would you raid? Feel like taking part let me know and I am happy to add your link and check your picks out.

Katniss Everdeen
The Hunger Games

The Capitol has some pretty odd tastes in fashion (I am looking at you Effie), but the clothes that Katniss gets to wear on the tour because of Cinna are amazing. While I may not wear the infamous wedding dress as every day wear, I would wear some of the others. I love the choices of fabrics and the asymmetrical designs of many of them. They are kinds to die for.

Arwen
The Lord of the Rings

Arwen has a pretty enviable wardrobe full of velvets and silks. Her clothes are absolutely gorgeous and look incredibly comfortable actually. I choose her wardrobe not because I want to be an elf either…okay maybe a little bit. I am six foot tall already, so you know there is that. Plus I look pretty damn good in jewel tones and purple. This is actually another character that I have made a cosplay dress for already.

Jupiter Jones
Jupiter Ascending

While the film made not have lived up to my expectations the fantastic costumes did. Everyone had an amazing wardrobe, but ultimately I went with Jupiter. The above three dresses are some of the most iconic in the film and they scream couture. I might not have a place to wear them, but I would find one. These are amazing.

Queen Ravenna
Snow White & The Huntsman, Winter’s War

She may be evil, but boy does she have a killer wardrobe. If I was an evil queen hell bent on destroying and conquering the known world, I would definitely want to do it in style. Of course I have to thank you one of my favorite costume designers, Colleen Atwood, for these beautiful frocks. You will notice that Atwood was heavy in my historic version of the Sunday seven as well. Ravenna’s wardrobe is utterly fantastic in both senses of the word.

Maria Merryweather
The Secret of Moonacre

Not many have seen this film, but many should if but for the amazing costumes. Maria’s costumes are absolutely stunning. Each one is an absolute work of art. I love the open and exposed bustle, the embroidery, the inspired fantasy of it all. Again, not sure where I would wear each of these, but I want them for my wardrobe in any case.

Belle
La Belle et Le Bete

If you are very lucky you may have seen Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill) version of Beauty and the Beast. Starring Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel the film is gorgeous as are Belle’s costumes. Kind of out of fairytale, but that was probably the point. 

The Ladies of Asgard /b>
Thor: The Dark World

Jane Foster, Frigga, and Lady Sif show how bad ass the fashion is in Asgard. Each costume is both feminine and hella bad ass. They look comfortable, gorgeous, and lets face it I would mind if Loki or Thor noticed me in any of them.

Honorable Mentions: Legend, Ever After, Blade Runner, Serenity, The Princess Bride, and Brotherhood of the Wolf

UPCOMING SUNDAY SEVEN
March 6th: Fictional Wardrobes – Fantasy TV
March 13th: Favorite Celtic Legends (Happy St Patrick’s Day)
March 20th: Film and TV Scores
March 27th : Fairy Tales (3.25 Tolkien Reading Day)
April 3rd: Action Films (In Honor of Hardcore Henry)

Let me know if you have your own list and I would be happy to link you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

OBSESSION OF THE WEEK: PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

As per usual I came late to the party when it came to Pretty Little Liars. I thought I would give it a try these past couple of weeks and I am hooked. While I am only on the end of Season 2, I might be slightly obsessed. Even the Rogue will watch an episode every now and again with me. Of course I have heard a ton of buzz about it and I love the theme song (though I didn’t realize it was the theme to the show until a couple of weeks ago).

If you don’t know what Pretty Little Liars is about: Loosely based on the popular young adult books series of the same title by Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars is set in the small town of Rosewood. It follows the lives of four girls, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, and Emily Fields. When their leader, Alison DiLaurentis, disappears the best friends fall apart. One year later the girls reunite after they begin receiving messages from the mysterious ‘A’ who threatens to expose all of their secrets, secrets they only thought Alison knew. Suddenly, living in their picturesque suburban community is far from perfect as secrets, lies and betrayals threaten everything they hold dear. Even after Alison's body is discovered, the messages don't stop....

I never thought I would be hooked on this show. It always looked like a teen soap opera that I was far too old to watch. But I gave it a go. I have to tell you the show is smarter, funnier, and more thrilling than a lot of television on right now. Plus it has a lot going for it. Not only do I want most of Spencer and Aria’s wardrobe for my own or steal Ezra (Ian Harding I am looking at you good sir) away for a private tutoring session, but the plot itself is actually pretty good. The twists are great, the texts from A even better and I’ll admit I love the whole cannot trust anyone vibe, including your besties.

Plus these girls are amazing. They don’t need saving. They will save themselves and I dig that. The girls refuse to be victims and you have to give them a gold star for that. Sure there is high school politics being played out. You have Mean Girls and over the top high school cheesiness at times, but I love it. When the ladies aren’t trying to keep secrets from their parents (who were all in shows I grew up with: Chad Lowe (who made me bawl like a baby on Life Goes On), Holly Marie Combs (Yay, Piper! You were always my favorite of the Halliwell sisters), and Laura Leighton (Oh Sydney)), they actually have some nice subplots. Such as Emily coming out. I thought it was handled really well and made me cheer and get a little misty eyed as well.

I will say the clothes are amazing and Rosewood seems like a pretty awesome place with its gastro pubs, wicked cool masquerade parties, and fashion shows. Must be nice. Seriously the outfits and shoes in this show are wicked cool. I know I did not have the fashion sense these girls have when I was in high school. Instead I gave off shades of Teen Witch and Saved by the Bell. Oh 90’s me.

I just started Season 3 yesterday (told you I was obsessed) and I am still trying to be spoiler free as possible. I have my suspicions on Ali, on Maya’s killer, and who A is, but I guess I will have to keep watching to find out.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

HOUNDED: A REVIEW

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1)
Written by: Kevin Hearne
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Language: English
May 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Series

Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. As the centuries passed and Atticus remained an annoyingly long-lived fugitive, those who were furious only grew more so, while others began to aid him in secret.

Now he’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily find him. It’s a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the Old World—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.

Unfortunately, the very angry Celtic god who wants that sword has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power, plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old-fashioned luck of the Irish to kick some arse and deliver himself from evil.


+++++++++++++

I have been looking for a new urban fantasy series to read for a while now. While I love going on adventures with Toby, Harry, Kate, and Mercy, I needed something different. Someone recommended the Iron Druid series and so I figured I would check it out. Fey…check (a big weakness for me since I grew up on tales of the sidhe from my mother), Hero with a sense of humor…check. Adorable dog…check. I had to give it a shot.

