Reviews · Uncategorized

The Defenders – A Review!

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4 / 5

My favourite characters go thus – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Claire, the entire cast of all the Marvel series, and ends with “Ir-on Fissst”.

I’m gonna lay out the bad stuff first.

The issue with the Defenders is that it puts its weakest character front and center, and everyone revolves around it. Iron Fist, who despite supposedly being the most trusted warrior of K’un Lun comes across as an entitled little rich boy who can’t see anyone else’s opinion but his own.

And rational? He’s anything but. When I think of a warrior I imagine someone so chill they could have swallowed the Little Book Of Calm. That they are a wise and trusted being with the gift passed down generations. Not someone who hasn’t matured past infancy and hisses his dialogue like someone just shat on his favourite lego.

And so while the Defenders is fun, it would have been better if they’d been united against a common enemy, not to ‘defend’ the weakest (both personality wise and story wise) character of them all. Even Daredevil, who with his self-righteous dialogue and his friends who want to ‘save’ him I don’t even know what from, might have been a better choice for the One In Peril.

OK NOW THE PARTS I LIKED.

Jessica Jones, man. She’s easily the best of the Defenders and this series proved to me just how much I missed her. She’s the only one who delivers proper belly-laughs with her dry wit and “what the fuck is this” attitude giving a refreshing turn against the “For The City!” moaning heroes we’ve known.

It was exciting when the supporting cast of our heroes came around and they all got together. When Karen Page and Trish Walker had a conversation I admit I squeed a little – with Trish wanting to go more investigative and Karen being investigative, could we see another team up there? (anything to get more Trish, ngl).

Sigourney – queen. The concept of her character was brilliant and she’s a smoooooth actress who just oozes power and flair with every scene she’s in. However by the end of the muddled narrative we weren’t sure which line she was drawing in the sand, or whether there was a line at all. It promised to do so much with her character, then it was sort of… not delivered?

Madame Gao is still an absolute favourite of mine. Manipulative, sneaky, charming, POWERFUL who knew?! I think – think – we’ll see more of her? Here’s hoping, anyway. And Misty! Are we going to segway into the Amazing Arm story? Are ALL the sidekicks finally going to get their superhero alter egos going on or….?

Overall it was enjoyable but I do think it could have done with some bigger laughs, tightening of the narrative and a little less Iron Fisssst.

 

 

Uncategorized

REVIEW – Wolf Children by Phil Dowsdell

THANK YOU BLOOMSBURY AND NETGALLEY FOR THIS E-ARC

REVIEW – DNF

It is July 1945, Hitler’s Third Reich has fallen, and Berlin is in ruins. Living on the edge of survival in the cellar of an abandoned hospital, Otto and his ragtag gang of kids have banded together in the desperate, bombed-out city.

The war may be over, but danger lurks in the shadows of the wreckage as Otto and his friends find themselves caught between invading armies, ruthless rival gangs and a strange Nazi war criminal who stalks them …

A climactic story of truth, friendship and survival against the odds, Wolf Children will thrill readers of Michael Morpurgo and John Boyne.

I was hopeful for this novel, because I love the WW2 setting and historical novels in this context. But… it fell flat.

It was particularly tell-y, and it jerked me out of reading. Like an “and over there we have…” situation, where it’s obviously pointing where to look or what to feel at any given moment. Dialogue felt stilted, as though the author described the characters’ emotions rather than allow us to feel them authentically while we lived their story.

I didn’t feel either that we were in the setting of World War 2 – while it was a really interesting concept unfortunately it didn’t pay off and I DNF’d at 10%

NetGalley · Uncategorized

The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman

Violent and despairing after the murder of the one person she loved — a psychiatrist who was studying abductees — Julia continues to rebuff the aliens until her relationships with others who have met “the things,” as she calls them (including a tattoo artist, a strange man who can take photographs with the power of his mind, and an abductee locked up in a mental hospital) force her deeper into direct alien contact, and a confrontation about what death means to humans and aliens alike.