It’s hard not to draw comparisons between Harry Dresden and Atticus O’Sullivan. For me, I found Atticus to be the secret Druid lovechild of Remy Chandler (the angel P.I. from Thomas E. Sniegoski) and Harry Dresden (the wizard from Jim Butcher’s series). Similar to Harry he can be snarky, is magically gifted and trying to live a fairly normal life. Like Remy he is older than he looks and has a very special relationship with his dog whom he can communicate with. And yet he is different than both of those characters.

Atticus O’Sullivan has been trying to live a fairly normal life in Tempe, Arizona. He runs a bookstore/apothecary shop, makes sure the nice widow’s lawn next door is always taken care of, and makes sure his loyal wolfhound Oberon gets his exercise. He is also an Irish Druid who is several centuries old, but his boyish college boy looks and mannerisms tell another story. Atticus wants to stay out of trouble and live a quiet life. Unfortunately two thousand years ago The Celtic love god Aengus Og, thinks he stole a magical sword from him and has been hunting him ever since. Atticus thought that living in Tempe, Arizona might afford him some peace from the Celtic pantheon of his past since there is very little Oak, Ash and Thorn for them to come through. He was wrong. Siodhachan O’Suileabhain is in trouble.

Atticus is attacked on his way to work and before he can plan his attack or retreat The Morrigan arrives. They aren’t friends by any means and yet she warns him, as a friend, of the impending doom headed his way. Aenghus wanted the sword back and he wants Atticus dead. Now Atticus will have to rely on a few centuries worth of experience and his friends to help him finally end this feud.

Things I liked: I like Atticus. I like that he has learned to survive by adapting and evolving to the times. It helps him blend in and keep him under the radar. Sure, sometimes he comes off a bit too flippant and snarky, but I like snark in my heroes. He’s also very much a survivor. While he doesn’t seem to have the weight all of all of these centuries on him as many would like or expect, I feel like Atticus has learned to survive his own life as well. Ah but the things he must have seen and learned all of these years.

What I really love is that he is a bit of a rogue and while a good guy, he definitely had some shades of light grey if need be. I like that. I like my heroes a bit tarnished and muddy. I don’t want him to be a boy scout. I want him to be lovable and loyal, but not someone you dare to cross. I think I may have found one of those again in Atticus. Of course I also have some big misgivings and disappointments with Atticus as well, but I will get to that in a moment.

Of course the real hero in this book is Oberon though, the wolfhound. Through his bond with Atticus, Oberon steals the show with his fascination for poodles, Genghis Khan, and hunting bighorn sheep. The dialogue between them is perfect. While his attention span is short, his humor matches that of his friend and owner. Apparently he even has his own twitter account which I will be checking out shortly after finishing this review.

Beyond Atticus and Oberon, I enjoyed Mrs. MacDonagh, the widow Atticus looks after and his lawyer friends. While none of these characters are really flushed out, I am excited to see some character development hopefully in the next book.

I love the world building. Similar to Gaiman’s American Gods, the deities from many pantheons still exist and their power is largely attached to belief. The idea that the Christian God can hardly manifest in North America due to the many conflicting believers have is quite amusing. It means that this world can not only have the fey, werewolves, vampires, but a wide pantheon of beasties and gods. It may be kitchen sink urban fantasy, but I think I am okay with that.

We know right away who the villain is and that eventually there will be a showdown. I can also understand how pompous Aenghus is. He is a god after all. He is brash, power hungry, and in search of someone to punish. Not exactly what you picture in a love god. The one thing I did like is that I had no idea where the other gods would side. I couldn’t tell if they were all out to manipulate and deceive or that Atticus may have found some allies during his long life. It kept me guessing.

The book was fun, interesting, and a quick read. It has plenty of faults to be sure, but ones that I expect to be remedied as the series continues. This is a debut after all. But as I said there are some faults which made me give it a lower score than I expected.

Things I didn’t like so much: There is nothing really at stake in this book. There is never a moment that you think that Atticus won’t win. He is almost too powerful and there are no real consequences or ways to balance him out. Sure there are things like mortal law and such that have to make him wary, but he is too damn awesome it seems. This means there is never any suspense, no thrills. Atticus wins and there is no real cost physically or mentally or emotionally. It made it a bit boring and that is a damn shame. Sleeping on the grass unmolested isn’t a cost, it’s called camping and something I would love to do right now.

Atticus can also be a bit of an ass. Wedgies to paramedics and suing a police department when you know that the good detective was being manipulated by magic? You’re not a hero then. The same anger he felt when he realized that poor Oberon had been manipulated into killing a man should have been the same anger he felt knowing that an innocent man had been manipulated into harassing and shooting him. It just felt and read wrong.

I will forgive each of the lady deities falling for Atticus’s charm and boyish good looks. He has survived this long and evaded gods, so I can see him being quite intriguing and sexy. What I did want from them is some stakes. I wanted these gods to pose a serious threat. But I always knew Atticus would win and like I said that was frustrating. Anyway…

The pacing is a bit too fast and the story and its characters suffer slightly for the breakneck pace. It also makes it a bit fluffier than I wanted it to. There are some minor plot holes which will have you shaking your head. Unfortunately the author also does a lot of telling rather than showing, but again this might be a more rookie mistake. It resulted in everything being too precise, just one more thing that Atticus was supremely awesome at. Seriously, you might as well make him a new Celtic god.

My last gripe was with the women characters in general which I hope will be remedied. The women are witches and therefore evil, cute little walking wet dreams with an eagerness to impress, or dead sexy goddesses who also want to jump his bones. Boring. Mrs MacDonagh is wonderful but I fear we will lose her to a lady in the refrigerator syndrome. I hope that I am wrong. I really want Granuaile to be awesome and hold her own.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Or at least pick it up from the library and give it a go. It has some faults, but overall it was a quick fun read and I look forward to reading more adventures about Atticus and Oberon.

Part of: A series

Also Recommended: For more magical heroes please try Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher, the Remy Chandler series by Thomas J. Sniegoski, Felix Castor series by Mike Carey, the Jonsthan Swift series by Gate Griffin, and John Taylor’s adventures from Simon Green’s Takes from the Nightside series.

3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

FEBRUARY LOOT CRATE AND LEVEL UP: DEAD

A couple of years ago I was struggling to find a unique anniversary gift for the Rogue and after looking at all of the goodies offered on Lootcrate I decided to give it a go. We have been happy about it ever since. Granted The Rogue gets all the t-shirts for his ever growing collection, but I get a good share of the goodies as well. This month’s theme was Dead. Now the Rogue for all of his manliness does not like zombies and he was a little afraid that they would dominate the crate. I am, however a big zombie fan and an even bigger Deadpool fangirl. Luckily we got both.

** Exclusive Deadpool Shirt: Yay Deadpool. The centerpiece when you open the box. Okay, well that and zombies. I squeed and we decided that the Rogue could keep the shirt, but I got little X-force Deadpool for my desk. I love the design on the shirt and it reminded me of Valentine’s Day as my request was to go see Deadpool at our favorite movie theatre and go have Chimichangas after. I seriously love the merc with the mouth. Really happy that a t-shirt is now in every loot crate this year.

** Quantum Mechanix Deadpool Q-Fig Figure: We got the rare X-Force edition of Deadpool. I love the exploding base. As I said this is going on my desk.

*** McFarlane Walking Dead Big Head Figure: There were three possible choices for this Walking Dead construction figure – Rick, Daryl, or Zombie. I am happy that we have Daryl (the best character not in the comics). The oversized head thing is weird and he will probably end up in one of my terrariums, but I still dig it.

***Walking Dead Soap On A Rope: Oh look you can cosplay as Daryl. We will not be doing this. This will not be used in the house or staying in the house. It’s just weird and creepy which is saying something for a horror fan like me.

*** Walking Dead Pin and Magazine: I love that the pins are more lapel pins than the button pins. I think the zombified Loot Crate is kind of adorable. It also unlocks a free Carl Grimes in the Walking Dead: Road to Survival game for your phone which I don’t play…yet. This month’s magazine is chock full of Deadpool, zombie Apocalypse, Walking Dead, and iZombie goodness. So sad we didn’t get the Mega Crate which has a Deadpool Leather Motorcycle Jacket. So cool.

So for an exchange of $13.37 + $6 shipping, we got chock full of dead themed goodness. I am estimating about $40-50 worth of goodies though again you had exclusives so that is hard to put a price on. So far we have been very happy about our loot crates. What’s you think of this month’s Loot Crate if you are a nerdy looter like we are? If you are interested in signing up or just want to learn more, head on over to “Loot crate” . You can use the code “SAVE3” to save $3 off your first box.

Now because I love Loot Crate so much I also do their Level Up Box as well and get a couple of Accessories every month as well. And I love both of these.

*** Cherokee Rose Locket: This Walking Dead locket has a little mirror inside and is based off of something that Daryl once said. “It's a Cherokee Rose. The story is that when American soldiers were moving Indians off their land on the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee mothers were grieving and crying so much 'cause they were losing their little ones along the way from exposure and disease and starvation. A lot of them just disappeared. So the elders, they said a prayer; asked for a sign to uplift the mothers' spirits, give them strength and hope. The next day this rose started to grow where the mothers' tears fell. I'm not fool enough to think there's any flowers blooming for my brother. But I believe this one bloomed for your little girl..” I like the design and like most of the necklaces received it will be worn often.

*** Glow in the Dark Blood Spatter Nail Wraps: I love Espionage Cosmetics and have bought many (Steampunk, Galaxy, MST3K, etc). While I hardly ever have long nails in my every day life as I find it harder to craft and type, I do break these guys out on special occasions. I think I will save these for Halloween since none of my ECCC cosplays would really work with these. Great find though.

Level Up will run you $15, but like Loot Crate you get more happy goodies and I have been happy with it for the last couple of months. Like I said, if you are interested in signing up or just want to learn more, head on over to “Loot crate” . You can use the code “SAVE3” to save $3 off your first box.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

THE GIRL WITH ALL OF THE GIFTS: A REVIEW

The Girl With all of the Gifts
Written by: M.R. Carey
Paperback: 460 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Language: English
June 2014
Genre: Horror/Zombies/Dystopia

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.


+++++++++++++

While Mike Carey’s book came out over a year ago and I bought it almost immediately, it took me this long to finally read it. Now, brief disclaimer, I love Mike Carey. He is amazing writer and I have both loved his comic runs with Lucifer, Hellblazer, and The Unwritten. I also enjoy his Felix Castor series, which you should all read or at least listen to the audiobook version of because it is utterly fantastic. But something stopped me from reading this book right away, though I am not quite sure why. I read the first couple of chapters and then put it down. This was not because it was slow and unengaging. I think sometimes I put away a really good book until I know I need it. I had no question that I was going to love this book. I love Carey’s writing. But I keep certain books on my shelf for when I need a good escape. The kind of escape that grabs you for a full afternoon and you devour a world and its characters. This was one of those books. And I needed it.

Melanie is a strange little girl. She is highly intelligent, with pale skin, and eyes and ears that take in everything. Every day she is strapped to her chair, taken to class, and then back to her cell. Its class that she loves the most, especially when Miss Justineau teaches. Miss Justineau tells her stories about Pandora and sometimes brings in things from outside. She answers their questions and asks their opinions. These days are her favorite. Some day she hopes to go to Beacon with Miss Justineau and the other children, a romantic vision of the future. But then things change.

Melanie knows she is different than her other classmates, but she doesn’t know how different until now. Melanie is becoming aware. And one day the entire world will change for her and everyone around her.

Things I liked: Let me start this review by saying I love zombies. Because they are tools to tell a real story when done right. The Girl With All of the Gifts is like this. While the word zombie is never used in this book, it didn’t need to be. It is quite clear from the very beginning and the way it is used is quite human and beautiful. Which is why I absolutely loved this book. While we begin the book completely confused as to why an intelligent little girl is strapped to her chair every morning to go to class, the clues are there and suddenly everything makes sense: the terrified soldiers, the showers, the fact that Melanie only eats once a week and her meal consists of grubs, and the odd behavior of some of her other classmates. Melanie knows she is different, but not truly how different and her journey of self-discovery is great. As a reader we know she is a hungry though not the mindless sort. Melanie can learn; she is a genius in fact. Melanie can grow. Melanie wants more and I want more for her. She has this beautiful romantic vision, no bitterness, just hope. She doesn’t know that she is a hungry, that she is one of the monsters. She didn’t realize just how different she was until now.