Thanks to NetGalley! ❤

There’s a lot of praise surrounding this book and it immediately makes me feel as though I HAVE to like it, because everyone else does, and the reviews are thrown in your face.

While I did like it, I’m not raving about it.

There was a slight feeling of apathy with the beginning of the book – and while this gradually dissipated it made it hard to really fall in with the MC’s thoughts, feelings etc. As though she was bored with her life, and went home with a fairly nice man, and dated him, and it was all average and fair. It didn’t really speed the narrative along and didn’t suck me into the story.

The very brief (VERY) information about something lurking in the dark made me read on. But overall I couldn’t shake the first chapter’s apathy and it sort of left me underwhelmed.

The writer is very competent though, very good writer and it flowed well but as for the story – it was hit and miss for me.

 

Reviews · Uncategorized

ACOWAR – Review!

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RATING: 4.5*

Where to buy? Let’s be honest, you can buy this pretty much everywhere. I borrowed it from a dear friend instead.

So. ACOWAR.

The series finisheth.

Or so I thought, because there’s something like 17 more coming out.

I admire Sarah J Maas’ work ethic if she’s cranking out so many books in the next few years, though I do hope her editor doesn’t seem to be as bored as they were doing this one. There were SO MANY throat bobbings, loosened breaths and ellipses and repeated information that were totally unnecessarily and it was SO LONG. The bobbing throats really pissed me off at times, too.

I found this to be about 700 pages of episodes. Because it felt extremely episodic. And it’s billed as Feyre infiltrating the Spring Court and finding shit out but SPOILER ALERT – she’s out within the first 20% of the book and then it’s all Velaris and talking about war. Which is not what I expected. I wanted spying and manipulating, not “oh by the way, I did this”.

BUT – I did enjoy seeing the other courts, and the tension in whether others would help or not. The introduction of monsters, and Nesta and Elain were great additions to bring to the fore in this novel. Cassian and Nesta were lovely. I just wish we’d known more about it in the round-up in the

And I did cry. I hated that I cried, but I did, because of women camaraderie ❤

While I still adore the Illyrian, Rhys and Feyre sex scenes seemed pretty basic, simply because the tension wasn’t there any more. I could have done without it. And Rhys – while still lovely – didn’t have the same spark as he’d had in ACOMAF. Everyone loves a smirking little shit, and we lost that in this one.

This seemed to be aimed for the die hard SJM fans, the readers who live to absorb her world. I really did enjoy the world building and characters, despite the book’s problems, and found it entertaining. But substance? Maybe not. There seemed just too many elements in this volume for her to wrap up and give justice too. In ACOMAF and ACOTAR it was pretty small and neatly wrapped, in this one, it was like Pandora’s box – so many different things spinning out like webs couldn’t be contained to give the proper attention.

This could have done with being split IMO.

The only reason this gets 4.5* and not lower is because I did care about Nesta, Amren, Elain, Azriel, Cassian and Rhys – even the monsters, which were not used for much effect which I found unfortunate.

The reason it doesn’t get the full 5* is because of the fucking bobbing. And so many sodding courts and names I lost count.

I would have liked it to round out a bit better, but I suppose she has to find a way to lure casual readers to buying more books somehow. I might pick up future books, but probably only to borrow.

PitchWars · Uncategorized

#PitchWars Advice

I ended up copying and pasting my tweet feed here! For all of you entering PitchWars this year, GOOD LUCK but also take a moment to review information on self care, and taking a step back when you need to –

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Ok so I kinda wanna tweet advice for #PitchWars since I’ve entered twice now, and this year will be my third

AND last year I was lucky enough to be an unofficial mentee with the lovely @mkengland and @jamiepacton #PitchWars

Since it’s almost time for the blog hops and the competitions and the sheer joy of it, I wanted to point out something

A major thing about #PitchWars is that it can overtake your life. NGL. It’s very easy to obsess about the PW milestones / events

In my case, I’d stay up til the early hours watching the mentor talks which were SUPER helpful #PitchWars

I’d watch the feed all the time, engage with the community (I love you, PW community) and anxiously prepare my MS

BUT – and this is a big but (heh) – *anxiously* slipped over into actual anxiety for me. Because #PitchWars meant so much

Now my advice is to SELF CARE at every opportunity. #PitchWars is an incredible asset, it’s true, but it’s not the end OR beginning of your writing journey.