What I love about this zombie apocalypse is that it has already happened. The book is not spent on the first wave of infection or even the fifth. What it does focus on is life after the apocalypse and more importantly finding a cure for the infection. Imagine a world where the hungries decimated the population, suddenly a decade after the fall children are found who are infected. But they are intelligent…something is different. Of course there are later scenes in the book which continue this intelligent hungry which was very reminiscent of Romero’s Land of the Dead which I enjoyed for these aspects.

So let’s delve into the hungries. Loved, loved, them. Very similar to one of my favorite videogames The Last Of Us or even the X-Files episode Firewalker, the hungries came about from a parasitic fungus. This fungus is none other than Ophiocordyceps unilateralis which might sound familiar. This the parasite behind zombie ants. The novel explains it just as David Attenborough once did, that the parasite attacks the ant, forces it to climb to the highest branch and then the sporangium kills its host, explodes out of the ants head, and spreads its spores for another generation. Except, this version of the fungus has infected humans who, now as hungries, only want to infect and spread the fungus even further. I love this version of a zombie. Seriously loved it. Cinematically I can see it work on so many levels.

So let’s discuss characters. I love Melanie the way that she loves Helen because let’s face it this is a love story about a little girl and her teacher, who is also her hero and a mother figure. Miss Justineau is a Wendy of sorts teaching Melanie and the lost children about what life was once like, what it could be again. She gives Melanie hope and hope is at the center of the Pandora myth. Beyond that Miss Justineau is aware of Melanie’s romanticism of the world and of her crush. She tries so hard not to destroy that, to keep her innocent and full of ideals. I love that.

All of this makes this story so human and so personal. I can relate. I know what it is like to view the world through rose colored glasses, to try and maintain that hope when you realize the world is not as rosy as you want it to be. I was also a big fan of mythology due to my parents who told me the origins of the constellations. I grew up with Pandora and Orpheus (I modeled my childhood bedroom after watching Clash of the Titans far too many times).

Back to Melanie. Though there are chapters from some of the other character’s viewpoints, this book is mostly Melanie’s narrative. It begins with Melanie looking at the world with childish innocence and ends with Melanie making some very adult choices. By the end of the novel she knows her place, understands the world in ways she never knew before, and her self-discovery is amazing.

The other characters are not as strong as Melanie or even Miss Justineau (who has her own motives, backstory and character growth). They are your usual tropes. You have Sergeant Parks who is scarred, gruff, and yay military. There is the naïve young soldier, Gallagher, who wants to impress previously mentioned military figure. Finally, you have Dr. Caldwell, the doctor who is willing to cut open little children for the sake of Science. And yet I still like each of them. For Dr. Caldwell, it’s not that I like her or that I am Team Caldwell, but I can get her. She is the character I enjoy hating. I enjoy the discussion she forces and the questions she poses. Can you put aside your morality and see these children as lab subjects, a way to cure the infection for all no matter what the cost? Is it okay to cut into a child’s skull even when these children can think and feel and speak? Is she driven by Science and the quest to understand what she sees as a puzzle or is she driven by pure self-preservation and not wanting the human race to be driven to absolute extinction? I also like Caldwell because she is flawed. She’s bitchy because she wasn’t chosen for the first round of awesome scientists. She goes on power trips. She sees the children in a completely different way than others. For example she doesn’t think that Melanie or the children and their attempts at emotional connection and growth are because they are ‘real’ children, but because the fungus has evolved and found new ways of spreading itself. I guess what I really loved was that being human doesn’t make you one of the good guys.

The world building in this book is one that I could see as plausible. While there are times the science is a little question-y, overall I had no problem suspending any disbelief. There is dread that evolves throughout the story, a pacing that is quick without being breakneck, and a finale that left me satisfied. Oh so satisfied. In fact, I don’t think it could have ended any other way.

Things I didn’t like so much: Sometimes the book falls into some familiar and overdone tropes (the group in peril) and then it pulls itself back up into what feels like new territory. Sometimes the narrative with other characters starts to stall, but again it picks itself back up and I push those little nitpicks aside. So yeah, I pretty much have nothing here. This has been, by far, one of the best books I have read in the past six months.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Please buy.

Part of: Standalone. Novel form of the short story Iphigenia in Aulis

Also Recommended: For more lovely zombie goodness I recommend The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell, The Walking Dead comic series by Robert Kirkman, The Passage by Justin Cronin, Feed by Mira Grant, The Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Mayberry, and World War Z by Max Brooks

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

TUESDAY TRAILERS: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

I knew nothing about this film until a few weeks ago and yet I still nothing other than it is probably set in the same universe as Cloverfield which I loved or at least it is a blood relative of Cloverfield. Small cast = check. Thrills and Chills = check. Trailer that tells me nothing and has me intrigued = check. Yeah, I am totally going to go see this one. What do you think? Plans to see it?


Summary: A young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is forced to cope with her new life after waking up from a nearly fatal accident in this thriller from director Dan Trachtenberg. After narrowly avoiding serious injuries in a car wreck, Michelle (Winstead) awakens in the care of a man who claims to have found her at the scene, and who brought her to his home after a catastrophic chemical attack devastated the surrounding area. John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. co-star…Opens March 11, 2016.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

SUNDAY SEVEN: FICTIONAL WARDROBES - HISTORIC TV

As I said last week, one of the things I am aiming to do in 2016 is redo my wardrobe. This is more difficult for me than expected. I love clothes. And I love all sorts of types of clothes. Growing up I have never really had just one style. I like a bit of everything. Last week I tackled historic film wardrobes. This week I am looking to the small screen. Fashion through the ages ala television. Next week we will tackle fantasy film and tv soon after. Here are my favorites. Whose closet would you raid?

ANNE BOLEYN
The Tudors

When I think of absolutely to die for costumes that are period, I immediately think of the Tudors. They might not be the most accurate when it comes to the time period, but a bit better than one of my latter picks in this list. Of course Natalie Dormer looked amazing in all of the garb and I would happily raid Anne Boleyn or any of the other ladies’ wardrobes in a minute. Seriously look at those fabrics.

PHRYNE FISHER
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Kristin and I almost decided to come up with a Mac and Phryne cosplay for Emerald City Comic Con this year, but our cosplay cards are already a little full. As I said last week I am in love with fashion from the 30’s. The beading, the fabrics, the new lines. It all just screams sexiness and freedom and of course Miss Fisher’s wardrobe has all of this in spades. I want all of it. The hats…oh the hats and the shoes and the coats. Oh and the robes. I might be obsessed. One of the easier wardrobes to steal and wear every day. I would find a way.

LUCRETIA
Spartacus

Oh my goodness. I want to live in Lucretia’s clothes. Which sounds weird I know. Lucy Lawless looks amazing in all of them. I love the fabrics, the drape of it all, and oh the colors. Jewel tones are by far my favorite. While all of the women in the series look amazing as I said Lucretia’s wardrobe is absolutely stunning. I would cosplay this in a minute.

PEGGY CARTER
Agent Carter

I love Peggy. I love Peggy’s wardrobes. Peggy and I are also similar in size so I could just raid the costuming department. I think I love this era because fashion is gorgeous and practical. I think I could easily wear most of her wardrobe tomorrow. Though she doesn’t get gussied up all the time, when she does she looks amazing. I love you Peggy.

JOAN, BETTY, & PEGGY >
Mad Men

The great thing about this show is that it spans some fashion milestones. I also couldn’t choose just one wardrobe to raid. They all have amazing clothes and different styles. Joan, Betty, and Peggy cannot help but be utterly fabulous. Oh my, look at all of the pretties.

CLAIRE FRASER
Outlander

Holy corsetry Batman. The great thing about Claire’s wardrobe are the different styles. We have her current wardrobe before she gets whisked back in time and then her frocks from her past. Easily something I could wear for Halloween, though her outfits when at Court are to die for. I look forward to seeing everything she wears this season.

THE LADIES OF REIGN
Reign

The dresses and outfits on this show can be hit or miss. And they are definitely more inspired by, rather than holding true to any sort of real historic sense. But I am okay with it. I could easily take one of Lola or Mary’s gowns and wear it to the SF Ballet. I like the inspired by thing that they have going on. While I am not caught up on the series, it is still a to die for wardrobe.

Honorable Mentions: Masters of Sex, The Borgias, Call the Midwife, Highlander, and Ascension.

UPCOMING SUNDAY SEVEN
February 28th: Fictional Wardrobes – Fantasy Film
March 6th: Fictional Wardrobes – Fantasy TV
March 13th: Favorite Celtic Legends
March 20th: TV and Film Scores

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TEATIME TUESDAYS: PEANUT BUTTER CUP

I am a bit of a tea fanatic. I always have been. In fact there is nothing better than a good book, a blanket, and a pot of tea. I drink tea when I need to be soothed, when I need a pick me up, or I just need a little bit of natural caffeine. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I will have a cup or when my throat hurts in the winter cold season. Strangely enough, though, I am not a big iced tea fan. It’s weird I know.

Now I am a bit of a tea snob. Loose tea, not the tea bags you can buy in the store of inferior quality. Not only does it give you the power of creating the strength of your tea, but you can make some amazing blends. Steeping is so important as is the heat of your water (fancy huh?) and everyone has their own way of brewing tea. I like my tea fairly strong and I love tea blends. Adiago Teas are great because they have a ton of tea blends that are just waiting for me to gobble them up. Seriously I could spend all my monies and half of my day either creating blends or choosing all of the fandom blends. Though I like strong black teas, I will try anything once. Maybe it is because my mom used to have actual tea parties with me. Who knows, but I love tea not coffee.

Since moving to California my favorite place to go shopping for tea is David’s Tea which is where this lovely peanut butter cup tea is from.

THE DESCRIPTION
Whether you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up or a sweet treat on the go, nothing beats peanut butter and chocolate. Sweet, rich, salty and addictive, it’s a classic combo for a reason. And with this smooth and satisfying blend, you can indulge your sweet tooth anytime, guilt-free. With almonds, cocoa beans and chocolate chips, it tastes just like the real thing. And since it’s completely peanut free, you can take it with you everywhere. Want to take it to the next level? Try it as a latte with frothed chocolate milk. You heard it here first…

THE INGREDIENTS
Apple, cocoa bits, cocoa peel, almonds, chocolate chips (sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa beans, cocoa powder, soy lecithin), safflower, artificial flavouring.  

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
One of my favorite things in the world is chocolate and peanut butter. I kind of think it is a match made in heaven. When I saw this tea I had to try it. It smells amazing like a cross between a Reeses and Peanut Butter Crunch. There are no peanuts in it, but there is almond and soy if you are allergic to those and it may contain milk. It was part of the David’s Tea Fall 2015 Collection, but I haven’t really had a chance to drink it until now.

It is a chunky herbal tea and it kind of reminds me of chopped up peanut butter cups. Like I said it smells amazing even when steeping. After a four minute steep, it was ready. I both love and am slightly disappointed about the tea. It has a great peanut butter flavor, mild and not terribly sweet. The chocolate part of the tea is very watered down though which is, like I said, a little disappointing. And yet I am digging it as a peanut butter tea with a slight apple taste every now and again. While I wish the chocolate was kicked up just a tiny bit, I like it.

For me this is a great tea when I need something a little sweet, a comfort tea. The peanut flavoring is really creamy and with a second cup I tried some soy milk with it which made it even better. I also steeped it for a little longer…just shy of six minutes. I think it helps it a little bit. It is not a bold tea, but one I enjoyed very much. I will say though it is not a great second steep tea as it is a mild tea already.

OVERALL
If you like peanut butter this is a great tea. Mild, nutty, and slightly sweet. A perfect little pick me up tea especially on chilly nights.

3 out of 4 teacups

TUESDAY TRAILERS: HIGH RISE

This film has a nice cast Jeremy Irons…yes please) that includes Jeremy Irons (yes please), Tom Hiddleston (another yes please), Sienna Miller, James Purefoy, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss. Plus I like the plot and all of its insanity and debauchery. Though I have not read J.G. Ballard’s novel on which the film is based, I am still intrigued. What do you think? Plans to see it?