It can seem that way for some people. Especially if you’re passionate about writing and getting your work out there, PW can seem like a life line

But you will not enjoy #PitchWars if particular aspects of your health are exasperated by what’s supposed to be a wonderful & unifying experience.

Be sure to take time out and see this for what it is – an opportunity, on the long road to publication, to give you a helping hand.

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#PitchWars is a competition, yes. But I doubt ANYONE in the community would want you to burn yourself out just to be a part of it.

If you feel like you’re too nervous, take a step back. Engage with your writer friends, privately if you like, and voice concerns.

Nobody will judge you, nobody will think you’re not up to it. It’s perfectly natural to worry about your writing cause let’s face it

Even bestselling authors still wonder about their ability and have crisis of confidence. It’s not wrong to experience that.

But don’t compare yourself to the other hopefuls. Especially if #pimpmybio comes back, don’t compare yours to others. It’s just graphics.

Some people can pitch better than others, what matters is that you’re a) writing something you love and b) not an asshole

I guess my ultimate advice is – be excited, be happy, be engaging in #PitchWars but draw the line if you start feeling overwhelmed.

#PitchWars is ultimately a place of love, encouragement and help. Get to know other writers, bond with CPs. That could be your focus 🙂

Alright, I think I’m done. That was waaaay longer than I intended! GROUP HUG!

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Random Musings · Uncategorized

On Remakes – Like Dirty Dancing

So I recently saw an article about Dirty Dancing. More specifically, its remake, which is being completely butchered by film critics and probably fans of the original alike.

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I’ve never really understood remakes, if I’m honest. A film which was popular 30 years ago and still is to this day maybe for relevance or simply *feelings*, doesn’t need a remake. If you tried to remake Back to the Future you’d get speared in the gut by fans, I’m telling you.

I’d be one of them. And God help the people who decide Lord of the Rings needs a refit, because I WILL LEAD THE CHARGE.

If it aint broke, don’t fix it.  Stop meddling. If it works, it works. The reason the original film was or remains a success or cult hit is probably because some quintessential magic happened while it was being made, and to try and recreate that – just to put a modern spin on it or design it in tone for a ‘modern audience’ – won’t achieve the same effect.

It’s like trying to rewrite a book that’s popular. If someone took Throne of Glass characters, or Six of Crows characters in 10 years’ time and wrote the same story – it wouldn’t work. We already have that story, done extremely well, by the person who was supposed to write it. Yeah we get retellings, but mostly this is from ideas or legends, folklore and mythology which is about 100 years old or more. But remakes are usually step by step, point-for-point story rehashes for megabucks with current stars from a relatively recent decade.

I know there’s an argument within this subject, and it suggests that since this is a visual medium, it can be interpreted on the screen in so many different ways. That’s true! No artist has 100% the same vision.

But…. why not allow that artist to do something different?! Or if you MUST do Dirty Dancing why not put it in the Jane Austen era, or put it like The Terminator, JUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH IT.

Take the Rocky Horror Picture Show – that shit is ICONIC. But they made a remake for the ‘modern’ age (which in itself will be old in 5 years) and it was too clean, too cookie cutter, too knowing what it was trying to emulate. Maybe it was a love letter, sure, but it wasn’t needed. To my mind, it added nothing from this ‘modern age’ that the original lacked, apart from maybe being more sensitive to gender identity.

Remakes aren’t needed. It’s the same with sequels – people are getting tired of them. Even Hollywood has recognized it! In an age which is already oversaturated with rip offs and similar ideas, there may be struggles to find original concepts but don’t ADD to that struggle by basically cleaning up something which was made iconic WITH GOOD REASON just because you want to cash in on the media furor.

It won’t work, it won’t be remembered (well it might be, but not for the right reasons) and it won’t give the audience the fresh blood they truly desire.

// rant