Summary: 1975. Two miles west of London, Dr. Robert Laing moves into his new apartment seeking soulless anonymity, only to find that the building’s residents have no intention of leaving him alone. Resigned to the complex social dynamics unfolding around him, Laing bites the bullet and becomes neighbourly. As he struggles to establish his position, Laing’s good manners and sanity disintegrate along with the building…Opens May 13, 2016.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

SUNDAY SEVEN: FICTIONAL WARDROBES - HISTORIC FILM

One of the things I am aiming to do in 2016 is redo my wardrobe. This is more difficult for me than expected. While I would love my closet to be full of just things from ModCloth, sadly I must be a bit more realistic. But it started me thinking about fictional wardrobes I would love to have. I have already done a TV version in a previous post, so now we are going historic. Next week we will tackle historic television and then head into fantasy film and tv soon after. Whose closet would you raid?


ANNA
Anna Karenina (2012)
There are two Kiera films that I would love to steal the entire closet. One is the Duchess and the other is this lovely film. I chose Anna’s closet because honestly look at these clothes. They are gorgeous. So gorgeous I had to leave them in color. Jacqueline Durran won an Oscar for her interpretation of 1870’s fashion and she completely deserved it. I love the dark tones for Anna when everyone is in pastels. I love the fabrics, the waistlines, and the jewelry. Want. So want.


JORDAN BAKER
Great Gatsby (2013)

I love Catherine Martin who works frequently with Baz Luhrman. This is why she occupies the next two spots. The first one is Daisy’s closet from this film. Now I love the fashion of the 20’s and 30’s. Everything is so sexy and sumptuous. I want it all. The reason I chose Jordan over Daisy is because I love the sleek lines. Its sporty but intensely elegant. She just screams Louise Brooks and Phryne Fisher (who is in my tv edition). These are some of my fave outfits from the film, but of course I know there are tons more that need to be in my closet.

SATINE
Moulin Rouge (2001)

Catherine Martin again with her gorgeous frocks that she dresses Satine in along with Angus Strathie. I love the colors, the feathers, the beading, and the bustles. Who wouldn’t want to be a burlesque queen for a night. Yay Can Can. I mean seriously look at these things. They are divine. Not sure where I would wear all of them, but I would find a way. Oh yes I would.

MARIE ANTOINETTE
Marie Antoinette (2006)

I love Sofia Coppola’s film. She gave it a modern flair to all the decadence and I loved every moment of it. I even loved the shoes and its montage. The colors and fabrics are amazing. Again, not exactly an every day wear wardrobe, but I don’t care. Milena Canonero you are divine.

VERONICA FRANCO
Dangerous Beauty (1998)

This is one of my favorite films. And one for Heart day to watch as well. Gabriella Pescucci has some of the most amazing courtesan costumes ever. They are gorgeous. I want them all. I love the colors, the skirts that tear away, and the utter loveliness of them all. I should so cosplay. Also everyone should try the film.

LUCILLA
Gladiator (2000)

I love the old Greek and Roman fashion presented in tv and film. While Spartacus would be up there in the TV version, I loved the costumes for Lucilla in Gladiator. Designed by Janty Yates, the colors are rich and the fabrics flowing. I would wear these every Halloween. I actually have an inspired costume that I made a few years ago.

WOMEN OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Colleen Atwood is an amazing costume designer. She has been nominated for the Oscar 11 times and won 3 times. She has done costumes from Memoirs of a Geisha (one of my honorable mentions), Chicago, and Sweeny Todd. However, I love the dresses she makes for all of the ladies in Sleepy Hollow. The colors, the patterns…they are all just so pretty. Yay 1799 inspired fashion.

Honorable Mentions: Dracula, Tristan and Isolde, Memoirs of a Geisha, Queen Margot, and Coco before Chanel.

UPCOMING SUNDAY SEVEN
February 21st: Fictional Wardrobes – Historic TV
February 28th: Fictional Wardrobes – Fantasy Film
March 6th: Fictional Wardrobes – Fantasy TV
March 13th: Favorite Celtic Legends
March 20th: TV and Film Scores

Friday, February 12, 2016

FANDOM FRIDAY: FICTIONAL WOMANCES

5 Fandom Friday is a series hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick.This week’s Fandom Friday is all about Womances in honor of Galentine’s Day. What exactly is a womance? Think Bromances but with ladies, though admittedly some of my faves listed below are ones I ship as well. What are your favorite Womancess?

Anne Shirley and Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables)
Anne and Diana are bosom friends aka BFF’s for life. Growing up I wanted a Diana in my life, to constantly have my back and go on adventures with. They become friends from the moment they meet and I absolutely love them.

Jenny and Vastra (Doctor Who)
Madame Vastra and Jenny are a formidable pair. When Jenny and Madame Vastra first begin their relationship, Jenny was her maid. They then became partners and eventually they fell in love and got married. Their banter between one another is so much fun to watch. They work amazing well together and I watch a spinoff of just them and Strax.

Root and Sameen (Person of Interest)
When Root and Sameen first met, Root tased Shaw, tired her up and threatened to torture her. Thankfully the enemy turned to frenemy then friend and then wanting something more. The pair has amazing chemistry and even though we only got brief glimpses of them for so long, I ship them all the way. My favorite moment is when Root dual wields and Shaw responds with ‘Okay, that was kinda hot’ cause it totally was. Again I would watch an entire show of just Sameen and Shaw taking out bad guys.

Buffy and Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
When I think of besties I immediately think of Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers. The reason why buffy has lasted all of these years are because she has the Scoobies and Willow is one of them. They bonded immediately on Buffy’s first day and they have had each other’s backs ever since.

Rory and Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
Who says a mom and daughter cant be the best of friends? While I am still watching Gilmore Girls for the first time this past month, I want their relationship. Growing up I wanted that closeness, that unconditional love with my mom. I am jealous of their womance and super excited to see them return. I better keep watching.

Honorable Mentions:
Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe (Friends), The Rat Queens (Rat Queens), and Sara and the Inquisitor (Dragon Age: Inquisition)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

THRONE OF GLASS: A REVIEW

Throne of Glass
Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Paperback: 404 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Language: English
May 2013
Genre: Young Adult/Series/Fantasy

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


+++++++++++++

Fantasy has been on my mind of late. The Rogue and I have been watching the Chronicles of Shannara and Galavant, and of course I am quite excited to watch the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. I have heard a ton of praise for the Throne of Glass series but passed by the book prominently displayed many a time. While I love high fantasy shows and movies, I am not that big of a fan when it comes to fiction. For me they are a bit too formulaic. So many authors spend so much time world building and giving characters names that sound like prescription meds and not a lot of effort into an actual plot. Often time it’s like reading the transcription of my level one D&D characters and first ever quest. There is a lot of forest, walkabout times and not a whole lot else until the latter half of the book. But you have to read the whole book to get to the good stuff.

Eventually the cover won me over. How could it not. It is a thing of beauty. When I was trying to find the book cover for the review, I saw one of the alternate convers. One definitely is trying to do the Cinderella assassin thing while the other one, the version I have, clearly says I will frakking end you on the front and the back is also I will end you but in this pretty frock. I immediately start thinking of Drizz’t. I kind of want to frame the artwork and put it up in our geek gallery at home for the Rogue and I. And then you read the back, the synopsis sells me straight away. I might actually get into fantasy again.

"We all bear scars, Dorian. Mine just happen to be more visible than most…”

Eighteen year old Celaena Sardothien (lovely name that rolls off the tongue don’t you think…or is it just me), expects to die in the salt mines of Endovier. She bears the scars of special attention her reputation as the Empire’s notorious assassin has earned her. And then one day she is brought from the pits to see his Royal Highness, Prince Dorian Havilliard. He offers her freedom. But there is a catch. Celaena must be his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. If she succeeds in besting her opponents (other killswords, thieves, and soldiers), she will then become the King’s Champion and do his bidding for the time allotted and then she is free. Of course this is the same King that has decimated her homeland and enslaved and killed so many, but to be finally free is too good of an offer to pass up.

Trained by the Captain of the King’s Guard, Celaena soon finds herself entering the competition under the guise of a merchant’s daughter who also happens to be a thief. Then the other contestants begin to turn up dead, ravaged by a creature and an evil no one had expected. If she is not careful, she might be its next victim.

Like I said I had been hearing a ton about the Throne of Glass series, but as per usual I am a bit late to the party. Before I begin I will say that this is not the book I expected, but I liked it all the same. This is not a teen Game of Thrones. It is not even a young adult version of Drizz’t, but with a girl. This is based on Cinderella with an assassin who spends a lot of time doing non assassin-y things for the majority of the book and more girly girl things. This is not to say that I did not like the book. I enjoyed it enough that I just bought the second book in the series and have started to read it. However this was not the story I was expecting based on the kick ass cover (seriously that thing is a work of art) and the synopsis. There are also four prequel novellas that unfortunately I did not get a chance to read before Throne of Glass. Maas recommends reading them before Throne of Glass as they give more background on Celaena. I have not yet read them so I don’t know if they help add any depth or discovery to this first novel of the series.

Things I liked: You have me hooked when your lead character is a bad ass assassin who gets what is essentially a day pass and maybe even her freedom, but only after she succeeds in becoming number one in a Hunger Games/Survivor like competition where the best merc/assassin/thief/etc wins. It had me hooked. Really it did, even when I knew there would be a love triangle and possibly some other tropes. But then they show up it the castle and all of that changes, but I will get to that later. The pacing is quick. It is not hard to turn the pages at all.

There are also enough questions that I want to read more (though admittedly some of these questions might be answered if I read the prequel novellas). Who are Celaena’s parents? What is the history between her and the King? Was she as girly girl when she wasn’t assassinating people before? I want more about Sam, etc, etc.

I like Celaena, I do. I like that at times you can see the cold blooded girl (for example when she talks about making it to the wall while in Endovier) and I believe that she could have been an assassin. I see glimpses of a great assassin when I see that she is well read, speaks more than one language, skilled with more than one weapon as I see those as ways to get close to your victim. When I think assassin I am not necessarily thinking ninja, then again not necessarily Lady de Winter…maybe somewhere in between. And also an eighteen year old girl. But I also think that being an assassin means you leave a lot of things at the door or you can’t do your job. There has to be a certain sense of detachment. And let’s face it she never had a childhood. The way I see it is Celaena should be a bit of a sociopath (aka Sameen Shaw) and be completely detached from the kill notches in her belt and every other character or be a little bit damaged (aka Dutch from Killjoys). Celaena isnt really any of those. Maybe Maas was afraid to make her too adult and was pressured to keep her young in spirit. I don’t know. But Throne of Glass is like reading two different books with two different characters. It’s odd. All I know is I like half of Celaena in this first book.

I like that she is not entirely likeable. I like that she is imperfect. I like that maybe she is trying to regain that sense of whimsy and wonder she may have had growing up. I like that she wants to play Cinderella for a day or nine and pretend that she hasn’t done any of the things, or lost the things that she has. I like that she is a total girly girl and loves sweets and books and music and handsome men. And yet…I am annoyed at how bratty she can be. I dislike her Mary Sue-ness in that she is apparently amazing at everything. I dislike that for being a notorious assassin she forgets a lot of her training and instincts the moment she gets a warm bed, a pretty dress, and a mirror. I think Celaena can be both a girly girl and a killer. I just don’t think it was well written. Perhaps too far to the right and the left when it should have been more balanced and in the middle. Although I hear this is the weakest of the series when it comes to her characterization so I am hoping it gets better and am willing to take that chance.

I guess I kind of wanted her to be a bit like Eretria from the tv version of Shannara (haven’t read the books so if she differs wildly, I don’t know that). You can see that she is constantly looking out for herself, gauging her exits, finding the points and buttons to manipulate. And yet you can also see that she wants more. You can see that being an Elven princess for a day would be fun. That freedom would be fun. That being normal and having friends and lovers and laughter would be ideal. She is torn between the life that she was given and the life she wants. I guess my disappointment stems from the fact that I fell in love with Celaena in the beginning and eventually in the end, but wanted to strangle her in the middle. It’s not that Cinderella Celaena is bad if you take that part of the story out of the overall plot, but she is different from the Celaena. Anyway I will move on. This probably makes no sense.

Now sure the romantic triangle is a trope, but I kind of got on board. Despite being more of a Chaol fan (Dorian seems too forced and unrealistic), I like both him and Dorian. They are different characters. I can see where I think Maas was trying to go with Dorian. Sure Dorian plays the bratty womanizing prince quite well (I guess it pays to be the conquering King’s son). But I also see him growing and changing just by having Celaena in his life. I like that he starts thinking for himself, questioning things. I see the potential for a good King in there, even though I am not sure he will get that far as he would need to be ruthless to take out his father and I don’t think he is or could be that person. That person will never be for Celaena, anyone can see that. Chaol is different. As a soldier he shares some traits with Celaena. He is cold, calculating, careful…things that make him a good soldier, but like Celaena I think he wants more. He is the more realistic romance, less contrived certainly. In a way I don’t think Dorian has a chance. To the point where I could see her with Nox more than I could the Prince. Although, to be honest, both Dorian and Chaol are both just dazed by Celaena’s beauty and awesomeness at everything instead of what I think could be amazing complexity in latter books. Ah boys, “serpent hid with a flowering face”.

Speaking of characters, I loved Nehemia. I would like more of her please.

Finally, I dig the Wyrdmarks (though I think that whole plotline could have been better executed instead of just randomly thrown in…at least that is what it felt like). I liked Elena and where I see this series going. Sometimes I just felt like the only purpose of this book was to set up the rest of the series.

Things I didn’t like so much: The plot is fairly strong at first, but then it gets a bit un-even and then I feel like I am reading a completely different story. Everything slows. The assassin-y bits go away which is sad cause I was looking forward to those bits. Suddenly Survivor: The Assassins Edition is told through brief comments and asides and suddenly it’s all about dresses and balls and your lead becoming an immature brat who needs to be pampered and apparently gets everyone to do exactly what she wants. Why does she have a gaggle of guards ready to kill her if she dares try to escape?

This is where I stop liking Celaena. Preparing for a contest that might take your life if you’re not careful would seem like an important thing that Celaena should consider. After all her freedom is the most important thing in this whole book and so I would make sure all of my ducks were in a row. Especially if I had been out of the game for a while. Even if Chaol tells you to stay in the middle, I would be finding my opponents weaknesses. I would find things to exploit. I would make sure that I win the damn thing. Instead Celaena becomes preoccupied with all of the things she may have had at one time (fine gowns, a library and all the books it holds, the piano, billiards, etc). Even when contestants start dying one by one. As I said this is where I see the Cinderella re-telling. This is where there is another story going on and not the one I started reading. And yet it isn’t completely unenjoyable if that was the only bits I got. But I have expectations now. I like Celaena from the beginning. I like assassin Celaena. I like means to an end and biding my time Celaena. And I so crush on my freedom is more important than a dalliance Celaena. Sometimes bad ass and yet flawed Celaena comes out to play (my assassin with the heart of gold). I see her in moments with Nehemia. I see her running about with Nox. But I wanted more. I expected more because I know she is there.

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if you only dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

As I said this was an interesting book to review. It has things I love: action, thrills, mystery, mythical beasts, quests, a little hint of romance, etc. I enjoyed it and yet was disappointed at the same time. There are times I wanted to throw the book at the wall, but kept going. I never stopped turning the pages. I wanted to get to the end. So for all the highs and lows I recommend giving it a go, just leave some expectations at the door.

Buy or Borrow: Buy or at least grab it from the library.

Part of:Series.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Also Recommended: For more assassin-y goodness try The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Other great books are Poison Study by Maria V Snyder, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and the Sellsword series by R.A. Salvatore (yay Artemis).

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

SUNDAY SEVEN: TV PARTNERS


The X-Files is back. Yay! Scully and Mulder have returned and they are, by far, one of my favorite TV partnerships. They complement each other and despite being one of my OTP which means I am a tad bias, without one another they wouldn’t have cracked so many X-Files cases. Here are seven of my other favorite TV partners. What are yours?

Shawn/Gus:
Psych

Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton ‘Gus’ Guster (Dule Hill) have the best bromance ever. Best friends since they were kids, Gus helps balance out Shawn’s antics. On occasion he even willingly joins in. They are both hilarious and let’s face it Gus gets the best nicknames and code names. My favorites are probably Felicia Fancybottom, and Mission Figgs.

Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles:
Rizzoli and Isles

Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander) are complete opposites. Despite that, they work well together even when they aren’t solving murders. I know that they would both do anything for one another. They are kind of awesome besties. Also Maura has amazing fashion tastes.

Pete Latimer/Myka Bering:
Warehouse 13

Another pair of opposites, Pete (Eddie McClintock) isn’t exactly one for the rules while Myka (Joann Kelly) is more serious and has a killer photographic memory. They both can be awkward and a bit odd, but their relationship and partnership work. Of course in the end they have finally become the PTO we were all hoping for and wishing, but throughout most of the show they had an amazing platonic partnership. They were friends, not lovers and I loved their straight woman/goofy man shtick.

John Reese/Harold Finch:
Person of Interest

When Finch (Michael Emerson) found Reese (Jim Caviezel), John was almost at rock bottom. A former assassin he had sort of lost his way, which makes a little sense once you know his back story. Harold wasn’t doing so well either. They saved each other. They bring the best out in one another. They are family. I cannot wait until Season 5.

Sherlock Holmes/John Watson:
Sherlock

There have been many incarnations of the famous duo, but love the one portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. They feed off of each other, push each others buttons, but they also keep each other rooted somehow. In a weird way I think they both understand one another, though they would never admit that to themselves let alone one another. Even when John and Sherlock want to kill one another, they realize how much they care about their other half. They’d be lost without their bromance. Plus they are great at solving puzzling mysteries, so there is that.

James T Kirk/Spock:
Star Trek

Speaking of another bromance how could I not mention Kirk and Spock. Again, they are opposites but it works. While they may not always agree or understand each others quirks, they respect one another which is vital. It was a reluctant partnership that became a priceless friendship. We watched them grow into the best of friends, even more so in the cinematic series. I gotta include them even though technically they don’t solve crimes or anything. Exploration counts.

Benton Fraser/Raymond Vecchio:
Due South

I realize that most of my partner picks are exact opposites. Such is also the case for Benton (Paul Gross) and Ray (David Marciano). Benton is an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but finds himself solving crimes in Chicago along with Benton’s deaf white wolfdog, Diefenbaker. They are an odd couple, and play off the Canadian and American stereotypes constantly. They also have different methods with solving crimes, but it works. Plus they were hilarious. I kinda loved Due South growing up.

Honorable Mentions:
David Starsky/Kenneth Hitchison (Starsky and Hutch), Neal Caffrey/Peter Burke (White Collar), and Mary Beth Lacey/Chris Cagney (Cagney and Lacey)